Monday, December 5, 2011

A Dead-End Adventure

These photos are from back in September. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get organized! But I didn't want to forget them, and when you get to the last photos, hopefully you'll feel a little warmer (especially if you're dealing with below-freezing temperatures and blowing snow like we are now).

So the story starts with a rumor I had heard about petrified wood at a little-known destination out in the desert. I found someone to substantiate the rumor. Only problem was that I didn't know exactly where it was. I had a general idea, so I looked at the maps and tried to figure out the best way there. Well, there was a shorter way and there was a longer there. And the longer way would take us up a canyon I had wanted to visit, so I figured, why not, let's take the longer way and kill two birds with one stone. (Not that I'm into killing birds. Unless they are European starlings. I have been very tempted to get a BB-gun so I can shoot them. For the record, so far I have resisted.)

The scenery was beautiful, so I figured that even if the road on the map wasn't truly a real road anymore, we would still have a good time. We had snacks packed, so it would be a good trip as far as the kids were concerned.

We cruised up the very good gravel road, then turned off on a good gravel road, then onto the okay gravel road, then onto the rather poor gravel road that continued to deteriorate. Things weren't looking too hopeful. Still, we persevered, enjoying the beautiful rock formations.
Finally we got to a point where the road seemed a little too narrow for our wide truck. Plus it was slightly washed out.

We didn't want to stop, so we got out and proceeded on foot.

As you can see by Desert Boy's short sleeves, it was a nice day. And with his irrigating boots, he was ready for the next gully washer. I'd like to say he's prepared like that, but more likely he chose the boots because he couldn't find any of his other shoes.
He was thrilled when he found a horseshoe. That was a real treasure.
It was apparent no one had been on the road for awhile. The pinyon and juniper trees have encroached upon the human disturbance. My main focus was on the spectacular rocks that jutted from the trees towards the clouds.
Wouldn't this one be a fun one to climb?
Photo op! (Once again I can't get both kids to look at the camera at the same time!)

We decided it was time to retreat. I'd love to go back and hike more of the old road. I think the trip helped my husband decide to buy the very-used Jeep that is now his hobby. He'd love to go back and drive more of the old road. Perhaps the Jeep will be tough enough.
On the way back, we were treated to some very nice afternoon light. I love how the shadows make all the gullies seem deeper and more mysterious.

On the drive home, Desert Girl started crying and was inconsolable until we stopped.
She had had enough with all the bumpy driving and just wanted to play a little. The gravel on the side of the road was perfect for her bare little feet.

Then she was ready to pose with her chocolate-stained cheeks (and dress) in the terrific light.
Oh yes, we want to see her round belly!
How's that for a mischievous grin? Desert Girl's personality is getting stronger and stronger, and she has a very stubborn streak and a good sense of humor.
Oh yeah!
Okay, almost done.
Have to finish with both kids actually looking at the camera!

Seeing the bare feet and exposed skin makes me wish for some warmer days! 
To think we just went sledding yesterday. Yikes! Ah well, we have to appreciate each season, and before we know it we'll be back to the heat.


MrsMassacre said...

Hello, stumbled across your blog. Curious as to what state your adventure was in. The desert always looks so familiar to me, no matter where it is. There are no sunsets like desert sunsets(favorite thing about living in AZ). Lovely photos, lovely family. :)

The Incredible Woody said...

That photo set of Desert Girl just made my morning! What a cutie pie!!

I love your family's sense of adventure. And I agree - the long route is always best!! I sure do hope Desert Boy's horseshoe was filled with good luck:)

Anonymous said...

Desert Girl is gonna be one tough cookie. She has bigger pythons than Desert Boy ;-)


gs said...

Desert Girl gone wild! Whoa! She is just too too cute. Desert Boy is no slouch either.

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