Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Family Outing

Part of the benefits of running your own business and homeschooling your children is the flexibility.  Ralph had finished a solar installation recently, but had to leave a trailer behind at the customer's new home for a short time.  Yesterday, the whole family piled into the small work truck to go pick up the trailer and check in on the customer.  Life as a private business owner is enough to keep you hopping.  Throw into the mix our remote home location and you've got something unique.  Freedom of sorts.  Whenever possible we squeeze in these impromptu family outings that do double duty, such as customer follow up.  So now we begin the 150 miles one way from our place to her place.

In this trip I got to get out and see some new scenery and meet another very interesting lady who is also our customer.  That's one of the other many benefits, you get to meet some really great people!

This photo is from her 7 mile (or so) dirt road and shows parts of the Weaver Mountains.  Our new friend/customer lives in among these beauties.  One of the peaks is called Rich Hill.  Full of historical intrigue these mountains still harbor gold.  Driving along, you'll spot several signs posting gold prospecting claims.  Don't get caught searching for gold without being legally part of one of these mining claims!  Check in with a mining district office if you get bitten by the gold bug!

These next two photos show just what the "Miracle Worker" is capable of.  He is a strong believer in good, clean, professional installations that meet the individual customer's needs.  This photo shows the solar array mounts and generator.

This next photo shows where all the magic happens.

Like I said, clean, neat, and professional!  Note there are no unsightly and potentially dangerous wires hanging loose or in a mess!  It is all contained, neat and in order.

After meeting her and her animals (wish I had a picture of her mini burro for you!), we started making our way home.  We stopped at a nice little restaurant in Congress.  Good food!  They made "killer" quesadillas!  If ever you find yourself in the little town, on State Route 71, stop by Nichols West.  They embody good small-town hospitality with very good food.  Did I mention they had good food?

After having lunch, we got back on the road.  The kids talked Dad into stopping in Wikieup at the Trading Post Restaurant for some ice cream.  He caved.  It was getting late, it had been hot, so ofcourse ice cream was a sensible choice.

Back on the road for the final leg of the journey home we started up our 17 mile dirt road.  We noticed a helicopter circling an area on the mountain that looked to be one of our "neighbors."  I use the word loosely only because we share the same mountain range.  Up here that makes you a neighbor; and neighbors are anywhere from 2-12 miles from each other.  Few and far between.  We got up there and were asked by one of the Sheriff's deputies there to block the road a little farther up while he blocked it further down.  The chopper needed a place to land and the only safe place was on the main road.  Once it landed the medics attended to our neighbor's needs.

During the wait, I took the opportunity to take picutures of this beautiful desert in the light of the sunset.

This one is on the way up the road we take to get home.

I enjoy this one with the light behind the spent flowers, the blue mountain range in the distance, and the colors in the middle-ground!

Notice how as the sun continues to lower the colors become more dramatic and intense!  There are no words to express the excitement and inspiration!

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Oh yeah!  Now that's what I'm talkin' about!!!  Quintessential Arizona!!!  Woooohooo!

It really is this beautiful.

No words...

The helicopter takes off and we check in on the neighbors briefly.  Everyone is fine.  It's now after 8pm and we still have another 12 miles of dirt road to go.  We  make one more stop to pick up some hay which another neighbor is using as our reimbursement for watching and caring for things.  Once we are finally home it is well after 9pm.  The kids do their bedtime rituals and land on their pillows by about 10pm.  Having started our day faithfully by our lively children at 6am, we were tired.  We might have gotten to bed ourselves by around 11 last night.  What is that, a 17 hour day?  Yeah, that's about right, and even normal!  Just another day to remind me of the daily unpredictability, beauty, and blessings of life.

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