Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stonehenge II

We took a drive out west of Kerrville to the town of Hunt. There in a farmer's field is a half-scale model of Stonehenge, the original being found on the Salisbury Plain in England. The signs say it is not a replica because it is not aligned with the sun and moon but it is interesting just the same. We walked around it and then walked on to the two Easter Island statues. These are also models of original stone heads that dot the island. Interesting why someone thought they wanted to do this in the middle of a field in Texas, but no less puzzling than carhenge, I guess.

On our way back, we saw this barbeque setup in a parking lot and just had to stop and snap a picture. I cannot imagine how much of party you would have to throw to warrant using the barbeque semi, but suffice to say it would have to be a big one. We thought it was ironic that Maalox was the advertising sponsor! Hah.

We arrived back at the camp amid a very blustering wind. We started to deploy the Datastorm and decided not to. The wind has died down considerably now, so we are back on line. The storms we were following are pretty much blown out of our way now, so we proceed onward tomorrow, to just east of Houston.

Till next time. . .


Friday, February 23, 2007

Texas Hill Country!

We arrived in Kerrville around 2:00 today. I did all the driving today from Ft. Stockton, about 5 hours in all. It was windy and we had drizzle a lot of the time. Didn't have a lot of sun in our eyes. We are here for 2 nights. The park we are in is a former COE park, former state park, and now goes by Kerrville-Schreiner Park. It is really quite nice. We are in a full hookup site with 50 amp, and the sites in this section are all pull-thru's. In fact, most of them in the park are. There is another part of the park across the highway and we went over there to explore. There were quite a few deer and I'm thinking there might be a lot of wildlife around here because it is quite rustic around the camp loops. Speaking of wildlife, we have seen very little this year. We were commenting the other day that we hadn't seen any javelinas this year. Today when we left the camp, about 5 miles down the road we saw two javelinas grazing by the side of the interstate. Pretty good size, too. On down the road a mile or two were two deer right on the side of the road.

We went out for a drive after setting up camp. Terry needed a tool he didn't have. We took the wrong road back and ended up in a subdivision where deer were grazing in every yard. That was quite a site. Some were laying down in the driveways of this subdivision! I guess you would say those are some pretty smart deer.

Our campsite is quite nice. There is a cabana over the picnic table and we have plenty of room for chairs and the dogs' pen. We are quite close to the Quadalupe River and we can get down to the river from here by walking. It looks to be nicely landscaped down there. We will explore that on our walk tomorrow. There are a lot of hiking trails in this park and across the road in the other section, so will probably take advantage of those.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Beautiful Sunset!

We found out this morning that the neighbors we met last night are Euchre players. Who woulda' thunk? When they found out we played, they asked, "Then WHY are you leaving." I said, "Well come with us." Hah. We spent the next 45 minutes talking while we were getting ready to go. We exchanged cards and promised if we were within spittin' distance anytime, we would get together for cards.

We left Deming, New Mexico, at 10 a.m. and drove to Ft. Stockton, with me doing the obligatory duty through El Paso. Not bad. Saw something you don't usually see on the road. We arrived at 4:30 (time change) just in time with this beautiful sunset. Leaving tomorrow for Kerrville.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


AND, the birds have arrived.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fun drive with NASCAR on I-10

We left Pima County Fairgrounds and the Irish Travellers this morning. We drove across I-10 to our eventual destination here at the Dreamcatcher Escapee Park in Deming, New Mexico.

All the way over here we were passing Nascar semi-trailers headed west obviously for the California race next weekend. I tried to get some pictures on the fly, but that is very difficult. I think I got one you could actually see.

So we are sitting here this evening in the motorhome and I hear a diesel pusher pull in. It was time to take the boyz out, so I got my coat on and got the dogs in their pens. Terry was out looking around and much to my surprise, what I thought was a diesel pusher, was actually a semi. Yep. Dreamcatcher Park is right next to the Holiday Inn and about 15-16 Nascar tractor trailers are all lined up there for the night. I took some pix. . . kind of hard to see in the dark. But I think they are clear enough!

Till next time. . .


Ok, Ok, Ok. . . Here it is . . . THE ANSWER TO THE HORNS OVER ARIZONA!!!!!

The picture is of an indoor skydiving arena. There are several around the country and they are all different. I have actually "flown" in the one at Pigeon Forge, but it looks nothing like this one.

Look at the pictures of the construction as it is quite amazing. I tried looking it up on Google earth and couldn't find it, but what I did find was the early construction of it. Guess they haven't updated in quite a while.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pima County Fairgrounds Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, my favorite town. We are just here enroute to the east. Will leave Monday or Tuesday.

When we were getting things ready to go at Casa Grande, we found our water pump had sprung a leak. It was leaking at the motor end all the way down where the brushes are. Terry says this is really unusual, but it was still working. The problem was that it was leaking, whether we were using the pump or hooked directly to water. So we had to be careful because if it went out completely, we would not be able to use any water. This is one reason we came to Tucson. We knew we would be able to get a pump at Camping World, so after we set up camp, that is where we went.

We plan to relax tomorrow and watch the Daytona 500 also. I also need some down time so I can get our taxes ready to go and we have some other paperwork to do.

The Pima County Fairgrounds are on the far east side of the city, but I-10 is only a mile up the road and there is easy access to anything here. We have been here before. We have a full hook-up site, but since there is a horse venue going on, we are really crammed in here. We cannot put our awning out and we have to squeeze the dog pen alongside the coach, but it is do-able. The campground host has told us that this horse show is a big event and we can get in free. They said there is a lot of big talent with a grand prize of $25,000. We may go over and see some of it if we have time.

I have a trivia question for you. On the way down here from Casa Granda, there is a small airport and on the grounds of the airport is a very odd structure. Do any of you know what this is? It's a little blurry, but I was a good half-mile away and I enlarged it so you could see the structure clearly. I'm not sure I know the answer, but someone did tell me something that could be the answer.

Till next time. . .


Gypsy Journal Rally, Case Grande, Arizona

I’m sorry you’ve had to wait so long for an update. We have been busy. Last Monday we left Mesa and traveled 75 miles down the road to Casa Grande, more specifically the Pinal County Fairgrounds, site of the Gypsy Journal Rally. Nick and Terry Russell, who write the Gypsy Journal newspaper, sponsored this event.

I love rallies. . . like-minded people all meeting together and visiting and attending workshops/seminars all devoted to helping us live better on the road. We met new people and renewed old friendships. A lot of the members of the Class of 2005 were in attendance, so we got to see them all again.

I must say, though, I only made it to breakfast (donuts and coffee) once. Getting up and being there at 7 a.m. was too much like having a JOB! Who needs that? So I skipped that, fixed my own, and attended other sessions as I wished.

The most fun we had was watching the movie "RV" together in the big hall. All of us RV'ers together watching this movie. We laughed so hard. We had seen it before, but there is something about watching that movie with other people who identify so much with the little things only RV'ers would find funny. It was such a great time.

On one trip to Coolidge, Arizona, to get our mail, we toured the Casa Grande Ruins. These dwellings of Indians were inhabited around 1300 and were gone by the time the first Spanish arrived. It is a rather large area, with only a few remaining ruins, but the park service has built borders to identify where structures were. In addition, there were some mounds and a “ball field” that have survived unmolested for these centuries.

We were joined at the rally by our friend, Dave and his dogs, Max and Jazzbo. Dave lost his wife last year, so we were glad to see him out. We certainly enjoyed Max’s frisbee catching. Max is a border collie extraordinaire. He is amazing. It seems he understands everything Dave tells him. He gets his own toys out of the motorhome and knows the difference between his ball and his frisbee. He never tires of frisbee catching and his concentration is amazing. . . course border collies are known for this. Jazzbo, Dave’s other dog, is an elderly gentleman who loves to be loved and stands attentively while Max runs after his toys. Jazzbo used to enjoy his ball, but arthritis is bothering him, but like our Neal, he doesn’t complain. . . just moves slowly. He is a sweetie.

We ended the last night by a large group of us going to Cold Stone Creamery and getting ice cream. The business had included in our rally packet a "buy one, get one free" coupon and we weren't going to let it go to waste. We had a bit of a wait, but we all got our ice cream. The kids working at the creamery sang and goofed off a bit while making our sundaes. They were really sweet and seemed to be having a lot of fun all the time they were working hard.

The weather at the rally was atypical again for this time of year. We had blowing sand one day, a freak windstorm another night, rain, cold, and heat. That about sums it up. Whew. The best weather was today when we left.

Oh almost forgot. Last year we had a Datastorm installed at Escapade, but it was never configured correctly and we have had more and more trouble with it. Just so happens that Bill Adams, Datastorm guru, was at our rally. He came over and worked on our system and I am happy to say we haven’t locked up once since then. Everything is working well and we are grateful he had time to help us! It is working like it's supposed to now.

Till next time. . .


Friday, February 09, 2007

Great Friends, great times!

Just finished having supper with Jeff and Sue. We first met them at the Escapade in Van Wert, Ohio, last fall. We have kept up email correspondence but just now connected again. We ate at "Souper Salad" which was really good. We enjoy that. I can really pig out and eat very few calories.
I am amazed at the amount of new construction there is around here. Everywhere new shopping centers are being built. Anything that is already built doesn't look older than 5 years or so. There are 20 WalMarts in Mesa alone. Wow. New roads pop up all the time that are not on the GPS. Kind of makes it hard to go anywhere. Usually you can plug in the address, but the roads are too new to show up. It's not hard getting around, because the roads are all laid out in a grid. New limited access highways make it easy to get around the city. It is really spread out.

Till next time. . .


Mesa and Phoenix

Yesterday was a shopping day. Didn’t buy much, but we checked out the local places. We went to IKEA which is always a treat. Being full-timers, however, they have nothing there that would even fit into our lifestyle anymore. We did do some looking around, but that was it. Then it was onward to Arizona Mills. This is a mall that has a lot of outlets. We have been in other “Mills” before and this has to be one of the biggest. It was a nice, long walk around the entire complex which is shape like a big rectangle. I did find some shoes, but mostly we just got our exercise.

We have finally gotten nice weather. It fact, the sun gets downright hot during the afternoon. It starts off cool, in the 50’s, then starts warming up. We start off the day in shorts and that’s pretty much where we stay until the sun goes down. It gets cool fairly quickly and in the evening when we take the dogs out, we usually have to have a light jacket or sweatshirt.

Yesterday we ate at “Souper Salad” which is a different type of restaurant. It is just a large salad bar. There are some prepared salads and then the standard “build your own.” There are also homemade soups, a pasta bar and baked potato bar as well.

We went to the Mesa Marketplace this morning. It is like the Arizona marketplace in Yuma only much larger. Just a large flea market, but lots of stuff to look at. I found a few things I had been looking for, but again didn’t buy too much. It certainly makes a difference when you have to stick to the rule, “Something in. . . something out.” I got a duster for the high stuff in the motorhome so I don’t have to drag a stool around anymore. And I found a hairbrush. Something happened to my other one. Now how can you lose something in the motorhome. . . like a hairbrush? I think it had something to do with Terry, but I can’t be sure. At any rate, it is not in its “place.”

Wednesday we went to the Heard Museum. Phoenix is famous for this museum which is a collection of Native American memorabilia. I wouldn’t say the museum was a disappointment, but it isn’t what I expected. It is a display/collection of primarily one family. . . the Heard family. They were among the earliest and most prominent families in the Phoenix area and their home outgrew their collection, so they made a museum to house it all. There is a lot of jewelry and it is labeled as to the origin, etc. Lots of Kachina dolls, etc. My favorite parts of the museum were the ones which dealt with the Indian tribes of Arizona, their origins, what they were known for, etc. There was also a part devoted to the Indian boarding schools. During the 1800’s, Indian children were removed from their homes and taken away (many times across the country) to boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them into the “white” culture. I found these parts of the museum to be the most interesting, but I felt they were much too small, so I will do some research on my own. It at least sparked my interest.

Last evening we got a call from Jeff and Sue, some friends we met at Escapade. They are passing through the area and we are going to meet them for supper tonight at “Souper Salad.” It will be fun to see them again.

Terry is doing better. He came down with a really nasty cold and has been fighting it for about a week. I believe he has turned the corner and is starting to feel better. He had been sleeping on the couch because he was up and down so much during the night. Then Neal had a seizure and we traded placed because he didn’t want to mess with him in the middle of the night. Everyone is doing better now and sleeping in their own beds.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We broke camp at North Ranch yesterday, Monday, and drove through Phoenix to get to Mesa and Valle del Oro. Actually, Terry came up with a pretty good route around the worst parts of Phoenix and we didn't hit a lot of traffic until we got on 60. That traffic was probably due to some lane closures, but we arrived easily enough. We have a nice site, not terribly large, but we are backed up against the outside 5' concrete wall, so it is quite private and great for the dogs.

We didn't do much yesterday after we set up except to enjoy the warm weather. It got up to about 83° which was just wonderful. We sat out and enjoyed the sunshine and made friends with the neighbor. This is an extremely large park with over 1700 sites, but as with a lot of parks out here, it is fast becoming a park model park. I wonder if eventually there will be no place to park our RV's. . .?

Today we went out east to the Apache Trail. We stopped at the Superstition Mountain Museum and then toured the few buildings that are left from "Apache Land." It was a movie set where a lot of westerns were shot and a few movies, including, "Charro" with Elvis. Years ago the movie set burned and the owners rebuilt it. Then in 2004 it burned again, restaurant to blame, and the owners said they were not going to rebuild it. Two buildings survived and were moved to the museum site. The two buildings were the barn from "The Rifleman" and the chapel from "Charro." The museum is quite interesting, telling the manner in which the mountains were formed and a bit about the history of gold mining in the area.

We left the museum and continued on the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flats. This is just a restaurant/shop and the last stop probably on the way to Roosevelt Lake. Shortly after you get to Tortilla Flats, the road turns to gravel and goes 30+ miles. We stopped at the restaurant and had supper. Nothing extraordinary. Was expecting really great food and it was just mediocre. Interesting atmosphere, however.

The drive there and back, however, is nothing short of spectacular. It is the typical mountain road, with dozens of switchbacks and cliffs and nail-biting turns--about 17 miles of this. We did come upon Canyon Lake, a lake up in the mountains. There are about 3 lakes on this particular stretch. The lake was just gorgeous and certainly not overused. There are 2 campgrounds up in the mountains, but Terry says Phaeton Place will not be making the journey up there. I don't believe it would be a difficult trip, but at 40', it would be a little challenging at times.

While we have been driving in desert and mountains, every area is completely different, with different rocks, strata, vegetation, etc. I never get tired of looking at beautiful scenery. I will be added pictures later. I have to charge the camera back up first.

Till next time. . .