Saturday, March 30, 2013

Time for Change?!

This last month of our Winter 2012-2013 Season has been erratic and unsettling!
After the wonderful time in the desert near Ajo and Why, AZ with our birder-friends Judy and Terry, a dark cloud descended on both of us – not really knowing where we wanted to go next; the noise in the motor; the sense of being vulnerable in a foreign country 1500 miles from home – Fred seemed to be tired of driving and I felt like we were travelling the same old trails and doing the same old things – nothing really new or exciting.

As Sheila would say, “We’ve seen too much.”
It’s been a dozen years since I told Fred, “I’m not having fun any more!” and we started planning this magnificent adventure of learning and discovery. Now, the fun times seem wider apart and further away. The Motor Home seems smaller and we seem less congenial – it certainly could be time to move onto something else.
The journey back to Lethbridge was much like an exercise in putting in time hoping winter would turn to spring so we could travel north in hospitable weather . . . snow-free roads and no wind.
We spent a couple of days in Quartzsite with Deb and her family (Jer had taken a load of rocks back to their home near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico). They are a card-playing family and we spent many hours involved in various games, especially Wizard.
Deb is an artist and a collector. Her Mom is more of collector than she is. For years Deb has been telling me that her Mom has this incredible collection of gum (sticks and in wrappers) that she started collecting when she was six years old.
I would do an “Oh Yeh” thing and go on talking about something else. Well, we were now a captive audience and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
The Gum Museum (in Quartzsite, AZ) is housed in a building that must be 20’x30’. Inside are rows and rows of display cases with chewing gum paraphernalia dating back beyond the turn of the 20th Century. I couldn’t believe what I saw!
Apparently, the Smithsonian is interested in the collection – it’s that extensive.
After a few days, we were concerned about overstaying our welcome and started moving slowly northward. In an effort to stave off the inevitable bad roads and bad weather, we checked into an Escapee Discount RV Park in Kingman. It was still Air Conditioner weather so we stayed there for a few days. That gave us a chance to get the window covers re-strung and revisit sights along Route 66.
The Hackberry General Store is still there and still my favourite place. It’s grown some since our first visit in 2001 . . . more memorabilia . . . more old vehicles . . . same cowboy-shit sign – a little worn but then, aren’t we all? 


A new attraction for us was the "Keeper's of the Wild Nature Park", along Route 66 in Valentine, AZ ( One of the work-campers at the RV Park recommended it. I’m not sure what we were expecting but it wasn’t what we experienced. The only other Wildlife Park we have visited was around San Diego many years ago. There, we were in an enclosed tram that wandered throughout the area while the animals ran free. In this Park, the animals definitely were in enclosures. Mind you the enclosures are very large and natural but it felt more like a zoo than a Natural Park.
The Keeper’s Park grew out of the founder’s (Jonathan Kraft) realization that the performing animals in Las Vegas were being mistreated and abused. He started by rescuing one lion . . . and that started a chain of events that snowballing into the rescue of a wide variety of exotic animals from all over the world.
We didn’t take the safari tour and maybe we should have. We were there mid-day and the animals seemed very lethargic and inactive. There were a lot of chain-linked fences and protective space between the animals and the visitors. The only interaction we observed was one staff feed on of the moneys. That made it difficult to even see some of the animals let alone get any good photos but here are a few we managed to capture.

Someone suggested the best time to see them is during feedings – makes sense.

Well, we thought there was a break in the weather – who were we kidding?
It started getting down-right cold!
After Kingman, we went up through Nevada and parked at the Nevada Hotel in Ely, NV and then we plugged in at Cactus Pete’s in Wells, NV. Fred managed to do his usual “Win enough to pay for the RV site” and I did my usual “leave with less than I came with”.
Onto Dillon, MT and we planned to spend our last night on-the-road in Great Falls, MT before we crossed the border.
What is it they say, the best laid plans . . . ?
We went into the Truck Stop to get gas and I was going in to give them my card and fill the coffee thermos. KerBANG - I slipped on some ice that was covered with water that was being generated by a leaking tap - no salt - no sign - no barrier.
I landed on my chest, knee and hand - don't ask me how – Needless to say, we came right home!

I am very sore and went to Emergency Monday night. They took x-rays - nothing broken - It feels like a sprained ankle in my side, chest and back. The doctor at Emergency said sprained muscles and pulled ligaments but I’ll check with my doctor after the weekend.
Good thing I am well padded!

I’ve been sleeping sitting up because it hurts to lie down.
Fred’s been bring in all the stuff from the Motorhome and I’ve been working on putting it all away . . . slowly!
How did we ever get that much stuff in the Motorhome in the first place.
What are the changes going to be – when??
That is such a good question!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you two are unsure of continued travels. Or am I misreading your post.

Hope you heal well from the fall. We hope to run into you again one day.

Visiting family in NM before heading to MI.

Take care.
Len and Carol