Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Do Over

Today we skipped the noon luncheon, and the country store meet at the activity center. Loyce had taken Brandy out to get her groomed at a very early hour for us. They arrived at 8 AM but were told they should have been there at 7.

Loyce had told them she would be there at 8 but they had intended for her to come, as they had told her at 7. Well she had the grooming just the same, and she looks like a nicer puppy now.

Once back at home, we got ready and went out to the Mesa Swap Meet. I had written this up Here on November 16th last fall. And we have been out there about three or four times since.

Today will be the last time that we will go and spend several hours looking through all the booths. From here on out, if we go we will be going directly to a specific store to purchase specific items that we know are for sale.

The good thing about knowing what you are after, is that you can park somewhat close to the store you are interested in and walk directly there. That makes a big difference in the time it takes. Since this place is bigger than a football stadium, with four parallel buildings side by side. There are 250 booths in each of the four concourses. Many stores take up lots of booths but still I’ll bet there are 400 businesses all together.

You have to watch the quality of some of the things you buy at these meets, and I had purchased a billfold that was made in India last fall. In only 4 months, it was looking shabby, so today I got a replacement.

The new one was made in the USA, and the sales lady was familiar with the first one I had purchased, and guaranteed that this new one is much better and will last significantly longer. Time will be the test of that!

After a few purchases, and passing on some of the things we thought we wanted, but did not come home with, once we looked at them again, we were out of there by about 4 PM.

Tonight, we went back to Cracker Barrel for supper. Shouldn’t do that, because I always come away feeling like I ate the whole building.

No call from the RV repair facility today, concerning the awning either. I have a feeling that our time here will expire and the Jayco folks will not have provided a solution. Again, time will be the test of this too.

Retired Rod

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do Overs

As we spend the last week or so here, we are now like residents of the area.  We have been to the same old restaurants several times, and back to the Wal Mart almost daily for the last 8 weeks.  So we are beginning to see the same sights over and over.

So today we went back out the Apache Trail to Canyon Lake.  Only two miles beyond is Tortilla Flat, but since we were not going to the restaurant or looking for an Ice Cream, we turned around at the marina at the lake.

It was late in the afternoon, and we stopped at the visitor overlook.


The Salt River comes into the side of the lake, so it looks like there is a lake in a canyon without any source.  From the road it is hard to see where the water comes from.


The explanation sign was quite faded, but you can see the water comes from the top right, and the dam is across the river outflow to the left.  It backs up back into the canyon to the lower right.  The loop off of the road right of the big red blotch of something spilled on the sign, is the campground.  Tortilla Flat is just out of the picture to the right on the road.

This is the Tonto National Forest, and you have to purchase a day pass for $6 if you plan to stay anywhere and leave your car parked while you hike, or fish.  And the pass has to be purchased back in Apache Junction.  So if activities are planned, get a pass before you leave town.  If you have an America the Beautiful Sr. Pass, you can buy a $3 day pass and then display both cards in your window while parked.


See the little fishing boat, that is about a 14 foot row boat, so the size of the lake is deceiving with all the rock walls around it.  This place is a definite do over, and over.

The road turns to gravel and winds for 26 more miles, and ends up at Roosevelt Dam.  We were over it years ago, but have not taken a car over it this year.  Others have said it is passable, but then one of the ladies here in the park said it was washed out in places, and didn’t make her too comfortable.  So Loyce is not going over it, at least not in the car.

I went this morning, and checked with the RV dealership, to see if they had heard from Jayco on our broken bracket.  They had not.  The repair counter fellow said he would call Jayco and call me back.  I am still waiting for this return call.  But then he didn’t say what day he would call me back.

I did find the bracket that we need, on the wall of parts next to the counter.  If worst comes to pass, and we do not have time to get it repaired, I will purchase the bracket, and install it myself before we leave.

The high here today, recorded at the airport was 77, and that was for several hours in a row.  That sort of a day can be a ‘do over’ for the rest of the time we are here as far as I’m concerned.

Retired Rod

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fountain Hills

We went to Fountain Hills today, and let Geo the GPS lead us up there. It is North of Mesa across the Salt River, and then North on the Beeline Highway.

You can see the Fountain for several miles, since it sprays up into the air about 500 feet.


It is in the center of the town, that is almost brand new. I believe this was just desert several years ago, as there were no old buildings anywhere. I reminded me of Beverly Hills, as there were not many main streets other than right downtown. But big dollar houses were all around in the hills. The one thing they had in common was looking down the hill at the lake park and the fountain.


Since I wasn’t impressed that I wanted or could afford any of the real estate, we went directly to the lake park. This statue was really different.

I decided to just stand here and not move too much, and the coots started to run for the water. But then they just went back to pecking for grubs.


I was out in the shade of a small point in the lake, under a palo verde tree, and had to take another shot of the fountain.


I was trying to take the birds pictures without scaring them off, and they were actually beginning to come back towards me.


And all of a sudden the fountain just stopped! I wasn’t prepared to have it quit. So I walked back to the car. We drove around the park, and enjoyed the birds and the people walking their dogs. Loyce ate her lunch, and then I got a call from the stock broker in Des Moines.

So the pleasant enjoyment seemed to come to an abrupt end. Discussions of available interest rates and the overall weakness of the market killed the mood.

But for a while there, we had a nice time enjoying water, green grass, 87 degrees, the birds, and the fountain. Things that are not all that common here in the desert.

The fountain seems to run for 15 minutes at the beginning of the hour, as it began again after we were driving around town looking the place over. Its all nice and new and such, but still an overpriced suburb, that is out in the hills East of Scottsdale.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Caution rambling post

We had another one of those boring 83 degree days here in the RV park. We seemed busy for most of the day, but didn’t do anything of much importance.

I got busy and took pictures of the broken awning bracket to email to the repair place, since they wanted $25 to sent a fellow over here to take a picture. Got to thinking about that and decided that I could do the work for them and save the $25.

So after waiting until around 11 AM I called and asked if I could send him the pictures, since his day was looking so complicated. (Just a guess on my part) And he said, “could you?” So I documented an email to him, with all that he would need to send to Jayco. You know just forward this and see what they want to do. Saved $25 and I am still at the top of his pending customer list.

DSCN0883 You can see the broken bracket at the top of the part above the bolts. Surely that isn’t much of a fix, but time will tell.

Then the insurance adjuster called from Kansas City, wanting to settle some of the claim on the medical, so we played phone tag for a while, until we finally decided how to proceed.

Next we went to Wal Mart to make some prints of the photos of the quilt show. Loyce needs evidence of all her hard work for her brag book. Just kidding dear!

Then this afternoon a bunch of us guys 'needed' to sit over under an awning in front of the neighbors motorhome, from Alberta. Just to see if the beer stayed cold in his new small refrigerator in the wheel locker. He found that about two weeks ago, on sale and it was stainless and matched the color of his coach.

A few stories were swapped about everything imaginable. He has a new stripe job on his small trailer pulled behind the smart car, and it matches the car in color. His wife wanted a butterfly, and he wanted flames, so the butterfly has flames coming from its wings. Doesn’t look too bad.

Now its dark, and we have the door back open to enjoy the temps that are still in the 70’s. It is about like July in Iowa, or late June in Kansas. Ahhhhhh!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Now that’s more like it!  We reached a high temp of 87 according to the dash of the Toyota.  But officially, the airport said it was 83, but no matter, we’ll take it.

I received the insurance settlement for the car on Friday, late in the day.  So this morning, it was off to the Financial Institution to deposit it.  I had to go to Scottsdale to find the place with the right flavor.  It’s more hoi polloi over there, so that’s where the investment firms office.  Not the same as us trailer trash folks.  LOL.

Any way when I got back, the old tin trailer was hot, hot.  The poor doggie gal looked like she was about to cook.  So, I started the fan and the AC for her.  Well, for me too.  Put out the awning on the side of the rig, and sat a spell.

Loyce came home from her quilt group, and declared that we had to go to the fabric shop again.  We were just there yesterday, but never mind, we have to go again.  New project!

So we spent the afternoon looking for the Jayco dealer, to see if we can get a part for the awning,  and then to the new fabric shop about 10 miles to our South.

When we got back, we hung around under the awning, as the temps remained nice even thru sundown. 

Not an exciting kind of day, but then they all can’t be vacation events.  More like hanging out and socializing in the RV Resort!  See I didn’t call it the trailer park!

Retired Rod

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mesa Spirit Quilt Show

Every one in the club made a square in this purple quilt. One of those squares was made by Loyce.


Loyce and her friend Wanda



Ladies basting a quilt.


Loyce’s children gift quilt.


View of all the gift quilts.


Rows and rows of projects in various stages of completion.







So this was the day here in the park.  The day of the annual quilt show.  Originally the park was called Trailer Village, so the quilt club is called the Village Quilters.  They meet three times a week, and the room is open almost every day, when other clubs are not using the room.

Retired Rod

Sunday, February 22, 2009

RV Parks, Mesa

The big excitement here today was the departure of our neighbors to our East, Howard and Donna.  They were here when we came in November, and had paid for four months.  At the time, I wondered how you could stay on one site for that long.

We rented for three months, but knew that we would spend the December time back in KC.  Only the trailer would be here in Phoenix.  So that broke up our time.  But now we have extended for the fourth month.  So H & D were not all that far off.

But after they left, it seems so empty and open on our door side, as we have two sites that are empty before the big class C, three over. 

The second site over is a really small one, with the electric transformer in front, and a palm tree.  Also the driveway for the car is not paved, so your trailer could not have any slides, and not be over 25 feet long.  Your car would be parked on the gravel, with only a 5 foot wide concrete strip as a patio.  Needless to say they have never rented that site since we have been here.

We have been in about 10 of the over 50 RV parks here in Mesa.  And they have a common theme to them.  Some are bigger, and some have a golf course, but mostly if your have been in one, then you have been in them all. 

Back several years ago, the big thing was to buy a park model, and the parks tried to become exclusively for them.  Rent is by the year that way, and maintenance is largely on the part of the renter.

Most of the ground is concreted, and the renters poured their own slabs.  But now that the park models are gone, the concrete is not uniform from site to site.  So as RVer’s we get what is left behind.

This is a problem, for these older parks, as when they were platted, there were no slides on trailers, and the gravel beds under the rigs tended to only be about 10 feet wide.  The later park models were 12 feet, but were often shoehorned onto narrow lots.

As Mesa Spirit, removed the ooold park models and sold them down the road (Mexico) for 500 or some such amount, then they have struggled to redo the spots to accommodate modern big rigs with slides on both sides, and 40 plus feet long.

The streets are laid out with two rigs back to back with the lots only being 35 feet deep.  This worked fine, until the local fire folks decided that there had to be 3 feet between the back of the rig and the lot line.  (Six feet between trailers)

With a 2 foot set back, then the longest rig on these old spots is now 30.  This is not just Mesa Spirit, but all the parks up and down the main part of town.  So things are slowly being re designed to be 70 foot pull thru spots, which requires moving all the utilities and water sewer connections.  Concrete needs to be jack hammered and re poured, and so forth.  The sites were originally offset so that the rigs were not back to back, so they do not line up as pull thru spots.  You get the picture, a mess.

In the back of the park, where they have redesigned the entire layout, they have rented every spot.  Largely to motor homes and large fifth wheels.  The sites are 45 feet deep, and hold a big rig nicely, and are over 30 feet wide.  But reserve ahead as these spots are taken every winter by the same folks.

Another thing you miss here if you are from the Midwest, is grass.  There is none.  Repeat after me “Grass is a Flower.”  “Dogs must not do do on it.”

Now as I think about Llano Grande in RGV of Texas, we were in the old part of that park as well.  And our lot was even narrower and only 35 feet deep.  We happened to get a lot with some newer concrete, but with our rear door, we stepped out onto the thistle grass that is down there.

Had we been in the newer part of that park, which was recently designed for large rigs, we would have enjoyed pull thru spots that are long enough to hold your car and trailer all together, or with the truck parked behind the 5iver as is the popular custom.  I have yet to see that kind of a site here in Mesa.  Especially not one with grass!

We do have every conceivable activity here in this park.  The bulletin is printed weekly, and is like a book when you get it on Friday.  Llano Grande had a softball team, which they do not have here. 

It is 200 miles to Mexico, not 5 so runs for meds and such need to be thought out ahead of time.  We did not feel anywhere near as safe in Nogales, so going to Yuma and crossing at Algadones is recommended.

Lastly it is not as warm in Arizona as it is in Texas.  We are about 10 degrees colder on any given day.  But we have NO wind, and it is sunny almost all the time. Humidity here is lucky to be 40 percent, so you never have a bad hair day either.

It was sunny and 75 today, with a WSW wind at 3 to5 mph.  That is as perfect as it could get.

Retired Rod

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another Mine Town, Jerome, Az


This is a pan shot of Jerome, Az. This was once the 4th largest town in Arizona. It is another mining town. Let see we have been to Bisbee, and then Globe, and now we went to Jerome.

Jerome is up the mountain from Cottonwood. I found this web site to explain Jerome. From the late 1800 until 1950 this town produced massive amounts of Copper as well as other rare metals like gold. In the right of the picture you can see the tailings from the Copper mine above, but if you look below them you will see more reddish tailings and that was the Gold mine.

But like all boom towns, it also produced some mighty shady characters as well. Once called the wickedest town in the West, Jerome had quite a past. But now there are only 450 residents, and nearly as many antique, and gift shops. And many of the folks living there now are arts and crafts folks along with bed and breakfast owners, with the occasional historian mixed in for good measure.

We went to the State Park


which was in an old mansion that was owned by the Douglas family that held the mine rights before it was sold to the present owners Phelps Dodge.

This big chunk of Ore is on display next to the mansion. Wow no wonder the mine ran for 70 years of so.


We went to the sight of the old open pit mine, and one of the mine employees explained that the pit had largely been reclaimed and made into level ground. He said it cost 38 million, but I could not verify his numbers from any research.


Still they had to spend a bundle to fill in such a massive open pit hole in the ground.


We spent more than an hour in the museum, and then drove thru the narrow streets on the side of the hill. Many of the old buildings are in ruin now, and others are only slightly restored, even thou they have antique business in them today.

We drove part way up the mountain toward Prescott, as that was the way the mules took the ore in the late 1800’s before a train was built. The road is quite harrowing, with switch backs and shear drop offs. We saw worse in Colorado this summer, but still this is nasty for Arizona.

Barely visible, is the red cliffs of Sedona to the North from the top of the Jerome mine. The town of Cottonwood is down on the valley floor below. It is about 20 miles to the cliffs.


We spent the morning in Jerome and wondered about times that were much different than today. Google Jerome and read some of the fascinating stories.

Shifting gears, Loyce finished the charity lap quilt for the RV Park Quilt Show going on here, on Sunday. She has worked on this for some time, but it was put aside while we were healing from the car wreck.


The quilt is tied in the corners, as there would not be enough time to actually machine quilt it and get it back to donate to the hospitals.


She also made this project Linus fleece blanket with the crochet border.


There will be a showing on Sunday, and I will try to go get some photos of the neat stuff they have been doing here.

Retired Rod

Friday, February 20, 2009



We drove up to Cottonwood and Sedona today.  There is so much to do up there, that one day is not possible to see everything or do anything.  So tonight will just be an overview.  But perhaps as I spend more time, I can add to this entry in the next few days.

I tried to make several shots into a pano of the town below and Coffee Pot Rock on the left.  There is so much to look up at, that it is hard to drive the car and watch traffic.

We got this picture from driving up the airport road to a scenic overlook, parking the car and then walking back across the road and doing the shutter bug bit.


Here is the close up of Coffee Pot and Thunder mountain to its left.  This towers over the town when you are down on the highway. 


Another of the famous pictures is Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Folks were walking all around the place and I waited until they were mostly not visible.  But if I expand it I’m sure little heads will pop out.

cathedral rock

Another panographic.  This is Cathedral Rock on the right, with Bell in the middle, and I think the one on the left is called Courthouse.

The road we were on is called red rock loop, and turns to gravel, which was a challenge for the Camry, since it has absolutely no ground clearance.  Loyce was having visions of being upside down again, and didn’t want to go farther.  But we drove to the right spot to get the close up of Cathedral Rock.


I parked in someone’s front yard to shoot this.  Imagine having this as your front picture window view.

We spent the day in Jerome, first, and then in Cottonwood, mainly looking for lunch and stuff, and then the late afternoon in Sedona.  When we were out of afternoon shadow light, we went back to Cottonwood, where Loyce had spotted a Quilt Shop.  So I sat in the car again while she searched for more treasures.

We got back to Mesa well after dark, and still had to fight the Phoenix traffic around the 101 loop past Scottsdale.  There are three million folks here and they can’t all drive on the 101 at once, or can they?

Retired Rod

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dentist Once Again

I think this dental hygienist forgot she just worked on me four weeks ago.  She was right back at my teeth with the same dig dig scratch action, like I hadn’t brushed once since I saw her last.

Still giving me he!! for not being clean enough.  Dang, I brushed just like you said mom.  Not good enough, anyway.  So with one nee in my chest, we went thru the whole thing again today.  I was supposed to be getting a polish, and she did polish a little bit, long about the end of the session.

Then the nice Dentist carefully fit a new crown on number 19, as he kept referring to it.  After a number of adjustments, it fit just right, and they relieved me and my insurance company of all that dirty old money.

They about cried when I told them I was going back to KC, and would get the next cleaning up there.  But hey, they made plenty from me this winter.

As I sat here waiting for the novacaine to wear off, it struck me that I was all done with these folks, maybe forever, unless we come back here next winter, and I feel brave enough to get the nee treatment again.

Loyce is back at her charity quilt for the quilt club here in the park.  They want it done by the quilt show that will be held Sunday.  So it can be displayed along with the others that were made this winter.  I’ll try to snatch a picture of it for the blog, once she gets the binding on.  It is made from printed panels and various matching printed fabrics.  All in large squares.

Tonight was cracker barrel, which I know is a chain, but sometimes when things are good, it doesn’t matter where the restaurant is located.  I’m not telling how many biscuits I ate, but the waiter got a 20 percent tip.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get r done

Now that we have declared a date to leave, we have to get all the things done that we have been going to do since we came here.

The last two days have been, go to the restaurants we’ve missed.  Yesterday noon was just Wendy’s, so that wasn’t anything different, but last night, we went to Logan’s Steak House.  I read a review on the internet that said it is a cross between Outback, and Famous Dave’s.  Since they have barbecue.  Well since we are from KC, we don’t really seek out Barbecue in places like Arizona.

Now I am certain that there are really good BBQ joints here too, but after you have been spoiled by KC, and the Memphis style, only Texas is a place that can compete.  LoL.

We ate at a Logan’s in Texas last year and see it as an alternative to Texas Roadhouse.  So Logan’s is different, and something we can’t get in KC.   Same menu, and format, with the peanuts on the floor, but different just the same.  Their rolls are plain yeast and the butter is not honey butter, which is better for the diabetes.  Just a little bit, anyway.

And then today, we have been meaning to try a restaurant up on McKellups called the Iowa Cafe.  This was decorated in Hawkeye stuff and some Cyclone gear, since the waitress said the clones had brought in decorations when they thought it was too Hawkeye dominated.

But the restaurant was a dump. Not even a good truck stop. The menu contained items like chicken fried steak and hot beef sandwiches, while making reference to real meals, since we had been out slopping the hogs.  You can tell these folks have never been to Iowa in the last 100 years. 

We did order breaded pork tenderloins, and Loyce ordered the big one to see how big, big was.  It was about the size of a 12 inch pizza, on a little standard hamburger bun.  What are they thinking?

Food wasn’t all that bad, and I helped eat the big tenderloin and shared part of the coleslaw that came with it.  So tonight we didn’t eat until 8 PM and had two What a Burgers and split a small order of fries.  Still that was more than plenty.

Today was quilting club for Loyce and I ran some errands.  In the afternoon, we both went on more odd job runs.

Yesterday we drove out to the GM proving grounds track, South East of town.  This is about a 4 mile square of ground that is out by the air force base.  I have never been near such a facility, and I do not know much more now either.  The fence was filled with vision blocking metal strips that are inserted into chain link.  Further, they have built a berm of ground inside the fence and planted palo verde trees on it to make sure no one sees the track.

The gate has a guard house, and folks in uniform.  The place is like Fort Knox.  Now we know how successful Chevy products have been over the last 20 years.  Perhaps they need to have the entire population come and be involved with the proving grounds, so we could have it proven to us that we should buy one of their products.  Enough said.

I didn’t mean for this to become a rant, but I was perplexed by what I saw, given the bail out and all.

It never made it warmer than 63 today, and we had a cold rain all night.  We are to slowly begin a warm up into the 70’s this week, and hopefully by the time we will leave, I will be complaining about needing to run the AC all the time.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


It seems that it was yesterday that we arrived back here in the Salt River valley, at Mesa, Arizona. This town has more RV parks than any place I have ever seen. Most of the parks have sold thousands of park models.

And once you are here for a while, you get the urge to jump on the band wagon and get a park model too. But…… how can you go to new places when you are tired of the old place? Not any time soon.

Soooo, maybe it is good that our time here is coming to and end!!! Least we succumb to the put down roots, get a park model temptation! In my mind, there are still way too many places to go see.

With that in mind, we have been deciding, discussing, debating, well OK, arguing where and when to leave and go next. The discussion never takes too long, since Loyce just wants to go home and see the grandchildren.

But then something happened that has altered the plans, Ben and Danielle, and the three grandchildren are going to Texas for spring break. So now we may be heading to Texas. Well yes it is certain, we are going to Texas.

They will be in Port Aransas for the third week in March, and now we think we will leave here when our rent runs out and head on over to Texas. I even reserved four days at a park in Rockport to match up with the schedule of the kids, and provide some dual beach time for Grandma.

We do not know the particulars yet, but we should be back in Texas around the 12th. Perhaps we will be back in KC by the 25th or so. We have to get back to see the fourth grandchild too. So far only 4 days in March have reservations, so that leaves a lot of exploring left to do.

Central Texas to KC seems like a short hike, so perhaps that will seem more like home. LOL.

Retired Rod

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sleepy Sunday

Another sleepy Sunday.  Excitement was going to a newer neighborhood on the South edge of Gilbert, Az.  This area has a new JoAnn’s fabric store.  They have almost twice as much inventory at this store as the more local, smaller stores.

We drove down there a week ago, with the Corolla before we lost it.  Loyce had a book in her sights, but waited until today to go buy it once she received her coupons from our son Ben back in KC.  She got 50% off.

I went in a new Wal Mart that was next door, but found it to be just like all the other bigger Wal Marts.  This consistency is probably good, since you know most of the products in the store, and can search out your purchases quickly.  But it made my visit unwarranted, since I didn’t have anything in mind.

We came back and hung around the RV for the rest of the day, but Loyce left briefly to return something she bought earlier in the week.  I declined this trip.

Today was overcast and in the 60’s in the afternoon, but we started at about 45 as the sun came up.  Tonight and tomorrow, we are to have weather come in from California.  They are calling for rain here, but we will have snow above 2,500 feet, so that will include much of Arizona.  Winter is giving up its grip on us quite slowly.  Not that we are suffering, but it should be in the mid 70’s by now and we have not made it there yet.

So other than doing the internet and some TV time, that was our day.

Retired Rod

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Local Restaurants

Today started out running errands and paying the electric bill up at the office.  We used $58 worth of electricity this month running the fridge,electric water heater and the electric heater.  That is perhaps high, but the .15 rate per Kw is about as much as folks can charge for the stuff and be somewhere like normal.

We haven’t used the gas heat at all since we have been here,so that would have been a bottle a week, at about $20 a bottle, so we are not about to complain.

After that, I needed a notary to sign off on the power of attorney to negotiate the title for the Corolla.  In Kansas, we do not need to notarize titles, but in Arizona, they think it is necessary.  Since there is no place on the Kansas title to notarize the document, they want an additional paper that guarantees my signature. 

I found the local Chase bank open,and they professionally helped me with the document, and wouldn’t accept any payment.  But did want me to open an account since I was coming back next year.  I am?  Well maybe, and if we do they will be the bank of choice here.

Then we went out for lunch at the Hoosier Cafe.  Yah like the boilermakers!  The place was full of memorabilia from UI and South Bend.  Even Ball State was represented.  We had Philly cheese steak sandwiches and they were good.  But not so much as one drop of au jus was offered.  Guess they like them dry over in Indiana.  LoL

This was a big breakfast place, and the local ham guys meet there on Thursday mornings.  The menu had three pages of breakfast, and one page of sandwiches on the back page.  Oops should have come for breakfast.

Tonight we went to Old Chicago, for our Valentines dinner.  I tried to go to a local place Vito’s, but folks were hanging out the doors, and we were under dressed for the joint.  With the special day, everything was jammed.  I had a Calzone, and Loyce had a Pasta dish.  We’re both stuffed now, and its late at night.  Not a good combination.

Another day, Valentines day!  In the old trailer park.  Oh, I mean RV Resort!

Retired Rod

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A trip to Globe and Roosevelt Dam

Queen Creek North of Superior.


Queen Creek canyon walls.


This tunnel was dated 1951.


North of Globe you top the hill, and see the lake and mountains in the distance. Yes that’s snow on the mountains.


This lake goes for miles along the Salt River.


From waters edge looking South.


This is the bridge to the North towards Payson. Highway 181.


The Roosevelt Dam. Built in 1911.


The dam from the down river side.


Back in Globe, that’s not a mountain in the background, its the mining tailings. The tailings go for miles and miles from Globe to Miami.


Here is one of the dump trucks that dug the mines.


But look its setting in the dump box of a much bigger truck.


The Basilica in Miami.


And then in the old Miami downtown, we found the place that Loyce enjoyed the most. LoL.


We drove about 200 miles, and my back it telling me about it tonight, but it was fun getting out of here. This is the first trip since that fateful day last week.

Happy Valentines Day!

Retired Rod

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cool Weather and a 12 V primary wire.

We have turned into turnips that are planted into this trailer park here in Mesa.  Today turned sunny about 9 AM and it never did get what I would call warm.  We reached 63, and that would be a really nice temperature for Kansas and Iowa, but for here it is considered cold.

We are stuck in about a 10 day mirror image of weather where lows are 45 and highs are 65.  Of course we have wall to wall sun!  And that is what gets folks out walking the park and having happy hour at 4 PM.  But by 5:30 the sun is headed out of sight, and things break up quickly as the night cool approaches.

For me I spent the day piecing a 12 gauge, red and black, zip cord wire together with a 20 Amp fuse in line.  Since we lost the other car, and this one is not ham radio friendly yet, I worked on changing that by installing the primary wire from the battery today.

The firewall on the Corolla had places where a wire could be pushed thru along side other cables from under the dash.  But not this Camry.  The firewall is rock solid.  No rubber grommets to be found.  So I had to resort to my old standby trick of going out into the fender and then thru the hole in the A pillar where the electric window wires go out.

This works, but can sometimes compromise the water tight seal.  Since you push it out at the bottom to run your wire.  Time will tell if I need to deal with leaking problems.  But for now, the battery line is under the driver’s seat, and powering the many accessories that I seem to add to the car.

That is huge, as now we can run the two way radios to talk to each other when we go to the next park.  And back home next month.

Late in the day after I finished with the car, Loyce made a Wal Mart run, but I declined to go along preferring to clean up at the shower house instead.

Another day on the desert!

Retired Rod

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Welcome to the infirmary.  Since the traffic accident, it seems that this blog has been dedicated to being sick, or hurt, as the case may be.  So, today was no different.

I said that the last thing I needed was to have a cough with the broken rib.  So day before yesterday, I began to have a sore throat.  Last night, was sit up for most of the night and try not to cough time.

Can’t stand that, so today I sat in the Doctor’s office over on Val Vista Drive, waiting my turn to see the doc.  Only took about 2 hours, and I came away with an exam on my back, to see if she thought there was additional damage to the confirmed rib fracture.  And no there wasn’t.  Also a hand full of scripts.

Then the afternoon was spent going to Wal Mart getting the prescriptions filled.  Took them over just before noon, and back at three to get the resultant bottles.

Then my new glasses were done, so later in the afternoon, I went there to get them fitted.  And then on to the dentist to remake the appointment to get the new crown installed that I cancelled last week after the wreck.

We can’t leave Phoenix, it is our new home of medical and dental services.  Well, at least mine anyway.

The one thing positive in all this was the purchase of a white Teddy Bear at Wal Mart with a red heart pillow in his hand that says be my Valentine on it.  Loyce found it on her sewing machine when she came home from the laundry, where she had been hanging out, while I was off at the dispensary.

I think she likes him!

We continue to have the cold spell here in the desert, with nights at barely 40 and highs in the early 60’s.  This forecast is a carbon copy for every day for the next 10 days.  But it is sunny almost every day, and that goes a long way toward keeping our spirits high.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gila Bend

The day we ended up on our top, was interesting before we spilled ourselves all over the highway.

When we were in Gila Bend, we went to the McDonalds for bathroom and an ice cream, and then we found out we coulda had a “Cactus Burger”?  Well dang nab it, if only we’d a known.


These curio shops that specialize in metal stuff from Mexico are all over here in Arizona.  And they get some right nice prices for the stuff, not the cheaper prices if you go over the border yourself.


Need a rooster in metal?  That thing was bigger than I am.  Note the last picture of the car in the background, before it got totaled.

Since I make a study of gas prices as I travel around the country, notice that we are getting close to California, and gas has become more like their prices.  Since this picture was taken, we have gone up another dime here in Phoenix to $1.99, so they are at 2.19 now.


We had a large truck pass us with and airplane body and tail all wrapped up in canvas.  It was a lot wider than an F22, and with  the canvas camo they don’t want any peering eyes.   Not too good of a picture, but they buzzed right passed us, and the camera focused on the inside of the windshield.


Not more than 10 minutes later, we ended up turtle. This was on the interstate, and we turned off on a country 2 lane, when we found the wire in the road.

This morning, I spent the time hunting down the parts for the 2 meter radio and antenna to put into the new Camry.  Much of the stuff was covered in desert gravel, and needed to be cleaned. But the car looks like a real ham’s car now since it has an antenna on the trunk.

My back wasn’t going to allow installing the 12 V wire from the battery today, so that will wait to another more healed day.

Mid afternoon, I found myself on the phone with the insurance company negotiating the amount of the settlement for the Corolla.  Once that was arranged, we endorsed the title and took it to the mail box.  Remember that dude down at the storage lot that wanted me to give it to him.  Folks are not honest!

So we drove to Wal Mart, and the post office, and came home.  We are trying to keep a low profile here and heal up some in the process.  I think I am starting to turn the corner on that.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paying the bill.

Life in the RV park today was windy.  Not like Texas, but close enough.  By mid morning, the awning had to be rolled up.  Not a bad task for an able body fellow.  But with my rib issue, it causes more of a challenge.

Once that was stowed, the wind and occasional sprinkles did not cause much more trouble.  In the morning, I noticed that it was warmer in KC than it was here in Phoenix.  That’s the first time that has happened since we have been here.  We were 49 and KC had 55.

We warmed into the 60’s and headed out to do a day trip in town.  We went to a Boston Market for lunch.  Loyce really likes their food, so we had pot pie for her and meatloaf for me.

With the meal over we drove over into the casino area where the 202 meets I 10.  Drove around Beaudry RV that is in bankruptcy, and noted that they have very few RV s left at their site.

We came back, stopping at a Sally’s fabric on Baseline, and returned to the park.

We had to renew our camping, as we have used up the three months we paid for back in November.  Another month is $400 plus tax, and a week was almost $200, so we paid for another month.  When we got to the trailer, we found a bill for $68 for electricity, but somehow they didn’t know or charge us that when we were just up there.     ????????  So back up tomorrow to pay that off.  With 1,800 spots, one fellow must not know what the other is up to.

So we can stay here until March 10th.  By that time, we will be fastened to the ground and unable to move.  Like a petrified rock!

Tonight, the wind has subsided, but the rain is constant.  We are to have snow down to 2,500 feet.  Phoenix is at 1,400 so we may stay as rain, lets hope.  Sirens are blaring in the distance as I write this.  I think it may be a good time to stay home.

Retired Rod

Monday, February 9, 2009

Windy rain and cool

I did stay home today for most of the day.  As promised, it began to rain in the middle of the night, and the wind blew the awning on the side of the trailer.  It is bungee corded to the side of the truck, but that doesn’t stop it from flopping.

When flopping, it shakes the entire trailer.  Enough that you lay awake and wait for the next flop.  So even though it about killed me to be out at 1 AM, with walking stick for support, I lowered the awning into its down most position.  I didn’t unlock it and roll it up since all our stuff would then get wet.

In that lowest position, it is hard to get into the door, so that caused more pain as I squeezed into the tin box.  So this morning, when I finally got to sleep, that’s when Brandy the dog decided she had to go out potty.  Man you can’t win.

The wind had died down, so out went the awning again.  But we did crawl back into bed since it was only in the 50’s outside.  We slept really late.  Making up for the all night awning flop.

Today I wanted to stay put, and let this bone heal.  And other than drive over to the bathroom mid afternoon, I followed the plan.

Tonight, we went back over to Fuddruckers for some more sweet potato fries.  We had only had a brunch breakfast and no lunch, so we were both hungry by the time we got there.

Afterwards, we drove a little of the town to the South, thru Gilbert, over towards Chandler.  We have now learned our way around well enough that we no longer take the GPS with us for most trips.

We still only have 80 miles on the new car, so we haven’t been too far yet.

Retired Rod

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday odd jobs


This car is right side up, and I promise to do my very best to keep it that way!

It is a Camry LE with the 4 cylinder 2.4L engine.  31 MPG highway, 21 city.  Overall rating of 25.  That’s decent, but doesn’t come close to the 38-32 of the Corolla.  But it is bigger and we hope somewhat safer.

The only options were the wheels and a preferred package that contained the all weather floor mats and a cargo net for the trunk.  The dealer has added tinted windows and the UV paint protection, that he says is added to all his cars here in the desert.  Too hot and sunny, kills the cars.

So today we went out on our first venture with the new car to Trader Joe’s.  Not too far away, but a trip that Loyce enjoys.  She got all sorts of items to make neat meals, and she is excited about our upcoming chicken pizza.  Oooookay!

This afternoon we returned a motorized sweeper, to Target, and tried to purchase a vacuum cleaner instead.  But Target didn’t have what we wanted.  So over to Wally World, where we got a dirt devil upright that was on sale for $42.  Had a 12 Amp motor, and we did some real vacuuming tonight, once I got all the pieces assembled.

So we have been hanging around here tonight me doing the internet, and Loyce working on craft stuff.

I’m not moving too fast, but I am determined to not sit around and stew over the pain from the broken rib.  But I didn’t suggest that we go up for bingo tonight either.

We are supposed to have some rain later tonight, but it is only cooler and cloudy now.  Perhaps the rain will not find us.

Retired Rod