Phoenix Zoo (April 6, 2019)

Visting the Phoenix Zoo was my last outing before leaving for Kings Canyon National Park to work for the season. I went with my friend, Mayshla who I know originally from Washington, but has been living here in Phoenix for the last few years.  We found the Phoenix Zoo to be very enjoyable and had great animals.

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The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States.  Founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, operates on 125 acres of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species, including many threatened/endangered species.

Admission for adults is $24.95, but you can save $1.00 if you buy online.

 

 

 

 

Road Trip 2019 – Fort Verde Historic Park, Campe Verde, AZ (March 28th – April 1st)

I had not been back to the Grand Canyon to see friends since I had left January 1, 2018, so I decided to take a few days and make a little road trip before leaving Phoenix for Kings Canyon National Park to work for the season.

On the way to the Grand Canyon, I stopped off in Cordes Junction for lunch to see my friend Peggy that I worked with at the Grand Canyon, Desert View in 2017.

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My next stop was Camp Verde to check out Camp Verde Historic Park – The fort consists of the original administration building,  which is the main “museum” part and small gift shop. There are also three complete houses in “officers row” down one side of the parade ground…….the houses are accessible and decorated in the style of the period including the kitchen, living quarters and children’s room. There is also the army doctor’s quarters, which includes his “surgery” in the front room. The museum is well done giving you a good idea of life on the frontier and one of the only remaining Indian War time forts left in the West.    

Settlers began migrating into the Verde Valley because of the mining industry in the early 1860s. The settlers grew corn and other crops with the hope of getting good prices from Prescott, which was the territorial capital, and from the miners. The rapid increase in the mining population disrupted the hunting and gathering environments of the local Tonto-Apache and Yavapai tribes so they started raiding the settlers for their crops and livestock. As the settlers fought back hostilities escalated and military protection was requested from the U.S. Army. The first military establishment was a temporary post overlooking the farms at West Clear Creek. In 1865, the next post, Camp Lincoln was established. In 1868 the name was changed to Camp Verde. The post was moved to its present-day site in 1871 due to the onset of malaria. In 1873 when construction was completed there were 22 buildings arranged around a parade ground which housed one company of cavalry and infantry (which only 4 survived until 1956).  In 1878 the name was changed to Fort Verde and in April of 1890, the post was officially closed and sold at public auction in 1899.  Over the following years, the community recognized the value of protecting and preserving this historic site and was established as a Historic State Park in 1970.

Commanding Officers Quarters

This one and a half story building consists of 10 rooms and is of the Second Empire architectural style with a mansard roof. Its outer walls are pise adobe construction covered with board and batten. Pise adobe is a technique of casting massive adobe in a temporary wooden form, similar to rammed earth. This was simpler and faster than making adobe bricks, and the resulting structure was less susceptible to water damage. The upper story is wood framed with dormer windows and a shingle roof.

Fort Verde’s commanding officer was typically the senior company captain. His monthly salary of $166.00 was enough for his wife to have gradually assembled the respectful household furnishings necessary to assume their roles in the center of military society.

Surgeon’s Quarters

Each permanent military command was required to have a physician. The post surgeon was allowed these rather spacious accommodations because patients were treated and surgery was performed here. The post-hospital was located at the northwest corner of the parade grounds and was operated by the hospital matron. It was used strictly for quarantine and convalescence. Many of the surgeons serving at Fort Verde achieved recognition as natural scientists. Doctors Mearns, Coues, and Palmer were but a few surgeons who made outstanding contributions to ornithology, botany, and archaeology during their service.

Administrative Building – Now houses the museum and small gift shop

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Indian Scouts, Weapons, Uniforms

In 1871, General George Cook who had established himself as an Indian fighter was named commander of the Department of Arizona. He soon realized that his soldiers were no match for the fierce Apache that he was sent to subdue. He recruited from the reservation at Fort Apache about 50 men to serve as Apache Scouts, who played a key role over the next 15 years in the success of the army in the Apache Wars.

Eleven Arizona Indian Scouts were awarded Medals of Honor for their service between 1870 and 1892. The Medal of Honor is the highest award of bravery and gallantry given by the U.S. military. Between 1863 and 1904 it also was the only medal awarded for bravery.

 

 

 

Road Trip – Grand Canyon to St. George Utah (March 28-April 1, 2019)

After visiting Fort Verde I made my way to the Grand Canyon – Desert View to meet up with my friend Kathy. Kathy was still at work so I said hello to a few old co-workers who are still there and took some reminiscing photos.

I stayed overnight with Kathy and had a lot of fun catching up with her. The next morning we were up early and heading out on a three-day road trip. We headed out the west end entrance of the Grand Canyon towards the Vermillion Cliffs, past the North Rim towards St. George Utah.

As we headed toward St. George Utah on highway 89A we came across Pipe Springs National Monument out in the middle of nowhere so, of course, we had to stop and check it out.

The Kaibab Paiute Indians Visitor Center and Museum sits at the entrance of the monument. A collaboration between the National Parks Service and the Kaibab Paiute Tribe, the museum houses artifacts of both Native Americans and pioneers. There are educational displays and a short 10-minute video. During the summer months, folks in period costume demonstrate various activities to show what life was like in the late 1800s for both ranchers and Paiute. Guests may take a self-guided tour of the grounds, or accompany a park ranger for an educational talk. Tours of the fort are available at half-hour intervals throughout the day during both summer and winter months. Visitors will see artifacts and furnishings from the 1800s and learn more about the history of the fort. This time of year (March) there were not very many tourists and we pretty much had the place to ourselves and we had a great tour from our tour guide.

Pipe Springs National Monument is a historic pioneer fort located 20 minutes west of Kanab, Utah. The fort was created in the 1870s for security from the Native Americans but rarely was used for its original purpose.

Pipe Spring was named in 1858 by Latter-day Saint missionary, Jacob Hamblin on an expedition to the Hopi mesas.  Jacob saw the spring’s great potential as an oasis in the middle of the desert and took his knowledge of the area back home with him. Mormon pioneers living in St. George, Utah, brought cattle to the spring sometime during the 1860s. They established a large cattle ranch and began interacting with the local Kaibab Paiute Tribe. Although the relationship between the ranchers and the Paiute was friendly, there were some problems with other tribes in the area. During the winter of 1866, members of a local Navajo tribe stole the cattle at the ranch.  The rancher, and his herder, began tracking the cattle and were attacked and killed. Following the attacks, the ranch was abandoned for four years until a peace treaty was signed in 1870. Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had a fort built for protection.

Although it was equipped with guns and high walls, the fort was never needed for safety, as both the Paiutes and Mormons were able to live peacefully. The fort was built right on top of the spring. The LDS Bishop of nearby Grafton, Utah was hired to operate the ranch and maintain the fort. With this outpost being so isolated it served as a way station for people traveling across this part of Arizona which separated them from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880s and 1890s. There were many changes for the Paiute tribe when the Mormons settled and built the fort.  The biggest impact was the water source, now located inside the fort. Although this created some dependency, the relationship had mutual benefits. The Mormons benefited from the knowledge and friendship of the Paiute, and the Paiute gained some security as the tribe had been victim to slave raids from other tribes. With the presence of the fort, these attacks ceased and everyone was safe and secure. The Kaibab Paiute Tribe continues to live at Pipe Spring. In 1907 the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation was founded. The property surrounds the monument, and the Paiute operate a campground and picnic area nearby.

 

Our next stop was St. George Utah. We stopped to take a tour of the Latter Day Saint winter home of Brigham Young. From 1870 to 1877, President Brigham Young lived in St. George, Utah, during the winter months. Beginning in 1872, he and members of his family lived in the place that is now called the Brigham Young Winter Home. From this home, he directed the affairs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The historic home is open to the public year-round. The home and adjacent office have been restored and furnished to reflect their 1870s appearance. Tours tell about Brigham Young’s family life in St. George and about his role in directing the settlement of southern Utah, including the construction of the St. George Utah Temple.

An interesting story about the green and red trim on the Brigham Young home: In the early 1870s the builders of the St. George LDS temple ordered white paint with which to paint the temple. When the paint arrived, half the wagon delivery was white and half green. Brigham Young and the settlers did not alter their concept and painted the temple white. The green paint did not go to waste and many fences, houses, and mercantile establishments were painted green. Some of that green paint was used on Brigham Youngs Winter Home. During restoration work, layers of paint were scraped away and revealed the original colors……the eaves, porches, banisters, and pillars painted a jade green with accented strips of cranberry red.

Next, we stopped to take a tour of the St. George Tabernacle. In 1862 Brigham Young suggested a meetinghouse be built, one large enough to comfortably seat at least 2,000 people that would not only be useful but also an ornament to the city. The ground-breaking and dedication of the site took place on June 1, 1863, which was also the 62nd birthday of Brigham Young. Over the next few years, the work to build the meeting house progressed slowly…..there was an outbreak of malaria, the rivers were unpredictable and dams and ditches needed frequent repairs and rebuilding. The Utah settlers were also busy with helping to transport other settlers from Missouri to Utah, and all settlers were also building homes, setting up mills and shops. In February of 1866 George A. Smith, the apostle-frontiersman after whom St. George was named visited the area and the limestone foundation that was six feet thick had only reached six feet high. Nine months later a stepped-up program of construction was put into place and within a little, over a year the basement had been completed and the main floor timbers were about to be laid. On March 20, 1869, the first public gathering met in the basement. Worked continued on the main structure for the next two and one-half years. On December 29, 1871, the last stone to the tabernacle was laid and a community celebration was held.

After the walls were up and the roof was on, meetings were held in the upper part, but finishing work remained. The community clock and bell were installed in the tower in 1872. The interior was finished in 1875, a beautiful silver sacra­ment set and organ were provided in 1877. Brass chandeliers were added in 1883. The Tabernacle has stood for close to 150 years until its recent remodeling. After almost two years of remodeling the St. George Tabernacle reopened its doors on July 23, 2018.

Our last stop was to view the St. George Temple. Brigham Young observing the effectiveness and beauty of the work that had gone into the St. George Tabernacle, the time had come for the Saints to build a Temple in St. George. The ground was broken on November 9, 1871, and excavation for the basement and foundation began immediately.

The cornerstone was laid on April 1, 1874, and completed January 1, 1877, it was the church’s third temple to be completed, but the first in Utah.

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Spring Training Baseball Games (March 2019)

I had been living in Phoenix for a year and two months when I decided to take some part-time work at the Maryvale Sports Stadium as a cash room attendant for 5 weeks. I worked with Andrew, a GCU student along with Kara, the controller from the corporate office in Buffalo, NY. It was a great season and a lot of fun working with some great people. Since I and Andrew had never worked in this capacity we spent a full weekend working with the folks at Camelback Ranch Sports Complex for training. The first week of games was a learning curve for Andrew and me as we got up to speed and found a routine that worked for us. It was a lot of fun to be part of the games, a chance to watch some of the games and be a part of the excitement that is felt at the games.

American Family Fields of Phoenix, formerly known as Maryvale Baseball Park and briefly as Brewers Fields of Phoenix. It is the spring training home of the Milwaukee Brewers replacing Compadre Stadium in Chandler. In February 2018, the Brewers started a major renovation of the facility which was completed for the Spring Training season in March of 2019. The new renovation included a new clubhouse, agility field, practice field, batting tunnels, covered practice mounds, a new entry plaza and parking lots.

 

 

Arabian Horse Show – Scottsdale, AZ (February 16, 2019)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show! I had never been to one of these shows and was not entirely sure what to expect. I arrived around 10 AM and parked in a big open gravel parking lot that was at this point was just starting to fill up. Golf Cart drivers were making their rounds from the parking lot to the main entry building for those who did not want to walk. I hopped on and took advantage of the ride. Admission for my age group….59 was only $10.00 which gave me access to the all-day events.

The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is an annual event sponsored by the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona and hosted by WestWorld of Scottsdale, the most prestigious Arabian horse show in the United States.  This show had its beginnings in 1955 when it held its first show on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. After the show’s beginnings, Ann McCormick bought 150 acres in Scottsdale and made it into the horse facility know as Paradise Park where the show was held for many years. Since then the show has been held at WestWorld. It has grown from 50 horses to over 2,400 horses bringing top owners and breeders from around the world competing for a chance at winning. A win at Scottsdale means big money in the breeding barns.

One of the first things I did was take the Golf Cart tour of the grounds. I found the dressing up of the stalls pretty amazing and homey.

I got to take one of the group tours to the stables where the retired Arabian Horses were so that visitors could learn more and get up close to them. 

There were many different styles, categories and age groups for showing the horses and judgings.

There were many, many vendors selling all kinds of things related to horses, here are some photos of a few things I liked.

 

 

 

 

Where Am I?

Wow! here is July 1, 2018………Time is just flying by. It’s funny I seem to say that phrase a lot, but it really seems like it is all the time. There are all these moments and milestones that happen in life…..you start looking at your family, friends and especially kids and how quickly things seem to be going by.

Well as the title of this blog says…..Where I am? I have a friend who has referred to me a time or two as that character “Waldo”, you know the one where you have to find where Waldo is in this book of crazy pictures…”Where’s Waldo”. As I stated in my last blog titled “I’m Back”, it has been two and a half years since I have done any blogging. I post quite a bit on my personal Facebook page so a lot of you know where I am and what I am doing. But I thought for those who maybe are not on Facebook or are not on that often some of you may not know where I am, or maybe you are new to my blog page. I am hoping to reach other readers who do not know me that I would like to share my life, my travels, and experiences. I have found over the last couple years as I have been living this RV lifestyle, that many others are also and we are all doing this traveling, RV life all a little bit different. We each have different experiences that we can share with each other and learn from as well as sharing the gorgeous, beautiful places we have been, giving references and recommendations, as well as sharing the experience and the feeling we have visiting these places.

So currently I am living and working in Phoenix Arizona. I arrived here on January 1, 2018……6 months ago, half a year…..Wow! It originally was to just be a temporary job, but turned into a long-term permanent job…..how long term? Not sure yet……taking it a day at a time! I am working for a Heavy Equipment, Truck, and RV Repair shop where I do a variety of things but mostly office work. I met the owner here two years ago when I was in Phoenix and needed to have the oil changed in my RV along with some other work they found. I ended up at that time spending about 4 days here with repairs. We got a chance to know each other and hit it off well. I found them to be honest, down to earth and compassionate. Over the last two years, I have stayed in touch and our friendship and connection continued to grow.  I had been working and living at the Grand Canyon since March of 2017. In December 2017 I made a decision that it was time to move on, but was needing some temporary work before starting a new National Park job at the Badlands in South Dakota. I was offered temporary work here in Phoenix at the repair shop……things were going well and I was offered to stay long term. I took up the offer feeling that this is where I needed to be for now to get more financially on my feet as well as get some more RV work done. South Dakota would be there for another time. So here I am in Phoneix, AZ. I am enjoying the area and all the things there are to see and do here. I have a few friends who live in the area as well as a couple friends who live 2-3 hours away.

Winters here in Phoenix are great as the temperatures are around 70-75 degrees during the day. Summer I am finding so far to be pretty hot and I am not enjoying this heat too much. So I find myself indoors most days as it is just too hot to be outside doing anything unless you can find a water activity. So with all this indoor time, I am getting caught up on other projects I have been wanting to get done…..scrapbooking and my blogging. I hope you will come along for the ride and join me in this chapter of my life…….where I have been, where I am now and who knows where I will be next!

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Ray Mine – Kearny, AZ – May 12, 2018

After leaving the Boyce William Arboretum I headed for Ray Mine…..this proably would not have even been on my radar to do except that my co-worker Joe told me about it. He was born and lived in Ray as a young boy. It sounded interesting and I decided to check it out. Ray Mine is a very large copper mine currently owned by Asarco. Ray Mine represents one of the largest copper reserves in the United States and in the world. Located near Kearny along scenic highway 177, the Ray Mine has a history dating back 140 years. The town of Ray, Sonoran, and Barcelona are no longer there…….these towns were torn down as the open pit mine expanded. The small town of Ray was founded in 1870, by 1873 prospectors were mining silver and by 1880 high-grade copper ore was being mined in Ray. From the early days, there were three different communities that were established by mine workers: Sonora, Ray, and Barcelona. Sonora was founded around 1906 and was mostly Mexican workers and their families who had come from nearby Sonora, Mexico. Ray was founded in 1909 as a company town to provide housing mostly for the Anglo miners. In 1911 a third town was founded by Spanish miners and name “Barcelona” after the city in Spain. By this time in 1911 large scale, copper production had begun. By the late 1940s, the Kennecott Copper Corporation running the mine at this time decided to abandon underground mining operations to open-pit mining. By the 1950s the company had given notice to all residents of Sonora, Ray, and Barcelona that they would be required to abandon their homes no later than 1965. To accommodate the soon to be displaced families, the company built a new town named “Kearney”, which was 11 miles away and completed in 1958. By 1965, the once-bustling towns of Ray, Sonora, and Barcelona were completely abandoned and swallowed up by the expanding open-pit. On May 1, 1999, a historical marker was placed on a site overlooking where the former towns once stood. This is where I went to view the Ray open pit mine and where the Sonora historical marker was placed.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park – May 12, 2018

I headed out of Phoenix early to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park on Highway 60 just 3 miles outside of Superior, AZ. From Phoneix, it is a 67-mile drive…. an easy hour drive. With temperatures already reaching 90-100 degrees during mid-day I wanted to get there early when it was going to be cooler. Two years ago when I was in and around Phoneix in February the cacti were not in bloom, so now that I am in Phoenix for a while I wanted to be sure I got a chance to see them. I had heard and read about the arboretum and wanted to make a visit here and thought it would be a great opportunity to see and experience all kinds of different plant life and blooming cacti as well as a little trail hiking. Boyce Arboretum did not disappoint me.

Entrance fees are reasonable $12.50 for adults 13 or older, $5.00 for children 5-12 and children 4 and under are free. The arboretum hours from October to April are 8 am – 5 pm with no entry after 4 pm. May to September hours are 6 am to 3 pm with no entry after 2 pm.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in Arizona. It was founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and “living museum” by William Boyce Thompson, a mining engineer who made his fortune in the mining industry. Boyce was fascinated with the landscape around Superior, so he built a winter home overlooking Queen Creek and beneath the towering volcanic remnant……Picketpost Mountain located in the Sonoran Desert on 323 acres.

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Upon my arrival at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, you pay at the window just inside the doorway and given a map of the grounds. In this entrance area, you will find a gift store, the restrooms, as well as plants to buy. You are then free to wander the grounds how and where you want at your own leisure. I followed the 1.5-mile main loop which took me a couple of hours as I took some short side trails, checked out so many of the cactus and various plants and vegetation, took pictures, stopped to rest, relax and just enjoy.

BTA Map

Here are some things I saw on my trail walk……Flowers

Cacti

Gila Monsters, Twisted trees, Ayer Lake, Eucalyptus Trees, Mountains, and Trails

The Clevenger House…….a stone and mortar building was home for a family of 5 in the early 1900s. Robert Clevenger and his family were homesteaders who made their living by truck farming along Queen Creek. They left this area in the early 1920s. This building was purchased along with the surrounding land by William Boyce Thompson. It was remodeled as a playhouse for his grandchildren. Today it is used for drying and displaying herbs as well as a cool respite from the summer heat.

By the time I had finished up the loop, it was getting midday and the temperatures were really starting to warm up. It was a great day, really enjoyed this place. Now off to Ray Mine.

 

 

Off-Road Adventures – Cleator and Crown King – Phoenix, AZ

After being here at my new job about a month my co-workers Don and Caroline invited me to go off-road riding on two different occasions to Crown King on February 4th and February 17, 2018. On both of these trips we were up bright and early with the car hauler hitched to Don’s truck and loaded with the Cam Am’s. The drive is about 60  miles outside of Phoenix on I-17, exit 248 to Bumble Bee/Crown King.

After exiting the highway we drove about 3 miles on a two-lane paved road to a staging spot where we parked and met 3 other couples/friends who were joining us for the day. After unloading the off-road vehicles, checking everything over and packing up with water and face coverings for the dust we were off and running. I rode with Caroline in her orange and black CamAm……The vehicle has a roll bar cage, I was all buckled and strapped in, had my bandanna wrapped around my face to help keep out the dust. I have done a lot of off-road riding in my dad’s Bronco growing up, with our quads and dirt bikes with my kids, but I had not been riding in these Cam-Am’s….what a thrill they are. These things are fast and we were barreling up the dirt road 50-60 miles an hour, going around corners and skidding the back end. Caroline is a good driver but I have to say I was holding on to the safety bar pretty tight… as the day went on I relaxed.

The ride to Crown King was to be about an hour and a half….our first stop for a break and cold drink was at an old mining/ghost town called “Cleator” population 8 is what the sign on the side of the building says. There is not much to Cleator except for a few ramshackle buildings. The highlight to the stop was the Cleator Bar and Yacht Club with cold beers and soda which is also an “old” building. This place was a crazy, fun twist to a bar in the desert. The staff is friendly, the walls are plastered with $1.00 bills, wooden floors, knick-knacks, pictures and memorabilia from the past. Outback, the bar is all decked out in a Nautical/Beach theme with a big pontoon boat, surfboards, buoys and jet skis along with a stage where live bands play on the weekends.

This community located in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains began in the late 1800s as Turkey Creek. It later became Cleator, after James Cleator bought the town and named it after himself. The town is still owned by the Cleator family.

We then continued on about 10 more miles to another mining/ghost town of Crown King. Crown Kings sits 6,000 feet high in the Bradshaw Mountains. The only way to get there is on a 27-mile dirt road with many switchbacks……Here at Crown King, you will find a general store which has been operating since 1904, several places to eat, a few travel trailers and many historic cabins. A population of only 133 people, it is also home to The Crown King Saloon, one of the oldest bars in the Western United States. The original owner, Tom Anderson, was a miner who worked at the Crown King Mine and mill. Shortly before the mine closed, he purchased a butcher shop and in 1906 he moved this butcher shop piece by piece from Ore Belle, just two miles up the road to Crown King, where it later became The Crown King Saloon & Café. The saloon is full of history and has been a very big part of the community in Crown King, Arizona.  It also survived Prohibition, numerous city fires, and time. The Crown King Saloon is a piece of living history that you can personally sit in, order a drink and a meal.

From Crown King, we headed up the road another few miles to a place called Horse Thief Lake, it’s a small lake with a dam and lots of cattails. We stopped here for a bit to stretch our legs, took a hike across the dam and around the lake.

Then it was time to turn around and head back with a stop at Cleator Bar for some cool refreshments to wind up the day. It was an absolutely awesome, great day!

 

Glitter & Gold Balloon Festival – Glendale AZ January 6, 2018

Here we are January 2018, the start of another brand new year……I arrived here in Phoenix, AZ January 1, 2018, after spending 10 months living and working at the Grand Canyon. I had only been in town for a few days but I was ready to start exploring Phoenix. I was on my computer googling things to do and see when I ran across the Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival that was being held on the evening of January 6th. As I read all about the festival and the fact it was free I was ready to go. I checked in with a few friends I have here in Phoenix to see if any of them wanted to go, but they all had other plans…but you all know me, I am good going solo and that’s a topic for another time. So I made my plans to go, it was a short 10-15 minute drive from where I am living and working to downtown, historic Glendale. I found a parking lot not far from where all the activities were taking place so it was just a short walk. The city had blocked off 16 blocks to traffic for the festivities. The Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival is an annual event and this year was its 23rd year. It was festive time with several glowing hot air balloons lined up and down the main streets, plus 1.6 million LED lights strung around in trees, bushes, etc in the park, 8 different local bands, food and even carnival rides and games for the kids. I really had a good time at this festival……I have seen hot air balloons over the years flying in the sky, but I had never gotten the chance to get up close and personal with them. It was amazing to watch as the balloon owners showed up in their trucks, or trucks and trailers that carried their balloons, then watch as a team for each balloon unfolded their balloon in the street on a tarp, stretched it out and then filled with gas to rise up into the night sky (none of the balloons flew). People were able to wander around, watch the balloons being set up, watch them periodically get a zap of the gas flame to keep them standing, you could talk to the owners, ask questions, etc. There were a few special shaped balloons……the bumblebee and a mass glow where the balloon pilots fired up the balloons all at once to create an awesome illumination.

LED lights in the park

Balloon owners rolling out their balloons.

So many balloons

Up close and personal

I found this band that I really enjoyed playing classic rock, oldies, and some country

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And just some miscellaneous