Monday, August 5, 2013



If you don't like the desert 
You don't like the heat...

Stay out of her kitchen...


If you appreciate the beauty of nature
Enjoy the kindness of your fellow man...

Then you must add this state to your itinerary.

The landscape is beautifully decorated with shadow covered mountains, the lacy foliage of the mesquite trees and varieties of cacti, some centuries old.

And at the end of the day, the region is usually blanketed in such an array of brilliant colors that even an artist would be hard pressed to find in his paint box.

The Saguaro cactus.
This cactus will not start producing 'arms' until 50 years old.

The entrance to the Hassayampa Ranch

We spent our time in Arizona at my brother and sister-in-law's Hassayampa Ranch.  The ranch is nestled in a small valley in Morristown, just outside the town of Wickenburg.

The Gold Miner

There are a number of statues around town that depict the heritage of the region.

The School Marm

This is a 200 year old mesquite tree called the Jail Tree.
From 1863 to 1890 it was the site where outlaws were chained because of the lack of a hoosegow.

The Octillo cactus.  Look closely at all those thorns.  Most enemies must stay clear!

They set up their hacienda in Morristown about eight years ago, after moving to Arizona from Fresno, CA.  They have always loved the desert and spent many vacations hiking and exploring before setting up permanent residence.

The llama: Guiseppe

The donkeys: Klondike (foreground) and Ballarat (background)

Klondike and Ballarat..K.I.S.S.I.N.G

They are soon to be betrothed.
Ballarat is now three years old
it is time.

This is Casey. He only has three legs. My brother says that is normal, all dogs have three legs, it's just that some of them have four!

They share their ranch with one llama, 2 donkeys, one chicken, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 2 birds, and an occasional rattlesnake thrown into the mix.  Fortunately, for us, the rattlesnake didn't make an appearance during our visit, and my sincere apologies to all that I didn't get photos of.

My brother is a collector of old cars and farming machinery.  He is also an accomplished photographer.

He is known in certain circles as "The Connoisseur of Chevrolet Corvairs. It was one of his first cars and he loves them!!

"What can I say except...
I guess collecting runs in their family!!"

A very important necessity when the temperatures climb!

My sister-in-law is a nurse at the local hospital and in her spare time tends a beautiful and whimsical garden. She has a most amazing Mexican Bird of Paradise, so bright and beautiful, but the wind was blowing and my picture came out very blurry.  She is also an excellent cook.

Bruce, Meg, and our nephew, Todd, opened their home and their hearts to us, and we had such a wonderful time on our visit.  We also enjoyed the time we were able to spend with the rest of our amazing family.

From left to right, around table:
Stellar, great-nephew
Meg, sister-in-law
Torie, good friend
Sid, sister, unlike the dog, she has more than two fingers!
Wade, nephew
Bruce, brother
Damon, nephew
Todd, nephew
Sharyn, good friend
The Captain, husband

Family and friends sharing dinner before the trip back home.


We passed through a clever little town on our way back home and thought this sign was too cute not to share:

Leaving Hope, Arizona

I hope I can catch up with everyone now that it is again business as usual.


I'm sharing with these wonderful parties:


  1. Wonderful post Judy...I loved Arizona when we were there in 2004. We actually attended a wedding at the Phoenix Zoo and then drove up through Flagstaff and Sedona. The topography is sooo different than what I am use to but beautiful none the less.
    So happy you had the chance to visit with family, what a wonderful ranch.
    Wishing you safe travels and a wonderful week!
    XO Barbara

  2. The photos are so pretty and beautiful sunsets. Love the ranch and the swimming pool looks very inviting if it's hot. I like the desert and been through it many times but not where you were.
    So glad you had a great visit with your family - looks like you all were having a grand time.
    Have a terrific week.

  3. It is amazing the visual geographic "variety" we have here in the US! I've only been to the Phoenix airport!

  4. Hi Judy,
    So glad you had such a nice visit! The desert just doesn't do it for me but I did like that little town with the school marm. Your photo of the orange sky is beautiful. We had a dog with 3 legs when I lived at home, he lived to be 16.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I had been missing you and wondering where you had been.
    Have a great week,

  5. Amazing pictures, Judy. It does look HOT there compared to here. Wondered where you were so now I know- Gotta love Arizona! xo Diana

  6. Wow Judy - what a wonderful post - amazing photos -
    Sounds like you had a fantastic time!
    You are now beyond Hope - BRILLIANT lol

  7. ahh, yes...Arizona is a fun place to visit. Enjoyed all your photos...
    Now, let me see...HOPE, AR...that's where Bill Clinton hails from, I think....hmmm

  8. This is such a warm post Judy,
    What a great Ranch your brother has. He has chosen to be where he is happy.
    I love all those Chevies.. wow..
    That old truck is a real collectors one.
    super photos of you all around the table.
    Arizona looks a great place.. how incredible that that cactus only grows arms after 50 years, boy, I bet they can tell some stories.
    The statues are amazing.. the man at the jail, with the chains..looks real.
    Really enjoyed this post Judy.
    Happy tuesday

  9. It looks an amazing place Judy. One of the things I love about your country is how diverse the land is. Only four weeks to our visit to New England and I cant wait!

  10. Great post Judy! I especially love the photos, they captured the ranch and the area beautifully. I can't wait to visit again soon. Sharyn

  11. Great photos, Judy! Looks like you had a wonderful time!
    Mary Alice

  12. What a wonderful place you visited. I love it! Have a great week. Blessings, Martha

  13. Such pretty sunsets. I love statues around town. Looks like a fun place to visit. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  14. Several things :
    * I love your summer header
    * The statue of the school marm could have been my Aunt Pearl who lived to be 107 years old. She left Oregon to teach on a reservation in Arizona and I vividly remember going on a vacation to visit her - long before cars had air conditioning.
    * Thanks for the lovely pics of beautiful Arizona

  15. Hi Judy, I found you thru Martha as her link isn't working, so I followed the comments but I'm so glad I did. :) Your lovely photos remind me of the last time I visited Arizona. I usually visit in April and love the blooming desert then, but you went in August? (brave girl) I remember that beyond Hope signs,and those huge saguaros always take my breath away.

  16. OMG!!! Its all so beautiful. And a beautiful family too. The old truck is fantastic and ,your brother is right ...three legs are normal. And I'm a great believer that most brothers are always right. I know mine are and were. I just lost one of my beloved brothers this past May. So I am so happy you got to spend some time with him and his lovely family.
    I would love to visit that great big gorgeous State.
    Thank you so much for stopping by with your lovely comments.
    May God Bless you all,
    Marie Antoinette

  17. I LOVED your opening statement Judy :)))) SO funny. Yes, Arizona is like a hot kitchen! I don't think I could live there but to visit is nice, especially when winters are cold. I'm so glad you got to spend time with your family. I LOVED the photo of the bunch of you!
    I'm so glad you made it home safe and sound.
    sending hugs...

  18. I was born and raised in Wickenburg. Still have family living there. I was fascinated by all of you photos. My first car was also a Corvair. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Beautiful photos Judy! What an amazing trip nothing like spending time with friends and family and enjoy the beautiful dessert sky!

  20. Looks like you had a great time! So fun to get together with family. Both of my husband's sisters live in the Phoenix area. We've learned to visit them during any months but June July, and August. I'm too big a wimp! Mimi

  21. I forget how exotic the SW looks. Your photos are wonderful. Your Bro & Sis have quite the hacienda. Those skies are amazing! Makes me want to get on the road!

  22. That was a fun tour, those human sculptures almost look real - scary

    I'm inviting you to come join us also For Travel Photo MOndays, it runs all week starting Mondays, come link up with us :)

  23. Lovely tour. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Love your pictures. I liked what your brother said about the dogs three legs, that was funny.
    He must be right because the dog looks healthier than some I've seen with four.
    I visited Fort Huachuca twice when my daughter and her family lived there. Tombstone was my favorite. Sierra Vista I could live too.
    Very good picture of your family at the dinner table and looks like a good time was had by all.

  25. Good Morning Judy!~ So glad you found me again. We visited Arizona when my boys were small. We had a wonderful time and visited some of the same places you did. I could never live there, however I appreciated the beauty and history there. In fact, that trip inspired Mike and very much with some of our Spanish decor we have today. Have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing your trip wit us.

  26. Hi Judy. Such a wonderful trip and the photos are fabulous. Loved seeing the statues. Thank you for your visit and sweet words. xo Linda

  27. What a great place to visit and so special to spend time with family. Some of those statues looks so real!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...


Your comments are so special to me...Judy