Wednesday, March 10, 2010


We all got back from Mexico without too many hiccups, apart from the minor one where the computer ate Kate's electronic visa and she had to go redo it while we waited at the check in desk.
Maybe a coyote land crossing was still on the books after all.

We spent a week hanging around Flag doing the easy yet awesome day trips, then 4 days road tripping. It would have been 5 days but we were snowed in and I really didn't want to drive on the Highway of Snowy Doom and Semi Trailers till it cleared up. Though being snowed in is a kind of adventure in its self. Kate and Duncan went into town and I went sledding with the kids.

Did the usual showing off. Becoming a well trodden path, but one I never tire of.
I love living somewhere that is so interesting and diverse.

Sedona, red rocks, stunning vistas but what everyone loves is the woo. The Ye Olde UFO Shoppe was closed and reopening at a later date at a different solar system, but Crystal Magic will never die. We are not shy about expressing our opinions about "Who Built The Moon" "Learn To Shapeshift" and "Spirit Orbs, Digital Cameras and the Higher Plane" and I'm glad the kids seems to have a healthy skepticism and inherited a well developed mocking gene. We were quiet and mostly unnoticed in the shop lest we bring down the wrath of Ar'kithra Spirit Lord of the 288742 dimension and the Local Taco Shoppe. You don't want a smiteful Jalapeno on ya arse.
We had lunch at the Red Planet Diner...the only appeal and the only reason we went there was the kitchy alien theme. It was kinda cute but wouldn't really go for the food. It was diner food...nothing wrong with it per se. Though Kate did disobey the Prime Directive "Food bigger than ones head, usually turns out to be the carnivorous Snargtulfu from Beta 4 moulting from its Taco Salad instar". You can only point out page 27 of the handbook so many times....
Noooo its bigger than your head...back away
After our spaaaace lunch we went down the Camp Verde to Montezuma Castle. It has nothing to do with Montezuma, just the fact that the Spanish had no clue. It is a small site but a impressive 3 storey structure built into a cave high in the cliff face. Not for more the vertiginous pueblo dwellers.
There are sites dotted all along the Verde and Beaver rivers. It would have been a fairly nice place to eke out a living
Montezuma Castle
Another site we went to, which was new to me was Homolovi out near Winslow. Due to state budget cuts it was closing 2 days after we were there. The shop was having a sale so Kate stocked up on beautiful Kachina dolls and I got a couple of nice pieces. All the goods were made by the local Hopi, and the woman at the visitors center knew all the artists and could tell us about them and the history of the area. The site had been badly looted, and now its closed it probably will be again. Such a shame
Homolovi landscape. Looking at shards.
There was pottery shards everywhere, and we all had fun picking them up and marveling and the brush strokes and detail on some of them
Painted shards from history, Homolovi

My most favourite of pueblo ruins in this area is Wupatki. High desert, red and perfect blue. Volcanic cinder cones and the snowy San Fransisco peaks in the background.
Crazy blow hole hair, Wupatki
The blowhole was a' blowing. It was the biggest hit of the day with the kids.
Blow hole fun, Wupatki
It this day and age you think everything worth finding of archaeological coolness would be found or blown up by Indiana. But just least year some people were hiking up behind Wupatki when they found two large perfect pots buried in the cinders. They had them at the visitors center, and they are beautiful. What a find! How wonderful would that be.
Snowpea at Wukoki, Wupatki

We took the kids snowboarding. Their travel insurance didn't cover snow sports so they were under strict instructions not to break anything. Hal and Snowpea had never been before, James and Sam are awesome skiers but not much boarding experience. They all took a lesson, I did a few runs and the parentals chilled in the lodge.

Gnarly boardin' Grrls
After the lesson we met for lunch then spent the afternoon on the bunny hill having fun.
Hal got a bit discouraged but with another lesson I think he would be fine. Snowpea had a ball and was doing pretty good. She was so happy with herself. They all should be proud of themselves at trying and learning something new.
They all looked so cute in the snow gear.
Snowpea went again with Laura and the kids just before they left. She took another lesson and came home totally stoked at her gnarly skillz.
Snowboarding lesson. AZ Snowbowl.

Next post our roadtrip.

I miss them. There is so much more to see and it felt so comfortable and warm having them here.
Hal is here for 3 months attending high school on a exchange. He is doing well and is off camping for Spring Break. He is being awesome Kate, so rest easy. Playing more WOW than he probably should but its all good.
So far being Loco Parentis isn't too scary. Being responsible for a 15 year boy...hope I'm doing it right. Least he can dress himself.