Sunday, March 25, 2018

March 2018 Phoenix, Sedona, Palm Springs

It's hard to believe that almost a month has gone by since my last post.
Since then we've visited Phoenix, Sedona, and now are in Palm Springs, Ca.

But I'm getting ahead of myself....

In Phoenix we stayed at one of our mainstays... Lake Pleasant Park.
I've covered Lake Pleasant many times so I wont go into it here again,
but we did have a great time here with Rob and Pat.

The Hummingbirds loved visiting Pats feeder and put on a show for us
each night at Happy Hour.

sometimes we even had a twin pack

We went for a Saturday afternoon visit to Cave Creek and had lunch at El Encanto.
Its a quirky place with a pond, gardens, and a whole Oasis in the Desert
thing going on.

Its March in Phoenix and that means Spring Training!

As usual our time flew by and soon we headed north to Cottonwood, Az where
we stayed in Dead Horse Ranch State Park.
This is a central location to visit Sedona, Prescott, and the nearby Native American ruins.

Tuzigoot National Monument is one of the ruins which is a remnant of a vast
Native American Civilization that spanned this area of the country.

About 20 miles east of Tuzigoot is Montezumas Castle National Monument.

No visit to Cottonwood would be nearly complete without a visit to Sedona.

The Red Rock Country here is just beautiful.

We took a few hikes with the dogs who attracted attention everywhere they went.
(as usual)

Cottonwood was our place to say good-bye to Rob and Pat who would be heading
back north to Canada.

A delicious meal of Roast Beet with Yorkshire Pudding prepared by R&P was enjoyed by all.

Then we were off preparing for the next leg of our adventure.

We have an appointment in Redlands, Ca on Monday to have an alignment check/adjustment
performed on the bus, so enroute we stopped in Palm Springs which is only an hour away
from Redlands.

We spent 4 nights living the luxury lifestyle at the Motorcoach Country Club.

Motorcoach Country Club site 149

The view from our front window.
Each night at Happy Hour the "fleet" takes to the canals for cocktail cruises.

A picture of our site.

The view from our dock looking back up at the bus.

Its now Sunday and time to cross over to Redlands.
Redlands Truck & RV has their own RV Park so we will spend tonight there
in anticipation of our 7am appointment tomorrow morning.

After we get finished in Redlands it will be east to Casa Grande for a few nights,
then 10 nights in Catalina State Park where we'll take care of last minute details prior
to our dash to the east coast and the start of our next BIG ADVENTURE!

Stay tuned... in May we will be Kicking it up a Notch!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Jan-March 2018

It's been a while since I've completed a post.
Not due to lack of material but rather a lack of time.
My day job has been keeping me extra busy the last few months, the
day job becoming the day and night job at times....

Now that the year is closed, the budgets done, some of the special projects cleared
off of the plate,  I can take a breath (sort of) and get back to work on my
second job...   posting on this blog.

Since our last post we have continued our seasonal migration south and
are now back in our usual wintering grounds...  the Arizona Desert.

Our Travels January 5 thru March 4 2018
After spending the holidays at Ron & Maxines home, we headed south to
the Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield.

We love this place because of the delicious oranges just waiting to be picked throuout
the park. 

We met our friends Rob & Pat here along with Ron & Maxine.
Look at this big, sweet, & juicy globe of liquid sunshine!

After a few days we departed with the gang to hook up with more friends at
Lake Havasu State Park where we spent a week.

While there, they had a gathering of VW Busses.
There were over 500 of these great machines of all vintages.
Having owned two of them myself in my younger days it was a lot of fun.

This view below is inside from the rear of a bus that the owner called
inside the genies bottle.

On our morning walk at LH State Park

Next stop was Quartzsite for our annual get together with dozens of other RV's
from our old Montana Group, and of course to see the RV Show.

We spent almost two weeks here dry camping.

Again...  The morning walk.

And happy hour for both 2-legged and 4-legged creatures.

And the usual (ho hum) beautiful sunsets.

While at Q I had my Blue Ox towbar serviced by the Blue Ox Factory team that
always come to Q.   For $30 its a real bargain and brings the tow bar back to spec.

Next... with a couple for several free nights in hand - we headed south to Yuma
and the Fortuna Del Oro RV Park for 5 nights.

While in Yuma we enjoyed the Lunar Eclipse.

I was able to shoot these pictures laying in bed and taking the pictures out
of the window next to my head.

LazyBoy Photography for sure.

Lunar Eclipse at Totality
While in Yuma a group effort created Pizza on the Grill.

Now we were into early February and we headed east to Tucson and
Gilbert Ray Campground.

Its first come first serve here, and a one week limit so the sites turn over
frequently enough that one can usually find a spot if you are patient.

The setting sun lights up the Tucson Mountains just east of Gilbert Ray.
Tucson is just on the other side of these peaks.

Since it was February - that means The Gem Show!
This was one of the hundreds of tents scattered about in venues all over
the city.   This area of tents featured all sorts of African gems, jewelry, and art.

After our week in Gilbert Ray, we headed up to Oro Valley and Catalina State Park.
One of favorites, it is located about 15 miles N of downtown Tucson.

Its been very busy all over Arizona this winter so since we did not have reservations,
we could only get a couple of nights in a regular campsite, and then
moved to overflow for several more.

The setting sun lights up the Santa Catalina Mountains which lie to the east of the valley.

A large Coyote - part of a pack - that ran in front of the bus one morning.
We usually see Coyotes while here so it is not good to leave small dogs unattended outside,
even for a minute.

We did a bit of hiking on the wonderful trail system in Catalina SP.

And Rob & Pat cooked us a wonderful meal of Roast Beef, 
Robs special pan Gravy, and Yorkshire Pudding.

It's a rough life

Mashed Potatoes, peas, and curried cauliflower rounded out the meal.

Desert was chocolate dipped Strawberries.

Next stop was Tombstone.
While I stayed behind and worked...  the outlaws hit the town!

Soon we found ourselves back in Gilbert Ray a couple of weeks after we left there before.

While there we visited the Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Founded in 1692 it was one in a chain of Spanish Missions established in the Sonoran Desert.

The mission served the dual purposes of converting the local native population and
also to give the Spanish a Colonial Presence in the northern Sonoran Frontier.

A pair of vagrants outside the mission.

Now it is early March.
After Gilbert Ray we headed north to Picacho Peak State Park
which is located about 40 miles north of Tucson next to I-10.

One of the things that I love about PP are the great sunsets.

Picacho Peak Sunset
Today - Sunday Morning March 4 Rob, Kate, and I,  took a hike up the Calloway Trail.
The cool weather and refreshing breeze made the trek all the more pleasant.

Kate among the Saguaros
At the top of the trail we sat on a bench and Rob took a picture of us looking at the
mountain off in the distance that our new house will be built upon.

Oh...  did I say "Our new house"?

While at Gilbert Ray we signed a contract for a new home to be built on
Dove Mountain in Marana, Az about 20 mi North of Tucson.

Its a wide open floor plan, lots of windows and sliding doors opening to the outside
to make the great outdoors an extension of the home.

Model of the new home
The home will be on a cul-de-sac in a smaller development of about 70 homes
on 3 streets that all end in a cul-de-sac.  

There are only 12 homesites on our street.

The subdivision, called Boulder Pass at Dove Mountain,
is part of the larger Dove Mountain Master Planned Development

We purchased the absolute best lot in the development - with million dollar view$
Located on the slopes of Dove Mountain will will have 100+ mile views with
no future development to block those views.

Facing WNW we will have fantastic sunsets!

Part of the view from the back of the lot
Below, the main road that leads up to Boulder Pass.

Next to our development is the Ritz Carlton Golf Club which is the host each February to
  WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship which is an invitational tournament that
hosts the top 85 golfers in the world.

The house will be started any day and is scheduled for completion around Sept 1st.

Below is the view from our hike this morning.

Our homesite is on the slopes of the first dark ridge in the distance,
which is about 40 miles away

The yellow arrow points to approximately where our house will be located
We can see Picacho Peak from there so it would be visible from here.

The second line of mountains behind that is where Catalina State Park is located,
and behind that is Mt Lemmon (9,100') where you drive up to and leave the desert behind
and enter pine forests, and a whole new climate zone.

Tomorrow it's off to Lake Pleasant Regional Park in the Northwest Phoenix
metro area for 11 nights and some Baseball Spring Training Games.