03.04.2008 - 10.04.2008 26 °C
Been a while again! – We’ve been having a super-duper time.
After a few days at Pete and Mary’s we went up to their “cabin” at Stoneman Lake, Near Sedona – about a two hour drive up from Phoenix. What a setup! – I don’t think “cabin” is fair. They have a main house and then a secondary one which is the guest house. Everything is powered by solar via two huge panels in the garden that rotate automatically to follow the sun. It is tranquillity personified out there. Pete being Pete, they are hooked up with Satellite TV and surround sound etc which as you can imagine makes them the perfect retreat in my books :--)
(Where our power comes from)
The balcony view looks directly over the lake and the upward view is stars and more stars. I had a try of the telescope but couldn’t quite figure out what I was supposed to be looking at. I just saw the same stars, but a little bigger. It is great to look at the stars with no light pollution. None at all! – the cabins are in the middle of nowhere.
(View from the balcony)
Each morning was spent sitting round the outside fireplace having coffee. Usually at about 7am. It’s strange, both K and I are waking up at 7am since we arrived in Arizona. Can’t figure out why, maybe it’s the dry air? Who knows.
We generally spent the weekend relaxing and taking in the scenery – including a healthy walk round the lake. Oh yeah, we went skiing! – in Arizona! – it was surreal for sure. A 50 minute drive form the cabin and we were on the piste!
It’s a small resort with only 3 or 4 lifts and about 11 runs – plenty for one day. We of course are not travelling with out ski gear so we just wore our jeans, normal socks, and a sweat top. It was so sunny there was no need for ski gear – which kind of perplexed us all when we saw lots of people donned head to toe in winter gear, hats and all.
A bargain too - £10 for a lift pass and £10 for all the ski kit. It really was a fantastic day and really not something we thought we’d be doing again for a long while.
(Peter and Kirstin "Sunbathing")
Each day you discover Arizona is a unique place. Desert, Skiing, Guns. Did I mention guns? – in Arizona you can carry a CONCEALED weapon with a permit, and I’m told on good authority that any chump can get one. No matter if you can’t, you’ll be OK, you can carry any weapon/s you choose in your car, as long as they are in plain view. That’s right, not only can you wander round with a gun in your holster or glove box, or handbag, but if you can’t get that permit, you can load your parcel shelf with rifles. A good piece of advice here is not to get into arguments in your car – you never know, you might find a gun in your face! – Still – a technicality – so far we’ve found everyone to be really cool. Anyhow…
After the weekend we went back to Phoenix and then spent a couple of days chilling in preparation for the 6 hour drive to San Diego to meet Bud (my Cousin for those that don’t know). The thing is, we got thinking, we’ll be seeing Bud in Mexico soon and we are kinda beached-out, and we absolutely loved the cabin at Stoneman Lake, soooo… yep – we are back at the cabin now :--) - K and I are staying here for a week. We’ve stocked up on beer and food and movies and are having a bit of a Huckleberry Finn week. I’ve also liberated Pete of his mobile Internet adapter so I can stay online (and play poker :--) ). It’s so relaxing here it is untrue. Our daily routine consists of coffee on the veranda by the open fire, then maybe a mountain bike round the lake, then get the fire going in the lounge, cook lunch on the BBQ, and then retire to watch movies and play poker. It’s a pretty good life :--)
(I was there too - honest)
I’ve even researched how to build a proper fire :--) . I searched for it on the internet after some less than reliable fires in the lounge fireplace. I found a great article, it opens, “Most people pile on kindling so it’s so hot you can’t get near it, and when you can, it’s not hot enough to light the big logs, or they pile on loads of big logs early and have a fire that’s too hot to go near and lasts all of 10 minutes” – Yep! That’s me! – So I read on and I’ve got it sussed now… read on if you want to be enlightened! – You make sure you have a bed of ash already. Then you put one big log at the back, one big log at the front, then start the fire in the middle with kindling and small stuff. The logs at the front and back glow and keep the middle hot, and you just add one big log occasionally in the middle. When the front or back logs burn out, you pop them in the middle and replace them with new ones. It’s great! We now have fires that last all night and use only a handful of logs. Ahhh – ME MAN!
We are going to see the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and some Indian reserves from here during the week. It’s also saving us a fortune in accommodation and for that we are hugely grateful to Pete and Mary. It’s making the cost of America a little less hard a pill to swallow, that’s for sure.
When we get back to Phoenix in a week from now we are off to Mexico for a week with Pete and Mary, hooking up with Bud and family. Then after that, Vegas – hehe.