Sunday, March 23, 2008

Burros and Old Friends

As we followed old Route 66, one place we wanted to see was Oatman, Arizona. Oatman is this little OLD town that is out in the middle of nowhere. Wild burros roam the surrounding area, and come into town for visits and to munch carrots. The main street in town, consists of many of the old buildings converted in to little shops. To some folks it would be nothing but a tourist trap, but to us it was something special. The old hotel, that was first built in 1903, still stands. It suffered a major fire years ago, but was redone. In 1939 Clark Gable and Carol Lombard used the hotel for their honeymoon. You can go upstairs and see the room they stayed in, and some of the other rooms with period furniture. Downstairs is a bar and restaurant with dollar bills all over the walls. You can tell how old some of them are by how the color has changed over the years. It was so neat to think how many people have come through there. Some stores sold bags of carrots for the burros for $1.00, and the kids were having a great time feeding them. Babies would choke on the carrots, so they have signs all over saying not to feed them. Then they have gun fights. Well...... sort of gun fights. It was pretty funny. Then they pass the hats for donations. As we were walking down the street, a group of horses and riders came down the hill. I guess it was something else do in Oatman.
We went to Oatman via Bullhead City. We stayed in a very nice campground overlooking the river, and the sites of Laughlin, Nevada. About the only thing in Laughlin is casinos. There is a strip of them the right along the river. We went to the Colorado Belle to have the $2.99 breakfast buffet. All you had to do is get their players' card. It was terrific. And of course, we went back for the dinner buffet. It was only $7.99. Maybe we should have waited till the next night to do the dinner buffet. I was mighty uncomfortable on the way home.
After Bullhead City and Laughlin, we went through the mountains to Las Vegas. It was some of the most beautiful scenery we have seen yet. We just kept going up and up. We came through Henderson, and couldn't believe the change since we were there 10 years ago. It was almost as bad as Houston. Then it took us a little over an hour to get to Pahrump. Let me tell you, Pahrump is a very friendly town. There isn't much here, but it's growing. They, also, have casinos. We stopped at Wal-Mart first. We needed some groceries, but mostly to see one of my friends from my old Wal-Mart days. Clark and his wife Marie used to live back in Wilkes-Barre. They moved out West about 6 years ago. It was good to see him. We made arrangements to go out for dinner with them last night. They took us to a restaurant by a golf course. The food was to die for. We had to get take home boxes for half of the food. After dinner we followed them to their house, where we met Bailey the basset hound, and Tina the mini doxy. Bailey is the biggest basset I have ever seen. Tina is the sweetest little thing. They rescued her. Her previous owners weren't so nice to her. Now she has a great new home. We had a great time catching up, and we'll call them again before we leave here.
Tomorrow we get an oil change for Emily. We have to get up early. We don't do that anymore. We'll have to move in a hurry. The appointment is at 8. Sometimes you just have to cope.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lake Havasu and Beyond

First let me tell you that we have been having some problems with our computer. Let's hope I can get this entry done before it goes crazy on me.
We left Surprise, Az. on Sunday morning on our way to Lake Havasu. Of course we had to see the London Bridge. It was moved there from London in the 60's. They took it apart block by block and rebuilt it. What a beautiful place! Mostly boaters, and water sport enthusiasts. And recently spring breakers. Seems to be the place they go from this part of the country. The weather was nice and sunny, but a bit chilly.
On Tuesday morning we went down to the village to see the bridge. We thought there would be a nice English village type atmosphere, and were disappointed. Again we wanted something different, and came away feeling we missed something. They had some shops, but not the kind we were looking for. I guess maybe they have more during the summer months. I hope so. We did enjoy watching the ducks. One in particular was the boss. He (I'm assuming it was a he) was chasing all the mallards away. He must have been marking his territory. Then he went on the other side of the dock, and came back giving another duck the business. On second thought, maybe it was a lady duck. Tom took some pictures of the bridge and surrounds. I hope you enjoy them. On the way up there we passed the little town of Hope, Az. As we entered the town there was a nicely painted welcome sign. As we left the town limits there was another sign. It read, "You Are Now Beyond Hope." We couldn't stop for a picture, but we thought it was funny. Just another great memory from our travels.
Traveling up route 95 in Arizona, there were many beautiful sights. The mountains of California on one side, and the Colorado River. The other side had the desert and mountains of Arizona. As close as they were together, the California mountains were much more rugged and craggy. For a while on our to Bullhead City we were on old Route 66. Those of you reading this who are of an age, remember the old TV show. How that road was ever the main highway going across the U.S. is beyond me. When Tom was very small, his Dad had been stationed in Hawaii. Went they came back home, they traveled that same Route 66. It must have taken them days and days.
The next entry will have more of our adventures on 66, and going up to Vegas. The phone service had not been good in that particular area, so naturally we had no Internet connection. I'm trying to make sure I get everything in, so it will take a few entries to cover it all. We sure have been busy, but we love it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting Ready to Leave.

Here we are, getting ready to leave. We can't believe it's been a month since we came in to Surprise. Tom's cousins Jim and Dee came over the other day to say their good-byes. Today we did the laundry, turned in the mail box key, and the rest we will do tomorrow. We will leave on Sunday morning. The folks here have been really friendly, and tell us we will be back. Maybe someday. As nice as this place is, it is a resort, and we like a campground atmosphere better.
We are heading toward Bullhead City. It's about 200 miles away, but it is supposed to be windy. Emily is really quite good in the wind, if it isn't to bad. It could be a lot worse. Some RVs are terrible in the wind. We are going toward the north, and higher up, so it may be somewhat cooler. That's OK, we"ll keep warm. The desert will be quite pretty, we hope. We still have lots of green. We have seen patches of nice colors, but none of the cacti that we know is worth waiting for.
It's hard to believe that we have only 6 weeks left before we get home about May 1st. Where did the year go? Times flies when your having fun. And we sure are having fun.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Apache Trail

What a trip!! We finally did the Apache Trail. For those of you who have done this, you know what I mean. For those of you who haven't, you are missing something too beautiful for words.
We started off early, with all kinds of cloud cover. All these beautiful days, and we pick this one to do this. We were lucky. By the time we got to Apache Junction we were pretty hopeful that the sun would come out. Fortunately, it did. We did this trip starting with Old Highway 60, turning off at Globe. We turned onto Rt. 188, and soon came the Tonto National Monument. I had told Tom I wanted to visit some of the cliff dwellings here in the west, but I hadn't realized they some were so close. When we saw them from the pull-off, I was so happy.
The entrance to the cliff dwellings was just up the road. We decided to see what it was all about. Tonto has 2 sites. The small, and the large. The large was about a 3 hour trek up the mountain and back. The small site was about one mile up and back down. We paid our 3 bucks each and started off. The climb wasn't too bad. The walk way was paved, and there were benches along the way. For someone who doesn't hike, or walk a lot, it is still fairly easy to do. You just have to stop and rest along the way. The views we had from the top, was worth the climb. It was amazing to think people lived there-way up on a cliff in a cave-like setting. You can see hand prints on the walls where they put the finish on the walls. Fascinating!!!
Roosevelt Lake is the lake you see in the pictures Tom took from the dwellings. It is a huge man-made lake created by the Roosevelt Dam. So beautiful. And so massive. You will also see Apache Lake and Canyon Lake. Canyon Lake is the one with the arch bridge.
While traveling the Trail (Rt 88), you have to be pretty sure you don't get vertigo. At times the road has no guard rails, and it has a sharp drop-off down. How far is anybodies guess. The paved road becomes graded dirt, and very winding with sharp hairpin turns and at times one lane. There are a couple of one lane bridges, also. But the views are the most fantastic and in some cases magnificent. At one place you drive down into a canyon. It was my favorite part. On all sides when you look up, all you can see are walls of rock. We would have stopped to take more pictures, but it was getting late, and we were getting kind of tired. The drive is very bumpy, and terribly dusty. So we just kept on driving till we reached the end. Then it took us another hour to get back home.
The Apache Trail is the route stage coaches took. It also served as a way for goods to get to towns in the mountains, and for trappers and such to get their goods to the cities. The Lost Dutchman Mine is in the Superstition Mountains somewhere, just waiting to be found.
So, if you are looking for a nice day trip in the mountains of Arizona, try the Apache Trail. It comes highly recommended.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Margarator Day

Yesterday Ed and Hazel came for a visit. Hazel and I were talking, and the margarator came up. I showed it to her on the computer. I told her I was going to get it for my birthday. Hazel thought we should celebrate my birthday while they were here, so we just had to go get it. I found it at J C Penny. The computer said it was available in all stores. We all climbed in the car, and off we went. Sure enough, they had plenty in stock. I took it up to the register, and they said $119.00. Well, the computer said $79.00. I was not paying the higher price! The cashier asked if I was on J C I told her J C Penny Stores. That's 2 different sites. She said she would have to get a manager. The manager told the cashier to go on-line and check it out. Well, she turned to me and said, "You were right." Like I made the whole thing up. She told me next time to print it out so there wouldn't be a problem. How would anyone know if the prices were different? Oh well, all worked out fine, and we got it for the lower price.
Ed suggested we go to Cosco and get stuff to put in it. We were all in agreement. So in we went, and got more than fixins for margaritas. In the basket went some shrimp, a rotisserie chicken, some veggies, and other goodies. When we got home, we got the Margarator set up and running. Tom even tried one. He isn't much for fruit drinks. Ed, hazel, and I really enjoyed it. Then we had a nice little picnic supper. What a good time. It was after dark when we said our good-byes. It will be a long time before we see them again. Probably not till next fall. Travel plans have us going in different directions till October. We'll meet them in Livingston, Texas at the Escapees Park, and volunteer again at the CARE center. We sure will miss them.
Tomorrow we are going to ride the Apache Trail. It should be exceptionally beautiful. We have seen some pictures from others who have traveled it. It should take most of the day. We'll share it all with you.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Dreaming and Family

Last Thursday we went to a RV show at the stadium. They had new and used -all kinds. Gas, diesel, rear gas, anything you would want. We started at the used diesel pushers. Saw them all but the tag axles. They would be way too big. Then we went on to the new motor homes. We went into most of them, too. The one we liked the most was a 40' Monaco Camelot. It had 2 recliners, which is very rare. A wide screen TV was also something we liked. The 2 things we liked best was the amount of storage in the kitchen, and the huge areas for closet space. It was a beautiful unit. Only 14,000 miles, and the same year as our Emily. Like the title of this entry..dreaming. Maybe in a couple of years. It's always fun to look. Looking gives us good ideas on what to look for when we do serious shopping.
Saturday we went to Jim and Dee's for a family got-together. Most of the Arizona family were there. It was so good to see them all. We all took something to share, but Dee made most of the food. Jim cooked hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, along with some sausage. Salads and lots of finger foods. Yummy. Dee makes a really good strawberry pie. We each had a piece of that. I must say, we really miss those Plant City strawberries from Florida. There's nothing like them. Right about now we would be having shortcake if we were there. Be that as it may, we had a great time, and we are glad we are here.
Speaking of Florida, we have seen some Mets games on the TV. It's good to have the boys of summer back in the field. We do love our Mets! WE haven't gone to any games here yet, maybe one day this week.
Luke Air Force Base is very close to us. Every day, except Sunday, we have fighter jets fly right over our site. Usually as a pair, but sometimes 4. We haven't counted, but I would say maybe 20 times a day. During the night they don't fly too often. They are really something to see. We are used to them now.
Today we went to do the laundry. It took quite a while. Then we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart. We just needed milk and a couple of other things. After that we came home to watch the ball game. We love that TIVO. I fixed a supper of left-overs. I made ham and mashed potatoes and gravy yesterday, so we'll finish it up and have sandwiches tomorrow. We are having a few cooler days, so having the oven on isn't too bad.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring, but that's half the fun. We'll take it as it comes.