Lake Havasu City’s Balloon Festival


By my usual standards, this is ancient history, but since I am just now getting over a strain of flu that was not covered by the widely-available shots, here it is.

Last Sunday afternoon, I drove out to Lake Havasu City, on the Colorado River, for the purpose of helping at a Red Cross event, at the Fourth Annual Lake Havasu Balloon Festival.  This town is geologically ancient, but historically among the more recent arrivals among Arizona’s communities.  

It’s centerpiece is the transplanted London Bridge, brought over in the 1960’s by one of the town’s founders, a chainsaw manufacturer named Robert McCulloch.  The bridge now connects the east bank of the Colorado River with an island in the middle of the river.  It’s on this island that the balloon festival actually takes place.

After a nice, light dinner at Shugrue’s, on the island’s east side, and a good night’s rest, I spent the greater part of Monday morning marveling at the balloons, both in flight and on the ground.




While  I would not be likely to skydive, ever, being in the basket of a hot-air balloon might be an interesting way to spend an hour or two.  Have a great day, everyone, whether on the ground or far above it.

January in Oak Creek Canyon


I felt the irresistible urge to return to Sedona today (January 6), so off the KIA and I went, to Grasshopper Point.  I headed first down Allens Bend Trail, to the edge of Oak Creek.SAM_3688                                                                                                                                                                                            SAM_3689

I found several rock overhangs along the way to the Casner Canyon Trail, which requires crossing Oak Creek.  That was not advisable today, with the creek running full tilt.                                                                                                                 SAM_3694 SAM_3695 SAM_3697 SAM_3701 SAM_3703 SAM_3710

As my dinner locale, La Cucina Rustica did not open until 5 P.M., I had time to savour Wilson Canyon, about 1 1/2 miles west of Grasshopper.  This canyon heads up to the foot of a mountain, also named for Charles Wilson, whose local claim to fame is that he took on a grizzly bear in the area, and lost.


I had a bit more company on this trail.  In fact, the couple I met while on the way out of Casner Canyon showed up in Wilson, as I was hiking out.  I hope they hurried; the sun was going down.  It was good they were there, though. A young lady was hiking solo, up to the rim, as I was headed down.

Here are some scenes from that somewhat icier path.

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After “Trail’s End”, I scrambled up to the top of the canyon rim, and saw a spectacular panorama:       SAM_3724

The silhouette below is of a horse-faced rock, which seems to be pointing towards the red rocks to the south.


After Wilson Canyon, with my craving for fine Italian cuisine hitting a high level, I enjoyed cauliflower & cheddar soup, penne con salcicce and bocca negra con gelato.

(Salcicce is sausage and bocca negra is flourless chocolate cake.)  All of Chefs Lisa Dahl and Andrea Di Luca’s creations are heavenly.  I know this especially from owning a copy of Lisa’s cookbook.

New Year’s Day at Badger Springs


True to form, I got  up off my bottom and went out for a moderately vigorous clamber over the rocks along the Agua Fria River, in the Badger Springs area southeast of Prescott, on New Year’s Day.  I like this area in summer, as the languid river offers pools of refreshing water and plenty of smooth rocks for sun-bathing.  The steep canyon between Badger Springs and the second bend of the Agua Fria looked inviting, the last time I was there, so that was my focus on Tuesday.


I started where I left off, and relaxed, last summer.  It wasn’t hard to cross, hopping the rocks, though they are smooth and a bit slippery.  My idea being to survive for the coming year, at least, I was slow and meticulous in crossing.  The rocks are mostly white limestone here, with the occasional igneous volcanic cast-off, from eons ago.  An example is the boulder in the lower right corner of the photo below.  Igneous rocks absorb salinity easier than their granite and limestone companions.

 Some fifteen years ago, a couple of local teens spotted some ancient petroglyphs along the trail from the parking area to Badger Springs.  Walking further towards the second bend, they decided to tell their own story on this limestone bench.  It’s a love story, and still is visible in the fluorescent spray colours they used.

An hour into my jaunt, I reached the second bend of the Agua Fria.  From here, it would be about a two-hour boulder hop to Black Canyon City.  One of these days, I will go down to BLC, park my car, and hike up the riverbank in the opposite direction.

As for the rest of the week, I have been happily occupied with Baha’i activities, the first of a series of dental appointments  and helping the neighbours take down and store their holiday ornaments.  I also went by the old house, found it wide open in the back, and, after determining this had been done by the soon-to-be new owners, picked up a few items that they won’t need and closed the house back up.