Arizona Landscape (Photo by B. Goodjoin)

In October, my family and I traveled to Tucson, AZ for a few days of vacation and visiting friends. We enjoyed the flights to get there and had a chance to explore the area (above and below ground). Arizona is a place with a fascinating history from the Buffalo Soldiers, to Wyatt Earp and the Trail of tears. It’s of place of mountains and desert land, Indian reservations, cities and dreams. A place of riches and poverty.

Exploring Underground Cavern
(Photo by L. Weymouth)

I never imagined I would be going caving, but due to “peer pressure from my wonderful children, that’s exactly what I ended up doing. Climbing and crawling through tight areas served to remind me that I really need lose a few pounds and exercise more. It was quite an adventure. As I looked up towards the ceiling of the cave, I hoped that the hundreds of thousands of pounds of rock would continue to stay in place. “Please God, no earthquakes right now!” I prayed and my children laughed…nervously and told me to “shut up.” I was spoiling the fun. Yes, I did take a big breath of air when we made our way to the surface. Would I do that again? Yes. It was exhilarating!

Giraffes at the Pheonix Zoo

My grandson’s favorite part of our stay was the zoo. I think it is his goal to visit every zoo in the United States–maybe even the world. I have to admit that compared to the zoo in the city where we live, most places we have traveled to have more expansive areas for their animal inhabitants to roam and live. Tucson has the Reid Park Zoo, but these photos were taken at the zoo in Pheonix, AZ.

According to what I read, the Pheonix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the US. It was founded by the Maytag family.

No matter where I go, I always travel with a camera and a notebook. Writing and photography are my passions, and I enjoy the inspiration that comes from new sights and meeting new people along this journey of life. My favorite times of day–early mornings and the evening sunsets…with a cup of hot tea or coffee–stirred–not shaken 😉

On the evening this photo was taken, I was introduced to a poisonous caterpillar and told to look out for rattlers, so I picked a place sit where I had a clear view of the area around me. My son, Jay, kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t try to bring any new pets home. Usually I am the one to rescue turtles, frogs and lizards, but creepy crawlers that are poisonous are a little out of my league!

My poem Arizona Sunsets was born here…Thank you to my daughter (L. W.) for the photo of me at work.

The kids are ready to hop another plane or train for another escapade, and I encourage them not to be afraid, just to go for it. Wherever you go, take time to learn some of the history of the place and enjoy doing new things. Whether you travel by car, plane, helicopter, train or hot air balloon, it’s always nice to have friends or family to travel with, but if you don’t, join a travel group or “go it alone”. The world is bigger than the hometown or state in which we were born, so expand your horizons…

Flying higher than the clouds, yet I still look up to pray–B. Goodjoin