Slept in late today since we pulled an all-nighter with Max at the Vet as he had surgery on his hind leg. Took the mountain bike out and did a 13mile loop around Browns Canyon.
When I got back I doubled down and took the dirtbike out. I had downloaded an app that had maps of the Tonto forest listing the ORV tracks. I took one out about a mile to an overlook where someone was kind enough to take my picture
I broke the side mirror off again. Oh well. Amy spent the day with the animals
The next day we drove out the Tom Thumb Trailhead, but opted for a more mellow Landslide hike. Reading various markers about how the weathered rocks wear away from below to form these mushroom-like structures
This was the landslide that gave the trail its name
Basically, a section of the mountain slide down, forming a gradual ramp. It was a pretty hot afternoon and I nearly passed out walking back to the car.
When we returned I realized the bike was leaking oil. Actually I had known this since we arrived in AZ, but could not figure out why. I thought it was the gasket gone bad which would be a real pain in the ass to fix, but it came to me later that maybe I should just go and tighten the screws holding the two halves of the engine block together
Yep, that fixed it. Don’t ask me how 5 different screws all got loose, but I was just happy it was an easy fix before I dumped some glue additive to the engine and ended up ruining the whole thing. It did lead me to the feeling that it was time to sell this bike. Something major was about to happen and parts were failing left and right. I also really did not want drag this thing the rest of the way to the pacific and back across the country as my sphincter puckered every time we hit a bump and the hitch rebounded up and down.
Amy was now on antibiotics for the finger and max was loving his new cone. The next morning amy woke up with her eye irritated. She was also now supporting an eye patch. Our wolfpack was looking worse and worse as the days went by.
Max came across a piece of petrified pig poop.
It was the “Art of the Deal” as we negotiated for a trade. First dog treats, then up to cheese and it was ultimately chicken that got him to drop the poop to get the chicken, allowing me a brief instant to kick the poop out of range. You should have seen the gears working in his head as he tried to figure out how to get the chicken in his mouth without relinquishing his prize. Just like the Donald. Always looking for an angle to improve his position.
After a swim, we hiked another Granite loop closer to Scottsdale. When we got back I decided to sign for some volunteer opportunities.
The next morning I headed down to the State Fairgrounds in Phoenix to help in the vaccine distribution. I was not actually administering the shots but rather answering questions from the drive-thru patients
It was a long 13 hours, but felt good to dust off the rust on the nursing skills. The following day Amy came along and helped run the vaccines out from the freezers to the nurses at the cars. They had to be administered within 6 hours of dosing into the syringes. I think they were doing about 2K cars/day just at this location.
Another long day, but we got to talk to people and feel a sense of belonging again. We went a few more times down to the fairgrounds during our time in AZ.
It was Saturday, and we normally keep a low profile, but we headed to McDowell Mountain Regional Park to hike Scenic Trail. We drove through town along Rio Verde and it was amazing to see all these green golf courses amid the desert. It just seems like a such a waste of water. All the rich sorts riding around on golf carts. Who I am I kidding. I wish I had a new back and maybe I would be out there as well as it seems like a nice way to spend 4 hours.
Near the trailhead they had a BMX-style mountain bike course and the racers were no more than 10 years old decked out in all their safety gear. We finally got to the trailhead and looped the trail in a couple hours
On the way home we drove north on Rio Verde and found a Creek wash that supposedly stretched all the back to our Airbnb and ended here at the river. It being Saturday there was a Mexican offroad gang partying
I could not wait to test that theory on the dirtbike. Bot not on a weekend with all those lunatics out there.
Some shots of our place as sunset in the desert
A video of Amy hanging out with Cookie
The following day we toured Phoenix a little. We started in Popago Park at Hole-in-the-Rock
A site of some significance to native tribes. Now it was just a touristy rock in the center of the city with graffiti and high school kids getting high. Next we drove along the Salt River in Tempe. It was a cold day, but might come back here with the bikes to ride the river trail
Our final stop was the Pueblo Grande museum of Native Americans. The museum itself was closed but you could walk the grounds which contained the remnants of ancient dwellings.
Today I went to explore that creek wash we drove by the other day. Probably should not have done this solo, but I had my GPS with me. I followed a trail along the top of the plateau until there was a manageable trail to the creek bed
Deep sand. It was not too terrible with my fat tires but it still takes time to get used to. You have to go fast enough to sit on top of the sand, just like steering a speedboat, but if you hit a wave at that speed, you're screwed. I found a happy medium and entered the canyon created by floods of the past.
Starting to feel pretty isolated if something went wrong, but I made it to the river, and was able to find a trail up a rock back onto the plateau near the river and take it all the way back to the house.