"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time to move north

The month has flown by and the temps have risen here in Phoenix. It's been great having a nice warm winter but 90+ even in a "dry heat" is a little too warm for us northern folks so it is definitely time to move north. Tomorrow we will move just a little north to Dead Horse Ranch State park. We will only be there a couple nights then it will be on to Lake Powell for a little more than a week and then Moab Utah for a week. So our move north will be gradual and looking at the forecasts for these areas, it looks to be a little cooler.

The month here has been great and full of fun activities. We went to 4 baseball games,an NHL game, two RV shows and a jazz festival. There is still much more we could have done and more people we could have visited. We will try to catch them next time. 

Our time with Kevin and Evelyn was great and we look forward to seeing them again down the road. Time with Char and Bill was also a treat. They are planning their next move and it was fun to hear about their plans.

This post will be short as I am writing this on my Kindle Fire as my laptop is toast. I spilled a whole cup of coffee on the keyboard and I don't think we will be able to save it. That means we have to figure out what to do. Can we go with just tablets or do we need to replace it with something? Not sure yet and we need to play with how to handle our photos, particularly the ones from my big camera. So for now no photos. The next month we really won't be anywhere to shop for electronics or much of anything for that matter. I will post again once we figure this out. So until then...
Happy Trails........

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunny Arizona

In line for the Brewers' spring game

This month we are staying at the Leaf Verde Resort in Buckeye AZ just on the west edge of the Phoenix metro area. The weather has been very warm and sunny. We have had a couple scattered cloudy days and just a tiny bit of rain but the temps have been above average by about 10 degrees all month. These warm sunny days with cool nights suit us just fine. I will say it is getting a bit warm for these northern folk and we look forward to heading north at the end of the month. There are lots of fun places on deck for next month too!

John, Janie,Evelyn and Kevin

Love this photo of Kevin and Evelyn

This month has been a very laid back pace. We’ve been to 2  Milwaukee Brewer spring training games with Kevin and Evelyn. What a great way to spend a day. We have tickets to one more game next Saturday. It’s great to be able to spend some time with them. We also have tickets to a Coyote NHL game on the 30th that they are joining us for. Always wanted to see a NHL game so I can’t wait. With our tickets to the Spring Training games we were able to get $10 off each NHL ticket not a bad deal considering we only paid $8 for lawn seats.

We also went to 2 RV shows this month. The first one was put on by the Le Mesa dealership at the University of Arizona’s arena. They carry the Lifestyle 5th wheels that we have been considering for the future. Went thru 4  different rigs and it was good to get a real look at them. However, that night I just couldn’t sleep. Seeing the prices of these rigs just gave me an anxiety attack. I talked with John in the morning and though we are still looking and considering a new rig I think we may stay in ours longer and do a little remodeling and then in a few years look again and maybe even look for a used rig. Besides the cost I am concerned with the size.  We are pretty short as full time rigs go at 30-32 feet but these new Lifestyles are around 40 feet. That makes finding spaces in  the settings we like a little more challenging. I do want a larger kitchen some day but I have found ways to make this one work so I am ok with it for now. Looking is always fun but we have decided to slow down and not be in a hurry for that next rig. Just this week we went to a show that had the Mobile Suites that were also on our radar but nothing there really excited us, except for a couple toy-haulers. John still mulls the advantage of having something that would give us space for grandkids and maybe a Harley (I think deep inside he still wants one). So who knows when and what we will do.

John is showing off the truck to Bill and Char

Friends of ours, Bill and Char are also in the area. They had plans to FT but Char has had some health issues so they recently bought a lock and leave property in Maricopa but are staying in the RV right now. We met up at Tim Finnegans bar and restaurant for a great visit. They are also Excel owners, in fact with the same size and layout that we have. We enjoyed our visit and hope to get together with them one more time before we go. 

Our Excel here at Leaf Verde

Speaking of Excel, sad news broke this week that Excel closed its doors. Seems they were never quite able to recover after the recession. They tried to find a buyer but when that didn’t happen the decision was made to close. We had an feeling something was up. John ordered some replacement switches for the slides and the parts person who he left a message for called back at 8 pm one night. When John said he didn’t think they worked that late, she said she had a day job and just came in at night now. That sounded a bit strange and I think a sign of what was coming. We are sad to see this happen. We have been happy with our rig and felt they produced a high quality product. It was still on the radar for our next rig. Guess we have a collectors item now.

We really have kind of kicked back into easy living here. We take our walks and exercise a little and even have been learning to play pickle ball. Though John pulled something in his leg so that off the agenda now. For me I have had plenty of time for knitting which always makes me happy.  Last fall I started on the first ever sweater for me. I have done several baby sweaters but this is a much bigger project. I started and stopped a few times and decided to rip back and do the Craftsy Class teaching the sweater. This month I knew I needed to get moving and finish it. Once I really got going I enjoyed it and all that I learned. Yesterday I sewed the buttons on and I now can say it is completely finished. Yipee!!! I see more sweaters in my future. :)

Not bad for this first one & great for cool evenings.

I hope spring has arrived for all of you, I know for many of our friends and family it has been a long hard winter. From sunny Arizona...
Happy Trails................................

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Winter in the Desert and Lovin’ it

The cactus are beginning to bloom

I haven’t written much and my only excuse is I am so enjoying it in Arizona I just haven’t taken the time. The month in Tucson was great. We hiked, we biked, we caught up with some friends, visited several microbreweries and just in general enjoyed ourselves. So I’ll catch you up a little.
On a hike at Sabino Canyon

Most of our hiking was just out the back of our RV park. The county land and Tucson Mountain Park offer wonderful trails and by the end we actually had a sense of where things were. That’s pretty good for someone who is directionally challenged. I did use my Map My Run app just to make sure we were on track but our last couple of hikes I think we would have done just fine without it. The desert here is beautiful, just filled with such a variety of cactus and brush. Some began to bloom from the recent rains and that was fun to see. I particularly love the Teddy Bear (Jumping) cholla. They look all fuzzy from a distance but they are certainly not a bear that needs to be hugged. :)

Watching all those planes

Kevin & Ruth
About mid-month fellow bloggers Kevin and Ruth were passing thru and decided to dry camp at Justin’s. We have followed their blog almost from the beginning of our travels. They are such fun and are such adventurers that there is never a dull minute. We decided to go for a bike ride on our day together and take advantage of the Tucson bike trails. We chose a route that would take us near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the large boneyard there. It was a great choice and we got to see a sky always busy with planes taking off and landing. We also got to the fence along the boneyard where there are rows and rows of planes in various stages of storage and recycling. John and I did the bus tour through it back in 2011. Kevin and Ruth are Canadians and were told they couldn’t go on the tour so Kevin was excited to get to see it on our ride. About half way through the ride Ruth had a very flat tire. Darn those thorns! So the two of us stayed at a gas station where we were and the guys had to ride back and get the truck. It gave us a long time to sit and visit which I thoroughly enjoyed. The guys ended up with about a 20 mile ride while we only had to do 10. We finished the night by taking them to Tiny’s for ribs. This is a little dive saloon near the park that has great food and is a local favorite. The ribs are fall off the bone goodness. Yum!
John and Shron

On our last day at Justin’s John and Sharon pulled in. We spent time with them last year in Florida and then again at Betty’s in Louisiana. We share a passion for good craft brews so of course we had to take in a brewery together before we left. We decided to go to the one that became our favorite in Tucson, Thunder Canyon. Since they have a car we went to the one downtown. There are two locations for this brewery and we had been to the one in the Foothills Mall near Catalina. It was fun to check this location out but were glad we didn’t have the truck, it was hard to find a parking place and we didn’t see anywhere the truck would have fit. We had a great time catching up and enjoying a good craft beer. I think the thing we enjoy the most about this lifestyle are the people we meet and the friends we make. Our visit was short but I know we will see them again down the road.

On March 1st we made the move to Buckeye AZ and the Leaf Verde RV Resort. Our friends Kevin and Evelyn are also here for the month. When she mentioned this is where they would be we realized it would be a good fit for March and we could join them in taking in a few spring baseball games. They are from Wisconsin and big Brewers fans. The other thing I want to do here is to go to a NHL hockey game. The Coyotes are not having the best year but no matter. I have always wanted to see a NHL game so this is my chance and the tickets are pretty reasonable. I’m sure we will also check out a couple local microbreweries. We like Tucson better than the Phoenix area as this city is huge, spread out and busy. Staying in Buckeye just west of the city is ok, it’s just a long ways from everything and will require some driving.
A wonderful sunset at Leaf Verde RV Resort.

I know much of the county is covered in snow, ice and cold so we hope you all stay safe and if you want a break from all that, Arizona is the place to be.

Happy Trails!!!!!!!