http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: March 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Property Looking

We took a shorter walk this glorious morning and the Jazzy dog went with us. The weather is just perfect, 72 degrees and sunny. I sure hate to head home to 14 inches of new snow which arrived yesterday in Montana--maybe it will all be melted by Monday or Tuesday when we get home.

About 1pm we met Janelle, a realtor to go and look at houses. Out of 9 houses we found 2 that had potential and we are returning to look at those tomorrow. While property has dropped significantly in price here in this area, it is still expensive. We shall see.

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus
McDowell Mountain Sunrise

Life is good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Conference Call and Costco

Jazz declined to accompany us on our walk this morning and went back to bed instead--lazy dog. Michael and I had a treat on our hike, a fellow hiker stopped us and told us about a owl nest in a large saguaro. Here are some photos of the baby owl we could see--he is adorable!

After our hike, I participated in an informative conference call sponsored by APQS, the manufacturers of my longarm quilting machine. The company is looking for independent sales representatives and I have applied for one of the positions--exciting. APQS is such a great company with awesome products and service. We will see what happens

We were needing a Costco fix so off we went this afternoon. A stop at Petco for doggy food and a stop at Fry's for groceries finished off our afternoon.

On the way back through Fountain Hills we realized that the big fountain was about to go off and decided to stop and walk over to the beautiful park where it is located. My, my, the fountain is even more incredible when you see it up close--this photo does not do it justice!

A blooming prickly pear cactus at the Fountain Hills park.

A coyote has been strolling by the RV, once this morning and once this evening just before dark--Jazzy was not happy with this intruder!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Roosevelt Lake

Michael has been having trouble sleeping much past 5am so he was up early again this morning. Jazz and I rolled out just after 6am and went for our early morning stroll--I love being out that time of day, no one else is around, the birds are waking up and sometimes the coyotes are singing.

After breakfast we started out for a long walk again but Jazz balked--I think we may have worn her out the first day we walked so far on Friday. I turned around after about 30 minutes and she and I headed back to the RV. Michael kept going and probably logged 5-6 miles.

Roosevelt Lake was on our agenda today. It is located about 75 miles from here--we packed a lunch and took off about 11am. It was cooler today with some clouds. Roosevelt Lake was dedicated on March 18, 1911 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Modifications to the dam completed in 1996 increased its capacity to store flood waters. The lake is at 100% capacity at this time, a first since it was built. The lake supplies water to Phoenix and surrounding communities as well as irrigation water. It is a beautiful, remote area with lots of US Forest Service campgrounds. There is a dump station and places to obtain water. In the community of Punkin Center located about halfway the length of the lake is a very nice grocery store--better than what we have in Big Timber, MT for sure!

Roosevelt Lake bridge
A sticky place to built a nest to have your baby birds! We saw lots of these nests on our hikes, built in the cactus.This tree appeared to be growing out of these rocks

There goes that fountain again. This park is located outside the town of Fountain Hills. In the center of town is a beautiful lake and park with this fountain in the middle of the lake. Every hour on the hour, this fountain explodes upward probably over 100 feet. It flows for 15 minutes before shutting off. Remember on St. Patrick's Day they had dyed the water green and the fountain was green. This park is FIVE miles from that fountain and I took this picture while standing in the park this morning early.

It was a great day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hiking, Property and RV Searching

Two great hikes and lots of photos--this park is an awesome place. Very quiet, we have heard coyotes every evening, sure makes the Jazzy dog nervous!

This is a popular park and this is the weekend--we ran into lots of mountain bikers on the trails this morning and we shared the trail easily, one group even informed us that hikers had the right of way--but we figured we would rather yield the right of way than have a flat Schnauzer!

One evil looking cactus--these cactus all look like they are about to blossom.
McDowell Mountain view

We think this is either a Golden Hedgehog or Robust Hedgehog Cactus
OK, the RV search--friends were searching for an RV to park on property they own in Seattle for the summer. These friends, Ellen & Denny were seeking advice about RV brands and we suggested to them that our 5th wheel might be for sale--they bought it--now we are homeless but not until June 15 when we will deliver this rig to Seattle for them.
So, we have been looking--we may try a motorhome this time and we don't want an expensive RV as we are also looking for property here in Arizona, too. We made the mistake of going to RV dealers today-UGH!! Why do they all think their RV's are worth twice as much as NADA book value??? So, it is back to Craigs List and we may wait until we get home to Montana to continue our search.
We have tried Texas twice now and have reached the decision that we like the desert climate of Arizona better. Michael is one of those kind of people that needs a project, RV living is starting to wear for him. We are looking for a house, preferably a fixer upper (a Michael project) on some small acreage. And as we all know, this is a good time to buy real estate in Arizona.
Nothing is written in stone and our plans are jello.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We Move to Phoenix

High winds were in the forecast so we did another one of our get ready quick moves and we were on the freeway headed to Phoenix before 8am. We stopped in Gila Bend to look at an Airstream motorhome--it was really cool but just a little too old. More on our search for a different RV later.

In the Phoenix area are two great county parks, Cave Creek Regional Park and McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Both parks have mountain views, hiking and large sites. In winter it is almost impossible to get into either of these parks. On our way to Phoenix, I called to check the status of available sites at Cave Creek--they had five RV's in overflow. When I called McDowell Mountain, they had ten available sites so that was our choice. It is such a beautiful, beautiful place. But--the wind has about blown us off this hillside site we chose.

This is the view from our RV site out across the valley to the mountains.
Our neighbor's flag flying this afternoon about sunset.
A reader left a comment yesterday asking how in the world I ever chose a dentist in Mexico. I read recommendations from people who had used this dentist in Algodones for the last three years. These people had dental work which included crowns and were having no problems. I had approximately $2800 worth of dental work done for less than $600. This isn't the first time I have had dental work in Mexico, a couple years ago I had work done in Nogales, Mexico and I feel the dentist in Algodones performed superior work so I'll be going back there if needed.
Sheesh, it's windy tonight!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One More Trip to Mexico

When I ate breakfast this morning, it felt as if one of the crowns was still too high. I made the decision to head back to Algodones and get the problem resolved before we leave here on Thursday. I convinced poor Michael that I could go by myself so he wouldn't have to stand in that awful line again and he finally agreed. I left here a little after 9am and I was back before 11am!!! Michael couldn't believe it!! The dentist was quick and there was only a very short line to cross back into the US.

Before I left for Mexico, I did the laundry and Michael walked the dog. When I got back, we had lunch and I did some cleaning. We then rested our eyeballs for a while and decided to go in search of a produce stand and to fill the truck with diesel. It was very warm today so ice cream was also on our agenda. We failed to find an open produce stand but got all the other things on the list accomplished. Dinner out seemed like a good option, too, so we stopped at Famous Dave's and had a great early dinner.

Lemon trees near our park
The trees are loaded with lemons.
We have enjoyed our time here in Yuma but are glad to be heading out in the morning. I've received a message that says Google is to have a scheduled outage tomorrow at 4pm--could be there won't be any blogging tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dentist Again

Hopefully this was our last trip this year to Algodones--the dentist put the last crown on my tooth and we were back in line where we stood for almost 2 hours again. This time we had the company of two younger women who had forgotten their passports and were slightly worried about how they would get themselves back into the US. One of the women was a nursing student, at 42, she decided to develop another career and went back to school. When Michael and I existed the trailer where the border patrol screens people wanting to get back into the US, we waited to see what would happen to the two women with no passports. Not good--one of the women was given the go ahead with a warning, the other woman (who had the bad luck to get the female officer, they seem to be much more strict about things than their male counterparts) was carted off to the building where they question and search people more thoroughly.

When we got back we had a huge swarm of bees at the rear of the RV, they appeared to be trying to enter a building on the lot behind us. They hung around for about an hour, then most of them departed--icky!!

We are enjoying our stay here in this Escapee park--when we leave here on Thursday, we are heading back to Phoenix and the Scottsdale area--there is an AZ state park we want to check out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Algodones and the Dentist Again

At least we were closer to the border this time and my first appointment was not until 11:30am. We didn't have to wait long to see the dentist and then we were off to find a spot for lunch. Michael had noticed an outdoor restaurant earlier and we decided to give it a try--I had fish tacos and Michael had his normal chili rellones. It was a fun place with music and sunshine and people dancing--one older couple danced and looked as if they were having so much fun. Then it was back to the dentist followed by another stop at the purple pharmacy again.

An Algodones Street
Kind of looks like he belongs in Mexico, doesn't he??
And, the most dreaded part of going to Mexico, the leaving. Notice the awning and all the nice plants--at least the Mexican people try to make it easier on us. It took us one and a half hours of standing in line to get back on US soil today. We did have the pleasure of talking to some very interesting folks in line today--this gentleman told me he was 91 years old--he looked 71!! He has lived a very interesting life--retired military, a couple of other jobs, then retired CIA! He and his companion (they both knew each other as couples when their respective spouses were alive then got together a couple of years following the death of both their spouses) travel to AZ every year from Montana in a motorhome at 91!!! He was just a delight to talk to. We also talked to a Canadian lady and a man who travel from WA to AZ every winter--sure made the time go by faster today and it was way cooler than it was last Thursday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Some Ho-Hum Days

Friday we didn't do much--our Algodones trip exhausted us probably due to the heat--so we spent most of the day just relaxing.

Saturday we decided to go check out the garage sale at the RV park next door--that's always a mistake when married to a collector of treasures as Michael is! But it was me that ended up collecting treasures--I snagged a large copper pot with lid that I will plant flowers in for the deck this summer and I got the cutest little antique kerosene stove, chrome and black that I will also put out on the deck. Michael picked up a couple of odds and ends for the RV and we were back home. We spent the rest of the day napping and relaxing--are we bums or what????

AZ has been in the midst of a heat wave, unusual temperatures for this time of year. The forecast called for a break in the heat brought by a front packing very strong winds that was to arrive early Sunday morning. So, we got up and got started very early for us, we pulled out of Black Rock RV Park before 8am and made it to Yuma just as the winds were starting. We've been rocking and rolling ever since! There is a huge cloud of dust hanging over Yuma and everything inside the RV is coated with a fine layer of dust.

We went to Wal Mart and picked up a few groceries and had a late breakfast at Penny's Diner--very good. We were going to a fruit stand I noticed on the drive in but they had closed up their tent probably due to the wind and dust.

I would love to take some photos of this dust storm but I don't want my camera out in all the dirt--maybe tomorrow.

We are staying in the Yuma Escapees park and it has been a very pleasant surprise--we have had a couple bad experiences at Escapees parks but this one has been great. The park is totally leased, there is a waiting list to get in and the person on the top of the waiting list has been on that list since 2003! The lots are rented out when the owners are away and we are renting one of those lots--very nice, large site near the 7 acre fenced dog park! Yuma has a year round population of 80,000 which doubles in the winter!

We are off to Mexico again tomorrow for more dental work--I'm taking the camera this time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Algodones, Mexico

A little over 10 hours and we are back at home in the RV and one Schnauzer was sure glad to see us. Our alarm clock is broken, it displays the time but the alarm won't work so I used my cellphone and let me tell you, at 4am when that blasted thing rang, we were not ready to get up. We were on the road by 6am and walking into the dentist office in Mexico around 8:30.

My dentist in Montana had told me I needed two crowns and quoted a price of $1800 for the two crowns. This dentist in Algodones quoted me a price of $340 for two crowns. After some drilling he broke the news to me that I probably needed a root canal (something the MT dentist had told me might happen) and off I went to the root canal specialist, a woman who also got me right in. The root canal dentist had a gorgeous state of the art office with digital x-rays, something my MT dentist just had installed. Two and a half exhausting hours later I was dentisted out!!!

We headed to the pharmacy to pick up some medications--we did find out the legal scoop about bringing medications into the US--you can bring non-controlled (pain pills, etc.) medications across the border without a prescription.

The line to walk back across the border was incredible. The Mexico people have done their best to make it easier--there is a covered walkway so you are not standing in the sun and there are benches along the walkway allowing you to sit occasionally. There are water and soda vendors along the way, too. It was 91 degrees this afternoon and we stood in line 2 hours.

The US has not made it easier to cross the border, several of us in line discussed whether or not the US was making the process so difficult in order to punish we citizens for having the audacity to obtain our dental work, eyeglasses and prescription drugs in a country that isn't trying to continually rip their citizens off. I have ranted on this blog before about the state of our US health care and the mess it is in was extremely obvious today--older people, much older than Michael and I, walking with canes and walkers, oxygen tanks in tow coming into Mexico so they can afford health care.

There were three border agents screening the thousands of people trying to get back into the US on a daily basis. We had no problem, the agent asked me if I had anything to declare and I said, "medications for personal use." She glanced into my bag and sent me on my way.

We chose this RV park for its quietness, most of the parks in Yuma are either on the freeway or the railroad track but it is just too far from the border crossing. I have two more dentist appointments to finish the crowns on Monday and Tuesday and we found a nice park very near the border today so will move on Sunday.

It was an interesting experience today to say the least. Algodones is a clean, busy little border town with blocks and blocks of dentists, pharmacies and eyeglass shops.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Very Warm Day

I never looked at the thermometer to see what the actual temperature was but all I know, it was hot. I think this part of the country would be great in January but it is starting to be too warm here in March.

I did laundry early this morning, the park has three laundromats so it was easy to get it all done at once. Michael took the Jazzy dog for a walk--she isn't too thrilled about walking in this heat.

After lunch I went up to the pool--this park did not have a pool but had one installed last year. The water was just perfect and I met the sweetest little boy, his name was Luca and he is bilingual--his Mom is a firefighter in Boston and they are visiting the grandparents who live in this park. Luca's grandparents immigrated to this country many years ago and the Mom was born here and speaks with no accent but said her father always insisted his children learn English and Spanish and she is carrying on that tradition with her 3 1/2 year old son. Luca has a 24 year old French nanny so he can speak some French, also.

We spent the afternoon sitting outside in the shade where it was much cooler than inside the rig, reading and napping. After dinner which we ate while sitting outside, I gave Michael a haircut, he was getting sort of shaggy!

Off to Mexico tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not Much Going On

I walked down to the clubhouse today and checked out the ladies sewing and quilting, very friendly group! I also paid a visit to the library and borrowed several books, there was a great selection.

After I made some lunch, we decided to go up to Parker, AZ and pick up a few groceries--about a 35 mile trip one way. We discovered that Parker, AZ was not a spot we would pick to spend any length of time!

Isn't the mess with AIG just ridiculous??? Every time someone on the news starts discussing the matter, I just get furious--we have given those people billions of taxpayer money and they are laughing in our faces. As I told our Montana congressional delegation in e-mails, I predict that a year from now, we all will never know what happened to all that money we gave these banks and corporations.

It was very hot here today, almost 90 but as they say in AZ, it is a dry heat.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taxes and Card Making

Treading lightly was the order of the day. Michael did the preliminary work on our taxes while we were still in Montana. Today he decided to finish getting everything together to send to our accountant. When he gets all that paperwork out, I tread lightly, don't ask questions and try to be as quiet as possible. Success--by 5pm, he has all the information ready to send to Montana tomorrow--YEA, Jazz and I survived!

I got out the Cricut machine and made some birthday cards--I really love that machine in spite of the fact I thought I probably wouldn't use it enough to justify its cost, but I seem to be using it a lot.

On our walk this morning, we took one of the many four wheeler trails out across the desert. We came across several guys playing golf, a strange kind of golf, but golf all the same. We also saw a tortoise hiding in a small rock cave--wonder where he gets his water--do tortoises drink a lot of water??

It was a good, productive day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Moving Day

It was moving day and we were leaving the horses behind. I took Jazzy for an early walk and we started getting everything together to pull out. Let's hope the next parking spot doesn't have so many mercury vapor lights making it look like daylight at 3am!

A short drive to Brenda, AZ and we were all set up just after noon. We traveled I10 and just out of the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear the traffic was moving along and all of a sudden we stopped--and I do mean we stopped. The Wal-Mart semi in front of us headed for the ditch and the motorcycle in the left lane almost lost control, fishtailing, Michael headed for the ditch with the semi but both rigs got stopped before we got to the ditch or hit anything. Both of us were very rattled as was the motorcycle rider. About two miles of bumper to bumper stop and go traffic and we saw why we all came to such an abrupt stop--there had been a horrible accident involving three or four vehicles.

Brenda, AZ is out in the middle of nowhere. There are several RV parks along the highway, a small grocery store and lots of desert. We chose the park due to all the desert trails out the back gate. It is a large park, has a new swimming pool and lots of activities. There are many park models but the folks we met have been very welcoming.

My dentist appointment in Algodones, Mexico is Thursday. We decided against staying in Yuma--most of the RV parks there are between the freeway and the railroad, thus we are out in the desert in the middle of nowhere and we like it! It will take us about 2 hours to get down south of Yuma to the dentist, kind of like driving to Billings from our house in Montana.

Jazzy and I took a walk after our steak dinner and snapped this photo of the sunset, notice the jet trail in the upper edge of the photo.

A beautiful evening here in the Arizona desert.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Drive to Payson, AZ

Jeane and Steve left for Montana today and we are sad, we will miss them. We had never been to Payson, AZ or to Camp Verde so we packed a picnic and headed out about 10am with the Jazzy dog. We had a great day, beautiful scenery, some strange weather, ice cream and each other's company. The road to Payson is a four lane highway up the mountain, the peaks are spectacular and at first are covered with low green greasewood bushes and saguaro cactus. As you climb higher, the scenery changes to cedar and evergreens and snow--yes we found snow up on that mountain.

After getting all the way to Camp Verde which is on I17 north of Phoenix, we started back toward Scottsdale. The clouds got heavier and heavier, there was thunder and lightening and then it began to rain/sleet/hail/and snow! I just had to take this photo of the windshield with the buildup of snow.

As we were driving along, I spotted a herd of elk in the trees, Michael stopped quickly and I jumped out to take a photo, not the greatest photo but you can still tell he is a huge bull elk!!

This is the view from one of the pullouts as we came down the mountain and back into Scottsdale--these mountains are huge and very rugged.
We had heard really good things about McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills--they allow 14 days of consecutive camping and have water and electric hookups. It is a very popular park and there are usually several rigs in the overflow lot waiting for a site. Since we were so close, we drove out for a look--we think we will visit there again, large sites and awesome views. We overheard some people talking as we were taking Jazz for a short walk, they were pointing out the green spire in the distance--that is a fountain of green water for St. Patrick's Day located in Fountain Hills which was four miles from where I was standing taking the photo. I have a good camera but not that good--that is one huge fountain of water!

What a great day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

No Butterflies

Jeane and I had planned to go to the Desert Botanical Garden today and see the butterfly exhibit--millions of colorful butterflies fluttering around you in a garden. I had checked out the website for the Garden and gotten the directions. When we arrived, the traffic seemed heavy and there was a Garden employee directing the cars--each car in front of me was directed to the exit?? When I got to the head of the line I was asked if I had a reservation or was I a Garden member and when I answered neither, I was also directed to the exit, the Garden was full!!?? There is an ongoing Chihuly glass exhibit at the Botanical Garden for which a reservation is required but the website said nothing about reservations for the butterfly exhibit. When I got home, I got back on the website, dug and surfed and finally found a very poorly worded, obscure reference to the fact that reservations were required for any Garden admission due to the popularity of the Chihuly glass exhibit. I am bummed--today was Jeane's last day here and she really wanted to see that exhibit.

So, to help our disappointment, we decided to stimulate the economy and go shopping--first we tried the 5th Avenue area of downtown Old Town Scottsdale. It was a total disappointment, every store was either a turquoise jewelry shop or a souvenir shop. Many of the shops were empty and many of the other shops had going out of business signs--it was depressing! So, it was on to the mall where lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe really helped our mood. Stops at Talbots and J.Jill helped us do our part to stimulate the economy. Shopping is exhausting and we decided to head toward home after one last stop at See's Candy.

Michael and Steve went out to Cave Creek to visit Steve's friend and spent some time driving around looking at the beautiful homes for sale there. They enjoyed a great lunch at Harold's in Cave Creek.

We have decided to leave Scottsdale Sunday as scheduled and head to Yuma or rather Brenda, AZ and Black Rock RV Resort. I am going to have some dental work done in Algodones, Mexico and we will spend about 2 weeks down there, not exactly the best timing for being in far south Arizona, it could get hot!

We are sorry to see Jeane and Steve leave to head back to the cold north country but we certainly enjoyed our visit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dinner With Friends

Isn't that full moon just beautiful tonight? We had a lovely dinner with Jeane and Steve, Gwen and Arch tonight. It is so special to be able to visit with Montana friends and enjoy being outside here in Arizona--it has been just frigid back home, below zero frigid! Jeane cooked steak and corn on the cob on the grill and had purchased gelato from this wonderful speciality grocery store, AJ's. Delicious!

Michael and I just took it easy today, we did manage to find a laundromat and get the rest of the laundry caught up. Our mail came and we spent the rest of the day going through the mail, relaxing and practicing our napping. Jazzy has the napping down pat!

Tomorrow is Jeane and Steve's last day here in Arizona, they are headed back to the frozen north on Saturday. On Sunday Michael and I are headed to Yuma so I can get some dental work done in Algodones, Mexico.

Life is good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wickenburg, AZ

Jeane and I took off for Wickenburg about 10am leaving Mike and Steve to do more painting. Our first stop was the local Starbucks--both Mike and Steve feel the same about "foofoo coffee"--it is a total waste of money. Jeane and I both feel the same--it is a life necessity at times. About ten years ago a friend and I opened a small store in Big Timber, MT which sold among other things such as women's clothing and great books, wonderful coffee and I became addicted to mochas and lattes. Jeane bought my half of the store about 8 years ago and just recently retired leaving our original partner to go her way with two new partners. I don't have a latte every day or even every week but when I have the chance, I sure enjoy one!

Then it was on to Wickenburg, a small, busy western town about 60 miles from Phoenix. Our first stop was the museum where I thought the annual Cowgirl Up art exhibit was going on--wrong--we were three weeks early. Michael and I so enjoyed that exhibit last year, all female artist of spectacular work. We browsed in the art gallery and then browsed in the museum gift store. Lunch at Anita's, a great Mexican restaurant, then more shop browsing before we turned the truck back toward Scottsdale.

Michael enjoyed another day of learning about painting and did a couple loads of laundry for me at Steve and Jeane's, too.

The equestrian facility where we are camped is getting busy--there is a large horse event this weekend of hunter/jumper horses and riders.

Another busy day being retired!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Such a Busy Social Life

We decided to run up to Cave Creek, a community about 10 miles from here where a friend of Steve's is staying. We visited with Jack for a while then had lunch at a local famous restaurant called the Horny Toad--supposedly called this name due to an old prospector with bunions who looked at his feet one night after wearing tight boots all day and said, "I sure am getting horny toed." ??? Cave Creek has lots of cute little shops and restaurants and Jeane and I decided to try and get back there to shop sometime this week.

After dropping Jeane and Steve at their house Mike & I decided to check out the local Costco for dessert options for our gathering at Gwen and Arch's home tonight.

We joined Gwen and Arch and their guests from Montana, Char and Alice for dinner. Sandy and Roy also joined us, Roy is Gwen's associate in the real estate business in Montana. It was a great evening of good food and conversation.

The front of Jeane and Steve's house they are renting. The lemon and orange trees are producing and blooming, creating the most wonderful aroma--Jeane and I have been trying to find a way to bottle the smell!

This social life is exhausting but so much fun.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Old Town and Painting

Jeane was looking for decorator type fabric and I find a spot online this morning. It was in the same area as Old Town Scottsdale where we intended to shop and have lunch. The fabric store was awesome with luscious, beautiful, and very reasonably priced fabrics. It was then on to PF Chang's for lunch and two hours later we left the restaurant--we had a nice leisurely lunch due in part to our slow waiter and in part because we were chatting! Old Town was a disappointment--one tourist shop after another--lots of souvenir stuff and turquoise jewelry.

We stopped at the grocery store on our way back out to Jeane and Steve's house and picked up the ingredients to make a drink that Jeane had for lunch--the main ingredient was orange flavored vodka.

The guys and Jazz had a very enjoyable day, too. Steve spent the day being the art teacher and Michael was the pupil who learned a lot. Jazz spent the day chasing the poor quail out of the yard and sleeping.

We enjoyed one of Jeane's vodka drinks before heading back over to WestWorld and our home on wheels. There is another horse show event here this weekend and our private campground is no longer private, horse people have started to drift in.

As I write this I am watching the moon come up over the Superstition Mountains--beautiful!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Greasewood Flats

I should have taken the camera. Gwen suggested that we go to Greasewood Flats for dinner tonight--OK, how many of you would want to go to a place called Greasewood Flats??? When we got out to the restaurant (remember we are in Scottsdale, as Michael would say, a high rent district) the driveway is dirt and the parking lot is packed with all kinds of vehicles including lots of motorcycles. It is an outdoor restaurant, picnic tables, barrels with wood fires in them that people are standing around to stay warm and the place is packed. The young man that let us in the gate tells us that the long line is the line for food, we are to place our order and then our number will be called. There are different places around the perimeter to buy drinks. Gwen's associate, Roy and his wife Sandy who have a condo here in Scottsdale are all ready in the food line and take our order, too. It didn't seem to take that long to get the food, we all enjoying standing near one of the fire barrels and talking. The burgers were great and we found a spot to sit. All in all it was a great experience, wish I had taken the camera!!

Early this morning one of the horses Gwen and Arch own was shown in the reining horse competition--he and his rider Patrick did very well.

Michael and I walked Jazzy and had some lunch then drove over to the house friends Jeane and Steve had rented--what a beautiful home--tile floors, pool, beautiful landscaping and a lemon tree with lots of fruit. We spent the afternoon enjoying the warm Arizona sun on the patio.

Life is good!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

On to Phoenix

When I wrote the blog last night I stated that the wind had lessened to some extent, well, that wasn't for long!! It blew all night long, we were awake off and on, Michael got up at 4am, put his clothes on and went outside to find whatever was banging. He came back inside, got back in bed but fifteen minutes later he was up again and said, "let's go." He loaded the motorcycle and other miscellaneous things like chairs in the dark and I scurried around and got the inside ready. We were packed up and out of there in about an hour. The wind was much lighter as we left. We got to Phoenix and WestWorld about 10am.

We have friends renting a home for 3 months in the Scottsdale area of Phoenix and we wanted to be near them. Our friends Jeane and Steve also were arriving today from Montana and renting a house for a week. When we got on the internet looking for a place to stay in this area, we found two regional county parks and this WestWorld, a equestrian center that has RV sites. The county parks are extremely full this time of year and difficult to get into. I called WestWorld and they took a reservation. When we arrived today, we were amazed at the size and complex nature of this facility. It is over 300 acres with arenas, restaurant, stall barns, event buildings and a bunch of RV spots. While it is located in Scottsdale just off busy Highway 101, it is relatively quiet. Lots of room to walk the Jazzy dog, too.

Our friends Gwen and Arch ride and have trained reining horses and as a wonderful coincidence, were attending a reining horse competition this weekend here at WestWorld. Reining horses are ridden in prescribed patterns then the horses are stopped very quickly with the horse sliding its rear legs underneath its body. It is amazing to watch the quickness and grace of this animals and their riders. We spent the afternoon enjoying the competition. Jeane and Steve arrived late afternoon after fighting absolutely horrible snow storms all the way into Arizona, it was 25 degrees at the Grand Canyon this morning with horrible wind.

This is a photo of one of the patterns where the horse and rider turn in very quick tight circles. This horse had a very long white mane that flew out as he turned.
Sliding to a stop
It is great to be back in this area and to be seeing Montana friends.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March Came In Like A Lion

March is living up to its name here in the Tombstone area, extremely windy today, at times we thought it would blow us from our perch on top of this hill.

We spent most of the day looking at land on the Dragoon Mountain Ranch. We met Jacqueline, a realtor and she drove us around to all the parcels for sale. We then parted company with her and went back to hike over the 2-3 parcels we thought we might like. After all that and looking at ten to twelve 40 acre parcels, we narrowed it down to one. It had awesome views of the Dragoon Mountains and was not totally flat. We also intend to scout around in the Phoenix and Tucson area for property.

Tonight we went to Jim and Linda's RV for a chili dinner. Linda makes great chili and cornbread--she is one of those cooks that likes to "dish up" your plate for you--she never thinks you are eating enough so she loads it on, I have finally gotten her trained to let me decide my portions but Michael just lets her dish up for him. Needless to say, we never leave hungry from Linda's! We also finished off the last of that great margarita pie from last night. We said our goodbyes to them tonight, we are heading to the Phoenix area tomorrow--we may be back down here, we will see.

As I write this the wind has died down just a little, we aren't rocking and rolling as bad as this afternoon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Rest Day

It is easy to feel secure in an RV park, there are people around all the time coming and going and in some parks there is even a manned security gate. When you are out boondocking on state land, it is easy to feel insecure! During the night I woke to find Michael up wandering around, he had heard something outside rattling the chains that secured the motorcycle and generator--he soon asserted that it was probably the local rancher's cows or a javelina traveling through. Sure was hard to fall back asleep, though! We live remotely in Montana, no street lights, no neighbors, and no noise so we are used to solitude but for some reason we feel a little exposed here on this public land.

We decided after our walk to just take it easy today and not go anywhere. Michael spent most of the day on the computer looking at real estate and I read, hemmed a pair of jeans and did some cooking. I also gave the Jazzy girl a haircut, she looks much cooler now.

In the evening, Jim and Linda came out bringing steaks and a margarita pie. We had a wonderful meal of steaks on the grill, roasted sweet and white potatoes and a salad. Linda's margarita pie was wonderful--it would make a great summer time dessert, very refreshing.

Huachuca Mountains from our hike this morning.
Tomorrow we are meeting with the realtor that sold our original hunk of AZ land to look at some more AZ land in that same development.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The forecast was for wind and the weather man hit the nail on the head, it blew and blew--every time Michael got out of the truck, he had to cinch down his hat!

We took a nice hour long walk out across this state land where we are parked with views in every direction. Showers and then on to Sierra Vista which is about 13 miles from where we are parked.

Our intent was to take our computers into Best Buy and get the Geek Squad to fine tune them but we took my laptop first and the guy said it was working great--go figure!! A stop at Dillard's for makeup and it was free gift time so I lucked out!

Then I made a grave mistake--I went to the local grocery chain--Fry's to buy groceries. Unbeknownest to me, Wednesday is Senior Citizen Day and I think every person over the age of 65 was there--I was a wreck when I came out--the aisles were blocked with carts and slow moving elderly folks, the store was literally packed. When I got to the checkout counter I was so glad I had only purchased 15 items so I could go through the fast lane. I know I will be old one day, too, and I hope someone is more patient with me than I am!!

We were then ready for lunch and decided to try a local restaurant called The Diner. I ordered a chocolate milkshake since they didn't serve alcohol--I was considering wine after my grocery store trial--and no, Ellie, it wasn't a Weight Watcher sized one, either--it was huge and tasted so good. That probably used up all my extra points for the week!

Property searching was then on the agenda--we are thinking of purchasing something in the Arizona area again (we used to own 40 acres of bare land near Benson, AZ) and enjoy looking. We got home around 5pm and I posted our friend Jim & Linda's Toy Hauler RV on CraigsList, they have bought a home in Tombstone.

Our boondocking spot with Sierra Vista in the distance.
Isn't this the life, it was warm enough to sit outside this morning and drink our coffee.

Life is good.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Great Camping Spot

The laundry was finished by a little after 8am, we were in the laundromat before 7 this morning and met up with another fellow doing his laundry. I gave him grief telling him I was the early bird, nobody else was supposed to be up that early. He told me that he was an early riser because when he was employed, he had to be at work by 6am, I said me too because I was an operating room nurse--well, he was a nurse anesthetist! We had a great time visiting while the clothes dried!

Michael took a ride out to the boondocking spot on his motorcycle to find the lay of the land and I bathed the Jazzy dog and cleaned the RV while he was gone. When he got back, we hooked up and headed out. Michael lead the way on the bike and I followed with the truck and RV.

We only heard about this spot by reading a fellow RVer's blog, it is state land and there used to be a mining operation of some sort here, there is a huge concrete pad and Al & Kelly had kindly swept it and built a fabulous fire ring. We are parked on concrete with gorgeous mountain views and the lights of Sierra Vista in the distance. Jazz can be off the leash here which she loves. The rancher Jack and his wife Gwen who lease this land for cattle stopped by this afternoon to introduce themselves.

Jim & Linda came out and visited with us for a while and admired our boondocking spot. For those who read this blog and don't RV, boondocking is camping without electrical and water hookups--these rigs are totally self contained and carry enough water in a holding tank to go many days provided you are conservative.

It is very quiet out here and I think we will enjoy our days spent here!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Travel Day

Last night we decided to travel on to the Tombstone, AZ area today and we got a nice early start, leaving Alamogordo about 8:30 and arriving at Tombstone Territories RV Park around 2:30pm. We had a nice tail wind upping our fuel mileage to above 10 miles per gallon!

Our plan is to spend the night here, take on water, do laundry and clean the RV and the dog then go out to a boondocking spot we heard about by reading the great blog of fellow travelers, Al & Kelly who are from Canada. I must be getting crankier in my older age--I get way too irritated at people in campgrounds who seem to be oblivious to the fact their dogs are constantly barking or they think it is OK to sit outside their RV at 1am and talk so loud they could be heard a mile away. So, we are off to boondock.

When we arrived this afternoon, we called Jim & Linda, friends we met a few years ago while participating in the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. They full time RV and have spent so much time in the Tombstone area, they have bought a house. We met them at their rig and they drove us by the house they are buying and then we were on to dinner at the Six Gun Cafe. It was so good to see them. They are going to try and sell their toy hauler and I took some photos tonight so we can get the RV listed on Craigs List.

Sunset on the mountains in Alamogordo, NM
The view of Dog Canyon on our killer hike Saturday.
The creek bed where the Nature Trail used to be--a spring flash flood destroyed the trail last year. Notice, Jill, the cottonwoods are starting to leaf out!!

Another wonderful day and so good to see Jim & Linda.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Hike and Real Estate

Sorry I can't post any photos of our glorious hike yesterday but our Verizon aircard is not working well here and it won't work at all on my laptop--so I am posting on Michael's and I can't load photos from his.

There is a trail leading from the visitor's center called the Dog Canyon Trail, it is 5.6 miles to the top where you can leave a car for the return trip or you can hike all the way back. We knew we couldn't hike 5.6 miles right from the beginning--it was so steep for the first mile or more we were considering turning around at the first sign we saw that said we had hiked .5 mile. We huffed and puffed for 2 miles then Michael decided to go an additional mile to see the "Line Cabin". He said the climb definitely wasn't worth it! By the time we got back to the RV, 3 hours later I might add, our legs were trembling and Jazzy was one pooped puppy! Today we are just a little stiff. Ellie, just think of all those exercise points we earned!

After the hike we rested, had lunch and drove into town to the Visitor's Center to get some information and maps. Wal-Mart for groceries and then home to collapse!

Today we took a much easier hike and then drove into the surrounding areas to look at real estate which is a favorite past times of Michael's. When we decide we like an area, we always end up looking at real estate and we like this area, the mountains are beautiful and the climate great! Cherry trees and crab apple trees are all ready blossoming.

Another quick stop at Wal-Mart for bread and jelly and then home. Jazzy had picked up some kind of grass seeds or stickers in her paws and was endlessly chewing and licking, something she never does. So, when we got home, Michael held her and I clipped all the hair from between her pads and removed as many of those stickers as I could find, poor girl, she was not a happy camper, she hates to have her feet handled!

We think we are leaving this area tomorrow, heading on to Arizona.