(Chuck) My buddy Dean Sheeley turned 62 years old a couple weeks ago and on his birthday he took the time to purchase his America the Beautiful / Senior Pass. It is a great deal for a person who may want to visit National Parks and other Federal facilities. This photo is of Dean using his pass for the first time at the Tonto National Monument which is a few miles south of where we are staying.
(Jan) Dean made reservations for us to take a guided tour to the Upper Tonto Ruins on Monday morning. The ruins were home to the Salado culture from 1150 to 1450. Our mile and a half hike took us through a riparian area, stepping on rocks as we followed a small stream and then up a switchback path with 600 feet elevation gain. From the ruins we had a beautiful view of Roosevelt Lake. Our guide talked about the Salado people, all of the foods they used and about their daily lives. We were able to go into several of the rooms that they lived in and it was a very interesting tour. Going down on the same path was much faster but also gave us a chance to stop and take a few photos of plants we had learned about on the hike up. One of them is the agave, a plant in the Yucca family. The Americana agave grows one flower stalk in its life time and then dies. We were fortunate to see this stalk or mast. Our guide told us that it had grown about a foot in the last week since she had seen it.
The next several days flew by as we visited, hiked, beaded and grilled our evening meals together. Dean and Judy left for their new home in Prescott Wednesday after we enjoyed our last morning coffee session out in the sunshine. We did have a couple of Boomer visitors stop by. Bill and Kaaren Payne came by on Tuesday and Bryan and Susan Lavender were here on Wednesday shortly after Dean and Judy had to head out. Great visiting and so good seeing everyone. Got a phone call from Bobbie Champan, too. She and Jim have spent the winter in Florida so it was good to hear from them again.
(Chuck)Thursday we took time to go up the hill to Payson. We did the laundry and found time to carouse around in a couple of thrift shops. I found a gem that will be with me until we get to grandkidville. All the people in the shop agreed that it was a good fashion statement for me.
Any full timer will tell you that you need to find a spot for a major holiday and just hunker down and see if you can outlast the weekenders. This is Easter weekend, the first big holiday of the season. The last two weeks with Dean and Judy were calm and quiet here, but that is no more. This is the e-mail that I just sent to Dean.
Things have really changed here. It was nice and quiet for a day, but now there are at least ten pickups and trailers of various sizes in the two areas here. In the spot that you were in is a gigantic toy hauler with five adults, four kids, four quads, two dogs, a big picnic table, a BIG gas grill, several big plastic tubs of supplies, and a partridge in a pear tree. We may or may not last the weekend. I am afraid that any other place we stop may be the same.