Canyon Life

A girl could get used to the Canyon life. To find ourselves up in this beautiful cabin in Madera Canyon for a month is life waking up and finding that you’ve won the lottery. img_0456After less than three weeks here, we are thoroughly integrated into life here – our spices are intermingled into the assortment left here, some of our favorite kitchen utensils have found their way into the suicide drawer (you know, the kitchen drawer where you keep sharp and pointy objects, and risk your life to just open it up and blindly reach in), our books are stacked on the coffee tables, and power cords for our electronic devices seem to be plugged in everywhere. Yep, the Crankshaws have moved in. We found that Dr. Neff, the builder of this cabin was a Spartan (yay!), Veterinary College ’44. A rattlesnake skin decorates our living room wall, and a mobile made of random feathers stuck into a section of desiccated cholla cactus drifts lazily overhead.20170216_062700.jpgWe’ve hiked, biked, and thoroughly enjoyed having Happy Hour on the deck with old and new friends and relatives (my sisters from Grand Rapids and Las Vegas are both here, as well) Now, we’re down to our last ten days before we have to move on, and the pressure is on! There’s no way we can squeeze all we want to do in the remaining days.

The sprawling wrap-around deck here has been a big source of pleasure.wp-1486302085679.jpg We’ve stocked three feeders – thistle, suet, and sunflower seed – and the birds flock in as soon as the sun warms the area in the morning, around 10am. We hung a hummingbird feeder as well (our cabin is named Hummingbird Hill), but we were swarmed with about 200 bees, so we gave that endeavor up. During the season though, it must be something here – I’ll bet there are at least six hummingbird feeders in the basement. New to me at the feeders are the Arizona woodpecker (the only woodpecker with brown back feathers), the yellow-eyed junco, and the bridled titmouse. Of course, I have no photos – my cell phone camera is no birding tool.

We also had a very unusual visitor in our sunflower feeder – a coatimundi. He was actually trying to empty the feeder into his face, when we saw him. These are lousy photos, but the best I could do. The first one is blurry, because I had to shoot through a window/screen. 20170216_064014.jpgwp-1487252265191.jpgHe was pretty good-sized – when he scampered off, he hit the deck with a pretty good thump. Haven’t seen him around since Jezzy found him behind our outdoor kitchen one day, and chased him up the hill. We’ve taken to bringing that feeder in after dusk so as not to encourage him. He does visit us though – about every other day we find a pile of coatimundi poop on the deck, so I think he’s getting the last laugh.

Madera Canyon was home to many mines in the early 1900s, and there are lots of artifacts from those mines still in the canyon. Last week, we hiked the steep Vault Mine Trail, and this week Carrie Nation Mine Trail, where lots of old equipment remains.wp-1487251845100.jpg

It’s always interesting to speculate on what life might have been like during those hard days. Our cabin is the final resting place of an old ore cart,wp-1486302273080.jpg spikes, blocks and pullys, and even an old funicular, which was probably repurposed to haul equipment up here when this cabin was under construction. Unfortunately, it’s in a spot where I just can’t figure out how to get a decent photo.

Until today, we’ve had pretty good weather. Last night, the wind whipped up, and we’ve been listening to rain hammer the roof and skylights all day. wp-1487452570118.jpgSadly, it’s quite cold outside (40s), so we’re not eager to sit on the deck and enjoy the storm. It’s supposed to get near freezing tonight, and we’re very near the snowline, so we might actually get some white stuff. Our driveway has about a 15% pitch with curves, so we know that we are not going anywhere until this all passes through, sometime tomorrow.

So, life is good. We’re getting an amazing amount of reading done. There’s a radio here, but no television. We’re used to that, but I sure would like to watch Planet Earth 2 when it starts tonight. Guess we’ll have to concentrate on our own nature show.wp-1487252068511.jpgFor entertainment, I can watch this video over and over of John, my sister Lynn, and brother-in-law Jerry sharing a picnic lunch with a big friend a few years ago while hiking in the Canyon. Makes me laugh every time.

 

 

15 thoughts on “Canyon Life

  1. What a great location, and the accommodations are wonderful! Pu that same house somewhere in northern Michigan, and I’d never leave.

    The coatimundi is cute, although you may not think so since it’s stealing your bird seed.

    The video was a hoot, it’s not often that a turkey on the table creates that kind of reaction. ;)

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    • There have been many days when we don’t leave the area. We love just hanging around.

      Then turned video makes me laugh every time I see it, and it was shot years ago. These Madera Canyon turkeys are pretty bold.

      Hope you’re happy, knowing that your temps are at least twenty degrees above hours right now. It’s in the 30s, raining and blowing like mad here. (With out steep driveway, we won’t be going anywhere today!)

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  2. Love your place and so glad we not only got the chance to see it but also visit with you and John.

    If it makes you feel any better, we are paying the big $ for cable TV and can’t watch Planet Earth 2 either as BBC network isn’t part of our package. Very annoying. Oh well, at least we can watch HGTV’s Flip or Flop and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures (last night’s GA was actually kind of fun as it took place at Yuma Territory Prison. The fun just never stops.

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    • We had a great time finally meeting you and Ken, too (although I feel like I’ve known you shoot a long time).

      Funny thing about TV. We’re not big watchers, having only basic cable at home. Other than the SuperBowl, we haven’t watched since before Christmas. But, every now and then, I would really like to sprawl on the couch and watch senseless crap. I thought PE2 was going to be on the Discovery Channel, too. No?

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      • When I was working I wouldn’t let myself watch TV much or get hooked on more than one series. Now it is kind of nice to stop and watch something if it catches my eye. Last night’s binge-watching was brought to you by Flip or Flop.

        And have you seen the Discovery channel lately? It consists mostly of “reality” shows like Naked and Afraid, Fast ‘n Loud (and other car shows),and Alaskan Bush People, all played in an endless loop. Pretty much like The History Channel is mostly shows like Pawn Stars and American Pickers. I understand PE2 is on Netflix, which we don’t have right now. If you get access to PBS, do watch Spy in the Wild.

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      • We have never seen any of the programs you have mentioned. Not much cable at home. Probably a good thing we don’t actually have TV. I could get addicted to watching some of this real estate shows.

        Eventually the PE2 series will come out on DVD, and we can get it from the library, or it will be available to stream with a fee on our Chromecast at home. Fortunately, this isn’t the kind of program that’s dated, so it won’t make any difference when we see it.

        Happy that our rain hasn’t turned to snow up here, but we do wonder if we are going to get blown off our perch on the edge on the hill. Interesting weekend.

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