Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prescott and Lake Pleasant

It seems I have been neglectful in writing this blog so it is time to catch up on our happenings. I received word over the weekend that a cousin, Barbara Garity, was in the hospital in very serious condition and then I learned that she had passed away. Barb was the oldest (70 years) female cousin in the Little family, my dad's family, and the first of our generation to pass on. She and her husband, Malcolm, lived about 10 or 12 miles from our home in Maryland. In addition to her husband she is survived by 2 daughters and their husbands and 2 granddaughters and a brother. My heart goes out to the family. I will miss her phone calls and hearing about her family.

Tuesday we drove to Prescott. Trader Joe's opened a new store in Prescott a few days prior that we wanted to go. So after stopping at Home Depot for a floor mat and then getting my haircut we went to Trader Joe's. While at Trader Joe's we spied a Five Guys hamburger restaurant, a favorite of ours. A quick stop at Sam's Club we then returned to Five Guys for lunch. Both Trader Joe's and Five Guys were doing a bang up business as the parking lot was so full that finding a parking spot was difficult.

Wednesday we ran into Wickenburg to go to the grocery store and the hardware store for a few articles. We had nice lunch at the Chapparel Cafe that offers sandwiches and homemade ice cream. In the evening I made some tortellini salad and a pan of brownies in preparation for Thursday and a trip to Pleasant Lake.

Today, Thursday, after breakfast I fried some chicken and then packed the cooler with the tortellini salad, chicken, dates and brownies. We were then off to Lake Pleasant Regional Park about 35 miles south of Congress. We stopped at the Visitor Center and walked a short trail by the Center.

              The cacti are beginning to bloom in the desert out here and they are really pretty.

We then drove around the park. There are several campgrounds with electric and water hook-ups and dump stations. These campgrounds appeared to be near capacity.

        We finally drove to the Pipeline Canyon trailhead where we had our lunch at a picnic area.

After lunch we hiked the Pipeline Canyon Trail which is 2 miles of a well defined trail with some loose stones and some hills.

                               The trail crosses the water via a floating bridge at Pipeline Cove.

As we walked we saw much evidence of the presence of wild burros with the droppings left behind. We met a lady and then a couple of young boys going in the opposite direction that told us the burros were up ahead. So we continued on hoping to see the burros. Just when we thought we should turn around we spied the burros.

One burro was off to himself with 5 more were in a group. Initially we only saw 4 burros in the group and then saw one lying stretched out surrounded by the other 4. We even wondered if this burro was alive but eventually they began to move on and we saw that this burro was in the group and appeared to be a younger, smaller burro. We went most of the 2 miles before turning around to return to the parking area that we had left from. We saw small lizards on the trail but, thankfully, no snakes. It was a beautiful day with temperature in the low 80's, clear bright blue skies but the sun still was hot.

The weather forecast for this weekend is for a strong winter storm which means wind and precipitation- rain or snow depeding on elevation. We should be in the rain area. The temperature is also to fall into the 50/60's for this area. Quite a change from the 80 degrees. Rain levels are down so this rain is much needed.
North Ranch has a small park called Saquaro Park that has a variety of cacti and other desert plants. A large saquaro named Methuselah, one of the largest saquaros in Arizona, is in this park.

Properties here in North Ranch also have desert vegetation planted and there are some beautiful cacti blooming at this time.

We enjoying walking about the park and through Saquaro Park seeing this different style of landscaping from that in the eastern part of this country.