Cactus, Cactus and more

Feb 15 – 28, 2017 Tucson, Az

IMG_0076.jpg

Crested Sagauro

While we were in Oregon last year at Camp Service, our good friend Greg, who owns Solar Solutions,  arrived for a few solar meetings but saved some time to spend with us for dinner. Greg let us know that he and Cori would be spending the month of Feb in Tucson at the J Diamond Rv Park and if we had no where planned come on down. We called while Greg was sitting there and got a site. Cori needed to stay in Texas with her mom and would not arrive until Feb. 24.

Different types of cactus

Our most entertaining moment of the week came in the form of “Retro Game Show” night at the Hotel Congress. Cori and Greg have been to see this show twice before. Greg invited us along with Jim and Barb (who we met in Quartzsite) and Greg’s friend George. With Cori in Texas, this would now be Gregs third time.

6AFCDCBA-3DEE-4873-9D4E-22E77C26FED3.jpg

Guy and George in a serious conversation, Barb and Jim with happy smiles, The Greg looking the other way

The show was hosted by Tempest a giant transvestite and three “celebrities”; Dame Judith Stank, The Masked Menace and Ms. Eva Singleton.

F0CB8421-3292-40CD-B215-46F4F084AD94.jpg

Tempest

Names were then pulled from a pink fuzzy box drawing contestant from the audience to play a 3 round game of Match Game or as they called it Mismatch Game. During the game Tempest absolutely ridiculed the contestants based on their gender, nationality, home state, you name it. It was probably the most politically incorrect show we have ever been to and laughed throughout the entire show.

D5BE1484-A4A0-439F-8F09-B9B8AC09298B.jpg

Celebrities (LOL) Dame Judith Stank, The Masked Menance, Ms. Eva Singleton

P1070422.jpg

playing the Miss Match game

At one point, Tempest looked out in the audience and keyed two “gorgeous” men in the 4th row. It soon became evident that she was talking to Greg and Jim who were sitting next to each other, and then decided to put their arms around each other! She asked if they were together and was thoroughly disappointed when she found that they were not but were indeed married to women! I think Tempest was looking for a score!!

IMG_0129.jpg

Teddy Bear Cholla

It’s been a nice lazy cold two weeks here in Tucson for us, Guy worked on some little issues on the coach and added a cell phone booster while I worked on blogs and pictures. My computer was not letting me add any more pictures, it kept saying I was out of disk space…darn!! I made an appointment with Apple so they could help me figure out a few things and clean up the computer, yea. Ended up having to call Apple Care when we got home as there was still a problem…Works great now…

IMG_0126.jpg

Guy read his first book since high school, “The Whistler” by John Grisham.  He said he really liked it, so I downloaded a few more John Grisham books for him on his iPad. Hopefully he reads them. When he was working he would read tech magazines (boring), he was on the computer all day and that reading a book was the last thing he wanted to do.

505E9E76-D0C5-4DF5-83CB-FE4F1CDB9679.jpg

one of my new glasses

While we were in Alabama for Christmas I went and had my eyes checked…darn…I will now be wearing glasses….I had already been wearing them to read but the doctor suggested I needed more…so we found Eye Glass World here in Tucson and got a great deal…2 for one. He stated that at my age I was lucky that I had not needed them until now. My friend Kelly had gone to Mexico to have her glasses made, so that was our original plan. Since we were in Tucson the drive to Los Algodones, Mexico, would have been 4 hrs one way, it takes about 4-5 days to get glasses made, then back to pick them up. We decided the 2 for 1 deal was easier, maybe not cheaper.

IMG_0081.jpg

Ocotillo Cactus

We spent one day at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum which was about 5 miles from where we were camped. There is a 2 mile walking trail with more than 230 native species of plants and cactus, saguaros, ocotillo and teddy bear cactus. There were also Mexican gray wolves, a mountain lion, road runners, javelinas, coyotes. There are walk  ways thru animal exhibits, hummingbird exhibit, snake exhibit, as well as an aquarium.

IMG_0157.jpg

Momma hummingbird sitting on a nest with 2 eggs

IMG_0155.jpg

took awhile but he finally settled down so I could get a picture

The Saguaro Cactus is native to the Sonoran Desert in Az. It can grow up to 70 feet tall and  they can live up to 150 – 200 years. The Saguaro only grow 1″ – 1  1/2″ per year. They may grow a side arm or branch at about 75 years old. The Saguaro is able to absorb and store considerable amounts of water. Birds and big horn sheep will burrow into the Saguaro for the water. Birds will use the burrowed hole for their nest.

1C890306-8A1A-43FB-A10E-2BEFFD15D6FB.jpg

Saguaro Cactus

EE4FEB2D-BEC7-4672-94B9-08CD017F51FE.jpg

The inside of a dead Saguaro

the animals we saw at the desert museum

these are only a few of the snakes, I have forgotten what type they are

IMG_0167.jpg

as this snake moved off the big rocks he started changing colors

The Biosphere 2, Oracle Arizona

SPA_4848.jpg

a picture of a picture of the Biosphere 2

On Sept. 26, 1991, eight people-Biospherians- were sealed off inside the Biosphere 2. The mission was designed to test survivability of a small group of people to see if they could live in a self-sustaining colony inside a bubble. They produced their own food and recycled waste and water. They would also conduct ecological research. By the 17th month into the mission oxygen levels were very low, the crew were loosing weight, food was very low, the farm animals were gone, everyone was having breathing problems. The mission was deemed a failure. A second mission was tried in 1994 but was terminated 6 months later because of management disputes.

SPA_4811.jpg

The round dome was the library

SPA_4842.jpg

where the food was grown, now a new research center on water flow

The Biosphere 2 is a 3.14 acrea glass enclosure, with 6,500 windows, the highest point is 91’ tall, the Biosphere 2 ( the Earth is considered Biosphere 1), is sealed from the earth below by a 500 ton with a stainless steel liner.

SPA_4844.jpg

the west lung, (there are 2) which are air volume control rooms 

Tropical rainforest, very humid inside

The Biosphere 2 is now a scientific research institute with classrooms and research facilities, it also offers educational programs to the public. The University of Az currently manage it.

Simulating the desert, very hot and dry

SPA_4812.jpg

area where the different climates are created

SPA_4843.jpg

Energy center provides power and temperature regulation

Saturday, we had a get together with Cori and Greg, Jim and Barb with hors devours and adult beverages.

spa_4850

Jim (back of his head) Guy, Cori and Greg

Thank you for following along on the “Rovers” travels, we hope you are enjoying our trip and that our travels lead to you to check out this marvelous country as well.

spa_4849

Cori, Greg, Jim and Barb

While in Oregon we had our Aqua Hot water system worked on, a pump had gone out!!  While we were in Tucson Guy noticed a leak, he and Greg worked on it and thought it was fixed. Well, while we were heading to Bullhead City our coolant light came on, yup, we had another problem. It took 2-3 gallons to get to Bullhead City, there was a massive leak. Guy called Monaco and who got in touch with Ft Mohave Rv Repair, so now the coach is sitting in their parking lot for the next few weeks waiting for parts. It took 2 more gals just to get to the parking lot.

Stay tuned as we are heading to Cabo San Lucas for a few weeks with my sister Penny and her date, Roger (husband), Rogers brother, John and Sherry and our special RVing friends, Cori and Greg. A good time will, I am sure, be had by all!!

Gammons Gultch

Feb 1 – 15, 2017  “Gammons Gultch” Benson, Arizona

5488B923-AADC-4B56-A737-67DEBB17DC91.jpg

9bbbe9f1-9953-4f1a-b671-55b7b5a93fc6

Looking out the front gate of Gammons Gultch

Jay Gammons,  the founder and our friendly tour guide, greeted us at the gate with a happy smile and immediately started with his jokes. He is very knowledgeable about western movies and loves to show guests around his historic “western town” that he has built himself. You are immediately drawn into the past with wonderful old west buildings lining the main dirt road. It’s not a huge movie set but you don’t really need one to see the past here.

a788d275-b91e-44f3-8f71-b2d50234cf54

You get the impression and feeling of being transported to a different time and place. Rather like a time machine….. it is without a doubt Jay makes it a real experience.
Because Gammons Gulch is a working town and may be closed for filming or other events, it is best to contact the Gammons before arriving.

be02a9fe-569d-436d-891b-a0e6b642ab5d

F219E8D3-6C95-409E-B0ED-6343529CEB2A.jpg

01fa30b1-46c1-4d50-a3b0-117cca60a634

98404810-1311-4ce1-8e12-eb1f0329c244

Jay, was previously in the movie industry, and even acted in some westerns.  Jay’s father went to work for Pima County as a Range Deputy where he would also serve as Security for movies when they filmed in the area. His father eventually became John Wayne’s personal body guard when Mr. Wayne worked in the area. As a boy, Jay would accompany his dad and occasionally would be an extra in the movies. Jay has appeared in films such as Rio Bravo, McLintock, El Dorado and many more. Part of his tour is telling you about the famous stars he has met and worked with, such as Pete Coyote, William Stockley, John Wayne and Alyssia Milano.

500A57BC-3B35-4D29-8D12-AC98E90FF267.jpg

Looking from the entrance down the street

65B08813-6153-4120-9A5E-238B80E3A23B.jpg

church was built by a movie company and donated back to the Gultch

He liked some of the movie people, didn’t care for others, and doesn’t mind telling you which is which (can you guess whom he liked — Barbra Striesand or Sam Elliott?).   Jay is perfect and it is his running commentary for the tour that makes it great fun.

E4D7FA68-83B2-4490-A5C4-E5ADE2067D10.jpg

Jay played the honky tonk piano and old-time banjo as well as the harmonica for us while we were there. He was really good, he had us stand outside and listen to the piano in the street, which takes you back to the 1800’s.

36F3C12A-38B7-4F34-B24D-99505B8C4521 (1).jpg

 

8F663C32-DE59-41F0-9AB9-36565CB962F9.jpg

27854D71-18F6-4AC4-A0F5-D7E7F3E54ED8.jpg

Jay walked us to each building and if you love antiques you will absolutely be amazed at The Gulch.  Jay can tell you the history of each and every piece. He’s got several antique cars, old mining equipment and lots of movie memorabilia. After the tour Jay let us take all the time we wanted to take photographs and just relax, in the beautiful high desert.

C8134D0B-EBE9-41D6-BE9F-ADED98261A6D.jpg

signing the guest book

D01ED72F-44F5-4A79-BD3D-D032940BF5D3.jpg

53AEEA50-47D5-44E1-A8FC-1B51EA230816.jpg

There are old cars, a black smith shop, Sheriffs Jail, with a hanging tree out back, Mercantile and Saloon, the Grand Hotel where Jay and his wife live. He has even built a miners house and mine up on the hill above the town.

F236E1DF-B9BC-43A8-9605-170014401435.jpgFF0A49ED-611A-4692-BC1B-E6539018F2B4.jpg

F29978F8-104B-4110-AAAF-0FDDA682252D.jpg

working blacksmith shop

75EF18D2-CFB5-4148-BE7D-5E8E28EB3A5A.jpg

E06550C6-6BEE-4259-A5F3-D9F947775A4B.jpg

center of town

0a24f86d-ef75-44c2-9da3-9a5be21d6f10

jail with hand made rifles

 hanging tree and jail cell

The experience is wonderful, Jay makes it extra special with his smile, jokes and so much information that you forget half of what he has told you. You get to see so many things that you only see in photos  and movies these days. This place has been the site of numerous movies and is an active location for westerns even to this day….

0DBA64D2-96B7-4223-9FE0-288D21BFC52E.jpg

miners cabin

76A967FE-51F6-4C4B-82BF-F1E8BB39D808.jpg

inside the miners cabin

none working mine

Gammon’s is worth the 12 mile drive from Benson, if you want a better experience than fake western towns. These are real stores and are not just store fronts but the entire buildings. The black smith shop is a workable shop with so my items it boggles the mind.

B6402494-AEEC-4B5F-B957-14DAE66AC2C3.jpg

the old horse stables

F7618B2A-EF5C-405C-AAC5-BDFA3293F6A5.jpg

Warning: Drive the 35 mile speed limit going through the little town right before it. I guess allot of movie crews have gotten plenty of tickets their first day driving to it. Jay has also gotten a speeding ticket.

Well that’s our take on “Gammons Gultch”. Thanks for coming along with us and come on back and visit the “Rovers” as we do a little exploring in Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

Benson

February 1 -15, 2017, Benson, Arizona

IMG_0006.jpg

sunset shinning on the mountain

img_0004

Sunset looking down towards Benson

Leaving Quartzsite, was exciting and sad all at the same time, as we had so much fun meeting up with new people, along with the numerous buggy rides thru-out the hills, valleys exploring the caves and mines. There was still so much more to see and do. But we also were getting what is called at the “the hitch itch”.  We picked Butterfield Observatory and Rv park in Benson, AZ as we our friends, Linda and Denny, would be there and we wanted to spend some time with them. As you know life has a way of interfering, Denny ended up sick and in the hospital, it took him almost 2 weeks to get back to normal.

looking down towards Patagonia Lake

We were looking forward to seeing the stars in the observatory…the weather never was in our favor as we had clouds almost the whole 2 weeks we were there, the moon was full (which makes the sky to bright to see much)  there was also a lot of rain. We kept waiting for big weather changes but left without going into the observatory. Darn!!

img_0019

buggies lining up heading out

Butterfield has a group of buggy riders, they trailer their buggies to other areas about an hour or more away to ride. Because our buggy is on top of our truck it takes longer to take off, they use trailers which takes less time unloading. A neighbor offered to put ours on his trailer so we could go with them one day. The drive was about 1 hour down to Patagonia and the hills surrounding the town.

IMG_0022.jpg

We found this cross out in the middle of the desert to mark the first European to enter west of the Rockies, April 12, 1539. Frey Marcos De Niza, Vice Commissary of the Franciscan Order.

IMG_0040.jpg

Stopping for lunch at the one room school house, Lochiel Schoolhouse, La Noria, Az.. It is not in use today. The Patagonia Museum maintains it now.

We also were disappointed that we only used the buggy once. The area we thought we could ride is BLM land and also used by ranchers for cattle.  They have decided they don’t want the public to use the roads as it scares the cattle. They have blocked all the roads with gates. I sure understand the cattle being scared but there are groups working with BLM on this, to put a stop to the gates. We don’t know what the status is.

IMG_0031.jpg

 

There was an abundance of border patrol agents keeping an eye out for illegals. The border patrol even run tractors along the dirt roads raking the ground checking to see if any footprints go into the hills.

IMG_0030.jpg

border wall

We rode down to the wall between the US and Mexico outside of Nogalas. The wall is just metal bars about 1-2’ apart, behind it is bobbed wire and it would not keep any one from going across from either side. We all were taking pictures of it and the surrounding area when one of the ladies (94 years old, seriously) decided to climb thru the fence into Mexico for a picture, of course there followed many others.

IMG_0036.jpg

IMG_0028.jpg

the border wall between the US and Mexico

The RV park was a very active one, everyday something was going on, card games, board games, ice cream social, get together with a band and dancing, yoga, swim classes,painting classes, line dance classes. The one Guy and I loved was the Valentines Dinner and Dancing. The social committee did the cooking, there were two choices, Chicken marsala or Pork with cranberry sauce. Desert was a strawberry whip cream cake, yummy!! The band was great as they played oldies and country. The band brought dance instructors that worked the crowd and helped get the non-dancers up and dancing. Guy and I danced almost every dance and if I sat down the instructor came and got me back up. We closed the place down.

8DF8D906-CC77-4A30-9C56-7089034B9E5A.jpg

Bisbee, AZ

7C6F6301-B06C-43E0-B138-1845AC1522F0.jpg

Bisbee, AZ

We drove one day down to the town of Bisbee, elevation is 5,538’.  This town was once a gold, copper and silver mining town. Bisbee is now a little community of funky art stores, clothes and jewelry stores as well as restaurants. There was also a couple of guitar players on the corners for your listening pleasure. We did stop in a jewelry store and pick out a hammered gold necklace with a turquoise stone on the side, after dickering on the price, we decided to walk away…. deciding instead we needed to eat tacos and have a beer….

1FBC7663-D769-42A0-A0D3-8F35F473B4D6.jpg

The community is built up the side of the mountain, with steep stairs to climb to each house.. Some of the houses are very cute with different colors and motifs. There were houses that were built over the water drainage ditch, some have fences around with lots of flowers and shrubs, most had yards with lots of old stuff laying around.

EBCDC457-A029-45F2-85D5-BEF4F5CBB38B.jpg

For 27 years now, Bisbee has held the Annual 1000 Great Stair climb. The 4.5 mile course features nine staircases (over 1000 total steps) connected by winding roads. The course takes you through some of the most scenic parts of Old Bisbee up stairs and down roadways in Europeanesque Bisbee. It is said to be the most unusual and challenging of events in the world.

329CAED5-3DB3-475B-8BC0-212CFCCEDD93.jpg

one of the cute staircases used for the run

003b8351-9527-4073-8166-b332e4b2bba3

stairs for the Great Staircase climb and to get to these homes

On the way back from Bisbee we stopped in the town of Tombstone. What a surprise as we sure didn’t expect all the old buildings, board walks and dirt road. Of course, it’s all very commercial. We arrived late in the afternoon which was nice as most of the visitors were already gone for the day.

FA7D168B-D5DA-46F7-8244-40910A29FAD0.jpg

dirt road thru Tombstone

Tombstone, Arizona is internationally known for its stormy and storied past.  Western legends like Wyatt Earp and “Doc” Holliday became household names after the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral®.  However, the legend didn’t end there, it continues today!

703ABFDC-2B42-4895-82C0-33049CD4E6E6.jpg

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
On March 15, 1881, three Cowboys attempted to rob a Kinnear & Company stagecoach carrying US$26,000 in silver bullion (about $645,000 in today’s dollars) en route from Tombstone to Benson, Arizona, the nearest railroad freight terminal. Just outside Contention City, the driver Eli “Budd” Philpot and a passenger named Peter Roerig riding in the rear dickey seat were both shot and killed. Deputy U.S. Marshal Sheriff Virgil Earp and his temporary deputies and brothers Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp pursued the Cowboys suspected of the murders. This set off a chain of events that culminated on October 26, 1881 in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which the lawmen killed Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton.

6F80E2C2-B888-49E9-A606-F0FB38512912.jpg
The fight at the O.K. Corral
The gunfight was the result of a personal, family feud. Three months later on December 28, 1881, Virgil Earp was ambushed and seriously wounded on the streets of Tombstone by hidden assailants shooting from the second story of an unfinished building. Although identified, the suspects provided witnesses who supplied alibis, and the men were not prosecuted. On March 18, 1882, Morgan Earp was killed by a shot that struck his spine while playing billiards at 10:00 p.m. Once again, the assailants were named but escaped arrest due to legal technicalities. Wyatt Earp, concluding that legal justice was out of reach, led a posse that pursued and killed four of the men they held responsible on what became known as the Earp Vendetta Ride.
After the Earp family left Arizona, much of the Cowboy related crime subsided. John Slaughter was elected Cochise County Sheriff in 1886 and served two terms. He hired Burt Alford, who as a 15-year-old boy had witnessed the shootout between the Earps and Cowboys. Alford served very effectively for three years until he began to drink heavily and began to associate with outlaws.

1BD7C396-DD56-468E-9C60-DD74F238F5D2.jpg

Tombstone, AZ

Boothill Graveyard

Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton, killed in the O.K. Corral shootout, are among those buried in the town’s Boothill Graveyard. Of the number of pioneer Boot Hill cemeteries in the Old West, named because most of those buried in them had “died with their boots on”.

25806387-5D59-48F7-9BBE-4B00BA750648 (1).jpg

Of course, what would a visit to a cowboy town be without stopping into the hat store.

8DF50903-0BBB-475C-A99B-706F9E00C84A.jpg

Love me a man in a cowboy hat and some boots

Kartchner Caverns State Park was just down the street from where we were camping, we decided we needed to check it out. Once we arrived there were signs saying no cameras were allowed in the caves. Darn!! So I decided to take pictures of the grounds around the outside of the building.

203AE95A-9AE5-4964-B350-6986ED1AEE3D.jpg

The caverns were discovered in 1974 by local cavers. There is 2.4 miles of passages through out the caves. The caves are carved out of limestone and filled with cave formations, known as mineral deposits,  which have been growing for over 50,000 years.

E9696F18-A6F3-469A-93B0-A0C43300FC02.jpg

In order to keep the cave preserved the state added high-tech air-lock doors, misting machines and other equipment.

C8122E60-27DD-45A6-9C08-8CC4147CE057.jpg

Thanks for coming along on our tour of Benson and the surrounding area. Come on back as we found a neat old place called, “Gammons Gulch” where many western movies have been made and are still being made today.

IMG_0769.JPG

Quartzsite

January 2-31, 2017, Quartzsite, Arizona

3e911a8a-585d-420e-a176-eded7d133ee4

Guy and I were looking forward to our new adventure in Quartzite, AZ. It was a wonderful time spending New Years with my sister and her extended family. Since they were all heading back to California, it was our time to head out as well.

images

The red strip tent, flea market around the outside, and all the rvers (taken from the internet)

We picked going to Quartzsite for the Super RV show and the ability to drive our buggy anywhere thru the mountains or on any street. I’m not sure how to explain this place except to say “you see it all here”, it is one crazy busy place and there is no other like it. You see everything from fancy big million dollar coaches, trailers, and every size or shape of homemade trailers or campers, and tents.

8aef61ab-11c9-44be-ae11-58a0e74be0f3

The Big Tent

1b49cbee-a72c-4ab5-bbc2-625efbd1387e

As far as the eye can see are RVs

81cccf2d-ba3c-4b52-8b80-d30cbffe2028-1

The tent which is the size of two football fields goes up for the big show. The inside has three isles of booths displaying everything from nail files, hot tubs, make-up, massages, RV camping memberships, spices and sauces, and with a few things RV mixed in. Around the outside of the tent you will find flea markets that are open all year, they sell everything else, hats, camp chairs, tools, rock and gem stones, yard art and plenty of items from China. Trust me, Guy and I did not walk away empty handed, we seem to always find something we need or want.

img_0728

images

images-4

Anything thing you can imagine they sell

Every year, for the month of January, any where from 800,000 to a million Rvers converge on this small town and the surrounding area for the super rv show. The town consists of 36,000 year round residents. The town itself is pretty small, with about 20 RV parks, a couple of small town grocery stores, a great ice cream store, a few restaurants, and of course a McDonalds, as well as the “nearly naked book seller, Paul.” The nearest towns are Blythe, CA (20 miles) or Parker, AZ (35 miles) where you will get any medical services and will find the nearest Walmart.

ca4e0ad9-168a-4c72-a2b2-c011db3f7af5

walking thru the flea market outside the big tent

974de962-5911-46a2-8efd-7415ab479ff2

boxes of rocks

Many Rvers will “boondock” (camping without the necessities, electric, water, or sewer) out in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, where in some spots there is no charge, or in the Long Term Visitor Area for up to 8 months for $180. Of course, that means you must find a way to take on water as well as dump your tanks.

fe6b164d-835c-4fc8-9272-56d412205391

selling more rocks

There are many RV groups, clubs, and friends, which gather in the desert, with their rigs parked in big circles. There are always large campfires, movie nights (sheets attached to coaches as screens), potlucks, seminars, one group even hired a band for Saturday night, the payment to get in was a can of food for the homeless. (There were 75-80 rigs there for that event that lasted 5 days).

img_0727

Rocks anyone?

img_0723

and more rocks

Living in the desert comes with its advantages, space, with no one close to you, the desert quiet, beautiful clear nights with millions of shinning stars, campfires, and lots of stories abound at the happy-hour time. But it also comes with disadvantages and thats lots of dust and dirt, maybe moving your rig every 5-6 days to empty tanks and take on water, once you decided to ignore the dust and dirt, your life becomes much easier.

images-2 images-1

Jewelry

Guy and I decided to stay in town at the Scenic Road Rv Park, which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of having full hookups (electric, water, sewer) was what we were looking for, we had our campfires, happy hours, stars and friends around to enjoy. The disadvantage is having close neighbors and more traffic noise.

25603aee-4208-4d4e-93d1-fa709786a307

taken from the top of the mountain looking down at the Rvs camped

ff5c79c0-9e59-48a3-8abb-6b9949e1be2a

We went riding with a couple of groups, that have ATVs and invited us to ride with them. Since we didn’t know the area, it was great having a group along to show us the way. There were many old abandoned mines and abandoned houses scattered thru out the desert and mountains that we went thru.

eda660fc-59b1-47e6-89a7-4a0b3b61dc27

stopping at dripping springs

 

0791e874-0a53-4e51-88e1-947882e16796

ancient petroglyphs found at dripping springs, where water drips from out of the rocks

fc846bc8-640a-4703-abb0-e19cce2231c9

dripping springs where rocks were piled for the start of a house??

351e5691-71b6-46da-8fcb-d1fd58ca8b94

heading up into the hills

Guy and I belong to a group on the internet called RVillage. It enables rv travelers to keep up with each other and check to see if there are other RVillage members are in the same area. That way you could have a meet and greet and get to know more travelers. While we were in Quartzsite, Roger and Cindy posted that they were having hor d’ oeuvres and campfire, bring something to share. They were on BLM land  boon docking.  There were about 20 couples there, with non of us ever meeting before, it was a great night. While talking with Roger and Cindy we found out they also had a side by side and had not taken it out much. So of course we all made plans to head out a couple of days later.

eeabd604-6b7c-4a26-9270-fa44c08edd81

Guy, Roger, Cindy and Sue

a9ab98c0-0c89-4dca-8b91-06857fb3ded2

Moe’s abandoned miners rock house

Out on one of the trails we went, we found a pretty cool abandoned rock house. There weren’t any big roads leading to this house and we were all pretty stumped how they got all the cement and rocks up the mountain! When they left, they didn’t take anything with them as you can see in the pictures.

E221AE09-3620-4BAF-AA16-FD6C4F2F008C.jpg

Not sure if “Moe” is really buried here

57f4e4a4-4f9c-4a1d-9c6d-de4b30818259

mmmm…not sure what its doing out in the middle of the desert

7afb230e-44ef-4d91-9d46-00f712cd263d

there was no electricity…but notice the computer screen

832ed0f4-435c-45ed-93a2-db1db1784c9e

We found the GoldEye mine that was still being worked today. But the remnants of the mining life was still in the house.

53f00770-5c1c-456a-9609-3523caca3016

The grave site of the miner who worked the mine

b277a87d-6093-4d9d-ad69-1f4bd7cd6a56

This is what’s left of the miners home

c2668277-bac2-4edc-8209-c7ea9040f83f

not sure why all the toilets, they were filled with plastic flowers

While out with Roger and Cindy we found a great cave to explore!

BD871721-A6CF-4833-A687-A29263152747.jpg

DD0C3D9B-A9DA-46AC-8BD3-B2E5CA1C3DAE.jpg

d3447ad6-b66b-4466-8d96-215c952e8c8c

not sure what animal this is but sure was preserved

6e767791-2886-4cc5-a6d9-794397fd07e7

iron in the rocks

59f1ee76-7007-4105-80f6-1947479e2192

a screen door into the cave

21f1a0eb-847a-4fe9-8563-ef1daf8954d1

Our friends from Idaho, Joyce and her husband, Ron drove down from Las Vegas one day to see us and told us that Rons brother, Chris and his wife, Bobby were staying out on the BLM land and that they had a buggy!! Wow! Jack pot, more riders!!

img_0857

Chris and Bobby

Guy and I ride by ourselves but it really isn’t safe, if something were to happen, either to the buggy or us it would be hard to get help. We are sometimes 30 or more miles from town. So finding more buggy riders is wonderful, plus more new friends.

4112C82E-C2E8-404E-9B5A-074D5CF660F9.JPG

love the colors of the dirt from the abandoned mine

D486ED76-0B46-4B0F-8DEC-958C4FD72323.JPG

I had two of my oldest and dearest friends ( can’t believe I did not take any pictures) come stay in Quartzite as well. Barbara and I have been friends since we were 10, both of us were born in Mass, our birthdays are 3 days apart and we both love quilting. Barb belongs to a group called: Sisters on the Fly, which is a Women’s camping group. There are over 7,000 members, her number is 99. The Az group that she belongs to camp at Quartzite every year and is one of the events that the husbands can attend. It was great fun having her and her husband, Jim over for dinner one night as well as out to dinner at “The Grubstake” another night. Our week went by so fast, we still had so much more to talk about, even tho we never stopped talking while we were together.

7C3B3F60-ADA7-4AB6-BB9E-04845744A7D9.jpg
Kathi’s rig, Benson,AZ
Kathi, came with her rv and stayed with us for two weeks. We had a great time of catching up as she lives is Southern Ca, where we have not ventured with our coach yet. She is just getting started on her traveling adventure and hasn’t gone to far yet. She also went with for another week traveling with us to Benson, Az. (more on that in the next blog).

0f637bca-7582-402d-a7ca-48e814128da4 35b8f04e-06f6-4340-a3c4-142ce439aeb4 eaaf4b4b-3279-450a-ad3e-c7382ac8e446 16539a9c-ba10-41d6-85de-b1112ff91e14

The desert has its own beauty, with vast wide open spaces, numerous types of cactus, sunsets that are most beautiful in the US. It is unforgiving in the summer months as Quartzsite is one of the hottest places in the US with temps as high as 122 degrees. But spend the winter and it can go as low as 40 degrees at night with the highs during the day from the 60’s – 70’s. We have sure enjoyed our stay here in Quartzsite and hope to come back again someday. If you haven’t been to the Super Rv show, I recommend you spend one January and enjoy the experience.

Thank you for following along with “The Rovers” and our tour of this wonderful country of ours. Come on back as we now are heading down to Benson, Az which is south of Tuscon and much closer to the border of Mexico.

IMG_1439.JPG

Fun Times with Family

November 19 – Jan 1, 2017

When we last wrote we were still at Camp Service in Oregon, I’m glad to report that after 50 days we finally pulled up our jacks and headed out. We were still waiting on 3 or 4 items that needed to be installed or repaired but it was the 19th of November and we had reservations in Paso Robles at Wine Country Rv Resort. We also wanted to spend Thanksgiving week with Guy’s sister Robin and her honey Rueben. Monaco at Camp Service told us they would ship the parts for our repairs anywhere we went and would find someone to do the repairs, awesome. So off we went.

4F68EAC4-7CA9-47E7-92A0-5C56C48E558D.JPG

 

7A4287B3-39AE-45C9-AF38-AE55B173DFF3.JPG
We also were getting some bad weather vibes…we had plans to stop one night in Lake Shasta, as we got closer it was snowing, the roads were starting to ice, and the temperature was dropping, deciding that this was not where we wanted to be, we kept going so we could made it to Redding, Ca. There had been so much rain in North Ca that the river at the campground in Redding was over its banks, and of course, the only spot open was next to that river. It rained on and off all night but luckily did not reach as far as the coach.

SPA_4777.JPG

Robin and Rueben’s family winery

SPA_4791.JPG
It was a wonderful week spending time with Robin and Reuben and their families. We spent Thanksgiving at Robin and Rueben’s family winery with his family, went to dinner with Robin’s son, Arron, his son, Ethan and his special girl, Danyel, and with her son; attended a Christmas musical, ate out at a Thai Restaurant, Robin cooked at home for us as well. Guy had taken the side by side off the truck and stored it at the winery, so on Thanksgiving the kids were loving riding around the grape groves.

SPA_4785.JPG

It was a wonderfully busy week and so glad we got to spend it with Robin and Rueben. We missed Robin’s son Brent, as he has moved to Texas and would only be home for Christmas.

SPA_4799.JPG

Robin, sitting, Danyel and Arron

The day after Thanksgiving, one of my dear friends, Shelley, her husband Phil, and son Dustin were traveling thru Paso Robles, after spending Thanksgiving with their son, Brandon and his family in San Luis Obispo. They were able to meet us for lunch and spend the day with us, it was so great catching up. They also were traveling with Shelley’s cute new French bulldog, Rosie. We left her dog and ours in the coach while we went to lunch, the neighbors said that Rosie sat on our stairs and wimpered the whole time we were gone. Poor baby.

The winery and area around

I am not one to share my thoughts about campgrounds, I feel that what I like or don’t will influence someone else, I would rather you make your own decisions. But I wanted to say a little about the Wine Country Rv Resort. Let me start with how well they take care of it, there are lots of amenities, heated pool and Spa, fitness center, game room, play area for children, wine garden (dancing area, outdoor movies and wine tastings), as well as an area for adults only with wine and beer bar.

The sites are a different story, there is a premier camping area which is crowded, there are park models mixed in, it is nice, the outside surrounding sites were nice but to small for us. The interior campsites are where we were camped. These sites are situated so that you are front to back, meaning our front window looked into the back window of the coach in front, which was less than  4′  away. (I’m not kidding) Neither one of us could open our window shades, the coach on the driver side was less that 15” away from each of us. We shared the grass and picnic table area with the coaches across from us. There was probably 8-10’ between us, the tables were lined up in a row, so if you ate outside all 4 families would be eating together, which would be great if you were all friends. The coach across from us brought out their fire pit, dog enclosure, bikes, chairs, and firewood and proceeded to take up the whole area, even moving our table further away from us, with their bikes leaning against it. Needless to say there was no enjoying outside in our own chairs, with their music or their tv on. We finally gave up and asked if we could join in with them by their fire. Would we go back, that would be a very big NO.

E21D5FB1-D0EA-4B13-8E4F-84705402800B.JPG

looking down to the Colorado River, Bullhead, AZ and Laughlin, NV

On Sunday, November 27, we left Paso and headed to Bullhead City to keep with our new tradition of being with my sis Penny and her main squeeze Roger, and their family for some of the holidays. Penny had invited her children and grandkids to the River Shack for the weekend so we could all be together. Penny and Roger have 3 married kids with 8 grandkids. It was a busy weekend with 12 of us running around. Rogers brother John and his sweetie Sherry were there, Amy came with her 2 boys, her main squeeze Rob had a last minute meeting so couldn’t come out, Heidi, and her 2 kids came with her friend Jason, who brought the most tender, tasty steaks, everyone brought something to contribute to the main Saturday night dinner.

14AB078F-E42C-4E8C-9D8A-9856985F7411 2.jpg

After everyone went back to California we had a few days to regroup and have some down time, Guy worked on the buggy and coach while I finished a quilt that I had started in Oregon. One of the days we were getting ready to go on a buggy ride but heard some loud engines and from the distance, we could also see lots of dust, we found out it was an off road buggy race, so off we went to watch.

Looking from the Laughlin, Nevada side up to the Bullhead City side.

 

When we started this full time traveling adventure we knew that some how we would always make it back to Alabama to spend Christmas with our children and grandkids. Holidays spent away from family is just not the same, we love all the festivities that come with getting ready for Christmas. Last year we drove to Alabama, but after dealing with all the snow and accidents on the highway coming back,  we decided this year we would fly. It worked out great as we were very lucky there were no weather related problems in the direction we were flying.

IMG_0021.JPG

Ryan and Poppie

AC5B2FC9-9168-4EA4-9F9C-5000C9C4BFF6 4.jpg

Stephen, on the floor, Craig, Poppie and Mallori

Our flight from Las Vegas to Alabama was pretty early in the morning and with the drive from Bullhead City to Vegas being 2 hours we decided to leave a day early.  We decided we wanted to go by  Hoover dam. We had taken our son there about 4o years ago, and had taken the tour inside the dam, and walked on the dam at that time. This time we were just interested in viewing it from above. There were big changes since we had last been there…amazing

IMG_0002.JPG

scenery on the way

IMG_0014.jpg

my sweetie looking down from the walkway

IMG_0013.jpg

long walkway to view the dam

Hoover Dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed  between 1931 and 1936 during the great depression. The construct was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers and cost over one hundred lives.

IMG_0498 2.jpg

standing on the walk way looking down

When we got to Las Vegas we met up with Joyce and Ron, we met them at Camp Service in Oregon in 2015 and 2016. They are not full timers but travel to Vegas while it is snowing in Idaho where they live. Joyce owns a quilt shop and was going to take my quilt to have it quilted for me. Wahoo, I worked all week to get it done so she could take it. We took a tour of the campground they stay in and then Joyce served us a great lunch. We were excited to see them as they had traded in their Monaco 2015, for a new 2017 Entegra, we wanted to see their new home.

FFD04186-6A1F-48A9-AFD1-1A3361330DAB.jpg

Our kids were all at work when we landed, we did not want them taking time off just to get us, so we rented a car to use so we could get to the hotel we were staying at in Birmingham and then down to our storage unit in Alexander City, where our little car is stored. We stay in hotels as neither one of our children have enough space for us to stay in their homes, we also don’t want to move the grandkids out of their bedrooms. Our kids live 2 1/2 hours from each other, our doctors are the same, so logistically making appointments and hotel reservations was challenging. We stayed the first week in Auburn, Al , by our son, Stephen and his son Ryan. Ryan is 16, driving his own car and works at an Italian restaurant with his step dad, Flint. When we asked what he and his dad wanted for dinner their pick was Italian. We were ok with that as it is great food, and we visited with Flint and his parents while there.

IMG_0045.jpg

Our son, Stephen and his son, Ryan

This was also our time for all the once a year doctor and dentist appointments, yuck!. It was nice to to get them done and over with, for another year. There was one added visit that we had not planned, the dreaded colonoscopies!! But glad to say done, and done!!

We head back to Alabama in March, so Guy will have his appointment with his cancer and heart doctors. Great to say that all is well in the Alexander household health wise.

IMG_0094.JPG

Our awesome grandkids, Ryan,16, Mallori, 13, Stephen, 21, Craig, 8

While we were home we met up with lots of friends for lunches and dinners, but we ran out of time and with it being the holidays everyone is so busy it was hard fitting in everyone. We will be spending the month of April at Camp Alexander, in Blue Ridge GA, before heading up the east coast in May, so we hope to see more of our friends then.

 Our Christmas eve tradition, gingerbread houses or trains

The final week we stayed in Birmingham, Al about 20 mins from, Kristi and Jason. Since we were eating with them for dinners it wasn’t to far to drive. Kristi wanted to make a special gift for her and Jason for Christmas and needed her daddies help! They did not have a tv cabinet for their tv room and Kristi found just what she wanted on Pinterest.

IMG_0205.JPG

IMG_0204.JPG

they needed to add on the extra shelf for the receiver

Off to Home Depot she and Guy went for the wood and and paint to make the cabinet. She already had the tin, she had gotten from Jason’s hunting camp. I will say they took on a big project for a short week. There were many late nights trying to get it done, Jason was out of town which made hiding the process easy.

IMG_0058.JPG

Our sweet family, Jason, Stephen, Kristi, LaciLou, Poppie and Nonna

It was a wonderful time spending the holidays with our family, it was over so fast and so hard to believe that it was time to leave, but alas there are more adventures in our future so off we went back to Bullhead City.

E4DC8EB2-E76B-4851-B15C-9701900ECBCC.jpg

Roger, Penny, John, Sherry Ricky, Sherry and Guy with LaciLou                                                       on our 5 mile walk to Davis Dam

My sisters family came back to the River Shack for New Years, we watched the ball drop in New York and then I think most everyone was in bed before midnight in AZ. Another awesome week of great food, 5 mile walks to Davis Dam, lots of laughter, buggy rides and just plain fun was had by all.

Davis dam and Lake Mohave

Davis Dam is on the Colorado River about 70 miles from Hoover Dam. It stretches across the border of Arizona and Nevada. The dam holds the water back which makes Lake Mohave.

Friends of Roger and Penny’s, Ricky and Sherry,  also have a home in Bullhead City and were there for New Years. Since we had lots of food and extra seats in the buggies they decided to go with us in the mountains and see the wild burros.

CCC86F82-AC2A-438B-BD71-9B9E4999AA91.JPG

Nonna, sis Penny, Sherry-sister in law, Sherry, Rogers mom Marian

 

976FC5B8-0C28-4A82-B4EA-EDB49D894BC1.jpg

John, Ricky, Dennis-Marians friend, Roger-brother in law, Poppie

It was a great New Years weekend, we won’t see Penny and Roger, John and Sherry again until March when we all take a “vacation” to Cabo San Lucas. Wahoo!!

BEB3A440-C776-401E-ABA1-158BFD0FE7A9.jpg

from Bullhead City looking down to Colorado River and Laughlin, Nv

 

Good Night all, thanks for hanging with us “Rovers” on our journey around this wonderful country. See you again from Quartzsite, Arizona.

 

  • IMG_0769.JPG

 

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY

November 1 – 12, 2016, Coburg, Oregon

If ya’ ll are wondering, yes, it’s still raining here in Oregon!! You ask, are we tired of it, that would be a – yes!! We are looking forward to drying out in California  and Californians are wanting rain. We are still hoping to leave here and head to Paso Robles, Ca., so we can spend Thanksgiving with Guy’s sister, Robin and her honey Rueben.

36184B27-7B3E-4711-87FA-90EFBAA69FA8.jpg

Oregon farm land

Just because we sit here at Camp Service doesn’t mean we haven’t had a good time. We have met so many wonderful people who are also having work done on their traveling home. Many of the repairs are being done for the Canadian Snowbirds who are traveling thru on their way to warmer climates for the winter. It’s been interesting listening to their take on our election. Here is just a little sample of all our new friends we have met here:

F093566A-3D3A-4CB0-B6CD-6946DE9C7411.JPG

Oregon Coast

Behind us lives, Denny and Linda, we met them here last year. We gone to dinner and breakfast with them and listen to music at the Eagles Club. Linda is a sewer and had just gotten a new embroidery/sewing machine which she and I were checking out yesterday. They are both from Oregon but will be traveling to AZ when their coach is finished. They travel with 3 dogs, a boston terrier, Pork Chop, Sassie a yorkie, and Coco, a chihuahua. Denny is the cook in their home and is always bringing over treats, cranberry/ pomegranate bread, banana bread, chocolate/peanut butter cookies. I know I have gained 5lbs.

AAE33BF8-D78C-47D7-B863-0A9C265B9106.jpg

Oregon Coast

There is Renee, who is a nuclear engineer. She also lives in her coach full time and travels alone. Renee worked in the South Pole for 3 years, but 5 years ago she suffered a stroke while there.  It took our government 2 months to bring her home for treatment. While everyone was sitting in the waiting room here at Camp Service she took a few hours to answer questions and tell her story about life down below.  It was such an interesting story and different way of life.

3F06CF4E-8391-40C4-9D58-F45574F09337.jpg

along the coast of Oregon

Across from us is Joyce and Ron, from Rupert, Idaho. Joyce owns The Gathering Place Quilt Shop, so if you are in the area stop in and say “Hi”.  They have the same coach design as ours except for the colors. Joyce and I have been looking at patterns and tons of fabric that she brings with her, trust me there is really no room for Ron. Joyce was nice enough to share some fabric with me, wahoo (I think it will be a quilt for my grandson, Ryan). We are going to cut out a quilt for her grandson today.

8FD144A8-EFA3-4A12-B0B0-599273C3CA2F.jpg

Newport, Oregon

Another couple, ( I don’t  remember their names) that immigrated from Hungry in 1972. They started a flower shop out of their apartment in New Jersey, until the manager got tired of the traffic. They opened a flower shop and ran it for 27 years. They now travel full time in their coach throughout this country.

1DC83C2E-ED77-47DB-86D8-B230AEEDA110.JPG

Seaside Beach, Oregon

We met Heidi and her husband Chan, they live in Los Angeles, as her husband still works. They own an RV lot in Temecula, Ca where they stay part time and for summers they have an RV lot in Thayne, Wyoming. They have a daughter and granddaughter who live in Portland and were on their way to play with their granddaughter, after repairs on the coach. While talking with them, we found out they also have a Polaris Razor 4×4. Their  group of friends from Temecula all travel to Wyoming, where they have all bought an RV lot at Star Valley Rv resort. They stay for the summer months playing golf and riding thru the mountains with their razors.  Heidi has talked us into heading there in 2018 so we can check it out and ride with them over the hundreds of miles of roads up and over the mountains. They also travel with 3 dogs:2 yorkies and 1 maltese.

733F1EB2-7BAD-4D49-9C6B-EEF1EBB504CE.jpg

Since our coach was still sitting at the Cummins repair facility thru our weekend in Portland and would not be ready until Wednesday, off to the coast of Oregon we went, deciding to also head up into Washington.  Of course, it was raining but with all the trees and the back roads we were traveling on, it just made the drive more romantic. The trees are covered with moss, the branches were hanging low and dripping water, the fog was hovering thru the trees and the valleys.

43A53BCF-DC8C-4664-9437-4D25E2C7F44E.jpg

There were numerous family farms, with many animals, cows, goats, sheep and chickens out in the fields. They all looked a little bedraggled and lonely. Some of the farms were pretty large with big fancy barns, big green fields, then there were those that you could tell were struggling to make it, with everything they had ever bought laying around the yard.

The-Old-Red-Barn.jpg

My favorite are the barns that are old, missing wood, the roofs are sagging, with faded red paint. I have always envisioned redoing one to make a home out of it.

3C2972EE-6DB2-4E49-990A-F6BB0157C790.jpg

the main street of Seaside Beach

One of the coastal towns we drove thru was Seaside Beach, it was such a cute town.  Driving thru we were hoping to drive along the ocean but the road ended with a turn around and  then became a walking path along the beach. We stopped, did not get out as it was pouring, we just took a few pictures. The ocean was pretty rough with lots of white frothing water.  We sat and watched the waves break one after another.

98176465-7D5C-4FE3-AE06-A16E3696F196.jpg

Seaside Beach, Oregon

Driving up the coast we came to a sweet little restaurant on the bay side, the Barge Restaurant, with a great view of the bay area. The bay was surrounded with lots of trees and a sweet church steeple peeking thru.  We were the only ones there, our lunch was ok, I think we both decided we would not stop there again.

DF23C744-2F68-4742-83EA-BFA7EFAD4142.jpg

We headed up to Astoria, Oregon thinking we would stay in the area but, it was early and still raining so we continued over the Youngs River along the Oregon Coast Highway. Wondering if we would be taking the Astoria Megler Bridge, which crosses the Columbia River, the bridge is 4.1 miles long, over to Point Ellice near Megler, Washington. The bridge is a steel cantilever truss bridge and is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

A03556AA-1E6A-476D-8883-B0E3F8E94C2C.jpg

Astoria Megler Bridge

We drove along the 101 up the Washington coast, went over the Chinook River, passing many miles of planted trees. This is a very heavily forested area, with trees so big that the branches hung out over the roadway. Then we would find areas where the timber had been harvested. It was sad to follow the many miles of harvested areas with just brown dirt and tree debris. The tree species that grow in the western region of Washington are mainly coniferous and require sunlight to regrow during reforestation, by removing all the trees in an area, the competition for sunlight is reduced.

56E06DDC-9E38-4B84-B08E-2FEA536C913E.JPG3B8DCAE4-1797-4B9D-B87B-1D397A03DBC3.jpg

9CCC44EC-B211-475A-B555-39ADC3234135.jpg

crossing the Astoria Megler Bridge

We drove along the 101 thru Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, it was windy by this time and still raining. We were disappointed as there was not animal or bird to be found. We arrived in Ocean Grove about 7:00pm as we were getting tired and hungry and cranky, we drove around the little town looking for some type of hotel.

27b0d7ca-2381-4f02-b5c3-b4e476f830b0

456e3f98-168c-43c6-a15c-e3852b5c01d6

Our view while having breakfast

After driving thru and around town we decided on a little inn that sat on a cliff with a view of the ocean. It was an old building that had been redone, the furnishings were new as was the bathroom.  The next morning we drove about 4 miles up the coast looking for breakfast, we found Ocean Crest Resort, the breakfast was outstanding, the resort was on the cliff overlooking the ocean and much cheaper than where we had just stayed. We wished we had driven a little further.

4900E24D-1EE4-46DE-8709-8414671BBCF0.jpg

the coast along Newport, Oregon

After breakfast we headed back the way we came, stopping in the little town of Manzanita. As we were driving thru we noticed homes and businesses damaged with roofs gone or completely damaged, trees twisted or broken in half, branches hanging on roofs. There had been a Tornado that ripped thru on Oct 14, 2016, at about 11:30 am. There were no injuries nor deaths. (I did not take any pictures) It sure brought back many memories of the tornado we experienced in Alabama, April 27, 2011, which was an EF-4, there were 230 deaths in Alabama alone. That day there were 55 tornadoes that hit the state, hitting 42 Alabama counties. One of the tornadoes went across the lake we lived on, it passed our house within 1 mile, countless homes and business were lost.

0C2CE83C-9D28-44A5-9F1F-BDB3AB2ED6DB.jpg

see the carved man on top of the building

Along the way, Guy found a couple of woodworking shops, that he decided to stop so he could check out their wood working.  We are looking for some wood carved bears for Camp Alexander to sit at the top of our driveway.  We did not find what we were looking for, but sure thought some of the work they were doing was different. We were disappointed that the bears are mass produced, all carved and burned in a line. We were hoping for something more unique.

140DDE6C-C28A-4AB6-B043-FCB58C8D7263.jpg

11E8A666-8726-4A8A-8D87-072858EBEB90.JPG

can you see the lighthouse shadow

We drove down to Newport, Oregon, where we stayed at the Hallmark Resort Newport ( we thought it was a little on the expensive side).  It is situated on the cliffs, with a dynamic view of the ocean, mountains and lighthouse. There was a very good restaurant, Georgie’s Beachside Grill, right next door. We went over for dinner, the food was so good that we went back for breakfast the next morning.

51C01DC6-C5D2-4512-B231-C4A828C67EB6.jpg

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

While in Newport we drove to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon at 93 feet tall. The lighthouse has been guiding ships along the West coast since August 20, 1873. The surrounding area around the lighthouse is a refuge for harbor seals and thousand of nesting birds. Gray whales can be spotted during their migration to Mexico in the late fall-early winter. During the summer months the whales will feed in the shallow waters around the lighthouse. There are usually tours inside but it was Tuesday, no tours on Tuesday!! The wind was really blowing, it was cold but no rain.

ca37449d-988c-426c-809d-ac6d0da8d3fa

looking back at the neighbor hotel

After we had dinner, Guy went to the room but LaciLou and I decided we needed a walk on the beach, rain or not. I took her off leash and just let her run, she ran circles around me, she smelled every rock or tree on the beach. I don’t think I have ever seen her have so much fun and so excited. She was not so excited when we got back to the room and she found out she was going to have a bath. There was no way she was sleeping with us all wet and sandy.

ee840e99-1f60-4602-a65b-6d6ed7878798

4793F0B6-BD99-40E2-9B4A-C4969FE2ADAB.jpg

the view from our hotel room, Newport, Oregon

As we turned inland in the town Florence, we were very surprised at how many fishing boats were out on the Siuslaw River, the river runs along the Florence-Eugene Highway. We started counting the boats but soon lost count and gave up. It is a beautiful drive thru the Siuslaw National Forest and into Eugene.

                                              following the river heading back to Eugene

We have been back in our home for a week and still waiting for the bathroom window, thermostat for heat exhaust fans and master control for our electronic toilets. If they don’t get here in time we will leave without and have them sent to us in Arizona.

images.jpeg

Guy and I want to WISH all our family, friends, and all of our new friends who follow along with us on our journey thru this blog, a truly wonderful

                                                                 Happy Thanksgiving.

ALMOST ON THE MOVE

0DD0D4D5-E1E4-4113-97AA-D1026D1EA8BA.JPGHere we sit still at Camp Service, Waiting, Waiting and Waiting!! There is no complaining, we did not have an appointment so they work us in when they can. There are some who have been coming in that made appointments 6-8 months ago, it seems that the majority of the repairs are for Canadians going south for the winter. We are glad that we have a great place to fix our coach that we are comfortable with and knows how to do repairs right.

BE23BB30-31A5-4F23-9D69-46648FA134C2 2.jpg

Mt Hood all decorated

Since our last blog Guy has been pretty sick, in bed for a week. Decided to go to the Doc-in-a- Box, 2 of the offices were for drug users only, ended up finally at the 3rd place finding a doctor, who then had him go to the emergency room, what a day, 9 hours waiting, ct scans, blood work, iv’s, cultures taken. Only to find out that they didn’t know what it was, probably a bug and told us ‘let it run its course’. When he didn’t get better at the end of the week, I called 2 other Doctors, who would not take him without a referral and that once they got his papers, it could take up to 6-8 weeks before they would see him. We waited thru the week for the cultures and they were all negative! He is still not up to par, it gets better but comes back, this is week 2 1/2, and finally feeling better.

A85BA6EE-9E48-44BE-A511-37E3E8A90D2E.jpg

Wouldn’t you know that this October, Oregon has almost had as much rain fall as October 1947 and has set a record for the most days of rain for the month of October, 24 days. On an average year from Portland to Eugene the rainfall totals between 42 – 46”s, with average days of rain between 144 to 166 days. This October, Eugene had a total of 8.83”s just under 1947 that had 10.14”s. There were 3 days with over 1” of rain. So when you see all the pictures you will understand why they all have rain drops!!

6E215518-15C8-45E4-9ACB-E9C080B1EBAA.jpg

Columbia River Gorge

Our coach engine needed to go into the Cummins Dealer, which is one of the biggest repairs we needed done. It is using 2 1/2 gals or antifreeze and oil in 2,000 miles. So something was definitely wrong. Last Thursday we got the call bring it in, we had 1/2 hour to scramble and pack clothes, pack the coach and drive over. They said we would have it back the next night, no problem, we headed to a hotel. Well, the next day the story was, don’t come back until next Wed!!! So back over to gather more clothes, the coach is on the lift and 10’ in the air!! We hated to stop progress but they needed to let it down so we could get our clothes and other essentials. When we drove away, I was so bummed because I had forgotten to take my camera, there was no going back to disturb them again. I have taken all the pictures with my phone but I don’t care what they say a camera is way better.

84305EFB-9FC4-4524-A972-285F936F3136.jpg

Columbia River Gorge looking towards Washington across the river

Good friends of ours, Maureen and Richard live here in Oregon, we visited them last year while we were here, they lived in Roseburg. Since then they have sold their home and moved above Portland, about 2 1/2 hrs north of Coburg. Since the coach was in the shop we decided to find a hotel in Portland closer to them, so we could spend more time together. Over 25 years ago Maureen worked for Guy at Seagate Technology in Scotts Valley, California, we haven’t always kept in touch, Maureen and Richard moved to Oregon, and we moved to Georgia, but with the internet, it is so much easier.

83A21536-8D7A-4CB0-BADE-882C0052366B.jpg

Friday night, Richard met us at our hotel and we followed him to the “Rock Creek Tavern”. What an quaint, cozy restaurant, I fell in love with the outside, but the inside was just as wonderful. It reminded me of the houses in Ireland or in England.

It was cold and rainy, a little fog, there was a fire going outside as well as one inside, the smell of smoke was permeating the air, the trees were low hanging with moss up and down the branches and the trunk. The roof had moss growing on it, with lots of yard art popping out of all the green ferns and ivy. The whole scene was so magical.

The inside was all dark wood with lots of old pictures on the walls, antiques, low hanging antique lights, a big rock fireplace, a big wooden antique bar, antique rugs. I would love to have a house that looked like this, it was so warm and inviting.

It was great catching up with Maureen and Richard, but the time went by so fast. We were going to meet up with them the next day, Saturday, as they were taking us around Portland, and along the Columbia River gorge which divides Oregon and Washington, down to Hood River.

8CF5DAB6-BCEA-46F4-B61B-683623FCE9F9 2.jpg

I wanted to put on jimmies and curl up!!

CBCEB686-6820-4CAC-A6ED-E54967AE8B3F.JPGSaturday morning they picked us up early for breakfast, we headed to Einsteins Bagel Company, I have to say these were the best bagels I have ever eaten. I ordered the French toast bagel with a cinnamon spread, Guy had blueberry with a blueberry spread, Maureen and Richard decided on the pumpkin (not sure what spread they had), we all were raving about our bagels.

20161029_111618.jpg

We then ventured over to the Portland Ariel Tram, the tram was built 10 years ago, it leaves the Willamette River area and heads up Portland’s highest hill, Marquam Hill, to the regional medical, academic and research facility.

76F78E26-5740-4328-81B7-99BD5C8CFCCA.jpg

The road leading to the medical center was a narrow winding road with dense forest and steep cliffs which was very hard to navigate, so the tram was built to help keep cars off the road and people can ride the tram to work much easier. From the tram cabin you can see all of Portland, the Willamette River Valley, and on a clear day, as far as Mount St Helens and Mount Hood. The tram has 10,000 riders each day, the length of the ride is 3.5 mins., it reaches the speed of 22.7 miles per hour, there are 500 bikes that ride the tram daily. The tram is open 6 days a week, closed Sundays, the fare is $4.55 per person round trip.

Maureen and I did not see much of the drive along the river or thru the city as we were so busy talking and looking at pictures,  our heads were down most of the way.

6CC031B3-718F-46FF-937F-C64A80B81CBE.jpg

After our tram ride we took a great ride thru the city and over to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. The Gorge has 292,500 acreas, numerous waterfalls and hiking trails. The Columbia River is 1243 miles long, the average width of the river is 1 mile, on the south side of the river the average height of the mountain wall is 1500-3000 feet. Lewis and Clark came down the river gorge, the Oregon trail pioneers followed soon after.

C11F8B13-C86E-4C13-A473-B0CCB732252E.JPG

F8ED7D15-683F-4F5C-9BDD-CACB27078196.jpg

Along the river road are numerous waterfalls, hiking trails, and parks, but not a lot of parking. There are small parking lots but not enough for the masses of people, cars and buses that are in the area trying to go to the waterfalls, so most of the parking is on the street which makes for a very narrow and busy road.

20161029_132733
The first waterfall we stopped at was Multnomah Falls which is considered the tallest waterfall in Oregon, this fall is split into an upper fall of 542feet and a lower fall of 69 feet, the total height is 620 feet. The falls cascade through the forest and down the cliffs at an amazing speed, I could not get close to the water to see how cold it was. We wanted to hike up to the bridge that was half way up the falls but it was starting to really rain so we decided we were wet enough.

777C8A85-388A-4527-8DF2-EF3A9B88CFF2.jpg

Another waterfall was the Wahkeena falls, which is 242 feet, and is tiered with 6 drops. Both of these waterfalls do not directly plunge to the ground, rather they have a more cascading flow over the rock cliffs and flow into a pond then over another cliff to the bottom.

There are over 76 waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, some are close to the road, but many you need to hike to thru the rain forest.

20161029_130353.jpg

The road took us up to the town of Hood River, such a quaint town, with lots of brick buildings, we decided to walk the town and check out the many stores. We did not get far before we decided that food and adult beverage was needed. We found a brewery up on the top of a hill that overlooked the city and the river, what a view it was going to be,  so we felt that the hike up the hill was going to be worth it!! But darn, the place was packed, no view for us, we sat in the back, but everyone said the beer was good. (I don’t drink beer so I can’t give a report on it).

6fca4218-7784-4a1c-ab95-de6b6bc30e0d

Columbia River Gorge looking east

We decided to head back to Portland along the Washington side of the Gorge, the traffic was backed up and after waiting in line for 15 mins, we all took a vote and turned around to go back the way we came. We came upon the Vista House observatory and stopped to get a bigger view of the gorge.

72A0CF8D-1233-41AF-9B8E-6F375BEDE528.jpg

Vista House Observatory

Vista House is an observatory at Crown Point along the Columbia River Highway, which was beautiful view. Vista House was built in 1917 as a “comfort station for the tourist and the travelers of Americas’s greatest highway”.  The house sits 733 feet above the Columbia River. We got to the observatory after it had closed but did look in the windows, which had beautiful old stained glass in the upper half. The floors were a white and gray marble, you could tell the building was very old.

52B32AB0-DFF1-424B-B54E-6B6081F93A56.jpg

 

I’m glad we stayed on the Oregon side of the hwy as the Washington side is down closer to the river and does not have the dramatic views.

2357CC45-AA3F-418A-950E-3EC20A12CD6B.jpg

We ended our awesome day driving around the downtown area of Portland and having an adult beverage at Jake’s Famous Crawfish Restaurant. Since we all had such a late big lunch no one was hungry for dinner.  Jake’s opened in 1892 and is Portland’s second oldest continuously operating restaurant. The original restaurant was called Mueller and Meier, a saloon that stated in 1892. The partnership that owns Jakes started the restaurant chain McCormick & Schmick’s. The building that has housed Jake’s was built in 1911 was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.20161029_182043.jpgD58C9BC3-BE1A-4D02-92ED-1E2A3B5131D9.jpg

We could hear the call of the ocean and with a few more days to hang without our home, off we went for more touring…..so come on back and see where the road takes us next….

Guy and I want to wish all of our readers a very

                                                                   HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting, Waiting and Waiting

IMG_0044.JPG

Crater Lake

Oct 1 – ???, 2016

We are still here waiting, waiting and waiting in Coburg, Oregon while we are having some issues fixed on our home on wheels at the REV service center (Camp Service). We also have an appointment with the Cummings dealer on Oct 25, to work on our engine,  as it has been using 2 1/2 quarts of antifreeze and oil in less than 2,000 miles. (Something is seriously wrong).

IMG_1574.JPG

The road to Crater Lake

IMG_1579.jpg

We don’t mind hanging here at Camp Service since we don’t have any plans until Thanksgiving, where we have reservations at Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles, CA. This resort is close to Guys sister Robin, we are hoping to spend some time with her and her husband Ruben and their family. This will be our first time spending a holiday with his sister since we moved from California about 25 or so years ago. Of course, we will be missing our own kids and grandkids for the holiday and the traditions that we had started as a family. We have plans next year to be at Camp Alexander in Ga. from Oct – December and will be able to celebrate with the kids.

IMG_0010.JPG

Crater Lake

We have not let the grass grow under our feet or should I say snow melt, while we are here and have kept on going checking out this part of Oregon. When we were here last year we tried to drive to Crater Lake, we got half way there but were turned away due to the snow levels and road closures. This year we were lucky as the snow had fallen but most of the roads were drivable. There is the rim road that goes around the lake,  there are seven parking overlooks along the way, it is a 2 lane road and about 29 miles around, part of the road was closed due to snow.

IMG_0055.JPG

Crater Peak

Crater Lake is in the Casade Mountains of Southern Oregon. The Lake was formed by the eruption of the volcano, Mount Mazama, about 7,000 years ago. It is the deepest lake in the USA, 1,949’ and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. It is 5 by 6 miles across, the elevation around the rim ranges from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. The average snowfall in a year is 505” and rainfall at 62.47”

IMG_0018.jpg

Wizard Island is near the western edge of the lake, it is a cinder cone that arose after the volcano and the island Phantom Ship, which has seven trees growing on it. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake, rain and snowfall keep the lake at its height. With the rain and snowfall the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. A full sized tree has been bobbing vertically in the lake for over a century, the low temperate of the water helps with the slow decomposition.

IMG_0020.JPG

It was so cold, 34 degrees,  we did not really take warm enough jackets,  we decided that we were going to walk up the hill from the parking area anyway so we could atleast see the lake. I had on cowboy boots, Guy tennis shoes, our feet were soaking wet and freezing. I’m glad we had decided to leave LaciLou in the truck, the snow was deep enough that  I don’t think we would have found her buried down in the 6-8″ of snow.

IMG_0037.JPG

On the way back to the car I decided that I needed to make some snow angels, the snow was so frozen I could hardly move the snow. Guy thought I was a crazy lady.

IMG_0014.JPG

When we left Crater Lake it was time for some lunch, we found a really nice lodge and restaurant on Diamond Lake. It was really a little cafeteria that overlooked the lake and  mountain with all the snow, where we had some nice hot chocolate, soup and sandwiches.

img_0058

Diamond Lake taken from the lodge

 

IMG_0016.JPG

IMG_0023.jpg

Another one of the trips we took was to head from Eugene over to Florence, on the coast and then head up to Tillamook Cheese Factory. The coast of Oregon is so beautiful, it was disappointed that it was a cold rainy day, with fog and low clouds out over the ocean.

IMG_1603 6.JPG

Yachats, Oregon

We didn’t get to see much but it was still beautiful, we stopped in Yachats, for lunch at the Blue Whale. Kathy had been there with her husband, John many years before so we decided lets do it again. We weren’t disappointed, we all had the fish and chips, yummy. We wanted a picture of the big blue whale and decided to take the picture after lunch, we did not remember to take it until 3 hours later when we arrived in Tillamook.

img_1613-2

Kathy and Sue

Kathy and I had met about 45 years ago when her husband, John and Guy were in the Los Angeles County Sheriffs department together. Guy and I lived about 45 mins from them up in Mt Baldy, Ca. Guy and John as well as 2 other sheriff buddies all drove into LA together, for Guy this was a 2 hour drive. Some of those days could be as long as 14-18 hours. Many times our son and  I would go with Guy  down to John and Kathy’s house,  where Guy would meet the guys to go to work, while I stayed with Kathy, her son, Kevin and our son, Stephen (who were born 1 day apart). Kathy and her husband owned an RV and camped with us out at the Colorado river, but Kathy’s husband John passed away 8 years ago, and the motorhome was sold. Kathy still wanted to keep up the tradition of camping and seeing the US, so she purchased a 25′ Leisure Van about 3 years ago (but had not used it). When she heard that we would be in Oregon, Kathy decided it was a good time to take out her motorhome for her first trip and meet up with us. We had all planned to head down the Oregon coast and into California together, since our repairs are not done Kathy needed to head out with out us.

IMG_1599 2.JPG

Yachats, the clouds receding

The Tillamook  Cheese Factory is the 44th largest dairy processor in North America. They produce cheese, ice cream, butter, sour cream, yogurt and chocolate fudge. Their most famous is Tillamook Chedder. In 2010 Tillamook’s Medium Chedder won the gold medal.

IMG_1609 2.JPG

The Tillamook factory serves as a visitor center with over 1 million visitors each year. Tours inside the actual cheese processing plant were discontinued in 1967 due to health and safety regulations. There is an area on the 2nd flood for with big windows for viewing the production floor as well as video presentations and kiosks describing all about cheese making.

img_1632-4

Bessie and Sue

In 1949 there were 15 small creameries and 24 licensed cheesemakers worked at Tillamook they made up about half of all cheesemakers in the state of Oregon, in 1968 all the remaining cheesemakers merged their cheesemaking operations in the Tillamook factory.

On the main floor is cheese tasting, refrigerators with cheese for purchase, restaurant, ice cream, and fudge sales. We taste tested, and of course bought cheese, and had to check out how the ice cream tasted. Guy chose 1 scoop blueberry, Kathy and I had 2 scoops each, we had Tillamook Mudslide and Rasberry. Yum

IMG_1621 4.jpg

packaging 40lb cubes of cheese

Guy and I were ready for an upgrade on our iPhone 6’s, so Guy went on the internet and ordered new iPhone 7’s, they came a few days later. Off to a Mac store we went to have help changing out the phones,  we backed up our current phones on iCloud, and changed over to the new iPhone 7’s. I haven’t figured out what is so different yet but will keep looking. In the process of backing up all the pictures, some did not move into the new phone, panic set in as I was missing all of the Tillamook pictures and the ones of Kathy and I. The lady that helped us at Mac had stated don’t reset your old phones for a few weeks until you are sure you have everything!!! Great advise, after I got mad, said some not so nice words, I started to remember what she had said, yup, I found all my pictures on the old phone.

9945B0F4-524C-4026-BCEB-2BE13AD75C88.JPG

Last year when we were here in Coburg, we had met a couple at Camp Service, Denny and Linda, they are back and having their coached serviced as well.  They belong to a club called “Eagles” and invited us to go with them on Sunday night. First things first, was dinner at Outback, for some yummy steaks and shrimp. Then off to the “Eagles”, for drinks and dancing to a country western band.  What a great time we had, Guy and I had not danced in a very long time, so we loved it. I will say the medium age of everyone there was around 75-80, and were they some serious and good dancers. Just don’t get in their way or they will mow you down, don’t ask how I know.

IMG_1637 3.JPG

I will leave you with this cute picture of this bus and small trailer, it is parked at the campground across the highway. The orange and green are the colors of the Oregon Ducks.  Who ever owns it takes it tailgating to the Ducks home games, last weekend was a game, yes, they did win.

This last weekend was one of the worst predicted storms to hit the Oregon area in a long while, the predicted winds were to be 75-90 miles per hour, with thunder and lightening. It was a weekend to hunker down, I am not sure how much rain we did get as we needed to pull in the slides and lower our satellite dish, the winds were brutal. Our slides have canvas toppers which will tear apart in the wind,  they are what help keep the rain out of the coach.  We did hear that there was a tornado, trees down and some flooding and               6-8″ of rain or more in some of the northern areas.

IMG_0769.JPG

Guy and I stayed in our jammies all day Sat and Sunday, watching movies. The days here at Camp Service are early, this weekend was so nice not getting up as early and just relaxing.

Come on back and check on what else we can find to do here while at Camp Service. In the mean time have a BLESSED week or so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cliff Houses

September 18-30, 2016, Durango/Mancos, Colorado

img_1467After spending two weeks together, with Penny and Roger, sharing a small cabin, eating, laughing, and being scared to death, singing to the bears, that when Penny and Roger left us to head home it was pretty lonely. We knew we were going to dry camp between Denver/ Manacos, Co., with Debbi and Steve who we met in 2014 at the RV Dreams rally in Sevierville, Tenn. Before we left we decided that laundry and house cleaning was in order. I don’t know why, because we were going to dry camping in dry fluffy dust and dirt!!

img_1476

Steve and Debbie

It was a great week with Debbie and Steve and their sons dog, Hurley. The first day was just a relaxing hang out day. Guy took the buggy off the truck, then off the guys went on a ride up to the top of the mountain.

IMG_1503.jpg

Taken from the window of the coach

We were surprised at how hot it had turned, we were back into shorts from jeans!! It didn’t last long as later in the week we ended up with snow.

img_1486

Lacilou’s Pal Hurly

Guy and I had not been to the Mesa Verde National Park, which is at the 7,000 to 8,500′ elevation, it is the first National Park dedicated to preserving the ancient cliff dwellings of the 1,000 year culture of the ancestral Puebloans, who settled here in AD 550. Tuesday, we decided weather wise would be our best day to check it out and see this amazing area.

IMG_0036.jpg

The View from Balcony House

IMG_0022.JPG

Balcony House

IMG_0009.JPG

They were nomadic people, as they settled in this area and became farmers and hunters, they started becoming more settled. They were also excellent basket weavers and very skilled at this craft. They lived in pit houses clustered in small villages, which they usually built on the mesa tops and in the cliff recesses.

img_0043

Ceramonial Kiva

The pit house has basic features, living rooms, squarish in shape and sunk down a few feet into the ground, four main timbers at the corners to support the roof, a fire pit, with an air deflector, an antechamber, storage area for food, and ceremonial kivas.

IMG_0031.jpg

We needed to climb this ladder to get back to the top

IMG_0055.jpg

I climbed this so fast as I was scared to death and would not look down!!

These structures ranged in size from one room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. For nearly a century repairing, remodeling and constructing new rooms for a century. By the 1300’s the Ancestral Puebloan occupation of Mesa Verde ended.

IMG_0039.jpg

balcony outside doorways

There are 5 different sets of dwelling tours available for to visit. We chose 3, Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House. Spruce House is closed due to it being unsafe as it is sliding down the mountain, it is being worked on to try and save  dwellings.

IMG_0034.jpg

We climber the ladder, at the top were original foot and hand holds dug into the rock

The dwellings had three primary materials of construction, sandstone, mortar and wooden beams. The motor between the blocks was a mixture of soil, water and ash. This was used between the gaps of the bricks, called chinking, the chinking helps with structural stabilization. The people decorated the walls with pink, brown, red, yellow.

IMG_0021.jpg

Balcony House has 40 rooms and is considered a medium size cliff dwelling area. To enter the dwellings you must go thru a tunnel, (12’ x 18”), very narrow passageways, climb a 32’ ladder up the side of the mountain (you don’t look down as it is a very long way to the bottom), also you must desend a 100 ft staircase into the canyon, there is an additional 60’ on ladders and stone steps.

IMG_0053.jpg

tunnels connect each section of houses

Cliff Palace has 150 rooms and 23 kivas, it had a population of approximately 100 people. Out of the nearly 600 cliff dwellings in the boundaries of the park 75% contained 1-5 rooms each. The average man was about 5’4” to 5’5” while the average woman was 5’ to 5’1” Most people lived an average 32-34 years, approximately 50% of the children died before they reached the age of 5.

img_0060

The Cliff Palace-the view from the top of the mountain

IMG_0095.jpg

Original rock work from AD 550

We sure did eat well this week, shrimp coctails, buffalo steaks, pork tenderloin, asparagus, wine and of course Mexican food, and great times of laughter around the campfire.

IMG_1490.jpg

Buffalo Rib Eye, yummy!

We left Debbi and Steve and headed to Farmington, New Mexico, to attend the FMCA rally for a few days. Our blue ox towing system needed some work done on it, we were a little afraid to tow our truck to far without having it fixed. The Blue Ox Company was going to be there at the rally, if we went there they would work on it for us. We had traveled thru Farmington last year on our way up to Durango and knew it was going to be a very dry, dusty area. Guy attended a few of the seminars on tips for taking care of our coach and we also attended a great concert/comedy on Saturday night.

                                                     Our 1st geocash without Debbie and Steve

While we were with Debbie and Steve, they helped us download the Geocash app, we then proceeded to find a couple with them around Mancos. Debbie and Guy took off one day looking for a few more, so Guy could get the hang of the app.  While in Farmington we went out on our own looking, we found 2. The first one was hidden under a pile of rocks. Our 2nd find took at least 1/2 hour, it was hidden in a fence pipe but was so small we thought it was a bolt. It was magnetic and attached to the wall inside the pipe. Every time we tried to get it out it attached itself lower and lower.

img_1510

Our 2nd geocash in Farmington, NM

Our next stop after Farmington, NM was to head up to Coburg, Oregon, which was going to be a 1,200 mile, gps says 25 hours. We always need to add an extra hour each day at least, for stops, that would make it 5 days at 5 hours driving each day to make it by Sunday. Our first stop was, Provo, Utah, we kept to our rule of 5 hours driving in a day. The second day we did not do so good, we called numerous campgrounds in Boise, Idaho but they were all booked. So we drove from Provo, Utah to Vale, Oregon, about 500 miles and 8 hours!! We were beat when we finally pulled in to our little site, I was so glad I had planned dinner and just needed to heat it!

IMG_1443.jpg

Before the snow

I was bound and determined the next day to drive less, to Sisters, Oregon which was 5 hrs, 256 miles.  I love the town of Sisters, Oregon, so looked at places to stay that could accommodate our size.  The campground we stayed in really did not have a spot big enough for us, but let us take up 3 tent sites, with no hookups, with our solar we didn’t need hook ups, they charged $10.00. I wish we could have stayed a few days but they were getting ready to close for the winter and we needed to be in Coburg. The town has couple of streets to walk and lots of cute stores to walk thru, great restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream and yogurt shops. It is set among the pines so the smell is wonderful.

sisters-oregon_3

While we were there in Sisters, I received a new blog from: Wandering Spirit, saying she was staying in the same campground with a friend. I was excited to walk down and meet her and her fur babies, Shilo and Joy. It was so nice to sit and chat for the little time we spent together and hope that one day we meet up again. I wish I had thought to take a picture of at least the dogs together. Hers are beautiful goldens, about 60-70lbs, while Lacilou is 4lbs.

downtown-sisters

Sisters Oregon (taken off the internet)

images.jpeg

Every year Sisters holds the largest outdoor Quilt show and sale, displaying more than 1300 quilts of artists from all over the world. The quilts hang outside all the shops, in the trees, on wires hung across the streets. There are more than 10,000 visitors that attend workshops and exhibits, it is held every year on the 2nd Saturday in July. The outdoor quilt show first started in 1975 and this year was the 41st year.

IMG_0016.JPG

 

We actually got to Coburg on Saturday a day early. There are only 15 sites with hookups here in the parking lot, we decided that getting here early would help us score one of those, which we did. I am sitting in the waiting room going on the 2nd week as the coach gets worked on. Looks like we could be here a few weeks!!

img_1439

We aren’t sitting still, so come on back and check out what we have been up to here in Coburg, Oregon and the surrounding area.

Wild Times with the Sisters, part 2

IMG_0250.JPG

The Million Dollar Road going to Silverton and Ouray

September 2016

When leaving Durango we called ahead to Pleasant View Resort, just to remind them we were bringing 2 motor coaches and make sure everything with the cabin was ok!!

IMG_0220.jpg

We discussed which road to take to Lake City, as they are much higher in elevation. Mr. Jim explained that the Slumgullion Pass, on route 149, had a really steep incline, of 7-8% and very hard on the brakes and nerves. He gave us another way to go, but would take an extra 3-4 hours. That was not what we were planning on, so we checked out our maps, conferred with gps and made the decision to head up Hwy 550, to Silverton and Ouray, then around towards Gunnison!!

IMG_0356.JPG

 

IMG_0241.JPG

We did not check elevations nor did we check the road grade!! Once we were on Hwy 550, there was no turning back…there were switch backs, sharp turns, tunnels, 9% grades, it was straight down in many places over 2,000′!! There are no guardrails, very, very small shoulders along this road.  What were we thinking??? Talk about nerves….I will say that this was one of the most scaryest roads we have ever been on, Guy has stated that “No” he wouldn’t go on this road pulling out truck again.

IMG_0246.JPGIMG_0223.jpg

IMG_1338.JPG

IMG_0219.JPG

We learned that the road was called the Million Dollar Highway and was the most dangerous and beautiful road in Colorado!! When we arrived in the town of Ouray we needed to stop and let Rogers brakes cool down as they were smoking, it was a great time to have lunch.

IMG_1515.JPG

Ouray, “The Switzerland of America”

Ouray is known as “The Switzerland of America”. The town is surrounded by the most awesome mountains, of the San Juan Mountain range. Ourays  victorian buildings and the steep mountains are what bring many tourists to this quaint town. On the map Ouray is straight across from Lake City, but we needed to go around the mountains which took 3 more hours, overland we could have made it in 1 hr.

IMG_0428.JPG

It was a great relief when we finally arrived in Lake City and off the twisting and steep roads. Penny and I had already packed our clothes and most of the food items to be moved from coaches into the cabin but the refrigerator stuff still needed to be packed. The coaches were parked on the other side of the property and would be along way to carry all this stuff, so we waited until the guys got the buggies off the trailer and truck, packed them with all the bags and drove everything over to the cabin a few times.

 

img_1372

Our sweet 2 bedroom cabin

Pleasant View has 10 cabins, and 2 homes they rent as well as jeeps and polaris razors to anyone wanting to go explore the mountains.

IMG_1347.JPG

After moving into our little cabin we  decided we were to tired to cook and needed someone else to do it for us so we walked into town to the nearest restaurant and ordered a pizza, beer and wine.

IMG_0394.JPG

Our rigs on the other side of the resort

Friends of ours from RV Dreams Class of 2014, James and Cindy were staying in Ouray,  we were hoping we could meet up with them for lunch, but they were out hiking and couldn’t get back. It took us over 6 hours to get to Lake City which should have only been a 3 hr ride on Hwy 149.  (A week later when we left Lake City we took Hwy 149 and found it to be so much easier and really wish we had taken that way to begin with.) We all looked at it this way, we would not have seen so much territory and beautiful country had we not taken the Million Dollar Hwy. Now we know we can drive on anything.

IMG_0194.JPG

One of the reasons we were excited about staying in Lake City, was due to the amount of trail riding we could do. We were not disappointed, the trails were so numerous, most of the trails went up mountains as high as 13,000’.

 

The first day we explored off-roads that were close to Lake City as we could see some pretty wicked clouds coming our way. We found a couple of old mines that were being preserved and in good shape. There were no trespassing signs all around the area, but you could still get the idea of how the area must have been.

Some of the old houses we found as we were exploring.

This house was in the town of Capital City, which was founded in 1877

It rained, hailed and snowed on us a few times. We all luckily had hats, gloves, and 4 layers of shirts and jackets on. We all had purchased Frogg Togg rain suites, pink for the girls, black for the guys, which kept out the rain and the cold.

IMG_1416.JPG

Cindy and Penny in their frogg suites and it’s snowing

The beginning of the Alpine Loop left out of Lake City, we followed a map of the off-road area, we went up and over Nellie Creek, Wetterhorn Peak, 14,015′, Engineers Pass, 12,500′, Cinnamon Pass, 12,620, and Poughkeepsie Gulch. There are over 75 miles of roads that connect Silverton, Ouray, Lake City in the San Juan Mountains.

IMG_0468.JPG

James and Guy, Cindy on the left getting out

We met up with Cindy and James, on our second day out, they have been in this area for many years and knew the trails very well. They took us to a few mines and old mining towns where we could go in the preserved homes from the 1800’s. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to live in these mountains.

IMG_0437.JPG

Cindy and Roger

The guys climbed around the old mines, but most were sealed off. There were eleven mining town sites between 1875 and 1885 along the Alpine Loop. All the mines that are left are privately owned and off-limits to the public, most are unstable and have poison air in the mine shafts.

IMG_0435.JPG

Our first geocash house

We also accidentally found our first geocash. There was an old mining house that was in good shape, we climbed to the second floor, looked out the windows and there it was above the window.

IMG_0454.jpg

IMG_0447.JPG

Our first geocash

We signed and dated it, then looked and looked for something to leave, found a pen with Rogers company name, Mertec Engineering, on it, which we left.

IMG_0477.JPG

It was such a great time to be on the mountains as there were so many colors going on, the aspens were starting to change colors, from green, to yellow and red. There were numerous flowers still in bloom, reds, purples, yellow and white. It was so beautiful as everywhere you turned there were multiple colors on the mountains, it just took your breath away.

img_0459

James and Cindy, Guy and Sue, Roger and Penny

The routes we followed through the mountains follow ancient paths worn by Native Americans as they moved from camp to camp and to their traditional summer camps. In the late 1800s, miners used these paths in search of precious metals, they widened them to use horse and mule drawn wagons to access mines. The remains of ghost towns, mines, mills and railroads are reminders of the mining history or the area.

 

IMG_0462.JPG

The guys exploring

One intact small town,  Animas Forks, was developed in 1873 at an elevation of 11,200′. By 1876 there was a hotel, general store, saloon, post office and thirty cabins. The Gold Price Mill was built-in 1904, which brought in the Silverton Northern Railroad.

We left James and Cindy here at Animas Forks, it was getting late and very cold, it looked like we were going to get some heavy-duty rain as well.  We headed over Cinnamon Pass, 12,620′ towards home and now know why it’s called Cinnamon Pass. The landscape here had changed so differently, it is called Alpine Tundra, it is found in the arctic and in high mountain ranges, tundra has a very short growing season.There no trees, the mountain scrub grass and low-lying shrubbery were all cinnamon colored.

IMG_0412.JPG

IMG_1366.JPG

The fab 6

At the end of the Alpine loop we ended up at Lake San Cristobal,  which is the largest natural lake in Colorado. We checked out the campground but there are not any spots big enough for us. Darn!!

IMG_0562.jpg

 

img_0560

The town of Lake City is very rustic with most of the roads still gravel, the mule deer come into town to eat what little grass there is. There is also a wonderful soda shop in town where, yes, we had more root beer floats!!

IMG_0384.jpg

IMG_0379.JPG

Guy with his root beer float and my espresso chocolate and raspberry ice cream

IMG_1419.JPG

our new headbands

Lake City is along the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic Byway, in the heart of the San Juan Mountain Range at the elevation of 8,661′. The population is 408. Lake City served as the supply center to the cities and mines in the higher elevations, at that time there were as many as 3-5,000 settlers. When it was discovered that there would not be extensive or rich deposits in the area the population soon dwindled and it became farming for cattle and sheep, the Alpine meadows we great for summer grazing.

Here are some pictures of the Lake City.

IMG_0593.jpg

 

IMG_0589.JPG

Cute artist studio

Two sweet churches in Lake City

 

IMG_0207.JPGIMG_0237.JPG

Our time at the cabin was way to short but we were all very glad to get back into our own beds and reorganized for our trip down to Pagosa Springs.

IMG_0153.JPG

The town of Pagosa Springs was having a big celebration, balloon festival, wine and cheese party, Porsche car show and quilt show so it was very busy. The one thing we didn’t understand was why they were doing a controlled burn at the same time, the air was filled with smoke, the mountains weren’t very visible, your eyes burned, and it was hard to breath. Didn’t make any sense to us. We walked the town, checked out the stores (bought some bear jammies) and decided that Mexican food and margarittas were in order, we found a great place outside of town and ordered way to much food.

IMG_1517.JPG

One more awesome vacation on the books

 

Roger and Penny left us on Saturday morning to head back to Bullhead City to drop off their buggy at their house there, Rogers brothers family were all there for the weekend so there was no rest for them, they continued the party well into the night.

My sister wrote something to add to our wonderful vacation.

Sweet Sister Vaca….
It was exciting to finally be off on a journey that Roger and I looked forward too for months..

With our long-awaited anticipation for the day to come, it’s hard to believe our awesome annual vacation has sadly come and gone and we are already back to reality and the hectic life. 

We hit the highway with power and speed from Bullhead with many adventures waiting for us up ahead. 

Our long-awaited trip to the Grand Canyon did not disappoint and to our amazement it was as beautiful, amazing, huge, colorful, and magical as you hear about. It was worth the wait and definitely worth a return trip. Our adventures left no stone unturned and included everything from driving, unpacking, packing, driving, challenging 280 stairs, drinking, driving, eating, laughing, singing, driving, off-roading, eating, driving, site seeing, walking and did I mention eating and driving.. LOL

After traveling with Guy and Sue for the last 2 weeks we have finally figured out why they have chosen the Nomad lifestyle during this time of their lives.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy the beautiful and wonderful wonders of the world and enjoy all the various stops in other states, cities, and enjoy a different culture as they expand their loving friendship to others along the way.

I will say it sounds like their life is all fun, easy, and relaxing but to be honest it’s stressful, trying, and down right hard work.. Hats off to all you full timers, I admire your determination to travel.
 
Here’s to a vacation of no regrets and can’t wait to do it all again soon.. Love to you both and so glad for the wonderful, special and loving relationship we have between us all.. Safe travels..

Love Roger & Penny 

 

We spent some time while we were all together to plan the next trip, so March 2017 we all head to Cabo San Lucas for a few weeks. Yea, so looking forward to spending time with then again.

Come on back as the “Rover” has taken us on another wonderful adventure, with more snow and more friends involved!
IMG_1439.JPG