Archive for December, 2007


Happy New Year Bloggers!!

December 31, 2007

Hey all, have a wonderful New Year Eve where-ever you are and with whomever you are with.

We wish you all the best for the coming year and hope to catch up with you before too long.   As mentioned we will be at Fort McDowell casino/new year eve party and will not lose our return tickets on the bingo.

Take Care, drive carefully and see you next year.

Julie & Pete


Basketry and Campfires

December 29, 2007

Hi all, here we are in downtown Tempe counting the sleeps till we board the plane with our ton of luggage. So I’ll catch up on a few interesting trips and events that we enjoyed.

As mentioned before, I drove to Sells, (100miles west of Tuson) where I attended a basketry festive, with dancing by the children from the local mission school, native food cooking by a lady who has a national native food cookery show, corn husking, studio portraits and cultural events. There were also people willing to teach us non weavers how to do it!.

The basketry festival has been hosted by the Tohono O’dham people for the last 12 years and held in Phoenix at the Heard Museum (we will visit next week) but the TO people have just built a new museum/cultural centre where they wanted to host the event this year. This was a big gamble, as the event is so well attended in Phoenix, and having it in the middle of no where by the mountains west of Tucson was sure starting over again. Hardly sign posted, no accommodation and very little else to do…… It rained and was so cold and windy I thought I was on the corner of Saint Georges Terrace again in winter!!… After the first two days of very low attendance due to the above mentioned aspects Saturday morning showed promise with many visitors eager to buy baskets, enjoy dancing, cooking and meet with old friends, I was so lucky and felt very priveleged to be asked to attend.

A lovely lady from the Tohono O’dham tribe patiently sat with me for two days and taught me how to weave….. I stuck the awl into my finger a few times, (you then have to stop or the basket becomes pink) and got piece done about a the size of a fifty cent piece. I decided it was more opportune to enjoy the company of women from all over the nation and met another wonderful lady named Carol from New Mexico who made me a unique Red Willow basket in few hours. Another two amazing weaving ladies from the Akwesasne tribe (northern state of New York) took me under their wings and made me feel very welcome and accepted.

I stayed in Nina and her husband (contact via the university and we sat up talking with some good red wine listening to a late desert rain storm with lashing downpours and howling winds. I had a few anxious moments driving to their home in San Miguel, with water rushing down the mountains though the washways, but thankfully my time in the north west had given me a bit of experience in that area, although not in a ’93 Dodge van!!!.

Saturday afternoon I drove back to base camp Tempe and Pete and I packed for the snow trip that was written about in the last entry.

After returning from Salt Lake City, we got up at dawn (yes !! I can do it when I have too – remember the hot springs and snow flakes??!!) and drove 3 hours to Parker, where I spoke to about 100 year 5 kids about Australian Native people and animals. We met with Jay who is the local education director and he introduced us to the health coordinator, and gave us a good rundown on the four tribes that make up the CRITS (known by other tribes as CRITTERS).

About the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo Tribes

The Colorado River Indian Tribes include four distinct Tribes – the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo. There are currently about 3,500 active Tribal members.

We were invited to the river for a storytelling campfire get-together which was wonderful and I was a guest story teller along with an elder from the each of the four tribes that make up the CRITS (Colorado River Indian Tribes).

We had hot apple cider, cookies and a big fire that kept all fifty odd huddled around the flames warm as toast, that had been organised because Pete and I had first said we would camp there, but after the snow temperatures, we decided to stay at the Blue Waters casino and had a great visit with some amazing and very hospitable people. Photos coming asap.  Pete has added more snow shots, just to show you how much fun it was.

We are planning a two night get away over the weekend back to beautiful Sedonna and then for New Years eve we are hitting the casino at Fort McDowell, north of Phoenix run by Yavapai Nation.

THEN ONLY FOUR MORE SLEEPS TILL WE HIT PERTH VIA HONG KONG (17 hours first leg, 7 hours second leg – don’tjawishyoucouldjoinus?).


Snow Bunny Fun

December 20, 2007

Well folks, here they are – some fun snaps of us in the snow. img_9389.jpgWe flew in to Salt Lake City and took a shuttle to Lava Hot Springs where our host George img_9262.jpgand his wonderful hospitality made the stay exciting. I was in the hot springs to see dawn and my first snow flakes – just breathtaking. We stayed at the B&B for four nights then with George at his home in Pocetallo. Then we went out to Fort Hall to visit with the Shoshone -Bannock tribe.img_9310.jpg

Sunny was our tour guide to the museum, shop, bottoms(wild life area with buffalo), img_9295.jpgcasino and health clinic.

We then took the shuttle back to SLC where we stayed with another contact, Marilyn img_9372.jpgwho took us to the Temple of the Mormans hosted us for the night img_9359.jpg– we in turn introduced her to a nice Ozzie merlot.

The next day we shuttled to Park City the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.


They we enjoyed tubing, snow angel making, coaster ride down a mountain and much more.

We flew back to Phoenix on Sunday then drove to Colorado River Tribes in Parker.

More photos to come, as I went to Tucson before this trip to a basketry festive, and the campfire storytelling night in the Desert at Parker was wonderful.. BUT for now, we are now carless, as we sold Dodgey this morning and will be busing it for the next two weeks.

Have a good festive break, see you soon – Julie and Pete


Waiting…. Waiting… waiting…

December 8, 2007

We are currently in Idaho chasing the snow… and without our computer.  It may be a week or so before we get back to update our blog, so please be patient.  Don’t desert us, we enjoy your feedback!!!


Julie and Peter.


A new vet in the family!

December 3, 2007

Although this is not another story of our trip – It’s a fantastic journey of challenges and determination that my daughter Shey has just finished!

Seen here on graduation night with husband Dave.jolly2.jpg

Shey has just graduated as a vet out of Murdoch university, making her the first vet in the extended OWEN clan in South Australia, EVER (hundreds of people in that lot) and the third Dr in our family, so we can now call HER – WHICH DR?

Pete is pleased to hand over the vet baton and has been instrumental in assisting her and keeping her motivation up when things got tough. We are very proud of her and glad that so many of our extended family/friends were able to be help her celebrate this EXTREMELY happy and HISTORIC occasion.

She says it has not sunk in yet, as she is busy packing the house to move to Denmark (W.A.) to begin her career as a vet, where she will work tirelessly to save all creatures great and small!

So folks, let me introduce to you, (drum roll please 🙂 ………………:) her two surnames are Tidswell (university register) and Rogers (marriage register) …………….but it will still register with her and she will not mind if you just call her …………..Doctor.

Cheers to Dr Shey our newly graduated vet! I wish I could give her the hug she deserves, but have to rely on you W.A mob to do it for me! Pete and I did have a tequilla or two for her last night.

If you want to send congratulations;     Shey, Dave, Reaf & Teylan are at 🙂

Julie and Pete