Sunday, June 28, 2020

Back to the Valley 6.28.2020

Before we get started here I want to remind you that you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.

We were on the road this morning at 8:10.  An early start like we planned..... for once.  We were packed as much as we could be yesterday since we knew it was going to be hot in the valley and the weatherman nailed it today.  It topped out at 103.  We haven't even looked to see what tomorrow brings.

As usual, Boss was sound asleep after the first ten minutes on the road.

This was not the trip we wanted to make for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost Walt's surgery.  That's not ever anything to look forward to in my book.  They always involve a needle if you know me you know I don't do needles.  Walt isn't crazy about them either but he isn't a wuss like me.  Yeah, I admit it.

The second reason is the Bush fire.  We weren't looking forward to seeing the devastation of the landscape of the road we are so familiar with.  I'm sure you've heard of the fire no matter where you are reading this.  This fire has taken 186,000 acres and its the 5th largest fire in Arizona's history.

What stuck out the most was the stark difference of what we are used to and what we see now.  Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking.

The mountain was just black.




We thought this was a hot spot but then soon realized it was a dust devil.


The last time we came down here, a few weeks ago, this area was absolutely lush with greenery.


This was just all so hard to look at.










We are at Lost Dutchman State Park again.  Its our favorite.  Of course its the only state park we've been in.  Check in is normally at 3 p.m. I think.  We arrived at 11 but out of 134 campsites a whole 7 are occupied and one of those the occupant happens to work here.

This is the view from our windows.



Our view from the toi...bathroom.


Sitting under our awning.


Colors change as the sun starts to go down.


As I write this, it is 8:50 p.m..  I checked and its still 95 degrees outside with a whopping 13% humidity.

Being too hot to sit outside and not having any errands to run today we just spent the time inside watching old TV shows.  Nell, Webster, Benson and several others.  Show we had forgotten about.

As we sat there we couldn't help but notice how BROWN everything is.  We have to decided we are going to change it.  We are going to paint the boring brown cabinets and either paint the walls or put up peel and stick wallpaper.   I follow several RV sites online and making your campers truly yours is all the rage right now.  We just want the brown gone.  I've seen some where the ENTIRE interior is painted white.  Yes, the campers look bigger and nice and bright but its too stark for us, we need color.  When we get started I'll share that journey here.

We'll call it an early night since we have to be in Phoenix by 6:30 tomorrow morning.  That's a killer time to be up and out and about but its easier for Walt to get this over with first thing because his first cup of coffee has to wait.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Our First Trip This Year

June 7 - June 11, 2020

Our first trip in the camper this summer didn't take us far at all.  We're in Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction.



We are going to be here for the next few days for medical reasons for both of us.

The first thing we noticed besides this state park being all but empty is our view as we sit under the awning of the camper.  This park backs up to the Superstition Mountains.


This is not hard to take at all.

This is another view of this mountain as we drove around the park.  


The sites are all paved which we like.  There are no campfires allowed right now because everything being so dry.  Not that we would want a fire this time of year.  

When we arrived here it was in the high 80's much cooler than we anticipated.  Yes, high 80's and we thought of it as "cooler" for being the desert.

After we got set up in our site we made a run to the store for things like mustard that we forgot.  Actually, we talked about the mustard and I guess we each thought the other was putting it in the camper.  All in all we didn't forget much.


We were able to put our garden flag out.  This one is personalized with our names and town.


We settled in early since we were going to be getting up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m..  

Today, Monday, Walt is having his leg roto-rootered.  He's been having pain in his hips and its getting difficult for him to walk any length of time or distance.  Having two titanium rods and a box of screws in his back he's already seen his back surgeon to make sure there were no problems with that.  They suggested the visit to the vascular surgeon.  Since Walt had this done two years ago he is already established with this doctor.  They found some plaque buildup in the scans he had done a few weeks ago and thought it could be contributing to his problem.  

We were both under the impression that it was just the one leg and were surprised to hear that we are coming back in three weeks to do the other one.

The operation went well and we were back home by noon.  We hung around all afternoon and just enjoyed the view and the beautiful weather.

Boss especially enjoyed it.




We noticed that the saguaro cactus are in bloom while we sat out for a while Tuesday morning.


Tuesday was the day for errands.  The shopping opportunities are so much better in the valley than in Show Low so we take advantage of it while we're here.  We had 6 stops to make before we had to be at our 2 p.m appointment.

Walt & I are doing a sleep study tonight in the camper.  We had to meet with the fellow at the sleep study center to get the equipment and instructions.  Neither one of us is looking forward to it but since we both have problems with sleep it was time.  I'm tired of telling him to BREATHE!  and I can't seem to be able to sleep through the night..

We picked up subs from our (Delaware) hometown favorite, Capriotti's.  A true taste of home.  This is what makes the trip to the valley worthwhile.

Since this day was so busy it wasn't surprising that shortly after 9 p.m. we were getting this new sleeping apparatus on and making sure all green lights were flashing.  I thought for sure it would be miserable with this belt around me and the plastic tubing up my nose and that thing on my finger but I was so tired I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.  Walt said it was the same for him.

Wednesday morning it was time for our yearly physicals.  I'm proud to announce that our doctor said my EKG was textbook perfect!  Blood pressure was 121 over 70.  I'm good to go!  Until the blood work comes back that is.  Then I'll get that phone call that tells me my cholesterol is too high, my triglycerides are through the roof and I'm pre-diabetic.  I've been hearing it for years.  I really must train myself to actually take the prescriptions I get filled.

We had to get the sleep study equipment back before noon so that was our next thing to mark off our to do list.  We'll have a telephone conference with the man we've met with here next week to get our results.  We are both hoping C-Paps are not in our future.

We had a few more errands to run before we headed home.  Thank heavens Boss loves riding in the truck.   He's just happy to be with his peeps.

While waiting for our steaks to cook on the grill we watched the birds play in the cactus.






After dinner we rode all around the campground looking for the perfect site for when we come back in three weeks.  We'll see if its as good as we think it is.

We caught the sun going down this evening.





We are so ready to be home again.



Saturday, November 23, 2019

11.23.19 ARIZONA YUMA BALLOON FESTIVAL

Four fifteen came much sooner than we wanted.  There was a definite chill in the air so we all dressed in jeans and sweatshirts and jackets too.

Soon after we arrived we figured out that we got here too early.  There wasn't a balloon to be seen!  We did see a couple of the trailers but they weren't even close to unloading.

We took notice of this really cool playground at the park where the mass ascension was to take place.






Wait for it....wait for it....



Walt is always a good sport when I want to take silly pictures.



The sun is finally starting to peak through.



 Balloons are finally starting to be inflated.







We started hearing rumblings that they may not take off.  Seems the winds are too strong up higher.  What a disappointment!



And then another started to inflate,,,,maybe it will be a go after all.




Nope, not gonna happen.  Its just too windy.

The Wells Fargo stagecoach did inflate but it didn't go anywhere.



Me, Walt and Shelly.



The crowd started leaving once the official word was given that they weren't flying.  We went for a ride around Yuma.

The River Walk.


This is Southern Pacific Engine 2521
1907 -1957


In its lifetime this engine logged 2.5 million miles hauling passengers and freight through the southern states.  It was a main-line hauler through Yuma for more than 40 years before it was replaced with a modern diesel engine.  The Southern Pacific Railroad donated the engine to the city of Yuma in 1957.

Late morning found me and Walt taking a jaunt into Mexico.  You know, your typical drug run.  Drugs for gout.  Drugs for blood pressure.  


We wandered up and down  the few safe streets where are all the shops are.




We bought a really pretty flower pot for only $10.00.


Further down the street we stopped in another store, an actual store, and bought this cross.  It price started at $30 and we paid $15.  This is made from a Teddy Bear Cholla and twine.


A view of the street.


The Pharmacy.


We had to wait in line for about a half hour to enter the States again.  It seemed no one was returning to the USA  empty handed.  We saw a LOT of pharmacy bags.

We spent the afternoon back at Bobby and Shelly's.  The Moon Glow is tonight and we're going to that.  Bobby and Shelly decided at the last minute that they were going to stay home so just the two of us went.

I'll tell ya up front.  It was a bust.  The wind was just slightly too much and the balloons had a hard time getting inflated.










We have decided that we are going to seriously think of going to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque next October.  

It was one busy day!

Friday, November 22, 2019

11.22.19 Arizona Yuma

Today the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival starts.  This is why we're here.  This morning is a mass ascension but Walt and I  chose not to attend this one for two reasons.  First and foremost Shelly had to work today and couldn't go with us and secondly, we both knew we would never get up at the crack of dawn to go.

So we had a good day visiting with Bobby.  Walt also puttered around the camper and Boss had a great time exploring the yard.

When Shelly got home we set our plans for tomorrow morning.  We're getting up at 4:15 a.m.!  I can't remember the last time I got up at this hour ON PURPOSE!

Needless to say it was an early night!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

11.21.19 ARIZONA APACHE JUNCTION / YUMA

WHAT A NIGHT!   Strong winds, very strong winds!  RAIN!  We're talking torrential downpour, raining cats and dogs, a deluge!  Let's not leave out the thunder and lightning that kept waking us up.  The camper was definitely rockin' and rollin' with the wind.  None of us got much sleep and I for one can pretty much sleep through anything.  Not this night.

Lucky for us when we got home yesterday there was a break in the rain and Walt was able to get outside and get as much as he possibly could get done in getting us ready to roll this morning.

We pulled out of Lost Dutchman State Park around 9:30 and  this is how our day started.




 We had quite a drive to Yuma, a little over 200 miles and we knew we wouldn't get there until mid to late afternoon depending on traffic, wind and how many stops we made along the way.

We pulled into Bobby and Shelly's around three.  For those of you who didn't spend the summer in Juniper Ridge, Bobby and Shelly are former Delawareans too.  I met these two back in '05.  We met in an RV forum and then we met them at the beach one weekend when we were down.  Another couple we had met camping were also there and the six of discussed full time RV'ing over dinner.    As it turned out Bobby and Shelly were the first ones on the road.  This past summer they were in Juniper Ridge, right around the corner from our place.

They have a small home in Yuma and full hookups for their RV'ing friends.


See that brick fence?  Not once did Boss even attempt to jump over it and it certainly would have easy enough for him to do so.  Because he didn't, he had the run of the yard which he absolutely loved!

I took this picture, well, because I could.





After visiting with our hosts after dinner we called it an early night because of lack of sleep the night before  and the long haul today.  

It feels good to be back in shorts and tees and flip flops!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

11.20.19 ARIZONA A Long Overdue Visit

We were up and early this morning as Walt had a doctor's appointment at nine.  His appointment went well and luckily the doctor's office had the form we needed in house.  That saved us a bunch of time!

From Chandler we headed towards Casa Grande.  I've seen what I'm about to tell you about dozens of times, yet every time we pass this way I look for it.



This "space capsule" caused quite a stir back in February of 2017.  Many calls were placed with 911 about the space capsule, complete with parachute, that motorists on Interstate 10 saw on their morning commute.  Fear not!  We weren't invaded by aliens in this space craft.  In fact, its not a space craft at all but is a cement mixer painted to resemble a space craft.  Its art!  It was placed here by the artist with the farmer's permission.

We found the address we were looking for and I couldn't wait to knock on the door.  You see, I'm re-connecting with a dear friend that I haven't talked with in about two and half years.  The reason why doesn't matter, what matters is that we're both on the same page now and its all good.  

Me and Bonnie.  Friends again.


We bought a Traeger grill from Bonnie and we're here to pick it up and have a nice visit with my friend.  I've missed her....a lot!  She even got to meet Boss.

They haven't had any rain yet but it looked like they could at any time so it was time to move on.

Of course on the way back to Apache Junction we ran into rain and wind.