Saturday, 2 February 2008

Quiet Day

Not much happened today. It was another beautiful day, warmer when I got up this morning at 41F (5C) than it's been for a while and the high here at Usery Mountain was 63F (17C).

I did my walk/run this morning as usual while Gordon was out on the Pass Mountain Trail. See all the birds on this cholla. I wonder why they don't get cholla barbs in their little feet!

After breakfast, I started reading my book (Kill Me) again. This is a really good book. I would highly recommend it. I like Stephen White's writing but this one is especially good.

This afternoon we had to fuel up the truck, get propane and a few groceries so we just went out locally to do that. Bashas was having a few sales - hamburger at 1/2 price and cured ham at 99 cents/lb. (regularly 2.99/lb.) Unfortunately I have no freezer room! Like I said before their specials are excellent but their regular prices aren't, for instance a large Folgers instant coffee was 9.49 and at Walmart it was 7.49.

It was so beautiful when we got back I sat outside for a while to get back into my book. It won't take long to finish this one!

Gordon went out to the Bulldog Cliffs just before sunset and I stayed here and went over to the Buckhorn Trail. I also took a little detour off it as I saw a rabbit but he disappeared. I also saw what looked like a Northern Cardinal but I couldn't get close enough to verify.

Unfortunately the clouds came in before sunset so Gordon's trip was short lived and he got back before I did.

Another fairly nice sunset tonight!

This is the Superstition Mountains this morning. I never get tired of looking at them. They are beautiful mountains!

This is a Chain Fruit Cholla also known as Jumping Cholla

This is a close up of the Chain Fruit Cholla

This is a dead ocotillo

Wow! Yesterday I had visitors to my blog from France, Italy, Belgium and Malaysia as well as all areas of the U.S. and Canada.

Friday, 1 February 2008

End of Month Expenses and Trail Climbing

January Expenses
January expenses weren't too bad, higher than I would like but then we're in Arizona, not Texas! Since we're staying at a campground that doesn't have a weekly or monthly rate that category is high for this month. I also updated some items in the RV - new rug for the front door, the bathroom rug and toilet seat cover and some new towels. We also bought some things for the RV at the Mesa Fleamarket. Enough said on expenses. They're a fact of life no matter where you live or what you live in.

This morning was even colder than yesterday but only by 1 degree. I did my usual walk and got in a run as well.

Gordon left before sunrise to take the truck in for service. This was an expensive one so February's expenses won't be pretty! It also looks as if we're going to need front brakes. The dealership quoted $500 so we're hoping we can get a better price than that.

While he was out I washed the dishes and wiped down all the wood with an oiled duster rag. It didn't take long, just a tedious job. Things dry out quickly here in the desert, ask my skin, hair and nails!

This afternoon I started reading "Kill Me" by Stephen White. It's one of the books I bought the other day at the Half Price Bookstore. So far, it's really good!

Around 5:00 p.m. we started out to do some walking on a trail. We started out on Pass Mountain Trail that starts from the Horse Staging Area. It was too rocky. I had to watch every step.

So we went to the Wind Cave Trail and walked quite a ways on it until it started to get too rocky for me. Wind Cave Trail goes up Pass Mountain to Wind Cave. You can just about see Wind Cave in the photo above where the shadows are on the mountain.

We then drove over to Bulldog Cliffs (right) to take photos of them in the setting sun. Above is a grouping of barrel cactus that we saw on the Wind Cave Trail.

View from Wind Cave Trail

Wind Cave Trail path

This is where I stopped!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Not Busy...Not Busy...Not Busy...

Just as a follow up to yesterday's posting, I've had requests for details on the dentist I went to. Here they are: The dentist is Angela Pelletier, DMD, Family Dentistry at Ellsworth and Brown Road in the Bashas' Shopping Center, 1145 N. Ellsworth Road, Mesa, Arizona 85207, 1-480-830-7801. Don't forget to mention my name if you happen to go to them.

The photo above was taken on our walk just before sunset. Lots of birds in this tree, there were more but I cropped the photo to make the birds larger as it was taken from quite far away. Today was bright and sunny but colder than yesterday at 37F (3C) when I got up. I went for my usual walk and walked on both trails within the park as well as on the paved road. No running this morning as my foot was still unhappy from all the pressure put on it yesterday. I read for most of the day and was on and off the internet. Gordon went out to do a trail but I decided not to go. The day was sunny and cool reaching a temperature of only 54F (12C).

Just before sunset we went for a long walk around the park. The end of another fine day at Usery Mountain!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


This morning was partly cloudy and a little cooler than it has been at 41F (5C). I went for my walk, first the 1/2 mile Buckhorn Trail where I took a photo of the Superstition Mountains this morning and a lot of doves sitting on this old cactus. Then onto the paved area where I finally managed to start running again, three bursts for the first time in about 8 weeks. Felt good!

Superstition Mountain this evening

When I got back I proceeded to get ready for my dentist appointment. I was only having my teeth cleaned however they insist on doing x-rays. I thought okay a couple of x-rays, no sweat. I don't really like all that stuff in my mouth as I have a strong gag reflex. Guess what? Eighteen, count them 18 x-rays. I've never in my life had 18 x-rays done on my mouth or anywhere else I don't think. Talk about major mind over matter. With a lot of deep breathing I managed to get through it. Then got my teeth cleaned. He was very happy with my lack of tartar and said I was really good at taking care of my teeth however my mouth needs major restorative work. After the cleaning, he and the dentist went through my mouth and showed me on computer what needed to be done and provided me with a written estimate of the most pressing things. Wow! So for anyone who has asked about going there, I can tell you they're very thorough and very good. They said to mention my name when you go in. Cool!

From there I had planned a day for myself shopping so off I went to the Superstition Springs Mall. There I managed to find my gold bathroom rug and toilet seat cover that I've been looking for. Thanks J.C. Penney Home Store! It was also on sale!

Other than that I just looked around and had an amazing lunch at Paradise Bakery there, 1/2 turkey and cranberry sandwich and a bowl of potato soup. They throw in a chocolate chip cookie with all sandwiches. Yummy!

I then proceeded next door to Ross where I picked up some gold towels. Our bath towels are plain gold but I also got two large towels to hang by the sink. I don't like small ones as they get wet too quickly and don't dry fast enough in the RV when you're using one bathroom all the time. Where are my three bathrooms I used to have!!! Anyway here's a photo of one of the bathroom towels and my new rug. Our theme in the RV is gold and burgundy. According to Titanium it's a 'rose' theme but there's no real rose anywhere that I can see. Now I'm finally color-coordinated!

As I was heading north on Power Road to go home, the sky was very dark and the sun was shining on Red Mountain. It was so pretty but with all the light standards and the fact that I was driving, no photos.

When I got home, I told Gordon so we headed out to Red Mountain and took some photos. Unfortunately the sky wasn't as dark in that area any more but it was pretty dark over our own mountain and the sun was shining on the Superstitions. Every time you look at the Superstition Mountains they look different!

The Salt River with Red Mountain in the background

We also had a fairly nice sunset!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Meeting New People!

After our rain last night I thought that we would have some pretty clouds this morning but the sky was clear and sunny although a bit colder than it has been. I walked around the perimeter of the park and as I was approaching the Buckhorn Trail I saw a coyote run through the desert behind the RVs. I wasn't able to get a photo of him as there is quite a bit of vegetation around. The people at site 37 were just coming out to take their dog for a walk and he said that one passed by when he was sitting outside last night only about 10 feet away from where he was sitting. That's the first critter that I've seen so close to the campground (other than birds) since we've been here although there are some in the park outside of the campground that Gordon has seen on his morning and evening photo sojourns.

This morning I made a stew. I like it to sit for a day before we eat it so since we were going out for dinner tonight, I decided to get that ready.

We had made arrangements to meet fellow fulltime RVers, Bob and Molly at the restaurant that we wanted to go to with JoAnn and Doug on New Year's Day. Chilero's is a fairly new restaurant in the Bashas shopping mall at the corner of Ellsworth and Brown in Mesa, not far from Usery Mountain Regional Park. Click on their name to go to their blog site.

We met Bob and Molly at 6:30 p.m., had a good dinner and had a good visit. It was great to finally meet these folks after chatting with them in the rv-dreams chatroom almost nightly for a few months. Actually Bob is usually the one in the chatroom with Molly looking over his shoulder. We had a nice evening, took a few photos, then home to wind down and get ready for another day - tomorrow is the dentist for me!

Left to right - Bob, Sandra, Gordon & Molly

Monday, 28 January 2008

A Sort of Typical Day for an RVer

I woke up to sun! But the sky wasn't clear, all kinds of interesting clouds were around. I tried to get some photos of them on my walk but I couldn't get the angle I wanted without getting RVs in the photo so I walked the trail here in the campground again and got some photos from there. Oh well! Gordon had again gone out before sunrise to shoot and came back with his lower back out of place. Looks like a trip to the chiropractor might be happening soon!

This morning I did manage to vacuum without stepping on the hose and damaging my foot further. I had to carry the hose over my shoulder to be sure that it wasn't on the floor within easy reach of my foot.

When that was done and I had lunch I started out for the Superwalmart on Southern where I had gone when we were here two years ago. I'd been to every other one in the area so thought I may as well try this one too. On the way I found the Big Lots and Dollar Tree that I had been in two years ago as well but the building that housed the crafts that I was looking for a couple of weeks ago has been torn down. It was right near the mall with the Dollar Tree.

On to SuperWalmart which I found without a problem, got most of what I needed, drove by the Silver Ridge RV Park where we stayed last time. Everything looks the same except the bridge for Loop 202 over Southern Avenue is now in place and it was under construction last time.

The sun on the Superstition Mountains at sunset

A few photos at sunset, the rv-dreams chatroom and the end of another beautiful day in the Sonoran Desert!

Around 10:00 p.m. the rain came down really heavily and knocked out the satellite so the end of my chatrooms. Tonight I was chatting in three separate chatrooms,, the Titanium chatroom and MSN Messenger with my niece, Danica.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

More Rain in the Desert

I woke up this morning to rain on the roof again so I wasn't in a hurry to get up. When I did finally manage to get myself out of bed at about 8:30 a.m. the rain had stopped for a bit so I went for my walk. I wasn't back inside long when down it came again. It rained quite heavily on and off and in the afternoon the wind came up. It wasn't really windy but you could tell the wind was blowing from watching the branches of the Palo Verde tree beside the living room window.

I read, played with Yahoo Messenger on the computer and tried to figure out how to add people so that I can talk to them on Messenger. A few people were showing as being available but either they don't know what to do when I send a message, the program isn't working or they didn't want to talk to me! Rain continued on and off all afternoon.

Bulldog Cliffs

Just before dark we took a drive to see if we could see if there was any flash flooding. It was still raining. We saw a lot of water along the roads but no flooding. I took some photos of the Bulldog Cliffs in the rain and fog.

Water along the road

A wet desert