(Jan) The Escapee Park North Ranch is located several miles south of Congress, AZ. We’ve been wanting to come here for awhile and this year it fit in our plans. We’re here with five other rigs so that means lots of fun and activities. This park is a little different than other Escapee Parks as the communities consists of different sized deed lots. It also has an amazing cactus garden with Arizona’s oldest Saguaro Cactus names Methuselah.
Last Thursday Judie & Mark led our merry group of 3 Jeeps and 12 explores NE of Congress in search of Crested Saguaros. It was a picture perfect day as we navigated the back country and found interesting crested saguaros! Here are a couple of our favorites. Crested Saguaros or Cristates are a possible genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of a lightning strike or freeze damage. Minerals in the soil have also been introduced as a possible. Whatever the reason they’re amazing and beautiful.
And of course, there were group photos taken! Here’ one with Bill & Gisela, Jan, Mark & Judie, Chuck, Mark & Patsi, Jan & Ed and Betty & Duane.
After our Saguaro hunt we stopped at Nichols West for lunch. The menu is varied and the food was fabulous. We headed to the patio in the 75 degree sunshine to place our orders.
We’ve enjoyed each other’s company through many Happy Hours, Morning Coffee sessions and eight of us got in a game of Bocci Ball one afternoon. While we were here we celebrated Bill’s 70th Birthday with lasagna, salads and birthday cake in the Club house. Pictured below are the twelve us staying here plus several of Gisela & Bill’s friends who came for the occasion; Nancy, Betty, Goeff, Gisela, Duane, Bill, Patsi & Mark, Jil & Tom, Mark, Jan, Judie, Jan, Chuck and Ed.
We also celebrated Duane’s Birthday with a Margarita and Taco party and singing. Of course, Betty ordered a cake and once again she got a good deal. In fact it was Free because there were cracks in the frosting! For years we have celebrated Duane’s birthday with an ‘Ed’ cake. One year Betty couldn’t get a cake at the store because they were sold out but they did have a cake with Happy Birthday Ed written on it. It seems the family had not picked up the cake because Ed had died. So began a six year Boomer tradition. This year Duane & Betty decided to let Ed be dead and the cake said Happy Birthday Duane!
On Tuesday the group here was invited to come down to Sun City to christen friends Bobbie and Jim’s new Garden Condo in Sun Lakes. Jim grilled brats and served beers, the rest of us brought side dishes. They have a lovely new home and we had a good time celebrating with them.
Patsi & Mark and Chuck & I made a trip up the mountain to Prescott to see our friend’s Dean & Judy’s place! They have a lovely home and we sure had a good time touring it and visiting. Lunch at Bill’s Grill was next on our adgenda followed by walking around the Prescott city square.
Today we missed a trip to Sun City to visit our friends Jim & Diane as I have developed a sinus infection. I felt well enough to get outside for Happy Hour though. Ed & Jan and Mark & Judie have left in the last couple of days but Boomer friends Joe & Donna have joined us. Tonight’s Happy Hour was hilarious. What a fun group! We’re going to miss our Congress family as we move on tomorrow.