Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Art, Flying & Friends

The post Thanksgiving season got off the a great start.  On Saturday we drove to Cave Creek with Alan and Sharon to take in the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour.  There were 46 stops showing the work of 168 artists.  One of the neat things was that many of the studios were in peoples homes so, as my father used to say, we got to see how the other half lives.  The fun time continued on Sunday when we got to go ballooning with Mike Liberti.  On Monday we went to a movie (Dallas Buyers Club) and had dinner with Linda Rocks.  On Tuesday we had another Betty's RV Park reunion with folks we met there.
Nanc and Sharon each picked five stops and it took us all day to cover those.  I guess that is why this is a six day event.  The first studio we toured had a lot of very neat lawn art.
They had a bit of everything.
This beautiful glass work includes a couple of pieces that look like woven fabric.  Very beautiful and very expensive.
At The Ranch there were four artists with four different styles of paintings.  The most unusual was done on leather that had been worked to create the texture.  I loved this wind chime, but it is a bit to heavy to carry in the rig.
Robin's Nest had  pottery, jewelry, ceramics and paintings.
The Mark Carroll Sculpture Studio had a number of works made with wood and stone.  Mark also makes models for the Fisher-Price toy company.  He was working two huge horses that will be part of a Welcome to Cave Creek display.
The artists at the Desert Rat Forge and Desert Studio included carvings, gourds, paintings and, of course, metal.
A few of the pieces from the forge.
How about this neat little auto-cycle we saw.  Hidden in the Hills is a great experience with beautiful art and a must do if you are in the Greater Phoenix area at the end of November.
 Two years ago we crewed with Daniel Liberti at the balloon fiesta.  We met the whole Liberti family and got to fly with Mike when we were here in Mesa.  At this year's fiesta we crewed with Mike and made plans to fly with him in Arizona again.  During our first month here we went to Mexico and Mike was away at a couple of balloon events but we finally got together this weekend and got to fly again.  Looking up into Morning Star as Mike hits the burner.  I think Nanc loves this.
The only other balloon flying was Mike's brother-in-law Kevin who was training his daughter for her balloon pilot's license.  We both took off from this empty lot. 
It was a very calm day with perfect winds.  We zig-zagged over the launch area by going up and down to catch different wind directions.  Here is a reflection of Kevin's balloon in a flooded field. 
Reflection of Morning Star in the same water.
The basket of Mike's balloon above Kevin's balloon.  Look closely and you can see the chase vehicle parked along the road.  Mike's wife T followed us to the landing site.
It was a bit hazy that morning.  We were surprised at all the development.  There are several new housing plans under construction.  That is a good sign for the economy, but a bad sign for balloonists as there are fewer and fewer places to land.
New houses in all stages of building from the empty lot, next to one with the utility trenches dug, next to the concrete slab.  Another house with just the studs, two that have the sheeting on the roof and a few with the tile roofs completed.
 Two years ago we had never been in a balloon and now we would not miss a chance to fly.  Nanc has been up six times and I have had four flights.  It does not get old or boring because every flight is different. 
The gang from Betty's got together for lunch again when Jim and Cookie were passing through the area on their way to Abbeville.  Here are Dave, Jim, Cookie, Sarah, Nanc, MaryBeth, Tony and Jim.  It is always fun getting to meet up and share travel tales with friends on the road.

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Hmmm, is Nancy going to get a balloon license?