March 25, 2019

I am pleased to announce a new page on this site. After spending weeks researching and pulling down pictures from past trips, I have created a new page entitled Travel Tips.

This page will focus on travel tips (or as we like to say "Tips and Tricks") in each country that we have visited. First up is Switzerland. I mean, why not? We have been there each summer for the last 20 years and we are almost citizens. :-)

Please enjoy and send me an email with any suggestions or comments. I am always looking for ways to improve my webpage.

March 18, 2019

Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona. The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County. The place name is redundant: "picacho" means "peak" in Spanish.

"The unique shape of the 3,374 (1,028m) foot summit of Picacho Peak has been used as a landmark by travelers since prehistoric times. One of the first recordings was in the 1700’s by the Anza Expedition as it passed through the area. In 1848, the Mormon Battalion constructed a wagon road through Picacho Pass. The forty-niners on their way to California used this road. In the late 1850’s, the Butterfield Overland Stage was carrying passengers through this area.

Picacho Peak’s most noted historic event occurred on April 15, 1862, when Confederate and Union scouting parties met in the Battle of Picacho Pass. A Union cavalry patrol from California skirmished with Confederate scouts from Texas, and three men were killed. This marks the second westernmost bat...

March 17, 2019

Each year on March 17, the Town of Fountain Hills turns it's World Famous Fountain a dazzling emerald green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. The tradition dates back to the early 1980's. This year, the fountain is turned green on the 16th and the 17th.

The founding date of Fountain Hills was December 15, 1970, the day the community's centerpiece fountain was turned on for the first time.

Built in 1970, this fountain was the creation of C.V. Wood, Jr., whom created the master plans for each of the community developments of McCulloch Properties, Inc., the original master developer of Fountain Hills.

The nozzle was built in Zurich, Switzerland, weighs nearly a ton and is more than seven feet in length.

The fountain operates every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, drawing from a 33 acre, million gallon lake and reaching a height of 330 feet with only two pumps. On special occasions, the fountain can attain 560 feet with all three pumps running. In the event of winds exceedin...

March 16, 2019

Tonight, Michael and I decided to have dinner at Lakeshore Restaurant located on the banks of Saguaro Lake. On the way to the restaurant, we came upon a small herd of wild horses along the Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest.

The hundreds of horses that live within the Tonto National Forest and roam along the banks of the Salt River are technically feral, as they’re the descendants of horses the Spanish re-introduced to North America during their conquests of the New World. However, as with most of the feral horses in the United States, they’re referred to as “wild.”

According to state records, the Salt River herd has been roaming the land freely since before the Tonto National Forest was designated in 1902. Though they’d been living on the land for at least a century, the horses’ fates were uncertain in the early 21st century. In 2015, the United States Forest Service issued a notice declaring the herd as “unauthorized livestock” and announced a plan to capture, remove, and auctio...

March 14, 2019

I spent a wonderful evening at the Bailey Family Medical Care member appreciation event. The event, hosted by Murray and Shirley Popplewell, was held at their Rae-Dawn Arabian farm in Scottsdale.

We are part of Dr. Robert T. Bailey's membership medical family. Dr. Bailey's personalized healthcare model encourages us to become engaged and take an active role in our health and wellness. We have a wonderful partnership with him and his team.

Dr. Bailey's vocation is medicine, but his avocation is classical singing. He is uniquely gifted as a classically trained baritone.

Dr. Bailey started the entertainment off by singing "Non Piu Andrai" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Singing "Some Enchanted Evening" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. "Shenandoah" was his last selection.

Included in the program were some health benefits of singing: Reduce stress and improve mood; lower blood pressure; boost the immune system; improve breathing; reduce perceived pain; improve a sense of rhythm; promote learning in child...

March 11, 2019

Took a ride on the Beeline Highway through the Tonto National Forest to the Bush Highway, which was named for local resident Harvy Grandville Bush in the 1930's.

The Tonto National Forest, encompassing 2,873,200 acres (1,162,700 ha; 11,627 km2), is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States.The Tonto National Forest has diverse scenery, with elevations ranging from 1,400 feet (427 m) in the Sonoran Desert to 7,400 feet (2,256 m) in the ponderosa pine forests of the Mogollon Rim (pronounced MOH-gee-on, or MUH-gee-own). The Tonto National Forest is also the most visited "urban" forest in the United States. The boundaries of the Tonto National Forest are the Phoenix metropolitan area to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservation to the east. The Tonto (Spanish for "fool") is managed by the USDA Forest Service and its headquarters are in Phoenix. There are local ranger...

February 25, 2019

Given the record snowfall that blanketed much of northern Arizona on Thursday and Friday, no doubt many in the Phoenix area were eager to head north to explore the wintry landscape. I wanted to photograph the red rocks of Sedona blanketed in snow so Michael and I set off to Sedona in the afternoon.

Sky was gray most of the day but I did get about 10 minutes of blue sky when the sun was setting.

Snow is rare in Sedona, but breathtaking when it happens. Pictures must be taken quickly because the bright Arizona sun usually melts it away by day's end. Almost no resident of Sedona owns a snow shovel; so we were told.  We saw many driveways that had not been plowed, though.

Pictures taken from the car while we were driving on Interstate 17.

San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff off in the distance.

The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range just north of Flagstaff and a remnant of the former San Francisco Mountain. The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak, is the highest point in th...

February 24, 2019

A major winter storm made its way through Arizona, bringing record-setting snowfall in the high country, rain in the Valley and cold temperatures.  Plus, the surrounding mountains were blanketed in snow.

Flagstaff on Thursday had a new single-day snowfall record of 35.9 inches (91.2 centimeters) at the airport, breaking the city's previous mark of 31.0 inches (78.74 centimeters) set in 1915. Phoenix on Thursday set a new record for the day with 1.01 inch (2.57 centimeters) of rain, eclipsing the old mark of 0.73 inch (1.85 centimeters) set in 1973.

Some outlying areas in higher elevations of the northern outskirts of metro Phoenix had light snowfall. Exciting to see snow behind our house and around the area.

The McDowell Mountains behind our house.

The McDowell Mountain Range (Yavapai: Wi:kajasa) is located about twenty miles north-east of downtown Phoenix. The range is composed of miocene deposits left nearly five million years ago. The McDowells share borders with the cities of Fountain...

January 18, 2019

Westworld of Scottsdale is hosting the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction this week.  I can see Westworld off in the distance from the house.  This is the spectacular sunset we were treated to tonight.

December 27, 2018

Today is our last full day in Switzerland. Michael and I have had a terrific time first in Germany and now in Switzerland. So many happy memories!!!!  We ate so many different foods and hopefully with all the walking we have done, we have not added too much to the hips.

Before breakfast this morning, we took the luggage to the train station to be shipped ahead to the airport in Zürich. We have used this service for years. We have to take the 4:56 AM train tomorrow morning and this way we don't have to schlep the bags off and on the train when we change trains in Bern.

Thick fog this morning when we awoke. The air is damp but crisp. Had rosy cheeks when we got back from taking the luggage over to the train station.

You see all sorts of sights at the train station. For example, there were at least 8 people with long (down to their ankles) very puffy down filled coats. Nothing unusual, except they all had on sneakers with no socks. No nylons on either.  It really was bare skin. These were m...

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