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.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

2013 Winter Snowbirding


January ~ 
Here is a picture of why we leave home to go south to the California desert ~ snow everywhere when we left Idaho on December 27.  The roads on the trip down were all clear, but temperatures on one night tested the motor home endurance ~ 17 degrees F…took a little coaxing in the morning to get the diesel engine going again.  Eventually all our friends arrived at “Pebble Beach” (named by our friend, Arnie)….over 13 RVs ~ from California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, and Arizona.  Pictures, as always, can be seen better by clicking on them for a larger view.


Another winter vacation has come and gone ~ and what a great time we had, even though the temperatures were not as warm as usual and the wind blew more than the ordinary (enough to tear off our awning on one side (picture is of taking awning off until it can be repaired).  

Granddaughter, Cally, had moved to Tempe last August.  She drove down to spend the first long week-end with us ~ a 23 year old winning over all the “senior citizens”.  We went geocaching, saw the markets, went on ATV rides (with Cally always driving)...



...and ATV races.  Cally built our fire ring for us.







One event for the guys while the gals played cards in our cargo trailer (nicknamed “The Casino”) was dismantling an old car found nearby our campsite. 








They also formed a work detail for getting sand for our patio around Cally’s fire pit.





An ATV trip took us up where we ran into a couple of guys who were “mine climbers”…decked out with maps, lights, ropes, and water.  They were interesting to talk with.






Another ATV ride to the ponds (unfortunately there was no water in them ~ in the three months we were there, it only rained twice, and very little both times).  But we did find this unusual item ~ looks as if it has been there for quite some time.




Sometimes our “happy hour” was outside and other times inside our motor home, but “happy hour” never failed to happen every day!



This picture was taken as a panoramic showing all our friends at "happy hour".



Another "happy hour" picture with Dan and Vern sporting their "huge hats" ~ believe Dan won for the biggest hat!


Before Cally left for home, she had a lot of men helping her ~ how many men does it take to check over a "helpless woman's automobile"?


Ten of us went in two cars up to Quartzsite for the day ~ Tony got his “fish and chips” from Grubstake while there as well as another trip for fish and chips out in the Yuma foothills at a later date.  Ginger even got a gift for staying home for the day ~ a dog hat ~ not sure it was a welcome gift.  





Several of us went to a Kingston Trio concert one week-end….





...later in February we went to a see Leroy VanDyke, Jimmy Fortune, and Helen Cornelius in concert.  Both were exceptionally good and well worth attending.









The Yuma markets continue to be a source of entertainment for us for the winter ~ the Indoor Market, the Yuma Market, and the Racetrack ~ all three offer something different for the “retirees” that flock to the area for the winter.  New items were the aqua touch, I-phone pen stylus, I-phone lanyard...

...and, as pictured, the “RV survival guide”.  

Sunsets are a big event on the desert ~ so unusually pretty as shown by these pictures.  







One night I caught this picture of the moon and Jupiter in close proximity….I know this because of my new I-phone app “sky view”.   






I also used the app to  find the Hubble telescope and International space station near to each other. 






Close to us, the state of California opened up a rock crushing operation  ~ we checked on this endeavor many times throughout the season on our ATV rides.  




Another major ATV ride was trucking the ATVs to the “Narrows”…unfortunately we picked a rather cold day and our resident “leader of the pack”, Larry, lead us a little out of the way…something he has never done before in all of his leading of the ATV riders.  This site shows better pictures than I could ever get.

Interesting sign noticed at my favorite eatery ~ the Texas Roadhouse wheelchair sign sporting a Texas 10 gallon hat.  







This picture is at the Texas Roadhouse ~ notice Dan's hat ~ wording is upside down "If you can read this, I fell off the bar stool".  This hat attracted attention wherever we went.









Tony was rewarded on his birthday with “Tony’s Two-Finger Bar” sign.  Anyone wanting to know the story behind that, just check with Tony.  Also, another story that happened during our stay was the “CCC” ~ (meaning the "Clam Chowder Caper").  Anyone who was in our camp knows the story.  Anyone who wants to know the story, just check with us when we are together.  




We went to Los Algodones, Mexico a couple of times ~ once on Super Bowl Sunday, when there is hardly anyone there and another day to go over for a Mexican dinner in the outdoor café (pictured).  Notice the "red beer" in front of Steve (the Oregon fan).  Red beer in Mexico is different ~ rim of glass is lined with lime, salt, and tabasco sauce.


Tony really enjoys the trains that are visible and within hearing distance of our camp.  Last year they added another track near the crossing ~ two trains shown in this picture.  


We also caught sight of the new rails that they will be used for replacements in the near future.

February brought us friends from Lake Havusu ~ they stopped by and then we went to lunch w/Sharon and Gary at the “Quechan” Casino.

One of our many trips to Yuma for groceries, laundry, gas, diesel, and propane  ~ we came upon the “spirit of 45” on a flatbed truck….further “googling” let us know it had been repaired in New Jersey, and headed back to its spot in San Diego for display.  News article reported the dedication on February 15, 2013.

This year we went to Glamis ~ called the “world's largest sand box” (see photo of T-shirt), complete with a medical helicopter for any and all accidents on the sand dunes. 







Another T-shirt they were selling for the long President's Day week-end at Glamis. 










This is one of what seemed like thousands of dune buggies at the week-end event.










Next picture is a shot to show all the activity around Glamis.


On our drive that day we took a side trip and noticed that this was not a good place to be if it ever did rain...sign shows the water depth in feet.










We saw turtle signs along the way (basically said do not touch the turtles and do not put them inside the fence).  Picture is of our "resident" tortoise ~ we only saw the tortoise one day making his way across our campsite.





We did see some deer in the desert this year ~ the first time ever.  I took this picture of a huge dog in residence at the Gold Rock RV park just five miles from us ~ we ride ATVs there for ice cream when weather gets unbearably hot.




A picture of me on our ATV ride to the sand dune bowls and the sand dunes.  We never really feel comfortable on the sand dunes, but go over at least once a year anyway. 











Often we have a lot of activity in the skies to keep us entertained ~ a para glider and three helicopters shown in the pictures.  One night we had helicopters very close to us, looking for someone in the desert.  We were never sure if it was practice maneuvers or the real thing.


I turned 70 in March ~ while at my yearly gambling at the Quechan Casino, Penny decorated up our “casino” inside and out ~ everything purple and white ~ thank you everyone for making my birthday so special with gifts, emails, phone calls, and cards….notice the tierra I was honored to wear for “happy hour”, complete with purple stones.  About 10 of us had lunch before the gambling ~ I discovered the "butter bugger" ~ perfect for me ~ a double cheeseburger on a toasted bun with a huge slab of butter melting everywhere!!


Cousin Janice and Archie came down to visit us.  Picture is of Janice holding a hummingbird feeder and standing still long enough that a hummingbird landed on the feeder so she could snap a picture.

We again watched part of Yuma's airshow ~ as always, the Harrier is the most amazing.  
Just before heading home, we made a side trip to the Phoenix area to see friends and to spend a few days with Cally in her own environment.  On one of our stops for diesel along the way we watched this flatbed operator load a school bus ~ later he caught up and passed us on the interstate.

Suzy and Robert provided us with a place to park the motor home and cargo trailer (no longer a casino ~ now filled with the ATV, the car, and all the "goodies" that Tony and I had found at the markets).  Suzy and Robert have a home in Apache Junction (30 miles from Cally in Tempe).  They treated us royally ~ introducing us to the Mining Camp Restaurant and the lifestyle they will be enjoying full time in a few years.


We did go to the Phoenix market ~ got a lot of exercise ~ market was much bigger than Yuma's...snapped this picture of a tourist walking around with his parrot ~ usually they have dogs, but not this guy!







Cally came out for a day so we could entertain her with areas around Apache Junction ~ Gold Field Ghost Town.   We had a lot of fun there...
...visiting LuLu's Bordello (that's Cally and I in the upper windows)...



...watching the "on the hour" gun fights...
....getting our pictures taken with two of the actors, and seeing the Superstition reptile exhibit.








They had clever craftsmen who make every thing you can imagine from horse shoes.








I thought this was cute ~ a bedpan (labeled "butts") on a stand.  Then we drove on up to Tortilla Flats (a very curvy drive to a quaint restaurant ~ Tortilla Flats Restaurant and Saloon).

Monday we spent with Cally in her environment ~ she cooked breakfast for us (Belgian Waffles and bacon).  Then we went computer shopping with her.  Before the day was over, she had ordered a touch screen laptop.  She took us by her branch of Wells Fargo to see where she worked and then we introduced her to the IKEA store nearby.

Tuesday we took Cally for more touristy stuff ~ to Carefree and Cave Creek.   The sundial was our first stop...




...then on to the Wild Holly Gallery (where they had the paintings of the Beattles on display...








...walked through the Desert Gardens...

...and the Welcome Center with a photograph of the Analemma by Zulu Photography.  It was a very clever, quaint town.  Then we drove on to Cave Creek ~ never really figured out much about this town, but had fun eating at a local dive with "butter burgers" (the second time I have seen this on a menu).  This "eatery" was originally an old filling station and had been kept to look just as it did in the 1950's.


Somewhere I snapped this picture of a Saguaro cactus that was getting a little help to stand upright.  Fact sheet says they can live to be 150-200 years old.  Possibly this one is coming to that age.








We took a drive through Carefree (recommended by the Welcome Center) to see the elaborate homes built high on the hills and into the rocks.  On the way back to Cally's, we went to Taliesin West (formerly Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home).  We didn't take the tour ~ maybe another time.



By now, we were both ready to head home.  A minor set-back on the way ~ we had to get a new tire for the motor home...so we spent one night in Vegas. Managed to hook up with Darlene~Larry and Tammy~Steve for an evening meal and morning breakfast before leaving town.  Dennis was in Vegas for a food show, but we decided to skip going into town and would see him in a couple of days when we arrived home.

The three month snowbird trip was loads of fun ~ we all fully expect to do it again next year.  Easter we had Jim and Kathie here for a long week-end and Bill and Janet down for the day along with Mom and Dennis and his family over for quite a bit of the long week-end.  We are thinking about an ATV trip to Oregon, a trip to Nebraska, and a visit from Terry and Jacqueline ~ nothing finalized, but will be fun planning our next adventures ~ after the income taxes are done, after the yard is prepared for the summer, after Tony does all the repairs that happen after such a long time away, and on and on.  We hope you enjoy the blog ~ it is always fun to write the story, tell the tales, and attach the pictures for all our friends and family to see.


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