North Ranch neighbors, Bob and Sandy Wilson, and their visiting daughter, Pam Bridges, picked me up for breakfast in Wickenburg at the Twin Pines Café. Although it has been around for a long time, I never took the opportunity to eat there before. It was not only interesting to sit and look at all the historic paraphernalia on the walls, but to see the photos of famous people associated with it. Breakfast was delicious and held us over until our big evening treat which I’ll tell you about next week.
Bob was expert enough to do all the maneuvering through traffic to reach the Desert Botanical Garden on the east side of Phoenix. Our reason for going in March was not only to see the magnificent spring desert flowers in bloom, but to experience a special exhibition scheduled through May 18, Chihuly in the Garden. I had seen it advertised on TV and wasn’t impressed. I couldn’t see how big globs of glass could improve on natural garden settings. I was wrong.
Of course, the Chihuly glass was obvious but yet it blended as well, and was certainly colorful. I’d love to see it at night. We watched a video of Dale Chihuly designing and crafting these unusual creations of blown glass. He certainly has gotten around. Born in Tacoma, WA, he studied in WA, WI, and RI and from there worked at the Venini glass factory in Venice, Italy. Now that is where I want to go see his works. Of many places it was my privilege to visit in Europe, I would love to go back to Venice. He has taken his talents all over the world. But I digress.
The gardens are separated into interesting loopy loops that go this way and that with little side gardens to explore like the Boulder Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Herb Garden and the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail among others. Sandy and Pam are excellent photographers and took just the right time and effort to get that perfect angle. I am a hack photographer that points and shoots and about a quarter of my photos are memorable…well, maybe fewer, and once taken, I was on the move. They caught up with me in the Butterfly Pavilion where docents with big dusters swept magnificent butterflies away from the door and swept you as well if any wayward butterflies tried to leave the complex to seek a greater world.
Something you might not see elsewhere are the drinking fountains or hydration stations where you could drink up or fill up. We were probably there between four and five hours, but unless you are a much younger whiz on wheels, just plan to go back over and over again to see and experience all of it.
If you are in the area, go, see, experience whatever is on unique display, take advantage of their various classes, concert series, dining options, or special programs like Breakfast with the Butterflies. Something will always be waiting for you to experience. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
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At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”