Saturday 18 February 2006
After yesterday’s cloudiness and last night’s extraordinary sunset, today dawned bright and sunny in Mesa. We only had two cloudy days in the three weeks we spent in Mesa.
We got packed up and were leaving the park by 9:15 a.m. and got through Phoenix by about 10:10 a.m. There was a lot of traffic northbound on I-17 just on our way out of Phoenix but that was only for a short while then it cleared out. We stopped at a rest area at Sunset Point and took a couple of photos but other than that the trip was good. We arrived at our campground, Distant Drums RV Resort at about 11:45 a.m. and got set up in good time. Distant Drums is a new resort, 2 years and 4 months old and unlike Mesa, we’re back in the country so it’s only a short walk for sunset shots.
After we were set up we took a drive to Montezuma Castle which is very close by. We had seen the sign on I-17 at our exit. Montezuma Castle is cliff dwellings that were built by the Sinaugua farmers early in the 12th century and then were abandoned in the 1400’s. No one seems to know why. A photo of the cliff dwellings is posted above.
After that we drove into Camp Verde to have a look at the town. It looked very much like we thought a western town should look and we’ll probably take some photos of it another day. We then returned home and I read some of the literature that we picked up at the Chamber of Commerce in town and had a nap.
We walked out to the vacant land beside the park (I think it’s their expansion area) and took some photos of the sunset. It wasn’t as impressive as last night’s and my battery was about to give out so I came back and took Bib out for a walk. He hasn’t wanted to go outside much when in Mesa due to all the noise so he seemed quite keen here.
Tonight it’s hamburger stew for dinner and TV.
A few days ago I commented on how beautiful the retainer walls were along the highways of the Phoenix area. Here are just a few photos that I managed to snap on our way through today. Some might not be very clear but you get the idea.
Friday 17 February 2006
Today dawned cloudy but it’s managed to get to 65F. I had decided yesterday that I was going to the Swap Meet on Baseline Road today so after the usual walks this morning, we got ready to go. It’s only a short distance away and I happened to see it the day we drove to Globe. You can see it from US Route 60. It’s actually called Mesa Market. It consists of some 1600 booths and is one of Arizona’s largest covered swap meets. It is housed in a type of warehouse and has free parking and free entrance. Unlike the one we attended over in Phoenix when we first arrived here, this place actually had some really good stuff. We were only there for two hours (that’s usually all my back will allow) so although I walked the whole market, I didn’t go into every shop. They had everything from lawn ornaments to cactus to clothing and also a restaurant and a few snack food counters. Both Gordon and I bought a couple of things each. I saw lots of things I would have purchased if I had still been working and still had a stick house!
When I got back I fell asleep watching the History Channel’s uncovering of the Scorpion King Tomb.
Since we’re heading north from here to the Sedona area, I decided when I was out shopping for groceries yesterday to make my hamburger stew so today I put it all together and it’s now simmering on the stove. I always like to have something ready for us to eat when we get to a new place. I don’t usually feel much like cooking after riding all day and then setting up. Tomorrow’s drive shouldn’t be very long. Probably the worst part will be getting through the city.
We still have some breaking down to do today as we want to get an early start tomorrow so will be putting away the barbecue and lawn furniture and emptying the tanks today.
We’ve enjoyed this area very much but the traffic is starting to get to Gordon so it will be fun to move on and see some different things. I’m not looking forward to the weather change, but who knows, maybe the warmer weather will follow us north. Reports are that there will be snow in Flagstaff tomorrow but Camp Verde is not at a very high elevation so the weather should be much better. Our plans are to go to the Grand Canyon sometime this week so we’ll probably see some snow anyway!
The photos today were taken at the market.
Thursday 16 February 2006
Today was a busy day for me. Again Bib wasn’t interested in going out this morning so we ambushed him right off the bat and I took him down to a grassy area by one of the dumpsters. We ran about half way there just to keep him going in the right direction. Then on to my own walk.
When I got back I collected the dirty laundry and got that done and while the clothes were drying, I took a shower. One of the showers is right next to the laundry room so I was able to ‘multitask’.
After putting the clothes away back at the RV, I had lunch and got ready to go out to get groceries. I wound up stopping at an Albertson’s because I hadn’t been able to get a seasoned salt at WalMart last time that didn’t have either black pepper or something that Gordon is allergic to in it. Then I stopped at Dollar Tree to get something to put some of my junk in and on to WalMart on E. Southern. After returning to the RV and putting away groceries I lay down for a while to rest my back, read my book and then had a brief nap and watched some TV.
Tonight we went out to a place that was recommended in one of the park newsletters. It’s called Villa del Sol on Country Club Drive and was supposed to be a quaint and charming Mexican restaurant. As it turned out, we were the only customers in the place other than people coming in for take out. It was located in a small strip mall and the ambience left a lot to be desired but I didn’t have to cook, that’s the good thing. The food was okay and that’s about all I can say about it.
The photos are of Gordon and I at the restaurant.
Wednesday 15 February 2006
Today dawned bright and sunny again. Bib has decided he doesn’t like going to the doggie park because of the construction noise, I guess so it took forever to get him to go outside this morning so I went for my walk first then eventually Gordon and I ambushed him and took him outside. Lucky for Bib we’re only here for another three days. Our next site, I think, will be more rural.
After computer games and watching TV, I decided that since it’s going to be much cooler where we’re going I shouldn’t be wasting a nice sunny day so went outside with my book for a couple of hours.
At about 3:30 p.m. Gordon came out and said he was going out shooting photos so I decided to go with him so got the dog fed and loaded in the truck and we headed toward Saguaro Lake taking some photos along the way of the Bulldog Cliffs and Salt River. There aren’t many places to pull over around Saguaro Lake but it was nice to look at. We also stopped and walked a bit on the Great Western Trail.
The Great Western Trail is a 3000 mile shared-use backcountry route from Canada to Mexico. Arizona’s 800 mile portion of the trail uses back roads that traverse rugged and beautiful country with many points of discovery along the way.
Then back home for dinner and TV and to get my blog done before Lost comes on!
The photo today is of a couple of Saguaro Cactus at sunset.
Tuesday 14 February 2006
We don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. It’s just another day to us. We’re happy to be doing what we want to do and being together.
We had a bit of cloud today but it still managed a respectable 79F so after lolling around most of the morning I sat outside and read for a bit but feeling a bit under the weather, came in and rested inside so not much to report today!
The photo today is of a cactus in the park decorated for Valentine's Day.
Monday 13 February 2006
Another slow start today but I had decided yesterday that I was going to go to the Superstition Springs Mall today so I headed out around 11:00 a.m. It’s only a few blocks away. It looked like a really large mall but once I was inside it wasn’t that big even though it does have lots of anchor stores-Sears, Penney, Robinson-May, Dillards and Borders is just being added as well as a large theater complex. I did come home with one item but I can’t say what it was as it’s a gift for someone. Other than that I had a nice free chair massage at GNC which revitalized me so my back wasn’t nearly so sore when I got home today. Usually all that walking on a hard surface is a killer for the low back. I also had a peaceful lunch in the food court.
Gordon and I had talked about finding a different way to go north out of Mesa rather than using the route we came in on so today we headed out around 2:30 p.m. to take the new 202 which is a new loop road that is partially built. They are actually building the south-east portion right behind the park where we are staying. It looked like 202 joined with I-17 but in fact it ends at I-10 and takes you through a very busy part of the city so back to the drawing board there. We did however come back on another loop road – 101 and I think this is the road we’ll take north to I-17. Traffic was very busy today for mid-afternoon on a Monday. Couldn’t believe it and it didn’t appear to be all snowbirds as most of the license plates were Arizona. Our question is always – doesn’t anyone work anymore?
This area has some very pretty artistic walls that border the freeways. Some are the red adobe and others are gray and beige but nearly all of them have some design, either an Aztec type or some type of animals, Indians, cactus or lizards usually with some sort of inlay. It makes our boring freeway walls look just that…boring….I’m going to try to get a photo. Maybe I’ll be able to take some on the way out on Saturday. Hopefully it won’t be so busy.
When we got back I took my walk around the park then came back to find that I had an email from the park at Camp Verde called Distant Drums. I had sent an email this morning to see if they could accommodate us for next week and they replied in the affirmative so I’ve just emailed them back to say that we’ll be there. So on Saturday morning we’ll be heading north to Camp Verde which is about 20 miles south of Sedona. There’s not much in the way of RV parks in Sedona and the one that is there is VERY expensive.
Another TV and internet/computer game evening.
Sunday 12 February 2006
Finch on our feederAfter our trip yesterday, I was tired today so called this my lazy day. After walks and breakfast, I sat outside and read for a while. While I was out there I returned a phone call to my younger sister, Margie and got to talk to her and my niece, Danica. It was sunny and cold -21C in Ottawa compared to our 80F and sunny here in Mesa.
After reading for a while, it was getting hot in the sun and I don’t like to sit in the sun long. Our site gets a lot of sun and even with the awning up it doesn’t help much so I came inside and had a nap and read some more.
I just got back from my late afternoon walk. Gordon has gone out to take photos of the moon which is rising before sunset so thought I would take this opportunity before dinner to get my blog updated.
I think the high point of today will be my phone call with my sister and my favorite TV night!