A Short Trip

DH and I just arrived back home from a quick trip to the Prairies. On our way home we passed through Dog River (Rouleau, Sask)–home of the TV series, Corner Gas.
I was glad to hear that the site is being preserved for future filming of new episodes of Corner Gas–not just because I enjoyed watching the show, but because there may be less incentive to tear down this wonderful icon of the Prairie–the old-style wooden grain elevator.
This was DH’s first visit to Rouleau since the filming of Corner Gas started so we had to get his picture in front of the “station”.
We stopped overnight at Canmore, Alberta. While in Canmore, we looked up the local quilt shop: The Sugar Pine Company. http://www.thesugarpine.com/
The Sugar Pine Company was a featured quilt shop in Quilt Sampler Magazine in 2005.
This quilt shop is located in the Rocky Mountains where there is no shortage of inspirational scenery.
The shop is huge with every nook and cranny full of quilty goodness. I could have stayed for hours, but I promised DH that my visit would be brief. :)
This was a beautiful quilt that showcases everything Alberta – from the wild rose to the oil rig.
I bought a copy of the pattern to make this cute little grain elevator wall hanging. This pattern is called, Golden Harvest and is by Joan’s Own Creations (Joan Statz) of Alix, Alberta.
I picked up a kit to make the bear wall hanging in the lower right corner of this photo (wall hanging with two bears in the shadows of the mountains). The pattern is called, Three Sisters and Bears and is by Diane McGregor of Castilleja Cotton in Calgary, Alberta.
I loved this cat wall hanging.
The next morning, we were back on the road – headed through the mountains to home.

Langdon Family Reunion – Sweet Home, Oregon

On Friday, August 21, my parents and I headed to Oregon. This was the second trip to Oregon for my Mom and I in the month of August. Our destination was a family reunion in Sweet Home, Oregon.

Of course no road trip would be complete without a shopping stop. We stopped to stretch our legs and do a little looking at the Outlet Mall in Woodburn, Oregon. Lucky for us this mall is visible from I-5 and so handy to get to. http://www.woodburncompanystores.com/index.html

The flowers at this mall were gorgeous. This pink “tree” was actually cleverly arranged petunias.
Although Sweet Home is not that large – population 8,016, we found very clean and comfortable accommodations in the Sweet Home Inn. http://www.ci.sweet-home.or.us/
This was a nearby barber / hairdresser shop. Someone has done a great job at trimming the bush out front in an appropriate shape for this business.

We found several murals decorating the sides of the buildings as we headed through the main street.

And of course no trip would be complete without a visit to the local quilt shop. We spied a sign that said “fabric” on the way to the reunion on Saturday morning. Since we had some time, we made a stop. This is a picture of Seamingly Creative, 1245 Main St., Sweet Home, Oregon 97386. If you are in the neighbourhood, I would encourage you to stop by.

I found the cutest little pair of embroidery scissors and a wonderful fat quarter collection. The fabric was very reasonably priced at this shop–my 10 fall coloured fat quarters only cost me $12. (The thimble says, “Portland” on it and was a purchase I made on my previous trip to Oregon.)

We had a great time at the reunion. This was my first time meeting my Langdon relatives. I hope this will be only the first of many more opportunities to get together with this branch of the family tree.

Vacation – Part 10

The morning of Day 6 we headed out for a guided city tour of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. One of the stops along our guided tour was at Echo Canyon Park on Cambelback Mountain. I don’t have any distance shots of this mountain, but Camelback Mountain was named because it looks the the 2 humps and head of a bactrian camel.

This is our step-aboard guide for the city tour. He is standing next to the skeleton of a Saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-ro) cactus. The main stems of the Saguaro are supported by these woody ribs. The Saguaro has a huge capacity to store water which allows it to flower every year in May and June, regardless of rainfall. The Saguaro has a very shallow root system.

The Saguaro is protected in the state of Arizona so you can not just go out into the desert, find one, dig it up and plant it in your yard. Saguaros can only be purchased from someone who has a permit to sell and transport them. When transplanting a Saguaro, the original orientation of the plant to the sun must be respected in its new location. The side of the cactus that was facing east in its original location must also be the side of the cactus that faces east in its new location.
The Saguaro provides habitat for many animals. The Gila woodpecker creates many of the nest holes that you see in the mature cacti. East year the woodpecker creates a new hole and either insects or lizards take over the old hole.
Although slow growing–about an inch a year–the Saguaro cactus can reach heights of 15 to 50 feet. The larger plants with more than 5 arms are estimated to be at least 200 years old. At 50 to 65 years of age and 6 meters in height, the Saguaro develops its first arm.
The Saguaro can be the dominant feature of the landscape. However, it almost always is accompanied by a high concentration of desert trees. These trees are supported by a high rainfall twice a year in the spring and autumn. These trees act as “nurse plants” to the young Saguaro seedlings by protecting them from being eaten by animals and also by providing shade and humus rich moisture retentive soil in which the seedlings can develop.
This is another of the many cacti species that we saw in the park.

The red rocks of Camelback Mountain give the landscape a moon-like appearance.

After the remainder of the city tour of Tempe and Phoenix, we stopped at Old Towne Scottsdale.

We enjoyed walking up and down the streets and browsing in many of the shops and galleries.

Many of the boulevards and street corners are landscaped with the most interesting varieties of cacti.

This is a cactus called, Organ Pipe.

An interesting bloom on a cactus next to a bistro.

Our evening meal was at Organ Stop Pizza.

Basically, this is a pizza parlour inside of an organ. Organ Stop Pizza is the home of the world’s largest Wurlitzer pipe organ. As the performance starts, the pedestal that the organ player is sitting on rotates and rises up from the well. This was a fabulous show as the organist played requests and finished with both the Canadian and American national anthems.

As Canadians, we felt both welcomed and appreciated. The Organ Stop Pizza is an experience not to be missed if you are ever in the Mesa area. http://www.organstoppizza.com/

Vacation – Part 10

The morning of Day 6 we headed out for a guided city tour of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. One of the stops along our guided tour was at Echo Canyon Park on Cambelback Mountain. I don’t have any distance shots of this mountain, but Camelback Mountain was named because it looks the the 2 humps and head of a bactrian camel.

This is our step-aboard guide for the city tour. He is standing next to the skeleton of a Saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-ro) cactus. The main stems of the Saguaro are supported by these woody ribs. The Saguaro has a huge capacity to store water which allows it to flower every year in May and June, regardless of rainfall. The Saguaro has a very shallow root system.

The Saguaro is protected in the state of Arizona so you can not just go out into the desert, find one, dig it up and plant it in your yard. Saguaros can only be purchased from someone who has a permit to sell and transport them. When transplanting a Saguaro, the original orientation of the plant to the sun must be respected in its new location. The side of the cactus that was facing east in its original location must also be the side of the cactus that faces east in its new location.
The Saguaro provides habitat for many animals. The Gila woodpecker creates many of the nest holes that you see in the mature cacti. East year the woodpecker creates a new hole and either insects or lizards take over the old hole.
Although slow growing–about an inch a year–the Saguaro cactus can reach heights of 15 to 50 feet. The larger plants with more than 5 arms are estimated to be at least 200 years old. At 50 to 65 years of age and 6 meters in height, the Saguaro develops its first arm.
The Saguaro can be the dominant feature of the landscape. However, it almost always is accompanied by a high concentration of desert trees. These trees are supported by a high rainfall twice a year in the spring and autumn. These trees act as “nurse plants” to the young Saguaro seedlings by protecting them from being eaten by animals and also by providing shade and humus rich moisture retentive soil in which the seedlings can develop.
This is another of the many cacti species that we saw in the park.

The red rocks of Camelback Mountain give the landscape a moon-like appearance.

After the remainder of the city tour of Tempe and Phoenix, we stopped at Old Towne Scottsdale.

We enjoyed walking up and down the streets and browsing in many of the shops and galleries.

Many of the boulevards and street corners are landscaped with the most interesting varieties of cacti.

This is a cactus called, Organ Pipe.

An interesting bloom on a cactus next to a bistro.

Our evening meal was at Organ Stop Pizza.

Basically, this is a pizza parlour inside of an organ. Organ Stop Pizza is the home of the world’s largest Wurlitzer pipe organ. As the performance starts, the pedestal that the organ player is sitting on rotates and rises up from the well. This was a fabulous show as the organist played requests and finished with both the Canadian and American national anthems.

As Canadians, we felt both welcomed and appreciated. The Organ Stop Pizza is an experience not to be missed if you are ever in the Mesa area. http://www.organstoppizza.com/

Vacation – Part 9

The first 8 pictures in this post are pictures of the grounds around our hotel in Mesa. We stayed in Mesa for 7 nights at the Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn. http://www.dobsonranchinn.com/
I couldn’t resist going for a walk through the neighbourhood near our hotel. I love the simplicity of the landscaping in some of the yards I saw. If I lived here, I would definitely have one of these Saguaro cacti in my yard!

Citrus trees in back yards were very common.

The history of Mesa dates back at least two thousand years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, built the original canal system that still exists in the Mesa area today. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. By A.D.1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres, transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D.1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals.
The expanses of green lawns and numerous golf courses in Arizona’s cities require tremendous amounts of water to maintain them. Much of the water that now flows through the many canals that criss-cross the Phoenix metropolitan area today, goes towards urban uses. Canals also carry water to municipal treatment plants for distribution as drinking water. This is a photo of one of the many sections of the present day canals that delivers water to all parts of Mesa and surrounding areas.