Monday, February 27, 2012

Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo & The Olive Mill

The time is getting away from me again! We had one busy day on Saturday. First we attended the Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo. They really pack the grandstand so we were lucky to find seats and I was grateful for that 35x zoom on my SX40HS.

Whether bareback bronc riding or saddle bronc riding, it is tough keeping that hat on. Also, we couldn't help but wonder if these guys travel with a personal chiropractor...their bodies get so contorted during their ride. Hang on...first, here comes my favorite event.

Bareback Bronc Riding

Men's Calf Roping

Ladies' Breakaway Calf Roping

Saddle Bronc Riding

Men's Steer Wrestling

We didn't stay for the rest of the events because I wanted the kids to meet Bill and Deanne while they're here. The Olive Mill was a good middle point so we met there for an early dinner just before it closed at 5:00. Dylan quickly confiscated my camera and served as photographer for our little get together. Here's a sample...

What? You're wondering about a photo of Dylan? While he had the camera he took several self-portraits and I seem to recall that this was his favorite...giggle!

Yesterday we all took the day off. Bill and Deanne visited family; Shelby had a fever; the boys were feeling slightly yucky too; so Rich and I went out to their house for a while in the afternoon.

Lovin' Life ~~ Rodeo, Friends, & Family

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hiking in the Superstitions

On Friday, Rich and Bill spent much of the day hiking in the Superstition Mountains from a trailhead at the end of Peralta Road. The innumerable hoodoos and giant rock formations, which are why I so love looking at these mountains, make hiking them extremely difficult and risky. Rich took lots of great photos but without a frame of reference the scale is not always apparent. I've selected a few that will hopefully share a sense of their experience; my favorite is this first one. For many years they had day hiked mountains in the L.A. area and backpacked the Sierras together so it was great that they got to mountain hike again. In this photo they have hiked up to an area named Fremont Saddle.

Here is a zoomed shot of that magnificent rock formation seen to Rich's left in the photo above.

From Fremont Saddle, they hiked up and along the backside of the ridge at the top left of this photo, came around the front base of the rock crown near the center, and continued hiking down and to the right from that crown. But then, they encountered an impasse so had to turn back and find another path.

The prominent rock formation below is Weaver's Needle. Notice the rock spires, hoodoos, covering the mountainside between where Rich took this photo and Weaver's Needle.

Seeing this vast assortment of hoodoos gives you a good idea of how difficult it is to hike this area. Try to locate the large hoodoo, with two smaller rocks at its base, near the center of this photo; the next photo is a zoomed shot of it.

I hope you found that hoodoo. Here Rich zoomed in and luckily there was an unknown hiker taking a break below the base of it which provides us with a good sense of the scale of these huge hoodoos. See the guy in the blue shirt at the bottom of the photo?

My favorite scenic photo of their day, it shows another part of the area they hiked...simply breathtaking!

In addition to showing how green these desert mountains are this time of year, this one again provides scale with the unknown hikers in the photo.

During the years when Rich and Bill and other friends of theirs went backpacking in the Sierras he took lots of photos, most of which he had developed into slides. After we were married, he stopped taking photos because I often have a camera in my hand. I am so thrilled that he had the G9 restored and is now taking photos again because he has a great eye for photography!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Rich's Photos

Friday, February 24, 2012

Assorted Thursday Activities

What an unrelated assortment of activities we enjoyed yesterday!

This weekend there is a rodeo in our winter town and they were having a free team roping event in the morning. Not being morning folks, the four of us arrived a bit after 10:00 and sat in the nearly empty grandstand thinking that they were getting a late start on the 9:30 advertised starting time, until they announced the winners that is! As we were leaving, Deanne and I overheard a man say that there was a rider at the chute getting ready to ride a bull so we scrambled back up into the grandstand to watch this...

Our next stop was the Queen Creek Olive Mill where the family owned olive orchard, tour of the olive oil processing facility, store, restaurant, and location provide a lovely, interesting and delicious way to spend a few hours.

In front of the store, there is a demonstration olive grove with picnic tables scattered throughout the lawn where we enjoyed a delicious lunch after taking the tour.

The store and restaurant were packed with customers when we arrived but had thinned out considerably by the time we ate.

From there we drove out to the end of Peralta Road where the guys spent some time deciding which trailhead to take on today's hike into the Superstition Mountains...more about that later.

While there, Deanne photographed some of her favorite cholla cactus and I captured this saguaro growing high in a natural rock alcove.

We came back here and played Farkle until nearly sunset when we drove out Apache Trail to the Lost Dutchman State Park.

This photo of the Superstition Mountains is another of Rich's which I like better than any of mine because he had walked out to this great angle with the cholla and saguaro in the foreground.

These last three of the sunset and the sliver of moon are mine though!

Lovin' Life ~~ In Assorted Ways