We meet again!!

Today was an adventure . I just love adventure.

Sunday started out as an ordinary day but thankfully didn’t end as such.

I was driving a meal out to a friends house , a house which I’ve never been to before. It’s a bit out of town and in a beautiful location of acres upon acres of open space. I rang the door bell and my friends husband opened the door while struggling to keep his overly eager dog from jumping on me. He smiled and said, ” Just come on in.” He turned his back towards me as he walked and held tightly onto his dogs collar. I followed him in and then IT happened.

I found myself staring into the eyes of someone I never thought I’d see again!!!

Quick.. what was the first thing that popped into your mind? Who do you think it might have been?

I’m just going to say ..no matter how great of a guess you made ( that is if you even tried to guess) you’d be wrong.

How can I be so sure? How sure am I ? So sure, I’d bet my life on it.

Is the suspense killing you? Or boring you?

Okay , okay , I’ll just continue.

I was staring directly into the face of the bear I had met on a hike! ( see my blog entitled :Oh Hi, Mr. Freakishly large black bear)

I’d know that face anywhere! And here he was still staring at me. He had obviously been to a taxidermist and been kept with an amazingly happy face and in perfect pose!

I starting laughing so hard that I had to explain my previous encounter and soon we were all laughing. My friends husband is obsessed with bears. He tracked this bear for months and had a friend from Colorado come help him finish the hunt when he acquired a license to hunt a bear. They actually tracked and killed this bear near the same area as I encountered him. Now, I’m not going to go into how I feel about bear hunting.. it would change the tone of this post . But I was able to engage with this hunter and it went something like this.

“Hey, I’m a bear whisperer ” says me.

This comment is returned with a very confused look.

“No, really”, I continue , “you don’t need your friend from Colorado ”

Awkward silence

” If you ever want to meet a bear just take me along and you’ll see in just a few minutes one will saunter right up to me to have a nice little chat” I said trying to fill the awkward silence.

Laughter filled the air, until I just had to go one step too far.

” No, I’m serious ”

Awkward silence returns.

It was my turn to laugh, though inwardly I still think I am a bear whisperer, but realize sometimes it’s best to keep this kind of information a secret. Especially if you don’t want to end up in a straight jacket.

Anyways, I asked them to send me a picture of the bear so I could introduce you to.. poor Cinnamon.

Yes, I named him.

But seriously, look at how cute!!

Now, he may not look ” freakishly large” but one can just assume the taxidermist needed to reduce his size to fit this corner of the home and onto the attractive base.

But, I know that face .


The bear whisperer



My torn ligament is officially accompanied by a fractured bone. One X-ray told the whole story. Wish I would have taken a pic of it!

So my excitement over new activities has now been reduced to just swimming.

I’ve been given permission to wear my boot to the poolside , remove it and scoot on my behind to edge of pool and carefully slide it making sure my left foot never touched the bottom or side of pool. I repeat this very awkward procedure to sit in the hot tub.

The break is in my heel. But doc believes it will heal without surgery. I’m very thankful for that, and for the ability to swim.

Even though all other activities are suspended for at least 6-8 weeks I am still thankful.

I experienced a day in a wheelchair exploring the very crowded 4th Avenue Street Fair in Tucson. I will, and do, encourage you to have much greater empathy for those confined to a wheelchair. It is not fun. Not relaxing. Not a sign of a weak or lazy human. Make eye contact with these people, offer a smile or encouraging word. And please, above all else, don’t get angry at the person in the chair if you happened to get bumped by it. Look at the person pushing the chair and then the mortified face of the one in the chair who is profusely apologizing and show some mercy!!!!

And if you see someone almost getting dumped on their face while maneuvering a curb in a wheelchair, do not laugh, even if they are laughing, just simply offer to help.

If you see someone in a wheelchair offer to help them reach something that they obviously want but obviously cannot reach from their position. Whether in a grocery store, mall, or crowded street fair.

Crutches are a whole different obstacle and those hobbling on them deserve to be shown extra mercy… such as.. ” Sit here and let me get you what you need” or ” you poor thing, let me buy you a drink and blister cream for your hands and armpits.”

Best thing ever to hear while on crutches, ” let me get you a motorized cart”

Anyways, I am going to become a much more compassionate person through this. And perhaps an élite swimmer!

Time to go now and enjoy each new challenge thrown at me,

Bring it on!

The girl who will never ever take her feet for granted again.

Ps.. acupuncture for a broken bone doesn’t really help much, so at least my palms are getting a rest.

Valid excuses?

I have only posted once so far this year. I hang my head in shame. Time to justify such rudeness to  my readers. Top excuses:

1.  I have an acute tear in a ligament in the bottom of my left foot, which makes hiking, or even just walking, a literal pain.

2. I am distracted by the new exercise routines that my injured foot has required: yoga, swimming, core classes,  and strengthening classes. I am barefoot or wearing my specially designed support flip flops during these exercises. Wearing flip flops in the snow, or to exercise in, is no big deal around here. Unless you are new to Flagstaff, you know anything goes in this funky little town. Reason #6,834 that I love this place.

3. Acupuncture, especially enduring 6-10 needles in the palm of your hand, makes you unable to type without a bit of surging pain. Oddly enough I endure that in hopes of easing the pain in my left foot. The human body is truly remarkable.

4.  I have learned the beauty of sitting in a hot tub after exercise is a great way to relax and forget everything. Including forgetting my blog.

5. I’ve been busy painting 🙂

Cure the Flu by following the Force

I was hit TWICE by the nasty flu and was barely able to stay awake much less hike.

I decided enough was enough and I needed to make progress on my hiking goal so my also sick , daughter and I headed out to do the Deer Hill Trail. It’s long but relatively flat .

This is what 2 sick girls and a pitiful tea cup chi look like during the hike.

We needed to lay on the couch the rest of the day but we decided it was worth the effort. Check that off my map.

A few days later I talked Clutch into doing the Priest Draw/Howard loop, home of world class bouldering.

The only boulder climbers we saw were just lying on a rock slab tanning. But the limestone rock does want to make you climb. So I did. Sorta. The first trail was well-marked but abruptly ended at a wooden fence with no signage. So Clutch decides to bushwhack our way through the forest until we meet up with a trail looping back. Just when I thought we were in the middle of no where , we came upon this sign .

No doubt this was a trail. But if this was Darth were we just being led to the dark side ? Okay, his head his white so maybe it’s safe. We get on this trail and soon it disappears.. but look what was waiting for us..

Bless the souls who left the Carin for us.. we continue on until a steep ravine is in front of us.. but once again..

A market told us to carry on. And we did until this next sign

Whoever made these markers, bless you! We followed them until we ended back on the loop we started.

We hiked a little over 4 miles and I was a bit whiny but only had to nap for an hour when I got home.

New Years arrived and I was going to kill this flu inside me… once and for all! I convinced my neighbors to do the 2 mile trek on Sunset to get to the Brookbank Trail which took us to the Oldham Trail then to the Rocky Ridge Trail. Oh yeah!

Proof! Of course I had to stop to hold up some boulders and force some jerky and water down myself.

What a beautiful day for such a nice long hike that allowed me to check off 3 trails on my map! I didn’t even need a nap. I was still able to breathe and my coughing was almost gone!

2018 I’m ready for a healthy hiking goal achievement! The weather has been unseasonably warm so I’m able to crank out some hikes. I only have a few sections of the Arizona Trail left, and 3 more other hikes!! I’m so close I can almost taste it! It’s gonna taste like sweet success which will indubitably lead to a new hiking map !

Adventure awaits you!

Get outside and breathe fresh air and follow Darth markers to the path of healing.

See ya soon

Andorra, the love child of Spain and France

🇪🇸 +🇫🇷 =🇦🇩

The Spanish and French flags are combined into one for Andorra.

Click below to learn a bit about the history of this unique place.

History of Andorra

While in Barcelona, ready to embark on a 13 day trans Atlantic cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic, we took time to explore a tiny bit of France and a great portion of Andorra.

In France (ax-les thermes) we explored a few natural hot springs. One was in front of a hospital that used to treat lepers.

I did not venture into this one, but did opt for a more central hot spring that I dipped my toes in.

We dined at this Amazing restaurant that is entirely run by the owner. She cooks, serves, cleans, and even lives in her small restaurant.

This is my brother and the restaurant owner outside her place. They are holding a bottle of very lovely, and inexpensive red wine. It was served with lunch and so outstanding we bought 2 bottles for later!

This fresh produce market is next door to the restaurant and where she can conveniently purchase the freshest ingredients to cook with!

This quaint commune was so picturesque I could not get enough of it, but here are a few highlights:

The civil unrest in Barcelona extends into other areas where the Catalonian’s reside. Our tour guide is married to a Catalonian and gave us a unique viewpoint on the current conflict .

Now onto, Andorra. My featured country. I will withhold my comments and allow the pictures to speak for themselves.

More adventures to post later!