Friday, February 21, 2014

Catching our breath.

Casa Grande, AZ

Not much going on today.  Sometimes you just need a day of absolutely nothing.  

I didn't make the appointment for the VA for Dad, so I don't know why the confusion.  He was totally exhausted when we took him home.  By the time we returned he was gone over 5 hours.  That's just too long for someone almost 94 years old.  He had an eye test that could have been done in Casa Grande.  

As we were pulling into our garage I noticed this big "thing" hanging over the fence.  It almost looked like some big palm limbs from far away.  Bill was walking back from the mailbox and told me to get the camera.  I ran around in the house trying to find it and then remembered it must be in the truck. The "thing" turned out to be a big beautiful peacock.  I was so disappointed I didn't get a photo.

Wednesday we stopped and picked Vern Fogler up on our way to Apache Junction for the Escapees Chapter 45 luncheon.  There were a few more people than the time before, but nothing like we've had the last few years.  Joe wasn't able to make it as he was waiting for a toilet delivery but our new vice president, Doug Sage, did a nice job.  He asked Bill and I if we would be the rally hosts for the Amado Rally in October.  We just hosted one last month for Chapter 21 and just didn't want to commit since we're not sure where we'll be. 

We made our usual stop at the Ranch Produce Store and brought Vern home.  We visited with Polly awhile and I think she really enjoyed the company.  She was going to try and go, but thought better of it.  Hopefully she'll get the rods out next week and will be able to get around better.  

There's a whole fiasco regarding our window repair for the Mountaineer.  I'm sure there are two businesses in town wondering who that crazy lady is.  

I did stop in the RV park office to pay next year's storage and to let them know what happened.  The only reply was "we get some strong winds."  I'll probably never know how it was broken.  The repair should be complete next week.  

I do like the RV lock with the code to open or lock the coach.  If we stop by the storage area, we don't have to remember to bring the keys.  I made extra basement keys, and put them in the closet by the door so we'll have them too.  

Susie Walsh called and invited us for dinner.  What an enjoyable evening we had.  Bud gave us lessons on skiing.  I wish we'd have known all the things he was showing us when we were watching the Olympics.  We talked about our trip to Lake Havasau City for the Western Winter Blast.  They've decided to go with us next year.  They made reservations at the Casa Grande RV park and said they might change them to go to the Circling of the Wagons.  It's a busy time of the year for Bud so that will be a big commitment. 

Zoey, the younger golden retriever, was so excited to see Bill her paw scratched him.  His blood is so thin with his medications that the little scratch bled.  Susie and Bud felt bad, but it was just a minor scratch.  

We talked and enjoyed each others company and before you knew it, it was after 9.  I had suggested we walk over, but when we stayed so late I was glad we drove the car as that would have been a dark walk home.

Bill was happy to know we weren't going anywhere and found some time today to clean the van.  I can't ever remember seeing it so dirty.  We had it on some dirt roads and really needed inside and outside cleaning.  

The truck is patiently waiting to be next.  All this boon docking (camping with no hook ups) has a lot of desert dust on it.  

Sandie called this morning and it was good hearing her voice instead of e-mailing.  You can tell by the sound of her voice how relieved she is to know that the oncologist report for Jim was good.  She also reported he caught two fish.  Way to go, Jim.   

Turtle Safely......

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Party is Over


Casa Grande, AZ
Back at the Shack

I'll try and post some of Linda Hatcher's photos from the Western Winter Blast in Lake Havasau City.  She took some excellent shots of the fireworks.  Now I know it's impossible to get the same experience, but try watching this choreographed to some beautiful music.   

Lake Havasau Western Winter Blast

Of course this photo is just a two dimensional still shot.


Now imagine the booming sound of the fireworks.


We were trying to figure out how large an area these expanded and everyone said at least 1/4 mile.  


I don't know how Linda managed to take these great photos.  You were mesmerized watching them and there was one right after another.  The tops of the trees in the foreground will give you an idea of the expanse of these. 

Everyone that knows me, knows I couldn't take photos and watch the show at the same time.  Thank you, Linda.  You might want to check out her blog at 

It was difficult to know that the event was over, but I think 4 days was plenty.  After awhile you just get on overload and can't add anymore.  

We heard some motor homes leaving before the sun was up.  Bill and I weren't in any hurry to leave but couldn't go back to sleep so ended up leaving about 8 am yesterday.  It was about 1 pm when we pulled into Casa Grande.  

The motor home that was next to us in storage was gone.  After we looked closer at the broken window on the trailer, you could see where something hit the window.  It wasn't broken when we put it in storage.  The motor home was over his line into our space when we parked last time.  It's just the mystery of what happened to the window that is bothering me.  

The glass company was going to come look at it today, but we have to take Dad to the VA in Tucson.  It looks like we might be home on Friday to have them look at it.   

The beauty of living in Arizona.  A broken window can stay that way for a while.  We're suppose to get a cold spell soon with temps down in the 70's.  

Turtle Safely.....

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Western Winter Blast--Day 5

Lake Havasau City, Arizona
Rodeo Grounds Q5

Today is John Kohl's birthday.  Happy Birthday, John. 

 To celebrate John cooked his special pancakes for all of us.  They were wonderful.  
We added a few side dishes and had a banquet.

Dennis and Linda are enjoying their breakfast.
As usually when we are together there's a lot of talking going on until the food comes out.  

Breakfast was at 9 and we were still chatting at noon when they opened up the registration for next year.  
The lines formed quickly to reserve a spot for next year.  We're booked. No refunds if you can't come.

I finally got photos of the restrooms.  
I haven't seen such nice clean restrooms in a long time.  This was the women's.

This was the men's restroom.

The local martial arts students were raising money to go to a competition in Canada and were having a dinner.  Even though we had that huge breakfast we went with David and Linda.  It's so nice having everything located so close you don't have to drive to it.  
While we were waiting for the dinner we watched these Arizona kids sled riding.  They were on top of this sand hill with a piece of cardboard and sliding down it.  Who says they don't have an imagination?  

Dinner was a little late due to the fact that some of the mothers who were going to help serve had a little too much beer to drink.  

They had a popcorn machine and gave us popcorn while we waited.  It was worth the wait.  For our $7.00 we had barbecue ribs, hot dogs, garden salad, potato salad, chili, grilled asparagus, cake, drinks which included draft beer.  

They had a raffle and had a .380 Smith and Wesson for grand prize.  Needless to say, we didn't win but the money went to a good cause.  

The kids gave martial arts demonstrations and we were surprised how good they were.  

The sun started setting and we decided even though we were by the bleachers, we preferred to go watch the fireworks down by our trailer.  

The show was great and now that we've had our shower and turned on the TV and computers the fireworks are still going off.  We'll be sound asleep before they quit.  

Bill and I are so happy we came up here instead of staying at the steps.  They do recommend that if you have a pet it is not advisable to stay here.  One lady's dog ran off and she still hasn't located it.  

Turtle Safely......

Winter Blast Day 4

Lake Havasau City, Arizona
Rodeo Grounds Q5

I'll back up because I forgot to mention yesterday that we saw a mountain goat while on our walk.  

We slept in this morning until we heard a big boom.   They must have been practicing, we jumped out of bed when we heard it.

Bill and I visited with people and before we knew it dinner was being served.  Unfortunately, Dennis and Linda went to get dinner tickets after us and they were sold out.  They had a very nice band playing and people were dancing.  They needed Carol Hill here to get more dancers up on the dance floor though.  They also had draft beer for those that wanted it.  

The dinner was delicious.  The menu said chicken and tri-tip.  You could have two servings of whatever you chose.  Bill and I both got chicken and tri-tip.  Now the tri tip was not up to Don Del Rosario's standard but better than most restaurants.  It was well worth the ten bucks. They had a huge open dining area that was under roof where you could listen to the band, not that you needed any protection from the beautiful 90 degree days.  

The garlic bread is covering the lower level of food.
Linda and David Hatcher are enjoying theirs.

I took this photo for Sharon and Roger Hime.  I told you that you should have tagged along with us.

The show was spectacular.  I kept telling everyone last night--"you haven't seen anything yet."  After tonight they understood.  You can't describe it to anyone.  There is absolutely no photos that can do the show justice.

We watched the lines of cars coming in inching along and were thankful that we weren't in that traffic and had decided to do the rodeo grounds. 
We still decided our best viewing spots were right in front of our sites.  The bleachers are nice but this is so much better.  

In the middle of the show they stopped it because of a fire but resumed in about a 20 minutes.  

Tomorrow at noon we can reserve our same sites for next year.  While we are further away than the ones on top, we discovered we have a perfect view.  

We were planning on leaving tomorrow so we'd be back in time for a doctor appointment but we cancelled the appointment.  It's just way too much fun here.  

We've really enjoyed our time with Dennis and Linda Ward, David and Linda Hatcher and John Kohl.  It was nice having the small group and a chance to really get to know them.  I'm sure our paths will cross again. That's what RVing is about. 

One more day tomorrow of the Winter Blast.  

Turtle Safely......

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Blast Day 3

Lake Havasau City, Arizona
Rodeo Grounds Q 5

I forgot to mention that we had a visitor yesterday.  Ray Warner is staying at a membership park on the north of town and drove down to visit.  They wouldn't let him drive into the rodeo grounds so he walked in.  Lucky for him since we got one of the last sites he didn't have far to walk. 

Last night we all talked about touring Oatman.  This morning plans changed.  It didn't matter to us as we've been there a few times before.  

No problem we thought we wanted to go on the guided hiking tour of Sara Park.  We walked up at 9 am for the scheduled 10 am hike and the guide told us it was a 5 mile hike.  We decided we weren't in that kind of condition so walked over to the park to do our own thing.  There appeared to be a flat path but Bill said we'd take the higher ground.  This trail led up to the mountain and down the other side.  I was getting in a panic about being able to climb back.  We came down the mountain and met up with the guide we had talked to earlier in the morning and the group that were headed to Sara's Crack.  He said to tag along and then we could head back when we had enough.  

One fellow in the group said he was the oldest.  He said he was 77.  Bill asked him when was his birthday and he said Oct.  Bill said "well you're not quite the oldest my birthday is in July".

Even though I was ready to turn back, I thought if Bill can do it, I can.  The hike to the crack was fantastic.  It was a much larger scale than slot canyon in Page.  You had to virtually slide down some rocks.  

We left the group and climbed a big hill to another trail that took us up a steep incline.  
We followed these big "cats" tracks for a ways.  The temperatures were climbing fast.  

We were on the trails for 4 hours.  Did I mention that my water bottle fell out of my pocket and rolled over the mountain trail.  I was really starting to worry if we could make it back.  At this point we were out of water.  We finally found a trail that said 1.2 miles.  That was a long way from the trail entrance.  We finally got back to the entrance and found somewhere to sit down and catch our breath.  Even though we could see our trailer, it seemed like a long way to cross the road and enter the grounds.  When we finally got back to the trailer we collapsed on the chairs too tired to climb the steps to go inside.  When we added the distance on the trails we think we hiked and climbed 8 miles in temperatures near 90 degrees.  
Linda Hatcher supplied a whole table full or food for happy hour.  She had little cakes for Dennis Ward and John Kohl.  Dennis' birthday was yesterday and John's is the 16th.  

The fireworks display gets better every night.  We're really enjoying the great people here as well as the entertainment.

Turtle Safely........

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Blast Day 2

Lake Havasau City, Arizona
Rodeo Grounds-Q5

Our day was pretty laid back.  We went to Wal Mart to get some supplies for John's pancake breakfast.  

The day was warm so I turned on our ceiling fan and found some more stink bugs left over from last year at Goshen.  John seems to think they came in through the vent and must have laid eggs.  He removed the ones on the screen for us.  Thanks again, John.  

Before we knew it the day was almost gone and everyone was gathering for Happy Hour.

Bill played bartender.  Notice the bulging pockets and of course, the shorts for those of you up north.  

Dennis Ward really had us going today.  He told us there was an app on his cell phone that also worked all the remotes on the trailer.  It would work the slides, the fireplace, the tv, the inverter and who knows what else.  He definitely has a poker face and everyone believed him.  Dennis, maybe you should try politics.  We only let you believe we were falling for it, because today was your birthday.  

The weather was perfect to sit outside and watch the fireworks.  Those that haven't seen them before couldn't believe them.  Tonight's just a warm up for the weekend.  Just wait....

We did do a little sampling.   
We decided to skip the snacks.
Sara Park is just over the wall in the background.

The fireworks are still going on and it's after 9 and they started before dark.  

Everyone seems to be having a great time.  

Turtle Safely.......

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Record Trip

Lake Havasau City, Arizona
Rodeo Grounds

Today we made a record.  

The weather has been perfect and it wasn't even cold last night.


I had Bill stand in front of the coach so you could see what I was talking about with how low the front jacks were in yesterday's blog.

John was going to check out the BLM land on the north side of the airport and asked if we wanted to ride along.  It is a beautiful area but further away from Sara Park than where we are staying.  It's nice to know that it's there and what it looks like for future reference.  

We stopped at Wal Mart for a few items and then debated about eating lunch.  About this time, David called an said they found out there were empty sites at the rodeo grounds and they decided to move over there.  We talked back and forth and decided to stop and see if there were any more sites.  Five nights dry camping for $100.  It sounded good when you figure it costs $5 for parking and $5 per person or $15 per night and still driving in all the traffic.  If we go to Sara Park, we needed to be there before 4 for the 7:30 show.  They do not allow any food or drinks to be taken into the park, so you'd need to buy food or drinks.  We paid our $100 and picked up our tags for the truck.  We headed back to the steps and hitched up.  

We drove a whole 12 miles up the road which is a record trip for us.  Dry camping but we do have trash included.  For those of you who do not know about an RV that means we are using water from our holding tanks, waste water is stored until we get to a dump station, lights run off the batteries and when we need electric we turn on the generator.  

John is on one side of the road and we are directly across from him.  They are full but some sites are not occupied yet.  We positioned the trailer so that the back window looks out at Sara Park.  

It was a perfect day and we decided to turn on the fan.  I know a lot of people that went to Goshen for the MOC rally were all talking about the stink bugs and I said we didn't have any problems.  Well I guess I was wrong, it just took longer to find out we had a problem!

We enjoyed happy hour and found some other couples who asked to join us.  It was so nice, when you wanted to get something to drink you just went and got it.  

New members to our happy hour included Jim and Sherry and Bob and Joy.

Bob is the inventor for this powered wagon.  Bill was really fascinated talking with him about it. Bill never had a little red wagon motorized or otherwise.

We went for a walk and visited with our Canadian neighbors.  

I told them about the Alberta Roamers Escapees group and the upcoming rally they will be holding.  They said they would try to come to one of our Chapter 45 luncheons.  

The sunset was beautiful and just led to a beautiful full moon.  The fireworks began before it was even fully dark.  

We have tickets for the Saturday barbecue and were told it was advisable not to leave the grounds on Saturday as they'll eventually close the road.  We were planning to attend the Boomers Ed's Birthday Party but I guess we can't do both.  

Turtle Safely......

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step One

Highway 95
South of Lake Havasau City, AZ

This morning we got up early, but not near as early as yesterday.  We pulled out at 8 am with the temperature at 45 degrees but a gorgeous sunny day.  The  temperature was 65 by the time we went through Gila Bend.

Interstate 8 is one of my favorite highways.  It seems like there isn't a lot of truck traffic and I never get tired of looking at the desert and all the saguaro cactus.  There was a little of bit of road maintenance but nothing to cause any delays.  

Notice Bill is driving.  It seems so many times when we head this way I usually drive.  His first picture of driving with no glasses.  I'm so glad that cataract surgery is behind us.  

Our plans were to meet Dennis and Linda Ward, David and Linda Hatcher and John Kohl at noon at the casino in Parker.  We had about 220 miles and figured we should be there sometime around noon.  Dennis called about 11:20 and said they were already there.  We were about 20 miles away and arrived about 11:45.  When we pulled into the casino parking lot the rv's were all parked on the south side.  We're looking all over for 3 Montana's.  I finally called Dennis and they said they'd meet us at the main entrance of the casino.  As it turned out they were parked to the right of the entrance all in a row with nothing else around them.  Are you asking why we couldn't we see them?  It seems they parked in such a good spot a semi parked next to them and blocked any view of the three fivers.  

What do RVers do after all the hugging?  Of course, we eat. We all enjoyed catching up on what's been going on since we saw them at the circle while enjoying our lunch.  

David and Linda had a lot of questions about what to expect for the Winter Blast.  A lot of people think you can see the pyrotechnic show from the steps.  We're still about 15 miles south of the city.  

Bill led the way to the steps and it was a smooth drive with only two traffic lights which we all got through together.  When we pulled in from the road, we realized there were a lot more here than last year.  We didn't go any further than the lower level.  John needed to be located in a position so his solar worked.  We're across from the other 3 but they also have other rigs between them.   

We are almost in the same location as last year.  We have our back window looking out at the Colorado River.  I know last year we had a terrible time getting level.  Now that we have the level ups, you don't even think about it being level or not.  When I hit the auto level button the whole front end went down....way down to the bottom of the levelers.  I pushed the control to abort it.  Hit the auto level button again and realized that we are really on a slope and the level ups knew where it was suppose to be.  Did I mention how much we love this system?  
There's John's Montana in the background pointed sideways for his solar panels.

We wanted to get fuel so we didn't go to the Boomer happy hour.  Ended up having Happy Hour right here.  

There's Dennis and Linda's coach in the background.

That's Dirt in the orange shirt.  He's parked on the other side of us.

My camera battery needed charged or I would have shown you a beautiful moon coming over that big hill.  

Oh yes, the window we lost a little more of it en route.

The next few days promise to be a lot of fun.

Turtle Safely....