Yesterday we drove out to the Palatki and Honanki ruins, which are both on our campsite road. I was pleased to find a drinking water spigot at Palatki, so I was able to fill up 4 gallon jugs. I didn’t go into Palatki; I thought I’d save that for when Jeanne joins me but it’s a 1/2 mile walk which I think I can do. I did go into Honanki to see the cliff dwellings; it was also 1/2 mile walk rd. trip and my bad knee is NOT thanking me today, but it was pretty interesting. There are 15 rooms left more or less intact. It’s hard to comprehend that these mud & rock walls are almost 1000 years old! It looks like each family had a little tiny room walled off from each other. I meant to ask the docent what they used as a water source but Roxie saw me coming and started barking and people were looking around for the duck and I forgot. Yes, my dog sounds like a duck; the result of being 1/2 debarked. It’s weird but MUCH more pleasant than the brain-piercing shrieky bark she had when I first got her.
On the walk I saw this really cool burl on a tree stump. I love all the texture it’s showing.
I also loved the textures of this rock; I thought it looked like wood grain! Erosion can sure make some amazing sculptures.
On the way there the scenery was just gorgeous. It’s so frustrating to me that I can’t capture the brilliance and color with my little point-and-shoot camera. When I got back I looked up digital SLR cameras again but I was right the first time; I can’t afford one, let alone the filters & lenses I’d also want!
I have woken up early the past three mornings and have really TRIED to at least get up and look out to see if the sunrise was worth photographing, but I couldn’t make myself do it. It’s cold in the camper (around 50) and I just don’t want to have to get out of bed before Roxie makes me. I did drag out at 7:30 this morning and take her out though, and was rewarded with a wildlife sighting! The whole time I’ve been in Arizona, I think the only wildlife I’ve seen is a couple of bunnies in the state park campground. But today I saw a couple mule deer! They were a ways off and on the move, but it was gratifying anyway. I really thought I’d see more animals camping out here in the desert but it just hasn’t happened…..there aren’t even many birds here! I also got to see the hot air balloons lifting off over Sedona, which I think happens every morning.
I dug out my brand new cast iron enameled dutch oven that I bought back in May and never used, and I made meatloaf! I cut and folded the edges of a small foil bbq drip pan and lined it with heavy duty foil to make higher sides, plopped my meatloaf mixture in and started it cooking on the stove. With the dutch oven it’s impossible to tell what temperature you’re cooking at, but in about 20 minutes it smelled dreadful and I realized all the grease was leaking onto the bottom of the pan and I was going to have a horrible mess to clean up, and me with no running water! Why didn’t I think to line the whole bottom of the pan with foil?! I let it bake for almost an hour and then checked it, and it was beautiful! And it tasted just exactly right; a miracle since I didn’t use a recipe or measure anything. It really hit the spot, and the cleanup wasn’t as bad as I thought. I scraped off the worst of the goo with a nylon scraper, then heated some water on the stove & put several tbsp. of baking soda in, swirled it around and let it sit awhile, then later everything came off easily and the pan looks like new again! Yum. My next project is to try and figure out how to bake my sourdough bread in it. I just need to find a pan that will fit, and I’m thinking those small disposable loaf pans might work! Next time I go to town I’ll stop at Dollar Tree and see what they’ve got.