Monday, February 25, 2008

Craggy Wash-Hi Jolly-Mittry-Sidewinder

(Jan) We’ve had an excellent 2 weeks since we left Casa Grande. Although we liked the Rally and met some good people, we are happiest it seems, in a less structures environment.

Craggy Wash was a fun surprise. We were with several other Boomers in a desert area surrounded by rocky peaks. Chuck and I spent part each day hiking and rock climbing. What great country to get out and explore. Saw our first wildflowers there and by the third day the hill sides were covered. We spent 2-4 hours a day out and about; up to 900 ft. climbs and several miles at one time. The views were awesome and we got some great pictures. We loved it!

On Saturday evening we went into Lake Havasu City to see one evening out of four of the Western Pyrotechnic Assoc. fireworks display. We were there at about 3:30 and visited with fellow Boomers as they started randomly shooting them off. The ‘official’ show began at 8:00. Music and show were all perfectly choreographed. Amazing! Loud! Beautiful! I’m sure we saw more fireworks that day that we have probably seen in our lifetime.

On Monday we went to the Elks Lodge for their Spaghetti Supper with the Johnsons, Maxwells and Knapps. Fun evening and the food was good, too. Also, enjoyed a camp fire one evening with the same group.

Wednesday afternoon we went into Havasu to see the London Bridge and take the ferry across the lake to the casino on the other side. We spent an hour or so over there and then as the ferry arrived for the return trip, the rain and lightening came in and we were delayed for about 20 minutes. Alls well that ends well…the ride back across was a little rougher but uneventful.

We left Craggy Wash Thursday morning after saying goodbye to the above mentioned Boomers plus neighbors Monroes and Lonn and Gwen from Utah. Stopped north of Parker and fueled the rig and did laundry. Dumped and took on water at Quartzsite and decided to spend the night at Hi Jolly. Nice level spot for walking. In the evening we caught up with e-mails and send some photos out.

Rain overnight, leisurely morning and we’re off again. To Mittry Lake to say hello to Paynes, Bennetts and Whites. Beautiful sunset, good visit, more walking and off again the next morning to Yuma.

Got to spend part of Sat. visiting with Gale and Joanne. They’re doing well and looking good. Had lunch and sat out on the veranda talking in the sunshine. Picked grapefruit off of their tree and then walked across the boulevard and bought fresh tangerines from a vendor. Yum! Got groceries at Walmart on 32nd Street and then headed out to Sidewinder.

So that’s where we are now; Sidewinder Road, two miles north of I-8 about 10 miles west of Yuma in California. It’s a big open space on the desert with more great hills or mountains to climb. The Monroes joined us on Saturday and yesterday the Kingsbury’s came in. Linda had several geocache sites printed off so we headed out and UP to find it. Spectacular climb over huge boulders and of course, the cache was at the very top! Good find and great afternoon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yuma To Casa Grande

(Chuck) We are parked at the Pinal County Fairgrounds at Casa Grande, Arizona. Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal Newspaper is host to a four day seminar for RV’ers. There are sessions on all aspects of RV’s and the things that are unique to the lifestyle. It will be a good chance to review things. The weather is shorts and tee shirts. I think that is the way it is supposed to be.

After Q we were in Yuma again. We were fortunate to find a place for a week in the Foothills. That is the second time we found a site for a week’s stay. It gave us a chance to again visit with my parents and it is also a great place for us to walk. We have enjoyed taking walks throughout the day. One day we took a day trip to Algodondes, Mexico. It is a border town with a flair for merchandising. Vendors line the sidewalks and streets with no apparent divisions or storefronts. The town is primarily a drug store and pharmacy. In addition to that dentists and optometrists ply their trade alongside sellers of pottery, clothing, tin ware, jewelry, and anything else that will relieve a tourist of a handful of greenbacks. There are no prices listed on the merchandise. If you ask for a price, it will start at $40.00 and quickly be bantered down to a reasonable $8 or $10. It is a wild ride on the side of free enterprise.

We left Yuma Saturday and spent that night at Rover’s Roost. That is a SPK COOP park here in Casa Grande. We were fortunate to arrive on the day they have the annual Las Vegas Night. It was a ton of fun. You bought five hundred dollars of Monoply money for a genuine five dollars. With the fun money you had a great time at Black Jack, Craps, and several other unique games of chance. With your “Winnings” you could purchase a chance on about twenty different door prizes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Boomerville notes

(Jan) We met so many fun people that I just have to write about some of them. We had met our first Boomers John and Julie Black at Kofa and John gave us some great tips and good directions to Boomerville. When we arrived we hopped out of our pick-up, explained that we were new and immediately were greeted with hugs and "oh, just park anywhere", "how about right over there". Our new neighbors to the east were Ben and Darlene Frint. We enjoyed several great visits and a trip to town with them. Our neighbors to the west were Sherry and Jim White, long time Boomers, who treated us like long-lost friends.

One day as we were sitting outside, Mick and Karen Bennett wandered over. Soon we were joined by Jim and Sherry, Bill and Karen Payne and Ben and Darlene. Pretty soon snacks and tables were found and it was pretty much the best party we had Never planned.

Jim and Diane Fisher Baker invited Jerry and Nancy Hurley and us over for Pegs and Jokers one evening. We had never played P&J but spent a hilarious 2 & 3/4 hours being taught. Unforgettable.....and also, Diane says probably a record time for one game!

We met many great friends at the 4:00 gatherings and we thank all of them for sharing travel stories and tips. Among them were Dean and Judy Sheeley. We invited Dean and Judy over for cards one evening and before they arrived the Hurleys stopped over. They lent us their P&J board but declined to stay so the 4 of us bungled through another hilarious game that we had rules for but was very short on strategy.

We did walk with the group several times. Barry and Jan Kessler did a great job of hosting Boomerville and making everyone feel welcome. We also went to most Happy Hours and several informal gatherings. My favorites were 'Food and Nutrition' hosted by Judy Sheeley and 'Working for the Mouse' (Disneyworld) with Betsy and John Crawford. Loved the potluck and wine tasting. We're very sorry that we missed the chili lunch and the bread baking. Did get to see the earthen oven, however. Good job!

One evening Dean and Judy, Chuck and I decided to go have pizza in town. I thought that I had understood that the pizza place was north on Main street. That was wrong.... fish fry there. So we found Mexican, Sweet Darlene's and on west, a Barbeque place. As we pulled in there, we found our pizza at Silly Al's; a very busy place but the smells were out of this world. We thought we would look for a table in the bar as we waited for our name to be called and ran into Mick and Ann, Boomers who recognized us and offered us their table as they were just finishing. Thanks guys! We had a ball with the Karaoke and the pizza was good, too.

We discovered that Jerry and Nancy Hurley are also genealogists. So we had several good talks about that and have plans for sharing notes in the near future. Chuck did a 'dry run' with Jerry in his Jeep up to the Desert Bar near Parker. The planned group trip was the following morning on Sunday but was called because of rain.

Stopped over to a fun gathering over at Mick and Karen's on the Monday evening before they left. Lots of talk about the Parker 425 and the Havasu Fireworks. Met more great Boomers and I'm finding out that my memory is failing me on all of the names.

Dean and Judy & Chuck and I went up to Parker on Thursday for the race time trials. Exciting! Even got to see a couple of roll overs. We're going to miss the camping there, though, but hope to join many of the Boomers for Havasu. The four of us also did some geocahing and found several stone cabins that are spread around the Quartzsite area.

We left Boomerville on Sat A.M. around 8:30. Many of the Boomers had already left but Mike Harrison came out to hug us and the Sheeley's good-bye. (a Boomer tradition) We had met he and his wife Marilyn a couple of days before. Amazing!

In closing, I just want to say that Chuck and I loved our first Boomerville. We look forward to spending time getting to know all of the Boomers we haven't met and more time with those we've met briefly or spent some precious hours with.

Yuma Again

(Chuck) Today is the big event, Superbowl Sunday and we are once again in Yuma, Arizona. Quartzsite was a great experience. We spent two weeks in the desert with the Boomers. They are truly some of the most genuine people we have had the pleasure to be with. Most all are very supportive in their words and actions. Good people to be with and we look forward to seeing them again. Many of the Escapees and the sub group Boomers are full time travelers. They have a special way of looking at the world and do not feel the anchor of having “roots” in any certain locality. I like this kind of freedom. Boomers hold many informal “get togethers” through the year. They are called “Boomerrangs” and the first rule is always “there are no rules”. We learned a lot about being “off the grid” in the desert. It is not hard to manage the water and electrical needs. It is only a matter of realizing that need to “live within your means”. Not a bad lesson for all of us to do at one time or another in life.

And again we are now in a site in the Foothills. We will be here for about a week. It gives us another chance to visit with my parents. I have a few things on the trailer to repair, a drawer and an electrical outlet. If the weather cooperates and is warm, I think I can make those two things last for the week. Also the wide smooth streets here are great for walking and we will make good use of them.

Until next time, Happy Trails.
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