Saturday 11 February 2006

Our Saturday in Arizona

Our day pales in comparison to Danica’s news above.

Today we decided to see some more of the country. We have mentioned that we’ve gone to Tortilla Flat a couple of times and that the road beyond SR88 becomes a one lane gravel road however it does continue onward and joins up with SR188 out of Globe, AZ at the Roosevelt Dam. So today we decided to see what the other end of SR88 looks like.

Hwy 60 which is a freeway going through Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa becomes a four lane road and then a two lane road just outside of the city. The Renaissance Festival which takes places yearly here just started today so the traffic wasn’t that great but we got through it and on our merry way. We drove east on Hwy 60 through a few small towns.

We reached Globe, AZ around 11:00 a.m. and visited the Tourist Information Centre. These places are always a wealth of information. There was a lady at this one who gave us all sorts of information about the three copper mines which also mine turquoise and how only one is now in operation. She recommended visiting rebuilt Indian Ruins at Globe called Besh Ba Gowah. I didn’t go into the ruins but Gordon did and he will be posting photos on pbase at I did take some photos from outside the gates.

After that we continued north on Hwy 188 to Indian Cliff Dwellings. Again Gordon climbed ½ mile straight up to the dwellings and I stayed with Bib. My back doesn’t like these kinds of climbs. I prefer my walks around the RV park. Then we drove to Roosevelt Dam which is at the north end of Hwy 88 or Apache Trail. They have a beautiful bridge there called the Roosevelt Lake Bridge which is pictured above as well as Roosevelt Dam also pictured above.

Then we headed back to the park arriving home around 4:20 p.m., had dinner and I just returned from my walk around the park. Now it’s an evening of Law & Order!

Danica Wins!

Last week I got an email from my sister telling me that her daughter, my niece won a $500.00 scholarship so I got an email from that niece today telling me that she had gotten her picture taken accepting the cheque and referring me to a website so I have downloaded the information and picture for my blog.

Danica, we are so proud of you!

Both our niece and nephew are doing so well. Must be thanks to their upbringing so congratulations Margie and John, you’re doing a great job!

Here’s the writeup from the website. The photo is above.

February 9, 2006 - Pierre Poilievre today presented the Youth Scholarship for Crime-Fighting contest winner with a $500.00 scholarship sponsored by Scotiabank. Last August when Poilievre was working as an assistant to a police officer to learn more about crime fighting and community safety, he announced a scholarship contest for the student who submits the best community safety idea to his website. Poilievre, the police officer judges and Scotiabank are pleased to present Danica DeJong as the winner.

Friday 10 February 2006

A Much Nicer Day!

Today dawned bright and sunny but only 47F when I got up. Gordon had gotten up and headed out before sunrise for photography so Bib and I got our walks over with as well as breakfast and then I did some interneting and TV watching until he returned at around 11:00 a.m.

He had gone back to Tortilla Flat and beyond but 5 miles past Tortilla Flat the paved road ends and about two miles past that goes down to one lane so he didn’t go any further. One lane mountain roads are reminiscent of going to see the elk in the mountains near Waynesville, NC. Not fun especially in a one ton truck!

I had a fast lunch and then headed out to get some groceries. Almost out of orange juice again! I stopped at the Goodwill Store to see what they had. Sometimes they have great bargains but this one had junk, then on to the 99¢ store. Picked up a few groceries there and then on to WalMart. I had a pair of jogging pants to exchange or return and I wound up returning them. I got my groceries and then headed back to the RV arriving around 3:00 p.m. Traffic was really heavy on Southern Ave. outside the RV Park. Had to wait for a long time before some nice person in a truck stopped to let me turn left.

My back was not in good shape when I got back so I lay down for a while and it’s much better now.

Gordon went back out for sunset and I decided to stay here and relax some more.

Temperature today got to about 75F, just beautiful.

TV and internet on the agenda for tonight.

Photos today are someone’s idea of decorating for Valentine’s Day and sunrise on the cactus. You can see the outside edges reflecting the sun.

Thursday 9 February 2006

Not much going on today!

Wow! When I got up this morning at 7:20 a.m. it was 67F but cloudy! There was a bit of a breeze blowing so Bib and I headed out to the doggie walk area. It is near a construction site and with all the noise of booms lowering etc. Bib, my wimpie little dog gets scared so we had to come back and go down the street to a grassy area near one of the dumpsters. All comes with dog ownership! I went for my walk after that and came back and got ready for Gordon and I to take the truck in for its 78,000 km check. That only took about an hour so since we had taken the freeway to get there, we took the scenic road back along Baseline (yes, there is a Baseline Road here too). Lots of shopping and office areas along Baseline but hadn’t been in that area before so since we were there anyway…….

Other than that, I played some word games on the computer this afternoon. I’ve downloaded Scrabble and Flip Words, both good word games.

It’s been cloudy all day today and the temperature reached about 77F late this afternoon. The wind picked up for an hour or so around 3:00 p.m. so I decided to take my afternoon walk early in case it got worse or blew in rain. I always take my camera and today I was looking at someone’s grapefruit tree when the owner opened the window of his park model and told me to pick some grapefruit for myself. He and his wife are on cholesterol drugs so they can’t eat grapefruit. So I picked two and brought them home. They are huge!

It’s been 114 days here without rain and there was none in the forecast, but you never know! It’s so dry here that you can see rainclouds but the rain never hits the ground. Amazing!

When Gordon and I got back to the RV this morning, he didn’t have a picture of the day for his pbase photos so we walked around the park a bit and he took a few photos. His photo gallery can be found at

The photos for today are of a red rose, one of many on a beautiful rose bush and an orange tree.

Wednesday 8 February 2006

Tortilla Flat

Today we dropped Bib at Smoochie Poochie, the dog groomer for 9:00 a.m. He wasn’t impressed and neither were we but they seemed to have lots of clientele. There were three lady groomers in what looked like a small red barn (a sort of shed). I gather from when we picked him up that he was not a good boy. The one groomer commented “he really doesn’t like to be groomed, does he”. Anyway he’s trying to make up by being cute and rolling around on the couch. One of today’s photos is of Bib after we got home from the groomers.

Anyway, while Bib was at the doggie spa, we again headed north on the Apache Trail, our destination being Tortilla Flat. We hadn’t taken any photos of the small town (population-6) when we were there last week as there were too many vehicles in front of the buildings. We got there early enough today so there weren’t so many. Another of today’s photos is of the restaurant/gift shop where we each had a $2.00 cup of coffee. It must have been the ambiance! The restaurant is kind of neat. People from all over the world have been there and the waitress will put a dollar bill (or whatever you want to give her) up on the wall. Consequently, the walls are covered in money! They claim not to know how much is on the walls but now you need a ladder to get to an empty spot. We took lots of photos of the town and Canyon Lake and the area. Another photo for today is of Canyon Lake and the mountains behind it. The other photo is self explanatory.

History of Tortilla Flat

Prior to 1906, this location was a welcome stop for travelers on the Yavapai Trail which connected Tonto Basin with the Salt River Valley. In 1906 the trail, now known as the Apache Trail, was completed as a freight road for the construction of Roosevelt Dam. Tortilla Flat became an important water and supply stop on this road. The Apache Trail is now Arizona State Route 88, but Tortilla Flat remains a welcome stop.

On our return to the RV after picking up the dog, I decided to get laundry out of the way. I’ve been putting it off far too long so that’s done.

We’ve also been trying to decide today if we wanted to follow through on our plan to go to Tucson on Saturday, to head north to the Sedona area or stay in this area. We decided to stay where we are for another week as we still have things to see in this area and maybe by then Sedona will have warmed up a bit more.

It was another bright sunny day here – about 85F at the high point. It also got to be 90F inside the RV but we haven’t turned on the air conditioning since we’ve been here. Dry heat is so much easier to take than humidity. I’m sure I’ll remember the dry heat next year when we’re dripping from the humidity in Florida.

Tuesday 7 February 2006

A Very Pretty Sunset!

This morning Gordon left before sunrise again to do his photography. Since Bib had gotten up really early and Gordon let him out about 5:00 a.m. he actually let me sleep till 7:45 a.m. Then we did our walks and breakfast.

Gordon came in mid morning just as I was getting ready to vacuum. So I got the cleaning done and sat outside and read for a while. I bought a cheap AM/FM radio when I was out yesterday to help keep me entertained when I’m sitting outside and also for walking. I didn’t bother with a CD player as we don’t have that many music CDs and no room to store them so good old AM/FM will have to do!

After lunch I decided to go and find the Dollar Tree (it’s an American dollar store similar to our Dollarama in Ontario) where everything does cost $1.00. Amazing how dollar stores have turned into $1.00 and up these days. Also like Dollarama, their merchandise is usually very good. This is where I buy my bags for doggie walking. They are actually for diapers but work well for dogs too. You get 100 for $1.00 unlike the actual doggie bags which are about 40 for between $3.00 and $4.00. The quality isn’t as good in the ones I get but they work for us!

So I found Dollar Tree, got my bags and a few other items and also went to Big Lots. I picked up a few things there as well. There was a Crafters Market too and I toured that but didn’t buy anything. If I still had my craft room though………

Came back and packaged up all the meat I bought yesterday. They put meat in such large Styrofoam containers these days and with my small freezer I can pack in much more by repackaging.

As I was sitting down to write tonight’s blog, Gordon said he was going out for sunset photos so I decided to go along. We headed north to Hwy 87 looking to photograph Red Mountain from the north side. Then we drove through a very high end part of Scottsdale. Very nice houses! Almost felt like we couldn’t afford to drive through the place. Then we headed back toward Mesa on the Bush Hwy taking some photos of the sun shining on the mountains and then stopping just before coming in to Mesa and took photos of sunset, one of which is shown here. Then to Taco Bell for dinner.

When we got back at about 7:30 p.m. I went for my walk and then we settled in for a night of TV.

Monday 6 February 2006

Off to Wally World!

This morning it was quite windy but almost 55F when I went to walk Bib so it was quite pleasant. Also on my walk this morning I got to talk to the owner of the other Titanium here. They are from Stratford, Ontario and are here till February 19th. It’s the first time I had seen someone around their RV.

Yesterday I had decided that I needed to shop for groceries today. We ran out of lots of things this morning including bananas and orange juice so off I went to Sprouts as I’ve been told that their fruit and vegetables were good. Their store is much like Rainbow Foods in Ottawa except it has a large produce section and meats as well but does have the vitamins, breads and some gluten free foods as well.

After I finished there I headed to Wally World to part with lots of $. For some reason every time I go there for groceries I come out with over $100 of stuff. Where do I put it in an RV? Who knows? I decided to drive myself today as Gordon doesn’t enjoy grocery stores and sitting in the truck today waiting for a couple of hours would have been very hot. It reached 78F today on our indoor/outdoor thermometer.

When I came back I read for a while (inside) and tried to take a nap. I was trying to rest my lower back as it gets sore when shopping these days. Decided I wasn’t tired so made potato salad for dinner tonight and then we went to take our showers.

I need to go back to the recreation centre to their library and turn in three books and get some new ones. I love the lending libraries at RV parks. Some of them are huge. The one here is quite large but I think the largest one was in Surrey, BC.

Not much new and exciting today!

The photo today is of some of the palm trees in the park. These are very tall.

Sunday 5 February 2006

A Cactus Forest

This morning started as usual with walking and breakfast. I was happy to see it was 51F this morning, unusually warm. In the morning the birds are singing and it sounds like spring in Ontario.

We had planned to drive to Saguaro Lake but it was cloudy so since I was still tired I went back to bed and read for a while and then back to sleep. I woke up shortly after noon and felt lots better.

It was looking a bit sunnier so we decided to drive up to Saguaro Lake anyway. On the way we stopped at Michaels and I bought the wood plaque for our names to hang on the front of the RV when we’re in a park. When it’s done, I’ll take a picture of it but don’t expect it any time soon.

We headed north on Power Rd which turned into the Bush Hwy and into the Tonto National Forest. There are some very pretty mountains and lots of cactus of all kinds. The picture today is a forest of chainfruit cholla cactus that we saw. There are a number of recreation areas along the Bush Hwy but all of them require a $4.00 fee. Since we’re only going to take a few photos and move on, we’re not interested in paying $4.00 to do so. It would be different if we were spending the day of part of the day there so we left. We saw Saguaro Lake but there wasn’t really much place to take photos of it and besides the light wasn’t right so Gordon has now headed out (5:30 p.m.) for sunset to take some photos. I decided to stay behind and get dinner ready. I expect we’ll be going back up there this week.

We’ve noticed in the west that people use cattle guards often in place of fences. For those of you who have never traveled to the great west, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings on highways to prevent cattle from crossing. For some reason the bovines will not step on the guards, probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails. We’ve seen these in British Columbia, Arizona and last year in Texas. I found it quite interesting that these things would keep cattle where you want them.

On our way back to Mesa a young coyote crossed the road in front of us with a small animal in his mouth. That’s only the second one we’ve seen, the other one being from our picture window over the fence at Catalina Spa at Desert Hot Springs. I would have thought we’d see them on BLM land at Brenda.

When we got back I went for my late afternoon walk again and took a few more photos around the park. There’s a bush of light pink roses in front of someone’s park model that are very pretty but people were outside so I didn’t photograph it. There are so many flowers out here, it’s just so beautiful!

I don’t expect much to happen for the rest of the day other than Desperate Housewives and Gray’s Anatomy!