Travel day and a short stay in Kingman

 Wednesday (3/29) rolled around and with it came a travel day, yup it was time to lift our jack and start a slow roll towards Oregon.

 Our plan for the day was to drive to Kingman Arizona and we had a choice, drive north on I-10 and go through Phoenix which would be roughly a 245 mile travel day and take 3 ¾ hours according to our mapping program Or drive west on I-8 to Gila Bend then north on HWY 85 and on to Kingman which would be a 285 mile travel day and 4 ¼ hours. Well if you have read our blog for any length of time you probably know which way I chose because I have made comment many times that I will drive a few extra miles to avoid big cities ANY OL DAY so we went through Gila Bend LOL!! An extra 40 miles of pretty mellow driving is a great trade off in my book to avoid white knuckle driving through Phoenix.

 We made a quick stop at Holt’s Shell in Gila Bend to fill up with fuel and then jumped on HWY 85 and drove about 30 miles until we reached I-10 on the west side of Phoenix, we then took I-10 just a few miles to the 303 Loop and followed it to 60 West. We just followed our nose from there through Wickenburg where we got on HWY 93 and drove it until we reached I-40/93 and drove just a short distance to Kingman and our destination at Fort Beale RV Park.

 It was really a pretty mellow drive but certainly more miles than we typically like to travel in one day but there were some pretty areas along the way with lots of colorful plants blooming in the desert.

 Once we were settled in our site we had lunch and chilled until we decided to go out for a drive after dinner. We have visited Kingman before while staying in Laughlin so we didn’t feel a huge urge to go out and about. Here is a link to our last visit in case you care to check it out. https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/time-to-leave-quartzsite-and-head-to-laughlin/

 

Our pull-through site at Fort Beale RV Park

Our pull-through site at Fort Beale RV Park

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Thursday (3/30) started out sunny and very nice with a promise from the weatherman of strong winds starting mid-afternoon so we decided to get out for a couple mile walk around historic downtown after breakfast followed by another driving tour around the area.

 

This was in some ones back yard and I thought it was cool.

This was in some ones back yard and I thought it was cool.

We ate here the last time we visited the area.

We ate here the last time we visited the area.

After our walk and drive we returned home for showers and then headed downtown in the truck to test a few beers at Black Bridge Brewery.

 After the brewery we headed to The Garlic Clove Italian restaurant for a late lunch / early dinner. The décor was pretty lacking but the service and food were pretty good.

 Once we finished lunch we decided we still had a thirst so we headed to the House of Hops for another adult beverage before heading home to hide from the winds that did in fact roll in as promised. We were both full and feeling lazy so we didn’t mind hunkering down the rest of the day too much because the winds were ranging in the 36mph range with gusts close to 50mph so staying inside.

The white strip the beer is sitting on is actually a strip of ice inlayed in the bar top. What a great idea!! And yes, I played with the John Deer tractor.

The white strip the beer is sitting on is actually a strip of ice inlayed in the bar top. What a great idea!! And yes, I played with the John Deer tractor.

 That pretty much raps up our short 2 night stay in Kingman. Friday morning (3/31) we will lift our jacks and make another move, this time to Mesquite Nevada where we will hang out for a week. The winds on Friday are supposed to subside some and range in the 14 to 21mph during the morning hours and becoming stronger mid-afternoon so we will probably try to hit the road around 8:30. We are looking forward to Mesquite and Saint George Utah.

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Summing up another stay in Casa Grande. Time to hit the road again

I guess it’s time to sum up our stay at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort,,,,,,, again LOL!!! Obviously we say again because of our previous stay / stay’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our last update we mentioned that Palm Creek ran a special so we came back for 1 month however in the middle of our stay they ran another 40% off deal for extensions so we took advantage of it and lengthened our stay another week making it 5 weeks, heck we had no place to be anyway plus the weather up north was pathetic and we were having a good time.

Of course we had to stop off and play a little bean bag golf about every time we rode or walked by.

Of course we had to stop off and play a little bean bag golf about every time we rode or walked by.

If you have read our other update about our stay here it will be of no surprise if we tell you our days since our last update have been filled with flying at the airfield and Pickleball so we won’t bore you with that LOL!!

An average morning around the airfield.

An average morning around the airfield.

Slow sticks lined up getting ready for combat.

Slow sticks lined up getting ready for combat.

Jerry and his Night Vision Air. It looks really cool in the sky at night.

Jerry and his Night Vision Air. It looks really cool in the sky at night.

Converted dog carriers area a common site at the airfield. And of course bikes are a preferred for of transportation around the park

Converted dog carriers area a common site at the airfield. And of course bikes are a preferred for of transportation around the park.

People will fly about anything!!

People will fly about anything!!

Combat

Combat

Ed (sitting in the chair) is flying Ron's racing drone for the first time to test out flying with FPV goggles. I flew it the other day and found it very challenging.

Ed (sitting in the chair) is flying Ron’s racing drone for the first time to test out flying with FPV goggles. I flew it the other day and found it very challenging.

A new drone race track has been installed at the Casa Grande city airfield and I think Ron feels if he lets as many people fly his they just might get hooked and come back with there own next season. I can see it happening.

A new drone race track has been installed at the Casa Grande city airfield and I think Ron feels if he lets as many people fly his they just might get hooked and come back with there own next season. I can see it happening.

We also spent a little time watching a dog agility show here at the park which is always good for a chuckle.


We went to a RC Airshow at the Casa Grande RC Airfield and watched one heck of a performance by some youngsters from southern California which was a real treat and a representative from Horizon Hobby also showed of his amazing skills. If I were HALF the pilot these guys are I would be very happy.

This was taken at one of the events at the Casa Grande city field where I will be doing a bunch of my flying next year.

This was taken at one of the events at the Casa Grande city field where I will be doing a bunch of my flying next year.

Palm Creek also had a movie night. They put up there big screen in the park, sold popcorn and non-alcoholic cold drinks, everyone brought their lawn chairs and choice of beverage if they wanted something more “adult oriented” and played “Arrival” as the movie. Not something we would normally pick to go see but for this setting it was very enjoyable.

Waiting for the sunset to finish so the movie can start.

Waiting for the sunset to finish so the movie can start.

Palm Creek also put on an “End of Season” bash. For $5 you could get a Tri-Tip sandwich, a green salad, potato salad, water AND an ice-cream bar PLUS they had a live band called “One Of These Nights” that played all Eagles music and were exceptional as far as I was concerned.


Our neighbors and fellow Oregonian’s and new found friends Rodger & Colene actually gave us tickets for the event after needing to leave the park early due to family issues back home. I don’t think they read the blog but we want to thank them anyway!!

The small tan area middle left is the stage for the band. A good crowd showed up to have a good time.

The small tan area middle left is the stage for the band. A good crowd showed up to have a good time.

All of the people standing along the edge are in line to make it to the tent you see the top of in the distance to get food & drinks LOL!! It actually went pretty fast.

All of the people standing along the edge are in line to make it to the tent you see the top of in the distance to get food & drinks LOL!! It actually went pretty fast.

And of course last but not least we had a couple Happy Hours with fellow Pickleball players and RC fliers before our departure date.
Mid-March the park started to clear out every day as we walked and rode around we would see more and more empty sites (I guess that’s why they ran the extension special that snagged us LOL!!). And for about a week the temperatures soared into the mid 90’s which sure slowed us down a bit mid-day and had our minds wandering to cooler places which in turn got us thinking about where we wanted to go this coming summer.

During our brainstorming sessions we decided maybe Michigan would be a good spot to head to this summer. We hear it is beautiful in that area and can be cooler during the summer months, both good things.
The logical side of me thought that maybe waiting until next year and going straight to Michigan from here in Arizona and by-pass our usual Oregon visit would make more sense as far as miles needing to be traveled but just as I was thinking that I started noticing all of the tornado’s being talked about right in the path we would be taking if we did go straight to Michigan from here, Hmmm angling up through the heart of tornado alley smack dab in the middle of tornado season all of a sudden didn’t sound so great so I guess we decided a few extra miles didn’t sound so bad this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have not set a Michigan trip in stone yet but if we do we figure it will change the way we normally travel for this year anyway. I started mapping out a journey with stops along the way of interest but soon realized it would take us so long to get to Michigan at our normal snail’s pace that we wouldn’t have much time to really tour Michigan once we got there before having to head south. So we just might try the “just drive and get there” approach until we get to say Minnesota and then slow down and smell the roses as they say.

Neither of us are real crazy about the idea of the fast and longer day travel method but we figure it just might need to happen. Keep in mind that we are talking about leaving Oregon June 1st and getting to the western shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin by mid-July in time for the Oshkosh Airshow so I’m sure traveling roughly 2200 miles in 6 or 7 weeks doesn’t sound like much to many of you but that would be traveling at least TWICE as fast as we normally travel LOL!!

We love when the cactus bloom.

We love when the cactus bloom.

We have been asking questions and researching a Michigan trip and will continue doing so but we have the present to deal with now and now means hanging up our Pickelball paddles, saying goodbye to the all so convenient airfield and our seasonal friends and once again lift our jacks and get back on the road.

Wednesday (3/29) we will lift our jacks and head to Kingman Arizona where we will spend 2 nights before making another move to Mesquite Nevada to spend a week. We have toured Kingman before so 2 nights is just a stopover and we plan to tour St. George Utah while staying in Mesquite, they are only 30 miles apart. From there we will start a slow move towards Oregon with our first stop being in La Pine to visit our good friends Bob & Karen for a couple days. I hope the snow is gone so we can get a good bike ride in along the river, with all the snow they had this year I bet it’s really roaring!!!

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Back on familiar grounds

 On Monday (2/20) after our short 4 day stay in Gold Canyon we lifted our jacks and drove a whole 60 miles to our next destination at Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande. Oh wait, do we hear the cogs turning out there?? Are you thinking Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort sounds darn familiar? Do we hear you saying “didn’t they just stay there”?  Well it should sound familiar and yes we spend Oct. 15th to Jan. 15th here and had such a great time, plus time to kill that we decided to come back and spend another month.

 Even though we really enjoyed seeing friends while in Quartzsite and even though we like going to new places we realized that we missed all the activities that we were involved with during our previous stay. So because we had some time to kill before the weather turns hot down south and before we need to be back in Oregon for some real life stuff “doctor appointments etc.) we figured what the hey, let’s go back. And because we can, we did LOL!!!

 We rolled into Palm Creek and were all set up around noon and found ourselves on our bikes headed towards the Pickleball courts to sign up for Round Robin play for the next week by 2 and Diane was playing her first Round Robin (which consists of 6 games) at 6PM LOL!!! I was signed up for a 9am Round Robin for Tuesday morning as well as each day for the next week except Sunday. Are we hooked,,,,, well maybe.

 It’s not just Pickleball that brought us back, of course the on-site RC Airfield is a huge draw for me (there is a story here to come at a later date about the park expansion and the loss of the airfield next year. Some people have cancelled next year’s reservations just because of this and next year may be our last year as well), the gym and of course people we have met. Plus we find it a nice eye appealing place amongst the brown desert.

Oh wait!!! Are those 2 new planes in the hanger??

Oh wait!!! Are those 2 new planes in the hanger??

And this little Bi-plane can be flown in a small area as well. A baseball diamond is more than enough space.

And this little Bi-plane can be flown in a small area as well. A baseball diamond is more than enough space.

This new plane will fly in such a small area that I will be able to fly it in just a empty RV site. So many times we are not by a larger airfield so this will keep my thumbs busy LOL!! It need to be calm wind however.

This new plane will fly in such a small area that I will be able to fly it in just a empty RV site. So many times we are not by a larger airfield so this will keep my thumbs busy LOL!! It need to be calm wind however.

 We have been here 2 weeks and have had a great time so far. I’m guessing that we have each played roughly 50 games of pickleball so far. We would have played more but they held a 4 day “Duel in the Desert” Pickleball tournament here which shuts down all organized play unless you are actually in the tournament which we are not “THIS YEAR”. But I’m thinking and hoping that I might enter 2 of the 3 big tournaments next year.

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 And I have spent probably 30 hours AT LEAST at the airfield. Plus we have walked and ridden our bikes a number of miles.

A pretty good crowd gathers on Wednesday mornings at the airfield for competition day. It sure will be missed next year when Palm Creek Golf and RV takes away our airfield. YES you read that right but more on that later.

A pretty good crowd gathers on Wednesday mornings at the airfield for competition day. It sure will be missed next year when Palm Creek Golf and RV takes away our airfield. YES you read that right but more on that later.

All lined up and ready for the dog fight!!

All lined up and ready for the dog fight!!

 We also attended a nice car show put on by Palm Creek which also included a live band, burgers and hot dogs on the grill and of course a beer garden.

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 To be honest we didn’t spend a bunch of time at the Car Show because I flew in the morning and we both had Pickleball scheduled during the event but we did at least check out all the cars and listened to the band for a bit. But no beer or burgers for us this time.

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 In other words we are back into the swing of things and feeling good. We have 2 more weeks to spend here before lifting our jacks and moving on but we can assure you those two weeks will be filled with Pickleball and flying LOL!!! I have a couple little projects I would like to get done and we talked about a road trip to Tucson mid-week before heading north to take a look at a couple RV resorts (for future reference due to the airfield being closed down here, again more on that thought later) and to hopefully have lunch with some friends. So time will tell if we actually break away to get those things done.

Old cars sitting everywhere, the band was playing, burgers & hotdogs were on the grill and cold beer was flowing. All that and great weather, not a bad day.

Old cars sitting everywhere, the band was playing, burgers & hotdogs were on the grill and cold beer was flowing. All that and great weather, not a bad day.

 And the temps are starting to rise down here so I’m sure by the time our departure days rolls around we will be ready to make a move a little north in hope of cooler temps. Diane likes warmer temps that I do but I start melting when it gets above the mid 80’s, I like it in the 70 degree range.

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A short stay in Gold Canyon for a RC Airshow

First off we will just scatter pictures throughout this update in no rhyme or reason.

On Thursday (2/16) after getting our coach weighed at 9AM we hit the road about 10:30 towards our next destination (no it didn’t take that long to actually get weighed but a little yacking was going on LOL!!).

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Our goal for the day was to travel from Congress AZ (northwest of Phoenix) to Gold Canyon (southeast of Phoenix) and avoid all of the big Phoenix traffic that we could. So the best way I could figure out to do that was take HWY 60 south from Congress to Hwy 74, then take 74 east until it turned into E Carefree Hwy (this took I17 out of the picture AND took us through a very attractive area that we would not have seen by sticking to the GPS suggested routes). We then turned south on N Scottsdale Rd and took it until we could jump on 101 which we drove until we could jump off on Hwy 60, then east on 60 until we reached Canyon Vista’s RV Resort and making our travel day about 120 miles.

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 This made our 3rd stay at Canyon Vista’s and we normally stay for a week when passing through and normally a little earlier in the season but this time we wanted to stay just 4 days, between being only 4 days and paying the daily rate and being later in the season (prime time) we ended up paying about $60 per night!!! Uuuuuggggg. Note to self, don’t do that again!!

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Of wait, that's a real plane. I just thought it might be Harrison Ford and he was confused about the RC airfield LOL!!

Of wait, that’s a real plane. I just thought it might be Harrison Ford and he was confused about the RC airfield LOL!!

 After getting checked in and set up we went for a nice walk followed by an early dinner at our favorite little Chinese restaurant in the area just up the road a bit. Then another evening walk before plopping ourselves in front of the TV the rest of the evening, not very exciting we know.

Look at the size of that monster!!

Look at the size of that monster!!

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 The only reason we came to Canyon Vista’s this time was so we (well mainly I) could attend the 3 day, 13th Annual Arizona Electric RC Plane Festival in Mesa. If you are a reader of our blog you will know that I really like RC planes (well RC toys of any kind) so if there is an event in our path I like to attend if we can.

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 The event flier said the show would start at 8am so I woke Diane up a little extra early so we could get out to the airfield before 8, it was only a 20 minute drive and all on surface streets so it wasn’t far from our campground at all. But after getting to the field we found that pilots were still rolling in and setting up and even most of the vendors had not arrived yet, heck the show didn’t even really start until after 9. Well of course I caught a ration of crap from Diane about me always wanting to be early to everything LOL!!!

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 Once everything got going it was pretty good, Friday was pretty nice weather wise with blue skies and only a slight breeze so there was a lot of planes out on display and in the air.

 I was a little disappointed in the amount of venders that were there, I really expected there to be many more but the ones that did show up had some good stuff.

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 We hung around the show for about 6 hours before taking off for the day, a pretty good day.

Saturday the weather was so cooperative. It rained a little over night, the skies were still full of threatening clouds and there was a pretty good breeze so the old saying “The Show Must Go On” was being challenged.

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 Diane had already told me that she had enough on Friday and wasn’t going Saturday and especially with the weather being what it was BUT I on the other hand wasn’t about to just sit around so I headed out to the airfield about 8.

 The day was a rollercoaster weather wise, it would rain for a bit and everyone was grounded, then the rain would stop and it was a rush for everyone to get in the air while they could. It just kept cycling like that all day until finally about 3 when the rain came in and it looked like it was there to stay so I decided to call it and day and headed home. Pretty much another 6 hour day at the airfield even though less enjoyable than Friday but it was better than sitting around on my ars LOL!!

One of my planes is like the one in the front except with a red instead of blue.

One of my planes is like the one in the front except with a red instead of blue.

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 Sunday I checked the Airshow’s Facebook page and saw that the show had been cancelled for the day due to weather so that ended that, now what to do with the day. The answer to that was a trip to a shopping mall where we managed to kill a couple hours after a leisurely start to the morning and then a stop at Costco to bulk back up on supplies. Well to be honest we didn’t need that much but we were in the area and had nothing else planned so what the heck.

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 That pretty much sums up our short 4 day stay in Gold Canyon, it was good even though not all that we had hoped it would be.

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They don't all go home in the same shape they came.

They don’t all go home in the same shape they came.

 Monday morning (2/20) was travel day. Over Valentine’s Day the Casa Grande Golf & RV Resort put out a 25% off special on Facebook so we decided to jump on it and booked a month. If you remember we stayed there from Oct. 15th to Jan. 15th on our first attempt at staying someplace for what we called “long term” and really had a great time so it was a pretty easy decision on our part. In fact they ran the same special last year so we were hoping they would do it again this year.

 So, that’s where we are sitting now and have been for the last week but that will be left for our next update. Just know that we are right back into the routine we had while here before, PickleBall every day, me hitting the RC airfield almost every day (there is a story to come about the airfield in our next update), bike rides and long walks. A big change from what we have been doing since leaving here Jan. 15th and it feels good.   

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The update we promised on weighing our coach

 

 In our last update we mentioned having our motorhome and pickup 4 corner weighed before leaving North Ranch so I thought we would go into that a little deeper. We know for a lot of you this will be old hat but for those just getting into RV’s it might be interesting. And even for you old timers you might be interested in what we came up with for our weights.

 Like most RVers we have ran our coach across scales you find along roadways to at least get our axle weights and total weights to compare to the (GAWR) Gross Axle Weight Rating, our (GVWR) Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and (GCWR) Gross Combined Weight Rating. Doing that is certainly better than doing nothing at all BUT even by doing that and finding that our weights are within the parameters of our coach there can still be problems.

What problems you ask? Well it is possible to be within your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and your Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR), and still be overloaded on an individual wheel position and unless you know the load being carried by each wheel position, you have no way of knowing the proper inflation of your tires. Improper inflation leads to improper wear, reduced life of the tire, and greater potential for a blowout. An overloaded tire (which usually means an underinflated tire) is the number one cause of a blowout.

 Plus being overweight can cause premature wear and tear on the vehicle’s components and therefore create unnecessary repair costs and worse yet safety hazards.

The ONLY way to properly weigh your RV is by wheel position. Your tires and wheels are the foundation of your RV, and each has a maximum weight rating.

 And if the things mentioned above are not enough, keep in mind that if you ever have an accident and it is discovered that you exceeded the GCWR it could lead to legal consequences and your insurance could have grounds to deny a claim.

 Last but not least having a properly balanced couch with properly inflated tires should create a betting handling RV with a better and more comfortable ride.

 We opted to use “Smart Weigh” through the Escapee’s Club for this weighing but there are other’s out there that also do great jobs, just do a google search and a few will pop up.

Diane driving the pickup onto the scales.

Diane driving the pickup onto the scales.

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 The cost to have our motorhome and toad weighed was $55 PLUS they measure the actual height of your RV. It so happens that Tiffin shows our coach to be 12’ 7” tall but during our weigh and measure we found that we are actually 12’ 8”. Only an inch difference but that inch could make a difference some time in the future.

  OK, a few notes about our coach at the time of the weigh, we probably had 85 gallons of fuel onboard (we have a 100 gallon tank) and the DEF tank was full, The black tank had maybe 5 gallons of water and the grey was basically empty other than what I used washing my hands after getting ready to roll and we had roughly ¼ tank of fresh water. The cupboards and refer are about as full as they can be and the freezer was ¾ full. That’s pretty much the way things are when we travel. Oh I was in the driver’s seat and Diane was in the passenger seat (that’s the way it should be during the weigh).

 Side note, we have 8 solar panels on the roof and we upgraded our 6 house batteries to Lifeline 6CT AGM’s that are certainly heavy compared to the stock batteries so I’m really happy with the results on the front axle.

Here are our results:

 Front right = 6525lbs,,, Front left = 6550lbs,,, total front axle 13075lbs. Front GAWR is 14320 so we are 1245lbs under.

Right rear dual = 7925lbs,, Left rear dual = 8350, total drive axle 16275lbs. Drive axle GAWR is 20,000lbs so we are 3725lbs under.

Right rear tag = 3450lbs,, Left rear tag = 4000, total tag axle = 7450lbs. Tag axle GAWR is 10,000lbs so we are 2550lbs under.

 Our actual GVWR is 36,800lbs and our sticker shows we can be 44,320lbs so we are 7520lbs under.

Our toad weighed in at 5450lbs making our total weight with motorhome and toad 42,250lbs. The GCWR for our coach & toad is 54,320 according to the sticker so we are 12,070lbs under.

 So unless I made a mistake that’s where we stand and I will say that I’m pretty happy with that. The rear is 975lbs heavy on the left rear but that’s where the washer/dryer are located and knowing how little we have stowed on that side in the back I don’t think I will be able to completely offset that but we are so far underweight that to be honest I’m not going to worry about it that much.

 Our coach has Michelin 275/80R22.5 XZA3 tires and I have been running 115PSI in the front and 100PSI in the rear. I think I will be leaving the fronts alone but will be dropping the pressure in the rears a bit, not much but maybe 5 PSI.

It looks like mama can get some new shoes and I need to find a new toy or two LOL!!

 So, in case you now have the juices flowing in your head about tires I thought we would share a few links to what I consider some of the major tire brands you might find on motorhomes that provide information about load limits and proper air pressures.  

http://www.michelinrvtires.com/reference-materials/load-and-inflation-tables/#/

http://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/rv_inflation.pdf

http://rvweigh.com/Bridgestone%20Load-Inflation%20tbl.pdf

http://commercial.firestone.com/en-us/resources/inflation-tables

http://rvweigh.com/Toyo%20RV%20Tire%20Load%20Inflation%20Tables.pdf

 Hey, while you are checking the PSI in your tires you may as well check how old they are. A tire’s age is determined by its birth date, not the date on which it was installed. Its birth date is stamped right on the sidewall, and it’s called a DOT code. The first two digits are the week, and the second two are the year the tire was produced. I borrowed this picture from the internet but it shows how to read the date code.

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Normally RV tires age out before they wear out in most cases due to limited miles traveled each year by most RVer’s. The typical “life” of a tire is between five and seven years, regardless of tread wear.  And believe it or not tires deteriorate more quickly when used less frequently, such as long storage periods or in a spare tire position. I read that it has to do with the chemical reaction caused by a tire rolling down the road that helps keep it healthy. Sort of like our bodies, use it or lose it.  

And while we are talking about tires I will mention that one of the best purchases we have made since hitting the road was our tire monitoring system. Here is a link to that write-up in case you are interested. (Oh we did upgrade the compressor that I showed in that update to a 150PSI Porter-Cable Pancake that does a very nice job). https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/our-new-tpms-tire-pressure-minitoring-system/

And a second item that also goes along with this tire related update that should be considered by all rvers is some sort of tire covers. One of the most harmful things to tires are ultraviolet rays.

We opted for the snap on covers. Easy to install and still allows for great air flow around the tires

We opted for the snap on covers. Easy to install and still allows for great air flow around the tires.

 We opted for the snap on tire covers, I find them easy to put on and take off and I like that they also allow for good air flow around the tires. Oh, and I think they look pretty darn sharp LOL!!  We had the same type on our last coach as well. Any time we are going to be setting for at least a week I put them on.

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 I guess that does it for our little blurb on having our coach weighed and tire safety. Of course there is tons of information online that’s goes much further into detail than we have but at least it might get you thinking.

 After getting weighed we were off to our next stop in Gold Canyon. The plan was to only spend 4 days there so we (well mainly I) could attend a 3 day RC airplane event in Mesa. But more on that in our next update.

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Spending a little time at North Ranch

  As mentioned in our last update, after leaving Quartzsite (Saturday 2/11) we drove a nice mellow 100 miles to our next stop at the North Ranch Escapee Park in Congress Arizona. We drove I-10 about 15 miles east to exit 31 where we and jumped on HWY 60 which took us through a few small towns like Brenda, Hope, Salome, Wenden and Aguila. As soon as we drove through Aguila we turned left on HWY 71 and drove it until we reached HWY 89 at Congress. We turned right on 89 and drove about 5 miles to North Ranch. Other than the short run on I-10 everything else was a nice (mostly nice) 2 lane highway drive.

 I unhooked the truck while Diane went in to check us in and then we were off to our site. (Oh, I will make mention now that as we were filling up with fuel and again while unhooking the truck that our brake lights remained on. WHAT!!!! That’s exactly why we stopped at Freightliner to have recall work done on before heading to Quartzsite. And to add insult we never had an issue BEFORE we had the recall work done geezzzzz. We will report more on this I’m sure in the future.)

Office/ clubhouse

Office/ clubhouse

North Ranch is what is referred to as an Escapee Rainbow Park. Quoted from the Escapee web page (The Rainbow Parks were started to satisfy the needs of members desiring home base park opportunities while providing more parking for traveling Escapees. Rainbow Parks offer the options of daily campground rental, annual leases, deeded RV-style lots, and unimproved larger lots with flexibility to develop them in several different ways. Unlike the SKP Co-Ops where you purchase a membership, in the Rainbow Parks you purchase a deeded-lot that you may later sell for current market value to any member. Use of the clubhouse, campground, and recreational facilities are benefits of Escapees Club membership and are not privileges of ownership of deeded lots. Unlike SKP Co-ops, operating expenses in Rainbow Parks are paid from campground income, and park rules and policies are administered by Rainbow Parks.)

 So taking into consideration what you just read above this park is split up into 2 sections. The section where we stayed which is pretty much a gravel parking lot divided into OK sized sites but certainly not large with 30 amp power, water & septic. No character at all and certainly not sites we would be interested in staying put in for any length of time. Um, did that sound snobbish??? LOL!!!

You can see us on the left. No frills campground area.

You can see us on the left. No frills campground area.

One row in the campground. We were parked at the other end on the right.

One row in the campground. We were parked at the other end on the right.

Looking down the backside of 1 row in the campground area. About the only row with any shade.

Looking down the backside of 1 row in the campground area. About the only row with any shade.

 You can see in these pictures that this section is really just a place to park. But for just $19 per night (electric included) or $116 per week (electric included) or $325 (plus electric) per month you can’t complain about the price. Oh those prices are for Escapee members.

 And then you have the other section of the park where the deeded lots are, the “neighborhood”.

All the streets are nice like this in the neighborhood.

All the streets are nice like this in the neighborhood.

One of the basic bare lots with only a shed

One of the basic bare lots with only a shed.

The streets are all nice & wide and asphalt lined with everything from bare lots with 1 to 3 RV hookup areas and maybe a shed to full blown very nice homes, many with RV ports or at least RV storage areas with hookups. And “almost” every lot is as neat as a pin.

Living area to the right, RV parking in the middle and a covered parking area to the left.

Living area to the right, RV parking in the middle and a covered parking area to the left.

One of the nice homes in the park

One of the nice homes in the park

 From an outsider looking in it would appear that renting a lot in the “neighborhood” area isn’t possible and in fact if you ask in the office about it you really won’t get anywhere, they just lead you to a list of lots for sale and avoid the question. Well they did for us anyway. But as you meet people or if you happen to know someone that stays in the park and knows the in’s & outs you will find out that it is possible to rents a site from a lot owner but it’s sort of a taboo and it’s more commonly referred to as “lot sitting”.  In fact during one of our walks we saw one sign that showed the lot for sale and or looking for a “lot sitter”.

They have a great cactus garden.

They have a great cactus garden.

 Regardless of which area you end up staying in the park, the campground or the neighborhood you have access to everything the Escapee Park has to offer amenity and activity wise.

 North Ranch is like many Escapee Parks we have visited as far as activities with a large activity center that is geared towards games and gatherings (like ice-cream socials). They also have 1 PickleBall court that is located inside of a barn and horseshoes. The biggest draw here seems to be ATV’s. Everywhere you look someone has an ATV parked on their site and from what we gather group outings are almost a daily thing once you start meeting people which is very easy at North Ranch.

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 North Ranch is out in the country just outside the small town of Congress with a population of about 2000 and has just the basics, a gas station, a small grocery store and a great little restaurant called Nichols West that would rival most any restaurant in much larger cities as far as menu selections, quality of food and service and we would highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in the area.

That's one big old cactus in the garden. Lots of birds make this there home.

That’s one big old cactus in the garden. Lots of birds make this there home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well because we planned to only stay 5 days at North Ranch and we didn’t have an ATV to occupy our time and we are not normally sit around and play board game people we decided to take a couple day trips.

 North Ranch is located 15 miles from the historic city of Wickenburg and about 50 miles from Phoenix so on one day (Monday 2/13) we drove into Surprise which is on the northwest edge of Phoenix between Congress and the “to big for us” city of Phoenix and toured a RV Resort that caught my eye while researching the area on RV Park Reviews and also stopped in at a large ATV dealer to see if we happened across anything of interest.

 After killing some time in Surprise we headed towards home with a stop in Wickenburg for a bite to eat and a walk about downtown. There are a few interesting things to check out like The Santa Fe Depot, An Old Brick Post Office dating back to1930, The Hyder’s Livery Stable dating back to 1890 and the Railroad Engine No. 761 and Drover Caboose one of the workhorses of the main line built in 1890, The Desert Caballeros Western Museum, The Old Town Hall and Jail dating back to 1909 along with a few interesting shops scattered along the streets.

 We had toured Wickenburg before so we didn’t really spend much of time this time before heading home for the evening.

 Tuesday (2/14, Valentine’s Day) we decided would be a great day for a road trip to Prescott which is about 50 miles northeast of Congress on HWY 89, a great motorcycle road I might add and a very scenic drive in a car but rigs over 40’ are not allowed.

The courthouse in Prescott

The courthouse in Prescott

 We had never been to Prescott before but had heard from many people how much they loved the area so we were looking forward to the trip. For some reason we had envisioned Prescott to be a small, quaint older town with boardwalks but to our surprise it was much larger than we had anticipated. Prescott has a population of just over 40,000 which is about right for us AND it’s a college town which we also like but just 5 miles away is Prescott Valley that has a population of 40,000 as well making the population 80,000 plus which is on the larger size of what we prefer but not too large.

When we first rolled into town everything was pretty mellow and we easily found parking right on the town square. Once parked we headed to the visitor center and strolled through the streets enjoying the old town architectures we popped in and out of a few shops. Parking downtown is limited to 2 hours so once that time had gone by we decided to jump in the truck and take a driving tour through Prescott and into Prescott Valley and the surrounding areas including a drive by Watkins Lake.

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 After our driving tour we decided to head back downtown to have lunch. We noticed the Prescott Brewery during our walking tour so it just seemed fitting to have lunch and an adult beverage there. Once again I was slacking during this entire outing in the picture category.

We had a nice lunch then decided to walk over to the Superstition Meadery to do a little sampling. For those that don’t know (I didn’t before this week) Mead or honey wine is the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. It is made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast and ranges in taste from dry, semi-sweet, or sweet just like regular wine.

 They had a number of wines to sample and you can buy a flight of 12 different wines for $24 but because Diane nor I are big wine drinkers AND we still had a scenic 50 mile drive on a great motorcycle road to get home we decided to just try 4 or 5. A 1oz sample ranged from $2 to $5 each and bottles ranged from $25 to $85. Even though we like a couple of the wines we left empty handed and headed home.

 Unfortunately there really are not any campgrounds around Prescott that we would care to stay in but we both agree it would be fun to spend a week in the area some time in the future.

 Wednesday (2/15) we hung around North Ranch, we took a nice long walk mid-morning stopping to talk with fellow RVers along the way and other than that we pretty much just killed the day until 4 when we had plans to meet with our fiends Dave & Becky at their place for happy hour.

 We met Dave & Becky back in 2015 through our mutual friends Tom & Dianne at a happy hour and have stayed somewhat in contact but have not bumped into each other again until now. I wish it had worked out that we could have had a couple more happy hours with them during our stay but it wasn’t meant to be so we will be happy we at least had the one evening together, I’m sure there will be more down the road somewhere at some point. Once again I failed in the picture department, geezzzz.

 Well that takes us to Thursday (2/16) and another travel day. But before we actually drove away we had scheduled to have our motorhome and pickup 4 corner weighed by a weighing service that is set up in the park. We have weighed our cough a couple times on roadside scales but have not had a proper 4 corner weighing done since getting this coach and it has been on my mind for the last 2 year. Knowing your axle weights is important but knowing how evenly distributed the weight is from side to side is just as important so I was very anxious to get this done.

Diane driving the pickup onto the scales.

Diane driving the pickup onto the scales.

 Instead of making this update longer I will do a separate update just for the 4 corner weigh.

 We will say that after getting weighed our next stop was in Gold Canyon for 4 nights so we could attend a 3 day RC Airshow that was scheduled in Mesa, again that will be another update.  

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Time for a catch up

 1/15/17 rolled around and with it came a travel day after our 3 month stay at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort. Boy that 3 months went by a lot faster than we expected.

 We got right back into our routine however and had the engine fired up and ready to roll at our normal 9Am even though we only had a 65 mile travel day ahead of us. We had to be in our spot and set up before the football games started ya know LOL!!

 Our destination was Freightliner of Arizona in Tolleson on the west side of Phoenix. I know I have mentioned this route before in reverse but as you know I hate big cities and Phoenix certainly qualifies as a big city so if I can avoid driving through there I certainly will so I will mention this route again.

 We took I-10 north and jumped off on exit 167 at Riggs Road and turned left back over the freeway and followed it all the way to Buckeye RD. (Riggs RD turns into Beltline and eventually 51st but just follow it). We then turned left on Buckeye and took it to 99th Street and turned right. Then followed 99th a short distance to Roosevelt where Freightliner is located.

 Even if we were not going to Freightliner I would take that route just to cut out Phoenix. (FYI if you are going east and want to do this in reverse you would take exit 132 or 133). This route takes you through so light commercial areas, a little residential and some farm land but most everything is 35 to 55 mph stuff and a lot of 2 lane highway. Just putting it out there in case you case to give it a shot.

Once we reached Freightliner I checked in at the service desk and then we made our way to one of the 7 full hookup sites they have available to RV customers and settled in for the remainder of the day.

 1/16/17 Our appointment was at 7am so by 6:30 we were up, unhooked, had the slides in and I was headed in to see Kirk our service advisor who said they were all ready for us and it should take about 2 ½ hours to take care of the 2 safety recalls we had.

 We had 2 safety recalls that needed to be done and both were pretty easy fixes it seems. One recall was to have a torsion spring replaced on the brake pedal. I guess there was a chance that the pedal would not return far enough to allow the engine brake to engage even though we never had a problem, but better safe than sorry. The second recall was on the throttle pedal assembly. It seems there was a chance that the pedal would not act correctly and not allow the cruise control to engage, again we have not had an issue.

 While they were working on the rig Diane and I headed to a little restaurant called The Village Inn for breakfast. It had good ratings on Trip Advisor and was close by but if we had it to do over again we would pick another spot. It was fine but the bacon was paper thin and we both like good thick bacon. But everything else was ok.

 After breakfast we just hung around Freightliner until they finished with it around 10, then we hooked up and headed towards our boondocking spot in Quartzsite which was just over 2 hours and 125 miles away.

 When we reached the location for the Outside Our Bubble gathering there were already 3 other RV’s there of the 99 expected so we picked a spot, set up and just kicked back and mingled the rest of the afternoon and evening.

 Tuesday (1/17/17) after a casual morning drinking coffee outside yacking and watching a hot air balloon take flight right behind our campsite we decided to drive into Quartzsite to fill a few drinking water containers, pick up some firewood and do a short driving tour to see what all was happening.

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 The outing was pretty uneventful and we returned home just in time to head back out to visit our friends in the “Class-Less” group that were camped about a mile away from the Outside Our Bubble group. Many of the people we had not seen since last year and a few even longer than that.

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 Not only did we enjoy seeing old friends but enjoyed meeting new ones as well AND really lucked out because Steve & Carol were putting on a spaghetti feed. Steve has a special spaghetti sauce receipt that is always a huge hit and it certainly didn’t disappoint this time either.

Steve is serving up his famous sauce.

Steve is serving up his famous sauce.

 After sunset we enjoyed sharing a fire with everyone before finally making our way home.

 Wednesday (1/18) through Saturday (1/21) were the official “OOBERFEST” day’s so we pretty much stayed around camp and participated in planned activities and visited with a few old and many new friends.

 100 rigs signed up for Ooberfest but I think the last number we heard 72 rigs actually showed up. I’m sure a number of reasons effected the turn out. I know weather was certainly one of them. We know people that were being held back because of adverse conditions in different parts of the country and I’m sure the forecast for Quartzsite held a few away as well, it was far from perfect but not all that bad. And 72 rigs with an average of 2 people per rig created a pretty darn good crowd.

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

 We had a “tire safety” seminar and a 4 corner RV weigh was offered, for a fee of course. And we also had a tech talk where David “the mastermind behind Ooberfest and a very very knowledgeable fellow” answered questions anyone might have on a variety of RV related topics “anything electronic is his specialty”.

Gathered around for a tire safety seminar

Gathered around for a tire safety seminar.

 We had a movie night. David & Brenda have a huge projector screen about as large as the front of a motorhome they set up outside and everyone enjoyed a movie called “Get Hard”. NO it was not porn!!! Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell star in the movie and I think it came out in 2015 so I’m sure many of you have seen it but we had not. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea with some vulgar language and some adult related scenes but we had a good laugh watching it.  

 

Dave & Brenda manning the donut table.

Dave & Brenda manning the donut table.

Donut morning

Donut morning

 And without saying most days were finished off around the campfire. Well in this case 3 campfires. With the large number of people in attendance we decided 3 fire pits might work well so everyone could get a front row seat by the fire and conversation could be held amongst everyone at that particular fire. Roaming from fire to fire was encouraged.

The band was setting up by the coach to the right and everyone was gathered around 3 large fires getting ready to party. 2 smaller fires were also burning a little ways away for those that didn't want to be right by the band. A great night.

The band was setting up by the coach to the right and everyone was gathered around 3 large fires getting ready to party. 2 smaller fires were also burning a little ways away for those that didn’t want to be right by the band. A great night.

Of course a gathering of RVers wouldn’t be the same without a potluck. You can imagine that with 72 RV’s we had a ton of good food!!

 After our potluck and after the sun went down we set ablaze 5 fire pits and a live band “Notes from Neptune” that David & Brenda hired started playing for our entertainment to cap off the event.

Gathering around for a pot luck.

Gathering around for a pot luck.

The screen is set up for movie night.

The screen is set up for movie night.

 From the people we saw stumbling towards their RV’s after the event I’m guessing everyone had a pretty good time. But I’m sure it was just the rocks and darkness that made people walk so clumsily LOL!!

 Sunday (1/22) Ooberfest was officially over and a few people packed up and headed out but the majority hung around like we did.

 We took a short drive about just to break away from home a while but made our way back in time to for the kickoff of the first game of the day and spent the rest of the day watching football with only a small amount of socializing mixed in.

 Monday (1/23) we decided would be a good day to make it to the “Big Tent” so we didn’t waste any time getting through our morning routine so we could be there by 8:30 so we wouldn’t have any problem finding a parking spot, the show opened at 9.

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 We wandered through the show until about noon, every year we go through the tent and every year we become less impressed and this year was no exception.

 As the days went by more and more people rolled off into the sunset leaving fewer around the fire each night.

 Saturday (1/28) those of us remaining (4 rigs) decided to make a run to the Desert Bar outside of Parker. Diane and I were the only ones in the group that had been there before so we led the way.

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 The weather cooperated and I think everyone had a good time.

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 After the Desert Bar everyone made their way home and once again the day ended around a fire.

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 Sunday morning (1/29) rolled around and it was time for us to lift our jacks and make a move after 2 weeks of boondocking so after saying our “see ya down the roads” to the remaining few we headed into town to spend 1 night at Quail Run RV Park with full hookups, so we thought.

 We had been around 5 or 6 people at the OOberfest that were suffering from the flue/cold going around plus we spent time in town at the Big Tent surrounded by thousands of people and I’m sure some of them could have been bug carriers as well. Taking those things into account plus the fact that I normally come down with 1 good cold per year about this time so I was doomed. Yup, Saturday night I started with the symptoms and they were coming on fast. And yes, I kept my distance while saying our “see ya down the roads”.

 Once settled in our full hookup site at Quail Run we started dumping tanks, doing laundry and a good deep cleaning. As we worked I kept getting worse and worse until we finally called it a night.

 Monday morning I was a mess, in fact so much so that Diane decided to see if we could extend our stay one more night to give me a chance to recover a bit. With luck we were able to stay without moving. Not much to report for that day because I stayed in my chair 95% of the day napping off & on.

 Tuesday morning though not perfect I felt much better but guess what!!! Diane stated coming down with the same bug, holy crud, literally.

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

 We decided to go ahead and move back out to a boondocking spot out in the desert where we could hopefully get some space between us and our closest neighbor so we could go through our coughing spells, sneezing and moanin & groaning in peace and not bother OR contaminate anyone else.  So we drove to La Posa South just a few miles out of town, paid our $40 for a 2 week stay and found a hunk of ground and settled in. Because the Big Tent event finished up the crowds have dwindled and it was pretty easy to find a spot that we didn’t have anyone close to us which was nice after being in such tight quarters during the OOberfest event. We parked closer to our neighbors there than we do in any campgrounds throughout the year, there is just something wrong with that picture LOL!!

DCIM999GOPRO

DCIM999GOPRO

 Wednesday (2/1) and Thursday (2/2) we pretty much hung out close to home healing except for a short visit with our friends Jeff & Tina who would be leaving the area on Friday.

 We decided because they were leaving we would pick up a Pizza and sit outside at their camp site and visit instead of going to a restaurant, neither Diane nor I were up for a closed in area with people just yet.

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 We had a very nice visit even though relatively short before saying our “see ya down the roads” and heading home.

I think we will hit the fast forward button at this point so this update isn’t a daily journal of our entire 4 weeks in Quartzsite LOL!!!

 Once again I spent my birthday camped in Quartzsite which works out pretty well for me because I don’t like to do the big birthday thing. Maybe when I hit one of the big birthday numbers like “100” I’ll feel its party worthy LOL!!!

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 Diane and I took a drive to Yuma one day for an outing and to Lake Havasu on another. We had been to both places a number of times but they were both good for a day trip.

 We also once again watched the Super Bowl while boondocking in the middle of the desert. I think that makes 3 now we have watched in the desert. And what a game right!!!!

 And after FINALLY starting to feel better from our colds we were able to attend a Happy Hour with a few RV Dreamers. We sure missed out on a number of gatherings with this group of friends this year but were happy to at least make it to one evening.

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 And I was able to attend a RC Airshow with our friends Steve & Harry. Of course any time I can get to an airfield I’m a happy camper!!!

 We also made it a point to go see if our “HAPPY” that we put in place between two cactus during our first stay in Quartzsite in 2012 was still there, AND IT WAS!!! If I remember correctly we put this in place in Dec. of 2012.

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 Those of you that have visited Quartzsite and camped out in the desert can probably appreciate how amazing it is that it is still intact because of everyone scavenging for rocks like these to make fire pits. We would like to think people see the “Happy” and get a warm and fuzzy so they leave it in place.  

 Quartzite sure has not been a lucky spot for us the last couple years it seems. Last year I thought I was going to die here while passing a kidney stone (I think) and the year before we both caught the crud during our stay. Then this year we had a water pump go bad, lucky for us I have been packing around an old spare that had a slight leak that I was able to plumb in to at least get us by but we will need to buy another new one when we get to civilization again. There is a RV parts shop in Q that had one but they wanted $95 which is $35 more than we can buy one from Amazon for. We would have bought one if we didn’t have our leaky spare but sure would have pissed and moaned about it. And then of course we both caught the crud again this year but those things were not the worst of it, we also got word that Diane’s mom had passed away.

 Those of you that have followed the blog might remember that Diane’s mom finally decided to get old a couple years back and moved in with Diane’s brother and had been on a steady downhill slide ever since until the brilliant and beautiful person we all knew disappeared really leaving just a shell of what once was.

 She was always so full of life and enjoyed every minute. We can remember caller her late in the evenings many times as we were snuggle in for the evening only to find out she was out on the town handing out fliers at a Trailblazers game or acting as an usher at a local theater well into her late 80’s. More than once this would happen and we would just look at each other at our age and say how pathetic we were compared to Diane’s mom LOL!!!

 Heck she wanted to go bowling on her 90th birthday for crying out loud LOL!!! And we did. She only bowled one game but still that’s great.   

Of course it’s a very sad time but we can’t help feel happy for her knowing that after such a full life it had to be hard being trapped in a body that just wouldn’t cooperate any longer, but we really don’t think she was aware of anything during the last year. She will be missed.

 Diane’s mom’s last wishes were to be cremated and to not have any type of service. And because she had thought things out ahead and already made arraignments with a mortuary there is no real need for us to make a trip to Oregon at this point. It seems strange but with family all spread out and her wishes being what they were it just works I guess.

 Our original plan was to hang around Quartzsite until February 16th and then make a move but between leaving a place like Palm Creek where we were leading such an active life every day and coming to Quartzsite where we pretty much stayed dormant along with everything else that has been happening we decided to heck with it and make a move sooner. That’s part of the beauty with this life style, if you don’t like what’s gong on where you are get those wheels rolling and go somewhere else.

 We decided to lift our jacks on Saturday (2/11) and travel about 100 miles north east to a small town called Congress where we will spend 5 nights at an Escapee Park called North Ranch. We have never stayed at this Escapee Park so it should be interesting.

 After our stay in Congress we will lift our jacks again and move to Gold Canyon for 4 nights so we can attend a huge RC Airshow in Apache Junction. From there we have absolutely no real plan, maybe Tucson, maybe Casa Grande, maybe to another Escapee park outside Temecula Ca. or maybe we will see how the weather looks and slide north through Prescott and St George Utah. We honestly don’t know.

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So for now we are nestle into our new home for a few days and after a good cleaning of the coach AND OURSELVES I’m sure we will have some exploring to do.

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