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, March 30, 2012

Winter Snow Birding, 2012

We left home on December 27, 2011, to head south to Quartzsite Arizona and the California desert.  As always, if you click on pictures, you will see a bigger version.  Pictures of all the people we camped with and an explanation of how we know them are at the end of this blog.  We spent five days going down and our return trip took us six days ~ back home on Sunday, March 25.

Our first "visiting people" stop was in Lake Havasu City, Arizona ~ parking the motor home close to Penny and Arnie's home for nearly a week.

We also spent a day with Gary and Sharon in Lake Havasu City.  They took us to Oatman ~ as always, there is a lot to see in this tourist town ~ and I snapped a few pictures.

"Oatman ~ Largest source of natural gas" ~ a tourist town has to have touristy things to sell, right?

Old man inside store of Oatman ~ reminded us of Rattlesnake Jake's in Keystone, South Dakota.

A sign in Oatman ~ "keep your dogs away from burros and their babies..." ...

...guess I didn't read the whole sign "Please be careful yourself!" ~ because when I was petting the new four day old burros I was kicked by the mother ~ boy did that hurt!!

They always have a gunfight at "high noon" in Oatman ~ we hurriedly ate our burgers at the local restaurant (described very well by this tourist) to watch the daily happening.  There were dollar bills all over the restaurant placed for years by tourists.

Paddle boarding (http://www.paddleboarding.com/) ~ a new craze that we saw in Lake Havasu ~ something I would like to try next year.  When talking with Neil (Tony's son in London) about this ~ I told him I wasn't sure how much I was willing to pay to rent the board and paddles for me to probably fall in the water anyway ~ he said it would be cheaper to pay someone to throw water on me.

On our walk down by the river, we saw a store owner demonstrating his ability to get birds to land on his arms.

An ATV ride with Penny and Arnie resulted in our ATV being pulled up one of the hills ~ maybe Tony had forgotten to put the ATV in 4-wheel drive!!

Our next stop was Quartzsite ~ where friends Butch and Mary spend their winters.

We took an ATV ride to Dripping Springs with at least five other ATV couples ~ a picture of the petroglyphs in the desert ~ more pictures at this site, by another snowbirder, I imagine.

Saguaro cactus picture with a whole in it ~ a nest made by birds.  Find out more about these cacti at this site.

A cute picture snapped as we were driving around Quartzsite ~ someone went to a lot of work to stuff and dress three imaginary oil rigger workers.

On one of our vendor visits ~ we spotted this dog WEARING SHOES!!  Who knew there would be a website for pet owners to purchase dog shoes!!

Cheryl (an old classmate of mine) and Todd from Alliance, Nebraska, came to visit for an overnighter in the motor home.  They arrived on Tony's 71st birthday ~ as always, we had dinner at Grubstake (fish and chips).

Another strange looking motorcycle which caught Tony and Todd's attention.

Am sure you will all be surprised to know that Tony got called up during a cooking demonstration in the big tent at Quartzsite (we were only there because we wanted to sit down for awhile in the middle of our traipsing around the vendors at the big tent).

This house built from one redwood tree was being shown in Quartzsite ~ the site pictures show the house better than my pictures turned out.

After the tent opened in Quartzsite, the town was inundated with snowbirds!!  We wanted out.  It took us over a half hour to go one mile to get out of town ~ our welcome site at our new home was this sign made by Darlene ~ "Pebble Beach" (nicknamed by Arnie).

We took many ATV rides ~ once when everyone was commissioned to bring back five big rocks to build a fire pit; another time to bring back firewood to use at night for the campfire.  Ginger, our resident dog was always with us on these rides.

We also went geocaching a little bit, did a little racing (I never had to eat Bill's dust ~ even though he was ahead all the time), and rode to mountains and climbed them.

Our cargo trailer was nicknamed the "casino" ~ lots of card playing in the "casino".  Whenever the flag was put out, the women flocked to the cargo trailer ~ but Ginger always beat us there.  I had furnished the casino with a clock, trash can, a couple of my paintings, a bulletin board ~ thanks to Randy and Nancy, we now have a carpet for the floor.  Jeanne supplied a bowl and water for the dogs as they ran in and out.

We had a great view out the back when the cargo trailer rear door was open, but the interesting view from the side door was spotted by Jeanne ~ looks as if we are in a town, complete with flag and flagpole.  Look close.

This picture shows that the above picture was just the reflection in our RV rear view mirror.

This was the morning ritual for the guys ~ "burning the trash" ~ kind of like going to the coffee shop for "male gossip" ~ Tony, Larry and Bill are in this picture.

One evening we lit the sky lantern given to us by Wendy in UK ~ everyone enjoyed the fun ~ I found out where to purchase them in the USA, and hope to have more for next year.

We spotted an ironwood trunk on one of our ATV rides ~ Tony wanted it ~ so a lot of the men took the ATVs, a reciprocal saw, and a generator to run it ~ and went to get it.  It took three ATVs linked together with their respective winches to pull it out.  Dan on ATV, Arnie Tony and Bill in the picture, stump is on the right.

Next picture shows Bill, Tony, and Archie trying to get the stump loose.

At the racetrack vendors in Yuma, we saw a new fun thing for kids ~ kids get in balloons and they are then pumped full of air, and the kids spend about five minutes rolling around on the water...

....also spotted this turkey at one of the vendors.

Entertainment at the Arizona market was this guy with a very cute "solo cup" song.

We had a couple of trips to the Texas Roadhouse ~ my favorite place to eat BBQ ribs and hot rolls with cinnamon butter.  Picture is of Dan, Jeanne, Wanda, James, and Bill.

We went to the Mardi Gras evening in Yuma ~ the insurance icon, the Geico was there...

...as well as very young kids doing dance routines ~ music was lousy and loud, but the kids were great.

Ginger decided she wanted to be the driver on one of our ATV rides.....

....the desert in bloom ~ the prickly pear cactus...

....more of the desert in bloom ~ the Brittlebush...

...one of the many humingbirds we have feeding from our huming bird feeder attached to the RV window...

....and a graveyard at the Tumco mine.

Geocaching once took Vern (80) and Larry (73) (both of them in very good shape) to the top of a mountain with the dog, Ginger, with them all the time until we started up the motors of the ATVs to move to the other side where it would be closer for Vern and Larry to get back down ~ Ginger was back down the mountain before we had gone 200 yards.

We had another day visitor ~ Ray Stroud drove over from Tucson with his daughter (Debbie and Ike), granddaughter Shawna, and great granddaughter Jasmine.

On my 69th birthday, we all went to the real casino ~ the Quechan ~ for lunch and a little gambling ~ I won!!  I intended to lose $60.00 and only lost $32.50!!  Picture of Tony and I, Dan, and Darlene at lunch.

Picture is of Tony, Sharon and Vern watching Wanda gamble at the slot machines.  After lunch, Jeanne, Dan and I played blackjack.

Some wind blowing in the desert ~ produced this picture of Vern and Dan dressed for the ATV ride.

This is a desert resident lizard ~ we saw him on the same rock on two separate rides.

Tony was amazed with this machine ~ a four wheeled motorcycle ~ three wheels in the back.

Brother Jim and Kathie came visiting the desert from Green River, Wyoming (flying into Phoenix and renting a car) ~ our activities included going to Mexico (picture is of Jim, Tony and Kathie watching the spray paint artists)...

...playing Texas Tea at the Quechan before and after lunch...

...climbing mountains (mainly Jim)...
...and Kathie taking pictures of the "blooming" desert.

Kathie wanted to see what was planted in the field and she ended up in mud.  She had to walk to the canal to clean off...

...dropped her shoe in the canal, which Jim had to catch before it floated away.

Jim on the sand bowls on the ATV.

We had one last meal at the Texas Roadhouse (pictured Vern, Larry, and Tony ~ holding up the two finger carving given to him by Larry).  There's a story behind the "two fingers" that everyone will have to ask Tony about ~ a laughable event between Tony and Dan.

Next picture at Roadhouse are the women ~ myself, June, and Darlene.

Brother Bill and Janet came the following week-end (driving from Cheney, Washington).  Our activities with them were going to the Yuma prison (pictured is Janet in one of the prison cells).

In the museum they invited you to take pictures of yourself as a prisoner ~ Everyone but Tony did this exercise (me in this picture).

Bill showing how prisoners' pictures were taken with the aid of a mirror in order to get front and side view.

We saw a little of the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds putting on an air show.

Pictured are Bill and Janet at the USA/Mexico border fence with the "famous" sign ~ stay back 100 feet from fence ~ you can't read the sign until you are much closer than that.

We went to the American Girl mine ~ picture shows 14 jeeps and 4-wheelers that went down to the water while we stayed on the top.  The link tells the story of the mine and boondocking where we are ~ pictures are good also.
Janet and Bill on "moonscape" walk near Tumco mine.

Janet trying her skills in the sand "bowls".

Bill in the bowls.

Janet standing in the Center of the World at Felicity.

Tony got to see a railroad repair car get off the tracks at the crossing just a mile from our campsite.

As soon as Bill and Janet took off, those of us remaining disbanded camp.  Janice and Archie headed to Salome.  Vern and June headed home.  Larry and Darlene and Tony and I went to Lake Havasu for one more evening with Penny and Arnie.   On our trip we saw this "bum" sitting beside a gas station.

After getting through Las Vegas, we came to an abupt halt....all traffic stopped on the northbound lanes and no traffic coming through the southbound lanes ~ REASON ~ later learned that OBama was visiting the Sempra Solar Plant in Nevada ~
~ they must have called in every policeman and vehicle in the whole state of Nevada ~ they were everywhere.

Two days later we were in Orovada Nevada visiting Randy and Nancy on their ranch for a couple of nights.  They had transported the ironwood stump and it was here that Randy and Tony split it for ease of getting it home.

We tried geocaching on this mountain top but were not successful.  Picture of Nancy walking back down.

Nancy gave us a demonstration of spinning wool ~ wool sheared from the sheep she raises.

The next night we met up with Larry and Darlene at their home in LaGrande Oregon ~ on the way there we were stopped again on the highway ~ a cattle drive was taking place.

We arrived home Sunday evening, March 25th.  We spent nearly three months having fun in the sun in Arizona and California.  Our next adventures will be an ATV trip to LaGrande, Oregon sometime in July.  Nothing else planned until my trip to Maui in October.  Thanks to everyone for a great time again this year.

Here are pictures of our camping friends ~ At one time there were 9 RVs and 19 people in camp.

Nancy and Randy from Orovada, Nevada (they stayed in Tony's Hilton ~ had a blow up bed for our cargo trailer casino ~ they rearranged every morning so cards could be played during the day).  Randy is related to Dan.  They took the ironwood to their ranch, we stopped there for two nights on the way home.

George and Debbie (friends of Randy and Nancy's) from Orovada, Nevada.

Archie and Janice (my cousin) from Alliance, Nebraska.

Dan and Jeanne from Willits, California.  Dan and Jeanne are owners of "Ginger", the resident dog.

Linda (Tony's cousin) and Mike (Dan's son), from Lewiston, Idaho

Dan and Bonnie (Dan's son) from Eureka, California

Vern and June from Eureka, California (they did not know Dan and Bonnie before this camping adventure).  We just met this couple this year.

Arnie and Penny, from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, formerly from Moscow, Idaho (Sharon and Penny worked together at Washington State University).  We stopped at their home for a week on the way down and one night on the way back home.
Bill Mercer from Tri-Cities, Washington, Penny's brother

Larry and Darlene from LaGrande, Oregon (Sharon is going to Maui Hawaii in October with Darlene and Jeanne and three other women). We met this couple through Mike and Linda a few years ago.  We stopped one night with them on the way home.

James and Wanda from Weldon, California ~ old friends of Dan and Jeanne's

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