Monday, January 30, 2006


Here is a man who was passing through Tortilla Flats, but told the sheriff he wasn't going to cheer for the SeaHawks in the Super Bowl this week-end!

Hotel Witt

Here's a picture of Connie & Bill and their home, our current accommodations, in Sun City West. There's no grass, just lots of cactus, palms and rocks for landscape.

Catching Up

This vacation business is hard work and I haven't had much of an opportunity to post pictures or comments. We're keeping busy, of course. We just returned from the week-end in Apache Junction, about 75 miles southeast of Phoenix. We stayed with Carl & DiAnn (at left), who are our good friends from Wenatchee, and renting a place down there.

Sunday we took a driving tour of the area, with our first stop being the old ghost town of Goldfield, Arizona. We took a leisurely tour through the rugged countryside of the Superstition Mountain wilderness area, stopping for picture opportunities and for an ice cream cone at Tortilla Flat. Tortilla Flat is very small, claiming 6 full time residents, 2 of which may be rattle snakes! It is an old time stage coach stop and tied to the legend of the elusive goldmine of the Lost Dutchman.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cactus Cactus Everywhere!

Today Connie and Bill took us for a drive through the 4,000 foot high "White Tank Mountain Regional Park". Unfortunately, I did not realize we were taking this sight seeing tour, so I left my digital camera at the house. We took some pictures on Connie's camera, but I'm having trouble uploading them. It could be the slow dial-up connection I'm using here. I'll load some pictures when I can.

The White Tank Mountains got the name from depressions formed in the mountains from flood waters pouring down chutes and dropping off ledges, causing a series of depressions, or "tanks", in the white granite. These tanks, then, were used to store water... and there is evidence of agricultural activites that went on in early days by using the seasonal runoff and rain water. There are eleven archeological sites within the 29,000 acre park. Evidence indicates these were occupied sites from the time period of A.D. 500-1100.

Arizona is currently undergoing drought conditions, with no rain since October. This, of course, is totally opposite of the Pacific Northwest which is experiencing some record setting periods of rain! Anyway, as we were in the White Tank Mountain Park, it appeared even the cactus were dying due to the stress of the long period without water.

Driving through the park was like driving through a forest of cactus, as compared to a forest of trees. There were several varieties that I could take pictures of and I am anxious to post them when I can.

Tomorrow we will drive to Apache Junction to visit our friends, Carl & DiAnn Heath, from Wenatchee. We will probably come back to Phoenix on Sunday, and I will check back in with more fodder from our adventures when I can.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cactus Country

We arrived in Sun City West, Arizona this afternoon, after a total of five days on the road. I took this picture of the purple cactus while traveling the Sun Valley Highway, which runs from the western end of the Phoenix area between I-10 and Sun City West. These cactuses were plentiful within the median between the lanes… and came in all sizes.

The southern California and Arizona sunshine is wonderful, but coming through the traffic reaffirmed that I never want to live here, or any other densely populated place. I couldn’t help but be struck by the high volume of truck traffic along the I-5 and I-10 corridors. As we traveled into Arizona, the volume of large motor home traffic was astounding. I’m talking about 35-40 foot motor homes, that probably get about 5-8 miles to the gallon. It’s no wonder there’s an oil crisis! These motor homes (literally homes on wheels) are very expensive and, I suppose, the people who own them aren’t stopped from traveling because of fuel prices. I don’t suppose they like it, but they’re not going to quit traveling in their retirement because of it.

Well, it's been a long trip down... so will sign off, but try to write more tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Palm Springs

Been too tired to post to the blog so far. This all day driving is hard work! We are in Palm Springs tonight, but just passing through. Will leave for Phoenix tomorrow... and back here on the 1st of February.

It's so nice to be in the sun, which has been scarce in Wenatchee this winter. It's not particularly warm here, but it is sunny and certainly warmer than at home.

Max & I went out to the Black Angus tonight for dinner. We had way too much food! Ordered the "Dinner or Two" which included a steak and two sides PLUS an appetizer sampler plate and a huge piece of chocolate forest cake dessert. They made a mistake and brought us two sampler plates. We have tons of leftover food PLUS all of the desert. We'll have lots of munchies for our trip to Phoenix tomorrow.

Well... it's early, but I'm getting ready for bed. More later in the week.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Time To Start Packing

Max & I plan to leave Friday, seeking warmer climates. It's been snowing here most of the day so it's only solidified our resolve. We have a condo reserved in Palm Springs for the month of February. I'll be doing laundry over the next couple of days and getting things packed up.

Our first major destination will be Sun City West where Max's sister, Connie, and her husband Bill live. We will take about four days getting there, with stops in Corbett to visit Clair & Beverly and then to Eugene to visit my dear Aunt Dottie and her daughter, cousin Shirley St. Clair.

The rest of our schedule will depend on the weather. There has been so much rain in the Northwest (and snow in the mountains) that we won't knowingly drive into a bad storm. Although our new car has all-wheel drive, we don't particularly want to give it a traction test in the Siskiyou Mountains.

I will be posting pictures and commentary regularly so stay tuned...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Nice To Be Appreciated

I don't post a lot on this blog about my work, although much of my life is devoted to it. I received such a nice e-mail from a client yesterday that I couldn't help sharing. Admittedly, my head is a little swollen right now... so, in my euphoria, I can't resist. I met Debbie about three years ago when she first moved to Wenatchee and, over time, we've become friends.

In November 2005, she found out she would be transferred by the U.S. Forest Service from Wenatchee to Portland, Oregon. So, I quickly got her home at Fancher Heights sold and now she is in the process of trying to buy a home in the Portland area. Here are her thoughts on that experience:
"Oh how I wish you were my Realtor over here! Though they are trying hard,
they just don't compare and now I realize how good you are!
I miss my house. I miss you!"
--Debbie Perry (January 2006)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year Cheer!

Happy New Year to everyone! We were invited to spend the evening with a group of people at the Dorner's but (since Max likes to take periodic evening naps) we had a quiet evening at home alone. After watching the Seattle Sonics basketball team lose to the Memphis Grizzlies, I watched the midnight celebrations (on TV) from New York and New Orleans... but finally gave up the ghost of the old year at about 11:30.

As the new year sets in my thoughts turn to goal setting for the coming year. I've posted a short goal setting article and some links on my investment blog, if anyone cares to venture over there.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2006,