Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Quiet Sunday

What beautiful weather we are having here. Clear blue skies with temperatures getting to the upper 60's during the day and dropping down into the 40's at night. North Ranch, the Escapees campground, is well maintained. There is a large area of owned residences that are landscaped in the southwestern style with cacti and stones of various sizes and colors. It is enjoyable to walk about these grounds. There is an area that has a large cactus garden including a huge Saquaro (Methuselah) cactus believed to be one of the oldest in the state.
We rode into the small town of Congress today to get a Sunday paper. This evening there was a ice cream social here at the campground which we attended.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good-Bye Havasu, Hello Wickenburg

Our medicines arrived on Tuesday and Wednesday. Don't know why the change but I'm glad we got them. At this point we were set to be able to move on as we wanted to do on Friday January 29th. Our time spent in Lake Havasu City was a time of relaxation. We walked morning and evenings about the campground with Travis. Some days he seem to be walking well, other days a little slow. Tom and I spent time with our new toy- Wii Fit- each day. Twice we went to the movies to see "The Book of Eli" and then "Avatar". Both movies were set in the future but differed greatly from one another. Surprisingly, I liked both movies. "Avatar" in 3-D is an absolutely amazing movie, the special effects are are done so that it is so real appearing and the colors throughout the movie are just beautiful. "The Book of Eli" as oppose to "Avatar" is done throughout in drab coloring as the theme of the movie is depressing with an interesting ending.
Friday we left Havasu and headed for Wickenburg. We traveled route I-40 to Kingman, Az. and then route 93 to Congress, Az. The trip was a little less than 200 miles but we traversed some interesting and changing environments. Leaving Havasu we started climbing the barren mountains of that region. As we headed south from Kingman we were again in mountains but with some vegetation and the Saquaro cacti started appearing on the mountainsides. As we got closer to Congress we drove through a segment of road called the Joshua Tree Forest Parkway, one of the largest stands of Joshua trees. After passing through Congress and before Wickenburg we are staying at an Escapees Park, North Ranch. We had stayed here several years ago.
Today, Saturday, we went into Wickenburg. We noticed some changes since the last time we were here. Some new road construction with a new bridge. The Hassayampa River was completely dry. The last time we were here the river was raging so bad that some houses were lost along the banks of the river. We found that a Mexican restaurant, Filiberto's, was still in operation so we had lunch there without being disappointed.
Our neighbor, husband and wife, here at the RV park went prospecting for gold today. They go to an area to gather their specimens and then return to the campground to wash the materials looking for specks of gold. Tom spent some time observing the process. Some flakes of gold were found. Apparently this is a hobby for several RVer's in this park.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Typical Monday

Just like Monday when I'm home, today was laundry day. Another bright sunny day with the temperature getting in the upper 60's.
Our plans were to move from Lake Havasu City on Friday. We have been staying here waiting for our mail order prescriptions. We thought that surely in 2 weeks we would have received our meds. Today Tom called the service and we were told that the meds would not be shipped until Friday. Bummer!!! We decided we were still going to move and have the meds sent to another location. When Tom checked in to give another address he learned that part of the order was shipped today and the remainder to be shipped tomorrow. Don't know what caused the change but hope the meds get here in the next day or two.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oatman, Arizona

Traveling a little over 50 miles to the north from Lake Havasu City, we visited the town of Oatman. Oatman about 100 years ago was a flourishing gold mining center until 1942 when gold mining was no longer essential to the war effort. Today it remains as authentic as possible as a western ghost town and mining camp.
From Oatman Az
Gunfights in the street are done several times during the day. A little hokey but all done in fun and afterwards a hat is passed with the money received donated to the Shriner's Hospital.
From Oatman Az
Wild burros come into the street to mingle with the tourists. Carrots can be purchased for feeding the burros and the burros become rather aggressive when they know someone has the carrots.
From Oatman Az
The babies are not allowed to have the carrots as they can choke and die from them.
From Oatman Az
There are a variety of shops along the street along with several restaurants. One shop had paintings on sandstone done by local artists that were unique. Many shops had the touristy t-shirts and trinkets.
The town is located on U.S. Route 66, a federally funded "Back Road By-Way".
From Oatman Az
Most of the way is uninhabited, mountainous desert environment. Today was a beautiful sunny day but a little cool in this higher elevation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Clear Skies, Finally

Yesterday morning the rains had stopped but the clouds were still hanging around. By noon the skies were clearing and bright sunshine was upon us. In the evening we drove to an ice cream parlor- "Scoops"- that makes their own ice cream. Some of the best ice cream we have had and great flavors- Peanut butter banana, Pecan Praline to name a few.
Last night, without cloud cover, got a little cold (40's) and tonight will be the same. Once the sun is up things warm up fairly quickly. It was in the upper 60's today. The campground had a sausage and pancake breakfast this morning which we went to being the last ones through the line. We should have gotten up earlier! We rode into the business area of the town today and walked around checking out some of the stores that were opened. We ate lunch at the Red Onion restaurant. Before returning to the campground we stopped on the island side of the London Bridge. There are mainly restaurants here. The one shop that was opened seemed pricey- T-shirts with an iron on was $22.00.
We are hearing that the storm that passed through Arizona has dumped a lot of snow(several feet) in the Grand Canyon and Sedona areas. Now we are debating where our next move will be. We will see how the weather and conditions are later in the week before changing our plans.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

And the Rains Came

During the night it began to rain heavy and has continued to rain throughout the day. It is predicted that 2 inches of rain will fall today; if so, that coupled with the rain that had already fallen this week will be over half of the total rainfall(4.54inches/year) for the year in this area. There has also been spells of heavy winds. Last night we awoke hearing the winds blowing our window awnings. So Tom got out of bed and went outside to put the awnings up.
This morning we went to the grocery store to restock our food supply. At that time it was sprinkling rain but this afternoon the skies blackened and then it just poured. In this weather there isn't much to do except stay inside and wait for it to pass. There are some things we would like to do in this area, like a boat ride on Lake Havasu, but certainly not in this weather. We are going to stay here for another week so hopefully next week it will clear up and we will be able to do somethings outside.
From 2010-01-21
From 2010-01-21
From 2010-01-21

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cloudy Days

Yesterday and today have been cloudy days and according to the weather forecast this could continue for several more days. We stayed in the campground yesterday and observed the clouds building up all day until evening when it rained hard for several hours.
This morning was sunny but by noon the clouds were again building but so far it hasn't rained. This afternoon we went to the movies and saw "It's Complicated" with Merle Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. A funny movie that we both enjoyed. Afterwards we ate dinner at Chili's.
We received our mail today that Todd forwarded to us. Now we are awaiting our mail-order medications that should be here sometime next week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dreary Monday

Before getting out of bed this morning I heard raindrops on the roof of the motorhome.In the middle of the Mohave Desert and it was raining! - and the forecast is for rain off and on most of the week. Oh well, at least it is warm here compared to home. I was telling Tom that rain would be something that I would miss if I lived out here.
We went into the business area of Lake Havasu City. Wahlgreen Drug was administering flu and pneumonia shots. We had gotten flu shots before leaving home but Tom had been unable to get the pneumonia shot. So Tom finally got the pneumonia shot after about 1 1/2 hours. Boy, were they ever slow. I had gotten my pneumonia shot last year when I had heart surgery.
I was in need of a haircut so we then went to a walk-in salon and I was able to get a trim in a much shorter time than the pneumonia shot.
We found a Mexican restaurant, Casa Serrano, where we had lunch. Afterwards we picked up a few items at the grocery store before returning to the motorhome.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Parker Dam

This morning, Sunday, we started the day with a walk. On this island, there is a 4 mile walk that circles the island and we thought we would give it a go. Unfortunately, Travis was not up to walking that much so we had to shorten the walk a little. Walking gave us a chance to take in the surrounding mountains at a more leisurely pace than driving around.
Later in the morning we drove about 15 miles south to Parker Dam. Parker Dam is the deepest dam in the world. Only the top third of the dam is visible. In order to hit bedrock engineers had to go down 235 feet. A road crosses the dam but only cars and pick-up trucks are allowed to do so. Since the Colorado River is the boundary between Arizona and California when we crossed the dam we were in California.
From 2010-01-17

Below the dam along the Colorado River, there is an area called "Parker Strip" that includes RV resorts, parks, restaurants and even a beautifully manicured golf course with real grass. Green grass in this desert environment is a real oddity.
From 2010-01-17
Another 15 miles south and we were in the town of Parker. Since Travis was traveling with us today, we stopped at a Subway to pick up a late lunch. Tom had located a city park where we were able to eat our lunch.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Lazy Saturday

We seemed to have had trouble getting started this morning. It was really cloudy and dreary looking unlike most mornings in this desert area. After our morning walk we drove to the postoffice to mail off a letter. We then stopped at the London Bridge so Tom could take some pictures.
From 2010-01-17

The area under the bridge along the water is commercialized with little shops, restaurants and boat tours. I did go into the information center to get some information on what to see and do in this area.
This afternoon we spent relaxing and were glad to see the sun make an appearence.
I just read today that on Friday the 15th of January the state of Arizona has decided to close many of their state parks. The Yuma Territorial Prison that we had been to last week is one of the parks that will be closed. This is a real shame that these places will not be open to the public. Arizona seems to be in dire straits. Its been on the news that the state is selling off its state buildings.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lake Havasu City

After a week in Yuma, we packed up this morning and moved 150 miles north to Lake Havasu City. Traveling on route 95 we passed through Quartzsite as RVers were pouring into that area for the winter gatherings and gem shows. We had been there some years ago and decided we didn't want to stay there this year.
From 2010-01-17
The route was scenic but the towns few and far between. We passed through the town of Parker which made us think of our little grandson with the same name. Traffic was fairly steady the entire way- obviously this is a well-traveled route. Like all roads there were areas of construction being done and traffic was one-way at several points. The 150 miles took us 4 1/2 hours.
We remain in desert terrain but with more hills than the area around Yuma. The Colorado river, beautiful blue in color, was seen from the road as we got near the Havasu region. Lake Havasu is on the Colorado river. Not knowing much about this area we crossed the London Bridge and found a campground in the island area. It was sunny and warm when we arrived and now the temperature is dropping as it does in the desert environment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yuma Territorial Prison

This morning we returned to the Yuma Marketplace, one of the fleamarkets we had gone to on Saturday. We had only gone about halfway through the market on Saturday so we thought we would check out the other half. There was no admission fee charged today.
After a lunch at Famous Daves Barbeque Restaurant we went to the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historical Park. This was Arizona Territory's first prison opened in 1876 and closed in 1909. There were 3,069 (including 39 women) prisoners incarcerated here during the 33 years of operation. The most common offense was grand larceny. Several women and men were imprisoned for adultery. Executions were not done at the prison because county government administered capital punishment. After the prison closed the Yuma Union High School occupied the buildings for several years. Later empty cells were occupied by hobos riding the trains and homeless families during the depression were sheltered here.
From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

From 2010-01-15

We've had another sunny day with lots of gusting winds causing the atmosphere to become smoggy. We expected the mountains to look hazy as they did last night but to our surprise they were very clear appearing this evening. The sunsets have been just beautiful here. The western sky has hues of orange and gold while the eastern sky takes on purple and pink colors.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Window Repair

We had an appointment set up for a repairman from RV Glass Solutions to come to our campsite at 1pm to give us an estimate on repairing a window. The small triangular window on the driver's side had moisture between the double panes of glass. A little after 8am the repairman called asking if he could come out earlier so by 9:30am he had been to our site. The window was removed and taken to be repaired.
From 2010-01-13

The opening was covered with plastic.
From 2010-01-13

The repairman with the window returned after 1pm and in about 30 minutes the window was reinstalled. The window looks much better and will be an improvement for the driver's visibility.

From 2010-01-13
The campground had a craft sale today. After the repairman left this morning we walked up to the craft sale. There were the usual craft items for sale- jewelry, rugs, books, pictures, kitchen towels and stuff. I bought a pair of homemade pot holders and a crocheted towel holder. I'm a big spender!!
The weather continues to be warm but today it became quite breezy. We noticed the mountains to the east this evening being hazy, usually these mountains are beautiful in the evening as the sun sets in the west they take on various shades of lavender and purple.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Farmer's Market

This morning we went to Yuma's Main Street to the Tuesday Farmer's Market. The street was blocked off and vendor's lined the street. It was called a farmer's market but there were only 2 vendors selling produce, the rest were selling an assortment of goods that is usually seen at flea markets. But it made an interesting morning.
From 2010-01-12
From 2010-01-12
From 2010-01-12

We then stopped at a shopping center and Sam's Club. We grabbed lunch at Chretin's, another Mexican place. They had a buffet set up but it was poorly attended to and the food was not as good at the restaurant we were at yesterday.
After returning to the campground Travis was given a much needed bath. He seems to get so much dirtier in this environment of sand.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Out and About

Today, Monday, we went in search of the visitor's information center in Yuma which was easily found. It is located on the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Park. After obtaining some visitor information we self-toured the state park. The Depot was used by the army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona and some in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. The Depot is located on the Colorado River which was used for the transporting of supplies.
From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes

We drove west from Yuma and was quickly in the state of California. We drove out to the Imperial Sand Dunes where riding over the dunes in ATV's or jeeps are done. There were several areas of RVer's camping on Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The dunes looked surreal to us. The sand was barren of vegetation and with the bright blue skies it just looked like a painting.
From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes
From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes

We stopped at La Fonda Tortilla Factory for lunch. As the name inplies it was Mexican and we thought the food was really good.
After lunch we drove about Yuma and then headed out toward our campground. We traveled through truck farming areas. Fields of lettuces, cabbage, onions, spinach and kale were seen. Harvesting of some of the crops were being done. Some newly planted fields were being irrigated. I'm amazed at the neatness of the fields, the rows are perfectly straight and the crops look weed-free.

From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes

From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes

We stopped at a date farm market that was located in the midst of date palm trees.

From Yuma and Imperial Sand Dunes

After returning to the motorhome we chilled out a short while and then attended the Happy Hour and Burger Feed at the campground. Travis took us for a walk and then as Tom cleaned out the black tank I cleaned the inside of the motorhome.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Lazy Sunday

This has been a lazy day for us. We did go out to the grocery store to pick up a few items. The grocery store was packed with shoppers. Since the Ravens were playing today we have been watching football games. The Ravens did us proud with their win over the Patriots. This evening there is an ice cream social scheduled which I'm sure we will not miss.
Travis has been taking short walks and seems to be doing better although we really can see that he is slowing up as he gets older.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Visiting the Markets

This morning the campground had a breakfast that we went to. For $4.00 the breakfast consisted of pancakes or biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs and a sausage pattie plus orange juice and coffee. It was very tasty as we usually eat oatmeal for breakfast.
Tom had read about 2 flea market/swap meet markets located here in Yuma so we thought we would check them out. The first one we stopped was called Yuma Swap Meet and we were not impressed at all. Seemed like alot of junky stuff and the place was not neatly kept. We were hesitant to go to the second place, the Marketplace, but we did and were pleasantly surprised at the difference. It was very neat and clean and the vendors had nicer merchadise. It was also very large in area and we did not go through the entire market, maybe we will get back another day before leaving the area. At both markets we were charged an admission of $.50 per person, this was a first for us.
After returning to the campground we spent the afternoon during housekeeping chores. The windows got a good washing inside and out. Tom set up the satalite dish so we could receive more than the 6 or 7 snowy channels on the campground's cable.

Friday, January 08, 2010


We left Casa Grande this morning and traveled across I-8 to Yuma. At Dateland we stopped for gas and then went into the date shop. Date milkshakes were advertised as being "world famous" so we thought why not try one. Well, we tried date milkshakes but don't think we'll have a return visit for one. Not exactly our cup of tea.
Tom had called the Caravan Oasis campground yesterday but was only able to leave a message. We had not received a return call but went in anyway. There were vacancies so we had no problem getting a site. They were swamped with calls yesterday and were just returning calls as Tom was registering. We plan to stay here a week.
After getting to our site and setting up Tom got out our Passports and discovered that they had expired August 2009. So much for going into Mexico. We really were not anxious to go but was going to get Travis' meds there. Plan B we called Todd and ask that he send meds to us when he stops in at our house.
Our water heater was not functioning on propane, on electric it was fine. So if we do not have electric hook-up at some point we will not have hot water and I don't like cold showers. Seeing an ad for a mobil RV service, Tom called and late afternoon the serviceman came and replaced the control board.
This evening we rode around the area to get a feel for what is where. I was pleasantly surprised when we drove to an area just behind the campgrounds that was large fields of vegetable crops. Amazing what irrigation in the desert can produce. There were several roadside markets along the road selling vegetables.
The weather forecast for this area is for temperatures in the 70's during the day falling into the 40's at night. Certainly better than the cold weather back home.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Arizona and Warmth Finally

We spent the past 2 days in Deming, New Mexico at a Escapees park. It was nice to have a day to catch our breath. I had forgotten Travis' heartworm medication and his flea/tick treatment. We found a veterinarian office and inquired if we could obtain the meds from them. We needed a prescription from our vet. After supplying the phone number to our vet, the office staff made the call. Long story cut short, we were not able to obtain the meds without Travis being tested for heartworm, which had been done in September. Travis has been subjected to so much recently that we said no we will get the meds in Mexico. So we decided that upon leaving Deming we would head for Yuma, Arizona where we will be able to go into Mexico.
We left Deming as it was preparing to be hit today with the cold weather that was hitting the eastern part of the United States. The nighttime temperatures while we were there were below freezing, water hoses had to be disconnected or they were frozen in the morning. We wanted to get to the west of the cold front. We settled in for the night at Casa Grande at another Escapee park. I had called the park prior to our arrival to ask if they had any spaces available. At that time there was one space available with hook-ups and boondocking spaces. They do not take reservations so we just decided to take a chance and luckily a space was still available when we got here. It was also warm here. We could open some windows and be outside without coats. At 9pm it is 47 degrees outside and the motorhome heatpumps have not come on, yet. It just feels so much better to be in warmer weather. Tomorrow we will continue on to Yuma.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Waltz has Ended…

Today we finished our waltz across Texas.  We are in Deming, New Mexico at the Dream Catchers RV Park, which is an Escapees park.  It is off of I-10 and is a nightly stop over park for a lot of RV’s.  We have decided to stay here for at least two days as we have been traveling everyday since leaving Maryland last Wednesday. 
While coming across Texas, forty miles East of Fort Stockton, we saw one of the biggest wind turbine farms that we have ever seen.  There must have been several hundred wind turbines.  Also, we saw a number of Wind turbine blades being transported.  The blades when installed never look as big as when you see one on the back of a truck.
Today as we got closer to El Paso, there was a lot of Border Patrol activity.  When we stopped at a rest stop for lunch, a helicopter was flying over the area.  On the West side of El Paso we had to go through a Border Patrol inspection station, but was not required to stop.
When we go to Deming, the temperature was in the upper 50’s and sunny.  It felt very good, but the cold is coming this way in two days.  We were going to go to Carlsbad, New Mexico, but the weather report was not looking good so are decision to come to Deming.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Waltz Continues

Sunday morning we left Duson, Louisiana at 27 degrees and moved through Louisiana into Texas. We seemed to move through the eastern area of Texas at a good pace and continued through Houston without any problems. It is easier, in most instances, to get through big cities on Sundays, traffic is lighter than during the weekdays. We stopped for the night at a Passport American park in Luling, Texas, about 55 miles east of San Antonio. It was a place to stay for the night but nothing to get excited about.
Sunday evening Tom checked our messages on our home phone. A classmate and long ago friend had called me that he was in the Taneytown area and would like to stop by for a visit. The ironic thing about this was that Byron livesin San Antonio. This morning I returned Byron's phone call informing him of my whereabouts. Catching up on our lives we express hopes of visiting someday.
Our travels today continued through Texas. After going through San Antonio we were in the "hill country" of Texas. I found this area a little more scenic but I still feel that Texas is far from a pretty state. This area is sparsely populated with just occasional little towns off the interstate. Texas seems to be more accommodating to larger vehicles in providing parking areas at interchanges to allow for grabbing a bit to eat at restaurants. We stopped for the night at Fort Stockton staying at another Passport park. First impressions did not look too favorable but we figured for the price it would do.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Still Looking for Warm Temperatures.

Tonight we are in Duson, La which is between Lafayette and and Lake Charles in the western part of the state.  The cold temperatures are still chasing us.  Last night it was 27 degrees, brrrrr.  The traffic was light on Interstate 59, but when we got on Interstate 10 it was 2 lanes bumper to bumper moving at 60 to 70 MPH. 

It was a nice clear sunny day, the kind of day that makes for good traveling. 

Last night we stayed in a very nice RV park for $19.26 using Passport America.  Tonight’s campground costs us $36.00 and the wifi does not work.  I am using Windows Live Writer to compose this entry and using a program called “Tetherberry” to connect to the internet. 

Tetherberry consists of 2 programs, one runs on the computer and the other on runs on my Blackberry 9000.  The computer and the blackberry are connected with a standard USB cable.

Tomorrow we will start “Waltzing across Texas.”  Since Texas is 800 miles across on I-10 it will take us several days to get to the other side.  Houston traffic should be light as it is Sunday and will not pose a problem getting through.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day Travel

We left Chattanooga about 9am. It was a New Year and the sun was shining but the air was cold. A cold front moved through yesterday and it is predicted that the south will be in cold temperatures for the next 2 weeks. Traffic was light most of the day. We traveled through a corner of Georgia and then through Alabama. We have stopped for the night at a campground, Benchmark Coach and RV Park, close to Meridan, Mississippi. We crossed into Central time when we entered Alabama but our bodies are programmed for Eastern time, in a day or 2 we will readjust.
We did see the New Year in last night but were asleep soon afterward. Travis seems to be doing a little better with his injured leg. We try to keep him from jumping up and down from chairs and the bed and he has been limited in activity with our traveling the past several days.
It is 33 degrees here in Mississippi at 7:30pm. Brrrr! And we were hoping to get out of the cold weather.