Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy to Be Home

We arrived home yesterday to a snow-filled backyard and a clean driveway thanks to our dear friend Duane. My plants have been well-taken care of during my absence by Bunny (probably much better cared for than when I am at home). We unloaded the 5th wheel and parked it temporarily. When it warms up we will head to the car wash and I'll do a final cleaning on the inside. Today we spent the morning sorting through the mail and getting caught up on paying bills. I have 11 issues of Macleans and 3 of Chatelaine to browse through. And tonight I am off to the library to pick up the new books I requested while I was away. It is good to be home, although the weather could have been more cooperative. We were looking forward to getting out on the golf course but it looks like we may have a bit of a wait. The good news is we can put off doing yard work for a while.

Abbey is not very impressed with the weather in Saskatchewan. Her daily routine for the past 11 weeks has included an early morning walk (often at the crack of dawn much to our displeasure), followed by breakfast and then more walks interspersed with naps and more food. This morning she whimpered and cried at 8:00 AM so I crawled out of bed to let her outside. She hopped up on the bed, settled in to the spot I had vacated and settled in for another hour of sleep. When she finally decided to go outside she barely stuck her nose out the door, raced around the yard and then was back on the deck barking to be let in. Although she thinks she would like to go for a walk I don't think she will last outside for very long.

This afternoon I am "home alone". I am listening to music, doing laundry and enjoying the extra space. I really should do some housecleaning but I think I will curl up with a good book and a cup of tea instead. We are going to enjoy the flounder Fred and Colleen brought us from San Carlos for dinner. Maybe if we turn up the heat in the house and drink margaritas while preparing dinner we can imagine ourselves back in the sunny south.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Safe and Sound and Freezing in Havre

We had excellent driving conditions today so we were able to get to Havre by 6:00 PM. Fred and Colleen and Maggie greeted us and supervised our parking. The flames game is on TV tonight so we set up the dish and then had a short Happy Hour inside. It has been a few years (well maybe more than a few) since we have stayed in Havre. A new hotel has been built and some of our favorite places have had facelifts. The entire main street is under road construction so it is a bit tricky to navigate with the trailer. We have found an alternate route and will try that tomorrow. We are going to do some last minute shopping and then head for home before lunch. If all goes well we should be home in the early afternoon. Just in time for everyone on the block to watch and listen to the Baileys' park the RV. I doubt that we will be able to top the departure but will give it a try.

One More Night???

This morning we are leaving Pocatello with plans to drive to Great Falls or Havre depending on the snow and road conditions through Montana. We had a rather chilly night last night. Temperatures have been unseasonably low here and so the maintenance man came around last night and turned the water off at each RV site. He was afraid of freezing pipes. We made a quick trip to Walmart to buy RV antifreeze and winterized the trailer. The satellite was working so we watched hockey and news from back home. We had our furnace going and were quite cozy until about 3:00 AM when we ran out of propane. Fortunately Senor Ping had filled our second tank so he was out the door to switch tanks the heat was back running in no time. It really has been no different than camping at Cypress Hills in May, however, we may be in for worse conditions tonight. I am digging out our winter jackets and boots just in case. Hopefully we will be able to post tonight to let you know where we are, if not, we'll catch up with everyone when we get home.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Zion National Park

Here are a couple photos of the spectacular view we had on our trip to the gates of Zion.

We also drove around Hurricane and thought it would be a place to visit some time in the future. I've heard the golf course is quite a challenge...especially the fairways and tee boxes with the homes close by. I would hate to put a ball through someone's window.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Last Stop

We arrived in Mesquite on Friday noon, right behind Fred and Colleen who had driven from Laughlin that morning. I am beginning to think that if we planned to meet or arrive at campgrounds at about the same time it wouldn't happen, but for some reason when you don;t plan it happens. On Saturday we drove to Zion national Park. We took Abbey with us because we weren't sure how long we would be away and how hot it would get in the 5th wheel. Not the best plan we have had. There was a $25 fee to enter the park and we couldn't go on the shuttle to see the canyon or take any of the hiking trails because of Abbey. We settled for lunch at the gates and plans to visit another time. We did take a few good photos of the beautiful scenery and I will post them later.
Today we did some cleaning and organizing and then spent the afternoon at the pool. We arrived back at the RV park in time for some excitement. It seems that our new neighbor had backed into a trailer behind him. We also met some people from Saskatoon and Doug had a short jam session with him. We have friends in common so it is indeed a small world. We are off to spend our last night (and our last $) in Mesquite and will start for home tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Truck Stops Here!

We left Laughlin this morning with plans to spend the night at Mesquite. I am not sure how it happened but as we got nearer to Las Vegas our conversation turned to "I wonder what's new on the strip?", "We could stop at the outlet stores and Guitar Centre", "It has been a whole year since we were in LV" and before we knew it the truck turned into Sam's Town RV Park. So here we are, about to check out the strip, do some shopping and maybe see what new machines they have in Las Vegas.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

We finally took the advice of numerous people who have visited Laughlin and area and drove to Oatman yesterday. About 30 miles from Laughlin, Oatman is a gold mining ghost town situated on the historic Route 66. It was a bustling town until the gold mines were closed down in the 1930's. It is also known for the wild burros that roam the streets looking for food. They are descendants of the burros used in the mines. We were advised to get there early because by 4:00 PM the mother burros call their babies and they all head for the hills. I read a brochure about Oatman on our way so we were expecting to see a few burros, some remains of the gold mine and a sign referring to Route 66. Our first surprise was when we went to look for parking and discovered that a many other people had also made the trek to Oatman. There was also a large number of motorcyclists who appear to cruise to Oatman for lunch. There were lots of burros ambling down the main street looking for a snack and just as many visitors carrying bags of carrots ready to feed them. We strolled the main street and browsed through the touristy trinket shops and then watched the gunfight put on by members of the Oatman Chamber of Commerce. We ended our visit to Oatman with a stop at the town bar for a beer. It is the original Oatman hotel and the walls are papered in dollar bills left by guests dating back to the early 1920's. This tradition has continued and we even saw a few $5 Canadian bills hanging.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Laughlin: DIng, Ding, Ding

We moved on to Laughlin on Thursday morning. After packing up, Senor Ping and Keeny (our neighbor) sat down for one last jam session and then we were off. We have booked into the Rv park for a week, but also have free rooms at one of the casinos for a couple nights. The problem is Abbey is not included in the deal. We will either find a kennel for her or just use the hotel room to shower and use the pool etc and then sleep at the 5th wheel. We haven't quite worked out the logistics yet.
We are enjoying the casinos, shopping, restaurants and sight seeing around Laughlin. Internet service is poor at the RV park so we are becoming resourceful as we look for free WIFI. Today I am posting from the car wash we found last year. For $5 they take your vehicle and wash and dry it (by hand) while you wait in the air conditioned comforts of a coffee shop. The internet is fast and the leather sofas quite comfortable. I wouldn't be surprised if Senor Ping stretches out and has a nap. Good thing there isn't a TV or he would be taking over control of the remote!
The slot machines have been good to us. We are playing on their money and finding some new machines we haven't seen before. Hope this keeps up for the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Listen To the Music

Today we are planning to tour around Lake Havasu, see the Parker Dam and relax at the campground. We also need to pick up some groceries before heading to Laughlin for a week. My morning started early with Abbey anxious to go for a walk before 7:00 AM. We took a stroll along the shore of the Colorado River and she chased ducks, yellow headed blackbirds and anything that moved, including her shadow. Then it was time for coffee and a chapter or two of my book. Fred and Colleen stopped over to tell us their plans to move to Buckskin State park and then it was time for breakfast. I was packing a picnic lunch and then we were going to head out when our neighbor brought out his guitar. Very soon Senor Ping was out the door and a discussion about guitars began. And then out came the guitar and the music began. What could be better than sitting back and listening to a couple of guitars and watching the birds and the boats go by.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Just for John

Before I left home I promised I wouldn't post as many pictures of us having "happy hour" this year because it was like rubbing salt in a wound for our friends back home. Last night we stopped at the Roadrunner Floating Bar and while we were enjoying the sound of the waves lapping at the sides of the dock and watching the sun sink behind the hills across the river we thought of our dear friend John. If he should decide to join the ranks of the retired, we want him to know that we found the dock for his boat and a great place for beer and tacos.

Emerald Canyon Golf

Here are a few photos of the Emerald Canyon golf course. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words....or something like that.

Monday, April 07, 2008

You Do What You Have To

It is 8:50 PM. I am sitting outside (almost on the road but not quite), there is only a sliver of a moon but the stars are twinkling and I can hear the last few guests at the Roadrunner Bar. Most important I found an internet signal and so I am mooching off of someone's WIFI to post tonight. It's not the best but as I said "you do what you have to". We had an awesome round of golf (well, it depends on who you talk to and what your definition of awesome is but in my books it was awesome). There are pictures to go with the golf but I don't think my signal is quite strong enough to add the photos so you will have to wait until I find a better signal.
After our round of golf we headed over to the Roadrunner Floating Bar. If you read Fred and Colleen's blog you will get an idea of what it's like on a Sunday afternoon, well, Monday evening is much the same. We are here in Parker for a couple days and then off to Laughlin. Abbey had her first swim in the Colorado River today and we are proud to say she actually knows how to dog paddle. We are back to the golf course tomorrow and then we plan to check out Lake Havasu and the London Bridge before moving on.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

5:01 in Salome

We are nearing the end of our stay in Salome. It's been a great place to golf and relax. My golf game has settled back to normal, with a good drive followed by a hit into the desert, back on the fairway and then a chip over the green and then an impossible putt. I did have an amazing putt yesterday and if Senor Ping and F&C had not been witnesses I am sure I would never be able to convince people that I put the ball down with an 80 foot putt. Since it was Friday yesterday we knew that friends at home would be anxious for 5:01 to start. So were we, but it was only 1:05. Oh well, it's 5:00 somewhere!!! After a few beverages and snacks we spent the rest of the day reading and enjoying the sunshine.

Today we will be getting ready to move on. It's time to do laundry and clean the 5th wheel. Our plans are to head to Parker for a few days. If we are lucky we will be camped along the Colorado River. We have tee times booked at the Emerald Canyon Golf course on Monday and Tuesday and will do a bit of touring around the area before heading to Laughlin. We will be without WIFI for a week so don't be disappointed if you don't see any new posts. I'll try to update the blog as soon as we get to a computer friendly place.

This afternoon we will be heading to Salome for supplies and a stop at the Cactus Bar. We will be toasting our friends Bob and Glenda on their recent marriage. Senor Ping and I will also raise a glass for our nieces, Kelly and Jaime, who celebrate their birthdays on April 6 and for our "first born" and favorite daughter, Megan, who will turn 24 on April 7. If you see these lovely ladies be sure to wish them a "Happy Birthday"!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Browsing At The Bookstore

Just down the road a half hour is the town of Quartzite. We are told that during the months of January and February this town with a population of 1900 sees hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving daily to check out the rock and gem shows, the numerous RV shows and swap meet vendors. Since there are not enough RV parks for that many people and because some of them like to "rough it" the desert surrounding Quartzite is scattered with RVs of all sizes just parked for a day, a week or possibly even the whole winter. For my Eatonia friends, that would be like parking out at Eyre Park for a couple months. (But not anywhere near the hall or any other form of civilization).

Today Senor Ping and I decided to see what the main attraction was in Quartzite. We stopped at aroad side flea market and browsed through the stalls, picking up a few bargains. We saw a few vendors with lots of rocks for sale. Why would you want to buy rocks when there is a whole desert and surrounding mountains full of rocks for you to go and pick yourself? We stopped at Carl's Jr, Allan's favorite lunch spot, and had a bite to eat. We noticed that many of the people looked like they had been out scouring the hills for gold and had just come to town for supplies (and possibly a shower).

And then we noticed a book store and decided to stop and check out the used book selection. Colleen had given me the title of a book she has been looking for and I am always in the market for something to read. Sad to say, I didn't find the book Colleen wanted, nor did I find anything that caught my eye. Well, I guess I should add nothing that caught my eye to read. What I did see was the "bookman". Maybe this is what is drawing the hundreds of thousands of people to Quartzite each winter. Do you think if Eatonia had a "bookman", it, too, would draw huge crowds of RVers and tourists from across the country? Well, I took a photo and maybe I'll talk to town council when I get home and they can suggest someone that might want to take on this business venture. There might be few that wouldn't mind running the bookstore during the summer months but can you imagine December or January?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

From 39 To 93

We are enjoying the golfing here in Salome. We have played two rounds and other than one group right behind us yesterday we have had the course to ourselves. They opened 8 new holes this year, making it a short 18 hole desert course. The greens are a bit rough but for the price and convenience we can't complain. Yesterday I scored my all time (and probably will never do it again) low score of 39 on the front nine. My back nine was not so pretty but I still broke 90 so I was quite happy. Senor Ping did not have quite as good a start, but we will blame that on his recent illness.
Today my game was a different story. Things did not go as well as the picture shows. Fred and Colleen and Senor Ping all improved their scores and mine, well, I got a better score than 93, but just by a few. Not that you will every hear me complain. After all, it's not snowing, we are enjoying sunshine and golf and good company and it's Tecate Tuesday!