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Friday, March 31, 2017

Digging for Apache Tears 3-31-17

The things you learn when sitting around talking to friends in the evenings.
Konnie and Jerry have been in the Arizona area for quite a while and they have some interesting things to share.

Konnie loves to make jewelry with rocks and she was talking one night about Apache Tears.
Of course I had to google it and find out even more.

The conversation has come up a few times over the last month and the main consensuses from Jerry is that the road that leads to the old mine has been cut off due to new road construction in the area of Superior.

Wayne tells us that he can get us into the area, and of course I want to check this out, as well as a few of the others in our little group!

The day is set for the dig and Wayne is leading a group of us to find the Apache Tears.
Jerry and Konnie didn't get to make this trip, as they had made a trip to Mexico and weren't back. 

Apache Tears are actually obsidian stones.
I will attach a link that is very interesting if you are interested. Learn about Apache Tears here

We aren't very far from the town of Superior, so the ride there was fairly quick.
We have 3 Jeeps going on this little expedition today, and although it is overcast and a bit windy, we are all excited to make the trip.

Wayne lead us down a one way dirt road that was fairly rough, so the 4 wheel drive came in handy.

We reach an area that looks a little more tricky, so the guys get out and explore the best way to go.

The route has been chosen and the Jeeps make their way down the steep trail and cross over a small stream.
Now we are only about a mile from the point where we leave the vehicles and make our way to the Apache Tears.

The area that we are going to has been closed for some time, but the big boulders in front of the old gate doesn't stop us.
The small hiking trail is littered with small pieces of obsidian and we are so excited to see them.
They are about the size of raisins.

Karen keeps saying to move along, as we haven't gotten to the good area yet.
We finally make our way to the opening of the old mine.
The barb wire on top of the fence (that has been cut open by someone else) doesn't stop this group from entering the area.

The sides of the mountain have been chiseled for quiet some time by the looks of it.
There are archways and pillars that hold up this area that we are in.
With our little picks in hand we begin chipping away at the rock to expose the obsidian stones.
 I can honestly say this is so much fun!

Ernie has found a very large stone and is working on trying to get it out of the rock without breaking it.
I think a person could actually spend a whole lot of time here just chipping away at finding these beautiful pieces of Apache Tears.

Chuck is outside the area we are all captivated with exploring around, and he comes back to  tell us about all the "caution" signs that are all over the place.
Sure didn't stop this group from digging though.

About an hour has gone by, and we all decide we really should go and find some lunch.
We had all worked up an appetite....LOL

Our tour guide Wayne gets us back on the main road and we stop at the local Mexican Food restaurant in Superior, AZ.
We always see a lot of cars and motorcycles at this place so it has to be good, right!

Karen and Wayne have been here before and she tells us that all the plates look the same when they come out of the kitchen (food that is), and she was right.
Even though we all got something different, they pretty much looked the same.....LOL

The lunch was very good, and the fellowship of this group was even better.
The laughs were abundant as we discussed our big dig of the day.
What a great day this has been.

As we got ready to leave, of course a few of us had to go to the restroom.
Bev comes back to the table and ask if we had noticed the "condom" machine in the ladies restroom.
She had my curiosity up for sure and I knew it was going to have to be a picture moment to prove to the others.
Bev and I get in line for the restroom again, and I say again, because I had already been but paid no attention to this curious machine.
Finally empty, Bev holds the door open and I take the picture.
We were giggling like school was a site for sure.

Back at the table of course everyone had to see the picture and discuss Bev's find.
Sure doesn't take a lot to keep this group entertained and that is one of the things we enjoy!

The meals have been paid for and it is time for these miners to get back to Desert Gardens with all our treasures from today.

We decide to take a different route back to the Gardens, and stop at a working mine along the way.
I had picked up a rock from this area a couple of weeks ago, and JoAnn says it is from the "dripping springs mine" looks like bacon, I kid you not!
The Jeeps were lined up at the mine so I had to get a shot of them.  Lookin good :)

Great adventure that I am sure we will take again in the future.
Thanks so much to Wayne and Karen for making it happen.
I really enjoyed it and I think the rest of the group did as well.

I now have to read up on how to tumble my "apache tears" and make them look awesome.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Poopin the Potato Chuck's Birthday Party 3-21-17

Looks like someone is getting a year older and I know just how to celebrate!
We are having a party for my awesome husband, and I have invited a few of our friends to participate in this event!

We have live entertainment by Jerry Skaggs and his harmonica.
We have a couple of games to participate in as well.

Poop the Potato was an absolute hoot and I highly recommend for any party...LOL

I even got a cute saguaro pinata for us to hit at and disburse candy...

Chuck got some really nice and cute cards from his fellow friends.

He also got a "snake fighting kit" from Wayne and Karen.

Danny & Linda got him a great sign for the lot....think it is fitting for this group.

Jerry and Konni gave him a "bullshit" detector, that was handed down from Jerry's dad.
I am not sure if that is actually what it is called or if Jerry made the name be the judge!  :)

What a great group of people to share an awesome birthday in the desert! 

So very lucky to have met up with this group of wonderful Snowbirds.

Happy Birthday to my awesome husband....
Love, Me

Thursday, March 16, 2017

In Search for Peridot 3-16-17

I tell you I have been bitten by the "rock hound" bug.
It is amazing to me all these beautiful rocks that are so close to us here in Arizona.
Our neighbor Bob and his wife Laura have been showing off some of their beautiful tumbled rocks,
and I am wanting to get me some.

It doesn't take us long to go to Harbor Freight and get a rock tumbler.
The process sure seems to take awhile, but I think the month of tumbling will be worth it.
Time will tell!

Jerry and Konni had spoke about the rock peridot, and they had my interest, as I remember this beautiful ring that my mother had made from the stone.

Jerry came by and asked if we were interested in exploring around the town of Peridot and see what we could fine.

Always up for a challenge, we load up Lil Bit and Jerry leads the way.
Our friends Ernie and Joanne decided they would follow us on our little adventure.

It was decided that we would eat at a little restaurant that we had tried a few weeks ago that was in the town of Globe, so we headed that way.
Sadly to say, it didn't open until 12:00 (crazy I know) and since it was only about 11am, we opted for plan "B".

Plan "B" was to eat at the Apache Gold Casino that was on the way to Peridot.
We had to make a few u-turns along the way, as Jerry couldn't decide which way he wanted to get there....
You know an adventure just isn't an adventure without a few u-turns....LOL

Konni said that the gift shop at the casino might have some peridot, as the mines are on Indian Territory and they are the only ones that can actually dig it up.

Lunch at the casino was OK...seems they need to work on their menu a bit, but hey we were hungry and it tasted pretty good.

As we  get ready to leave, we make our way to the gift shop.
The sign says "Closed" until 12:40pm.
Are you kidding me!!!!!
Looks like we have about 10 minutes to wait to go and explore the gift shop.

The shop reopened and we were in before we knew it.
They had a few pieces of jewelry made from the peridot, but nothing really excited any of us, so we left empty handed!

We regroup and head towards the town of Peridot, AZ.
It wasn't far!
Jerry turns down a road and we follow, just to make a U-turn and go back to the main road.
After we discussed it, Konni had seen a museum as we turned, and they decided to go back there and ask about the peridot we were searching for.

Jerry goes into the museum...and we wait....and wait...and wait.
Then Ernie decides to go in...and more waiting....then Jerry comes out.
He says that the gentlemen inside was going to try to get ahold of some of the local vendors and see if they would bring some of their jewelry up to the museum.
In the meantime we decide to go ahead and go into the museum.
Little did we know that when we got in there, and the guy saw that there were 6 of us, that there was a $5 a piece charge for looking in his museum.
Well, how about that....but that is ok....we paid up and looked around.
As we finished paying, a younger native American walks in and sits down.
The gentlemen that was taking our money ask the younger gent if he happened to have any peridot.
Guess it was our lucky day, because he said he did indeed have some in his truck.

Konni, Jerry, Chuck and I walk out to this guys truck, where he brings out this zip lock bag of chunks of tumbled peridot.
Konni stands there and picks her out several pieces and decides to purchase them.
We are told that there is going to be a gem show in the coming weeks in the Phoenix area, and he along with several others would have their wares for sale at this event.
I had to get a picture of Konni paying the guy for his rocks, because it looks like a drug deal to me....LOL

Konni was pleased with her purchase and we round Joanne and Ernie up and decide it is time to head back towards Florence.

I suggest we stop at the little gas station just down the road and get something to drink.
Much to my surprise, there is a few pieces of jewelry for sale at the station, and you guessed it....I found the bracelet that I had to take home with me.

What a great day, although we didn't get to actually dig for the peridot, we had to search...almost the same...but not quite.

There's Peridot in them hills.  :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Another Trip to the Quarry 3-11-2017

When you have so much fun doing something, you might as well do it again, right?!
That is just what we did.

Word gets around that there is a return trip to the quarry and we had a lot more interested in going.

We even have a couple of newcomers to the group.
Lori and her husband John decided to tag along and I think they really had a great time.

We pulled out of Desert Gardens at 9:00am and there were 7 vehicles in our group.
Mark and Martha lead the mule train back to where we had been the week before.

As we make our way down the paved road towards our destination, we notice a truck with what looks like fishing line attached to something in the sky.
Little did we know that this is the launching area for people that hang glide.
They are lifted to their desired height by the truck we saw, and when they are happy with the jet stream, they release the line.
This would be fun to watch, but we are all on a mission for rocks today, so we will have to come back to this area again sometime and watch the hang gliders.

I had to get a picture of the Octotillo that was blooming.
Just one of the beautiful cacti found here in the Sonoran Desert.
I call it a cactus, but it really isn't a true cactus, but I am told that the bright crimson flowers are really enjoyed by the hummingbirds.
They are so beautiful out here in the wide open spaces. 

As we make our way down the dusty one lane road, Jerry & Konni switch off with us and close a gate as we go back towards our treasures of the quarry.

As we entered the quarry, there was one hillside in bloom with some great looking wild flowers.
The lupine were spectacular. 

More rocks were found, and even some of the people that weren't even interested in rocks ended up picking some up.
I guess we are all becoming rock hounds....LOL

I can't say enough about all these great people....we have so much fun with them.
They are always happy and ready and eager to go! 
Guess this is what you get when you have a bunch of retired people....just happy to be here!

Wayne and Karen knew the way to the old stagecoach building, so they lead us out of the quarry.

"Stage Station and Homestead"

In 1879 the Southern Pacific Mail and Stage Line Company built a one room adobe station and mesquite corral. It was a horse changing and water stop on the route from the station at Pichaco for passengers going to Florence and beyond.

In 1913, rancher Juan Verdugo recorded it as a homestead; in 1917 he added a room and raised the roof. About the same time a ranch school was built to the north. In 1920 the property returned to the state. Later, area ranchers leased the land, using the building as bunkhouses and storage until the late 1980's.

Today you can still see the stage stop, the school building and the corral. The corral is still being used today!

Some caution may be required in this area as it is open grazing land. (ie cattle and what they leave behind.) It is also State Land.

We explored the old schoolhouse and checked out the corral.
Took a few pics and we are see the hunger bug was rearing its head.

Plans today for lunch are at Riverbottom Grill in Florence, AZ.
The place wasn't too packed when we arrived, and we got a great table outside.
We even had live music by a local band.

All in all it was a great day....and we even got some rocks!!!!
Now we have to go and unload...  :(

Thanks to all who participated. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Which Way To The Quarry 2017

Seems there are a lot of mountains in Arizona...hence there are a lot of rocks!!!
Great deduction you say....well, yes it was.

As our little piece of Arizona become more and more personal, we have made some nice improvements on it, but of course there can always be more, right!

As we walk around the lots in the park I have noticed quite a few beautiful turquoise colored rocks.
I have asked around where they are finding these, and the standard answer is "The Quarry".

Now that we have the Jeep, it would seem to be fitting to go to the Quarry, but where is it?

One evening at a block party we were talking to some friends and Mark of Mark and Martha speaks up and says, "if you want to go to the quarry, we can take you".
Words I have longed to hear....finally someone is taking pitty on me and going to make my day and show us the way to this abandoned Quarry!!!!!

I am here to tell you, I am not the only one interested because by the time the day arrives to go to the said quarry, we have 4 vehicles making the first trip.
You note that I say "first trip"....LOL

We follow Mark and make our way through Coolidge, AZ. and head towards Eloy, AZ.

We have to make a stop in Coolidge and get air for one of our tires that is showing it is low.
Oh no, is our day to the Quarry going to be ruined!!!!

We are going to go ahead and attempt to get there and back.
What is the worst that can happen?
We can have a flat out in the middle of the desert and change a tire...right! 

Before we get to Eloy, we make a left turn and head towards the mountains.
We travel at a snails pace across the dirt roads and pass a few cattle crossings and even see a few cattle along the way.

The rule is in Arizona, if you go through a gate that is open, leave it open.
If it is closed, go through and close it behind you.
Chuck and I are the last vehicle, so he gets out and closes them.
Such an interesting be on Bureau of Land Management land, or land owned by the State of Arizona.
The state owns a whole lot of the land, and the ranchers just lease it from the state. 

The day is nice and we open all the windows and take in all the desert can give us.
The road narrows, and we make our way to the Quarry.
Since Mark and Martha have been here several times, they instruct us on where to park.

Jerry decides to drive around to the other side of the quarry, so we follow.
We end up right in the bowl of the quarry...where all the loading was done when it was an active place.
We then proceed to pick out some really cool rocks that will live out the rest of their lives in our yard.

It doesn't take Chuck and I long to fill up our 5 gallon buckets with some really nice pieces. 
We have gotten about all we can carry and Konni comes out of an area and says she has found a lot of the turquoise colored rocks I had wanted.

Of course we have to check it out, and sure enough there are some really pretty rocks to be taken.
After we rearrange a bucket, we have some of the beauties I had been looking for.

Don, Donna, Jerry, Konni, Mark and Martha have gotten their rocks as well, so we start the trek back to the highway.

My cell phone is not working very well at all, and I had missed a few text messages from Martha, but she called and I was able to talk to her.
She asked if we wanted to stop at the Petroglyphs...Sure, why not!!!!

Not sure that I had ever really seen any petroglyphs up close and personal.
There was a couple of people walking around so I asked if they minded taking our picture.
We all enjoyed the little extra excursion to an interesting area in the mountains.

We are all getting hungry, so we make our way to the Gallopin Goose in Coolidge, AZ. for lunch.
I had mentioned the Bloody Mary's we had a few weeks back from there, so it was Bloody Mary's for all my friends except Mark.
He doesn't do tomato juice of any kind!!!!

The drinks were wonderful, and the home made chips that we had with salsa were really good.
Our waitress had NO personality, but she wasn't going to stop this group from having a fun time! 

Our food took forever.
Debbie Downer our waitress just got worse and worse. 
It is a good thing we were all in a good mood, but I can truly say she just blew her nice tip with this group.

The food was just so so, and probably won't be back to the Gallopin Goose anytime soon! 

Back home we all unload our rocks and smile at our accomplishment of the day! 
I am so ready to do this again!!!!
Any takers?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Renaissance Fair Arizona Style 2017

This month starts out with a trip to the Renaissance Fair, thanks to our friends Larry & Lesa.
Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out Renaissance Fair.

The weather is warm and perfect.
We stand in line and see all the gala that goes on before the gates open. 
The queen and king are speaking to their subjects, and the music is being played by the performers.
There is a man talking to a couple and he seams to have been here before, and we eavesdrop and learn a few things about when and where we should be in certain places.
The gates open at 10am and we make our way through the gates and begin our exploration of this venue.
There are a lot of vendors selling their finery, and one of the booths caught my eye.
We purchased two "magic" wands for the grand kids. 
I think they are going to love them.

If you like to people watch, this is the place to be.
One thing I noticed as we walked in this morning were all the people in the parking lot, in the backs of their car trunks putting on the costumes to blend into the era of the medieval years.

We had lunch and in true medieval fashion I had the stew in a bread basket. 
Chuck was eating a little more healthy and had chicken on a stick.
He said mine was much better than his.....  :)
Check out my medieval plastic fork!

It was a warm day, and guess who didn't bring any sun screen.
I looked into a parasol but by the time we got to that booth, it was about time for us to head back home, so I opted to just tough it out.  LOL

There is supposed to be a joust at noon, and we planned our early lunch pretty good.
We finished and went to find us the perfect spot to watch the joust.
The gentlemen that we had overheard telling another couple earlier was there and since we figured he was an expert, we decide to sit in the area of the arena that he is sitting.
I have to say, we did good!
So good that our Knight that was in our section won the joust.
It was fun to watch, and glad we got to see it.

Did YOU Know: (taken from the Renaissance Fair website)

Why did people hold jousting tournaments? They were often held as celebrations – to mark a victory in battle, or the signing of a peace treaty, or a royal wedding. Sometimes they were held during wars, to keep soldiers busy and to train them.
Did knights ever cheat? All knights were supposed to believe in chivalry – a code of honor, bravery and loyalty. But some knights did cheat by having their armor bolted to their horses. Others used jousting tournaments as a cover for murder!

We check out a few more of the vendors and decide it is time for us to be getting back to the house.
Chuck makes a call to Larry, our friend that got us the tickets and we met up with him for a minute to say "thank you" for making this possible.
It is impressive how they can get that many people into an area and keep the traffic moving so well.
Larry and Lesa we really do thank you for thinking of us and getting us the tickets.