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!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thanksgiving, Bloggers and More Bloggers, Finallly "Working" and TSO

in it goes
Since we are in AZ this winter our holidays will be spent with our son David and our daughter-in-law Laura. Since our first winter out of VT we've been fortunate to spend Thanksgiving with David and Laura either here or in TX when they came to visit last us there last winter. This year Dave decided to fry the turkey and soaked it in a brine for 24 hours prior to immersion.
45 minutes and the turkey is ready

 Our dinner was late afternoon as Laura was working till 3, she wants to take the holiday shifts at Starbucks, she says that's when the best tips are to be had. We extended an invitation to our neighbors Alice and Marv who are also new volunteers this year, they graciously accepted so as the sun went down they came over to join in our holiday celebration...forgot to get the camera out while they were here. Both couples brought dishes to compliment what we had prepared and a fine feast was had by all.

We have been getting some hikes in at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area where Dave and I will be hosting and one day Curt and Glenda of Camp Lowry: That's How We Roll came over to do a hike with us. We did what has become our favorite hike in reverse which brings a whole new perspective to the hike. This hike covers a diverse area, from the high desert to the riparian area, the riparian area is referred to as The Jewel of Cave Creek.


 A few days later Curt and Glenda came back for another visit, the allure of smoked ribs & chicken and a chance to meet some fellow bloggers was enough to get them to make the hour plus ride. .

Last winter in TX we had the opportunity to MonaLiza and Steve of The Lowes RV Adventures  and they just happened to be coming to Cave Creek Regional Park for a few weeks  Ingrid and Al of Live Laugh RV who happen to be spending the winter about 10 miles away also joined us. A great evening of renewing friendships and the making of new friendships.

As is usual when you gather rv folks together great food is served and friendships are formed quickly. We're looking forward to more gatherings with these friends who all will be in The Valley for the winter.

One evening while taking a walk through the campground Dave was getting sunset photos and when we looked in the opposite direction we were treated to a spectacular moon rise.

Sure was tough deciding which way to look

Our sunrises have been no less spectacular, usually followed by the daily balloon show.

Mona Liza and Steve are passengers

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area is the newest park in the Maricopa County Park system. The area encompasses 2154 acres of diverse rugged upper Sonoran Desert. The area contains archaeology sites which are accessed only by guided ranger led hikes. With lush riparian areas along Cave Creek it offers two distinct environments. Traces of early mining and ranching can be seen throughout the park, petroglyphs and ruins can also be seen again only on a ranger led hike. It is said it will be full of wildflowers come spring time. There is abundant vegetation which provides habitats for a variety of wildlife. In 2000 the town of Cave Creek bought the property to protect it from development, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation is responsible for the day to day running of the park. The winter time is peak time for visitors...too hot in the summer.

To say we are enjoying our new "office" is an understatement, this is what we were imagining when we decided we'd be workamping. On work days we head to Spur Cross and set up near the entrance gate, we collect entry fees and sell souvenirs and water. There is a self pay station but I surmise many people use the area without ever paying. The residents of Cave Creek can purchase a pass ($10) that entitles them to free admission, many of these folks are glad to see hosts back on duty, many others act surprised that there is an entrance fee.
We spent the past weekend being hosts and had a wonderful time, we've met some wonderful folks who then recognized us when they saw us on the trails on our day off...have to learn all the hikes so we can better inform folks when they ask. While we don't see much wildlife from our post when getting our supplies out of the storage area we were greeted by one of the local reptiles...thankfully he warned us he was nearby.

TSO or Trans Siberian Orchestra is a group I've wanted to see for many years but living in VT made that difficult, anywhere even remotely close would have required an overnight stay. This summer when their Christmas tour schedule came out I knew we'd finally get to go. With a few tips from our friend Mark we were able to score 8th row seats. We invited David & Laura, Curt & Glenda, and another full time couple Paul & Cindy. Pictures were taken with the Iphone so excuse the quality, the concert on the other hand was absolutely fantastic, such a wonderful night. 

I'll end with a few last pictures one of the sunset and then our home with the glow of the setting sun. To say we have found our happy place for the winter is an understatement.
 Until next time...