Saturday, February 21, 2015

Beauty and the Beast

It has been a busy busy few days as promised.

We are now the proud owners of a 2012 Tiffin Phaeton 40' Class A Motorhome
and a 2014 Ford F150 Pickup.

Here are a couple of the Dealership photos of the new bus.

Looking forward from the rear of the main living area.
There is a 1/2 Bath at this end.

After the main living area you enter the master bedroom.
Aft of the bedroom is the full master bath with additional closets
and a clothes washer and dryer.

Master bedroom - foot of bed looking across the coach towards the passenger side.
Main living area is to the left - master bath thru a door to the right.

We are in Bothell, Wa - just outside of Seattle.
Exhausted.... sore....  but enjoying our new home.

We arrived in Seattle on Weds.   First order of business was to find a new truck.
We no longer needed the Dually since both the Montana and the Dog House would
be gone, and the Dually is too big, too heavy, too expensive and rough riding as a daily driver.
Plus - you can't flat tow it (on all 4 wheels).

I had made tentative agreements on a truck before we got here so Weds we headed
to Bicford Ford in Snohomish Wa to seal the deal and ink the paperwork.
Thanks to Jim for Suggesting Bickford.   They are a great dealership.

Here is the new truck next to my "Peterbilt".

We were able to make a good deal on a 2014 leftover.
It drives much easier and now Kate will enjoy taking it for a spin.

We both will miss the Dually.  It was a fantastic truck.
Once it had a load on it it rode comfortable and never gave us a once of trouble.
But it was built to work hard and we no longer had the hard work for it to perform.

Thursday was moving day.
We had to move out of the Montana and the Dog House and that is when
you really find out just how much stuff you have packed into them.

About the time we started to transfer our stuff it started to rain...  A steady
Seattle style drizzle mixed with some steady rain. 

I had wanted to be done before dark so that my first day driving 
and parking the bus would be done in daylight.  

We started the move at 10am and by 6pm we were pulling out of the lot in the rain 
You guessed it...  the dark!

We drove to a KOA nearby and I backed it into the spot.

The day before there had been workers scurrying all over the bus.
Washing the insides... waxing the outside...
Changing the oil, checking all the systems....

In a few short hours we had turned it into a disaster area!

Our master bathroom was filled as was the basement storage areas, the couches etc.

Kate... AKA the energizer bunny and I got to work sorting thru the piles.
Discarding what we no longer needed...

36hrs later we are not yet done for sure...  but great progress has been made.
We are here for tomorrow as well so we will have one more full day to organize.

Monday we will head 300 miles south to Eugene, Oregon.
Kate will follow me driving the pickup.
In Eugene I have an appointment on Tuesday to get the truck set up for being towed.
They will mount plates on the truck, install a remote system for the brakes, 
wiring for the tail lights etc.

Once that is done - Kate will get her first taste of riding the the bus and
can go back to being my right seat co pilot.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tumbling North

When we last posted, Ron & Maxine had just hit the road for
home.    We spent the next week or so at Lake Roosevelt just enjoying
the peace & quiet of the area plus the fantastic weather.

We had the most wonderful full moon.
It lit up the surrounding desert almost like day.

We had our nightly visit from the Javalina, and were sung to sleep by the Coyotes.

Kristi and Kate did more art projects.

While in Roosevelt we enjoyed a Super Bowl party,
and of course Steak Night is always a highlight!

Eventually we moved to Tucson but first we stopped in Coolidge Az, a dusty little
town south of Mesa for the Gourd Festival.
Kristi went to a class on Gourd Carving.
Let me tell you - until you have seen it you have no idea just how beautiful and
amazing these creations can be.

I forgot to get a picture of what Kristi made but it was spectacular!

We stayed at this old Mobile home park called Ho Ho Kam.
Mostly older retirees from the Midwest.
I've never seen such friendly people anywhere!
Since very few of the spaces are for transients like us - the moment we arrived the
news must have spread like wildfire and soon the residents were coming to say hello
and bring bags of oranges and grapefruits.

One night they had music night in the Recreation Building.
About 15 of the residents had formed a band and they played all sorts of music.
It was really quite good!

It was a brief stay but a surprise gem in the desert for sure.

Soon we were in Tucson for a week.

Most of the time this winter I've been locked up long days working, so I don't have
many pictures to share but I did manage to get this shot of a Ford Tri-Motor flying
overhead.   An 80 year old aircraft.

Eventually it was time to say goodbye to Jim & Kristi.
They headed south to Mexico for a month and we have turned our sights
to the north...  To Seattle to be precise.

We headed west and spent our first night back in Quartzsite.
Since the RVshow is over the town has about 80% less people.

We moved to Bakerfield, then Red Bluff Ca, and tonight we
will be a 7 Feathers in Canyonville Oregon.

On the drive north yesterday we ran into the most beautiful yellow flowers covering
the valley floor and the surrounding hills.  I don't know what they are called so
I'll call them "Buttercups".
Perhaps someone will chime in and let us all know.

We have an appointment in Seattle - actually Kent Washington
on Thursday to close on our next RV.

We have decided to make the plunge and get a Class A Motorhome.

We will trade in both the Dog House and the Monty, on
the Motorhome,  plus trade in the Dually on a new F150 to
pull behind the Bus.

Its going to be a very busy late week and weekend...
then again - what else is new?

More on all of this later.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Life on the Dusty Trail Yuma to Lake Roosevelt

After leaving the Montana Circle in Quartzsite, our band of travelers
headed 80 mi south to Yuma.   It is here where we usually go after a week or
two in the desert to enjoy the good life..
Full hookups, grass...  dust free cocktail hours.

Life in a nice RV park is a nice change from the desert.

One night we made Pizzas on the grill.
The ladies did most of the work.
We have veggie and meat lover pizzas.

The dough was made and rolled out.
Cooked on the grill, both sides for a bit,
then the ingredients were put on for the final melting.

It was a production line and we made about 5 or 6 pies.

Another night Kate made a pasta dish and we all had dinner Party Bus Style!

While in Yuma I think the blog crossed the threshold of critical mass....

 I met a gentleman there who has been following our blog for a year or
more.   He knew from our blog map that we were in the same RV Park as him so
he looked for our rig and came over to say hello, and let me know how much he
enjoys the blog and how useful it has been as well.
Thanks for stopping by!

It is always nice to hear from folks that they are enjoying the blog and
even finding it useful.  One of the joys of the RV lifestyle.

On Sunday we drove 5 hrs east into the Superstition Mountains to set up
camp at Windy Point on Lake Roosevelt.
LR is always a favorite of mine and I was glad I was able to share it with the gang.
It's dry camping - no hookups but just beautiful and super quiet.

No matter where you travel in the south west, the views are constantly changing
from day to day and hour to hour.
One morning the clouds hang low over the lake while the rising sun
casts a red glow.

This morning the clouds from a departing storm system that gave us two
days of heavy rain started to lift.

The sun lit the mountains beyond that were in
the clear, while we patiently waited for the sun to burn off our clouds.

Soon our patience was rewarded with a glorious cloud free day.

The desert supports a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Here in Lake Roosevelt we are constantly visited by Javelina (wild pigs) at night.
On a morning walk we had a herd of about 15 cross the road in front of us.

Coyotes live all over the southwest and we hear them bowing every night.
We fear not however...  we have the mighty Doodles keeping us out of harm.

Here we catch a Coyote heading into the bush.

The cliff dwellings at Tonto Natl Monument are right across the highway.
We made the hike up the mountain to visit the dwellings.

Its a beautiful hike up and the landscape is pure joy.

Tonto is one of the rare places where you can get right inside the ruins.

Oh if only I had some back light...  this would have been a nice
shot of Jim & Kristi.  Sorry guys.

Utilizing the skills learned on the Alaskan Tour Boats...
 Ron & the Maximizer stike a pose

The view from the Cliff Dwelling back towards the lake and our campsite.
Just wonderful!
Our campsite is in the center of the photo by the lakeshore.

Another day we celebrated Maxines 29th birthday.
While Ron wisked her out of camp on some sort of pretense - we set about
decorating our campsite.

Balloons, streamers, cloth tablecloths, Green Martini Glasses, blinking led lights...
We went all out - Roosevelt Style!

Kristi even had this electric Wine Sign!

We had a great night accompanied by our nightly campfire.

Soon it was time for Ron & Maxine to head home...  
They departed on a rainy friday morning as we said good bye.

We are now down to the 4 of us.

We'll stay here next week then head off to our next port of call,
which is where ever the wind blows us like Tumbleweeds.