Sunsets and Shingles, Moonrises and Movies


It’s hot!  And I’ve escaped to the Apache Junction library…which has been closed for three days to celebrate President’s Day!!!

Need to back up about 10 days! 

It’s Saturday night and we are in the middle of the fiberglass rally at Quartzsite.  Complaining of pain, David asks me to look at his back.  Huge red whelps run in a band around his torso.  Not sure, I tell him that it looks like shingles!  I lie awake in the morning hours wondering what to do?

Apache Junction is 3 plus hours away.  There will be doctors, a campground and his daughter’s home close by.  By noon, after saying bye to friends, we are heading back to Lost Dutchman State Park…..our place to go when we are sick and need to heal!!!

Monday is spent at a quick care facility…David does indeed have shingles!  Prescriptions procured, we head back to the park. 

I decide that Tuesday will be my day to hike Siphron Draw….the trail that has been calling me.  I was too sick to hike it on our last visit two weeks ago.  David is content to sleep and take his meds.

It’s two miles and 1000 feet elevation gain to make it to the Basin…the trail climbs another mile and another 2000 feet past the Basin to get to the Flat Iron.  I know the later is out of the question, but can I make it to the Basin?


It was 10 o’clock before I get on the trail…too late…the sun is already brutal.  It is all up!  By 11 I am resting frequently and wonder if I can hike until noon, my intended turn around time.


The rocks loom over me…their energy pulling me up closer.


The campground disappears as I climb higher.



This is looking west toward Phoenix.

And I look up at the Flat Iron…..named after our great grandmother’s iron…the kind heated by the fire.




I am exhausted!  Finding a shady spot..no easy feat…I stop and snack.  The last hiker said I am less than a quarter mile from my destination.  Taking inventory of my energy level, there is no more climbing left in my body.  A couple of Canadians rest with me and continue their climb.  I start down, marveling that I made it as far as I did.

The two young men from Quebec surprised me on the way down.  They said I had quit only three minutes from the Basin…it was only another short climb!  Oh well…another year!


 I am running out of time again!  It’s one hour to sunset and Darkness.

Going to publish and promise to finish the saga within 48 hours!


  1. As always, I enjoyed your photos and the account of your hiking adventure. Sorry you didn't quite make it to the Basin, but I am impressed with your making it that far in that heat!

    Hope David recovers quickly. :)

    1. Thank you, Sharon! I think of you as I tweak the pictures...wanting to make them a pleasure to view.

      David has completed all his meds and rarely complains of any lingering pain. We are on the final countdown...5 days until the Casita points east.

  2. I heard BJ stopped by to see you after the last SAR event. You're welcome to come cool off at our house. BTW - great pictures! I especially like the picture of the Casita with the Sups in the background.

    1. Thanks. What more could one ask for? A beloved trailer parked in front of a sacred mountain! Enjoyed BJ's visit and seeing her standing at the door rivaled the surprise of seeing you at our door.

      The weather has cooled today but do appreciate the offer. We will call if we decide to take refuge at your house.
      Currently parked in yet another site between two 19 foot Escapes!

  3. I too like the first picture - looks like a post card pic. Admire your ambition to climb as much as you have. Best cure for my shingles was a daily tall glass of cold lemonade with a shot of vodka in it. Worked better then the meds. Plus it relaxed me enough, which is what is needed to get over that horrible time.

    1. David likes your lemonade cure idea.....hope there's not a next time to try it. He is almost well now!

      Currently reading a western mystery and the character is heading to TorC. (Tularosa by Michael McGarity) Makes me want to visit....we may try to see Elephant Butte....heading east on Monday.

  4. Love the pics. Wish I had been on that hike with you. Shingles!! We had listened to a couple of our friends talk about the agony of having them. Convinced both of us to have the vaccine. Hope it works as advertised. Looking forward to see your smiling face in a couple more weeks. Safe travels on your way East.

    1. Wish you had been along but there is always next year! Since I did not quite make it, it is still on the bucket list.

      Getting the vaccine is also on the to do list! Did you have any side effects?
      See you soon!

  5. Some beautiful pics along the trail you hiked. Shingles is very painful from what we have heard from other folks. Hope the meds work quick for David..

  6. Thank you for your kind words and, yes, the shingles is not a good experience. Fortunately his case was not severe.
    Also looking forward to meeting you in Montgomery!

  7. Great photo's...that area is one of my favorites...especially to relax, and rewind, ......I think you did great on the hike...when I went I think I stopped about every 20 feet to rest....Sorry to hear about David...I took the vaccine...though thats not a sure bet ....I keep looking at your first and last photo...I am envious!!!...Happy Trails...wishing a quick recovery for David and more hikes to Conquer for you!!!...Horst sends

  8. Thanks, Horst! Love to think of all the hikes to conquer......really need to get in better shape!!!
    Must get that vaccine.

    Wishing you many safe travels this year and lots of beautiful photos!

  9. You have to know your own strength when hiking, and it sounds like you do. We've found that when someone says "you're only five minutes from the top", that doesn't mean 5 minutes Crankshaw time. It can mean 20 or 25 minutes. Also, beware when someone says the trail is "flat". All I can say to that is "HA"!

  10. Yes! Know about the "flat" trails. Found that a "flat" trail hiked when I was 40 is no way flat at age (almost) 65!!!!
    Still learning about the strength of the southwest sun....it can quickly beat us up!

  11. Oh you poor thing with shingles. My son (in his early 30's) and my mother in law had them. No fun.

    God speed on your recovery!

    1. Thank you....David will appreciate your kindness.
      Will be checking on the vaccine....hope they stay away from your home!

  12. I wanted to hike Siphon Draw the last time we were in Apache Junction but it was too wet, having snowed in the Superstitions a couple of times that week. What beautiful views!

    Sure hope your hubby feels better soon. I know so many who have had shingles, including my FIL when he was in his late 80's.

  13. The couple ne/t to us was here this same time last year....they talked about the cold and how beautiful the mountain was covered in snow....and it was so hot this year. Mother Nature sure can deal out surorises.

    Stay safe down there...don't let the skeeters carry you away!