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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Taj-Mah-Hauler Upgrades for the Summer 2017

I am totally amazed that it is August and the kids are all heading back to school.
Summer is about over.
Hope everyone has had a great one.
It has been nice in Oklahoma, a little more humid than I like, but it has been tolerable.
I just find stuff to do inside the air conditioned house...LOL

Chuck has been busy working on the Taj-Mah-Hauler this summer while we are home.
He has done quite a few upgrades while she was sitting.

First and foremost, he has added a Solar System for the trailer.
At this time, we have two 100 watt panels, and I am told he has two more ordered.
Should be interesting to be making our own power on the rig.
He has tested it at the house, and it is very impressive.
We can't run the air conditioners or microwave but to have the lights and TV available without plugging in to the house is impressive to me.

We are just beginning our Solar conversion, so I know we have a lot to learn.

I know there are a lot of you that already have monster systems on your rigs, and I am sure we will learn a lot as we go.

Next thing he did was put the keyless entry on the trailer.
He chose the "RV Lock" brand.
I am thinking this is going to be wonderful and I won't look like the janitor running around with my wad of keys any longer.  LOL

He changed out the 3 step system on our main door to a 4 step system.
This is really nice and easy to use.
As with everything, it was a little more time involved than we expected.
Who knew they would have to be tweaked a bit to fit.
After a few nips and tucks, they fit perfectly!

The backup camera I spoke about on an earlier blog is wonderful.
It was one of the first things we did this summer, and again we thank our friends Tommy & Cindy Landry for all the help getting us set up.

The TV in the garage area was never used, so we moved it to the basement so we can watch it from the patio while we enjoy the Winter months in Arizona.  :)
The holes that were left from the TV mount was hidden with that wonderful contact wallpaper from Walmart.
I am really in love with that stuff.
Don't get me wrong, it is a bit of a bear to put it up, but the results are so gratifying.



So much so, that we tackled the curved wall in the kitchen area.
Yes it is curved, and that made it a bit tricky to work with, but after a few choice words, it looks really nice.
Making me want to put more up and lighten the kitchen area.

Chuck changed out the black and grey vents on the top of the rig.
We should have no smell coming back into the trailer.
The check valve under the kitchen sink was changed out as well.
Chris our friend told us about that little trick.
So glad he did...seems the sink always had a smell....amazing that a valve could fix that...and what would it cost the makers of these trailers to put them to nothing.

Chuck has re-wired the electrical panel to accommodate the wiring for the solar panels.
The area looks really nice where he has added the solar system wiring..

We bought a new new TV and sound system for the living room.
We had been listening to blown out TV speakers since we bought the rig, and had tried everything in the books to make it work with the Sony system that we had when we bought it, but it was just a total
mess, so we got the new Roku TV and a sound bar with sub woofers.
It really makes it a pleasure to watch the TV now, even if the air conditioners are on.

The middle air unit on the rig has never worked like it should, and Chuck had been on several sites checking out some other peoples issues with lack of air.
He got out his temperature gun out and started doing testing on the unit.
He found that we were losing a whole lot of air at the cooling box due to the sloppy way it was installed and taped.
Ordering the silver tape from Amazon took care of this issue.
He was able to get the unit to pull the correct degree of air into the room, so looks like we are going to be able to use the middle air unit again and actually be cooled by it.
Way to go Chuck!

Chuck also installed an EZ Connection hitch assembly on the trailer and Big Bertha.
No more will I be trying to plug in with no avail.
This thing is pretty sweet....just don't want to lose a finger in the process as the magnet is pretty strong.  :)  He also installed new connectors on the 50amp shore power cord and the receptor end on the trailer.  These were of the "Smart Plug" branding.  No more twisting and shorting of wires when plugging in.  After looking at pictures of rigs burning down, it made a whole lot of sense.

Since we are at Desert Gardens in the winter, we didn't have a private network last season, so leave it to Chuck to set up a wifi system with private network for the trailer.
The Taj-Mah-Hauler is wifi ready!
Shades raised up for traveling

I ordered blackout cellular blinds for the garage area of the trailer.
The black mini blinds that came with the trailer were a mess.
Dirty and didn't stay in place.
Since this is my area of expertise, the cell shades were just what we needed.

Shades lowered

They are the cordless type and will pack up quite nicely into the valance that was already in the rig.
Yes, they will be left up while we travel but I think they are going to work out wonderful....and above all they look sooooo much better. (and yes, I sell them)

 you are thinking....well Diane, what have you done.
Now let me tell you, I haven't just been sitting around eating bon-bons.

I had a garage sale...and let me say here and now, I think it is my last one.
It was so much work to dig out all that stuff....but it was a good one.
Now I need to have another one as I have drug out more "stuff"....but I think I will just donate it and go on down the road.

We had a shop intervention, and Chuck was able to let go of some of the old Harley exhaust systems he has been holding on to...heck, we had so much chrome out there, we could have started our own shop!
Next we will tackle the engine parts that are still out there taking up space!
That will be another day.

I decided I would paint the Laundry Room's cabinets in the house with my wonderful CeCe Caldwell paint.
All good, but I really didn't realize there were 15 cabinet doors and 5 drawers in that room!
I will go into detail on this remodel in another blog that I will be doing very soon.

Besides all that, I have to keep up with the cleaning of the house, and of course cook!
LOL....all in all it has been a good summer.
We have gotten to spend some good quality time with the Grandkids, and have enjoyed every minute of it.

Another thing that we did (yes, we!)  to the trailer, that I was so excited about, was to turn our screen door into a storm door.
This is something we had talked about last season.
It is so nice to have to door open, but when you have the air on, well, you get the idea.
A trip to Lowe's and a hundred dollar bill took care of this issue.
We got the Lexan pieces home and began cutting them to fit the screen.
The outcome is really nice.
I think we are going to enjoy this very much.
Bronco will probably be the biggest fan of this addition.
We still left the door in the garage area a screen door.
This way we are able to get fresh air through the rig if we want to.

We are now getting ready to make a trip to New Orleans and then on to Destin Florida.
We will leave in a couple of weeks with our great friends Diana & you know there are going to be stories to tell about that trip!
It is going to be fun to try out all the new additions to the Taj-Mah-Hauler and see what else we want to do to it.
Seems like it is a project in the making.
We sure have learned a lot about this trailer, and as it seems with everything, a person just has to make it work for their own self.

Oh, by the way, we are now proud owners of a Travel size  Berkey Water Filter.

I am really excited to take this with us on the road.
No more lugging water around, and no more plastic bottles filling the land fills for us!
Just my little way of trying to help the environment.
Every little bit helps you know.
I have added a link for the Berkey Water Filter if you are interested in learning more.

I am sure there are a few things that I have failed to mention that we have accomplished with the trailer, but they are completed, and we are ready to get this show on the road.
I am so amazed at all the whiz-bangs and gizmo's that we have added to make this trailer our personal tiny home.
Some of them will be appreciated daily I am sure.

Time to get back to work as the yard is needing mowing due to all the rain that we have had the last week.
God has been so kind to us, and helped with the drought that was very close at hand.
Oklahoma has been very green this year.
The weather has been extremely calm in our area.
All good in our little corner of Chukadi Acre.
Happy Summer to all.  :)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Our Visit to Silsbee Texas to See The Landry's 2017

April 30th, 2017

We are taking a trip to Eastern Texas to see some friends that we met last year at an RV get together. 

Cindy and Tommy Landry have visited us in Oklahoma City last year and it is our time to go see them.

Chuck had been in contact with Tommy and they had been discussing backup cameras for the RV.

Tommy had shown us his wonderful set up and after attempting to use wireless ones without any luck it was
time to talk to the expert (Tommy) and get a wired system set up on Big Bertha and Taj. 

It was a great excuse to go to Texas as well, so we set sail for Silsbee Texas.

Our first stop was the Winstar Casino in Thackerville Oklahoma.

I would like to say the weather was beautiful but it wasn't.

The wind was blowing up a storm and it was actually pretty cool outside. 

We overnighted with the big trucks in the free parking area they have set up.

Diana & Chris were at Lake Texhoma and they drove over to meet up with us and have some El Fenix Mexican food.

The casino was very busy but our wait was quite short.

The food was very good and worth stopping for!

After we finish we walk around a bit and a couple of the machines had Diana and I's name on them.

I was a loser in true fashion tonight.

The gambling God's were not good to me at all. 

Diana on the other hand was feeling no pain as she raked up quite a fat payout. $$$

With money in hand (for her) we cashed out and decided we were done for the night.

Sure enjoyed them coming to have dinner and gamble with us.

Time to get some rest so we can get up early and hit the road.

Our trip to Silsbee Tx was without incident which always is a good thing.

Our trusty GPS Lupie decides to take us a route that was interesting for sure.

We drive twenty to twenty five miles on a road that had no traffic. 
It wasn't  the route that Chuck would have liked to take.
It that is the way Lupie decided we should go.

Of course we ended up on some fairly narrow residential roads but we made it to our friends RV Park eventually. :)

Our spot that was picked for us to park was great.
We backed into a lake view. 
This will be our home away from home for the next few days.  
The boys have work to do so that gives Cindy and I time to have some retail therapy  :)

The next morning is beautiful, and the lake has a nice fog rising off of the sunlit water.
Tommy and Chuck are up and ready to get the camera wired up and get the monitor set into the truck.
We are looking forward to having the monitor.....never hurts to see what is behind the Taj-Mah-Hauler.
Tommy had suggested a back up camera set is the link to the camera we purchased. 

Cindy and I kept busy with Walmart shopping and Dr. visits.
Cindy had fell a couple of weeks before and had an appointment to go see a Dr. so I helped her as best I could to get around.
She did find out that her foot was not broken which was a good report.
She is wearing a boot that is so fashionable....but hey, if it works, it works!

We spent evenings watching tv outdoors under the stars as The Landry's have set up an outdoor TV theatre.
Now this is living the good life....LOL

Bronco even got to take a dip in the lake.
Of course she loved it!
She even got fairly up close to the geese that Cindy feeds.

Cindy and I painted some rocks and even hid a few in the park.

Hopefully someone will find them and post to our RVing Rocks Facebook Page.

One of our trips to Walmart even got Cindy fixed up with paint supplies to start painting her very own creations.

I think it was that same trip that I bought our first Theracell Mosquito Repellent.
They had used them while we sat outside watching TV and I have to say, they are pretty darn effective.
I would highly recommend these if you are outside and trying to avoid mosquito bites.

May 3rd brought a very dreary and rainy day to Silsbee.
Chuck and I stayed in the trailer most of the day watching TV.
The news has hinted that we are supposed to have bad weather later in the evening.
Little did we know that down the road about 6 miles they had received something like 9" of rain in less than a 24 hour time.

We are being very weather aware, and unlike the TV stations in Oklahoma City, the locals aren't saying a whole lot about the forecast.
The afternoon gets pretty bumpy and the winds come up.
Still nothing on the TV to warn us.
I have text Cindy and she is a bit concerned about "tornado's) in the area.
My son even text me and ask if we are paying attention to the weather.
Yes we are...and Yes, I know we are in a trailer.
The skies are black and the rain keeps coming.
Our little lake is getting filled from all the run off from around the park.
Within an hour and a half, most of the severe weather has passed.
Their was a tornado not to far from us.
Some damage...but all is good in our little park.
Chuck and I both were totally amazed that the TV's weren't blaring with warnings.
Sure not like at home!
Ours locals take over the whole station if there is a drop of rain even 200 miles from us.
There really should be a happy medium here....somewhere....and I am not sure if we will ever see it in Oklahoma....but I do know we are very very informed!

The time has flown by, and it is time for us to pack up and head back towards Oklahoma.
We have really enjoyed our stay.
Thanks so much to Tommy for getting us set up with the new back up camera.
We will be trying it out on our journey home.

May 4th and we hit the road north to Oklahoma.
It is a nice cool morning and the skies are beautiful.
Amazing how clean everything looks after a good drenching rain.

We had really smooth sailing until we got into Tyler, Texas.
Little did we know the traffic and congestion we would experience going through that town.
They may have a route to bypass the long line of traffic lights, but we couldn't find one.
Lots and lots of stop and go driving.

The next thing of interest was in the little town of Emory, Texas.
The FEMA Relief Trailers are set up and you could see the aftermath of the tornado that tore this town up.
Sadly there were people that lost their lives from this destructive tornado.
It is just such a sad and sobering experience to see the devastation that mother nature  can unleash.

We decide to go to Lake Texhoma and spend a day with our friends Diana & Chris.
As we get close to their area on the lake, we get ready to make a right hand turn and who do we see on the other side of the road.....Diana & Chris.
What great timing!
They lead us to the trailer, and we park in the #1 spot.
Looks like we will be staying at Buncombe Creek Resort Marina for the night.

So glad we were able to get a spot to park.
Chuck gets us all set up and we are ready for some dinner.
Chris and Diana take us to the local Mexican food restaurant.
Heck, we started this trip with Mexican food might as well finish with it...LOL

Our plans were to stay just one night, but we changed them and added another day.
We got to visit with our friends for another day.
Always a good time with them, no matter where or what we are doing.

May 5th is Cinco De Mayo but we had eaten Mexican food the night before, so we just had dinner at the trailers.
But first lunch.....
We had gone into the little town of Madill and had lunch at Hobo Joe's.
Diana had been wanting to try why not now!
Diana and Chuck tried the hottest personal pizza they could find....something with ghost peppers in it.
I think it was pretty warm.
Chris and I were not as adventuress and kept with the supreme meat pizza.
I thought it was quite tasty.
Chris's brother and sister in law Ken and Kelly were heading to the lake as well.
Chris had been talking with them and no more hung up the phone and they appeared in the restaurant.
We talked Ken into eating the left over pizza we had.
So glad they happened to find us.  :)

Back at the lake we meet up with Ken and Kelly again.
They have a new boat and we got to go for a spin in it.
Enjoyed the unbelievably calm water on the lake.
It was like riding on glass.

Afterwards we walk over to some other friends of Diana & Chris and sit around and talk.
What a great end to a very nice and fun day.

We are packing up to head back home today, but first we take a ride over to the new docks they are building at the Marina Del Rey area.
Enjoyed having breakfast there and checking out the area.

Time for us to get on the road, so we say our fond farewells and do just that.
We have had a very nice trip and got to see several friends.....doesn't get much better than that.

By the way...the new backup camera is really nice.
At least you know when someone is behind you and how close they are sucked up to your trailer.
We are its time to clean up the trailer once again.  :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Green Green Grass Of Home Spring 2017

All packed up and ready to go and the goodbyes have been done as well.
A few tears were shed by me as we say goodbye to our great friends that were still in the park.
Mark and Martha live at the park full time, so they will be there during the heat of the summer.

Wayne, Karen, Joann and Ernie left this you see the park is getting pretty empty!

Jerry and Konni will leave sometime in June I believe.
Bonnie and Randy will leave in May.

Big Bertha and the Taj-Mah-Hauler are ready to make the trip to Oklahoma.
I am driving the newly acquired Jeep that I fondly named Lil Bit.
I am going to change the name to "Bandit" as Jerry made a comment that it looks just like their dog Bandit.

I have to agree with him as Bandit the dog is black and white and so is the Jeep.
So from this day forward the Jeep previously known as Lil Bit will be known as Bandit.
So it is written, and so it shall be.

My view was the same for the next few days.
Always looking at Taj's back end.

I enjoyed seeing the fields of wild flowers around Deming New Mexico.
Other than that, it was a quiet ride with lots of miles to travel.

We stayed our first night on the road in Las Cruces N.M. at the Hacienda RV Resort.
Our friends Jeff and Stella had recommended the place so we decided to try it.

We got there around 4pm, and I have to say it was great timing, as we noticed after we had parked that there were quite a few people pulling in for the night.
The Resort was very nice and well maintained.
Most all of the spots were pull through and that made it nice for us to get our rig in and out easily.
There was a very nice dog run for the furry friends in our lives.
Bronco has no idea she is a dog, so she really could care less if there is an area for her to run or not!
We saw a few people out walking in the evening and other than that the place was very quiet.

My view the next day was the same as the yesterday...Taj's behind  :)
Our destination will be Tucumcari N.M. today.

Yesterday and today makes us one hour closer to Oklahoma since we entered another time zone....specifically Central Standard Time.
This crazy time change is interesting to keep up with.
You see, Arizona doesn't do the daylight saving time in the Fall we are 2 hours different than Central Daylight time, and then in the Spring we are 1 hour different.
The one hour isn't bad to deal with, but the 2 really messes with me...LOL

We make a pit stop around 11:30am, and I had to take a close up of the beautiful yellow flowers that I had been seeing.
I don't know why we didn't get something to eat during this stop, but we didn't....we just got back in the vehicles and drove.
Thank goodness for mixed nuts and my green tea!!!!!

We roll into Tucumcari N.M. around 4pm.
Trying something different this time we go to an old RV park known as Cactus RV Park.
It gets mixed reviews on a lot of sites, but we weren't impressed with the KOA that we stayed at the last time we were out this way.

The Cactus RV Park has seen better days, but hey, its is on Rt. 66.
The lady was very nice that checked us in, and she even escorted us to our site.
The site was very very long.....long enough for Big Bertha, Taj, and Bandit to fit in and even room to spare...LOL
The grounds were quite clean and nothing fancy by any means.
It was a place to stop and spend the works for us!

I noticed that someone had posted a picture of the Cactus RV Park on a Facebook group that I belong to.
Realizing we have people in the park that are in this group was pretty cool.
I tried to comment to the lady and she said her phone was going dead and she would get with me a little later.
I was excited to meet up with her.

But first FOOD!
We know this area fairly well as we have ridden here on the bike several times on our way to Santa Fe...and Del's Restaurant was just down the street, so dinner was not hard to figure out.

I was starving and the chicken fried steak sounded so good.
I hadn't had one in quite some time.
The salad bar was wonderful and the food was good as well.
Enjoyed the meal very much:)

As we walked back towards the trailer we strolled by the trailer of the lady I was trying to meet up with.
They weren't there so we just went on back to our trailer.

Later in the evening I hear someone outside the trailer saying "hello" was the person that I was wanting to meet.
Beverly Kees and her husband were making their way back North.
Enjoyed talking with them and knowing we actually met someone from the site we follow.
Little things like this just make a trip even more special.

We are packed up and out of the park before 9am.
Our last leg of the trip was fairly quiet.
We did know we were back in Texas and Oklahoma because the wind really ramped up and made me grip the steering wheel a little tighter.

I picked up a little more speed and passed the Taj-mah-hauler around Clinton, Oklahoma.
I told Chuck I would see him at the house.
My plans are to have to gates opened so he can pull the trailer on into the yard.
The plan worked and we officially were "home" and sound.  :)

Now comes the fun stuff...Cleaning out the trailer and putting all the stuff away.
This was done in a fairly timely manner, and we had the trailer back into the barn within a day.

Our trip was complete and I have heard from several of our other friends from Arizona that they are either still at the park or have made it to their destination.

Bonnie and Randy were on their way to their summer destination and we get a message that they are not having a good trip so far.
Seems they had to be towed into Benson Arizona with a cracked radiator.
Geraldine the giraffe documented the even for them.
Sorry to hear of their misfortune.
Hopefully they have been able to get the repairs done to their truck and are on their way.

Martha has informed us that the temperature has gotten to 106 already but as she puts it "it isn't that bad".
Sounds pretty hot to me, but you know the saying...."It's a dry heat."  :)

The Spring weather has been fairly calm for the middle section of Oklahoma.
We have had a few storm warnings, but all in all it has been calm.

Our Arizona Snow birding is over for this season.
Now lets get on with Summer.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Now Its Time To Say Goodbye To Arizona April 2017

It is about time for us to make our way back to Oklahoma.
Yes, we have a lot to do to get everything ready for our departure of our spot in the Sonoran Desert.
All those pretty little things that are on our lot now need to be put away.
The lovely patio furniture, the hummingbird feeders (4) the wonderful pieces of Talavera pottery we have purchased.
My beautiful little flowers that have been so much fun to grow now need to be dug up and disposed of.
Sad isn't it!
But we knew this day would come, and we are ready to make it happen.

The storage building has been cleaned out and the stuff that is going back with us is now getting packed into the back of the Taj-Mah-Hauler.

We came in October with a motorcycle and a golf cart.
Chuck decided to sell the golf cart so we wouldn't have to haul it back.
Our good friends Danny and Linda bought it.
We now have more room to take the extra 7, oops, make it 6 tires back with us. (I say 6 because Ernie needed a spare tire, so we gave him our old spare)
You see, Chuck wasn't happy with the tires we purchased in haste last season due to our China Bomb he got new hydraulic brakes and new tires for Taj...
We will be able to stop on a dime, and our tires are now able to handle about any weight that we throw back there comfortably.

The process of getting everything put away and packed away was not that hard.
We just want to make sure that the tires ride home and don't go bouncing all over the toy box area.

Along with the packing, we had several "goodbye" evenings.
Our friends Don and Donna were one of the first to leave.
Donna has a lot of traveling to do in the next few months before she makes it back to Colorado.
When she does make it there, she and Don will be getting ready to go on a Alaskan Cruise.

Before Donna left, I asked her to pick a little critter from a cardboard box that I had.
You see, I ordered some little critters on Amazon, and my intent is to have each of our friends take one with them this Summer and keep us informed of their travels.
All the girls were willing to go along with my crazy scheme.

Lori and John had left earlier in the month and I had her draw out of the box....she got a little bear. We have yet to hear what she and John named her little guy or gal..

Donna ended up with a zebra.
She named her Luci.

Bev our next door neighbor was next and she got a penguin she named Petey.

The next lucky person to draw from the box was JoAnn.
She got Rooster Cogburn.

Karen got a monkey and they named him Buddy.

Martha got a fawn, and they named her Fern.

I finally had Chuck draw from the box for us, and we got Billy the Bison.

Konnie and Jerry got a blue pig they named Pigella.

Bonnie and Randy got Geraldine the giraffe and I will tell you she has be
en a little hard to house break.LOL....

As soon as we get back in the fall, Glenda and Steve will have to draw from my little box of animals and get their little furry friend.

You can see this group is easily amused by my crazy antics.
It really has been fun to see what they are doing as they make their way back to their summer homes.
Fern is residing in Florence as Martha and Mark full time at Florence Gardens.

Our great friends Linda and Danny will not be residing at the park next year but we decided they were our honorary couple that had to be part of this group.
Linda got the Cobra and she named him Striker.

One of our final get togethers we decided to go over to Don and Donna's and then Ken and Bev's and look like we were having a party on their lots.
You see, if you aren't there, we will make you feel like you are.
We miss them already!

There were lots of laughs from everyone as we posted pictures on our Facebook page for the missing couple to see.

We even got in a game of Yahtzee before we left.
Randy had make some really nice large wooden dice for us to throw, and it was an absolute blast....even though I had no idea what I was doing.

It looks like everyone has made it to their destination without too much troubles....well, except for Ken & Bev.
Seems the underbelly of their trailer has ripped off due to wind catching it in the right place.
They were able to use zip ties to secure it well enough to get them safely to their destination.
Looks like they will be going to Camping World to get a repair done.

We met our friends Lesa and Larry one last time before we left.
We ate Mexican food and drank margaritas at Macayo's.
Their glasses are so cute, and if you bring them back for a refill they are less expensive.
Its a win win situation I think!!!!!

Along with all the fun around the park, we make a final trip to Tucson to see our wonderful friends Cindy and Terry.

Our trip to Tucson was detoured to a Discount Tire, as we had a slow leak in that darn right tire on the Jeep.
Yes, the same tire that we replaced about 3-4 weeks ago.
As soon as the tech came out, he said, "well, here's the problem"....and showed us a nail that was in the tire.
Geeze, give us a break.....this is just crazy.
Within an hour, they had us on our way.

Due to the time crunch we weren't able to get all the fun things we wanted to get done this season with Cindy and Terry, but we so look forward to more adventures with them in the Fall.
I know that one of the trips is going to be to a cavern!!!!!

I think I might even have them talked into coming and staying at the Rancho Sonora Motel that is next door to us, and then we can make our way to the Monastery and Cindy and I have to explore the Mesa Market the boys....well, they can figure out something to do I am sure!

I know this summer will fly by and we will all start our way back to Arizona for the winter before we know it.
Can't wait to see what adventures await us.

Our beautiful lot looks sooo empty.

Safe travels and good health to all our friends, and we will see you soon.
Love to all.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Digging for Apache Tears 3-31-17

The things you learn when sitting around talking to friends in the evenings.
Konnie and Jerry have been in the Arizona area for quite a while and they have some interesting things to share.

Konnie loves to make jewelry with rocks and she was talking one night about Apache Tears.
Of course I had to google it and find out even more.

The conversation has come up a few times over the last month and the main consensuses from Jerry is that the road that leads to the old mine has been cut off due to new road construction in the area of Superior.

Wayne tells us that he can get us into the area, and of course I want to check this out, as well as a few of the others in our little group!

The day is set for the dig and Wayne is leading a group of us to find the Apache Tears.
Jerry and Konnie didn't get to make this trip, as they had made a trip to Mexico and weren't back. 

Apache Tears are actually obsidian stones.
I will attach a link that is very interesting if you are interested. Learn about Apache Tears here

We aren't very far from the town of Superior, so the ride there was fairly quick.
We have 3 Jeeps going on this little expedition today, and although it is overcast and a bit windy, we are all excited to make the trip.

Wayne lead us down a one way dirt road that was fairly rough, so the 4 wheel drive came in handy.

We reach an area that looks a little more tricky, so the guys get out and explore the best way to go.

The route has been chosen and the Jeeps make their way down the steep trail and cross over a small stream.
Now we are only about a mile from the point where we leave the vehicles and make our way to the Apache Tears.

The area that we are going to has been closed for some time, but the big boulders in front of the old gate doesn't stop us.
The small hiking trail is littered with small pieces of obsidian and we are so excited to see them.
They are about the size of raisins.

Karen keeps saying to move along, as we haven't gotten to the good area yet.
We finally make our way to the opening of the old mine.
The barb wire on top of the fence (that has been cut open by someone else) doesn't stop this group from entering the area.

The sides of the mountain have been chiseled for quiet some time by the looks of it.
There are archways and pillars that hold up this area that we are in.
With our little picks in hand we begin chipping away at the rock to expose the obsidian stones.
 I can honestly say this is so much fun!

Ernie has found a very large stone and is working on trying to get it out of the rock without breaking it.
I think a person could actually spend a whole lot of time here just chipping away at finding these beautiful pieces of Apache Tears.

Chuck is outside the area we are all captivated with exploring around, and he comes back to  tell us about all the "caution" signs that are all over the place.
Sure didn't stop this group from digging though.

About an hour has gone by, and we all decide we really should go and find some lunch.
We had all worked up an appetite....LOL

Our tour guide Wayne gets us back on the main road and we stop at the local Mexican Food restaurant in Superior, AZ.
We always see a lot of cars and motorcycles at this place so it has to be good, right!

Karen and Wayne have been here before and she tells us that all the plates look the same when they come out of the kitchen (food that is), and she was right.
Even though we all got something different, they pretty much looked the same.....LOL

The lunch was very good, and the fellowship of this group was even better.
The laughs were abundant as we discussed our big dig of the day.
What a great day this has been.

As we got ready to leave, of course a few of us had to go to the restroom.
Bev comes back to the table and ask if we had noticed the "condom" machine in the ladies restroom.
She had my curiosity up for sure and I knew it was going to have to be a picture moment to prove to the others.
Bev and I get in line for the restroom again, and I say again, because I had already been but paid no attention to this curious machine.
Finally empty, Bev holds the door open and I take the picture.
We were giggling like school was a site for sure.

Back at the table of course everyone had to see the picture and discuss Bev's find.
Sure doesn't take a lot to keep this group entertained and that is one of the things we enjoy!

The meals have been paid for and it is time for these miners to get back to Desert Gardens with all our treasures from today.

We decide to take a different route back to the Gardens, and stop at a working mine along the way.
I had picked up a rock from this area a couple of weeks ago, and JoAnn says it is from the "dripping springs mine" looks like bacon, I kid you not!
The Jeeps were lined up at the mine so I had to get a shot of them.  Lookin good :)

Great adventure that I am sure we will take again in the future.
Thanks so much to Wayne and Karen for making it happen.
I really enjoyed it and I think the rest of the group did as well.

I now have to read up on how to tumble my "apache tears" and make them look awesome.