Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4/30/08 When It Rains....IT POURS!

Let's start this out with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our niece, Brittany.

To bring you up to date on our truck problems the truck is still at the Ford dealership and we probably won't get it back until tomorrow. It needs new front wheel bearings. Let me tell you right now,,,they are not CHEAP! We're talking four figures here. I have to keep reminding myself that for the first 6.5 years we had this truck we didn't put one dime into it other than routine maintenance. Thankfully, Bob is very good about such things. So yes, we're putting money out right now on this truck and have been for the past couple of months it seems but hey, its a MACHINE and machines break down occasionally. We really can't complain, this truck has treated us well, it works hard for us when we are towing and it still looks very good thanks to Bob's care of it.

Keeping with the Rain theme, I want to introduce you to a blog I think you would benefit from reading. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will uplift your spirit, it will make you thankful and in the end you'll be glad you read it. Make sure you have tissues close by.

Bring The Rain: The Beginning of the Story...

I've put an "Our Friends" map on the blog. Look for it in the right column just under the state time/weather maps. Take a second to click on that and sign in. Let's get that map filled!

That's about it for today. We're stranded, no wheels, at the mercy of Fed-Ex to get the needed parts in for the truck so that we can be on our way.

Play on Words:

Police were called to a daycare where a 3 year old was resisting a rest.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4/29/08 WE ARE OUTRAGED!!!!

As most of you know, Bob retired from the service. I, myself, come from a military family and have served also.


Today, in reading the headlines on the Internet we came across a video that completely outraged us! Raise The Roof 2

It has to do with the living conditions in the barracks of a unit that has just come home from a 15 month tour in Afghanistan. You don't treat your soldiers this way!

CamouflageThese soldiers, excuse me, HEROES, deserve better!

I'm including a link to the video so that you can see for yourself. I'm hoping you'll be as outraged as we are. Yes, we did contact our senator and representative via email and attached the video although I can't imagine they haven't seen it.

YouTube - Army Barracks conditions in 82nd Fort (ft) Bragg (Click)

So we finally venture out today to get Bob a new battery for his cell phone since the old one had powered up for the last time. We're on the way home and we heard it. OH NO! What is that noise now? We could hear something but didn't know what it was. We get home after going around and around in Lowe's parking lot trying to identify this mystery sound. No sense in playing around with this, we called the local Ford dealership, explained the problem and our situation and they said to bring it right in. They gave Bob a ride back and told him that if they could start it today they will and if not at least it will be there first thing tomorrow morning.

We decided since it was there we would also have a new gas gauge installed. Of course we'll have sooper dooper version of this put in.

I checked on the stats of visitors to the blog today and we've added more countries to the list. We have now had readers from:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • United Kingdom
  • Jamaica

Some of the "search words" used were:

  • Boudain balls
  • Tupperware Bingo
  • Hot Headz of Newport Richey

I'm given projection numbers of how many hits will come on any given day and more often than not we reach our numbers.

Here's a little quiz for you to take. Let's see observant you are! (click)

Before the truck ended up in the shop today we had decided that we are going to move north tomorrow morning. Its getting way too hot here. It was in the very high 90's today. So either tomorrow or the next day we're going to move to Boulder City, Nevada. At least that's where I think we're going, I've heard so many town names the past few days as we plot our course.

After dinner we settled in to watch American Idol.

American Idol

After this post I don't know when I'll post again as I don't know exactly where we're going to end up. If I don't have an Internet connection I'll keep writing the blog in Live Writer and upload them as soon as I get the connection again.

We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, April 28, 2008

4/28/08 In Search of a Campground....

Today we drove down to Parker, Arizona, over to Calfornia and back in search of a real campground. It really isn't all that far, I think we put a hundred miles on the truck in total.

We don't have to be anywhere until the end of May so we went in search of place to spend some time before we head to the Grand Canyon.

We checked out a County Park, a State Park and private campground all on the Colorado River. Prices ranged from $20 to $40 and only the private campground provided full hookups. The County Park did have free cable though. None had WIFI, something important to THIS camper! I did notice that quite a few rigs had satellite dishes for Internet connection and I was hoping we could pick up their signal if they had them open. That does happen sometimes.

Over on the California side we checked out a place that we could stay in for three free nights if we agreed to take the 90 minute tour.

I don't know as yet if we are going to stay in one of them or move further north. It is getting HOT here!

Today the mercury will rise to 97 degrees.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

4/27/08 Roads Are Too Crowded!

We decided to stay in today because traffic around here is just unbelievable! Between the boat races, pleasure boating and the poker run, well, traffic is just bumper to bumper. It seems all the vehicles are either motorcycles or trucks with boats in size from small ski to large cigarettes in tow and then add in small to large RV's and the city residents out doing errand running, well it was just safer and less nerve wracking to stay in today.

I did venture out long enough to take some pictures of where we are staying. By the way, we haven't been contacted as yet for our tour, our payment, for staying here.

So here we are in .....


They have beautiful horseshoe pits. I bet Don and Chuck and the guys from Quail Run would love to play these!


There is this other "green" but I don't know its for, for sure. I'm thinking bocce ball, but again, I'm not sure.


The pool area.


A shaded sitting area overlooking the pool.


Another sitting area.


For the golfer's there are putting greens to get some practice in on.


A babbling brook alongside the putting greens.


Waterfalls like this, and the babbling brook above, are common throughout the park. We have one right behind our rig.


Moving inside the main building is the large sitting area.


Another view of the same room.


Take note of the kitchen in the picture above. It is there for residents use. TWO stoves, we would have killed for this in Quail Run at party/dinner time! TWO large refrigerators, TWO microwaves, a HUGE double sink. When I first walked in here I thought I had double vision!


This is the TV room, on the opposite wall, which I couldn't get in the picture, is a large flat screen TV mounted on the wall over a stone fireplace.


The Game Room and Library.


Here is one of the babbling brooks that is situated between the "backyards" of each block of lots.


An attractive resort, to be sure. So what do you get for the money you spend for your own personal lot here? Oh, yeah, I did find out how much the lots are.... $75,000! Here's what you get....


A CEMENT PAD! A light fixture, a plant and gravel. Hmmm...where IS our checkbook?

This the view we have from our rig.


What our sunsets look like every night.


So, this is where we are spending our time for the next few days. Not bad for FREE is it?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

4/26/08 We're Going to See a Bridge!

London Bridge is falling down, falling down.... How many times as a child did you sing that song?

It was true, in 1962 London Bridge was in fact falling down. This famous bridge that spanned the river Thames was built in 1831 and just couldn't handle the amount of the traffic that used it ....and its own weight.

The British government decided to put the bridge up for sale, and chainsaw magnate, Robert McCulloch, Founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, submitted the winning bid of $2,460,000. At the time it was most ever paid for an antique.

As the bridge was dismantled each stone was numbered, shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. A little over three years later on October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.


London Bridge is the second largest tourist attraction in Arizona with the Grand Canyon taking first place. I won't name names here but I can hear one particular Quail Run winter resident saying, "Oh great, the two biggest tourist attractions in old bridge and a hole in the ground". Hmmm, wonder who that could be? DARLENE, do you have any idea????

When we decided to go see the bridge today we had no idea how bad traffic was going to be. Not only are boat races on the lake going on, there's also a poker run going on in this area and we had to maneuver through large groups of motorcycles.

Evidently this is where all the twenty-somethings hang out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. This is the channel that leads to the area shown in the picture above.


The more open space of the lake was just as crowded! I wouldn't want to be on a jet ski in that!


As the day got warmer this guy made a killing! I don't know if he took a ride out into the lake and sold boat to boat or not.


Some more shots of the bridge.


As you can in this picture, America's and England's flags fly over the bridge.


Now that I put this picture up I can see where you can't really make out the flags, you'll have to trust me that both flags are featured here.

This is a great park that lines the channel. There's lot of benches for dirty old men to ogle to watch the twenty something's at play. Volleyball courts, playgrounds, a dog park, picnic pavilions, stores and bars. Hotels, lake houses and summer rentals round out the rest of the shoreline.

Lake Havasu City is bustling with activity and growing by leaps and bounds. This town, which got its start as an Army Air Corps rest camp during World War II, now has over 1,000 businesses, two newspapers and a college. Remember that the next time a man comes up to you and offers to sell you a used bridge!

When we saw all that we came to see it was time to head back to the house, mundane things like laundry had to be done.

Here we are getting ready to cross this famous bridge. Now you can see the flags!


So we marked another one off of our Sights to See Bucket List!

While doing laundry I talked with a lady from northern California who is waiting for their house to be built in southern California. They are quitting the full time lifestyle after six years. As it turned out this same lady is one who is staying two sites down from ours. I asked her if she had taken the tour yet and she said that they had not been contacted and they were leaving in the morning as their free nights were done. Hmmm....not contacted by the sales office? I can only hope we'll be so lucky!

Speaking of laundry....its a dollar seventy five to wash here! That's the most we've ever paid. I had lots of laundry to do because I refused to get pulled into the laundry scam of the last place we stayed in. I forgot to tell you about this. In Sky Valley, you had to pay $5.00 for a laundry card, one that looks much like a plastic credit card. In order to use this card you had to load it! The first five was just to get the card,,,,the EMPTY, WORTHLESS card. Once you paid the five then you had to add another five, ten, twenty (depending on how long you were going to be here) to use the card in the washing machine/dryer slots. In my case I had four loads to do at $2.50 per load. $1.25 each for washing and drying. By the time I bought the card and loaded it, it would have cost us $15.00 to wash a weeks worth of clothes, towels and sheets. Nope, not gonna happen!

Friday, April 25, 2008

4/25/08 Heading Back to Arizona

Our time in California has come to an end.

We could stay in this park for four more days at the $19.50 a night rate but we find that this resort is too far out in the boonies for our liking. With the price of fuel in mind, we have to drive too far to see anything that is of interest to us to make it economically prudent to stay here. So today we will bid farewell California. We're glad we were able to visit this state and not feel the ground earthquakes....even though we were so very close to the San Andreas Fault.

We were on the road by eleven and headed east. We stopped along the way so Bob could check the tightness of the lug nuts on the wheels and while we were stopped I watched this dust devil form and then finally die out.




As we were traveling on Route 62, parallel to railroad tracks, we couldn't help but notice all the graffiti, for the lack of a better term, along the tracks. This went on for miles! Of course all the really cool things to take pictures of are always on Bob's side!


We don't know if this is a "senior class" tradition but as we were traveling down the road we saw the years 2006 and 2007 printed out with white rocks. There could have been previous years noted but if there were we didn't notice them.


Not too much further down the road we came across this!


This isn't a very good picture, but if you look closely you an see that all the things hanging on the fence are SHOES! We couldn't see what this fence is supposed to be enclosing and I barely got a picture of it as we passed it because I was startled when Bob yelled, "SHOES!" since I was looking out his window instead of my own. The one time something is on my side and I'm still looking out his window!

We stopped at this convenience store to get something to munch on while we traveled down the road. I thought we were stopping at an antiques store!


A railroad bridge over the Colorado River.


Just as we were going under it a train crossed.


We're back in Arizona!


Driving through Parker, Arizona,,,the scenery.



What a great place to spend some time! We'd love to stay in a campground like these.


Is this scenery to die for or what?! Look at the color of this water! We're from the east coast, we don't get to see water this color very often.


We finally arrived our destination...Lake Havasu City. We're staying in the Havasu RV Resort for the next five days...for FREE! Well, free for except 90 minutes of our time to take a tour and then as long as it takes for them to understand the words NO, THANK YOU!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24/08 Joshua Tree National Park

Today we applied $15.00 more to the price we paid for our National Parks Pass. We've used it twice so far and have recouped $20.00 of the eighty we paid for it. A few more parks and this pass will have paid for itself and we have lots of National Parks and Monuments to visit in the next few months.

Today we traveled just about an hour to get to the entrance of the Joshua Tree National Park which was a National Monument until October of 1994 when it was designated as a National Park.

On the way we were able to snap this closer picture of the snow capped mountain that we can see from our site.


Also on the way we passed this HUGE windmill farm. Hundreds and hundreds of windmills in all sizes.

IMG_2814 IMG_2878

"Arnold" had been after the Federal Government for some time to put funding in place for this energy producing project but couldn't get the needed backing. Hitting a brick wall, California legislature decided to find the means to fund this project itself. This windmill farms generates enough electricity to light up a good portion of southern California and parts of Nevada.

So let us welcome you on our tour of Joshua Tree National Park.

The tree for which this park is named.....The Joshua Tree


The National Park spans two deserts, the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. You can tell when you move from one desert to the other, there is either an overabundance of Joshua Trees or very few.

This park is also a haven for stargazers. The Andomeda Astronomical Society holds monthly "star parties" so that visitors and locals have the opportunity to view planets, galaxies and star clusters through powerful telescopes. In 1997, photographs taken of the comet Hale-Bopp from the park received national media attention. A photo of a streaking comet framed by Joshua trees and granite boulders became a Time Magazine Picture of the Century.

So let's get this tour on the road...


One of the first things you notice are the

R O C K S ! ! !


IMG_2827 IMG_2829

It just fascinated me so much that the rocks looked like were so precisely placed and balanced.


Right now some of you are saying to yourselves, "Oh no, she's gonna tell us how rocks got that way millions of years ago and I'll have to read through a geology lesson". Well, maybe I am and maybe I'm not. The next paragraph may start out that way, but who knows, I might slip in a juicy bit of news and if you skip this you won't know! I think it would be your best interest to keep reading all the way through.

Now that I have your attention...I can pass this information on that I got from the park brochure.

<<clearing throat>> The rock piles began underground eons ago, that means a lot of years ago, as a result of volcanic activity. Magma, in this case a molten form of the rock called monzogranite, rose from deep within the Earth. Gosh, how can you not be thrilled beyond words to learn this stuff? Continuing on.....As it rose, it intruded the overlying rock, the Pinto gneiss (pronounced NICE) formation.

Hang in there, we're almost done. As the granite cooled and crystallized underground, cracks (joints) formed horizontally and vertically. The granite continued to uplift, where it came in contact with groundwater. Hey, I'm not makin' this stuff up! Chemical weathering caused by groundwater worked on the angular granite blocks. widening cracks and rounding edges. Eventually the surface soil eroded, leaving heaps of monzogranite scattered across the land like careless piles of toy blocks. OK, we're done, now that wasn't bad was it?


We packed a picnic lunch and stopped at of one of the many designated picnic areas. A nice table was provided, a grill if you wanted it, trash bins and recycling bins and close by were clean and well stocked rest rooms.

We were almost finished eating when we had a visitor. This little squirrel had absolutely no fear of us and readily came up to Bob's outstretched hand that held a potato chip in it. I know, I know, we shouldn't have done that as we are both guilty parties here. But he/she was so darn cute and it made its wants known and we are obviously not the first ones to fall to this little creature's charms if you look at the width of this squirrel. We'll try to do better, we promise we won't try to feed the bears in Yellowstone.

IMG_2832 IMG_2831

Lunch over, we took to the road again. We stopped and walked a one mile loop to Barker Dam. This dam was built in the early 1900's to hold water for cattle and mining use. The dam today forms a small rain fed reservoir used by the park wildlife.


As you can see, the water level is pretty low.


I don't know what it is but these rocks seem to bring out the kid in you.




On the way down Bob met up with this.


This little guy wasn't scared either!


Bob did have him/her by the tail for a few seconds but he worked his way free pretty quickly.

Every day more and more in the desert is blooming. Some of the pretty flowers we saw along the way. (Click to enlarge)









You can see where this rock just split in half.


Some of the rocks were even named.



....and then the end of the day was upon us. Hope you enjoyed the trip!