January 31, 2016

It’s been over a month since I have last written a blog!! Yikes!! Y’all must be wondering where in the world are “The Nomads” and what have they been doing lately!!

I have a MacBook Air which I  have not mastered nor do I understand how to use!! As soon as I think I have it down Apple has changed the program! This computer says I have used up my allotted space for pictures and can’t download any more, so off we went to get an external hard drive, but for some reason I haven’t been able to download the pictures to it, transferring pictures is different than it was with my old pc. How do I tell a story without the use of pictures, is it as interesting with out pictures? So instead of figuring it out I gave up!! Hence no blog for so long! 

We left Arizona on December 14, heading east across highway 40, to Alabama and wanted to get there, not looking to sightsee along the way. Until we came to the signs for the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. We went past the first exit deciding not to go, but by the second exit some 30 miles later, we changed our minds!! This ended up adding many more miles back tracking. We are very glad we did as we found it amazing with the colors and formations of the rocks.

Painted Desert

We had a wonderful time in Alabama over Christmas with our children and grandchildren. Christmas is so much more fun while watching the excitement of the little ones. One Sunday we attended our home church and had lunch with our friends, Jerry and Cheryl and their daughter Brannon. Our friends, Debbie and Loring had a wonderful dinner party at their house with 5 couples, there were plans for a cutthroat game of dominos as well but it just didn’t work out as we were all talking so much we lost track of time.  We also had a dinner date with our good friends, Penny and John Alexander (no relation) at the new golf course restaurant in Stillwaters. There were so many friends from the neighborhood there we hadn’t seen since we left that we hardly had time to eat.  There was no way we were leaving the area without having our favorite mexican dinner at La Posada with Marty and Debbie, friends of ours for 30 years. Their son, Travis is stationed in Afganistan for the next year, pray for him. For lunch the next day we ate with the owner of La Posada, Carlos and his wife, Jennifer and their two children.

 Petrified Wood Log

It was so much fun being with everyone again, sharing stories and hearing all the news, laughing at silly stuff and just enjoying time together.

Getting back from Alabama to Arizona was a nightmare, (so glad we did not have the coach) we decided to come across Highway 40 which seems to be the fastest route across from east to west, it was during the big snow storm and tornado that went thru Texas. Highway 40 was closed in New Mexico due to the snow, and there were cars stuck everywhere on the road. We changed directions down to highway 20, which was not any better as just before we got to Texas the tornado went thru. We did get part way thru Texas with no problem, then the snow and ice hit, around Dallas, it took us 10 hours to go a normal 4 hours. So the next move was head down to highway 10, the snow followed us all the way from Dallas into El Paso, New Mexico, traffic was awful with numerous accidents and reroutings.

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   Petrified Log

We wanted to be back at my sisters “River Shack” by New Years eve as Rogers mom, Marian and her friend Dennis, Rogers brother, John and his wife, Sherry, and Penny and Rogers daughter and son in law, Amy and Rob with their 2 kids and daughter Heidi and her 2 kids would all be there celebrating the start of 2016.  Also some friends, Ricky and his wife Sherry were also going to be there, they have a “River Shack” as well. We had not been with any of my family for the holidays for over 20 years and I didn’t want to miss out.

We were excited to get back as Roger had bought a new 4 seater Polaris Razor (his 2nd)!! Amy and Rob have their own so this meant everyone would have a seat (that would make it 4 razors) and could go out and experience the desert. Things don’t always go according to plan but we did have a wonderful time and everyone got to go riding and a good time was had by all! It was a great start to the New Year.

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Water created this Agate Bridge and as water goes it will destroy it as well. The fossilized tree that forms Agate Bridge grew 217 million years ago. When it died it was washed into a river and was buried by river sediments which prevented decay. Volcanic ash reacted with the log and slowly crystallized it into quartz. Millions of years later the rivers and streams have eroded the rock to expose the fossilized tree. The support concert span was constructed in 1917 in an attempt at preserving the tree. As you can see by the picture below the gully under the tree bridge will eventually cause the bridge to collapse.

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When we changed course to head down to Highway 10 into El Paso, we got in touch with our RV friends that now live in El Paso, Connie and Bill. We were going to stop and have dinner with them and stay in El Paso for the night, that did not happen as we ended up about 4 hours away stuck in the snow and ice. We planned lunch together the next day, we not realizing the time change, arrived at 11:30 called them to let them know we were at the restaurant, lo and behold, we find out it is only 10:30! We did have a wonderful lunch with them, it was so nice to catch up. We wish we had more time as they are just starting on building a new house and we didn’t get to go see it. We will be back to check it out!!

We also did the yearly stuff while in Alabama with the Doctors, Dentists and Eye appointments. Guy had some biopsy tests done while there but we didn’t get the results until we returned to Arizona. The doctors called us about 2 weeks later to let us know that Guy has prostrate cancer and it needed to be treated sooner rather than later.

Our plans when we left Bullhead City were for us to head to Quartzite, Az to meet up with our RV Dreams Class of 2014, we had not seen any of the class since May and were excited to meet up with everyone. But with this lifestyle its so easy to make changes and head in different directions all the while taking our house with us. We packed up from Bullhead City and headed back towards Birmingham, AL and, yes, it snowed as we were heading across Az and New Mexico. We even were turned away from a couple of campgrounds as they don’t plow the streets!

We are in Alabama again!!  Yes, we have done the cross country trip 3 times in one month!

We have met with 2 different doctors for their opinions on a course of treatment for Guy. We have decided that radiation will be the best, due to heart issues, surgery(which was our plan) was totally out, it has to many side effects and complications that Guy doesn’t need.  We meet up with the radiologist on Feb 3, to find out what he plans next. It could be 49 radiation treatments which is a treatment everyday ( Monday thru Friday ) for about 20 mins. We will be staying in a Birmingham, at the Hoover RV Park while he goes thru treatments.

Since we had over a week to wait for our appointment, and of course, it was cold and snowing in Birmingham, we decided to head south to Gulf Shores, AL to hopefully find some warmer weather.  We were lucky enough to find a spot at Gulf State Park, this park is pretty large, with over 600 sites, with lots of room between each site, lots of walking paths, bike paths, lodge pole pines, oak trees draped in spanish moss, eagles, fox, alligators, monkey squirrels, coyotes.   There is a small lake (with alligators) where you can kayak, the beach is just a short drive away.

The state of AL is like most states with not enough money to keep things going. They have closed 5 state parks so far and raised the fees pretty high to help keep the remaining parks open, I think that is why we found a spot, as there are not as many campers as usual.

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Front row Bill, second row me and LaciLou, Bills sweetie Kelly, Guy, Eileen and her honey Gene

Two couples, Gene & Eileen, Kelly & Bill are from the RV Dreams Class of 2014, this class represents couples who like us sold everything and went full time in their RVs.  Both couples were staying in Florida with their folks before heading to Quartzite to meet up with everyone from the Class of 2014. Quartzite, Az is in the middle of the desert, it is the largest RV swap meet in the states, as well as the largest rock show. It is held only in January every year for two weeks, there could be any where from 200,000-300,000 RVs camping there.

When they heard that Guy and I were in Gulf Shores, they changed their itinerary so they could stop in and stay 1 night close by so we could all get together. It was a wonderful night together,  it was a travel day for them, the unspoken rule with RVer’s is who ever doesn’t travel will make a meal for the ones that travel. They came to our RV home where I had, avocado and chips, chili relleno casserole, salad, apple crisp/ice cream and of course, lots of wine!! We met the next day at Cracker Barrel for a great breakfast and more great conversation. As soon as we drove out of the restaurant I wanted to pack up and head out with them.

Our grandkids are all having birthdays while we are here and are so excited that we will be here to spend the time with them and help celebrate. Our oldest, Stephen, attends University of Alabama, will be 20, Mallori Rose, will be 12 and Craig just turned 7. Fun times celebrating with them.

We will keep everyone posted as to what happens with Mr. Guy, as time goes on.

Keep checking in with “The Nomads” to find out what we are up to next!!

Remember this is the day the Lord has made, be happy and rejoice in it!!                            Life is a journey live it to the fullest!