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Friday, March 18, 2016

Garden Desert RV Park or bust (Week 5)

We made it to a "first" for me a couple of weeks ago.
The RV park has Bingo on Monday nights.
Our Texas friends, Randy and Linda wanted us to go, so we did.
Chuck came out a winner that night...something like $75 winner!!!
Way to go honey!
The night we played card Bingo, Chuck was a winner as well.
Not bad!!!!

This Monday we played Bingo again, and guess who was the winner.....none other that Chuck,
He came away with about $40.
I really did enjoy playing....pretty intense....LOL

Tuesday we begin packing up the trailer as the trip will be coming to an end tomorrow.
Jo and Ernie have everyone over to their place this evening and we make sure we have every ones email addresses so we can get in touch if we need to.

We will see everyone in the Fall, as everyone has plans to start back in September and October.
The Desert Gardens RV Park has been slowly watching people pack up and exit until the next season.
Our plans are to make our way back to the newly purchased lot in October.
Our sunset was beautiful once again.

Wednesday is here and we are ready to head back towards Oklahoma.
Both Chuck and I are a bit concerned with the new tires on the trailer.
We just hope they get us home without any incidents.
The road home is going to be a different route than how we came.
We travel US 60 and wind our way back to I40.
The Salt River Canyon was a total delight.
The switchbacks and the scenery were breath taking.

We cross the Arizona, New Mexico border in the afternoon, and make our way to our evening destination.

We pull into the Sky City Casino around 5:00, and get registered and park the trailer.
There is no water at the sites, as it is still winter.
It was hard for us to believe that the temperature was going to drop into the 20's tonight, as we just left the nice warm Arizona desert.
Diana & Chris had stayed here on their way back home and we were warned that their food wasn't that good.
Well, I have to agree with their review....the food was really not good at all!

The RV parking filled up quickly, and we had a full house by the time we got back from the casino.
We signed up for a "players card" and of course, I didn't win anything...LOL
Just took all my free play and then some.

Today should be our last day on the road.
We will more than likely drive straight through.
Seems like we always think we will take just one more day, but when you get so close, (Amarillo) and it is only 5pm, might as well just keep going and spend the night in our own bed.

It's close to 9pm when we pull up to our house.
Yes, it was a full day on the road, but sure nice to be home.
Another nice thing is that when we come in late like this, we can just park on our dead end road and not worry about unloading the trailer.
The unloading and cleaning can be done tomorrow.
It has been a really wonderful trip, but nice to be home.
I also can report that we had no issues with the new tires....thank goodness!
What a wonderful trip to the Arizona desert.
Lots of memories have been made this trip for sure.
Can't wait until our next adventure.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Desert Gardens RV Park or bust (week 4)

It really has been nice to have a week that we weren't messing with the trailer.
So far so good on the transfer switch.
As far as the surge protector, they sent us a part to "repair" it, but it didn't work, so it has been stored in a safe place until we get back home and send it back to the company.

Monday we are meeting up with some friends that we used to live by in Yukon, OK.
Lesa and Larry have lived in Gold Canyon, AZ for about 8 yrs now.
When we made this trip we had no idea how close we would actually be to them.
Seems we are only about 15-20 miles away.
We meet them for lunch and enjoy catching up on their lives.
Lesa and I are friends on Facebook, so we keep in touch, but was really nice to get to see them in person.
They have a lovely home and I think that the desert living is working for them quite well.
We have to get back before it gets too hot because we have Bronco in the truck, so we make plans for them to come and see us in Florence later in the week.

We have actually had time to look at some of the lots that are for sale here at the park.
We really like the lot we are on but Chuck says it is not an easy lot to get in and out of.
I understand what he is talking about.
Since it is on the end, we seem to get a lot of dust from the cars making the curve to turn around.
Talking to the sales people in the park and Eric recommends a lot over in "F"...but to tell you the truth, we have found some really nice friends over here and think we will want to stay on "E" if we actually decide to purchase one.

We have RV Sunshade Co. coming on Wednesday to install solar shade on the outside of the trailer.
Todd & Renee show up at 11 am and get set up.
They set Renee's  industrial sewing machine up and put a umbrella up to keep her in the shade.
Todd measures and they get started.
Within a couple of hours, they were done, and the outcome was great.

These shades are to be removed while you are rolling down the road, but when you are stationary, they are snapped into their appropriate window and let the cooling begin.
Our friends Diana & Chris were interested in some as well, and after talking with Todd & Renee, they will be swinging through Oklahoma in June, and will be able to meet up with them and get shades for their rig as well.
Renee asked me about interior shades for their rig, so I was able to work up some prices for them as well.
Always working....LOL

Chuck had said this morning after he came back from walking Bronco that he thought he had found the perfect lot for us, so now that we have some time, we walk down to the lot.
It is only 4 or 5 lots down from where we are.
Because we have the toyhauler, and we like to use the patio, we really did want to get a lot that we could open the back up and use the patio.

Sure enough, he found the perfect lot.
Looks like we are purchasing "E-12".....and by early afternoon, we were the proud owners of a little piece of Arizona.
I never thought we would like an area this well, and actually want to come back, but I have to say, the nice warm sun, and the dry air, and the desert is just what we are looking for  :)
The only issue with the lot is that there is someone on it, and they cant move until the end of the week.

This is not the norm for the area, as usually if you are renting a spot and the lot sells, you have to move the next day.
We have watched people playing musical chairs all week just in our little area, as several have purchased lots, and moved to them.
Oh well, we will just wait until we can get in our lot, but wait, maybe we need to stay just a little longer so we can savor the lot as much as possible!!!!!

Thursday brings more riding in the desert with our new friend Murphy.
He was taking another couple and their son out today and asked if we would like to go and explore the 96 Ranch.
We had about a 15 mile ride to get to the 96 Ranch.
We took the trails all of the way.

Murphy knows this area quite well and takes us on a lot of trails to check out some of the crested that he has spotted.

Murphy gets off the four wheeler and gets out his camera, and checks it out a cactus that we saw  but darn it was just a large bird on the saguaro, not a crested :(

Time to eat some lunch and we find a very small area with some shade.
As we stood there, I mentioned that I thought the right tire on the RAZR looked low.
They got the tire guage out and sure enough, it was.
Murphy has a little plug in air compressor, so we air it back up.

Chuck and I have plans to meet Larry and Lesa for dinner and we need to be back to the trailer by no later than 2, so we decide after we finish eating that we will start back towards the trailer.
Since we felt we might not have enough gas to make it back, we got gas from Murphy.....of course he was carrying extra!!!!
Tire aired up and gas, we point the RAZR towards the west and try to figure out which trail will get us back to the highway.
I have to say, we actually did well, and made it back without any problem....the tire was holding, and the gas supply was good as well.

I am sure glad we headed back when we did, as we felt rushed to try to get back to the trailer and get cleaned up.
Chuck and I both got hit by flying cholla cactus.....Chuck got one in the calf of the leg, and then it moved up to his thigh...not fun!
I got hit on the arm and thought I was going to die!
Driving 40 mph, and those things coming at you like a rocket is not fun!

Lesa and Larry make it to the park and we show them around a bit.
Its time for a margarita or two, so we go to the little Mexican restaurant and find a spot outside to sit and enjoy the weather.
What a perfect end to another great day.

Friday, and it is "moving day"....yep, we get to move to our new spot.
The couple that have been occupying it are supposed to move today!
By noon, the campground workers have cleaned the lot, and made it ready for us.
We hook Big Bertha up and make the very short move.

The rest of the day is spent getting all our "stuff" back out and placed where we want it.
Love the lot, and the view is wonderful.
We have a really nice view of Superstition Mountain....and of course, those wonderful sunsets!
Life is good in the desert!

We have been going to everyones happy hours for the past week, so since we are in our new space, I invite our friends to come and experience our new lot with us.
Its an Open House of sorts.
We had a wonderful group and had plenty of food.
I had picked up some stuff at Sams, so it was pretty easy to set this shindig up.
I made one thing that really seemed to be a hit.
I used sliced beef, and took cream cheese with jalapeno and rolled into a tube.
Cut them and put back in the refrigerator.
Everyone really enjoyed them.
I will remember to do that again sometime!

Sunday we get to see our friends from Tucson again.
Terry & Cindy take a little trip out to Florence.
Our lunch plans were to go to our new found wonderful Mexican restaurant and eat.
Well, you know how some plans just don't work out!
They are closed on Sunday.
Plan "B" takes us to another Mexican restaurant....Jalapeno's.
No margaritas, but the food was really pretty good.
Back at the trailer, we fix a margarita and walk the trails and show off the park.
Terry knows his cacti for sure, and I paid attention to what he was telling us about each one.
I am sure he thinks we are crazy...being so interested in these plants, but I have always loved them, and just really excited to learn about the barrel cactus, and saguro and all the others that are out here.

In fact, Terry brought us a hybrid blue agave, and some aloe vera plants.
Wow, our first plants for our little plot of exciting.
Before you know it the time has flown by and Terry and Cindy's visit is over.
It was so wonderful to see both of them again.
Cindy brought me some home made moisture cream that she says she uses all the time.
She is so sweet and dear.
Along with the moisturizer she brought the cutest little pin cushion that she makes...and also some refrigerator magnets....what a girl!!!!!!
Great visit, and again, can't wait for the next time we are here to have more quality time with these folks.

By the time Cindy and Terry get home, Chuck and I have planted the new plants.
Not sure if they will make it over the summer here since we won't be able to water them.
Time will tell.
Terry assures us that there are plenty more where those came from. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Desert Gardens RV Park or bust (Week 3)

We are up and meeting the guide for a great day in the desert at 7:30am.
The ride over to our meeting place is so different that I have ever imagined.
Seems it is ok to ride your RAZR's on the streets and roads in Arizona.

There are trails that run parallel to the highway, so it is fairly easy to ride just about anywhere.

Our guide (Murphy) seems really nice, and tells us we are going to see a whole lot of Arizona scenery today.
Murphy has lived in the area for a few years now, and he just likes to go out and explore the area.

He seems to be quite knowledgeable about the Saguaro cactus....and his real love is the Crested Saguaros.

I for one had never heard anything about the crested, so of course I had to google it.
If you would like to know more about them, here is a link Crested Saguaro.
Seems they are very rare and we just happen to be in the area that has quite a few of them.
Murph told us that the birds make the holes in the Saguaros and make nest, and the process callouses the cactus and they call that a boot.
The trails were fun and dodging the cholla cactus was just part of it.
If you want to know about these crazy cacti  you can read here Jumping Cholla
Seems the chollas were attaching us all.
Murph carried a large long saw like utensil to flick the chollas off.
Diana got one attached to her shoe, and Murphy rescued her.
He said if he didn't remove the cactus, it would continue to embed into her shoe.
I tell you they are really mean....and we all ended up getting cholla-ed during our visit.  :(

We even got to explore a few entrances to some abandon mines in the area.
The area is full of rock if you are a rock hound or not, you just can't help but pick some of the beauties up.

We stopped for lunch and as we stood and talked, Chuck looked down at our borrowed RAZR and noticed a bolt that attaches the bottom swing arm had almost worked its way completely out.
So glad he noticed it, as it would have not been a fun thing to try to repair it if the bolt had worked its way completely out.
Chris attached his winch to the RAZR and tilted it up, so the bolt could be put back in place.
Murphy happened to have a couple of nuts so this little repair was taken care of.

We ride the rest of the day, and see all the beautiful rocks, and streams and cacti in the area.
Murphy was a very good tour guide.

The whole day was so much fun and we ate a lot of Arizona dust...cough, cough!
We got to see a lot of land up close and personal.
Our day of riding would end with the evening sunset.

Tired but hungry, we decide to go and find some dinner.
We get a briefing from our neighbors that are across the road from us about how our Bronco did today.
Bonnie & Randy had offered to watch Miss Bronco while we were gone.
Our report didn't surprise us.
She was a good girl, and when they would come over to walk her, she would take care of business and then want to go back into the trailer.

There isn't a whole lot of places to eat in Florence, and we attempt to eat BBQ.
Seems they are already closed, so our next stop was a little Mexican place called LB's Cantina.
They had a really nice outdoor area to eat, so we decided to do just that.
Sure wish I had brought a jacket, because as usual, as soon as that sun is gone, it cools down quite a bit.
Our day was now coming to an end, and I can really say I truly enjoyed every bit of it.

A few things I learned today:
I have never seen so many Saguaro cacti in my life...up close and personal.
Jumping Cholla are really mean!
The Salt Creek Cedar trees are really beautiful.
Four wheeling in the desert is a fun thing to do.
If you ever are in Florence AZ and want to see the desert up close and personal here is the guy to make it happen.
High Desert ATV Rides LLC is on Facebook ...tell him we sent you.  :)

The guys are going to go ride with Murphy again.
They will be exploring Box Canyon and are only taking one of the RAZR's.
Diana & I planned on doing some retail therapy today, but seems she isn't feeling well, so it is just going to be a day for me to chill.
I need to catch up on some laundry, so it is fine.
Fast forward to later in the afternoon, and the guys come back in.
They have had another fun filled day...seems they did a bit of rock crawling today as well.
I think they had a great day.
Since Diana was under the weather I fixed dinner at our place and they came down.
Another nice warm day in Arizona.

The rest of the visit with Diana & Chris involved us showing them a few places we had found, and we even ventured out a little more and headed towards Apache Junction.
I had googled ghost towns in Arizona, and the Goldfield Ghost Town had good reviews, so we headed there.
Just another tourist trap, but it was kinda fun.
Check it out. Ghost Town
The view of the Superstition Mountain was beautiful from this little town.

We had lunch there and of course we had a prickly pear Margarita.
Part of the reason we are even here.  :)
I think this area is prime for motorcycle riding, and look forward to exploring it on the back of the bike next time we are here!

All the signs say Tortilla Flats isn't far, so we make our way down the road and are there in no time.

Gosh, this place is packed!
Cars and people everywhere.
Reminds me of Meers, OK.
Guess people come from everywhere to have a burger there.
Glad we had already eaten, so we didn't even get involved in the craziness!

The road has now turned into dirt.....
Well, this can't be very far, as we see people pulling boats, and people riding motorcycles, and RV' we continue.
We continue for 30 some odd rough miles, actually 38 miles to be exact.
Didn't know if we would ever see civilization again....LOL
Wasn't too bad, but when you are riding in a dually, and the roads are washboards...well, you get the idea.
We did see all the beautiful lakes, and the dam.

Our short day has turned into a pretty long one, and we make our way back to the trailers in time to cook some dinner.

Was a fun filled day exploring the area with our friends.
Hate to see them pack up and leave tomorrow, but they  have to get back to the real world.
Their visit was awesome, and just wish they could have stayed longer.
The sunset was great as usual.

We are up and saying our goodbyes to the Biggs as they make their way back to Oklahoma.

I had ordered something on Amazon for the trailer (screen for outside)  and it is supposed to be delivered today via UPS.
Later in the day, the UPS truck drives by but doesn't stop.
I look at an update on the phone and it shows the package has been delivered.
It is signed by someone and I have no idea who it is.
Chuck and I walk across to Bonnie and Randy's and they tell me the person that signed for it is up at the front office.
I get in the RAZR and go up there.
Long story short, they accepted the package, and then turned around a refused it.
Seems the package has no ones name on it. (note to self for next time we order from Amazon)
I call UPS and they tell me I can come to Casa Grande and pick up my package between 5-7pm.
We adjust our evening  (no card bingo for us tonight)and head towards Casa Grande.
When we get to the UPS hub, I am told our driver wont be in until around 8.
To pass time, we go and eat some dinner, and make a return visit to the hub at 8pm.
Again the guy apologized and says the driver will not be here until around 8:30.
At this point in the game, we just sit and wait.
The truck rolled in at 8:25, and I went to get the package.
I was informed at that time that it was a good thing I picked it up tonight because since it was rejected they would have sent it back to the sender.
Golly what a mess...and all because my name wasn't on the darn box!
I hope this screen is worth it...time will tell.

People are moving around in the park.
Looks like they are having a garage sale!
If you know me, I can't resist.
I have to say I got a few goodies.
Bronco even got something....she got some new dog bowls.
The egg basket I got was so cute.
Chuck....well, he didn't get anything....but he was there to pay!!!
Thanks Honey!

We did get the screen put on the trailer, and looks like it is going to be a nice addition to the awning.

During this garage sale we got to walk the whole area, which has 262 sites, and meet a lot of very nice people.

Sunday they had a hot dog social for all the people in the park.
Since I hadn't made anything for the pot luck dinner we went to last week, I wanted to contribute.

I took Paula Deens Banana pudding recipe, and I have to admit it was a bit challenging to prepare in the trailer.
Seems I need a few a larger bowl, and oh, a mixer!
There was nothing left of my pudding....and one lady was hoping I wouldn't pick up my bowl (Ree Drummond) and she would be able to take it....LOL

Things I learned this week.
When ordering from Amazon, make sure the place you purchase from puts your name on the box they are sending to you, not just the RV Park.
Prickly Pear Cactus Margaritas are pretty darn good!
We will have a lot of roads to explore on the motorcycle when we come back in the Fall.
Bonnie our neighbor weaves some really nice baskets.
And all the things I learned about the cactus and riding in the desert with our new friend Murph.