Monday, December 16, 2013

Weather Getting Warm Here - We're Headed for Chicago!

Friday 12/6

First freeze of the winter last night, 33 degrees when we got up. Cold for here, but a lot better than a wide swath of the country north of us, supposed to be in the fifties today.

Garage sale at the RV park today. Nancy took a walk around and reported that there was a nice small compressor for sale “Too bad we don’t need one since we have the truck.” she said.  Well, we don’t have the truck available when we are at home, so I went and looked. Bought a really nice, like new Husky compressor for $35! It was $110 new. I also picked up a bicycle shirt for $1.  

So we heard about Costco having a special 40 year-old scotch at selected stores. Looked on line and the Costco NW Tucson has some. Not the store we usually go to, a bit farther away but we decided to check it out. They had it - for $699.99 per bottle! No, we did not purchase any.

We did pick up a few things we needed, meds, whiskey, a Tito’s vodka, and a memory foam mattress cover for the trailer.

Back home to cook brats on the grille and watch the Blackhawks tonight. And they lost again, at least this time it was in a shoot-out, but they were outplayed most of the game. That’s three in a row, bad juju!

Saturday 12/7

Off to the monthly H. F. Coors seconds sale first thing in the morning. A much bigger crowd than we have ever seen there. Nancy picked up a few couple of things and a couple gifts.

Stopped at a Mexican meat market on Ajo for sausage to put on our pizza. Nice little market with great meat selection and a bakery. Good place to stop for bread.

Back home at 10 AM. 

Turned into a beautiful day in spite of the slight chill, about 55 and not a cloud in the sky. I know a wide swath of the country is suffering through dismal weather, makes us thankful that we are able to spend the winter here.

Took a short hike, I hesitate to call it a hike, only a little less than 2 miles, in the desert in mid-afternoon. Quite comfortable in our shirt sleeves.

Nancy made a nice dinner and we stayed home & watched TV.

Sunday 12/8

Clouded over during the night which kept the temp warmer than the last couple of  nights. 44 at 7 AM. The sun was just coming up as we left for our walk, the undersides of the clouds were red and the Tucson Mountains to the Northeast of us were bathed in fiery red light, really pretty.

About a quarter mile into the desert we heard coyotes start to howl, really close. They seemed to be in a wash about 100 yards to our right, maybe four or five of them. They were close enough that we could pick out individual howls. Two packs in opposite directions, way off in the distance, responded to them. We stood there and listened to them for a good five minutes before they settled down. Their howling also set off all the birds in the immediate area.

This afternoon we went to an excellent show with the Original Wildcat Jass Band at the Berger Performing Arts Center (which is just the other side of the Tucson Mountains) called “Let’s Misbehave”. All jazz from the 1920’s.

Dinner at from Serial Griller’s food truck and then the Blackhawks put together a good game tonight ending their three game slump. 


Regular Monday morning meeting at the rec hall, then I ran down to the Shell station on Ajo Highway and had a propane tank filled. People are always talking about the cheapest place to purchase propane, but the savings are usually not worth the trip for me.

Nancy wanted to run by Bed, Bath & Beyond after lunch, but I said as long as we were going over there BK Tacos was just right across the highway and around the corner! So... we went to BK for lunch after stopping at BB&B. Ran into Karen & Gary there.

Opened up the memory foam mattress cover and let it unfold itself and swell to full size. Looked a bit small at first, but when fully relaxed it fit perfectly. Slept well as well.

Tuesday 12/10

32 degrees this AM and a bit cloudy, so we saved our walk until later in the morning. Nancy did some laundry and then we took a short walk in the desert around 10:30.

Drove over to the East side of town to stop at See’s Candies, then hit the Beyond Bread up on Speedway where along with our sandwiches we bought a couple of delicious looking mini-pies (about four slices each). Stopped for some groceries and then back home. Another great game from the Blackhawk’s tonight, they are on a roll the last two games.

Wednesday 12/11

Nancy had her Spanish class this AM, I took the truck out for a run just to exercise it. Then did some clean up on the truck.

After lunch we took a short walk in the desert, quite warm this afternoon, about 70 degrees, but the sun was hot.

The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) area adjacent to the RV park always had a number of signs pointing out items of interest and marking trails. They are not there this year and we looked in a storage area behind the pool hall and found them all. We talked to Pericles (park owner) and asked why they were not out there this year. He was not aware they were not. He said one of the guests usually put them out at the beginning of the season and picked them up in the spring because the harsh summer weather was hard on them. Apparently whoever has been doing it the last few years did not come this year. So we volunteered to put some of them out where we knew where they belonged. Put five of them out today. We will do more over the next few days.

Food trucks here this evening and the Blackhawks play again.  WOW! Blackhawks beat Philadelphia 7-2! That’s 19 goals in the last three games!

Thursday 12/12

Off to Tucson Yoga this AM, then a quick stop at Food Conspiracy to see if they had any good bagels, no luck though.

Back home Nancy did some laundry and we relaxed. Mid-afternoon we went over to the pool hall and sorted through some more of the trail signs. Touched up the paint on a couple of them and then put three more out on the trails and used the GPS to mark the locations for three more signs. I have been marking all of the spots on the GPS so we can find all the signs to put them away in the spring.

Dinner at home tonight.

Friday 12/13

Off to the 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair this AM. Walked the full length of the vendor area, Nancy picked up a few things for gifts. The we went East on Broadway to See’s candy to pick up the free tote bag that they were out of when we stopped there on Tuesday.

Since we were over there anyway (any old excuse will do) we stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch.

Back home we had a note from the fellow who usually puts out the signs in the desert - seems he had not gotten around to doing it yet. Oh well, we’ll let him finish.

Arizona Roadrunners jazz group at the rec hall tonight, as always it was a great show. Max Glodschmidt was with the group and he is an extremely talented young man who plays a wide variety of instruments and is AZ state champion on several of them. About midway through the performance he picked up the tenor saxophone, put a trumpet mouthpiece on it and proceeded to play a beautiful piece with it. Doug Tidaback, who runs the Tucson Jazz Institute and was leading the group this evening, said he had never seen that done before.

Saturday 12/14

Cold this AM, 34 degrees when we got up. Lazy morning, then we ran into town to do some errands, stop at the post office and, since we were nearby stop at BK Tacos for lunch.

On the way home we stopped at Rodriguez Seafood and picked up some fresh shrimp. Had them for dinner and they were great.

Blackhawks game tonight and they got their butts whipped in Toronto.

Sunday 12/15

Quiet day, read the papers and relaxed, did some puttering around the trailer, cleaned a couple of compartments while searching for misplaced items again.

Blackhawks made up for their poor appearance in Toronto with a as good a game as they have played all season against the Kings. Go figure. They came within three minutes of getting Antti Ranta his first NHL shutout.

Monday 12/17

Skipped the Monday meeting (we will be gone this week anyway) and went to Tucson Yoga since we will be gone on Thursday.

Dumped the tanks and packed up in the afternoon. Headed home for Christmas early tomorrow morning.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cold Snap in the Desert

Friday 11/29

Nice walk in the desert this AM, only a mile and a half, but it was good to get out walking again and good to get out in the desert again. The Palo Verde seem to have grown substantially since sight lines close to the park seem shorter than before.

Stopped in the office and paid for the month, then did a bit of setting things up and reshuffling cabinet contents that had shifted during travel. Nancy did some laundry while I was doing that and that pretty much killed the morning. Beautiful day, high in the 70’s.

Went into Tucson in the early afternoon and had lunch at Beyond Bread, got the car washed and stopped at a big big Ace Hardware too get some mollys to repair some self supports that had come adrift. While there I found a nice Dewalt tool box on sale, a fair amount larger than my current one, but one that will still fit in the truck storage compartment - and it was only 20 bucks! 

Then we stopped at Camping World to pick up a new water filter since I accidentally contaminated the old one with anti-freeze. As usual we picked up a few other things as well.

Back home I repacked my tools in the new box and cleaned out the storage compartment to make room for it. Makes my tools a lot more accessible. Then I replaced the water filter under the sink, a bit of a PIA!

Blackhawks play in Dallas tonight, second half of our Beyond Bread sandwiches for dinner.

Well the Blackhawks pulled out another one tonight, went into the 3rd losing 1-0 and won in the shoot-out - after 11 rounds!

Saturday 11/30

A  bit cloudy this AM when we went for our walk and it clouded over during the day. Still doing things to get settled in - unload bikes, put out bird feeders, etc.

Made a run into town for some grocery shopping. 

Sorted out a couple more scrambled cabinets and repaired a broken drawer, then watched the Blackhawks win again - 6 wins in the 7 game “circus” road trip, not bad!

Pizza at home while we were watching the game.

Sunday 12/1

Quiet day at home, morning walk in the desert as usual. Cleaned out and organized the large storage compartment underneath the trailer as a result of looking for a few things.

New feature at Desert Trails this year is visits from food trucks on Sundays and Wednesdays, today was Serial Grillers. Turned out to be excellent sandwiches and burgers. Apparently there are going to be a variety of foods during the winter. Long wait for the food though, after we placed our order Nancy said we were out of beer, so I ran down to the Shell station nearby for beer, it is 5 miles away so it took about 20 minutes - our order was still not ready when I got back!

Monday 12//2

Park meeting this AM, then we went over to H. F. Coors to look at some holiday plates for Joan. On the way back we stopped at Target to pick up a couple of children's gifts that we selected from the park giving tree.

We also made our first stop (which will be far from our last!) at BK Tacos for lunch.

Back home we relaxed and our neighbor Jim came by and said he was ready to move his trailer. They have been next to us since last winter, but left the trailer here during the summer as they have nothing to tow it with. They had decided to move six spots down the line since the noise from the laundry room, which is the other side of their site, was bothering them in the early morning.

I wanted to fire the truck up anyway to air up the suspension so I could put my tire covers on and I had told him I would move his trailer for him. Too bad I did not have more people watching as I backed it into their new spot the first time without any back and forth jockeying!

Quiet evening at home.

Tuesday 12/3

Another pretty day after some early morning cloudiness, supposed to turn cool on Thursday. After our morning walk we sat around and relaxed then headed over to Beyond Bread for lunch (and brought home dinner!). 

Witnessed a fairly substantial accident right in front of us a few blocks from Beyond Bread. We were eastbound waiting to turn left when a southbound Jeep turned left in front of a northbound pickup - BOOM! Neither of us were watching closely enough to say for sure who had the light (the left arrow trails the green at this intersection) so there was no point in stopping. Did not appear to be any injuries.

After lunch we made a stop at Trader Joe’s to stock up for a couple of weeks, then relaxed back home.

Blackhawks play tonight. And they lost - outshot Dallas 50 to 18 and lost!

Wednesday 12/4

No walk this AM since Nancy was going to a Spanish class here in the park. While she did that I did a thorough inside cleaning, washed windows, etc.

When Nancy was finished we made a quick trip down to the Green Valley Farmers Market as Nancy wanted to get some face cream from the lady she patronizes. We also picked up a pair of leather work gloves for each of us. There is a man there occasionally that has really nice goatskin gloves. I bought a pair a couple of years ago and I love them.

On the was home we stopped at the nice Fry’s Market in Sahuarita to take advantage of the first Wednesday senior discount - always a geezer fest!

Naturally on the way home we stopped at BK Tacos again for lunch.

Food trucks in the park tonight, both right near our site. I had a pulled pork sandwich from Bubba-que, Nancy had a dinner from the Rolling Wok.

Rain this evening, not much, just a sprinkle. It rained off and on throughout the night, stayed warmer than expected. Supposed to have a freeze tomorrow night.

Thursday 12/5

Off to Tucson Yoga this AM for our first yoga class of the season. They have finished construction in the area and the city is trying to kill the few businesses left in the area with parking restrictions. There have always been meters right in front of the studio and resident sticker restrictions in the area around there, but there was a street a block away with open parking. Now that street is no parking on the side we used to use and meters on the other side. Five blocks of meters all around the studio and zero cars parked there!

When we left and headed to Food Conspiracy I said “Now we will see what a vibrant neighborhood there is on Fourth Ave where there are no parking restrictions." How wrong I was! In their infinite wisdom the city has eliminated at least half of the parking spaces on the busiest block as part of the street car construction (which will not begin running until next year!). No place to park within two blocks of the store! We finally found a spot a half block away. What a bunch of idiots! They are going to kill the business on the street before the street car even starts running.

Back home after lunch I emptied out the pantry again and took out the shelves. Replaced the tiny screws that were (not) retaining the shelf brackets with mollies. Now the shelves are secure and solid.

Blackhawks played again tonight and they lost. Bummer!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Back In Tucson

Friday 11/22

Did not get as cold as forecast last night, actually warmed up during the night - up to 22 degrees this AM. We decided to stay over the weekend as there are winter storm warnings and watches from Raton Pass down to Albuquerque Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Now here is the weird part: we are supposed to be limited to 14 days in any 45 day period at Cherry Creek and tonight is our 14th night. Remember the hassle about having to move sites to a different loop the first weekend we were here? Well, as it turns out that restarted the clock on our stay. When they counted up nights at the office this AM they only got to 10! So we’re good through the weekend. The hassle turned out to be a benefit - who knew.

Spent the day at Emily & Gregs watched F1 practice then I sat down and paid the monthly bills. A trip out for some grocery shopping and baby feeding filled up the rest of the day.

The twins had their eight month week check-up yesterday and they are flourishing. Hillary is rapidly catching up with Oliver in weight, she is 7 lbs. 1/2 oz. and he is 7 lbs. 14 oz. He had a couple of pounds on her when they were born.

Had dinner at the Cherry Cricket with Connie and Laurie. Emily’s brother Lawrence flew in from Chicago late this evening for Thanksgiving.

Saturday 11/23

Highway reports show I-25 with snow packed and icy patches all the way fro Colorado Springs to Albuquerque. Good thing we decided to stay put as there is also winter weather farther south into New Mexico.

We watched F1 qualifying at home before we head over to Emily’s. More time spent with the babies today and everyone gathered there for Thai takeout for dinner.

Back home to watch the Blackhawks win over Vancouver in a well played, fast game only marred by blatant “dives” by a few Vancouver players.

Sunday 11/24

Dropped Nancy off at Connie’s to do some laundry and then they went shopping. I went back to the campground to get the truck and took it to a self-service car wash - it was filthy from traveling over to Best Buy in the snow on Thursday. Took $12 worth of quarters, but it looks a lot better. I hate starting out on a trip with dirty equipment.

Still cold here and it is still snowing in Raton Pass, but it still looks good for Tuesday, sunny and in the 40’s most of the way to Albuquerque.

Whole gang assembled to watch the  Broncos - Patriots game in the evening. I joined Greg in rooting for New England since everyone else there were Broncos fans.

Monday 11/25

Went over to Emily’s early to help with the babies so she could get some quiet time to study. Spent the morning watching them while Brittany, Miles’ part time nanny, kept an eye on him - which is a full time job all in itself!  

About lunch time I went back to the campground and loaded the car on the truck, did some cleaning and then went back to Emily’s and picked Nancy up. We said good-by to Emily, Greg and the kids, but only after Miles got to climb into the truck and “drive” it for a few minutes. First thing he says when he gets in is “Put on your seat belt.” He is very firm about it and will not fiddle with anything until we both have our seat belts on!

Stopped at Connie and Laurie’s, had a drink and chatted with them for a while and then headed home to watch the Blackhawks game.

Hitting the road tomorrow, clouds have cleared off this evening and weather looks good for the trip.

Tuesday 11/26

Off to an interesting start this morning. I was about to hook up and Nancy was closing the slides when the living room slide jammed halfway closed! Investigation showed that the slide cover (awning) was frozen to the top of the slide! Oh joy! I attempted to loosen it with my extendable wash brush (breaking it in the process), but that did not work. The snow and ice was too heavy and the brush pole not long enough (or strong enough!).

Got out my long tank flushing hose and nozzle and tried spraying it off, but that did not work either. Finally I got out our collapsable ladder and climbed up where I could spray and poke at the snow and ice until I got it all off. The slide closed fine then. Not the first time we have used the ladder, but the first time it has proven to be indispensable. 

Finally got on the road at 9:30, only a half hour behind our goal, so not too bad. Our decision to wait out the weather proved to be a good one, as the roads were clear and dry all the way to Albuquerque. Uneventful trip, lunch and dinner at Cracker Barrel and arrived at American RV Park at 7:15 PM, 15 minutes behind my original estimate.

Wednesday 11/27

OK this is getting weird - second morning in a row with a strange problem delaying our start. American RV Park has propane and we had an empty tank, so lets fill it up. They filled the tank, I put it back in and could not open the valve! The guys at the park looked at it, tried several things and could not do anything with it. “There’s a guy across the highway that replaces these valves, I’ll take it over there.” Great! In the meantime we went down the road and dropped $697 at Flying J to top off the tanks and got back to the park just as the guy was returning with our tank.

Result? It is not stuck closed - it is stuck OPEN! Seems gas will not flow if it is not connected and they did not close it after they filled it. So when we tried to open it we were jamming it OPEN. The repair guy suggested hooking it up and using the gas before trying to close it.

So ... we finally got on the road at 10:30 AM. Good weather and good roads again. Stopped in Truth or Consequences for lunch, cut across from I-25 to I-10 on highway 26 and got to Ft Wilcox RV Park at 6 PM.

Blackhawks game tonight - not happy with Dish Center Ice: 1st another game that I have to watch the Canadian feed in non-HD, and 2cd - I turn it on and there is nothing there! Called tech support, they try to sell me a line that the game does not start until 10 PM Mountain time!!! Went to “special tech support” got the same BS. Asked for a supervisor and got a permanent hold.

Left the TV on the station and ... lo & behold, the game comes on a half hour late and 12 minutes into the game! What a crock!

At least the Blackhawks won, went into the third period behind 0 - 2  and won 3 - 2.

Thursday 11/28

No oddball issues this morning. Stopped in Wilcox and washed the truck and trailer, got to Desert Trails just about noon. Office closed but we knew where we were going. Got parked and set ip and relaxed. Karen and Gary stopped by, they have been here for three weeks. Seems like a number of people came in early this year to avoid the bad weather early in November.

The shelves in our pantry fell down during traveling, so we had to empty it out and do a temporary fix. I need to do a permanent fix before we leave. Light dinner at home and just relaxed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Oh, and did I mention snow?

Tuesday 11/19

I was a bit under the weather today, thought it was a cold so I stayed home to keep away from the babies. Turns out it was just sinus, felt fine later in the day, Nancy went over and helped with the children for the day.

I did a few things on the trailer and the truck, dug through the drawers in the truck and found the radio receipt! Yeah! Best thing is - I paid for a two year warranty!

Quiet evening and dinner at home. The Blackhawks B team apparently showed up here in Denver tonight. They played a good game, but gave up too many turnovers and got beaten bad. 

Wednesday 11/20

Went over to Emily’s to help Greg as she had some errands to run. After lunch we went over to The Tattered Cover to browse. I bought three books - yes, I know, I have a bunch of unread books on my Kindle and we have books in the trailer. What can I say!

Whole family had dinner at Connie’s tonight.

Thursday 11/21

As predicted it snowed last night, looks like a couple of inches at most. They also said it was going to get cold and it did with a vengeance! It was 45 when we went to bed last night - 16 degrees this AM! That makes it the coldest night we have spent in the trailer. but everything seems fine.

High today was 18! 

Got out and had the truck radio fixed, no charge since I had located my receipts. For some reason that we could not determine it had lost it’s power source, so the tech wired in a new one.

Nancy spent the day doing laundry at Connie's house and then baby sitting with Miles while Emily & Greg took the twins to the doctor for their eight week check up.

After getting the truck fixed - and VERY dirty - I went back out and had a propane tank filled, so we have two full tanks to get us through this cold snap, supposed to be single digits tonight! Weather south to Albuquerque is also starting to look iffy, we may have to wait a few days to get on the road. Not sure if they will try to throw us out of here as it is supposed to be a 14 day maximum stay. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Sitting in Denver

Tuesday 11/12

Stopped by the campground office at 8:30 to see where they wanted us to move. No spaces in Coyote, won’t know if there are any available until Noon! They could put me in another loop, but we would have to move again in five days!

OK, fine. Came back at 11:30 and drove through the loop, one space open. Went to office - sorry cannot rent out until noon! Now these folks are volunteers, but I almost lost it. “Look, we have a toddler and two newborns, a family moving into a new house and three family members off to a funeral today! I just drove 45 minutes (OK I exaggerated) back here and now you want me to wait around another half hour to see if the people who have left will come back and want another night? Give me a break!”

Finally he called the ranger and got an OK to let me move into the space 15 mins early! WOW!

Yesterday morning when we went out our water hose had sprung a leak. Don’t think it was cold enough to freeze the night before, so it probably just wore out. Tossed it in the dumpster and got out the second hose, filled our water tank as it was supposed to colder Monday night, then disconnected the hose and left it on the ground. Today when I went to pick it up some critter had chewed a hole almost the size of a dime in the hose! Bet that’s what happened to the first one as well, it just started spraying so they did not chew a big hole. Showed the piece I cut out of the hose to the ranger on my way out, she thought maybe a prairie dog.

So after I moved the truck and trailer and hooked back up I stopped at Lowe’s and picked up two new hoses and a repair connector for the old damaged one. I will put that out while we are here instead of risking a hole in one of the new hoses.

Back at Wood’s house to feed and help with the babies. Emily and her folks are off this evening to a funeral in Omaha, so Greg, Nancy, & I are taking care of Miles and the babies. Nancy helped with the 9 PM feeding and went to bed, Gregg and I stayed up until Midnight to do the feeding, then Greg did the 3 AM on his own and Nancy & I got up to do the 6 AM on Wednesday morning - how do new parents deal with this without help?

Wednesday 11/13

Spent most of the day taking care of the babies as Greg had some errands to run and the rest of the family is in Omaha. Ran back out to the campground during the day to patch the chewed hose and found there was another tooth puncture in it as well! The two hoses from Lowe’s are quite nice, so I will not be leaving them out 

Thursday 11/14

More baby sitting today while Emily went to school with Miles as the volunteer “Mom assistant”.

Between feedings I ran back to Cherry Creek to pay for two more days. What a pain that is becoming.

Friday 11/15

Back to the new house this morning and spent some time reassembling furniture that the movers had disassembled and/or broken. Watched F1 practice from Austin on Greg’s nice, large flat screen - about three times the size of the one in the trailer!

Late in the afternoon we came back to the trailer and relaxed, brats for dinner. 

Saturday 11/16

Stopped at campground office and paid for two more days! Went over to Connie’s and Laurie made a really nice breakfast. Then we went to Emily & Greg’s to watch F1 qualifying on the big flat screen.

In the evening Connie, Laurie, Nancy & I went to Tag’s Burgers. It was crowded and rather than wait a half hour for a table we opted for the patio, which was actually quite comfortable with the heaters going. Once in a while the breeze would come up and it was downright chilly, but overall not bad. The burgers were excellent, living up to expectations.

Back home we watched the Blackhawks game we recorded - they lost 7-2! 

Sunday 11/17

Went to Emily and Greg’s and watched the F1 race from Austin. Spent the afternoon visiting and watching/feeding the babies. That is the main activity these days - two six week olds that eat every three hours. We are all pitching in to try and take some of the load off Emily & Greg.

Looking at the weather forecasts we have decided to head for Albuquerque when we leave on Saturday instead of our original plan of stopping in Las Vegas, NM. Weather for Sunday looks iffy in the higher elevations.

Pizza at their house for dinner and then back home to watch the Blackhawks again, this time they won!

Monday 11/18

Nancy went off to Connie’s house this AM to do laundry, I did a few things around the trailer and then took the truck over to Best Buy to have the radio checked. The tech thought it might just need to be reset, but that did not work so I made an appointment for Thursday to have him take a look at it, hopefully it is something simple.

Heading out this morning we could see fresh snow in the Rockies, nothing in the front range yet, but plenty of snow at the higher elevations.

After Best Buy I took the truck by Emily’s house so Miles could look at it, he is really into “big trucks”. Last spring he was a bit afraid when I put him up in the cab, but this time he was fascinated, wanted to know what all the switches and buttons were for, sat in the seat and pretended to drive. He liked pushing buttons that made air hiss.

Monday, November 11, 2013

On The road Again

Headed for Denver
Thursday 11/7/13

Going to stop in Denver for a couple of weeks to help with the new babies. For those of you who are not up on the family saga (family members can skip this part), our niece Emily and her husband Greg were living in Boston. They have a little boy, Miles, who just turned two and she was pregnant with twins, due in late Oct.

They decided to move to Denver so she could be closer to to her mother, Nancy’s sister. Greg was looking to join a different medical group, so he found a position in Denver and they went to Denver at the end of August and started looking for a house. Then the twins decided to arrive a month early, Sept. 27!

Since then Nancy and her sister Joan, along with Greg’s Mom have been taking turns going to Denver and helping with the babies (and the toddler!).

So we are going to spend a couple of weeks in Denver helping out. Emily & Greg have purchased a beautiful home near her parents house and are in the process of getting moved in.

Left home about 10:30 AM on Thursday. Weather was great and the only fly in the ointment was the new radio I purchased a year ago July decided not to work at all. It was working fine when I parked the truck in August, now it is dead! So, no music or Sirius during the trip to Denver.

Campgrounds are few and far between in Iowa this time of year, so we planned on doing a Cracker Barrel overnight, either Des Moines or Council Bluffs depending on the timing. We made it to Council Bluffs a little after 8 PM and had dinner, then turned in.

Friday 11/8

Breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and back on the road around 9. Uneventful day, still nice weather. Hit Country View campground in Ogallala, NE by mid-afternoon and relaxed a bit, did some grocery shopping and had a quiet evening. Nice campground very close to I-80, good overnight stop.

Saturday 11/9

Third day of nice traveling weather, sure wish we had a working radio though. Arrived at Cherry Creek Sate Park about 2 PM. We bought an annual Colorado Park pass last spring when we were here so we are good for park access through next April. Only need to pay for the camping. Speaking of which, I did not make reservations as the park is not very full this time of year. When you make an on-line reservation you pay for the whole thing at once. When you do  “walk-up” you can only pay for two days at a time! So I need to stop at the office every other day and ay for two more days - for two weeks!

Spent the evening with the family, the babies are just as cute as can be and Miles has turned into a little boy since the last time I saw him (Nancy was here a week ago).

Sunday 11/10

Uneventful day with the family, learning how to feed babies! Got a good look at the kids new house, it is really nice, a newly rehabbed 19th century home with plenty of room for a growing family.

Monday 11/11

Stopped in the campground office to pay for the next two days and they said we need to move you to Coyote Loop since we are closing the one you are in today at Noon! WHAT!? I told them on Saturday we were staying for 14 days and they put me in Pioneer loop. I also told them that I could not move today as I had family commitments all day. Then the other office person said they are not closing the loop until tomorrow. Does anyone know what they are doing here? 

So I asked what space they want me to move to on Tuesday morning and they said they could not tell me until tomorrow morning. What a poorly managed place. There will be a serious stink if there is not a space for us tomorrow.

Worked my a** off today. Tom Britt - Greg’s father - and I spent the entire day assembling IKEA furniture. A bed, a chest of drawers (which took over four hours by itself!), two cribs and a bookcase. I guess you save some money buying IKEA, but the assembly is a nightmare. I’ll be sleeping good tonight.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Beautiful Day At The Grand Canyon!

Friday March 29

What a fantastic day at the Grand Canyon! It was 30 degrees this morning, but warmed up quickly. The weather was perfect for a hike, a cloudless blue sky, light breeze and temps in the mid 60’s. We headed out a little after nine, made first use of Nancy’s National Parks pass to cover the $25 per vehicle entry fee. Since we drove in in the truck we parked in the RV section near the Backcountry Info Center.

From there it was a short walk to the first bus stop on the Rim Trail. We took the bus all the way to Hermit’s Rest at the East end of the trail. From there we hiked back a little over five miles. Beautiful views into the canyon all the way along. 

The first three miles were on a paved path and that is actually hard on the feet. legs and hips. Nancy was smart and packed a good assortment of snacks and we made several stops to snack along the way. In spite of that I was dragging by the time we made it to the Monument Creek stop. Being at 6,900 feet above sea level did not help either!

From there though the trail was a dirt path that ran right along the rim of the canyon. The dirt trail was actually much easier walking for us and I got a second wind. We hiked all the way to Mohave Point, a bit over five miles in all. At one point we had stopped for a snack and we saw two Elk crossing an access road across the road from where we were sitting.

If you are planning on hiking the Rim Trail we recommend starting from Monument Creek and going west, good hiking and really beautiful views.

From Mohave Point we took the bus back to the village, walked back and dropped our hiking gear at the truck. Then we took a village bus to the East end of Grand Canyon Village and walked back to El Tovar Hotel, the original Fred Harvey hotel at the canyon. Then we stopped at the Kolb Studio. By this point we were exhausted and it was about 3:30. We were going to grab a bus back to the parking area, but the buses were full and there was a huge crowd waiting at the stop. Fortunately it was not a long walk back to where we parked. Along the way we stopped at Meswik Lodge and had a pizza and beer for dinner.

All in all a really nice day.

Heading North

Monday March 18

Monday AM meeting and then a nice walk in the desert. Relaxed after lunch and then went to Tiny’s for dinner.

Nancy went to a presentation on Kinesio taping by Angel while I watched the Hawks win again.

Tuesday March 19

Nice hike in desert this AM, beautiful in the morning this time of year. small wild flowers starting to appear. Did some prep work on the truck, greasing hitch and checking things over. Found that I need a new alternator belt, so off to the Volvo dealer tomorrow.

Went to Beyond Bread for lunch, then stopped at Bookman’s for a look-see. Nancy bought a couple of books for Miles and I GOT OUT WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING! A new record!

Second half of lunch sandwiches for dinner.

Wednesday March 20

Off early this morning to drop the truck at the Volvo dealer, then stopped at Coyote Pause for breakfast on the way back. Traffic going into town on Ajo Highway was really nasty at 7:30 in the morning - glad we don’t have to do that regularly.

Took care of Margo today as Karen had a couple of places to go. Late in the afternoon we went back to pick up the truck, really reasonable cost for the belt replacement at Vanguard Truck Center.

Since we were on the east side of town anyway we stopped at Nimbus Brewery for dinner.

And the Blackhawks lost to Anaheim tonight! Bummer, they were lucky to hold them even in the 1st, then played pretty well through the 2nd and 3rd periods and gave the whole thing away with a couple of sloppy plays at the end.

Thursday March 21

Off to Tucson Yoga for our last class of the season, we’ll be on the road next Thursday. The RV Park is really thinning out. A lot of people we know are gone already and our next door neighbors are leaving this weekend.

Stopped at Food Conspiracy on the way home and after lunch we went over to a truck stop on the far east side to Comm Techs to see if they could fix our CB radio. It has been dead for over a year and we like to have it available when we get into traffic problems.

Friday March 22

The mornings have been beautiful for our desert walks, this morning it was about 57 degrees and sunny when we went out.

Off to the 4th Ave Street Fair this morning. An amazing crowd for a Friday, can’t imagine what it is going to be like tomorrow! I picked up a nice sun hat for our Prairie Home Companion Mediterranean cruise in August. Should nice and toasty in Italy in August!

Nancy got some skin cream from a vendor she likes. Then we stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch before swinging by the CB shop to pick up our repaired CB Radio.

Karen and Gary stopped by this afternoon for drinks before we all went to the evening entertainment. This was the Road Runners group which is kind of a “catch as catch can” assemblage of the students and teachers from the Tucson Jazz Institute. No students tonight, but a really rousing and excellent performance from four of the adults from the group.

Saturday March 23

Pretty quiet day, morning hike and then watched the F1 qualifying from last night. Spent some time planning our trip to the Grand Canyon and Denver late next week.

Went to Cushing Street Bar & Grille for dinner, sat on the patio where we could just hear the jazz group inside. We chose the patio as we did not want to be inside where the music might be loud, but turns out it was pretty mellow stuff.

Sunday March 24

Two nice walks in the desert today, early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Otherwise we watched the F1 race and the Sunday news programs.

Helped our neighbor put a cover on his fifth wheel since they are leaving it here over the summer.

Monday March 25

Skipped the park meeting this morning and went up to the Desert Museum and then up to the Saguaro National Park visitors center to check out the gift shop.

After that we made a couple of stops and had lunch at BK for the last time. 

Back home we went to the pizza party at the park rec hall. Much better than last year’s, better organized and less standing on line for more more pizza.

Blackhawks played another sloppy game tonight and lost to LA. They need to get back into the pattern they had for the first half of the season.

Tuesday March 26

Nice long walk in the desert this morning, then we went to Beyond Bread for a last visit until fall. Stopped at the CB Radio shop and picked up a dash cam for the Volvo, just a bit of insurance.

Wednesday March 27

After our morning walk both of us spent the day getting ready to hit the road. Nancy did laundry and worked at packing things away inside. I loaded the car in the morning before it got too hot and then repacked the storage compartments and generally prepared for travel.

Thursday March 28

Left Desert Trails right at 9 AM, which was our target time. Weather was good, even a bit of tailwind, and the traffic was relatively light. Made it to Flagstaff for a late lunch at Cracker Barrel and then on to Tusayan, just outside of the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. Arrived at Grand Canyon Camper Village about 4 PM. Must say the 54 miles from Williams to Tusayan was the most boring part of the trip! Pretty much straight and flat all the way, sure not very scenic!