Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

(Jan) The Moore Family tradition was to gather on Christmas Eve, dine on Oyster stew and then open gifts. We continued this tradition with our boys and then our daughter-in-laws and grandkids as the family grew. Since we have been coming to Arizona, Chuck & I have had Oyster Stew and played cards with Chuck's mom, Joanne. This year for the first time in 45 years we are not with Moore family. We miss our families but were grateful for phone calls and Skype sessions! And thanks to our Boomer friends, we were included for Pizza and Cards on Christmas Eve and the Christmas dinner at Ron & Sharon’s with a really fun group. Below Left to Right are Jenny, Ron, Jim & Diane, Dan, Ron Chuck & Jan, Sharon, Loren Carol, Dianne & Frank.

Before we came to park on Ron & Sharon’s lot for the Christmas festivities, we spent a couple of days out on SidewinderIMG_20131217_083340_974 Road with our friends Karen & Bill and Kaaren & Mickey. We sure enjoyed getting to see them again. We also loved taking long walks in the desert and along the near-by rail road tracks.  Here’s a photo of one of the BNSF Train Engines parked on a siding. It sure was huge up close & personal! There were also some awesome sunsets!PC180032

 

 

 

Last Friday, the six of us plus Ron & Sharon and Loren met at the Q Casino for Dinner. Before we all assembled, Ron & Sharon were exploring the pool area at the Casino and Sharon slipped on the steps and fell, breaking her left ankle! She was taken by ambulance to the hospital and had a 2 hour surgery to fix the ankle with a plate and 10 screws. On Monday she was allowed back home and she and Ron wanted to continue with their Christmas plans to host our Boomer group of 13 friends. Our friends Frank & Dianne arrived to stay with them in their mobile Christmas Eve Day and the past 2 days have been a whirlwind of visiting, games, food and laughter!  Dianne took over the Turkey roasting duties and the rest of us pitched in with more food than we could possibly eat….but we sure tried! We are indeed blessed with these friends and their friendships!

Back again to last Friday, Ron said he thought they would be involved at the E/R for a long time so the rest of us should go ahead with dinner.  While we waited for news from Ron & Sharon we did enjoy a prime rib dinner and lots of visiting! Karen, Jan, Kaaren, Chuck, Loren, Mickey & Bill are looking forward to having Sharon & Ron join us next time!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Taking a break in Quartzsite

IMG_20131212_135259_012(Jan) My brother Ron and sister-in-law Scarlet were coming through Quartzsite last week so we headed up to our favorite spot at MM99 to meet them.  We had an awesome time having pizza at Silly Al’s on Wednesday night and then spent the day Thursday seeing the sights in Quartzsite. We wandered through some of the tent stores and rock shops at Rice Ranch, through Gem World, saw the Hi Jolly monument and Q’s 1050 year old Iron Wood tree. That evening Chuck grilled dinner for us and our Boomer friend, Loren, who was parked near us. We loved having this time together.PC140016

 
Loren and Chuck & I enjoyed several more days together. We did some walking, some eating and played some fun hands of three handed Pegs & Jokers Express using the 2’s as a Wild Card. Really Fun!

On Sunday Loren went to visit friends so Chuck & I decided to hike the Q Hill after church services. This seemingly small climb has a nasty upgrade at the top and sure had us puffing. We found the geocache at the top and there’s a lovely view of Quartzsite IMG_20131215_111823_634and the surrounding mountains.

We enjoyed the peace and solitude of our desert home. We took lots of long walks among the beauty of the desert landscape.The rising of the nearly-full moon and the sunsets silhouetting the mountains, saguaro cactus and ironwood trees were awesome! I am often reminded of the words to the hymn “How Great Thou Art”

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

 

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Our Mail was delivered ‘General Delivery’ to the Quartzsite Post Office on Monday. After picking it up, we were on our way towards Blythe and then south in California to another of our favorite Desert boondocking spots; Sidewinder.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Telegraph Pass

IMG_20131209_120057_203(Chuck) We hiked Telegraph Pass today. It is the mountain that dominates the skyline to the East of Yuma. On top are a host of large antennas which service the area. To maintain the equipment there is a service “road” which winds up the side of the mountain. This service road is visible from many parts of the Foothills area. The first 1.7 miles of the hike is up a dry stream bed and a trail across the hills which leads to the locked gate at the bottom of the service road hill. From there it is a difficult 1.2 mile slog up the hard surfaced road to the top. The road is actually rough screeded concrete. It is intentionally left rough because much of the incline is 35% grade; several sections I measured at 49% grade. It is a brutal climb. The last 3000 feet gains 644 feet in elevation. On the top you can see the town of Welton to the East. To the West is the Foothills and Yuma. Beyond Yuma is Pilot Mound in California and also our favorite hiking area which is the Olgiby Hills by Sidewinder Road. We last climbed Telegraph Pass in March of 2009. It seems hard to believe, but it was almost six years ago. I think that we are in better shape now than we were then, however it was a hard climb, and it got the heart rate up for both of us. We parked the Jeep at 474 feet and topped out at 1539 feet at the summit. We have both been dragging our butts for the rest of the day and we will sleep well tonight.

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Looking down the hill. The road runs down through the valley. The Yuma Foothills are in the background.

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Looking up the hill towards the towers on Telegraph Hill.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Yuma Again

(Chuck) We have moved on to Yuma and are very much enjoying the weather. We are comfortably settled in on 53rd Street. This is where we have spent many of our stays in Yuma. We do not settle in for the winter as many of the visitors seem to do. Our activities for the winter will take us up and down the Colorado River between here and Lake Havasu City. Our first item on the list was to check in on Moms property. It is secure and all is well. My sister plans on selling it and we have put up “For Sale” signs. It is a fact of life that properties are for sale in Yuma. There is a constant turn over of lots which gives prospective buyers a wide choice of bare RV lots or developed homes. Many of you knew my mother Joanne when she lived in Yuma. She received mail and packages for many RV’ers who needed an address while they were in town. Mom found it increasingly difficult to live alone and last spring she traveled with us to the Seattle area to live with my sister. She has recently battled breast cancer and is doing well at this time. At 85 years of age she underwent chemotherapy and at this point she feels well and has no pain.

We have settled into walking mornings and evenings. Jan has a FitBit and we have found it to be a good incentive for exercise. We have walked 10,000 steps each day for quite a while now and though we may not maintain that level forever, it is most easily done here in the Foot Hills of Yuma. The streets are very wide and smooth. It is reasonably level and we have grown to enjoy the exercise. 10,000 steps seem to be about four and one-half miles. The biggest problem is that it takes a large part of our morning and evenings.  It seems that between steps, social occasions and regular RV maintenance projects, soon the day is over and it is time to enjoy the desert sunset. In truth, we are truly blessed and there are bigger problems to be found in life.IMG_20131202_175121_714

At this time we have fixed a leaking black valve, scrubbed and cleaned the water bay, washed the clothes and washed the car. In addition to that:  It is time to reorganize the basement, fix a leaking front wheel hub seal, clean the battery compartment, and wash and wax the rig.

Next week we will travel north to Mile Marker 99 by Quartzsite. We will have a chance to spend a short time with Jan’s brother Ron and sister-in-law Scarlet as they travel through Q on I-10 to the Phoenix area to visit Scarlet’s family. We are looking forward to being with them again. Our plan is to spend desert time at Q and probably travel back down on the west side of the river to spend time with friends on Sidewinder Road. 

 
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