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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 Ghost and Bigfoot Hunts

BIRD CAGE THEATRE:

One of the things we wanted to do this year was a planned and organized ghost hunt.  Our goal was to investigate in a place where those TV ghost hunters had great experiences and evidence of paranormal activity and ghosts still hanging around.  That place was the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, AZ.  In May of 2011, seven of us spent three hours in the dark walking around, asking question, and hoping the spirits who still reside there would let us know they are hanging around.  We had a great time and felt like we were being watched by many unseen eyes.  Here are some links to posts I did on the Bird Cage and our hunt there:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/05/walk-through-time-inside-birdcage.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/05/tombstone-birdcage-theatre-ghosts-and.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/05/investigation-of-birdcage-theatre.html

GLOBE JAIL AND NOFTSGER HILL INN:

Another place we wanted to investigate was the old jail in Globe, AZ.  This was the place where Sharon saw her first full-bodied apparition.  She wanted to see if that same ghost would appear to her a few years later.  I was just very excited about getting inside this historic jail and doing a ghost hunt.  This time there was four of us doing the investigation.  It was a bit warm inside on this hot July night, but walking around in the creepy building it wasn't too noticeable.  In certain areas of the place we felt like we were not alone.  The place was awesome and I can't wait to do another ghost hunt there.  Here are links to my posts about that hunt and the jail:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/08/outside-globe-jail.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/08/ghost-hunt-at-globe-jail.html


If you ever spend the night in Globe, I suggest you stay at the Noftsger Hill Inn.  This bed & breakfast used to be a school house where little children ghosts have been seen and heard in the rooms and halls.  We had interesting experiences while staying in room 3.  This room is huge, the size of a classroom complete with chalkboard.  The windows line one wall and are almost floor to ceiling size.  We heard a child speaking, had our KII's go crazy, heard loud unexplained banging, and had a Barbie doll move on its own.  The place is definitely worth the stay.  Here are some of posts on the place and our experience:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/07/noftsger-hill-inn-once-school-now.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/08/inside-noftsger-hill-inn.html

BIGFOOT HUNT:

Ghosts are not the only things we wanted to hunt.  We are interested in finding the big fella too.  In October of 2011, we finally got a chance to see if we could make contact with him or her.  We ended up staying in a cabin in Flagstaff in an area where there had been several Bigfoot sightings.  The days were so nice and cool but the nights got a bit cold.  After driving around in the day to find the perfect spot to begin the hunt, we ended up hiking on a trail nearby.  Damn, the forests gets so black in the dark.  At one point while taking a break and staring up at the stars looking for UFO's, we felt like something was watching in the darkness.  It was a very creepy feeling.  We didn't see BF that night but had fun on our first hunt.  Here are links to that experience:
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/10/scouting-woods-for-bigfoot.html
http://above-the-norm.blogspot.com/2011/10/poe-hunting-at-night.html

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

26 Bar Ranch (John Wayne Ranch)


Immersed in the Hereford’s history in Eagar, AZ, sits the 26 Bar Ranch.  It was first known as the Milky Way Ranch in the 1940’s with its big white show barn which housed many Hereford cattle.  The barn is now a local landmark.  In 1964 the ranch became the 26 Bar Ranch or John Wayne’s Ranch, who was one of the owners.  Wayne, along with Ken Reafsnyder and Louis Johnson, his business partners, kept the ranch until John Wayne’s death in 1979 from lung and stomach cancer. 

Lately, I have heard rumors that Bigfoot has been seen near the ranch.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but it would be worth checking out.



John Wayne and Louis Johnson


Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Dance

Frosty is doing a happy dance because it is cold, Friday, and almost Christmas.
Happy weekend to all and to all a goodnight.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kickin' Up Dust is Now on Kindle


Sharon and I's book, Kickin' Up Dust (Getting Lost to Find Ourselves) is now available on Kindle ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006LTE6DQ ) and soon on Nook.  You can also download the book to your PC's, Smartphones and Pads.

Description:
This book chronicles the lives on Sharon Day and Julie Ferguson, two paranormal bloggers who met at a tough time in both their lives. Facing middle-aged dilemmas, hard times and rough decisions,they sought the open road to uncover the mysteries of the paranormal world. In the process of getting away from their problems, the women went towards something even more precious—their genuine selves. Each chapter of this book begins with the authors' goals heading off on road trip adventures, sharing both their points of view during their sojourns, and ends with all the unexpected outcomes. It's those unexpected outcomes that lead toward the woman's metamorphoses and their success. They hit the road to get lost and serendipitously found themselves. Join their ghost hunts, urban explorations, and the process of living up to one's potential. You might just start using their favorite phrase, “you just never know.”


Thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hyder's LIvery Stable


Built in the 1890's, the Hyder's Livery Stable was constructed of stone and used as a livery stable until the 1920's.  The buildings behind the stable were all built by Charles Hyder and still remain today on Tegner Street but have all had their fronts updated.  The livery stable went through many changes, first housing horses, and then cars.  A surrounding building became a garage and dealership, while another used to be where the blackship set up shop.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hassayampa Building


The Vernetta Hotel was originally a hotel specifically built to serve overnight railroad passengers and early day tourists to the Wickenburg area and Castle Hot Springs.  Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, a black businesswoman from the East, contracted one of Arizona's Finest architects at that time, Mr. James Creighton, to design and build the hotel.  The building was heated by nine fireplaces, has a community kitchen and an outdoor barbecue area.  Now know as the Hassayampa Building, it contains offices for Remuda Ranch. (Source: Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce pamphlet)



Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Holidays

Frosty showing you his best assets....tee hee!


Have a nice weekend.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Used to Be Someone's Home

Another abandoned house found in Chandler, AZ by Sharon and myself.  This one is next to the small wood house where the zombie housewives recently took pictures.  It looks like it probably was a beautiful home in its heyday.













Monday, December 5, 2011

Oops!

video

There will be nothing but coal in this man's stocking this year.
(Maybe not even that.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Santa Fe Depot


From Wikipedia:
"On 29 July 1995, Wickenburg celebrated the one hundred year anniversary of its railroad depot (dedicated 29 July 1895). The structure stands in its original 1895 design, without additions or modifications, and is one of the few such surviving examples of "Wild West" railroad architecture. Vice-Mayor Carol Ann Beard briefly described the history of the depot, which now serves as the Chamber of Commerce. "Estelle's Garden", in memory of a longtime Chamber supporter, was dedicated at the ceremony.  This depot last saw passenger service in May 1969 when Santa Fe discontinued the daily train between Phoenix and Williams Junction."

Standing near the train station is a statue of a school
teacher.  She has just disembarked from the train with
 her luggage.
Behind the old Santa Fe Depot (now Wickenburg's Chamber of Commerce) is the railroad line referred to as the "Peavine Line".  It was built in 1893 and ran between Phoenix and Prescott.  Sitting on its tracks is the Santa Fe Railroad Engine No. 761 which was one of the work-horses of the main line and built in 1890.  Also in the tracks sits the 1900 Series Southern Pacific Drover Caboose.  This was purchased by the Wellik Foundation in June 2003.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lolly the Jeep



If it is weird and wacky, Sharon and I will find it.  We were leaving a mall after enjoying a nice dinner and doing some shopping when something caught our eyes in the parking lot.  Sharon pulled into the empty space next to a jeep with all kinds of characters attached to it.  This was just the thing we like to take pictures of, and we did.  Another family thought the same thing and was shooting pictures of this unusual jeep we found out was named, Lolly.  For more on Lolly the Jeep and its owner, check out his website: www.CurtisGPhotography.com

Sharon (Autumnforest) is putting a video up of Lolly and other hot jeep drivers.








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