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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery Visit and More Wind Therapy 2017

Since we got to go to Christmas, Arizona last week, what better people to ask to go to the Monastery with us was our new friends from Oklahoma, Steve and Glenda.

Not only did they agree to go, they had a couple of their friends, and now our newest friends Butch and Marsha. 
It is a beautiful day for a motorcycle ride, and we are going to do just that.

The Monastery is only about 7 miles from our place, so it wasn't much of a ride there.

There are two monks standing by the main entrance, and we smile and wave as we drive by them.
The grounds are beautiful as we make our way to the parking lot.

As we enter the area, we are greeted by two ladies, and they explain to our group that the ladies have to wear certain clothing while visiting the grounds.
We had read about this, and weren't surprised by this at all.
What made us laugh, was the lady that got the skirts and babushkas for us was very serious about trying to match what we had on.

I think she did quite a nice job, but I think I would have picked a different skirt for be the judge. 

The guys were wearing long shirts and jeans, so their attire was already appropriate. 

During  the time that we girls are getting all fixed up, the guys are in charge of looking at the map of the grounds, and making sure they didn't go in an area that was off limits.

Chuck told us later that he looked up when the lady said we could proceed to the grounds, and he didn't even know who we were..  :) 

Glenda, Marsha and I could hardly control our laughter as we gazed at each other in total amazement. 
Every time we would see a reflection of ourselves, we would giggle!

OK, so now the shock is over, and we are ready to be totally amazed at this place.
It is really amazing to see what has been built in a mere 22 years. 
I have added a link for those of your that would like to check this beautifully serene spot of the world out. 

Each one of the four churches, the grounds that include beautiful gardens, orchards, and even olive trees (of which they press their own olive oil.) were totally amazing.

Some 47 monks inhabit the monastery and have a thorough day and night praying, work and rest. 
Our self guided tour was great, as we could make our way through the grounds at our own pace.

I can not say enough about this beautiful place of heaven.
A fine example of dedication and faith working in a harmonious community. 

We couldn't leave the area before going through the bookstore.
They not only sell books but they sold some of the wonderful olive oil they press from the orchard.

Glenda purchased some bread and pastries that the ladies were selling. 
We returned our clothing that they were so sweet to outfit us in and we started to leave.
The ladies reminded us to pick us some of the blessed lemons that they have by the entry.
They had been picked earlier this morning form the orchards.

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery has truly made a piece of heaven in the middle of the Sonoran Desert.

It is time to do some wind therapy, and Steve has found a road that he thinks we need to check out.
Park Link Road was spectacular! 
The saguaro and the desert are beautiful and look so untouched by the world.

There is a turn out and what a perfect picture opportunity of Picacho Peak.
After pictures, we make our way to I-10 and head towards Tucson.

It is time to think about eating, and I had noticed a billboard for Cracker Barrel, and I guess my mental telepathy was working because Steve took the exit and pulled right into it.

After a wonderful lunch (and a whole lot of laughter, as we reviewed our photo op at the Monastery) we go just about another mile and visit the Harley Davidson shop so I could pick up a gift for our grandson's birthday.

Back on I-10 but heading back towards Eloy, we make a stop at Picacho Peak State Park. 
We basically do a drive by, as we really didn't have enough time to check it out, so we will save this for another day.

It is getting close to 4pm, so we take the Eloy exit on I-10 and point the bikes towards Florence.
Oh but wait...Butch has mention that we should stop for refreshments at the Gallopin Goose in the town of Coolidge, Arizona.

Steve leads us right to it. 
We go to the outside seating and hear the story of this ill-fated bar.
Seems that this bar was on its last leg, and the Bar Rescue group from Spike TV rescued it.
Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out.

Time to get the bikes back before the sun sets.
We make our way down Cactus Forest Rd. to Highway 79.
The circle has been completed and the day was epic. 
Had a wonderful time with our new biker friends.  :) 
Thanks to all who participated....lets do it again....real soon!