The Good, and the not so Good

Tortilla Flat Hubby and I have settled into life here in Phoenix, Arizona, nicely.  Our first month back in the Valley of the Sun whizzed by…. enjoying exploratory outings with our daughter, socializing with neighbors, and connecting with friends, old and new.

The good:  We see our son and daughter every weekend when they stop by the RV and allow me to make them breakfast.  I’ve been having a grand ole time taking it up a notch in the kitchen and everyone is appreciative of my efforts.  Although the constant photographing of food is something they’d like me to tone down a tad 😉Breakfast

I had a blast spending the first two weeks in October with our daughter, Ashton, getting her acclimated to her new home.  I was eager to show her as much of the area’s unique beauty before she had to start her new job.

One of my favorite places around Phoenix can be seen in the far southeast side of the valley; the Superstition Mountains and the Apache Trail.  In my opinion, no visit to Phoenix would be complete without a visit to this area.

approaching the Superstition Mountains

approaching the Superstition Mountains

After a one hour drive from our RV Park in the northwest part of the valley to the Superstitions in the southeast valley, we took a quick spin through the Lost Dutchman State Park so I could point out the awesome hiking trails…… trails that I plan to tackle soon.  I wanted Ashton to be as excited about hiking here as I always am.

Canyon LakeFrom Lost Dutchman State Park we continued on the Apache Trail (aka 88) along a paved, winding road.  Ashton was happy to see a road that could be compared to similar roads in Colorado; you know…. the kind that climb, turn, and have drop offs with no guard rails.  She was feeling quite comfortable and not concerned even after passing a tow truck winching a vehicle up from the canyon below.  Eek, someone obviously had a bad day.  Good idea to take this road slow.

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake

Fourteen miles north of the town of Apache Junction is picturesque Canyon Lake.  Ashton and I have already discussed renting a couple of kayaks and getting out on the water one of these days, and I know our friends, G & T, would love to join us.

Just a little further up the road is the quaint tourist attraction, Tortilla Flat.  We grab a bite to eat in the rustic restaurant and after lunch we stop in the general store for ice cream and fudge.  They are known for serving up the best ice cream around….yum.  Don’t pass it up!

With tummies full, we continued our drive toward a scenic overlook.  The pavement ends and we stir up a huge cloud of dust as we travel on a dry gravel/dirt road.  Ashton isn’t sure how she feels about the landscape and thinks it’ll take some time for her to get used to it.

Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest

When I tell her we are in the Tonto National Forest, she scoffs and with a smirk says, “I’m sorry, but this is not a forest”.

Say what? Don't be dissing my forest.

Say what? Don’t be dissing my forest.

The desert can be an acquired taste, especially for those more accustomed to a lush landscape like that found in the Midwest or Pacific Northwest.  Some folks never adjust, but I know Ashton will eventually come around and embrace the stunning beauty observed in the desert, just as I have.Tortilla Flat

What’s interesting; when we were back in the Midwest this past summer, the dense vegetation started irritating hubby and me.  We had no vistas.  Way too many trees.  We even had a tree damage one of our sky lights, which we’ll be replacing soon.  Although I must admit, Al did a fabulous job using white duct tape to fix up the crack.  It doesn’t even look patched.  Yep, I don’t miss having trees around.Tonto National ForestI have lots more good to share in upcoming posts, but for now, let’s get onto the not so good.

Birds#1 – I’ve been fighting a nasty cold that has put me in a foul mood.  An unsociable mood.  I’ve been sick way too much this past year, and it’s curtailing my fun.  Talk about frustrating!

#2 – And to add insult to injury, my internet connection is sporadic putting a crimp in my blogosphere habit.  I haven’t been able to post or comment as usual and in some cases I can’t even hit the “like” button.  Double frustrating.

Oh well, this too shall pass…. after all, tomorrow is another day!

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94 thoughts on “The Good, and the not so Good

    • We do enjoy the desert. We lived in Las Vegas back in the early 90’s before moving to Colorado. I wish my hair would get limp and flat from humidity instead of turning my curly hair into a frizzy poof…. not flattering LOL. My hair much prefers the dry arid desert 🙂

  1. Ingrid, Please tell me that mountain goat pic is from your library!
    Glad to hear you also did that canyon lake road.
    You are putting a lot of effort into Ashton’s ‘conversion’ – it must pay off 🙂

    • We spotted that Bighorn Sheep at the scenic overlook past Tortilla Flat. It seemed like the perfect topping of our day for Ashton to see that sheep considering her college mascot is a Ram. My efforts have definitely paid off and things couldn’t be better 😉

  2. Superstition Mountains – just the name makes me want to go there! And it looks spectacular in your photo. Though I have to admit, like your daughter I was surprised to hear the area is called a forest:)

    And I have to comment on that breakfast – it looks AWESOME!

    • I certainly didn’t hear any complaints on the breakfast 🙂 I also realized I should have added a photo of all the saguaro cacti. That may have depicted the term forest better although they certainly aren’t anywhere close to an oak or maple tree providing a dense canopy. Beautiful none the less!

  3. Hope you’re feeling better soon! I laughed when I read the way too many trees comment — when we were in the Midwest and Northeast both of us said the same thing (probably way too often) even though we’re both from forested areas of the U.S. I think the desert has magical charm and it’s definitely rubbed off on me.

    • Thank you Meghan and you would certainly understand my take on the trees vs. the open vistas. When I was in my twenties, the barren land in the west made me feel uncomfortable (being from IL)… now it feels like home. So where are you these days?

      • Yes! I found it unsettling and fantastical at first (I lived in NY and RI) but it has really grown on me and I’ve come to love the high desert in particular. We’re currently in southwest Utah (though I’m sure we’ll take some trips) until we head to NM in January.

        • The harsh appearance of the western landscape can take those of us from the east a little getting used too, but now I couldn’t image calling any other place home. We love southern Utah and even considered St. George as a home base, but with the kids in Phoenix…. well, that sealed the deal. So as long as they are here, we’ll be hanging around parts of AZ.

  4. As you know we are enjoying the desert life, there is beauty all around. For some it takes awhile and others never choose to see it. While we laugh too at the name National Forest we appreciate what they represent. Now that we’ve been cleared for work and have a schedule we hope to get over to the Superstition Mountains soon. When you’re feeling better let us know so we can catch up.

    • Fortunately, you landed at a really nice park where you can immerse yourself in the desert beauty. I’m hoping I have the oomph to get out on the trails soon. I’ll keep you posted. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m sure you and Dave will be cooking up a storm 🙂

  5. Love that pic of Ashton, I tried to do it but the 10 time failed to capture my pose. I have a feeling Ashton is having a swell time with mom this winter in the desert. Not sure how she feels being in the valley of the sun by springtime 🙂
    I sure hope you are getting and feeling better soon. That nasty valley fever is really giving you the fits.
    I can’t wait to enjoy the superstition mountains in a few weeks!

    • Ashton seems to be embracing the new change which I’m extremely happy about. Logan and I are both still having some issues from the Valley Fever, which is no surprise. It can take up to a year, and I’m sure it has compromised my immune system. Each day gets better and I’ll hit the trails slowly.

  6. Sorry to hear you are feeling bad again. there has got to be something you can take to boost your immune system. Hopefully settling in to staying in Arizona for awhile and you have the kids close, just try and take it easier. Hope you get better soon. Talk to some of Indians down there. They have all kinds of rremedies that might help. Take care!

    • My health is part of the reason we won’t be moving around much this winter, plus also wanting to visit with the kids. I like your idea “talk to the Indians”…. perhaps a Medicine Man might have an interesting remedy. Thanks for the comment and have a lovely Thanksgiving.

  7. So sorry to hear that you’ve been under the weather, Ingrid. You’ve been through a lot this past year — and to also have poor internet connection definitely adds insult to injury! It looks like you’ve continued to have fun with Ashton — what a wonderful tour guide you’ve been. We love the desert, as you do — and we do still love the Pacific Northwest. Summer in the islands, winter in the desert — that’s pretty much perfect for me. However, we’re currently on the way to Florida….which isn’t bad in the winter, either. Feel better soon! 🙂

    • It’s easier to handle the down time when I can play on the internet, but when I can’t log on, I’m teething at the bit to get out and explore. Alas, the body has other plans 😦 Ah, this too shall pass and I’m starting to feel better. Just wish I would regain my energy now.
      Ashton is doing great and I even put her in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. I’m enjoying having both kids close by. Hope you have a great winter in FL

  8. Beverly had the same comment about some western national forest. Did you guys go lost gold mine hunting on you mountain trek? You do seem to have more than your than your share of colds and I think I remember you telling us why – hope it goes away soon. I can’t believe how tied to the internet I’ve become and the importance of a good connection.

    • Unfortunately, my health is a work in progress and I’m hopeful 2016 will be a good year. A couple of years ago we met a couple from back east through the blog…. she hated the desert including Sedona and Moab. I was shocked by her response, but I guess the landscape was just to stark for her taste. I find it stunning even though I haven’t found the Dutchman’s gold yet.
      Well, I’ll admit, the internet is my addiction and I get irritated when it doesn’t work.

  9. Personally, I vote for more food pictures. Not only home cooked, but especially what is available on the road. That way, we can add those spots to our list of ‘must eat’.

    • When we go out to eat, I’m always quick to dig in and forget to take photos until my plate is half destroyed. Guess I’ll need to work on that. As for cooking in the RV, I started a new blog where I share my recipes and hopefully I’ll add tidbits about cooking in small quarters.

  10. I’m sure Ashton will become a desert soon:) Wait til she see the spring!! Colorado is tough to beat, though. I don’t think of the state like the east. You have done a fantastic job showing her some of the coolest places. Great job, mom!!

    • Thanks Pam. I’m hoping to get her out on some trails soon. She’s taking a break from her MBA program for the holidays so once I stop coughing, we’ll be hitting those trails near Lost Dutchman. I look forward to her seeing that area in bloom…. gorgeous!
      Nope, Colorado is definitely NOT like the east and it’s always nice to return in the SUMMER. I can do without the snow even though it’s beautiful in the winter 🙂

    • Thank you Gayle. Some Midwesterners love the desert and others never get used to it. Me? I love it but it did take a bit of an adjustment period. Now it feels like coming home.

    • Our daughter gave us that last Christmas and I had a blast putting it together. It sat on my desk for the longest time, but I took it apart and placed it back in the box with all our summer moving. Hmm, I think it’s time for me to go build a camper again 😆

  11. We totally agree with you about Superstition Mountains and the Apache Trail. Gorgeous.

    Glad to read you are having so much fun with the kiddos. Hoping today finds you feeling much better.

    • Thanks Marsha. Yep, it’s been wonderful having both kids in the same location. Can’t wait to get better so we can tackle some of those trails at the Superstitions 🙂

    • I so agree about opening up to new and different scenery and experiences. I am pleased my daughter has embraced this move with an open mind. As a parent, it’s exciting to see your child grow in so many ways 🙂

  12. Well, I can see why you get weekly visits from the kids! 😀 I love Ashton’s comment on the desert and your ram’s caption! I think Ashton will appreciate the beauty of the desert in the spring time.;)

    As for trees, I think it’s all a matter of personal taste. I grew up with the coolness of the redwoods and abhor hot. Oddly enough, I have less problems with Florida humidity than I do with the temperature, though we live near the coast and do get good breezes now and again. I can imagine how stifling humidity can be when you don’t stay long enough to acclimate. I moved here in the winter time and I was able to adjust to the humidity gradually and it’s rarely an issue…though I so sweat way more than I used to…and I lost the dry skin alligator look I used to always get on my legs.

    • The ram encounter was particularly entertaining because the mascot for Colorado State University is a “Ram”. Thus, my daughter has a tendency to refer to herself as a ram.
      Once I moved away from the humidity of the Midwest, I easily became acclimated to the arid west and much prefer a drier climate. Ashton won’t need to adjust to the dry climate as much as the heat of the summer. Wise that she moved to Phoenix in the fall as I can already hear those complaints come May 😉

  13. Have you tried the lemon a day habit. I started it back in my school teacher days to keep the kiddo germs from taking me out and my husband became a fan as it keeps the arthritic symptoms from ruining our fun. Every morning we squeeze a lemon into a cup of hot water, EVERY MORNING. IT REALLY WORKS.

  14. I hear ya about this year being a bad “medical” year….We are heading to Florida and I still am in search of a parathyroid doc who will help me…Yep, it’s gonna be another “Merry Medical Christmas”…If only someone would give me some”happy pills”…sheesh.

    • I’m so sorry to hear you haven’t been able to get to the bottom of your issues. I know how frustrating it can be. Here’s to a wonderful winter in FL filled with plenty of adult beverages 🙂

    • So far, Ashton has embraced her new home and job with an open mind and seems to be enjoying herself. I’m sure she’ll always call Colorado “home” though.

    • Thanks Sue. I was hoping to keep the adventures rolling, but alas, this body of mine has had other plans. Oh well, Ashton needs to focus on the new job and once she’s adjusted, we’ll have lots more mother/daughter outings.

  15. Hope you’re feeling better, Ingrid! Battling allergies everywhere we go has been our biggest issue (other than the occasional food poisoning from eating in restaurants once or twice too often)…. so I commiserate! Love those Superstition Mountains — it’s been too long since we were last there, and your photos reminded me of why we need to get back there. We’re originally from Ohio and LOVE the desert. When we went back East we kept saying, “It’s so green!” but by the time we got back we were glad to be back in the land of brown and beige and gold 🙂

    • Yikes…. food poisoning? That’s always a concern of ours when we decide to go out to lunch at a new place. Fortunately, we’ve been able to avoid bad food and keep most of our allergies at bay, at least thus far. I can’t wait for my daughter to see the desert in Feb/Mar when the desert comes alive filled with blooms in all colors.
      So where are you wintering this season?

    • Thanks Karen. I have tried leaving comments on several blogs (yours included) only to have my connection lost in the posting process. Frustrating! Thus, I’ve been a little quiet lately and probably will continue to do so until we get our Wilson boost or I head over to sons house for his internet. But do know, I’m here reading 🙂

    • Isn’t it great having a home on wheels? We get to enjoy all the diverse landscapes on our terms. That’s so exciting about your kids wanting to hit the road. Can’t wait to hear how it all unfolds.

      • I am – literally – just sitting down to start typing my recap of Day 1. Nonstop travel since I got back – and this is my first downtime to do any writing. My plan is to do 6 posts covering the 6 full days of the program – and publish them at a rate of 1-2 per week until the story is told. My work schedule will absolutely impact that plan though. 🙂 Fingers crossed.

        • Look forward to hearing all about your survival and perfect way to post it. And BTW, how dare your work schedule take you away from the blogosphere. Gosh, someone might think making money is more important 😉 Doesn’t your boss know you have fans to think about?

          • Ha! As far as they’re concerned my only social media obligation is the twitter activity I do for work. That I’m absolutely encouraged to make time for. Sadly, not nearly as much fun. 🙂

  16. So….the “bubbly” cure isn’t working for you anymore? Seriously, we’re getting antsy to get back to the desert around Phoenix again. Hope our paths cross this winter.


    • No, decided nightly bubbly might turn me into an alkie LOL. Let me know when you get to the Phoenix valley. I’m hoping I won’t be feeling anti-social ALL winter 😉

      • We’ll be orbiting there all of Feb., between McDowell, Usery and White Tank. I know we can get together somewhere, we’re looking forward to seeing you again, cranky or not!

  17. You capture the desert so beautifully and your love for the area around Phoenix shines through. Total bummer about being sick. I commiserate…I hate being sick and nothing puts me in a fouler mood. I hope it passes for you soon.


    • Thanks Nina and I know you too were under the weather. It does have a way of taking the fun out of travel. I don’t think I’ve picked up my camera in a week…. a sure sign I’m not feeling well especially with all the fantastic sunsets we get here in the desert.

    • Thanks Debbie. Some folks embrace the desert immediately, and for others it takes a little longer. Enjoy having the Superstitions close by. I wish we were parked a little closer. Hmm, kids – mountain – kids – mountain…. guess the kids won this winter 🙂

  18. Last year we rented a boat on Canyon Lake. It was a great way for the 8 of us to spend a half day exploring the Salt River Canyon.
    The Apache Trail, from Tortilla Flat to Globe, is a wonderful full day trip if you don’t mind a dirt road!

    • We’ve driven the Apache Trail from Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Lake and then returned through Globe. It was indeed a great day filled with lovely scenery that I look forward to repeating.
      I’d love to rent a boat on Canyon Lake. My daughter and I picked up info at the marina. Now all we need is good health and warm, windless weather 😉

  19. Sorry to hear you’re unwell again. I’ve been way too sick this year with a few bouts of the flu and have another one even though it’s almost summer here. It’s very draining isn’t it? I do hope you recover soon and have good health and that next year is much better for you. Beautiful shots as always, Ingrid. Best wishes.

    • Thank you Jane and I’m so sorry to hear you have not been well. It is indeed frustrating and draining to battle illness. In the past 2 years I’ve been ill on and off almost half the time. Wishing you too better health soon. Perhaps the warmth of summer will have a healing effect for you 🙂

  20. Ashton’s comment is way too funny! But that is an extremely interesting point about the Midwest, as compared to the western U.S, Ingrid. I can see where that could happen.

    One thing we noticed was the humidity difference when we would drive down to Grand Rapids from Leelanau this past summer, as the latter is much drier. And then we went to northern Indiana and could barely breathe, as the air was so thick.

    Here’s wishing you good health soon!

    • Thanks Jim. Isn’t it interesting how driving a mere 2 or 3 hours in another direction can impact the climate? I know in states like CO and AZ where elevation changes occur, temperatures can change 20-40 degrees. All part of the adventure and making life interesting.

  21. Feel better my friend! A hot buttered rum.
    The Apache Trail was one of the first trails sweet, sweet man took me on when I first arrived in Arizona. Awesome photos of “our” beloved place!

    • Lots of soup and hot tea seem to be hitting the spot. I should be better by the time you get back to town. Yep, I’ve really embraced the state of Arizona, so much so I now have an AZ driver’s license and plates. It was a little tough giving up my Colorado status, but we’ll be spending more time in AZ than CO and seemed like the right thing to do.

        • My internet is working good this morning. I’m not sure why. One way or the other, we will finally get a boost. It’s been way too frustrating getting cut off at the worst times…. like paying bills. My AZ license photo almost looks identical to my CO one which makes me happy since the CO one was taken 10 years ago. I had them Photoshop my forehead wrinkles 😆

    • I was thinking of you as I wrote about the trees. I’m sure by now, that dense, moist environment is getting to you and you’re longing for the desert 🙂

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