Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Trips of 2011


January started the year out with two fantastic trips.  My husband won a trip for two to Crazy Mountain Ranch in Montana.  It was four days, three nights, during the dead of winter, and for us Zonies (Arizona people) it was going to be colder than we were used to.  Part of the winnings included airplane tickets, money, full winter wardrobe, fantastic food, and fun events.  We took a ride on a zip line, road on a dog sled, and froze our butts ice fishing.  It was a blast.  Here are links to the posts I did on this awesome trip:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/01/crazy-mountain-ranch.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/01/montana-wilderness-and-ice-fishing.html


The next place I went to in January was Vulture Mine, AZ.  I saw those wacky boys from Ghost Adventures investigate the place and wanted to see it for myself.  Sharon and I decided to make Vulture Mine our first stop on our trip to Prescott to stay at the haunted Hotel Vendome.  The place ended up being so much more than just broken down abandoned buildings.  It was a photographer's dream.  The buildings had the best light flowing through them, and inside there were so many objects which each provided their own special look for my pictures.  After seeing the main buildings, we were treated with huge metal structures down a dusty path with old rusty machinery still inside.  I must have take over a hundred pictures of that place.  Right now, Vulture Mine is closed, but I am looking forward to the new owners opening the doors and letting us roam around the haunted historical sight.  Here are links to my posts and photos to Vulture Mine:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/01/vulture-mines-dead-mans-playground.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/02/vulture-mine-part-one.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/02/vulture-mine-part-two.html


Sedona is a beautiful place to visit but this year I got to see the place with snow on the red rocks.  It was April when Sharon and I was helping with a fun game called "Cemetery Crawl".  We had a couple of place we were to be at to make sure that all the contestants made it and we gave them directions to their next destination.  It is a bit like the Amazing Race, Arizona style.  We froze our butts off at the Mayor, AZ, cemetery and then headed off to Flagstaff where we were to meet up with everyone involved in the race.
The highway department was diverting everyone through Sedona because the snow was coming down too hard on the highway to Flagstaff.  We were supposed to take the steep, one-lane back road to get to Flagstaff but it was snowing so much we turned around.  We ended up staying in Sedona and having a great time.  Needless to say we did not make the rest of the race because of the weather.  I ended up going to Sedona two weeks later with my husband and there were no signs of snow anywhere.  Here are the posts I did on that trip:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/04/trip-plans-changed.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/04/springtime-in-sedona.html


We took several trips in 2011 and I loved them all.  My favorites are the ones which are not planned.  Our trip to Tucson in July was one of them.  While traveling down the highway towards Tucson I noticed my cell phone was about to die and I didn't have a car charger with me.  We decided to stop in Casa Grande and pick up one at a Walmart.  While there I contacted a woman who mentioned she lived in Casa Grande to see if she knew where this Slaughterhouse was we heard of from her and others.  She contacted us right away, meet up with us and we followed her to the place.  It was a fantastic abandoned house and barn with missing walls, no roof, graffiti all over, and a dead animal in a doorway.  It was hot and miserable, but the place was a dream to take pictures of so we endured.  After leaving there, we decided to stop at an abandoned motel we seen many times along the highway.  We ended up finding so much more.  Other awesome abandoned places around the tiny town.  We stopped at them all and took pictures.  The drive up was great.  We took another route home and found more abandoned places along the way.  This trip provided me with several different posts and tons of pictures.  It was truly a fantastic trip.
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/slaughter-house-residence.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/along-way.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/around-town.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/biosphere-2.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/tom-mix-king-of-cowboys.html

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a lot of fun on your trips. How awesome that you and husband won that trip.

    Love all the pics, V.

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  2. Such awesome trips, and I remember a good many of these from when they were originally posted. Here's hoping 2012 brings even better trips!

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  3. Yeah Vivienne, when we were first notified about winning the trip, we thought it wasn't real. I am glad he called to check it out. It ended up being a fantastic trip.

    BeerFTS, we have some great trips planned for 2012 and I can't wait. Happy New Year to both of you. I bought your book and can't wait for things to settle down so I can read it.

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  4. How are we going to top that this year? Hmm... (applying thinking cap)

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  5. Our first trip is to a small AZ town with a wild west flare and ghosts who are still hanging around the bar. I can't wait! After that who knows... Trans-Alleghany?

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  6. You've had an awesome year. I can't wait to read about next years trips.

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