A busy start to our winter.

Let’s try to play catch up shall we?

It almost goes without saying that we have been getting our share of Pickleball play in. I have been playing 6 days per week and spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day at the courts and Diane has been playing 4 or 5 days per week.

To help give back a little to our Pickleball club I have also started mentoring a 2.5 level group every Saturday along with 2 other people at 10:30 teaching a different skill each week. Our club is very big at training at all skill levels and that’s a part of why we enjoy this place so much.

Diane is still trying to get a handle on what she wants to do this year as far as volunteering goes. She normally works the Welcome and Sign Up table but the club has gone in the direction of computers for everything from signing up new members to even signing up for Round Robins and training events and because Diane isn’t really a “computer person” she will probably volunteer doing something else this year. And that’s too bad because she really enjoyed working the welcome table.

Another thing we have tossed into our Pickleball schedule is a Saturday night gathering at 6 where we have about 2 hours of very light hearted social play followed by a Happy Hour.

It doesn’t get much better than a bunch of friends getting some laughs on the courts followed by a Happy Hour. And because we have been having cooler than normal evenings we have now started taking the Happy Hour to the Bistro patio where we can enjoy a nice fire.

The bar is open!!

Drew mixing up a drink.

And I have been trying to get to the gym at least a couple times a week to spend some time on the elliptical but for some reason I’m not getting there as often as the last couple years. I really need to put forth more effort.

And our good friends Bob & Karen came for a 1 week visit.

WELCOME!!!

We always have a good time with Bob & Karen, let’s see we went out to BeDillon’s Restaurant for a very nice dinner for Bob’s Birthday.

**Side note, BeDillon’s is probably the nicest restaurant in Casa Grande and they have great food and great service. It was the best meal we have had while out on the town in a long long time. Obviously they know they are the best in town because they are certainly not afraid to charge for it LOL!! That one meal cost half of what we budget to eat out for an entire month but it was worth it.”

Look how nice they do up the To Go food.

We also went to Anaya’s for a good old Mexican dinner. There are 2 Mexican restaurants that we normally go to, Anaya’s and Eva’s. Anaya’s is rated much higher on Trip Advisor and certainly has a much more “Mexican vibe” but the food at Eva’s isn’t none too shabby either.

Bob & Karen also wanted to spend as much time as possible on the Pickleball courts which of course was ok with us. They are new to the game but have developed a passion and it was fun to see them take such interest. It was also fun to hear them say how sore they were each morning from the previous days play LOL!!!

The weather didn’t cooperate as well as we would have liked for their visit but we did squeeze in a couple bike rides, a little Hillbilly Golf and some Ping Pong along with the other stuff.

And we spent a Rip Roaring evening playing Bingo. Bob was one of the big winners of the evening and I think won something like $135.

While they were here we also attended one of the many outside events held here at the resort each winter. This theme for this particular one was “Fall Fiesta” and there was a live band and a number of food trucks lined up to choose from as well as a few vendors showing off their services.

There’s Bob getting a little dessert

Bob & Karen ordering up some grub.

We hated to see Bob & Karen go but for some reason they had an urge to drop their motorhome off with some friends in Boulder City and then drive into the freezing weather that was waiting for them at home up in Oregon to spend the holidays.

Diane and a few of the girls went out one Saturday night to the Roller Derby. Yup, the Roller Derby, I remember watching that as a kid on TV.

It sounds like they had a good time and from the looks on their faces I’m thinking they did.

 

 

 

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Also every month there is a Craft Fair held here at the park that has everything from A to Z it seems and normally we just go and walk through and walk away with something like a couple jars of hot sauce or salsa but this time we bought a couple new things for our patio.

This gets bigger each month as more and more people show up for the season. Plus the parking lot was full.

For the last 7 years we have avoided buying stuff like this because we as a rule don’t set much up other than a couple chairs and a BBQ because we have moved so much but now that we plan to start staying at one spot a little longer we figured what the heck.

Diane has also gone over to the tennis courts a couple times to play Bumbee Ball. It’s sort of a strange game played with tennis rackets and a soft cloth ball about the size of a baseball and there can be as many as 8 players on each side of the court.

Diane is in the blue top and white pants.

You serve the ball like tennis but the ball has to be hit at least 2 times on each side of the net before going back over to the other side and there are a couple other rules that I really don’t know because I have only played once and realized it wasn’t for me LOL!!!

But those that play seem to have a pretty darn good time and a bunch of yelling and laughing is always involved.

And Diane gets together with the girls one day each week for Mexican Train and a different day for Mahjong.

Of course a group of us still get together every Tuesday night about 5:30 and head to Buffalo Wild Wings for the 2 for one wing night special. This is a tradition that started a couple years ago with just 4 or 6 of us going and has grown to now having 12 or more show up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also made a trip to Mesa one Sunday morning to hit the Mesa Market where again we normally never buy anything. But this time we had a mission, and that was to buy a new area rug for the living room, something that would add a little color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you might notice that we are starting to decorate for Christmas which is odd for us because we have not decorated in the last 7 years on the road. In fact we didn’t decorate for many years when we had a sticks & bricks, we are just not Christmas people. In fact we both will say that Christmas is our least favorite holiday of the year LOL!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason this year we just had the urge and I think we have decided to even start gathering some sort of decorations for each holiday. We will see how far that thought goes.

And we can’t forget Thanksgiving. We were going to have it outside but there was a threat of rain so Stan and Claire were kind enough to offer their home for all of us to gather.

There was a large enough group that we had to split up into separate areas and everyone had a great time and of course ate to much.

At the time of this update we have been at our winter spot for 5 weeks and it seems like only 2 because we have stayed so busy. It’s crazy how fast time goes by.

Every Sunday a balloon takes off by the Pickleball courts for a hot air balloon ride.

 

 

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And did we mention before that last month (November) marked 7 years that we have been on the road fulltime!!! Talk about time flying by. I guess that means I better get busy on our 7 year update that we do each year.

I guess that’s it for this update, we hope everyone is having a great winter where ever you are spending it.

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Our winter season has begun

Well our first week at our little winter hideout was a pretty active one as we started to get back in the swing of things.

Like we do each year we had David’s RV Wash come out and do a complete wash & wax on the coach.

Only 1 time per year we treat ourselves and have someone else wash & wax our rig and its here in Casa Grande. The remainder of the year we do it ourselves. Even though we could have it done a lot cheaper at a couple other locations down south like in Yuma where it runs about $85 for just a wash on a 40’ rig or even have one of the other wash services in Casa Grande do the job for maybe $50 less we are fine to pay $320 to have a David’s do a compete wash and hand wax, and the main reason for that is because they use Lamb’s wool to wash and they use a good Maguire’s wax.

To many times I see wash services use a hard bristle brush to wash a rig and the outcome is a bunch of swirl marks or light scratches on the clear coat that you see when the light is just right.

We also went to our (well my, Diane had been to one I guess) very first professional hockey game.

Yup, our friends Drew & Becky invited us along to a game between the Arizona Coyotes and the MTL Canadian’s that was played at the Gila River Arena in Glendale.

We started the evening with quick meal at Dave & Buster’s Sports Bar before making our way to the game and then we settled in while Drew “who is pretty well versed in the game” helped us understand just what was going on.

By the midway point of the game came around I was getting the hang of things and was able to point out when certain penalties were committed but I will admit, I’m still pretty foggy when it comes to who has to crossover or back over the blue lines and when they have to do it.

** Side note to you veterans, do you know about the “Vet Tix” program? Well if you don’t it might be something you would be interested in. It’s a program where tickets that might not normally be used at an event are donated to this program and veterans can claim and use them at no or little cost.

It seems like a great program and they provide tickets to all sorts of things like the hockey game we attended, all other sporting events, theater’s, plays, concerts and on and on and on.

Because Diane is a widow of a veteran she is also eligible for the program and has started the process of joining. Check it out, it might be something of interest.**

And of course we have been playing Pickleball every single day, and plenty of it. I know I felt like I was in pretty good shape when we rolled in but we were not in 4 hours or more of intense Pickleball per day plus walks and bike rides shape because we sure have been going through the MSN gel and Advil since getting here LOL!!! And we are far from being ramped up to the activities we normally do each day while here. Hmm, well we ARE 1 year older. Nope, that excuse won’t cut it in a place like this.

And every day we seem to bump into an old friend, one that might actually live here all year or maybe one that just arrived a little sooner than we did or one that just rolled in.

Actually by the time we got around to this update we have been here for almost a month so we have a little catching up to do but we will LOL!!

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Headed to our winter location.

While sitting out in Quartzsite we found ourselves with an option, hang around in our little piece of peace & quiet in the middle of the desert for another few days until our already made reservation date of November 1st rolled around for our winter location OR see if we could get into our site a few days early.

Two factors came into play in our decision making, #1 it was staying pretty warm with temperatures trying very hard to reach 90 each day and while boon-docking that’s just a little too warm for us, and #2 slowly people were starting to invade our piece and quite as they started to roll in for the season. In fact we had one group of about 10 rigs set up camp about ¼ mile away and they were running one of those god awful job site generators in the evening and with that came the loud voices needed to talk over the scream of those generators. That’s when Diane said “It’s time to move on!”

Diane’s words prompted me to make a call to our next destination to see if by chance our site might be vacant and to see if we could arrive early which as luck would have it, it was and we could.

So Sunday (10/27) we rolled away from our little chunk of desert and headed to our next destination 5 days ahead of our original reservations.

Normally from Quartzsite we would head east on I-10 until we reached HWY 85 and head south to Gila Bend, then catch I-8 east until we could connect with I-10 again just south of Casa Grande, then north a few miles until we reached Casa Grande. This route has us avoiding going through Phoenix and is the way we have gone a few times, but not this time LOL!!

This time because it was Sunday I figured what the heck, let’s just go right through Phoenix, cut off about 25 miles and save a little time as well, BOY WAS I WRONG!!

As it turned out there was a huge section of I-10 completely closed, yes ALL LANES. So we ended up going on a very slow roll going from off ramp then back on and driving on the side of the freeway single file to the next off ramp then back on and driving single file to the next off ramp and then, well you get the picture.

We played the off ramp game for some time until we were finally routed through a business district which made things pretty interesting for a while until we FINALLY made our way back to the freeway where we of course were in a bunch of traffic with those that had just gone through the same ordeal and were doing whatever they could to break away from the pack LOL!!

This type of stuff is exactly why for the last 7 years that we have been doing this blog I have said dozens of times that I hate and avoid big cities. This is what happens when you break away from what your gut tells you.

Anyway, enough of that. Eventually we were spit out on the south side of Phoenix and we were on a nice mellow roll the rest of the way to Casa Grande.

At about noon we rolled into our new home, were led to our site by a park ranger and did just a partial setup outside because we had an appointment the following morning to have our coach washed and waxed. No reason to set up and then move everything out of the way the following day.

Once our partial set up was completed we jumped on our bikes and did a ride around the park to see what had changed since last winter and to see who might be around that we knew and we hadn’t gone more than a couple hundred yards before the first “HEY Dave & Diane” was shouted out as we rode by the Pickleball courts.

Coming back to Palm Creek for us is like walking through the front door of Cheers is “or was” for Norm.

It won’t take us long before we have a normal routine in place like we do each winter during our stay here and I’m sure it will consist of a heavy dose of Pickleball for both of us, lots of bike rides and walks, Mahjong for Diane, hopefully some weekly game nights for us both, no doubt many Tuesday nights at Buffalo Wild Wings with the gang, a few days per week at the gym for me, some golf and many gatherings with friends “old and new”.

Well that’s it for now!! Thanks for stopping in.

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Summing up our Quartzsite stay

It’s time to wrap up on our stay in Quartzsite.

During our short one week stay not only did we get to see our friends Ed & Sharron when they came out for a visit and again for pizza who we mentioned a few updates ago after about 3 years but we also had a visit from Rayeanne & Zack who we also hadn’t seen for about 3 years.

They came out to our little piece of desert to check out our new home on wheels and we had a great visit that lasted well into the evening.

Then Ed & Sharron invited us and Rayeanne & Zack over to their new digs for an evening around the campfire before we left the area and once again everyone had a great time catching up.

The girls are figuring out a star gazing app.

I think we have eluded to this in prior years but its funny how we spent so many years in Grants Pass yet when we spend time there each year we really see so few people in comparison to those we keep bumping into while we are out on the road. It’s as if the people living the nomadic life style are like tribes back in the day that gather for festivities whenever they are even close to each other at all LOL!!

Even though the makeshift shops are not in full bloom in town they are starting to blossom and pop up is areas so we made our way in one morning to get a taste of what’s to come when Quartzsite is going strong in just a few short weeks.

After our walk about we stopped in at the Grub Steak to have a fish diner before making our way home.

And almost every day we headed out in a different direction from camp out into the desert for a few mile walk before the temperatures got too high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We seemed to bounce from one interesting cactus to another and at times would see small trails going from one hole in the ground to another and would imagine the little critters scurrying back and forth going to visit their other little friends LOL!!!

Hmmm, maybe we should have gotten home sooner, maybe the heat got to us quicker than we knew.

In the evenings we would take a few pieces of hotdogs and apples along with our cameras and binoculars and a flashlight to find our way home to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Kit foxes that we knew lived in the area.

Diane strategically placed tempting little treats where she figured they would for sure have to leave their comfy little homes to get and then we would position ourselves far enough away to hopefully not be noticed yet close enough that we could still get a picture if they did in fact show themselves.

Then we waited

And we waited

And we waited even more

We waited almost every night until it was just too dark to even see if they came out or not before making our way home with the help of our trusty flashlight.

As you can tell by the lack of pictures, we had absolutely no luck seeing a Kit fox. I did see a Coyote however actually running in Diane’s direction but as soon as I tried to get Diane’s attention so she would be aware it stopped, looked in my direction and headed off away from us. It all happened to fast for any pictures.

That pretty much sums up our Quartzsite visit. Even though we don’t seem to spend nearly as much in Quartzsite as we did each year at the beginning of our journeys each time we do we say we need to start spending at least a little more time there in the future.

The plan at this point was to lift our jacks on Sunday (10/27) and make a move to our winter home even though we were not scheduled to arrive until November 1st.

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Hi Jolly Tomb and Cialia’s Rainbow Garden

Camping around Quartzsite isn’t just about sitting in the desert looking at cactus or sitting around a camp fire every night, there are a few other attractions and we thought we would mention a couple that you may not know about.

The first is the Hi Jolly Tomb.

In 1856, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (later President of the Confederacy) had the idea of transporting freight and people across the desert southwest on camels and eventually imported over 70 of them and along with the first batch came a Syrian caretaker, Hadji Ali. His American masters called him Hi Jolly.

A plaque on Hi Jolly’s tomb says of the camel experiment: “A fair trial might have resulted in complete success.” But the Civil War intervened, Jefferson Davis changed jobs, and without his support the project was abandoned. The camels were set free to fend for themselves in the desert near Quartzsite.

Hi Jolly remained in the area and lived into his seventies. The locals were so fond of him that after he died they spent several weeks building Hi Jolly a special pyramid tomb made of multicolored petrified wood and quartz. It was dedicated on Jan. 4, 1903. Thirty-three years later the Arizona Highway Department came along and cemented a bronze plaque to the tomb, telling Hi Jolly’s story, and topped the pyramid with a metal camel silhouette.

The camels, by the way, outlived Jefferson Davis, Hi Jolly, and even the cementing of the plaque. Their last reported sighting was in 1942.

Another spot is Celia’s Rainbow Garden

Celia’s Rainbow Gardens takes up 8 acres of the 40 acre Townsite Park located in the north end of town near the Town Hall.

Celia was the daughter of Paul & Joanne Winer, some of you may have known Paul as the “Bookstore guy” and in 1995 when she was 8-1/2 years old she died in her mother’s arms. We won’t type out the whole story here but here is a link that tells all about Celia and the meaning of the garden that is well worth a peek.

http://celiasrainbowgardens.com/

We had been to Quartzsite many times over the last 7 years and have met Paul “The “almost” nude bookstore guy and have heard about Celia’s Rainbow Garden but had never taken time to visit it until this time and you know what, I bet we visit it again at some point in the future.

We really had no idea just how big the gardens were and we ended up wandered around for I bet close to an hour and didn’t come close to taking in everything.

The paths meander through the park with “special little places” set up in remembrance of individual people or many times groups of people and we couldn’t help but stop and admire some of the creative things people have done.

Another unique thing in the garden is Adamsville, a miniature village that was moved to Celia’s Rainbow Gardens in 2001 from its previous location near Parker, AZ.

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Babe Adams started building the village in 1974 and then donated the village to the Quartzsite Historical Society. It was restored by many volunteers and given to Celia’s Garden.

There you have it, a couple little oddball things to check out the next time you’re I Quartzsite.

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A Thingamagiger

Have any of you ever purchased one of these outdoor couch thingamagigers that you fill with air, close off the end and lay in?

While at some RV show there was this young guy laying in one at his booth and we must have glanced in his direction a little too long because before we could bat an eye he was on his feet, had one of these thingamagigers in his hands, turned in a half circle and within seconds was laying comfortably in it.

We thought WOW, what a handy thing to take to air shows. We could see ourselves laying comfortably in the grass looking up into the sky watching instead of enduring the neck strain involved with watching while standing or sitting.

And we thought it might come in handy at other times like, well now when I wanted to take a nap while boon-docking out here in the desert and it was too hot inside the rig to do so comfortably. AND our zero gravity outside recliner had just broken a couple days ago.

So I grabbed that thingamagiger, took it out of its package for the very first time since buying it over a year ago and went to work getting it ready for my nap.

This should be easy.

Is it full yet??

And then I worked some more.

Come on, FILL UP!!

And I worked a little more.

How about now?

Then when I thought I had it I tried it out and decided it wasn’t right and I worked some more!!

Oh I think I got it!!

I worked on that damn thing until not only did I WANT to take a nap but I actually NEEDED a nap. I ran myself to death trying to get that thing filled up!

I finally realized that after getting as much air inside it I could I had to close up the end and then roll up that end until it condensed the air enough to make the couch firm enough to use. I guess we had forgotten about that rolling up the end part. I would like to think that Diane had forgotten that part as well otherwise she just let me run around like a fool and had her laughs at my expense out of meanness.

Once I finally figured things out I still had to figure out the correct way to get in and lay in it.

Dang, it’s way down there.

CRAP!! I thought I was going to roll out backwards!!

It wasn’t as bad as a hammock but darn near it lol!! And then once I did figure it out I decided it was just too warm laying in the pouch area and I was up letting the air out of it within about 10 minutes. THEN I had to figure out how to roll that stupid thing up correctly so it would fit back in the tinny pouch it came with!!

Hmm, this might work

And that’s how it’s done. Now can someone hand me a drink because I don’t want to get back in this thing.

In the long run I was sweaty and frustrated from running around AND I never did get my darn nap!!!

So if you know of anyone looking to buy a Thingamagiger I know where they can get a lightly used one cheap.

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Our (HAPPY!) rock story

We have a fun little story to share.

As you may already know back on November 14th 2012 we hit the road fulltime. We left Grants Pass Oregon and weaved ourselves through Reno, Hawthorne, Beatty, Death Valley, Pahrump, and Bullhead City Nevada before heading to Lake Havasu Arizona and then to Quartzsite Arizona mid-December.

We actually boon-docked just 50 yards from the spot we sat this year.

During our stay in 2012 we fooled around with rocks doing other things than making fire pits. We made our Christmas card pictures there and we did the word (HAPPY!) between two cactus.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!

Each year that we return to Quartzsite we go check on that (HAPPY!) and to our amazement it has been there every single year.

We made this HAPPY out of rocks in Dec. 2012. The New Years is gone but the happy stayed in place for 2 years LOL!!

We made this HAPPY out of rocks in Dec. 2012. The New Years is gone but the happy stayed in place for 2 years LOL!!

 

 

If you have ever been to Quartzsite you know that there are tons of fire pits that have been made from rocks and then abandoned and it never fails that when the next group comes along it seems natural to dismantle existing pits and make your own even if it’s just a few yards away LOL!!

We made this "HAPPY" art out of stone 3 years ago during our 1st visit to Quartzsite and it's still here. The little things in life that make us smile.

We made this “HAPPY” art out of stone 3 years ago during our 1st visit to Quartzsite and it’s still here. The little things in life that make us smile.

 

 

 

Every year we go back we halfway expect our (HAPPY!) to be gone meaning it was probably taken to make a fire pit but it just lives on and this year was no different.

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At one point Diane disappeared and when a did a quick scan on the area I saw her walking off with a few of my hand tools headed towards the cactus where our (HAPPY!) was located. A bit later I walked over myself and found her on her hands and knee’s weeding LOL!!! Who the heck weeks out in the middle of absolutely nothing. Well Diane does of course.

Anyway, we get a kick out of our rock story and thought you might as well.

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