Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Week Later

A week ago today I sprained my ankle on a hike. So, this past week we’ve been pretty much sitting around at home.

One of our fellow hikers sent us a few pictures so we could see what we missed. Here’s a piece of the plane that’s up on the side of the mountain. Apparently, the plane exploded upon impact, so there aren’t big fuselage pieces.


And here’s a picture she took of the group at a rest stop. This was just a few minutes before I fell. I’m on the left with the red backpack. I actually wasn’t feeling well at this point. I had begun to feel nauseous. I think I was a bit dehydrated because I drank a bunch of water and felt immediately better. It probably would have been smart to turn back at this point, and I could have saved myself a lot of hassle.

DSCN0228 As you can see on both of these pictures, we were in a very rocky area. It sure was tough hiking back down with a sprained ankle.

Here’s a picture of my ankle. Hopefully, its not too gross to show. The other side is just as purple. The swelling has gone down quite a bit, but it is still very sore. I think it’s going to take quite a while to be back to normal.


On Saturdays we’ve been golfing with a group of friends. Last Saturday Kevin wanted to golf, and I wanted to get out. Our friend Cathy was kind enough to let me ride along in her cart. After golf, Dick and Wanda and Bernie and Cathy came back to our park for a Burger Bash and classic car show. The burger was very good. There sure were a lot of people at the park to look at the old cars.

All of that activity caused my ankle to swell quite a bit, so we came back to our fifth wheel so I could elevate and ice it.

This week the plan is to keep resting my ankle. I may do some sewing, but that’s about it. We have lots of plans for the month of March in the Phoenix area, so I need to be good and stay off the ankle. I sure hope it’s a lot better in a few weeks.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Bit of a Mishap

On Monday we met up with the hiking group from Fortuna de Oro for a planned hike to the location of a B-17 bomber that crashed into Fortuna Peak on June 28, 1944. As you can see, it was quite a large plane.


The plane was doing night training, and something went terribly wrong. All five young crew members were killed in the crash. Some of the large portions of the plane are still on the side of the mountain, as well as a memorial.

Here’s a picture of the memorial from the web. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any of it.


P1160077Here’s the trail near the bottom. We weren’t going all the way to the top, but about 1,200 feet up along a ravine. Notice how narrow the path is.

About a mile into the hike, I slipped on some loose rocks and fell a bit down the side. I didn’t fall far, but I felt my right ankle turn and give out. I also scraped up my knee, but I knew I was in trouble with that ankle.

We had climbed about 600 feet in elevation at that point on the narrow, rocky trail. I was going to have to walk back out of there. As long as I put my foot down straight, the pain was tolerable. I popped six ibuprofen tablets, and we began our SLOW descent back down to the truck.

Kevin was wonderful helping me get down. For most of the way, we found that if he stayed in front of me and I held onto his shoulders, we could go step by step. I just watched to find a flat spot to put my foot. Not easy on a steep and rocky narrow path. On some sections, I went down on my butt. In other areas, I was able to hold onto rocks along the side.

It took two hours, but we finally made it back to the truck. By that time, my ankle and leg were quite swollen. I knew it wasn’t broken as I could walk on it. It just hurt whenever I tried turning it.

P1160080Near the bottom of the trail, there were quite a few ocotillo bushes growing. They are just starting to bloom. Some people call them lipstick plants. I asked Kevin to stand next to one so you could see how big they are. This one is just starting to bloom.

As we were driving out, there were some others that had fuller blooms on them. Yuma had more rain than usual this winter, so I’m guessing the desert bloom will be beautiful this year.


So, I’m recovering in the recliner with lots of ice, rest and elevating my leg. I like to be active, so the worst part is just being patient until it is better and not overdoing it. Yesterday, quite a few of my other muscles were hurting as well. I’m sure I used plenty of muscles in my left leg, arms and shoulders hobbling back down that mountain.

I’m guessing pickleball is over for this season. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to golf again a week from this Saturday, our last chance in Yuma. I know I won’t be golfing this Saturday. However, my friend Cathy is going to let me ride along in her golf cart, so at least I’ll get out a bit with friends.

It definitely could have been worse. I don’t even want to think what would have happened if I broke my leg. I’m sure I would have ended up on the news with some type of helicopter rescue and a hefty bill. This will just take time and patience.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Felicity, California

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day. Kevin and I don’t really celebrate, as we feel it is an artificial Hallmark holiday. However, we do celebrate our love for each other every day, and it doesn’t hurt to have a special day to remind us to tell our loved ones how much we love them. Just to make today a little special, we will be treating ourselves to a Dairy Queen blizzard.

Yesterday we visited one of those strange and quirky places that can sometimes be found along American’s highways. Dick and Wanda picked us up and we drove about 15 miles just across the California border to Felicity.

Felicity was founded on May 11, 1986; the community was named after a town mentioned in Jacques-André Istel's book Coe the Good Dragon and inspired by his wife, Felicia. Jacques is the mayor of Felicity. He won election by a vote of 3-0. The county board supervisor allowed a one time vote by an invisible dragon as the third vote.

There is a great description of this attraction at the Roadside America website. However, the basic story is that a rich man, Jacques-Andre Istel, had a vision of creating a town and museum in the middle of the desert in honor of his wife. He created a town named after her, and is building a History in Granite museum. Words that come to mind when thinking of this attraction include unique, educational, interesting, eclectic, determined, visionary and eccentric.

We started our adventure with a little $5 tour by the center’s elderly namesake, Felicia Lee. She told us a bit about the place and showed us a short video. Then she took us into the pyramid structure to show us the spot that has been certified as the Official Center of the World by Imperial County, California and the Institut Geographique National of France. Jacques wrote the children’s book about a dragon coming to Felicity and finding the center of the world to help him convince the county to make the decree. Of course, the center of the world could be anywhere, but we have official certificates stating we were there.


And here we are with Dick and Wanda standing on the center of the world spot inside the pyramid.


There is a very unique sundial on the property modeled after Michaelangelo's Dawn of Creation painting in the Sistine Chapel.


In the above picture you can see the pyramid where we stood at the center of the world. Behind the pyramid are the granite panels that make up the Museum of History in Granite.


Steel bars and concrete are poured as the base for the granite panels. Each panel weighs over 400 pounds. At the back you can see the church. Jacques felt that the town’s church had to be at the highest point, so he trucked in 150,000 tons of earth to build a hill for the church.

P1160071Here are Kevin and I on top of the hill at the base of the church. Its not really crooked, but Dick had a little trouble seeing the camera screen with the bright sun behind him :) We spent an hour or two reading many of the granite panels. You could easily spend days here reading all of them, but it gets mighty hot out in that desert sun.

Here’s the view of the panels from the top of the church hill. If you look closely, you can see the pyramid in the background, and some people reading some of the granite panels. The panels are about as tall as a person. Clicking on the picture will enlarge it to see better.


Many of the panels are not completed yet. The museum relies on donations and volunteers. Some of the finished panels teach you about the history of California, Arizona, the United States, Korean War, and the French Foreign Legion. The most ambitious project to date is the hundred panel depiction of the History of Humanity. So far, they have only completed the panels up to 800 AD. Lots more work to be done on those.

Here are a few panels that I thought were particularly beautiful.



P1160075Near the entrance is this portion of the original spiral staircase from when the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889. In 1983, 500 feet of the staircase was replaced and cut into 20 pieces. This is piece #12 purchased by Jacque in 1989 as a reminder of his native city.

This really was quite an amazing place. We haven’t seen too much advertisement for it, and that’s kind of a shame because I definitely think it’s a place worth spending a few hours at. The mayor and his wife are quite elderly. Who knows if the project will be completed and what will happen to it in the future.

Evie and Wanda golf in YumaToday we golfed with a group of friends. Here are Wanda and I enjoying another beautiful day in Yuma.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Still Here

I haven’t been in the mood to do much blogging lately. Mainly because we’re not doing too much new. We’re just thoroughly enjoying our time here in Yuma with good friends and wonderful weather.

The last week has been quite warm. Temperatures have been in the 80s. On Monday we tied a record high of 88 degrees. When I see what is going on in other parts of the country, I am so grateful that we can spend our time in this wonderful warmth and sun.

We have been playing some pickleball, golfing, spending time in the pool and just enjoying life. Not too exciting, but oh so wonderful!!

I finally got around to creating my annual collage for 2014. I use it as my laptop desktop background, and I really enjoy reliving the previous year through these photos.

2014 Collage

We’re off to shuffleboard soon. After that I’ll head to the weekly farmer’s market to pick up wonderful fresh fruits and veggies. I’m really going to miss that when we leave here. Last week I picked up a bag of grapefruit that are so sweet and delicious.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!