December 25 – 27, 2009 Our New Addition

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner here at RoVer’s Roost RV Park (an Escapee Co-op Park) – Lots of good food and great company.  Our dinner companions were Lynne, Fred, and Steve (who we also shared Thanksgiving dinner at North Ranch, Congress, AZ. )  I volunteered to help set up and clean up and met more people – I really like this park.  And we also spent the last few days, just hanging out and visiting.

So for our big news…. On Saturday, 26th, we were on our way to see the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  On the way is a Petsmart so, of course, I wanted to stop in (they were also having an adoption event – you know where I am going with this….LOL).

SOOOOO here is the new addition to our family:

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He is about 5 months old.  According to the shelter volunteer, he was left at the shelter about 2 months ago.  He has been fixed and has his shots.  The shelter named him “DUSTY” so for now we are keeping that name.

He is such a good kitten, loves to play and also to be held.  As friends have stopped by, he let them pet him and even sat in their laps.  He did well in the car so we are hoping he will do well when we travel in the MH.

He was listed as a domestic short hair, but his fur is very soft and a little longer.  We think he may be a Maine Coon mix.  His paws are huge so we are going to have a big cat or a small one with big feet – LOL!

So the past two days, we have been spending time with him (I think today he started to train us – LOL!!!).

Oh, we never did make it to the ruins so stay tuned – :-))


December 25, 2009 – Merry Christmas




       tree02             Christmas cat            angel04



Wishing all my friends and family all over this great country – Merry Christmas!




December 20 – 24, 2009 – Casa Grande, Arizona

Sunday, 20th, we left our little spot in Andrade, CA and traveled to Casa Grande, AZ.  Some pictures along the way:

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How about those rock formations – WOW!

We are staying at the RoVers Roost (an Escapees Park) in Casa Grande and will be here for a couple of weeks.  We put in for a lot in January 2009 and went from 108 on the list to 78.  At this rate, we may be on the top in 3 years – :-)).

Lynne, Fred, and Steve are here also for a few weeks so it will be great to spend Christmas with old/new friends.   We touched base with all of them when we first came in and then later on in the day, spent time with Lynne and Fred getting caught up on our travels since we last saw each other.


Miles Traveled: 179

Routes Traveled:

CA: SR-186; I-8

AZ: I-8; SR-84; Montgomery Road

Monday, 21st, we decided to check out the area.  Our first stop was the Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce to pick up maps and brochures.  And then we just drove around.  We did stop at Petsmart and check out the cats/kittens.  I am still on the fence about getting one….   

This SKP Park has an incredible Happy Hour at 3:30 from M-F.  Everyone shows up and they welcome the newcomers (yes, we had to introduce ourselves), celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and make general announcements.  What a great time!  I also found out that they have beading on Mondays – YEA!!! 

And this evening, we spent time with Steve getting caught up on our travels.

We met a couple from New Jersey who have a neat way to set up their satellite dish so Tuesday morning, 22nd, Andy took the measurements and off to Lowe’s and Radio Shack we went.  On our way back, we got caught in this incredible dust storm – oh my!!  Visibility was about 20’ and they were some bad accidents on I-8/I-10 – so much so that they were shut down for a while.   What a mess.   Once we got back home, the rain and more wind started.  So we were shaking and rattling – Thank God we weren’t rolling along the road.  Lynne and Fred got caught in it and told us that the rain turned the road to mud!  Amazing weather!

And another great Happy Hour.

On Wednesday, 23rd, I did cleaning and laundry while Andy built his stand.  Here it is – and it works:

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Isn’t that neat!!!

We spent the rest of the day talking with our neighbors, walking around the park and, of course, another great Happy Hour.

Here is our site:

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Our row:

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The first row:

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There are 120 sites in the park and three access streets.  Here is the clubhouse:

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The inside of the clubhouse.  Andy, Lynne and Fred are at the second table from the right.

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On Wednesday, they have pizza nights so after our pizza, Lynne and Fred came over and we had a great time chatting.

Thursday, 24th, I made cranberry sauce for dinner tomorrow and then we just hung out.  Tonight at the Club House was a little Christmas Eve dinner that started by playing Hobo Cards – What Fun.  There are 10 rounds and the winner of each round changes partners and tables.  So we were able to meet a lot of people.  It seems like there are many Diane’s in the park – LOL!  For 2 of the rounds, there were 3 Diane’s at the table.

Tomorrow, there will be a dinner at the park.  They supply the turkey and ham and the rest is a potluck.  I also volunteered to help set up and clean up – another great way to meet more people.  It should be a lot of fun so stay tuned.


December 16 – 19, 2009 – The Dentist, Tumco, and Our TV Appearance

I have decided to do something a little different here.  When I went to write the last blog (the one that covered over a week), I realized it was a little difficult to remember all the things we had done or seen or experienced.  So I am going to try to update every day although I may only post when there are pictures..  So here goes.

Wednesday, 16th, we were both up early.  One of the things we have noticed here is that at sunrise, there are lots of birds that fly south across the border and at sunset, they all fly back.  Really different.  The only thing we could figure out is that the area around the Colorado River and the All American Canal (on the US side) is very lush with trees and almost like a wetland area.  So maybe this is where they nest and then go further south to feed – ????

We met with the dentist and Andy’s bottom teeth are now finished – :-)))  but we still have 2 more appointments for final fittings – Friday and Saturday.  Andy looks good but is sore.

While across the border, I also got a haircut – same saloon as last February.  And they did a great job.  There were quite a few locals in the saloon telling stories in Spanish.  And what surprised me is that I was able to pick up a few words.  I took 2 years of Spanish in high school – SOOO long ago – LOL.  Andy and I have decided if we spent a lot of time here, we may end up getting some tapes to learn more.

Since it was a short day at the dentist, we were home early and then took off to check out one of the RV shows going on in Yuma.  We are trying to decide if we are going to upgrade – either by getting another RV or redoing the inside.  After going thru a number of them, we have decided to redo!!!  I think we are pulling out the couch and replacing it with two easy chairs as well as changing the dinette area.  (Plus updating the carpet, window treatments, etc.)  So it was good to see some other ideas.  We will probably not start any of the work until the summer (unless we can get a good deal before then).

Thursday, 17th, our first stop was the local furniture store that carries RV furniture – just to get some ideas and some measurements.  We then spent the rest of the morning at the Yuma Marketplace.   I really enjoy walking thru all the rows of “stuff”.  We also found out that a number of items are cheaper here than in Los Algodones, Mexico.  So what did we buy…a purse (red, of course), a hat, and a drain cleaner – as seen on TV – LOL!!!  Plus I was able to check out one of the necklaces I am trying to make…now the next step is to make it.

From there, we went to Petsmart.  Petsmart in AZ (not sure about the other states) works with the local animal agencies and has dogs/cats for adoption.  Yes, I am starting to look.  I really miss Elliot but I also miss having a pet.  I am still not sure I am ready but I thought I would start looking.  And, yes, we have decided we would get a rescue.  (And I am still working on Andy on getting 2 – LOL!)

Our last stop for the afternoon was the Main Street Cinema in Yuma where we saw “The Blind Side” – a great movie about Michael Oher.  If you get a chance, go see it.

As you know we are very close to the Mexican border and it is not usual to see helicopters flying low or the border patrol vehicles going past or seeing the mobile lookout tower on the mountain or seeing the border patrol stop the school buses in the campground or even hear the flares going off.  But tonight the flares were going off on the mountain on the other side of the campground.  They were LOUD!!

Friday, 18th, found us back over the border for the dentist.  Tomorrow we return for the final. I don’t know if I mentioned in an earlier blog but they have changed/upgraded the border crossing back into the US.  Well, today, they had the local Yuma news stations there and we were interviewed by KSWT – 13.   And they had that interview on TV – 6 PM news – hey we are celebrities….

Here is the link to the interview:   http://www.kswt.com/global/story.asp?s=11702729

Since it was a short appointment we headed off to find the old abandoned gold mining town of Tumco.  I just love walking thru these towns and imagining what it was like.  Last season we tried to find it but could not but now I had better directions so we found it.

This area has a history spanning over 300 years with several periods of boom and bust.  Gold was first discovered in the 1600’s by Spanish colonists as they moved northward from Sonora, Mexico. After the Southern Pacific Railroad came thru in 1877, a gold rush began.  Over the next few decades, the gold mining was up and down but ultimately over 200,000 ounces of gold was taken from the mines in this area.

There was a 1.5 mile interpretative trail thru the town.  This is the trail:

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West Neighborhood Area:

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The Hospital:

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The cyanide vats that dissolved and separated the gold from the ore.

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Cyanide Tailing Flows:

“Tailings are all that remain after the gold has been removed.  This residue was piled in a heap, one shovelful at a time.  The surface would harden and the heap grew.  Periodically the strong desert storms would cause a crack in these heaps and they would collapse sliding into the desert covering everything in their path.  The company built walls to divert these floods from the school and residential areas.  Sometimes it worked and other times it did not.”  This is a view of different layers of tailing flows:

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More views of the area (check out those skies):

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And the winds started picking up the tailings:

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From there we took a few of the dirt roads around the area.  This is BLM lands that allow camping – and there are some nice areas. (For our memory banks – :-))

Back home, we just relaxed.  Here is our site (yes, those are a little decorations for Christmas – :-)))

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Today, Saturday, 19th, was our last trip to the dentist – Andy looks great.  Dr. Roberto was wonderful during this whole experience.  For those who are interested, here is his web page: http://smileshoppedental.com

We highly recommend him.

We spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and doing odd’s and end’s since this is our last day here.

Oh yes,  here is the link to the video that was on the news yesterday:

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Diane and Andy on TV - the Video

Tomorrow we are heading to Casa Grande so stay tuned – :-)


December 8 – 15, 2009 – Algodones and Yuma

Can’t believe it has been over a week since I updated – so unlike me – :-(((..     So here is what we have been doing…

Andy’s dental work is coming along.  All his top caps are done and tomorrow should be the final work done on the bottom.  He is looking really good although he is quite sore. 

I was also able to get a new pair of glasses from Algodones Optical.  My current glasses were very scratched so it is nice to be able to see clearly again.

Last Wednesday, we got together with Sandy and Raul and went to a matinee (2012 – WOW! Great special effects) and then to lunch.   It is always good to spend time with them but they are now in Washington until after the holidays so hopefully we will see them again later in the season when they return.

Andy and I also went to another movie, Invictus, in Historic Downtown Yuma – Great movie and neat place.

We also did some sightseeing.

The Yuma Quartermaster Depot was one stop and a pretty nice historic state park.  This area was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, and some in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. They maintained a six month’s supply of ammunition, clothing, and good at all times.

This the original Office of the Depot Quartermaster:

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The Officer’s Quarters and Kitchen:

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The Water Reservoir:

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Some interesting information about the water reservoir:

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What remains of the Colorado River:

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  The supplies were brought from California by ocean-going vessels traveling around the tip of the Baja Peninsula and then north as far as the mouth of the Colorado River.  At this point supplies were transferred to river steamboats and brought up river to the Depot which was established in 1864.

They had some great exhibits about the history of this area and it’s different uses.   One of the buildings had a lot of information on the Colorado River, the Irrigation Canals, the Dams, and Water Allocation/Uses along the river – which I found really interesting. 

Another day we went to the Yuma Territorial Prison.  This is one of the Guard Towers on top of the water tower:

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The main cell block area:

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This cell housed 12 people – can you imagine??  I kept thinking of how hot this would be in the summer – oh my!

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The Main Entrance:

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The New Yard:

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If you look real close at the sign above the door – Low Clearance.   The original doorway was higher but after the prison was shut down, there were a lot of movies made here.  The actors were smaller so the doorway was lowered to make them look taller – :-))

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The prison was shut down around 1909.  During the depression, many people headed to California to look for jobs.  At some point, those that did not have jobs waiting for them were denied access and ended up living at the prison.  How sad.

The Colorado River runs past the prison – California is across the river.

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And in between we have been reading, beading, relaxing, and shopping (Mexico and the Yuma Marketplace).  On the blog, I have added a link to a map that shows where we are – our number is 10932.

We will be here until Sunday, 20th, and then we are headed to Casa Grande. 

So stay tuned.


December 6 – 7, 2009 – Winterhaven, CA and Los Algodones, Mexico

After we said our goodbyes to Lynne and Fred (we will meet up again in Casa Grande), we were off to Winterhaven, CA.  We are staying at the Sleepy Hollow RV Park which is about a quarter mile from the Mexican border town of Los Algodones. 

We met up with Sandy and Raul and had a great time chatting, having dinner, and getting caught up with each other.  It is always good to see old friends and hopefully we will see them again before they leave Yuma.

Stats for today:

Miles Traveled: 97 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: US-95; I-8

California: I-8; SR-186

Today, 7th, we crossed the border early for Andy’s dentist appointment with Dr Roberto Arce of The Smile Shoppe.  And the work begins – :-))).   The dentist is doing it in stages so we will be here for the next two weeks.  Today was 6 caps – Andy is doing well this evening, just a little sore.

I hope to do some shopping next time we cross.  The only thing that drives me crazy is the haggling!!  Oh well, maybe I will get a good deal – LOL!!!

So stay tuned!

December 4 - 5, 2009 - Quartzsite

On Friday, 4th, we left North Ranch and had a nice leisurely ride to Quartzsite and stayed at Hi-Jolly where Fred and Lynne saved us a space (Thank you.).  After we got set up and caught up with each other, Andy and I took a ride into town.  Quartzsite is quiet this time of year but in another few weeks, the population will increase dramatically.

Our little jaunt took us around the vendor areas to see what was open, the Chamber of Commerce for brochures, and a ride out to see where the Boomer Rally will be in January (when we come back).  I really like Quartzsite and would like to spend a month or more here before or after the big shows.  They have a great Gem and Mineral Club plus so many other activities all winter season.  (Maybe next season – :-))

The VFW has a great Friday fish fry so the four of us went to dinner then ended the evening with a great campfire (been a while) and great chatting.  What a nice day.


Miles Traveled: 107 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: SR-89; US-93;  Vulture Mine Road; US-60; I-10; US-95

Saturday, 5th, started out COLD and WINDY – Brrrr,  we are NOT use to this.   After chatting and having coffee with Lynne and Fred, we went off to town.  When we were here last season, we bought some LED lights and some of them were not working properly.   The vendors where we purchased them are not open yet so we stopped at another place.  When Andy explained the problem we were having, this vendor took back the 2 lights and gave us credit – WOW, how is that for customer service.  So we bought three more and boy do they light up the place – :-)))).

We also checked out some of the other places and of course, some of the bead shops!!!  I found out about their classes and may take some wire wrapping classes in January.

Back at the motorhome, we just hung out – it was still cold and windy.  We did cook supper over the fire but it was too cold for a campfire night – :-((  Ah well.

Here is our site:


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The wash next to us:

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Lynne and Fred came over this evening and we had another great night chatting and telling our stories.

Tomorrow we are off to Winterhaven, CA but we will be back here in January.


November 28 – December 3, 2009 – Our Last Week in North Ranch

On Saturday, 28th, Steve, Andy and I went to Wickenburg.  They were having a Gem and Mineral Show and it was fascinating to see all the minerals/gems – many that were found in Arizona.  Andy and I have talked about getting involved with the Gem and Mineral Club in a local community to learn more.  (Another thing still on our bucket list – :-))

From the show, we walked to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.  Steve and Andy by the “Thanks for the Rain” Statue:

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The museum has some great exhibits and rooms on early Wickenburg area – from the Indian settlement through today.  Below is an exhibit on street scenes from an earlier time:

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It was a neat little museum and the folks here have done a great job.  Wickenburg also has a number of life-size statues, depicting aspects of the town development and area.  This statue is Vaquero.  It depicts the Hispanic cowboys and their families who were instrumental in developing Wickenburg’s rich culture.

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We had lunch at one of the local diners – great place (forgot the name, sorry).   What a nice day.

On Sunday, 29th,  Andy and I checked out more of the desert trails here and did a 4.65 mile walk – not bad for two old folks.   I have really missed hiking!  Andy does his bike riding every day but I have gotten lazy…hope to change that in the future – :-)))

Some scenes:

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And there was a group of these plants shedding – I nicknamed the “Cotton Grove” – :-))

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On Wednesday, 2nd, Andy had his last test – all okay so we are heading out on Friday.  But we will be back here in March for Bead Week.

The rest of the time was spent reading, beading, odd’s n end’s, etc. etc.

One bit of news – On Tuesday, December 1st, was our year anniversary of being on the road.   Can you believe it?

We are so blessed.  We have seen and experienced so many things and look forward to doing more.  We have met great people, still keep in touch and know we will meet up again.

Life doesn’t get any better than this!

I will leave you with one last picture:

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Full moon in the desert – oh my!