Hiking an Arizona desert after a rainstorm…part two.

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Once we headed back from walking Waterfall Trail at the White Tank Mountains, we decided to drive around the park, which is huge. The rain clouds were all around the mountains. It reminded my husband of Ansel Adams photos from the 80’s.

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There were a couple photographers out that morning taking photos. Every now and then we could see them by the sides of the road setting up their shots and shooting away.

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The second trail we decided to walk was called Wildlife trail.

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This trail came with a windmill.

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When we asked a grandfather and his grandson walking back from the trail what was over by the windmill, his reply was really funny “A dirty pond” and I started laughing. Arizona rainstorms create dirty ponds everywhere, but all our cattle we have out here and also all the other animals around don’t seem to mind their water with a little dirt. Water is so precious in the desert.

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We all headed out to see this dirty pond at the end of the trail and yep…it was pretty dirty looking. But I still loved it. Guess I am weird like that. I wouldn’t jump into this water hole though, not even as a child. I only jumped into desert ponds that had moving water in it. I mean, YUCK…even a kid can see this is not the kind of water you want to hang out in. But it still had a look to it and there was still beauty in this dirty pond.

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The windmill was really cool.

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And there are benches around the pond so you can just sit there listening to the birds and bees all morning if you like.

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There was a little field of yellow flowers around the pond, so the bees were buzzing everywhere. It was so pretty.

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There were all kinds of beautiful desert plants out to see up close. My son took this photo of a mushroom. Restless roots, that ones for you guys, love your mushroom shots from Nova Scotia…here is one of ours from Arizona.

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We hung out by the pond for awhile, then decided to go have some lunch. I packed sandwiches, fruit and water.

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I also brought a bunch of my coloring books I got for Christmas. I don’t usually have time for these but since the surgery I started on some to de-stress. And you know, this is fun…coloring that is, and it does relax you. Now if only I could knit or crochet, heard that is very relaxing too.

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I also printed up some free sheets to color online and even got my son to color along with me, although I think he would die of embarrassment if anyone found out he was coloring with his mom but hey, he seem to also enjoy it. So the moral here is just do what makes you feel happy…it’s all good in the end.

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After eating lunch, reading and coloring for awhile we decided to head to the visitors center in the park.

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The visitors center is right next to a library. If you are from out of state you can still visit the library and read books there, even though you can’t check them out. The library has huge windows all around it from floor to ceiling, so it is like you are sitting in the middle of the desert.

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I have sat here catching up on magazines watching a baby hawk and mother in the distance (there was a sign posted about it by the nest outside) and it was such a beautiful site, I will never forget it. So if the library is open, go inside, it is really nice.

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There is also a tiny used bookstore inside for anyone that needs a book to take with them before they head out to hike one of the trails on the mountain. Having a good book to read, hanging up high on a mountain boulder with a view, well lets just say, that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

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If you have little ones with you, don’t miss taking them here. They have critters around in glass cases to see like scorpions and information on the area.

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It’s also a gift shop filled with all kinds of Arizona souvenirs. Like these scorpion pins, soup bowls and handmade art from some of the local artists from the area.

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I always tease my kids when we are around these types of gift shops and we come across these rocks “ My whole room had these everywhere when I was growing up” I tell them. I could never have enough of these little shiny colorful stones.

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There’s a ton of information on the park and the native Americans that used to live in the area. This would be a fun field trip for any of you home schoolers out there.

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Don’t forget to check out one of our desert tortoises on the way out. You can adopt these if you are in state. You have to have the proper surroundings before you are approved for adoption. They are kind of fun to watch, especially when eating.

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Hope you all enjoyed our mini day trip adventure. Have a great week, from all of us at Our Little Red House. For more information on the park click here (https://www.alltrails.com/lists/white-tank-mountain-regional-park) Happy adventures everyone.

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanya Kohl says:

    I love this! Wonderful pictures! 🤗🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Thought it would be fun to show you all some of what our life is like here in our state. Right now the weather is perfect but I would never recommend coming during our summer months, it is just too hot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post and the pictures are lovely! I especially like the wind chimes so now I gotta find one. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, we have rocks and gems all over this state that they make all kinds of wind chimes and home decorations with. They are very pretty, especially when the sun comes through them. I always love seeing the different souvenirs from all around the world that other artists in other countries sell.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dandelion B says:

    Very dirty pond lol. Beautiful place looks like,for tourists and locals. I too got adult colouring books for xmas and just couldnt get into them, I prefer print outs from online like kids pictures to colour lol. My kids would never colour with me they hated arts and crafts as kids and still do…even though they were all raised from infancy doing crafts with mom, you’d never know they are my kids.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My kids are the same way. They grew up on arts and crafts, wish they did more of that in our schools. It is kind of sad how they have taken a lot of creative things out of schools, at least in our schools here in Arizona. Always love looking for free pages to print up and color online. When I volunteer teaching arts and crafts to some of the rancher’s kids up north (they don’t have programs like that in the middle of no where) I always have printed coloring pages for them to color as well as a craft project.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dandelion B says:

        School here too is boring in my eyes. No more after school clubs either really. I have 3 boys but even the one girl her idea of hobbies is socializing and fashion lol.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That is so sad. I saw a news clip on how Sweden has these programs where the little kids learn by being and playing out in nature. I wish we started doing that here. When my kids were little I always let them go outside and play when we home schooled them, which is not easy to do but there were some fun times too. My kids used to love playing in mud. I know some people would be shocked at that but mud is fun to play in. I would just spray them down with the garden hose when they were done.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dandelion B says:

        Simple times I agree..they call it unschooling I believe and we have been doing that with our youngest for the past 2 months. He is a much happier child we should have home schooled him from day one I think

        Liked by 2 people

      4. It is better, especially when what is going on now in our public schools. Some of our family members were upset when my husband and I decided to home school and said we were making a huge mistake. My son was not speaking and now he not only speaks but reads, writes and is attending college and getting straight A’s. My daughter is also in college and doing great with A’s and B’s , even in her anatomy class which is really difficult. I can’t believe she can retain all the information when it comes to remembering all the parts of the body. I wish more people would see that sometimes home schooling is good for children too.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Dandelion B says:

        Weve gotten mixed opnions or what i call politically correct smile and nods. We are doing what we feel is right for our child and its all that matters. Now there alot of social media groups available I thank the universe for, i can ask questions and get support from those who educate like us. And your right when we stepped back we looked at the school system and realized its very flawed it its one ways, it may work for most but not for all. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Yes, you are one of my people…you get it. Not all children learn the same way. My kids did not fit the mold the state run schools teach, so we had to pull them out, for our sanity and theirs. They have had better lives for it. There was some abuse going on in their situations. Even the school psychologist witnessed the abuse coming from one of my sons teachers. I was really concerned when he came home with a knot on his head and no explanation and since he was non-verbal at the time I couldn’t ask him. He was acting very scared all of a sudden when the bus would come to pick him up, so I pulled him out of that class and the school psychologists ended up leaving the district. I think she left because the district was trying to protect and cover up what was happening and they are very powerful…the teachers union. It was better for my family to get away from them and home school our kids instead. It hurt though that my own mother and mother-in-law were against it even after we explained abuse and the fact that our son would probably never start speaking with their one size fits all method of teaching. It’s a sensitive subject with me so I get very passionate about defending homeschooling in certain situations. There are some great teachers out there though, we just moved into a terrible district I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Dandelion B says:

        How eery we have simular stories. Our youngest was diagnosed with select mutism he too was non verbal until age 9 and then it was still very limited. (talked like a parrot at home once left the safety of home he didnt peep a word and his eyes were like a deer in headlights)
        He would come home so upset and he would tell us the lunch room lady was very rude and once called him a baby because she was being rude so he told her he was going to tell me what she was saying and doing. She too was let go after they tried to cover it up but I did not give up until I got the truth. (we are in the catholic system not sure if you have that there) he also has sensory prosessing disorder and never wears much clothes including a coat, he would get written up for difiance over and over because we did send a coat just in case he was cold in the winter and the teachers would tell him put it on or be written up and get detention…of course he wouldnt ..we even had doctors notes on file stating he is not to be pushed to put it on. We pulled him this year for our sanity and his as well he refused to go because of the mental abuse he felt. He is 13 and I can slowly see my little boy agian..the one who was innocnet before being forced to be “normal” made him misrable. I prepared myself for the hate so far nothing to our faces but when we mentioned it off and on over the years we got the whole he needs be in school to get a job to make friends etc etc…I think people forget so many quit school and they find their way in life, as for friends its hard now days to form friendships with all the bullying anyhow and friends can be made many places SURPRISE THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL LOL besides in school they barley have 5 minutes to socialize anymore anyway.
        Thanks for sharing! I worry what his future holds but hearing simular stories to his and ours helps me so much.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Oh my gosh, your story sounds very similar to mine. When my son first started speaking sounds he would also just repeat words we said. It took many days, hours and years of sitting at a table doing ABA therapy, which I went to get trained for. Most of the school districts here in Arizona do the TEACH method and that just doesn’t work in my opinion (hope that one doesn’t ruffle feathers) ABA is a little more detailed and takes more time but it really works and I have seen so many children start speaking and being part of their families lives because of it. Those sensory problems are a nightmare to deal with because some of the teachers think kids just need to toughen up. Both my kids suffered from sensory issues and they would cry and scream when they were very little when water would touch them, the seams in their socks would drive them nuts and loud noises. So what does a mother do…everything she can to help her babies. I slowly desensitized them to our world a little at a time and blocked out all the people judging my family because of my children’s special needs (actually that was the easy part, blocking the haters) They wore flip flops or barefoot (Arizona weather is perfect for the socks sensory problem) ear protection for any loud events we went to, and I bought those little fans that squirt out water for them to play with to help with the water sensory problem. I had a lot of water toys and games that I did with them to slowly get them used to water. Bath time was a challenge in the beginning but if you fill a tub full of toys , slowly they got used to water hitting them a tiny bit at a time. Now you would never know my kids had to deal with those things when little, they are happy adults attending college. If I would have left it up to strangers in the public school system, my kids would still be stuck in that world I believe, so home schooling does work in some situations, plus they got socializing through an after school program run by our city that starts from 3- 6 pm Mon-Fridays. They played games, worked on homework, and crafts. It was really cheap too, like $50 for three months. I am big into saving money as you can probably tell by some of my post, seems like things are getting more and more expensive out there. So happy to hear your son is doing well too, keep up the good work and you are his mom so you will always know what’s best.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Dandelion B says:

        I think you and I could keep going back and forth and it would be mirrored stories. Thank you so much for this comment even more thrn before! Socks and shoes are a nightmare..baths and showers omgoodness it took almost a decade of baby steps for him to be ok with water, even swimming lessons at first he would scream as if he was on fire and yup we heard and did thr whole he needs just toughen up bit and get over this “fear” we have bad wintets here but he wore crocs for years and years, even when they became unpopular we would hunt for used ones. Back to school shopping was a nightmare and it took me many years to realize it is a nightmare for him too. He still has much of the select mutism and “hate” of leaving the house weve tried many many social clubs starting with mommy n me infant ones…the fear and anxiety was even present then. We dont push now, we use to. He does once a month a retro gaming night with dad her in town, ironically the host homeschools his children

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Wow, our stories are very similar. Every child is different and you already know that your child is a much happier person just getting to be who he is, so what your heart is telling you to do is the correct thing. Yeah, it is kind of sad that there are a lot of bullies out there, I blame social media. It is easy now days to be mean, there is no accountability for it because most of the meanness comes from behind a computer screen with no face to face eye contact. Think how much harder it would be for some of these bullies to look someone in the eye and be cruel to them…bet most of them wouldn’t have the courage to do it. Every day will get better with your son, just keep doing what you are doing and if he likes a certain pair of shoes then so be it, who does it hurt, no one. People who are afraid to just be themselves and always follow trends and rules are stuck in a prison of sorts and life is too short to worry about what others think, especially over silly things like that.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Dandelion B says:

    *flawed in its own ways

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not to worry, I got it. I am queen of typos.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Leah says:

    Temperatures are falling, days are getting shorter, and we’ve even had snow on several occasions. It’s almost time to pack up for the winter.

    We’ve decided to return to Arizona (among other states) this year. Reading blogs like yours and seeing your pictures of the desert are getting me pretty excited to get back there! Thanks. Here I come, cacti!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, you put a smile on my face. Arizona can be harsh in the summer but right now it is amazing and I love getting visitors here. The other day when we were hiking we came across someone from England. It is nice when others stop by for a visit, so glad our state is on your list.

      Liked by 2 people

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