More Covid 19

It is now May 28, 2020 and the death toll from Covid 19 has reached 100,000.   Total cases in the US is over 1,700,000.  The number of unemployment claims have reached 40,000,000.  All 50 states have started some measures of reopening, and the partisan fighting is getting nasty.

One of the biggest issues seems to be whether or not people should wear a mask when in public.  President Trump has so far refused to wear one although he has now required most of his staff to wear them in the white house.  Two white house staff have tested positive.   He has also been putting pressure on states to open the economy, and most states are beginning to reopen.

This past weekend was Memorial Day the unofficial beginning of summer.  With pent up frustration and public areas beginning to open, many people took risks in not practicing social distancing and not wearing a mask.  It seems that many people have stopped taking this seriously.   Granted it has not killed millions of people but if one hundred thousand is not enough, I don’t know what is.

We don’t know what is going to happen, hopefully everyone getting out and about will have no adverse effect on the country, but we are not taking any chances.  We still intend on traveling this summer, we really don’t socialize on our travels that much anyway.  We will stay informed and do our best to stay safe.

Peace and Love…

Flagstaff National Monuments

Things are slowly beginning to open around this area. By things I mean State and National Parks, National Monuments, and other outdoor activities.  We rarely visit restaurants, salons or tattoo parlors so they don’t count.  Montezuma’s Castle National Monument is still closed, Tuzigoot National Monument is still closed etc.  Luckily we had visited both of these on our previous visit.

There are three national monuments north around Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon NM is partially open, Sunset Crater NM is open but Wupatki NM is closed.  We decided to take out chance and visit to see what we could see.

Walnut Canyon NM is known for the ancient cliff dwellings in a canyon with remarkable rock formations.  The only trail open was the Rim Trail, we were hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the cliff dwellings from the rim trail, but did not.  It was only open about a quarter of a mile loop back to the parking lot and the only overlook was so crowded with people that we did not even stop for a picture.  This park was a bust for us, but we did enjoy our picnic.

Sunset Crater NM on the other hand was a very pleasant surprise.  The very tall San Francisco Peake mountains just west of Flagstaff are older volcanic peaks that reach up to 12,000 feet.

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East of Flagstaff are some smaller peaks including this beautiful Sunset Crater.  So named because of the orange red color around the top.

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This volcano last erupted about 1,000 years ago, and there is still a lot of lava flow around the area.  It is amazing how long it takes for anything to grow in a lava flow.  You can see the stark difference on these cinder cones.

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A loop road runs from Sunset Crater to Wupatki NP and although we knew that Wupatki was closed we decided to take the scenic drive any way.  We were pleasantly surprised by the ever-changing landscapes and a nice view of the Painted Desert in the distance.  Wish we could have seen the Wupatki Pueblo ruins, but maybe another time.

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Peace, love and thankful for wonderful blue skies watching over us!!!

 

 

Sedona Take Two

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After two months at Tombstone Territories we finally left to head north for cooler weather.   We still have concerns regarding the Coronavirus, but we are pretty well self-isolated even when we travel and if we find ourselves in or near a crowd we will leave or avoid it.   Groceries etc are necessary but even then, we wear our masks and use hand sanitizer as soon as we are done.

Camp Verde was a bit cooler, especially nice was that there were trees and some grass for Nellie.  Unfortunately, a little tooth issue came up while we were there keeping us around the homestead most of the time, but we did take a day trip to Sedona once again loving the beautiful red rocks.

Sedona is a beautiful town, especially the surrounding natural beauty.  It was not as busy as when we last visited, last time we were in the mist of spring breakers.  This time we were able to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which has a great view of the area and one of the famous vortexes.

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There was also parking space at the Bell Rock another famous landmark of Sedona.  But I have to say the traffic was still very crowded.  On our way out of town there was at least five miles of stop and go traffic entering the town.  Granted it was Memorial Day weekend.  Pictures Bell Rock, Rabbit Ears and general scenery.

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Peace, Love and Justice for all from Sedona.

Sunsets and Moonrise

The desert is well known for its magnificent sunsets.  But to tell the truth most days the skies are perfectly clear, not a cloud in sight.  We all know that for the best sunsets, you need clouds.  So there have been some spectacular sunsets, but only a couple.  Here are some.

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Since we have been here for two months, we have also seen two full moons here, I love watching the full moon rise and have to say having some clouds around doesn’t hurt that view either.

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Peace Love and Justice for all!!!

Saguaro National Park – East

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Still self-isolating in Tombstone Territories RV Park.  When we decided to stay in southern Arizona during the corona-virus we thought that we may be here long enough to see some cacti blooming.  Unfortunately here near Tombstone, there are not very many cacti, some ocotillo (if you go the long way to town) and a few others mainly in landscaping.  There is a cholla on one of the campground walking trails and I started to notice buds, but no blooms yet.

It has been so hot here and we have been here two months this Sunday, so we have decided to move north on Sunday.  Still wanting to see some cacti blooms, we decided to drive the hour and a half to Saguaro NP’s east section.  Having been there once before we knew that there is quite a variety of cacti and were sure we would experience some blooming.  I read that the saguaro don’t bloom until mid-June to July so were not expecting to see blooms, but maybe buds???

Well much to our surprise the saguaro were beginning to bloom!!!  We were so excited!!!  From a distance it looks like someone put pots of white mums on each of the their arms.

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But looking up close it is a bunch of smaller pods that each produce a beautiful flower and then fall off.  It was pretty interesting that it appears that only larger saguaro have blooms.  The juvenile smaller plants didn’t seem to be blooming.  This was disappointing because I wanted to touch one of the flowers, but was unable to get that close.

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Of course, the other cacti were blooming as well.  There are many varieties of cholla and most were blooming.  We did notice that the “teddy bear” cholla were not blooming??  Not sure why and do not have a picture to share (since there were no flowers on them) but they are the ones that look fuzzy full of thorns.  But here are some of the other varieties both close up and the full plant.

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The prickly pears were blooming as well.  I think we were a little late for them, but got a partial show none-the-less.

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There are also many ocotillos in the park.  I can remember their name because they remind me of an upside-down octopus.  These actually can bloom any time of the year.  All they need is a little rain.  Most of the time they are bare stalks (with thorns of course) but after sufficient rain they leaf out with green leaves and red tip flowers.  This first one is in the landscaping in our campground so it is all leafed out, but the others are in the NP.

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Our drive to Tucson was mostly dominated with yellow flowering trees and bushes.  We use the term tree loosely; they are not really what we consider trees (especially not like the red woods we say last year) most are 30 ft tall or less.  But there were a lot.  The dominate color was yellow as you can see from this picture looking over the surrounding area.  The tree on our site is getting ready to bloom yellow as well.  Not sure if it will be this full of blooms, but given the number of buds I don’t doubt it.

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A couple more just because…

Peace love and thanks mom for the beautiful blues sky days, a nice present the day after mothers day!!!

More Coronavirus Thoughts

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Cinco de Mayo and lots changed in the last week.  About 1.2 million cases in the US and over 70,000 deaths in the US.  May 1 was the deadliest day in the pandemic, again in the US, at 2,900.  While metropolitan NYC area (the epicenter) is seeing a decrease in most numbers, nationwide totals are pretty much staying constant meaning it is getti(ng worse in other parts of the country to make up for NYC????  We assume…

Our federal guidelines still say that there should be a 14 day decrease in numbers before states consider reopening, which I agree with and with good numbers phase in beyond there.  But over the last week and especially the end of April businesses are opening up all over… I believe over 30 states opened parts of the economy this weekend.  And according to the numbers, not one state meets the federal guidelines.  We are not saying that things shouldn’t begin to open, a lot of businesses have remained open or installed work from home options.  But do you really need that new outfit, manicure, tattoo, massage, etc

Again, we don’t pretend to know the answers, but instead of sending everyone the $1,200 check once, wouldn’t you want to send to people who have lost income not everyone??  If you are making the same amount working from home, going in to an essential job, collecting the same retirement income, you are not in the same danger someone who no longer has a job…  So, was the $1,200 supposed to help (or just make you feel good), and if so for how long???  I believe we live pretty cheaply, but $1,200 doesn’t last long these days.

People with long military style guns are protesting in Michigan, entering the state capital.  But I just heard that you can open carry firearms in the state capital so bad on Michigan… these protests are happening in other states, not always with the assault weapons, but still?!?

Side note Canada has outlawed assault style military weapons and unnecessary.  This is less than two weeks since a major shooting there.  Wow how quick it can happen in a reasonable society!!!

Peace and love until next time