Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1/29/08 Donations Please....

Started the day in dance class. Our line dancing group has grown by leaps and bounds! There was hardly any room on the dance floor this morning.

Bob decided to stay home today instead of going to work. He's got some projects to work on and there isn't much going on at work for him so it all works out in the end.

Lucille, a fellow team member, and I went in search of donations for door prizes. We were able to secure 2 gift certificates for dinners at local restaurants, a certificate for a manicure, a certificate for a massage from the lady in the park that does them and we have some that have to approved by store management so we'll go back to them tomorrow. We have a whole list of places to go so I'm sure this will take several days to get to them all.

I think I may have mentioned before that Channel 27 here in the park is the information station for park residents. I was looking at it the other day and was surprised to see my name on it. Some of the residents have asked that the person who is "responsible" for the activity be listed on TV in case anyone has questions about said activity. No has knocked on the door yet!
Later in the day there was a bunch of standing outside talking and we noticed that Don and Dave had "almost" the same shirt on. You can tell we're bored with this chilly weather because three of us ran inside to get our cameras so we could take pictures of them. It was late afternoon and that is why they didn't have jackets on. That is certainly not the case around here on these chilly Arizona mornings! That's Dave on the left and Don on the right.

Another day down.

1/28/08 New Job for Snookie

Today Lee, the White Team team leader, asked me if I would take over as the lead for the remainder of our time here. I told him it would be no problem that I would take the position if he truly didn't want to do it anymore. We'll have to see what I got myself into.

It was a work day for us today and we firmed up a few more plans for the Valentine's Day project that is ours. A list was made of places we'll go to and ask for donations of gift certificates for door prizes. This is something I have lots of experience at so this should go pretty well.

Clear skies today and that is certainly a welcome change from yesterday. I hope that all the rain makes for some beautiful sights in the desert this spring when it is time for it bloom.

I can't believe this is the 28th of January already. Time is just flying by. Just a little over two months to go and we're back on the road again. Bob is spending a lot of time researching on the computer the different campgrounds, routes and sights that we want to see. HE really has hitch itch!

That's about it for today. Oh yeah, we do have a day trip planned for Thursday, wait till you see where we're going! Stay tuned!

1/27/08 Downpour in the Desert

It has rained all day, off and on. Actually, more on than off. We stayed close to home today and did our usual inside things, TV, reading, computers and eating.

How's that for a day?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

1/26/08 What's In Your Bucket?

First things first. Happy Anniversary to my brother Bill and sister-in-law Michelle. They are married 28 years now. Hope you two have another wonderful year with many more to follow.

It was kind of a boring day today. Bob kept busy working on things on the truck and around the rig and I couldn't seem to get interested in anything. Reading didn't do it, TV didn't do it and even the computer didn't keep my attention that long. I'm really in need of a day trip but that is on the back burner right now as Bob is going full throttle into his Mr. Fixit mode and that's a good thing!

We picked up Lee around 3:40 and then went to meet up with Pam at the movie theater. Pam does tax preparation and had to work until 4. This is certainly the biggest theater we've been in as it has 16 screens. It has just recently opened so everything still looks very new and nice. The seats were padded rockers and very comfortable. Lee and Pam treated us to the movie, thanks guys! We were there to see Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Bucket List stands for things they wanted to do before they kicked the bucket. All four of us really enjoyed it.

So what do you have in your bucket list? What do you want to do or where do you want to go before you meet your maker? I have a list, I've had one for about 15 years now and I'm working on it. Of course I didn't call mine my Bucket List. I called mine "Things I Want to Do Before I Die or Get Too Old". I had things like whitewater rafting: Done (Granted, it wasn't a Class 5 River like the Colorado but a Class 2 or 3, the Lehigh was good enough.) Ride in a hot air balloon: Done (Bob surprised me with this on our 25th wedding anniversary) Bungee Jumping: Scratch this one, too many broken necks. Para sailing: Done (Did this when we had our yearly vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina) Travel the country: Doing it now. There's one more and I'm very close to accomplishing that. Can't tell you what it is right now because when my parents read this they'll freak. But I'm close, very close, and if its going to happen it will happen within the next two months. There are other things on my list but they are too personal to list here on this open blog. After seeing this movie I'm going to think long and hard about what else I want to add to my Bucket List. Without telling you too much about the movie I'll end this with "Make your list and start working on it because you never know, you just never know."

After the movie we drove over to Mimi's for dinner but there was a long line and an hour's wait time. We weren't interested in waiting that long for dinner. Lee and Pam suggested their favorite restaurant, Manuel's I think it is, although I'm not sure. Its a little Mexican restaurant and inside my head I was panicking. You know how I'm not an adventurous eater so I asked right away if they thought they served hamburgers. They said yes and I was relieved. So we followed them to the other side of Casa Grande. Oh how I wish I had brought the camera with me. We were seated right away at our table for four, our drink orders were taken and we were given menus. YES! Hamburgers! I looked over the menu anyway and found something else I thought I would like. A fajita. Small strips of beef with peppers, tomatoes and onions. Yep, I'll have that but don't bring me beans or rice. Bob ordered a chicken enchilada and enjoyed it. Both Pam and Lee ordered burritos. The three of them are much more adventurous than me! It didn't take too long and it was delivered. Sizzling hot! I was warned not to touch the dish as it was very hot but the waitress could have saved her breath, I could HEAR the sizzle, no way was I touching that! During dinner the Mariachi band played. For this I wish I had the camera. They moved table to table and serenaded the diners. Some dinner patrons did get up and sing with them. It was all in Spanish so I didn't understand a single word. Bob and I will be returning to this restaurant again before we leave here. I've got to take the camera!

Gee, its a shame I didn't have eat in a Mexican restaurant on my list, I could have crossed it off.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

1/25/08 Mini Golf, Cleaning & Phone Calls

We started a new round of mini golf this morning and our number of golfers has swelled dramatically. We now have to play in two shifts because 62 players are now in the ranks. My new partner, Grant, and I had a decent day shooting a 25 on a 24 par course. It was a scramble game today meaning that we both putted and then got to choose which place we wanted to use for our next putt. We used the place where his ball ended up much more than mine as he always seemed to get closer to that little hole in the ground than I did. Bob had an even better day than I did with his new partner, Marilyn. They ended up with a score of 22. It was actually warm in the sun and it felt good to be outside. We were quite comfortable in jeans and a light sweatshirt.

Late morning was spent doing chores around the house. Dusting, vacuuming, general cleaning. The RV cleaning fairies haven't found our rig yet so we have to do these chores ourselves.

Bob worked on the hitch receiver today, painting it, greasing it and checking the springs to make sure they were in good shape. With the paint job it looks new again.

I spent the afternoon hanging around the house and spent some time online looking for a bargain on a new quilt. The comforter on the bed now is way too heavy (and hot)so I'm in the market for a lightweight quilt.

Our friends, Pam and Lee, called this afternoon to ask us to go to dinner and a movie Saturday so we have that lined up.

During the evening I called some of the ladies I hung out with last year in Florida to catch up on their news and it was wonderful reminiscing about our time together last year. They are all settled in their snowbird parks for the winter now (Florida) but each said it wasn't the same as last year. They haven't found a group of friends like we had last year and each wishes we could all be together again. I do too,,,what a great bunch they were, so many good times we shared, so many laughs.

The weather man says we're in for some rough weather in the next few days, I'm not looking forward to this. The rains that caused mudslides in California are headed our way.

Friday, January 25, 2008

1/24/08 New Internet Service

This morning we got our new Internet service provider. After the fellow was done next door he came to us to start the install.

The difference with this company versus the one we had is that we now have our own personal antenna attached to our rig to pick up the signal. The tower we'll use is less than a mile away and the installer assured me that we would always have a strong signal and a good connection.

While here he also hooked up our new router. This will enable Bob and I to use an air card in the laptop when we are on the road and still both be connected to the Internet. In fact, we are only paying for one service now instead of the two accounts with the other company so its saving us money these last few months here in Arizona.

Everything is hooked up and we have great connection and its faster too! This is one move I'm glad we made!

While all this was going on Bob took a nice long ride on his bike.

This afternoon brought another trip to Casa Grande. Bob needed to get some spray paint to paint our trailer hitch receiver since he is doing the needed maintenance on it. While there we also dropped no longer needed clothing off at the Salvation Army, dropped clothes off at the dry cleaners and went to a "real" grocery store for trash bags.

I debated on whether to go to Bingo tonight. Dave and Darlene weren't back from their day trip and I usually sit with them. Since there wasn't anything on TV that was on my must watch list I thought what the heck, it will get me out of the house for awhile. I shoulda stayed home. I didn't win a darn thing, I couldn't even come close tonight.

Back at home we settled in and watched TV the rest of the evening. We'll be so glad when the warmer weather gets here and we start having cookouts and gatherings in the evening time. We both miss our happy hours from last year.

Marv, our friend and next door neighbor in Florida last year, called to let us know that he and Vi took a ride over to Suncoast RV Park. He told us it was less than half full! I guess people read the bad reviews this park was given by last years residents. I've always said the Internet is a powerful tool.

1/23/08 Router Shopping

We've got a nice day here in Arizona, the sun is shining, its fairly warm and people are out of their rigs for a change.

Bob puttered around our place and I made a trip into Casa Grande in search of a router. Now I'm not all that informed about computer networking, all I care about is that I can get online when I want to and read email, work on this blog, play my daily games of Jewel Quest etc.. I did have a question about the workings of the router when I found one in Office Max. That means I had a question that required a simple yes or no answer. The nice gentleman who works there started answering my question and somehow got sidetracked into telling me all about the innards of my computer and how they work. Inside my head I'm screaming, "Too much information, too much information!" I didn't have the heart to tell him that everything he was telling me was flying right over my head and that I didn't really care in the first place. So he rambled on...and on....and on. He finally ended his speech with, "So, to answer your question, yes." The good part? It was on sale for $20.00 off so that made me happy. I also picked up an ink cartridge for our photo printer because that is running low.

Back at the rig, I walked in and it smelled soooo good! I put a roast in the crock pot this morning for dinner and it just made my mouth water.

Evening time brought us a delicious meal and TV.

1/22/08 Laundry and Mini Golf

Our neighbor, Darlene, and I decided to get a load of laundry out of the way so while the clothes were swishing around in the machine we went to the mini golf course and played a couple of rounds. Believe me, Tiger Woods has no worries about us! Even though it wasn't exactly warm out it was too nice to stay indoors.

We haven't been happy with our Internet connection for awhile now because we keep getting kicked off. Our next door neighbor, LaVon, told me that they weren't happy either and have decided to go with another provider here in the area and that they would be here on Thursday to do the install. I know that quite a few of the winter residents have signed on with this company and I've heard good things so I went inside and called them to see if we could also have an install on the same day. The gentleman said, "Sure, since we're going to be right next door its no problem at all." I explained to him that we have two computers so he suggested that we get a router before Thursday and his man would hook it up for us. Something more to put on my to do list.

Bob played pool this evening while I answered emails and watched "Idol".

When he came home I happened to go outside and was amazed by what I saw. We have a full moon and there was H U G E halo around it! I had never seen anything like it. I went and knocked on Dave and Darlene's door so they could see and they too were amazed saying they had never seen a halo like that before either.. We ran to get our camera's and on the way I got LaVon out and she grabbed her camera too. Unfortunately, our pictures didn't come out. Oh, we got the moon but the halo was so big we couldn't get it in the picture too.

Bob and I are due for another day trip so we have to put our heads together and come up with a place we can share with you.

1/21/08 What a Way To Start the Day!

We started our day with a workampers meeting the manager of the park called. At 8am! No rest for the weary here, that's for sure!

It wasn't a pleasant meeting. It seems the manager isn't happy with "some" of the workampers so we all got called on the carpet. It sure didn't make the ones who weren't involved happy campers to say the least. She did make the statement that she hoped we weren't all pulling out of here on April 1st, Deann came back with, "Make sure you aren't standing in the driveway". So we wasted our first hour of the day in the meeting.

Weather doesn't seem to be any better but at least its not raining.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1/20/08 Boy, Are We Tired!

Wow, what a long day yesterday! I was determined to sleep in but by eight I was up but certainly not bright eyed and bushy tailed. Bob did manage to snooze until around nine. We didn't leave the rig today until mid-afternoon, when we finally managed to get ourselves out among the living.

There was line dancing today, just for fun, no lessons involved. Usually, the dance floor would be packed on fun day. Not today! Only nine of us managed to make it and every one of our butts was draggin'. In fact, the first four songs were on the slow side because none of us had the energy to go any faster.

Today was the day we were supposed to go to Quartzsite. We're not going. The forecast for the weather isn't all that good and Bob decided that if we had to stay indoors he'd rather do that here than out in the desert with no hookups. I agreed! So now the plan is, depending on how HOT it is in April to make a stop there when we leave Quail Run.

After dinner we just kicked back and watched TV.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1/19/08 Pancakes & A Celebration of Life

We were up early this morning! That alarm went off way too early. We started our day at 5:15 so that we could be up to the Cantina by 6:45. It was still dark out when we left the rig.

We had sausages to warm up, pancakes to make, orange juice to pour and plates and utensils to put out and syrup to pour into serving containers. All this had to be done and ready by 7:30 so that we would be ready to serve our first customer.

We were told that last month only about 35 people showed up for the pancake breakfast so we were certainly hoping for more this time. The winter residents did come out for breakfast this Saturday morning even though it was on the chilly side.

We had everything cleaned and put away by ten. From the kitchen we went to putting up additonal tables and chairs for an event in the Carnaval Room tonight.

We had 55, give or a take two or three on either side. Everything went well and I believe the White Team is now done with these breakfasts. I'm hoping so anyway, I don't like getting up that early.

The afternoon hours brought laundry chores for me and Bob worked on finding out why the heat in the truck was only coming out of the vents by the front windshield. Luckily, it was only a burned out fuse.

Late afternoon brought us a trip to the store for groceries. I made sure to get celery and cream cheese for stuffed celery for the party we're going to tonight.

The party. What a great time we had! This wasn't an Activities function so other than setting up the tables and chairs we had nothing to do with this. This Celebration of Life party has been thrown every year for the past several by two women in the park. One is a cancer survivor herself and the other is one who lost her husband to cancer three years ago. They pay for the DJ who happened to be Carol Powers, the lady we had for our New Year's Eve party. Everyone was asked to bring a "finger food" to share, hence the celery and cream cheese for us. The party was originally planned for the time period of 7 - 11 but then the two organizers found out that the usual time period paid for is three hours making it 7 - 10. Ms. Powers would gladly stay until 11 at the cost of $250.00 for the additional hour. That was out of the question. Seven to ten would have to be good enough. It was thought to be a shame we wouldn't have the four hours because this is one dancing park!

So we get there at a little after seven and everything is in full swing already. The dance floor was crowded and everyone was enjoying themselves. Not too far into the party the two organizers asked all cancer survivors to come to the front of the room. I was shocked! I sat there with my mouth hanging open as I watched resident after resident make their way to the front of the room. Half the room was up there! Bob and I just looked at each other. We couldn't believe this many people had been struck by the Big C! We counted our blessings.

The DJ knew just what to play to keep everyone on the dance floor. Around nine the two organizers asked everyone to join in a circle on the floor and as a group we sang Lean On Me. How touching that was. Needless to say there were a few misty eyes.

At ten an announcement was made that Carol Powers was donating the last hour from ten to eleven because she was having so much fun with us!

The night finally came to an end and as is Carol's way of saying goodnight we all joined hands in a big circle on the dance floor and sang God Bless the USA. A perfect ending to a really fun night.

Since church services were going to be in this room in the morning and it had to be set up everyone there pitched in and in 15 minutes we went from dance hall to church. That had to be a record! You would have never known that twenty minutes prior there were over a hundred people partying hard!

So it was a long day for these workampers, keep in mind that our day started at 5:15 this morning but oh what a fun day! Excluding laundry duty of course.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

1/18/08 Another Easy Day

There wasn't a whole lot to do this morning so we cut out early and played our mini golf game and we agreed to meet back in the afternoon to take inventory and cook the sausages for tomorrow's pancake breakfast.

It's starting to warm here now, slowly but surely. We're reaching the higher 60's now and it is welcome. Of course we'd all be happier if it was the higher 70's.

Diesel prices are coming down and we're inching closer and closer to the $3.00 mark. I wonder if we'll ever see prices that start with the number two again. We can only hope.

Again, not much of anything going on.

1/17/08 Back to Work

Well, its back to work for us for the next three days. Today we met and firmed up the plans for the menu for the Valentine's Dinner/Dance. That's done. Next I got on the phone to try to find a place to rent helium canisters for blowing up balloons for decorations. Did you know there is a shortage of helium in this country? I didn't until today. Looks like we move on to plan B....if only we had one.

After setting up tables and chairs in the Carnaval Room we spent the afternoon in the 5th wheel just hanging out.

After dinner it was back to work for Bingo. It was our teams turn to make/sell the popcorn, root beer floats and sodas. By 8:15 we were done and went home for the night.

Another pretty uneventful day. It happens.

Monday, January 21, 2008

1/16/07 Greatest Car Show on Earth

Today we went on a tag-a-long with other Quail Run winter residents to Scottsdale, Arizona. We didn't go to see the city, or monuments, or landmarks. We made the trip so that we could attend the 37th Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. We met the others at 7:15 a.m. to make what should have been a little over an hour drive. We were given a map to follow and it was all good, except the map was for the wrong place. The map directed us to the Barrett-Jackson offices, not to the WestWorld complex where the auction was taking place. When we realized the mistake we loaded WestWorld into "Doris" our GPS system and made it there in no time.

Bob and I have watched this auction on TV for the past several years and now we were going to be there where all the action is!
We entered into the arena from the left in the picture above. That section and the next were where the vendors were situated. We were surprised at what was sold there. We thought it would all be auto related but we were very much wrong. Several jewelers had booths and it wasn't costume jewelry! Other booths held sleep number mattresses, clothing, lots of neon signs for sale, novelty picture frames, vintage gas pumps, furniture and even presidential desks! Trust me, there was no wasted space!

This 57 Chevy greeted us just inside the door. A beauty isn't she?
This next car, I forget the year but its OLD, was perfect in every way. The woman taking a picture from the rear of the car is Shelly. We met up with our friends Bobby and Shelly soon after we arrived.
Back to the vendors. There was one booth that sold autographed items. Guitars, baseball bats, drumsticks, pictures, shoes and a multitude of other things all nicely framed with BIG price tags. I took notice of this guitar.
And this was one of the least expensive ones.

We made our way outside to see what was going on there. We passed the staging area where the cars are lined up to go on stage.
This next picture shows the car above showing on the Jumbotron inside the auction area. It isn't sold when this picture was taken but you can see how much the bid is up to.
We toured some million dollar plus motorhomes and had our portrait drawn by a caricature artist. Bobby and I went through a HUGE houseboat that was parked in the parking lot. You could enter a contest to win a 4 day/3 night stay in the boat. I wanted to enter but Bobby reminded me that it would generate junk mail and when you pay for mail forwarding that is a no-no. This houseboat slept 12 in six bedrooms. It had everything you can imagine including a dishwasher and a hot tub on the upper deck. Did I think to take pictures? NO! Rental for this floating palace is only a mere $23,000 per day. Now don't all rush to make your reservations!

Cars and trucks (and some boats) that are going up for auction are set up for inspection for the bidders under these eight acres of tents.
We were surprised to find out the what people had to go through in order to be a bidder. If they registered before December 1st they had to pay $400.00 registration fee and if after 12/1 it went up to $500.00. They also had to provide a letter from their bank stating how much they were good for. That's not all, they to provide a recent color picture too! In addition if they had to send 10% of what they were able to bid. For instance, if someone had $100,000 to spend on cars then he/she had to send in a $10,000 deposit.

The winners of the auctions have 72 hours to get their vehicles paid for and off the premises.

It was now time to go back inside to get some lunch. Several vendors were serving food and you could get anything from pizza to hot dogs to BBQ to salads and the list goes on. Need I tell you it was expensive? Three dollars for a bottle of coke!!!!

Time to go into the auction. We were allowed to sit on the bleachers but not allowed to sit on the chairs inside the chained off area. That was for bidders and we definitely weren't bidding!

I've heard auctioneers before but none that spoke as fast as these guys! It was just amazing. Each vehicle took just a few minutes from the time they made it to the stage to the time it was bid on, sold and driven off the other end. They auction off 200 cars each day.

The highest price we saw while we were there was $100,000.00 for a 56 Chevy.

In addition to paying the bidder registration each winning bidder had to pay 8% of the sale price to Barrett Jackson. Each seller had to pay 7% so Barrett Jackson was bringing in a pretty penny to say the least! The 2007 auction in Scottsdale brought in over seven million dollars worth of vehicles sold.

What a day it was! We are so glad we went to see this auction.

1/15/08 Cold Miserable Day

This cold front we had seems to have dug in its heels and is hanging around. We spent the day in the house doing computer things, reading and watching TV.

We drove by where our friends Dale and Karen are staying when we went out for propane but we didn't see their rig there. I know they have other friends they wanted to see while out here so they have probably moved north a little bit.

My phone is on the fritz again. I don't know what I do wrong because Bob never has problems with his and we have the same model phone. I guess a trip to the Verizon store is in my future.

We did take this picture of the sky after a plane had flown over. It just looked so strange.
Once again, nothing exciting happening today but we have big plans for tomorrow!

1/14/08 Not Much Going On....

The chilly air is back and we're all donning jackets again. Darn this Arizona winter!

I called Deann, our Activities Director to see if she wanted to make a run to the CVS store to get pictures printed that I still had on our camera from New Year's Eve. We had two scenes that each couple could pick from and more orders came in for additional prints. I wanted to get this done so that I could get them off my camera for good.

While out we also went to the bank, a grocery store and to a doctor's appointment that she had. Being ten miles from town one tends to group errands if at all possible.

That was pretty much it for the day for me. Bob spent his day on the computer plotting our course for our summer travels.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

1/13/08 A Trip Back in Time - Tombstone

We got a fairly early start this morning picking Dale and Karen up around 8:30. We are headed south this time, we're going to Tombstone, home of the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral.

We found Tombstone with no problem and got a parking place fairly easily. We had to walk a block to get to "downtown" Tombstone. We saw stagecoaches and horses everywhere so it took us back to the times of the Old West in no time flat.

Our first view of Tombstone.

One of the first people we met was the Sherriff.

The town site of Tombstone was laid out on March 5, 1879. At that time Tombstone had 40 cabins and 100 people. Allen Street lots sold for a mere $5.00. By June 20, 1880 there were 3,000 people in the town and by late 1881 there was over 7,000 and more gambling houses, saloons, and a larger "boothill" and "red light" district than any town in the southwest. Population increased rapidly from that time, and in the 1890's it had reached a maximum of 15,000.

I wondered how the town got the name Tombstone and did a little research to find the answer.

Back in 77', 1877 that is, a determined prospector from Pennsylvania arrived looking for silver or gold. The prospector was Edward Lawrence Schieffelin. For over ten years he had been seeking a rich ore deposit, but success had always eluded him. He had begun his search in the Coeur d' Alenes of Idaho, then across Nevada into Death Valley and into Colorado and New Mexico. Finally, his search had led him to into the San Pedro Valley of Arizona.

Ed pretty much stayed to himself, leaving in the early morning hours in search of the elusive ore. One of the soldiers in the area asked him, "why do you go off into them hills?" "To collect rocks," Schieffelin replied. "You keep fooling around out there amongst them Apaches and the only rock you'll find will be your tombstone!" the soldier blurted.

One day it was too late in the day for him to return to the area where he stayed and he spent the night in the hills. The next morning he found it. He estimated the vein to be fifty feet long and twelve inches wide. It was dark and heavy with pure silver! A real strike! After searching for over a decade, he had found a bonanza! All the years he had wandered through the lonely mountains and deserts; starved, blistered and frozen and faced death so many times, were nothing now. Now the wealth he sought was in his grasp! The vein of silver that he had exposed was pure and soft and a coin pressed into it , left a clear imprint. Ed smiled to himself as he thought of the words, "All you'll find out there will be your tombstone." If the Apaches had found him he probably wouldn't have needed one. Recalling the warning, he mused over the word "tombstone." Yep, he liked it! Might make a good name for his claim."

Schieffelin did not realize it at the time, but he had named a mine, the hills where it lay, an entire silver lode, and a town yet unborn. It would be a town whose fame and riches were soon to astound the world.

Enough with the history, on with our day. We had arrived just in time for a fashion show of sorts. These ladies came out dressed in the clothing that was popular back in the late 1800's.

As we were walking down the street taking in all the sights Bob nudged me and said, "See that guy over there?" I looked where he was pointing and he said, "I know that guy." I didn't recognize anyone in the direction he was indicating. Just then the "sheriff" walked over to us to welcome us to Tombstone and Bob asked him if he knew the fella in question. The sheriff said, "Do you mean Kenny?" Bob looked at me with a big smile and said, "It's Kenny Bie(!), I knew I knew him!" The name clicked with me right away and we started walking in that direction. Halfway there Kenny looked in our direction and saw Bob and a big smile crossed his face. Bob worked with Kenny in the National Guard for many years. Who woulda thought we'd see somebody in Tombstone that we know! Here's Bob and Kenny.

Kenny moved here several years ago and and dresses in character "for something to do". He had gotten a real job when he arrived in Arizona but soon realized that he "retired" and didn't want a full time job again.

We watched this guy put this hanging noose in place and wondered what he was doing.

We soon found out that it was a tourist thing and you could be "hung" and even receive a death certificate! Well, this was something we just couldn't pass up. Kenny walked over with us and Outlaw Bob got hung as the Sheriff and Kenny looked on with guns drawn.

We all got hung and Karen certainly found this amusing!

Next stop was Helldorado. This was an area within Tombstone where shows took place. We took in one where the actors threw out a lot of funny one liners. Just outside the stage area Bob found this outhouse.

After the show we made our way back to the main street area and decided it was time to get soemthing to drink. We found ourselves in Big Nose Kate's Saloon.

It was crowded when we went in but we were fortunate that a party was just leaving so we were able to get a table.

This fellow was playing the piano and singing the whole time we were there. He was pretty good too!

Downstairs of the saloon was a place where you could buy cowboy attire, boots and everything "cowboy". I guess I don't need to tell you that things were pricey to say the least. While Bob was down there scoping it out I took the opportunity to get "layed" in Tombstone.

After our thirst was quenched it was back out on the street for us. Some pictures of what we saw.

We passed this one man band on the street and he was fun to watch. I sure would like to know who picked out this guys clothing!

It was time for the re-enactment of the Gun Fight at the OK Corral so we joined the other tourists lining the streets to watch. This gunfight took place on October 26, 1881 and lasted a grand total of 30 seconds in which 30 bullets were shot and three ended up dead. This was a shootout between the law which included Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and "Doc" Holliday against the cowboys, the Clanton brothers, the McLaury brothers and Billy "The Kid" Clairborne. It seems there was a verbal confrontation between Ike Clanton and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday. Well, one thing led to another and the end result was the gun fight. Here's a picture of what the street looked like after all was said and done.

Further on down the street we came to the Bird Cage Theater standing much as it did over 100 years ago.

In the 1880s it was not only a theater, but also served as a saloon, gambling hall and brothel. It was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - even on holidays. The New York Times called it, "the wildest, roughest, wickedest honky tonk between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast. " That statement was well deserved, since the Bird Cage was the scene for twenty-six deaths during its eight years of business. The stage and original curtain are still intact, and while touring the theater one can walk through the backstage area. This theater and its famous stage has been portrayed in almost every telling of the Wyatt Earp and "Gunfight at the OK Corral" saga.

The Bird Cage closed its doors in 1889, but it has not been silent. The sounds of laughing, yelling, and music have been reported to pour out of the theater at night. Visitors during the day have smelled fresh scents of cigar smoke and the sharp odor of whiskey, even though neither are allowed there now, nor have been for many years. Testimonies by tourists and Bird Cage employees recount sightings of people wearing period clothing from the 1800s, and in particular, a man in black wearing a visor has been witnessed walking across the stage. Some of the sounds seem to come from the balconies above the main floor.

The modern-day visitor is allowed to visit the room that held an continuous high-stakes poker game. Rooms off of the poker room were where the higher priced ladies entertained their gentlemen guests. This particular area has been a focal point of supernatural activity, where it seems some of the 1880s guests of the Bird Cage may still frequent. The longest card game here was said to have lasted 24 hours a day for eight years, five months, and three days, so perhaps some of the players haven't finished their game. It's no wonder that the Bird Cage's past reverberates throughout these walls. Between the main floor and the downstairs rooms, it saw just under 20 gunfights and 26 deaths - 140 bullet holes in the ceiling and walls stand witness to these events.

Just as we were getting ready to call it a day we passed this 1800's lady doing something very 2008....

What a great day this was in Tombstone, Arizona, the self-proclaimed "town too tough to die," With the re-enactments and tours it will live on for many more years to come I'm sure.

We stopped for dinner on the way home and made plans to get together one more time before Dale and Karen make their way to Florida.

Friday, January 18, 2008

1/12/08 Everyday Things

Since we had such a busy day yesterday, today is for everyday things that we do and also laundry day.

Half the winter residents are dressed in jeans and sweatshirts and the other half are in shorts and T's. We are supposed to hit a high of 70 today.

As I figured would happen with the influx of all the new winter residents, laundry day is proving to be a challenge. Unfortunately, the number of washers and dryers didn't increase with the park population. I had to wait awhile for machines to become available but it gave me a chance to meet and talk with some of the new arrivals.

Tonight we had a Cactus Carl dance in the Carvnaval Room. I expected more a turn out than what we had. I guess with all the holiday events that were going on that some of the residents are just partied out. For those who did attend, we had a great time. You can't go wrong with Cactus Carl!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

1/11/08 We Visit a Ghost Town

We were on the mini golf course by 9:20 this morning and it was chilly! I had a pretty good day on the course. I had two holes that I got that little round ball into in only two shots! The most it took was four but that was only one time. Right now my partner and I are tied for second place with another team. I bet that doesn't last long!

We rushed back to the rig as soon as we were done because Dale and Karen were coming to pick us up for a day long adventure. We had thought we would go to Tombstone but then realized it was a little over two hours away and decided to save that for another day.

We actually started the day earlier than planned because the person who was supposed to take them on a tour of the resort they are in called in sick so their 90 minute spiel has to be rescheduled.

So by 10:30 we were on our way heading north. We decided to drive up to a ghost town we heard about from our neighbors Dave and Darlene.

We arrived at Goldfield Ghost Town after an hour or so drive.

Goldfield was a busy town at one time. Its situated atop a hill between the Superstition Mountains on the east side and the Goldfield Mountains to the west.

First order of business was to get a picture of Dale and Karen by a giant Saguaro cactus.

It was 1892 when the first gold strike was made and it was only shy of a year for this town to come to life. One rich strike after another supported the town and the 4000 people that called this place home. The town had three saloons, a boarding house, a general store (known as the mercantile back then) a blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market and a schoolhouse. Just when the townspeople thought the town was outgrowing the area they settled in, the gold vein dried up and the town died a slow painful death. Several attempts were made to reopen the famous mines to no avail.

Although the buildings have been updated by adding electricity and water, for all intents and purposes these are the original buildings.

Wagons and other equipment, such as this, are all throughout the town.

Here's Dale taking it easy in a chair of made of tree branches.

Bob and Dale in front of the jail. See Dale with his six-shooters drawn?

I really don't know what is holding this small building upright!

This building houses the local pottery maker's business.

Next stop was the church. While it is true that this building was built in later years it is still an active church today and is used for weddings quite often.

This next building is one we spent quite a bit of time in. Can you guess what it is? Maybe the red light will be a clue to you.

That's right! The local bordello! In this case, Lulu's Bordello.
It was here that we met our tour guide for the bordello, Miss Trixie.
Miss Trixie told us what it was like back in the day. The ratio of men to women was five to one so places like this were very busy! In the "parlor" there was a bronze bust of Miss Lulu the propriertor of this establishment and Karen and I couldn't help but notice that the bronze was wearing thin in some areas. It didn't take us long to figure out why as you can see in these next photos! Look at those smiles!
Miss Trixie was especially proud of the solid copper bathtub! Can you imagine what this would cost today?
It was soon time to leave this "establishment" and move on to the Mammoth Saloon.
Now, I've been to Dick's Last Stand in Chicago and have seen all the bra hanging from the ceiling there. I was a little taken aback when we walked in here and saw what was hanging from the ceiling in this place.
BOOTS! All kinds of boots, some with holes in the soles, some that looked brand new!
Karen and I met this cowboy who agreed to have his picture taken with us.

We really enjoyed our day in this old ghost town, learning what it was like the people who lived all those years ago.

On the way home we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and made plans for Sunday.