Saturday, December 31, 2011


Linda blasting up the hill

Dennis coming up the rough and rocky road

Dale and Marlene in their new Razor

Some of the country we ride through

The remains of a Havalina in an old mine shaft

A large group for lunch

Looking over to the eastern side of our normal riding area

Our son Richard riding with Aubrey

Another crested (or crown) saguaro

An end view of the crested cactus, looks like a Manatee


All the pictures here were taken in Box Canyon which is a favorite spot for us to ATV through

This red rock was intriguing since there were no others like it

Our grand daughter Georgia

Mitzy posed for me

Some neat grasses Richard discovered when he went further up the creek and suggested I might enjoy seeing them 

Box Canyon is a fascinating place and I need to spend more time there 


We got to the airport over an hour early on December 26 to pick up Richard and Georgia  so we were able to leisurely find our way in.  I was able to move the car way closer than we first parked as well.  I took my book and read.  The plane was pretty much right on schedule, so we were in the car and moving by about 10:30 or shortly after.  I think we were home shortly after 11:30 pm.
Richard finally uncovered Georgia to wake her the next morning when it seemed she would sleep all day.  Aileen made us pancakes for a late breakfast then I took R&G and Mitzy for a walk out back.  We put on about two miles.  After lunch had settled, we went to pool 2 for a couple hours.  The pool was at least 87F.  It was warm enough to stay in for an extended period and of course felt really warm to R&G since their backyard pool has no heat.   I read for a while but the wind was cool.  I finally moved to the hot tub and read there for a time before putting the book aside and getting fully submerged then hopping in the pool.
There was just a touch of frost Wednesday morning.  I only saw it on a couple of vehicles that weren’t parked under cover.   The past few days had mostly seen a harder frost.  I took Mitzy out for a walk since R&G hadn’t appeared by 9 am.  I called Aubrey H and lined up a ride for Richard for Thursday.   Later, we all went to Casa Grande after a car wash in Coolidge.  We managed to drive by a couple of cotton gins so Richard could see the large number of bales awaiting processing.  Since it was already noon when we got there, we had lunch at In and Out.
We went to Ross’ Dress For Less looking for a swim suit for Richard but none in stock.  We managed to find one for him at the Outdoor Store by Best Buy.  We checked cameras at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target and finally he bought one at Walmart.  After a few more stops here and there, we finally got home and went to pool 3.  Georgia had been nagging all day about swimming.  By the time we finished, it was time to come home and barbeque sausages for supper.
There were 20 ATVs out Thursday with 24 people as we had six side bys.   We had a good ride but it was quite dusty.  We wandered around quite a bit then finally got to the Ajax Mine for lunch.  After, we went above the mine and circled around to the right toward the Thumb then almost back to Ajax .  It was a good trip for Richard as it showcased a lot of our riding territory.  I think he enjoyed his day with Aubrey.  I had Aubrey take Richard to Dick’s place on the way home as he was looking for help to load his CanAm which wouldn’t start.  When we got there, Peg came out and said Dick would be late as Dennis’ new CanAm was broke down and being towed in.  The four of us there went ahead and got it loaded anyway.  I had a call from Dick later thanking us.
On Friday morning, I walked Mitzy over and around the Florence Garden’s storage compound then A, R & G picked us up and we went to Coolidge.  Richard took his camera into Walmart and traded it for a better one.  The first one had little blades that opened and closed when turned on or off and they sometime stuck causing vignetting.  The new one has a lens cap and a more powerful zoom.  We filled the water jugs and got a few groceries at Shopes then visited my sister Wendy and Randy for a few minutes.
It was lunch time when we got home so we got at that.  Later while Aileen napped, I took Richard and Georgia out to Box Canyon in the car.  We walked up the little side canyon then up the Box part way.  It was very busy out there with all sorts of vehicles.  It was supper time when we got back.   I downloaded my pictures after supper and edited a few.  I mostly shot HDR.   I definitely got different shots than I’d get when out with the ATV group.
I took Mitzy to the dog park this morning.  I’d stayed in bed until Aileen started feeding her then got in motion so I was in time to take her.  I loaded the car after Aileen packed us a lunch.  When R&G were ready we hit the road.  Gassed up in Florence then stopped at the Greek Monastery.  Next stop was at Biosphere 2 where Richard was hoping to get an overview but it was too well hidden.
We made it to the Winkelman community park along the Gila River for a leisurely lunch.  We stopped at DQ in Globe after walking through a flea market where I bought some fuses and slip joint pliers.  I went to pool 3 with R&G after unpacking the car.  It wasn’t too refreshing since it was 92 and the hot tub was 102F.  Georgia thought it was great of course.  The pool was a dominant subject on our road trip today.  We drove about 300 kms.
Aileen and I wish you all a healthy and happy 2012!

One of the chapels at the Greek Monastery

A view from the other side

The only thing green on this tree is the parasitic mistlestoe

A tall smokestack in Winkelman, AZ

Georgia enjoyed the slide in Winkelman Park

She tried out being a cowgirl

A stone motel in Superior, AZ

A couple of shots of the motel reflected in Queen Creek

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Port Alberni couple in the front, her sister second on right, Jim and Jacquie back right, Wendy and Randy center and Aileen and I on the left

Christmas carolers in our driveway Christmas Eve

Looking west down our street. Our place is on the right with the blue lights

Looking east down our street. Our place on the left, has the bluish lights.  A golf cart went cruising through giving the streaking tail lights

Best of the Season to All!

Life continues at a rapid pace for us.  I have been ATVing several times.  I spend half an hour in the morning and again in the evening walking to all the swimming pools recording the temperature.  Certain people have been trying to discredit my data by saying all the pool thermometers are broken, so I bought my own and record both temperatures.  We’ve been to Casa Grande a few times and I’ve been to Mesa and Apache Junction twice in the past week.  Yesterday, Jim J and I went to Harbor Freight which is a guy’s toy store with lots of discount tools and things and Home Depot.  I managed to spend less than $10.
My old friend Ken (82) and I shimmed up the pipe sleeves which raised the RV cover higher.  We used a come along and my ATV winch to pull the top of the pipes over then jammed some large spikes in to take out the slack.  With the very strong winds we had, the roof was bobbing and dipping a lot, mostly because of the slack created by the difference in pipe size. 
A week ago Saturday, Ken M and I went out to the diversion dam just before two pm.  I was about to head home again when Aileen called and said there was no rush so we carried on to the turquoise mine and wandered around a few trails there.  On the way home, I stopped Ken at the seven mile rail crossing to remark on the fact the wind had changed totally (180 degrees) on us since going out.   While we were chatting, Jim E (an ATV friend who was riding with the main group that day) came roaring around the corner and past us.  As we idly watched him disappear, I had the impression I’d seen him up on two wheels, then we didn’t see any more dust so we got down there asap and sure enough he had rolled off the corner by the big puddle.  He was trapped under the upright ATV with his full face shield helmet hooked in underneath the machine.   Ken and I were able to lift the ATV up enough for Jim to crawl out.   He complained of a sore shoulder and seemed a bit confused.  We gathered up all his belongings which were scattered around pretty good then I drove the machine back up onto the road and Ken helped Jim get up further along.   The only damage I could see was a broken lid to the tote box and the right side of the handlebar bent down.  He was very lucky!  I don’t know if the others in his group following would have noticed him over the bank as they would be watching the puddle.   Later, it was determined he had broken his collar bone.
I was lucky enough to sell the framed print of the Old Mercury Truck as a Christmas present.  Many had admired it but none had room to hang it or the money to waste.  I went to the last two music jams in our park.  The group surprised Wendy on her birthday by calling her up to the mike at the start of the break, then we all sang happy birthday.  She was quite surprised.   One of the ladies brought a nice big decorated cake for all to share.
Aileen contributed quite a bit of time to the Caliente Clowns and their mission to make Christmas a little cheerier for some of the local disadvantaged children.  She helped sort and organize gifts and also went to one of the events where things were distributed.   We delivered a carload of food and gifts to the second event which was on Dec 23.  This had been donated by our block herein the park.  We’re continuing to type articles for the park newsletter as well.
We went to my sister Wendy and Randy’s for Turkey lunch today.  We picked up my Aunt Jacquie and Jim on our way.  Wendy and Randy had another BC couple from Port Alberni and the wife’s sister from Victoria over for lunch with us.  The couple bought just around the corner from Wendy.  It was a large delicious feast and there were lots of leftovers.
Tomorrow will be a long day as Richard and Georgia fly into Phoenix at 10:19 pm so it will be about midnight when we get home.

Some of the clowns and the guys who made model airplanes for the kids.  Aileen with the big hat

Some of the beauty in Box Canyon

Lunch spot on an ATV ride

This is called the Thumb and is a dominant landmark for miles

Some interesting bluffs along the Martinez Mine Road

One of the rock obstacles in Box Canyon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


My new tote boxes

I put on four loads of laundry Sunday morning first thing then took Mitzy to the dog park.  I managed to have breakfast and a haircut by Aileen while the clothes were in the dryer.  Then I took Mitzy for our walk out back.  Aileen didn’t go to church but rushed around on various projects.   She worked up a little blurb for Marie about the Colorado dinner.  She worked on revising the Colorado poster for Marie as well.  
I had purchased two large toolboxes from Lowes and finally figured out their placement on the ATV then enlisted Ken Mackley’s help to get it done.  I am very pleased with how it looks and hope it works as planned.  I took it over to show Scotty as he was thinking of getting one for his.  It took me awhile to get everything cleaned up and I vacuumed as well since I’d made a mess drilling the plastic and there were a lot of feathers and seed puffs on the carpet from the recent wind.  I also put the motor home awning out to dry.
I went to the second half of the Sunday jam and there was some good music played and sung.  I grabbed the vacuum and cleaned all the Annex carpet as soon as they were finished.  Linda and Arnie usually do it but they didn’t appear so since our Alberta friend’s party was up next, I just got at it.  We had a good visiting time.  Aileen sat next to Maxine who lives at 311 Ocotillo.  They hadn’t met before although I’d met her and her husband several times.  In fact it was from them I borrowed the 2x6’s we used to lift the RV cover.  There were snackies then pizza and Caesar Salad and a lot of laughs.  Our friends are going back to Alberta for Christmas then they are off to their time share in Mexico for the rest of the winter.
I went up to the clubhouse at 9 am Monday and bought Canada supper tickets for Jordan’s and us.  Aileen went to the meeting then helped some of the clowns package up presents for the disadvantaged kids they support.  She came back about noon and got me to help load our car and Phyllis’.  I had stayed home all morning to put the turkey in the roaster at the prescribed time.  That went well, but I forgot to turn off the turkey neck on the stove so the pot had boiled dry when we returned.  Luckily it was all salvageable.  Shortly after four pm it was time to take out the turkey and it was very well done which made for hard slicing.  There were about 52 ATV people at the potluck.  We had a surprise appearance by Santa and I got some good pictures of some of the ladies (and guys) with him.
We had 1.5 inches of rain over Monday and Tuesday, according to Daryl’s rain gauge so we spent most of our time indoors.  Tuesday definitely wasn’t an ATV day.  We lay abed a little later than normal since it was darker than normal.  Aileen went to the board meeting.  Mitzy and I stayed home and waited for a lady to bring Aileen’s new bib and apron over.  Sue (I think) didn’t seem anxious to go home and back to work so I showed her a few slides and a show on my computer.  We had a good chat.  Aileen was pleased with both items when she got home.  She had admired the lady’s work at Country Store in the clubhouse last Wednesday and the lady said she could put any of her patterns on an apron.  She didn’t do bibs so Aileen took her old one over as pattern and now the lady has a new line to work with.  Nobody seems to sell bibs here, which is surprising.
Kathy Richardson (filling in as block leader since both our leader and alternate aren’t here) came by to see if we wanted luminaries, while Aileen was napping.  Aileen went just down the next street for a haircut at 3pm.  She’d mailed her last Christmas cards in the morning on the way to the meeting.  She also dropped off the little Colorado Dinner notices to Marie that we’d done up the other day.  I was appointed meatloaf maker for supper.  It turned out fairly well, I guess.  Aileen cooked veggies to go with the left over mashed potatoes from the potluck.
Last night, I did the pool inspection about 7 in the rain and the pools were 88, 89, 95 and 95!  I doubt it even got up to 50F yesterday.  Talk about wasting energy.  We went to pool 1 and it was very nice, in fact, almost too warm at 88F.  It poured on us most of the time which just helped to cool us a bit.
The weather has improved for us today and it was quite pleasant in the sun for a time.  Mitzy and I got for our walk out in the desert.  She was eager to run today after being cooped up for two days.  I took pictures for Betty who we bought our trailer from as the ones she had done had a nasty colour cast.  I tidlied them up in PhotoShop then took them over on a thumb drive so she could make prints. Next I went to help Patty on the street behind us as she couldn’t figure how to send an attachment from her new email program.  It took awhile but I finally spotted the button for it.
Aileen jut remembered a few minutes ago that we have the ATV happy hour at 4 pm.  I’d forgotten as usual.  She also came out with the exciting news that Richard and Georgia are coming on the 26th until January 2nd!

Finger Food?  Karen was taking some turkey home

Come on, its my turn

Now she's happy

Mickey's trying the soft and cuddly approach

Dennis is asking for a new quad

Here's our grand old man Blue who, at 82, rides three days a week 

Karen, Dennis' wife and Ruby who is Blue's wife

Our yearly group shot

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Our life continues to whiz by at a rapid pace.   We’ve been having some pretty cool weather so the swimming pools went from too warm to too cold in a couple of days.  We had several frosty days in a row and in fact, some of the mornings were cooler than Salmon Arm up in BC.   Where I used to hunt for the coolest pool, lately I’ve been searching for one that’s warm enough.   I’ve been monitoring all four pools since November 14 and Aileen has been working on a letter to the board of directors requesting that one of the pools be regulated at a temperature no higher than 86-88F.  We’ve been getting strong support from quite a few residents.
I’ve been riding my ATV only two days a week mostly this season and finding myself the leader a few times.  My Uncle Jim found a deal on an ATV the other day and it is almost identical to mine, same colour and year etc.  We went on a ride up the Gila River on Thursday which may be our last river ride for some time.  The river had been nearly dry except for a few pools but has now begun to flow again.  I was leading the group and got myself stuck for the first time.  We managed to get on a trail and move a few miles further upriver then were able to ride in the river for some distance.  A couple of our riders are interested in searching for gold, so being a small group, we were able to indulge their passion.
We went to supper with friends one night and played a couple games of SkipBo then had other friends over another night.  I played some of my photo shows to them until their eyes glazed over.  We’ve been a couple times to Casa Grande and to the Mesa Market.   We’ve been to ATV happy hours the past two Wednesdays and they are a good time.  One night we were just finished covering pool 4 when we heard a large crash and some wailing then hollering.  A lady on her return from bingo, had fallen up the steps and banged her head on the bottom of the sliding door.  Her daughter came running from up the street and got there just after me.  Apparently this is a too common occurrence lately.  I couldn’t see any marks but suggested they ice both the forehead and her right shin which she banged on the step.   That was enough excitement for me.
Tomorrow we have a going away party for an Alberta couple who have been here a couple months and are going home for Christmas.  Sometime after New Year’s, they are going to their property in Mexico for the balance of the winter.  It’s a rough life!   Monday night is the ATV potluck for which Aileen is cooking a gluten free turkey and Wednesday night is another ATV happy hour. Then there is probably rides Tuesday and Thursday.  Aileen has a couple of Caliente Clown meetings and a Celiac support group meeting.  Did I mention we lead a rather busy life?

On December 1 we had a nice little dust storm. This is out behind our park

Some of went riding December 1 and it was quite pleasant where we were until mid afternoon when the dust started coming again.  We are approaching the top of what is called the Little Spline

On December 6 we went by some petroglyphs

The Thumb is on the left, some of the country we ride through

Just above Box Canyon

Close up of the above photo

I got stuck.  It was too steep and muddy to climb out.  Photo by Jim Jordan

We're moving!  Photo by Jim Jordan

One of our riding trails along the south side of South Butte

This unique area is just to the right of the above photo and I've never seen any other similar landscape in this region

Dave checking the contents of Jim's pan

Eureka!  Can you see the tiny speck of gold?

Riding up the river.  There are no fish or anything to worry about and the river dries up a few miles below us.  When they eventually let water out of the Coolidge Dam many miles upstream, all the water will be channeled into an irrigation canal