It’s a Beautiful Day In Phoenix

                                             Camelback Mountain

The temperature this morning at 8:00 it is 53 degrees outside and 74 degrees inside.  This is why we endure the 100 plus degrees in our summer days!  at 3 o’clock this afternoon, it wa 76 degrees inside and 76 degrees outside.  Perfect !!!!!

The only heat we have in our condo is a small electric fireplace, and it is adequate.

There are many benefits of                                                         Luke Air Force Base
living in Phoenix, apart from the beautiful winters.  We are close to the mountains, and we have several lakes in the vicinity.  It is only about a 5 or 6 hour drive to the ocean, and it is only a 4 hour drive to Mexico.  

We have wonderful shopping centers in both the heart of the city, and in the surrounding areas.

For sports fans, we have the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Cardinals.  The city is already preparing for the 2000 Super Bowl which will be held here, in the beautiful new arena.

Did I mention Casinos?  I believe, at last count, there were 21 casinos in Arizona.  There is one only 4 miles from my home and it is being enlarged.  Personally, I am looking forward to the buffet and the other 4 new restaurants in the re-vamped casino. 3%

The population, according to the last census report, is 1,445,000.  

Demographics  (approximate figures)

White:                     60%

African American  6%

Native American    2%

Asian                         3%

Hispanic                  40%


I have been accepted by Amazon and I have made my 3 ales

Two of my posts are indexed by Google

I have made 98 cents !!!

As previously stated by another Wealthy Affiliate member:  “NOW I KNOW THE SYSTEM WORKS !!”

Now I am looking forward to more indexing, more traffic, and more money!

AND I am happy living in this city.  Another great thing about living in tis area is Luke Air Force Base.  My husband is retired Air Force, so we can take avantage of the many facets of the Base.


Luke Air Force Base was named after Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, who was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor and was the #2 United States Ace in World War I.

Lieutenant Luke was killed when his plane was shot down in the skies over France.

Luke Field, Oahu, Hawaiian Territory was previously named in his honor.


In 1940, the U.S. Army sent a representative to Arizona to choose a site for for the first building at what was then known as Litchfield Park Air Base.  an Army Air Corps training field.  The City of Phoenix bought 1,440 acres of land, which they leased to the government at $1 year.  Del E. Webb Co. began excavation for the  afirst building of what was then known as the Litchfield Park Air Base.

Soon after combat started in Korea, Luke Field was reactivated in February of 1951,  Luke Air Force Base, part of the Air Training Command (ATC), under the reorganized United States Air Force.

When 1at Lt. Joshua Padgett completed the F-16 basic training course on March 8, 2000, he became the 50,000th fighter pilot to graduate from Luke AFB, since the Army Air Forces started training there in July 1941.


The Desert Botanical Gardens:

A 140 acre Botanical Garden located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, in central Arizona.  Closes at 10  pm.  480-941-1226

Camelback Mountain:

Camelback Mountain is a mountain in Phoenix  Arizona,  its name is derived from its shape, which resembles the hump and the head of a kneeling camel.  The elevation is 2,704.

Two hiking trails ascent 1280 ft to the peak of Camelback Mountain.

Arizona State Capitol

The Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, was the last home for Arizona’s Territorial Government, until Arizona became a state, in 1912.

Initially, all 3 branches of the new state government occupied the 4 floor of the statehouse.  A the state expanded, the branches relocated to adjacent buildings.  It is an old building with unique architecture.

1720 W. Washington

Phoenix, Arizona  85007

Nearby restaurant: La Canasta Capitolo, 1733 W. Van Buren

I hope, that if you are not a resident of Arizona, that you  will visit soon (in the spring or fall), and visit some of the unique places The valley of the Sun has to offer.

I would not recommend visiting in the summer, as it takes years to get used to the heat….but the winters are worth it !!!




            The Day Cabin

This article is a description of the Day Cabin Road, which is located in Willow Basin, Utah.

This well traveled, well worn road has been used by miners, hunters, hikers, skiers, and a few residents for over 100 years. It is mainly used now as a trail to Bachelor Basin and Mineral Mountain. It has been badly worn out and contains many ruts and crevices and is probably only good to be used by jeeps and 4 wheelers, and, of course, horses, bears and cattle.

My sister, Dorothy Guinand and her daughters, Tracy and Debra, are frequent hikers on the road, and I hope to add some of their comments.


To get to the Day Cabin Road, if beginning from Moab, Utah: Go out of Moab, towards Salt Lake City.  Just before you get to the bridge over the Colorado River, take a right turn up the “River Road”.  You will pass the entrance to Grandstaff Trail on the right.  Travel about 10 more miles and you will come to the Castle Creek Lodge.  This is the home of the Castle Creek Winery.  The Castle Creek Winery has frequent wine tastings and a unique gift store.  So stop and have a taste and a look!

There is also a museum in the Lodge.  There is a section in the Lodge describing the settlers of the area.  My family, (the Kirks) have a section there, and we are very proud of it.

After visiting the Castle Creek Winery, make a left turn coming out and continue on to the sign that directs you to the village of Castle Valley.  You will pass the town of Castle Valley on the right.  On the left will be the famous Castle Rock formation, depicted in the famous Chevrolet car commercial.

Continue on past the 7th  day Adventist Academy; and you will travel over some rather dangerous switchbacks, (I know them well, as I was in a 4 wheel accident there once).  Very soon after the switchbacks, you will see a dirt road to the right. You are now on the road to Willow Basin.  Keep bearing right on all the dirt roads and you will come to the Day Cabin Road.

On second thought, watch for a local, (always in a pick-up) and you will receive friendly directions to the Day Cabin Road.


When I was a young mother of three, we visited my mother’s cabin in Willow Basin for a few days.  This cabin was, and still is, connected to the road, and partly owned by the family.  (I know, it IS complicated!)

I had a Siamese cat that had disappeared, so I went looking for him.  I was hiking up the Day Cabin Road, with my dog, Sambo.   Sambo suddenly froze, and looked up and there was a bear cub not far up the tree.  I remember the bear running up the road, and the dog and me running down the road!!  The cat came home !!

At one time, a bear, or bears, broke into the Day Cabin and created havoc in the cabin.  It was not too long after this, that the Day family gave up mining, therefore losing their claims and their use of their cabin.  BUT THEY DID NOT GIVE UP HUNTING !!


I was a young girl of about 10 when the local store, The Co-op burned.  It was brick, and did not burn completely, but the apartments in the upstairs of the building were gutted.  At the time, there was an elderly man living there.  I don’t know what his story was, but it was common  knowledge that he disappeared after the fire.  There were no bodies found in the remains of the fire; so he must have lived on.

The story goes, (and apparently some residents claimed seeing him;) that he ran nakedly around the mountains (the Manti LaSals).

There was a rumor around town that he was sighted around Dark Canyon Lake.

The only description I heard of him, was that he had long black/gray hair and no clothes on.

Well, I remembered the fire, and the residents throwing possessions out the windows, and the story of The Mountain Man haunted me.  Every time I walked the Day Cabin Road, I expected to see him peeking around at me from behind a tree.

I will continue this post after I hear from my sister and my niece

My niece, Debra Guinand, reminded me of one occurance regarding the Day Cabin Road.  One summer day, and I think there may have been a party going on at my mother’s cabin, she was challenged by my brother in law, Jerry Guinand.  Jerry bet her $10.00 that she could not make it to the top of the grade in the               .  The year was  1976 .  Neva made it to the top of the grade in her 1964 VW Bug and WON!!!

A little side note about the VW:  My mother ended up giving the VW  to my husband, Bob Hawley, (deceased);  Bob left it overnight at the neighborhood service station for repairs, and it was stolen.  He received a very small sum from the service station’s insurance.  (Not nearly what the family believed it was worth).

So we are hoping the best for the Day Cabin Road.  While she will probably never be restored to her former glory, she will always be remembered with affection and awe.  We hope the few hikers, hunters and residents will show reverence to:


Thank you for reading my post

Janice Kirk Gustafson





In 1993, my mother, Neva Kirk, passed away and left extensive property in Willow Basin, Utah, to myself and my sister, Dorothy Kirk Guinand.

It is now 2019. and I have sold all the property, including the cabin I had built on one of the 10 acre plots. Building and maintaining the cabin plus living expenses has depleted my income, but I am still self sufficient.

Memories of the cabin are bittersweet, as selling it was devastating and I will never go back to the area, as I know going back there would make me too sad

To any of my family members and friends who visited me at the cabin, I hope you remember the good times and bonding we experienced there, and I hope the reading of this post brings only good memories.


My first visitors I had at the cabin, were Jo and Steve. I worked very hard preparing for their visit. I remember the day before they arrived, I was upstairs on the roof, (SO excited they would be there the next day,) washing the windows. Suddenly I realized I had closed the windows and they locked up on me. I panicked, and was sure Jo and Steve would find me dead on the roof when they arrived the next day. After trying everything, and even though I was on a sloping roof, I got on my back and kicked the windows, thinking they would break, but they finally opened. After this experience, I climbed through the window and continued my cleaning and planning menus

The cooking and planning menus for visitors was a joy for me. When expecting company, I would make a menu for every day they would be visiting,  then I would make an extensive grocery list.  I loved this procedure, and the cooking, but eventually, it became too much for me.

I told my visitors if they wanted anything before I cooked brunch, around 10 or 11, to help themselves to coffee, toast, or anything they desired. Then I would cook a large brunch;  then, very often, would begin making preparations to cook dinner, which was served around 6 pm.


July 4th was always a special event at the cabin.  We usually had family visiting and this alone made it special.  We always had a great barbecue lunch (or dinner) serving salads and my special sun dried tomato and onion hamburgers.

The main 4th of July event, eagerly anticipated, was:  my sister, Dorothy Guinand, and myself,  always led the singing of patriotic songs.  This usually led to more raised eyebrows than joined singers,  BUT we knew the words !!  I have a special CD of patriotic marches which were used to accompany us !

Dorothy, Ron and I are joined in being patriotically conservative.


The days at the cabin were full of activities. Other than eating, there was hiking, bird watching, star watching, bear watching and, of course, a card game almost every night.  Yes, BEAR WATCHING,  but that is good information; good for another article.

The most important thing, to me,  that took place at the cabin, was the bonding that took place.  Spencer Hawley and Layla Murphy, who were siblings, but   barely knew each other, became close friends

  This is only one example of the bonding that took place,  but  one out of many.

I had always wanted a garden, and my husband, Ron, made that dream come true. What a joy it was for me to bring in an arm full of lettuce, arugula, spinach and onions. We had a habit of throwing potato skins out in a bare space in the garden. Suddenly we had a potato patch !  And our ferinds and neighbors also enjoyed the garden.  My sister, Dorothy Guinand was always a welcome visitor, and we would see her coming down the road.  Dorothy usually left with an arm full of arugula, as she hiked down the road to  her  cabin.

Having a garden was always a dream to me, and I thank my parents, my husband, and John Bizak, for making it possible.  I now have a small growing space in our condo in Peoria, Arizona, but I grow whatever I am able.

The cabin is now owned by “Tom”,  a bachelor from the town of  Castle Valley, and I heard rumors that it may be for sale again.  BUT I invite, and will listen to, no news of it, as I have my memories, and I do not want new news of the cabin to bring regret and sadness.

I, and my friends and family, will always remember the good times at the cabin.  And, we will always have pictures.


As I said, these memories are bittersweet, but I will always be grateful to my parents for making it possible to occupy such a SPECIAL PLACE!

Thank you for reading my post about THE CABIN

Janice Gustafson






    Large rock containing crystals -found in Bachelor Basin, Utah

    Hiking Boot

This product review of Hiking Boots is only a comparison of a few brands of the many available. Hopefully, those of you  planning to buy hiking boots will research brands diligently and try on numerous pairs before choosing a hiking boot.


Timberland boots are classic men’s boots.  These boots have classifications of:  waterproof boots, sneakers and chuklas

Men’s 6″ premium perforated boots                                   $200.00

Men’s 6″ premium waterproof boots                                    190.00

Men’s Radford 6″ lightweight waterproof boots                  190.00

Earthkeepers original leather 6″ boots                                 160.00

Men’s Squall Canyon waterproof boots                                  160.00

Men’s 1998 Flyroam waterproof hiking boots                        160.00

Free shipping, 3 day, U.S. free returns within 60 days

Premium waterproof leather uppers, comfort aystem, rustproof,

Speedlace, silver rated tannery, (50% leather).


Columbia boots are leather,and range from $54.90 to $193.00

Imported soles

Shaft 5″ from arch for slip-free movement


Lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort

Durable mesh tongue

Lace-up closure

Free returns on SOME sizes and colors

        merrell moab hiking boots


Merrell boots range from $88.00 to $280.00

Merrell Moab Men’s Waterproof Boot:

100% Leather

Synthetic sole

Leather men’s upper

Merrell air cushion in the heel

Molded nylon arch shank

Air cushion, breathable mesh lining

EVA midsole for stability and comfort

Protective rubber toe cap


Rax men’s Wild Wolf Venture Waterproof Hiking Boots       $55.00 to 85.00

Rubber soles

Shaft 10′ from arch

Waterproof hiking boot featuring:

Suede upper with breathable lycra material adjustable lace-up vamp. EVA midsole, antisled traction, padded tongue and collar.

As previously stated, this review of hiking boots is of only a few of the many boots available.
Of course, the Timberland Boot is a classic.  The Merrell Boot is very popular and has excellent features.   The Columbia boot is a very good brand, and priced reasonably.  The Rax Men’s boot also has good features and reasonable pricing.


What are you searching for in a boot?  I would say comfort and fit would come first.  Of course, wearability and waterproof features should be considered, and comparison of prices should be considered.

As a former hiker,  and mountain cabin owner, (I am now disabled) I  miss hiking tremendously. 

My favorite hike was from Willow Basin, through Bachelor Basin, to Mineral Mountain.   Willow Basin is in Southern Utah, into the La Sal mountains, a short drive from Moab, Utah.  Moab is my home town, perhaps this is why I have a fondness for the Merrell Moab Hiking Boot.  Mineral mountain is a good place to look for semi precious stones.  I have even heard of garnets being found there by hikers.  Please see my photo of a large rock formation containing hundreds of crystals.  It was found while on a hike to Mineral Mountain.  Photo is at the beginning of post.

Wishing good luck and a safe journey to all you hikers.  I envy you.


Thank you for reading my post, “A Product Review of Hiking Boots”








Our time in Kane was very fun.  We stayed in a very small RV park, in a grassy meadow.  It was like being way out in the country, but close to town; and close enough for Ron to quickly get to his sister, Lois’s every morning to shower.  I showered in the “Bungie cord” bathroom.

Kane is an old town that has an influx of young people with a desire to make the town new again.  There are numerous new restaurants appearing in town and on the outskirts of town; and Ron’s family made sure we tried them all.  He has another sister in town, Shirley, and she has quite a large family of her own.  I was becoming very attached to all of them.

The drive back to Arizona was very pleasant.  We tried to stay away from the freeway and we ate our meals in locally owned “mom and pop” restaurants, where we met very friendly people, mostly “locals”

I had heard Ron, many times, speak of his desire to visit the Air Force Museum in Ohio.  Ron is a retired U.S. Air Force Officer.  When we were within 200 miles of Daytonm and the Museum , he didn’t seem inclined to go out of our way to visit it, but I convinced him we should.

We already had reservations at the rv park in Wright Air Force Base, where the museum is located.  There the fun began.   We do not have “smart phones”, and we had a terrible time finding our way around.  The RV park did not have an address, it was  only known as the “fam camp”, and our GPS could not help us.  We floundered around for a couple of hours before suddenly seeing the welcome sight of the huge Air Force Museum.

There was a very large crowd at the Museum, and making our way to the entrance was difficult, but we finally made it.  Should have worn our hiking boots.

Our first sight inside the museum was a little bit of a disappointment.  It was the Atrium of the Air Force Museum Store, where they sell one of a kind aviation themed merchandise.

From there, we got into more of the places Ron was interested in.

The World War 2 room was VERY interesting.  In addition to American planes, from the Wright Bros. on up, they also displayed foreign planes, such as the Mig, the German Junker Turbojet, planes with the swastikas, and Japanese war planes; and also the British Spitfire.  This room also showed the uniforms and medals worn through the years.

From the World War 2 room, we went to the Holocaust exhibit, which was very well done, but depressing.

The Southeast Asia War and the Korean War rooms held Ron’s complete interest, since he served in both theaters of war.

 The exhibits In the Cold War Room mainly consisted of missile flights and defensive action techniques.  It was interesting and we both remembered the difficulties and worries of the times.  I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska during these years, and we had black curtains which we kept drawn after dark.  We also had occasional practice air raids, and during one, we were taken to the airport and actually boarded the plane as if for take off.

The next rooms were the Missile Gallery, the Presidential Room, the Global Reach Room, and the Space Research and Development Room.

The viewing of these rooms ended our VERY interesting and informative visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and if we are ever again within 200 miles of the Museum, we will surely visit it.

The Museum is open to the public at no charge.  There are no restrictions such as age, dress, etc.  There  are numerous helpful attendants who are there to answer questions and to assist in any way they can.

If you would like any further information regarding the U.S. Air Force Museum, their email is:

Thank you for reading my post

Janice Gustafson