Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 4 - Sneaking in some Rides

Joanne and I shipped our old mountain bikes to Mom & Dad's place for a new home in the sun.
It was an excellent surprise to find that there are TWO great trail systems within 3 miles of Mom and Dad's home in Mesa, AZ.
We did a 16 mile loop on the easier Ussery Mountain Park trail sytsem on both Friday and Sunday.
We had to bundle up a little, but it was sooooo nice to be able to ride out in the sunshine and not freeze our butts off!
Pretty much all of the plants will scracth or poke you.  I was so glad Joanne thought to make sure we put new Stan's tire sealant in before we started riding.  She pulled out a 2" cactus needle out of a tire on Sunday, gave the tire a spin and off she went - no problem!

I am thinking that we need to plan a private Sonaran desert tour next winter and try several trail systems !

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 3 - Sharing the Love of Paris

Kev, Marla, and Jordy have a GREAT dog named Paris!

Paris clearly loves Kev the most, but she is incredibly mellow, and when she gets over her shyness she comes over to share the love!
Joanne and I got to go along for Paris's walk to the vacant mansion on the hill next door.
It has the steepest road I have ever seen to the top, has incredible views, and was fun to look down onto their house below.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 2 - Sharing a Present

Jordy got a cool trampoline from Santa Clause and was insistent that she share it with Joanne and me.

Joanne loves jumping on a trampoline, so it was not a hard sale! 
Pretty soon, I got into the action as well.
After a couple pathetic tries at a seat drop....
It quickly degraded to general rough housing!
Which was a lot easier on me than trying to perfect a seat drop!

It was a wise gift by Santa, I am sure that it is going to get a ton of use, and it will be fun to see what tricks Jordy can do the next time we visit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Arizona - Part 1 - Christmas Eve Bonfire

Joanne and I had a wonderful time enjoying Christmas in Arizona with my parents, and my sisters' families.

It started out with a Great Christmas eve meal at Marla, Kevin, and Jordys. 
Followed by a bonfire!

It was very relaxing,and it seems that the whole family enjoys sitting around a fire!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hard to Beat

Hard to beat a warm sunny day with dry trails and a mountain bike ride with a December!
Jeffrey and I took a loop on Erin's trail north of Golden. 

That is what we call it, since Joanne was not along to remind us of the proper name, and it was Erin's first mountain bike ride.
I love the rolling golden grassy hills, and Jeffrey's ever optimistic / happy attitude!

What is even better is that there is another trail across the highway we haven't even explored yet!  We are pretty blessed with a great variety of riding opportunities here!

I know we are probably walking into another drought, but it sure is sweet to go on a ride in the winter!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Longing to go outside and stalk the birds!
But, unfortunately moms says it is too COLD !!!
Fritz, is even trying to figure out how to wear a down jacket.

All of us cannot wait until there are longer, warmer days to play outside in!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Very Different Winter Vacation

Joanne agreed to go on a very different vacation with me this winter.

Defensive hand gun training.

So, we packed our gear, flew into Las Vegas, and drove an hour NW to the Frontsight defensive weapon training facility for 5 long intense days of training with a hand gun.

Frontsight claims to train more people in a year than all of the other training facilities in the US combined.  It is a very large facility and the average amount of attendees every day is about 300 to 500.  But the classes are broken down to no more than 40 people per range.

 The outdoor on range training is done by three instructors for forty students.  Twenty students on the firing line, with the student's training buddy standing behind them as a second coach in the 2nd wave.   So, you get to watch your buddy go through the exercises and get the advantage of their corrections when you are on the firing line.

The instructors are very skilled, and used to dealing with novices to experts.   The training outdoors is pretty fast paced, yet very controlled for safety.   They thow out a lot to learn, and yet after just two days I can already see how much more comfortable and proficient Joanne has become.

Unfortunately the indoor class room training is painfully slow and boring.  It is all I can do to keep Joanne from shooting her self from boredom....  I keep telling her this is pretty good compared to most of the stuff I had to sit through in the milityary.  Although tedious to sit through, a couple topics have changed my perspective on several things, and much more to the passive side of things, rather than aggressive.

The days are pretty long.  We get on sight aroung 7 am and start to leave around 7pm, or about a 12 hour day. 

Hand gun training is definitely not Joanne's kind of thing, not her first choice on the adventure list, and probably not on her do again list.    I realize that I am pretty lucky that she even agreed to come and be my training partner!

I wonder how long it will be before I get to pick the next vacation .... LOL!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's always better when your breaking a rule

Our basement and guest bedroom are normally off limits for the cats.
But since Joanne was suffering from a cold and coughing for hours when she lays down, I have been using the guest bedroom.  

Along with our rule breakers - Rex and Fritz. 

They swear my Mom's quilt it is the BEST!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two Weekends without Dabbing! :)

My favorite mountain biking trail is South Table Mountain.  We can ride to it right from our house, and it is not too hard technically.  
( although about any trail can send to you to the hospital )

The dry weather so far has allowed me the opportunity to sneak in a ride the last couple weekends, while Joanne is healing up from her wicked clold!
I am especially happy that I have done the Ancient Palms Trail on the NE corner two weekends in a row without dabbing! 
( Dabbing = putting your foot down because it was too hard or scary )

Since it has been cold, I only see several riders and a handful of hikers, so it is like have the whole place to yourself!  
The only thing that would be better is to have Joey tagging along!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It is always a treat to come home and see someone has been using our adjustable height basketball hoop.
Joanne and I have one of the few flat driveways in the neighborhood, the only adjustable basketball hoop,  and a driveway that you can jump off in a couple directions, so we openly share our driveway with the kids in our neighborhood.

Two simple rules.  First, if you are on wheels, which includes skateboards, bikes, and scooters you have to wear a helmet.   Second, try not to break things.   I know that with boys, that can be a challenge, so that is why I say "try" and have a talk when I see they throwing rocks, etc.
We are lucky that we have a bunch of young kids in the neighborhood and have about 16 years before the current batch is out of highschool.  They grow up in a blink of the eye, but we really enjoy having them around while we can.

Occaisionaly we even get to barge in for a game of pig!