Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Update

I have had a few complaints that I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would write a little update on what we have been doing the past few weeks.  First off let me say that we are loving living in Yuma, Arizona.  I really didn't know if I would like it since it is so "BROWN".  But there is a lot that makes up for that.  I absolutely love the sky.  It is big, it is blue, the stars are vivid and the sunsets and sunrises are stunning!  I love the open spaces, the fun friendly people, the great shopping and more.
We begin each day by walking Jake, our dog.  Then we get on our bikes and ride all over our neighborhood for an hour or so.  No hills!  An "old person's" dream!  All the homes are different so we never tire of the views.  I am really into this retirement thing!  Yuma has a few "Flea Markets" where you can get everything and anything you might desire from food to clothing, to furniture to cute little gadgets that you never knew you needed.  It is great entertainment!  Oh, and we found a pub downtown with about 20 different brews on tap.  What a great find - we will certainly go back.

My daughter and I have birthdays just a few days apart so in order to celebrate like we are used to I flew back to Charleston, SC to visit with my wonderful family.  We had such a good time visiting, taking walks, getting a steam bath, visiting with friends, watching TV together, lunching out and shopping.  It was wonderful to be back with them after all these months.  (Kirby and Jake stayed home and kept the home fires burning!)

We have made some friends in Yuma and were invited to a great costume party for Halloween.  We had a blast coming up with our costumes - Trailer Trash!
Our bestest friends from Nova Scotia, Canada, Rick and Tanya, came for a long weekend and we exhausted ourselves trying to pack so much into three days.

So, as you can see, we have been keeping busy in Yuma.  I will try to update regularly so you won't get discouraged!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Evening View

You will probably get really tired of my pictures this winter.  But - I am so in love with the desert sun that we have here and the views of the mountains and especially the shadows on the mountains as the sun sets.  Tonight I walked over to the desert for a picture because otherwise there are houses in the way - which isn't always a bad thing as the houses around here are really pretty.  Try clicking on this picture to enlarge it in order to really appreciate the shadows.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reunion



Well, I sure have been negligent about my blog haven’t I?  Can I use the excuse of having so much fun that I haven’t had time?

We are now getting settled into our winter home.  We are in Yuma, AZ on a lovely lot that faces the morning sun coming over the mountains.  We are really enjoying the dry, warm fall weather.  When we get settled I will take a picture so you can see where we plan to spend the next few months.

Before getting here we had a reunion with some of our really good friends from back when we all had sailboats and were in Mexico.  Ray and Lucy you have met here on my pages before as we have been touring with them a lot in the past weeks.  Jim and Heather drove their little Scamp over from Ventura, CA.  You met them when we were in Gorman, California last Memorial Day weekend.  And we were surprised, again, by the unexpected appearance of Susan and Alan.  They did the same thing in Gorman so I should have expected them to join in but I was unprepared and totally overwhelmed when I looked up and there they were in Bullhead City with the rest of us!
Ray got out his tripod and actually got us all to pose for a picture. From left to right - Me, Kirby, Heather, Jim, Lucy and Ray.
On the last day the weather improved and we were able to sit outside at the clubhouse for our games. Left to right - Lucy, Jim, Heather, Ray and Kirby.
Lexie loved swimming in the Colorado River but Jake just wouldn't get any more wet than this!
This is the view across the Colorado River to Laughlin, NV where there are CASINOS!!
The 4 day weekend with our friends was just totally awesome!  The only bad thing was the weather.  We planned on good weather and being outdoors the whole time.  It did not work – the wind blew about 40 mph for 3 of our 4 days.  But that did not stop us from carrying on and having lots of fun!  We played a lot of Mexican Train and some Uno and also Apples to Apples.  Heather brought some fun props and decorations; and we also made a trip to Goodwill where we picked up some more fun things – hats!  So sad to see the festivities come to an end but we all were exhausted from all the fun!
 So, stay tuned for our winter activities.  We are not ones to just sit around!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

6,371 Miles

We are almost back to Yuma, AZ where we will spend the winter trying to stay warm.  I used my Streets and Trips program to track our 2013 trip and to see how many miles we have traveled without any side trips or U-Turns.  6,371miles since we departed Charleston, South Carolina last March.  Our trip isn't over as we are meeting up with some friends here in Bullhead City but I am amazed at how wonderful this whole experience has been, how much we have learned, the beauty we have seen and the FUN!  Just plain FUN!  I really do love this lifestyle and am already thinking of the possibilities for next year!  Any suggestions???

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alignment


Remember the blowout we had a few days ago?  It really messed things up so yesterday we stopped at Red Rock Garage in St. George, UT and got both axles aligned.  He said they were in pretty bad shape and it was good that we did that as we would have ruined our beautiful new tires.  But, oh, that damage.  Isn't it awful?  Every time I am on that side of the rig and see that my heart skips a beat.  My poor home.  We are talking to the insurance company and hope to get it fixed soon.  

It is morning in Mesquite, NV and we will be on our way later to Las Vegas.  The time change got us up early this morning!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Utah



We finished Utah this week and are currently sitting in Mesquite, Nevada, where we will just stay for one night.

Utah was awesome!  I would come back in a heartbeat and if you haven’t visited you need to get this on your bucketlist!  I took more pictures than I want to admit too and choosing the ones for this blog was really difficult.  With our friends Ray and Lucy we toured parts of Zion and also Dixie National Forest.  Ray was the best driver in the world – he stopped about 50 or 60 times for Lucy and I to take pictures.  But the best awaited us at the top!  Cedar Breaks National Monument was awe inspiring!  And - the Aspen trees were beginning to turn since we were well over 10,000 feet! I don’t think I need to say much more – here are some photos. (Remember to CLICK on the pictures if you want to enlarge them!)

We also explored a small amount of Zion National Forest.  Kolob Canyon was a wonderful treat!  




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blowout!

Yesterday wasn't the best day ever, that is for sure.  We started out from Yuba Lake State Park for the three hour drive to Cedar City, Utah.  The mountains and the views were gorgeous.  At the end of our little highway we merged onto Interstate 70 west.  Our altitude was pretty darned high - over 7,000 feet at times.

I was minding my own business and daydreaming when suddenly Kirby put on the blinker and the brakes and began to pull to the side of the freeway.  Of course I asked what the heck was going on and he replied - "Blowout". 

I was nervous about getting out of the truck on the freeway and even more nervous about going out to the other side to look at what used to be our tire.  What I saw was Unbelievable! I still can't believe the damage that was caused to our rig by the flapping of the rubber before it finally got Kirby's attention and we got stopped.
We got back into the cab with the flasher going click, click, click constantly and Kirby got on the phone with our insurance.  I do love cell phones!!!  What would we have done 30 years ago?  I will tell you.  I was about 18 years old in Colorado returning from work on a Saturday evening.  On the freeway I had some car problems (cars always broke down back then) and I was stuck on the side of the road.  Fortunately for me, there were houses backed up to the freeway.  I climbed a low fence, knocked on a door and used their phone to call home.  Those were the good old days.  No one murdered me or raped me....they only helped a stranger.

Anyway, back to yesterday.  Help arrived even sooner than we had been told it would.  Kirby had the spare ready so it wasn't long before we were Hitchin' to Go!

That is Mike from Sorensen Towing with Kirby.  He was very efficient, knowledgeable and pleasant and he got us going in no time at all!

Not far down the road at Beaver, UT we decided it would be a good thing to have all of the tires looked at.  We stopped at Beaver Tire and the guys there were all over us when they saw our poor beat up rig.  They showed us where all three of our remaining tires were bulging and ready to blow any time.  So scary!!  

Aren't we lucky - we got to buy 4 new tires for our less than year old RV.  I just want to thank Keystone and the rest of the RV community for selling us a tinker toy for an RV.  Oh, did I mention that the day before our sofa broke?  How, you ask, can a sofa break?  Easy - the front just falls off.

A very wise man once told me - "It is never as bad as it seems, and it is never as good as it seems".  James Ward, Charleston, SC

After getting settled in our space in Cedar City, UT we found a barbeque place right out on the street.  You know, one of the mobile ones, and had ourselves a great dinner of pulled pork and cole slaw.  And then we noticed a little fair going on across the street so we gathered up our energy and walked over.  Great artwork and fun people to talk to.  Our day wasn't so bad.  We were still able to go have fun and that is what it is all about for me.  "She who has the most fun wins!"  I am still winning!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Come, Travel With Us

(CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT)

We left Jordanelle State Park yesterday morning and headed southwest on highway 189 which curves through the mountains as it heads to Provo, UT.  It was so beautiful and the sun was in the right place for pictures.  So often it is wrong and shooting out the windshield doesn’t work at all.  But yesterday, it was good!  So, travel with us for a few pretty miles as we head for Yuba State Park.




I read the directions for Yuba SP on the ReserveAmerica website and found it on the map so we thought we knew where we were going.  Wrong!  We followed the signs from the freeway and found the park entrance.  The paved road pointed to Oasis Campground and the dirt road pointed to Painted Rocks – where we had a site reserved.  We both grumbled about pulling our 38 foot rig on a dirt road but took off for our destination.  Eventually we had to give up.  We had gone about 7 miles and ended up at nowhere….that road just kept on going.  It took a while to find a place to turn around but finally Kirby managed an amazing turn around in a tight place with soft sand.  Oh, not fun!  But he did it and we headed back the way we had come – very irritated!  I mean we were in the middle of NOWHERE!  Just look at this picture!
 As we headed back down the dirt road, I got out my map and started doing some research on where we could go since this was NOT going to work.  I visited the Utah State Parks website and looked at Yuba Lake.  They had different directions than the reservation system.  So, looking at that on the map I realized that the place we wanted, Painted Rocks, was on the OTHER side of the lake.  We made a big loop – on paved highway, not dirt, and finally we actually found where we were trying to get to all along.  It was pretty easy when you have the correct directions.

And, oh, am I glad we persevered!  Just look at our campsite!  And there is only one other camper here!  I am in love!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Park City, UT

 Fall is coming to the mountains.  It is time for us to go south!  We are near Park City ski resort in Utah at a state park called Jordanelle and the days are sort of cold.  I think yesterday it was maybe 67.  That is not terribly cold but it does remind us of what is coming so today we will head a little bit souther.We have enjoyed our quiet stay here.  Most of the campsites are empty and it is very quiet.  The area is lovely and we got to explore Park City.  I still can't believe what we did!

In order to entertain the summer people, make some money and provide a few jobs, Park City has installed some fun rides - and we did one!  We chose the Alpine Slide because I could control the speed.  I am a scardy cat for sure!
This picture was taken from the chair lift - which turned out to be the worst part of the whole thing.  I have a fear of heights and it seems to be getting worse as I get older.  If we are driving along a cliff on my side of the truck, I can't look down and sometimes I have to just close my eyes.  Ridiculous but it is the way it is.  So taking the chair lift was a huge challenge for myself.  I made it alive.  I did not fall out - but I did have sweaty palms and white knuckles! 

When we got up there we realized that we were expected to claim a glider and drag it to the starting gate.

And this is what a normal person looks like at the starting gate - excited!  (Excuse me - but Kirby is NOT normal!)
I am glad there is no picture of me - you would then have to see what terror looks like!  Well, Kirby went full bore the whole way and I drug on my brake so that the people who followed me in the track next to us (there are 4 tracks) were down and gone by the time I reached the finish line. Oh, well, I had fun my way!
I took this picture from the car later as we were driving around.  You can see the four tracks coming down the hill.  And, yes, I would do it again!  If I could just find another way to get to the top!

These are some photos from Jordanelle State Park.  Jake and I took a long walk one morning and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. We were even treated to a rainbow!


This is a picture of our 5th wheel at our campsite.







Friday, September 13, 2013

Twin Falls, Idaho



Originally I planned to go to Twin Falls because I wanted to see Shoshone Falls.  I had read that it is considered the Niagara Falls of the west. Then we added in the wonderful treat of meeting up with our friends Lucy and Ray.  We hadn’t seen them since our New Orleans stop back in early April of this year. (They just finished up a trip to Alaska in their motorhome.) And then, after just a bit of research, I found out how much there really is to see in southern Idaho.  We met up with them at Anderson Camp RV Park near Twin Falls and spent two days playing tourist in the area.

Our first stop was to Minidoka Relocation Center which was used during World War II as an internment camp for the Japanese.  That visit weighed very heavy on our hearts as we read the history of Minidoka and the people who lived there.  It was heart wrenching.  If you want to read about it, a very good novel that I read recently is Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.  It is a wonderful, bitter sweet story which really helped me to understand that bit of history.
(CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT)
Minidoka Relocation Center
There was not much to take pictures there but this building that is still standing was used to store cold items.  The places where the people lived were much worse.

Then it was on to Shoshone Falls!  This little water fall was on the side of the road.  This was a very dry year for Idaho so I would imagine that in a wet year this would really have been roaring. 
 I couldn’t believe it when we got to Shoshone – almost no water.  Like I said – a dry year.  But the views were magnificent and we enjoyed imagining the water.
This is the Snake River at the bottom of the falls

Shoshone Falls with almost no water flowing.
Just up from the falls was a small lake where we found this young man learning to fish.  He was so proud of his catch.
 And the guys didn’t mind sitting in the sun and waiting for us to wander around taking pictures.
 I didn’t want to miss the Perrine Bridge that crosses the Snake River right on the edge of Twin Falls.  What a wonderful view!  We have continued to cross the Snake River over and over.  We have camped on its banks too!  Definitely my favorite river!
The Snake River as viewed from Perrine Bridge
The next day we headed out again to explore.  We visited Malad Gorge State Park and drove all over marveling at the gorge that seemed to be almost hiding in the brush.
Lucy and Kirby at Malad Gorge State Park
We also were able to visit a State Fish Hatchery.  I wish they had given tours or at least had some information available.  There were tanks and tanks of fish with nothing to tell us about them.  I am wondering if these fish are Golden Trout.  If you know, please leave me a comment!
Our last stop was to see one of the Thousand Springs that are in the area.  The water just flows right out of the wall of the canyon.
Some of the Thousand Springs
Yesterday we arrived in Utah.  We are staying at Willard Bay State Park near Ogden.  Today will be a “just sit and goof off” day.