Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We are not going to make it to January!

We’re ready to take the next step. We better be ready . . . it’s cold; it’s snowing; the wind is blowing . . . of course . . . the Chinooks come; the temperatures go up; the snow goes away; but the winds still blow. Then it gets cold; the snow comes and the wind blows. We’re ready to escape.

Mind you, that too has been a steep learning curve!

Looking For a Places
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After contacting at least a dozen ads on Kijiji, Craigslist, and Vacation Rentals we were totally frustrated.

Finally, we decided to leave December 5th with or without a place. We had such confidence we would find someplace to sleep and cook!

Lo and behold!

Just as we made up our minds not to worry about it we found a place . . . it never fails, does it?

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We will check into Desert Holiday, Yuma on December 15th. Yahoo!

It’s amazing how humans adjust to their conditions! We’re going to be ‘Park People’  . . . who’da thunk it!

Lethbridge actually has some neat stuff!

We have started exploring more around here but you have to see the view from our deck!!

I know . . . just like so many of our friends, we vowed not to take any more Sunset pictures but just couldn’t resist these from our deck.

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That’s it – I gotta go pack!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A DRY Dry Run!



This has been such a learning experience!
It is NOT fun traveling and staying in motels and hotels - at least not for us – schlepping everything in and out all the time is ridiculous, let alone a lot of work. I tried to pack an overnight case but we always ended up bringing in another suitcase or container. If it looked the slightest bit suspect where we parked the car, we brought everything in.
And then there were the meals. Even if we found a place where we could cook, it means buying food and storing it. We tried to find places that included breakfast. Like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, when they were good, they were very, very good, but when they were bad, they were horrid! We did get a cooler that plugged into the Journey and had a couple feedings of rotisserie chicken and salad.
Thank goodness for our friends in Truth or Consequences, NM.
We were there for a few days. As well as enjoying their company, we realized we need a base-camp to travel from.
Texas is definitely out! It’s way too far; it is very crowded; and the humidity would kill me.
I forgot about the humidity. Even while we were in Truth or Consequences it felt uncomfortably humid and Texas would be even worse – not my choice of how to spend the winter (how quickly we forget).
Well, on to the next option
We have decided to try and establish a base – probably around Yuma. We did find a park and a place we thought we might like - looked at it - loved it - contacted the owner who seemed to forget she even advertised it for rent – I was totally pissed off.
Now we've decided to disregard looking right now and will restart our search again a few weeks before our leave date in the new year.
We chose
Yuma because we know the area better than anywhere else in the South. We considered places in Casa Grande and Tucson but we really don't know the options that well.
 So . . . it looks like we will head down January or February and take our chances!!

All that said, our visits with Deb and Jer and the tours of Colorado National Monument and the Dinosaur Museum at Fruita were outstanding!
Deb and Jer live on a small acreage on Locoweed Drive near Lake Caballo, south of T or C, New Mexico.
They have been there since 2012. Deb is the gal who organized the Authors’ Fair at Paul’s Readers’ Oasis Book Store in Quartzsite. That is where we met. Deb and I did that tour of the Hatch and the Chili places last year. They suggested that the National Monument was a must see.
(I’ve set up a separate posting for their place on Locoweed Drive, Caballo, NM)
The Colorado National Monument
I want to be a geologist in my next life!
Driving along the 23-mile Rim Road is like travelling through millions of years of the planet earth . . . up; down; hairpin turns; steep canyon walls; gigantic, towering monoliths; and rock formations that expose the earth’s life over millions, maybe billions of years. 
 





 One interesting thing about travelling this time of year, is that we get to see the fall colours. Just another reminder that even Mother Nature is constantly changing.

 


Fruita and the Dinosaur Museum
Our first visit to Fruita, Colorado was when friends Monty and Lee were there working at a local RV Park. I remember it particularly because it was the only time we celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving in the U.S. We actually took down turkey drumsticks to share with our American friends. We popped into Colorado to see them and then headed back into Utah-Arizona to tour the Canyons there.
This time, we spent some tome looking around and ended up at the Dinosaur Museum. They’ve done an impressive job! A few of them were even animated.




With the hot, hot temperatures, we were please the new car had such good air conditioning.

We left Fruita with a breathe taking sunrise.


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Dry Run

Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!

clip_image002Thank you all for so many helpful hints!!

We’ve tried to follow up and plan our winter. We must have come up with at least a dozen different scenarios. What with no home to travel in and a new vehicle to replace the Tracker, our summer was a lot of changing and searching. We did some visiting and touring hoping to get a feel for what it would be like to be homeless.

We enjoyed our travels but still have no idea what our winter will be like.

So-o-o we are doing a dry run to New Mexico, maybe check out some spots in Texas, and then come back through Casa Grande and Yuma . . .Who knows!

We enjoyed our travels this summer but still need to test out our new situation!

Our 2014 Summer Travels

First, we went up to see Chuck & Sheila in Wetaskiwin to take part in our usual card-playing marathon . . . I still can’t win but we enjoy our visits with them so much that it really doesn’t matter.

Then we went off to Eureka, Montana in the Tobacco Valley, to spend a few days with Faye and Carl.

Faye was our neighbour way back when we first came back to Alberta from Cape Breton. Their place here is so comfortable and relaxing. When they first moved there, it was a lazy kind of place. Originally, the Tobacco Valley was a logging area but when the logging died out, some farms and ranches and a lot of home-styled crafts supported the community.

Development has now crept into the Valley. Californians looking for a quieter life-style and Canadians looking for a simpler, quiet summer get-away are now moving in.

It has become a busy, bustling community but we managed to find some out-of-the-way places to explore.

You always find Faye surrounded by her animal family.

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Gardens and cooking were our big things then . . . gardens and food are still big but wildflowers and out-of-the-way places always top off our visits.

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Stalking Back Roads

We took the time this summer to stalk some back roads to find old weather worn buildings that have always fascinate me.

The first sighting we made was of the Old and the New.

There are very few old grain elevators left and even fewer sitting side by side.

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An old barn (that is still in use); the shed in the middle of the field; and an previously loved old cabin hidden in the trees . . . all watched over by our bull of loving grace.

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Not only are buildings well used, we can across Cooper’s Auto Sales that had a field of wrecks about the same vintage as the buildings.

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Finally, we got to Del Bonita (an obscure little border crossing) that is desperately fighting extinction.

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They have developed a Ghost Town Street to attract people going through.

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We are so fortunate to live where we do!!

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

 On Being Half-Homeless . . . Help!
If Change is so good . . . Why do we feel so lost?
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Dad had so many great saying . . . but the one that comes to my mind over and over is:
I saw a man who wasn’t there,
I looked again – he wasn’t there,
I looked again – he wasn’t there,
I wish he’d go away
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I was never sure what he meant until now . . .
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I saw the motorhome that wasn’t there,
I looked again – it wasn’t there,
I looked again – it wasn’t there,
I wish it would go away.
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I look out to where the Motor-Home should be . . .


 The memory of our little winter home is fading but it’s tough to imagine travelling without it.

And what are we going to do next season?
This has been such an interesting exercise - planning for a southern adventure without an RV. It really does change your whole concept of travel. The three options we’ve come up with (in order of what we would like to do):
1. find Park-model units to rent for a couple of weeks up to a month in two or three different parks
- maybe even Texas or Louisiana

2. find a small affordable Class C that we can purchase and leave down south
3. find condos to rent for a couple of weeks up to a month in two or three different places
We’ve had a little help from our friends to find places but any more suggestions would be most appreciated!!
Can you help?
Do you know any RV parks that might rent out Park Models for a week to a month?
T I A

Friday, June 6, 2014

And Life Goes On

Well . . . it happened!

We have threatened it a few times but never carried through!

We managed to almost clean out the Motor Home every spring for the last three years but never went any farther.

This year . . . we totally emptied her out . . . actually got an ad together and put the MH up for sale!

WESTWOOD

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As Diane would say . . . Holy Crap! 

The ad was on Kijiji less than 24 hours and we had two calls.  The next day a gal came to see it . . . she was impressed!!

The next thing we knew, she arrived with a Bank Draft for more than we were expecting and took our little home away!

We are still in shock but I think we were ready . . no real choice now – we are 1/2 homeless!

Now what are we going to do?

Oh!! That is such a good question?

The Summer of 2014 is dedicated to  figuring out the next phase of our ever changing lives.

Friday, April 25, 2014

March Madness . . . Part 2

Oh my – when we left Quartzsite, we thought we had way more time than before we needed to hit the going-home road . . . a few days at Lake Mead . . . a week at the Escapees Park in Pahrump (I love the way that word rolls around my mouth and the pops off my lips) . . . a quick tour of Death Valley . . . would put us on the time-line to head home.

We checked into Pahrump only to realize that we had lost a week somewhere along the way . . . Long story short we only spent three days there . . . wandered around Death Valley and Amargosa and headed off . . . homeward bound.

Death Valley

Even if geology isn’t your thing, approaching and driving through Death Valley gives you a sense of all the tremendous geological happenings throughout the ages. The valley is a basin surrounded by rugged mountains, both barren and colourful.

Death Valley was formed from debris sliding down the sides of the mountain ranges into this enclosed valley of the Great Basin region.

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Death Valley Junction

We revisited Death Valley Junction and the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House that we discovered when we took a wrong turn on our first visit to Death Valley.

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Like so many of the small towns in southern California and Arizona, Death Valley Junction was built around mining (borax was mined around Death Valley Junction until the late 1940s) and the railroad. And like so many southern California and Arizona towns, it died.

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Apparently in the mid 1960s, Marta Becket, an actor from New York (obviously with lots of money), undertook restoring the opera house and the attached hotel. Being a very creative woman, she painted frescos on the walls throughout the hotel (very folksy) and she and her partner presented performances every Saturday until his death a few years ago.

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To our amazement, Marta is still alive and still presides over a Saturday night performance.

The complex is showing signs of age and neglect, but I was assured by a gal (who was working to convert the old barbershop to on art gallery), that they are in the throws of revitalizing the whole area.

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Artist Drive: is one of our favourite tours in the Valley.

The impact of the millions and millions of years of geological eruption and settling are everywhere. The Artist Drive takes you up into a unique colourful rock formation. A one-way trail winds in, around and through the lava and sedimentary rock.

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One section called the Artist Palette gives a fascinating view of the layers created from the movement and folding of the earth’s crust. Each stratum represents eons of geological time of rain, wind and erosion.

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A raven was standing guard at the Palette. He considered it his job to have his picture taken and posed for us as well as at least a dozen other visitors’ photo shoots.

Badwater Salt Flats

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After the water receded (billions of years ago) it left some areas smooth and barren and others covered with heavy salt residue. The Badwater Salt Flats, with a well-developed visitor area, is one of the most fascinating salt areas.

The story goes that the flats were named by an old miner who brought his mules there to drink. When the animals refused to drink he named the area Badwater Flats.

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The flats lay 282 feet below sea level. There are walks that go for miles out onto the salt. It seldom rains in Death Valley but pools of water seep up from underground springs and dot the salt-white land.

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Tiny salt-resistant pupfish are only found here and flourish in the waters.

For millions, perhaps billions of years, the region we now call Death Valley has erupted, flooded, shifted, scorched and revitalized itself over and over again. It has and will always continue to change. Scientists, prospectors and visitors alike are drawn to the mysteries and promises of the valley.

And here we were wondering if we have clean clothes to make it home. Ludicrous, isn’t it?

We made it home on April Fools Day! – Do you think that means something?