Monday, January 28, 2008

Organ Stop Pizza - Mesa, AZ

Our friends Lew and Dottie were staying at Desert Shadows RV Park (remember we were there before Quartzsite) and they called and invited us to go up to Mesa, Arizona with them to a place they love called Organ Stop Pizza. We were intrigued! When we got there, we found that the organ is actually part of the building. What I mean is...all the instruments the organ activate are located throughout the building so, no matter where you look and listen, there is some part of the enormous organ encompassed in the building.

The keyboard player comes up through the center of the stage and is rotating and playing as he rises! They have colored lights on the different instrument parts that light as that instrument is played. He does take requests! A wild and crazy time. Even the pizza wasn't bad. It was truly a very cool experience. Thanks Lew and Dottie...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Eloy-The Sky Diving is the Limit!

We had heard a lot about Eloy and the sky diving they do there and our newly found friends, Stacey and Gail Frank took us to the Sky Diving Center which was just down the street from where we were staying at SunScape RV Resort, just east of Casa Grande. We first went into the man made wind tunnel housed in this building. It has four high capacity fans that blow up and out the four stacks you see. Inside the building, there is a circular observation area so people can watch as novices "fly" for the first time and seasoned professionals train.

There was a professional team from Britain going through their formation and another team from Russia as well. This is one of the best sky diving facilities in country! It was fascinating to watch and we spend a while there. Anyone can go into the simulator for about $50 which included some training to prepare for the "flight".

After watching the simulation, we stepped outside as many planes were taking
off and about 50-60 parachuters were jumping. We noticed that the majority were young women! Go Figure! It was a colorful sight with all the chutes opening and people heading for the landing zone, landing right in front of us. Reminded me of the time I jumped many moons ago!

Stacey and Gail took us into the town of Eloy which is a really depressed area. The railroad decided to eliminate them as a stop and, when that happened, the town died! We then went to Dinner at Eva's, Stacey and Gail's favorite Mexican Restaurant in the area. We had a great time there!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Camping Out In The Desert-Quartzsite, Az

Our two weeks at Desert Shadows RV Resort went by quickly. It was time to move on and head to one of the largest (if not THE largest) RV "camp outs" in the country, Quartzsite, Arizona. It was the 25th annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. This years event was being held from January 19 - 27th. To get there we took Riggs Rd. around Phoenix which takes you through an Indian Reservation.

As we approached Quartzsite from the east on Rt. 10, we began to see RV's camping out in the desert...miles and miles of them! It is hard to imagine if you don't see it yourself. Check out the photos we have here for a bit of a perspective. Remember, you can enlarge them by clicking on the photo.

We dry camped (no water/sewer/electric) for five days in the desert with folks from the MCOA list on the internet. MCOA stands for Monaco Coach Owners Association. We had met several of these folks in Orlando at a rally. It w
as fun to get together with them again. It was also nice to meet new folks we had seen posting to the MCOA or Monacoers internet lists and put faces to the names. We had some interesting discussions around the campfire each evening.

The Quartzsite show was incredibly large. It covered many acres of ground. There was also a huge flea market across the street. You could spend several days there and not see everything.

One of the local anomalies we were told we had to see was the Reader's Oasis Book Store in town. You see, the owner of the store does business in a rather unusual way. If you are curious what we are talking about, double click on the picture to blow it up and look around the store front. I think you'll quickly see what we mean.

The desert seemed to grow on us. We were fortunate to have nearly a full moon most nights. The desert seemed alive, even overnight. During the day, Peg policed our area being sure everybody that passed had enough to drink!! Look at the photo!!

So many people had solar panels to charge their batteries so they did no
t have to run their generators that we decided to add another panel to our roof. Of course there were solar panel vendors there in town so we got a good size panel. Now all I have to do is install it!

It was sad to see our group slowly breaking up but we all knew we would meet again on the road in the near future. Many of us were going to the rallies in Lancaster and Pomona California. So we said our goodbyes and headed back to Casa Grande via route 8 through Gila Bend, Arizona. It was a good road with more interesting terrain....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On The Road To Tubac...

Since Peg has a cousin in Tubac, Arizona, which is near the Mexican border, we decided to head south with the car and visit Cathy and Marshall Giesy. We left the Motorhome at Desert Shadows and drove the two hours down Rt. 10 to Rt. 19. One thing we noticed as we got closer to the Mexican border was that the road signs began to show mileage in kilometers, not miles. We were actually going up in altitude and Tubac is considered the "High Desert". The temperatures were a bit cooler there even though we were actually further south.

Cathy and Marshall have been building their own house for close to 15 years and it is constructed as a adobe home with a wonderful array of neat looking rooms. It is a large house with a Mexican/Southwest influence. They have a large white dog named "Luna" and were dog sitting for another friends dog, Buddy.

Peg and I stayed there overnight and Cathy, Peg, Luna, Buddy and I took a walk up a hilly road near their home in order to look down upon the area and get a perspective as to where we were. I'm not sure how many miles we walked, but we saw many different kinds of cactus and the surrounding mountains were great. Arizona is an interesting place with the roads in the lowlands and many communities surrounded by mountains.

We really enjoyed our stay there and Cathy and Marshall invited us
back with the RV. Not sure if we will try that, but it was really nice of them to offer. As we left their home to head back to Casa Grande, we stopped in Tubac to take a photo of the town and the mountains in the background. It is a small town filled with art and artists and an interesting place to wander around...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Apache Gold Casino

Today we got on a bus chartered by Desert Shadows RV Park and we took a two hour ride to the Apache Gold Casino through the the mountains and valleys of the copper mining country. The landscape was really interesting.

We gambled some in the morning and made enough money to pay for lunch. Peg and I sat down at the Blackjack table and we did fairly well. I think this is the first time Peg has played Blackjack. Our mistake came when, after lunch, we went back to the one armed bandits and the Blackjack table and lost a few bucks. All in all, it was a fun trip for little money.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

We Made It...Casa Grande, Arizona

After eight long days of being on the road, we pulled into the Desert Shadows RV Resort today on schedule. It was nice to be able to get the motorhome on our site and realize we would be "grounded" for two weeks. We were here at Desert Shadows to videotape a segment of the American RVer show.

There are plenty of things to do at Desert Shadows. They have a weekly activity list and Peg found herself doing morning exercise, line dancing and occasionally swam in the pool. The pools here are heated so the water is at a nice temperature.

Peg loves sunsets, so she would grab the camera, climb up onto the roof of the RV
and snap some sunset photos. Here are a couple of examples of the brilliant painted skies we saw many nights.

We made many new friends here at the park, some of whom we will be seeing down the road. RVers are truly a community of people who are open to new things and like to talk about their adventures. We also got a few pointers on where to go next and what we must see!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment

We crossed the border into New Mexico today. We are getting much closer to our final destination in Arizona. Here are some rock outcroppings along highway 10. I think these rocks are pretty cool looking. The views were changing as we continued to drive.

We ended up in Deming, New Mexico for the evening. We stayed on the side of the Walmart there. I guess we picked a good store because they actually welcomed
RVers and truckers and had separate places in the parking lot for each. They also have security patrolling the area all night, so it was a safe place to stop for our last night on the road. Tomorrow, we arrive at Casa Grande, Arizona.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

El Paso, Texas

We left the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and continued our western trek on Rt 20. After a while, Rt. 20 turns into Rt. 10 and starts a gradual turn to the northwest. We got fuel at a Flying J just after the Rt. 10 intersection and this picture shows how the landscape was changing from flat to some distant mountains. It was getting interesting. As we got off the highway for fuel, we noticed how the overpasses were painted with Texas images. It gave the highway a unique look.

We drove through the very busy city of El Paso, Texas. The city was built in a "bowl" with mountains all around it. Here are a couple of shots from our journey through this area as we pressed onward to New Mexico...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yea Ha! We're in Texas!

New Years Day 2008 finds us crossing into the state of Texas. We were headed for Dallas and a visit with Peg's Nephew, James. Along the way we saw several oil refineries and oil wells they call pin wells. I guess it is because they look kind of like pinwheels, but they are oil wells! We also wanted everyone to see the speed limits in Texas....Pretty fast!

We stayed at the RV Ranch in Burleson, Texas. Yes, this is the home of America Idol Star Kelly Clarkson. We had a nice site and the weather was now cooperating a bit more. It was interesting getting to the campground because we had to get on a service road for a couple of miles off the main highway and, finally we got to the RV Ranch. This would be our "staging area" for the journey into Dallas.

We found James' home and he wanted to take us out into Dallas and Fort Worth to see some sites in the area. One of the coolest places we saw was Billy Bob's. On Friday and Saturday nights this place is jumpin' with entertainment. Since we were there in the middle of the week, it was slow but it gave us time to see many of the musical artifacts they have amassed. I was interested in the guitars they had displayed from many of the popular country and rock bands that have played there. They also had pictures, hand molds of famous musicians and other memorabilia. Pretty cool! Billy Bob's also had a rodeo arena inside the building. I bet this is a popular sport in Texas.

We had an interesting time with James in th Dallas/Fort Worth area and hope to go back there some day in the future. After two days in that area, we were ready to continue our journeys west...