Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good-bye, Sedona

Good-bye, chairs. 

No more stitching in the sunshine by the juniper-pinyon oasis.

Good-bye, red rocks.

Good-bye, flowers.

Tomorrow morning we hit the road for the long drive back to Gig Harbor. We had a good month of hiking and eating and visiting with friends and relatives.

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 27, 2017

Keith and clouds

I rarely have photos of my son, Keith, in the blog, because he lives in Wisconsin and I only see him a few times a years. But he came out to visit us in Sedona, so now I get to catch up.

We hiked almost every day in the red rocks, but one day it rained so instead we went south to visit the cliff dwelling called Montezuma Castle. 

Southern Sinagua ("without water") native farmers built the five-story, 20-room dwelling sometime between 1100 and 1300. Early American settlers assumed that it was Aztec in origin, hence the name Montezuma Castle.

Keith in front of Montezuma Castle.

The next day we hiked along the creek on Munds Wagon Trail and were treated to some waterfalls and nice pools of water from the previous day's rain: 

And then there are the clouds, which I have to work into a post before we leave. Here are some:

Sunset view from our rental house.

Sunset from Airport Mesa, where everyone goes to see the sun set.

Interesting cloud formation yesterday afternoon.
Anyone know what it's called?

We only have a few days left here and I've come down with a nasty cold, so I don't know how much more hiking I'll get in. I think today I'll stay home and sew and send my husband off on an adventure by himself.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Yoga in Sedona with Rachel

Hand to Big Toe pose -- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
I haven't done yoga since I left for Sedona three weeks ago because I only like to do it in class. But my daughter-in-law, Rachel, is a yoga teacher, and she's visiting us this week. So I asked her to do some yoga poses on our hikes -- that way I haven't totally lost the yoga connection! 

Crow pose, or Bakasana

I can sorta do the top pose, but the next three require way more arm and core strength than I have. She's young and I'm not, or at least that's my excuse.

Eight Angle pose, or Astavakrasana

Flying Splits pose, or Eka Pada Koundinyasana

This next one, Tree pose, is more my style.

Tree pose, or Vrksasana

And what fuels this vegan yogi? Here's her breakfast: avocado and almond butter toast with a banana and strawberries. Yooooom.

Have a healthy day

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hiking the Hiline

Yesterday we hiked the Hiline Trail in Sedona then spent today recovering. I think it's the heat and sun that are wiping me out, because the four-mile round-trip part wasn't that bad. It had an elevation gain of about 500 or 600 feet, but it wasn't too, too steep.

It's a hiking and single-track mountain bike trail that hugs the face of the red rock. We encountered quite a few mountain bikers, and I think they're all crazy.

In the photo above, the light strip in the center is the highway, which is near where we started our hike. So you can see that we went up quite a ways. 

At the top is a 360-degree view of surrounding rock formations and blue sky. Dave spent awhile checking out the topo map, comparing it with the formations spread out before him. He loves maps.

I spent our time at the top sitting on a shady rock taking photos and soaking in the views.

Going down was a LOT faster than going up! This morning my legs said they wanted to rest, so we did a car trip to Williams -- where the quilt store that was supposed to be open wasn't -- and to the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Great museum -- more on it later.

View from the top of the Hiline Trail.

Have a colorful day

Monday, March 13, 2017

A lazy, sunny, Sedona day

Today has been a lazy, warm, sunny Sedona day so far. I feel sorry for those of you experiencing the snow storm in the Midwest and Northeast. And the forecast for my friends back in Washington looks awfully rainy. Wish I could send some of this weather out to everyone.

I started the day by deciding NOT to hike because we were still having coffee at midmorning and the forecast called for a high near 80, which is hotter than we like for hiking. So instead, I stitched.

I've been embroidering my wool appliqué flower blocks. Next I'll do some beading.

Then we left the house and meandered through Tlaquepaque, which is a collection of galleries, shops and restaurants designed with a Mexican village feeling.

The tiled fountains and desert cacti are definitely a world away from Gig Harbor, WA.

Next to Tlaquepaque is Creekside, our favorite restaurant. We sat on the back deck, with a view of the red rocks and the creek bed. I had French toast for lunch, just because I could. Tomorrow, I'll hike it off.

 Have a colorful day

Friday, March 10, 2017

Prescott with Tie Dye Judy

On Tuesday I hit the road with my blogging friend Tie Dye Judy from Flagstaff for the fifth year in a row. Seems like just yesterday that we first met! This year we went to two quilt stores in the Prescott Valley, then found a wonderfully colorful gallery in downtown Prescott just up the street from our favorite lunch place.

First stop was the quilt store Cost Plus, which has a nice selection of cactus fabric (above) and fabric in general at good prices. I liked the Western-style couch near the books.

Then we stopped at Quilt N' Sew Connection, where I spotted two of my favorite things -- bunnies and chocolate -- at the check out counter. 

I bought a book that's new to me, "The Art of Whimsical Stitching" by Joanne Sharpe.

Techniques covered in the colorful book include fabric painting, dying, embroidery, collage, stenciling, free-motion stitching, fused lettering, needle felting and more.

Then it was time for lunch. We've gone to El Gato Azul before and knew it was good, so we went again.

The waitress's shirt shows how Prescott is pronounced by the locals.

I had a muffuletta panini and side salad -- delicious!

We wandered up the street after lunch and commented on the name of this gallery, Van Gogh's Ear. Luckily for us we decided to go in. Wow! Great artists and very colorful art! 

One of the owners was wearing these shoes carried in the gallery. They're hand sewn and painted by his daughter and son in law. If I didn't have wide, hard-to-fit feet I would've considered buying a pair.

Judy and I were also drawn to the scarves, naturally. The owner was super friendly and everything in the gallery was beautiful. Go if you're ever in Prescott.

 Have a colorful day

Monday, March 6, 2017

Today's hike: Long Canyon

The beginning of Long Canyon Trail.
We've settled into a hiking routine in Sedona that goes something like this: have leisurely coffees at home, hike hard, go to happy hour for drinks and snacks, collapse at home, dinner. Repeat. 

Today's hike was a six-mile round-trip hike through beautiful Long Canyon in the Secret Mountain Wilderness. Terrain includes the creek bed, sand and cacti, shady groves of Arizona cypress and alligator juniper, tall oaks, soaring rocky cliffs and mountains, and Indian ruins.

Alligator juniper bark in Long Canyon.
The ruins are quiet and peaceful. Every year when we do this hike, we stop here for water, a snack and rest while imagining the inhabitants hundreds of years ago sitting in the same spot. Following are three pictures from the ancient site: 

On the way out, we spotted this intertwining of trees:

To back up a little, on our first full day here we tried to hike the Bell Rock/Courthouse Loop but couldn't find a parking spot at the popular trail. So we went up the road to Little Horse Trail. Same problem. So we went out to eat at Tamaliza, a new tamale cafe. Then we went to Red Rock State Park, where we knew there would be plenty of parking, and did a short hike along Oak Creek. The next day we did the four-mile Baldwin Loop in mostly rocky terrain.

Dave enjoys a tamale and relleno at Tamaliza's.
Back at the rented homestead, I pulled out my wool appliqué project and discovered that I'd forgotten to pack the buttons for embellishment. Guess I'll have to go shopping! More later.

Have a colorful day