Farewell to Beach Vendors

My constant companions here hustling Tshirts, wooden mugs,sunglasses,silver jewelry,cover-ups,beach bags,….

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Exploring My World – V bar V ranch

These are some of the 1032+ identified petroglyphs at V bar V ranch. The historical site is located right off I17 at the southern exit to Sedona. It’s east of the freeway by about 1 mile.

The V bar V was one of many ranches in the area. The family preserved the petroglyphs and donated the land. Red Rocks pass (same pass used around Sedona) can be purchased here. Its a level trail that is about 1500 feet from parking lot to petroglyphs. Morning sun will get you best pictures. And don’t wait till afternoon the hours are limited. They are open Friday thru Monday, 9AM to 3PM

This a Good Time to go Somewhere

My wife and I have a traveling problem. While I’m working, time and money are always a complication. Fortunately, there are airline price wars that have started. Of course, to where? Hawaii, Mexico, and Florida have great plane ticket prices. But Frontier and Spirit are pushing deals all over US.

Ok. I’m off to Puerto Vallarta. All inclusive, oceanfront room with air for about $1500 (5days/4nights) for 2 in a 3 star place. Last week the airfare was over $500 a piece! Why Puerto Vallarta? Price, swimming beach, never been there, really warm around Halloween,…

The original idea was Cabo San Lucas or Cancun. These were between $1600 to $1800 for 5 nights. Cabo offers less choices and no swimming beach. But plenty of water available with tours. For some random reason the flights arrived late and left early. Which costs you beach or excursion time! Tourism requires a little pre-planning.

But if you live East of Mississippi River, you can get great deals. Mexico a thought..Try planning a flight to Atlanta, Miami, or Tampa than find a vacation package from there to Cancun, Riveria Maya or Cabo San Lucas. When I lived in Ohio, a $70 flight & $90 hotel to Atlanta saved $500 on trip to Cancun. Of course New York or Chicago may offer deals as well.

If you lack passport or think speaking the local’s language is necessary, St Pete Beach has good fall prices for hotels (compared to Spring rates). Tampa had a nice sized airport and car rentals aren’t bad to deal with. Florida stays warm and had less tourists in fall.

Hawaii flights were $555 a piece to Honolulu (fron Pheonix, a moderate priced airport). Hotels are plenty but lower price means walking to beach a few blocks. I found decent rated Aston Waikiki Circle hotel that was $160/night (but $25 resort fee/night). Reviews tell of ocean views from most rooms. Waikiki hotels all have parking issues with added fees and available places. You should try to reserve a parking place before you get there! Yes, I’m serious. 750,000 people wedged between an ocean and three mountains makes space a premium. The beach will make you forget this. You can walk to a lot of shopping and restaurants. Maybe plan daily car rentals for trips out. Plan to get up at 6 AM to get tickets for a specific time to your Pearl Harbor or buy tour online before going to Hawaii.

Recently, traditional airlines have decided to take on the budget carriers for fall. If you thought about a trip somewhere, look this weekend. Sunday is not best day to price check airfare. Try Saturday or Monday mornings or afternoon for best prices and choices. Budget carriers have all kinds of deals. It may be Frontier thru Denver, for example, but the rates to smaller airports can be cheaper than gas to drive. My in-laws paid $79 for both to fly from Atlanta to Pheonix on Frontier. Tickets were bought 10 days in advance. So last minute maybe available cheap.

Enough reading, get out there! The world is waiting to show you something. Don’t let someone else steal your memories!

Meteor Crater- Exploring My World


What happens when a 150 foot wide chunk of Iron and nickel drops in on the Earth? You get a hole a mile wide and 500 feet deep! Welcome to Barringer Crater, aka Meteor Crater.  The crater is located 40 miles East of Flagstaff, AZ.  Its right off of Interstate 40. 

This is the windest place North of Antarctica! There is a steady 30 mph wind and it gusts well above that. But its the easiest to visit and best preserved crater around.  Most craters are eroded by water, in Northern Arizona not much of a problem.

There are three observation areas set up along the rim. Two are slightly below the rim. There is no access within or to the bottom. You get a fairly young (50,000 year old) feature that all the hallmarks an impact crater.  This is what the Moon surface is coveted with.  The astronauts actually trained here before going to the Moon.

There’s a movie telling the story. There are guided tours subject to weather.  The have a small display of other impact craters, meteor types, and video simulaions. You can put your hands on a 1400 pound piece of the meteor responsible for this whole thing.  

If you are in the Flagstaff area, its worth a stop even at $18/adult. This is a good add on to Sunset Crater or Wapitaki trips

Exploring My World – Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake is located 20 miles Northeast of Mesa, AZ.  It’s has a marina and several boat ramps.   And three roads into the area.   There are marked trails for hiking, atv’s and horses. This is part of Tonto Forest area and daily passes are sold off site year round in places like Ft McDowell, Mesa, and Jake’s Corners

And being there at the beginning of March, there are wildflowers. The area is loaded with cacti and cholla.

California Poppies
Wild Lupine
Globemallow

Roosevelt Lake-  Exploring My World 

An oasis in the High Desert. This impounded lake is surrounded by mountains and the stately Saguaro cacti.  Located about an hour and a half out of Pheonix this is an unbelievable drive and set of short hikes.


Of course,  those with a boat it’s prefect.   I have only an inflatable kayak…  The wife is funny about going out on a lake 350 feet deep in an inflatable craft.  There are 3 boat ramps and they are about 120 get wide and quarter mile long.   You can drive down them in a car,  just stay out if the way. 

There are several roads (some paved) that lead to the water.   I mean to the waters edge.   Which means be careful because you are alone here for the most part.   But several places give you the chance to be alone.   The Saguaro cacti are plentiful.  The views great on grey days.  
I can tell you there are cliff dwellings in a National Monument but they close at 4pm.  I missed out today.  


The Saguaro cacti take 75 years to start is first “arm”.  The one above is probably in the 200-250 year range.   It’s maybe 25-30 feet tall.