Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Wow...This year has really gone by fast! We are at Sunscape RV Resort and we were invited to Desert Shadows to spend some time with Rod and Jean at their motorhome for New Years Eve. Bob and Marlene joined us as we drank, ate, played Pegs and Jokers and drank......Did I say that twice? :-)

I think we made it to midnight (at least by east coast standards). It was a fun night. Peg and I are moving over to Desert Shadows tomorrow (January 1st) for a two week stay before we all travel to one of my favorite places, Indio, California.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Death of a Friend

As we previously posted, our friend Gary Coleman was in the hospital in Phoenix after undergoing two brain surgeries within 12 hours of each other. He seemed to be doing better and the day before Christmas was transferred to a hospice care facility after being taken off the ventilator at the hospital. About 4:45pm today we received the call I dreaded to hear. Gary had passed away at 4:20pm.

The doctors felt that he had had another stroke within the last 12 hours since his responses to stimuli had sharply decreased and his breathing and heart rhythm had gotten labored. This was not a positive sign and, shortly after 4pm, he was no longer with us.

He and Patsy were/are great friends and we will miss Gary, his sense of humor and his antics very much. This is especially tough since they have always made us feel like we were part of their family. I am glad we could spend a few precious moments with he and Patsy when they first arrived in Casa Grande...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

I can't believe another Christmas is here! Peg and I opened our presents to each other a day before Christmas (Christmas Eve Day). I decided to get Peg a new recliner so she would not have to sit sideways on the couch to watch TV. we had talked about new recliners but we did not commit to the furniture. I ordered the chair online in hopes it would get here by Christmas. After several calls to the store I ordered it from and to a trucking company delivering it to UPS for local delivery, I finally located the chair. It was delivered right to our motorhome in Sunscape. I assembled it and when Peg came home from work,she was VERY surprised!

Christmas day we traveled down to Tubac, AZ to cousin Cathy and Marshall Geisy's house. They were having a large gathering of friends and family for the Christmas Holiday. As the cars came rolling in, we gathered outside under the warm sun and began telling tales of our travels as well as where we all were from and how we got there.

Food was a big focus and, as you can see, we had many people around the table enjoying a variation on American and Mexican foods. It was fun to meet and visit with Cathy and Marshall's friends and relatives. The table was barely big enough to accommodate all the guests but we all squeezed in and made it happen. The fixings were really tasty and I think we were all hungry!

After dinner we had a secret santa gift giving where everyone had to bring a gift and we let the kids pick a gift for each person. If you did not want to pick a gift, you could take a gift that was already opened from someone else. It took a while to get all the gifts delivered and opened and some of the presents were quite interesting! I think everyone enjoyed the event and getting together for the holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Busy Day In Casa Grande

Today we got up, got dressed and went to church here in the Sunscape RV Park with our friends Rod and Jean who are now parked next to us. After the service we couldn't resist having some birthday cake that was provided and even I grabbed a cup cake for the road. Everything was soooo good!

We decided that Peg and I would take Rod and Jean to Eloy and show them the
sky diving facility about three miles away from where we are staying. It was a nice day with little wind, so we figured they would be jumping today.

The training wind tunnel is a very impressive place. This is the second time Peg and I have been there. We were fortunate to see another group of sky divers going through their moves in the encased clear chamber. Another guy that worked at the center was doing some acrobatics in the chamber that almost made me want to join in....I said almost! After we watched the training for a while,
we decided to go outside to the landing field and watch several people jump from perfectly good airplanes!

Some of the jumpers were actually folks that paid their $190 to do a tandem jump with an instructor. There was even a lady in her mid 70's who did a jump and lived to tell about it. We enjoyed watching all the colorful shoots open and hear the stories of those who parachuted.

When we got back, we all were invited to Bob and Marlene's house for a mad
game or two of Pegs and Jokers. It was the boys (Myself, Bob and Rod) against the girls (Peg, Marlene and Jean). The guys triumphed with a win of the first game which, by the way, was probably the longest single game I have ever played! The second game the girls won, but not without a fight!

We all had a great time but we had to get back home since Rod and Jean were leaving our park tomorrow and driving a whopping 20 miles to Desert Shadows, a park across town, for a two week stay. They needed to get some much needed rest to make that journey!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

This is probably one of the most difficult posts to have to write about in all our journeys we've encountered the last couple of years.

Our friends from Montana, Gary and Patsy, who we stayed with at their home near Missoula last august, drove into Casa Grande so we could be near each other for a few weeks and reconnect. They were staying at the Western Horizons Park, Desert Shadows. We got together a couple of days ago (on Friday) and brought them to our RV Park in the evening for the Christmas Dinner here. We visited for a while afterwords and they headed home.

On Saturday, We went out to lunch at a Mexican Restaurant in town and then back to their coach to watch the Montana Grizzleys play a football game. They got interested in the football team this fall when Gary had a shunt put in his head to help the fluid drain from his brain. He was laid up for a while, so football kept him occupied. He recently got the go ahead from the doctor to be able to travel in the motorhome, so they headed out. While at their coach, Peg got a call from work that they needed her to come in, so she left, went to our motorhome to change, and came back. Gary, Patsy and I had a nice visit while the game was on. I stayed into the evening for a while.

We did not see them on Sunday since Peg had to work and I had some work to do for clients as well.

Monday night we got a call from Patsy explaining that Gary was admitted to St. Josephs Hospital in Phoenix and was having brain surgery! What!! She said they had gone to the hospital to see if they could get his shunt adjusted since he was having headaches. The hospital wanted them to call for an appointment and Patsy knew he needed help, so she suggested they walk around the corner to the emergency room. Gary was immediately admitted because it was their policy if a person with a shunt was having headaches, they go to the top of the list!

The doctor at the ER adjusted the shunt electronically and then sent him to have a CT scan. They discovered that the opposite side of his head had pooling blood in the brain. A tube was inserted to try and drain the blood, but it kept clogging up and the doctor decided to open him up and see what was going on and to try to stop the bleeding. That operation took place late at night. Another CT scan was done at 5am the next morning and there was more bleeding so another operation was scheduled for 7:30am. Two surgeries in about 12 hours!!

This time, they did stop the bleeding, but Gary was not responding well to stimuli. We knew this was going to be a long process now.

Since this unexpected trail of events, we have been up to the hospital in Phoenix a few times and each day, and each time, he seems better. He is still having a difficult time waking up, moving his limbs and breathing, but we have faith that he WILL get better. All his family flew into Phoenix, we got the motorhome moved closer to the hospital so everyone has a place to stay, and prayers are being said 24 hours a day.

I hope to look back on this blog entry one day and remember what I felt when I wrote this as the uncertainly of Gary's health loomed over me. I also hope I am sitting with a healthy, happy guy named Gary as we look back in amazement at those days when things were touch and go, but everything turned around and he got back to better than normal. Gary, Patsy and their family are like family to Peg and I. Family needs to look out for family.....What more can I say!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dinner and a Game!!!

Bob and Marlene invited Peg and I, Rod and Jean and Hank and Lillie to their house for dinner and a few hands of Pegs and Jokers. I guess this is fast becoming THE GAME for all of us. I guess it is one of the games I understand and like to play (along with dominos).

After a really great meal of Halibut, which Rod caught while he and Jean were in Alaska this summer RVing, and some wonderful side dishes and of course dessert, we all settled in for a night of card playing.

Since there were eight of us, we divided into two groups. After the first
game, the losers played the losers and the winners played the winners of the opposite table. It was a challenging night for Jean and I. We won one game (I think)! Peg and Rod did really well and won most of their games.

As usual, we all had a good time. We thank Bob and Marlene for buying a house so we can all congregate there!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Climbing To The Top...Picacho Peak!

I should really ask Peg to write this blog entry but I will try to transfer her excitement to the written page!

Today Peg climbed to the top of Picacho Peak! She has climbed to the "saddle" of the mountain a few times before, but today, she, Chuck, Conrad, Elaine and Ray completed the journey to the summit.

The climb went well except for a few bumps and bruises and at one point Peg and Elaine get stuck on one of the steepest parts of the trail as they were climbing using the provided cables. Pegs fanny pack got hooked into the cable and she could not go forward. Fortunately, Chuck was behind her and managed to unhook the pack so she could continue. Elaine got her backpack stuck between the two cables but managed to dislodge it and kept on climbing!

It was a perfect day for this trek and, as you can see by
the photos, a clear day as well. Not sure if Peg will go on up to the pinnacle again, but at least she can now say she did it once! Notice you do not see anywhere in this accounting that I attempted to climb that beast. I know better!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Weekend With Our Cousins

We wanted to visit Peg's cousins Cathy and Marshall last week, but Peg and I were feeling under the weather so we waited until this weekend to drive down to Tubac, Arizona for a visit. It took us about two hours from Casa Grande south, down I-10 and then transferring to I-19 in Tucson.

Cathy and Marshall own a touring company, Fiesta Tours International, and they take folks into Mexico, Central America, South America and several other destinations. They were off this weekend so it was perfect timing.

They live in an adobe style home that they built themselves. It is a really unique house that reminds me of a castle. It is a large home with several rooms. So many things carry the southwest theme as well as some Mexican influence in the house. It is not completed as yet, so I look forward to visiting to see what new portion of the house has been finished since our last meeting. Here is a picture of the kitchen, as an example, to show some of the style.

They have two very large dogs. Luna, who has been with them for several years now and a new comer, Flynn who has been there just a few months. When you drive into the parking area and the dogs run out to meet you, their size will startle you at first. I was used to Luna, but I did not know about Flynn. I thought Flynn was Luna when we arrived and I guess he did not take well to me calling him by the wrong name! I realized what I had done when I went inside and saw Luna. I think they both forgave me!

Saturday evening we got together with several of Cathy and Marshall's friends. It was an
evening of food, drink and conversation. There were eight of us there and fortunately, the kitchen table was up to the task. As a matter of fact, we could have fit four to six more people around that huge table, seen in this picture.

After dinner a round of dominoes was started. Little did we know that we would be playing until the late evening hours. I started out doing great and I even won a hand. Let me tell you, it was all down hill after the 5th or 6th round! Peg started out losing with high numbers until about the 5th or 6th round and my luck must have reverted to her, since she began to win. I guess when it was all over, we both came in in the middle of the pack. I think everyone was ready to quit by the time we hit the 12th round and that included me! It was a lot of fun and we got our domino "fix" for a while.

Since we combined two sets of dominoes, we now had to separate the sets and here is a picture of that fiasco. I think it took almost as long to separate the pieces as it did to play the entire game. Well, maybe not quite as long! We said goodnight to our new friends Gwynn and Gunther and Russell and Barbara. We hope we see them again sometime.

On Sunday after a southwestern breakfast, Peg headed out with Cathy,
in Cathy's relatively new (to her) Miata (which I got to drive the day before), to the 39th annual La Fiesta de Tumacácori being held on the grounds of the local mission. They had dancers, food, and a Mariachi Band (see photo) playing for the crowds. As Peg and Cathy enjoyed the festival, Marshall and I worked on getting their e-mail program set-up and working for several e-mail accounts. About three hours later when the wives returned, we had just finished the process! At least they brought us back some food.

We had a fun weekend and I even got to watch some TV shows on their new Sony 46" flat screen with surround sound. That was a treat! We'll see them again at Christmas time...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dinner Theatre at the Arizona Opry

This evening we went to Apache Junction to see the Arizona Opry. We have heard from several people how good the show was, so when our new friends and neighbors here at Sunscape, Stan and Betty Jo, asked us if we wanted to go see it with them, we said sure! So they made the reservations and around 5pm we jumped in their new diesel Ford truck and headed for the highway.

Stan and Betty Jo just traded in their fifth wheel on a new 2008 fifth wheel. Of course since the RV is bigger and heaver than the previous one, they had to trade in their gas truck for a 2006 diesel pickup. They seem pretty happy with the upgrade to their living quarters as well as with their truck.

The Arizona Opry included a dinner AND a show. We were seated about 6pm and was served a meal of sliced chicken with gravy, potatoes with gravy, mixed vegetables and coleslaw. For desert, there was a large piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting waiting for us! Everything was quite good and, of course, we ate it all.

Around 7:30 the performance began. There were nine performers that played a vast amount of instruments each. Everyone sang and they were all highlighted in different ways. For example, the two women in the picture (above) did an opera duet together...They are also twin sisters. One of the guys dressed up like Willie Nelson and sang a few of his songs. Another one of the performers dressed up like Elvis and gyrated across the stage as he sang! The main performer, George Staerkel, was formally with the Tokens, a 60's recording group. He has a five octave vocal range! He also played most of the 50 or so instruments surrounding the stage. We enjoyed their performance and the company with Stan and Betty Jo.

If you are in the Apache Junction, Arizona area from November to May, check them out!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rod and Jean Return...

The end of the month is always busy for me because of producing our American RVer show. I also tend to wait until the last couple of days of the month before I get started on it. Then it becomes a marathon to complete before the first of next month, when it must be online. It is a self imposed deadline! So I was working on the show most of the day.

Peg was getting some new RV insurance squared away. We had contacted several insurance companies to see if we could reduce the price that Progressive now tacked onto our policy for the renewal, since I had the accident with the narrow, one lane bridge a few months back. We changed agents, but we ended up staying with Progressive at a slightly lower cost.

As you can see by the title of this entry, our friends Rod and Jean Bahnson,
who we saw briefly a few days ago, have now returned from Yuma and are going to be back in this area (Casa Grande) for a while. Bob and Marlene put together a dinner party so they, Peg and I, Rod and Jean and Hank and Lillie could catch up on what each of us were up to lately. Unfortunately, Rod and Jean did not pick up on the fact we were all getting together and Marlene finally called them to make sure they were on their way. Good thing, since they were not. It all did work out and we all had a great time. Bob cranked up his camera to capture the moment as you can see here!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 2009

This was a quiet, but really nice Thanksgiving. Peg prepared a pineapple casserole and pumpkin custard for desert and we drove over to Bob and Marlene's house for dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon. We ate, talked, played with their new dog Scout and then they broke out the Peg's and Joker's game board and we got refreshed on just how good Bob and I play together as a team against Peg and Marlene!!

I will admit that the "girls' beat us in the last game, but not without a fight! I do enjoy that game for some reason...Like I do dominoes! Now that several friends that play are together in this area, I am sure we will be playing games more often.

We had a fun time with good food and great company...No pictures though!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Milestone....Our 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Today is our 25th anniversary! How time has flown by. 25 years ago our minister asked Peggy to reconsider getting married to me (just a day before the wedding) because the test we took showed we were not that compatible! I often wonder if that minister is still married..........

As par for the course lately, I had a job interview at Dish Network in Phoenix in the morning and Peg had to work at Michael's Crafts (yes she did get a part time job) in Casa Grande at noon, so we really only saw each other at lunchtime. So we did not celebrate our anniversary....Yet!

I could have photoshoped our faces on another couples body having a great time in the Caribbean, but I chose not to exploit my talent!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An Interview with the Churches in Benson

Peg had scheduled a video shoot with the Churches down at the Escapee Park in Benson, AZ for American RVer. Mike and Terri Church are authors of several travel books including Southwest Camping Destinations, Camping Mexico's Baja and Camping in Alaska, to name a few.

We arrived in the afternoon and met and talked with Mike and Terri
for a short while before setting up the camera equipment and starting their interview. They are really nice, laid back folks who have full timed for a lot of years and continue to love it. They travel to Mexico every year for the winter in their truck camper and live at the Escapee park in the spring and fall in their class C RV.

Look for the interview on American RVer beginning February 1st, show number 44. I think you will enjoy it!

We also visited with Dave and Marie Ostrander for a few minutes (since we were running late) and then trucked on back to Casa Grande for a late dinner with Bob and Marlene. Of course we were the reason the dinner was late!! It was a nice get together for a great dinner and we learned more about our two friends and they about us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday To Peg!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Peggy, happy birthday to you! As you probably guessed, today is Peg's birthday.

Well our day started out by driving to Chandler for a blood test for Jim. From there we drove to Mesa to look at potential RV parks in case Peg or I get a job in the Phoenix area. We drove past a few and went into a couple but none of them were really wonderful. We saw a bunch of Mexican guys waiting on several street corners, I am assuming for a job offer that day. You see these things in the movies but I was not sure that these "work round-ups" existed! Guess so!

Since I had set up a birthday party for Peg as a luncheon, we had to get back to Sunscape RV Park to pick up Stacey and Gail and then head down to the Olive Garden in Casa Grande for lunch. Bob and Marlene was to meet us there. Unfortunately, Hank and Lillie had other commitments that day, so they could not join us. We got there a little late (as usual) and as we were parking, Bob called and asked where we were. Guess we had them worried!

We had a good lunch and I had the wait staff get a cake together and, when they brought it, they sang a good luck song to Peggy that also mentioned that the luck would only last for one year so we would have to come back there for her next birthday to get another year of luck! Very cleaver!

Peg made a wish and blew out her one candle and we all had some cake (which was quite good). This was a nice way to celebrate her birthday since no one had to cook and we could all enjoy being waited on.

Of course Peg received several telephone calls from friends and family wishing her a happy birthday. I think she enjoyed her day (along with her gifts from me...a portable book light and a "shrug" which is a shoulder covering with sleeves!).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jim's Birthday 2009

Today is my 54th birthday! I only feel like I am 74.....Hey but check out the cool shirt!

Anyway, Peg had planned an evening dinner party here at the motorhome with some of our close friends here in Casa Grande. We were
having a cookout with sausage, peppers and onions. Who came you ask? Stacey and Gail, Bob and Marlene and Hank and Lillie. Everyone brought something and Marlene made one of my favorites, carrot cake!

The weather cooperated and the evening was just right. Since we have a nice patio, we put chairs out and turned the rope lights on and had good conversation with good friends. Of course Marlene also brought some party hats and since we are all party animals, we put them on! It was a good day for me and I am glad everyone could share it!

Thanks to Peg for getting everything together (and for my new jeans)...

Monday, November 9, 2009

The First Hike To Piccacho Peak

Peg was offered a ride to Piccacho Peak to hike to the "saddle" of the mountain. The saddle is about half way to the top and not as physically demanding as the second half of the journey to the top. It is still quite strenuous, especially for those of us who do not exercise as much as we should! Because of my ankle problem, I declined to go but Peg did go with Chuck, Elaine and Conrad, some of our close neighbors.

Apparently on this climb you need to "carb up" before you start your hike. Peg did not, so about half way up she ran out of steam and had to eat a granola bar and rest a short while. She did get her second wind and made it to the saddle. It took an hour to get there. It also took an hour to climb back down.

The weather was just perfect and the view was awesome! There are
cables in places so you can pull yourself up and you have to be careful of the loose rock. It is a long way down!! Hopefully, after conquering the saddle a few times, I'll attempt going to the top!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Trip To Benson-Escapees RV Park

We had been invited down to the Escapees Park in Benson, AZ by Dave and Marie Ostrander so we decided today, Sunday afternoon, would be a good time to go and check it out. Marie was not in town, visiting with their daughter in Boston, so it was good to give Dave some company.

We have had thoughts of putting our name in to the "pool" for this RV park to try and buy a lot. It normally takes between 5-10 years for your name to come to the top of the list to get an opportunity to get a site. The sites run around $6-8000, so it is really reasonable to buy in and that is why so many people put their name in.

Dave had his Windsor parked in the park and he wanted to show us all the amenities the Saguaro Co-op has to offer. The first thing we noticed is how wide the individual sites were. A pleasant change from many other parks. We saw the club house, the office (pictured), wood working shop, dining room (where a jam session was in progress) and the various sites. Each is on its own tier. This is nice because you can then have a view of the valley below.

We spent a couple of hours there and Dave was a great help in explaining the park. We will have to consider this as a possible winter option for our stays!

Friday, October 30, 2009

On To Casa Grande and Sunscape RV Park

We packed up the RV and left Beaudry's RV by 11:00am heading north to Casa Grande and the Sunscape RV Park. This will be our new home for the next two months. It is nice to be in a familiar place. We of course have friends here in Casa Grande as well as in the park itself. Topped off our diesel and propane at the Flying J in Eloy, so we are good for a while.

Now, I hate to say it, but it is time to look for jobs to replenish our funds. Peg is looking in town and I am putting in resumes on and on Craig's List. We will see what turns up in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beaudry RV Bound-Monaco Rally in Tucson

Since our windshield was now cracked from top to bottom on the drivers side, we were glad the time had come to go to the Monaco Rally at Beaudry RV in Tucson so we could get the windshield replaced. We had set this up a week earlier and the new windshield was waiting for us.

On our way to Tucson, I got a warning indication on my tire pressure monitoring system that the front tires of the car were getting hot and indicating high pressure. There was no place to pull over, so I slowed down and waited until we got through Phoenix and over to Chandler where we were going to stop for fuel. We stopped and I got out to see what was wrong. Apparently, our car air brake was on too tight causing the car brakes to rub and heat up. One of the front hubcaps was gone and the other severely melted and ready to fall off. As I fueled the coach, Peg unhooked the brake cylinder for the car since we were pretty close to our destination anyway. She also told me the brakes went right to the floor in the car....Not a good thing. We finished fueling and continued on.

Made it to Beaudry's, unhooked the car from the motorhome and, as Peg said, the brakes were almost non-existent. She carefully pulled the car to the side and parked and we got the coach in to the service department for the windshield repair. Glen, the service manager, knew of a place we could get the brakes replaced so he called and set it up and, after checking in to get a spot for the rally (being held at the same place), we carefully traveled about 6 blocks to the repair shop.

By this time it was almost 2pm and I had to eat. We walked down the street a few blocks to a Burger King and had a long awaited lunch. Back to the brake shop and they said they will have to replace all four rotors (they were colored red from heat) as well as the brake pads. I also suggested changing out the brake fluid since it is no good once it is "boiled" as I am sure it was. They called Beaudry and Beaudry sent someone to pick us up and take us to the waiting room for the coach.

After waiting about and hour and a half, the windshield was in and we drove it to our site (after paying our $500 deductible that is). About another hour later, Beaudry called and said the car was ready and they could take us back to the brake shop. That worked out well since we had just completed our set-up of the coach on site #1371 and we were ready to go.

Picked up the car, paid a reasonable $324 for the total brake repair and we were on our way back to the campground. What did we do next.....WE RELAXED! The rally was almost upon us.

Believe it or not, we did not take any still pictures of the rally, just video. Look for the rally video
on American RVer show #42, December 2009. We became reacquainted with Rosalie and Mike Mahr (parked in the next row behind us), Les and Letha Lollar, Lee and Vicky Dillard and John and Christine Fraiser. Bob and Marlene Rea and Hank and Lillie Corbitt drove down from Casa Grande to see the vendors and to visit with us for a while on Wednesday and we all went out to a Mexican lunch...See Photo.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lunch with the Gentiles

As luck would have it, Peg had met Carol Gentile back in Shallotte, NC (where our house is) and Carol had mentioned that she was going to be in Camp Verde/Cottonwood area once again this fall with her husband Sal. They made a pact to get together when we got there. Peg called and Carol and Sal came over and we all went to lunch.

We tried to get into the restaurant at the local golf course but it was closed. We later found out that it had gone bankrupt and someone else had bought it and would open it soon. That did not help us today for lunch, so we went to a little sandwich place near there called Cricket's. Sal and Carol had eaten there once before and enjoyed it, so we thought we would try it.

It was a quaint, rustic kind of place with sandwiches and great deserts. The manager told us that she actually owned the Taco Bell in town and
just liked working here! She was also a big fan of the TV show One Tree Hill seen on the WB network. I told her we lived about 35 miles away from where the show was filmed, in Wilmington, NC. She really wanted to go there and see her favorite stars in the show. I said she should go sometime. I think she just might!

After lunch we stopped at a flee market on our way back to the coach and I finally found a used 4 cup coffee pot so I could use my coffee maker once again. I was thrilled and it only cost a couple of dollars!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hill Town of Jerome, AZ

While camped at Camp Verde, good friends of ours from Casa Grande, Stacey and Gail, were staying at the Thousand Trails park a few miles away. We got together today and decided to take a short ride to the hill town of Jerome on Rt. 89A. We took our car and I drove up the winding road into the mountains where Jerome is found. As you know, I love driving the roads with steep drop-offs and so this white knuckled adventure was just my cup of tea! (NOT).

Anyway, we parked the car (on a hill) and proceeded to walk the town. It is located near an abandoned gold mine and the locals say the mine is haunted! Makes for a good story I suppose. This town was also known for its bordello's and houses of the ill repute. With all those miners, business was certainly good! Here we see a sign to that effect where you can "get a piece" at Belgian Jennies.

We were quite high up into the mountain so the view was pretty fantastic. The town is actually built on the side of the mountain and speaking with a few of the merchants here, I was told that they have to drive the road up the mountain to their shops each day. No Thanks! They also told us that the real estate was extremely high here (no pun intended). I guess you pay for the view.

I took this photo of a yard at a house in town. Apparently, this guy is a collector....of everything! With all the "stuff" and the colorful items, it looked kind of cool. There are other "collectors" here as well. We went into one winery shop and they were perched on the edge of the hill. They have large windows overlooking the valley. I must say it was pretty spectacular.

To end our day in Jerome, Peg and I and Stacey and Gail decided to eat at the Jerome Palace, home of the haunted hamburger. It was Wednesday and each Wednesday they have a special 2 for 1 burger price. Gee, could it be we knew that? We ate on the top floor and again had a view. By the way, the jail in this town used to be on an upper street and in the 1800's the rain came and washed it from its foundation down the mountain to its current resting place, about 250 feet from its original location! Can you imagine being a prisoner in the jail that day???

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Montezuma Castle, Camp Verde, AZ

Today was a clean up day for us. The motorhome was a real dust bowl, so we paid our $5 fee at the Camp Verde Western Horizons Park and went to work to clean things by 8am! We washed the motorhome, the motorcycle and the car. I used my deionizer tank, since I know how hard the water is here, and my little pressure washer. I started with the roof and ended up with the tires and wheels. At least we do not have to be embarrassed with any of our vehicles any longer!

We have heard good things about Montezuma Castle and it was quite close to this park, so we decided to go there a little after 3pm. The signs in the park said the gate closes off the road at 5pm, sharp, so we lost no time in getting into the 1/3 mile paved walkway to see the castle.This national monument was a five story, twenty room pueblo, sheltered within a cave, high on a limestone cliff overlooking Beaver Creek. It was the home of the Sinagua people for many years. It was abandoned after A.D. 1400.

Next to Montezuma Castle was what they call Castle A,
which the Sinagua also occupied and that was a six story dwelling, although it is quite deteriorated.

President Roosevelt declared this site a national monument in 1906, one of the first of such sites in the country to be designated a national monument. I enjoyed this monument since the walk was quite easy, it had paved walkways and there were no ledges to walk around or look over!!!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Monument Valley

Day two in the Bluff, Utah area and we decided to drive the opposite direction from yesterday's trip and go to Monument Valley. We took highway 191 to Rt 163 and that took us into Monument Valley. As you can see by the sign, we made it!

We decided to head for the local museum and trading post called, appropriately enough, the Goulding Museum and Trading Post (and hotel, restaurant, car wash, grocery store, etc. etc.). It was a small museum but it was neat to look around and see what the area looked like many years ago. "Harry" and husband Mike Goulding made this area come alive with their foresight and hard work, developing the ground we stood on. There is a memorial to the couple for all they did in this valley. A cabin John Wayne stayed in was also on the premises with several movies of his playing on a large screen TV.

We noticed that there was an RV Park (Good Sam rated) up the road a mile or so, so we decided to see if it was busy and if it was
a good place to stay. When we arrived at the entrance, there were 3 large RV's waiting to get in and the place was filling up quickly for the middle of October! It was a decent park and the sites were fairly well thought out. The view was excellent there! When we turned around and started heading back towards Gouldings, Peg took this cool shot, a real postcard view of the valley!