Ellie’s White Christmas??

The Captain is sad to report that his long serving laptop (10 years) has translated its last ones and zeros into computer code. Despite CC completely disassembling and valiantly performing CPR (Computer Pixel Resuscitation) the old HP was beyond salvation and passed away peacefully just before Christmas. This blog post is being written and produced on a new Acer 14” Chromebook, however, given its annoying limitations it will most likely be CCs first “product return” of 2018.

On a much happier note the boys (LLL and CC) are pleased to have finished off the first half of the Desert Dominoes Challenge with a significant 6 to 3 lead. Its extremely rare that a team has been able to recover from this large a deficit in half a season and we expect DD and BBB will be up to the challenge.

For Christmas this year DD, CC and EE headed to Tucson to spend a few days with DDs sister Jeneen and hubby Pat. More on the trip below.

Prior to going to Tucson DD with help from BBB hosted her annual Christmas Eve bonfire in the desert. Because of travel plans the bonfire was held on the evening of the 23rd and about 18 of our friends and neighbours dropped by. The weather, while reasonably warm saw a nasty cool breeze start up around five which sent folks home earlier than expected but everyone had a good time and enjoyed the huge box of chocolates and Danielle’s homemade sugar pies.

the BIG box of chocolates

around the fire

BBB and LLL huddled up like its cold outside (not)

DD and the Desert Pickers put on another virtuoso performance at the LTVA Christmas Cantata with DD in a starring role as Alvin of chipmunk fame. See video below.

We were also treated to another desert Parade of Lights through the LTVA. See video below.

Weekly Hikes and Bikes

CC and DD continue to alternate going on our weekly hikes with DD making one trek out to the Box Canyon and Beyond. This hike was led of course by Steverino and his new trusty sidekick “the General”.

the “General”

This hike became somewhat extended as the group had to backtrack over a mile to search for a cell phone left behind at a rest stop.

the only picture DD was able to get of herself

Steverino ponders his next step

desert flower power

DDs Art Deco pic of the week

Steverino as Walmart Canyon greeter

it’s only a little tarantula, it won’t hurt you!!!!!!!!

CC hiked with the group on the what now seems to be the requisite Colorado Outlook hike.  CCs 2nd hike (an unofficial affair)as Steverino had left to go to Idaho for Christmas saw 4 diehard hikers head out to the Turquoise Mines on a very blustery day.

CC is only a small shadow of his former self

heading up to the outlook

finally made it

heading home

must be the Lost Canuck

With Steverino being away and unable to make the big weekly back country bike ride the Captain decided on a road ride out to the big guns which is a 20 mile return trip. Before leaving CC knowing better gulped down a 3rd cup of coffee which resulted in a mildly amusing encounter with the police. At about 3/4s of the ride out CC was in dire need of a bathroom break. Spying a cluster of bushes just off the road CC quickly dismounted and dropped the bike on the shoulder of the road and scrambled down the slope to the sanctuary of the bushes. No sooner had CC unzipped than a vehicle pulled off the road behind him. A quick glance behind confirmed that a police officer was exiting his vehicle and heading to the scene of the crime. Before approaching too close the officer called out and asked if everything was okay. CC in an inspired moment responded with “I’m fine, still shakin the bush boss”. Fortunately the officer instantly recalled this memorable line from that old Paul Newman classic Hud and with a shake of his own (his head folks) and a bit of a grin he left me to pee in peace.

Christmas in Tucson

We arrived at Pat and Jeneen’s late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Once settled into their rental house EE was delighted to discover that she had plenty of room to race up and down the halls and around the living room kitchen circuit at full speed, something not possible in our humble trailer abode and this mad racing occurred at irregular intervals during our 4 day visit. EE also was also treated to a bath by the Captain to get rid of her desert beige hue while here.

EE really likes her bath

or does she

EE and her new friend

look at how tall I am

DD and her fellow Oggorfian??

Christmas Day was spent for the most part gabbing and visiting and was topped off with a pot luck dinner at the recreation center. The dinner, for Canadians only, was well attended as could be expected where most of the residents are from the Great White North.

the sisters preparing spuds for the dinner

look at all the happy Canadians

Jeneen and Pat

CC has gone through the “change” a clue – see name tag

On Boxing Day (not a holiday here) the Captain tagged along with a group of 16 other folks on a hike to the top of the Golden Gate Mountain. This hike was about 2 and ¼ miles one way with a vertical climb of 1900 feet. About 1500 of this was in the last ¾ mile up a borderline path. It was great hike with fantastic views from the top. In the evening we reintroduced Pat and Jeneen to dominos and it goes without saying that the boys were triumphant. Jeneen will probably try to claim her very bad cold affected their game but folks just don’t you believe it.

Golden Gate Mountain

views for the top

archery range below

On Wednesday Pat drove us on the very scenic drive up to Mt. Lemmon. It was amazing to see the large number of cyclists making the 25 mile climb to the peak. Don’t think this is something I would be chomping at the bit to try. Well maybe if DD bought me a new $5000 road bike sometime soon, as we will be going back to Tucson in late February for another visit with Pat and Jeneen before heading home to Canada.

pictures at a rest stop on the way up

DD on the rocks

must be cold as CC is wearing a jacket

no way man

EE not sure what this white stuff is

now there’s a cookie

yummy yummy in the tummy

on the way back down

Later on Wednesday we went out to dinner with several of Pat’s family at a very unique eatery called Fred’s Arena. The restaurant is located in the barn of an actual working farm. The thin crust pizza here was just about the best we have ever had.

Pat checks out the authentic stage coach inside the restaurant

DD and CC don’t always deliver

this guy may be dinner some day

DD manages to capture all the right pictures

one of the new additions to the farm

and another

Being away for Christmas meant that we missed our annual Christmas morning hike up Telegraph Pass so we have rescheduled it to January 1st. Happy New Year to all.

 

By stubbs99

Dogs, Frogs but Fortunately No Bogs

It is starting to get a bit more crowded out here in the LTVA.  A goodly number of folks (mostly U.S.A.ers) don’t head south until after the U.S. Thanksgiving which this year fell on November 23rd. This group includes our good friends Dirty Dog Dave and Jezebel Jeannine whom we expect to see in the next few days. BBB and LLL said their goodbyes to Mom and Dad and are now part timing (75%) in the LTVA just across the road from us. This handy location means EE and GG get to have almost regular playtimes together which for the most part involves rolling around in the dirt. Might be time to invest in a portable doggy shower for these two critters.

Given the copious amounts of dust and dirt around and EEs ability to absorb about twice her weight in grime in her coat she was thrilled to spend several hours at a local Puppy Spa and came out  looking like a showgirl. Alas this look is not likely to last beyond a few play times with GG.

before

and after

GG and EE are now full time members of the Sunday morning “Round the Lake Hiking Club”. The 2 young canines have now made 3 trips with old guys/girls although EE has hitched a ride with CC for short stretches in order to complete the course on the same day. EE usually signals her need for a ride by laying down on the roadside and refusing to move. EE is not one for subtlety for sure.

Round the Lake Hike

and EE getting a ride

And as was bound to happen temperatures have dipped below 80 degrees and mid 70s are predicted for the next couple of weeks. The downside (there’s always a downside isn’t there??) is with falling temperatures stronger winds have also made an appearance, which is no big deal if you just have short stubby hair like CC but is a big deal if you are a very small dog like EE.

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Ramada (close to 100 attended)

what the hell is CC eating!!!

CC, BBB and LLL

and DD was there as well

LLL and CC were challenged by the girls to continue on with our Desert Dominoes challenge and the early results have the boys taking a huge 3 -2 game lead. We expect this lead to increase substantially once the girls become disheartened with the futility of trying to best us.

Dominoes under the Big Top at night

Weekly Hikes/Bikes and Runs

Great to be back in the saddle with CCs regular weekly (Tuesday morning) outback bike rides with Steverino and unless one of us brings a camera we will be unable to provide any visual verification of these outings. Suffice to say we have been out on 3 runs so far of over 10 miles and despite the rugged terrain the only injuries other than to our egos have been some minor scratches and bruises.

the BAD BOY Bikers after a ride

Steverino also leads our weekly group hikes.  The first one of the season was a fairly casual walk over and around some small local ridges and perhaps it doesn’t rate a full mention given its brevity and also as only CC went there were no pictures to provide verification. As of right now DD and CC are alternating on the hikes in that EE isn’t ready to be left on her own for the 3 hours necessary to do the hike.  She still YIPS a bit when left alone in her kennel and we are not quite ready to trust her with the run of the place on her own. Don’t be fooled by her innocent look folks this dog can be a terror!!

CC is making a gallant attempt to get back into shape after a lazy summer and is out early every Friday morning for the 7 mile lake run. Two runs in so far and still gasping for breath on some of the hills but will keep plodding away.

Split Canyons Hike (DD)

DD got her first hike in when the group headed out to the Split Canyons in Senators Wash. About a dozen hikers were led by Psychedelic Steverino on this nice little hike that follows two canyons that split off from the main wash. DD has not included a narrative for the hike but has provided some excellent photographs.

where are we hiking to Steve. Like far out man!!!

at the split

 

 

water swirls in the rock

the Lost Canuck spies something on the ground

its a lttle oggorfian (froggie). now why didn’t DD see that first

Gold Mines Hike

CCs turn this past week. The hike to the Gold Mines is a regular winter hike for the group and has been reported in the Blog for the past few years it is hard to find something new to say about it. Suffice to say that every year we take a slightly different route to the mines and regardless the hike is always an enjoyable way to spend the morning. One major difference this year is that not only was CC hiking but had been given the heavy responsibility of being the hike “blog-tographer “ It also gives our readers an opportunity  to compare the quality of the pictures (above) taken by DD who comes in with years of experience with the ones below taken by CC who  comes to the task with virtually nothing relative on his CV (resume dudes). If you feel you must vote please do so by secret ballot at CC#1.com.

the Lucky 13 hikers

plus GG and

Izzy as the guide dogs

out on the trail

and up a ridge

break time after a climb

GG lapping up the hike

an old mine entrance

the main mine area

Squaw Lake in the background

the old “swimming pool”

Izzy on patrol

Squaw Lake Campground

oooooo so scary

on the return trip

an old quartz mine

The Happy Baby

DD claims the above moniker (click on ling above) as she is now going to Yoga 3 times per week at the gravel pit ramada. DD has also resumed her weekly Uke classes and is once again preparing for her yearly stage show at the Christmas Concert. DDs solo performance will not be disclosed in advance but stay tuned for the video in late December.

DDs Art Deco of the Week

 

 

By stubbs99