Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We have finally left TT Verde Valley and are now at TT Rancho Oso, near Santa Barbara, CA.  We arrived Saturday, July 28, and by buying our "week out", we are able to stay here until the end of August.  Then we will go to TT Wilderness Lakes.  We will not spend any time at TT Soledad Canyon as originally scheduled.

See our itinerary in the right margin.


Jul 24 - We finally finished up with our doctors' appointments in Cottonwood and we left TT Verde Valley and headed west along I-40.  We stayed a couple of nights in Williams, AZ because we wanted to see the Grand Canyon one more time -- only about 60 miles north of Williams.

We arrived in Williams early afternoon and took a drive around.  We discovered that Williams was the last town in America on Historic Route 66 to be bypassed by the freeway, I-40, in 1984.

This is downtown Williams.  Historic Route 66 is the main street in town.

Cruiser's Cafe seems to be the most popular place.

We just had to stop by and enjoy a Grand Canyon Beer!

An Historic Route 66 store with all kinds of Route 66 stuff!

Shootouts erupt somewhere on Route 66 nightly in Williams, at a different location each evening.  We found out where the shootout would be this evening and went to watch the performance (in the rain)!  But it was fun!


We spent an enjoyable day in Williams, on Route 66!!


Jul 24 - While we were in Williams, we visited nearby Bearizona Drive-Thru Wildlife Park.

We went first to the 20 acre walk-thru area.  Saw these adorable raccoons!!

All the baby black bears were up a tree!!

They also had a Bird Show.

As we entered the drive-thru area, this donkey greeted us.  I thought this picture is so neat because you can see me in the car mirror as I'm taking the picture!!  And I didn't even try!!

Other donkeys along the way.

Ken captured this Bobcat in a tree.

A grizzly watched us drive by.

Black bear came to tell us good bye as we drove out!


Jul 25 - Today, Wednesday, we drove from Williams up to the Grand Canyon National Park.  We had been here before in 1999 but since we were so nearby, we didn't want to let this chance to see it again pass us by.

Our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon!!  Mather Point.  Awesome!!!

Other spectacular views of the Grand Canyon.  My pictures just do not show the Canyon in all it's  glory!!  But we tried!!

Ken and I were trying to be "artsy" using this dying tree.  Whoever created the best picture, it would be posted in the Blog!  Ken won!!

Here we are!!  In the middle of the Grand Canyon!!

We spent most of the day at the South Rim, but I had seen on a tour map that there was also an East Rim  not too far away.  We had never been there.  So we drove about 45 miles East on a beautiful road with lots of overlooks.

And an Elk along the way!!

I had seen on one map that this was called the East Rim; however, other maps showed it as the Eastern Entrance at Desert View.

The Desert View Watchtower was originally built in 1932 in collaboration with Hopi artisans of the day.  Ken and I did not climb to the top of the 70-foot tower!!

The view was spectacular here too!!  Actually, there is only one viewpoint at Desert View and we're viewing from it!!

The Colorado River runs through it!!

The Grand Canyon is about 300 miles long.  It is interesting that this appears to be the end (or the beginning) of the massive Grand Canyon!!  Amazing!!


Jul 31 - We arrived at TT Rancho Oso, near Santa Barbara, CA on Saturday afternoon the 28th and plan to be here for most of August.

On Tuesday we drove down to Santa Barbara (about 18 miles from Rancho Oso) and went to the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center.  When Ronald Reagan was President of the U.S., he used his ranch outside of Santa Barbara, Rancho del Cielo, as a Western "White House".  Years after his death, The Young America's Foundation bought the ranch to preserve it as a living monument to Ronald Reagan.

The public cannot tour the ranch itself, but many of the original artifacts, along with multimedia exhibits are contained in the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center in the middle of Santa Barbara.

Portrait of Ronald Reagan on his favorite horse.

Book shelves from the Ranch, with a sampling of his books.

Reagan's truck.

Well known quote by Ronald Reagan.

Section of the Berlin Wall that was indeed torn down!

After touring the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center, we went to the weekly Santa Barbara Farmer's Market. Every Tuesday they block off four or five blocks on State Street, the main street in town, and set up the Farmer's Market.  We love to go there when we are in the area.

We browsed the entire market and bought some of the strawberries, peaches, lettuce, and beets with beet greens.   YUMMMMM!!


Aug 03 - As part of the Old Spanish Days Fiesta, they had a Fiesta Rodeo and Horse Show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.  Ken and I decided to go to the Rodeo in the morning before the Fiesta Parade in the afternoon.  (Actually, I decided we would go!!)

Entrance to the Showgrounds.

It turned out the Rodeo participants were all young ladies -- teenage and below.  I missed pictures of the teenager events when they were "Bull Dogging" and Hog Tying  the goats.  I had never seen that before at a Rodeo.

Here are a couple of pictures of  young cowgirls (below age 12) "hog tying" a goat.  Notice, the goat is already tied to a stake!

Another young lady catches the goat!

And hogties him!  The goats were not too happy!!  Baa!  Baa!  Baa!

After the goat events, the teen cowboys came in for the Calf Roping event.

Cowboys will be boys!!

Calf Roping!

Hog Tying!

After the Rodeo, we went to the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade.


Aug 03 - We were in Santa Barbara when they were celebrating their annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta  from August 1 - August 5.  Celebrations were held all over the city.  We went to the Fiesta Rodeo in the morning and in the afternoon we went to the big Fiesta Parade held down near the waterfront.  I read that it was one of the largest equestrian parades in the country!!  And I believe it!!  There must have been hundreds and hundreds of beautiful horses!

The Parade opened with a welcome by the Fiesta Flower Girls.  You can't see them here but there were about 30 little girls all dressed up in white Spanish style dresses.  They were the cutest things!

Just a very few of the exhibits in the Parade!  Horses and carriage.

Palomino horses paraded by!

Festive float.

Old western stage coach!

One of several bands!

Mounted Posse!

They thought they did not have enough horses so they included some mules, too!


What I enjoyed most were all the beautiful prancing horses!

It was a fun day at the Fiesta Parade!