Monday, January 9, 2017

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

 

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 

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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.)

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The Gambel’s quail are everywhere!

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Front yard railroad station.

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

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

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

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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…..

 

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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.

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

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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.

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That’s Dome Rock on the right.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Last Week in Colorado and an Earthquake in KS!

 

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We arrive at Big Meadow campground early Friday morning and secure a site looking over the lake.  It’s still cool, a mist hangs over the mountains.  We are totally enchanted with this new campground.

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The run off from the lake makes a lovely waterfall.

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Part of the “Big Meadow”.

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It begins to rain as soon as we start hiking.

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It’s real cold that night. I wake up thinking a window must be open.  The next day a camp host informs us that it got down to 32 degrees.

Hmm.  Maybe it’s time to run the furnace? We have never left it on all night. But we have also never spent the night at 9,225 feet!

That next night we sleep warm after adjusting the thermostat to 53 degrees F.

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Sylvester also enjoys this spot as there are numerous chipmunks darting through camp.

 

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Two nights is all we want of the cold weather.  It’s gorgeous when the sun is out, but too cool for comfort every afternoon as the rain approaches.  And it is time to think about the rally in Kansas.  We head east on 160, stopping at a Passport America campground, Woods and River, where we pay $16 for a full hookup. The site is in Del Norte and it’s on the Rio Grande.

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Rio Grande at Del Norte

John Martin Reservoir State Park in eastern Colorado is our destination on Monday, just a 200 mile drive.

 

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We have time to grill turkey sausages and Brussel sprouts…a new combo for us.

After a long drive on small back roads we see civilization again at I-70. A blogger friend’s former home town has a city rv park, Ellis City Lake Park.  Thanks, Emily!

 

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We sleep soundly after walking to town for pizza.

We are almost to Junction City, Kansas.  We are excited as many of our fiberglass friends are registered to attend the Kansas rally.  We pull into Farnum Creek two days before the Labor Day holiday weekend.  There are 7 big trailers in the camp but no cars.  We are the only ones here!

We know to enjoy the quiet while we can.  This is a favorite camping/fishing spot with the locals.

This area is known for its sunsets.

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Now, the earthquake. 

It is just after 7 am on 9/3/2016. I am barely awake when the Escape’s roof starts receiving hits.  After 4 or 5 loud impacts I wonder if a squirrel is irate and throwing sticks at us. Before I can get out of bed to chase away the furry demon, the trailer starts to shake.  It was over in 10 to 15 seconds and, since our experience of earthquakes is limited, it takes a bit to realize that we have just been through an earthquake!  A 5.6 down in Oklahoma.

But no harm is done.

The holiday weekend ends tomorrow.  All the boats, fifth wheels, tents, dogs, locals and kids will disappear and several dozen little white trailers will replace them.