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, February 12, 2018

Part 3 Getting Caught Up-All Caught Up

February 1-11 , 2018

If you missed my catch up posts yesterday here's the links
Part 1
Part 2

Hiking continues in February, love this area for all the different hiking opportunities it has. We recently purchased a small GPS for Dave to use with geocaching and hiking. It seems to have worked in getting Dave involved in geocaching. Just a few miles from where we grocery shop, at the best Fry's ever, is part of the Sonoran Preserve. We decided to try out the gps geocaching, we had a great 7 mile hike and found plenty of caches. We took the Ocotillo, Sidewinder and Apache Wash trails to form the loop. This is a great place to get some exercise but the views leave a lot to be desired, city views as far as the eye could see. Think I've got Dave interested in geocaching now, give the man a toy and he's happy.

One day we took a ride out to Prescott Valley to hike the Watson Lake Loop Trail, on All Trails it was called Watson Lake and Flume Trail. Beautiful trail once you get away from the parking area. Small lake, no motors allowed, with a diverse landscape.  The north part is what Dave photographed, the southern area was a riparian area with dormant Cottonwood trees and bridges across dry river beds. We parked in a free parking area just off of AZ 89, then hiked clockwise around the lake. We did find a few geocaches on the trail but if we come back we need our canoe, lots of them are only accessed by water.

One morning we met up with our friends, Marv & Alice, whom we hosted with at Cave Creek. We headed to Usery Mountain Regional Park where Marv had picked out the Wind Cave trail for us to do. This is an in and out trail, 1.5 miles up hill with a 761' elevation gain, good cardio. Wonderful hike with some nice views but the company was the best. After our hiking challenge we ended up at BJ's Brewhouse, part of chain we had visited just last year in our brief visit to Colorado. Couldn't ask for a better day. 

Pioneer RV "Resort" is located just off of exit 225 on I17 on the west side, on the west side is a parking area with a "trail" up to a flag. One morning instead of walking the park we decided to hike to the flag. Great cardio, just a couple of miles but nice to be doing something different, think we might add it to our regular walks a couple of times a week.


Friends and former Grand Design owners Laurie & JP stopped in for a visit. We were able to get a few meals in together including a stop at the Four Peaks Brewery, talking too much to remember to get the phone out and take a picture, but then most of my phone pictures turn out terrible.
Our friends Alex and Paul came and stayed at a local hotel for a weekend, it just happened to be Alex's birthday weekend. He wanted to celebrate at his favorite restaurant which is Aunt Enchilada's in Tempe. There were about 10 of us there to help him age another year. As usual the time flew by and soon the weekend was over but more great memories were made. 

We had to keep an eye on these two
Happy Birthday Alex!!!
We're always finding tourist things to do. Some how when looking for things to do around Phoenix I came across a Carnival of Illusion which looked interesting. We invited Curt and Glenda to join us. We met them in Tempe at Cornish Pasty near  the Tempe Center for the Arts. Cornish Pasty on Mill St in Tempe is not for those coming in to sit down as they only have 2 inside tables and stools set up around a bar that is open to the sidewalk. This is college town center, coming at 3 for a meal though we had no trouble getting one of the tables. We talked until it was time to leave for the show which was just a mile away. Carnival of Illusion bills itself as an evening of old world magic. Our audience was just around 100 people which allowed for the audience and setting to take place onstage, up close and personal. A great show, so glad I stumbled across it. My phone photos didn't come out so I've borrowed Curt's photos from the evening, thanks Curt I think you need to give me tips on photo phone taking.
When we came out of the show the bridge at the arts center was lit up. Another great time with some special friends.
We have been in this park for 2 months already, I don't know where the time has gone. It surely has flown by. This park has served us well, while we not taken advantage of the amenities nor joined in any of the activities we've not been bored.  The location gives us access to so much, we have the big city when we want it but yet we're outside the city itself. The best of both worlds. The outlook for the rest of February is just as busy as the first part has been. In March our neighbors from Gulf Waters in TX will in the area, the park they are staying in is 11 miles away. Looking forward to seeing them, maybe we can even get DuWayne to play tourist at least once. 

All caught up now!!!

Until next time...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Part 2 Getting Caught Up-January 2018

January 1-31, 2018

If you missed Part 1 of Getting Caught up click here.

January Hikes

Dave and I are committed to recording 2500 miles on our Fitbits this year. Since we aren't volunteering this winter have been trying to get a different hike in each week. We've been fortunate to have friends join on us on some, some have been repeats but most we haven't done before.

On January 2 we met up with our friends Curt and Glenda of  Camp Lowry:That's How We Roll to hike the Butcher Jones trail which loosely follows some of the Lake Saguaro shoreline. A picnic lunch thanks to Glenda and  we set off for a fun hike with great company.

Any birds out there Glenda?

The next hike  Dave and I headed out to was at Bartlett Reservoir. The trail is called a few different names but it's the only one from the main marina that goes along the shoreline. 

Our next January hike took us to Elephant Mountain at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area where we used to volunteer. We've done this one before but wanted to get this hike in again while we're in the area. 
Elephant Mountain

Trail goes through the saddle

While Elephant Mountain was the last real "hike" we did for the month we both ended the month with over 225 miles on our Fitbits. 

As our friend DuWayne would say...Tourist!!!

After our Butcher Jones hike we met the Lowry's at Organ Stop Pizza. Curt & Glenda have been here a few times so they knew the system. Our pizza was soon ordered, we found a table near the stage and waited for the show to begin. 

For years we have watched the Barrett Jackson auctions on TV, the last time we were here we didn't make it to the car show prior to auction. This year we made it, got my steps in that day viewing all the cars.

In high school, my best friend, Rene, had a 1968 Dodge Dart 4 door. I drove a 1968 Plymouth Valiant 4 door. This Dart was the closest I found to our cars. Sure brought up memories when I saw it and for her when I sent her this picture.

Dave on the other had had a cool car. This is the only 1972 Chevelle wen saw at the show. Dave's was red with black striping. 

Dave took hundreds of pictures of beautiful cars, could I pick a favorite, nope. He put most of them on FB if anyone wants to see more. Was there any I wish I had, not really...none of them would fit practically in our lifestyle.

Rally Time

Our friends Alex and Paul host the Grand Design Quartzsite Rally, since we were nearby of course we were attending. We had a great time reconnecting with owners we knew and meeting more of the Grand Design Family. Unbeknownst to us Grand Design sent a tech to the rally to help folks with issues they might be having. One of our hydraulic jacks has been leaking small bit of fluid.  Thanks to Grand Design we have a new jack, gratuitous. Thank you Grand Design.  Lippert Components also sent two tech who were also helping owners with their issues, thanks Lippert.

While at the rally we had issues with our Yamaha 2000w generator. It's never run right, Dave thought he'd gotten it fixed last summer but it was not to be. It would run but it continuously surged, a few guys at the rally also took a look at it. Thankfully friends had 2 Champion 2000w generators, since they only needed one they graciously loaned us their spare. Thanks Jim & Ginnie.

Lots of things at a rally revolve around food. Best corndogs, by far, that I've ever had from this food truck.

Think she's ready for dinner. Great to meet you Sadie

Pam and I, mostly Pam, introduced some of our fellow owners to geocaching. They liked it so much they wanted to do it every morning. Pam and Red have many mutual friends of Dave and I, we've been invited to come stay where a group of them are hanging out for awhile. Pam and Red are wagon masters of the national Grand Design Rally.

Now that's a group fire.

2018 Grand Design Quartzsite Rally

Sunset at Quartzsite on our last evening.

Thanks Alex and Paul for an awesome rally.

Quartzsite Revisited

We left Quartzsite on the Saturday the 20th, when we got back to the Phoenix area and were parking the rv I heard sounds coming from brake area. By the next morning we were discussing a disc brake conversion. The discussion lately has been this RV stills suits us really well, we don't want or need something different. We decided we would invest a bit of money into our home. By Wednesday morning we were up bright and early so we could get to Discount Tire for our 9am appointment. We had new tires put on the RV and we were headed back to Quartzsite. Remember my friend Pam inviting to boondock with their group, that's where we were headed. We arrived early afternoon, after setting up we headed to the Quartzsite RV Show. We needed a working generator, soon after arriving we found the Champion dealer and soon were the owners of two 2000w generators. We headed back home and over to a community fire where we not only saw Pam & Red, but Jim & Barb of Jim and Barb's Adventure, Debbie & Steve of Down The Road, folks we had just met at the Grand Design rally and some soon to be new friends were there. Of course Dave didn't take the camera that evening. Thursday we spent the day hiking around the area, we also went back to the show. Came home with a new flag pole and got my funnel cake fix. Up and around early Friday for our appointment to get our disc brake conversion done. Bright and early Dennis arrived to do the brake job. I spent part of the morning out geocaching with Pam and Debbie, forgot the camera but you can see a picture from the top of the Q mountain on Debbie's blog. Dave of course hung around while the brake conversion was going on. By mid afternoon it was done, we enjoyed a pot luck with the group and Saturday morning headed back to the Phoenix area. Needless to say we noticed quite a difference in the trailer braking. Thanks everyone for welcoming us to Quartzsite, you just might see us out there in a few years for a bit longer.
Good morning

Good night Quartzsite, see you in a few years.

A couple of dinner visits with Steve and MonaLiza of Lowes Travels, always good to catch up on each others travels. We'll get some hiking done with them when they are in Black Canyon City in March.

At the beginning of the month we were blessed with a visit from some of our best friends from our time in VT. As with any good friendship, conversation picked up where it left off when we last saw them in 2015. We've known Les & Deb since the mid 90's, their son is Jim whom we consider an adopted son and who now also lives in the Phoenix area. In 2015 they moved to the NC Outer Banks, Les is dealing with renal cell carcinoma, they decided it was time to visit AZ. They left NC just before their area was slammed with a snow storm, arrived here to warm sunshine. We spent many an enjoyable hour with them and with all of the family together, they had never met Laura but that was soon rectified. While we had everyone together we viewed a slideshow of our years knowing each other, great memories with lots of laughter. What fun times we've had together, thankful to have them in our family. Thankfully our next visit is only a little over a year away. We love you two, thanks for the great visit. Next time Deb we'll get them at spades.

A cruise on Lake Saquaro was a great way to show them the desert
Captain Les 
Until next time...