"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."
– Aldous Huxley
Hello from the Andersons. Sorry that you didn't hear from us last week, but I have been swamped with school and just could not take the time to write. But we have some updates this week, so here goes:
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that Steve and I thoroughly enjoy visiting military museums, especially ones that have vintage aircraft. This week's trip was to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tuscon, AZ. This was a wonderful place to visit and HUGE!!!! There are about 300 different airplanes there and we had a great time running around trying to see them all. Steve's favorite was the B377-SG, the "Super Guppy" which was used to bring back sections of the Saturn 5 (Apollo) rockets. That thing was GINORMOUS (if I could make up a word)! My favorite is the AV-8C, otherwise known as the Harrier. I have seen that jet in action and it is pretty darn cool. One of the best parts of this museum was the movie they did about making a giant paper airplane. This museum sponsors a contest for kids to design paper airplanes. The winner of the contest then gets to help professionals build an almost life-sized version of his model. When construction is complete, they attach the airplane to a helicopter and take it airborne and let it go. The movie showed this young boy's designed airplane soaring over the desert. The look of pride on the kid's face made me cry. He looked like he felt he was 10 feet tall. Awesome! I highly recommend this museum if you are in the Tucson area. It's a lot of fun.
Next, we paid a visit to the Saguaro National Park to visit some truly majestic cacti. The first picture in this gallery is Steve standing next to one of them. Now, my beloved is 5' 10" tall, so you can see what I mean when I say they are tall! And not only are they tall, but they can weigh up to 8 tons. Who knew? The park is huge and has a lot of nice hiking trails which take you on paths through every make and model of cacti available: cholla, prickly pear, barrel, hedgehog, fishhook, ocotillo, to name a few, and not just the saguaro (pronounced, by the way, sa-warr-o). The desert is a beautiful place even though it is extremely dry. I am sure that in about a month when the cacti are in full bloom, the desert will take my breath away.
From Tucson, Steve and I went up to Maricopa for a few days with the Christian Fellowship group that we are a part of through our membership with Escapees RV club. We had a blast with these people just fellowshipping and eating, but there was also learning involved. We studied a book called "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, which is about praying for God's promises.. We learned a lot and really enjoyed our time with these people: Bob and Mary Shuey from North Carolina, Barbara and Richard from Arizona, Linda from British Columbia, and Dave and Gail from Montana. It was great to hang out with fellow believers and Steve and I look forward to our next rally with this group in Campo, California in late March/April.
From Maricopa, we headed north to Williams, AZ. This town is absolutely adorable and was once a busy stop on the old Route 66. Next week's update will provide you more information about Williams because we have not explored it much. We just got here the other day so we've only managed to visit the Grand Canyon so far. Steve and I have both been here before, but the last time we were here (Steve's first visit, my second), it was rainy and overcast and Steve was not able to really get a feel for the grandeur of this wonder of God's creation. This time, he was blown away. Pictures really do not do it justice folks. For those of you who have been here, you are knodding your head in agreement on that statement. For those of you who haven't -- DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO VISIT. It is absolutely breathtaking. The enormity of this canyon cannot be described. It just goes on and on as far as the eye can see. And the colors are so vibrant, again not able to capture with pictures. I especially liked the bits of snow that were still evident in places. There are an absolute ton of trails to hike - - some along the rim and a good number that will take you down inside the canyon. We hiked the Trail of Time which explained the geological features of the canyon and described the types of rock layers, etc. We tried to capture that but gave up because there were just so many. We were also blessed with some wildlife sightings - - deer and elk. That was fun because Steve and I hardly ever get to see wildlife.
So this week we plan to visit Flagstaff and Sedona. Steve is going to do some exploring on his own as I spend a day in the library of Northern Arizona University (research for a study that I am working on). We will also explore the town of Williams as well because it is just the coolest little town. One thing, though, the altitude is killing both of us. We are about 7000+ feet up and both of us struggle to breathe at times. I am sure by the time we are ready to leave we will have adjusted. Funny story though - - in church today we met a woman from Swanton, Ohio. She is moving here soon and is in the process of selling her house on Route 295, right near where we used to live. Small world!!!!!
Ok peeps. Talk to you next week.