Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Home From Arizona Before Downpour Return From Dallas

Left Arizona Monday morning, stayed in Alamogordo Monday night, made it to Wichita Falls early Tuesday evening.

The route to Texas from Alamogordo was via Ruidoso.

Ruidoso is a village in the mountains of New Mexico.

I had long heard of Ruidoso, and was sort of assuming it was going to be a mountain ski resort type place, and sort of unique, like Taos. Maybe I missed the main show as I drove through Ruidoso. I saw no chair lifts waiting for snow such as I've seen in other ski zones.

Nonetheless, Ruidoso and the drive over those particular mountains was scenic. The route north via 70 skirted the northwest fringe of Roswell, missing the main town. I had been at Roswell years ago, with my main memory being attacked by ironclad beetles falling from the sky at sunset at a Burger King. Locals had warned of the impending danger, but I ignored the warnings until an ironclad beetle landed on my head. And then my Whopper.

The drive back from Arizona was pretty much drama free, unlike the drive to Arizona, the return saw zero rain.

Unlike today's wet return from DFW.

I have known for a month that the day after I returned from Arizona I would be getting up early to drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth mess. I mean Metroplex. I thought this would be vexing, instead a third day of driving turned out to be a breeze. In more ways than one.

Heading out of DFW an hour after noon, heading northwest towards Wichita Falls, prior to reaching Decatur, what some might characterize as ALL HELL broke loose. The sky suddenly turned dark, like the lights had been turned off. Lightning began flashing, but not in bolts. Thunder boomed.

And then rain. In downpour mode. So much rain that driving slowed to a crawl.

The crawl lasted for about 10 miles. Rain lasted all the way to Wichita Falls, but has now abated, a couple hours after reaching my current location. I am waiting for the flooded landscape to drain enough that I can make it to my vehicle to retrieve that which I left there in my rush to dodge drops and reach shelter.

Tomorrow will be my first 'normal' day in weeks. I'm sort of looking forward to it. I hope sufficient drying occurs that I can go on a bike ride.

And below is video I YouTubed, whilst I was in the midst of that aforementioned traffic slowing downpour...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mexico City With David, Theo & Ruby With Big Ed In Alamogordo New Mexico

What are looking at here are my absolutely favorite niece, Ruby, and her brothers, my absolutely favorite nephews David and Theo.

In Mexico City.

Last night, as in Sunday night, David, Theo and Ruby's aunt Jackie and uncle Jack returned to Chandler from two weeks of cruising to Mexico and Disneyland, along with some other destinations.

David, Theo, Ruby, and their parental units met up with aunt Jackie and uncle Jack for three days of exhaustion in Disneyland.

Sunday the trio's parental units flew with them to Mexico City where David became dizzy at baggage claim and then fainted. With a fall opening up a gash on this chin requiring a rush to an Mexico City ER where David got stitched up.

And now, early evening in Alamogordo, at my current motel location, the wi-fi has brought me multiple photos from Mexico City, including the one you see above. If you look close you can see the bandage on David's chin.

Part of the text message accompanying the photos...

We visited the canals at Xochimilco this morning and stopped by the National University. We rode on a boat and had lunch, got serenaded by mariachi bands and bought things we didn’t need. It was a blast. Theo is climbing on giant letters in front of the central library which is covered in amazing tile murals. Did Jackie tell you that David passed out in baggage claim yesterday and fell face first? His chin is glued. Super scary but all seems well now. 

I must go find the photo of Theo doing giant letter climbing...

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy With Phoenix Area Self Driving Waymo

I do not remember if it was way back on my June and August of 2017 visits to the Phoenix area that I started seeing Waymo self driving cars being tested.

What I do know is during this current visit I have been seeing way more Waymos than previously seen on previous visits.

This last Sunday of the 2018 version of October, which is also the day before heading east towards Texas, I lost count of the number of Waymo encounters.

The Waymo you see in the photo documentation pulled up next to us whilst I was heading north on Arizona Avenue Or was it Alma School Road? With the Waymo pulling in to the left turn lane to turn onto Chandler Boulevard. Or was it Pecos?

Last night, after dark, we were heading south on Dobson when we were stopped by a red light at the intersection with Ocotillo, when a Waymo showed up making a turn from Ocotillo on to Dobson.

During the day it is not easy to see inside the Waymo. At night one could easily see the monitoring "driver" driving with his hands off the wheel as Waymo did the driving.

The driver being driven hands free of the wheel looks sort of weird. Miss Daisy does not approve of the concept of self driving cars. I would think she would embrace the idea.

I know today's episode of driving Miss Daisy had me wishing self driving cars were currently the norm. Just stick Miss Daisy in the car and tell it to take her on a drive. A long long drive.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Desert Breeze Driving Miss Daisy Railroad To Chandler Vintage Chevys

Miss Daisy is not slowing up on her daily directions to drive Miss Daisy to yet one more new location.

The Miss Daisy energy level today was a bit surprising, what with staying up way past midnight waiting for game three of the World Series to come to an end with a win by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Boston Red Sox

So today, on this final Saturday of the 2018 version of October, and the last Saturday of this current visit to Arizona, Miss Daisy put on the possibility agenda either going to the Downtown Chandler Vintage Chevy event to look at some old Chevrolets.

Or to another of the Chandler city parks, this time the Desert Breeze Railroad Park.

Riding the Chandler railroad won out as today's first destination. Above you are seeing Big Ed rolling Miss Daisy on one of the paved trails which trail all over this park, and around the Desert Breeze Park lake. In the location of the above photo the train tracks are between the photographer, me, and the train tracks.

Above the photographer, me, is on a grassy knoll, looking down on those aforementioned railroad tracks running along beside the rolling Miss Daisy.

There were a lot of people in the Desert Breeze Park today. Several large pavilions were full of people. From various locations barbecue perfumed the air.

Above Big Ed has left Miss Daisy beside the railroad tracks whilst he skittered off to do something else. The train's driver was hollering "all aboard" which had Miss Daisy thinking she was in danger. I assured Miss Daisy that I would have her out of the way of the approaching train before it arrived at her location.

Upon leaving the Desert Breeze Park Miss Daisy informed the driver she would now like a McDonald's ice cream cone. I said unless there was some objection I would go to the McDonald's on Arizona Avenue, across from Food City.

This met with Miss Daisy's approval.

After the acquisition of the ice cream cones Miss Daisy instructed the driver to drive south on Arizona through Historic Downtown Chandler. Upon reaching that destination it was quickly realized we were at the location of that aforementioned Vintage Chevy event. Traffic was heavy, movement was slow, and so we got a look at the old Chevys from the comfort of the Miss Daisy chariot.

I do not know what Miss Daisy has in mind for tomorrow. But later today my instructions are to return to Casa Daisy to make chicken noodle soup and other stuff for tonight's World Series game.

Have I mentioned I am tired? And that I am looking forward to being back in Texas. Words I never ever thought there would be circumstances arise where I would make such an utterance...

Friday, October 26, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy Around Chandler Veterans Oasis With Snakes

On this last Friday of October, also the last Friday of the current visit to Arizona, Miss Daisy directed her driver to drive her to Chandler's Veterans Oasis Park so as to explore, via paved trail, Chandler's most scenic oasis.

I have seen Veterans memorials in a town or two, but none as well executed as Chandler's. Chandler's is well designed, well executed and, unlike other such things I have seen in some other towns, not a mish mash of bad ideas borne of a committee decision which probably should have just been left on the drawing board with no money wasted.

The Chandler Veterans Oasis is stocked with a variety of fish, such as rainbow trout and channel catfish, and others I do not remember.

During Miss Daisy's drive around the Oasis we came upon many people with poles in the water. Such as the group you see above. None whom we queried were able to tell us of any fish catching luck.

The water in the Oasis is reclaimed for irrigation type use, and thus not suited for drinking. Or swimming, though no NO SWIMMING signs were seen. The water in the Oasis is clear, allowing fish to be seen swimming in search of a hook.

The area you see above is at the west end of the Oasis, with the trail leading to a large building housing the Veterans Oasis Park Environmental Education Center. In that building we saw a couple large live snakes and a live tarantula, along with multiple deceased, stuffed critters, such as a mountain lion, a bobcat and a desert fox.

Before today's trip to the Chandler Oasis Spencer Jack and Henry's grandpa Jake came to Sun Lakes for an early swim with his favorite brother. And then it was on to Miss Daisy where we made breakfast, whilst Jake pruned the orange tree.

After the Oasis visit Miss Daisy directed the driving to take us to the Arizona Avenue version of Costco for Costco free sample lunch, then to WinCo, then back home, where we left Miss Daisy rocking in her favorite chair. We will be returning in a couple hours for Miss Daisy's World Series Pizza and Chicken Party.

Anyone who actually knows me knows how excited I am to be attending this. I'm told the game can last three hours. Or longer. I shall bring diversions.

And below is a video I YouTubed of Miss Daisy's drive around the Chandler Oasis....

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Dreamy Draw Hiking Miss Daisy In & Out Up Piestewa Peak

Today, on this final Thursday of this visit to Arizona, Miss Daisy wanted to do some mountain hiking in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, specifically at the Dreamy Draw section of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, located on the north side of Piestewa Peak, which was our mountain hiking destination.

The paved trail leading from the parking lot was just a little steep. I was a slightly concerned about the going back downhill part of this hike.

But, Miss Daisy's new wheels have sturdy handbrakes which made for a safe descent.

For the most part.

Sand on the cement made for some slipping issues, both in uphill and downhill mode, but nothing too tragic.

I think Miss Daisy enjoyed her mountain outing a lot. Even more than the Walmart racing we did yesterday.

After hiking Miss Daisy directed the driver to continue on the 51 freeway, eventually exiting at Shea Boulevard, to Scottsdale Boulevard, and eventually Loop 202, where Miss Daisy directed the driver to go west on 202, but the driver rebelled and went east on 202, to 101, telling Miss Daisy he misunderstood her directions, that and the 101 is a straight shot south to Chandler Boulevard and the In & Out burger joint Miss Daisy wanted to go to.

When In & Out opened in Fort Worth I went with Big Ed to its West Seventh Street location for a Double Double Combo. I had been saying since 2004 that In & Out makes the best burger ever, having had two in Tempe in February of that year.

So, we had the Fort Worth In & Out Double Double, with fries. And it was not good. Not good at all. I did not concede to Big Ed that I also thought the Fort Worth version was bad, told him he had poorly developed tastebuds.

And now today Big Ed finally had an Arizona In & Out Double Double. And it was as bad as the Fort Worth experience. Super messy, and the fries seemed of the frozen sort we had had in Fort Worth. Barely edible, and so we ate few. And poor ol' Miss Daisy. She gave up trying to consume her Double Double in the conventional way and instead opted to deconstruct it for piece by piece consumption.

Last February Miss Daisy and I Double Doubled and Fried at this same In & Out and it was good, real good. So, I am thinking there is something wrong with Big Ed which causes problems with In & Out when he is in those burger's vicinity.

We are taking Miss Daisy swimming this afternoon. She has already been asking what we get to do tomorrow. I'm exhausted. Am looking forward to being back in Texas where I can relax.

And below is a short video I YouTubed of today's hike with Miss Daisy. In the video I can not remember the Dreamy Draw name of the location...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Papa Joey Sending Grandma A Hello From Henry

Last night I texted proud papa, my favorite nephew Joey, telling him I was once again at his grandma's and that grandma was wondering if Henry is talking yet.

Grandma did not really wonder such, I sort of made that up.

Soon thereafter Joey texted back with an audio message and text saying "Here is Henry saying hello to grandma".

I then played that audio for grandma, who then listened to it multiple times, smiling whilst doing the listening.

Tonight I was back at Miss Daisy's for pizza and baseball.

At some point in the third inning Joey texted along the line of I finally have something in common with grandma.

I asked Miss Daisy if she knew what she had in common with Joey.

Miss Daisy went blank. I then told her that both she and Joey have sons born on the same day.

Who? asked Miss Daisy.

Jake, said I.

Oh. Said Miss Daisy. When was Jake born, his mother asked.

September 26.

Oh, said Miss Daisy.

Anyway, I was able to turn Henry saying hello to grandma into a YouTube video...

Incoming Disneyland Location Verification With Henry's First Words

I lost track of the number of times Miss Daisy has asked me if I have heard again from Sister Jackie or Sister Michele since they have been in the Disneyland zone.

I had multiple times informed Miss Daisy that I had heard from Sister Jackie when the cruise ship docked in Mazatlan. I recollect reading that message to Miss Daisy a couple times.

And then last night, after I left Miss Daisy's abode to return to my current home location my phone delivered the photo you see here.

The text with the photo did not say where exactly this photo was taken, but we can assume they are in or near Disneyland or Disney California.

Sister Jackie did say in the text with the photo that, "One day into Disneyland and I'm totally exhausted! Hope you are holding up!"

The original concept of this current trip to Arizona had me also going to Disneyland. But that plan changed in the year since it was first planned. I have no clue how me going to Disneyland would have been facilitated what with the Driving Miss Daisy part of this current trip to Arizona.

For those who do not know who you are looking at in the above photo. That would be my favorite brother-in-law, Jack on the far left, with his head on the shoulder of his first wife, Sister Jackie. Directly above Sister Jackie is Sister-in-law Kristen, then niece Ruby, Sister Michele, nephew David with nephew Theo on the far right.

Last night we also heard from Spencer Jack's uncle, my favorite Joey nephew, aka FNJ2. I had texted Joey telling him his grandma was asking if one month old Henry was talking yet. Joey then sent back some cute photos and audio of Henry "talking".  I will see if I can turn that audio into a format that I can put on this blog. But that must wait til later...

Driving Miss Daisy To Basha Gallery Before High Speed Walmart Chase

Today Miss Daisy directed her driver to drive north on Alma School Road so as to make our way to Basha Road where Miss Daisy wanted to show Big Ed the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western American and American Indian Art.

You are possibly thinking looking at the photo documentation that Big Ed and I left Miss Daisy in front of that painting after telling her it was a TV, but not to try and change the channel.

Well, you would be wrong thinking such a thing. Miss Daisy directed us on the entire tour.

The Basha Gallery is an elaborate maze of rooms and halls displaying an astonishing amount of Western and American Indian Art.

Paintings, sculptures, baskets, jewelry, and more.

Anyone visiting the Phoenix zone, who has an affection for this type thing, would have themselves a mighty fine time at this Chandler location.

The gallery is in a building which is part of a Bashas' warehouse area. I probably should mention Bashas' is a HUGE Arizona grocery store chain, started by a Lebanese immigrant named Najeeb Basha.

America used to kindly welcome immigrants from the Middle East.

Maybe I am just assuming such. Najeeb Basha may have made his way to Arizona before the territory became one of the United States.

Just a second I will go look.

Najeeb arrived in America in 1886, years before the territory became an American state. Najeeb Basha and his wife arrived in Arizona in 1910, two years before Arizona became a state. I am unable to determine what sort of reception Najeeb Basha and his wife received in America before they made their way to Arizona.

Anyway, the Basha Museum visit was fun. Then it was north on Arizona Avenue to Costco to stock up on heavy water so Sister Jackie does not have to hurt her back carrying it. And then it was back south on Arizona to Walmart where Miss Daisy instructed me to see if we could lose Big Ed who was pushing a grocery cart. I had not heard Miss Daisy laugh so much in a long time. And she seemed to have no concern that we were speeding at high speed in Walmart.

Tomorrow we are going mountain climbing to the summit of Piestewa Peak. Miss Daisy is coming along for the ride, but will offer no directional advice, seeing as how Miss Daisy says she has never been to Piestewa Peak. We shall see in the morning if Miss Daisy sticks to offering no directional advice....

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

America's Biggest Boondoggle Unravels As Trinity River Vision Scandals Grow

October of 2018 was supposed to be the month when what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle celebrated the opening to traffic of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Instead October of 2018 seems to be the month when this embarrassment to Fort Worth, which has always been a cloudy vision, has begun to unravel, with that unraveling seeming to be happening faster than anything the Trinity River Vision has managed to do whilst limping along for most of this century.

Citizens possessing common sense have long known this pseudo public works project was going to end in boondoggle mode, due to obviously being mis-managed and ineptly engineered.

Years ago, when J.D Granger breathlessly announced the addition of the Cowtown Wakepark to the Trinity River Vision mix of nonsense how could anyone with any ability to count not realize this wakeboarding enterprise would fail. Only a few people at a time could be pulled around the tiny pond. It could only be open a few months of the year. It was like building a Six Flags Over Texas ride which only a few people per hour could ride.

How much did the Trinity River Vision spend to dig that pond for the Wakepark and that entire tacky eyesore operation? And, ironically, how could these idiots not realize that the Wakepark would be flooded every time the Trinity River went into flood mode. Which happened twice, with extensive damage, before the Cowtown Wakepark died.

The Cowtown Wakepark mini-boondoggle was a harbinger, an indicator, a hint of what the unqualified, incompetent, idiotic directing of TRVA Executive Director J.D. Granger would foist on Fort Worth.

Cowtown Wakepark failed around the time J.D. Granger announced Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube parties on the polluted Trinity River.

And apparently no adult authority in town was able to say no to the nonsense.

I do not remember which of the October Trinity River Vision Surprises came first. Was it the fact that in July TRVA officials knew they had lost federal funding due to not doing a proper economic analysis of the pseudo flood control economic development scheme? Scheming to get flood control funds where there had been no flood for well over a half century due to levees taxpayers had already bought and paid for.

Whilst other actual serious deadly flooding problems in Fort Worth were ignored.

Or was it Another Anonymous Interesting Trinity River Vision Development in which we learned J.D. Granger was going to be marrying his employee with whom he had long philandered whilst married to his first wife. With the nuptials taking place on a Caribbean island, apparently sparing no expense, which is one of the perks one can indulge in when one feeds at the public trough to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars per year.

At some point in October, after we learned of the 2019 Wedding of the Year, we learned. How a split between Rep. Kay Granger and her son changed Panther Island forever. This, to my mind, is the most shocking of the Trinity River Vision October Scandals. Maybe it is time to start calling this ongoing embarrassment TRVGate.

The split between J.D. and his mama was over the Boondoggle's bridges.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the J.D.'s split with his mama...

Kay Granger, the longtime Republican congresswoman from Fort Worth, wanted to accept an offer from the Texas Department of Transportation to build the three bridges just like Fort Worth’s West Seventh Street bridge, which features bold, lighted arches. The transportation department pledged to do all the design and construction in-house, get the work done by 2016 and cover any cost overruns beyond the original $72.5 million estimate.

Long ago I asked why the three little bridges were not designed to look like the highly regarded West Seventh Street Bridge. That is one cool looking bridge any town would be happy to have.

But, incompetent, untrained, unqualified J.D. Granger, for reasons unknown, was determined to have the V-pier bridges, which have been being built in slow motion since 2014.

Again from the Star-Telegram...

But J.D. Granger — who as executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority bears ultimate responsibility for the Panther Island flood control and economic development project — disagreed with the proposal to use the West Seventh Street bridge design. Instead, he wanted to keep the bridges’ original design, which calls for flat-top structures with V-shaped piers — a design that he and others felt would focus more attention on the underside of the bridges, which was important because the bridges would serve to create a river-walk atmosphere along the Trinity River banks.

Yeah, that's what you wanna base a design decision on, what some Frat boy "feels" would focus more attention on something.

So, these bridges could have been completed, and paid for, a couple years ago, with a cool design matching the West Seventh Street bridge. But, J.D. Granger thwarted that and imposed the failed design now slated to possibly be completed by 2021.

And these four damning paragraphs from the Star-Telegram article...

Reached Friday afternoon, J.D. Granger said he and other Trinity River Vision Authority officials initially favored the idea of building the bridges like the West Seventh structure. But he said that after consulting with Army Corps of Engineers officials the group determined the idea could greatly complicate the project and add more years to the construction schedule.

One key factor was that the West Seventh bridge relies upon numerous piers in the water, whereas the V-pier design requires only one section in the water. That’s crucial, he said, because the bypass channel needed to have as few obstructions as possible in the center of the water.

“The bypass channel was modeled specifically to accommodate the bridge models you see on the ground now, and that model took seven years to create,” he said.

Once those complications surfaced, J.D. Granger said, the idea of using the West Seventh design “started falling apart on its own.”

J.D. must be a Trump fan, just making up lies to support the un-supportable.

There are not numerous piers in the water supporting the West Seventh Street bridge.

The V-pier bridge model took seven years to complete? Really? The non-existent bypass channel was modeled to fit under the V-pier bridges?

Using the West Seventh Street bridge model would have added years to the construction schedule? More years than the failed V-pier design?

What has started falling apart on its own is the Trinity River Vision, largely due to having someone like J.D. Granger having any sort of leadership role in making decisions about a project which should have been directed by someone qualified to ramrod such a project.

And now, in the past couple days, the latest of the October of 2018 Trinity River Vision surprises.

Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, has now verbalized her concerns about the management of the Trinity River Vision, asking that an audit of the project be conducted.

It's about time someone of the official sort said enough is enough about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle....

UPDATE: Here is a photo of the Trinity River flowing under the West Seventh Street bridge. Do you see any piers in the water? Is a lie such as this enough to finally get J.D. Granger fired from the job for which he is so totally unqualified?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy To Queen Creek Seeing Trump Pork While Looking For Jesus

Today Miss Daisy directed her wheels to be driven east, on Hunt Highway, eventually reaching the eastern fringe of the Phoenix metropolitan area, a town called Queen Creek.

Before we got to the location you see in the first photo, Miss Daisy had her driver drive her to the San Tan Mountain Regional Park.

Leaving that park, after being chased by a dune buggy, Big Ed surprised us by spotting an homage to Jesus on the side of a mountain which hovered over a church called Mountain View Church.

In that first photo we employed the old-fashioned method of taking a selfie, so that would be me reflected in the window, with Miss Daisy's van behind me. The location is called the Pork Shop. And next you will be seeing why I felt compelled to photo document that which I was seeing.

A caricature of Donald J. Trump, with a pig snout, spouting a version of one of his gibberish type sound bites, as in "THE PORK SHOP IS THE BEST PEOPLE".

I almost forgot to mention. Prior to stopping at the Pork Shop we rolled into the Queen Creek Olive Mill. A popular Phoenix area tourist destination. As we pulled into the parking lot it seemed like we were back on the west coast. Two California plated cars next to an Oregon plated car next to a Washington plated car, next to a Beautiful British Columbia plated car.

In the Olive Mill one finds multiple olive based products, and a restaurant from which one can buy edibles to eat inside or outside in the HUGE tree shaded patio.

I was expecting a lot of olives to sample. Instead there was only one olive sample. A huge stuffed green olive which packed a lot of jalapeno type heat. Miss Daisy took one olive bite and then choked out a request for something to drink. All I could see was various flavored olive oil samples. I asked Miss Daisy if Chocolate Olive Oil might relieve the stuffed green olive pain. Indicating a yes, via hand signals, Miss Daisy gulped down the chocolate olive oil.

THAT'S WORSE, Miss Daisy shouted. I took my own chocolate olive oil gulp and I have to say, chocolate olive oil may be the worst thing I have ever tasted. Soon I found us relief via a sun-dried tomato spread. Even so, Miss Daisy was soon requesting a McDonald's so she could get a mocha frappe so as to wash the horrible taste away.

Continuing on...

Above what you are looking at is the road which leads to the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, which would make that San Tan Mountain you see at the end of the road.

Leaving San Tan Mountain was when we found Jesus.

I am no accurate judge of such things. But is this tacky?

A replica of the cross on which Jesus was murdered. Along with a replica of the crypt from which Jesus disappeared, with the big stone crypt cover rolled aside so as to facilitate the exit of Jesus.

I do not know how Big Ed, who is seeing challenged, saw this as I zipped along at high speed. The Lord works in mysterious ways, so I am thinking for some reason He wanted Big Ed to see this and direct us into getting a close up look...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy To Gilbert Arizona Temple With Costco Bumps

Sunday morning, on the way to Santan Village in Gilbert, Miss Daisy directed the driver to drive to the site of the Gilbert Arizona Temple, an edifice erected by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon presence looms large in the Valley of the Sun.

I first saw this particular temple under construction way back in 2012. The finished product is an impressive piece of church architecture.

Wikipedia has a short article about the Gilbert Arizona Temple which elaborates on details about how it came to be at this location and in this shape.

After driving around the temple Miss Daisy directed the driver to drive across the Loop 202 freeway to Costco, which Miss Daisy determined was too busy to stop at. The followup directions directed the driver deeper into Santan Village, which then had Miss Daisy declaring she had never been at this location previously.

Leaving Santan Village Miss Daisy directed the driver to head west on Williams Field Road, which becomes Chandler Boulevard when it enters Chandler, and soon arrives at the heart of Chandler, that being the city center Old Town zone of Chandler.

The driver on his own initiative turned north on Arizona Avenue, heading to another Costco, at which we had shopped two days prior. Soon thereafter Miss Daisy claimed she had never been on this road, that there was no Costcos on this road and that she had no idea where her driver was driving her.

A couple minutes later the driver pulled into the Costco parking lot, which had Miss Daisy claiming she had never been at that Costco, and that she thought the driver was talking about a Costco on the corner.

What corner? the driver asked.

I don't know said Miss Daisy.

Soon we found ourselves inside Costco loading up on Kirkland bottled water, cookies, tomatoes and pizza.

The driver then returned Miss Daisy to her current home base and then returned to his own home base where he is currently typing and counting the days until he is back to relatively peaceful Texas...

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy Across Tempe Town Lake On Elmore Pedestrian Bridge

Today Miss Daisy instructed her driver to drive her to Tempe so as to roll across the pedestrian bridge across the Tempe Town Lake.

Tempe Town Lake is a reservoir behind a dam on the Salt River. This is not a reservoir and dam made for electricity or irrigation purposes.

The Tempe Town Lake was designed for recreational purposes, and was the vision of a man named James Elmore who was a Dean at Arizona State University.

Elmore thought such a lake would be a huge boon to the university and to Tempe, which is where ASU is located.

When I first saw the downtown Tempe zone and its lake and lakefront development, back in 2012 I wondered if seeing such was one of the things lamebrains from Fort Worth had seen which they then tried to copy in the embarrassment which is currently coming off the rails, known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The parallels between the Rio Salado Project and the failed Trinity River Vision are interesting, including ground breaking ceremonies, fake islands and bridges. Read the Wikipedia Tempe Town Lake article yourself and see how many parallels you can spot, and examples of things Tempe did that Fort Worth did not do, but should have. Such as environmental studies of water quality.

The two town's project may have some similarities in conception, but not in actualization, what with Tempe succeeding and Fort Worth failing.

In Tempe multiple analyses and studies were conducted in order to assure the validity and worth of the Rio Salado Project before construction began, was fully funded, and overseen by qualified adults, not a local congresswoman's inept son. And Tempe dropped the fake islands part of the plan, but managed to build multiple bridges serving multiple purposes. Long bridges, some actually built over water, such as the pedestrian bridge Miss Daisy rolled across today.

Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision is now falling apart because of the failure to do proper analysis of the project. That and bizarre revelations of emails between J.D. Granger and his mother Kay which have given those paying attention their first real clue as to why Fort Worth has been unable to build three simple little bridges over dry land. In four years.

Anyway, continuing with today Driving Miss Daisy fun.

Above you see Big Ed is taking a turn Driving Miss Daisy. At this location we are about midway across the lake. That is downtown Tempe you see in the distance, along with another of the Tempe Town Lake bridges. That one being the bridge the Metro light rail uses to cross the lake.

When Miss Daisy and I drove around Scottsdale and Tempe earlier in the year we were amazed at the number of bikes we saw of the bike share type. Dozens upon dozens of parked bikes at various locations. This time we saw few bikes. Instead it was an astounding number of scooters we saw people scooting about on, including multiple scooters scooting past us, or towards us on the bridge.

Looking closer at the scooters we could see usage was activated by pointing a phone app at a code reader on the scooter's handlebar. Scooting on these devices looks fun. And they move fast. Where are the re-charging stations we wondered? How are the scooters collected and returned to the charging stations? Maybe they are solar powered and require no charging.

Below is video I YouTubed of Driving Miss Daisy Across Tempe Town Lake. It was windy, and so my pithy commentary is impossible to hear most of the time, although the dig at inept Fort Worth came out plenty clear...

Pooling With Miss Daisy's Sun Lakes Gang

Miss Daisy took Big Ed and me on a late afternoon swim yesterday.

The photo documentation is possibly too small to see that to which I am about to refer, but immediately to the right of the palm trees on the left that is Miss Daisy in the shade with Big Ed dripping water after having exited the pool.

Meanwhile I remained lounging on a lounge chair.

On an early morning swim there are usually at most only three or four fellow swimmers.

Until 9 in the morning when a contingent of several dozen Sun Lakes ladies show up for their pool exercise class led by a stern martinet who must have terrified an all girl's school in her non-retired years. The swim exercise martinet comes equipped with a big boom box which she cranks up so loud it drowns out the hits from the 50s and 60s with are always providing background music until the loud martinet arrives.

We quickly exit the pool when that contingent of exercising Sun Lakes ladies shows up.

Yesterday multiple Sun Lakers told Miss Daisy she should get in the pool. One guy named Cliff even demonstrated how to use the device which helps automatically insert the walking challenged into and out of the pool.

Miss Daisy claims someone has purloined all of her swimming suits, hence no chance of going swimming.

Well, it is just about time to head back to yet one more early morning swim before the Sun Lake pool exercise club shows up. Maybe they take Saturday off....

Friday, October 19, 2018

Apache Trail Driving Miss Daisy To Tortilla Flats With Linda Lou & Big Ed

If you have not had yourself a mighty fine time in Arizona driving Miss Daisy's special wheels on the Apache Trail, you are really missing something.

In this particular photo documentation you see the moment Miss Daisy arrived in Tortilla Flats.

A somewhat large crowd of tourists cheered as Miss Daisy rolled into town.

The road to Tortilla Flats has been repaved since I last drove it in 2012. It is so smooth now it is like self motoring on a roller coaster of ups and downs, twists and turns and sharp drop offs.

Some with guard rails.

With ongoing narration from Big Ed, with the multi purpose of distracting Linda Lou from panic attacks and distracting me from being annoyed at the constant demands from Miss Daisy.

Linda Lou has some sort of aversion to mountain type roads which traverse cliffs with other drama inducing features. At one point Big Ed asked Linda Lou if one of her multiple doctor degrees was a PhD in Animated Whinology.

This seemed amusing at the time and still seems slightly amusing the day after the screaming abated.

Soon upon arrival Miss Daisy had us roll her wheels into the Superstition Saloon and Restaurant where Miss Daisy opted not to drink beer whilst sitting on one of the saloon's horse saddle stools whilst pondering the menu.

No, I do not think, for sure, that that is Big Ed and Linda Lou on the right side of the group of horse saddle sitting beer sippers. But it looks as if it may be them.

The walls of the Superstition Saloon are plastered with money, mostly American dollar bills, with occasional  currency from other nations. Above we are looking at Linda Lou, back at the dining room table, looking at a wall of money, and the dead bat dangling overhead.

Above you are looking the result when Linda Lou asked a fellow tourist, I think she was Australian, if she could take time out from enjoying her delicious Prickly Pear Gelatto to take a group photo.

That would be Linda Lou, me and Big Ed in the back, which would make that Miss Daisy hitting the brakes on her wheels.

After this photo was taken Linda Lou led us into the aforementioned gelatto purveyor's location where cold confections were acquired for all but myself.

After multiple inquiries, from multiple Tortilla Flats locals, about how scary the next section of the Apache Trail was in actual fact, the consensus was that, even though the next five miles are now paved, it is still not for the faint of heart with fear of heights.

And so Linda Lou allied with Miss Daisy to forbid any further exploration of the Apache Trail.

So, it was back to civilization, soon arrived at, where surface roads were mostly used for a lengthy torment which included eventually reaching Little Mexico, also known as the little town of Guadalupe, followed a few minutes later by being back at home base in Sun Lakes.

This morning brought an adventurous return of Linda Lou to Sky Harbor Airport. I did not realize the freeways would be so busy at five in the morning.

Or that Miss Daisy would get up before five to call and insist on riding along to the airport.

Have I mentioned I am looking forward to being back in Texas? Words two decades ago no amount of imagination could have conjured imagining what might cause me to utter such a declaration...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Miss Daisy Drives Nervous Linda Lou To South Mountain Summit

Today Miss Daisy directed Linda Lou, Big Ed and me to South Mountain in south Phoenix.

The drive to the summit is adventurous, lots of tight curves and ups and downs.

Miss Linda Lou requested the vehicle be navigated near the center of the road, away from the drop off cliff, whenever possible.

Which was not often.

Miss Daisy estimated it to be about a four mile climb to reach the summit and lookout point that looks out from the north side of South Mountain for a panoramic view of a large part of the Phoenix metro zone.

At the aforementioned summit, at the marker device which points to the landmarks which one can look at, Linda Lou made the acquaintance of Coco, originally from Calgary, Alberta.

That is downtown Phoenix you see over Linda Lou's left shoulder.

Slightly northwest from the marker device Linda Lou photo documented Big Ed conducting an architectural engineering seminar explaining to those willing to listen the fascinating way the rock structure used a compression arch made of stone to support the roof of the structure. The seminar was well attended and Big Ed was pleased to be asked so many probing rock arch questions.

And here you sort of see one of those rock arches, looking out a window at one of the many peaks of South Mountain.

Tomorrow Miss Daisy is directing us north on the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flats where we hope to have lunch...

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Trouble Finding Linda Lou In Phoenix With Miss Daisy

Big Ed & Linda Lou
This is guest blogger Linda Lou here, apparently also known as Nurse Canecracker.

I arrived in Phoenix on time, but was out of the airport much sooner than I thought I would be.

I called the person I was expecting to pick me up, Mr. Durango, and learned he had not yet made it to the location where he was to pick up his brother for guidance to the airport.

About a half hour later I heard my name shouted and looked to the source to see Mr. Durango walking towards me. Soon thereafter I saw Big Ed who took over the carrying of my extensive luggage collection.

I was soon saying hello to Miss Daisy and Durango's brother Jake. I had not seen Miss Daisy in years, but had visited brother Jake in August of 2017.

Brother Jake then guided Mr. Durango out of the airport to take the scenic route back to his home location.

A few minutes later I found myself looking at the hiking trail which leads to the top of Camelback Mountain. I do not think I will make this hike.

The oddest thing I saw today was a giant vending machine that dispensed cars. I saw this soon after we left Jake behind.

The car vending machine was seen after we drove all around Old Town Scottsdale. I hope we get to go back and explore around that old town.

Eventually the driver, Mr. Durango, got on a freeway on which we zipped along at high speed. Before I could get any sense of bearings we were in Sun Lakes at Casa Miss Daisy. We dropped off Miss Daisy and then about a mile later I was at my home location for the next three days where I chose to boot Big Ed from his private bedroom and send him to the sofa bed in the TV room....

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Driving Miss Daisy To Mesa's Riverview Park For Zip Line Fishing Rope Climbs

Every day, the always wanting to please Miss Daisy asks, multiple times a day, if there is anything you would like to see or do here that you have not yet seen or done?

Usually every time Miss Daisy asks such I answer no.

Miss Daisy has been multiple times asking Big Ed her favorite question. I had warned him this would happen. Big Ed has several answers he repeats in rotation.

Such as I would like to ride the Metro light rail. And that open beer hall in Gilbert looks fun. And Saturday night in downtown Scottsdale.

Miss Daisy rejects Big Ed's suggestions, which then has me asking Miss Daisy why she keeps asking Big Ed if there is anything he wants to see or do if you are gonna say no to everything he wants to see or do?

So, today I told Big Ed to say he has long wanted to see Riverview Park, in Mesa, located by the Chicago Cubs Cactus League version of Wrigley Field on Dobson Road, and then drive the Rio Salado into Tempe.

Today Miss Daisy went along with that which Big Ed asked. Which soon had Big Ed rolling Miss Daisy on her new wheels.

Riverview Park is the most elaborate, over the top kid's playground type park I have ever seen. Zip lines, climbing rope contraptions on steroids, a big water plaza with fountains to get the kids wet, slides built into the side of hills. And other stuff I have forgotten and should have photo documented.

Oh, and a big fishing lake, which is what Big Ed is rolling Miss Daisy across at the top.

The above contraption looked fun. And a bit difficult. I was not able to look long enough to figure it, due to the fact that Miss Daisy insists on needing to keep moving.

Rolling towards the above climbing rope playground attraction I did not see how this could be safe. A closer look showed a thickly padded landing zone should one fall. Still, looks scary.

I want to be in the Phoenix zone when David, Theo and Ruby are here so I can go play at this park with them. Spencer Jack may be getting a bit too old and sophisticated for this type playing.

Leaving Riverview Park we drove Rio Salado til a wreck detoured us, eventually through the heart of downtown Tempe, back to Rio Salado where a left turn onto that road showed a giant Octoberfest in full swing. And so I was not able to park where I wanted to park so as to have Big Ed roll Miss Daisy across the long, impressive pedestrian bridge which crosses Tempe Town Lake.

I see all this incredibly cool development along a manmade waterway and wonder if seeing this type thing is what inspired some Fort Worth lamebrains to deludedly think they could work a similar miracle with the polluted Trinity River and the eyesore industrial wasteland through which that river flows.

Leaving the downtown Tempe zone we ended up in Papago Park with me unable to find the Hole in the Rock parking lot. I did find the Hole in the Rock though.

As we were driving, Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake texted me that a batch of pickled asparagus was waiting for me if I wanted to drive by. I texted we were in the neighborhood, and so with some slight directional difficulty we arrived at that destination.

Miss Daisy refused to get out of the car.

Have I mentioned before that Miss Daisy can be a bit difficult? And exhausting....

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Another Anonymous Interesting Trinity River Vision Development

Last night an incoming email arrived which caused me to digitally connect from Arizona to the DFW zone to ask a question or two.

The email...

Please do not reveal me as source of this information.

Another "interesting" development at the TRV...

I checked out the information and learned someone is getting married.

Getting married?

 That happens all the time. What is interesting about these particular nuptials?

Well. I think I may have some ideas.

Years ago, soon after bizarre signs began appearing on what is now known as "Panther Island", where there is no island, and never will be an island, with those signs touting "Trinity River Vision Underway", I heard from someone calling herself "Deep Moat" who also did not want her real name revealed.

Deep Moat was upset regarding things she was learning about that which was then known as the Trinity River Vision. Things like all the perks TRV employees were getting, like new iPads and iPhones, a well supplied liquor cabinet in TRV headquarters, company cars. I forget what else, due to the fact that that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle has been limping along for so many years I have difficulty remembering it all.

But, I do remember the number one thing Deep Moat was upset about was the relationship which had developed between J.D. Granger, married with children, and a Trinity River Vision employee. At the time I did not know the name of the employee with whom Granger was philandering.

Deep Moat preferred to keep that secret, way back then.

I remember one of the things about the relationship between J.D. and his girl friend, which troubled Deep Moat, was that the two had gone on a fact finding junket together, just the two of them, ostensibly on TRV business which somehow necessitated staying over night in an expensive downtown Dallas hotel.

At TRV expense.

Deep Moat also thought all the travel junkets which J.D. was taking with groups of fellow TRV employees, including his girl friend, to various locations, supposedly to check out how those locations managed to manage successful water based developments, was a waste of public funds, which to Deep Moat's thinking were financing a frat boy's dream world.

I doubt any of those junkets ever included going to a city which had created a make believe island which necessitated building bridges over dry land to connect to that imaginary island. There are not many towns in America where the public would tolerate nonsense of that sort.

So, as the years went by, and the Trinity River Vision morphed into America's Biggest Boondoggle, J.D. Granger divorced his wife. And came out in the open with his relationship with his employee.

Shanna Cate.

And now they are getting married.

On an island in Mexico.

The Trinity River Vision was originally touted as a much needed flood control project and economic development scheme.

A flood control project where there has been no flooding for well over a half century. Unlike other areas of Fort Worth, which have flooded repeatedly, with deadly results.

And if that economic development was so vitally needed, why has the project limped along most of this century, under funded, seeking federal handouts?

While TRV employees, such as J.D. Granger are well paid. With J.D. currently making around $200K a year, plus perks and benefits. J.D.'s fiance, Shanna, is also well paid.

The pair has done well, economically, with the TRV economic development scheme.

Had J.D.'s mother, Congresswoman, Kay Granger, not nepotistically gotten this job for her son, for which he had ZERO qualifications, J.D. would likely still be a low level prosecutor, making far less than $200K a year.

And not able to afford an elaborate expensive wedding on an island in Mexico.

Reading the details of J.D. and Shanna's upcoming wedding via the website link anonymously sent it appears that with the contact info anyone can call or email and book one of the rooms J.D.'s wedding team has secured at this Mexican island resort. There is also info about making travel arrangements.

I hazard to guess that among the wedding guests will be the many others who have actually benefited from the Trinity River Vision economic development scheme.

Such as whoever has made a small fortune making copious amounts of ridiculous signage. 

Such as whoever has made a small fortune publishing the copious amounts of ridiculous printed publications.

Such as whoever has made a small fortune making America's Biggest Boondoggle's ridiculous websites.

Such as whoever has made a small fortune spewing the TRV's publicity propaganda.

Such as whoever pockets the money it costs the TRV to occupy the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building.

Such as whoever made a million bucks making that ridiculous homage to an aluminum trash can which sits in the center of the Boondoggle's unfinished roundabout traffic circle eyesore.

Anyway, it does my bitter heart good to see someone benefiting in such a hubris laden way from the failed economic scheme known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, and that those generous voters voted on May 5 to give the TRV another quarter billion bucks.

Maybe J.D. and Shanna can get another pay raise as a wedding present from the good people of Fort Worth...

Friday, October 12, 2018

Winning Many Penny At Ak-Chin Casino Before Penny's Maricopa McDonald's

What you are seeing here is my current computer room in my current abode.

We have been in Arizona since Monday, but only last night did Miss Daisy learn of our arrival.

Mom called in mid afternoon, yesterday. I did not answer. A few hours later I called mom and told her we'd made it to Arizona. Mom asked where we were in Arizona. I said I was not sure, but we might not make it to Sun Lakes for a few hours. I told mom I'd told Big Ed that I was sure there would be ice cream. Mom confirmed one of her freezers had lots of ice cream.

About the time mom confirmed the ice cream supply she said a car had driven into her driveway, and that she thought it was my sister. I told mom I'd hang up so she could go open her door. Mom said no, hang on. Mom then opened the door to see me standing there with the phone. A few seconds later mom realized she'd been tricked. And that my sister was not there.

About a half hour later I found myself deep into the first incident of driving Miss Daisy. To Wendy's to get something called Four for Four. After a lot of confusion at the drive-thru I drove away with three bags of Four for Four.

Trust me on this. You do not want to have yourself a Wendy's Four for Four. I do not know why mom has developed this unseemly affection for fast food of the Wendy's Four for Four type.

And then today I had my second driving Miss Daisy experience. This time with Sister Jackie, Big Ed and Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's Grandpa Jake along. Prior to leaving mom's abode Big Ed and I put together mom's new chair transport device.

The destination today was Maricopa. First to the Ak-Chin Casino were I once again won big whilst not having a clue what I was doing. The casino experience started with my brother insisting Big Ed and I get something called something like a Player's Card, because this would give you some sort of great deal.

I got us parked on level five of the casino parking garage, then got out Miss Daisy's new wheels to elevate to the ground floor. Eventually we made it to the location  where one gets their Player's Card. I handed the Player's Card purveyor my driver's license. A couple minutes later she said I could not get a new card because I already had one.

Huh? I have never ever had any sort of casino rewards card. Ever.

And the computer data said I had acquired this card in 1996 at a Harrah's casino in Laughlin, Nevada. I have never been to Laughlin. In 1996 I did go to Las Vegas, over Thanksgiving. I told the lady that and she suggested I may have taken the short drive south to Laughlin and that I just did not remember doing so. I asked her what address the computer data said was mine. She then read off my Mount Vernon address.

Why and how would anyone get my driver's license info and use it to get a casino rewards card? Extremely perplexing. And sort of aggravating.

Somehow Big Ed was successfully able to get one of those apparently precious Player's Cards. Sister Jackie then led us to the location of the slot machines on which I had previously won big. First Sister Jackie inserted her first husband's card into the machine. I then proceeded to more than double the amount on that card, before I cashed it out. Then Sister Jackie walked me through inserting Big Ed's card. That was more complicated due to another piece of paper needing to be loaded into another slot which somehow added ten bucks to the Big Ed Player's Card account,

I then proceeded to push the play button. This was a penny slot machine. But the lowest bet was fifty pennies. Have I already mentioned I do not understand, even remotely, these new style slot machines? Time and again I was winning pennies, in copious amounts. And then I accidentally hit the 100 pennies button to the momentary horror of Sister Jackie and Grandpa Jake. But that horror soon abated because that spin turned into a ten spin automatic bonus round where I once again accrued a small fortune in pennies.

Eventually I decided I had enough pennies so I rolled Miss Daisy to the machine in which one inserts their redemption vouchers.

As we began our exit Sister Jackie decided we might like something from the bar. So, we all ended up with very spicy Bloody Mary's. Tasty. Don't worry, mom's had no vodka in it. Nor did mine.

Leaving the casino Miss Daisy directed me to drive to Penny's Maricopa McDonald's, which seemed appropriate, what with me having won all those pennies.

I think it is fair to say that, compared to Wendy's, McDonald's is gourmet fare. I only had a fish sandwich, double cheeseburger, buttermilk chicken sandwich, fries, spicy BBQ chicken strips and Coke. But Big Ed amazed all, including Penny, with the volume he consumed. He had everything I had, plus starting off with a vanilla ice cream cone, then when all the others, but I, went into ordering dessert mode, Big Ed had another cone, plus a chocolate chip frappe and a couple chocolate chip cookies.

When I delivered Miss Daisy back to her abode, and Sister Jackie and Grandpa Jake had left, Miss Daisy asked, "So, what are we gonna do this afternoon?" I told Miss Daisy it was already afternoon.

This is going to be an exhausting month....

Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Suquamish Ferry Floating Sounder Rail Riding With Spencer Jack

Incoming email with photo documentation this morning from my Favorite Nephew Jason....


Spencer took me down to Mulkiteo to ride a brand new ferry boat, the MV Suquamish.  Still smelled like fresh paint. 

After a ferry boat ride to Clinton and back, we enjoyed Ivar’s Clam Chowder, then FNSJ caught the Sounder Commuter Train up to the Everett Station.

His light rail solo ride took him only 8 minutes.

Thus he had to wait an additional 10 minutes for me to pick him up for our journey home.

Thought you would enjoy the photos.


Seems like only yesterday, shortly before moving to Texas, that Spencer Jack's dad, also known as my Favorite Nephew Jason, or FNJ, took me north to Canada where we boarded the Skytrain at the then most southern boarding point. We rode the Skytrain to the Canada Place Station, or whatever the cruise ship looking building which was built for Expo 86 is called, to board the Sea Bus to float across the bay to North Vancouver.

It must be some sort of genetic disposition us Jones boys share to like public transportation of the train sort.

The email information did not make clear if the below photo was taken before Spencer Jack solo boarded the Sounder train, or after he got off the train in Everett.

If FNSJ and FNJ were to come to Arizona right now we could ride the Valley Metro Rail. But no ferry boats...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Superior Apache Tear Copper Mining With Grandpa Jake

This morning, after swimming with some of the Sun Lakes Lady League swimmers, Big Ed and I drove north to Scottsdale to Casa Jake's for a lunch buffet of ham soup, fried chicken, buttery whole grain bread and strawberries.

After lunch Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's grandpa suggested seeing some superior scenery by driving to Superior, where SJ and HF's grandpa wanted to visit the World's Smallest Museum to see if there was any validity to that museum's claim to have on display the world's biggest Apache Tear.

We got to Superior to soon discover the World's Smallest Museum was closed. Jake was determined to see the supposed world's biggest Apache Tear, so we opted to visually break in to the museum via looking through a window.

Looking through the World's Smallest Museum's window Jake was able to see the Apache Tear display and was able to determine that the World's Smallest Museum's Apache Tear was bigger than Jake's biggest Apache Tear.

After the museum visit our driver pointed the under powered Honda to a hilly mountain road, with a HUGE copper mine operation our destination goal. We got to the copper mine to find the access to the copper mine scenic overlook was closed.

Even so we were able to see a lot of the HUGE mining pit and the giant piles of earth which had been removed from that pit. We explored a couple of company towns which we assumed were occupied by those who work in the various copper operations.

I have seen copper pit mining type operations before. One near Ely, Nevada comes to mind. It was also HUGE, with big trucks making their way up and down the pit. Because we could not get to the overlook today we were not able to look into today's pit to see the giant trucks. I remember mining pits in Bisbee, which is also in Arizona. And one in Lead, South Dakota.

But this mining operation today was the biggest I have ever eye witnessed.

We are planning on returning to the Superior area to hike to some caves where we get to dig for Apache Tears, hoping to find one bigger than the world's biggest, currently in the World's Smallest Museum...

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Show Low Snow Switchbacking Salt River Canyon To Home In Arizona

Well. We made it to our destination. The roadtrip to that destination was far more adventurous than anticipated.

As in driving through some of the most torrential rain in memory.

And then, soon upon reaching Arizona, nearing the mountain town of Show Low.


Snow was something I did not anticipate. Hence totally underdressed. And cold during the multiple vehicle exits.

Being cold soon abated as the elevation dropped the closer we got to the Valley of the Sun. Where for the first time since leaving Texas we saw the sun.

The biggest surprise of this roadtrip happened soon upon leaving Show Low, via Highway 60. I knew via the map that this was considered to be a scenic route. I had assumed it would be the Painted Desert type of scenic.

Again I was wrong. Instead it was the Grand Canyon type of Arizona scenic.

A few miles west of Show Low we saw we were following along a canyon. At that point the canyon did not seem too deep or big. That soon changed. A road sign advised scenic overlook ahead, so I stopped to look over the overlook. That is the view you see at the top. This was to be the first of many scenic overlooks.

Several miles later a series of long switchbacks took us to a bridge across what I then learned was Salt River Canyon. Or, what I later learned my sister referred to as Grand Canyon-lite.

That bottom of Salt River Canyon location had a rest area on steroids visitor center. I decided this was a good location for a crackers and cheese break. Til I stepped outside and decided it was too cold to sit at a picnic table.

From the rest area I look down from the over look to see what you see below.

A group at the edge of the Salt River. After a walk across the old highway bridge which had been turned into a pedestrian bridge I decided to go down the stairs you see below to join the group above for a closer look at the river.

It had been years since I had had the opportunity to run up and down stairs such as those above. Wait. Just remembered I ran up stairs summer of 2017 when I was in Arizona, in downtown Phoenix. Arizona has a lot more vertical opportunities than mostly horizontal Texas.

Above I am at the Salt River Canyon bottom, and those are those people we saw from the overlook, posing for photos. They were taking a lot of photos. Above them, on the canyon wall, that brown streak slicing diagonal is the road we had been rolling on a few minutes prior. The route from the canyon bottom up the other side looked real treacherous with multiple switchbacks.

When I was on the pedestrian bridge a guy asked me to take a photo of him and his family. I told the guy that this canyon was a total surprise to me, that I wondered why I had never heard of it. Told him it was far more impressive to me than the famous Million Dollar Highway one drives when heading north from Silverton, Colorado. Or the Highway to the Sun in Glacier National Park.

The only road I recollect driving on which was more adventurous than this Salt River Canyon drive is the Moki Dugway in Utah.

The Moki Dugway is a relatively short one way, unpaved descent. The Salt River Canyon descent and ascent was many miles long.

Above is a look from the Salt River Canyon bottom up at those aforementioned bridges. The closest one is the old bridge turned to pedestrian bridge.

Both bridges were built over water. And I suspect the construction took way less than four years. People in Fort Worth know to what I refer.

I am sort of in recovery mode now that I am settled in my new abode. Figuring out how to operate the kitchen last night was a different type of adventure from treacherous driving.

I have no clue what we are doing today. Might go see Spencer Jack and Hank F's grandpa, also known as my little brother...