Usery Mountain - Take 2

Since our two weeks in Scottsdale/Phoenix area were so busy, we decided to return to Usery Mountain Recreational Park for a few days to relax and enjoy nature. The enjoying came easily; the relaxing not so much. It turned into a busy week.

Mike drove back to Scottsdale for a client meeting on Monday. He also had quite a bit of client work due to basically being out-of-the-office for the two weeks of Train-ee training.

We drove to Scottsdale a second time on Wednesday for orthodonic appointments. The kids’ had their last appointment when we were in Michigan for the Christmas holiday. We were a little apprehensive because that’s a long stretch between adjustments and we were visiting a new orthodontist. Dr. Arthur was great. He chose to be a bit aggressive in both kids’ mouths to help stretch the time until our next ortho visit (wherever that will be). Dr. Arthur also considered this a courtesy visit. That means no charge! Mike was VERY pleased.

Since we were already “in town” for the ortho appointments, we decided to venture into Phoenix to visit the Arizona Science Center. Our ASTC family pass provided us free entrance into the museum. We enjoyed a couple of hours there before making our way back home.

The next few days were spent at Usery and in Mesa “playing.” When we were at Usery a few weeks back we met the Camp Hosting family, but didn’t really have a chance to connect with them. We made a point of connecting with them this week. Our kids and the four Q family kids got together several times during the week to play. On Thursday evening we parents had an opportunity to hang out during a cook-out and campfire. We enjoyed it so much that we met up again as families on Sunday evening. (Thanks, Mollie, for the delicious meal!)

In addition to spending time with the Q family, the kids and I reconnected with the Mesa homeschooling family we bonded with during our first visit to Usery. (Shannon, it was really nice getting to know you IRL!)

Mike and I also made time to re-connect this week. After two weeks of business and several days of client work, we decided to have a “date morning.” We hiked one of the most popular trails at the park. It was a good time of exercise and talking.

Our original plan was to pull out Saturday morning. But, we heard about two weekend events that caused us to change our mind—a roller derby and sheep herding. Saturday evening several of the camp hosts were planning to attend a roller derby in Phoenix. Since the roller derby was on our odd list of things-to-do, we opted to stay a bit longer so we could attend. See my write-up here.

Sunday morning we all got up early and headed up to the park entry booth—along with several other people. We were all waiting to watch a large herd of sheep make their way through the park on the way to their summer feeding grounds. It was quite an experience.

With the extra fun of the weekend events behind us, we packed up our home on Monday morning and put the road back in our road-trip. Unfortunately, we encountered a few “detours” along the way.

We had mail to pick up in Scottsdale at the Regis office. Unfortunately, the letter I was really waiting for (our renewed license plate tabs) hadn’t arrived yet and Monday’s mail wouldn’t be sorted until about 2:00pm.

What should we do with the few hours we had until then? Mike solved that by climbing out of the truck and dropping his iPhone on the ground. We spent the time visiting a Phoenix Apple store to have it replaced ($!). We also caught lunch out and again visited the Borders bookstore that was going out of business. A little after 2:00 I was notified that my letter had arrived at the Scottsdale office, so we made our way back to pick it up. Thankfully the truck plate tabs were there.

Finally, we were on our way toward Sedona. We pulled into the Dead Horse Ranch State Park late afternoon and crashed for the evening. We’re planning to stay here and make day trips until the weekend.

Boyink and Q kids eating

Boyink and Q kids eating

Boyinks teach Q's Farkle

Boyinks teach Q's Farkle

The kids wait for the sheep

The kids wait for the sheep

Here they come!

Here they come!

Hi, sheep.

Hi, sheep.

One of the last of his kind

One of the last of his kind

Is your day really so bad?

Is your day really so bad?

I thought you said CHEAP camping!

I thought you said CHEAP camping!

MSBoyink hikes the Wind Cave Trail

MSBoyink hikes the Wind Cave Trail

Boyink at the Wind Caves.

Boyink at the Wind Caves.

Our view from the trail.

Our view from the trail.

The Roller Derby

The Roller Derby

Storybird getting caught up on braces

Storybird getting caught up on braces

Kids at the Arizona Science Center

Kids at the Arizona Science Center

Sheep run!

Sheep Jump!

2 Comments Usery Mountain - Take 2

  1. Picture of Data Data June 27, 2011

    Oh, man, the Q family was a blast. I can’t wait to meet back up with you on the road sometime! I just have to remember not to play football on the gravel.

  2. Picture of Storybird Storybird June 28, 2011

    Yes! Data is right. One of the highlights on the trip was meeting up with you guys. And seeing old friends again…something I haven’t done for a while.;)

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