1st couple weeks under our belt

 We are well past our second week (half way through our 3rd) of a 5 month stay here at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort and time is going by quickly as we figured it would. Unfortunately not as quick for Diane I’m afraid with her arm issue.

 So far Diane had an x-ray of her arm done and had a meeting with an orthopedic surgeon but he wasn’t able to determine what the problem is from just an x-ray so of course he wanted a MRI scheduled. We hear so many times that someone goes in for a x-ray only to need a MRI done so why he heck don’t they just do MRI’s in the first place, is it to help keep brother Guido in business?

The golf course is green and open for play here at the park. They had reseeded right as we arrived so it was closed for a while.

The golf course is green and open for play here at the park. They had reseeded right as we arrived so it was closed for a while.

 Anyway, Diane called to make the MRI appointment only to find out she couldn’t get in until November 20th!! That’s something like 15 days from the time she had the DR. appointment which seems crazy to me for such a small community. I guess there are too many of us old farts here this time of year with frail bones needing MRI’s LOL!!

 This is why Diane’s time is going by a little slower than mine, she is in just enough pain and has such limited use of her right arm that she is very limited in what she can actually do, heck I even have to put her hair in a ponytail for her at times because she can’t move her arm enough.

 

 She is able to get out on bike rides and walks and gets together with the girls to play Mahjong and has started volunteering at the Registration Desk at the Pickleball Courts to occupy some time but I know she is very disappointed that she can’t play. Aw hell, getting old ain’t for sissies.

 I on the other hand, even though feeling a little guilty, have been playing Pickleball almost every day for 3 to 4 hours along with whatever else. And I have signed up for 2 different Pickleball Tournaments, one in Tucson and another just up the road here in Casa Grande and have plans to sign up for at least 1 more and maybe 2  so I have been getting as much court time together with my partners as possible.

It's early in the season so it's a small group but these are beginner Pickleball players taking a orientation class. They hold these classes once per week and it's not uncommon to see over 20 new people every week through the season.

It’s early in the season so it’s a small group but these are beginner Pickleball players taking a orientation class. They hold these classes once per week and it’s not uncommon to see over 20 new people every week through the season.

 Even though the skies have been blue it has been what we will call chilly the last few days and windy with temps in the mid to high 60’s during the day and dipping into the 40’s at night. I think we have turned into pure sissies thinking that temps in the 60’s is cold LOL!! But the forecast is for temps to go back up to the mid 70’s this coming week so all is good again.

 I don’t think there is anything else very news worthy other than we had the slide topper re-installed and it’s looking good and we have continued the Tuesday night 2 for 1 wing night ritual with our friends Drew & Becky which is always a treat.

 I guess this will be a short and sweet update. Until next time.

 Oh, I guess there is one thing, we spoke with New Horizon and it seems they want to push up the start date on our rig by a couple weeks so that is a good thing. We were a little worried (and maybe still should be) that our rig would not be finished in time to make it to the New Horizon Rally we signed up for in Texas in May. This might take some of the pressure off, time will tell.           

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We arrived at our winter home

Monday (10/29) we lifted or jacks and drove away from Yuma and headed 185 miles east towards the Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona where we will spend 5 months this winter. Yes you read that correctly, 5 months. It even seems funny to type 5 months in one spot LOL!!

I know we have said this before at some time but when we first hit the road 6 years ago we never thought we would spend anywhere near 5 months in one location and certainly not in a RV Park the size of Palm Creek but never say never.

We have found for us that after traveling and spending months doing mainly one week stays and playing tourist we are enjoying the longer stay at one location that has more activities available than we could possible participate in and being more socially active with a group ( a growing group) of friends here at Palm Creek.

Just pulling in.

Just pulling in.

Heck as soon as we pulled in the gate and rolled up to the staging area to be lead to our site we saw Drew and Becky just in front of us with Drew standing in the middle of the road waving hello. Then as we were checking in we bumped into two other couples that we play Pickleball with and fly RC planes with. Then as we walked out of the office we saw our buddy Steve Fisher. Then as soon as we backed into our site we had 2 other friends, Steve’s wife Karen and then Debbie roll up to say hi almost before we even got our slides out LOL!! Fun stuff.

Once in our site and all set up inside I only did a partial setup outside because we had a wash & wax scheduled for the motorhome the following morning so no sense putting stuff out and then have to move it out of the way.

I don’t even remember what we did the rest of the afternoon at this point but I do know that by 5PM I was at the Pickleball courts getting ready to play in my first Round Robbin of the season where of course I bumped into a number of people we have not seen since last year.

Diane came over and played spectator because of her injured arm but ended up staying the entire time I played (a little over 2 hours) because she kept bumping into friends and stayed busy catching up with everyone.

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Tuesday (10/30) morning about 7:30 the crew from Dave’s RV Wash showed up about 7:30 to wash & wax our RV so I decided to hang around and take care of business instead of going over to play Pickleball that day.

After a few hours they had finished up and I started dragging things out of the basement and finished setting up what I didn’t do the day before.

All clean

All clean

All clean

All clean

Because we don’t normally set that much up outside during our usual 1 week stay’s our basement is never as empty as it is during our long stay at Palm Creek so I took advantage of the moment and got the vacuum out and touched up while I had the chance.

By this time I was on a roll so I got out the good ol 303 product and gave all the seals a once over as well.

We pretty much killed the remainder of the day with a shopping trip and a bike ride which took us to 5Pm when it was time to meet friends at Buffalo Wild Wings for two-for-one wing night.

Last year our friends Drew & Becky got us hooked on the Tuesday night two-for-one wing nights and we started making it a normal thing and from the looks and sound of it we will pick up right where we left off LOL!!  Our mutual friends Ray & Barb also came along and all had a great evening.

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Wednesday (10/31) I started the day with about 3 hours of Pickleball before heading home to shower so we could get Diane over to a spot in town to have a x-ray done on her arm, something the orthopedic surgeon has required before her meeting with him coming up on the 7th.

We also had an awning guy come over to give a price on replacing a slide topper on the RV but after we looked at it he decided the topper itself was in great shape and that we just has a couple seams come loose that could be repaired and save some money.

So the plan is for him to come out next week to remove the topper and take it to his upholstery shop, re-sew the seams and re-install it. By doing this we will save a few hundred dollars compared to doing a total replacement and he said the material itself should be good for a few more years easily.

The remainder of the day was spent with bike rides and playing catch up with people as we came across them.

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Thursday (11/1) was our actual scheduled time to arrive at Palm Creek so we felt pretty good that we had already been here a few days and were ahead of schedule getting things done so it just turned into a play day.

Of course I started the day out with about 3 hours of Pickleball and it was followed up by bike rides and visiting mainly followed by a BBQ and some down time. A pretty simple and normal day.

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Friday (11/2) after “you guessed it” about 3 hours of Pickleball I headed home for a shower and a short nap before driving about 47 miles south to meet up with our friends Bob & Karen for a late lunch / early dinner at the Circle S Saloon in Mariner.

Bob & Karen were only in the area 3 days so we all wanted to make sure to at least get together once for a visit. If you have read the blog long you will have certainly seen and read about Bob & Karen numerous times. We make it a point to bump into each other as much as possible.

While we were sitting in the parking lot waiting for Bob & Karen to show up an Ambulance and a fire truck rolled in with lights flashing and about 6 guys went inside with a gurney. About that time Bob & Karen rolled and we all had to question Karen at how she picked this spot.

You would have had to been on the ride just trying to find this restaurant in the first place because both Diane and I and Bob & Karen thought our GPS’s were crazy and there couldn’t be a restaurant in the area it was located, and then to get there only to have a fire truck and ambulance show up with lights flashing as well, it was sort of funny to us at the time.

Anyway we all went inside and avoided the poor guy stretched out on the floor with medics all around him and made our way to a table. One thing was for sure, we didn’t want to have whatever that guy on the floor had.

The waitress was pretty rattled about the whole ordeal but once we got passed here heightened adrenalin levels things calmed down and we enjoyed our meal and visit.

Bob, Karen, Diane & me

Bob, Karen, Diane & me

We enjoyed it enough that before we knew it the place was getting pretty busy and when we looked at a clock we realized we had sat there close to 2 ½ hours. Time flies with good company and friends.

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Saturday (11/3), of course the morning was filled with Pickleball. I hit the courts at 8 and played to about noon before heading home to get Diane and head out on a bike ride.

Afterwards we needed to hit the grocery store to pick up something for a Happy Hour planned for the following evening and to stop by Home Depot to pick up a new hose to flush out our black tank.

We paid some pretty good money for a hose while up in Washington for a new hose but holy cow was that money wasted. I normally buy a hose called “The Pocket Hose” from Home Depot, one of those hoses that expands when you run water through it and it normally lasts a couple years because it lays out in the sun most of the time. But while in Washington when the hose gave out we were not near a Home Depot so we bought a Ames brand that we actually paid more for that was a pure piece of crap and only lasted about 3 months. So back to the Pocket Hose we go.

While we were out we also stopped in at the “Clean Freak” car wash. While in Casa Grande we always sign up for a $16 per month car wash program. It allows you to run your rig through the automatic car wash up to 2 times per day for just $16 a month and because the water is so hard at the RV Park the only way the truck gets washed is by going to a car wash so it’s really not a bad deal. Heck the truck stays cleaner while in Casa Grande than any other time of the year LOL!!

By then it was time to head home to BBQ up some dinner and chill. Oh, I think here might have been a nap tossed in there somewhere as well LOL!!

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Sunday (11/4) was a little more of a laid back day. After a slow start we took a 3 mile walk followed by a bike ride and the rest of the day was filled with watching football until 5PM. Sort of a “give the body a rest” day. That’s right, no Pickleball LOL!!

At 5 we gathered up the Pineapple Upside Down cake Diane made and our beverages and headed over to our friend Clair’s house where she was hosting a “Welcome Back” Happy Hour.

It was a nice gathering of about 11 people and we had a great time catching up and making up some plans for different events throughout the winter stay.

The girls were talking about going to a movie that some of them have been wanting to see and getting the Mahjong games going again along with Pickleball as well as planning for a few concerts that are being held in the park. And Drew and I talked about getting involved with a weekly poker tournament.

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Monday (11/5) was back to full on activities it seemed. I went over to the Pickleball courts and started playing at about 8:30 and played until 1. Then headed home for a light lunch and a nap until Diane headed over to the courts with friends to be a spectator. It’s been rough on her not being able to play with her injured arm. We sure hope the Dr. can figure out what’s wrong on Wednesday.

This crop duster works the fields just outside of the park and we watch him often. This is a shot from our RV site as he was headed to the fields.

This crop duster works the fields just outside of the park and we watch him often. This is a shot from our RV site as he was headed to the fields.

After Diane took off I jumped on the bike and went for a ride and returned home in time for Diane to get back so we could have a light dinner before headed back over to the courts about 5:30 where I played again until about 7:30 I guess.

While I played Diane went down into a different court and tried to play with her left hand, she is determined to get some Pickleball in however she can. He friend Becky went and batted the ball around a little with her and one of the 4.0 players also stepped in to give her a hand I noticed.

By the time we finished this bout of Pickleball I was plum beat and ready to head home for a shower and to watch a little Walking Dead we had recorded.

Another darn good day.

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That takes us through our first week here at Palm Creek and it was pretty much what we had expected. We figured we would get off to a mellow start and we did but I’m sure things will start rolling pretty strong soon.

Oh, last year when we rolled in on November 1st you might remember that I weighed in at 235lbs and had a goal to get down below 200. I’m happy to say that I weighed in at 195lbs this year on November 1st so I have been able to keep the weight off so far.

I have sort of set a new goal however, I have a Birthday coming up in 3 months and I want to be down to 185lbs. I’m not sure I will want to stay at that weight but I want to see how it feels. I’m pretty darn happy with 195 and feel strong at this weight but what the heck. If I don’t like it I know I won’t have any issue packing back on 10lbs LOL!!

Let’s see, what else? OH YES!!! We got a few more pictures of the progress on our new truck.

It’s coming right along but still has to have the bed liner sprayed in, the auxiliary fuel tank installed, the 5th wheel hitch installed, the spare tire and stainless steel tire cover installed, running boards put on, a few more light installed as well as a few other little things but it’s coming along very nicely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the latest photo, it shows the fold down steps under the front compartment have been installed and the rear backup sensors as well. Looks like they might be getting ready to install the running boards.

This is the latest photo, it shows the fold down steps under the front compartment have been installed and the rear backup sensors as well. Looks like they might be getting ready to install the running boards.

As far as the new 5th wheel, well not much to talk about there yet. I will say that I’m a bit unhappy with the communication we are getting from them at this point but we will see if that changes as we get closer.

I guess that’s it for now, by the time we actually get this posted we will be well into our second week and things are going pretty much as the 1st week, Pickleball, bike rides, walks, visiting, Tuesday night wing night, temps in the low 80’s and forecasted for the high 70’s this next week, all in all another good week taking shape.

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Headed farther south

 Saturday (10/27) we lifted our jacks and moved away from the Wine Ridge RV Park in Pahrump Nevada and had 2 possible landing spots in mind to end our day at.

 The first would be a 264 mile travel day to a boondocking spot in Quartzsite Arizona and the second would be a 340 mile travel day to the Carefree RV Village in Yuma Arizona.

 Well, because it was supposed to be in the low 90’s in Quartzsite and because Diane was planning to watch the world-series which meant I would be left with absolutely nothing to really do because I’m not a baseball fan we decided to make it to Yuma.

 After all, the park in Yuma has 8 Pickleball courts and I needed something to do LOL!!

 Not much to talk about for his stay, it went something like this. We got to the park about 3PM, got set up and had a late lunch / early dinner. The baseball game started at 5 and I was at the Pickleball courts by 6 and found some good casual play and played to about 8:30. Not much else to talk about for Saturday.

 Sunday (10/28) after breakfast I made my way to the Pickleball courts about 7:30 and found some pretty competitive play and hung around until 10:30 before heading home to watch the Kansas City football game (way to go KC!!) followed by a shower and a short driving tour around town but we had to be home by 5 so Diane wouldn’t miss the baseball game on TV LOL!!

 Unfortunate no one showed up at the Pickleball courts Sunday night for some reason so I just spent the evening working on the blog and going out for a number of short walks in hope that someone, ANYONE would show up at the courts at some point, but no luck.

 That’s really about it for our short Yuma stay. Monday morning we plan to lift our jacks once again and make another move. Let the winter fun begin!!

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A little time in Pahrump Nevada

As we mentioned in our last update, Saturday (10/20) after a night in Beatty we lifted our jacks and had a whopping 75 mile travel day to the Wine Ridge RV Park in Pahrump Nevada.
Between hanging around in Beatty as long as we could and stopping for fuel we managed to hold off our arrival at Wine Ridge until 11:45 which turned out to be about perfect because check in starts at 11:30, that’s earlier than most places around the country tend to be.


We were fortunate enough to get an end site that gave us an unobstructed view out into the desert. We had the site right next door once and liked it but this is even better.

Because we had been to Pahrump a few times we didn’t really have a bunch planned, it was really just a hold over spot to kill a little time before continuing on towards Casa Grande, our winter spot, but we managed to stay pretty active.

Of course Wine Ridge has 2 Pickleball courts so I managed to go down and play a couple hours every morning. Most mornings we had between 10 & 12 people show up to play but one morning we only had 3 so we just did some drill’s and played a 3 man cut throat game.
And I made it to the gym a few times as well to spend time on the Elliptical.

Poor Diane did something to her arm a few weeks back and has been trying to wait it out in hope it would just heal itself but that does not seem to be happening so she wasn’t able to play at all. She does have a DR. appointment set up in Casa Grande to have it checked out. We hope it isn’t anything serious because that would be a real bummer, she has really been looking forward to a bunch of Pickleball and golf this winter.

The park used to offer a “pretty much” free breakfast 6 days a week but now they offer a waffle breakfast 3 times a week so we of course made it to each of those which was a nice break from our normal yogurt breakfast we have at home.

Along with the free waffle breakfast they used to offer a free oatmeal breakfast and a couple mornings they charged $2 for a 2 egg’s & sausage or bacon breakfast with coffee & juice but for some reason people were not showing up for oatmeal or the egg breakfast so they stopped doing them which is to bad. Where can you go to have an egg breakfast for $2 now days.

And on day we took a road trip down into California to pick up our Mega Millions ticket one day. It’s very odd but Nevada does not sell Lottery tickets, go figure. On the same outing we looped around and visited the China Hat Date Farm, something we seem to do every time we are in the area.

We started the hike at the far end of the green you see.

We started the hike at the far end of the green you see.

We like the date shakes at China Ranch and I always buy a small loaf of Date bread while there and we enjoy taking a hike while in the area as well. The down side this time was it was in the mid 80’s and there is no shade to be had and there wasn’t a breeze at all. so it was a bit warm so we didn’t hike as far. But we enjoyed it just the same.

The last time we walked by here the walls were still standing so they have fallen since May. Sad

The last time we walked by here the walls were still standing so they have fallen since May. Sad


Here is a links to one of our visits to the China Hat in case you are interested so we don’t have to re-type everything again. I guess I’m lazy. https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/a-visit-to-the-china-date-ranch/

And on another day we took a drive to Las Vegas to do a little Pickleball shoe shopping but had no luck so ordering online it will be. That little trip to Vegas also took care of my big city driving for a while LOL!!! And we were just on the outskirts of town.

Other than that our time in Pahrump was pretty mellow, we did a little grocery shopping and went out to eat a couple times, we took care of a couple real life things like renewing the insurance on the motorhome and truck (even though just for 6 months this time instead of a year because of the switch about to happen) and scheduled a wash & wax for the motorhome when we arrive in Casa Grande. We have about 5 people planning to come see the rig when we get to Arizona so we want it squeaky clean LOL!! Actually we have the same service wash & wax it each year we are in Casa Grande so it would happen regardless.

We also received a couple more pictures of the progress on the new truck. It looks like the bed has been painted so it will probably be going to assembly petty soon.

The bed will have a spray-in liner applied and a auxiliary fuel tank and the 5th wheel hitch of course. And a spare tire with painted to match cover and stainless steel wrap. It should be sharp.

The bed will have a spray-in liner applied and a auxiliary fuel tank and the 5th wheel hitch of course. And a spare tire with painted to match cover and stainless steel wrap. It should be sharp.

The headache rack and fender trims.

The headache rack and fender trims.

Communication on the new 5th wheel however has been slow. Once we put the deposit down it seems the urgency on their end went away. But to be honest they won’t be actually starting our rig until January 1st (it was scheduled for mid-December) so there isn’t any huge rush but not having to rush is exactly why we committed so far in advance, so there wouldn’t be a need to crunch things towards the end.

We were warned that this might happen and it’s why we tried to get as much nailed down before we actually signed papers and sent any money but we are not worried yet, things will work out.

The plan after leaving Pahrump was to drive to Quartzsite Arizona to spend about 5 days boondocking before moving on to Casa Grande, but after watching the forecast and seeing that the temps were supposed to be in the low 90’s we decided to trim that back to just a couple days and move our reservation up a few days at Casa Grande. We like boondocking when it’s in the 60’s and 70’s, maybe even into the low 80’s but 90’s, nope, too hot to boondock for us. Besides, we are both ready for our stay at Palm Creek.


OK, that’s it for now. We will lift our jacks tomorrow (Saturday 10/27) and mve away from Pahrump once again.

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Winnemucca and Beatty Nevada

Wednesday (10/17) we lifted our jacks and rolled away from Burns and headed 225 miles south to Winnemucca Nevada.

We headed south out of town and drove HWY 78 until we hooked up with HWY 95 which we took the rest of the way to Winnemucca and boy howdy, there isn’t much to see along any of the route. But it was all good 2 lane highway with very little traffic at all, especially HWY 78. In fact 78 is one of those highways you can’t help thing, dang I hope we don’t have any problems out here with no real place to pull off the road, no traffic to wave down and no cell service LOL!! You know those toads.

Once we reached Winnemucca we headed to the New Frontier RV Park where the plan was to spend 2 nights before moving on. And once all set up and after a little lunch we headed out for our usual driving tour of the area.

Winnemucca sits at 4295ft elevation and was named after the 19th-century Chief Winnemucca of the local Northern Paiute tribe, who traditionally lived in this area back in the day and now has a population of around 7800 people.

And a bit of interesting history, on September 19, 1900, Butch Cassidy’s gang robbed the First National Bank of Winnemucca of $32,640.

After our driving tour we headed home and then walked over to Wingers right next to the RV Park for dinner. Dang, two taco’s each and an appetizer of 9 wings and 3 glasses off tea came up to $50!! They must have seen us coming LOL!!

After dinner we headed home and chilled the remainder of the evening with plans of a hike the following day.

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Thursday (10/18) after another cold night with temps in the low 20’s we woke to clear blue skies.

While sitting and having my coffee I happened to look out the window and saw a guy walking his dog and then thought, HEY I KNOW THAT GUY!!

It was Gordy, a good friend from Grants Pass that I hadn’t seen for probably 7 years. Gordy and I have gone on a number of “Boy’s Ride’s” and number of casual scooter rides back in the day and have spent a number of evening around a poker table together.

Unfortunately they were leaving that morning but it was nice catching up with him and Sherry the little time we did have to chat. We will see them again down the road I’m sure.

After seeing Gordy and Sherry drive off we kicked back a little while to let the temperature outside go up a little before jumping in the truck and heading out for a hike.

Diane did a little research and found a hike in the Water Canyon Recreational Area that sounded pretty good so we decided to check it out.

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Even though the original trail we had hoped to hike was closed we were able to find a very picturesque hike along a nice stream lined with Aspen and Cottonwood trees.

We had no idea just where the trail would take us but just as we started we did bump into a couple coming down that when asked said the trail would literally take you to Utah if you wanted. Hmm, I don’t think we ready for a hike like that LOL!!

But we did hike roughly 1 mile on a steady and gradual uphill trail until we reached the end of the Aspen Tree’s before turning around and heading back to the truck. So not a long hike but we got out a little anyway.

After our short hike we spent a little time just driving around before heading home where we just kicked back the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Not an overly thrilling day but a good day nine the less.

The plan from here was to get up on Friday (10/19) and head south. We didn’t have a plan of just how far south or where we would land for the night, just south and to warmer temps. We had one night to kill before going to Pahrump where we had reservations for a week.

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Friday morning (10/19) we got up and around and got a little earlier start to the day (for us) and were on the road at 8:30 with no real destination in mind but figured we would either make it to Tonopah Nevada 259 miles south and deal with one more night in the mid 20’s OR push on another 95 miles to Beatty Nevada where we would find overnight temps in the mid 50’s.

So we jumped on I-80 for about 50 miles before heading south on HWY 305 which connected to HWY 50 for a few miles before jumping on HWY 376 and the HWY 95 until we reached Tonopah.

It was still way early in the day and the draw of warmer weather was pulling on us hard so we opted to continue on HWY 95 until we reached Beatty.

Once we rolled into Beatty we found a nice big gravel pullout just before we reached Denny’s and took advantage of an open space right next to a wash that gave us a nice private patio side and a great view out into the dessert where we could dry camp for the night.

 

 

Once set up we headed out for a walk through town in search of a spot to have a late lunch / early dinner. Our choice turned out to be a spot called KC’s Outpost.

We both had French Dips and we both agree they were pretty darn good. Tender meat and fresh bread that they make themselves. It was a good choice.

As we sat eating our meal we couldn’t help notice that once again we came through at the wrong time, if only we would have been a couple weeks later we could have attended the “Bed Races” and a Chili Cook Off. Dang, maybe next time.

On the walk back home we just had to stop in at the Death Valley Nut & Candy Company to pick up something for the sweet tooth.

We stopped in once before and had fun looking at candies we hadn’t seen since our childhoods and this time was no exception. I couldn’t walk more than a couple feet without pointing and having ,,,mmmmmm, come out of my mouth.

Once again it turned out to be a cheat day on the ol diet but they just have to happen now and again.

When we made it home we just chilled until bedtime. In the middle of the night we couldn’t help lay there and giggle as we listened to a few donkeys make their way through our camp. We wanted to get up and try to see them but we were just too comfortable to make the move.

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Saturday (10/20) we woke to blue skies and too much warmer temps than we have been accustomed to over the last couple weeks.

While having breakfast looking out over the desert we saw a coyote running along the wash and soon after two dogs took off after it. Not sure who the dogs belonged to but we never saw them come back so we don’t know what ever came of that scenario.

Then it was time to move on. We only had about 75 miles to travel so we were not in a big hurry to get on the road. Our next stop was going to be at the Wine Ridge RV Park in Pahrump Nevada where we planned to spend 1 week.

It seems all roads run through Pahrump for us when we are traveling north and south for some reason, this makes about the 5th time we have stayed in Pahrump and about the 3rd time we have stayed at Wine Ridge.

That’s ok, we don’t mind Pahrump for a week at a time. Wine Ridge has 2 Pickleball courts and an ok gym that keeps me busy some of the time and there are a few nice drives and a couple areas we like to hike while in the area so all is good.

That’s it for now.

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Headed to Burns Oregon

Monday, October 15, 2018, we woke to another cold cold morning in Redmond with clear skies and a temperature of 27 degree’s, and it was travel day.

As I was getting around I couldn’t help notice the extra aches & pains I managed to muster up due to a good crash & burn on the Pickleball courts the day before. Yup, I headed off to mi right after a well hit ball, I must have had 6 good driving strides before I reached down to hit the ball and just kept going down until I hit the court and skidded “a measured” 5ft on my right side head first.

Once I popped up I found out that I did in fact get the ball back over the net and into play and the opposing team hit their shot into the net earning us a point and allowing me to retain the serve. So even though a little worse for wear it was not in vein LOL!!

We actually went on to win that game and play one more before I exited the courts and went home to lick my wounds.

Anyway back to travel day. We didn’t have a long day planned, just 145 miles from Redmond to Burns Oregon where we planned to spend just 2 night’s at the Burns RV Park.

Our pull through site was plenty long if we didn't want to unhook, even though we did obviously.

Our pull through site was plenty long if we didn’t want to unhook, even though we did obviously.

Because the temps at night have been getting down to the low 20’s the park was pretty empty during our stay but a few people did roll in to spend the night and then were off again, probably headed south a little faster than us to get to warm temps. They must be smarter than we are.

We had driven through Burns a number of times over the years either in the RV or on motorcycles rides but we have never stopped to explore so we figured we would at least spend 2 nights so we could have good 1 1/2  days to explore.

Burns is in Harney County and has a population of just under 3000 people in it and the nearby city of Hines. Those 3000 people make up about 60 percent of the people in the sparsely populated Harney County which is the largest county in Oregon and the ninth largest in the United States. That gives you a pretty good idea of how few people live in this vast area. Without a doubt there are far more cows in the area than people.

Because we only had 1 full day to explore other than doing a short driving tour around town on our travel day we decided to go check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge about 30 miles outside of town.

The refuge was created in 1908 by order of President Theodore Roosevelt to protect habitat for diverse waterfowl and migratory birds, and has grown to encompass 187,757 acres of public lands.

Some of the displays were a bit strange

Some of the displays were a bit strange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s a popular site for birding, fishing, hunting and hiking, the refuge gained widespread attention in early 2016 after its headquarters complex was occupied by armed anti-government protesters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We probably drove 40 miles or more of single lane gravel roads looking for wildlife and even though we did see a few birds, a few deer and 4 coyote we didn’t see nearly what we had hoped to see. We were warned by a good friend that wildlife would probably be scarce because of the lack of water this year but we decided to take our chances. Win some lose some but it was a pretty drive done the less.

After the Wildlife Preserve we decided to find a bit of history called the Pete French Round Barn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is borrowed from the web: The Pete French Round Barn stands in the heart of Harney County and remains a monument to one man’s livestock empire. Peter French arrived in 1872 and began amassing land and cattle. By the mid-1880s, his enterprise had grown to 70,000 acres and 45,000 head of cattle.

Some claimed he didn’t legally acquire the land or water rights, which prompted land disputes and court cases and added to his controversial reputation. One of the disputes eventually led to his murder in 1897.

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Although dubbed the ‘Cattle King,” French was the first rancher in the area to put up hay. He also raised thousands of sheep for their wool. The Round Barn was used to train wild horses to pull long wagon trains full of wool, hay and supplies to market in Oregon City.

In today’s landscape, this type of barn is unique. But during 1880–1920, round barns became popular in the Midwest where they were promoted as being efficient for progressive methods of farming. 

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The Round Barn is near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a network of wetlands that attract diverse bird and wildlife species. As you drive through the area, take in the sweeping views of the high buttes surrounding the low plains and marshes and the picturesque Steens Mountain towering in the distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love old barns and this one was no exception. It took a pretty darn good craftsman to build this thing back in the day, heck even today it would be a challenge for most.

After the barn we called it a day and headed home, had some dinner and curled up in front of the TV as the temps once again started to drop pretty darn fast as the sun set. Once again it got down to the mid 20’s overnight.

Just a spot along the road that caught my eye for some reason.

Just a spot along the road that caught my eye for some reason.

We didn’t even bother hooking up to water or septic during our stay because we knew everything would just freeze anyway, plus we were given a to the point notice on a sheet of paper when we checked in warning of freezing temps and stating that there would be a minimum $300 charge if we broke any of their water lines LOL!!! OK POINT TAKEN!!

Wednesday (10/17) we plan to lift our jacks and move 225 miles south to Winnemucca Nevada where we will probably spend 2 nights. We may change our minds and spend just 1 because the overnight temps there are supposed to be in the mid 20’s as well and I think we are getting a bit itchy to get to warmer temps even though it has been sunny and warm during the days, well warm enough.

Oh, a couple people have asked if we have had any interest in our motorhome and the answer is yes. At this point we have 2 different people planning to fly to Arizona to have a look and we have 3 people that will be in Arizona planning to take a look as well and we haven’t even advertised it in any major publications like RV Trader. Plus there is the company that buys used Tiffin’s and re-sales them but of course that will be a last resort.

And we received a couple pictures showing the progress of the hauler bed being made for our new pickup. It may not look like much now but it will before long!!

OK, that’s it for now.

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Crazy times

We realize it’s been a few weeks since our last update but trust me, our heads were swimming so much that I’m not sure we could have put it to print in a way that would have made any sense, nor would you have probably been interested in most of what we had going on.

 Because we sold the Jeep this year for the first time since hitting the road we don’t have a car of some sort in our storage unit which has been a huge part of our justification for having a storage unit, at least one as large as we had. So now we figure it’s time to do away with a storage unit all together or at least sell off some of the stuff we still have in storage and move what’s left into a much smaller unit.

 With that in mind we listed a few things on Craig’s List and had pretty good luck getting rid of what we listed but because we only had a very short time to spend in the area before heading south we didn’t even make a dent in what we need to get rid of, so I think we have decided to spend a couple months in the Grants Pass area next summer to really get things done.

 And with the 5th wheel in the horizon we spent some time truck shopping which turned out to be more of a challenge than we thought it would be. After configuring the 5th wheel we realized we would need to purchase a Ram 5500 or a Ford F550 to handle it safely so just that made it harder to find a truck that was already on the ground, most Ram 5500’s and Ford 550’s that are sitting at dealers around the country (and we searched the country) are in the Tradesman configuration for Ram trucks and XL or XLT’s with the Ford trucks because most of them are sold as pure work trucks, not leisure and luxury trucks.

 +++ As a note I researched for hours between Ford and Ram trucks and between F350 and Ram 3500’s and Ford F550 and Ram 5500’s which ultimately made me decide on a Ram 5500. We won’t bore you with all of the fine details on GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), Max payload numbers, GCWR (gross combined weight rating), Axle ratings, gear ratio’s, HP and torque numbers and the detuning of engines when you go to a 550 or 5500, Max tow rating’s, brake rotor diameters, turning radius’s and on and on, but I will if you want me to lol!!! But trust me, you would shake your heard if you saw the pages of notes and charts I had laying out on the table at different times during my research, not to mention the numerous You Tube video’s I watched comparing trucks. Hey, I research a new pair of Pickleball shoes and even watch video’s on them before buying a stinking $100 pair of shoes so you can only imagine what I’m like buying something like a truck, I drive Diane crazy.+++   

 Because of the lack of available inventory we started looking at ordering a tuck which you would think would be easy but no, not for us. We configured a 2018 Ram 5500 and placed a deposit with a dealer only to find out that the ordering window for 2018 rigs had closed, what the!!!!

 OK, so then let’s just order a 2019 we said, easy right? Heck no, Ram pushed back the order window for 2019 5500 trucks to November and don’t even plan to have prices available until early 2019 and don’t expect to start making 5500’s until around February with an expected lead time of 6 to 8 weeks which would push the delivery day out too far for us with the expected completion date of our new 5th wheel being April. (keep in mind the 5500 comes as a cab & chassis so we need to have the truck drop shipped at a up-fitter in Indiana to have the custom hauler bed installed which would add over another month to the process).

 So is your head swimming yet?? You can imagine how ours were and this is just the truck deal. Now add in the selling off stuff out of storage, trying to spend time with friends and oh, a little medical procedure that one of us had done that required a 2 week recover period (we won’t go into this) and you have a pretty good idea of how we were feeling.

 By now we were thinking that ordering a Ford F550 might be our best option, even though a Ram 5500 was our 1st choice the F550 was a very close 2nd and a very capable machine. In fact we happened across a 2015 F550 in Bend Oregon while doing online searches that was already up-fitted with everything we wanted in a truck so we decided to lift our jacks and make a move back over to the Bend Area to have a look instead of heading south like we had planned.

 Unfortunately even though a very very nice truck and one that would have saved us a considerable amount of money compared to ordering a new truck and having a hauler bed installed the numbers just didn’t add up. Every year truck manufactures make them tougher and tougher with higher and higher ratings on capabilities and we would have been over on our GCWR (gross combined weight rating) by close to 2000lbs with this particular truck and it was not equipped with a exhaust brake.

 Don’t think for one second I didn’t research things I might be able to do to the 2015 to increase its capabilities like switching out the gears and adding a exhaust brake system but after hours of research and numerous phone calls to different shops including Ford it just wasn’t meant to be.

 So now by chasing the possibility of the used truck we moved to an area that the temps were dipping into the high 20’s at night instead of heading south where we would be warm and toasty. Damn, is anything easy? I know, staying with the motorhome would have been the easy thing LOL!!

 Well about now were whittling down our options dramatically and in our minds were down to just 2 options, #1 order a 2019 F550 and have it drop shipped to the up-fitter in Indiana to have the bed installed or #2 purchase a 2018 Ram 5500 that was already on the ground and for sale at one of the 2 up-fitters in Indiana. (Are you saying wait a minute, a Ram 5500 already on the ground, I thought you said there were none). Let us explain.

 We will try to keep the examination simple. #1 We know what we could buy a 2018 Ram for and the up-fitter had the truck line listed it at $2000 over what we could buy a truck for and have it drop shipped. And #2 this particular up-fitter was charging more for the Kelderman 4-link air suspension than another up-fitter that we had been talking with making the completed truck close to $4,000 more than we know we could have gotten it done for. Because of this we (mainly me) was determined to find a truck ourselves to save money, I hate paying more for the same darn truck, a couple hundred more for the convenience of dealing with one outfit ok but $4K, damn!!

 Remember the “our heads were swimming” comment earlier? Well add the having this truck available at a higher cost to the picture and you get an even better idea. I can’t count the times I got up out of my chair to pace back and forth before sitting back down during my researching and thinking about going with this particular truck to put things to bed. And there isn’t much space to pace in a motorhome LOL!!

 OK, long story short (ok not so short) we struck a deal with the up-fitter, signed an agreement and sent a deposit check for a 2018 Ram 5500 Laramie Crew Cab. It has already had the stock rear suspension removed and a 4 link Kelderman air suspension install and is in the process of having the hauler bed manufactured and installed.

Once the hauler bed is installed there will be a few other upgrades done like running boards, spray in bed liner, a 90 gallon auxiliary fuel talk and a Trailer Saver air ride 5th wheel hitch and some additional lighting added in the bed area.

The Kelderman system waiting to be installed

The Kelderman system waiting to be installed

The guys are hard it taking things apart. We won't be needing those taillights because the hauler bed will have built in lights.

The guys are hard it taking things apart. We won’t be needing those taillights because the hauler bed will have built in lights.

You can see that the leaf springs have been removed and replaced by the Kelderman system.

You can see that the leaf springs have been removed and replaced by the Kelderman system.

You can see that the leaf springs have been removed and replaced by the Kelderman system.

You can see that the leaf springs have been removed and replaced by the Kelderman system.

 The plus side to buying this truck is that it will be completed before our 5th wheel is ready, the down side is that it will be completed well before our 5th wheel will be and the truck will be sitting in Indiana and we will be in Arizona LOL!! But they have agreed to store it at no charge until we pick it up just before the 5th wheel is completed.

 If you remember a couple updates back we made mention that we would no doubt run into a few hurdles during this change and I guess the truck is going to be just one of them. But like we said, we went into this with eye’s wide open and we will just roll with the punches the best we can.

 I admit that it will be hard for me not to either drive up to get the truck when it’s completed close to the end of the year or jump on a plane but it really makes no sense cost wise to do that. Plus it will be mid-winter and driving to Indiana from Arizona is something I’m sure I would regret once under way.

 Our thoughts at this point are that we will leave Arizona April 1st as planned and with luck the motorhome will be sold and we will just drive our pickup with a U-Haul trailer in tow with our stuff crammed in it to New Horizon in Kansas, unload our stuff into the new 5th wheel, then drive 700 miles to Indiana and pick up the new truck and drive back to Kansas and take delivery of our new home.

 Oh sure, we realize that just a plan and that something will probably create another challenge but I’m pretty sure we will be able to overcome whatever it turns out to be eventually.

 Ok, well we have managed to ramble on for some time about all this stuff and we haven’t even touched base on everything but we will call it good for this update.

 We will say that even though somewhat hectic we enjoyed our time with friends in Grants Pass. I was able to play Pickleball a number of times while in the area, we got in a few short hikes, we went out for a few meals with friends and we were able to spend some time with good old Jack.

 

Diane and Jack chillin.

Diane and Jack chillin.

Check out this picture Chris came across, it looks just like Jack and Felix!!

Check out this picture Chris came across, it looks just like Jack and Felix!!

 At this point we are in Redmond Oregon and plan to lift our jacks Monday (10/15) and drive to Burns Oregon just 145 miles south east to spend a couple nights before heading 220 miles south to Winnemucca Nevada for a couple more nights and then, well we don’t know where to from their other than south to warmer temps and eventually Casa Grande Arizona on November 1st.

 Oh, we had originally planned to hit the road out of Redmond Sunday but decided to spend one more night so we could make sure to not miss the KC and New England game. Of course this could cause hate and discontent amongst Diane and I because her and my teams are playing so it just might be a quiet ride tomorrow LOL!! GO KC!!!             

Posted in A little about us | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments