Sunday, March 30, 2014


Casa Grande, AZ

Yesterday was another fun day at the Woodcarver's Week.  The event started out with a breakfast burrito.  It was very popular and those that weren't there for the Woodcarver's could purchase the breakfast for $4.00.  

Dennis Hill even splurged.  

Denny and Susie Orr worked the kitchen.  I had already heard about how good the breakfast burritos were from boot camp.

We had seen a flyer the night before while we were at the Tumbleweed about a flea market in Congress.  I asked Bill if he wanted to go and this was one of his hardest decisions.  He said he wanted to work on his carving so I rode along with Don and Sharon.  I didn't think to get a photo but we passed the smallest motel in Arizona.  The flea market wasn't much just a few vendors with some tables.  

Don drove out to Stanton to show me the "town".  I didn't get very good photos but once again Sharon's were great.  Check out her blog--Gypsy and the Mariner's RV Adventures.  

Metal detecting was very popular there.  I enjoyed North Ranch but I don't know if I could handle Stanton.  At least I got an idea where my woodcarving pattern came from.  

The Woodcarver's dinner was very good.  I know Kellie Gunn made the lasagna with the help of another lady that I didn't get her name.  They even made the dessert.  There was some left so they sold two pieces for a dollar.  Since I knew today was a road day, I got some for tonight's dinner.  Any reason not to cook!

They had a unique way of doing the door prize drawing.  Everyone had a ticket and you put your ticket in the drawing for a specific prize.  I choose three fish tips for my woodburner, and Bill put his ticket in the drawing for a canvas tote bag.  Bill won the tote bag and the next ticket drawn I won the tips.  Jim and Deb were also sitting with us and they won a prize. 

We said our good byes and thanked Kellie and Walt Gunn for hosting the event.  We already have plans to return next March 21 to the 28th.  

We said good night to Sharon and Don and we both were going to play it by ear on departure time the next morning.  
Jim and Deb walked over to have a glass of wine with us and before you knew it, it was 9 pm.  I'm sure we'll see them again.  

This morning we woke up early.  I think knowing that they were predicting heavy winds today might have gotten us moving faster than normal.  We said good bye to Don as Sharon was showering, with plans to meet up again on Tuesday.  

We pulled out about 8:15 and had an easy drive home.  We actually got through the traffic circle without missing our turn.  Traffic was pretty light through Phoenix.  

Bill was dumping the tanks and for some reason I walked inside and heard the phone ring.  It was Sharon asking if we wanted to go to dinner tonight.  Well hello, I thought maybe they might have had enough of us but they decided to stay in Casa Grande rather than stay at the base in Tucson.  Now she did explain that it is cheaper to stay here than the base, and diesel is 20 cents cheaper even with their discount.  No matter, we've had such a good time with them we're excited to extend the time.  

We made a quick trip to Costco in Chandler to pick up Bill's glasses.  No more of this having a pair of readers hanging around his neck.  

We picked Sharon and Don up and went to eat at the Hong Kong Kitchen.  Everyone seemed to like their meal.  Don and Sharon took some home for tomorrow.  Can you believe Sharon and I both didn't have our cameras with us?

We're looking forward to traveling to the rally with them.  Sharon and I already have plans to visit a store in Tucson.  

Turtle Safely.......

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We played hooky...

Congress, Arizona
North Ranch, #57

It was a little cooler this morning, but nothing to stop us from enjoying the day.  Sharon and Don asked us if we wanted to drive to Prescott today.  Our instructor, Sandy, had to drive her husband, Ed, to the doctor today so we didn't have class. Bill had finished his project so it turned out to be a perfect day to play hooky from woodcarver school.  

Sharon drove up the winding mountain road to Prescott.  The Honda really rides well on those kind of roads.  We passed through the little town of Congress and Yarnell.  By the size of Yarnell you can understand why the loss of the firefighters last year was so devastating to that small town.  I'm sure everyone in town knew everyone.  

Peeples Valley was very pretty and Bill loved seeing the ranches.  

We toured the shops on Whiskey Row.  We didn't help the economy out much as Sharon was the only one to buy anything.  Naturally, food was  number one on our minds.  We checked out the menus on a lot of restaurants and we made a unanimous decision to try the Bistro at the Hotel St. Michael.  None of us had ever eaten at that restaurant.  As with most of the historic buildings in Whiskey Row this one was very charming.  It had a tin ceiling and a neat little bar.  

The food was delicious and the prices were very reasonable.
Everyone cleaned their plates and there were generous portions.
The neat thing about Prescott is its history.  The courthouse is located in the center of the town with whiskey row across the street.

The ride back to North Ranch seemed much shorter than the one going to Prescott.  There were a lot of yawns from the passengers with the warm sun shining on the windows and our full bellies.  

Lucky for us we had a professional driver.  Sharon was the first women RV Driving School instructor.  She showed us her skills when someone ran a stop sign and we were cruising at 65 mph.  

Sharon stopped at the overlook and we could see North Ranch way off in the distance.  

I forgot to post the before and after photo of Bill's carving yesterday.  That hunk of wood on the left is what he started with.  What do you think of the completed carving?  I think it's pretty good.
Turtle Safely..........

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Woodcarver's Week

Congress, Arizona
North Ranch #57

Bill was off to class before I was even ready to go this morning. Do you think he was eager to carve?  I was signed up to do the lariat bowls for a 10 am class and decided to cook a pound of bacon this morning before class for my pot luck dish I was preparing later. The wood burner was calling me and I headed over to the activity center to do a little burning before the lariat class.  

Here's where I left off yesterday.

Here's all the Santa tree ornaments from Bill's class.

These are examples of some of beautiful carvings that have been done.

 I may not have any talent in the wood burning, but I'm having fun and that's what counts.  

I'm making a lariat bowl in this photo.  It takes a lot of strength in your fingers.  

Meanwhile back at the beginners class the ornaments have been painted.
Here's the happy class with their completed project.  
This lariat bowl took much longer than I thought it would to make but by lunch time it was complete.  
 This is where I left off at the end of the day.  I thought I had a photo of Don's project.  I'll take one tomorrow.  He is making a gift for his son and wait until you see it. 

 We arrived at the activity center at 5:15 as the potluck started at 5:30.  I can't believe it was an Escapee event.  There were only a few people.  They always arrive very early.  

I know it sounds strange but I wish I had a photo of the back of Sharon's head.  Her hair looked so pretty the way she styled it.  It nice looking good going and coming.  

Cheryl Kroll, on the left taught the lariat class and Sandy Kruty, right taught the pyrography class.

The winds had picked up when we left the activity center and it had cooled down.  Glad I brought a jacket.  

Until tomorrow..

Turtle Safely...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Woodcarvers Week-Day 3

Congress, Arizona
North Ranch site 57

I can't believe how fast the days go by.  Bill was so eager to get to class, he walked over before 8 am this morning.  I waited until 8:30 and went with Don.  

I hit the store in the activity center first thing  as I noticed many things were selling fast and I wanted to buy a couple of boxes.  
 This is a photo of the first two items I wood burned.  In case you can't tell what they are one is a kokopelli and the other is a butterfly.  
This is my project for today.  I forgot to bring the camera back after lunch break so I didn't get a photo of what it looked like at the end of the day.    

Bill is ready to paint his project tomorrow morning.  It is looking really good. I'll get a photo before and after he paints it.  

I thought the pyrography class was exempt from the purple heart award but heard someone say be on the alert if someone says "ouch".  I was very careful to turn my machine off before changing the nibs.  I didn't want to wear a purple heart.

 Sharon and Don invited us for dinner.  We were watching the dust storms on TV but didn't have any problems here.  Susie and Denny Orr tried the margarita popscicles.  Denny and I thought they called for seconds.  

Don, our chef, is busy doing the grilling.  

The food and company was excellent.
Are we having a good time?

Tomorrow I am signed up for a lariat bowl class.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I probably won't have much time to burn but hopefully I'll get it finished before we leave here.  

Turtle Safely.........


Monday, March 24, 2014


Congress, Arizona
North Ranch Escapees Park #57

Yesterday morning Polly and Vern hitched up.  Vern got to dump and do all the things associated with RVing.  He was happy to say he didn't find anything that needs attention or adjustments.  
Polly and Vern Fogler on their maiden voyage with their new Mobile Suites.

The next thing we knew they were headed down the road.  
Classes started at 1 pm until 4 pm.  I was amazed how fast that time fly by.  Sandy Kruty, the instructor, started the small class with the basics about becoming a pyromaniac.  Don let me use his burner to see if I liked it.  We burned practice pieces with basically three tips.  By the end of the class, I was over talking to Richard about buying my own equipment.

At 4 we left class and hurried back to the coach to prepare dinner and return to the activity center for the ice cream social.  Sorry I didn't take the camera, but it was well attended.  It was nice to see Jerry Anderson.

I couldn't believe how tired I was from my new fun filled hobby.  I must have been really concentrating hard and it wore me out as I was ready for bed at 9.  

Classes began at 8:15 today and I was eager to begin.  I bought my burner from Richard Zerbel and got myself set up to burn.  I worked on the sample board and quickly started getting bored.  Susie Orr had joined us yesterday, but she said it wasn't for her and moved over to the gourd classes.   I was beginning to think maybe I made a mistake and I wouldn't do this once the week was over.  Don Del Rosario was sitting next to me and he was burning some beautiful things.  He suggested I try something else.  I did a kokopelli  and was pleasantly surprised by the results.  Hey, this is fun now!  I then tried a butterfly and it really looks like a butterfly.  

It was almost time to quit for the day but I found a pattern that I want to try tomorrow and found a board.  I was ready to leave but the woodcarvers have a lot of mess to clean up and since Bill is carving I waited for him.
Here's a photo of the piece Bill is working on.
And here's what I'll be working on tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Turtle Safely............

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Flattened by a tongue

Congress, Arizona
North Ranch #57

The plan for the day was to register around noon and then head to Wickenburg for lunch and tour the bronze sculptures.  We might be morning people, and fairly early risers, but for some reason it takes us a while to get going.  

Bill and I took a walk this morning and visited the Saguaro Park.  What a beautiful serene area.  I learned the names of so many different kinds of cactus.  
This saguaro was huge and had so many different arms.  Last year about this time one of these huge ones fell through Don Smith's awning.  I didn't want Bill to get too close.  
A lot of the cactus were blooming.  
This cactus had a sign that said it was circa 1870.  There was a cactus wren that moved around the cactus every time we tried to get a photo.  Trust me it was there!

We'd seen this warning about an active javelina in the park but we didn't see any.

As we walked by the Fogler's we stopped to see how their first night in their new fifth wheel went.  No matter what you get there are always adjustments to make on where to store stuff.  Polly was upset that she can't see in the bathroom mirror because it is up so high.  There really wasn't anyplace to put the toilet paper.  I'm sure they will work out these small problems.  There new place is beautiful.  

By the looks of the parking outside the Hog Trough it promised to be a good place and the smells were divine. 

It wasn't a huge place but the atmosphere was great.
Sharon said her favorite was the Hogburger which was sauerkraut, spicy sausage with some kind of special dressing.  It sounded strange but Bill and I both tried it.  It was spicy but very good and we'd both do it again.  Maybe Bill is over his ordering the very worst thing on a menu.  
  Don was happy with his ribs.  Aren't the Del Rosario's a lovely couple?  

We walked across the street to check out this bronze.  These streetscape bronze sculptures were giving to the Town of Wickenburg by the DeVore Foundation.  There is a button to push to deliver the story of the bronze.

Sharon very carefully checked this one out with her foot to make sure it was a bronze. 

I'm sorry this photo didn't show the beautiful flowers on this ocotillo.  
The story behind this bronze was very funny.  This mesquite tree which is about 200 years old was used as the town jail between 1863 to 1890.  Outlaws were chained to this tree.  
These bronzes were so life like.  That's the real Sharon in the back.  
Their clothes looked so real you had to touch them to make sure they were part of the bronze. 
Bill does love the ladies.

We walked into this caboose and it had two knowledgeable docents.  The battery died on the camera so we only have this one photo.  The cowboys took the cattle to Chicago for about a 2 week trip.  Eight to ten cowhands rode along in this caboose.  There were three bunks that came down for sleeping.  This caboose was 114 years old.

We walked down to the next block and there was a Conestoga wagon.  Bill was admiring it and then he saw more wagons on the backside of it.  He was so interested that he completely missed seeing the tongue on the freight wagon.  He tripped over the tongue and fell forward onto his hands.  Lucky for him, he didn't break anything and he also had jeans on.  His shins were a little skinned up and it didn't even break the skin on his hands.  Naturally, he immediately jumped up before I could get his photo. He declined to pose for it again. 

Bill wants to know why I stood in the worst place behind the mule.

Polly and Vern weren't signed up for the woodcarver's so they weren't going to social hour with us.  We had our own pre-happy hour with them.  I brought out some of the margarita popscicles to try.  

At 5 we went to the social hour at the activity center.  There was a nice selection of food.  Walt Gunn explained a little bit about all the different classes that would be taught.  

Here's some of the beautiful carvings that were on display.
I signed up for the wood burning class.  This photo does not do this one justice.  I also signed up for the lariat class.

Here's Sharon as we leave the activity center after a fun filled day.  Tomorrow the classes start.  

Turtle Safely......