As the name implies this blog follows our journeys, wherever they may lead.
The Colorado River Just North Of Moab, Ut.
The last few years we've invited our friends and family to come to our place for the 4th of July celebration. There is a certain amount of prep work that has to happen before folks arrive. We usually end up having two pot luck dinners. One at our place the other at our neighbor and good friends Tom and Kathy. We combine our two groups on the 4th and we can end up having over 20 people. Then the group breaks up, to go see the Longbeach fire works from their favorite spots. The next day everyone brakes camp and heads home.
We had boat equipment that need to be prepped for sale. Over the next few weeks we photographed each piece and listed it on either Ebay or Craig's list. Once the buying started to happen we had to package up and ship the various items. We did sell most of the bigger items although we didn't get what we thought we should, but oh well there are gone from our care and hopefully being put to good use. We even made trips to deliver items to Cathlament and Astoria.
Susan made a trip to Portland for a doctors appointment and a quick family visit. We also, drove into Longview to pickup our other grand daughter for a visit with us at the beach. Her visit extended into our family camp out on the first weekend of August.
Our family camp out is the first weekend in August and is a chance for all of our extended family to get together in one place. Not everyone can make it every year but we usually have a good turn out. This summer we had almost a full complement of available family in the area. The time is split between visiting, eating, trips to the beach, watching the evening fires and of course preparing smores. It's sure is fun to be able to catch up with everyone and see them getting reacquainted with everyone else they haven't seen in awhile. Two of the grand children celebrate their birthdays in August. So we have a little party for them with games, presents, cake and icecream, and to top it off we hang up a pinata filled with candy. Usually each child gets a couple of wacks at it before it gives up it's goodies. Great fun! All too soon Sunday rolls on in and everyone has to pack up their tents and hit the highways to home to get ready for the coming work week.
Our friends Herman and Nancy came out for a few days visit. It's always nice to have them spend time with us. They live in Green Valley when not in Portland visiting their family. Visiting them at their place helped us decide to buy a winter home in that area, only three blocks away.
Brent, Molly and Tom, Sue came out for a day of Letterboxing and we meet them at the RU restaurant for lunch before they headed back to Vancouver.
Towards the end of August we had one of our Grandsons come for a few days visit. He loves to play games and is always full of energy. This year coincided with the Longbeach Kite International Festival. He's learning how to fly a kite and it was good for him to see some real good kite fliers in action. His last big exciting event was to ride in the front seat of the RV as we drove from the beach to Cathlament for our annual Mexican Cruisers Rendezvous. Susan drove him to Longview to meet and return him to his mother.
We spent the rest of the weekend visiting with current and former boat owners and Mexico travelers. There is walking around the marina area and to town and back. A few folks play cards while others tell salty tales of yesteryear. We always have a wonderful pot luck on Saturday afternoon. Once again on Sunday we all break camp and head out to our next destination. For us we head back to our spot in Ocean Park.
This season we're heading south early and so once back at our spot we had to go through our check list of activities necessary to close down the "Dirt Boat Beach Base" for the season. We finished on schedule and head the road to Vancouver and our friends driveway.
Once in Portland, celebrated Susan's son Bill's birthday along with his family. We meet Pat's son Patrick for lunch and then we headed north to spend the weekend with Susan's other son Steve and family for the weekend. Back in Portland we paid a visit to Susan's granddaughter, Brittany and her family. Also, we had a dinner date/party with some boating friends, Sandi and Chris, and other common friends, Tom and Sue, Brent and Molly. A good time was had by all.
We had decided to take the RV in and have the shocks replaced and a general servicing. This took a day. We had a few days left to buy last minute supplies and say good by to our friends before we had to depart for a scheduled rendezvous in Utah.
Cliffs Surounding Camp Site in Terry, Ut.
Last spring of this year we had made plans to meet up with friends Tom and Kathy and Dave and Jody to do some sight seeing in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. So by mid-September it was time to head out and catch up with the tour in progress at Capital Reef National Park. We meet up in Torrey, Utah and stayed at the Thousand Lakes RV Park where Tom, Kathy, Dave and Jody were there waiting for us. The valley area around the RV Park had some spectacular views of sheer cliffs and rolling mountains ranges on either side of the valley.
We spent a day touring around the area in addition to going to Capital reef National Park. One place we went to was near by in Boulder Utah, The Anasazi State Park Museum. This site contains the ruins of an ancient village. The Museum houses the artifacts that have been found as well as a recreation of an Anasazi home life. We had a good time wondering around both the outside exhibits and the inside ones too.
Next we heading off to Capitol Reef National park. The scenery on the way to the park only wet our whistles for the actual park, we even stopped a couple of times for photo ops, however when we arrived at the park entrance the road access was closed due to flooding from the previous nights rain. The roads had to be cleared before traffic would be allowed into the park. Since the crew we were with are all Letter Boxer's, Jody and Kathy had found some for us to go find. We took this opportunity to search for the ones near by, outside the park. So off we went, stopping at an old mud brick farm house, an Anasazi grain stash on the side of a low cliff and finally a board walk to see petroglyphs. Along the way there was an orchard that had apples for the picking. The equipment was provided and you'd walk through the orchard and reached up into the trees and pluck the applies you wanted and put them into a basket. On the way out we weighed our basket and paid a dollar a pound. By the time we completed that adventure the park roads had been reopened. We drove through the park marveling at all the different colorful rock/cliff formations. We found a lovely treed park with picnic tables for our lunch. We drove all the way to the end of the road, where there was a trail that you could take into a narrow gorge. The boys, Dave and Tom took Dave's jeep off onto another dirt road for some "Off Roading". They had fun and we did too visiting and taking photos of the various cliff faces. This ended our time in the park and the area. Next day we moved onto Moab Utah.
We'd been to the Moab area back in 2006. So we sort of knew what to expect. The others in our party were excited to get out to the national parks. In route to each park we located a couple of Letterboxes, before arriving at Dead Horse State Park and Canyon Lands National Park.
Our first stop was the visitors center at Dead Horse State park. We shopped for souvenirs including, hat pins and then enjoyed a spectacular view from the veranda while downing some beverages. There is a trail out around a viewpoint and some of our party checked it out. (good photo ops) Next we moved further into the state park to experience the jaw dropping views at the various stops along the way. The last of the view points is located on an isolated mesa with access being only a very narrow strip of land, no wider then a road bed+, about 100 feet wide, called "the Neck". In the 1800's cowboys would coral their horses on the mesa by closing off the Neck's entrance. As the story goes some horses were left there too long and perished. That's where Dead Horse Point's name came from. Regardless, the views from the near 1400 foot shear cliffs to the mesas below were breathe taking and dizzying if you stood up close to the walled overlooks. Fortunately there was a high view point spot that was back from the edge where you could still see everything. Way too many photo ops!
After Dead Horse we went back out to the main road that lead further out on larger mesa to Cannon Lands National Park. This park is huge with part of it being south of Moab and the part we visited being north and west of Moab. Of course we stopped at the Visitors center which is always a good place for info and souvenirs. This part of the park's fame is the once again jaw dropping view points over looking cascading canyons that drop away from each view spot down thousands of feet. Like dead horse the initial drop to the first mesa is around 1400 feet. Canyons seem to disappear into other canyons further below to end at the Colorado river basin. The Colorado and Green rivers meet at one of the many over looks. The Park is divided into several sections to visit and a variety of activities from off road 4x4 trails to hiking and biking. You could easily spend a week exploring this park. We all had a great time visiting this spectacular National park.
We did spend sometime exploring Moab, shopping and visiting a local museum of which there are several.
Next we headed out to see Arches National Park. We made a quick stop for a Letterbox near the entrance (100 yards down the main path). We stopped at the visitors center before proceeding on into the park. This park attractions are derived from sandstone erosion over a millennium leaving behind a plethora of arches and a mired other stone sculptures. There is a nice road you can use to go between the attractions but if you're inclined you can use the trials to bike or hike. Once at an arch or other attraction there are paved or dirt paths to hike up to and around the attraction. Be aware that you are at around 7,000 feet so some of us can get quite winded when hiking around. We spent two days wondering around this park. Again all of us enjoyed our visit to the park.
Time has flown by since leaving Vancouver and it was now the end of September, having exhausted our time in Moab we moved onto our next destination of Mesa Verde Nation Park in Colorado.
On our way we stopped at Newspaper Rock, which is covered by hundreds of ancient Indian petroglyphs. This is located on the road to the Needles section of Canyon Lands, it's 12 miles up a 35 mile road. We decided to take this 24 mile detour to see these famous petroglyphs. There were hundreds of them on this rock. We decided that some of the engravers couldn't count because some pictures of feet had 6 toes. Turns out there was a Letterbox supposedly there but we didn't find it. However, Pat did mange to slide down a rock face into a cactus bush and get stickers in his hand during the attempted find. The available nurses kindly removed them quickly. One last sorta comic note. While looking for the LB near the bit toilet we heard some load exclamations indicting someone had dropped a phone into the pit. We left the monument shortly there after and resumed our travel to Mesa Verde NP.
At Mase Verde National Park we actually had a camping spot for a week inside the park. Up until now we had stayed at private RV parks. This campground is located at 8,000+. We had an all new breathing experience here plus no cell signal, or wifi (unless you were very close to the public restroom in our camp area). Otherwise you could go to the campground entrance where a store/restaurant/laundry/shower/gas station services were located and get cell and wifi access if needed.
Also up until now we had been seeing natural wonders. At this park there certainly was some natural wonders but the main attraction was the Ancestral Pueblo people's domiciles both up on top of the mesas and constructed under cliff over hangs, over a 700 year period. This is one amazing place! If you are into or just curious (like us) about the Ancestral Pueblo people there is so much history, historic sites and museum exhibits about this culture that you can become completely absorbed for days. Which we did! We all went on the Long House cliff dwelling tour and some of the folks went on more.
Also we drove around Chaplin Mesa Loop and the Archaeological Museum as well as the Far View sites and the highest point the Park Point overlook at 8572 feet, which is also a fire lookout station. Turns out that there are so many places we toured I'm not going to talk about them all and ruin your experience should decide to visit the park. Do plan a visit!
Just so that we diversified our visit we also took side trips. One was to the Anasazi Heritage Center museum and outside exhibits.
We also took a day trip over to Four Corners. This is where four states touch each other at one point. It is located on an Indian reservation, had an entrance fee and a LB just outside the area. This was mostly a tourist trap but we were easily sucked in for the obligatory photo ops and of course had to buy a few souvenirs.
Next we took a day trip to Durango. This is a modern city that used to be a mining town sit in the mountains of Colorado. We walked around town and saw the sights. It was also a railroad hub and had the wonderful Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, which we visited. It was a great day all around.
On the way to Four Corners we had past the Antique Corral store, we decided to go back and visit this store and discovered a whole treasure trove of stuff that was really cool but that we didn't need nor could carry in our RV's. (thank God!)
Last but not in the least we searched out on of the most interesting Letterbox locations every. Remember the "Tin Man" in the wizard of Oz. The location of our LB find was at a giant area where the property owner ("Muffler Man") had created the Tin Man Fantasy Land out of mufflers and other items, only instead of them all being silver they were white. What a treat and treasure for us to find in rural Cortez Colorado.
It was a quick half day drive to Albuquerque, the only slow section was climbing up out of a canyon at 30 miles hour. We stopped at a road side rest and unhooked the car. This make our remaining trip much easier. Once at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival site we merged into the waiting line to enter with all the other RVer's. Everyone had reservations so it was just a matter to verify our reservations and wait to be escorted to your spot. As mentioned earlier this adventure started way last spring while Tom & Kathy were visiting us in Green Valley. At that time Kathy helped us to make the reservations at the balloon festival. As we were waiting we could see literally hundreds if not thousands of RV parked row after row butt to butt close together. There was no services (power/water) here, they did have services to pump out your black/gray water or deliver potable water to your RV. We fully expected to be packed in somewhere like sardines with the rest of the parked RV's we'd been seeing. Our turn came and our guide lead our little caravan here, had us stop and wait, there then continue on to our spots. When we arrived at our spots, we each turned off the road and pulled up to a rope, we were now facing a field at least the size of 4 or 5 football fields. Looking out across the field we could see hundreds of RV's ringing around the space and facing into the field just like us, and guess what we had breathing room on either side of us, and no one behind us. How we lucked out we'll never know although we later got a sense that we were in some spots that had been cleared out by folks that belong to a club that had already left the festival. Besides having relatively nice spots they ended up being a ring side seats for the low altitude fly-by after the balloon launches a half mile away and some actually landed in front of us, Dave even ran out to help steady a balloon that had landed and then deflated. We had to pinch ourselves a couple of times at our good fortune. (Thanks Kathy and Jodi) Later we ended up joining this RV group (The Escapees/Boomers BOF) that we had barged in on. Their group reserves the same space every year and if you're a member you can sign up for a spot.
At the balloon festival there two times that there is activity. Dawn to whenever they launch if they launch. They don't always launch because of the winds either too much or not enough. At dawn they will fill their balloons and do a "glow". They are waiting for the "Balloon Master" to give the word go or no go usually somewhere between 07:30 - 08:30. The audience (us) can and we did crowd onto the ginormous field (two or tree tines as big as the one we're parked by) where hundreds of balloons are laid out on the ground in parallel rows, in various stages of being inflated. Every shape is represented by a balloon. Then if the wind is right they will start lifting off and as they say "Up Up and Away". It is a sight to behold! If we did'nt get to the launch field we could see them lifting up over the buildings and drifting our way on the wind currents, every morning. When that happened, we'd get our lawn chairs and sit in front of our RV and drink our favor beverages and watch the show. What a show it was! By noon or so they all had drifted away landed some place and that's it until the next day.
Balloon Fiesta Night Glows
Except that at night they have a "Night Glow" where they inflate their tethered balloons and attempt to coordinate the firing of their propane burners. It's quite an unbelievable sight to be under these HUGE balloons with thousands of people milling about, then look across the fields at all the rest while they fire their burners, which have a loud roar and the balloons take on an eerie glow, while they bob about on their tethers. Words, photos and videos can't express or begin to capture the spender of this event.
(NOTE: This Photo Album has 100 pictures. I got carried up, up and away. Enjoy!)
As mentioned the afternoons were ours. One day we all went into downtown Albuquerque, "old Town". We had fun shopping and wondering the streets. We found a nice place to have lunch and later Ice Cream cones before heading back to the festival grounds and our RV's.
On another afternoon we toured the International Balloon Museum. This place tracked the history of all different types of ballooning. We spent a couple of hours looking at all the exhibits.
Our time at the festival ended when the event ended. There was quite a lot of RV's departing over the weekend so by Monday we slowly got ready and manged to exit without any waiting. We departed our friends as they had other plans and we needed to get to Green Valley and get our RV into the AC/heat pump hospital.
Our AC/Heat pump died before we left the beach base. Once we arrived in Tucson an off loaded our "STUFF" from the RV we took it over to the service center that we had made arrangements with before leaving the NW. This turned into drawn out process of dealing with the extended warranty provider and our service provider. Needless to say there was some back and forth before that effort got going.
Our daughter Lydia and her family came down from Phoenix for a days visit and dinner before returning home. We had a days rest then our friends showed up in their rigs and spent a few days at a local RV park in Green Valley. Tom had decided to store his truck and camper at the same place I use. I helped him get setup with the place and pretty much supervised him putting his rig to sleep. After a couple of days all those folks left for points north. During this time a repair man came and fixed the lower border around the garage door that had been gouged open, by an un-named person. All was made good again!
The door had barely closed when our friends that live in Mexico over the winter showed up for an over night visit. They couldn't stay any longer as we had made plans to head to McKinney, Tx for a few weeks visiting family and friends.
After 2 weeks in Texas we headed back to GV. The RV was done and waiting for us so we paid the bill and picked it up, took it to De Anza RV Resort. This is where we winterize the rig before taking it to storage. Once in storage I check the battery water levels and run the engine and generator periodically.
When we returned from Texas we had several plastic bags of "hand me down" cloths from my oldest daughter to the youngest daughter. We set up a rendezvous half between Green Valley and Phoenix where she lives to hand off the clothes and share a lunch together her and her family.
We'd agreed to host the neighborhood fall/TG pot luck. We had few days to clean and make our place half way presentable before the party. With that event over our next party was for Thanksgiving being held this year at Herman and Nancy's.
My brother and wife arrived early in the new fifth wheel trailer. They took an RV spot on the Tucson air base for a few days before moving to Green Valley for a two month visit. We celebrated by having dinner together at their place.
December was a blur. Susan went to visit her mom for a week. My brother and wife settled into the their spot at the Green Valley RV Resort. We had xmas parties in our neighborhood and with the HOV to attend. Dinners with friends new and old and Family. Also, took the car into have the "throw out bearing" fixed (more on this next year). We even had two Javalina's stop out back one evening looking for food. (See my Javalina video) The last couple of years we have gone to the Green Valley Concert Band performance with Herman and Nancy, again a great performance. My brother and his wife went back to Minnesota for the holidays and returned. Herman and Nancy flew to Texas for the holidays. My daughter and family came down from Phoenix for Christmas dinner. Finally at the end of the month our friends John and Marilyn came up from Mexico for a visit. The two of them come up periodically for doctors visits and such. Before we knew it the month and the year was done and us too! Happy new Year! Let's just keep the fun rolling along.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
Posted on October 19, 2017
San Xavier Mission
Sight Seeing With Family
January continued at a staggering pace what with classes being taken by both of us and attending our respective club activities and company.
Our friends John and Marilyn arrived for a couple day visit before moving onto a hotel. They spend their winters in Mexico tending to their boat and life. This time they were nice enough to tout some of our boat gear north to our place. When Pat had gone down to Mazatlan last November (2015) to remove certain pieces of boat gear not included in the boat sale contract, the gear was stored at their condo in Mazatlan.
No sooner had John and Marilyn moved on up to Tucson for his VA appointments then my brother, Jamie and his wife, Tina arrived from Minnesota, for a 12 day visit.
This was their first time to Tucson and the area so we had to take them to some of the local attractions. This included a visit to the town of Tombstone, the San Xavier Mission, the town of Tubac, The Presidio State Park in Tubac and the Pima Air Museum. We also went shopping at local markets and visited a couple of local RV parks and RV sales lots. My brother wants to buy a 5th wheel RV trailer and travel during the winter months. So that’s why we were checking out RV’s and campgrounds. We ended up buying a large Sun/Moon Art work at one of the markets, to hang over the Garage door. Jamie actually hung it up for us. We had a great time visiting and being with my brother and his wife and were sad to see them leave.
Susan had a scare near the end of the month when she started having pains in her chest during dinner that continued into the night. We took her into the ER, at the local hospital, in the wee hours, as the pain had not gone away. The local ER thought it was heart related but didn’t have proper care for her so she got to ride up to a Tucson hospital, in an ambulance, that had proper heart care facilities. After many tests and hours they could not determine the source of her pain. Finally in the end they released her and told her to see a local ENT for an endoscopy exam to see what he could see. This happened at the end of February, and turned out to be OK as well. So in the end much to do about a painful nothing. (we hoped!)
February started off with our good friends Brent and Molly came down from Mesa for a weekend of Letterboxing. There was an event scheduled for the weekend and so we might as well hunt for other letterboxes in the area at the same time. The evening before the event we all meet up for dinner and then the following day the event was held at Fort Lowell Park, Tucson. Next to the park was an arroyo so the planters had the finders running all over this area looking for letterboxes. By the end of the day we all were tired.
We decided to attend a class on playing “Pickle Ball”. This is a sport that has come into being in the last few years and is popular with senior citizens. We enjoyed ourselves and learned the ropes of the game. Unfortunately that’s is a far as it went this season, as you’ll see.
Our good friends and neighbors Tom and Kathy from Ocean Park beach base arrived for a visit. They were only going to stay for a few days. We took them to a performance at the Gas Light Theater in Tucson. We were finishing up our various classes and attending to doctor appointments all in preparation to go to Mazatlan. During this time Mike and Cheryl showed up in town for a quick visit. This called for a dinner party/BBQ. So besides Tom & Kathy, Mike & Cheryl, we invited Herman & Nancy, since we all knew each other from boating. We had a typical “cruiser” pot luck and waddled away stuffed.
It was now the end of February and time for us to head to Mazatlan. Tom & Kathy had asked if they could house sit while we were gone and that was a no brainer, Sure! The purpose of our trip was to retrieve the remainder of the boat gear left behind at our friends condo and at Rick’s Marine Service business warehouse, attend appointments with our dentist Dr. Paty one last time, visit the few remaining people we knew there and lastly eat at our favorite places one last time.
While in Mazatlan we stayed at our friend’s John and Marilyn’s condo where the boat gear had been stored. During this same time some other friends Ed and Marianne from Portland were down for their annual Mexico vacation. So we had a group of people to pal around with during our visit. There was plenty of card playing and sunset watching. We manged to meet up with the new owner of Perpetua and go aboard her during her metamorphosis into a day trip tourist island party boat. It was interesting to see all the changes being made to handle paying customers. Our visit was only scheduled for the first two weeks in March and all too soon it was time to return to Green Valley.
Within a day or so of our arrival in Green Valley, Tom and Kathy decided to move on with their journey. Next Molly came down from Mesa for a weekend. We also resumed our club activities/classes and doctors appointments. About this time of year the cactus’s start blooming. This is a great time to begin seeing the variety of flowers that pop out of the prickly bushes. It’s also the time of year when our Green Valley neighbors start heading home so this of course calls for a farewell pot luck dinner get together. At the end of the month our good friends Dave and Gloria (ex-boaters/ex-Portlandians) from Victoria Texas came for a long weekend visit. We took them on a tour of the Green Valley recreation facilities, a local public garden, called the “Arid” garden and shopping in Tubac. Then poof they were gone.
There was no reason to slow down, so on the first weekend of April, off we went on a planned weekend in Mesa for a Letterboxing event being held near there. We stayed at our good friends Brent and Molly’s. We had some time Friday evening so we all visited the Phoenix Botanical Garden’s night lights display. This was a lot fun walking through the all the various gardens that had been rigged up with a vast variety of lighting displays. Way Kuel! Lots of pictures too!
The Letterboxing event was interesting starting off with a gathering for a pizza dinner the night before the event. However on the day of the event it started out ok, but as the LB hunting went on a rain storm moved in, slowly at first and then finally it let loose. A Ramada (covered area with tables) had been rented, but unfortunately the roof was not solid and the rain got through its crakes and soaked every thing and everybody. We did mange to serve up the burgers, hot dogs and other goodies and find a few letterboxes before we were rained out and abandoned the event. Of course a few boxers continued on in the rain. More power to them!
Brent and Molly had invited us to join them at a resort they were going to after the letterboxing event. So off we went to the Rancho Vistoso Resort for a few days of “relaxing” and letterboxing. On the way down from Phoenix we stopped at the Casa Grande Ruins National Park. This the site of a very old adobe dwelling ruins and a letterbox. Next we stopped the Tom Mix Memorial Site. He was a famous cowboy, movie star who crashed his car at this location in October 1940. We also collected a letterbox there that was an off road 4x4 experience. While at the resort we went up to a near by town by the name of Orcale, a cool old mining town, hunting Letterboxes and lunch. We also took a scenic drive up to Mt. Lemon, outside Tucson at 9131 ft. and the town of Summerhaven. There were great views and letterboxes along the way with a rewarding lunch in town. After our relaxing and fun time at the resort we returned to Green Valley.
Shortly there after we received news of Susan’s aunt passing away. This was not unexpected but was a shame it happened so close to Susan’s Mom’s 100th birthday.
Our friends John and Marilyn came up from Mazatlan for a quick visit. John has to see his VA doctors and pickup his prescriptions. We spent the rest of April attending club activities and having dinner at a friends home (Carlos and Betty). Towards the end of the month it was time to wake up the RV and get her ready for the summer. This involves cleaning and repacking. The house had to be readied for the summer along with care taker arrangements made (with Carlos). We decided to set up an automated water system for our plants along the back patio wall. It all came together on schedule so we locked up the house and headed north for our first stop in Phoenix. We spent a day visiting Pat’s daughter Lydia and her lovely family before heading on West & North through California.
Pat’s niece, Keely, was getting married in early May so we planned our trip to be able to attend that affair. We stayed in a nice camp ground, Gold Country Camp Ground, about 25 minutes away from Pat’s brother and sister in-law, Mike and Mary’s home. The wedding for Keely and Sean was help at Mike’s home. The reception was help in a near by town hall. Pat’s sister, Diane and her husband, Jerry had flown in from Minnesota for the event. It was great to have a mini family reunion as a side event.
Next we moved a few miles westward to a campground, near Concord. We were there to visit an old Portland boating friend, Dale and his wife, Patti. They had just moved back to Concord from American Samoa where they had sailed to and then lived for a number of years. It was nice to visit with them and another old salt, Wilbur, whom we hadn’t seen in many a year.
Our schedule was calling so we shoved off for Portland/Vancouver. We had little league games to see and grand children and great grand child and other family to visit before we had to board the train for Lancaster PA. The RV had started making odd noises on our trip north so we took it in to have it checked out. Turned out to be some bad spark plug covers, shorting out at high RPM’s.
Now it was time to go celebrate Susan’s mother’s 100th birthday. We had decided to take the train one more time, only this time we had a sleeper roomette. It was still three and half days on the train, but we were much more comfortable and had beds into which we shoe horned ourselves into for sleeping. We saw some awesome country on this train ride, however some of the best mountain scenery was shrouded in clouds and rain.
Susan had been planning and making arrangements for the 100th birthday event from afar now she had to make sure everything came off without a hitch. Early in our visit Anne, Susan’s mother, was notified that a state Senator (Ryan Aument) was coming to present her with congratulatory certificate from the State Senate. A small ceremony was held in a visiting area, where the senator presented her with the certificate after which was a photo opportunity. The final preparations were made to the room where the party was being held. The day of the party everyone of the staff were congratulating her mother. When it was time we got her mom seated in her honorary spot just as guests were beginning to arrive. The party was a success with about 40 attendees, Susan gave a nice speech and talked about her mother and the things that were happening in 1916. A couple of others gave speeches and then Anne got up and gave one about how she meet Ken here husband. Susan’s brother, Vern said a prayer and then the visiting and celebrating and eating commenced. It was a very nice party celebrating an unassuming, well meaning nice lady on her 100th birthday.
It was now time to board our train back to Portland. Somehow we had lucked out and had been upgraded to a sleeping bed room. This was a far bigger space and much more comfortable. It even had a rest room/shower and sink in the room. The scenery was just as good the only hitch was as longer then expected delay in Chicago due to some repairs being attempted on our sleeper cars. They were eventually replaced. Again the mountains were a disappointment due to fog and it being night when we passed through. We arrived on the last day of May safe and sound ready for the rest of the summer.
Once back our lives were full activities. We had to attend to doctor appointments. We also wanted our refrigerator ice maker repair/replaced. Our car need new tires. One of our grand children had a kindegarten graduation to go to and little league ball games to attend. Our little league player ended up on an all star team. This meant more games all around the cities and near by towns. This meant for us our last games to attend, were being held in Longview Wa.. We decided to move the RV to Camp Kalama an RV Campground Park
near by there in Kalama. This is also where the team was camping. In June we have two grand children birthdays to celebrate. This happened at the campground for the ball player and we drove back to Tigard for the other one. After the games and birthday celebrating was done we broke camp and headed out to our spot in Ocean Park. We spent the remainder of the June cleaning up our lot and relaxing.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
Lake Havasu City London Bridge
The Crossroads For Perpetua's Crew
When we got to Vancouver we hit the "Deck Running" as they say. Early Monday morning we got up and delivered the RV to the service center. We had been experiencing issues with our brakes and it was time for an engine tune up and to service the generator. As it turned out they needed to keep the RV over night. Fortunately we able to stay in our friends RV at the Stose's RV resort. We very much appreciate their kindness and friendship to no end!
We delayed our departure until we celebrated Susan's son Bill's birthday. We spent the time visiting Pat's son, Patrick's new digs and also, fishing and letter boxing with the grand kids (yes we're getting them hooked too). The time went by fast and all to soon it was time to depart.
We made a fast (for us) 5 day passage south with no extra stops a long the way to see attractions. We spent a night in Phoenix and visited Pat's daughter Lydia and her family.
Once in Green Valley we had to get the RV stowed and prepare ourselves to drive to Texas.
While on the way to Texas we got a phone call from our boat broker in Mexico. An offer had been made on the boat and were we interested in it. Bear in mind that at this point the boat had been for sale for 4.5 years. We'd been paying moorage fees and upkeep expenses all that time. Also, we had made several reductions in the asking price each time removing some of the gear that was portable and of some value. As in the past offers we'd received were lower than our asking price or for a ridiculous trade (ie a plane in Switzerland). This time it was no exception again less than of our asking price. So as we were whizzing along at 80 miles an hour across Texas, we looked at each other and said, let's do it! We accepted the offer then and there. In hind sight it now seems like a big decision had been made, but we were too busy driving and trying to get to McKinney and Pat's daughter's place to worry about it. Besides sometimes these things fall thru.
Our time in Texas was spent with the grand kids, visitng friends and family and getting new tires on the car. The kids were at school during the days, so we had some quality time with Pat's daughter, Jenica. Originally we were all supposed to go off to Florida for her wedding but that soon became too expensive, so we were tapped to ... babysit the grand kid's, while Jenica flew off to get married. Chris her fiance' was already there, as he was racing. (he's a race car owner/driver) When the jubilant couple returned after a slow drive home, they had scheduled a wedding celebration party a week later. We decided to stay for that event before heading back to Green Valley.
Once again, while traveling at 80 mph, on the way we got a call from the boat broker. This call reassured us that the deal was going to go through. The buyer, a Mexican, was "getting" the money together, his sister was fronting the money because the boat was to be used commercially in the tourist trade of Mazatlan. This proved to be an elongated process but eventually it did happen. So during this time we were still nervous about it going through and talked to the boat broker several times. He also told us that the a boat title transfer company in Seattle would be contacting us for the final transaction paperwork. This seemed all good, with one problem on our part. Remember all that stuff that had been removed from the sale price over the last few years. Well most of it was still being stored on the boat.
When we get back to Green Valley Pat tried in vain to get help from the folks he knew in Mazatlan to remove the gear and to store it. No one had time or resources to help him out. To the rescue came some friends that still had a boat in Mazatlan and who traveled to Tucson regularly for medical checkups at the VA. They were returning to Maz November 1st and I could catch a ride with them and since they usually stay in a rented condo near the marina, Pat could stay with them and store the boat gear there until spring, when we could get back to pick it up. In the mean time it was time for Susan to fly off and visit her mom for a week and this would over lap Pat's trip to Maz. We worked out the logistics of leaving the car in a storage lot at the airport when Pat left and Susan picking it up when she returned. The only thing left was how would Pat get back to the USA. That ended up being a Mexican bus.
Susan made her trip and Pat made his trip. All went well for both of us. Pat got everything off the boat in 2 days and stored at the condo. He meet the new owner and showed him around the boat, and ate at few of his favorite eateries. Pat was nervous about the bus ride, but his friends John and Marilyn assured him all would be OK and actually walked him through the ticket purchase and stood by until the bus left. The ride was a 19 hour overnight run to Tucson. The bus turned out to be a nice ride, it even had wifi for some legs so Pat talked on Skype to Susan and surfed the net. It stopped 5 times for various "checks", crossed the US boarder where we all had to exit the bus with all our stuff and walk across the boarder, showing our passports to the agents and have our stuff xrayed, before reentering the bus for Tuscon. Pat got off the bus in the south Tuscon bus station walked out the door and was meet by Susan, just like magic!
We barely had time to to catch our collective breaths because the very next weekend, we were off to a Letter Boxing event. First we drove to Mesa near Phoenix to our friends Brent & Molly's home. Then the next morning we were all off to Lake Havasu for the letter boxing event. Our friend Brent always manages to compile a list of Letterboxes along any route he travels. This was no exception. We stopped in Bouse and Parker to hunt down some finds (letter boxes). In Parker we stopped at a restaurant for lunch that Brent and & Molly knew about. Great food!
Once again while in route to some place, we received a call not from the boat broker but from the boat title transfer company. They wanted us to verify our banking information we supplied earlier. When we ask why, they said that the money was being transferred that day, this also meant that the boat title was also being transferred. We delayed leaving our lunch spot at the Crossroads Cafe in Parker, Az to make sure we gave them the correct account info for the transfer. Then we continued on to Lake Havasu City and our hotel. By the time we got to the hotel and checked our email and bank accounts the deal was done. The boat had been on the market so long we'd even talked about walking away from it and letting the moorage take her for the back rent. It all worked out in the end, Pat and Susan were now boatless after 41 years of owning Perpetua. We were in shock but not bad enough not to celebrate. Besides we had a Letter boxing meet-and-greet dinner to go to. Wah-Hoo !!
We spent the remainder of the weekend searching high and low around lake Havasu City for the many letter boxes that had been planted for the event and others that had been previously planted. We ran into several letter boxers that we knew and we all were having great fun comparing our clues and finds.
On Sunday we headed back to Green Valley. We stopped in Phoenix to visit with Pat's daughter Lydia and her family. Otherwise our trip back was uneventful and we had time to digest that fact that the boat had been finally sold.
Long Live Perpetua
Pictured Here Anchored in Bahia Tenacatita 2009
In a little over a week it was time for Thanksgiving. We held the event at our place this year. Brent & Molly came down and stayed with us for the weekend. Herman and Nancy came for Thanksgiving dinner. We all had enough to eat and then some. We spent the rest of the weekend Letterbox hunting around our area.
We resumed our club activities whenever we could. We manged to get up to Phoenix again to celebrate Pat's grandson, Tyrique's birthday and spend time with the family.
Earlier in the year we had decided to travel to New Holland PA to spend Christmas with Susan's mother who was 99 at that time. We also decided to travel by train. This was our first time traveling this way for any amount of distance and time. The trip was going to take three and a half days and we'd have to change trains three times and we still had to rent a car to complete trip. So we had an adventure to plan for and get ourselves ready. First off where is the train station in Tucson and on from there it went.
We manged to get ourselves organized and on the train on time. We'd made our reservations to late to get a "sleeping car" so we were going to be setting and sleeping in our chairs. Fortunately they reclined (some) and had foot rests, even so, parts of our bodies were uncomfortable most of the time. There is an observation car with different types of seating and beautiful viewing of the scenery available. Also in that car is what is called a Cafe', this store has snacks, breakfast and lunch foods, soft drinks, coffee, beer and wine. There is also a dinning car which as the name implies is where you have your meals. However we soon learned that if you were going to eat all your meals in the dinning car you'd need DEEP pockets. So we ended up mostly using the Cafe' services and reserved the dinning car for our dinners.
Now in order to move around on the train while it's moving and jostling along, back and forth, up and down all at the same time, is an acquired skill. Fortunately Susan and I had our boating on the river and ocean experience to give us a leg up on learning the skill. This worked out to be two hands for the train somehow and any gear had to be slung over the shoulders and secured to prevent it from bashing the heads of folks still seated along the way. Don't get me wrong we had a grand time and is an experience one should have at least once. The scenery was fantastic including all the little towns and cities we pass through, you really get a sense of how large and vast the US is and all the varied types of terrain and farming that goes on across the country.
We had a very nice Christmas with Susan's mother and family. We visited her sister Alice and had a nice lunch together. We'd only planned on staying a week before returning on the train. That was long enough for our body parts to readjust and prepare for the return trip. We were traveling near the new year and we'd arrive on New years eve.
As usual there are folks in every crowd that like to party and some go at it from dawn to dust. We had one obvious person that fell into this category. Roaming up and down the train inserting herself into other peoples conversions and generally making a nuisance of herself. Her down fall happened when she missed a train stop at a designated smoke stop, because of being involved in one of these conversions. (no smoking on the train, it is a federal law and isn't tolerated) She put up quite a fuss and ended up opening a window in the exit area to have a smoke. Of course she was caught and she was removed from the train at an unscheduled stop and handed over to the local police. We arrived back in Tuscon with no further events. Happy new year!
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Created on Deecember 9, 2016
At The Beach on Longbeach Peninsula Washington
Susan soon returned from visiting her mother and helping her celebrate her 99th birthday. We both had doctor visits to be taken care of, we both checked out ok and grand kid little league games to attend and a couple of birthdays to celebrate, so our visit extended on into June.
When we stay in the Portland area we have some super duper friends (Tom & Sue) that allow us to "Urban Camp" in Vancouver, in their driveway. It's a complete full service camp ground with full hookups (water/sewer) and free WiFi, its hard to beat or turn down when offered to stay. Along with other urban campers in the other driveway, the parents of one of the hosts also live there.
Tom's mother had been in failing health for some time. We all knew and loved Grace as a friendly, spunky, feisty and sometimes stubborn person. It was heart breaking for everyone to be in attendance while she slowly slipped away. We all knew she was finally at peace early one mourning when we were notified by the family of her passing and the usual people showed up to take charge.
All of us still had to go on with our lives and therefore we wrapped up our visit by visiting a few family members and friends we hadn't yet seen. We visited Ray and Anne who treated us to a boat ride on Lake Oswego, which is near their home. Ray had restored an older run about and wanted to show her to us and take a trip on the lake. We stopped for lunch at one of the water front haunts on the lake. We visited Chris and Kim at their marina where they live abound their boat, we cruised with these folks in 1999 and 2000, they're getting ready to do it again in a couple of years. Finally we said our good byes to our Vancouver friends and then headed out to our property at the each.
If you've ever neglected your yard for a long period of time you know that there is lots to do once you arrive and get settled. This year was no exception.
We managed to get the place ready for our 4th of July party. We had folks show up in their RV and tents to camp, some that came and stayed with friends and others that came over from their place to visit. We had a nice day visiting and playing games and then had a pot luck that was on the 3rd and then we repeated it on the 4th put this time the pot luck was held at our neighbors place where we joined their crowd of visitors and another feast that couldn't be bet. Later we all went off to see the Longbeach firework display which is out over the beach. We and several thousand folks who also brought their own fireworks display saw a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Alas that concluded the party.
July continued to unfold with a Letterboxing Event (Exploring the Seas) that was held at Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton, Or. (just across the river) This was a three day event and provided much fun meeting new letterboxer's and searching for all the intriguing hiding places of the letterboxes. There were other letterboxing opportunities around the area that we took advantage of with our friends Brent & Molly.
We traveled to Portland for Pat's eye doctor visit and the Mt Hood Highland Games. Susan's son Steve participates in these games, this event usually results in a family reunion. This year was no exception.
We had visits from both grand children at the beach (but not at the same time). We also had our friend Gloria from Texas (ex-PDX/ex-boater) come out for a visit.
We made final preparations around our place for the August family camp out.
Over all July turned out to be a busy month at the beach.
The first weekend in august is when we have our family camp out. This year we had 16 members attend. It's a three day camp out for those that can stay for the whole time. There's always yard games to be played, beach visits, sitting around visiting with everyone, watching the young kids playing and plenty of food. We celebrated 2 grand kid birthdays, Owen & Eleanor born a week apart. There's gifts , kid games, culminating with a pinata and of course cake. A good time was had by all.
The next weekend we went up to the Whidbey Island Highland Games. This time not only did Steve participate, his daughter, Jamie, also took part in the games. It was fun trying to watch each persons event attempts when they were at different times and across the field from one another. We stayed in Everett and took the fairy over to Whidbey Island and back. All in all it was great fun.
We had yard work to keep up with and this year we needed to leave the beach earlier as we had to get to Texas for a wedding. We were also sorting through our stuff in the shed and to determine what to take south in the RV. We spent an afternoon at the kite festival and several nice afternoons touring the area.
All to soon it was time to close up the beach base, load up th RV and head to Cathlamet, Wa. for the Annual Mexico Cruisers Rendezvous. This event is made up mostly of ex-boaters, a few still have a boat though. Some come for the day, others bring their RV's (aka dirt boats) and stay the weekend, and others find an available cabin, yurt or couch to crash on. This is what our friends Herman & Nancy did, we invited them to stay with us. The time is usually spent visiting, touring the town or taking a side trip to the Friday market on Puget Island. While others play cards, nap or just enjoy the beautiful scenery from their deck chairs. Saturday is the pot luck of all pot lucks and everyone has to try at least a little bit of everything. Sunday it was time to pack up and head to Vancouver. We had a RV service appointment setup that we needed to be at on Monday August 31.
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Created on November 26, 2016
The Texas family contingent left on January 1st. Started missing them as they drove away and as they were vowing not to return in the winter ever again. You see it had been usually cold during there visit.
We were still immersed in our art and camera clubs. Each of us worked on projects for our respective clubs. Susan was painting once a week and Pat was taking and preparing photos for his special interest group (SIG) weekly picture reviews.
Together we signed up for a two day Mosaics class. This was a fun class in which we made hot plates out of various glass chard's, tiles and beads.
Pat signed up for a ten week course in digital photography, a new weekly SIG for users of his new camera, and a one day low light photography class. These kept him rather busy but learning new stuff and having a lot fun.
Then early one morning Pat came to on the floor, bleeding badly above his right eye. It seems that due to a bad sinus infection Pat had had a coughing fit, had sat up on the edge of the bed coughing, coughed so hard he passed out, then did a face plant on the rug covered tile floor. This resulted in a trip to the VA emergency clinic at 4:00 AM. He needed 6 six stitches above the right eye, but had a more worrisome swilling in the right eye. The ER doctors worked their magic and after five hours he was released. Over the next several weeks Pat visited various doctors to follow up on his eye, the stitches and the sinus issues. Over all not a pleasant experience.
Things didn't slow down as the various club and class activities continued. We had noticed some maintenance issues on the wall in the back patio and also on the front of the house under the window. We located the appropriate service people and supervised their work.
Late in the month our friends Tom & Sue came from Vancouver, Washington for a quick visit. Then we all drove up to Mesa Arizona to celebrate our friend Brent's 70th birthday. We helped out at the large party that was being thrown for him at his RV park and winter home. A good time was had by all!
While in Mesa we stopped in to visit Pat's daughter and her family. It sure is nice having family just a couple of hours away in Phoenix.
We left from Mesa and headed to Texas, as we had made arrangements to attend a nieces' wedding in St. Paul Minnesota and we were bringing Pat's daughter and her three girls along from McKinney Texas. After a long drive we made it to Texas, took a day off and then headed north on another long drive to St Paul. By the time we were in Kansas City we were in snow and ice country. We had no problems as the highways were clear and it wasn't snowing.
We had a wonderful time visiting family and attending the wedding. There was an open house at my brothers home so that all the family could stop by and visit. All to soon it was time to return to Texas.
On the way back we hit some sleet and freezing roads. We actually spun out on a windy slick spot. We did a 180º spin and landed sideways in the median. After assessing everyone's condition inside and the car outside we placed the car in low 4 x 4 and drove out of the icy median and carefully reentered the highway. We pulled off the highway at the next exit and took a break to calm everyone's nerves. The young ladies thought it was fun after the initial scare! NOT THE ADULTS THOUGH!!
Once in Texas we then spent a few days baby sitting the grand kids while mom and her fiancee took a trip and had time to themselves. This was nice to be with the kids and not traveling. Shortly after my daughter returned we left for Green Valley, Arizona. Our return trip was uneventful, which is always nice.
The remaining months just flew by, what with doctors visits, The Art League and camera club activities. Pat joined a photo editing special interest group (SIG) to learn about a new and "free" photo editing tool (GIMP). Susan took classes to qualify her to join the ceramics club and then proceeded to create a cookie jar and a grapes plaque wall hanging. We took a special 2 day class, in mosaics. Pat joined a wood carving group, Susan made a new quilt for the newest great grandson. Did I mention more doctor visits. Also, we had visitors come, my brother, Perry and his wife, Amy spent a delightful lunch at Shelby's Bistro then explored Tubac and others visitors (Tom & Kathy & Brent & Molly) stayed with us and some of those visits lead to local Letterboxing activities.
In early April Susan had a diverticulitis attack and spent a night in ER. This was no fun and of course resulted in more doctors visits. Pat's ENT doc cleared him of the need for operation until we returned next fall. We went up to Mesa near Phoenix to attended a Letterboxing event. While in Mesa we went to the Butterfly Wonderland. This is like a bird atrium but for butterflies. There was hundreds of butterflies of all kinds flying every which way. Pat couldn't take pictures fast enough.
The Letterboxing event was being held at White Tank Regional Park west of Phoenix. This is a lovely place in the desert with good sized mountains as a back drop. We attended the event with our friends Brent and Molly, staying with them in their RV for the weekend. We found many letterboxes that were planted for the event.
Susan joined a Doodling SIG, took Still life drawing class, and took a ceramics Talavera class then made two platters and a giant turtle for our front garden. Finally Susan took an Encaustic Wax painting class (?? ask Her).
Nearing the middle to end of April the cactus start blooming in the area, our place too. We went and visit the Green Valley Arid Garden. It's always fun to walk through this garden and see what's blooming.
We were so busy with everything that it was nearly the end of April and we realized that it was time to pack up the RV, close up the townhouse and head north. We both wrapped up our club activities and projects by the end of the month. We arranged for the townhouse caretaker and were ready to go.
We woke up the RV loaded the last remaining items from the house onto the RV and headed to Phoenix. Our grand daughter Zenaiyah was having her 3rd birthday. We had a nice visit and birthday party too. We also visited our friends Brent & Molly in Mesa and did some LB with them.
Next we traveled to Lake Havashu State Park, in Lake Havashu City, Az. We spent a few days there exploring the area which included the famous London Bridge across to an island. This is the real London bridge that was purchased in England, dismantled piece by piece, tranported from London to the site here in Arizona and reassembled here. Quite and interesting sight. We took a pontoon boat ride to the "Copper Canyons" on the lake. In the past copper mining was viable up one of the canyons, now of course its flooded and the mining has stopped long ago. One of the old mines was repurposed by a family of owls. We also went hunting for the local Letterboxes and found Sara park just out side of town to explore.
We left Lake Havashu and headed north this time going up through California. Not our favorite trip. However we stayed one night in Lodi and were able to connect with Pat's brother, Mike, his wife, Mary and his family for a dinner at "MooMoo's" burger joint. We completed our trip north in Vancouver, Wa staying at our friends Tom & Sue's, in their driveway.
We commenced seeing family and friends and Susan had doctor visits planned ahead of time. Near the end of the month, Susan had planned a visit to see her mother for her 99th birthday. So off she flew! Pat remained behind to take care projects and his doctor visits.
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Created on May 31, 2015
In November we gingerly slipped into a couple of the activities available through the GV Recreation Center. Pat joined the Green Valley camera club and Susan joined the Santa Rita Art League of Green Valley. We had weekly meetings to go to at each of our SIG (special interest groups) we'd joined.
Pat's SIG group's weekly activity is to review five photos from each person who wants to participate, providing them with constructive criticism. Pat learned a lot from these reviews about his and the other peoples photographs. In between sessons Pat spent time learning the photo editing tools in order to "fix" his pictures from the review and preparing a set of pictures for the next session.
Susan activities included spending time working on various paintings and when ready including them in their weekly review sessions.
Susan noticed an ad in the Green Valley News regarding an art showing of yard art at the sculptors' home. On the scheduled day we along with the Herman & Nancy Ford visited the yard. We spent a good two hours with the sculptor, as our tour guide, wondering around his yard area. Every side of the house had his work displayed. It was either stuck in the ground or mounted to a structure. The Casa Vertigo yard Art visit was very interesting, entertianing and we came away with our purchase of "The Bird" statue.
Susan had purchased a, new to us, kitchen sink faucet before coming south. So with free time on our hands and a leaking faucet in GV we had a small project to do. The project went fairly well with the only issues were Pat having the ability to get into and out of the space under the sink and working upside down. Now we have a new faucet. (I'm getting too old to do this ... !)
Following another ad in the GV News, the Ford's and us headed off to Patagonia State Park for a pontoon boat ride. Apparently the park had a good sized lake in it and they offered two different boat rides. One to spot birds and the other to just tour the lake. We choose the later. It was almost an hours drive from our place to get to the park entrance. We enjoyed all the scenery en-route, and only got turned around once (thanks GPS). The park has other amenities such as camping, boat rentals, boat launch, fishing, hiking and other day uses. We paid our fees and had to get suited up in a PFD (life jacket). Most of our group had no problem finding PFD's that fit. Once the boat was back from the earlier tour we boarded and headed out. Besides the Captain, and a Naturalist/Conservationist there were 8 guests on board. Our tour lasted about an hour. We traveled around the south end of the lake from the boat landing. We went up a couple of small bays, down by the earthen retaining damn, a couple of islands and several of the lake camping spots. (accessible only by boat) All through the cruise the Naturalist provided information about the park's beginning, and it's history, and evolution plus the wildlife, the topography and the geology of the park. We all had a pleasant cruise even though it was windy and choppy on the return passage. Next we looked for LB's and Susan planted a new LB (Letterbox), along the way we stopped for a picnic lunch. Over all it was a great day!
Around the Tucson Arizona area are located space telescope observatories. They are on some of the mountain tops in the area. Each of these have multiple telescopes. We visited the one closest to us the Lawrence Whipple Observatory. There is a visitors center and at which you can join tours (reservations Required) to the summit observatories. Around the visitors center there are 4 gamma ray telescopes synchronized together while searching the heavens, plus there are several smaller ones for observing the nite sky.
It was too late in the season to take the tour, however, we enjoyed the visitors center exhibits and then moved over to a near by park with restrooms and picnic area with tables and a mile nature trail. We ate our packed lunch, took in the views and decided where to plant a Letterbox.
On the way up to the observatory we stopped at the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. This is an access point to this historic trial. This is a lovely spot with desert and mountain views especially Elephant Head a local predominate monolith. It deserved a Letterbox plant so others would be able to appreciate the spot. If you're into hiking or biking this spot lets you begin traveling the trail.
We decided that since this was our first year in our new home we'd have Thanksgiving at our place. We invited everyone we knew was in the area and we had 8 folks including us over for dinner. Everyone of us are either still cruising or have sold their boats. There was no end to the sea tails. All the participating cooks out did themselves. If you didn't get enough to eat it was your own fault.
A couple of our Thanksgiving Day guests stayed at our place until Sunday. We spent the time hunting for Letterboxes by first going to Patagonia State Park and ultimately driving around the Santa Rita Mountains through Sonoita and Sahuarita. We made a stop in the town of Patagonia as they were having and open market. This is a very picturesque town, where many artists now live. We walked around the market and had lunch at the local hotel restaurant. It was a good time had by all and our Letterboxing hunting was successful too.
Seems in the south west as in Mexico they are always having Fiesta's to celebrate something all the time. In December, we learned about one near by being held at the San Jose' De Tumacacori mission. La Fiesta de Tumacácori: "In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were historically and are presently associated with the Santa Cruz Valley, the Tumacácori Fiesta presents the traditional creations of these cultures." At this fiesta there were several folkloric dance groups. There were booths setup around the parade grounds with all sorts of native artisan crafts for sale and some food booths too. We had a good time at this annual cultural event. The Mission was open to the public so we also wonder around the grounds and marveled at the construction accomplished in the 1600's by the native Indians.
Susan and I continued to attend our clubs we'd joined and Pat even joined a new club of wood carvers. This was an activity he had been interested before the boat purchase. So he's slowly getting back into it one wood chip at a time.
Our micro wave had been behaving oddly and finely it stopped worked working correctly. We had home owners insurance, so we filled a claim found out what they would allow and found a new micro wave, with us covering the difference. It was delivered and installed without incident. It all happened in a matter of a couple of weeks. You may be wondering why I'd mention this event in our blog. This event might not seem out of the ordinary to you but for us having lived in Mexico and dealing with boat parts, sometimes you wait a long time before it all comes together, ie our refrigerator took 2 seasons (1.5 years) to resolve all the issues and get back to working properly again.
Our good friends and Letter Boxing buddies, Brent and Molly came down for a weekend. We went to Tubac, a historic town and tourist center, once there we hunted for LB's, had some great lunch and did some shopping. Tubac was first a Spanish Presidio (fort) San Ignacio de Tubac was founded in June of 1752 it lasted until 1849 before it was abandoned. By 1853 it was again being resettled and still flourishes today as both a state park and a arts and crafts tourist town.
All too soon it was time for the Christmas holidays. There are many goings on around Green valley as each club has scheduled events. We went to as many as we could. Also this holiday season was going to be special for us, because Pat's two daughters and their families were going to be together on Christmas day, at our new home, for the first time in a very long time. The Texas ladies arrived a few days before Christmas and stayed through New Years. The Phoenix family drove down for the Christmas day celebration. This was a great day for us having everyone there for dinner and to Celebrate Christmas.
All to soon everyone had to go home. However before my daughter from Texas left, her soon to be fiancee arrived by air to help drive her back to Dallas. All in all it was a grand way to end the year.
As you can tell I'm way behind in transcribing our journey's. So I'll have to keep hard at it!
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
|Vessel Make/Model:||1964 Piver Victress Trimaran|
|Hailing Port:||Portland, Oregon|
|Crew:||Pat & Susan Canniff|
|About:||Pat has owned Perpetua since 1975, she was built in 1964. Pat's dream started before he purchased Perpetua. Susan joined the dream 26 years ago. Together they made it a reality. We left our homeport in 1999, cruised down the Columbia River and turned left for points south.|
|Extra:||Never let the dream fade. Pat once got an award, from his local yacht club, for having the longest 5 year plan, in the club. Create a plan, work the plan, and keep on dreaming.|