Thumbs Up!

Willy and I hiked a Prescott landmark trail up Thumb Butte.

I grew up with this Prescott Landmark practically in my back yard. However, I never hiked up it all those years. I recently put it on my bucket list of trails for Willy and I to conquer.

There are two ways you can hike this 2.5 mile trail. If you go to the left your first .75 miles is paved but extremely steep. Willy and I opted to take the trail to the right like the nice person who took this photo suggested.

 

The trail is well maintained and loops around at a gradual incline to the base of the rocks. I think we made a good choice taking the path to the right.

It was a gorgeous day for a hike. We enjoyed hitting the trails before the busyness of the holidays and while the weather was still nice.

There were plenty of places to stop and rest along the trail. We took our time and enjoyed the fresh air and scenery along our way.

The trail winds through the oak brush, pinon pines and even some prickly pear cactus toward the back side of the butte.

We made it to the top! Another hiker was nice enough to take our picture at the trail summit. Yes, to truly go to the top of Thumb Butte we would have had to scale the boulders behind us like some of the hikers were doing. Willy and I, however, were completely satisfied with calling the summit good enough.

At the summit there is an informal memorial dedicated to our beloved 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.  The movie, “Only the Brave”, was made about these brave men.

We locals lost so much when we lost these men. There are very few of us who were not impacted in a very personal way through this tragedy. Clayton Whitted (top row 3rd from the left) was very dear to our family’s hearts. He was a youth group leader at our church and impacted so many lives in a positive way, including our daughter. This little memorial was an unexpected surprise. We paid our respects then headed down the steep 3/4 mile trip to the bottom.

 

From the top down the trail is paved with plenty of rails to stop and enjoy the gorgeous view and at the bottom is this revolving gate. Willy was fascinated with it.

Of course, everywhere we go Willy makes a new friend. Everyone loves Willy and Willy loves everyone!

Another wonderful day spent doing what we love!

Another Local Dog Friendly Discovery!

Willy and I recommend the newly opened Rafter Eleven Coffee & Wine bar.

They have a beautiful Dog-friendly patio where you can sit and enjoy a cup of specialty coffee with a scone or a glass of wine. They are located in Prescott Valley, Arizona in the Entertainment District, right next to Buffalo Wild Wings.

They  have a good selection of coffees, lattes, wines and scones on their menu and the atmosphere is quaint and inviting.

I had a Chai Latte and a Chocolate chip scone. Oh my goodness!! Delicious!

Willy enjoyed the one on one time with me, it has been hectic around the ranch as of late. This was a welcome reprieve. Willy thought so too.

He even got to get his photo taken with the owner of the establishment, Dawn Wasowicz. She loves Willy and enjoyed his visit! Now, to be completely honest, we know Dawn quite well. Her and her husband, Jeff, have a Jack Russell from our very first litter. Also, my husband manages the Fain Ranch, whose brand is the Rafter Eleven. That is not merely a coincidence, Dawn’s maiden name was Fain, and it is her family’s ranch. Although I know the owner, this review is completely honest and without bias.

I have not been inside the store yet, since city ordinances only allow dogs on the patio. However, they also carry a wide selection of  wines, specialty olive oils, Balsamic vinegar and spices. I plan on a trip to do some serious shopping for oils, spices and quite possible a bottle or two of wine before all my holiday company arrives.

The Fall weather is beautiful here, a perfect time of year to visit and see for yourself just how quaint Rafter Eleven Coffee & Wine bar is. The patio is open and the wine is rolling in!

 

 

Aspiring Artists

It was a beautiful day to be creative!

Willy and his friends, Sadie and Jessi, were feeling inspired, or rather, I was feeling inspired and they played along.  They weren’t too crazy about my idea at first but were great sports and we had a lot of fun.

Sadie did not really like the feel of paint between her toes the first time. But once she got to run across the fabric, the sheet, the lawn and the sidewalk – spreading color everywhere she went – she felt better.

Willy watched very closely to the whole process before it was his turn. He was not sure what was happening and not real sure he wanted a turn. Of course, the paint that we used was non-toxic child friendly paint. Some of the colors were even glow in the dark!

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Jessica joined in the fun too! Although at first she was unsure, Jessi was the biggest contributor to the painted lawn. She had way more fun running through the paint and then adding bright colors to the grass.

Finally it was Willy’s turn! He did not mind the feeling of the paint between his toes. I think he kind of liked it! Willy, the creative genius that he is, was totally into the project.

Willy got his creative juices flowing, making sure the masterpiece flowed. You will remember, he painted his very own acrylic painting, so he has a real flare for art.

He put on the finishing touches all by himself!

And not only is the finished project a beautiful masterpiece, but it is practical as well.

Of course, after Willy and his friends ran around the yard, leaving pretty little splashes of color everywhere they went, they got much needed baths!

Sometimes, you just have to let loose; let your creative self explode! Just ask Willy.

 

What’s on the Menu?

Willy went out for lunch and dined in style!

I decided that Willy and I needed to explore our own hometown and discover new adventures to be had locally. We discovered a fabulous, dog friendly cafe in down town Prescott, Arizona called The Barley Hound.

They bring out water for your four-legged family member when they bring yours. They even have meals you can order off the menu for your dog! What fun! Willy ordered the steak and rice.

After we ordered, Willy waited patiently for his food. We enjoyed the beautiful day out on the cafe patio. It was a perfect day for eating outdoors.

They brought Willy’s food out on a Frisbee! Willy really enjoyed eating his lunch beside me.  He felt extra special.

When he was finished eating, he had a new toy to play with! This place is so  much fun. For all my local friends and even those who may wish to travel to visit Prescott, The Barley Hound is a MUST for your itinerary!

With a full tummy, Willy relaxed and did a little “people watching” while I finished  my lunch and dessert. The food is amazing with fun options to order such as duck fries and shark tacos! The upside down Key lime Pie … YUM! If you are a connoisseur of fine beer, like my son Ty, you will appreciate their great selection of local brewed light or dark beer.

Willy and I are having fun exploring our own “back yard” and can’t wait to share our adventures with you! Until next time, be sure to take time out of your day to relax and enjoy where you live!

**Neither Willy nor I receive any compensation for this recommendation**