Sunday, January 31, 2016

'Q'

Once again, we packed up the RV and trekked to Quartzsite, Arizona, for the RV Show, Sell-a-Rama, and Rock and Gem annual events.  For such a tiny town, they certainly have a lot going on.

We parked closer to town this year in an area which the campground host called South Dome Rock.  Funny how they refer to the check-in personnel as campground hosts since there's no campground - just spots in the desert.  Here is our lovely home for two weeks.  Later on we had neighbors but they weren't too close.

I'm glad we weren't near these people - just look at the trailer full of wood!

All of which they used building their massive fires.  Those are whole logs in there!

We made many trips to town to check out the RV show,

Good places to eat,

And, my favorite, the grocery tent filled with barely expired food.

But Ron has a new interest this year.  Quartzsite is the site of lots and lots of quartz, hence the clever name.


And where there's quartz, there could be gold!  Ron had recently joined a prospecting club near our home in Mesa which has some claims around Quartzsite.

First he broke out the metal detector,

Then the gold pans,

Then he bought a sluice and, with the addition of a small pump and some parts, created a system that recirculates the water for desert usage.

Pretty ingenious, huh?  So far he hasn't found any gold, but it does keep him off the streets.  ;-D

And what's a post about Quartzsite without a sunset picture?  They sure have some amazing ones.


Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Although we have done a few hikes and Ron has so many projects he had to make a list, winter is my downtime for blogging.  However, I do want to post my 2015 year-in-review, using pictures from the calendar I always create.  If there's too big of a gap, I might add a picture or two.

Before we left Mesa in early April, I took a late afternoon picture of the Superstition Mountains just to the east of our metropolitan area..

Our plan was to slowly make our way up the west coast beginning in San Diego.  We explored several of the Spanish missions, including the beautifully restored  San Luis de Francia.

I'm always distracted by the flora and fauna.

The famous town of Capistrano had pretty water lilies, but no swallows.

We spent two months hugging the coast on our way through California, enjoying the spectacular views of places like Crescent Bay,

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park,

And the gorgeous coastline of Big Sur.

We paid the $10 fee to drive the private road through swanky Pebble Beach and saw the iconic Lone Cypress.  At over 250 years old, it's barely hanging on.

The West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz was pretty.

Eventually, the coastal route 1 turns inland to US 101 where the redwoods are the splendid attraction.

Although we spent a month driving up the coast of Oregon, my next calendar picture is two months later in Washington, so I'll have to add a couple.

We had quite a bit of fog along the Oregon coast, but we saw a lot of lighthouses.

And didn't see others.

And enjoyed seeing all the unique bridges including this one north of Coos Bay.

After three weeks along the Washington coast, we made it to the northwestern point in the continental United States, Cape Flattery.  Here we are with Karen, Ernie and Wanda who we met up with for several days.

(Alright, I guess little Tatoosh Island over our shoulders is really the northwestern point, but we refused to swim.)

Back to the calendar pictures.  When we left the coast, we headed inland to route 20 through the North Cascades National Park.  I've wanted to go this route for years and was really excited.  At first, it was everything I had imagined.  Mount Baker was splendid.

But then the smoke took over when Washington and Oregon were inundated with wildfires.  At that point, we hurried through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to Colorado where we visited with Ron's family in the Denver area.

On our way back to Arizona, we stopped in Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument where the campgrounds are right along the rim.

We arrived back in Mesa in late September, but weren't done traveling yet.  In early October, we flew to Pennsylvania to visit my father, then drove to the Catskill Mountains in New York.  We met up with Diana and Phil for some touring and sister time.  Here's Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1880.

That's it for 2015.  I hope you had fun following along on our travels.  See you in 2016!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Boo !

Since we arrived home long before Halloween this year, I attempted a little decorating.  How do you like my bat?


Happy Halloween !



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back at Dad's

Ron and I made it back to my father's house in PA just in time to pick up my daughters who flew in from Florida for the weekend.  We all had a great time catching up.  On Saturday, the girls and I took a hike on the famous Appalachian Trail.

We began our trek in the unbelievably adorable town of Boiling Springs where we found some nice fall color.

Unfortunately, we hiked for 1 1/2 miles before we made it to the woods.  Here are my 'Children of the Corn.'

The trail was certainly well marked around the pretty farms.

We even saw some Pennsylvania Longhorns.

(Don't worry, he was a really long way away.)

Finally we entered the woods and felt we were really hiking the Appalachian Trail!

(This is daughter Christy's picture, taken with her iphone.)

We came across a lot of these giant indentations in the ground.  Big gophers?

Of course we had already gone so far, we turned around in another half mile.  Next time we'll start somewhere closer to the woods.

Meanwhile, where was Ron, you ask?  Well, he stayed at my father's house and worked.  Let's see.  He caulked around the chimney, blew the leaves out of the gutters, replaced a missing shingle, and cut back some of the woods that was encroaching on the house.  What a guy.  And, no, he is not available for hire.  Earlier in the week, he, I, and my father cut back three feet on each side of the driveway so it no longer resembled a tunnel.  My father always complains how he can't do anything anymore.  Understandable that he would slow down at 94, but you should have seen him with a chainsaw!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quest

Since we were in the Catskill Mountains of New York in October, we took a drive further into the mountains in search of that elusive fall color.  Although our findings were not as dramatic as some gorgeous foliage pictures I've seen on other blogs, we tried our best.

Our drive mostly consisted of me screeching to a stop anytime we saw some pretty trees.
 
Phil spotted this covered bridge as we were driving by.  The bridge was actually on private property, so I just took a distance shot.

Water is always good for additional interest.

It was a lovely drive through these hills they call mountains.


We turned around at this lake which was part of some kind of camp.  Maybe this is where they filmed Dirty Dancing.

One last shot along our drive.

After a fun four days with Diana and Phil, Ron and I headed back to my father's in Pennsylvania.  On our way, we stopped at a very interesting bridge.  It was part of the Delaware & Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad.  It was utilized from 1828 to 1898 to transport anthracite coal from northeastern Pennsylvania to markets on the Hudson River.

They did a fantastic restoration of the canal bridge in 1986.  We drove across it on our way out of New York.

And we found this working waterwheel in rural PA.  I wonder if the owners are actually generating electricity with it.

Although the leaves could have been better, I'm glad we're not there now.  We might have had snow!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Off Again

We were only back home in Mesa for a few days before winging our way to the Northeast.  We spent a few days visiting my father in PA, then took a road trip to the Catskills in NY.  We met up with sister Diana and Phil for some fall foliage viewing.

At first, it seemed we were early for the best color, but we did find this cute gazebo near the hotel.

We researched attractions in the area and went to see them all.  First up was the 1860 Livingston Manor Covered Bridge which was since lovingly restored.

Look at the interesting construction.

With wooden nuts.

Then we paid a visit to the museum and site of the epic Woodstock, which was not in Woodstock, NY, but 50 miles away in Bethel Woods.

Ironically, it's a really elaborate museum to commemorate an outdoor event which was plagued by rain and mud.

Cool bus.


Although we were the right age for Woodstock in 1969, neither of us heard about it until it was over.  Not that we would have gone, but it just seems funny.  Diana and Phil make a good rocker duo.

And here's the actual site where 400,000 people gathered in August, 1969, to listen to music and whatnot.

Our last stop was the beautiful Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1880 by Swiss German immigrants Henry and Philip Hembdt.  I couldn't decide which picture to choose, so I'm posting two.  What the heck, they're cheap.


Yes, I know, some colored leaves would have been perfect.

Next post, our quest to find those autumn leaves.