Tuesday, November 27, 2007

snowflakes & saguaros

What a surprise when the snow began to fall yesterday afternoon. It came down in big, wet B.C. snowflakes, and before long God had cleaned everything up. Isn't it amazing how clean everything looks when it is blanketed in snow? It' s a good day for in-door projects.

But let's leave the snow and Christmas decorations for now, and take one last look at Arizona...the land of sunshine and saguaro cacti. We always see those towering cacti on photos, but I had never seen one from close up. They are the Arizona state flower (what?), and grow mostly in the Arizona dessert and in Mexico.

What I never realized is how big these cacti are. Many of them are over 25 feet tall (that means it's been around for more than one-hundred years)...with some towering as high as 50 feet and weighing 8 ton.


We visited the dessert museum near Tucson, where we could learn about everything dessert...such as, there are over fifty varieties of cactus growing in Arizona. However, we enjoyed our dessert experience so much more when we got right down and touched it.

We rode horseback through the trails of Catalina State Park...which was a wonderful experience. We wandered around the raw dessert near a rest stop and took some pic's of the mighty saguaro. That was a dangerous place...those cacti have a way of attaching themselves to you. We later spent a lot of time pulling cactus thorns out of our sandals with tweezers.

Jim & Kathy flew down from Manitoba and spent a week with us in the Phoenix and Tucson area. We spent four relaxing days at a Wyndham resort near Tucson, and then took a trip out to the wild, wild west.

Welcome to Tombstone!

After taking in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, we walked down the boardwalk to Big Nose Kate's Saloon. Kate (as we commonly call Kathy) was a little reluctant to pose under the sign...not sure why? Jim came out of that place with some great 'Kate' souvenirs. I don't think the bumper sticker will be appropriate for anything other than his tractor though.

We had a wonderful lunch at 'Big Nose Kate's', and enjoyed some great music while we dined...all in the company of some most interesting characters. The local sheriff ordered his meal but was called away before he had a chance to touch it. One splashy gal came and joined us outside for some pic's. It was rather fun to re-live those 'wild-west' days...which weren't all that long ago. In Tombstone all the original buildings are still standing.

We spent a few days in the Phoenix area before Jim and Kathy left for home. We visited dairy farms and factory outlets. And for our last hurrah...

we visited the U.S. Airways centre in downtown Phoenix.

Yup...that's Steve Nash on the lower left. Never mind that New York has the ball at the moment...the Phoenix Suns played a great game and came out on top!

It was a fun experience to be part of such an enthusiastic fan club, and a great way to end our Arizona vacation.

The following morning found Jim and Kathy packing to fly home. It looks like we'll be needing to make one more stop at a mall for another carry-on bag. That's what happens when the Canadian dollar is so valuable!

So that's it for Arizona...and saguaro cacti! We won't forget our experience anytime soon.

And now, back to the things at hand. Should I shovel those 'snowflakes' off the sidewalk or let nature take it's course?

Enjoy your day!


  1. As you can tell, not too much else to do...I thought I'd I'd see some refreshing snow pictures on your blog.
    Isn't it captivating?
    Great pictures of your Arizona trip. I recognize some of the people.
    I only wish I would of asked you to bring back a Steve Nash Jersey..
    That must of been so much fun!!

  2. Your holiday looks to have been so much fun. Those memories will be long in your minds. Looking forward to browsing in your scrap book next time we visit. (I know you can't get it all onto your blog) Now it's winter!! Your snow is melting, our snow is still healthy and white -- with -10 tonight and remaining in the minus all week, it may remain until Spring now. Now I wait for the aroma's of your Christmas baking to come wafting through our computer's - well maybe a recipe of two. Martha

  3. Another great tour! It's like old times to see all the sites. I can't even imagine how grown up Tucson must be in the past 28 years. Some things remain the same, I guess, like towering saguaros and Old Tombstone.

    Snow? Wow! It was so mild today that I spent the afternoon tipping (evergreen tipping) and looking for winterberries. I did wear my blaze orange, though!

  4. When it snows up here in Northern AZ...I'll take some pictures of snow on the cacti! It's just beautiful! Thanks so much for posting the pictures of AZ!


  5. What a great overview of your vacation ...it is a treat to experience someone else's vacation highlights and look forward to the "some day" of seeing the same sights as well....oh, for retirement (maybe a "semi-r" for farmers)....!


  6. What a treat for us to share in your Arizona trip!! Makes me see my home through new eyes and appreciate the uniqueness of Arizona all the more. Thanks Judy!
    And you must come back and hopefully we can connect over coffee... cuz I know we have sooo much in common and would be fast friends!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson