Slowing down the blog

 We started this blog over 4 years ago for a few reasons with the main intention being to document our adventures for ourselves to look back on and to have a way our family and friends could keep track of us and stay in contact if they wanted. Another reason is because we found so much useful information about the RV Life Style by reading and soaking up all the information we could from other full-timer RVers blogs that we wanted to “pay back” by offering what information we could to others that are either entertaining the thought of a Full-time RV lifestyle or even to fellow travelers that just might be looking for a place to go or even just eat. 

We (I) have enjoyed doing this blog for the most part but as other bloggers will tell you it does at times feel like a chore and does take up a fair amount of time and as funny as it may sound I even at times feel obligated in some strange way to keep it up to date even if I’m not totally in the mood.  

 There are times that we stay so active touring and seeing so much that I need to stretch the day’s by writing about it right then so the days don’t run together and make the update too long or forget details about what we have seen (it’s hell getting older and the memory gets shorter) and then there are stretches that we may sit in one spot for a couple months and fall into a routine which becomes very boring to write and I’m sure read about.

 And then there is the “putting yourself out in front of the world” part for others to either enjoy or judge you by that comes into play. Heck we have had people get mad at us  and judge us for things we have done and choices we have made, criticize my spelling and grammar, there are those that think because you keep a blog you are self-centered or egotistical and of course we also get some great comments. And many many read and never make a comment one way or another (and we love comments when we get them. Comments take away the “talking to myself in front of the mirror” feeling I get at times).   

 To be honest the older I get the less I worry about what people think of me (and I’m not very thin skinned to boot) but deep down we all want people to think the best of us I guess. And I’m being very honest when I say “as mentioned earlier” we started this blog to look back on ourselves, to keep in contact with family and friends and to hopefully in some way help others and pay back what we were able to learn by reading other people’s blogs before becoming full-time RVers. It’s what we were able to learn from forums and blogs that had a direct influence on our decision to live this life style.    

 There are blogs out there that we started reading years before we started this life style that are still going strong and others that have slowed down on their blogs drastically. And then there are some that started blogging after we did that have already stopped for one reason or another and that time comes for all bloggers I guess. And that time “in one scenario or another” has about come for us I think.

 There are blogs that we used to read that simply stopped doing updates and I always wondered just what happened and the reason they stopped. It was like reading a book only to find out someone tore out the last few pages leaving you in a lurch, and that’s why I’m doing this update, to at least let you know that at a minimum we will be cutting back on our updates at the end of the year. Yup, after doing updates for 4 years that ranged from every day to once a week it’s time for a change.

 I say at the end of the year because one of the things we learned so much from while researching the life style is when others shared what they found expenses to be while on the road (and we know that differs drastically from one person to another) and from recaps they would do of their year. So because one thing we have done each year is to also share a yearly recap and because I have already put a number of hours of preparation into our 4th year recap we will at least continue the blog until that time (which will be the first week of January even though our 4th year has actually come and gone but I like the actual fiscal year thing).  At that point I will just play it by ear on continuing at a much slower update rate or stopping all together.

 Either way things are all good here and we enjoyed doing the blog for the most part and we see no end to our continuing the fulltime life style but the blogging will slow down “at the beginning of 2017” but we will continue going strong. In fact we are starting to plan our 2017 travels through the northern states and maybe just maybe spend some time next summer around the Lake Michigan area.

 So consider this our “returning the book to the library without any torn out pages” LOL!!  

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Still hanging out in Casa Grande

 November 15th marked 1 month we have been here at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort and things are starting to pick up, more travelers are starting to roll in, more activities are starting up and the daytime temps have dropped down out of the darn 90’s and are now hovering in the low 80’s and even into the 70’s right where we like them to be.

  As things have started picking up around here we have altered our daily routine a little since our last update but pretty much it’s the same, I head to the airfield almost every morning and fly for about 2 hours then head home for a bite to eat and then Diane and I head to the gym. Diane goes about every other day and on the days she does not go I still do and work cardio (Diane hates the Elliptical type machines LOL!!).  After the gym we get a good walk in before showers and lunch.

Some of the guys at the airfield getting ready for a balloon popping contest.

Some of the guys at the airfield getting ready for a balloon popping contest.

A couple of guys doing a Dogfight. Normally there are about 5 in each contest but it was a little lacking this day.

A couple of guys doing a Dogfight. Normally there are about 5 in each contest but it was a little lacking this day.

 We have added a couple more activities however. Diane now goes to a Genealogy class every Tuesday night from 7PM to 9PM and while she is there I typically hit the gym for an hour and kick back by the pool or just stroll around until she is finished. She has only gone to a couple classes so far but has picked up some great tips and has started tracing her family tree and seems to really enjoy it.

One of 3 pools here in the resort

One of 3 pools here in the resort

One of 3 hot tubs here in the resort.

One of 3 hot tubs here in the resort.

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 We also took a lesson in Lawn Bowling and started playing Jitney’s (games) off and on. We took a lesson the last time we were here but it was at the very end of the season and we didn’t get to play any games so we pretty much forgot everything we were taught. It may not be something (I know it won’t) we play every day but something we will do a couple times a week to add some variety.

I took this while we were playing our first real games of Lawn Bowling. Diane is behind the two ladies you see on the right. You can just se here head as she is getting ready to roll her bowl.

I took this while we were playing our first real games of Lawn Bowling. Diane is behind the two ladies you see on the right. You can just se here head as she is getting ready to roll her bowl.

 The first time we saw people playing Lawn Bowling a couple years back they were all dressed up in white and seemed to be taking it pretty seriously so we figured it certainly would not be anything we would be interested in but it seems there was some sort of tournament going on and that “white attire” thing was all part of that. To play for fun there is no dress code other than flat souled shoes and we can live with that LOL!! Plus it’s a great chance to simply meet more people and do things as a group, something that is lacking in the life style we lead most of the year.

 Diane also took a golf lesson the other day. She has golfed off and on for many years but especially since we hit the road neither of us have golfed enough to keep any sort of respectable game in our bags so it’s frustrating when we do play, more for Diane than me it seems.

 Her first lesson was a private one at a driving range but she plans to do a group lesson next that will be out on the golf course and I’m hoping she meets some ladies that will get together and start going out to play a couple days a week because I know she really likes the game.

 While Diane was taking her lesson I separated myself from them at the range and hit a bucket of balls myself. I used to play in a men’s golf league every Saturday years back and usually went to the driving range 2 or 3 times a week to practice and wasn’t ashamed to play with pretty much anyone but boy has that changed. Who knows, if Diane starts getting into the game more again maybe we both will. If we don’t I think it will be time to leave the golf clubs we have been hauling around with us for the last 4 years at the storage unit in Oregon when we visit next and make room for toys we will use,,, hmmm, more planes or maybe RC cars!!! Or do I hear Diane saying that she wants to domineer that space LOL!!!

 And we took a 2 hour Pickle Ball lesson. Four years ago when we first hit the road we took a lesson in Indio California but nothing as organized and thorough as this one. We had so much fun at our lesson in Indio that we ended up playing all day and woke up so sore the next day that we couldn’t hardly move LOL!! Then we were only in that location for 1 week so by the time we got around to taking the lesson and then heal from it we had moved on down the road and hardly saw the game again as we headed to the east coast. And by the time we did run across a court again we found whatever excuses we could not to play it seemed, mainly because if we did run across a court and people playing were all too good for us newbies to jump in and feel comfortable.

That's our friend Steve working with Diane on her backhand. Steve has been playing Pickle ball for years and was one of the 4 coaches helping 15 of us that were taking the lesson.

That’s our friend Steve working with Diane on her backhand. Steve has been playing Pickle ball for years and was one of the 4 coaches helping 15 of us that were taking the lesson.

 This time we took the lesson and then went back that evening to dink the ball around but didn’t go so crazy. I guess we learned from our Indio experience. We did sign up for a mixed doubles “Round Robin” match that consists of 6 games with revolving partners with everyone at the beginner level and a 2.0 rating (the lowest you can be) so that should be fun and interesting. That will happen this coming Monday afternoon.   

 With Pickle Ball being such a huge thing here at this resort (they have 32 world class courts) they offer beginner lessons every week and it’s not hard to find others at your own skill level to play with. And most of the good players we have talked with seem more than happy to spend some time giving pointers if you are willing to take the time to learn the game.

 One of the downside’s to this life style, if you live it like we have and move around a lot, is not having some consistencies in your life. For example playing Pickle Ball or flying RC airplanes, or like going to a “convenient and well equipped” gym and many other things if you stop and think about it. What I mean is you find something you enjoy doing and depending on the locations you travel to and the campgrounds you stay at it could be months on end before you run across a place to play or practice “conveniently”. It’s one of the compromises we are willing to deal with however in order to live this way. But it’s also because of this we decided finding a place like Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort to park our butts at for 2 or 3 months a year is something we want to do.   

 On one day our friends & neighbors (Roger & Lynn) jumped in the truck with us and took a drive south to Tucson to visit our friends Dianne & Tom. In an update back in February I think we mentioned they bought a nice home on the outskirts of town and turned into “part-time rvers” after full-timing for 4 years. Diane & I had a chance to visit with them then and got a tour of the place but they have “made the place theirs” since then so we were anxious to see it and them again.

Lynn, Roger, Dianne, My Diane, Tom

Lynn, Roger, Dianne, My Diane, Tom

 It was only a 60 mile drive from our campground so it made for a nice day trip PLUS Dianne & Tom treated us to a fantastic feast for lunch. It seems every time we eat with them we are asking for recipes LOL!!

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 Dianne made comment that she is really enjoying cooking again in her new kitchen. Tom had better be careful or he just might gain a few pounds if she keeps that up LOL!!!

 Oh, did I mention that I got a new airplane? Yup, I sold my Apprentice to a fellow here that is getting into RC planes and I bought a QQ Extra 300 made by Precession Aircraft.

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 I don’t think I will be growing out of this plane for a while and am looking forward to learning new things with it, I hope it survives.

My new plane

My new plane

  We can sure tell you one thing, if a person gets bored in this park it’s not for a lack of things to do. In fact it is very easy to get involved with too many things and start finding it hard to squeeze everything in. I think we have bitten off as much as we can chew ourselves except Diane has talked about going over to the sewing room to see if they have any projects she may want to do.

 The first 5 weeks here have flown by and now that we have started even more activities I’m sure the remaining time here will be a blur and leave us wanting more and missing it when we leave mid-January. We wish there was a place like this someplace up north because we would probably make it a place to spend a couple months at during the summer. Three months here, three months travel, 3 months at another place like this up north at higher elevation during the hottest months, 3 months travel back down here and repeat, (taking different travel paths of course). We could see that working once we travel the north eastern part of the country that we have not seen yet.

 

We saw this cactus flowering during one of our evening walks.

We saw this cactus flowering during one of our evening walks.

  

We have enjoyed our say this time so much that we have actually talked about trying 4 months next year instead of 3 AND we have even talked about coming back here for maybe another month after spending a few week in Quartzsite when we leave here January 15th. That would put us back here in late February and early March which would still leave us about 5 or 6 weeks to make it back to Oregon by May 1st for doctor appointments and the other “real life” stuff that just gets in the way LOL, time will tell.

Just one of the fantastic sunrises we see so often here in Arizona.

Just one of the fantastic sunrises we see so often here in Arizona.

 I guess that’s it for now. In case we don’t do another update soon we wish everyone a

                HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  

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Fixing a little Aqua Hot hiccup

Because there hasn’t been a bunch going on since our last update (different from the routine we talked about) I thought we would touch base on a little hiccup that happened while we were in Creede Colorado that just got fixed.

 Towards the end of our stay in Creede the temps were getting down low enough at night that one morning I felt the need to turn on the heat in the front room and it was cold enough that I figured turning on the diesel side of the Aqua-Hot system would be a good idea. So I flipped the switch and the burner kicked on just as it should have and no hot are came out of the vents, not really uncommon when we first turn on the system on a cold morning after everything being turned off over night.

 After a few minutes everything in the system got hot enough that the burner shut down but we still didn’t have any warm are coming out of the vents, crud!! At that point I went to the rear of the coach and turned the system on back there and we had heat. I then checked the hot water and everything was fine there as well, hmmmm.

 We have 3 zones in our motorhome that the Aqua Hot can handle either on electric or diesel burner, rear heat, front heat and water heater.

At that point I headed outside to have a look at the control panel and found we had a red light lit up next to the Pump #1 insignia, not good. I then reset the system in hope things would fix themselves but no luck.

 I had read on the Tiffin Forum that others have had similar issues and that Aqua-Hot had a bad batch of pumps pass through their inventory a while back and the timing of that was right in line of when our coach was built so I had a sneaky suspicion we had fallen victim as well.

 Mid-morning I called Aqua-Hot and explained out situation and after giving them our VIN# they immediately said we did in fact have pumps from the bad batch and volunteered to send us 4 new one’s at no charge so we could replace all of them which is a good thing because the pumps alone are about $135 each plus the mounting bracket adaptors and new hoses and clamps. Unfortunately they would not cover labor.

The kit Aqua Hot sent

The kit Aqua Hot sent

 At that point we were only going to be in Creede a few more days and from there we planned to start heading south so I wasn’t overly worried about not having the heat working in the front of the motorhome especially because we had the electric fireplace and heated floors to fall back on. Plus we do carry a small electric heater with us for emergencies. So I asked them to hold off on sending the pumps until we reached Casa Grande where we had reservations for 3 months. Plus Aqua-Hot informed us that there was an authorized Aqua-Hot tech in Casa Grande in case I didn’t want to tackle the task myself.

 Even though switching the pumps is something I could do I figured why not contact the tech in Casa Grande and at least see what the cost would be to have them do it for us and to get our name in the hat well in advance because once all the snow birds start hitting the area everyone gets extremely busy.

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 Other than having the thought in my head that the other pumps in our system came from the bad batch and they could go belly up at any time also all was good for the next few weeks while traveling south.

 We arrived in Casa Grande on October 15th and had an appointment set up with the RV Medic on October 22nd just to have them take a look for themselves and we decided to go ahead and have them do the job on October 29th. They only do Aqua Hot repairs on weekends, that’s when their top notch Aqua-Hot guy works.

 I decided to let them do it instead of me tackling it for a couple reasons, #1 is that all of the boiler fluid needed to be drained from the Aqua-Hot system (7 gallons) and then put back in. They have drain tubes all made up AND have a pump system that put’s all the fluid back in in a matter of maybe 5 minutes where I would have had to try to poor it into a reservoir that is in a very tight location. In fact when I need to add fluid I poor it into a red plastic hillbilly cup, squeeze it at the top and poor it in ½ cup at a time LOL!! It would have taken hours that way. Of course I would have made up a hose and funnel type thing if I would have decided to do it myself, but then I would have something to haul around that I may really never need again.

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#2, I would have had to cycle the system a number of times manually to get diesel pumped back through the lines between the fuel tank and the Aqua-Hot system where they had a devise made up that made it a very simple process. Even though this part would not have been a big deal it does all come into play in our decision making.

#3, the unit was due for a service so while it was all taken apart it just made sense to have it done while he had it torn apart. A service includes a good cleaning, a new nozzle, a new filter, a new photo disc and whatever adjustments may need to be made. The parts alone are over $50.

See that container in the upper right corner? That's where I would have had to refill the Aqua Hot after draining the system. Not much room above that cap and even with a hose & funnel it would have been tough.

See that container in the upper right corner? That’s where I would have had to refill the Aqua Hot after draining the system. Not much room above that cap and even with a hose & funnel it would have been tough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4, Last but not least I’m 23” across the shoulders and the door opening to where the Aqua-Hot system is located is 21” wide with a nice built in “Love handle” grabber and I would need to crawl in almost waist deep to do the work!!! Been there done that and it hurts like H*** LOL!!!

 Anyway, 2 hours later the job was completed and everything was once again working as they should.

 In case you are interested in what’s involved in working on a system like this here is a link to a great write up in the RV Teck Magazine.

http://www.rvtechmag.com/tech/38_aquahotsvc.php

 Since the time of the repair and the writing of this update we have ran the system a couple times and all has been well. We will be here for another 2 months so we will certainly have more chances to run it and if anything pops up we will still be in the area where the tech is located which does not happen much in this full-time life style. Normally we have work done and then travel away so if something turns up later we have no way to go back on the people that did the work unless we want to back track. Lucky for us we have not experienced this except once but we have heard stories from many other full-timers that have not been so lucky. IT’s just one of the dark sides of choosing this life style.

 That’s it for now, things have been picking up here at the park, The National Pickle Ball Tournament is in full swing, Diane has started taking a class in Genealogy, Diane also signed up for golf lessons to sharpen her game, Lawn Bowling starts on November 15th and we will be participating in that, I’m still hitting the air field almost every morning, I have a new plane on its way to add to the hanger and we are still working out in one form or another every day.

Are you sure you want to move there Diane!!??

Are you sure you want to move there Diane!!??

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Having adult beverages and lunch at River Bottom Bar & Grill

Having adult beverages and lunch at River Bottom Bar & Grill

 We also got together with our good friends Bob & Karen for lunch one day. They are staying in Gold Canyon about 60 miles away so we met in the middle in Florence.  As always it was great seeing them again.    

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Travel day to Casa Grande

As mentioned in our last update, Saturday (10/15) we once again lifted our jacks and said so long to Gold Canyon Arizona and headed south.

** Before we go any further, we were asked what campground we ended up liking the most in our exploring of the area. First off even though we have not stayed there I’m sure a lot of you would like the Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction. We did a drive through and like it however when we come south we look for a place with good sized sites, plenty of activities and good eye appeal all at one location. The state park falls short in the activities category “other than hiking”.

Keep in mind that we didn’t see every park in the area but did hit the ones that had the highest ratings on RVParkreviews.com on the east side of Phoenix and for us we like Canyon Vista’s in Gold Canyon the best. Just OUR opinion. However we still like our choice in Casa Grande even better. **

Anyway once we left the campground we drove HWY 60 east about 10 miles then headed south on HWY 70 roughly 16 miles. Just as we reached the city limits of Florence we turned right on HWY 287/87 and drove just a few miles before turning onto North Signal Peak Road which lead us to HWY 287. 287 took us right into Casa Grande. A very easy 2 lane highway drive of a whole 60 miles, we don’t hate travel days like that LOL!!!

Our site for 3 months,,,,,, can we do it??!!

Our site for 3 months,,,,,, can we do it??!!

Once we reached the campground we were escorted to our site where we promptly said a fast hello to our friends Roger & Lynn “who were already here and are camped right next to us” then got busy getting all set up for our first attempt at a 3 month stay in one spot since hitting the road 4 years ago (other than when we bought our rig in Florida 2 years ago). Yes you read correctly, 3 MONTHS IN ONE SPOT.

Roger & Lynn with the yellow Jeep and us next door

Roger & Lynn with the yellow Jeep and us next door

Once we were all set up and it cooled down a bit we all gathered for happy hour and did some catching up even though it had only been about 3 months since we last saw each other, there is always catching up to be done.

Because we got down south a little early this year we have encountered temps that are a little higher than we care to be in and all the activities in the resort have not gotten into full swing so our first two weeks weren’t overly eventful but we enjoyed it none the less.

For the first week I was hitting the gym at 6am when they open the doors and spending an hour before heading home. At that point I was ready for coffee and breakfast and Diane would decide if she wanted to take a nice 3 mile walk with me after eating or not and away we (or I) would go.

Sunrise

Sunrise

After our walk’s it would be time for showers and we would play it by ear from there. We took a driving tour around town to see what might have changed since last winter, we checked into 2 ATV dealers in town to plant the seed with them about our wanting an ATV (neither had anything in stock but both said it was the time of year they would start taking in trades from the snowbirds flocking into the area), we checked out the mall and the Halloween Store and Diane paid Good Will and Jo-Anne Fabrics a visit while I hit the Harbor Freight, Lowes and the Farm & Ranch stores.

Mid days if we were not out messing around we just hunkered down inside with the AC roaring escaping the heat until around 5 when we would pop outside and normally gather with Roger & Lynn for Happy Hour.

After a few day had gone by I got the RC planes out and our routine started to change. I started going for a power walk at 6am and started going to the fly field at 7. Once finished there I would head home, have breakfast and Diane and I would then head to the gym every other morning and get another walk or bike ride in during the evening hours.

A membrain covering was put down for a runway since our last visit.

A membrain covering was put down for a runway since our last visit.

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Even though my morning routine of a walk and flying time seldom varied we ventured off on a few outings during the day. We went to tour Robson Ranch Resort one morning just outside of Casa Grande and on another day we all jumped in the truck and drove to Oracle and checked out Saddlebrook Ranch “a newer version of a Robson community” and took a driving tour through Catalina and Oro Valley. We are all looking for that perfect place “our version” to call home during the winter months.

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The Robson properties are more geared towards houses with no RV parking so nothing Diane and I are interested in and it didn’t seem to be Roger & Lynn’s cup of tea either but it’s fun researching just the same.

We also took a drive out to Florence to check out Desert Garden’s RV Resort, actually Diane and I have made 2 trips out to see the place, I guess we liked what we saw during our first visit. Desert Gardens is a Coop park about 5 miles south of Florence and 30 miles away from Casa Grande with sites ranging from 40×50 to 60×70 and ranging from a cost of $16,600 to $34,000 each.

The park is sort of between what we would call a true resort and a RV park with a good “farm” feel if that makes any sense. It has under 300 sites and they have a nice pool & hot tub, horse shoes, botchy ball court, a nice wood shop, stained glass shop, a nice gathering hall and everything is out in the country. And once you pay your initial lot price yearly dues are only $1050 and that covers water, septic, garbage and taxes. So for $87.50 per month (after your lot cost) you can have a nice place to hang out as long as you want. Or if you choose to rent your site all of the rent money goes in your pocket if you handle the rental yourself which is more appealing than a couple other Coops we have looked at. (Lots seem to rent for around $650 per month so if you only rented for 2 months it would cover your entire yearly HOA dues and if you rent longer you could actually create a positive cash flow). And you can also build outbuildings up to 200 sqft which is a huge plus to us.

The down side to the park is that there isn’t much in Florence other than a few restaurants and a very small basics only store so Coolidge would be the closest town with any real grocery shopping (Walmart & IGA), but Coolidge certainly isn’t a town we would want to just hang around in either (We hope none of you just love Coolidge, if so we apologize for our opinion)..  So even though we like the fact the park is in the country we don’t like that the closest “real” town in any direction is 30 miles away so we are torn. Plus all the roads are gravel so bike riding would very minimal, and we like riding or bikes. So once again it’s one of those “pick the park up and move it to a different location” type things that we have run into a few times. But you know what, we are going to keep pondering this possibility.

Diane and I stop and play a game of Hillbilly Golf every time we take a walk or bike ride around the park.

Diane and I stop and play a game of Hillbilly Golf every time we take a walk or bike ride around the park.

As I am finishing up this update we have been at Palm Creek for 17 days and the temps have finally cooled down into the 80’s during the day and cooled off enough at night that I actually feel chilled during my morning walk, hmm maybe it’s time to start walking later.

I guess that’s it for now, we have a couple other things to report on but I’m thinking our updates will be few and far between during our stay here because they would be pretty repetitive so it will give us something to yak about later LOL!!

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In case you are interested here are 3 links from our previous stay’s here at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort.

 

https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/our-stay-at-palm-creek-rv-resort-in-casa-grande-arizona/

https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/final-days-in-casa-grande-mixed-emotions/

https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/our-little-vacation-is-coming-to-an-end/

 

OH HEY!!!! November will be our 4th year Anniversary of being on the road!!! July was 4 years living in the motorhome but we celebrate November as our anniversary for actually traveling

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Our stay in Gold Canyon Arizona

 We have finished up our week in Gold Canyon, whew, what a difference from what we have experienced all summer. A good chunk of what should be the hottest months we spent at high elevations in Colorado in the tree’s but dropping down into Gold Canyon we said goodbye to the tree’s AND the cooler temps. Even though not horrible the daytime highs here stayed in the low 90’s and the night time lows were in the high 50’s. We loved the 5am to 11am and 8pm on times of the day LOL!!

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 Our typical day started with me walking to the gym around 6am where I spent 1 hour on the stationary bike or Elliptical (or combination of both) before walking back home. At that point some mornings Diane and I would head out for a 2 mile walk or a longer bike ride before returning home for showers and breakfast.

 Because we are always in search of the perfect place to call home during the winter months we had a list of RV Resorts in the Gold Canyon, Mesa and Apache Junction area’s “that word resort is used so loosely it’s crazy” so on a couple days after our morning routine we would venture out to just tour.

 On a couple other days we ventured out to pay visit’s to a few ATV shops around the area to have a face to face with salesman, planting the seed that we are possibly in the market for a new toy in hope they will keep an eye out for a lightly used unit that might fit the bill and give us a call. We went to Ride Now Power Sports in Chandler, Apache Motorcycles on the other side of Phoenix (dang that was a drive through traffic that we didn’t enjoy LOL), Apache Motorcycles in Mesa and Ride Now Power Sports in Apache Junction. They seemed to be the main players in the area.

We told each of them that we will be within 100 miles for the next couple months so if anything comes up we are within an easy driving distance to take a look. Time will tell if we planted seeds in the correct fields. We plan to plant the same seeds in Casa Grande and Tucson when we get closer to those areas. We would certainly rather save a few dollars by buying a good used one but are not opposed to new if the right numbers were tossed out. We are in no hurry and heck we may end up with nothing this year.

 On another morning after our normal start we headed to the Mesa Market Place. We visited it last year and remembered it was pretty large so we had to go again. Of course there is nothing that we really needed but we bought a pineapple corer/slicer that we have talked about getting ever since we saw our friend Karen use hers and a device to make getting the Pomegranates seeds out easier. We always steered away from fresh pineapple and pomegranates before but no more!!

 Well boy howdy, wasn’t all of that exciting LOL!!! Because we didn’t really do anything great this visit we will provide a couple links the our visit last year when we did more exciting things in case you missed them or care to take a look, here they are

 https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/az88-the-apache-trail-run/

 https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/time-to-leave-cottonwood-and-head-a-little-more-south/

That sums it up from Gold Canyon, Saturday morning we will lift our jacks and make another move a little further south.

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Travel day to Gold Canyon Arizona

Saturday (10/8) when I woke up I didn’t hear any raindrops hitting the roof like I half expected to and when it finally got light enough that I could see outside there were just scattered clouds. And by the time we were ready to roll at 9am the sun was actually peeking through.

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 We mentioned in our last update that we would let the weather dictate what route we would take on this travel day, so because it was dry we opted for the shorter scenic route that took us through a number of 6 and 7% grades along with some twisties and we are so glad we did because it was a very pretty drive.

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 As soon as we pulled out of our campground we jumped on HWY 60 which wound its way down through the Salt River Canyon and back up the other side and eventually lead us through Globe and Superior and finally merged with the Superstition Highway and right to our new home for a week.

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 Once we were assigned a site we worked relentlessly for an easy 30  minutes to get leveled with very little luck which was very surprising because the site was deceivingly un-level from side to side and front to back. Before we finished I had used every piece of cut up plywood that we carry and every single leveling block we had and we still had one rear wheel off the ground, Geeez. Keep in mind we have been used to temps in the 70’s and it was in the low 90’s here, I was dying LOL!!!

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 Finally I gave up and because the area of the park we are in has about 40 sites and other than us there was 1 rig so I decided to ask for another site. I was amazed when it actually became a challenge to make that happen. They even asked if I was using blocks but I’m sure they deal with all levels of experience when it comes to Rvers so they had to ask. I politely told them that we had been traveling fulltime for 4 years and have been RVing for many more years so we were not unfamiliar with leveling in challenging spots and we were finally granted permission.

 By the time we moved and got set up I was spent, I think between only having ½ a honey dew melon for breakfast and not having lunch yet and the heat it just got me (hey, have I mentioned that I have lost 30lbs since leaving Oregon!!??).

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 Anyway we both decided to retire inside with the air-conditioners running and decided to wait until it cooled off to hook up water and septic.

 After having half an apple each and some cheese we chilled until we finally decided to go out for dinner instead of cooking. I think Diane was feeling sorry for me because we went out to Chinese, my favorite!! That might have been the first Chinese meal I’ve had in 4 months.

 Another travel day down. We will be here in Gold Canyon for a week before making another move a little farther south.  

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Our stay in Show Low Arizona

 Tuesday (10/4) rolled around and our wheels started rolling again as well. We lifted our jacks, jumped on I-40 West until we reached Holbrook Arizona where we hopped on HWY 77 south until we reached Show Low Arizona and eventually our destination at Venture In RV Resort at the edge of town. A nice 148 mile travel day with no wind and no rain!!

 After getting settled in we jumped in the truck and did our normal exploratory drive of the area. I must admit that I didn’t expect Show Low to have so much. I guess because the population is so much less than the population of Gallup NM and Gallup had so little to offer. I was so disappointed in Gallup that my expectations were lowered I suppose LOL.

According to a legend, the city’s unusual name resulted from a marathon poker game between Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark. The two men were equal partners in a 100,000-acre ranch however, the partners determined that there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement and agreed to settle the issue over a game of poker (with the winner taking the ranch and the loser leaving).

After the game seemed to have no winner in sight, Clark said, “If you can show low, you win.” In response, Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, “Show low it is.

 So in tribute to the legend Show Low ended up being the name of the town and main-street is named “Deuce of Clubs” in remembrance. Pretty cool way of a town getting its name I thought.

 Show Low is at an elevation of 6,345 feet and in the summer highs average approximately 85 ° with an occasional day above 90 ° they say. And when the sun sets in the summertime temperatures drop sometimes upwards of 30 degrees making lows typically ranging between 50 °F and 60 °F. Still a little warm for me during the days but about right for Diane. However records show Show Low has only reached 100 ° twice, once on May 31, 1969, and again on July 14, 2003 so it at least doesn’t get crazy hot making it a spot to keep in mind for summer months for us.

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 During our stay the temps remained in the low 70’s during the day and mid 40’s at night, PERFECT!!!  

 The population is just under 11,000 people so size wise it fits AND it seems larger because the town of Pinetop Lakeside is just 12 miles away and the boundaries sort of mold together like in so many places.

 For being such a small population there are all the major players shopping wise, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Safeway, Bed Bath and Beyond and others but you get the idea. Plus all the major car dealerships, a bunch of nice places to eat, a couple very nice golf courses along with gated communities with upper end homes (so it does not seem to be a depressed area at all), a hobby shop, a casino and on and on. And the places we mention are nice newer buildings so the place really has impressed us for the size.

 There doesn’t seem to be a lot attraction wise in the area so I can’t imagine tourism being a big thing but I would think it’s location in comparison to the Valley towns like Phoenix (and surrounding communities), Tucson and the likes would make it a popular place to escape the heat during the summer and maybe a place to play in the snow during the winter with the average snowfall being just above 20 inches a year which isn’t really that much (but is too damn much for me LOL!!). But for Arizona people I guess it may be a lot.

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 The RV park we stayed in closes down November 1st and had already pretty much emptied out by the time we showed up so I imagine the town overall has experienced the same thing making it nice for us while touring around, no real traffic, no waiting to get a seat in a restaurant, no lines at the grocery store, no one to share the gym with in the mornings and such.

 Because we were only in town 5 nights we stayed pretty busy each day. We took a drive out of town about every way possible between 30 and 60 miles to check out the surrounding area. We drove west on HWY 260 35 miles to Heber-Overgaard, we came into town on HWY 77 but we drove back out that way to check out another RV resort that we had heard about called Juniper Ridge RV Resort, we drove HWY 60 south probably 45 miles which provided some pretty scenery and we drove southeast on HWY 260 and 273 60 miles through Pinetop-Lakeside to Big Lake which was our favorite drive by far.

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 There are actually a number of lakes out beyond Pinetop-Lakeside direction to explore but we only stopped at Horseshoe Cienega Lake and Campground, Sunrise Lake, Crescent Lake and Big Lake.

 Other than the driving tours I used the gym every morning, we went to dinner one night at Licano’s Mexican restaurant (nice atmosphere but just ok food), we hiked a very short trail one day and we went to the Casino for just a short while. Only a short while for a couple reasons, #1 it was just too darn smoke filled and #2 we lost money so fast it made our head swim, well my head because Diane was the smart one and didn’t gamble LOL!! And I was finally able to wash the coach, it has been a mess since driving over Wolf Creek Pass back when we left Creed and headed to Ignacio.

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 Now THIS REALLY kills me, I finally JUST got the coach all washed up and looking pretty good and the forecast is for rain on Saturday, our travel day!!! What the heck did I do to deserve another wet travel day!!  Maybe I need to say 3 Hail Mary’s. Oh well, we plan to have the coach washed and waxed when we reach Casa Grande in a couple weeks so we will deal with whatever.

I would say that we would stop in Show Low again if passing through but after 5 days it’s time to make another move. This next move will drop us from the nice cool temps we have grown accustom to at higher elevations down to the 1900ft range where the temps are sure to be 20 to 25 degrees warmer. (Warning: I will be wining in the next update I’m sure LOL!!).

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 Tomorrows travel day will either be 172 or 136 miles depending on the route I choose. The shorter route is mostly single lane and I guess has some pretty good grades and hairpin turns and the longer is a more-mellow drive and has a bunch of 4 lane roads. I think I will let the weather decide. If it’s not raining we take the short route and if it’s nasty we take the mellow route. That’s better than flipping a coin.

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