6 Mar 14--On Monday we took a ride out to "Old Town Scottsdale", basically a suburb of Phoenix, with this area of it geared to tourists and 20-somethings. It was cute to visit for a little while, with lots of eating/drinking establishments and shopping to be had.
There was a short self-guided walking tour that we followed for a bit, but the only thing remotely interesting were these olive trees planted by the towns founder in 1896, the flowers and the church below.
These are bougainvillea and are planted all over Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs. They are even in our RVpark and all along the highways. We thought they must be the state flower, but they aren't...they are just very hardy bushes, very drought resistant, and look and smell great!
An old mission along the walking trail.
And some of the stuff in the shops. I love the colored horses and the skeletons. We 1st saw the colored horses in a lot of shops in South Dakota I think, and the skeletons in the Big Bend National Park area of Texas. Love how the 2 ladies on the ends coquettishly place their hands over their mouths. haha
A couple t-shirts, a sign and some HOT sauce!
A local bar that started out as a bank back in the day.
On Tuesday we headed to the Phoenix Mountain State Park for some more hiking, to what is now called Piestewa Peak. It used to be called Squaw Peak, but was re-named after the American Indian woman who was killed in Iraq at the beginning of Gulf War II. Lori Piestewa was the woman killed in the same battle with the better-known Jessica Lynch.
This hike was 2.4 miles round-trip, and although different from the one we took the other day in the Camelback Mountains where it was all climbing of red rock, it was equally as taxing. Started out, as usual, pretty flat, but it got steep quickly.
If the rock is there, you just gotta climb it! That's Cathy up there, followed by pics looking down into the valley. Notice how in the 4th pic there are groups of houses separated by mountain peaks. It makes for very nice views out your backyard!
It's pretty surprising how different all the mountains here look. I am drawn to the big, red boulder-like rocks more than anything else, but they are all very pretty.
Almost to the top, I take time to enjoy and contemplate the scenery below. haha
And the ever-pretty flowers. Look at the thorns surrounding them, especially around the purple flower!!! Yikes!
Enlarging the 3rd pic here will give you a better idea of how steep this is. The lady at the top looks so small.
This is really pushing it!
And we finally make it. Took us an hour and a half to get up here.
A little dicey in spots coming down. haha
And on Friday, our last outing in the Phoenix area, to the Ostrich Festival in the suburb of Chandler. This is basically a small county fair with rides, local bands and a few events you don't see often at an amusement park. We started at the Women Loggers of Maine event, where they had power saw log cutting followed by ax throwing.
The dark-haired lady won this event...not surprising when you see how intense she looked. haha
And she also won this event. Now they made a point of saying how razor-sharp these ax blades are, but I wouldn't care if they were rounded...to plow down into that wood, when you can see how close she comes to her foot in the 2nd picture, is madness. They said they wear chain mail on their feet (like the old gladiators did) inside their shoes to protect themselves if they "miss", but I would be more concerned that I would sever a leg if I caught myself higher than that.
A little log rolling anyone?
You can't have an Ostrich Festival without ostrich races, I guess. An ostrich is surprisingly fast...they said they can run up to 42 MPH!!! And they grow pretty fast also...about a foot a month until they are about 7 or 8 months old.
They had both chariot and bare-back races. The chariots were more fun to watch. None of the riders lasted long on their backs. And the final fun-fact on an ostrich...did you know they live between 50 and 75 years??? Bet you didn't! haha
I thought the Watusi was a dance, no?
They are big into guns here, too.
And how adorable is this baby sheep? Wouldn't you love to have one?
Pretty weird looking. Didn't see any with 6 horns though.
So the festival wasn't exactly leaving Phoenix with a bang, but it was different, so we enjoyed it. We go to Nevada on Tuesday for 2 weeks, so next stop Vegas! See ya there!