Glass, Jell-O and Women’s Rights

June 2, 2017 Campbell, New York

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Glass flowers (Corning Glass Museum)

There is so much to see and do on our schedule for the next few months, I’m having a hard time keeping things in order, like what did we do yesterday or where are we now. But, I’m okay with that as this is what our journey is all about.  If I didn’t have pictures to remind me, it all becomes jumbled in my head…with that being said…here is some of the cool things we have done and seen…in part one of two parts…

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contemporary gondolas of Italy (corning glass museum)

We left Freehold, NJ leaving Carolyn and Gary at the repair shop with their coach, and  headed to Campbell, NY, about a 264 mile drive. I wish I had thought to take pictures everytime we changed states, we went from NJ to Ny to Pa back to Ny and Pa finally to Ny for the last time, all this to stay off the toll roads. All the while my friend Kelley was giving directions from her home in Dorothy, NJ.

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contemporary glass bunny at Corning Glass Museum

Taking a day trip up along Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in NY, we stopped at the Chequaga, (She-qua-ga) Falls. Which is a Native American name meaning “Tumbling Waters” and were in the middle of Montour Falls, Ny. The falls were up behind the town nestled between two very large older homes. I could just imagine sitting in their backyard, sipping wine and listening to the sound of the rushing falling water.

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The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, was a point of interest for Carolyn and I but the guys, not so much. I will take the liberty of saying that once we were touring the museum they changed their minds. I think the interactive area that showed how glass performed in different ways, how it broke or not, how light travels thru glass, how sound travels,  watching a blown glass demonstration and they were hooked.

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making a wine goblet

This is a glass ellipsoid..there is one on each end, it is an egg shaped theater. Two people, one at each end, can hold a conversation simply by whispering. The ends of the theater act as reflectors, and reflect sound waves from one end to the other. Guy and Carolyn sat at one end while Gary and I sat on the other, it really was amazing how this worked. At first we were thinking we needed to talk loud but then go the hang of it and started whispering.

SPA_5235.jpgThe museum was founded by Corning Glass Works in 1951. It currently has a collection of more than 45,000 glass objects, some over 3,500 years old. The museum is a self guided tour, if you bring your iPad or phone you can listen to the documentary.

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for sale in the gift shop

 

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for sale in gift shop

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contemporary light fixture

In the museum is collections of Contemporary Art and Design, Flame working demo, an area of modern glass, paperweights, American, European, Venetian, Islamic, Roman  and Ancient Glass. On the main level is the Corning Glass store where you can purchase all types of glass pieces. We kept walking around wondering where were the dishes…they were hidden in a back room.

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thought this would look good in the coach

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how about this light

Arriving in Seneca Falls, we stopped at the “Women’s Rights National Historic Park and Visitor Center”. The First Women’s Right’s Convention was held in Seneca Falls in 1848 at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

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Wesleyan Methodist Church (rebuilt)

This was the beginning of women demanding equal rights with men. Over 300 women and men gathered, debated and voted on The Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence. The signers pointed out numerous discriminations: such as most women not having the right to vote, own property, attend college, or work professionally. Sixty eight women and 32 men pledged to hold conventions, employ organizers, and petition state and federal governments for women’s rights. By 1920 the 19th amendment was passed giving women the right to vote. There are still Conventions held in Seneca to commemorate the anniversary of Women’s Rights, one is being held in July of this year.

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inside the Weselyan Methodist Church (rebuilt)

One of our itinerary stops was, the Jell-O Gallery!! Did you know that JELL-O is America’s “Favorite Desert?”

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The town of LeRoy Historical Society operates The JELL-O Gallery, which was only a short drive from our campground. The town of LeRoy was the birthplace of Jell-O. It brought back so many memories of all the recipes my mom had using jell-o, like bananas in orange jell-o, or carrots and raisins, how about strawberries and bananas in Strawberry jell-o. Did you know that Jell-O first started in 1845, but never took off with people until 1902.

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The colors of jell-o painted as a quilt block

 

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on the porch of the Jell-O Gallery and the LeRoy Cow

The Jell-O gallery is filled with the history of the wiggly, sweet and shimmering, colored Jell-O dessert, the famous four flavors were raspberry, strawberry, lemon and orange. There are 18 flavors of jell-o available today. Some of the failures were Chocolate and coffee. In 1904 there was even a Jell-O girl, a 4 yr old named Elizabeth.

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Jell-O Molds

Every day 758,012 packages of Jell-O gelatin are purchased in the US

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4 most favorite flavors

Every second 9 boxes of Jello-O are purchased in the US

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and you too could have a Jell-o tee shirt

They say you could serve Jell-O, 69,089 ways over the course of 189 years and still not exhaust all the possibilities of ways to eat jell-O.

Downstairs from the Jell-O gallery the Society has an exhibit, “On The Road, a Navigational Museum”. The exhibit offers over 100 years of transportation, ox drawn carts, as well as a 1908 Cadillac. You can see both museums for the coast of $5.00.

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One day we headed to the town of Lockport which is along the Erie Canal and is also part of the wine trail. Two things that were on the agenda was to go see the locks, and do some wine tasting…Guy deciding to be our DD (designated driver). Our first stop was the “Honeymoon Trail Winery”, such a cute place, loved all the flowers.SPA_5320.jpg

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Honeymoon Trail Winery

Yes, there was some wine tasting while we were there, Gary and Carolyn bought a bottle of wine each. Guess what, it was also lunch time…the wine server suggested a tavern in Youngstown about 11 miles away. We were skeptical at first, but to our surprise, we all had the best wings, fries and water!!

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Next on the list were the locks in town, along with the “Flight of Five Winery”. We walked into the winery looked around, admired beautiful room, and decided not to do a taste test, their wine was sweet. Guy and I like more of the dry wines.

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The US flag with only 48 stars

The one thing that caught my eye was the flag hanging on the wall, it has 48 stars, it was made before Arizona became the 48th state on Feb 14, 1912 and when Alaska joined on January 3, 1959. SPA_5351.jpg

The Erie Canal was constructed in three stages. the original Erie Canal was built in 1817-1825 and then enlarged in 1835-1862. The original builders constructed a flight of five doubled locks to lower easterly and raise westerly bound boats some 60 feet. The locks were replaced and improved between 1910 and 1914. The northern set of the Lockport Five was left intact and used today as a spillway. The locks are now used mostly for recreational watercraft.

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The Erie Canal provided a route west for immigrants and settlers. Villages, towns and cities were born along its route helping commerce to spread from The Hudson Valley to the Midwest. Of course, after a tour there must be food..what did we find but the “Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream Shoppe” It was excellent I must say, they did not have your normal flavors and wish I had written down the names as now I can’t remember them.SPA_5366.jpg

Well, if your not tired from reading this long blog, wait until the next one where we head to the “Grand Canyon” of the east, then on to Niagara Falls.

So have a blessed week and come on back and read up on our travels with our side kicks.

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My favorite flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tolls, Tolls and more Tolls

May 26-June 2,  2017

Freehold, New Jersey

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The Rover nestled in at Turkey Swamp Campground

Holy Mollie, driving on the turnpikes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York are sure expensive, wish we had kept a total of what we spent! The most expensive was $68.00, the others were between $5.00 to 10.00!! We had purchased the fast pass for $40.00 and of course, when we tried to register it on line we couldn’t. It said we needed to purchase the commercial pass since we weigh over 15,000 lbs. (Our coach alone weighs 51,000 lbs). Needless to say we now have to stop at all the toll booths and pay cash. Yuck!!

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Memorial Day Weekend we were at the Turkey Swamp Campground, right in the middle of Freehold, New Jersey. What a great campground, very large level sites, with lots of trees, all pull thru, water/electirc with a dump station. The down side was low hanging trees that scrapped the sides of the coach, as we drove to our site. The water spigot was about 75 feet away which required several hoses. With all the trees there was no tv but great internet. This park was huge, with lots of grassy areas for large functions, a lake for fishing, paddle boats for rent, but no swimming.

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Turkey Swamp Lake

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the swampy area, I kept waiting for the alligators to pop up

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The shady road in with low hanging trees

While we were waiting for Gary and Carolyn to arrive from Gary’s dads house in Ohio, Bill and Kelly (friends from our Rv Dreams Rally in 2014) drove the 2 hours from Dorothy, New Jersey, to come visit us. We had not seen them since we were in Gulf Shores, AL, the year before. It was so good to see them and catch up and of course, we were all hungry, so off to their favorite pizza restaurant, Federicis in the town of Freehold!! Yummy!!

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Guy, Sue and Bill, Kelly

We all ordered large pizzas, thinking about all the leftovers…LOL!! The pizza is very thin crust that gets nice and crispy with no soggy crust!! Guy and I had garlic, roasted red peppers, sausage and pepperoni.  Kelly and Bill decided on roasted red peppers, sausage, mushrooms. Needless to say there were no leftovers!! Our time was cut short as Bill and Kelly are camp hosts in the town of Dorothy at Country Oaks RV and needed to be there by 5:00pm.  We had already planned on spending their day off together on Tuesday so they could show us more of their home state of New Jersey.

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Yaniv, Sue, Guy, Eyal, Judith

When Guy worked for Seagate Technology, one of his customers were Eyal and Judith, who we had become very good friends with and love spending time together.  Well, we were very glad that New Jersey was only 2 hours from their home and business out on Long Island. Plans were made to head to their new house and spend the day with the family, Eyal’s brother, Yaniv and his family plus Eyals two daughters, both who just graduated from college, one as a doctor.

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The Freedom Tower, in downtown NY,  thru the telescope, about 20 miles away

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The views from Eyal and Judiths home on the bay…looking towards New York

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The Crosstown Bridge in the distance

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looking back at Eyal and Judith’s home

Arriving back at Turkey Swamp, Gary and Carolyn had finally arrived and were sitting out by the fire under their awning as it was pouring. Since it was cold and wet staying by the fire did not last long. We did not see them much that week as they had lots of commitments in New York, taking furniture and supplies to their granddaughter’s new apartment, their daughter and granddaughter arriving from Fl, out to dinner with their aunt and uncle. As well as having their coach worked on thru all that.

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watching candy making

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this was an awesome candy store on the boardwalk

Tuesday, off we went to see Kelly and Bill. We were looking forward to checking out the Jersey Shore that we have heard so much about. Of course, did we get a nice sunny day…no…it was raining like crazy! There was a break in the rain so Bill and Kelly walked us around their summer camp home. The 4 of us then headed down to Cape May, of course it was raining, so we just drove around looking at some awesome homes and area! A decision was made that lunch with a view of the ocean was a must.  Kelly checked where to go and found, McGlades on the pier. It was to cold to eat outside, the warmth of the inside called us, there were big  windows with a great view of the ocean.  Fish and chips were chosen by 3 of us, except Guy who decided on clam chowder and a crab cake sandwich,  once again all  of us finishing everything down to the last french fry!

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Jersey shore boardwalk

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Boardwalk

We decided that rain or not we were walking the board walk…but first.. ice cream was a must…at Kohr Bros, Guy, Kelly and I had an orange/vanilla twist while Bill decided on the peanut butter/chocolate. Standing under the cover of the Music Pier looking down the board walk, watching the ocean, freezing, trying to stay dry eating ice cream….how cool is that?

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With a 2 hour drive back and not really wanting to drive in the dark with roads we didn’t know, Guy decided it was time to head back to Country Oaks. It was hard saying “Good Bye”, but as we always say, in this life style, we don’t know when our paths will cross again. I think I will not say Good Bye anymore but “See ya on down the Road”

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After a nice week at Turkey Swamp it was time to head up to Corning, New York, on our journey with Gary and Carolyn. There was a slight snag as their coach was still being worked on and a few new issues were found. We agreed to head out and they would meet up with us later that night. It turned out to be a very late night for them as they didn’t pull in until almost 10:00pm.

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The Jersey Shore

Y’all have a Blessed week and stay tuned into “OurRovinJourney” as we travel with our side kicks into the east coast area.

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Fallingwaters

May 13 – 26, 2017
Lancaster, Ohio
Ohiopyle, PA

Amazing, Amazing we were in and out of the REV service center in 3 days, a new record for us!!! We were doing the happy dance with our new found freedom!! The coach has had all its issues fixed and after 3 years we finally think (don’t want to say it to loud) we have gotten all the bugs out and feel a little more confident that we won’t be going back to soon.

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Lancaster, Ohio

While, Guy and I were sitting outside our coach at Camp Service,  a couple walked by with a telescoping pole and bottles of cleaner, we weren’t sure what was happening but thought they were cleaning coaches. When they walked back by us, we started chatting and found out their names were David and Diane from Dillburg, PA and they were just showing others a new product they had found for cleaning. We stuck up a conversation which lasted for the 3 days and even as we pulled out on Saturday and left them behind, wishing we had more time to spend with them. What is so wonderful about this life is the people you meet and hopefully stay in touch with.

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Love the flowering tree, Lancaster, Ohio

Not knowing how long we would be at Camp Service we did not have reservations until May 15, where would be staying for 10 days in Ohiopyle, Pa.  We decided Lancaster, Ohio was half way to Ohiopyle, so it was decided that Lancaster was our next stop, an easy 3 hr drive.

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Lancaster, Ohio

Lancaster, turned out to be a seasonal campground (you pay for the season and leave your RV). The campground was on a sweet little lake, with a trail around the perimeter. They had a swimming beach, paddle boats and fishing docks. We decided to stay 3 days to just relax and drive around the area, there wasn’t much to see, the kayak and water trip companies had not opened for the season, bike rentals were also not in operation. We saw lots of wide open areas with beautiful farms and barns, lots of greenery and trees.

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We enjoyed the wonderful weather, Guy washed the coach down, and played his banjo, while I took apart and repaired my Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt that a mouse had chewed on in about 8 spots. I had stored the quilt in a canvas tote, all zipped up under the bed, that little critter ate thru the canvas to get to the soft cotton material for its bed. It also left behind bird food, sunflower seeds and numerous other not so nice stuff. This quilt has taken more than 4 years to hand sew, needless to say, I was not happy.  I now am getting it ready to hand quilt while we are traveling the east coast, this could take another 4 years to finish. Not sure how my arthritis will do with all this sewing as each hexagon will be hand sewn thru the 3 layers.

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Grandmother’s Flower Garden

One of the first things I do as we are getting ready to head out to our next destination is set the GPS with the new address. We have been lucky that in 3 years she has not led us to far asrtray…with that being said there is always a first time…..I knew when she started telling us we needed to make a left turn in .5 miles, we were in trouble,  no time to check it out on my phone GPS and the map book I keep beside me.(I knew we had a few more miles before our turn), Yup, we turned… this rig is to darn big to make mistakes…we drove about 3-4 miles down a pretty narrow road with no berm, when she wanted us to make a right turn, the sign said, “steep grades and sharp turns for the next 8 miles” we knew we were in trouble… Luckily, a gravel parking lot was also right there and in we went. Upon checking the map it showed that the road went out of our way and over the mountain.  I decided to call the campground, who said “yup, not a good road, don’t go that way…turn around” That meant we needed to unhook the truck and turn the coach around and rehook up the truck. We made it fine to the campground and a day later took the road with our truck, it was steep but we could have done it with the coach. Better safe than sorry!

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our lake view

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Our view of the Yough Lake

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Our site

We stayed at the Yough (yaw) Lake Campground, which is on the Youghiogheny (yaw-ki-gay-nee) Lake and River which flows from PA into Maryland. The campground we pretty much had to ourselves! We were there for 10 days without internet, or cell service, it was hard at first but as time went on it was kind of nice to be disconnected. Guy did get in the car one day and drove about 5 miles until he could find a connection for the computer. There are 100 campsites with a few seasonal RVs, kayak/canoe rentals and small cabins.  Our site looked right at a finger of the lake.  This is a COE (Core of Engineers) lake and at one time the COE managed the campground but for some reason they shut the gates about 2 years ago and let it start to deteriorate.

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The Laurel Highlands River Tours and Outdoor Center took on a 99 yr lease to keep the campground up and running. There are plans for more cabins and campsites. Derek and his son Mike run the campground, do all the maintenance and try to keep people happy. They were both astonished that someone from Alabama found their little campground out in the middle of no where and kept asking us how we found them. I tried to explain how we choose where we go, like following the weather, finding either a lake or river, and we really like out of the way places.  We are also the biggest rig they have ever had come into the campground.

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When we were checking out the area map we found a spot that said entrance to “Fallingwater”. Not sure what that was but thinking waterfall….wrong…it was the famous “Fallingwater” house that Frank Lloyd Wright built for the Kaufmann family in 1935. The key to the setting of the house is the waterfall over which the house is built.

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The falls were a focal point that the Kaufmanns wanted as a focal point for their home. To their surprise Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house to rise above the waterfall and cantilever over the waterfall. “Fallingwater” was the weekend home of the Kaufmann from 1937 until 1963 when the house was entrusted to the Western PA Conservancy, the house with its original furnishings and artwork is the only Wright work to be in the public domain.

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stream running under the house

The area has two more Wright homes, “Kentuck Knob” and “Duncan House” which is the only Wright house you can spend the night in.

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driveway unter walkway to the guest quarters

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It’s amazing how the beams are placed into the rocks, there are no braces on the outer ends!

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The river before the house

The Fort Necessity Battlefield and The Mount Washington Tavern were not to far from Ohiopyle and on the National Pike road so we decided a stop was necessary.  Fort Necessity was the opening battle of the war between England and France for control of the North American continent in the summer of 1754. It was also the start of the struggle known in the North Americas as the French and Indian War, as well as the “Seven year War.” The war was also the first major event of 21 year old George Washington, and it marked the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy.

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Ft Necessity (recreated)

There is an interpertative center where they show a movie about the battle, and have scenes that explain more in-depth about the wars. The walk to the fort site was a short walk thru the woods, and was lined with spring flowers and opened up to a large green grassy meadow with the Fort in the middle. The reconstructed fort and palisades are in the same locations as the originals. The stockade, circular in shape measured 53 ft in diameter and enclosed a small storehouse. The overall perimeter was 168 feet.

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Mount Washington Tavern

The Mount Washington Tavern was one of numerous taverns along the National Road that served as stopping places for stagecoaches. It was written that there were taverns every mile along the National Road. The tavern was a welcome site to travelers, offering lodging, meals, news and refreshments. You can take a self guided tour of the tavern, they have two floors open for viewing, the rooms are decorated for the times with plexiglass on the doors.

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The Bar room

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The parlor

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Game Room

 

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One of the 6-7 bedrooms, usually there were 4-6 people sharing one room

George Washington was eager to unite the Eastern seaboard with the land beyond the mountains. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison helped make this a reality with The National Pike Road.

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The National Pike Road was America’s first federally funded highway and the first step in the development of a national road system. It began in 1811 and ran from Cumberland, Md., to Vandalia, Ill where construction stopped in 1839, this was the main road from the east to the western frontier. Today, U.S. 40 follows the same route as the National Road.

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You can imagine how surprised we were  when we happened to see wagons going down the National Pike Parkway.  We found out that since 1989 many counties in Maryland, West Virginia, PA and Ohio celebrate the 300 mile route with wagon trains rolling along the Allegheny Mountain and the Blue Ridge Mountain parkways  to celebrate and bring awareness to the National Parkway.

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Ohiopyle State Park is approximately 20,500 acres of rugged beauty, with 14 miles of the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny (yaw-ki-gay-nee) River Gorge going thru the park. There are 7 miles of water rafting which provides some of the best whitewater rafting, with a range of difficulty, Class I to IV. There are 4 waterfalls, Cucumber Falls which can be driven to, Cascades, Jonathan Run and Meadow Run which you can hike to. With it raining everyday for the 10 days we were there we did not get to hike to any of the falls.

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The Youghiogheny River, this is the main fall in town

The Ohiopyle area offers many summer and winter activities, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, rocking climbing, horseback riding,  27 miles of biking thru the Great Allegheny Passage, which connects Pittsburg, PA and Cumberland, Maryland, numerous hiking trails (from the extreme to the easy). The Youghiogheny river has trout fishing that is stocked with fingerlings throughout the parks many rivers. For those that aren’t that adventurous there is an awesome park along the river where you can sit and watch the water flow.

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Youghiogheny Falls

The Youghiogheny river meanders around the 100 acre peninsula called Ferncliff Peninsula, where Guy and I and of course our side kick, LaciLou hiked the 2.5 miles around the island, we were talking about how lucky we were that it had not rained… just as we were saying how lucky we were that it hadn’t rained and we were almost done a rain storm came thru, with thunder and lightening drenching all of us.

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When making our reservations to Yough Lake Campground, we received an announcement that the town would be holding its 3rd Wine, Craft and Music Festival on Saturday, May 20.  The flyer stated that we could prepay for our tickets, $50.00 for the wine tasting and free tasting glass. There would be 8 wineries attending and 1 distillery, Ridge Runner. The bands that would play for the event were, The Plate Scrappers, ( their new cd out is called “Dishes”), The Free Doughnuts and the Black Horse Band.

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The Plate Scrappers

Guy and I would do a little wine tasting, then check out the crafts while listening to the music. There were a couple of wines that we really liked, of course, we bought a few. A few days later we opened the one I really liked, a dry cab,  both of us wished we had purchased a case, it was that good. The drive to the winery was 2 hours and neither of us wanted to get in the car for the drive. We really liked the band, Plate Scrappers as they play wild bluegrass, with folk, jazz and heavy metal thrown in.

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the river going to Fallingwater

It was a wonderful time touring the area of Ohiopyle and Confluence, but it was time to move on, New Jersey was waiting for us. Kelly and Bill are spending the summer at Country Oaks Campground in Dorothy, New Jersey, we were looking forward to meeting up with them. It was also time to meet up with “Carolyn and Gary” from St. Augustine who we will be going up the east coast with for the next month and a half. We then meet up with our group from “Adventure Caravans” for our 60 day trip into the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec.

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the river going to Fallingwater

LaciLou says “y’all have a a blessed time until we meet again”, come on back and find out how things are going on “Our Rovin Journey”.

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Love and Laughter with Family and Friends

March 6 – May 5, 2017
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Chattanooga, TN
Blue Ridge, Ga
Goshen, Indiana

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Guy and Roger in front, Cori, John (in the dark), Sherry, Penny, Sue and Greg on the top

We have been so busy since my last blog…when I last wrote we were heading to Cabo San Lucas with Cori and Greg, who full time in their motorcoach, Penny and Roger, my sister and brother in law, his brother and wife John and Sherry. An awesome time was had by all. I don’t even at this point remember everything we did while we were in Cabo, it went by so fast. But suffice it to say we all ate, drank, tanned, and laughed till our sides hurt.

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the girls in the smallest bar in Cabo

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smallest bar in Cabo

Our first week in Cabo, we had rooms on the beach, it was awesome sitting on our deck watching the fishing boats and cruise ships as well as the whales jumping and playing! We pretty much kicked back that week, hanging in a different pool everyday, getting kicked out of the adults only pool for making to much noise, decided that the kiddy pool was best for us. The hardest thing we did all week was try to figure out which or what kind of food we wanted, as there were 6 different restaurants at this resort!

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the sky party pool

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The second week we moved into town where we could walk the marina; check out the shopping (all the stores sell the same trinkets and coffee mugs and tee shirts and they all have special pricing..cheap just for us); have adult beverages at the smallest bar in Cabo; eat street tacos; dance and sing at Cabo Wabo;

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Cabo Wabo

– Cabo marina, and our hotel, night view from our room

enjoyed a romantic dinner at Mona Lisa watching the sunset over the ocean while fireworks were set off on the beach; lobster and steaks outside under the lighted oak trees at La Golondrina Restaurant;  someone ??? dancing  on the stripper pole (there are pictures I can prove it) at Squid Roe while the rest were having beers and wearing balloon hats;

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Squid Roe

listening to 90 mins of time share talks so we could get $300.00 credit towards our bill and a free boat cruise around the tip of baja…what happens in Cabo almost stays in Cabo!!

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the arch at the tip of baja at sunset on a boat cruise

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cruising on our free boat trip to see the sunset at the tip of Baja

Since Mexico, we have traveled across the country from Arizona and landed back at Camp Alexander in Ga. We had planned to stop and see our good friends, Connie and Bill, in El Paso, then stop in Dallas to see George and Cheryl, but Guy and I came home from Cabo with colds and sinus infections, not wanting to get anyone else sick we just kept driving. Hopefully we can visit on our way back to west next year.

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beers, pineapple daiquiris and tacos

Our grandkids, Mallori and Craig were out of school for spring break the week we got to Alabama, their parents were taking them to Chattanooga, TN for the week. We decided to surprise the grandkids, who thought we were still out west, called our daughter who met us in Birmingham with them. The look on their faces was “priceless” when they saw the coach and us standing beside it.  We loaded them up in the coach and drove  to Chattanooga. Since we have removed the couch in the coach they slept on the hard marble floor in sleeping bags.  They were so excited that they were going to camp with us. We were still sick and not really feeling that good but we needed a grandkid fix!!

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Mallori Rose 13 yrs

Our granddaughter, Mallori, decided she wanted to be the one to take pictures, so the following  pictures are what our few days looked like thru the eye of a 13 yr old.

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The “Rover” at Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground

We were lucky to get 3 days at Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground, there are not many campgrounds close to all the places we wanted to see. We started  the day with the kids going thru the caverns and just hung out at the park, they loved just exploring and having a campfire.

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Craig Alexander, 8 yrs

Their parents arrived later that night, the grandkids left with them after dinner so they could swim at the hotel pool, that sure beat out camping. It was fun the next day spending time as a family doing the touring stuff that Chattanooga is known for, Ruby Falls, Look Out Mountain, Rock City, Incline Railway.

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water buckets and bubbles by Mallori

Raccoon Mountain Caverns has over 5.5 miles of underground passageways. The caverns have countless natural formations and is considered to be the most geologically active. The cave has stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flow stone and natural bridges. There are bats and salamanders that are always visible on the cave floors or walls. The cave stays at 58 degrees and is dark most of the time, salamanders like the cool damp caves.

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Raccoon Mountain Caverns by Mallori

Lookout Mountain is a mountain ridge located at the northwest corner of Georgia, the northeast corner of Alabama, and along the Tennessee state line in Chattanooga. The elevation is 2,388’ from the top you can see “7” states.

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-The view of the 7 states on Lookout Mountain  by Mallori

Ruby Falls, is a 145 ft underground waterfall that is the main draw of this guided tour, the falls are 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain. Ruby falls was discovered in 1928 and opened to the public in 1930.

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Ruby Falls by Mallori

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-Lookout Mountain Gardens by Mallori

Incline Railway goes up to the top of Lookout Mountain at a 72.7% grade, you ride in trolley style cars and climb the hill backwards looking down into the city. Once at the top there is the observation tower with a panoramic view of the city. You then take the trolley back down.

-Incline Railway by Mallori

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-different garden and rock views of Lookout Mountain by Mallori

We left the grandkids and their parents in Tenn and headed back to Camp Alexander, GA to hang there for the month of April. We were really looking forward to enjoying the mountain. Guy just wanted to check on his tools, work on the coach and truck. I was looking forward to cutting out and sewing a new quilt. We both did and finished what we wanted.

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trail and rock in garden of Lookout Mtn and a Blue tailed Skink by Mallori

While we were at Camp Alexander, our friends David and Sharon, also full time RVers, came and camped with us. They had never been there so it was wonderful sharing our piece of heaven with them.

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David and Sharon at Merciers Orchards, GA

There is so much to do in Blue Ridge it was hard deciding what to do first…drove into town and walked thru some of the shops, had a great lunch at Danielle’s Deli, drove to Merciers Orchards,  Ocoee River where the 1996 Olympics canoe slalom course was held. Had pizza and beer at Cucina Rustica, the boys had the large with everything but the kitchen sink, Sharon and I had the best, with 3 different types of cheeses, spinach, basil and basalmic vinegar. Can you say yum…..

We also decided that kayaking down the Tacoa River was a great idea, the water was cold but the sun was nice and warm, hiked up the Amicalola Falls trail, the falls are 729 feet and is the tallest waterfall in the southeast, there are over 600 steps to the top, then a great hike down thru the trees.

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standing at the bottom of Amacolola Falls

Guy and I were sad as we needed to leave the day before Dave and Sharon, it was Easter that Sunday and were heading to Birmingham, Al, spending it with our children and grandkids. We were also celebrating birthdays, for our son, daughter and son-in-law.

On getting back to our mountain get away, we looked at the camp site where David and Sharon  had stayed and finding them gone was disappointing….but that’s this life we lead.. and we know we will meet them again down the road or in November when they pass thru Ga once again.

Sitting by the campfire, having a little baileys, being seranaded by David his guitar and drums with the sweet sounds of Sharon singing in the background was a great ending to a wonderful week together.

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Before we knew it our month was over at Camp Alexander,  it was time to head out. Last year we had signed up for a motorhome maintenance seminar, put on by Holiday Rambler in Goshen, Indiana. This seminar is for all Holiday Ramblers and other coaches that were made by the same REV manufacturing company. There are over 100 classes on everything pertaining to how to take care of your coach, tires, aqua hot water heater, taking care of fresh, black and grey tanks, fire safety and numerous other paraphernalia. Guy has been very busy learning new things, I have taken classes on micro/convection cooking. While poor LaciLou waits patiently in the coach for our return. There are new coaches, mechanics to service your engines or tow systems, companies with big water tanks  wanting to wash your rigs, vendors, food, and over 500 people. The president and his staff of the REV manufacturing group will be here to give a talk and a session of question and answers.

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half way up the Amacalola Falls

We stopped in Shipshewana, IN, to see friends Craig and Jo, also full time RVers, spent 2 short days with them before heading to Goshen. Jo made us an awesome dinner of King Ranch Chicken, salad and homemade chips. We walked the Shipshewanna flea market, met some friends of theirs and then just chatted. It was so good to catch up as we hadn’t seen them in over a year when they hung with us in Birmingham while Guy went thru his cancer treatments.

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As I am writing this we are in Goshen, In for the next week, then off to Decatur, In to the repair facility to finally finish up with some of the last repairs we did not finish in October in Oregon. We should only be there about 2 days as we will spend a week in Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.

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heading down the Taccoa River

Things to see along the Taccoa river

We meet up with our friends, Caroyln and Gary from St. Augustine, FL in Freehold, New Jersey and will be touring with them until July 5th, heading up the east coast. We leave Gary and Carolyn, then meet up with a tour group, Adventure Caravans, in Maine and touring the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec until the middle of Sept.

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taken at Raccoon Mountain Caverns by Mallori

Come on back and check out all the awesome east coast adventures “The Rover” will be taking these Nomads on!! Ya’ll have a Blessed time until we meet again.

Cactus, Cactus and more

Feb 15 – 28, 2017 Tucson, Az

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Momma hummingbird sitting on a nest with 2 eggs

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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.

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Saguaro Cactus

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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

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

The Biosphere 2, Oracle Arizona

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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.

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The round dome was the library

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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.

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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

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area where the different climates are created

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Looking from the entrance down the street

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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.

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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.

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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.

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signing the guest book

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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.

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working blacksmith shop

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center of town

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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….

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miners cabin

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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.

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the old horse stables

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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

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sunset shinning on the mountain

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bisbee, AZ

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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….

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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.

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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.

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one of the cute staircases used for the run

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Quartzsite

January 2-31, 2017, Quartzsite, Arizona

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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.

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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.

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The Big Tent

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As far as the eye can see are RVs

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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.

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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.

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walking thru the flea market outside the big tent

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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.

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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).

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Rocks anyone?

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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stopping at dripping springs

 

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

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

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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.

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Guy, Roger, Cindy and Sue

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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.

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Not sure if “Moe” is really buried here

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

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there was no electricity…but notice the computer screen

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

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The grave site of the miner who worked the mine

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This is what’s left of the miners home

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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!

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not sure what animal this is but sure was preserved

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iron in the rocks

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a screen door into the cave

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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!!

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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.

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love the colors of the dirt from the abandoned mine

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Robin and Rueben’s family winery

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ryan and Poppie

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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

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scenery on the way

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my sweetie looking down from the walkway

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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!!

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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.

 

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.