Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Vegas Baby!

Last week Noel and I drove north about an hour and a half to explore an area called the Mogollan Rim that Noel had read about in a magazine.  Its amazing how much the terrain changed as we rose in elevation.  We drove north of Payson and then turned off on an unpaved forest road through the Coconino National Forest. For 28 miles we drove along this unpaved road that was, literally, on the edge of the rim of mountains.  No guardrails, no other humans, just beautiful vistas, rocks, trees, and whoa! What's this white stuff?  SNOW!  Yep, there is still snow on the ground at the elevations we were at - over 7,000 feet - and there is much less oxygen!  We were both out of breath!












I was really excited to see a herd of wild pigs, called javalina, including a baby!  And there were "elk crossing" signs all over, so I was hoping to see some, but all we saw was a lot of elk poop!






So then we found the trail head for the Barbershop Trail, the one Noel had read about in Arizona Magazine.  It is a trail not well marked by signs, so you have to look for notches in trees and "cairns", which I had to look up in the dictionary, that are stacks of rocks used as markers.  We didn't go far, though, it was nerve wracking to think we might get lost, the cairns weren't all that easy to spot, and after the first climb, I was done.  Apparently there were a lot of people over the years that used this rock to take a break on, because there was a perfect indentation of a butt!  Comfy!

 Noel catching his breath on Butt Rock!

 Glad we didn't run into whatever ate this elk!

These are the cairns that mark the trail!  It's amazing we aren't still 
wondering around out there!

We also stopped at a placed called Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, where this interesting natural rock formation forms a "bridge" over a creek bed.



Then last weekend, my best friend from Ohio, Jean, flew in for a visit!  She and I drove up to Las Vegas for a little 'Girls Gone Wild' fun!  It was Jean's 65th birthday, so by wild I mean early bird dinners, afternoon naps, a little shopping, a little gambling, and a few shows!

Happy Birthday Jean!


Of course we had to see my favorite Vegas spot, the Bellagio, complete with my 1000th photograph of the Chihuly glass ceiling


And the beautifully decorated lobby:




And of course, MY fountains....




When the fountains came on, a bunch of baby ducks went scrambling!  Poor little fellas!


The worlds tallest observation ferris wheel was opening, two days after we left :(




Which pretty much sums up the luck we had gambling....







The closest I came to winning was 1,920 - pennies!  Whoo Hooooo!  I'm rich!


Too bad it wasn't enough to pick up this little $60,000 bauble....



I guess I started off on an unlucky note - as soon as we got there we had dinner in a restaurant at our hotel, where I promptly knocked a glass off the table - I swear, you can't take me anywhere!  LOL



But our hotel, the Tuscany Suites and Casino, was fabulous, and we saw two shows - Legends in Concert, and Vegas! The Show.   After the Legends show, we saw the Elvis impersonator from the show waiting for his car at the valet, so of course I had to take a picture with him!  He called me 'darlin'!  (insert blush!)


One evening we went over to Fremont Street for dinner and caught the light show.  Of course it was all about March Madness....


And speaking of madness....Fremont Street is full of unusual characters willing to pose for a picture with you for a few bucks! 


 I love the guy's face in the left hand corner of the picture!

Live long and prosper....but thank goodness he didn't see me sneak this picture, because he was yelling at people that took his picture without paying! 

We were in Vegas for 4 nights, and drove home on Friday, taking in all the pretty scenery.

 These Joshua trees look like something right out of a Dr. Seuss book!


Then Jean stayed the weekend, where she met up with her cousin Dionne from Tucson.  We played Bingo here at the resort on Saturday night - and Dionne won $120!  Yay Dionne!  After she left, we took Jean to see a few of the sights around here, including Apache Junction, Lost Dutchman State Park, and the thrift store where Noel's been volunteering several hours a week.  He's really missing work!

 Jean really enjoyed seeing all the cactus in bloom

 Leapin' Lizards!

 I miss her already!

 Occo Tillo in bloom


 Prickly pear cactus in bloom


No sunsets this week - but lots of headaches going on with our son Jason, who seems to have run into a bit of bad luck lately, so please continue to keep us all in your prayers!  Thanks!

1 comment:

b and bb cole said...

love ALL your pics Anna! you all really are adventurous!! will keep you son in my prayers.... <3