Friday, February 2, 2018

Desert Bliss

It's been three fun-filled weeks since the last post! 

After a weekend at the relatives we join our Mississippi friends, Jerry and Wanda of EggRollings, at Lost Dutchman State Park.  This week is filled with visiting with Apache Junction friends, Mesa friends, and North Carolina friends! Lots of talk and lots of food!

John and BJ of Just Finding Our Way provide a wonderful pot roast that we will never forget!

The following Monday we arrive at Dome Rock BLM to join a crowd of fiberglass friends who are there for the Quartzsite Big Tent Show. It's another week of reunions, visiting, shopping.  Every day is filled with activities.....visiting Tyson Wells booths, hiking, soaking up the sun.  There are many Oliver trailers there, 13 someone told me, including friends from Florida and Mississippi.  We are kind of proud as the Oliver is made in our home state of Tennessee.

Terri and Jona, former winners of the Q rally contest, invite us to play ladderball.  Who knows...maybe we will compete!

Rest time!

After the big show shuts down, we move over to California.  There's an Escapee park, Jojoba Hills, that is supposed to be beautiful.

But first we must drive over a mountain photos available as all my energy is expended in the navigation!  And I won't do it again!
But we are glad to make the trip as the landscape changes dramatically on the other side of the mountains.  Lots of green, beautiful trees, round rocks!

The park does not disappoint!  Absolutely gorgeous! But we, unfortunately do not get a chance to enjoy it.  Our big blue Tundra fails us the first day there when it refuses to start.  Eventually Good Sam`s send a big truck to carry it to Temecula Toyota.  We are stranded back at the campground but wonderful angels arrive and offer to take us to town the next day.  Toyota repairs our baby and we are so ready to get out of the very congested city!

Boondocking at Jojoba Hills

Sylvester not cooperating for a photo!

Cell phone shot of the moon eclipse....

We are back in the desert boonies where I hope to publish this update. Boondocking in a BLM area off I-10.

Next week is the big fiberglass rally at Dome Rock.  Looking forward to seeing more old friends!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Nine Nights of Pull-Throughs

The weather forecast is for a deep freeze to settle over the nation.  We are ready to go, so ready to get on the road and head for Arizona!  Do we wait for the freeze to pass and take the chance on more snow and ice after the freeze?  No, of course not!  We hit the road, hoping for the best. The weather is fine that Saturday, the day before New Years Eve and we make it from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Meridian, Mississippi.
By bedtime the internet is full of cautions for tomorrow morning…icy streets, hazardous driving conditions.  I am thinking we will not be going anywhere!
But we do.  It is almost 11AM before the road seems safe and we get another 200 miles to Fontainebleau State Park in Louisiana.
It’s New Years’ Eve.  The wind is howling. The forecast is 24 degrees! We pay 2 bucks extra for a pull through and do not exit the trailer till morning.
Our destination for January 1 is Beaumont, Texas, Gulf Coast RV Park, another Passport America campground that has a great free breakfast!  It being a holiday, the office is closed but there are instructions guiding us to a vacant site.  It’s a repeat.  Another 24 degree night where we hole up to keep warm. We cover the Fantastic Fan’s screen with aluminum foil and stuff plastic grocery sacks in the weatherstripping around the door.
Sylvester staying warm.
Forgot to mention that the trailer is winterized. We are making do with a few gallons of fresh water in jugs and keeping antifreeze in the drains.
At Gulf Coast RV
We hit Houston just before 10:30 am and it is less of a problem than usual. We are shooting for Boerne, Texas where we usually boondock at a visitor’s center….but not tonight!
Top of the Hill, another PA park, is 10 miles past Boerne. For $22.50 we are escorted up the hill and have the run of a nice clubhouse with a large screen TV. I consider showering and decide it is too cold!  It will be 20 degrees in town tonight and colder at this elevation. The wind is brutal! We are not having fun!  But we are eating good due to the mini Instant Pot.  Our freezer is full of meatloaf, mexican casserole, ham and chicken.
The next day in a small western town we encounter Jerry and Wanda of Egg Rollings at a gas station.  They are heading for the same RV park in Fort Stockton.  It is great to see them!  That night we enjoy a great dinner together at the Roadrunner Cafe. 
Another pull through at Fort Stockton RV.
We are members of the Escapees RV club and so are Jerry and Wanda, so it was only natural that we were again going to the same campground, DreamCatchers RV Park in Deming, New Mexico.
From Deming we always go straight into Arizona…normally as fast as possible.  This year we decide to take a look around the area and go south down to Pancho Villa State Park.
There’s a museum at the park that explains the history of Columbus, NM being invaded by Mexico in 1916.  Enjoyed our time there but we were ready to leave the next day, skipping the almost mandatory trip to the Pink Store across the border in Mexico.
Pancho Villa SP, $14 a night with electric and water.
As we drive the last stretch into Arizona, it is finally warm, in the 70’s!
We stop for lunch at a I-10 rest area in western New Mexico and pull in behind another Escape….which looks real familiar.  I go up to check it out and, yes, it’s our old friends, Duke and Beverlee from Texas!  We exchange hugs and promises to visit in a few weeks at Quartzsite.
Saturday night, day 8 on the road, we stay at the SKP park in Benson, AZ.  Great place!  We stayed here for 7 nights January 2017.
This time we boondock….$5.58 for members!We are planning to spend another night when I manage to reserve three nights McDowell Mountain Regional Park, close to Fountain Hills, AZ.  We hear that it is really nice…..I’m excited!
We leave Benson with a plan to stay at the Escapees park in Casa Grande but for some reason it just does not feel right. We pull off a side road and call Usery Regional Park where we land on night 9.  Another pull-through and after 2100 miles we still have not unhitched the trailer.
But that status changed two nights ago when we set up camp at McDowell. 
For two and half days we rest. I ride the bike, read, walk and write.  And sit gazing at the mountains….my favorite thing.
Will close with photos from Usery and McDowell.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ready, Set, Go!

Kentucky Lake at Land Between the Lakes Rally

It is way past time to get this blog updated!  Where did this year go? And these past three months have flown by.

Three months in a nutshell....two fiberglass rallies and one hip replacement.

By mid September it became increasingly obvious that David's left hip was not going to last until March, 2018. We call the hip surgeon and set the process in motion, hoping that it will all work out time wise and not interfere with the winter desert trip.

We have reservations for the Land Between the Lakes rally in early October.  Arriving a few days late due to doctor appointments, we find old friends already there.

We take a break from socializing and go paddling!

We are camping in a different loop and it feels like a new rally.  Managed to get a few nice sunset shots.

We spend time with old friends, make some new friends and just enjoy life.

.......A brief interruption here...I am working with Blogger and Google Photos.  Just experimenting, trying to make blogging easier.

We get back home, wash clothes and head for another rally at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park.

Now this bunch knows how to party!

(Anticipating some protest, I deleted the karaoke video!)

By mid-October the surgery date is set for 11/6/2017 and we need to get the Escape ready for winter before the operation.  As the trailer lives in storage, we decide to camp at our local county park, Chester Frost, to perform the clean up.

After 4 days of washing, polishing, adding gutters, and winterizing, we are exhausted and ready to go home.

This is the best these two senior citizens can do.  Think we will hire professionals the next time!

Two weeks later we are at the hospital and David's getting another hip replacement.  Definitely a scary procedure for an eighty year old but it is a successful operation.

David is working hard to rehab the hip and doing a great job of it!

Checking up on our neighbors' new house

This brings the blog up to present time where we are counting down to the winter journey.  This will be our 6th year to winter in Arizona! Looking forward to being back in the desert and also to seeing friends.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

Normally each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get depressed.  Nothing major, just mild sadness possibly attributed to seasonal affective disorder.  But not this year!  Maybe it's because we have been so incredibly busy but I want to think that the different state of mind is due to internal changes.

This has been the most difficult year.  I have experienced the whole spectrum of feelings from sadness and isolation one year ago to rage, fear and hopelessness.  I have been astonished by a few friends and fretted over their behavior.  Yes, I am talking politics.

But through this pain and darkness there have been gifts.....for I am a better person than I was 

a year ago...a stronger person more willing to say what I need to say and a more forgiving person. Forgiving myself when I react negatively and forgiving others when they are unkind.

I am loving more, including those who want to label me.  And I have hope.

Wishing that everyone finds love, peace and happiness under their Christmas tree this year.