Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Officially "On the Road Again"

This is what Palm Drive looked like as we were driving out on John Wayne this morning at the stop sign by the pool.
These next three pictures are from Mona B. that I downloaded from Facebook. They did a LOT of work today. The road is all torn up! I don't know if you can click on this little picture to make it bigger or not.
I'm going to dedicate this post to my friends LaVonne & Don. No, I don't have any pictures of dead trees, but you'll see why when you get farther into the post.

Today we left Superstition Sunrise, TWICE. The first time at 9am (I wanted to leave between 8 & 8:30, but you know how that goes). We were well on our way, 16 miles into the trip on Bush Hwy. & remembered we didn't let any of the water out of our fresh water tank. So we found a place to pull in & pump some of the water out. It was at this time that Bill patted his pocket to check for his wallet & remembered it was in the cupboard back at the Park Model! Thank God it was a place we could turn around at! So, back to Apache Junction we went. Needless to say, conversation was quite strained at this point! I make a list & check it off as I do it or ask him if he has done it. Good thing I have a list or he would have forgotten to do some of the things on the list. Oh well. So with the wallet in his pocket we were back on the road, 1 hr. later, but all in all we made good time. By lunch time we had started being able to carry on a civil conversation with each other. My teeth are a little ground down, but my tongue wasn't bleeding!

We stopped for gas & I got out & walked around, then we found a place to pull off in Heber & we went for lunch at June's Cafe & I walked around some more. When I came back into the cafe to eat, Bill was talking to the couple at the table next to us while waiting for our food. Could not believe this. They were from Butler, PA. They moved to Tuscon, AZ 4 years ago. He had been a State Trooper in PA & took an early retirement. They are full time RVers. They also are workcampers. They were on their way to South Dakota to register their residency there.

This stopping every couple of hours to walk is kind of a pain. But I do move my legs a lot in the truck. Thank goodness for cruise control.

A couple of pictures taken in Arizona but looking toward New Mexico.
Oops! Just about missed the sign. It's hard taking pictures going at 65 mph!
New Mexico seems to always have a wind blowing. Today was not bad. At least we haven't encountered any crosswinds yet. I love these mesas with the caves in them. I wonder if the wind has eroded them there?
As many times as we've traveled Interstate 40 across New Mexico, we've never seen these on the hillside. We aren't sure what they are. I asked my friend, Camilla, & she thought they might be Pueblo dwellings. If any one has any idea, please let me know in a comment. Thanks. You can click on the picture to enlarge.
We arrived at our campground for the night around 6:30 mountain time. Lost that hour leaving Arizona. I had looked at the Woodall's book to check for a campground earlier in the afternoon. I thought we had stayed here before & sure enough, once we hit the exit, I remembered. Easy in, Easy out. While I was in registering, Bill was checking out the rig & the truck. Well, my daughter didn't want any phone calls about the buttttttttt, but, we do have a leak, probably in the power steering. There was fluid all over the inside of the front wheel well on the drivers side. We were told it was beginning when we had it to the Chevy garage, but thought we could make it to Virginia to have Dan look at it & fix it. But looks like we need to have it done tomorrow. The gentleman that runs the campground came out to look at it with Bill & he gave us a card of a guy just over the RR tracks that does all his work. So we'll call him in the morning to see what he can do for us.

We only plan to go as far as Amarillo, TX tomorrow so hopefully it will work out okay. We want to try & visit my great-niece, Delanna, tomorrow night.

Okay, LaVonne & Don - This could be your new Q!! This rig is parked right behind us at Bar S RV Park in Grants, NM. We haven't seen anyone around this evening. The girl in the trailer next to us said the truck that goes with it is quite decorated too. I'll have to check it out in the morning.
Love this one!
Now I'm curious as to who they are & what their mission is. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to find out.

So that's it for the first day of our travels. Never a dull moment with us. Always have to visit some repair shop along the way. I just pray it isn't any more than that & this is the first & the last for the rest of the trip. My daughter says, you are NOT going to take the trailer back with you!! I think we may have already decided that. It takes more than "One & A Half Men" to do this job. I'm the one & I think Bill's the 1/2!!

On a sadder note, we ask for thoughts & prayers to be with Bill's cousins as his last surviving aunt (Aunt Ethel) passed away yesterday afternoon in Florida. She was one sweet lady. We helped her celebrate her 90th birthday a year ago last September. Pat, Barb & Jon, we hold you up in our prayers.

So, until next time...............................The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Ending of a Great Winter & Spring

Our 2010-2011 winter season is drawing to a close. While many others have left long ago, there are a few of us stragglers still around. Then there are a few of those who only leave for a brief visit & then return.

I am anxious to get home to see family & friends. I miss the grand kids & can't wait to see them. This is when I sometimes wished that we flew instead of drove those 2600 miles!

When we return to the park next year, it looks like we will be greeted with at least a new entrance street. They began working on Palm Drive on May 25th. They closed the front gates & we have to enter & exit through the south gate. Each side street is blocked off along Palm Drive. Curbing will be added to the north side of Palm Drive & new drainage will be incorporated into the new paving. Katherine Hepburn will be repaved along with James Cagney.

Here you can see the front gated up with equipment inside the fencing.
I talked to this gentleman while he was tearing up Faye & Gene's drive where they park the golf cart. He said, don't worry, we'll have it all fixed up & put back before they come back. He was originally from Minnesota.
Beside Faye & Gene's looking down Palm Drive.
Working at the end of our street, Jimmy Stewart
That's one big hunk of cement at the end of our street.
On Friday, May 27, the park had a Memorial Weekend BBQ. There were about 50 of us there. Had a nice lunch - typical picnic lunch. This was Carol's last day for the summer. She is taking 3 months off.
Festive - Red, White & Blue
That was the last of our activities for the year. Now the hard work begins.

Saturday morning after Bill got his hair cut, we hooked up the 5th wheel & took it out of the park to go get air in the Trail Air hitch. Then when we came back we had to back it in front of our trailer since our street is taped off. You might know, Saturday it was 100 degrees!!! We got a lot accomplished though for being so hot.
Mona, Ed & Alisa came down & we played Golf at our place. I told them it was a good thing it was night time as it was pretty dark in the park model. I put the insulation in the windows on Thursday. Wanted to get it done early to help keep the heat out for Thurs. - Sat.

Today Ed picked us up for church & then we came home & started in again. Got a lot more done & a lot loaded. I even took out time to spend an hour in the pool. If felt great! Hopefully I can do the same tomorrow!
Even got the deck covered & the patio furniture put away. I guess I should make a list of what needs to be done, but I'll do that during the night!
Tonight after supper I went to Mona's to help her with her computer, then came home & did a few more things. Got the fridge wiped out ready to put food in Tues. morning. I'm beginning to see what I can bring back without having to move everything. We'll see what next Fall brings. Maybe, (that's only a "maybe") we won't bring the 5th wheel. We said that last year & changed our minds. But with diesel prices going up & up, we may have to make a decision to leave it behind.

So for all those traveling this weekend, maybe camping, we hope you have a safe Memorial Day Weekend & don't forget the reason we celebrate this special day -

t is a day to remember our fallen troops that have fought in battles WORLDWIDE.
Remember to thank a veteran, or someone in uniform who serves us all, doing military duty, answering their country's call. Just tap them on the shoulder, Give them a smile, and say, "Thanks for what you're doing To keep us safe in the USA!"

"And I'm proud to be an American, Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died, Who gave that right to me....."
- Lee Greenwood

Until next time...................................The Traveling Cardinal's

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th, It Was HOT - 103 Degrees

Okay, it's Friday the 13th. Are we superstitious? No, but we do like the Superstition Mountains!

The weather forecast for today was to be 99 degrees. I figure, give or take a few degrees. Bill & I have wanted to take (or I should say I have wanted to take) a ride to see if we can get some pictures of the saguaro in bloom. I'd like to get high enough to look down on them. We thought today might be a good day to take a drive to the higher country where it might be cooler. I figured we might not see too many saguaro out in the higher country because of the cooler temps & I was right. But we had a nice day. We have been to Superior, Miami & Globe before, but have not stopped in town to check some things out, so today was the day.

We left around 10:30AM to head out Rt. 60.
We stopped at the Information Center in Globe to inquire if we could tour the Copper Mine & they said they don't do those anymore & haven't for a long time. Darn! So we went through the historical museum behind the information center.
Then we went downtown Globe to The Pickle Barrel. As you can see from the pictures they had everything. Someone else's trash, is someone else's treasure. A lot of the store inside had new stuff for sale. A lot of hides for making Indian clothing, beads, bells, leather, you name it. Lots of jewelery. We didn't buy anything, but we looked.
By this time we are getting hungry so we start back toward home. Sorry about the dirty windshield & the reflection of the stuffed animals. I should remember to remove them when I'm taking pictures.
After eating a sub at Subways, I take several pictures of the copper mines. Because these towns are fairly small, I think everyone must work at one or the other of these mines. It is a huge operation. In fact, the lady at the information center said they were going to open one of the mine areas up where they can't get the copper out. They can't pump the water out fast enough to get it, so they have given up on that particular mine. So next year when we come back she said we would be able to see a lot more of what a mining operation does.
Be sure to click on the pictures to get a clearer view of the site.
Heading back down the mountains, we have to go through a tunnel to get to the other side.
Now we have to cross a bridge to get to the next mountain.
Last Sunday, Mother's Day, May 8th, they had a fire along Rt. 60 that burned quite a bit of the landscape. Fortunately they got it stopped right at the entrance to the Bryce Thompson Arboretum. Pictures of the fire damage.
You can see the black area right up the mountain side.
I wish these pictures would turn out as good as the naked eye!
I have always wanted to drive up the Peralta Trail. The beginning of it is paved but then it turns to dirt. It isn't maintained, but it is in pretty good shape. A little washboardy in places, but I told Bill, it's a truck! He was better coming back out than he was going in. I think we drove in about 7 or 8 miles & then back out. It takes you to the back side of the Superstition Mountains from what we normally see from the park.
If you click on the picture you can see lots of buds on the saguaro. A few flowers were out & some had already blossomed. I guess you just have to get it at the right time. We may have been a little early. Next week we'll take a drive in another direction to see what we can find.
Just a pretty view opposite Superstition Mountain.
Superstition Mountain
Tons of buds. I'd love to see them all out at one time, but they usually don't flower like that. Maybe this one would as the buds look to be about the same size.
You can see some of the ones that have already flowered. They turn black & droop over.
Looks like a rock castle in the background.
Some prickly pears were still blossoming. Not many, but a few. Need a toothpick?
This reminded me of a cupcake on top.
This is at the trail head were you can park & begin to hike.
Facing the sun doesn't make for a pretty picture.
Superstition Mountain with an Ocotillo cactus in the front.
I don't know what kind of trees these are, but they grow all over the country side & in town here in the valley.
These are the flowers up close & it does have thorns. As I'm walking around taking these pictures, my eyes are always on the ground. With the temperatures at 103 degrees, I'm always looking for snakes. Every time I got out of the truck to take a picture I checked the ground first. I don't know what I would have done if I'd seen one. Probably passed out & fell on him!
This is another trail head where you can park & begin to hike. That poor Dutchman. I don't think anyone will ever find his gold.
Pretty good size cactus with several buds & blossoms.
We got home around 4:30pm. It was 100 degrees in the trailer! We didn't want to leave the air on since were weren't going to be here. It took all evening to cool it down. Bill read the paper on the computer & I read a little bit then took a nap.

Renee called around 5:45 PM & I talked with here for awhile.

Yesterday we got a call from Bill's sister to tell us that our sister-in-law, Sandy, had fallen & broken her elbow. They did surgery last night at 6PM. Bill talked to Robert Michael & he said surgery went well. She fell on Monday. The doctor put her elbow back in place but it didn't stay. Good thing they did surgery as she had several splinters in there. She is going to stay with her daughter while she is recuperating. Will have a hard cast on for at least 3 weeks.

Bill & I went to a concert in the park in Gilbert last night. It was a beautiful park & a beautiful setting, but we were not impressed with the music. It was country music, but the sound systems was awful. You couldn't even hear or understand what the girls were singing. We left before it was over. It was so nice to sit outside without a coat/sweater & no mosquitoes!! That is one thing about the weather out here. It is never damp in the evenings to sit out. The only problem is, everyone is gone & there isn't anyone to sit out with!! 18 more days & we can head out too.

Okay, I'm going to wrap this up, go eat my free Strawberry/Lemonade treat from McDonald's.

Until next time................The Traveling Cardinal's