Everybody needs a break sometime

Heather and I have been down to the southwestern US for the last 3 weeks and we have just returned. It was our first “holiday holiday” since retirement so we were both really looking forward to it. It was raining when we left and it was raining when we returned and apparently most of the time we were away as well. Good timing for sure. We first headed down to Utah to visit family and then continued down to Yuma, Arizona to just relax and hang out. It was the first time we had travelled through Eastern Washington, Oregon, Idaho and northern Utah. Gotta say it’s pretty flat.

We took a couple of days to get to St. George where I delivered the “Suncatcher” statue that I had done for Mike and Patty and spent a couple of days there hiking and hanging out.

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Suncatcher at its new home
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Snow Canyon – Lava fields
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Snow Canyon – White Rocks trail
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View from Snow Canyon
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Spectacular red rock

We were fed like royalty and Mike made a fantastic smoked brisket for us the night before we headed south and we headed on to Yuma with a big chunk of “travel brisket” which kept us fed for a few extra nights.

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Stumpy the Smoker – My new best friend
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Fantastic Paella

In Yuma we settled in to our little place and I did a bit of cleanup and painting. Heather and I relaxed, did some major pool time and did a bit of bit of hiking and some sightseeing. Temps were in the low 90s and lots of blue sky. Not bad weather for a vacation. We hiked Telegraph Pass got a great view of the Valley one day. As we were going up a hundred or so US Marines were coming down. All in a days work I guess.

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Telegraph Pass – Looking East
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Telegraph Pass – Great view from the top
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Heading back down

We also visited the Yuma Territorial Prison museum. The prison was open from 1875 to 1909 and didn’t really look like a place I’d want to spend any time. Especially with no A/C. Another day we took a trip to Los Algodones, Mexico. Algodones is about 20 minutes from Yuma and was a fun little sidetrip. Lots of cheap prescription drugs, dentists and optical shops. We parked on the Arizona side and walked across and explored for a while then stopped, had lunch and headed back across the border. We had a bit of a wait to cross back into the US, but one fellow we talked to said that later in the winter season the line to get back across can be hours long. Good thing we were there early in the season.

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Yuma Territorial Prison cells
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6 to a cell
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What’s lunch in Mexico without a Margarita?

All in all a really nice relaxing trip. A lot of people were just coming in to the park for the winter season and we met met a bunch of really nice folks while we were down there. We’re looking forward to going back soon. We felt that even though we had the freedom to stay down longer, it was time to come home but maybe next time we’ll do an extended stay. I did pick up some ideas for some new projects while we were away. I’m feeling refreshed and itching to start on some new stuff.

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One of the many metal pieces I got to see

And what did I do when I got home? Bought a Lincoln TIG 200 Square Wave welder. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, right? I think I’ll wait to talk more about it when I get a little more proficient. Practice time!

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