Friday, April 18, 2014

Wikieup lunch run

Thursday, we decided to head up to Wikieup, Az. for lunch. Well, that and we just wanted somewhere to ride. We had been told by several people that the Dazzo's Chicago Style Eatery has really good sandwiches, but again, it was the ride that we were after. We are always amazed at the rapid change of scenery around the area we are in.  To get to Wikieup we took the long way. First we headed up the mountain and part way through  Peeples Valley turning off at Kirkland Junction on to Rte 96. We had been on this road before when we went to Bagdad. As you drive along this road the land turns from grassy fields to valleys to rocks to canyons.
If you look closely at this picture you can the lead car crossing the centerline of the road on this curve. You really have watch for this especially on the bike

Distant butte
 hills of outcroppings

 Really BIG rocks.. do you see the duck?

 There seems to be a cattle guard every couple of miles along this route. Some of them can be a little rough riding over. Louise and I have worked out a signal for when I see a bump coming, I reach back and tap her left leg. This is the warning to get ready for a jolt. For those that don't ride, our bike is pretty stiff in the shock department and you can get a pretty bad jolt if your not ready for it. 
The road curves around and up and down making it not not only scenic but fun to ride. There are some 30 mph curves and you pass through several canyons. We turned off 96 and onto 97 heading toward the junction of 93. Boy, there sure are a lot of 90's here.
 93 is the main road between Wickenburg and Kingman. This is goes from 2 lane to 4 lane and back again. The traffic is always pretty heavy along this route mainly because it leads to Vegas. 
 Another 30 miles found us in Wikieup. We had travele 105 miles to get there.  We took the direct route home.  When I checked the gps when we got home it was 68 miles. As I said "it's not the destination, it's the ride"
 The town is the only stop between Wickenburg and Kingman for food and fuel.

Yep, this is pretty much the whole town.
 Our destination.
 I thought the sign was pretty funny, at least if you didn't have to go.  It was no joke. There was a sign and a donation jar at the restroom entrance for non buyers.

The store and diner
 I got an Italian beef sandwich and Louise got the Vienna hot dog. The beef sandwich was huge and very good. Louise said her dog was really good too. 
 I fueled up the bike for the ride home. I didn't need to, just did. I didn't pay any attention to the pump price when I fill up. Boy was I glad I was riding a bike with a small tank. $4.699 a gallon. Did I say this was the only place to get fuel along this road. Sure glad it only took 2 gallons.
The ride back was mostly 4 lane
93 is also known as Arizona's Joshua Tree Forest Highway. There is a stretch of about 10 miles that is a large Joshua Tree stand. I have read that there are more Joshua trees here than in Joshua Tree National Park.

Palo verde trees in bloom--gorgeous!
We had left home about 10 in the morning and got back home about 3:30. Great ride, great lunch and a great gal to share it with.
Where to next? I don't know yet.
Till next time
Duane and Louise

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Road trip....Jerome, Arizona

On one of our days off, we hopped on the bike and took off for Jerome. Jerome is a mining town in the mountains north off Congress.  To get there we had to climb up the mountain to Prescott, then on up from there to the town. Lots and lots of curves. There were a lot of 15 mile per hour switch backs between Prescott and Jerome.

Not really sure if Louise is tilting the camera or I am leaning the bike that much.
(Actual curve--I made sure I wasn't tilting the camera!)

The scenic views came one after the other.

 Top of the mountain before entering Prescott is 6100' of elevation

See the road we are heading for?

The great views keep coming 

And the curves  That's Cottonwood straight ahead--the yellowish blur between sky and rocks.

  Jerome is a town in the Black Hills of Yavapai County in the  Arizona. Founded in the late 19th century on Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley, it is more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. It is about 100 miles (160 km) north of Phoenix along State Route 89A between Sedona and Prescott. Supported in its heyday by rich copper mines, it was home to more than 10,000 people in the 1920s. As of the 2010 census, its population was 444.

The town is built on the side of the mountain. There are 4 levels of streets with sharp switch backs to get from one level to the next. The town is now restaurants, bars and gift shops.  We walked around the town for a while before deciding it time to hit the road. Gift shops just aren't our thing. We did find a friendly guy at a sweet's shop who found us an ice cold diet Pepsi for $1.25 and a yummy chocolate/chocolate truffle for $1.75.  We decided that the Pepsi was definitely worth it but the truffle, though really good, was not.  The ride to Jerome was what we were after anyway. The weather was great and the ride there was even better. 

Ore sorter used in one of the mines  When the copper played out (15 lbs for every person in the US is a lot of copper!) the town reinvented itself into an artists' colony and purveyor of eclectlic merchandise.

After a stop at McDonald's for lunch in Cottonwood, we headed for home. We took a different way home 2 reasons. We wanted to see where the Thousand Trails RV Park was located, we plan to stay there on our way to Utah, and I wanted to stop at the Harley dealer in Anthem, Az. The weather got real HOT when we got off the mountain and hit the desert floor. We arrived home safe and sound, but a little warm.

On Sunday we headed up Yarnell hill to visit the Shrine of St. Joseph Stages of the Cross. We visit this shrine every year we are here. It is a very moving place. 
After leaving the shrine, it was on to Peoples Valley to try out the pizza place that we were told had the best pizza around here. It was Louise's birthday and she had a hankerin' for pizza. This is a little, 5 or 6 tables, diner with a brick pizza oven. The pizza was very good but I would not rate it as one on our favorites in the country. We will try a couple of others in the area before we deem it the best in the area.

 My selfie reflected in the back of Duane's helmet.

In spite of the warm afternoon, we really enjoyed our trip to Jerome on the bike.  The weather for my birthday was perfect.  

More adventures as we get em'

Duane and Louise

Friday, April 04, 2014

We have arrived in Congress, Az.

I know it's a long time since I have posted anything to the blog. We finally got the rv back the first of March. After picking up the rv we headed to the rv park around the corner from Jeremy's where the things that we took out of the trailer during the repair process was stored. We moved everything back into the rv and took off for Arizona. We spent the weekend in Deming, NM visiting friends there before moving on. WE arrived in Congress a few days before the wood carving workshop was to begin. I talked to the manager of the park and he said we could wait till after wood carving week to start our workcamping job.  This is one of the reasons that we like working for the Escapees RV Club. The managers are very accommodating and very nice to work for. They will go out of their way to help you and make your stay a pleasure. 

March 22 was the start of carving week. When I found out that Bill Strickler was teaching a class on carving a Cardinal, I had to sign up. Bill is one of the best bird carvers in the country. I took a class form Bill 3 years ago and really enjoyed it. The other thing is, my Mother's favorite bird was the Cardinal. In honor of my Mother I decided to carve the bird. I had thought I was going to work on my cotton wood bark carving but couldn't resist the bird. I am sorry I didn't think to pictures of the carving procedure, it would have been a lot more impressive. After five days of carving, we started the paint job on the sixth day. Bill is known for is painting of the birds he carves.   He took us through the steps of how to blend one color into the next and how to highlight the feathers and other detail. I am very happy with the end result. Mom would have loved it!!
Hard at work

The finished bird

After carving the bird I had to figure out a way to display it. Bill gave me a piece of mesquite wood. I had a base in my stash. I decided to try a technique I had seen on a carving  web site to make the base look better. The process I used was spread a product called Mod Podge over the base. I sifted sand from the desert to get the fines. After covering the base with the Mod Podge, I sprinkled the sand over it and patted it down onto the  goo. When it was all set up I sprayed it with 6 coats of sealer. I was very pleased with the in results. 

We stared work Tuesday here in the park. Louise is learning the new computer system that was installed in the office since we left. On days that we don't work, I go to the Pickleball court at 7:30 am and play till about 9:30. There are 7 or 8 players so you play a game and set out a game. I am already starting to lose a little weight...YEA At 4:00pm Louise and I go to the court to play with another group. The afternoon group  plays more for fun and exercise. The morning group is a play for blood group and Louise does not like to play at that time. We plan on doing a lot of motorcycling while are here. We haven't been out much on the bike yet because of carving week. We plan on going to the Phoenix Bike Fest on Sunday. Next we we plan on riding to Jerome, a little town in the mountains. Looking forward to making a lot of trips on the bike.

Louise has been working on her next quilt. She sewed together all of her scrap strips of fabric--1 1/2 in to 4 in wide and whatever length--to make this piece which will be the top.  The finished product may surprise you.

We will try to post more often in the future. I kind of got out of the habit during all the down time we had while the rv was being repaired.  Once we get back on the road with the bike we will have something to blog about. 
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Til next time
Duane and Louise