“Here we go, on the road again. Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway. We’re the best of friends. Insisting that the world keep turning our way,”
Well, we finally got up north. The fire had stopped and everything was good to go. Driving for three hours across a hot desert during extreme temps is no fun. We have a truck with air conditioning so that helps. It’s still smart to go in the early morning hours because it’s cooler. Sometimes regular travelers will go at night when it is dark.
I always get spooked when we travel at night. It’s pitch black out there. We’ve had a couple unexplained lights in the sky moments but we brush it off as an over active imagination, which everyone in my family is guilty off. Out here in Arizona some weird stuff happens. Some of us explain it away at campfires and spooky folk tales. Just weird events that don’t mean anything. We pass these stories down from one generation to another. I could tell some stories, some from my own experiences and that over active imagination of mine. Some are from my family and their own weird stories growing up out here in Arizona. But this is just a quick post on our trip up north the last week of July.
It was so surreal driving across a burned out desert.
I have never seen anything like this in all my years. All the deserts I have explored, as far back as my childhood, have never looked so sad. Fires are a horrible thing. I don’t need to tell you all that, you know. I guess the older you get and the more you live, you will experience it all.
We drove by a whole mountain that used to be green with shrubs and pine trees .Now that mountain is black… and just dirt. The part that wasn’t burned was so green . This photo doesn’t do it justice to what it is like in person. Green and black everywhere. I could photo shop what I saw to give you all an idea of the sharp contrasts between the two but I will instead allow your own imaginations to fill in those blanks, or should I say colors. Sad to see but also encouraging and beautiful at the same time. The mountain will come back, it’s strong. What it went through did not destroy it. We will see it covered in green again. Future generations from now, will drive by and never know that it looked like this at one time. Kind of like people out in the world. They look okay from the outside but inside is where all their strengths are from the battles they fought.
Everything comes back. I can’t wait to see the new mountain come Spring.
Once we got to the road that leads to Our Little Red House there was a huge sign that said no entry and a Sheriff was parked next to it. We explained we had property up there and needed to get to it. He let us pass and reminded us that the whole forest was closed. No stopping, and no getting out to walk or hike. We could only drive to our place and then get out. So many rules in this year of 2020, I am not really liking this at all.
This was so disappointing to me. I wanted to check out the swimming holes up by the creek. It might have been too dangerous because there are wild berries all around that area .When we have dry/drought conditions the wild animals starve and get aggressive. It’s rare, but it does happen.
Even if you are going for a quick jump into the swimming holes to cool off in the summer, you still have to be careful because of the wild animals looking for food. In town there was talk of the whole town being stalked by a mountain lion. The lions usually don’t get close to where people are unless they are desperate or sick.I knew we would have to stay alert on this trip when outside. I had not heard of rabies in the area, that is always scary to hear as well. One year up at Our Little Red House there were some reports of rabies in the area.
When we got to Our Little Red House we unpacked and stayed in for awhile until it cooled down. We have no air conditioning up there. When we first bought it the temps weren’t that high but lately it seems like every year it gets hotter. Now we might have to look into buying some sort of cooling system. We have fans but sometimes during the hottest part of the day it gets a bit uncomfortable. As a child my family had no air conditioning in the city so we cooled off by getting wet and sitting in front of a fan. I think that comedian Jeff Foxworthy calls that a red neck air conditioner. I believe that requires a block of ice in front of the fan though. Or all us kids would run through the sprinklers.
This trip was a very short one. We had to get up at 4 am to water, feed, clean the pool and pack everything here in the city. We finally were able to leave after 7 am and we still forgot some items to help us with repairs up north. That is so frustrating when that happens. Anyway by 7 am the temps here in the city were already in the high 90’s. We were already exhausted by the time we got to Our Little Red House in the country.
We rested for a couple hours during the hottest part of the day and then got up to work on outside repairs.
We only had one day to get things done. The windows around Our Little Red House had been damaged by the Winter storms. All the trim around them had to be replaced. While my husband worked on the windows I painted the new trim to weather proof it. We also brought up some trees and plants to plant. Our neighbors up there are going to help us get a garden growing there and even suggested we get a green house going as well since it does snow there. All our neighbors are building and getting green houses ready. They even planted a couple apple trees on property. Such a nice surprise. They are baby trees but hopefully they will grow mature. While we are away our neighbor said he will take care of our garden plants.
So many projects to work on. A chicken coop. A quail house, green house, garden, finish the mud room, build a wooden porch for the back of the house and repaint the trim and outside. Whew…I am already tired.
After we did what we could in the short amount of time we had we had a chance to visit our neighbors across the street from 10 ft away. I wonder if the whole town heard me speaking loud enough for my neighbor to be able to hear. Stupid pandemic and all it’s paranoia and fear that comes with it. Well, if the whole town heard me then they got an ear full. At least I was the entertainment for the night.
It is always nice having a real conversation with someone about how messed up things are in the world and how shocking it all is. It was a moment where we all were saying the same things…so refreshing.
No hate, especially political hate. We were all united in our conversations and we all came to the same conclusions…turn off those darn televisions and get out there and live our lives. Our neighbors told us that even though the cities have all gone off their rockers, that at least up in the country everything is same old same old. They suggested we pack up and close shop in the city, Spend some time in the country, hang out with the elk and crickets. Sounds like a good plan to me.
We sure can talk. It was getting late though and my son had cooked pizza for everyone again, a tradition now, so we wrapped it up for the night and called it a day. Told our neighbors we would hopefully see them again in a couple of weeks. We were so exhausted we did not even have time to have a family VHS movie night.
Got up the next morning early. My husband and I were up at 3 am. We both woke up at that time. My husband wanted to start packing for the trip back to the city but I told him lets rest some more. We have to leave early to beat the extreme heat in the city. We ended up leaving at 5 am instead of 4 in the morning.
Saw a baby skunk, a couple of squirrels, one deer and lots of elk. The bull elk was so huge that my husband thought it had to have been a record with all the points it had on it but then when he got home someone from up north sent out a photo an elk about 8 miles away from our area. I told my husband it looks fake, “ Like no way, that is monster size”. The elk do get huge up there. Sadly no photos to share with you all because I never have my camera ready when the wild animals pop up out there in the woods while we drive through it.
Before we got back to the city my son and I collected some more aspen branches. Where we collect branches is in an area that gets more rain so it was not closed.
You all have seen this aspen section enough in my post. I love sharing the different seasons from this spot, it is one of my favorite places to be in the world. The woods where I collect branches is always so quiet and peaceful and right across from my favorite spot is a beautiful lake with a little wooden bridge.
I didn’t go exploring the lake area though because I spent too much time collecting branches. I was also really exhausted from the day before. Otherwise I would have explored the lake and taken more photos. Aspen and birch wood branches are so pretty for holiday decorations.
Once we were half way through our trip the radio announced that there was a train derailment in our route, which caused a fire and explosion. No one was seriously hurt thank God. My husband and I realized that if we would have left earlier we would had probably been there when the derailment happened, we will never know thank God. Glad we left later. We just took a different route to avoid the traffic and smoke.
When we got back to the city we still had work to do before the heat got too intense. Water everything, feed and water the birds again, and then laundry from our trip up north plus unpack food and all the items we took with us up north. It was a very long 48 hours lets just say. Until next time, happy road trip adventures every one.
I am off for the month of August, Thank you so much for your visit, likes and comments. Stay safe out there everyone and God bless you all from all of us at Our Little Red House.
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