Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WE’RE STILL HERE, REALLY!

Wow!  Twenty days since my last post.  We’ve sort of been in limbo taking it day by day as we had expected to have the new machine out quite a bit.   However, since Aileen didn’t want to break the law by driving without the proper licence, we kept waiting, expecting the licence to show up every day.  Finally after 18 days, I found that it was sitting in a title company office 43 miles from here so we went right up and got it on Saturday.  Otherwise, it would have been Tuesday before it was delivered to the dealer who would then notify us.  Very frustrating, and I never did get to the reason why it had to go through those channels rather than my taking the paperwork to the motor vehicle office and doing it myself. 
We did take the new machine out for a nice drive Sunday afternoon.  We took our supper with us and found a little ridge to park on so we could admire the view while enjoying our supper.  It was so quiet that it felt like your ears were being sucked inside out.   We spotted an owl perched in a tree at one point on the way home and there was a nice sunset.  Aileen drove all but the first kilometer and did just fine.  I’ll have to get her out onto rougher and tougher trails to build up her confidence so she can drive herself and a friend while I ride my old ATV.
We’ve had the pets over to the vet in Coolidge twice in the past couple weeks for checkups, shots and teeth cleaning.  It is far cheaper to do these things here than at home.  We dropped the pets off yesterday morning at the vet’s then went walking.  I needed an early lunch so we stopped at Tag’s Restaurant.   Our next door neighbour’s Bob and Evie were there and invited us to join them so we had a nice visit with them as I got revitalized.  Since the grills were cooking lots of gluten rich foods, Aileen held herself to a glass of water with lemon.  Better safe than sorry.  We had met Ernie and Atha and Ken and Marie at Tag’s Friday afternoon for an early supper and the waitress found that there was a clean grill so she was able to get Aileen a nice steak before they used the grill for anything else.  It was good we were among the first customers for supper.
One day while Jim and I were out geocaching on our machines, my lower left rear A arm broke suddenly dropping the left rear down almost onto the tire.  With some help from some lost ATVers, we managed to repair it enough to drive home.  A couple days later after searching the internet, Ernie and I drove up to a used motorcycle parts dealer on the west side of Phoenix where I was able to get a replacement part.  It didn’t take us long to get it back together and good to go again.
We’ve still had no rain so it is very dusty out riding.  It’s okay for me when I lead but I’m not interested in following so I haven’t been out as much lately.  We are doing our yearly “clean up the desert” ride this Thursday and Aileen will drive us in the RZR.   We heard a few raindrops on the roof last evening but when I checked later, there was a total of eleven drops on the car back window.   That didn’t do anything to lay the dust.  I think Phoenix is past sixty days without measureable rainfall.  We are getting some cloudier days so maybe we’ll get some one day soon.

The Saturday before last we went to a dance up at Florence Gardens and the Saguaro Sunset Band was great.  They played a mix from country, blues, rock and roll and lots of other good dance music.   Before Jacquie and Jim left, we cooked a big turkey Aileen and I got for free at IGA back in December.  We ate at Ken and Marie’s and had Ernie and Atha along with Dale and Martha for a potluck.  It was a great feast then some of us played cards later.  Jacquie and Jim left last Friday for Quartzsite then after a few days were going to start heading toward home, expecting to cross the border around the 13th of March.  We’ll be less than a month behind them as our last day in the US is April 10.  

Homeland Security Processing Facility on the right then Caliente, Tierra, Florence Gardens, Vista Hermosa and Casita Hermosa Parks.  We are in the right third, just left of the tall pole.

We took Ernie and Atha up Poston Butte one evening.  L-R Atha, Aileen, Ernie and me.  That is Superstition Mtn just to the left of the monument.  Apache Junction is at the base of the Mtn then Mesa and Phoenix etc are all to the left.

It was sunset when we got down to the bottom

On our walks we kept seeing these tracks.  Who makes them??

Now we know

Part of our riding area

Ocotillo bloom

Some of the beautiful scenery we ride past



Saguaro Cactus against the shadow thrown by an adjacent cliff

Gila Monster


A little group I led through Box Canyon

Desert Bighorn Sheep at the top end of Box Canyon