The start of week 2 in Quartzsite brought several changes to our desert community. Faye and Dave headed west to Phoenix, Steve and Deb headed east to Lost Dutchman and our daughter Jessica arrived from Pennsylvania with two of our grandchildren adding two more little creatures to the desert!
|Our little desert Creatures!|
It has been a long time since I have seen Jessica, Dylan and Kendall. Jessica looked like the same great daughter I had last seen in Salt Lake City a year and a half ago before they left for Pennsylvania. Dylan and Kendall however have grown a lot in that time. Kendall was barely walking and talking last time I saw her and now she is running around like crazy and talks none stop! She is such a cutie! Dylan has grown about a foot (well it seems like it) and like most boys his age, is into video games and army men.
You know what happens when you fly an 8 year old from the east coast out to Arizona? They are wide awake at 4:00am! Jessica and the kids took the bedroom while Barb and I slept in the living room. About 4:00 I heard movement in the bedroom and pretty soon the door opened and we heard the pitter-patter of little feet across the room. Although I could not see him I could feel his presence hovering over me. I knew Barb had to be up too but we both just laid there quiet as little church mice. Maybe, just maybe if we were really still he would go back to sleep. Soon I felt hands on me as he tried to figure out exactly where we were. Once he found our heads he shouted “Grammie where’s your iPad?” Well, he probably didn’t shout it but at 4:00 in the morning it certainly sounded like a shout!We had many busy days filled with activities, lots of walks in the desert, rock painting, visiting the Big Tent, the High Jolly Monument and a few happy hours around the fire roasting hot dogs and marshmellows…..
|Jess and Baby K at the High Jolly Monument|
|Barb and Pam roasting a couple of dogs over the fire|
|Perfect roasting coals!|
|Coming in for a landing|
|What is left of the plane that crashed|
Speaking of Red, one afternoon he came over about 3pm and asked me if I could come over and help him with something. We got around the back of his rig and he turns around with a smile and said “Want a beer?” Heck ya! Evidently Steve, Harry and Red were having a beer and they figured I needed one and Red wandered over to get me.One of the highlights of the week for me was the hike we did up to Palm Canyon. This is our favorite hike in the area and we try to do it at least once a year. I was skeptical at the onset at exactly how far we would make it with the two little ones in tow. The first ½ mile to the “Palm Sign” is described as moderately easy and we made it to that point without any problem so we carried on to see if we could make it to the palms.
|Scrambling up the loose rock|
The last ½ mile is described as “a very rugged climb” and we had to lift and carry Kendall in several spots. Dylan, on the other hand, is part mountain goat and just climbed up many of the rougher spots. The entire way up Kendall kept saying two words; "So High!", over and over again as we were climbing she would look around and say "So High!" After about 40 minutes we made it to the top! We sat down, had a snack and enjoyed the view before heading down.
|Jess and Barb resting on top|
|They both found "brooms"!|
|Dylan and I are tiny specks in the middle|
The next day we hiked up to the top of “Q” Mountain and then over to one of the mines to check it out. The two little ones certainly are troopers and don’t seem to mind walking and looking for “treasures”
|Top of Q Mountain|
|Dylan checking out an abandoned mine|
It ends up there is a lot to do with kids in the desert. Quartzsite has a great little playground that we spent two afternoons at and Red and Pam were nice enough to borrow us their side by side for an hour.
|Dylan jumping off a swing|
They really enjoyed geocaching (a.k.a. finding treasures). Barb set the filter on her GPS to find only larger caches that might have toys in them. When they found a cache they could pick a toy and when they found the next one they had to decide if they wanted to keep the toy they already had or trade and leave a toy. For those of you who have geocached in this area before, you know that many of them are on jeep or 4 wheeler trails out in the desert. Fine if you have one of those vehicles, but Barb said she got some strange looks driving our dually out there!
|More desert treasures!|
The second to the last day of her visit Jessica joined us for our 2nd annual beer tasting with Steve and Dianne. Harry, Vicki, Red and Pam joined us as well and tasted a few along the way as well. One thing we learned is that we have very varying tastes. Barb, Steve and Harry seemed to match up pretty well on the darker beers while Red and I seemed to like the lighter flavored beers. Jessica seemed to like all the beers!
|The favorite was Shake Chocolate Porter|
Parts of the week went really fast, other parts, not so much. Kids fight, kids fuss, and have sooooo much energy and require so much energy in return. As I watched Jessica, I had to wonder how she does it. Then I remember that we did it too but were much younger than we are now. She is a great mother with a lot on her plate and made both Barb and I very proud.
They have been gone less than a day, the dogs are resting peacefully, the rig is its usual self with a place for everything and everything in its place and is eerily quiet. But in a way it is too quiet, we miss them already.....