Our Travels

Our retirement began February 3rd, 2006. This is an account of our travels. We hope you enjoy them. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge the picture. Please leave a comment for us...we love to read them.

Friday, February 04, 2011

2011 Snowbirding ~ January

We left home on December 27, after enjoying family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and having a big family get together on December 26 ~ Bill and Janet came down from Cheney; Karla, Toshi and one year old Mae from Seattle; Dennis and family; Paul; and Mom and Bob.

Getting loaded up was a little bit of a problem ~ Dennis came by to tell us "good-bye" and by the time we got loaded, I'm sure he wondered how the two of us old fogeys are able to get anywhere.  There was snow on the ground, which caused a problem when we began hooking up the cargo trailer to the motor home.

We took a couple of travel days to get with friends Randy and Nancy in Orovada NV.  Linda (Tony's cousin) and Mike arrived in Orovada at nearly the same time.  We stayed two nights there ~ unfortunately it snowed so we were in a hurry to continue south.  Picture is of our motorhome and cargo trailer in the snow ~ but what I thought was so cute were the four ATVs sitting in snow ~ belonging to Randy and Nancy's sons from when they were kids to adults.

We got to witness the process of loading hay in the winter time at Randy and Nancy's.





Our first touristy stop was in Death Valley, CA.  Our first full day there we took a tour of Scotty's Castle.  At the end of the tour, the tour guide turned on the automatic playing organ - this controlled a full set of pipes in an adjoining room and it would even remotely play a grand piano in the same room.






Outside we saw what used to be the swimming pool.









We walked a long way up the Mosaic Canyon (picture)and saw the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.







We went to the Borax flats and saw this 20 Mule Team Borax wagon.  Borax‚Äôs history in Death Valley goes back seven million years, to a time when volcanic activity and flash flooding hammered the land surface.  Heavy rains washed large volumes of mud and silt into lakes, forming thick siltstone beds.  Volcanic eruptions blew ash into the lakes; these, too, formed layers on the lake bottom.  Ash deposits continued to build up.  Over time, evaporation concentrated what had been lakes into a salty solution from which Death Valley's borate deposits crystallized.

The next day we went to the lowest point in USA (282 feet below sea level).  Double click on picture to see the sign "sea level" high on the rocky mountain.







We checked out the Badwater Basin (picture),








We went to see Devil's golf course (picture ~ am sure you couldn't find your golf ball in this mess), Artist's Drive, and Zabriewski Point.




The next day we took a trip to Beatty and a ghost town (these statutes of ghosts were everywhere with this one cute ghost getting ready to ride a bike) ~ saw Fimo clay designs by Jon Anderson,  most accomplished polymer artists in the world today...no two are alike ~ this site tells of the process.




The gas station/candy store in Beatty had such unusual brick posts (each one different) ~ so unusual, we just had to take this picture

We left Death Valley and went to Lake Havasu to visit friends ~ Sharon and Gary; Penny and Arnie.

On January 12, we made it to Quartzsite, AZ ~ and hooked up with Jeannie and Dan from CA; Linda and Mike from ID; James and Wanda from CA; Butch and Mary from ID.  In a few days Penny and Arnie and Bill (from WA) joined us in Quartzsite.

Our entertainment while in Quartzsite was shopping at all the vendors and visiting the tent to see new RV products.  Working jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, sitting around the fire also consumed our time.  Tony's 70th birthday was celebrated with most of our friends at the Grubstake Restaurant.  Jamie the female entertainer (picture) sang "Happy Birthday" to Tony every bit as good as Marilyn Monroe sang to JFK years ago.  I think he enjoyed his milestone birthday.





One gift was a Bib Buddy ~ invented by a guy who was selling them in Quartzsite....for the elderly ~ just string with the alligator clips at the ends to clip on a napkin.  Tony used the menu from the restaurant to display the bib buddy.





Nine ATVs took a five hour ride out into the desert ~ it was perfect weather and a great ride.  We had a potluck at our camp for nearly 20 people ~ Butch and Mary had a spaghetti feed at their RV park just before we all started leaving for Yuma.





One day we went to the Blue Water Casino and the Desert Bar with Dan and Jeannie.  This is a picture of one portion of the crowd.




We re-fashioned the cargo trailer to be a card playing room ~ gives the men an opportunity to take a nap while the gals play cards out of the RVs/






On January 29 we moved to the California desert just a few miles out of Yuma AZ.  The most exciting event so far was when an illegal Mexican walked through the camp ~ the few English words he knew were "hungry" (because he wanted food from us), "Los Angeles" (where he wanted to go) , and "no English" (meaning he couldn't speak English).  Only three of us were in camp at the time (females).  We couldn't get him to leave the camp ~ until I said "We're going to call the cops".....then we realized he knew one more English word ~ "cops".  Linda went back in her RV and called the Border Patrol ~ shortly after the illegal left our camp, all the men came back on their ATVs...and the Border Patrol arrived ~ Arnie and Bill went off on their ATVs while we talked to the Border Patrol ~ then Arnie and Bill began honking their ATV horns...and the Border Patrol drove over to them.  They had found the guy, and just stayed with him until the Border Patrol got there and took the illegal away in handcuffs.  Picture shows Border Patrol employee as he was walking away from our camp.

Caught a pretty good picture of a road runner.











And a cute little three wheel car - Tony said it was an old Isetta.









The weather turned cold this last week so we have been sticking around the camp ~ Now weather report shows an upturn and should be 77 degrees for the next 10 days ~ that's the temperature we like.  Future fun that we will write about in the next blog will be when Mom and Bob fly down to spend a week with us ~ we were amazed that they finally agreed to make the trip.  Possibly Dennis will stop by for a few days the end of February also.

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