Friday, June 27, 2008

Desert Cruisin'

Background Story:
A little while back, Dave walked into the house and said, "Come on, let's go for a ride." Confused, but still following him out the door, I asked him why we needed to go for a ride. When I stepped outside, there was our friend Kenyon in his new Jeep Wrangler. I laughed - my first thought was, "mid-life crisis!" - because the Jeep has just replaced a mild-mannered Sebring (and no, the Sebring wasn't a convertible, in case all you "Office" fans are wondering). But I hop in the back and we go for a ride. It's just around the block a bit, but the soft top is down, and my wavy hair is soon straight and ratty. It's too loud to maintain a decent conversation, I'd be swallowing hair if I tried, but we find out that wifey, Darlene, really wanted the Jeep, too. Not really a surprise there - well maybe a little bit - but now I'm wondering who's mid-life crisis this really is. (Love you guys.) Which leads me to confess that I've always wanted a Jeep, too. Or maybe an FJ Cruiser...

Anyway, K & D decide to start an off-road group, Desert Hermits, and invite us to join. We have a truck, but it's only 2-wheel drive. In the mean-time, though, my sis and her fiance have just purchased a pre-owned Land Cruiser (for camping, off-roading, and dropping off the recycling) and I ask them to join the group and let us tag along in their vehicle. They agree, and we're set to start some dusty adventures.

The Story:
So Desert Hermits planned a trip for last weekend. We were going to go up on Saturday morning and join them but didn't make it. Good thing. There was something about too many bugs and everybody coming home early. But the day was not over yet and there are still many trails to trek. So, Candace and Thomas, Dave, Ceres and I gather ourselves into the Land Cruiser and set out on its maiden voyage with its new owners. Let's see what this baby can do. I think Thomas was a little nervous, and he had every right to be.

Toyota Land Cruiser

He decides to travel the Great Western Trail north of Cave Creek. We pass the Seven Springs Campground and things are going well. After travelling another half hour or so, we are trying to decide where to stop and have dinner when the Cruiser decides for us. Thomas says, in his was of making a statement sound like a question (is that a German thing, ja?), "Uh-oh, we have a problem (?)" and lets go of the steering wheel. It turns sharply to the right.

We have a flat tire.

Hmmm...we are in the middle of nowhere, have passed only one other vehicle since Cave Creek, and don't know a whole lot about this new vehicle. Is the spare any good? Do we have a jack?? Why is the radiator boiling over??? Now, it may sound like we were panicked, but we weren't really. We had cell phone service out there and knew who we could call for assistance (Big D). Besides, Candace really needed to pee. That was priority #1.

Turns out it was a great place to stop (thanks Cruiser). It was flat and shaded by a hill - although the hill blocked our view of the sunset - and we were surprised to find out that it was relatively cool there. Very pleasant. So while the boys wrestled with the tire, Candace found a spot to do her biz'ness and then we set up for dinner. We ended up having a great night! The spare was in good shape and Thomas was prepared and brought a compressor with him so he could put air in the tire. We ate haystacks (not the straw variety) for dinner. We chased wasps away with insect repellent, marvelled at funnel-shaped spider webs, discovered a headstone, gazed at the stars and satellites in the sky, laughed at and ran away from a large beetle as it chased the light from our flashlights on the ground and slurped at melted ice cream sandwiches. And, to top it off, a large orange moon accompanied us home.

Check out the pictures here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Discovery

After 12 years of living in my house, I have made a discovery: A seven-letter word beginning with "A" is carved into my bedroom closet door! It's been painted over and it's only noticeable at a certain time of day and from a specific place in the room, but it's there. And now I feel like I live in a dorm room. It probably wouldn't have ever been discovered if we hadn't uncovered the window that had been drywalled over in our bedroom. We love our new window! But it brought to "light" another historical quirk of this old house.

Can you see it? I hope not!

The Starting Point...

I have an old HP Notebook that weighs 28 pounds and is about 6 inches thick that had served as nothing more, really, than a glorified DVD player. And now, even at that, it is way outdated. So, for the past year or so, it was down-graded to a table for my knitting books and projects to sit on. I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago, re-formatted the hard drive, re-installed Windows and am looking forward to using it - now that we have high-speed internet and a wireless modem - as my anywhere-in-the-house-as-I-need-it pc (because Ceres is always on the Mac). Now, it is my glorified online journal-keeper.

And what better way to document my life than by starting an online blog? Hope you likey.

(made on an HP notebook.)