Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fun Family Day

Joe had a weekend off! I know, before you fall out of your chair, keep reading. This was his first weekend off in months. On Saturday, Joe worked his jobs, while I took the boys to the town's 25th anniversary party at the park.

Notice the dark clouds. Summer in the White Mountains. We stayed for the flag raising and the free bbq and playing on the new playground. Then, I just had a feeling that we should eat our picnic in the van. Soooooooooo glad I did. It rained BUCKETSand we just watched the multitudes running for meager shelter from the shelter of our mini-van.

Sunday was a full family day. We had read about some places to visit in the paper and decided to give it a try. What did we have to lose, but some gasoline, right? It was a stellar day.

We drove to the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center. For locals, that's the one right across the highway from the turnoff to Woods Canyon Lake. Their deck has a beautiful view of the rim and the valley below. They told us about Al Fulton Point. We went for a short break for the boys.

I don't know why their faces looked like that. But, if you can look past their funny faces, you can see the rim to the left of Jack.

While they were riding their bikes, Jack spotted a horny toad. He just bent over and picked it up. (This is the boy who can jump out of the boat and scoop up 3 small fish in his bare hands)
Then, Joshua saw a butterfly, walked over to the flower, and caught the butterfly. My boys are amazing. I tried to take a pic, but when he opened his hands, it flew off.

We decided to try the Natural Bridge, just north of Payson. Seven years ago, when we first were married, Joe and I took a 3 week vacation, traveling around the southwest. We had tried to visit Natural Bridge, but they were closed that day and we had just never gotten back there. We read in the paper that the park will be closing after Labor Day due to the budget crisis. So, we had to go this weekend. So glad we did.

For those who have never been, Natural Bridge was formed by a spring flowing throw limestone. The "cave" is 150 feet wide (half a football field), 400 feet long (longer than a football field), and 200 feet high. There are trails all over the park, leading down to the cave and through the cave. There is also a Waterfall trail that leads to, yep, you guessed it, a waterfall.

At the bottom of the trail, you can see into a cave that the water has carved over hundreds of years. You can't see it very well in the picture, but it must have been 30 feet deep. And the trail was covered with wild blackberries.

Here is a pic of the Natural Bridge. I don't think I captured the beauty of it all, but you get the picture (ha ha).
On the way home, we stopped at the Paleo Site. We had read at the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center that the Paleo Site (near Kohl's Ranch) is rich with fossils. We decided to try it.

After about 15 minutes of hunting, we found the motherload of fossils. Many were in boulders, way too big to take home. We were able to find 3 rocks rich with fossils and brought them home. One for us, one for the aquarium, and one for my rock-collecting mother.

All in all, great weekend for not a lot of money. I love living in the White Mountains. So much to do.

where Glory meets my suffering