About Me

Lee Creek, North Shuswap near Chase, B.C, Canada
We went full-time Rving in October of 2005! We retired from full time to part-time as of the end of 2015. Our present "small but comfortable" Wagon is a 2008 Camper trailer(TravelAir Rustler), pulled by a 2008 Dodge Dakota, 4X4.l. Our home is now a Gated Community Park, in Oliver, British-Columbia, Canada. I retired in 2005 and my Life Companion, Valerie, retired October 1, 2006 from nursing. We invite you to follow and share our new adventures and mishaps. Life is but an adventure full of dreams yet to be fulfilled!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 30 & 31, 2009; Winterhaven to Desert Hot Spring, California

DEC 30, Wednesday; Last day in Winterhaven
A beautiful sunny day with a light wind! It’s been a good 10 days here, very busy with geo-caching, socializing with friends, visits from family and just a good time all around. We packed all our stuff getting ready to leave tomorrow then we went to the post office to mail a birthday card to my daughter, Rochelle and to pick up some milk and beer. We went over to Pat & Rick where Glenda and Terry met us and we had one last happy hour together. Of course, I got teased for getting stuck in the sand on our last outing in the desert. We had a nice time and it was soon time for us to say goodbye and head home for dinner.
After reading Glenda and Terry's blog, I realized that I forgot to mention we had an earthquake late in the morning. The epicentre was in Calexico at 5.9 on the richter scale. We felt our rig rocking back and forth and a few after-shocks. It was quite an experience

DEC 31, Thursday, to Desert Hot Spring, California
Last day of 2009! We packed the rest of our stuff and left Winterhaven around 10 a.m. We drove west on I-8 then northwest on 111 to 78 and eventually Hwy 86. We stopped at a casino for fuel for both our truck and our bodies. They were advertising steak and eggs for $4.99...hard to resist, right!? Fuel was at $2.86/gal.
We finally arrived on Dillon and followed that to our next site, Catalina Spa RV Resort. We are at site 238, next to Marcel and Audrey (Val’s sister). This is a very nice park with lots of palm trees and well manicured. The best thing is that there is NO wind and it is warm. After setting up, we had happy hour with the Lemieux’s. Audrey had some chicken and we had that for dinner along with a potato salad and a green salad.
At 9 p.m. we went to the club house and danced our way to Midnight! It was fun and a lot of people were in attendance. Marcel even sang a couple of songs. Lots of laughter and the New Year arrived with a bang and lots of kisses and hugs. We finally went home around 1 p.m. and ended at Marcel and Audrey for a nightcap. Finally called it quit around 3 a.m.

We travelled 158 miles (255KM) in 4 hours at an average 45 MPH.
N 33* 54’ 46”
W 116* 26’ 16”
Alt: 950 feet


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 26 to 29, 2009; Life in Winterhaven

DEC 26, Saturday, Algonodes, Mexico
Mim called around 9:20 to say they were on their way to the Mexican border so we took off and met them at the border. We all walked across into the town and began sightseeing and shopping of course! Ed and Julie bought a couple things and so did Jack and Mim. Dan bought a sweater for a friend and we bought a stained window that matches our decorations in the screen door. We had a couple of beer and tacos at a local restaurant then walked some more. After a couple hours of this, everyone wanted to call it quit but not before having another beer at a local bar where two guys were playing guitar and singing. They were pretty good too!
We crossed back into the USA around 1 pm and we came home to get Tucker then drove to Mim and Jack’s place and had happy hour with the crew. We came home around 5 p.m. and had stew for dinner which Val cooked two days ago.
It was cold while in Mexico and not all that warm while at Jack and Mim. I hope it warms up soon.

DEC 27, Sunday, Geo-Caching
Pat & Rick, Glenda & Terry came over around 11 a.m. We went to search 7 caches and found 4. One cache was on top of the mountain but by the time we got to it, it was late in the afternoon so we gave up. Glenda and Pat & Rick did very well searching and finding the caches. I think that Pat is sold on this. We went back to Glenda and Terry’s place and had happy hour. Glenda served chilli with all kinds of trimmings to it. It was delicious. Terry showed us a few comical movies and Glenda showed us a few pictures. We came home around 8 pm.
Overall it was a successful day and I think everyone enjoyed their day including us.

DEC 28, Monday, change of plan
We were to play golf today with Glenda & Terry and Rick and Pat but due the lousy weather and the wind, we cancelled out after talking to everyone.
We had to go to BEST BUY to get cards for our internet so we decided to go back to a couple caches we couldn’t find and...solve the problem we did! We found every one of them. Amazing what a night off will do. We resolved 4 caches and put a travelling bug in one of the caches. We eventually got to BEST BUY and bought what we needed then we went to TARGET to buy a new ice maker. Terry finally convinced me that it was a good deal!
We came home and got dinner going. We called the “crew” and told them the news about the caches.

DEC 29, Tuesday, to Algodones, Mexico
Glenda and Terry picked us up at 9 am and we drove to the casino near the border for breakfast. We paid a whole $12 for four for all you can eat.
From here, we drove to the border, parked and walked across to Algodones, Mexico and found a cache inside a restaurant. It was under the counter but you could see it through the glass. We signed it then went shopping into the market area. I bought a hat and Glenda bought a sweater. We then went to a huge liquor store and bought some tequila and a bottle of vodka. We also sampled some other tequila while there. We met Rick, Pat, Charlie and Julie while in the store.
We crossed back into the US without any problems and came back to our place. Glenda and Terry left and Val did the laundry. I called Jack and Mim but there was no answer so we didn’t get to meet them again before leaving.

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 21 to 25, 2009; to Winterhaven, California

DEC 21, Monday; to Winterhaven, California
We left Casa Grande around 10:30 am after saying goodbye to all our new found friends. We headed south on 387 then west on 84 which eventually connected with I-8. We stopped for lunch pass Gila Bend then as we arrived in and around Yuma, we called Glenda and Terry to let them know we were here.
We arrived in Winterhaven, California, a few minutes later (it is only 8 miles from Yuma) and booked in at Pilot Knob RV Park, an AOR member! Our cost: $90 for 10 days; can’t complaint at that! We set up and tried calling Marcel and Audrey but there was no answer. We got a call from Glenda inviting us to dinner at the Casino on the road to Algonodes, approx. 5 minutes from here so we accepted.
We went over at 5 pm and had a smorg for $12 for both of us. WOW! And the best of it, it was very good. Afterwards, we played a few machines and “Lucky Pat” won $200. We had a beer then came home with plans for the crew to come over tomorrow.

We travelled 188 miles (303KM) in 4 hrs @ an average 52 MPH.
N 32* 44’ 45”
W 114* 45’ 53”
Alt: 254 feet

DEC 22, Tuesday, Visitors
We got up to a beautiful sunshine so I finished setting up the satellite dish and the X-Mas lights. It was a good thing because the wind began blowing and we had a sand storm come through our area which it lasted all afternoon.
Marcel and Audrey (Val’s sister) arrived around 3 pm so we sat and visited for the rest of the afternoon. For dinner, we went to the casino that we went to last night and had dinner there ($24 for the four of us) . Afterwards, we played the machines and Audrey won but then lost everything. We came home and visit some more then it was bedtime.

DEC 23, Wednesday, Winterhaven
We got up around 8 am. Marcel and Audrey had already showered so we got dressed and went to the Casino again for breakfast ($24 for the four of us) and all you can eat. It was delicious! Of course, Audrey wanted to play more machine afterwards; she won then lost everything. We then drove to a little place across the highway from where we live called “The Centre of the Earth” ( figuratively speaking of course) and we were each given a certificate that stated we had been there. We were then given a tour of the place and then we walked don our own. Unfortunately, I didn’t have our camera but will come back later.
We came back to our place and Marcel and Audrey left. In the afternoon, we went to the laundry then headed to Glenda & Terry and Rick and Pat RV Park for happy hour. We had a nice visit and came home around 7 p.m and had dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

DEC 24, Thursday, X-Mas Eve
What a wonderful day this was, full of surprises! First, we got a call from Mim and Jack, friends of ours at our home park in the Shuswap, who are presently camping here in Yuma so we made arrangement to meet them later in Welton where Ed & Judith and Dan & Heather are staying. We went shopping for the stuff Val needs for the dinner tomorrow then we drove to a Park on the East side of Yuma and visited with a co-worker where Val worked. We had received an e-mail telling us that they were here so we went to visit them. We had a drink with them and a pleasant visit then we drove to Welton, 20 miles away, to meet up with Ed & Judith, Dan & Heather and Jack & Mim. It was so strange to meet so many of our neighbours from home and to top it up, they insisted that we stay for dinner, a full hen dinner with all the trimmings and dessert to boot made by Mim. We had a really fantastic time. We finally left around 7:30 pm and came home.
While there, we call a call from Audrey and Marcel saying that they had finally found Bud and Judy in Phoenix and were getting drunk at the local bar.

We called our kids this morning and had a wonderful talk with everyone. Everyone was in a good mood of course and Santa was good to the kids. We also got a call from Mim and Jack inviting us to go to Algonodes, Mexico, tomorrow and we accepted. We also called Karen here in Yuma but she is busy the next few days so we won’t be seeing here this time...too bad! Val cooked a dish for dinner at Glenda and Terry tonight. We met everyone at their park, Cocopah Golf and RV, around 3 p.m. and we had a wonderful time. The turkey dinner was a success and we even played some dice games afterwards and won a few pennies. Present were Glenda & Terry, Pat & Rick and Charlie & Julie, friends of Glenda and Terry.
We came home around 10 p.m. and Tucker was sure happy to see us.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 16 to 20, 2009: last days in Casa grande

DEC 16, Wednesday, Laundry day
After Val’s exercises, it was time for laundry chores. I replaced a couple bulbs that were burned out and then I worked on the AV Receiver trying to get the radio to work properly. (Successful) then I went with my neighbour, Ron, to town to get propane, some groceries and tool parts at Ace Hardware.
In the afternoon, we sat around and read our books. It was a nice sunny day, low 70’s. Mel came over late in the afternoon and we went over a few caches for tomorrow

DEC 17, Thursday, Geo Caching then dinner out
We went geo-caching with Mel and Lorna around Casa Grande Mountain Park. We had 15 caches total but only searched for and found 6. The terrain was quite rugged and lots of cholla which we all had encounters with. Believe me when I say that they are prickly and hurtful. We came back around 3 p.m. and we, Val and I, got ready for dinner out with Uncle Bud and Judy and Cousin Bill and Glynnis from Oliver, BC who are staying at a RV Park in Arizona City. We had a very nice visit then we went our own way after saying our goodbyes. We watched “Survivors” in the evening

DEC 18, Friday, Casa Grande
A warm day it was! After showering, I took the truck to the Ford dealership to get a fuel valve replace compliments of a recall! The amazing thing is that the last time we had a recall, we were also in Casa Grande. While there I got a lube & oil, fuel & air filter change.
From here, I went into town to get my laptop looked at as the “Virgin Mobile” stick(Internet hook-up) would not hook up. I went to Best Buy and they fixed it without any cost. When I came home Val had disappeared to a bead class and she was gone most of the afternoon so while she was gone, I read.
For dinner, I BBQ’ed pork chops which were absolutely delicious!

DEC 19, Saturday, Casa Grande
Sunny and warm! We went to get some groceries at Safeway and some cash for tonight. Spent the afternoon reading and visiting with neighbours. A few more BC’ers are here now. I had bought “WIN7” at Costco the other day so I installed it ( a clean install). I had a couple problems but got them straighten out. We will see if it was worth the expense!?
We went to the club house for dinner, steak & baked potato, salad and dessert. It was delicious. At 7 pm we went back to listen to a family (Whistle Stop) playing Gospel and Blue Grass music. They were quite good and we enjoyed the evening. Of course, we met more people. We came home around 9 pm

DEC 20, Sunday; last day in Casa Grande
A cloudy morning greeted us but it is warm!
We had a lazy morning and I cooked breakfast! A busy afternoon it was. First, Lorna and Melvin came over for a visit and to say good-bye then a couple of other neighbours came over. Val was busy being the social butterfly while I loaded the kayaks, the bikes and put away the BBQ and chairs. Later in the afternoon, I read and Val enjoyed talking to the neighbourhood ladies. It wasn’t all that warm as the sun never really came out but it wasn’t cold either.
For dinner, Val made chili and it was delicious; now we relax. Tomorrow we head out and west!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 12 to 15, 2009; Casa Grande

DEC 12, Saturday, yard sale
We got up early so that we could participate in the yard sale this morning. We had a few items which were uselessly floating around in the basement so we put them up for sale. Lorna and Mel dropped off an item they wanted sold (they were going to Mesa) but it didn’t sell. They only thing we were able to get rid of, was the coffee pot, so now Val some spending money.
In the afternoon, we went to “Michaels” so Val could get some explanations on a pattern she is working on and I went looky-look in Best Buy, next door. (Didn’t buy anything). We stopped at the video store and dropped off seen videos then came home. Being a very nice and warm day, we sat on the porch and read until it cooled off.
After dinner, we went to the club house and listen to this guy playing guitar, telling stories and singing. Hi name is Johnny Bencomo, half Comanche, half Mexican, half American and the other half; he doesn’t know but thinks it’s Coyote! He was REALLY GOOD and entertaining. He played 3 different guitars: one had 6 strings, the second had 12 strings and the main one had 18 strings, all acoustic and man, was he ever good with those 18 strings. The sound flowed off the strings.
We listened to him for 3 hours and finally got home around 10:30 p.m.

DEC 13, Sunday, More Geo-Caching
One might think we have been bitten by the bug... And they would be right! Val went to do some exercises with a lady friend then we met Lorna and Mel after lunch for some more Geo-Caching. We drove to a park East of I-10 which was very spread out with lots of rock mounts. We searched for and found 9 caches around here and must have walk 2-3 miles in total...good exercise! We had fun which is the main thing and found some that were quite hard such as micro caches which are caches with little containers hidden under rocks or in trees.
We came home around 4:30 p.m. and went our respective houses for the evening. Now I have to go on line and register our finds.
We watched “Express Train to Christmas” on a local TV channel then it was bed time. Tucker slept most of the evening wearing off all this exercise.

DEC 14, Monday, Tucson to visit friends
We went to Tucson today for two reasons; we wanted to visit friends Carla and Ed and we also wanted to go on top of Mt Lemmon. Well, we left Casa Grande and as we drove towards Tucson, the sky got more and more grey and it started to rain. Not long but enough to quash our plans to visit the mountain so we ended spending more time with our friends which was better anyway! They are set up in their motorhome on a parking lot in town selling Christmas trees. The place was not busy when we got there so we got to visit but as it got nearer 4 p.m., it became busier so we said our goodbyes and returned to Casa Grande.

DEC 15, Tuesday, Phoenix to visit family members
We took hwy 387 & 87 to Phoenix for something different. We came upon a Costco by pure chance so we stopped and bought a few things, actually more than we anticipated but...what the heck! We then drove to Camping World and managed to buy what we actually went there for and no more...Amazing!
Anyway, after lunch, we drove to Bud and Judy’s place (Val’s cousin) and had a marvellous visit with them. We went to a local restaurant for happy hour and dinner then we went our different ways with plans to meet again Thursday. We came back to our house and put everything away. It was a good day; the temperature actually got up to 72*F (21*C) and it is still 60*F at 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 7 to 11, 2009, Casa Grande, AZ

DEC 7, Monday, Casa Grande
Clouds and rain greeted us today! I made a call to our UPS store and had our mail forwarded to us. Val went for exercises in the morning then we went to a shopping mall nearby where we bought a few items at Fry’s then I dropped off my jacket to have the zipper replaced/repaired. We also went to the bank to get some cash and quarters for the laundry.
We found a Blockbuster Video store and got a couple movies then came home. Val cooked a marvellous dinner consisting of spare ribs, potatoes and vegetables. It was delicious especially since it was cooked in beer. In the evening we watched a movie and listen to the wind storm happening out there. It blew so hard that everything went flying outside: table, BBQ, tools and even the satellite dish was knocked over to the ground ripping the pickets right out of the ground. Actually the wind was so strong that the trailer was rocking on its wheels and Tucker was crawling to us trying to get reassurance that all was well. It lasted late in the night.

DEC 8, Tuesday, Casa Grande
We got up to more strong wind this morning but at least the sun is shining. Val went for her exercises and I put everything back in place outside including the satellite dish. (no damage, thank goodness)
Lorna and Mel came over for a visit. They are a couple that Carla and Ed had told us about and are into Geo-Caching. We had a nice visit. Afterwards, I went to a seminar on electricity and power protection devices. I met Mel there and we were to try out the web site on Geo-Caching but unfortunately, the net was really slow so we gave up.
Left over for dinner then we watched a video called “Letters from Iwo Jima”

DEC 9, Wednesday, Casa Grande
Back to clouds today, Val got a call yesterday that her aunt passed away and this morning she wasn’t in form for exercises so she stayed home. Throughout the day, I attended a couple seminars: one on how to protect your electrical system and the other on cellular antenna and internet hook-ups. We went over to Mel and Lorna afterwards and Mel showed me how to get around the geo-caching site. We went home for dinner and watched a movie.

DEC 10, Thursday, Casa Grande
I went on the net this morning to the geo-cache site and downloaded 4 caches around here and near the shopping centre. On our way to the Centre we looked for the cache. We found two of them. One was a puzzle and we just couldn’t make sense of it so gave up after searching for 20 minutes.
We went to Michaels where Val bought some wool for knitting and I went to Best-Buy and got a stick for the internet through Sprint. The nice thing about this is you only pay for the time you use; there is NO contract. I picked up my jacket at the dry cleaner with a new zipper on it then we went to Wal-Mart and got some groceries and home.
I installed the internet stick and got it working.

DEC 11, Friday, Geo Caching
Today we went Geo-Caching with Lorna and Mel but first Val went for her exercises and I attended a general meeting with the Park manager where we were told what is new & old and upcoming events such as X-Mas dinner.
In the afternoon, the four of us went on a round trip to Arizona City, south of here, and looked for and found 6 caches. Mind you, they weren’t all that difficult. One was quite a way in the desert but we were able to drive up to it so not much of a challenge. We took Lorna and Mel to a micro cache we hadn’t had looked for previously but hadn’t found. Lorna found it almost immediately. It was a magnet bolt on a metal pole and once you unscrewed the nut form the bolt, it was hallow and inside was a rolled up piece of paper with signatures inside. Quite neat and innovative!
We came home around 4 p.m. It was a really good day!

Monday, December 07, 2009

December 4 to 6, 2009; Casa Grande, Arizona

DEC 4, Friday, to Casa Grande

It was a cold night! 28*F this morning at 7:30 a.m. Val went for her exercises one last time and I got the rig ready in the meantime.
We were on the road by 11 a.m. after paying our used electricity . We headed west on Hwy 82 then turn north on 83 in Sanoita. Hwy 83 is a scenic by-way and it lived up to its reputation. We were stopped at a Border patrol check point and asked for our visa. This is the second time we’ve been asked for our passport. The young man was polite and chatted with us about Canada for a while. A few miles later, we turned west on I-10 and arrived in Casa Grande around 2:30 p.m.
After paying our dues (102$ for 20 days), we set up in site 170. At 5 p.m., we went for the Friday night steak dinner at the club house and met some new people at our table. A good day overall and it feels good to be here. We went from 4300 feet down to 1300’ and from 47* to 62*F. (9* to 11*C)

We travelled 224 km (140 miles) in 3 hrs @ an average speed of 53 MPH
N 32* 55’ 14”
W 111* 45’ 16”
Alt: 1390 feet

DEC 5, Saturday, Casa Grande
There was a craft display in the park this morning so Val wanted to take a look. I walked Tucker afterwards then we went to town to the shopping mall where Val bought some cosmetic stuff. We stopped at a “Pet Smart” and bought a new leash for Tucker and some treats of course. We then went to “Best Buy” where I bought an FM booster antenna for our new A/V Receiver.
I fuelled up @ $2.69/gal. and got some propane @ $17. and we came home. Val had a craving for chilli so that’s what we had for dinner.
It’s been a cool and cloudy day. I think it only got up to 62*F (16*C)!

DEC 6, Sunday, to Mesa Swap-Meet
It is a bit cool today and cloudy although the sun is trying to get out once in a while. Val phoned her cousin Bud to let them know we are here and to make plans on meeting. We decided to go to the Swap-Meet today in Mesa. We took the long way around as we wanted to see new country side. We drove 387 to 87 and Florence which we hadn’t seen before. We drove through the historic downtown but only took one picture. From here we headed north on 79 to Hwy 60 which took us to the Swap Meet on Baseline Road.
The Swap-Meet consists of 4 long tents side by side. I would venture to say it is at least 2 miles of walking in total or so it seems and they have everything you can shop for, kitchen stuff, as seen on TV stuff, RV stuff, souvenirs, paintings, etc... You get the idea!
Anyway, we bought a couple things and only two rows. We decided we would come back at a later date.
We came back home via 202 and I-10, had dinner then watched Sunday Night Football.

Friday, December 04, 2009

December 1 to 3, 2009; last days in Huachuca City

DEC 1, Tuesday, Sierra Vista
Yes, Val went for her exercises! It is sunny but cool today and we can see new snow on the top of the local mountains.
We went back to Best-Buy as I am still having problems with the sound system on this new system and after some advise, I bought a new digital cable that will, hopefully, resolve my problem. We went for a drive into Ramsey canyon reserve but it was closed when we got there so we turned around and went to another canyon where we drove up the mountain up to 6400 feet before turning around and yes, we were in snow which seemed weird this far south. We took a couple pictures then came back home. First, though, we stopped at a local saloon I had seen a couple times and we stopped for a beer. Well, this place had locals in and they were in the mood for a happy time. After our first beer, we left but not before a few laughs.
We came home and I hooked up the cable and “VOILA”, we now have surround sound with our “Blue Disk” player.

DEC 2, Wednesday, repair shop
After Val did her exercises, we took “Bear” to RV CITY which is about 5 minutes from here and had a couple of warranty jobs done: The faucet in the kitchen had come loose and so did the one in the bathroom and the antenna/TV control switch had cease to work so that was replaced. While the work was being done, we drove to “FRY’s” and picked up a couple grocery items and some lunch meat for our hike tomorrow. We came back to RV CITY and picked up our rig, drove back to our site and re-set everything. I had just unhooked and left all the hose and cable at our site. By the way, Val took the rig to the garage and I am not sure whose nerves were frayed the most...mine or hers!? She did OK! Got propane at the campsite @ $21.54 (2.90/pound)

DEC 3, Thursday, hike at Parker Lake
We left at 8 a.m. in Mary’s car to go on a hike. There were just four of us, Mary, us, Larry and Tucker of course. We drove west on 82 then south on 83 to the lake. The drive was really pretty with some awesome scenery. We arrived at the lake an hour later and hiked around the lake; five miles of easy walking. We saw a deer, a couple of cranes, a Mexican blue Jay and a few other birds. The scenery again was awesome and we had a good time. It took us almost 2 hours to walk around the lake. We had to go around a few inlets which made the hike even more interesting. We stopped for a snack half way at the dam which is retaining the water for the lake. Tucker had a good time too.
We got back to our site around 1 p.m. and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. This is our last day here; tomorrow, we move to Casa Grande.
At 4 p.m. we went to the club house for one last time. They call it “grazing” in this park!?
I posted more pictures in folder #53

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 27 to 30, 2009; Sierra Vista, Arizona

NOV 27, Friday, Sierra Vista City
Yesterday at the Thanksgiving dinner, Val found out that there were morning exercises so off she went this morning for 9 a.m. I showered, took Tucker for his morning constitution and stopped at the office to register and pay our dues, 77$ for 8 nights, not bad. This is a very nice park even though there are few trees. It looks new and everyone is very friendly and it is a DOG FRIENDLY park.
In the afternoon, we went to Best Buy to look at what they had on special on this “Black Friday”. (For you folks at home, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and HUGUE, BIG sales are held everywhere in the States; it is as big as X-mas). We looked at a home entertainment system and ended up buying a Sony HD Blue Ray system for less than $400. I also bought a new printer and a pair of hiking runners at Wal-Mart. We stopped at a Wild Buffalo Wings restaurant and had a beer and nachos to forget the big expense then came home. I BBQ’ed steaks for dinner and Val made a salad to go with it.

NOV 28, Saturday, to Patagonia
After a late breakfast, we went to Patagonia State Park to take a look at the lake and the campsites there. Before that, we stopped in the village as they had a Art& Craft display along the main street so we walked the whole thing and looked at most of the stuff without buying anything although I really had to restraint Val!
The lake at the State Park was really nice, surrounded by mountains and lots of trees but we didn’t get to go in the lake as it was just too windy. Actually, it’s been cool and very windy all day everywhere. We came back to Patagonia to a local Saloon we had seen before but it was full so we carried on to Sanoita, about 12 miles away on the way home and found another Saloon/Restaurant where we had a beer and watched Football.
We got home around 4 and I took Tucker for his evening walk while Val got dinner on the go. A good day overall!

NOV 29, Sunday, Huachuca City
We woke up to rain this morning and it continued on and off all day. The wind picked up later in the afternoon cooling the temperature quite a bit. We stayed home and I put the entertainment centre together and Val did some laundry. The cost here is only $1. per machine. Val cooked a pork roast for dinner, Yum-Yum!

NOV 30, Monday, Huachuca City
Another cloudy and cool day and it rained again during the night. Val went for her exercises this morning. In the afternoon, we went shopping for groceries at Fry’s. We also went to Wal-Mart where Val bought some balls of knitting wool. She also bought a pair of hiking runners.
We came home and put everything away. Val’s sister Kathy, called so they chatted for a while. I am just watching the news from BC and it is warmer in Victoria then here (5*C) Unreal!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 23 to 26, 2009; St David to Sierra Vista AZ

NOV 23, Monday, wash day
After Val’ exercise, we went to the laundrymat for the weekly laundry duties. In the afternoon, I downloaded our e-mail and updated our blog. We got an e-mail from Val’s sister that they may be coming to Palm Spring for X-Mas and New-Years! Wonderful news and Val is very excited! We will be in Winterhaven, only 2 hours from Palm Springs.
The rest of the day was spent reading, walking Tucker and helping a new neighbour in backing up and setting up. He is handicap and she did all the driving, set-up and looked after him and the dog that is blind and deaf. Now that is one courageous lady to whom I lift my hat!!!

NOV 24, Tuesday, Fort Bowie
Val wanted to go to the library to exchange some books that we’ve read and after doing that, we drove to Fort Bowie National Historic Site, approx one hour from here. We first drove to Wilcox than south on Hwy 192 to the turn-off which turned into a gravel road. We drove into the Chiricahua Mountains and found the fort on the East side of the mountains. As we drove up to the fort, two Javenila (wild pigs) crossed in front of us; that was exciting! Then we came upon a camp site full of University student studying Buddhism. There was even a Buddhist temple! A little further we came upon a house built of “bales of hay”; yes, bales of hay and it had a metal roof, windows and two doors. We took a picture of it.
Although not much was left of the fort, it was still impressive and the Ranger at the Info Centre was most informative and knowledgeable on his history of the place. I found out, for example, that the reason they built in the mountains was because water was found more readily then on the plains. This was also the immigrants trail to California and the “Butterfield Overland Mail route” which began in Fort Smith, Arkansas and ended in San Francisco via Yuma and Los Angeles. We spent about a half hour with him then walked the grounds and took a few pictures which I’ve uploaded to the “Arizona Folder”.
Fort Bowie was instrumental in the Apache war in the 1800’s and Cochise was held here as a prisoner for a while. The fort was closed in the late 1890’s. Now, all that remain are ruins here and there which have withstood years of deterioration and the elements quite admirably.
You know, as we go through all these historic sites, everything I learned and watched on TV comes together and makes me feel quite good about my limited knowledge of history. It is really neat to see sites that one has heard about and finally find what is fact and what was fiction!
We drove home via I-10 and fuelled in Benson @ 1.87/gallon. I BBQ’ed hamburger for dinner and Val made a lentil salad then we watched the tube for a while. The temperature has dropped quite a bit and it is really cool outside.

NOV 25, Wednesday, packing and readying to leave.
We woke up to 34*F (2*C) and sunny skies! This is our last day here and Val went for her final exercise classes. Later in the day, I loaded the kayaks and the bikes and put everything away. Val made muffins and cleaned house. We both need a change from this place.
For dinner, we went out to Benson at a Mexican restaurant with another couple. The restaurant had tacos for 1.50 each so we each had three with either rice or re-fried beans. It was delicious and we had fun. A good way to end our stay here! I also made some changes to our stay in Yuma so that we can spend some time with Marcel and Audrey in Desert Hot Springs. We are now booked in Yuma from Dec 21 to 30th and Catalina Spa RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs from Dec 31 to Jan 3/10.

NOV 26, Thursday, Onward to Sierra Vista, AZ


Since we had a short distance to go, we slept in. We were on the road by 11 a.m. and after saying good-bye to our neighbours, we left and headed for I-10 then south on hwy 90 to Hwy 82 where we turned west and arrived at our new destination, Quail RV Park, an A.O.R. member in Huachuca City near Sierra Vista.
After setting up, we went over to the club house and had Thanks-Giving dinner (or is it lunch?) and met a bunch of new and very friendly people.
We have WI-FI here but no cable and only one English Channel on the antenna. We are here for 7 nights.

We went a whole 32 miles (52 KM) in one hour @ an average speed of 36 MPH
N 31* 41’ 29”
W 110* 21’ 25”
Alt: 4425 feet

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 20 to 22, 2009; St-David

NOV 20, Friday, rest day!
Sort of! We went to Benson shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart and I also checked “phones on demand” and how they work. We may use this next year rather than our phone. Tucker didn’t want to come with us, as a matter of fact, he has been sleeping pretty well every moment he can.

NOV 21, Saturday, St-David
Quiet day at home! I went to Benson and washed the truck at a wash bay as we cannot wash at our site. Val did her exercises then went to the club house to work on a puzzle. It was a warm day again and lots of people about. I uploaded more pictures and updated the blog. There was a craft display/sale at the club house so we went to that but there wasn’t much there. The lady that did our personal cards had a booth there so we ordered another bunch as we are low on stock.

NOV 22, Sunday, St-David
Another easy day at home! I washed all the windows on BEAR than vacuumed and washed the inside of the truck. I also scrubbed the bugs off the front end. Val didn’t have exercises today but she went to visit a lady in her class that is leaving tomorrow. Read for a while then it wass time for dinner.
We had a very delicious pork meatloaf for dinner then watched a couple movies on the satellite

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 17 to 19, 2009; Geo Caching around St-David

NOV 17, Tuesday, St-David
Val once again, went for her exercise this morning which consists of a walk in the desert with Carla at 8 then aerobics at 9 followed by exercise in the swimming pool at 10. She does this every morning. She does like it a lot but she also likes the socializing. In the afternoon, she went with Carla to a book store in Benson and was gone most of the afternoon.
I washed the front of “BEAR” and the bikes then went into town to get some groceries and filled the propane tank @ $18. I filled the truck @ $2.74/gal then came home and put some hooks up for Val. I uploaded my pictures and the blog and checked on our finances...all is well!
For dinner, I BBQ’ed hamburgers then we watched the tube.

NOV. 18, Wednesday, more Geo-Caching
Our plans were to go see ghost towns today and we did more geo-caching along the way. After the girls went for their exercises, the four of us, Ed & Carla and we, went to Tombstone where we turned east on this gravel road and headed for Gleeson. We first stopped at this funky little ranch in the middle of nowhere called “Snake Pit Ranch”, known to have all kinds of snake skins items such as knifes and wallets and boots. The yard was full of, what I would call junk yet it was placed in such a manner to make it interesting. There were steel helmets form different army such as Russia, Japan, US and British. We spent about ¾ of an hour there and this is where we found our first cache. After signing in we headed for the ghost town of Gleeson where our second cache was to be found.
It was located near the road so we found it without any problems. We then went on to another ghost town in the area and our third cache. We had a hard time finding the third cache and it ended up being on top of a very high and steep hill so after a valiant try on our part, we decided that maybe we were on the wrong side of the hill so we gave up. We had to drive through some pretty rough roads and ditches to get here; good thing ED has a jeep!
We came back on the gravel road and found the fourth and final cache which turned out to be an old cemetery from the early 1900’s. In the cache we found a history paper on the place which stated that people were buried here after an epidemic of flu similar to H1N1. It was quite a story where people panicked and fled to the hills and resorted to gun fire to keep their neighbours awayas it was quite a scare for everyone. (SEE PICTURES)
There were about 20 graves that we could see and the place was overgrown as it had been abandoned. After a couple of pictures, we went to the remains of the town than decided it was time to head home. We headed to highway 191 then north to the cut across to the village of Dragoon, Texas Canyon and eventually 1-10 and home.
It was a marvellous day! Even Tucker was tuckered out.

NOV 19, more sight-seeing
Ed and Carla left this morning for Tucson where they are on a work-camp so we decided to head for the Saguaro National Park near Tucson. We drove through Vail, near Tucson, and then headed up the hill to the park. First, we stopped at the Colossal Cave Park but they wanted $5 to get in then more money for the caves so we headed back down towards the National Park. This is our third National Park this trip so we decided to buy a year’s pass as we will be visiting more along the way. Saguaro Park was a very nice place. The view of the mountains and the city surrounding us was great and we even hiked a couple trails. One of them was the Freeman homestead where the Freeman’s family lived in the early 1900 before the Park bought the land from them. All that was left was the foundations of the house and a bit of history on them but the hike took us to a dry river bed and back over some beautiful scenery of huge Saguaros and over 25 species of cacti. From here we drove the whole circle drive which took us over some awesome terrain then it was time to head out.
We stopped for some groceries then we drove home and arrived back at 5 p.m. Another good day, indeed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 11 to 16, 2009; St-David, Arizona

NOV 11, Wednesday, St-David.
Val went for her exercises at the club house and I slept in! How lazy!? Anyway, we took Tucker for his haircut today and I spent the day putting up gadgets that we bought at Camping World. We also got a new US map and I put that up on the wall. It is a bit smaller than the one we had before so I hope that when I put the Canada map up, it doesn’t look out of proportion too much.
We picked up tucker at 2 p.m. looking handsome as usual and smelling much better.
We have more neighbours around.

NOV 12, Thursday, visit Wilcox
After Val’s exercises and breakfast, we went for a drive to Wilcox, approx 34 miles from here. We took I-10 to Texas Canyon, approx 10 miles from here and took the Rangoon road. We first stopped at a Ranch Resort where they advertised music and dancing every Saturday night. The place was an RV and cabins resort and was amongst all the rock.
I should mention that Texas Canyon consist of big boulder rocks all tumbled onto each other and forming some very unique and balancing scenes. We continued on and stopped at the AMERIND Museum a little further down the road. This was a very interesting museum but unfortunately, we weren’t able to take pictures inside. It was a history on American Indian but also Canadian Indians, Eskimos and South America Indians. Very interesting with lots of artefacts, maps and some pictures. There also was an Art room with some beautiful painting and colonial furniture.
From here we drove to Rangoon which turned out to be just a few houses and a coffee shop then went to Wilcox. Wilcox is an old cowboy town near Cochise Hiding Place and Fort Wilcox. We stopped for a couple pictures and went into an old saloon and had a beer then came home
We stopped for some groceries and beer & wine and bought a cooked chicken for dinner. In the evening, we watched Survivors!

NOV 13, Friday, St-David
Clouds and wind greeted us this morning. It’s also a bit cooler. We spent the day around here, walking, visiting then after dinner, we went to the club house to listen to a Country Western Poet. He was interesting to listen to and Val really enjoyed him. His partner had a beautiful voice and sang a couple songs she had written.

NOV 14, Saturday, St-David
Cloudy but no wind; we had a 5 minutes, well... maybe15 minutes... downpour in the afternoon and that was it! The funny thing is we can see sunshine to the west and north of us; go figure!
First thing this morning, we went to another campsite near Benson which had a big yard sale so we spent a couple hours there. Val bought a shirt and I bought a couple of bags to put my bungee cords in and two books by Clancy and one from Coonts for .25 cents each.
We came home and I cooked bacon & eggs then Val went to the club house to work on a puzzle and I went for a long walk. It began raining just as I got back to our rig. Tucker was the lazy one and refused to come or maybe he knew it was going to rain!?
We called the kids in the evening and spoke with everyone then called Vanessa on Garret’s cell phone and wished her a happy birthday, they were having dinner out.

NOV 15, Sunday, St-David
After breakfast, we drove about a mile down the road to St-David Monastery where they had an Art show advertised. It turned out to be full of selling kiosk (about 140 of them) selling everything from jewellery to homemade jam to hats and clothing. There were also Art painting and the usual metal art stuff. We walked the whole thing and only bought two bottles of sugar free relish and one Jalapeno jam. The Monastery also has an RV park and the Monastery is much bigger than we figured. We met our friends, Carla and Joe, also looking around and they invited us to walk the Monastery trail which we did. It wasn’t long but it was well done with a beautiful little lake and lots of birds.
We came home around 3:30 p.m. and I had a little snooze while Val went to the club house to work on a puzzle.

NOV 16, Monday, Geo-Caching
Carla and Ed invited us to go with them in their jeep Geo-caching so we went. We drove to near Tombstone and turned left on a gravel road and headed east towards the Cochise Stronghold Mountains. We had 4 caches to find and we found all four! Ed had a small portable GPS and it took us to all of them with no problems. The first one was near the road under a sign so was easy to find but the others, we had to hike to them amongst all the rocks and shrubs.
This took all day and we didn’t get back until 5 p.m. Tucker was with us and I think he had a riot with all these walks and rock climbing. He was really good at it too. We had fun and we left our personal card in 3 of the caches; it will be interesting to see if we get a response.
We both had worn shorts and needless to say our legs suffered for it, they were scratched from the prickly shrubs. Tucker seemed to have fair pretty good as he didn’t whined but he did sleep most of the evening. We all went to bed early!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 6 to 10, 2009, St-David, Tombstone, Tucson

NOV 6, Friday, Chore day in St-David
We slept in and woke up to a sunny & warm morning. Val did laundry and I fixed the antenna (it was too tight and wouldn’t turn). I installed the under-cabinet coffee pot that we bought in Wal-Mart a while back. I also uploaded the last of our pictures in two new folders, # 49 & 50 covering the Gila cliff dwelling and the towns of Silver City and Pinos Altos; ENJOY!
In the afternoon we went to a presentation on how to book anywhere in the WHR system for $2/night only. Afterwards, I set up the satellite so we can get Canadian news. Val made an appointment to get a haircut for Tucker. We also met a couple of neighbours and one couple is into kayaking and cycling but unfortunately, they are here for only 4 days.

NOV 7, Saturday, Shopping day
We went to town shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart. Afterwards, I went to check for a car wash and found one so will be visiting it in the near future. We are not allowed to wash our vehicles or rigs in the park which is kind of dumb especially for the rig. Anyway, we went for lunch at a local restaurant then headed home and put all the groceries away.
We went to the club house for a steak dinner with our neighbours, Ron and Merlene from California. We had free tickets and the time was wrong, it started at 6 p.m. and we got there at 6:30, Oh well, we got a dinner anyway. There weren’t many people there.
We came home afterwards and called it an evening.

NOV 8, Sunday, Tombstone
We found out yesterday that there was a country music festival this week-end in Tombstone so we went. We invited our friends but they wanted to tour Bisbee and other places so we went on our own.
We spent the afternoon listening to music on the street and walking the town. I bought a belt and Val got her picture taken with a noose around her neck and a cowboy holding her. For $10, we also got a little tomb stone made of wood which has her name and today’s date. Quite neat, indeed! We went for lunch in “Big Nose Kate Saloon” (Doc Holliday’s girlfriend). Val had her picture taken sitting on the piano then we went downstairs in the dungeon to view a gold mine and a little souvenir store; anything for a buck!?
You will recall that Tombstone is famous for the OK Corral gun fight with the Dalton’s and the Earp’s. Actually there were a few gun fights in the street today. There were a lot of people around and many shows happening. Tombstone is a National Monument Park.
We came home around 3:30 p.m. and called it a day.

NOV 9, Monday, St-David
In the morning, I made a few calls with WHR, AOR and ROD to set up reservations for the next two months and got most of them except Indio, it was full already.
When we bought our groceries at Wal-Mart the other day, we found we were short a few items which we had paid for so we went back and we got all the items missing with no problems. Ron and Merlene went kayaking in Patagonia but we stayed home as we are going to Sierra Vista next week and will be able to go then. It is 75 miles from here which would have made it 150 miles return trip (210KM). We did a couple jobs around here then read our books and relax, as if we need it!? It was a sunny and warm day! We had happy hour with Ron and Merlene

NOV 10, Tuesday, shopping in Tucson
Ron and Merlene left this morning. We went to Tucson to Camping World to buy things we needed and others that we couldn’t do without! We met Ron and Merlene there, also shopping for necessities so we said good-by one more time.
Afterwards, we went to a small place nearby call “Beer and Hamburger” where we had a beer and lunch then came home. It was 91*F in Tucson and 84*F in St-David when we drove back. No more complaining!!!! Hihihihiihi
We have two new neighbours whom we met and briefly chatted with.

Friday, November 06, 2009

November 1 to 5, Gila cliff dwelling New Mexico to Arizona

NOV 1, Sunday, Carlsbad
We had another lazy morning then went for a drive to “Sitting Bull Falls”, approx. 40 miles from here. The road in was really interesting and scenic. Took a few pictures for Picasa site!
We hiked up to the fall then took a trail up and around the top to take a look at the three pools that feed the fall. We took a different trail to come back down. The Rangers there were really friendly and helpful.
We came back home and fuelled the truck @ 2.55/Gallon. I BBQ’ed steaks for dinner then it was relax time. Tomorrow we move on to Silver City to look at the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

NOV 2, Monday, To Silver City, New Mexico
We were on the road by 9 a.m. and headed south-west on Hwy 62. We re-entered Texas near Guadalupe Mountains and went around the mountain range. The scenery was breath-taking after the boring desert drive. We soon arrived in El Paso, Texas and went around it via Hwy 375 which turned out to be very scenic too as we climbed to 5000 feet over the mountain pass and down the other side to I-10 where we turned North and West.
At Deming, we turned north-west to Silver City. We climbed slowly to 6400 feet then headed south on Hwy 90 to our site, Burro Mountain Homestead, an ACN/AOR member. The office was closed when we arrived so we picked a site, set up and now dinner is on! We are here for 3 nights. This place is 14 miles south of Silver City and 7 miles in on dirt road which we were not aware of but we are here and will stay the 3 nights.

We travelled 330 miles (530KM) in 7.5 hours at an average of 51 MPH

N 32* 36’ 52”
W 108* 26’ 08”
ALT: 6740 feet

NOV 3, Tuesday, to Gila cliffs
We got up to a beautiful sunshine and warmth. Lots of deer about and they don’t seem very nervous. We are in the middle of the Lower Gila National Forest but this place is privately owned. I paid $49 with tax for three nights.
We left around 9:30 a.m. and went to Silver City to McDonald for breakfast and then picked up propane at $19 and $50 worth of fuel @ 2.90/Gal,
We went on Hwy 15 and made our way up to the Continental Divide and the village of Pinos Altos. We didn’t stop but took a few pictures and promised ourselves to return tomorrow to explore it. The road from here was tortuous to say the least, up and down, switch back and sharp curves. I think I only went to a top speed of 30 MPH. It was like this for 18 miles and we climbed to 7900 feet at one place. The view was MAGNIFICIENT and BREATHTAKING. We stopped at numerous places to take pictures. We were driving in the Gila National Forest and traversing the Mogollon (pronounce Mo-go-yon). The highway was called “Trail of the Mountain Spirits”. We finally arrived at the Visitor centre, 48 miles later, and got information on the dwelling. We learned that the people who built the dwellings were of Mogollon descent and lived here between the years of 1276 to 1300. They were peaceful people. Eventually the Chiricahua Apache moved here too. Geronimo (Goyahkla) was born near here and there is a monument in his memory (see pictures).
We drove up to the head of the trail, paid $3 each and went up the trail to the Cliff Dwelling. This was a one mile loop climbing 180 feet to the dwellings. They consisted of 6 dwelling, of which 2 were note accessible but we did go in and around the middle 4.
The pictures don’t do them justice. It was very impressive and spiritual. You can’t help but try to imagine what it was like for them. When one looks at the ingenuity of these people in that Era, to build something like this that lasted over 700 years, makes one wonder why we think of them as savages and primitives. They were more intelligent then we give them credit for.
We spent a good hour listening to the Park rangers telling us the story of the place, walked around, poked into different room then it was time to leave. We climbed down a wooden ladder and then a narrow trail to the bottom and back to our car.
We drove back up the valley and turned on Hwy 35 to return home and miss all the curves and climbs on Hwy 15. We crossed the Continental Divide once more and eventually arrived back in Silver City and stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up milk then came home.
Tomorrow, we will visit Silver City and go back to Pinos Altos.

OCT 4, Wednesday, Silver City and Pinos Altos
Another beautiful day! After breakfast, we drove to the highway and to Silver City where we first stop at the Info Centre.
Silver City is a mining town, surrounded by numerous mines and open pits for silver (no longer), copper, zinc and ore. It is also known as the city where the famous Billy the Kid was born and raised with his brother. The astronaut Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17 was also from the Region!
We walked the main street of Silver City which was relocated because of a major flood in the late 1890’s which wiped the original main street from the map. We took a tour of the museum and then headed for Pinos Altos where we had lunch in a well-renowned little restaurant with only 6 tables to serve. We had the best Chilli that I’ve ever tasted and we had so much that I had to ask for a ‘doggy bag”. We then drove and walked the scenic tour of the old town. We were to have a beer at the historic Saloon but unfortunately it was closed due to renovations.
We came back home around 3:30 p.m. and found a dozen deer near our “Bear”. Val cajoled one to feed out of her hand then I had my turn...quite neat! Tucker tried to chase him but the deer gave a lesson of his own by running him down, Tucker came back with his tail between his legs!

Anyone interested in visiting the area, we found a nice campground in town called SILVER CITY PARK, for only $19/night with full hook-up. There is also a campground in Pinos Altos but don’t know the price
Tomorrow we leave this place for Arizona

NOV 5, Thursday, to St David, Arizona
So here we are in St-David, Arizona, in a Western Horizon Park named St-David RV Resort.
We left this morning around 9 a.m. and after driving out to Hwy 90, we turned south. An hour later we were on I-10 where I took on $30 of fuel @ 2.99 and headed West. I didn’t fill up as I figured we could find it cheaper later.
We stopped for lunch at a Rest Area in Arizona, near Wilcox then went on to Benson. I looked for a car wash to wash the rig before going to the Resort but couldn’t find any so we headed in.
We arrived around 1 p.m., booked in and paid our dues for 21 nights ($126) then set up at site #45. We have a view of the lake here and are near the club house. It is 85*F!
Val cooked fish for dinner then we went to the club house to take an entertainment show by this guy named Michael Hardis. He sang a variety of music from Western to Rock & Roll and attempted a few jokes. He was pretty good and very entertaining.

We travelled 160 miles (256 KM) @ an average speed of 48 MPH in 4 hours
N 31* 53’ 19”
W 110* 12’ 48”
ALT: 3680 feet

Downloaded new pictures in Folder 49, 50 & 51. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 29 to 31, 2009; sightseeing in Carlsbad

OCT. 29, Thursday, Carlsbad Caves
After lunch we drove to the Carlsbad Cave, a National Park. We first stop at a road side Apache Trading Post and looked around but didn’t buy anything then went on to White City, a small outpost at the turn off to the park. It was really neat place and as Val said, we just LOVE the adobe houses and the color of them; very picturesque! We continued on up the Park and were immediately surrounded by mountains. The road curved around and up to 4400 feet where we found the Reception Hall and info centre for the caves. We paid our $6. each then walked down to the entrance of the caves. It is a HUGE hole descending over 1000 feet in the bowels of the Earth. There was a path that we followed and zigzagged down 800 feet. At one point we reached what is called the twilight zone where the sunlight stopped reaching in and lighting our way and entered a total darkness; thank goodness for artificial lighting!
All I can is that it was AWSOME, FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL and BREATHTAKING! I loved the fact that we were able to walk down. We walked around and under huge rocks. It also became very humid and warm....90% humidity and 53*F was a steady fact in these depth. I found myself overdressed and had to peel off jacket and sweater.
We finally reached the rest area, a wide, flat area where the park built a little coffee shop with seating area and bathrooms.
From here, one can either go up via the elevator or walked down further into the “Grand Chamber”. We chose to go up and come back another day for the Chamber.
I have been very impressed with this tour and recommend it to anyone driving this way. Well worth it!
We came back home, had dinner and relaxed. I UPLOADED PICTURES in Folder # 49!

OCT 30, Friday, Carlsbad Caverns
I paid for another two days and made reservation for our next site in Silver City on Monday. We went back to Carlsbad Caverns, took the elevator down 800 feet and visited the “Grand Chamber”, a HUGE area full of fallen rocks, stalactite and stalagmites and all other forms of salt, frozen ice and gypsum formations (our tickets are good for 3 days). It was IMPRESSIVE!! It took us almost two hours to walk around the chamber. It was HUGE! The artificial lighting was better here too so my pictures turned out a bit better although with the flash, it doesn’t do it justice.
We came back to our site and after dinner, we went to the club house for ice cream and a social evening. We met the owners and a couple from Surrey, B.C.

OCT 31, Saturday, Carlsbad Nature Walk
We drove to the State Living Desert Park near here. We paid $5 each and followed a path with explanations as we went along. It was very well done and there also were big fenced in area where animals were kept such as Mexican wolves, cougars, wild cats, elks, buffalos, snakes and birds of prey. There was also an area where we entered a caged area and birds were flying free within trees and shrubs. We even saw a couple of different kind of Road Runners.
It took us an hour to see it all then we drove back to town and found a beautiful park near the Pecos River.
It was a good day and tonight we have a party to attend at the lodge. I uploaded pictures of the place in the latest Folder named New Mexico.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 25 to 28, Amarillo, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico

OCT 25, Sunday, Amarillo
The temperature is up and down in this part of the country. Cloudy, windy and cool was the day....50*F! We went for brunch at IHOP then walked through the mall nearby. After returning to our motel, we went across the street to “Spotty Pony” and watched football. I sure hope our rig is ready tomorrow!

OCT 26, Monday, One last night in Amarillo
We got up around 8 this morning, showered and slowly packed. We went for breakfast at IHOP then headed to the garage. We learned that “Bear” will be ready today but it is best to stay overnight to let the sealant dry up. So we left them to finish the work and went for a drive to the village of GROOM, about 30 miles from here. There is a huge cross there, the biggest and tallest in the Western Hemisphere (190 feet). The surrounding grounds were really well done. Please see the pictures in folder # 48. It is worth it! We had seen the cross two years ago but had never stopped.
Afterwards, we drove through the village, population of 350 people then came back to town where we found another very nice park with a dog run for Tucker. The park was kind of empty as it was a bit cool. We sat and read and let Tucker sniff his surroundings. At 4 p.m., after a poop and a couple dozen “lift the leg”, we went back to the garage where we sat for about an hour before they pulled Bear out to the yard. We now have 50 amps service and water and are locked in the yard. They gave us a key to the gate so we were able to go out for dinner.
It’s nice to be back in our own house!

OCT 27, Tuesday onwards to New Mexico
Well, it’s been 7 days coming but we are finally on our way. We had to get more sealant on so had to wait until 11 a.m. for it to be warm enough to work on then we had lunch with them and after chasing the insurance adjusters, we were on our way by 12:15 p.m.
We took I-40W then I-27 south to Lubbock. The drive was very monotonous and boring. If anyone thinks that Saskatchewan is flat, they should drive Kansas and the Panhandle of Texas. You can see for miles for days and days! And of course, we had a strong wind on the nose all the way which made for very poor fuel consumption.
In Lubbock we turned South-West on Hwy 62 then West at Seminole. The scenery changed to desert like Arizona with little rolling hills. Vegetation changed from cultivated fields to small shrubs, short mesquite trees and rock and sand. We stopped in Hobbs, New Mexico, for fuel @ 2.55 then arrived in Carlsbad around 7 p.m. (6 p.m. local time)
“Carlsbad RV Resort” is a passport member so we paid $19/day (with tax) and booked 4 days for now. We may stay over the week-end but will see.
We had dinner, walked Tucker and relaxed. We have cable TV and WIFI; life is good once again.
We gained one hour when coming into New Mexico. We are now on Mountain Time Zone.

We travelled 314 miles (501KM) in 7 hours at an average speed of 39 MPH due to strong winds.
N 32* 22’ 08”
W 104* 14’ 09”
Alt: 3201 feet

OCT. 28, Wednesday, Carlsbad, New Mexico
Today was shopping and laundry day. As part of our fee to our site we get a free video so we got one while doing the laundry. We went into town afterwards and looked around. We stopped at the info centre and got information on what to see around beside the caves and we got a map of the region.
We came back home and relaxed. Had dinner then watched a movie. It is cold again and very windy, gusting to 35 MPH. But we did get to wear our shorts for a while in the afternoon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 21 to 24, 2009: Waiting for repairs in Amarillo, Texas

OCT 21, Wednesday, repairs
It is pouring rain! We packed and were at the garage by 8:30 a.m. and by this time, it had stopped raining. We left the rig there after signing all the papers and went for a drive to find a motel as we can’t stay in the trailer when they are working on it. We found one about 5 blocks away so paid for two nights. We went for breakfast at McDonald then we went for a drive to downtown. There wasn’t much there so we followed the Old “66” and then headed to a town called “Claude”, about 25 miles from here. It was a small village but kind of rustic and quaint. I found this little hole in the wall restaurant that advertised Chilli Renello and Tacos so we went in. It was a small place but clean and run by Mexicans. We had lunch there then came back to our motel. The sky is still overcast but at least it’s not raining. We mailed a couple of cards and stopped at Wal-Mart to get some cough medicine for Val.

OCT 22, Thursday, Amarillo
A cold morning...36*F (3*C), I got a call from the Insurance Adjuster and made final arrangements with the repairs. I went over and signed a release paper allowing the Insurance to Pay Custom RV Repair shop direct. I checked the rig and they have most of all the hardware off in preparation of removing the rubber roof so that’s good to see. We went back to our motel and stayed in as it is cold and windy.

OCT 23, Friday, Amarillo
We booked out of our motel and went to find another one that is a bit cleaner and not so smoky. We had some coupons and checked a couple motel and settled on “TRAVEL LODGE” @ 34$/night. We went for a drive to a local park and walked Tucker. We found a dog park and Tucker got to play with other dogs for a while. He had a ball and we read our books. We came back to our motel and saw a little bar across the street call “The Spotted Pony” so we went in, had a beer and played a couple games of pool.
After checking in, we went for dinner in a little family restaurant and then came back and watched tv

OCT 24, Saturday, Amarillo

I called the garage this morning and checked on the progress. They have the rubber roof glued on but it has to dry for a full day so we won’t be getting until Monday, at least. I booked our motel for another two nights!
We went for breakfast then we took Tucker to the park. We spent the afternoon there and met some very nice people. Afterwards we took a drive to “route 66” (6th Ave) and went into a funky little cafe and had a burger and beer. It was a warm today, 74*F (22*C)
I have posted new pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 19 and 20, 2009; to Amarillo, Texas

OCT 19, Monday, To Texas
We left Dodge just before 10 a.m. and headed south on 283 then southwest on 54. We crossed into Oklahoma about 2 hours later and we stopped for fuel @ 2.52/gal. Country side still the same, flat! We turned south on 83 and entered Texas. We gradually began climbing to over 3000 feet. We stopped at a Historic site in “Canadian” Texas where a bridge had been built for the pioneer and DISASTER struck! A low branch from an Oak tree struck the roof and ripped the rubber in 4 places. DAMN, that bloody LITTLE BLACK CLOUD has caught up to me!?
Anyway, I patched it with duct tape, called our insurance and we went on to Amarillo. We arrived at Amarillo around 4:30 p.m. and I stopped at an RV place where I got an estimate to have the roof repair. The whole roof has to be replaced at a tune of $6000. WOW!
From here we went on I-40 to our campsite for the night, a Passport America member, Amarillo Ranch RV Resort(16$). We had stopped here 2 years ago on our way to Quebec.
We decided to go to the BIG TEXAN Restaurant near here so a free limousine picked us up and drove us there and back. They have it advertise that you can eat FREE a 72 oz steak. We saw two guys try it and they never finished it so it cost them $72 each (That’s the catch, you have to eat it all or you pay) we had a 21 oz sirloin for two @ $30. with all the trimmings. We came home around 9 p.m.
It is very warm here, 91*F (28*C) when we arrived at 5 p.m.

We travelled 278 miles (447KM) today at an average speed of 49 MPH.
N 35* 11’ 44”
W 101* 46’ 24”
Alt: 3650 feet

OCT 20, Tuesday, Amarillo
Sunny, warm and windy. Our first day in short! Yiiiippppeeee! We left our campsite and went to the garage hoping to hear from the insurance but no luck. We unhooked and went to fuel @ 2.68/gal then went back to Amarillo Ranch Park and asked if we could come back under Camp USA membership and to my surprise, they accepted. We went back to the garage, hook-up and went back to our site. After setting up once more, we took a drive to PALO DURO CANYON about 30 minutes south of here. It was very beautiful and quite strange to find such a place amongst wide open plains. There is a State Campsite here with hook-ups so worth exploring under different circumstances.
We drove back home to our park just in time to close the windows as a rain storm came through...so much for shorts weather. I called our insurance broker and after losing my temper, we finally heard from an adjuster about 20 minutes later. We can now proceed with our repairs so tomorrow it’s back to the garage.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 16 to 18, Nebraska to Kansas

OCT 16, Friday, to Dodge City, Kansas
This was another long day but worth it and we never found anything worth stopping at. We left around 9:15 a.m. and drove on Hwy 30 to North Platte where I took a couple pictures and went for breakfast at McDonald only to find out we had moved an hour ahead (Central Time) so we kept going and turned south on Hwy 83.
Nebraska was interesting; hilly in the West and flat in the East and South. Hectares of corn field, wheat, rye and hay.
Two hours after leaving, we entered in Kansas and more corn and wheat field but also Millet (Maize) and lots of it. We stopped in Hill City for fuel ( 2.699) then headed East on Hwy 9 to Hwy 283 where we turned south again. It is so flat that we saw Dodge City 10 miles BEFORE we got there.
We arrived at our campsite, WaterSport RV Park, a Good Sam member at $18/night and set up. It is sunny and warm...19*C ( 68*F). We are here for three nights
This is the final States to complete our map. We have now travelled and stayed in ALL the lower 48th; all that’s left is Alaska!

We travelled 344 miles in 8 hours @ an average speed of 53MPH
N 37* 44’ 35”
W 100* 00’ 46”
Alt: 2485 feet

OCT 17, Saturday, to Dodge City, Kansas
Val got up with a sore throat and runny nose. It’s been going on for the past two days and she says she is feeling better. After lunch, we went into town and visited Booth Hill and the replica of Dodge’s City front street as it was back in 1886. It was really interesting and laid out as a museum. We began with a movie then walked through the cemetery and from here to the Long Branch Saloon. It is laid out in a way that you go from building to building without going outside. Each building represents a business of some kind or the daily life of the citizens at that time. We went back outside at the end and visited a house of that era that had been moved here and kept up. It was really educational to go through each building. We went back to the saloon and had a beer and listen to live music but unfortunately the show with dancing girls are only in the summer.
From here, we drove on Hwy 400 to the Coronado Cross, a memorial to General Coronado from Mexico who had come this far looking for the “illusive gold Cities”. We took some pictures and went back home.

OCT 18, Sunday, Dodge, Kansas
This was a relaxing day of sort. We did laundry and updated the blog and pictures and went for walks. It is very windy coming from the south so glad we didn’t travel today. There is one other Canadian here form Alberta but haven’t seen much of them.
I made a couple calls and made reservation in Amarillo, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico. Our plans are to travel south and west again visiting places we haven’t seen before while the warm temperature last. Val is feeling better although her voice is quite coarse. I thought I got it for a while but it seemed to have passed...touch wood!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009, Ogallala, Nebraska

OCT. 15, Thursday, Ogallala
We had decided last night to stay another day here to visit the town. Temperature went down to +1*C but today, we had a pleasant surprise of mid 60’s F (16*C) which meant I was able to wash the truck and “Bear” as they were both filthy from our ride yesterday.
In the afternoon, we went to town and looked around and visited the museum (free) and the historic saloon. (SEE PICTURES IN FOLDER # 46). Ogallala was known in the mid 1880 as the “Gomorrah of the cattle trail”. It was a major town for cattle receiving and distribution centre to the East from Texas and Oklahoma. It was a rough city during the summer but a sleepy town in the winter. This is where the trail ended for the movie “Lonesome Dove” and Robert Duval also filmed “The Rain People”.
We had a beer in the saloon, of course, then visited a neat little store displaying petrified wood from all over the U.S. The two brothers who owned the place were on hand to answer all our questions. It was very interesting; they’ve been at this for 40 years!
We came home after filing the truck at $2.599/gallon and picking up propane at $22/bottle. Val watched Oprah while I took Tucker for his evening walk.
Tomorrow we head south to Kansas. I also uploaded pictures of Custer and Crazy Horse memorial in folder # 45.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 11 to 14, 2009, Sturgis SD to Ogallala, Nebraska

OCT 11, Sunday, Sturgis
We had a new neighbour overnight but he left early this morning. I guess this weather is not for them!? It is a bit warmer today...-4*C and there is a light snow falling but nothing major as yet.
We spent the day here at home. We just didn’t feel like going out which was a good thing because it started to snow more in the afternoon. Val made Italian spaghetti for dinner then we watched TV.

OCT 12, Monday, to Hot Springs, South Dakota
I got up early and went to Sturgis to get an oil & lube done on the truck. I was a bit overdue. I came home after getting us a McDonald breakfast and we packed to leave.
We left around 11 a.m. and by the time we got to Rapid City, the temperature was at a “balmy” -2*C ( 29*F); we turned south on Hwy 79 and headed for Hot Springs. It was a 4 lane highway all the way to our turn-off and the country side was rolling hills with the Black Hills on our right. We turned West and North on Hwy 385 and arrived in Hot Springs around 12:30 p.m. We found our campsite, KEMO SABAY Campground just outside of town, paid our dues (a Passport America member) and set up. There is one other rig here from Washington. We have power and sewer but no water however our tank is full.
We drove back to town to do our laundry then did some sightseeing and picture taking. We stopped at a local pub for a beer and learned that they close at 9 p.m. every day! WOW!! All the restaurants that we saw were mostly all closed. We were told that not much is open on Mondays! NO KIDDING!!!! It is however a neat and clean town and most of the buildings are built with Clay Rock which makes them all look reddish/brownish Kind of unique in a way!
We went back to our site and got dinner ready and relaxed. Tomorrow we will explore Custer Park and city and Crazy Horse statue built in the mountain. It is still -1*C

We travelled 81 miles in 1.5 hours at 49MPH average
N 43* 27’ 03”
W 103* 28’ 23”
Alt: 3651 feet

OCT 13, Tuesday, Sightseeing
We left around 11:30 a.m. to go explore Wind Cave Park and Custer National Park. We followed 385 then headed north on 87 which took us through Custer Park. We climbed to 6400 feet via a winding road with lots of switch backs and at one point, the road rode over itself then made a circle and we drove under. Quite neat! We saw lots of wild buffalos, deer, one elk and wild turkeys. We zigzagged down to Hwy 16a (5300’) then tried Hwy 87 through the Needles but it was closed so we drove on 89 which took us through the back way and up to 87 but again 87 was closed on that side too so we gave up and came back on 385. We had just climbed to 6800 feet on 89 and the snow was not all that deep and the roads were bared but a bit icy at places.
We headed south to Crazy Horse Memorial, paid $5 each and visited the Interpretive Centre which was VERY IMPRESSIVE. It consisted of 5 buildings inter-connected and representing different display. There was an observatory deck, a movie theatre showing the history of the carving of the mountain, lots of Indian clothing and paraphilia, the living room of the builder, Mr Korczak Ziolkowski and his family, another room was the Native Cultural Centre where sculptors and artist could work (there was two when we visited) and a restaurant. Unfortunately, the main attraction, the carving of the mountain, was all fogged in and we never saw it but we did see the model that is being use for measurement purposes. It has been in progress since 1948 and the sculptor died but his wife and family are keeping the project going.
Our drive back was in the fog until almost our campsite. In the town of Custer, everything was closed due to late season.
It was cloudy all day and the temperature went up to +2*C (34*F) at our site by the end of the day.

OCT 14, Wednesday, to Nebraska
We got up at 8 a.m. and were on the road by 9:30. I dumped before leaving as it was above freezing...+1*C (33*F). We headed back to 385 via 18 and went south. It was cloudy and raining but we could see quite far. The land was rolling hills full of wild prairie grass and wheat field. At one point we climbed to 4500’ and into the fog and for the next 2 hours, we never saw anything around us. The temperature felt to -2*C! We crossed into Nebraska under these conditions.
Eventually, we descended into Alliance and the sky cleared enough to see again and the temperature went back up to +5*C. We continued south to Bridgeport and turned West on Hwy 26 for 14 miles to visit the Chimney Rock, a National Historic Site. This is a prominent landmark that indicated the place where the prairies ended and closing in on the Rockies as the immigrants headed west on the Oregon Trail via Wyoming. We had lunch here and visited the Interpretive Centre and watched a movie on the Oregon Trail and the significance of the Chimney. The sun came out, the sky cleared and the temperature climbed to 15*C but as we headed East again, we caught to the clouds and the temperature dropped to 5*C. We arrived in Ogallala around 4 p.m. and we will spend a couple days here. We are camped at a CAMP USA resort called Country View Campground.

We travelled 422 KM (262 miles) in 7 hours at an average speed of 48 MPH
N 41* 06’ 18”
W 101* 42’ 51”
Alt: 3263 feet

I downloaded more pictures in folder 44

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 7 to 10, 2009; Olds Alta to Sturgis South Dakota

OCT 7, Wednesday, to Havre, Montana
We got up at 7 a.m. and found Audrey back from dropping Marcel at the airport (he had to go back to work). We said our goodbyes and drove to the local park where there was a dump station. It was snowing when we left but cleared as we headed east on hwy 27. We turned south on 21 then east on Hwy 1. The country side is sure brown, I guess from the cold and time of the season. We stopped for brunch in Basscano and again in Medicine Hat for fuel: 88L @ .879. From here, we headed south on 41; the country side was hilly and when we reached Cypress Park, we climbed quickly to 4000 feet where we entered a forest of pine and fir and came upon this big lake and a beautiful scenery. This is where all the camping takes place in the summer and there were also a lot of cabins and houses. We continued climbing to nearly 5000 feet then exited the forest onto huge field of grass and cultivated land. We slowly descended to approx. 2800 feet where we reached the US border at 4:45 p.m. Now there is an isolated post! It was in the middle of nowhere with the Canadian border consisting of two houses, a shed and garage and the actual border building, the US side was exactly the same, nothing else. The guys were very friendly and after answering a couple questions and presenting our passport, we were on our way. The country side was the same and we continued to descend to 2300 feet and finally reached Havre, Montana, our stopped for the night in Wal-Mart parking lot. The town is very quaint and would be worth exploring but another time. Lots of Casinos in Montana, Terry and Glenda! We counted 12 in the town on the main drag! It was +7*C when we parked for the night and clear sky.

We travelled 599 KM in 8 ¼ hours at an average speed of 54 MPH

N 48* 33’ 20”
W 109* 44’ 05”
Alt: 2531 feet

As a foot note, I got a pack of 30 beers for $17. while Val paid $29 for 15 in Olds. Goes to show you how much we are being ripped off in Canada.

OCT. 8, Thursday, to Glendive Montana
We got up this morning to very cold temperature outside: -6*C (22*F), BRRrrrrr!
We finally hit the road, Hwy 2, by 10:30 a.m. after shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart and having breakfast at McDonald. We travelled in a valley between high hills much like the Kamloops region back home. Again, very desolate, with huge cultivated fields of hay, wheat and whatever else they grow. We would see a patch of trees like an oasis and this is when we would find a village or town. We stopped in Glasgow where I took on fuel, 15 gal @ 2.799 and we had lunch here inside our rig. Temperature outside was a balmy 6*C (42*F).
At Wolf Point, we turned south on 25 then 13 to Glendive where it changed to 200S. We had rolling hills and lots of up & down and down & up. We saw a few wild animals, mainly coyotes, deer and antelopes. We finally reached I-94 and Glendive where we spent the night @ Green Valley Campground and paid $16.50 for full hook-ups.

We travelled 500 Km (311 miles) in 6 hrs @ 57 MPH average. (With the wind behind us, it was easy travelling at 65 MPH!)

N 47* 07’ 16”
W 104* 43’ 37”
Alt: 2084 feet

OCT. 9, Friday, to Sturgis, South Dakota
A cold morning; -6*C! We left in a hurry! We travelled East on I-94, crossed into North Dakota where the scenery became absolutely awesome as we entered the Badlands Region. The rock formation was incredibly scenic with sandstone and clay with colors grey, brown, and reddish making it a tableau to be seen. We reached Hwy 85 and turned south where the country side became rolling hills and a mixture of grassland and cultivated fields. We slowly climbed to 4800 feet and the temperature dropped some more as we went up. We finally reached Belle Fourche, South Dakota at 3800 feet then we went south east on I-90 to Sturgis.
As a side note, Belle Fourche is the geographical centre of the U.S.
We exited at #37 and arrived at our campsite, Rush-No-More Campground. We are surrounded by 2 rigs; one from Alaska and one full-timer whom work here and is leaving next week for Tempe, Arizona. It is -4*C and there is about 1.5 inch of snow on the ground. What makes it really cold is the wind which is constantly gusting. We are next to a mountain, part of the Black Hills. We’ve paid to Monday; this is a Passport America member. The forecast is for warmer temperature by Monday so if we haven’t frozen to death in the meantime, we should have “No Jacket” weather soon

We travelled 293 miles (471KM) at an average of 53 MPH in 6.5 hours

N 44* 20’ 25”
W 103* 27’ 41”
Alt: 3822 feet

OCT 10, Saturday, Rapid City and Deadwood
We had a slow morning as neither one of us wanted to go out in this cold (-7*C) so we took our time dressing and having breakfast. Tucker however had other ideas so I took for his morning walk then started the truck which sputter and protested from the cold but started up and I let it warmed up.
We left around 11:30 a.m. for Rapid City, 20 miles from here, and stopped at Wal-Mart as Val had to exchange her curling iron that she had bought in Havre. Rapid City has a population of approx 60,000 people and is spread on the east side of the Black Mountain within view of the prairies. It is 600 feet lower that where we stay and it was -4 with no snow.
We took Hwy 16 and 16a to Mt Rushmore. We drove through Keystone, population of 311, where “NORTH by NORTHWEST was filmed. We continued climbing to 5100 feet, paid $10 to get in and walked up to the view point where we took some picture of the figures in the granite rock but didn’t stick around outside too long as it was -8*C. We went inside where we looked at the exhibits and watched a movie on the making of the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. It was IMPRESSIVE!
From here, we went west and north on Hwy 244 and 385 to Deadwood. The drive was interesting with lots of tortuous curves, I can see why bikers love this country.
We stopped at the info centre in Deadwood, population 3100, got a map then went to explore a bit. We are at 4800 feet and it is cold, -5*C. We took a few pictures and went for a beer in Wild Bill Hotel, where Hickock was shot to death from behind. They even had the exact place set aside as a tourist attraction. Across the street were Calamity Hotel, the Gem, and the original sheriff BULLOCK Store and hotel now. We had a couple of beers and Nachos that Marcel would have been jealous of. We also learn that the movie Deadwood was actually filmed in California so no sets to look at.
We drove home via Hwy 14a east then I-90 and were home by 5 p.m. A very good day!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

October 4 to 6, 2009, Olds, Alberta

OCT 4, Sunday, Olds
We got up to snow this morning, YES, SNOW!!! Fortunately it didn’t last and stopped late in the morning as the temperature warmed up a bit but only to 38*F (4*C). This was a quiet day. Audrey had to go to Calgary so we spent the day in the house (too bloody cold to go outside). Marcel cooked a turkey for dinner with mash potatoes, cream corn, gravy and a salad. IT was delicious and we had a guest for dinner, Eva; Ken, her husband, had left for work. They recently lost their daughter who was only 30 years old. After dinner, John and Bernice, friends of Marcel and Audrey, showed up so we had a very nice visit. We went to bed around 10:30 p.m.

OCT 5, Monday, Olds, Alberta
Audrey and Marcel went to Calgary this morning as he had a doctor’s appointment and a couple of errands to do; we stayed home. I didn’t want to leave Tucker by himself all day, the poor little guy has been neglected lately so today is His Day!
A bit warmer today, 48*F (9*c) and it is cloudy with sunny periods! We went to get some propane ($19) and I fuelled up at the same time; 48.9L @ .859. We went to take a look at the new mall. It was quite nice with lots of big name stores, we even went into Mark’s World Wear and Wal-Mart.
We met Audrey and Marcel at the local Boston Pizza, had lunch, a few beers and played pool. We came home and relaxed for a while and watched a movie in the evening.

OCT. 6, Tuesday, last day in Olds
I’ve been monitoring the weather for South Dakota and it doesn’t look very promising until at least next week-end. There’s even snow in the forecast!
Val and Audrey went shopping in Red Deer and Marcel and I went to Sundre to have the wheels torque as per warranty then we came back to Olds so that I could go to the bank and check on monthly charges; came away with a nice little saving! We went to the pub where we played pool and waited for the girls to come back from their shopping. When we came out, the temperature had dropped considerably and the wind was gusting to 60 KM/hour. It lasted until late in the evening, time to go before it gets worse.
We had dinner at the house then Val and Audrey and 2 other ladies went to a movie. Marcel watched hockey and fell asleep and I did some computing.
Tomorrow we head for Havre, Montana!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October 1 to 3 On the road finally

OCT 1, Thursday, Doctor's visit and last minute prep.
I picked up our wine in Chase this morning and then loaded the kayaks on the truck and cleaned up the yard.
Val had to go to the doctor to have a cancerous (non-malignant) lump removed near her eye. The doctor had assured her that it was just a simple procedure and could be done in his office. Well, when we got there, he had a change of heart and recommended a plastic surgeon but there was no rush and if we wanted to wait until we got back, it probably would be OK so we decided to go. Afterward, we picked up our mail and deposited a refund on our glasses from BC Medical then came home.
I took out the battery out of the car, the plates off and put the covering tarp on the car. So THIS IS IT! We are driving out tomorrow. It’s been cloudy and cold most of the day. ( 55*F)

OCT 2, Friday, to Olds Alberta.
We left at 8:45 a.m. after turning off the power and water and locking everything. We stopped in Sorrento where I turned in the plates for the car and cancelled the insurance on it. We continued on Hwy 1 to Revelstoke where I fuelled up: 54L @ $0.979; the truck averaged approx 10 miles/gallon, not bad. The drive through Roger’s Pass was very drabbie as it was raining but we could see the fresh snow just above us. Temperature was a cool 38*F (4*C)! We stopped in Golden for lunch then proceeded to go through Kicking Horse Pass and over the new bridge which was finished last year; the hill is called “10 mile hill” and is well deserved but easy to climb. The drive through Banff and the park was uneventful except for construction for about 10 miles; they are widening the road to a 4 lanes highway up to the BC border and we even had wet snow shower.
We stopped again in Canmore for fuel, 75L @ .799 for an average of 9.8 miles/gallon. We hit rain again between Canmore and Olds but it did stop once we turned on Hwy 22 North.
We arrived at Audrey and Marcel’s house at 7:15 p.m. local time (We are now in Mountain Time zone). We visited with them until the wee hours of the morning. Marcel is off for the next 4 days.

We travelled a total of 644 KM @ an average speed of 50mph in 10.5 hours
N 51* 47’ 12”
W 114* 07’ 50”
Alt: 3427 feet

OCT 3, Saturday, Olds
The forecast was for snow but we woke up to clear sky and a mild 39*F ( 4*C). We had a lazy morning where everyone got up late. Audrey and Marcel cooked a nice breakfast consisting of pancakes and bacon then we got showered and ready.
We went to Red Deer where they shopped for a new motorhome and we just tag along as looky-looks. We did see a beautiful and tempting Safari Sahara but we resisted and didn’t buy it. After all that shopping, it was time for a beer and snack at a local pub where Marcel and I played a couple games of pool.
We drove to Inisfail where we had another drink then back to Olds at the Legion where we ended the evening. We got home at 10 p.m. and needless to say that Tucker was happy to see us. We finally went to bed around 11 p.m.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SEPT 28, Monday, Visiting in Chilliwack
Val got a phone call from the doctor this morning. She has to go see him on Thursday afternoon to have a lump removed. She learned that it is cancerous but NOT malignant so that’s good news I guess but she will have a scar around her right eye which we will fix when we return next April.
Everyone is at work or school so we spent the day shopping and doing laundry. For dinner, Rochelle and Val cooked a delicious Pork Roast. Unfortunately, Graeme couldn’t stay for dinner nor could Vanessa as she had to work so we said our goodbyes to them before they left. In the evening, we sat in the living room and socialized.

SEPT 29, Tuesday, back to Gateway

It rained overnight! Actually, the weather man says there could be snow on the Coquihalla pass!?
We said goodbye to Hayley as she left for school then we got ready to leave. Kevin’s mom came over to help Vanessa paint her room so we chatted for a few minutes then it was time to go. After saying goodbye to everyone, we went to Rochelle’s work and said our goodbyes. We stopped for a Tim Horton coffee then drove east on Hwy 1. It was cold over the pass and snow could be seen at the 5 000 feet level ( the pass is at almost 4000). We stopped in Merritt for lunch then it was straight to Gateway. We got here around 4 p.m., put everything away and relaxed.

SEPT 30, Wednesday, Rig to Kamloops for minor warranty work
Val went to work today and I took the rig to South Thompson in Kamloops. There was a water leak that I had to get fixed so I got them to do other little things that needed attention; nothing serious! I was there all day and got back around 3:30 p.m. I stopped at Flying J and fuelled up at .889/L and I weight the rig and truck. I actually have 1600 lbs to spare on the trailer axle which is excellent. Even the truck notices an easement on pulling “the Bear”.
It was raining when I left this morning but it cleared later and was sunny most of the day but it’s back to clouds now and much, much cooler; it only got to 60*F today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 24 to 27, 2009; visit with kids & grand-kids

SEPT 24, Thursday, to Chilliwack
We left Gateway around 11 a.m. and drove to Kamloops where we stopped at TIM HORTON for brunch. We decided to come to the Coast via Hwy 1 for something different. It is at least an hour longer but the scenery is worth it. We hadn’t driven on this road for at least 4-5 years and notice that not much had changed. I was surprise to see the road was well kept though especially with the Coquihalla as a shorter route!
We arrived in Chilliwack around 5 p.m. and were met by Hayley. Mom and Dad are gone to Leavenworth, Wash. Vanessa and Garret came over a little later and we all went to Boston Pizza for dinner. It was fun having the grand-kids all to ourselves and we had a pleasant and lively conversation. Vanessa showed us her engagement ring, very nice! We came home and watched Survivor with Hayley; Vanessa and Garret went out.

SEPT 25, Friday, RV SHOW and to South Surrey
Sometime during the night, Graeme came home and we saw him briefly this morning. He is looking after the business while everyone is out playing. We called Phil and Betty to meet and since they are also going to the RV show, we made arrangements to meet them there.
We also called Val’s daughter, Joanne, to confirm our plans to meet this week-end. We left the house, after locking it, around 11 a.m. and drove to Abbotsford to the RV show.
We met Phil and Betty while there and went through the whole show; visited some great looking 5th-wheel and motorhome but resisted buying a new one Terry and Glenda! (SMILE). We got a couple of freebies for camping in California but there really weren’t that much to choose from. We listened to Terry and Mike Church give a presentation on the Baja and Western USA and bought their new book on the Baja and got them to sign it.
We finally left at 5 p.m. after saying goodbye to Phil and Betty and giving them back their movies which we had borrowed the last time we saw them. We drove to my son’s place and saw their new house for the first time. They, Jeff and Crystal, purchased this about a month ago. What a beautiful place set in a cul-de-sac in South Surrey. There is a park nearby. The house is two levels with 3 bedrooms, a den, dining room, living room with wood floor and a double garage. We took a few pictures and will post them soon. They are very proud of their purchase and so they should be!
Jeff actually cooked us a steak dinner on his new BBQ and then we had a nice visit.

SEPT 26, Saturday, @ Jeffrey and Crystal’s house
Jeffrey and Crystal had to go pick up a freezer in town so we went shopping on our own. Didn’t buy anything but sure noticed how much Surrey and Newton area has grown. Afterwards, I helped Jeff run some speaker wire through the walls to hook-up his system while the girls went hot tubing. We had vegetable and chicken stir-fry for dinner (Crystal is vegetarian). In the evening, we watched hockey then it was bed time.

SEPT 27, Sunday, visit with grand-daughter Jenaya
We had the morning with Jeff and Crystal then we left around noon for Joanne and John’s house in Coquitlam for a visit with Valerie grand-daughter.
We had a marvellous visit with them. We went for a walk around the park then we ordered Chinese food for dinner and Jenaya insisted on playing one of her games after dinner so we obliged. We said our goodbyes around 8 p.m. after I won the game and drove back to Chilliwack.
We arrived around 9 p.m. and caught up to news with Rochelle and Kevin. We went to bed early as they have to work tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 20 to 23, 2009; saying our goodbyes before leaving

SEPT 20, Sunday, farewell BBQ
Val went with Donna and Marcel in the morning to visit their son. She wanted to see the kennel their son and wife owned. On her return, Val made a potato salad for the BBQ later this afternoon. Since a lot of us will be leaving for winter grounds in the next while, we decided to get together with everyone left in the park and have a pot luck BBQ. There were 8 full-timers couples in total and we had a very nice time by the campfire. The dinner was a success too.

SEPT 21, Monday, Gateway
10 more days to our departure! I washed the truck and loaded the bikes on the back and covered them. Put most of the garden stuff away. The next few days are going to be busy so trying to do as much as possible as the free time is available. It was a nice day today but one definitely feels the fall air coming on.

SEPT 22, Tuesday; to Logan Lake, saying goodbyes to friends.
We left around 11 a.m. for Logan Lake but first we stopped in Chase to drop off our movies. We then drove to Kamloops to South Thompson to see if our parts were in which were not so we continued on to Logan Lake.
We visited with the Kirkby’s for the rest of the day. We learned that the Tate’s were on Vancouver Island and Joanne and Don were down at the lake so we didn’t see them. We had a nice lunch with Charlene and Lynden then for dinner, we went to the Black Bull so I could have my fix on their ribs. While at the pub we ran into Morgan Tate and she told us that Rick and Pat were returning this evening. We dropped off the Kirkby’s after saying our farewell then dropped in at the Tate’s to see if they were home which they were so we had a quick visit then left. We hope to see them on the road down south.
We came home around 9:30 p.m. and went to bed. A full day!

SEPT 23, Wednesday, wash day.
We went to Chase to do our laundry today and while Val was doing that, I had an oil & Lube done on the car. On our return to the house, I called Cartmell Insurance in Chilliwack, 604-795-7267 and got our medical insurance which cost us $470 each. I had received 4 other quotes which were from 700 to 1100 dollars so quite a saving. Cartmell has always been a good bargain for Insurance so we have no problems recommending them; Garry is super friendly too.
We called the kids tonight to make arrangements for going down tomorrow so we can catch the RV show in Abbotsford on Friday.