Monday, February 10, 2014

Wintering in the Warmth

I'm just not into this blogging thing this time around. Part of it is not always having an internet connection and the other part is difficulties with uploading pictures from the camera and phone. Frustrations that make it not too much fun.

So, we left my cousins home in Tuscon AZ and travelled to Quartzsite AZ for a huge RV event. The town normally has 300 people and during this week in January it expands to 1,000,000!!! Sounds crazy. This experience was quite a learning experience. My first challenge was staying hydrated. I had trouble sleeping because my sinuses would dry out and I couldn't breathe. After a couple of days I got it figured out and learned to actually enjoy the heat in January lol.

The desert at first glance is all brown and boring, but then you notice the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Being from Michigan I'm used to sunsets off the water - say Lake Michigan. Here on the desert the sun sets behind mountains that are everywhere around you. The colors on the opposing mountains change from second to second. From purples, pinks and oranges.... just beautiful!! I'd love to add pictures, but read paragraph one :) We stayed on the desert in Quartzsite for 19 or 20 days and I was starting to look forward to being hooked up to water. We traveled by motorcycle most days into town and walked around and usually stopped at the market for a couple of items (can only get what we could carry) lol. The main purchase was a chrome exhaust pipe cover that MM put on right away. We got a few do dads for the kitchen as usual, but resisted buying stuff that we wouldn't use after getting it home.

We checked into Lake Havasu RV Resort on January 30 and are here for 14 days. It is a very nice resort (Colorado River Adventures) that has lots of activities and great meals for purchase Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We've gone into town most days on the motorcycle and walked the London Bridge in town. The bridge was purchased from London England in 1964 and completely reassembled by 1971. You can see the Colorado River from just about anyplace that we travel in town. After being here a few days we traveled on part of the old Route 66 that went from Chicago to Los Angeles and stopped in a town called Oatman AZ. There were wild burros everywhere and walked right up to you. We got a few shirts and a Route 66 sign. On another day we traveled to Parker Dam. Think Hoover Dam but smaller lol. Here too, we stopped to turn around and saw several wild burro. MM whistled and they came up out of the ravine straight to the car. They thought we had food ... what a disappointment for them. On Friday the 7th we went on a boat cruise to Topock Gorge. The boat was very clean and the guides were very informative. We saw a bald eagle, mountain goats and wild burros. Most of the goats were mama and baby and some of them were very young. Hopefully someday I'll be able to figure out the picture thing because we got a lot of good ones lol. The boat also stopped at a spot where there were ancient petroglyphics etched into the stone.

On days that we're not doing anything special we ride into town (on the bike - it's like summer here) and walk on the trail at the Rotary Park. Very nice about .8 miles and has several workout stations where you can do sit ups, pushups and other exercises (did way too many situps on the first day lol). And all of this is along the Colorado River with California on the other side. Always so pretty.

Guess the best and worst part of this whole adventure is being away from the cold and snow lol. The best because we're missing one of the worst winters since record keeping began. The worst because we're missing all of our family so much. I miss seeing the smiling faces of our grandchildren and hearing their sweet voices and laughter. Lots of give and take but we're giving it a try.

Today I finally got out the sewing machine and made a dress for the Dress a Girl Around the World mission.  It was pretty quick and I hope it fits within the guidelines for the size.  It takes a little to get everything out and there is not a lot of room for ironing or cutting.  Not sure if I'll do any more on this trip. It's just easier at home. An easier project on the road is knitting. I did finish a poncho and hat for myself. Again, wish I could post pictures :(.

Hope the next park has internet service at the rig - it is so much easier and I might put in more effort and time with pictures. I still hold out hope of adding pictures to these posts lol. Call me optimistic! So, until next time - see ya

Blake Randal Smith


Blake Randal Smith born 2/10/14 8:15 a.m. 7#2oz 19" long Baby and Mama doing well.

Blake brings up the rear (so to speak) we now have 6 grandchildren Margaret (Maggie)(6) Olivia (4) Alexis (3) Jackson (Jack) (2) Lillyanna (Lilly)(1) and Blake. We are very excited about this new addition but are kind of sad that we can't be there until April to see him. Guess it's all about choices and trying to make everyone happy. And of course, we know that you can never make all of the people happy all of the time. So happy for all of the blessings that have been bestowed on us. We are definitely not deserving so I'm sure it is God's AMAZING GRACE!! Thank you.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Made It To Arizona

I can't believe how time is flying. I was going to post every couple of days but then we get busy or don't have electricity or something else comes up. After leaving Ashwood Arkansas we headed to Texas to visit with Bud. We got there just before he got home from work. Donna (Bud's granddaughter through Amanda) met us at the end of the street and walked us in. We would have picked her up if we knew who she was. Dinner was quick and simple because we had the crock pot going all day while we traveled. Good to see Bud, he just doesn't change. Anyway, we did a little shopping Friday and planned on visiting with more family coming out on Saturday. Got a few pictures.

This picture is front left, Ellie and Samantha back row from left Laura, Bud, Matt holding Benjamin.  Matt and Laura have been married for 4 or 5 years but I hadn't met her or her two daughters yet.  Benjamin is 3 here.

This is the whole bunch ;)  Dave and Ann seated in front.  Samantha and Ellie are kind of in the front row, next row is Laura, Paula, Bud, me, Roger and the back row is Matt holding Benjamin, Steven Griffith, and Loren (Amanda's son).
We had a real nice visit but still didn't have enough time to totally catch up ...  a reason to come back :)

From Bud's we headed to San Antonio Texas.  Roger had heard of the River Walk there and we wanted to check it out.  I do have pictures, but once again Picasa is giving me problems and I can't waste any more time trying to put them on here arrghhh.  Another day on the road to cross Texas and New Mexico before entering Arizona.  We headed to my cousin, Pat's house on Thursday, Jan 9th.  Got there midday and had a nice visit before resting for the night.  Sandy, another cousin joined us on Friday.  That's us in the picture below.  Pat's Dad Harry and Sandy's Dad John are my Mother's brothers.  I have so many cousins that I've never met.  Maybe this year in our travels we will meet more of them.

Roger, me, Pat Higgins and Sandy Clark

Left Pat's on Saturday the 11th and headed to Quartzsite Arizona.  This is kind of where Roger wanted to go for the winter.  I have pictures for here too, but same problem as the River Walk pictures arrgghh.  Quartzsite is a little more organized that I expected.  I thought it was just a huge desert with people everywhere and no amenities.  What it is is almost like a state park.  Where we are camped is land owned by the Bureau of Land Management.  When you turn off the road (I think there are like 4 turnoffs) there is a check in shack where you pay.  It is $40 for 14 days or $180 for Sept 1 to April 1 (I think).  There is a dumping station and several water stations along with refuse recepticles.  I thought there was nothing!  There are areas that have absolutely nothing and are free, but I think where we are is good.  We did drive one of the pathways all the way back one day and it was 5 miles long.  Along that pathway there were several turnoffs that you could drive on and park any place you wanted.  It seems to be filling up more because there is an RV thing going on in town this week.  Lots of vendors, tents and stuff lol.  The other thing that kind of surprised me is that it is mostly gravel... I thought desert was sand.  It is hot and dry and we need to drink more water ... story of my life :).

So there you have it... today is January the 13th, Monday and we're probably going to do a lot of walking around town.  Hopefully the pictures that I wanted to post will magically decide to cooperate and post. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

WELCOME 2014!!!

We actually brought in the New Year on a quiet note. We spent Sunday night in West Memphis Arkansas and headed out on Monday to Texarkana (actually Ashdown) Arkansas. We decided to spend three nights here to get through the New Year holiday and not have to worry about places being open to check in to. Camping is not quite like hoteling it because it's not in season and not as popular. So we are in a quiet park (Millwood Landing) with about 5 other couples. Like I said it's very quiet. There is a 250 acre golf course here and there was a large party here last night. Yesterday we went in to the local WalMart to get a few things and found stuff for the kids as well. That meant coming back to camp and wrapping stuff then back to town to the post office. Hope they like what I sent :). Other than that we've been walking, knitting and watching a little tv. Yesterday it was real sunny and we actually sat out and read for a couple of hours (okay, so I took a nap in the sunshine). Should be the same today, yea!! High 50's.

Before we pulled out of West Memphis we went into Hot Springs to check it out. The Hot Springs were popular as people believed that the traces of minerals and an average temp of 143 degrees gives the water whatever therapeutic properties they may have. The first bathhouse was built in the early 1900's and people flocked to them as they were called "The American Spa". Touring Fordyce Bathhouse was very interesting seeing all of the opulance that only the wealthier people could afford at that time. There were the soaking baths, cooling rooms, exercise rooms and massage rooms. The exercise equipment was made mostly of wood with pullies and belts. We did buy a couple of empty gallons to fill with the hot springs water before leaving town. I didn't see a big difference between our r/o water and the hot springs water, but then I'm not an expert on waters.

I talked with my brother, Bud when we got here and made a plan to drive to his place on Thursday. The gps says it's a 5 hour drive which calculates to be about 7 hours in rv travel time. While there we'll try to catch up with Dave and Ann as well, if they're feeling better. I heard they were coming down with colds, so we'll see. My cousin, Joan, called this morning to wish us a Happy New Year. It was good to hear from her, but the connection was schetchy at best and the call was cut short. So there you have it. Happy New Year to all our family and friends. Hoping 2014 is filled with health, prosperity and happiness!