ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
Our original Thanksgiving plans had us moving into our new house, but if you've been reading this journal, you know that our move-in has been delayed until sometime in January. This left us with both a hole in our schedule, and some frustration, since we've been putting off vacationing in order to keep an eye on the building process. Because of this, Britt suggested we - go on vacation. And I had the perfect idea. During last year's Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, during which Britt and a couple of our friends rode a hard point-to-point trail while I car shuttled for them and did easier day rides, a real highlight was my solo day at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. I had told Britt that someday we had to take a trip there together, so he could experience it as well - and so we decided to go to Scottsdale, Arizona, and stay in a hotel near the Preserve, and ride there and in other nearby areas. (Of which there are many. We rode and hiked in the two large connected areas on the east of this map, and also on the "Sonoran Loop" which is the furthest south part of the large area at the top-center of the map.) Spoiler alert: excellent decision.

I'd actually been up for camping, but Britt wanted to go full-vacation-mode and stay in a fancy resort. As it happens, Thanksgiving is still low season in Scottsdale - one of the waiters I spoke with said that it's really not that busy until Christmas - so we were able to get a decent deal at The Boulders. This is a lovely resort with two golf courses, but for us the main attraction was that it is only a few miles from a connector trail to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. (Well, that and the hot tub. And the four restaurants!) Also, the name is not a lie:

IMG_20181126_100315

Lots of photos! And me blathering on! )

In conclusion:

2018-11-25 14.54.44

(40 photos - and I might add more - and no blah blah blah at Flickr. I haven't put captions on the photos yet, though, and...I might not get to it, be warned.)
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
No, not pumpkin pie. That's desert with one 's', as in Arizona and New Mexico, where we spent our four-day weekend. Our friends Ryan and Steve wanted to ride the Black Canyon trail, a 70+ mile singletrack that is typically done over two days; Britt thought it sounded like fun, but I knew that I was in no shape to take on anything that epic, since I've only recently started riding my real bike again. But I was willing to run the car shuttle and go find something easier to ride while they tackled the BCT, so we enthusiastically signed on.

Blah blah and photos )

Just the photos, no blah blah
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
We went down to Tucson late last week, as my husband's company was holding board meetings on Thursday and Friday at the fancy Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The plan was for me to work from the hotel room during his meetings, and then we would have a micro-vacation over the weekend.

On Thursday I got miserably sick (maybe the delicious food at the fancy resort restaurant had issues? It tasted good, anyway!) but by Saturday I was ready to vacation. We drove our rental car (a Ford C-Max hybrid, which we both liked very much!) to Kartchner Caverns State Park and took a tour of the Big Room. These caves were kept secret after their discovery in the 1970s, so when they were finally developed after the land was purchased for a state park, the formations were in nearly pristine condition, unlike most tourist caves (even in National Parks!) where casual use over the years has destroyed a lot of the delicate ecology. Development was undertaken with extreme caution, so that now the caves remain in exceptional condition; we've taken quite a few cave tours over the years and were very impressed! No photos allowed, but the website has a video tour.

Afterward we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum which is the largest privately-funded aerospace museum, with over 300 aircraft of various vintages. We took the (free with admission) "Highlights of Aviation" and "World War II" walking tours, and lucked out with an amazing docent, Don McLean (no kidding!) who told us many more stories than were on the placards in front of the planes.

Sunday (all of it) was spent hiking the Ventana Canyon trail to The Window, 6.4 miles and 4260 feet each way. Britt had gone to school at the University of Arizona here many years ago and had fond memories of this hike - I figured it must be good if he still remembered it after 40 years. It was pretty cool: we started out in Sonoran desert, with saguaros all around, and by the end - a natural arch in the rock - we were hiking through the snow among pines!

IMG_20160131_142321

We should have got going earlier than our 9 am start, though, as we ended up hiking out the last half hour in the dark. Still, it was a great hike, and I definitely felt it the next day. The best of our crappy cellphone photos are on Flickr: Ventana Canyon.
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
(Look! A post that's not about running!)

Britt had driven our Sportsmobile camper van out to Bakersfield CA just after Thanksgiving, to do some work on a solar project his company has out there, so our plan after CIM was to road-trip home over the next week and a half. As it happened, both of us came down with bad colds in Death Valley, so we high-tailed it directly home from there after only a half-day of exploring. But we had a lovely micro-vacation up until then!

Lots of photos, some text )

Zabriskie Point view
ilanarama: profile of me backpacking.  Woo. (hiking)
As many of you know, my husband Britt was working in Bakersfield, CA for much of this winter. As his project began to wind up, I flew out to stay with him (I worked from his hotel, since I telecommute anyway) and then on Friday, January 27th, we packed up the Sportsmobile (he'd driven it out, originally) and headed home, taking our time and visiting tourist traps and national parks along the way.

Joshua Tree

Our first destination was Joshua Tree National Park. We are both rock climbers - or used to be, anyway - and had heard about the climbing there; we were not prepared to actually climb there, but we wanted to see the rocks, and hike around, and so on. We spent two nights at the entirely gorgeous Jumbo Rocks campground, and two days visiting pretty much every corner of the park accessible from the main road.

More photos and rambling about Joshua Tree NP )

Trailer parks and tourist traps. And a wolf. )

Petrified Forest National Park )

Oops, I almost forgot: more photos (a total of 30) at Flickr.

Profile

ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

January 2019

S M T W T F S
  12345
67 89101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @ gmail.com

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags