Saturday, February 18, 2017

Forty Days in the Desert

 

DSC_0008 (1)

Four Peaks

The travel blog is behind 40 days! So sad!

On the positive side, we have had so much fun with friends, it was impossible to create the time (and get the mindset) to write.

Lost Dutchman State Park is our destination after leaving the Benson SKP Park.  The Superstition Mountains are our emotional home while in the Southwest. Four nights just is not long enough to get our fix.

DSC_0036

Fish Creek Overlook, Apache Trail

We call some friends who live nearby who are entertaining friends who are also our friends! A trip to Tortilla Flat is planned.

DSC_0022

DSC_0028

We say a temporary good-bye to the friends knowing we will all be together again in February at the Quartzsite fiberglass trailer rally.

After a visit with the family we head for Quartzsite as the Big RV tent show starts soon.

Unfortunately winter is in full swing at Q with rain, clouds and a cold wind. We stay a week boondocking at Dome Rock but after two semi-sleepless nights due to high winds, we head back to civilization and comforts including electricity and warmth.

20170119_173718

Found FL and KY friends also boondocking at Dome Rock.

DSC_0039DSC_0046

Notice the wind sock flying horizontally! One night my Clam (outdoor room) is blown over….Jerry C teaches me to stake it down with rebar.

It’s time to switch hats and change out of the desert rat mode.

David’s son lives in San Francisco and we are FLYING there for a visit!

We are excited like children.  It has been years since we were on a plane!

I use my phone, on airplane mode, to see where we are.  I see the Salton Sea! (It’s in the middle of the photo).

20170126_123529

 We are gifted with 3 glorious days of sunshine, lots of great food, good companionship and a ferry ride to Sausalito.

20170128_133702

20170128_121636

20170129_130530

Another day we hike to Corona Heights Park, enjoying panoramic views of San Francisco.

20170129_13024320170129_130253

After four nights in the big city, it’s time to return to Apache Junction, pick Sylvester up from the boarding center and get back into the trailer.

Again we find more fiberglass friends at Lost Dutchman. Amazing how all our paths constantly cross!

20170131_180848

Good friends and beautiful sunsets!

20170131_175436

Superstition Mountain

20170201_100421DSC_0059

It is goodbye to Lost Dutchman.  Time to head west, back to western AZ and a superbowl party at a RV park in Ehrenberg, AZ.

No photos are available!  I twist my ankle, severely, one hour after our arrival, falling at the door of the trailer. One of our buddies, a retired RN, performs first aid. The next few days are spent babying the injury.

It is the worst ankle injury I have ever experienced but recovery is fast and there is no pain after the first day, just left with a black and blue foot.

This catches us up to two weeks ago.

Our week at the rally and time in Nevada will be coming soon, I hope!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Remember When….

 

I remember when we were afraid to walk across campus at a rural Tennessee college.  Afraid the football team and the ROTC would attack us. We were a small group of mostly sociology majors who had formed a club called “Peace and Human Rights Alliance.”   It was 1970 and college kids protesting at Kent State had just been murdered.

I remember fear and divisiveness: the nation torn apart with differing political views.  It was more about young verses old, white against black, women’s rights, equal pay, the environment.  Long hair versus short hair.  There were probably some protesting for gay rights but not in my rural south location.

There were protests against the war all through my high school years.  There were demonstrations for civil rights.   I remember the television at night full of protests and scenes of battles from Vietnam.

I remember going to D.C. to protest the war and being afraid of the protesters after seeing broken storefront windows.  I did not march.  Stayed indoors where it was safe as I believed in a peaceful protest!

I also remember a different time in society.  A time where women and girls were expected to wear dresses and panty hose.  Hair was set in rollers at night.  One does not go out without being perfectly coiffed. Pants or jeans were not allowed!  Still remember the scandal in our small southern town when the Methodist women started wearing pantsuits to church on Sunday nights!

Women were encouraged to major in education.  The teaching profession was an acceptable career path as they could be with their children after school.  Women were supposed to look pretty and not think or speak of business or political matters  The weaker sex must be protected or beat into submission by their husbands.

I remember hearing about backstreet procedures where terrified, desperate college friends risked death when they unfortunately became “knocked up”.

From my grade school years I remember seeing water fountains with “colored” signs.  I remember the first blacks to enter our school.  It was the fall of 1965 and there were only two of them.  So brave!

I remember being told by my family that the “colored people”  were just being stirred up by those who were speaking out for their rights.  And remember the reaction I received from my northern classmates when I repeated my families stance. I remember the “n” word being the commonly used noun by my grandfather.

I remember when we threw trash out the window of the car without a thought. I remember when puppies and kittens were tied in a bag and drowned or shot in the head.

I remember being told that I would go to hell and burn in the fires forever and FOREVER  if I did not believe in Jesus.  I was 9 years old.

I remember injustice, inhumanity and long periods of turbulence.

But our nation has survived and matured.

It may take many, many years but we will get through this time of horrible divisions.  And good will come, rightness will win, eventually.

Change and growth do not always go in an upward spiral.  Sometimes, for awhile, things go backward.

But I have hope.  We, the people, will not allow tyranny, dictatorships or suppression of free speech to become the norm.  And I take heart, trying to remember there is good in the worst of us and bad in the best of us.  We are alike, not monsters, and we would do well to remember civility.

Thanks for reading this. The travel blog will continue soon.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

 

DSC_0011

We are back in the desert and I am happy!  Not sure what it is about this region; it may be the dryness or it may be the sparse population but whatever it is, I feel so much better out here in southern Arizona! A peaceful, easy feeling!

The to-do list to leave Chattanooga is endless.  We find ourselves balancing packing with more work on the rental duplex along with the normal family Christmas rituals.

Sylvester is ready to go!  He sits among the items to be packed letting us know we must not forget him!

20161225_063512

We leave early Christmas Day.  It is unusually hot….79 degrees all the way to Meridian, MS.  We stay at a Passport America park, Benchmark RV, for $16 (PA rate).

It’s even hotter the next day to Breaux Bridge, LA with temps in the mid 80’s. It humid, sticky and just miserable! We park at the Walmart to look at camping options and decide on another PA park, Poche’s  FishNCamp RV Park, $20.00.  We are pleasantly surprised at our site.

20161226_181150

20161227_090951

This guy is doing some serious fishing just a few feet from our back bumper.

Next stop, another PA park, is Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont, Texas.  The PA price is $22.50.  We have never ever stayed at a “rv resort”.  We are thinking it is called a “resort” because of the free breakfast the next morning!  Otherwise it is just a big old parking lot. It begins to rain!

20161227_165641

Texas is a big ole state with 880 miles across I-10. Our next night is free parking at the Bourne Visitor Center next to the Walmart.

There’s beautiful old live oaks at the center.

20161228_165808

We are behind the blue car!

It is cooling off.  We wear our jackets and walk to a lovely Mexican restaurant for dinner. Yum!

Fort Stockton RV Park is the next stop.  No discounts but a wonderful little cafe right next to the office.

New Year’s Eve is approaching and I want to be around other RVer’s to bring in 2017.  We aim for the Escapee’s park in Deming, Dream Catcher’s RV.

It’s cold, raining and the wind is blowing but there is a party scheduled and everyone is so friendly and welcoming! I walk the park in between rainstorms. 

20161231_134314

Escapee’s members price, $20 per night. We stay two nights.

(Recording all the places and prices for friends heading west.)

We learn that the next Escapee’s park, a SKP in Benson, AZ, has a one time deal of 7 nights for $50! Normally we are not interested in staying in a rv park for a whole week but the great financial deal plus the forecasted 28 degrees and the thought of exploring a brand new area. It is a good decision!

We have been here one week today.  I am sitting here at the table, writing while watching the sun appear over the Dragoon Mountains to the east.  I glance up from the keyboard and I am blinded as it crests the mountains.

This week is lovely!  This park, the SKP Saguaro Co-op, and its leaseholders are an incredibly warm and friendly bunch of folks.  We attend three social hours, one movie (Sully), one party with food, drinks and dancing and an ice cream social. (I think my husband is ready to move in.)

The lots here are huge and many have casitas on them.  (They call the little 288 square foot buildings “casitas” which confused us at first.)

20170105_124624

20170102_15102220170102_15122020170102_151338

20170102_151310

The Gambel’s quail are everywhere!

20170103_10043420170105_130527

Front yard railroad station.

We take a day trip to Tombstone and walk the old town.

DSC_0001DSC_0004DSC_0005

Another daytrip is to the Cochise Stronghold where we take a short nature hike. 

DSC_0017

The open desert is just behind the park.  I hike up past a water tower and photo the Dragoons.

DSC_0009

20170102_174129

It’s time to get on the road…..in our future is Lost Dutchman SP today, a visit to Scottsdale, the big show in Quartzsite and a flight to San Francisco and that’s just this month!

A personal note:

These past two months have been difficult, emotionally.  There was conflict between my blood family and me and conflict with my friends, my world. 

My hope for the future is to not be a part of the divisiveness but to focus on what we share…our humanness, kindness, love of nature and each other.

Wishing good things for all in 2017!

Monday, December 19, 2016

twenty sixteen was not too bad…..

 

DSC_0033

Dome Rock boon docking…January 2016

2016 was not too shabby!  A review of last year’s Google photos shows a couple of oldsters having lots of fun!

It is the first year we are able to have two western get aways……two winter months in the desert and a couple of summer months in the Colorado mountains!

We leave Chattanooga later than usual, 1/8/16, due to family medical issues. Six nights later we are at Gilbert Ray campground just outside of Tucson. Then it’s on to Phoenix after a brief stay at Lost Dutchman SP near Apache Junction.

After a visit with David’s family and a trip to Dr. Su, a heart doctor recommended by another blogger, we head to Quartzsite just in time to celebrate the wedding of dear friends.

DSC_0006DSC_0012

Then it’s time to race back to Phoenix to get David’s heart arrhythmia fixed. Success!!

20160127_110346

Procedure is 1/26/2016.  (Today David’s heart is still beating normally.)

After the procedure we spend a week at his daughter’s home, another week at Santa Fe RV Park in Apache Junction before heading to the fiberglass rally at Dome Rock, Quartzsite.

DSC_0008

That’s Dome Rock on the right.

DSC_0001

A fraction of the 183 fiberglass trailers attending!

Buckskin Mountain State Park at Parker, AZ  is our next destination….camping next to the Colorado River.

DSC_0023

20160219_112624

We drove up to see London Bridge at Lake Havasu City.

20160221_084918

Buckskin MTN State Park

We think about heading north up into Nevada but it was getting a little warm. Decide to go east and check out Congress, AZ and Escapees North Ranch RV Park. We camp there without hookups for five bucks a night, a privilege of membership.

Our time in the desert is running out….it is getting warmer.  Can’t leave without spending a week at Lost Dutchman SP at Apache Junction, AZ.

20160301_185147

20160302_183643Superstition Mountains at Lost Dutchman

Our trip back home is plagued with rain and floods.  West Texas is a totally different experience in the rain. And the flooding is lapping at I-10 as we drive back through Louisiana. 

But we arrive safely at the Green Eggs and Ham fiberglass rally near Montgomery, AL.20160316_171421

 

DSC_0001

And more rain.

We are back to Chattanooga on 3/20/2016 after a 72 night trip. Total on camping fees is $730.00….the $30 and $35 a night for 7 nights at Buckskin runs up the average.  We spend 31 nights camping for $0.00 by using BLM land, family, friends and Walmart. Average nightly paid fee for 41 nights is $17.80.

In April we attend the Townsend rally, its first year without a designated rally leader.

20160416_132954

Middle Prong Trail near Tremont, GSMNP

In May David complains of chest pain, the ambulance arrives and takes him to the ER. His diagnosis is a “baby” heart attack!  Three days of tests and he is back home.  Six weeks later his diagnosis changes to stress myopathy and several months later the doctors say his heart is back to normal! We are so thankful…..  And now he has some excellent physicians caring for him…..a result of the hospital stay.

In July we get the medical OK for us to go to Colorado, a brand new camping experience for us.  It is a hot and miserable trip across I-40 in 100 degree temperatures! We stay in the cab of the truck with the A/C blasting. I constantly fret over David and Sylvester, the cat, getting too hot.

But the reward is beautiful scenery and cool temperatures!

20160729_111111

 

20160826_141056

20160828_100556

We attend a Rocky Mountain rally in July and the Kansas rally in September, arriving back home mid September.DSC_0007 (1)

DSC_0014

Boon docking in the Pagosa Springs, CO area.

The Land Between the Lakes rally in October, just northwest of Nashville, Tennessee, is one event we always enjoy.

DSC_0030

 

DSC_0007

At the LBL rally, our last trip of 2016….

We get home mid October, the tenants in our duplex move out November 1, and it has been all about updating the rental property for the past 6 weeks.

20161124_112329

20161124_112625

It is a pretty fall but there’s lots of smoke from the numerous wildfires.

It’s finally started raining, actually sleeting for awhile yesterday. 

The repairs on the bath next door just finished this morning and more painting and cleaning are necessary. Hope to be done in a few days ……cause it’s time to pack for Arizona!

Desert sun, here we come!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sending much love and hopes for peace in 2017!