Day 16 – Hiking, Driving & Cinnamon Rolls

We received two phone calls last night that eliminated a few rental options. Still haven’t heard back from the ideal cottage yet.  These calls made me accept the fact that we might be in the hotel for a few more days and I should just get my slippers from the car.

Along with that decision came the readiness to buy some groceries and really live out of the hotel.  Except for some pet behavior problems, it actually hasn’t been bad.  It has fast wifi and plenty of space; the shower is hot with good pressure; we’re able to make our coffee…everything is peachy.

But for some reason, I was clinging to this belief that we’d be out of the hotel any day now….maybe tomorrow….maybe the next day.  I got over that today; I was tired of putting my shoes back on when the floor felt chilly.  I’m just going to get my darn slippers.  And along the way, we unloaded the protein powder, the bird backpack (going to try again), our eating utensils and pyrex dishes, and our dog supplies.

If we’re drinking protein powder, that means we need food (I blend avocado into mine).  We hit up the Albertsons and found that in general, things cost less here (as we discovered with the foundation and septic estimates).  The only exception is meat – beef and chicken cost more here.  I don’t know why.

I mentioned in a previous post that mini avocados were a great deal.  At Albertsons, the REGULAR size avocados were $0.99 when on sale and jumbo avocados were the price of small ones back in Manchester.

Clearly I love avocados because this is the second post in which they've been mentioned.  If you glance at the image on the top of the post, you'll see the difference in size between the Jumpo ($2.00 each here, not available in CT) and Regular.($0.99 each here, $1.50-$2.50 in CT).

Clearly I love avocados because this is the second post in which they’ve been mentioned. If you glance at the image on the top of the post, you’ll see the difference in size between the Jumbo ($2.00 each here, not available in CT) and Regular.($0.99 each here, $1.50-$2.50 in CT).

Brief Unconventional Hike

The day was full – We ate breakfast early and then took to the road, heading up to Pinos Altos to try a new access point into the great Gila National Forest.  When we reached Pinos Altos, there was a road sign warning travelers that the next 18 miles of road was tortuous and did not have a center line.

The sign hadn’t been lying – the streets were rather narrow, went around some crazy mountain-hugging turns and caused me to hold onto my door rather fiercely.  The road would climb way down and then start ascending again.  There were potential hike entry points but no pull-offs.

We continued until we found a gravel ‘parking lot’ near a memorial.  Since we’d been driving for 30 minutes or so, we decided this was probably fine and set out.

It turns out this memorial wasn’t really intended to double as a hiking area.  The path led to the top of a giant rock pile with a dedication plaque.  That was it!  Because of the steep terrain, there weren’t any other options for exploration. As we headed back to the road, we poked around and found some neat rocks and lichen.

 

We parked at a gravel "lot" that was really just the space between two parts of the same road on a very tight turn.

We parked at a gravel “lot” that was really just the space between two parts of the same road on a very tight turn.

 

Continental Divide leaving Pinos Altos

Continental Divide leaving Pinos Altos

Lichen on a rock near the edge.

Lichen on a rock near the edge.

Trooper kindly agreed to hold up these rocks while we took a picture.  Sydney photo-bombed it.

Trooper kindly agreed to hold up these rocks while we took a picture. Sydney photo-bombed it.

Realtor, Roads & Relaxation

We spent an hour local at some land with a local realtor.  After that meeting, we drove to Breezy Boulevard and checked out a few other lots that were available in the subdivision.  A lot of them are marked way down, but would pose undesirable challenges for building.  They’re either crazy steep, located entirely in a gigantic wash, or would require serious excavations for a driveway – all three conditions not only increase the expense but potentially render large sections of the property unusable.  Food for thought.

Brian leading the way onto one of the properties - he's gesturing and talking while I loiter and take pictures.

Brian leading the way onto one of the properties – he’s gesturing and talking while I loiter and take pictures.

This plant feels like it could take a human out!  Its "petal" are needle sharp and with so many flowers clumped together, one of them is bound to get you.

This plant feels like it could take a human out! Its “petals” are needle sharp and with so many flowers clumped together, one of them is bound to get you.

One of the more gentle plants we encountered.

One of the more gentle plants we encountered.

We were pretty beat after our day’s adventures, so we headed back to the hotel.  Along the way, we revisited the town co-op and grabbed food from Arby’s.  Before settling in for the night, we decided a little treat was in order, so we picked up cinnamon rolls from Albertsons.

With a nice cup of burnt-popcorn-smelling coffee and warm cinnamon rolls, we stopped working for the week and watched a movie.  After our coffee snack, we were feeling rather awake so we decided to open a gift from Brian’s cousin, Sean.  As it turns out, it is also produced by monks.

It was a long week.  Friday hasn’t felt this good in a long time.

Thanks Sean for the beer!  Chimay Ale from the monks (not the coffee monks).

Thanks Sean for the beer! Chimay Ale from the monks (not the coffee monks).

This beer is strong - start with half your usual amount and increase cautiously.  Be prepared with soft pillows in case you unexpectedly fall asleep.

This beer is strong – start with half your usual amount and increase cautiously. Be prepared with soft pillows in case you unexpectedly fall asleep.

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