Monday, March 30, 2009

Family and Friends

(Jan) There’s no way we can possibly describe how wonderful it was to have our son Eric, daughter-in-law Cheri and grandkids Ryan and Jessica come to visit. It was so very good to see them again! They arrived at Great Gramma Joanne’s house Thursday in time for a delicious roast beef and mashed potatoes noon dinner. We enjoyed visiting , touring around the Foothills and Yuma and then played some cards. We spent the evening swimming at their hotel at the Hampton Suites and then had a late supper at Cracker Barrell. The next morning Cheri, Jess and I went to the Arizona Market Place for a little ‘girl time’. We spent a fun morning looking around and cruising through the shops.

(Chuck) Eric, Ryan and I went to Sidewinder to hike on Friday morning. It is a favorite place of Jan’s and mine and I wanted to share it with the guys. We took a two hour trip up through the mountain and around the South side. It was a little windy but still a great outing with son and grandson that we enjoyed and will all remember. We had a chance to learn about the desert plants and experience a little more about the geology of the desert mountains. This summer Eric and Ryan will go on a Boy Scout trip to Virginia to hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains . It will be a fifty mile five day trip. I am sure it will be a good time for them.

(Jan) We all came back to our place for lunch and visiting and played another round or two of Scat (Thirty-one). The kids got to enjoy some of the huge marshmallows and the strawberry candies we’d picked up in Mexico but all too soon it was time for them to return to San Diego for their flight back to Chicago. So sad to see them go but so happy to have had this time together.

After the kids left we headed over to a gathering at the Sheppard’s. It was a fun gathering with twenty or so other Boomer friends. Wonderful to see everyone again and, of course, great food!! We spent several hours laughing and playing Wii and cheering whoever was participating. It was sad to say good-bye for the winter but we'll sure look forward to seeing everyone again next fall.

The Meads and the Olivers moved onto the lot on 53rd Street so Saturday we had a good time visiting. Sharon and I beaded and Patsy stopped over to chat. That evening we went for a walk around the neighborhood and then sat by John’s fire.

On Sunday morning Joanne, Chuck and I went to church and then cooked and ate stir-fry together one last time. We’ve done that lots over the winter and it was a fitting meal for us to share once more. We’ve also enjoyed playing Hand and Foot so we had five good hands and lots of laughter. After we got back home we walked around the neighborhood and then had ice cream together with John and Twyla and Ron and Sharon.

We have been very blessed to be with family and all of the friends we’ve met this winter in Yuma. Today we will be on our way to Eastern Arizona and the Roosevelt Lake area where we will join our friends Dean and Judy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Los Algodones

On Monday we went with a group of friends across the border to Los Algodones, Mexico. Many of us needed to look for glasses or have teeth cleaned and there are many Dentist and Optometrists to choose from. Our friend Kaaren had recommended a dental group where she had just had some work done so that is where we headed. After checking in, we headed back to the waiting area and were surprised to find more Boomer friends there; Ron, Sharon, John and his girlfriend.

We headed to a plaza area next to soak up the sun and refreshments. The Plaza has live music and patio tables with big umbrellas; a perfect place for a visit on a warm afternoon. Pictured are Carl, Dan Jenny and Linda in front, Chuck Joey, Don and Nancy in back. We all went different directions after that, most of us to do a little shopping, while Chuck, Dan and Don headed for the waiting line to save places for us to get back across the border.

The wait to get through customs was about an hour and a half. And a fun wait it was!! Here's Gary, Jenny, Joey, Jan, Nancy, Carl, Linda, Dan and Don. Lot’s of laughing and camaraderie. One of the things that makes the wait interesting is that young vendors toting wares wind their way through the line selling everything from jewelry to pottery to candy. I admired a horse one of the lads was carrying. Big mistake! Our friend Carl tried to help me get a good deal on it. He was pretty positive that I should be buying that horse!
Our friend Linda was looking at some ‘name’ bracelets from another young man. She said that she was looking for Hannah and he didn’t have one. ‘No problem.’ He proceeded to make one for her on the spot and 10 minutes later she was joining us back in the line. Here you can see us near the front of the line which is several blocks long. The bougenvillas along the awning covered walkway are just glorious this time of year.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 March Misc.

Looking back on our last blog entry, I see that it has been nearly 2 weeks since we have checked in. We were living in the Foothills, then spent 4 days back out at Sidewinder and now are back in the Foothills being ‘townies’ again. We’ve been enjoying spending time at Joanne’s house doing the usual; visiting, cooking, playing card and doing laundry. Oh! Did I mention eating ice cream? We love getting ice cream from the Mini Mart on Foothills, it’s a family tradition.

Also have gotten together with the Asplunds, Christensens and Sheppards a couple of times for cards and shared meals. Last Sunday we surprised Dan at their cassita for his birthday and last Wednesday we went downtown Yuma to the theatre for movies and popcorn. We strolled over to Lutes, a historic Main Street eatery for sandwiches. Good friends, good times!

Back out at the Sidewinder we did more hiking in the hills. We followed the main western water course up into the mountains and then hiked down different ways to get back to our rig. It started getting hot on Tuesday and although we love being out in the wide open spaces and the peace and quiet, we decided to move back into town on Friday and enjoy A/C and being plugged in. We’ve had good visits with Boomer friends the Marlers at Country Roads and the Paynes and Bennetts who are boondocking west of town.

We’re looking forward to a trip to Los Algodones tomorrow with friends. And later this week on Thursday our son Eric and family will arrive for a visit. We and Gramma Joanne are really looking forward to seeing them!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Telegraph Pass

(Jan) Telegraph Hill dominates the skyline to the east of Yuma and you can see the the winding service road that goes to the top from many places around town.

Yesterday we took on the challenge of hiking to the summit. The parking lot elevation where we started is 474 feet. The first 2 miles is a good hike up a dry stream bed and through the hills to the gate at the bottom of Telegraph hill, elevation 708. Beyond the gate is ¾ mile of steep upgrade. The rough cement road is the only way for vehicles to get to the top for servicing all of the communication towers. The road must be a 30 percent incline in places and it’s just a brutal climb. The last 3000 feet has 644 feet rise in elevation. As we rounded the last curve in the road and climbed the last 10 feet to the summit of 1539 feet, the panoramic view to the east opened up in front of us. We were able to see the town of Wellton and 40 miles or so to the next mountain ridge. To the west below us lay The Foothills (where we’re presently staying), Yuma and Pilot Mound in California. We visited with fellow hikers at the summit and one of the gals said she does this hike twice a week and it never gets any easier! Another fellow said that he was using this hike as a training run for another hike to a WWII airplane crash site. Wow!
We started down after signing the hikers log book at the top. Going down was not any easier and hard on the knees so we just took it slowly. When we rejoined the trail beyond the service road, we enjoyed seeing many beautiful Ocotillo, Brittle Bush and Beavertail Cactus blooming along the way, as well as Blue Phacelia carpeting sheltered places in some areas. After the winter rains, these plants are coloring the desert in a spring time show of color.

This was much different from most of the hikes we take. It was a defined path and then a rough service road. It wasn't pretty and we just had to 'slog' it out. The total hike was 5 and half miles and we arrived back at our vehicle exhausted but happy that we had done it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Family Time

Last week-end we enjoyed some very warm weather out in the desert and got to watch several powered parachute taking off and flying over the area. Very pretty! On Monday we moved our rig to the V.F.W. to be closer to Yuma.

This has been a busy week. Chuck’s sister and brother-in-law came to town and stayed with Chuck’s mom so the five of us have gotten lots of projects done around the house. The first project was our Yard Sale. We went through some storage places and the shop and many treasures found new homes. Lots of people came to the sale and we had a good time bargaining and selling. Thursday was car shopping day and Joanne's new Toyota Rav 4 was delivered on Friday! Silver, 6 cylinder and really a neat vehicle. On Saturday, Jackie & Butch and Chuck and I went to the Midnight at the Oasis Car Show at the Ray Croc stadium; had a nice afternoon and saw some pretty sweet rides. The five of us also had lots of fun playing cards, laughing and eating Joanne’s fabulous oatmeal cookies. What a great week! On Saturday we moved over to 53rd Street in the Foothills and we’ll stay here for a few more days. We have been on this lot several times in the last couple of years and love it here. We’re close to Joanne’s and some of our good Yuma Boomer buddies.
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