Christmas in Phoenix

January 15, 2017 by
Filed under: Arizona 2016 

We found the condo that would be our home for the remaining nine nights of our vacation, a very nice one-bedroom suite in a townhouse complex in Mesa. We spent a quiet Christmas Eve there and the next day we went for a walk to see if we could find a place to purchase a few additional things for Christmas dinner. We had offered to do ham and scalloped potatoes for Wally, Laura, and their daughter Lena, who was visiting from Vernon. We found a Walgreens and a 7-Eleven open on Baseline Road.

Walking through the residential neighbourhood between Guadalupe and Baseline on S. Extension, it wasn’t hard to notice the differences and the similarities between there and home. Neat, well-maintained family homes, many with Christmas decorations including a Santa hat on top of saguaro arm, nativity scenes and lights. Most of the houses were single-story bungalows and if they had air-conditioning it was perched like rectangular gargoyle on the roof. I pondered this until it occurred to me that the houses weren’t built with forced-air furnaces, so the only way to pump cold air in was through vents in the ceiling. The yards were mostly landscaped with gravel, cacti and desert trees. Very little grass, which makes sense in that climate. We passed one yard though that had a perfect front lawn, greener than most yards at home (and Yes, it was real grass). It looked out of place.

We had a nice Christmas dinner with Wally and Laura. Lena didn’t come over. She wasn’t feeling well. It was weird being away from my family for the first time and I missed them, but it helped to be able to share it with close friends.

The next day Sigrun wanted to hike in a place called Dreamy Draw in the Phoenix Mountains Park. We missed the exit and couldn’t find the trail-head but ended up at another trail-head at the south end of 32nd Street. I didn’t take any photos that day because it wasn’t all that memorable except that the lack of maps and signage. It made the hike a little exciting because we weren’t exactly sure where we were going. At one point we ended up in a residential area. It made up for the general lack of interesting features except for the low hills we circled. Next time we’ll try to find Dreamy Draw. At least it soundsĀ fantastic.

The next day we drove to the huge trailer park where Wally and Laura were renting and then took their vehicle to another large trailer park to meet their friends, Ed and Penny. We transferred to their vehicle and drove east to Saguaro Lake.

Rock bluff on opposite side of the lake.

Sigrun and Laura on the trail.

Fjord at the end of the lake. Can you see the hawk?

Don’t bump your head on the saguaro!

Wild horses.

It was a great place to hike and beautiful (man-made I presume) lake in the desert. When we arrived back at the parking lot there was a herd of wild (so we were told) horses grazing in the park.




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