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!"

Monday, November 23, 2015


Finally our background checks and driving records have come in, now it's official, we're part of the Cave Creek Regional Park volunteers. We are scheduled for defensive driving on Wednesday before Thanksgiving...not excited to be driving into Phoenix early morning but if we are going to start our jobs we have to. We will be working at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area the first two weekends of December. Our December schedule has us either working two days, Wednesday & Thursday, or three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So glad we're no longer in the city.

So what have we been up to; dinners with our son and daughter in law, lots of hiking, making new friends, day trips, hanging around the park and a little work.

On Veterans Day we headed to nearby Anthem, we had heard about their unique memorial to Veterans.
On the 11th day of the 11th month and 11:11am the sun shines through the circles to light the American Seal. We had to go back on 11/12 to get the close up photos.

To all past, present and future veterans we thank you.


We keep ending up in Anthem, one day for their farmers market and another day for lunch. Found the best pizza joint we've been to in many a year. The owner is from Queens in New York City, not surprising it was so good. He has put an unique twist on his pizzas. Between my Lasagna and Chicken Parmigiana pizza and Dave's Alba and a slice with eggplant (forgot what it was called) we had enough for two meals. If you ever find yourself in Anthem try Gio's Pizza you won't find better pizza unless you're in New York.

Thanks to our Grand Design RV Owners group we've made some new friends. Mark & Janell live nearby in their Momentum toy hauler, Denis and Val are from Vancouver and staying in the Valley of the Sun for the winter in their Momentum, they happened to be camping at Cave Creek. One evening we got together for dinner at Heart and Soul Cafe a local restaurant. Food was good but the company was better. Seems when you get full time RV'rs together there is no lack for conversation.

We've now hiked the major trails at Cave Creek Regional Park, now we plan on doing them in the opposite direction.

We took a day trip to Sedona to get the lay of the area and to take a short hike. Beautiful city but a bit too rich for us.

Church built into the side of the hill.

New home that sits below the church, I imagine the view was much nicer before it was built.

Every morning we are treated to watching hot air balloons over the valley.

Our new friends Mark and Janell have a boat and graciously invited us to spend an afternoon with them on Lake Pleasant. Thanks so much for a fun day.

In case you think we've been playing the whole time we haven't. Aside from taking care of the day use area we were asked to do a bit of trail maintenance. With horse back riding allowed on the trails there does need to be some cleaning up done :).

We have bird feeders going and every day we are treated to their antics.

We've enjoyed some amazing sunsets and look forward to many more.

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching Dave and I would like to wish our family and friends Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for so many things but most importantly for the family and friends who have enriched our lives.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

So Much Better

Last Wednesday on our day off we decided to do an exploratory drive through some of the Maricopa County Regional Parks of which there are six. We chose the Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant parks to check out as they are on the north side of Phoenix and would make for an easy drive to David's place in Surprise.

Upon arriving at Cave Creek we asked the gate attendant if they were looking for any help, they suggested we talk with the park supervisor at the nature center. After a drive through the campground we knew this was the kind of setting we were looking for so off to the nature center we went. A wonderful visit with Darci, the park supervisor, and we had the paperwork in hand to get fingerprinted and to have a background check done. We told her we would let her know by the end of the day what our thoughts were.

At Lake Pleasant we spoke with the gate attendant about their needs, he mentioned they would be needing a host too. We took a ride through their campgrounds, the Desert Tortoise area was too small for us but the Road Runner area had potential. When we exited the park we spoke again with the attendant and it was in the Desert Tortoise area they needed help, nope that wasn't going to work as we wouldn't fit. When we got home we sent an email to Darci informing her we'd love to come stay and work for her. How fast could we get out of there, for sure it couldn't be soon enough.
Thursday we went to work knowing it would probably be our last time :) Friday we headed into the heart of Phoenix to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to get our fingerprints taken and to initiate the required background checks. We then headed to Cave Creek to turn in our paperwork. Darci was off but her assistant Kristen took our paperwork and said she would have Darci call us. By the time we were pulling out of the park we had spoken with Darci, we assured her nothing would show up on our background check and had been given permission to move in on Saturday. We will be doing some maintenance work until our background check comes in.

Our last evening in Mesa was spent going out to dinner with good friends Cindy & Paul. Cindy and I worked together for a bit last winter in TX. Where they are staying in Apache Junction there was a work opportunity but it would still be in a city, though in a much nicer rv only park. A nice dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery and a stop at Total Wine & More to get stocked up on wine before we moved to the country, good friends and a great evening..doesn't get better than that.

Happy Campers

Saturday morning we vacated our site in Mesa without incident, no new scratches in the rig and soon we were heading north and out of the city.  When we checked in at the gate the attendant Paula was expecting us, the relief we felt was immense...we escaped the city.

Sunset from our place

We are provided with a  full hookup site, propane and laundry, we are on the edge of the overflow area and behind us we have the local rodeo arena.  We will be working 3 full days but it is worth it to live out in the desert. Saturday was spent moving in and getting our site set up for a long stay.


Sunday morning we headed out for a hike here at Cave Creek Regional Park, right at the campground there is the Clay Mine Trail which connects with the Overton Trail which then brought us to the Go John Trail eventually bringing us full circle.  I thought we were going out for a short hike but Dave kept wanting to see what was around the next bend or at the top of the next rise, well by the time we were done we'd hiked about 5.5 miles.

Sunday late afternoon we had a visit from our son coming to check his folks new digs...maybe we'll get them come camping while we're here.  A fried shrimp dinner left us with just a few more pounds of Gulf Shrimp left in the freezer, no more seafood until next winter when we head back to the TX Gulf Coast.

Monday we met with Darci to see what help she wanted from us until our background checks come in. We are now cleaning bathrooms in the day use area, we sure don't mind doing this for a week or two. We now have much to learn about the area, the history, plant and wildlife of the area, we need/want to hike all the trails in both areas. Looks like we'll be keeping busy.

We are now enjoying sunrises, sunsets and our neighbors, just have to figure out all of their names.


To say we are happy campers once again is an understatement. We love our new home site and look forward to what the winter brings.

Until next time...