Saturday, November 30, 2013


We were invited to a wedding up at the clubhouse yesterday and what a hoot that was.  The theme was Hawaiian and everyone was given a lei.  It said on the invitation that it was never too late to get lei’d!  Joanne was Aileen’s hairdresser in the park but has finally retired at 80.  In fact, she and new husband Jim are both 80.  The clubhouse was nearly full of well wishers and we had a great time. 
The festivities did start off with a traditional wedding officiated by the winter minister in the park, then the Hawaiian show began.  A troop of authentic Hawaiian dancers entertained us for most of an hour and the performances were very good.  When audience participation started, it became hilarious. Immediately after supper dancing began and the DJs had some great music.  Lots of the older people in the park are very good dancers and know how to have a good time.
Aileen and I drove down to Oro Valley, just north of Tucson, to the farmers market this morning.  We didn’t buy anything but had a good look around.  Mitzy received lots of attention.  It would appear some people go to these things so they can meet and greet pets.   We had a nice lunch at Olive Garden then wandered a few stores in the mall.  Our day was mostly overcast which was a change from the beautiful clear sky day we had yesterday.  Jim and I enjoyed that while geocaching on our ATVs a few miles north east of here.  I was able to get my ATV belt replaced for a reasonable charge so it is back carrying me around the desert and mountains.
Jacquie and Jim have sold their lot and have to be off it on December 16.  They may come back and rent for a couple months every winter.  They will head over to Quartzsite on the 16th and we plan to join them on December 17th.  Our “plan” is to stay in the Quartzsite-Bouse area until the fourth week of January when we’ll come back here.   I will be scouting out some trails to take the club members on when they come to visit.
I saw in the Duncan, BC paper that my Mom’s Cousin Vi passed away a couple weeks ago at 87.  That generation is dropping fast.  Sister in law Sheila lost her Mom just last week.  We continue to slog away on Mom’s diary.  Aileen is well into 1998 while I’m still back in 1996 proofing and printing.  Mom continued the diary pretty much until she went into care but we’re not sure how far we will continue to print, as her dementia was getting fairly advanced by then.   
We walked a bit in the Parks then mostly in the desert on Thursday morning.  Getting into the spirit of the American Thanksgiving, we had the turkey in the roaster at 7:55 and it was well done by noon.  It was nice to have an excuse to have another turkey feast.  We puttered at getting things organized and ready then Crutchfield’s and Jordan’s arrived bringing lots more food and dessert.   We had a bountiful repast then Aileen suggested cards later.  She regretted that as she ended up with a minus balance.  Jacquie won.  We had fun anyway! 

We walk every morning before breakfast, even in the nasty wind and rain a few days ago and have only missed going to the pool once since we arrived.  We’ve seen some nice sunrises while walking out in the desert behind the park but I seldom take my camera.  I’m not the sharpest tack in the box first thing in the morning.    

There was enough cake to feed twice as many people.  Those table are 30 inches wide so you can see how big the six Hawaiian cakes were and we ate most of the wedding cake first.

Aileen and our friend Betty who we bought our property from nearly five years ago

The bartender who was a grand daughter of the wedding couple sampling the pina coladas

The 80 year old bride and groom supported by their grandchildren

The Hawaiian warrior and fire dancer was quite a character

About a third of the guys who volunteered to make fools of themselves 

The warriors learning their roles

Boy could those girls swivels their hips!

Eating fire for the bride and groom.  I liked the expressions on some of the others.

Sunrise this morning

Palmilla, a member of the agave family

Palmilla sends up a tall flower stalk with lots of flowers

Barrel cactus boogie

A Christmas wreath made of peppers

Lots of peppers at this booth at the farmers market

This neat old building was adjacent to the farmers market

Sunday, November 24, 2013


We go for a walk every morning before breakfast.  Some days are better than others.  Yesterday we had to put on rain gear and I still came home wet as all my Gortex clothing leaked a bit.  We’ve had some record rainfall the past few days.  Up in Phoenix on Friday they nearly tripled the old record of .5 inches on that date.  For us it rained from Thursday night until Sunday morning with some breaks.  There were just a few showers this morning.  We were really needing the rain as the desert had gotten very dry and dusty.  We’re starting to get some sunny periods now but the temperatures will be lower for a while than they were. 
When I came homeward on my ATV ride Thursday, about six or seven miles out I blew a drive belt.  Fortunately, there were still two riders behind me.  Although they were on a slightly different route, I was able to run up the bank and flag them down.  While I could still sort of drive, the flapping of the belt was pretty bad so friend Dave towed me home.  He also told me about the chap who does his repairs and I was able to get my machine in today.  That necessitated fast tracking my finding a trailer.  I’d been looking for the past couple weeks and finally made the move and bought one from Lowes on Friday. 

We had supper and cards with our Colorado friends Ken and Marie last night.  Jacquie and Jim made it in to their park yesterday.  We will have both couples over for the American Thanksgiving which is this Thursday.

I wanted to see how my new Canon 6D performed in low light.  I'd read that it would focus in moonlight and by golly it does.  Aileen's shadow is from the setting moon at 6:16 am. The ISO was 12,800 and the blur is caused by the 1/4 second hand held exposure

There is one ancient Indian rock drawing on Poston Butte.  There may be more but this is the only one I'm aware of.

Sunrise over Florence, AZ at 7:05 am.

Some sun rays a little after 7:30 am

 One of the locals reflected in the Gila River

Some of the scenery we ride through

Dave and Sandi brought their brand new Wildcat out so we had to christen it in the Gila River.  Some days the river runs and other times it is dry.  There is a dam many miles upstream which is usually totally blocking the flow until they release water for irrigation purposes.  On this day, the water was not going into the irrigation canal but left to run down the river for a ways then disappear in the gravel.  The flow made it within about five miles of the highway.  Consequently, there isn't usually a fish population to worry about.

This big guy buzzed pretty low over us as we were riding

On our Thursday ride, we saw this Nissan Exterra that had tumbled all the way down from the top of the hill on the right.  I suspect it had been stolen and sent over as the finale.  However, it may have been parked up there and accidentally rolled away on them.  There didn't seem to have been anyone in it on the ride down but there were lots of foot prints in the tracks up top where it started from.  It had already been removed when we came past on our way home. 

The point where the Exterra began its wild ride.  You can see it in the center if you click on the picture to enlarge it.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Well, here it is two weeks since I last posted.  It isn’t really that nothing has been happening but a change in priorities.  Instead of spending my evenings doing a blog post, I’ve been working on Mom’s diaries.  Aileen has been madly typing them getting further and further ahead of me so I thought I’d better make an effort to close the gap a little.  My dad started this diary in 1946 before I was born then Mom took it over.  She missed a couple years in the late forties and a bit here and there but she really put out the work.  I just completed proofing and printing 1995 at page 4,856.  Yes that is correct, nearly 5,000 pages and there are still quite a few years ahead of us.  I think we’ve been typing and printing these for off and on for fifteen years!  After spending the evening at the computers working on the diaries, we head down to the pool for most of an hour then it’s nearly bedtime.  So, there went our evenings.
I’ve been out on a few ATV rides and we had our monthly ATV potluck this past Monday evening.  I’ve only made it out once geocaching mostly because it has been a little windy or too warm for doing it on my bike, which I prefer.  I enjoy caching with the ATV but it was too warm for that this week.  We have been enjoying our morning walks alternating between walking in the parks and out in the desert.  I have also been reading in spare moments.  I had a friend over the other day picking my brain about cameras and lenses.  Today another neighbour was wanting help looking at a used ATV in the next park then comparing it to mine.
One day last week we went to Picazzo’s Pizza way up in Phoenix.  It was over 70 miles which is a long way to go for a free birthday dessert.  They’d emailed me a coupon and I thought lets go for the outing.  It took way longer than planned as we ran into road construction twice.  The dessert was very good though!  We did manage to do some needed shopping at some interesting and different grocery stores.  We even found a couple of hard to find items.

I’ve taken care of several items of business such as paying our property taxes on the lots here, giving new bank info to the city, closing our old bank account, renewing my ATV insurance and more.

Some interesting lichen on the way up Poston Butte

The trail up Poston Butte.  That is Superstition Mtn in the distance, home of The Lost Dutchman Mine.  Apache Junction is just to the left of it then Mesa and the rest of Greater Phoenix

Alfalfa fields to the south of Poston Butte.  Florence is just to the left

We had some neat skies to the east tonight

Rest stop along the Gila River

Some of the beautiful country we ride through

My group at the Coke Ovens


My neighbour Jim dining with a great view

Friday, November 1, 2013


When we woke up Tuesday morning, it was very calm.  We had a good drive the rest of the way down Hwy 395 until in the vicinity of Victorville.  Somewhere there, we missed our turn and after a bit, I pulled over as it wasn’t feeling right.  We finally had to program a Joshua Tree address into the GPS to get a route to follow.  Unfortunately, it took us through miles of stop lights so we were very glad to finally escape to the wide open spaces again.  We found a decent boondocking spot at the end of Broadway off Sunfair Rd just beyond a massive solar farm under construction.
We were up bright and early and on the road about 8:30 Wednesday.  There was miles of new pavement after leaving 29 Palms which was a treat.  We only went as far as Bouse, AZ Wednesday arriving there just after noon so we had a leisurely afternoon.
Yesterday morning, Thursday, saw us up even earlier and on the road by 8:20.  We put gas in at the junction of I-10 then followed I-10 right through Phoenix stopping once at a rest stop.  We made it to Coolidge by 12:10 so had lunch in the Walmart parking lot.  After the wind warning on Monday, we lucked out with very little wind all the rest of the trip.  After lunch, we unhooked the car and Aileen went to the Florence Post Office to get our mail delivery started.  I stopped and filled up with propane in Florence before heading to the park.
We got set up in short order once we had the ATV pushed out of the shed and out of the way.  We can’t get it out when the motor home is in its spot.  I spent the rest of the day vacuuming and hosing out the carport and opening up the park model.  It was very clean inside which was good as they’d had several dust storms again this summer.   The pool and hot tub were great to visit last night after our exertions.
It was nice to meet some of our friends again after our long absence and more came in after us.

We were off to Coolidge this morning for groceries and we’ll be busy going here and there for a few days getting things done.   I was pleased to have my ATV start up easily once I gave a bit of a boost to the battery.  Last year it was very difficult to get running.

These photos were all taken yesterday morning before we left our Bouse camp
The sun is barely kissing the distant hills and we met a couple of cows who were surprised to see us

The sun is getting a little higher

And now the sun has reached us

Nice long shadow when you catch the first rays of an early sunrise

There were several displays of these pretty flowers