Sunday, January 18, 2015

Visit to Barrett Jackson

Sunday 1/11

Beautiful morning with an amazing display of sunlit clouds

After our walk we watched CBS Sunday Morning, but CNN preempted Fareed Zakaria - for the third week in a row! - with wall-to-wall coverage of the activities in Paris. Watched the Packers win against Dallas, then I did some minor maintenance and loaded the bikes on the car while Nancy did some Spanish. 

Blackhawks had a good win against the Wild tonight.

Monday 1/12

Rained during the night and it was spotty looking in the morning. The resident that organizes the bike ride was under the weather and others were leery of the rain so there was no organized bike ride. We already had our bikes loaded on the car and after Nancy talked to Karen at the AM meeting, we decided to go over to the Sam Lena Recreation Area and check out the path there with Karen and Gary.

It turned out to be a really nice day, sunny with temps in the 60‘s, and the path turned out to be a nice ride, well paved loop around the reserve, 2.3 miles around with a spur that headed west in a wash. We did three times around the loop, then went over to Nimbus Brewing, which is quite close, for lunch.

Karen and Gary came over for cocktails in the evening and we finalized plans for our trip to Mesa later in the week for the Barrett Jackson auction.

Tuesday 1/13

The last several days have seen a lot of high, puffy clouds, unusual compared to what we have seen in past years,  but still really nice days. Perfect weather for our morning walks and whatever.

Did a few chores around home, got registered as volunteers for the Tucson Festival of Books in March, the weekend after Escapade. 

Wednesday 1/14

Nancy has Spanish this morning and then we are headed to Mesa with Karen and Gary. Guys are going to Barrett Jackson while the girls shop.

Uneventful trip to Mesa. We took two vehicles so we could go in different directions on Thursday. Nancy & I took the Volvo as it is way more comfortable than the smart car for two hours on the interstate. Karen had made reservations at the Superstition Springs Best Western in Mesa since they allow pets and she brought Margo along. Turned out to be a very nice motel for a relatively reasonable price. 

Went to R. T. O’Sullivan’s Sports Grille just across the expressway for a drink before dinner, spotted a Crispy Cream Doughnuts nearby, but did not stop. Karen want to go to diner at a pizza place she remembered from years ago: Organ Stop Pizza. Turned out to be a pretty amazing place that also happened to have pretty good pizza. The building was custom built as a two story showroom for the world largest pipe organ! In addition to the organ (with nearly 6,000 pipes!) there were numerous peripheral instruments controlled by the organ. The organist did constant shows throughout the evening. Well worth a stop.

Thursday 1/14

Gary and I headed up to Scottsdale early, got there about 8:30 after some stop and go traffic. We took the Volvo and had an interesting experience parking the truck. The exit on Bell Rd., that Google Maps had sent us to, specified it was for parking permits only; next exit the same; third exit north of the auction had sign for general parking. Followed the direction signs and ended up west of the 101 expressway, the auction is on east side. So now we are several miles north on the opposite side of the expressway, only access by shuttle bus - hey it is what it is.

Pulled into lot, attendant says "I can't park that here."

I say, "It will fit in the space of a dually long bed."

He says, "Sorry boss won't let me, you need to go to the semi & trailer lot."

OK, he gives me directions. Another mile west and a ways farther north to the "semi" lot. Attendant says "Where's your pass?"  

"Don't have one."

"OK, park anywhere and pick one up and put it on when you get back."

"How do we get to the auction?"

"Don't know, most people park and someone picks them up."

So, that won't work, after I ask him what to do and he says,

"Go back south to Bell Rd. (where we wanted to go in first place!) and to the  main entrance and they will take care of you."

SO, we go back to Bell Rd and into auction site, past reserved parking and, lo and behold, there is another "general parking". Pull up to attendant and he looks at us, picks up his radio and says,

"Ive got a big RV here, where do you want it?"

Radio replies, "Does he have a trailer?"

"No, just a semi"

"OK be right there"

Attendant, "Pull over there and we'll park you in a couple of minutes."

Less than five minutes later a ATV pulls up and signals us to follow. We follow him across a couple of empty lots, where he moves barriers to let us through, finally into a lot right next to the auction arena and tells me to park next to a commercial bob-tail at the back of the lot!

Park the Volvo and we are less than 300 yards from the main entrance to auction!

Not only were we within walking distance, but a guy pulls up with a bicycle rickshaw and gives us a free ride right to the gate!

This turned out to be the biggest car show I have ever been to, there must have been 1,500 to 2,000 cars and almost any one of them would take best of show in a a local car show. Just amazing, eventually it got to where we were just walking past jaw dropping cars! 

Large vendor areas with everything under the sun for sale as well, including Roush Mustangs, custom Corvettes and even airplanes - which were on display! Had a $10 burger for lunch (actually pretty good) and a little after noon we went and sat in the bleacher seats in the auction area for the auction itself. Pretty interesting to watch, we sat there for over an hour. All the seats on the floor of the arena were reserved for bidders. You needed to pay $400 and register a minimum $30k letter of credit to even bid! Prices were pretty strong as far as we could tell.

Walked around the staging lanes and then discovered there were five more huge tents full of cars that had already been across the block out there! Feet wore out before we got even halfway through those tents! Headed back to the motel in Mesa to meet the girls.

Nancy and Karen got going a little later than we did. They visited the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix in the morning, then had lunch at La Santisima in Phoenix, a restaurant Angel had recommended. They agreed it was good, but the drinks were pricey. In the afternoon they visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill and took the very informative tour, as well as sampling the olive oil.

That evening we had a lengthy discussion trying to pick a place for dinner. After a lot of back and forth we decided to go back to R. T. O’Sullivan’s. Turns out that Thursday night all sandwiches were on special and the were quite good. After dinner we walked across the parking lot to Crispy Cream, they bought one each - I bought a dozen!

Friday 1/15

Leisurely breakfast, then the four of us drove up the Apache Trail toward Roosevelt Lake. Apache Junction itself has been pretty much absorbed in metro Phoenix. We stopped and nosed around the Superstition Mountain Museum, shop had a large assortment of interesting books, did not pay to go through the museum, but it did not look like anything to write home about. Then we stopped at Goldfield Ghost Town, just down the road. A bit more interesting and we walked around for an hour or so while the girls nosed around a couple of shops.

Stopped at the Lakeside Restaurant in Canyon Lake Marina for lunch, turned out it was Friday fish fry so the others had fish while I had a burger. Nice place with a good view of the lake. As it turned out this was a good choice since Tortilla Flat, where we had thought of having lunch, was really crowded when we got there. Gary and I relaxed while the girls nosed around some more shops. Margo got a lot of attention from passers by. Quite a nice little free museum there.

Then it was back to Mesa where Karen and Gary dropped us at the motel to pick up the truck. They were staying in Mesa another night in order to go to a flea market on Saturday.

We headed home, going East on US 60 (to avoid Friday afternoon traffic around Phoenix) to AZ 79 into Florence, then 287 into Coolidge where we picked up AZ 87 which runs straight South to I-10 near Picacho Peak. Then in order to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic in Tucson we left I-10 at Arva Valley Rd. and went West to Sandario Rd. which runs straight South on the West side of Saguaro National Park West. Back into the park on Mile Wide Rd. and then Kinney Rd. through Tucson Mountain Park and back home.

Got home in time to watch the Blackhawks lose to the Winnipeg Jets for the third time this season! Only bright spot was Teuvo Teravainen scored his first NHL goal. He has been more and more of a factor over the last few games since he was called up from Rockford, you can see him gaining confidence with every game. Going to be another star for the Hawks.

Saturday 1/17

Another beautiful morning for our walk in the desert. Sometime we just have to stop and soak in the beauty of the desert at dawn, the mountains change appearance constantly as the light changes, the cholla almost fluoresce as they catch the morning sun, the mountains look very pretty in the clear morning air, and the saguaro look beautiful in the morning light. That combined with the quiet, only broken by the singing of the birds and the occasional coyote make for an amazing experience, and we get to do it every morning!

Cleaned up the truck this morning, killed a lot of bugs between here and Mesa; put the covers on the tires and closed the curtains in the cab.

Had a couple of our day/night shades crap out in the last two days, strings starting to fray. Fairly easy job to restring them and we have the material on hand to do it. Nancy and I (four hands are better than two for this job) did one this afternoon, will do the other tomorrow.

Sunday 1/18

Usual morning walk and then watched Sunday Morning on CBS. A quick run to the Walmart Neighborhood Market to replenish, then home to watch the Packers beat lose to the Seahawks, and then the Blackhawks stink up the United Center for the second game in a row! Just mailing it in the last few games.

During the first half of the football game we restrung the other shade that needed attention. Food truck in the park tonight was Land of Crepes which Nancy wanted to try. Unfortunately the truck comes between 3 and 6 PM (geezers are us!) and when we went over at 6 they were sold out of the ones Nancy wanted, so we had our usual Sunday night pizza.

Downton Abby and a new Masterpiece Mystery tonight.

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