We rented a house in northern Arizona. It was a big straw bale house in the middle of…well, nowhere. Sort of. It was a half hour from the nearest grocery store or any semblance of town.  It was an hour from our next big stop. It was  fairly secluded from any neighbors. The view from the porch included some far-off mountains and a lot of juniper trees. We spent four days there relaxing, playing ping-pong, and visiting with friends who made the track. Joshua Longbrake and his dog Jack came on the first day and then Auntie Angie, Holly and Claireanne from Friday night until Sunday morning.

It was a fun time to reconnect with folks we hadn’t seen in a long time. Once our visitors left, we went to Bearizona: a zoo of sorts. But not like the ones back home. The first section is a “drive through,” meaning that you drive through areas with free roaming animals – buffalo, wolves, bears…you drive by signs that say to keep your vehicle moving, your windows up and your doors closed. These are instructions that are easy to heed but for a brief pause for a photo here or there. It was fascinating. The kids were awed and only slightly intimidated. We thought it was pretty cool, too. The animals are obviously used to the cars…they don’t pay too much attention to the visitors (thankfully).

On our last day there, well…I’ll save that for the next post.

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