Forest Lakes

pine trees

I spent this past weekend at a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona. Forest Lakes is about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Phoenix and is a favorite area for many desert dwellers to take refuge from the heat in the cool mountain air. When we arrived on Friday morning it was rainy and so chilly that we lit a fire and put on our sweaters – a complete opposite of the stifling heat and humidity we had left behind at home.

The weekend was completely relaxed, especially as I had no phone or Internet service for the entirety of the stay. At first I felt a bit anxious about being disconnected from the world, but it really didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would and I enjoyed the sense of isolation. We hunted for geodes, which litter the ground around the cabin, took walks on the mountain roads, played darts, talked and, of course, read. I managed to finish my first book in over a month while there (March by Geraldine Brooks).

On Sunday afternoon we drove to Willow Springs Lake, about 15 miles from the cabin, and I took photos and read while my friends fished. They caught a few trout and a sunfish before storm clouds rolled in and we went back to the cabin for lunch before packing up and heading back to Phoenix.

Following are a few photos from the weekend:

cabin smoke
Smoke from the chimney.
crystal geode
Crystal geode.


mountain road
Our walking path.
yellow stalks
There were gorgeous wildflowers everywhere.
willow springs lake
Willow Springs Lake.
Mistie and J
My friend’s dog watching the fishing.
fishing boat
The fish were biting for everyone.

I hope you all had a great weekend too. What are you reading this week?


A Few Photos From My 4th of July

Last Friday I left home at 5 am to drive up to my grandparents’ house in Springerville, Arizona for Independence Day. I got to town right before the parade started, but I unfortunately didn’t get any good photos of the floats. I did take lots of pictures around the ranch, though, so here is a look at the family homestead. I’ll be back in a few days with a book-related post!





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Presidents’ Day Hike


One of the perks of working in a government job is that we get every Federal holiday off from work. Yesterday was Presidents’ Day, the second such holiday of the year. My dad, brother and I all agreed that it would be a fine day for a hike. We met up fairly early to head out just east of Phoenix to the Superstition Mountains to hike the Hieroglyphics Trail. It’s been unseasonably hot lately, but it was just about perfect while we were hiking. The hike is about 1.5 miles long (one way) and not incredibly steep – which is good because I haven’t been hiking in quite a while.

the Teddy Bear Cholla cactus.




The trail ends at the mouth of a canyon that has a little spring and some Native American hieroglyphs on the rock that were carved by the Hohokam (if you look closely at the photo below you can see them in the center). We sat in the shade on the cool rock and watched butterflies and listened to the birds.




the majestic Saguaro cactus.

It was a beautiful way to spend a morning and I think I just might have caught the hiking bug! My brother goes hiking almost every weekend, but he is experienced (and in shape) and goes on trails that are much too tough for me right now. I’d like to hike some of the other ‘baby’ trails nearby so, in the future, you’ll probably see more photos of my rambles in the gorgeous Arizona landscape.