Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fun in the Sun is Done!

All good things must come to an end, and I guess, for us, this is the time.  We're headed home.

We spent the past week at Pahrump, NV, just catching up on some small chores, and generally relaxing and enjoying the incredibly great weather we were having.  We did take a trip into Las Vegas and did a bit of shopping.  We made a couple of stops on the way home to take some pictures of a couple of desert plants.

Joshua Tree
One is the Joshua tree.  On the end of each branch is a cluster of blossoms which transforms a rather plain looking plant into something quite spectacular.  I remember my first trip down back in 1984 when I first saw a joshua tree.  Not knowing what it was, I was quite intrigued by the "cactus tree".
Yucca Plant

Another plant that was blooming is the yucca plant.  There is nothing attractive about this plant (I don't think) but their blossoms are amazing.  They appear in a large cluster coming up from the centre of the plant.

I find the dessert flowers amazing - out in the dry, arid land, a plant will bloom - usually with fairly large, showy flowers.  I don't know if it's the blossoms that I find amazing, or is it the blossoms in an often stark environment.

While the winter has been most enjoyable, and has passed far too quickly, it is time to be done.  We left Pahrump Friday noon and spent the night in Mesquite.  We are staying in Wally's campground in Brigham City, UT and hope to be home Tuesday or Wednesday.  Today we went through several small snow squalls and there was lake effect snow near Salt Lake City.  While we were fortunate enough that they were over when we went through, the road was wet - enough to make a mess of the vehicles.  Hopefully, that will be as bad as the roads get.  We have planned this trip to be something less of a marathon.

This will be my last post for this year.  Thanks to all who have taken the time to follow us through the winter.  Until next fall - have a great summer (yes, I know it will come)!!!!

It didn't take long to see some snow!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Work, Work, Work

I know, my title seems like an unlikely story, but it certainly has been a busy week for us.  We started off by moving from Lake Havasu to the Avi Casino (just outside of Laughlin, NV).   As we were leaving, we passed a couple of tenters who really wanted the comforts of home - you will see in the photo that they even have a satellite dish so they can watch their favourite programs.

Once we got settled in at the Avi, we put in a few dollars to pay for camping, and for once came out with a few more dollars which is always pretty great.  Monday morning meant we went for the 99 cent breakfat, and then we were off - a little further north.

We arrived in Pahrump, filled with fuel and propane and got settled in.  The fuel was reasonable - still under $4.00 per gallon.  I hope the trend continues.

This past week was spent working - Gerry waxed the motorhome and then spent a couple of days underneath it getting rid of any rust spots and painting over the cleaned areas to prevent more rust.  He got the ultimate compliment when a fellow came by and asked him what year the motorhome was.  He was totally surprised when he was told that it was 14 years old because he said "it looks too good for that age.  Mine is that old and it doesn't look like that".

Since the countdown is on, I was busy sewing my quilts.  Since I bought the material last winter, took it home, and then brought it back, I didn't think I should take it home again other than in a completed project.  Both quilts are sewn and one has been clipped so only one more left.

The only project left is to look at what we have stored in the bays.  That always brings a surprise when you find things that you didn't know you had, and didn't know why you had them.  But get rid of them and it won't be long before you wished you had it again!!

The weather this past week has been absolutely perfect - warm temps and little or no wind.  While the temperatures are predicted to be a bit lower with some wind, the weather is still great.  And it sure beats the heck out of what is happening back home with the winter that never wants to end.  We will try to gather up as much of the sunshine and warmth that we can to haul back with us.

Happy St. Patrick's day, have a good week and until next week................

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another step North!

We started this week near Quartzsite by going to breakfast in Bouse.  Now Bouse is a very small community about twenty-five miles from Quartzsite.  The road is very scenic and can be enjoyed as long as you don’t have to drive (which we didn’t).  The  breakfast is a fund raising effort by the community and is every Monday morning.  For a whole $5.00 you get an egg, two pancakes, and a sausage patty – can’t beat that. 

I finally got to spend a couple of days sewing X’s on pairs of squares that I had cut out earlier in the year in my endeavour to make a couple of quilts.  It was a good week as I managed to finish sewing the 364 X’s that I had tried to complete earlier in the year.  Now, in the next couple of weeks, I will have to get them all sewn together so I can go home with completed quilts. 

On Thursday we went up to Lake Havasu to once again, camp on the island for a couple of days.  Sometimes in the New Year, it was all posted for “No Camping” so we went to plan B, to just north of the airport – a nice quiet, lovely spot. 

Plane wreck
We contacted Glenn and Barb,  friends from Regina who have now moved to Victoria but were in the area.  We had a great visit and lots of laughs.  Our plan was to go off-roading but a day of intermittent rain and some thunder showers changed our minds.  Instead we went to a movie, and we decided to extend our stay by a day so we could still go off-roading the next day.  There is a trail to a plane wreckage that contains the remnants of a WWII TB-25J twin engine bomber that crashed while on a training flight August 11, 1945. All five crew members were killed two of which were believed to be brothers. While there isn’t much left of the site, there may never have been a lot since the wreckage was likely scattered quite a distance.  The trail to the site goes past some dry falls which supposedly are quite spectacular when water is running.  We had hoped that we would get to see this site as a result of the rains yesterday, but no luck. We did see/meet a fair number of vehicles - mostly ATV's.  One, in particular, caught out eye.

The wildflowers are starting to bloom, particularly around Lake Havasu.  The area apparently has had periods of rain throughout the winter months.  Instead of our saying – “April showers bring may flowers”, down here it is more like “winter showers bring wild flowers”.  It is a wonderful site to see the showy flowers pop up out of the dry, arid soil. 

While being around Lake Havasu has been great fun, internet access is frustrating, to say the least.  While the signal is great, it is next to impossible to connect to the internet.  This means it is just like the old days – run to the nearest Wi-Fi a couple of times a day to check your email.  But it is time to move on again.
We have now moved to the Avi casino for a day before we carry on.  So far we have both had a little luck - enough to buy the .99 shrimp cockail or a hotdog.  Hopefully it will continue.
Sorry I am a bit late in posting this - the lousy internet is to blame.  Hopefully, from here on in, it will be much better.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

On the Move

Good-bye Mitry
The time has come to slowly make our way northward - today we moved to Quartzsite, AZ, and once again are enjoying some time with our friends, Bob and Karen.  While we still have some time before the final trek north is made,  we didn't want to shock our systems too much so we will have to make the transition from south to north a bit slowly.

We spent several nights watching the International Space Station streak through the sky.  There were three nights that it was visible in the early evening - one night the sighting was as long as six minutes.  One night when we went out to  see the station, there was a beaver by the motorhome - a bit shocking.  We sent it back to the water while wondering what the heck was it doing there.  We often could hear them slap their tails on the water but we rarely see them.

The Beaver!!
Vegetable farms are very popular in the Yuma area and at this time of year, harvest is in full swing.  There is a great deal of lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower grown.  The harvest is very labour intensive, mainly done by Mexican workers.  I can't imagine spending all day in the field, manually cutting each head of lettuce, or cauliflower, or whatever, by hand and placing it on a conveyor belt to be packaged and hauled away.  The heads of lettuce that are wrapped in cellophane are wrapped by the picker as soon as the head is picked.

Our friend, Gary, celebrated this birthday this week which means a party.  We had him start a new year in fine style.

I had mentioned that Gerry had to replace the drive shaft on the Jeep as we could not get a boot replacement.  Well, that resulted in a vibration whenever the speed exceeded 50 miles per hour.  The end result - take out the new part, put the old part back in, and worry about it when we get home.  After several phone calls, the company has consented to us returning the part which we will drop off in Las Vegas.  Using the old part is not a long-term fix, it will certainly work in the meantime (I hope).

One day Gerry found an interesting ad in the weekly shopper in Yuma - Vinnipeg Palace.  Not only was the name interesting, the specialty is what attracted us to the place.  The Thai food was wonderful, the rest was probably left too long before we tried it, but the experience was great fun.

 Until next week, I hope everyone has a great week.  I hope the snowstorm predicted up home is short lived, and the last for the year.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mitry Lake

This week we moved to a new address - Mitry Lake - about ten miles or so north of Yuma.  While it was sad to leave the fun of the card games and the visiting of friends, it was time to head out to enjoy visiting with some other old friends.  Now that can be taken a couple of ways - but I mean they have been friends for a number of years as opposed to their age.  However, when I say "old", I could probably also refer to their age as I am the baby of them all so that speaks for itself.  Unfortunately, one couple were not able to stay for the visit which is sad as it has been a couple of years since they have been at our annual gathering at Mitry Lake.

Hungry humming birds
We are parked along a canal that runs through the area where we park.  We are in a great spot - a view of the canal on one side and the lake on the other, the joyful song of birds in the bushes on either side of us (which also provides great wind shelter), watching for jumping fish, and watching the egrets on the edge.  Also, they have the hungriest humming birds here.

This past week has been a quiet one.  We simply enjoy the sun and the friendship of our little community where we are now parked.

The repair parts for the Jeep finally arrived.  After some frustration, Gerry was able to finally get the part replaced so we are now have our 4 wheel drive again.

The cactus starting to bloom - spring is near
We try to go for a walk every day, and the signs of spring are starting to show - the cactus is starting to bloom.   There is a path up to the top of a mountain which we try to make a couple of trips up to the top but you have to be careful as there is quite a bit of loose rock.  Well, it was Jack & Jill went up the hill but Jill didn't do so well. Other than a few scrapes and bruises, I fared pretty well - just a bit sore.

Another week is over and another week of a warm winter is almost done.  Until next week, have a great week.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!!

This week we celebrated Valentine's Day - and what a feast.  Nine of us enjoyed steak and lobster, complete with baked potato, salad, and of course for dessert, saskatoon berry pie as requested by the host - Gary Carter.  We enjoyed an evening of good food, good friends, and lots of laughs!

We started the week by moving on to a lot in Yuma.  As we waited for our Jeep part to arrive, we did lots of visiting and us gals taught the guys several lessons in playing cards.  However, the following night, the tables were turned.  Us gals accepted our losses with grace, and did not concede any games.

Well the Jeep parts did arrive, the wrong ones, so now on to plan B - order another part which is due to arrive mid next week.

In spite of not having four wheel drive, we took a drive out to "NoName Hill" which is an unbelievable site.  Over the years, people have created memorials, name plaques, etc out of rocks and placed them on the hills.  The ones that are placed on the side of the hills are very easy to ready and very impressive.  Apparently this was started back in 1958 and to our pleasant surprise, it has not been disturbed or vandalized.  It was a lovely day although the wind was cool.  A sheltered spot was found for a nice lunch, and a chance to play on a swing.

As sample of the names

Our Swing

As the week went on, the temperatures improved.  We were even able to sit around a fire one evening - pleasantly warm and no wind - such a treat.

Our transportation to the parade!!

A Lotus
WWII Transportation
Today we watched a parade in honour of the fellow who developed the area where we are currently staying - Foothills.   It was a great day to watch a parade, but no decorated floats - cars, motorbikes, horses, a great marching band of young people, and lots of candy tossed out (but I did leave the it for the children - Gerry was so proud of me!).

Monday will be moving day again as we go to meet several other friends at Mitry Lake - about 10 miles or so north of Yuma.  That will be the first step in our trek northward after about ten days of visiting and reminiscing.

Have a good week and I'll be back next week.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

On the Move

The mountains to the east
The sand dunes to the west
This week was moving week - or actually we moved a whole 120 miles!  We met up with some friends on Ogilby Road which is part-way between Yuma and El Centro just east of the Algodones Sand Dunes.  It's a lovely spot out in the desert - you look east and you see the mountains, you look west and you see the sand dunes.  We even have a little park bench near us, although it is not terribly comfy.

Our park with the bench

We took a trip over Indian Pass on a great day - temps of 26 and no wind.  We spotted several donkeys, but nothing up close so mostly all you could see was their silhouette up on the ridge.  On the way home we heard a banging noise only to discover that the rubber boot on the drive shaft broke.  It simply means that we have no 4 wheel drive until it is replaced.  One would think that the best place to get the part would be from the Jeep dealer.  Well, they don't sell the part, just the entire unit (apparently) for a mere $900.  Thank goodness for online shopping - one is on its way for the big sum of $12.

We were invited to another trash can turkey to celebrate several birthdays.  It was a great way to see some old friends and to meet new folks.  And one can not forget the wonderful food as we enjoyed turkey, ham, and a great variety of pot luck dishes.

The temperatures cooled and the wind came up as the week passed.  Since it wasn't very pleasant to be outside, we took a drive over to El Centro and toured some of our old camping spots, did a bit of shopping, had lunch, and made a whole day out of it.  While the evenings are cool once again, the wind dies down and it becomes quite pleasant.

Tomorrow we will head into Yuma for another great week of visiting.  Have a good week.