Salt River Canyon

Did you have the opportunity to get away for awhile this summer?

Our summer has been a bit tough this year.  The reason is that my son, Kai, had hip surgery (his 5th) and was confined to a wheelchair this summer.  He was in quite a lot of pain for the first few weeks, which thankfully subsided in July.

We were blessed to go on a family vacation toward the end of July before school started.  Every year, we go on a trip with my mother, my siblings and their families.  This year, we decided to go to Pinetop, Arizona.

Salt River Canyon

We got on the road and started heading east from Phoenix.  The mountains of the high desert were beautiful along Salt River Canyon and we could see swimmers below.

Believe it or not, I have never been to the Eastern part of our state even though I have lived here for over 27 years.

Getting Away From It All

Parts of the highway wound back and forth.

As we neared our destination, I began to see the pine trees that promised cooler weather.

Arizona

Pinetop, Arizona

We finally arrived at the cabin that my mother had rented for us all to stay in.

It was quite big – 7 bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms to go around for 5 individual families.

We stayed on the bottom floor so that Kai could get around easily.

Arizona

Pinetop, Arizona

A few of our mornings were spent going for walks.

Arizona

Pinetop, Arizona

We love to walk outdoors, but in the summer it is tough because of the heat.  So this was a real treat for us.

If I were at home, I would be busy writing, gardening, managing the kids and/or consulting instead of taking a walk outdoors on a beautiful morning.  Pure heaven!

Arizona

There were some beautiful gardens in the surrounding neighborhood.

Pinetop, Arizona

This was my favorite garden.

Did you know that you can grow these flowering perennials in the desert?  It’s true.  The only difference is that they will bloom in spring rather then in summer.

friendly cat

We didn’t see any wild animals, but did pet a friendly cat and saw a horse getting new shoes.

Pinetop, Arizona

This kids favorite house had a model train track set up throughout the entire front yard.

Pinetop, Arizona

The kids were interested in the model trains and small buildings while I like to observe the miniature landscape plants.

Pinetop, Arizona
Pinetop, Arizona

This is one vine that you probably will not find growing in the low desert.  This is a lovely Clematis vine and I have grown one before years ago when we lived in Phoenix.  The problem was – it never flowered because it was too hot.

I haven’t grown one since.  

bountiful vegetable garden

We passed this bountiful vegetable garden.

Pinetop, Arizona

I love this terraced garden, don’t you?

landscape

You don’t have to rely solely on flowers for color in the landscape.  I love the trailing ivy underneath these oak trees.

Besides our walks, there was fun to be had back at the cabin…

Pinetop, Arizona

The kids had fun racing monster trucks down the driveway every evening after dinner.

It was nice for Kai to be able to participate in racing without having to run.

Gracie

Gracie enjoyed sitting on the porch and reading her favorite book.

grandma

On rainy afternoons, grandma kept the kids busy with art projects.

making dinner

During the week, each family was responsible for making dinner for everyone.  It was nice only having to cook once the entire week.

Kai

After dinner, the big kids would carry Kai and his wheelchair upstairs to play.

They would ‘charge’ the bad guy armed with a plastic gun and a cushion for a shield.

Kai

They usually triumphed over the villain.

Kai

Of course, we made sure to spend time fishing.

Pinetop, Arizona

My husband kept our fishing line untangled and our hooks baited.

fishing

We spent quite a bit of time enjoying the peace and quiet of fishing.

fishing

Unfortunately, there was a little too much peace and quiet since we didn’t catch any.  Not even a nibble.

Pinetop, Arizona

On our last day, we hiked around the lake enjoying the beauty of the woods.

We had a wonderful trip and 2 days after we returned home, it was time for the kids to start school.

**Thank you for letting me take you along on our summer vacation.**

Salt River Canyon

Family Vacation Getaway…

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
2 replies
  1. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    I enjoyed every picture of your vacation. What a great house!.Looks like Kai was included in everything…great kids too!
    Balisha

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