Thursday, March 31, 2011

La Mesa RV

We took the MH in for the 2nd recall on the Norcold Regrigerator to have it fixed.  They added a small heat sensor to area around where the propane gas heated the unit.  There have been cases where the frig would heat up and catch fire.  Fire in a motor home is not a good thing.  It took about an hour for the repair and we were ready to leave after taking advantage of the free lunches they provide the customers.

When we first arrived at the dealer Gerry checked out a few motor homes and asked a salesman a simple question.  She got a flip response and walked away.  Later another salesman asked if he could help since he heard the previous exchange.  After talking to him for a while he said he would look for a MH that fit our specs.  Sure enough, a couple hours later he called with one that was within the specs.  We will look at it on Friday but I am concerned about diesel prices going through the roof and the cost of driving a diesel unit.  We will see.

Later we got tired of sitting around and went out to pick up a few geocaches in the area.  We got three of them pretty quickly and called it a day.  

It was in the low 90s today and the forecast is for warmer weather the next few days.  Time to get out of here before the heat really gets turned up.

A day in Sunny Tucson

We are short timers here in Tucson and are getting some Dr & Dentist appointments out of the way before we hit the road.  Routine stuff, but necessary.

It was such a nice day here that we decided to go geocaching downtown today.  The rattlesnakes have come out early this year so we will avoid the desert and high weeds.  Five people have been bitten already here in the Tucson area.

It was a great day and we found 13 urban caches and some of them were difficult to find.  A number of them were in local parks and the parks out here are heavily used during the day by families with children.  That didn't slow us down.

We found one cache near a school and two cachers from Green Valley showed up looking for it.  Since I had it in my hand it made it easy for them.  One lady was in her 80s and the other was younger, but they had found 9 caches before noon and didn't waste a lot of time chatting about geocaching.  Find it, sign log and plug in the next one.  

Gerry was in her stealth mode when she found one of the caches in a busy park.  I don't know if the people even saw her looking for the cache.  Actually, the two ladies above found this before us and had the family help them find the cache so we didn't feel that bad about looking while they were there.  

We stopped for lunch and had soup and salad and hit the trail again.  We revisited a cache that wasn't there a couple days ago and lo and behold it was there today.  I don't know what happened but maybe someone replaced it.  

That was our day.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Madera Canyon

My brother Dick and his friend Sue arrived in town last night on their way to Barstow, CA with a truck load.  They spent the night at the Tucson Truck Terminal (TTT) as they usually do while in the area.

Gerry and I met them for breakfast today and got caught up on family matters.  We decided to take a trip to Madera Canyon today and took the back roads through the Pecan Groves and down past the Quail Creek housing community.  Quail Creek was having their Canadian Days so we stopped to see what was going on.  Gerry and Sue went into the sales office and got their pictures taken for free.  They checked out a $349,000 house and said that was enough.  Dick and I stayed in the car and guarded it from bad people.  

We then drove up to Madera Canyon which is east of Green Valley, AZ.  The drive takes you from 3,000ft through desert and finally into pine trees and a narrow canyon at 5400ft.  There are some houses in the Canyon and a number of picnic areas, plus a Federal campground.  No hookups!.  The view from the end of the road was beautiful with some snow still on the mountain peaks.  It was about 10 degrees cooler up there and very refreshing.

We picked up a few geocaches up on the mountain and I showed Sue how to geocache and what it was about.  She loved it and is hooked, but I am not optimistic that my brother Dick will take up the hobby.

Gerry wanted to get some photos of a hammer head cactus and one other interesting on the way back.  They were both very large and quite old. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Geocaching Friday

Well, our day started early with  phone call from our daughter Cassie.  She had a few questions about our plans after the graduation parties in May and before the wedding in June.  We are trying to work it out so they can join us in the motor home a few days before or after the wedding.  She didn't remember that Arizona doesn't go on daylight savings time and we are three hours behind Maryland time wise.

There were some new caches hidden near where we are staying and we decided to pick them up.  A cacher had hidden 13 caches in a row along a no longer used highway and we went out to find them all.  We were successful and logged the caches bringing our total finds to 745 since October, 2009.  We had to keep our eyes open for the caches and creepy crawlers since it has warmed up and the rattlesnakes are active again.

While we were out there a very nice Border Patrol agent stopped to see if we were allright since we were parked alongside of the road.  It is common out here for illegals to hide out and then someone will pick them up in a car, so I imagine he was wondering if that is what we were up to.  I was glad to see him doing his job and checking for illegals.  A couple years ago one of the campers here ( Sherwin ) at CCRV called it in that he saw some illegals near the campground.  Two Border Patrol agents responded to the call and one of them stood on the railroad pass so he could see them.  The agent on the bridge was the one we were talking to.  They caught 12 of them that day and escorted them back to Mexico.

My brother arrived in Tucson around 7pm local time.  We will see them early Saturday morning for breakfast.  He & Sue will be here on Saturday so we will have to plan an exciting adventure for them.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Guadalajara Grill

My cousin Sharon and Al have been spending the winter here in Tucson since last November and are planning on leaving here for Yuma on Tuesday.  We all went to the Guadalajara Grill for their last dinner here in Tucson.  Sharon wanted to go out for a Mexican meal for dinner and this was the place we chose.  Great food, drinks and a band to entertain us.  We had a special chair picked out for Sharon and I think she must have shrunk.

It was great having them out here and doing things with them.  Hope we can see them again next winter.

It was very windy out here today and the dust was heavy.  Sharon & Al stay at the Pima County Fairgrounds and they have a lot of dirt fields out there with no cover.  When the winds are strong like today they get blasted with the dust.  The park watered the grounds to try and keep the dust down with limited success.  Maybe they should spread gravel like many other parks do out here to help keep the dust down.

When we walked out of the restaurant we had a surprise waiting for us.  It was actually raining and I had to use the windshield wipers on the way home.  This was only the 2nd time we've had rain since we got here in November.  To say it was dry would be an understatement.  The rain was welcome.

Have a safe trip you guys and enjoy yourselves. 

Oh, btw, La Mesa Rv did not have the part they ordered on March 2nd and said to call back in a few days to see if it has arrived.  I will give them one more chance and then take the repair elsewhere.  I've heard to many people complain about them never getting parts on time and delaying repairs for weeks and months at a time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back to Tucson

Today was departure day and we were up before the chickens. I am not a morning person. We packed up and had a cup of coffee and hit the road for Tucson. We had a hard time keeping awake and stopped in Las Cruces for breakfast. Several cups of coffee woke us up and we made the drive home in very good time.

At about the same place on I-10 in Arizona we were delayed again by an accident. A SUV had driven off the road and rolled and came upright in a tree The medivac helicopter was just leaving as we came to the wreck. It wasn't that bad time wise for us but we found it ironic that there were two accidents in the same general area on the lanes that we needed to take.

We did make it back to Tucson in time to unload the car and get ready to take the MH in for a safety recall on the Norcold refrigerator on Monday morning. That is, if they have the part in by them. We have to call them in the morning to see if the appointment is still a go.

NOTE.  I updated the last few days all at once.  Too busy during the visit to update the blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Basketball & Shopping

The girls went out shopping again and Herb & I sat around and talked about the world situations and almost had all the problems solved before the girls came back. Close once again. We watched some good basketball games also and were very impressed with Jimmer Fredette from BYU. That kid can flat out shoot the basketball. WOW!. He and another player carried them to victory and they will play again. I can't wait to see him in action again.

We ate in on Saturday and Judy prepared some chicken breasts in spicy sauce. It was very good and I was able to enjoy it all night. LOL

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shopping & Catfish

This was a shopping day for the girls and me, while Herb went golfing. I don't have any clubs with me so I had a choice of hanging around the house or getting out and seeing more of Ruidoso. We managed to find a couple geocaches in between stores and sightseeing. One of them was in the back parking lot of another casino and there was a short hill climb to get to it. With the thin air, high altitude and such I was glad it was a short walk.   The caches were near the Billy The Kid Byways information office and I took advantage of the stop there to utilize their bathroom.  I didn't realize how dangerous it was in this area until I had to fight my way into the bathroom.  Look who was waiting for me in there.

We went to the Cree Meadow Country Club for a catfish dinner in the evening. The catfish was cooked very well and tasted great. Of course I love catfish so my opinion may be a bit misleading. They had a country band come in and play music later in the evening and we sat around and listened to them for an hour or so. By this time we were all worn out and ready to head home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ruidoso & Cloudcroft

We got up early and had a nice breakfast and then headed for Cloudcroft, NM to see what was there. The downtown area is constructed in the old west motiff and had the usual jewelry, t-shirt shops and clothing shops. 

We picked up a couple geocaches along the way and then visited The Lodge which is 100 years old, was built by the Alamogordo & Sacramento Mountain railroad early last century. The interior was beautiful and they had a nice sitting area around a fireplace. It was too warm for a fire so Herb & I sat around waiting for the girls to do some more shopping. We walked around the grounds outside and were impressed with the view. The Hotel is having a hard time staying open in these difficult financial times and I hope they make it.

We drove back to Ruidoso through the Mescalero Apache Reservation. They have signs up along the side of the road clearly stating the reservation is off limits to outsiders. Non Indians! Too bad, there were some neat place that they could develop into tourist areas with very little effort.

They really don't need more touristy places since they own the Inn of the Mountain Gods hotel, casino, golf course, restaurant complex. It is one of the nicest Indian Casinos we have visited. The buffet was very good and they had a large selection of food to tempt you. The casino managed to take a few dollars from us, but we had a good time there.

This was St. Patrick's Day and it is usually a great day for me since I have a lot of Irish heritage.  My very good lifetime friend, Gerry Cavanaugh is Irish through and through.  I received word that Gerry passed away on St Patty's Day after a long bout with cancer.   We will miss Gerry terribly and hope that he is up in heaven enjoying a Jamison.  Here's to you old buddy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trip to Ruidoso

Our much anticipated trip to Ruidoso, NM to vist with Judy and Herb finally arrived. We got up early and were ready to leave around 10:30 for the 375 mile drive. We filled the gas tank in the Saturn on Tuesday night so we could make the drive to Las Cruces, NM non-stop. All was well. We got on I-10 eastbound a few minutes later at exit 275 and cruised along for 3 miles when Gerry read the travel information sign and it stated that 19 miles ahead I-10 was shut down and no word when it would reopen. Two tractor trailer trucks had crashed and burned under an overpass and they were concerned that the bridge would collapse.  It didn't, but they have closed down the overpass until further notice.

I decided to take a detour south and then east to avoid the stoppage. A 75 mile detour. There aren't many side roads in this part of Arizona and we were boxed in. Then we were stuck behind an over sized load on a narrow 2 lane highway with hills, curves and no passing zones all over the place. We were about the 15th car in line behind this truck. We finally worked our way up to where I passed him on a sweeping curve when he was down to less than 10mph. We had a clear view around the curve so there wasn't any danger.

Finally, about 1 ½ hours later we were back on I-10 about 22 miles down from where we had to get off.  The traffic was flowing very nicely and I set the cruise control on 80mph and off we went. Uneventful trip to Ruidoso where Judy & Herb were waiting for us. We stopped at a Taco Bell Restaurant in Ruidoso and received the most terrible service and food we have ever gotten at a Taco Bell. To top it off, the manager of the store could have cared less. Good help must be at a premium in Ruidoso.

We finally arrived at Judy & Herb's and chatted with them until midnight and then hit the hay, two very tired and worn out people.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poor Ron C., shopping and pizza

Our friend Ron C is going in Tuesday for dental work and lots of it.  I think this would be the right time to invite Ron & Dee over for a nice steak dinner.  We have some tough but great tasting steaks just for a situation like this.  Think he is interested?

Today was another marathon shopping day for Gerry.  I went along to guard the car and park close to the entrance wherever she went.  A couple days ago she found a real bargain on a Hummel figurine and put it on layaway so she could verify it was a real hummel.  It was, so we went back today to pick it up.  I think a nice external hard drive would be more interesting but will defer to her on this purchase.

Last year the Pizza Hut dropped a pizza we ordered and I had to wait almost 40 minutes for another pizza to be prepared.  They did the same to a woman sitting next to me and she was really unhappy and complained very loudly.  They offered her a beer or soda to ease the pain and she still wasn't pleased.  Then they offered her a credit toward another pizza in the future.  I didn't say anything and when she left the manager gave me a $20 credit toward a future purchase.  Well, we spent the credit today and had a great meat lovers pizza, 2 large pepsi, bread sticks and garlic sauce.  They charge $.65 for the garlic sauce out here.  It was great except I think the bread sticks were made the time when they dropped the pizza.  They were very hard to eat.  Hummm.  Maybe I should have saved them for Ron for his Tuesday dinner!  

We took a bike ride around the park after dinner and managed to tire ourselves out.  Whew, I am really out of shape and will have to ride bikes more before we leave here in April  I need a lot of exercise.  We sat around outside and enjoyed the beautiful sunset and then went in and watched some of our favorite TV programs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Savings Time and a BBQ

Tonight is when most of the U.S. goes on daylight savings time, however Arizona decided they didn't want to do that.  So, our two hour time difference with the East Coast becomes three hours tonight.  I hope everyone back there keeps that in mind when they call us early in the morning.  If they do and hear a mean old bear answer the phone, they had better hang up fast.  LOL

There was a yard sale throughout the park today and our neighbor across the way was selling potato bags and doilies.  She had a steady stream of customers through out the morning and it looked like she did very well.  I guess the receipts will go toward fueling the truck for the trip back home next months.  I took the photos from the window near my easy chair.

The park sponsored a BBQ today from 12-1pm and we went up there around 12:30 to join in the festivities.  We should have known better to leave so late.  When they say 12, most people arrive about 1/2 hour early to be first in line.  It's like this with all the events here.  By the time we got there all the hamburgers were gone and we had hot dogs.  That wasn't a problem with us since we like hot dogs so all was well.  We sat with Ron & Dee, & Ron K outside at a picnic table since all the tables in the hall were full of people.  Biggest turnout for one of these events since we've been here.  We did have the kitchen door guard on duty again this time. 

Ron K is leaving for Show Low on Sunday morning so we went out to dinner with him at Cattletown Steakhouse.  I had the usual fish dinner while they had steak and shrimp.  My meal was fine, but they were less than pleased with theirs and when the waitress asked how it was they told her.  She cut the bill back and gave them a huge strawberry shortcake to make up for it.  Nice gesture on their part, but I don't think steak and shrimp will be on the menu for them in the future.

And that was our day in sunny and warm Tucson.

Friday, March 11, 2011

50th Wedding Anniversary

Our day started early with a trip to buy two new tires for the Saturn.  The rims are 17 inch and the tires aren't that common so we have to order them ahead.  We bought them from Jack Furrier Tire and had them installed this morning.  While we waited for the installation we went to Burger King for breakfast.  First and last time for that.  By the time we were finished with breakfast the car was ready.  Quick and efficient service.  

A short block away was a $5.99 carwash with a manual wipe down after the wash.  We used them once before and they did a great job washing, vacuuming, wash interior and wipe all down.  Great deal for the price.

On to Costco to pick up a few things and then to Tuesday Morning for some much needed "things" for Gerry.  I sat outside and guarded the car and read a book  Then on to get gas at $3.17 gallon and back to the park.  By this time I was tired out but our day had just started.

We went to a 50th wedding anniversary party for Rich & Pat Mondragon.  They have been coming to the park for many years and always have a margarita party for about 150 of their closest friends.  Pat is the local quilting lady guru and knows everyone in the park.  We all gathered at their campsite with our lawn chairs and enjoyed a day in the mid 80s with a lot of sunshine.  They had a number of picnic tables setup with finger foods and there was plenty of good food for all.  The party was scheduled to last until 6pm but we left a few minutes early and they were still at it.  We had a great time and enjoyed seeing all the fellow campers there.

To top off the day there was a sun dog in the sky at the end of the party.  I'm not sure how good it will show up but they are really neat.  We have seen a number of them out here in Arizona but never anywhere else in our travels.  They always show up in pairs parallel to the sun.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Departure Day

Our friends Judy & Steve had scheduled Sunday as their departure day for Yuma, AZ and they really lucked out.  Saturday was very windy and would have been a pain to drive in with the crosswinds.  Monday was even windier with gusts up around 40mph and a lot of dust in the area.  I imagine the drive from Tucson up to the I-8 cutoff would have been very difficult and hard to see.  We hope they made it to Yuma without any problems.

We are enjoying some really great temps out here and our daughter Cassie & Family had snow this past weekend in Smithsburg, MD.  What a crazy weather pattern we've had this past winter.  It's hard to believe they are still getting snow in MD and we will be in the mid 80s this week in Tucson.

One of our favorite TV shows is Two & a Half Men with Charlie Sheen and company.  He plays a role that he is very well suited for since it is close to how he really seems to be.  I imagine everyone has seen his antics on TV lately and are wondering what in the world he is talking about.  It is hard to see him self destruct like he seems to be doing and nobody can really help him.  I think this is another case where when/if something really does snap in him with disastrous result everyone will be wondering what they could have done to help him.  Sad.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mariachi Band

Fellow campers Judy & Steve are planning on leaving CCRV on Sunday and heading for Yuma, AZ for a visit.  They were the ones who told us about how nice the Guadalajara Cafe was and how much they enjoyed it.  It was only fitting that we have dinner with them there before they leave.

It is an interesting restaurant and they serve huge meals so take an appetite with you if go there.  Once you have been seated and ordered your huge happy hour drinks, a server comes around and makes salsa to your taste right at the table.  The bowls are huge and it would take a week to eat a bowl full of their salsa.  It worked out well to have it prepared there since I don't like  very hot salsa and the other three do.  We were all happy with the selection.

The restaurant tends to be very loud once it fills up and it looks like it does that every night.  They had heaters outside for those waiting in line to get in.  We were seated as soon as we got there.  Great timing.  Inside they had  few chairs and benches to sit in also and Judy & Steve took advantage of that as we were leaving.

They had a three man mariachi band wandering around playing Mexican music.  They would come up to each table and play, but would not take any tips.  We enjoyed the music and atmosphere and it brought back memories of living in Costa Rica for those many years.  Now we have to get our passports and head down there for a visit.

After dinner we returned to our motorhome and had a few drinks and chatted for a couple hours.  It was a very pleasant evening and we hated to see it end and for them to be leaving on Sunday.