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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Merry Christmas, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Our year was quite busy...a lot of travelling and a lot of fun visiting family and friends.  We are now in Tucson, Arizona enjoying the sunny weather.  We left earlier than usual this year with friends, Mark and Cyndi.

Below is our year highlighted with pictures and websites.  You should be able to double click on any picture to enlarge it.  Click on the web sites for interesting information.  We hope you enjoy this tour with us, although it is lengthy.  However, for Tony and I, it is a blog that we will read to help us remember what we did in 2016 when we are in our rocking chairs ~ hopefully many years from now.


As usual we were boon docking in the desert near Yuma, Arizona.  Pictures are of our cargo trailer showing one stack of our fire burning wood for the season, our 50 gallon water barrel for getting fresh water, and the poinsettia given to me by granddaughter, Cally, for Christmas.

This picture is of the group sitting around the fire, something we did most evenings.  It is a little difficult to try to come home from Yuma in the dark.  😊

It always amazes me that ten minutes after putting up a feeder, the hummingbirds find it, in the middle of nowhere in the desert.
The sunsets are amazing.  I believe if an artist painted some of the sunsets we see, you wouldn't believe it was real!!

A panoramic picture of most of our group.  We have such a good time with all these people every year.  In 2017 we are expecting company from UK (Tony's good friends Bob and Jean will be visiting us in the desert for their first time experience).  Also, possibly, company from Idaho and Wyoming.

Tortoise with initials on his back

Potluck dinner with Mark cooking meat
One of our ATV rides 
~ Still in desert near Yuma.  Some activities were a
trip to Martinez lake to watch parachuters, trips to Mexico, dice and card playing in cargo trailer, potluck dinners, eating out as a group in Yuma, ATVing, entertainment at the markets, helicopters overhead practicing, smores at the campfire, lettuce fields, and gathering rocks (brother Ray and Judi had more than he bargained for in the back of his pickup on their way home).  We found three tortoises near our campsite this year.  Whoever spotted the tortoise first got to put their initials on its back.  Now we wait to see if we see them again this year.  Brother Bill and Janet joined us in the desert this year ~ their first year of retirement.
One of our many potlucks

ATV ride  to walk along this moonscape terrain 
Air Force parachuting near Martinez Lake

Lettuce fields all around Yuma


Don's Club
We joined friends at an RV park near Phoenix, Arizona, for a couple of weeks.  Saw Aunt Bernadine, cousin Rhonda, and classmate Gary Ehrlich as well as friends Suzy and Robert.  We also took a day trip down to Tucson to see brother Dick and Cindy.  One ATV ride was to the Don's Club (interesting place).  We went to Fountain Hills, an outdoor restaurant with horse and rider that rode up for a meal, and to the Mesa market.  Strange sightings were the outside theater and a strange car going down road.  I got too close to cacti on one of our ATV rides.  On our way home in March, we had snow, shown in picture on our drive.

Fountain Hills fountain

On side of building in Mesa
The horse and rider at outdoor restaurant

Too close to cacti
Saw this going down road

Snow on our way home to Moscow ID


When we got home, after unloading motor home and doing all the laundry, we switched from the large motor home to our smaller minnie winnie and took a trip to Pasco WA for Cody's baseball tournament and to visit friends (Penny and Arnie; Bill and Rosa).  Brother Paul came out to visit from Colorado.  Picture shows Emily and Rose and Dennis and family at DWilly's when Emily and Rose came to Moscow for their yearly overnight visit.  Other picture shows Jeanna at our house on "national beer day" opening sample beers with a can opener in the bottom of her shoe.

Left to right:  Dennis, Sharon, Emily, Rose, Casey, Tony, Jeanna, and Cody

Brother Bill and Janet went with us in their mini motorhome (Tony and I were in our mini motorhome ~ see them both parked at cousin Janice and Archie's in Alliance Nebraska) for a 3000 mile trip through Wyoming (Dick and Cindy; Jim and Kathie; Brit and Mark; Cody), South Dakota (Bob, Dallas and Mary, Don and Verlene, Roberta and Jerry), Nebraska (Judy and Larry), and Colorado (Paul).  First visit was with Cally at her place of work in Spokane, and lunch with Ray Stroud and an overnight at Joyce and Jon's in Coeur d'Alene ID.

Picture shows tree trimming on cousin's ranch (Judy and Larry).

Picture is in south Dakota with cousin Don, Sharon, cousin Mary, and Uncle Bob (now 95 years old).

This is an interesting picture that Mary and Dallas have in their home. (reflection of rocks; turn picture sideways and it looks like a totem pole.  Other side trips were to Torrington WY to see brother Jim and Kathie (saw a train museum there), went to top of Scottsbluff National Monument in Scottsbluff, had a week-end with brother Paul in Denver and on to tour Yellowstone Park in Wyoming before heading home.


Becky and Neil visited from UK.  We were amazed at the similarities between Jeanna and Becky and Dennis and Neil. Although such a short stay, we had a great time with them.

As soon as they left, the workers started working on our sprinkler system, which made our yard look wonderful by the end of the season.

And....this was the month that Casey and Lindsay announced that they were making Tony and I great grandparents.  A son to be born in mid February, 2017 to be named Landon Anthony Wilson.  Of course, Tony thinks he's pretty special to get a child named after him.


Caily, Sharon, Kierra
Granddaughter Kierra came over from Seattle for an extended visit.  Caily, Kierra (both girls are 14 now) and I spent a lot of time playing cards with one day geocaching and another day teaching them how to crochet,  Fourth of July was spent with Dennis and his family and Kierra.  When I took Kierra back to Seattle I got to see grandson Phillip (Ken's son) after such a long time, as well as brother Ray, Judi, Scott and Dani and Jackie.

Phillip, age 21
Later in the month Angie and Steve visited from Atlanta, Georgia (this was a special visit for me ~ I hadn't seen them for over ten years!!)  I was with Angie's Mom and Dad when she was born in 1967 (sorry Angie for telling your age).

Pictured (Tony's cousins, Linda and Audrey).  They came up for lunch one day.  We had an activity every week-end during the month.  Trip to LaGrande, Oregon to see camping buddies with Mark and Cindy and Bill and Janet; camping trip to Meadow Creek; wedding in Pullman; and a picnic in Coeur d'Alene with Jon and Joyce


Roger and Sharon in Helena MT
St. Helena Cathedral
Tony and I took off again in the mini motor home for most of September.  First stop was in Helena MT to see a classmate that would be unable to attend the 55th reunion in Nebraska, Roger Rusk.  While in Helena, we toured the town and visited the St. Helena Cathedral (one of the best churches we have seen in the states).

Dinner party at Dick and Cindy's

Next on to Dick and Cindy's for Labor Day week-end (a golf tournament), and a fun week-end with Jim and Kathie and two other couples from Riverton, Wyoming.

Class of 1961, 55th reunion
Had a 55th class reunion in Alliance NE,

Made it to Alliance in time to attend the wine therapy group.  After reunion we went on to Torrington to brother Jim's home.  A tour of country side with them gave us an opportunity to spot an albino deer.  Then back up to South Dakota to see all the relatives there.

An interesting tail gate party at the University of Wyoming game with Jim and family.  Saw the neatest sculpture "Breakin' Through".  You can read about it at this site.

Jim and I took a "selfie" inside the stadium showing the elevation at 7220 feet.

On way home we stopped off to see Colleen, Hayley, Tyler and new baby Henry.

A couple of interesting signs spotted on our September trip.

A restroom sign

This month was mostly spent watching granddaughter Caily play volleyball and grandson Cody play football .

Unfortunately, our winter trip began earlier than scheduled.  We left October 29th.  My cousin's husband, Dallas Dietrich, died unexpectedly.  The funeral was in Rapid City SD on November 3rd.  Of the 17 first cousins, 16 were at the funeral (including all five of my brothers).  Dallas was a remarkable man!  His funeral was attended by over 650 friends and relatives.  Read more about this amazing man at these sites ~ Obituary, Meeting the Need, Rapid City Journal, Black Hills Pioneer.

Rosaries on tree at mission
After leaving South Dakota, we went into Nebraska for overnight and then on to Santa Fe to meet Mark and Cyndi (our tour guides for the next two months).  Our first stop was the old town Santa Fe seeing the Loretto chapel, San Miguel Chapel (the oldest church in the USA), the De Vargas Street House (one of the oldest buildings in America), the Cathedral Basilica, Casanova Gallery, an indoor/outdoor market of international flavor ~ Seret and Sons, where one piece of old wood was on sale for $20.00 (one foot x one inch), Chocolate en la plaza where four truffles were $20.00, the Santa Fe Art Collector,  and much, much more.

We visited the VLA outside Socorro NM, the gem and mineral museum at the university (our tour guides there were a wonderful young couple from Iran).  At the university we came across a deluxe bike repair station.

Flowers at motel in Albuquerque
On to Albuquerque to visit the holocaust museum, toured the site of a train engine being rebuilt, and a most unique and interesting artist in downtown Albuquerque, Curvismo curvism.

Picture shows the site where Microsoft was founded in Albuquerque.

shoe tree
Bug house
Due to the website, Roadside American, we saw a Bug house, the biggest arrow, and a shoe tree,

Picture shows an event that happened in Walmart parking lot where we were staying overnight in Albuquerque, and Tony and I in an over sized chair in Albuquerque downtown square.

No New Mexico tour would be complete without going to Roswell, the UFO capital of the world.  There we saw Mcdonald's designed as a spaceship.

A sign near the UFO museum,

A sign inside the museum and a martian drinking my favorite drink, Dr. Pepper,

In Artesia, NM ~ they had a wonderful statue dedicated to the oil workers called the derrick floor.

We went to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Picture shows Tony dressed for the five mile walk through the caverns.

At Alamogordo we walked around the memorial gardens of the space museum, went to the white sands national monument.  Picture shows Sharon's footprints in the sand.  In the evening we took in the sunset tour.

The next day we went to the Toy Train Depot Museuem and McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch and then on to the City of Rocks state park, New Mexico.

Interesting pictures along our trip ~ Cyndi hanging mop out to dry, a small town sign, and a boot cleaner on the back of a pickup.

On to Willcox, Arizona, to see an AZ Pecan farm and the Rex Allen museum, see images of museum at this site.

Bisbee (see images) ~ Saw this guy's shop.  He makes guitars out of everything ~ suitcases, hot water heaters, propane cylinders, etc.  This one was made from a hub cap.  His sign in the window reads "Sorry, We're Open".  We also went to the award winning Bisbee Mining museum.  This is one of the best museums I have seen in a long time.  They even had a lunch box to show what the miners would put in their lunch boxes from the mine to take home ~ some homes were totally wired with stolen copper from the mine.

An entrepreneur in Bisbee ~ selling water, soda and snacks.

An interesting artist using tools to make wall decorations

Tombstone ~ interesting character pictured.

Tony's most fun was at the Crystal Palace Saloon where he had fish and chips, a dark beer, and a whiskey chaser, plus a girl sitting on his lap.

And then we arrived in Tucson, Arizona.  Old Tucson's best show was the elixir salesman and the mine tour that turned into a haunted tour.  The Hollywood stunt demonstration was pretty good also.  We stayed at a casino parking lot for the first few days and then moved to the Crazy Horse RV campground for the month of December.


After taking a break from our busy November, and having Thanksgiving dinner with Mark and Cyndi at the nearby casino buffet, we took in more of the tourist spots of Tucson.  Tony and I took a ride up to Sentinel Peak, after having visited the railroad museum in downtown Tucson displaying Engine #1673 used in the movie "Oklahoma".

We tried our luck at blowing glass at the Sonoran glass school.   Glasses, left to right were made by Mark, Cyndi, Tony, and Sharon.

We visited the Tucson mini time machine.  Look at images to see the fantastic detail.  And then on to a tour of the Mirror Lab

Suzy and Robert at Dutchman Museum

Rhonda and Jim at their home in Scottsdale
We spent a week-end in Phoenix with cousin Rhonda and Jim and friends, Suzy and Robert.

Suzy and Robert took us to the Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum and display and then on to a local pub.  Some of the attractions we saw were the 20 stamp ore mill, Elvis chapel, and miniature train museum Picture is of a fun sign at the Lost Dutchman.  Introduced Suzy to geocaching while we were there.

Our Christmas plans will be to have Christmas dinner with Dick and Cindy at their Tucson home and then in a few days meet up with Bill and Janet to head to Yuma right after New Year's

To all our friends and families ~ Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

~~Tony and Sharon

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