Hello, beautiful readers! Today is day 25 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge. My work day was more of the usual. I practiced new vocabulary words with my students since we are starting a new unit. After work, I had my annual thermography appointment. For those of you not familiar with thermography, here is a site you can visit to learn more. Basically, thermography uses infrared imaging to detect temperature changes in the body. Each person has a unique infrared map for their body. By comparing the yearly scans, they can see if something abnormal is developing long before a cyst shows on other scans.
When I was younger, I had a doctor tell me he felt a lump. A mammogram confirmed three lumps, and he insisted I remove them to prevent cancer. I was young and didn't know anything. The words 'breast cancer' scared me, so I went under the knife. It turned out to be benign.
Later, I found out I just have very dense, fibrous breasts, as does every woman in my lineage. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. I do not have the BRCA gene. I do regular self-checks and see my gynecologist every year for yearly check-ups with her. And I get a yearly thermography. Unless I feel a massive lump or the thermography shows something, I will not get a mammogram again because I do not want to compress my tissue or shoot radiation into my body.
After my appointment, I picked up my son from his practice, went home, cooked dinner, and watched a show with my son.
So, let's get back to my travels! Last year was the first year my son and I traveled on our own. My mom had to have knee replacement surgery, and unfortunately, it was a horrible experience. Three surgeries later, she is in constant pain and can barely walk. So, my son and I traveled by ourselves to Arizona for two weeks!
We flew into Phoenix, Arizona, and drove to Tuscon, AZ. We visited the Saguaro National Park and hiked through the cacti, another first for my son. It was very hot with heat advisories everywhere. Arizona heat is different from Florida heat because it is a dry heat. Because we are avid water drinkers, we had little difficulty with the temperature. Every time we hiked, we took a backpack with four big water bottles filled with water and pH minerals to replenish our electrolytes.
Then, we visited Biosphere 2. This unique place houses a glass enclosure where scientists created an experiment to recreate Earth's atmosphere within a dome to measure survivability. They made five different biomes within the dome: ocean, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savanna grasslands, and a fog desert. The scientists lived within the dome, growing their own food and maintaining their own electricity and air. We had a great time learning about the experiment and all they discovered because of it.
Our next stop was Sedona, AZ. I absolutely loved this area. We went stargazing our first night with a company that had professional telescopes preprogrammed to show us various constellations and systems. Unfortunately, there was a full moon on the only night we could go, so it wasn't as dark as I would have preferred, but we still had a great time. The picture of the moon below is from my iPhone looking into the telescope's eye piece.
Sedona is filled with the most beautiful red rocks. The next day, my son and I climbed Bell Rock. We didn't make it to the top because it became steep and slippery, and my son's shoes did not have the best traction. (I drew in how far we got on one of the pictures. It's further than it seems.) We also visited the Church of the Red Rock, which is built into the rock.
Then, we went to the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park. It is a beautiful outdoor area for prayer and meditation. The wind chimes created a calming effect. They have different levels and areas to meditate or pray. I enjoyed it immensely.
The next day took us to Cathedral Rock where we actually made it all the way to the top! Cathedral Rock is one of the powerful vortexes in Sedona. A vortex is a location where energy vibrates at a higher frequency. As someone who is sensitive to energy, I can tell you I felt quite at peace on top of this mountain. I spent some time meditating at the top and enjoying my moment of being one with nature. Unfortunately, right before we reached the very bottom, I stepped on a loose rock and severely twisted my ankle. We ended up in an emergency room a few hours later. Thankfully, it wasn't broken. They gave me an ankle brace, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the trip.
From Sedona, we traveled to Boulder City, Nevada. We completed a 12-mile kayak trip that started at the base of the Hoover Dam. During the trip, we stopped at several locations to enjoy some hot springs and take a dip in the freezing river. It was heaven for my ankle!
The next day, we road on top of retired railroad tracks with Rail Explorers Las Vegas. They use electric quad-bikes on the tracks. Because of my ankle situation, my son had to do all the pedaling to power up the electric battery. Luckily, he's an athlete so he handled it like a pro. We also took a quick drive to the strip in Las Vegas so my son could see the hotels, but we didn't stop. He can go back and explore when he's older.
We took a tour of the Hoover Dam the following day. We also walked along the top rim to the state borders of Nevada and Arizona. We got to see one of the turbines out of its base because they were working on it.
The Grand Canyon was next on our tour. We had a fun time walking the perimeter and seeing the different angles of the canyon.
Then, we visited the Meteor Crater National Landmark in Winslow, AZ. This is a crater that was created over 50,000 years ago when an iron-nickel meteorite, about 150 feet wide, crashed into Earth's surface. We enjoyed learning about it and seeing the crater that was left behind. We arrived right before a storm moved in, so it was quite windy outside. Luckily, by the time we saw everything inside, the storm had passed.
We left Boulder City and traveled to Page, AZ. This is a little town with very little to do, but it is in close proximity to the places we wanted to visit. Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend. It was incredibly windy, but seeing it in person was a great experience.
The next day was all about the Antelope Canyon. We visited the upper and lower portions. One of them required us to wear masks while the other did not. The land is owned by the Navajo Native Americans, so we followed their rules. Our guides were amazing and helped us get the perfect shots! I loved walking through this canyon. It was so peaceful and majestic for me.
We decided to cross into Utah and visit Zion National Park since we were so close. There is a hike called The Narrows where you hike over stones through water as the mountains get more and more narrow (hence, the name). We bought hiking sticks to give us more balance, and we paid attention to the tide because it becomes more difficult when the tide starts coming in. As it was, there were places where the water came up to our thighs. We didn't go as far as we normally could have because of my ankle, but we still were able to see a lot of it.
We then went back to Phoenix where we visited the Hole in the Rock in Papago Park and saw a little oasis. We had wanted to go to the zoo, but by 11 am, it was so hot that they closed the zoo to take the animals inside to protect them from the heat. Then, it was time to head home.
Have you ever visited any of these places? Have you added any to your bucket list? I'd love to know.
Hello, yes I have visited Nevada and a few of the places you mention.I see you missed Las Vegas,I don't blame you Yvette.Hope your ankle is imporving,unfortunately they take a long time to improve.ReplyDelete
We drove down the Vegas strip, but we didn't get down and explore because I didn't want to expose my son to all of that just yet. He can go back when he's older. Thank you for the well wishes. My holistic doctors have helped it heal quite nicely, though every now and then it reminds me that it will never be 100%. I appreciate you stopping by today. :-)Delete
I agree. Dry heat is much easier to enjoy, Pat! Thanks for sharing! :-)ReplyDelete
Yvette, I have spent some time in Arizona too. We had a factory in Tucson. My main thought is that it is too hot. We often traveled there in the summer. We also visited Sedona, which was fun, but the new age stuff just wasn't for me.ReplyDelete
It is very hot, but for a southern Floridian, most days were quite comfortable. Thanks for sharing, Karl! :-)Delete
Yvette, the anonymous post was from me.Oops!ReplyDelete
Hi Yvette! You've been to more places in Arizona that I have, and I live there! Haha! Actually, I've been busy taking care of my mom, so it's time well-spent. I will say though, that Horseshoe Bend is on my bucket list. Great post!ReplyDelete
Donna M. Atwood
D M Atwood
Thank you, Donna! I find that most people don't explore their home state. I might just do a post just on Florida because I have made a point to explore many places here. Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are in the same area. I highly recommend both. Thanks for stopping by, Donna! Happy travels! :-)Delete
Thanks for the beautiful blue wave in Antelope Canyon, Yvette! I especially love the pictures where you and your son are glowing. I imagine your aura looks like that. You resonate at a high frequency. Every one of these pictures is beautiful. What a joy to travel with your son. I'm still praying for your mom, and will continue until she's well. We've been to Sedona and the Grand Canyon and loved it. We also enjoyed the Arizona heat! Some friends in Utah took us to Zion and Cedar Breaks. Beautiful part of our gorgeous country! What a beautiful gift you're giving your son by taking him on these trips of discovery.ReplyDelete
You didn't see it, Patty! Look again at the "blue wave" and think of your newest stories! ;-) Thank you for seeing my aura like that. You made me smile. :-)Delete
I see it now! The Dragon's Eye! Of course! Thanks, Yvette! It's a good reminder to get back to writing.ReplyDelete
How cool is that! It does not look like that in person. Without the tour guide, I never would have seen it. :-)Delete
Your son is blessed to have you. To have seen, firsthand, most of the popular US sites is a wonderful experience most kids don’t get. The Antelope Caves are fascinating! The sunlight is surrounding you both like angels. I love it.Delete
I also had a scare. A few years ago, the radiologist found a tiny spot on the mammogram, and my doctor sent me to a cancer surgeon. Since it was so tiny they had to use a wire attached to a cup to locate it during the procedure. It wasn't cancerous, but the doctors had frightened me. Most women I know have dense tissue. I didn't test for the gene but go for my yearly mammogram and sonogram.ReplyDelete
I think some doctors are just surgery happy so they take advantage of our fear to put us under the knife. I'm happy yours was benign, Susanne! :-)Delete