8th through 10th WEEKS IN A NUTSHELL Tempe Art Festival, Superstition Mountain Museum, Goldfield Ghost Town/Mine, Boyce Thompson Arboretum St Pk

12/1/16 – 12/18/16 in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

I got ambitious and cleaned our windows and screens on a beautiful warm sunny day. I’ve still been working at getting my new computer operating to my satisfaction, even getting help at the Windows 10 meetings on Wednesdays. I’ve appeared in public because of a couple groups I belong to: Line Dancing and the Christmas Choir. Below is not the greatest image, but it was getting dark.  I’m on the right, near the end.  Our red noses were blinking while we danced to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the Christmas Parade.


Before that parade, Nancy and Gary invited us to join them at the Tempe Art Festival, although John preferred to stay home. We rode the Valley Metro Rail. What a deal. It’s a light rail that only costs $2 a day for seniors, running from near Val Vista Villages to downtown Phoenix. Of course we got off at Tempe for the Festival which was right next to our stop. Here are some highlights from that fun time.

About a week later, on Saturday, John and I visited a lady we met when we all were just starting out in the RV life. Last year she bought a park model in a place similar to where we’re staying.  Hers is in Apache Junction which is near Mesa. Se we got to see her lovely new home (she’s sold her RV) which she absolutely loves, along with lots of fun activities and friends to enjoy them with. Then we all took off for Superstition Mountain Museum. The actual museum was pretty small so we skipped it, but we did enjoy the outside exhibits which included a chapel that had been in a lot of films and a working train exhibit showing different times in history. The entrance marker was made with hand hewn stones which once made up the facade of Roosevelt Dam. The heaviest are 2 tons. Because it was the Christmas season they also had an arts and crafts show on the grounds. The most fascinating one for me was the Thunder Gourds. When you grab the gourd by its neck and shake it some, it makes the coolest deep sound.


Then we went to the nearby Goldfield Ghost Town/Mine. You can see the Superstition Mountains behind their entrance sign. Fun ghost town but most of the buildings were businesses catering to us tourists. Since we been in some mines we didn’t do this one. They did have a gunfight in the center of town. Shortly after watching it John noticed someone had left 2 $10 bills where he’d been sitting. We all tried to find the man, but he’d just seemed to have disappeared by the time we were looking.

On Sunday John and I joined our friends Kathy/Jim, who are staying in Casa Grande, at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. What a beautiful place, with plenty of trails meandering among so many desert plants (even some trees). We loved Ayer Lake as well as the “Picket House”. The latter was opened up specially for a fund raising event. It needs a lot of renovating, thus money. The Colonel (not actually military) William Boyce (mother’s name) Thompson (father’s name), who created this arboretum began his presence here with this “little” winter home with a beautiful view. He started building it when he was 60 and unfortunately died a few years later. It was in his desire to plant some trees near his home that was the beginning of a magnificent effort to plant desert plants all around. The house was sold to a family that tried to make money as a bed and breakfast but it was a struggle so they sold it to the State.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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4 Responses to 8th through 10th WEEKS IN A NUTSHELL Tempe Art Festival, Superstition Mountain Museum, Goldfield Ghost Town/Mine, Boyce Thompson Arboretum St Pk

  1. Hayden Gray says:

    Is the Mystery Castle on South Mountain still open? Always enjoy your postings.

    • Patricia Elser says:

      Yes, Mystery Castle is still open. We didn’t know about it, so we’ll put it on our list of things to do in the area. Thanks!

  2. Judy Andre says:

    The southwest is so special. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it fully. I’m sure you’ve been to the Desert Botanical Museum outside Phoenix; that’s my most recent memory.

    • Patricia Elser says:

      We haven’t see the Desert Botanical Museum yet. It is on our list. Thanks for suggesting it. Hope you’re enjoying winter!

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