A Day Off at Madera Canyon

One of the most stunning things about southern Arizona is that nature is so diverse. If you tire of it, just drive ten minutes for an entirely new landscape. (The area is also GREAT for birding.)

Bluebird Sunday, with great nervousness, I actually took a whole day off! It was wonderful, and it was so nice to get away from my computer for a day. I’m thinking of making this a weekly habit. We drove to Madera Canyon, in the Coronado National Forest.

snowmountains I wish I’d taken pictures a couple weeks ago, but you can still see the snow in the mountains, even though it’s regularly in the mid 80s. Temperatures drop to the low 40s at night, so I generally start out my writing day while shivering next to the heater, and then, as the day wears on, I’ll suddenly realize I’m way overheated, and have to throw open the windows and turn on all the fans.

The names of mountains fascinate me. The peak on the right is Mt. Wrighton, aka Old Baldy, and the dip in the middle of the two peaks is called “Baldy Saddle.” The left peak is Mt. Ian.

At the desert museum, I learned that taking a walk up some of these mountains is like walking from Mexico to Canada, nature-wise. It was mostly pine forest with a creek where we hiked, which blew my mind, LOL.


When we left, ten minutes later we drove through an area filled with Jumping Cholla Cacti. Little pods with two inch needles “jump” and stick in you. (Ouch!) They say they don’t actually jump, and that you really brush up against them, but I don’t believe it. I was five feet away, and my foot got stuck with two. (Painful, as I had sandals on.)


One came out easily with a stick, the other felt like barbed fish hooks. I wish I had taken a picture of the first time I was stuck with a cactus, but I was preoccupied. They are pretty cacti, though, aren’t they? They look like fuzzy little trees.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of the cacti blooming and some wildflowers. It’s Spring, here! I don’t know what they’re called, but aren’t they pretty?

tallone yellowbudsorangebush

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Pics of the Old and New Life

I didn’t look back when I left. I cried, but only from sheer exhaustion and relief to be done carrying stuff up and down stairs. I did, however, take a few pictures to share with you.

This is the pile of stuff I got rid of the last week. There was one, equal in size, the week before. This pile actually doubled in size by the time I left. It’s amazing how much junk a house holds!

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Did I mention it doubled in size by the time I left? About twelve more large, black bags were added to the pile.

I also took thirty-some big black bags of stuff to the Goodwill amidst five Jeep-loads, had a garage sale, and a local neighbor took four truckfuls of stuff.

I’ve lived on this street for the last eight years:

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The last five years have been in this house:

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I can’t tell you what’s in all the black bags. I think every house has stupid stuff that can’t be donated or given away. I threw my entire junk drawer away without looking at it, LOL.

You can see in the background that the camper is halfway up: it’s a pop-up, although it has hard sides, not a tent.

This is my Jeep. Isn’t she the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen? When Glenn first came to Ohio, he was in the dog house, and he told me he bought the Jeep for me. And then he forgot.

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This is currently the view from my bed, the front window of my camper. I wake up to it every morning. Every night, I fall asleep looking at the clouds stars.

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This is the creek running behind my camper:

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My campfire and picnic table:

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The front of my camper blurred, so you get to look at the back, which I smashed on the very first day I bought it. (See the duck tape?) *sigh* It towed so well, I forgot it was there:

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This is my “bedroom:”

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This is my office and living room:

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(Don’t look behind the curtain. That’s another bed end that holds the litter box, our chests and drawers of clothes, and all the cat food/water stuff.)

This is my kitchen. You can’t see the frig down below, and that off-white metal thing is covering the stove. I haven’t done the dishes yet. Sorry!

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What home would be complete without an assortment of knick-knacks and stuff? Somewhere in the move, I lost my plates. Weird.

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So that’s my new home! I love it more than any house I’ve ever lived in. It was funny, I was standing in my best friend’s kitchen, and I realized that she has more stuff in her pantry than I probably have in my whole camper! Not quite, but close. :-)

In the middle of the top shelf, you can see a toy truck and a fifth wheel. I bought that in Michigan last spring to keep on my desk and remind me of the lifestyle I was aiming for. See the doll in the red basket? My dad got me that. It’s made of china, and I couldn’t part with it.

The only downside to my new life?

The big lug is still missing. :-(

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