Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Catching Up

Last Thursday late morning we regrettably left Justin's Diamond J RV Park in Tucson,  we made a number of new friends and thouroughly enjoyed our time there and there are still numerous things we want to do there. We had fantastic neighbors whom we hope to see again one day, they were gracious in sharing their beloved Dover, whom once harnessed is Ellie's therapy dog off harness though he is a beloved part of their family who bonded with Dave. Don't know who was sadder when we left Dave or Dover, thank you Ellie and Lin for your wonderful company, see you next time we are in town. Lin is an avid rose gardener, by the time we left he had given Dave a mint plant to enhance the Snapple tea Dave drinks everyday.

Ellie, Lin & Dover

Another uneventful 2.5 hour ride and we were at Phoenix Destiny Resort, while it is a nice place and convenient to our son's home I'm not sure about the resort part. There are asphalt roads, pull throughs and back in sites, the sites are a bit close than we would like and have pea gravel instead of grass, there is a concrete slab outside the door with a picnic table and grill for barbecuing, with the weather changing for the worse we haven't checked out the pool or hot tub. It will do for our stay here since our focus is really on family time rather than where we are living.

Thursday evening David and Laura came over for dinner, Dave had set out the frozen catfish from Elephant Butte Lake that he had been saving for the occasion. David was anxious for us to meet Laura and to see our new home. What a wonderful young lady he has married and we wish them all the best, I've never seen David looks as happy and good as he does now, marriage to Laura obviously is agreeing with him.

Friday and Saturday were rainy days here in Phoenix so we spent them helping the kids, David had purchased a refrigerator from a friend and took advantage of having access to a truck to move it home.

Sunday we got the opportunity to tour David's work facility, he works at Atlas Material Testing Solutions where he is a solar engineer. The company tests the effects of solar for numerous companies, we saw solar panels, cars, car parts, windows, roofing material and more being subjected to the effect of sun. Some experiments are done in real time and some are subjected to accelerated time, very cool stuff and we were glad to get a look at what David has been up to for the last few years. They don't allow photos but what a cool place it was

Monday was grocery shopping and oil change day for our Honda Ridgeline, there was a blood drive sponsored by the park which Dave participated in. We spent time walking the resort and talking with lots of folks, one thing about this place is the very friendly people we've met. We ended our day with dinner with the kids but for the most part we were homebodies.

Tuesday both kids had to work so we headed for the Superstition Mountains, we stopped at Lost Dutchman State Park for a hike and a look around.

 Afterwards we headed down the Apache Trail, we had lunch in Tortilla Flats and then decided to continue on the Apache Trail, we knew it would be a long ride on the dirt road but were willing to venture on, we did fine until we heard about the landslide blocking the road further on down. What a gorgeous ride it was.

While in Tortilla Flats we ran into a few couples we've been conversing with here at the park, then we ran into them at one of the viewing areas along the road. So nice to actually run into people we know, that isn't happening much these days.

The one thing I have missed from the house is our hot tub so we ended Tuesday with a soak in the hot tub where we talked with some more friendly folks. What a great lifestyle we've stumbled into. For the first time in many years we will not be making Thanksgiving dinner, we are headed to our son's home for dinner. Our contribution will be a pecan pie, pumpkin pie and the stuffing recipe what a treat this will be. Tonight though we've been invited over for a pulled pork dinner, our son's best friend from VT arrived on Tuesday, it will seem almost like old times.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Wednesday

We've been enjoying our last day here at Justin's Diamond J RV Park, visiting with the folks we've gotten to know and walking in the desert. We have thoroughly enjoyed staying here and hope to come back someday in the not too distant future.

Hope everyone had a Happy Hump Day

On to Phoenix tomorrow, can't wait to see our son David and to meet our new daughter in law Laura.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Playing tourist in Tuscon

We arrived at Justin's Diamond J RV Park on Thursday after an uneventful ride, always a good thing. We opted for a premium site that backs onto the desert, for $18/night with Passport America it's a great deal and a nice park, the sites have no picnic tables or fire rings and there are no restrooms or showers so you have to be self contained. There are trails in the desert right behind us, which we've been enjoying, there are a few park models and some very nice folks here. There a number of folks who make this their winter home, there's even another couple from Vermont here.

We've met a gentleman named Howard who has been coming here for a very long time, he actually established the trails in the area. Howard is 86 years old, been retired for over 30 years has had 5 motor homes and is recently married, his first wife of 66 years passed away from cancer a number of years ago. Howard's goal is to be the last WWII vet alive, he and his first wife traveled the country and he has been published in FMCA magazine and enjoys photography. Dave has joined him in the evening to photograph the beautiful sunsets we have had. He gave up driving a motor home a few years back and purchased a park model here, he spits his time between here and Portland ME. I sure hope when we're 86 we are in half the shape he is.

We've been doing a lot of tourist stuff here so instead of writing about them all I'll include links to the various places we've visited. All have been interesting and we are glad to have had the time to visit them, by the time we leave here on Thursday we will not have completed our list of places to visit, guess we'll just have to stop again when we're in the area.

The first place we visited was the Titan Missile Museum where I got to be the one who turned the key, not a responsibility I would ever have wanted in real life. The basic philosophy was mutual destruction, glad it worked.

Our next stop that day was Mission San Xavier del Bac a beautiful church dating from the late 1700's which still holds regular services.

Sunday we headed into to Tuscon to the farmers market lots of vendors selling lots of fresh produce, organic meats, baked goods and artisan wares. We were pegged for tourist by some of the vendors since Dave was there in a tank top which the locals gave up wearing a few months ago. Forgot the camera but it was quite busy and well worth going to, the first farmers market that amounted to anything that we've found so far, one vendor did say Phoenix will have some great markets too.

After the farmers market we headed to Biosphere 2 of which we have seen specials about on tv, an interesting place to say the least. Very interesting place and maybe someday the information learned here will help us colonize another planet.

Monday was another beautiful day and we had more places to explore so we headed to Colossal Cave we always enjoy visiting caves. While this one is a dormant (formations are not growing) cave the forming of it through sulfuric acid was not something we had seen before. If you are going to see lots of crystal formations this is not the cave for you, for us though it was interesting and we're glad we took the time to see it.

For our afternoons entertainment we headed to the Pima Air & Space Museum where they have over 250 aircraft on display. We didn't have time for their boneyard tour but did spend a few hours wandering around the aircraft they had on display.

There are still lots of things we want to see in the area and we have a few more days to do that but we for sure won't finish our list.

We spent a number of frustrating hours trying to get our new dish receiver set up. After countless futile attempts we called Dish and were told if we didn't have a house we would have to take it back to Camping World to get the program to load. Seems with this model (VP211z) you can't do the set up from an rv, and this is an updated model of the one we previously bought. We did finally get the program loaded at Camping World and the local store here learned this too. Last night for the first time since leaving VT I enjoyed a few hours of tv time that I wanted to watch, life is good. :)

We've also enjoyed numerous beautiful sunsets and walks in the desert, we were in Tucson a few years back and visited Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum so don't know if we'll get back to those this time.

full moon setting

Until next time...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Last day in Deming NM

 For our last day in New Mexico we decided to see what Deming had to offer, we stopped at the visitor center to get some ideas. After a nice chat with the volunteer there we took her suggestion and headed to the Deming Mimbres Museum and what a treat that turned out to be. The museum is in the old Armory building built in 1916 and purchased by the historical society in 1977.

The museum has an all volunteer staff and everything in it has been donated, they get no funding from the state and they operate on a donation basis. One of the volunteers was from New Hampshire and had family in VT, we visited with her a bit, as we were getting started on our self guided tour we overheard the next couple coming in saying they were from VT too. Well of course we had to say hi to them also, it's not often we see other folks from our home state. The museum has an eclectic collection of things from Native American pottery and artifacts, a Doll Room, the Cowboy Exhibit, a Harvey House exhibit, the Gem & Mineral Room, Military Room, Antique Autos and much more. If you are ever in Deming stop by the museum, there is something for everyone.

Don't think it'll pull the 5th wheel

 Glad I don't have to cook like this

After an enjoyable 3 hours perusing the museum we our tummies were rumbling, we asked for recommendations to a Mexican restaurant.  Irmas did not disappoint and if we were here longer we would be back, easily one of the best Mexican restaurants we've been to in a very long time.
Fat Boys Fajitas

Beef Chimichanga


Until next time...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Another few days in New Mexico

Sunday we traveled a little over 100 miles to Rockhound State Park located about 14 miles outside of Deming NM, we arrived to find the folks in site 12 were still enjoying it. About an hour later they were out and we were in, Rockhound is a nice park with beautiful views, from our site though the views have wires and construction equipment in it. The bathhouse here are being redone and they have a trailer for those needing the facilities, we always use our own so that isn't an issue for us. The campground is on the western slopes of the Florida Mountains, 24 water & electric sites, 6 non electric sites, a group site and a few day use sites, there a two short hiking trails, unless you want to go out of the campground to bicycle there isn't much in the way of biking. You are allowed to collect rocks, 15 pounds a person, but we won't be taking advantage of that. Deming has numerous rock shops, restaurants and of course the ever present Wallyworld.

Since the park itself doesn't offer much to do our 4 days here should be plenty, not to say we might not back again.We have been treated to some beautiful sunsets, the mountains block our sunrises.

One day we took a ride to City of Rocks State Park, it is about 30 miles north of Deming with nothing around it, we had looked into going there but with only 10 electric sites a handful of which were reservation didn't want take a chance with the holiday weekend. We don't have the ability yet of boondocking, if we did there were many great sites to choose from. City of Rocks has a star observatory and most of their campsites are named after constellations, being out in the middle of nothing I imagine there is some great star gazing there, another place to put on our list.


On our walk through City of Rocks we were serenaded by crickets, they were everywhere and then we happened upon a few looking to fight. Seems they all wanted the leg of their fallen comrade.

Dave spotted this little guy, he wasn't happy about being bothered, thankfully no snakes were seen. :)

We spent an enjoyable morning walking around City of Rocks State Park, then headed up to Silver City where we had lunch. We had thought to go up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings but it was another 2 hours up the road, we would have arrived shortly before they closed so we'll save that for another time.

City of Rocks has a desert botanical garden that looks to need some TLC, name signs were gone and no one had tended it for recently.

On the way home we stopped by Spring Canyon which is part of Rockhound State Park, this is a day use area. The road in has a 17% grade so don't plan on bringing your rv in to it. We hike their lover's leap trail, never found the leap but the views were awesome.

Tuesday Dave wanted to hike the mountain behind the campground, I had had enough of high places the day before so he headed out on his own.

Today is our last day here then we head to Tuscon, we will be staying at Justin's Diamond J RV Park outside of the city. We'll be there for a week, $17/night-full hook ups, so no conserving and a long hot shower or two. We've been to Tuscon once before but only had a day there which was way too short, this time we should be able to get a lot of sight seeing in, if anyone has any suggestions of places to visit let us know.

Happy Hump Day!!!

Until next time...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Enjoying our time

My idea of fishing

This morning w head to Rockhound State Park in Deming NM for four nights, we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here at Elephant Butte State Park and plan to return someday, maybe as workampers. We have not been doing much, bike riding, walking, reading, soaking up the rays and enjoying some nice dinners. Dave has enjoyed his week of fishing, we have a dozen or so catfish in the freezer for a fish fry when we see our son and daughter in law, meanwhile we've (he) made a large batch of chili and froze some, had ribs, a pot roast, fried chicken and one dinner out at a a local restaurant. Upon entering the park we were given a dinner coupon, buy one meal get 1/2 off another, we noticed Hodges Corner Restaurant had a Friday fish and chicken buffet, while there wasn't a lot of things on the buffet we couldn't beat the price, $24 including tip and we left with full bellies.Seemed like the place to go on Friday night, looked like most of the town was there.

The only flowering plant we saw don't know what it is but is was sure nice to see some color in the landscape.

During our walks and rides we saw lots of these gourds, they look like little round watermelon, we took one home and cut it open, it looked and smelled like a cucumber.

Saturday evening we facetimed with our best friends in VT, it was so great to see and hear them, they have been such a part of our life for so long and we miss them immensely, made me a tad homesick. Technology is making it so easy to keep up with each other, after spending the last 15+ years with these friends it's nice to be able to see them.

It has been nice to sit still for a week, it's hard to believe it's November, we are enjoying the sunshine and beautiful weather and back home in VT they are getting colder and snow is on the way.  Life is good!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Relaxing in NM

We are enjoying Elephant Butte Lake State Park, we've taken the canoe out and enjoyed a morning on the lake and in Dave's case fishing. We've biked all over the park and saw a rattlesnake on the road while doing so, sorry no pics of that but we didn't have the camera with us.

We took a ride up to Monticello and Winston, historical/ghost towns which still have folks living in them. Not much going on in either though Winston appears to have a museum which is probably open during the summer months when it's busier.

We've also done a lot of nothing which translates into just hanging around home reading, cooking or watching tv, the weather has been beautiful high 60's to low 70's with an abundance of sunshine, the nights have been in the high 30's which makes for some great sleeping weather. Today Dave got out fishing again with a bit more success, he has 3 catfish for his lunch tomorrow. 
We think we have the light issue taken care of on the rv, a fuse for the right side lights and turn signal was blown and has been replaced. We'll know more when we leave here but that should have taken care of it.

 We'll extend our stay tomorrow until Sunday when we'll head to Rockhound State Park then a week in Tuscon before we head into Phoenix in two weeks for Thanksgiving with our son and daughter-in-law.

Until next time...