Sunday, December 21, 2014

Zoo Lights---- Seasons Greetings!

             This post was supposed to be all about the Christmas light parade in wonderful Benson, Arizona.  Last year was our first experience of this, and the whole family loved it!  In fact here is my blog post from 2013 in case you are one of the many that missed it:
   This year night was meet with a light drizzle of rain.  We left the house early to get a great view of the parade route.   Cliff notes:  if you did not make it you certainly did not miss much!  The parade started about thirty minutes late and lasted about 12 whole minutes.  Compared to about an hour last year.  In fact when the last float went by, with Santa and his lovely wife, no one thought the parade was actually over.   Lame sauce for sure.    So please enjoy my pictures and such from last year.   I will provide a few pictures from this year  just because I can.   And than go on to talk about our great night at the amazing Reid Park Zoo and zoo lights.  And as always for more Exploring  please check out my first blog page at    

                                                               Benson light parade 2014----booo!

This horse never got to play any reindeer games.

The power company of course always has a great light display.

                                                            O Christmas tree....!

Last but not least  Santa & Mrs. Clause!!

Viewing these pictures took about as long as the total parade.

Our attempt at putting up lights!

I work at this little casino
and love my job!
This is in no way a publicity shot, or endorsed by the casino
I just thought it was a good shot of the building I got one fine day.
AND the casino let us workers and family enjoy the zoo lights before anyone else, for free.

We visited Reid Park Zoo for the first time a
few months ago  and I must say it was amazing!
Check it out:

They put all the animals up to sleep, but I still highly recommend zoo lights!

A truly great mixture of familiar characters, zoo life, lights, and wonder!
They even had a section of snow falling.
A true wonder in the heart of the desert.
We soon indulged on some hot coco.
And of course Santa was there to visit the young and young at heart.

                                                               Live music
                                                    And of course lots of lights!

My wife loves dolphins so we thought this picture was perfect. 
Still enjoying the hot chocolate.

Even the cactus were lit up.

Not Christmas lights   but a very lit up entrance for sure!

Not lights  but I thought this stare down was a good picture.
Not sure what the caution tape was for.

Possibly the best part of the night.
This whole light section was also set to music.
Our amazing daughter paused to sing with the music and lights.
With an amazing now duo to a Frozen song.
Many paused to listen to her sing. 

                                             This was a truly great night  a huge thank you to Casino Del Sol
                                                         and of course Reid Park Zoo  and all of it's workers!

Much more Exploring and pictures on my Washington state blog page

And my first blog page

Please check them out.

And as always


Friday, September 26, 2014

A Hike In Beautiful Saguaro National Park--Tucson Arizona

                         I might have mentioned a that a few months back a buddy of mine came to the area to visit.  While he was here we crammed in as much Exploring as possible.  Years ago we used to go on long hikes and than pull the closing shift at work.  Few other people seem to go on hikes with us more than once.  Mainly because one of our hikes seems to involve getting lost, a lot of cussing, falling down hills, and a lot of repeating the phrase "This is stupid!"   We said the this a lot on this hike.   Mostly because we found ourselves high up on a mountain-- trying to climb at about noon.  Never the best idea in the middle of the desert.  We also spend a lot of time wondering what happened to our youth and more importantly all the energy we used to have.   My wife seems to wonder the same thing.   On this day we ventured to Saguaro National Park.

We hit several neat spots on this day around Tucson.
I have a whole list of places in the area I want to visit.
And am slowly working on the list. 
As our personal bank account grows, so will the adventures. 
Across this entire amazing state!

So many trails   So little time!

I am always amazed at the huge variety of plants that thrive in this area.
And try to capture different plants in each post.

On this day -first we visited the information center. 
And than drove around the twisty roads taking in the sights.
At one point -we decided this hill would be a great place to attempt to climb. 

I am still not sure why the best hikes are always greatly up hill!

Before and after cactus style. 

Nearing the ridge. 

Some views from the top.

And some well earned time to catch our breath.
Only to loose it again from the view. 


So this whole time we kept wondering why we did not see another person on the trail.
As the sun grew higher and higher we deeply started to regret playing mountain goats.  Near the ridge --we did get some cross winds. 
My shorts were covered in tiny cactus points  almost to small to see. 
As we walked on the prickly points would work there way into our skin, not out -and to the ground. 
When a large group or even one of them connected with the skin, we would yelp out in pain and than exclaim again how -not smart this hike might of been. 
I would like to say the way back down was easier,
but time consuming because we had to wind back down the hill attempting not to fall or
touch any more cactus. 

It seemed like the more we walked --the further the car got from us. 
I was sweating so much that all of my sun screen was now in my eyes.
Making navigation even easier of course.
And at this point-- it was high noon, and the sun was just above us.
I had work later that evening and was already thinking of reasons to call in.
Top of the list could have easily been a broken leg. 

Suddenly---minutes away from the car my buddy found a sign facing the other way from us.
He rushed around to read it.
And than started laughing very loudly. .....

This was facing the parking lot, but we had by-passed it some how. 
We had seen no one else the entire time---because we were not actually on a trail.

Sorry park rangers!  

      For many more pictures of mine and Exploring please check out my Washington state page also!
    And my longest running blog page---

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Z Z Top Concert

         About a month ago on what started out to be a beautiful night, but was soon very full of rain--our oldest and I ventured to Tucson for a great concert.  I happen to work at Casino Del Sol and they give out tickets to many of the concerts to workers plus one guest.  I find myself at work during most of the concerts, because that is were the tip money is at for sure.  It just happened on this night I was off work.  A few days before, I asked our fourteen year old to Google some Z Z Top--and tell me what he thought of the classic music.  They have been playing concerts for 40+ years now, so finding the music was easy.  He liked what he heard, and was more than ready to come along with me that night.  Especially because the next day was a school day and we would be out late.  I have not been to a concert for a very long time so I was also very excited.

My camera decided to stop working before the main act.
So I am very sad to say I have no actual pictures of the seasoned bearded performers. 
This is the casino's stock picture and I hope it is fine to use it. 

At first the real show was the amazing sun set. 
It started out as a great almost cloud less night.

We found a prime spot on the bright green grass - wishing we had brought a blanket or two.

As it grew darker the clouds started to move in.
And the show again was in the sky.
With the clouds growing ever darker.
And the lightning moving in.

All the band equipment was covered just in case.

And as the opening acts came out  we thought the rain was going to blow around us.

                                                   Still dry as Jeff Beck put on a great show. 

On one of the many big screens.

As they were exciting the stage the rain started to dump down.
In fact the area was starting to flood out.
And we were soon completely soaked.
At one point we joined some concert goers by the fence line, and helped hold up a beer banner over all our heads to stay dry.

                      The beer tents were packed because they had beer and because they were covered. 

   Soon enough the rain moved on, and we could leave our cover and enjoy the rest of the show.

As I said my camera gave out before the main act.  But it was an amazing show and night. 

            Next post more adventures with my buddy while he was in the area visiting. 
For all of our Exploring please check out my first blog page  at

Much more Exploring and pictures on my Washington state blog page

And my first blog page

Please check them out.

And as always