Monday, February 13, 2012

Biking, pickleball and workcamping

We have been keeping ourselves busy here in Arizona. Last weekend was "RV Boot Camp" here at North Ranch. There were 40 some rvers here learning all about the lifestyle. When an event like that happens, our hours change to accomodate the needs of the event. We worked the same 20 hours a week but they were spread out a lot more. I worked 5 short days in row making sure the restrooms were clean and supplied. I had to trim a tree back so a large rv could fit into one of the few spots we had left. There are 111 sites here and all but 3 were filled. Now that boot camp is past, things have returned to normal for now. We will work Monday and Tuesday, then have 5 days off to play. That's the work part.

On my days off, I go to the pickleball court at 8 in the morning to play with the intermediate players. I seem to be the last player but I have a good time other than getting beat almost every game. Louise and I go back at 4 in the afternoon to play with the beginners group, hey, I shine in that, makes me feel better about all the losing I do in the mornings. We really enjoy the game and I have even lost a little weight in the process.

Now for the biking part. I ride the motorcycle almost every day, if only to the store. Yesterday we joined the Harley Owners Group, "H.O. G." for a group ride. Louise and I rode the bike to Surprise, AZ, about 50 miles, met with group, then rode back past our campground to a dinner about 10 miles north of the park. It was a short ride home after lunch.

Louise in blue coat next to our bike in middle of pic

There were 15 bikes on this ride. We met at Starbucks in Surprise. The ride leaders held a meeting telling us the route we were going to take and the hand signals to be used on the ride. After the meeting, it was "kickstands up".

Louise took these pics going down the road.

In formation

The ride lasted a little over an hour. We arrived at the diner and it was "kickstands down", the end of the ride. Most of the rides end at the destination. Some of them are round trip rides but this one was one way. After lunch everybody went their seperate ways. We headed back to the rv, about 9 miles down the road. This was the second group ride I have gone on, Louise's first. I am not sure how many of these we will do as I would rather travel at my own speed. It is fun to visit with the other bikers but I find the ride a little stressful. You have to stay in a staggered formation and always be aware of the rider in front and the one behind. I like to use the whole lane to set up for the curves; you can't do that in formation. That said, we had a good time and a good visit with the others.

Today is a work day, so I better get going.

Till next time

Duane and Louise

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Roamin' around AZ

Duane and I have been having fun seeing the sights around Congress. We have been up and down Yarnell Hill several times and enjoyed the ride and the scenery every time.

Typical beautiful sunset at North Ranch

On one of our trips we stopped by the Shrine of St. Joseph in Yarnell. The shrine is situated at the bottom of the hill. The Way of the Cross is a nice paved trail up and down the hill with a full sized crucifix at the top. Also along the way are several more full-sized plaster castsShrine plaster cast of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus

The agony in the garden

Last week we took the bike to Quartzite. We had never been there when all the activity was going on. We went on Friday to visit friends John and Anita Laffey and check out the flea markets. We stayed with them overnight and went to the big tent for the first day of the RV sale. Big mistake! The tent was wall to wall people. We just shuffled along trying to see what was for sale and just catching glimpses of the goods.

In spite of that we had a great time. Duane got a new pair of cold weather riding gloves and I got some home made jelly. John scouted around for a few needed rv items and Anita found some new clothes. She has a whole collection from around the globe. John and Anita are a really fun couple to hang around and laugh with, and we always enjoy meeting them along the road.

Goofing off at breakfast

Last week we took a trip to:

Bagdad owes its existence to the local copper mine. The copper bar sculpture below is a tribute to the mine, its owners and the miners.

There is another place to eat in Bagdad, but we opted for the first place we saw, the nice little retro diner below.

This week (Wed.) we rode through Yarnell and on up the mountain to Prescott.

View from near the top

We intended to eat lunch and visit several of the museums. We visited the information center first then the Harley boutique on Whiskey Row. Next door was The Palace, one of the historical saloons in Prescott and one of the better class of saloon in the late 1800's when it was built. Of course the original burnt down in 1900 by a careless miner's candle, along with most of Whiskey Row. Its said that patrons carried the 1880's Brunswick bar across the street to the courthouse plaza and continued drinking the night away. In 1901 the Palace Hotel and Bar, Chinese reataurant and barber shop was back in business. Today the building has been restored to the grandeur of 1901, with added dining. Prices are in line with the other eating places in the courthouse square, but the Information Center offered a 10% coupon for lunch so we went to the Palace. It was interesting that I walked where the Earps, Doc Holliday and other famous people walked. Several scenes from several films were shot in the Palace.

Tribute to the ranching heritage of the area

View from the courthouse plaza of Whiskey Row and our bike....

After lunch we walked two blocks to the local history museum. After inquiring we decided that we needed more time so we shelved that plan for another visit. We jumped on the bike to finds the Indian museum, but couldn't find it or the old fort museum either. Since the day was going, the sky was overcast and the wind picking up, we decided to go home through Skull Valley. Back home we were in time for a few games of Pickleball before I had to go play cards. The days are just packed!

More later, (including us playing ball, I promise),

Louise and Duane