Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Made It

Big questions – what do you need for a three and a half month trip living in someone else’s space? Especially when you are not sure what it looks like or what is there?

I packed, unpacked and packed again.

Do I need a mixer? Do I need a vacuum? What about Fred’s bread maker? How much can we pack into the Journey?

How do we know that the place we just put a deposit on really exist or if it really looks like the pictures we just saw?

Then it became: “nothing more we can do – if we need anything we’ll have to buy it. If it isn’t what we think it is . . . we’ll just deal with it.

Geez, I wish we still had the Motorhome!”

Crying over spilled milk? You betcha!

Did I have a choice?

Yeh, either go with it or stay home!

No choice – get back to work!!!!

We left in a dusting of snow . . . Hm–m-m, not bad. Some snow all the way to Conrad, Montana . . . still not bad.

Good weather and good roads all the rest of the way . . . Hm-m-m great!

Our First Misadventure

Everyone at home who drives down in a car or truck make Pocatello, Idaho their first stop. Okay – sounds good – we can do that.

We used either Booking.com or Best Western to find a reasonable accommodations.

Best Western had three places in Pocatello and we chose the least expensive one. As we passed a road sign, it said 80 miles to Pocatello. We looked at the GPS and it said 30 miles. Opps! The motel that turned out to be in Idaho Falls turned out to be just terrific. Good blunder!

Virgin River Gorge


Each time we travel through the gorge (that takes us out of Utah, through a small piece of Arizona into Nevada and Mesquite), I am awestruck by the mere overwhelming geological spectacle.



The next stop was at Mesquite, Nevada. The Virgin River rooms are hardly worth the advertised price of $27.00 but the Champagne Brunch at the Eureka was a plus.

Las Vegas

It’s been almost 15 years since we spent any time touring around Las Vegas. When we were there in 2000, there were complimentary attractions and the customer was royal. Now money is king, there are no real comps and every attraction comes with a substantial fee.

clip_image008Freemont during the day is certainly not the attraction that it is at night but you do see the reality of the place.




People-watching was a consuming activity – all sizes, shapes, colours and languages. We toured the Strip via the double-decker bus. Our seat mates were a nice young Pakistani couple from Pittsburgh and behind was a newly retired couple from Scotland. We managed to sit in the front seats on the upper deck and got above the heads of the crowds to capture some shots.




My favourite time was at 7 in the morning. It was relatively dark and quiet with fewer people.





We finally made it to the Desert Holiday Park in Yuma on Sunday after a very slow trip down.


The place here looks mostly like the pics only a bit more worn and smaller.
It has an overabundance of "stuff" like artificial flowers and plants and cupboards full of kitchen paraphernalia and bedding.
It may take us a few more days, but you know us, it will become comfortable.

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

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?


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.










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.


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.




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.


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.





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.



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


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


We are so fortunate to live where we do!!