Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Else?!

In 1907 the New Year’s Eve ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square.  The seven hundred pound, five foot wide ball was made of iron and wood, and adorned with 100 twenty-five-watt bulbs.

Happy New Year!!

Duane and Louise

Friday, December 30, 2016

Old And New


RVing has introduced us to a lot of nice people, but riding the bike and playing pickleball has allowed us to meet a whole lot more.  Today our latest pickleball friends, Cliff and Judy, allowed us to introduce them to one of our all time favorite  bike rides—to Bagdad.  At ten am we rolled out of Saddle Mountain RV Park outside Tonopah, AZ.


At Congress we introduced them to our old friends and traveling companions Brock and Leola (at the building.)


The curves up “Yarnell Hill” were very familiar, but still fun.


Something new in Yarnell—snow left over from Christmas eve.


I’ve been past this rock many times but finally managed to catch the football.  (Enlarge the oval rock and you can see the markings.)


We crossed the Santa Maria River in October and again today.


Another new thing—water in the Santa Maria River!


Same diner, same table, new faces—Brock and Leola on left, Judy, Cliff and that creepy guy—aka Duane.


Since Cliff and Judy were on a journey of discovery today we decided not to retrace the ride as we usually do, but to take the AZ 97 cut off over to AZ 93.  We don’t like the traffic on 93, but the scenery is different and they could see the Joshua Tree Forest.    However when we were ready to leave after lunch, Cliff couldn’t get his bike started.  After trying all of the tricks the guys knew and a few from other guys in the parking lot, he gave up.  Judy called their roadside service, but they would tow only 15 miles.  Brock and Leola stepped in and volunteered to ride “home”, pick up their truck with the bike lift in the back, and return to bring them home.  With this plan in mind Duane and I and Brock and Leola headed home on 93, but only because it was the quickest way home.  Meantime, the Schwann’s guy in the parking lot put out a plea for help on the Bagdad helpline.

As the day went on our partly cloudy skies turned threatening in the south.  The clouds allowed the sun to pop out occasionally, but mostly they kept building up.


All in all, we still managed to enjoy the beautiful vistas,


including the Joshua Tree Forest.


Beautiful blue sky and blue mountains.


Before we got home, a guy from Bagdad had volunteered to bring Cliff, Judy, and their bike all the way to Tonopah—120 miles!   The rain held off for us—we got ourselves inside before an evening of rain started.  When everyone arrived from Bagdad, the rain slacked off a bit while they backed the truck up to our ramp, which we lowered to the truck bed.  We pushed the Goldwing into our house, the truck pulled forward, and Cliff rolled the Wing down the ramp and parked it behind our house before the rain got started again.


As I said—we meet the nicest people!

Always an adventure,

Louise and Duane

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Views

We left North Ranch this morning and took Vulture Mine Road through Wickenburg toward Vulture Peak (on the right)


Our route took us south through the gentle curves and inclines of the Vulture Mountains.


Where the pavement ended and the dirt began, we hung a left


toward the nuclear power plant outside Tonopah.


About an hour later we pulled into the parking lot of Saddle Mountain RV Park, our home for the next month.  This complex consists of several buildings and 344 rv sites.  It is huge.  When Duane and I were walking around we got the distinct impression that it was at one time some kind of school, because a couple of the long buildings were designated as dorms.  Everything around here is well kept and up-to-date.

We are concerned with only three of the buildings.  This one houses the office.


This is the activity building.

(There’s that creepy guy again.)


Inside the activity center we found a very nice comfy library,


card/puzzle room,


game table room,


craft room with quilt lay-out tables,


and a complete exercise room with all kinds of equipment and weights and punching bag. 


The other building that interested us was the laundry.  All of these buildings were very clean, well-lighted and air conditioned.


We are parked in this side of the park.  For as nice as it is, there are a whole lot of open sites.


The other section of the park,


four pickleball courts, one tennis court,


unheated pool, but the water was warm.  Also available are a putting green, shuffleboard, bocce ball, basketball court, and horseshoes.


Ours is not a premium site, but we have full hook-ups and 50 amp, and it is plenty big enough for us.


The weather here is, so far, nicer than Congress.  The temperature was in the low 60’s, but we needed to run the air conditioner.  As soon as we arrived I changed to shorts and a tee shirt.  After we got set up and ate lunch we found a couple of people at the pickleball court.  We spent the afternoon playing with them and discovered that they ride a Goldwing (motorcycle).  We made plans with them to ride to Bagdad tomorrow!

More fun in store tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Last Day

Our last day here started out cloudy, then


cleared up and became absolutely beautiful,


and ended in a blaze of glory.



Tomorrow is moving day.

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This is Why


Today was perfectly beautiful—clear blue sky, warm sun, cool breeze—the reason we came to the Arizona Sonoran Desert for the winter.  We enjoyed the day by walking, playing pickleball, and opening the windows and doors.  That said, we are still looking forward to moving on Thursday.  Three months is a long time for us to sit.  We will be getting into better weather—warmer temps that stay warm and less rain, and our good friends from Ohio will be staying next door for the whole month of January.  That’s as good as it gets!

One more day!

Louise and Duane

Monday, December 26, 2016



The picture below sums up our day.  We did only fun stuff—played pickleball, went to lunch with friends and former fellow work campers Phil and Elyse, and goofed off in general.  The weather cooperated by being clear blue sky and warm sun all day.  The air was still cool but warming temps have melted all of the snow on the mountains.


Our time here is short.  We are leaving the park on Thursday—two days from now.  Tonight I played cards with the usual gang for the last time and received goodbye hugs all around.  We have a few more pickleball games before we hit the road.  Otherwise, we are looking forward to the change in elevation—1500 feet lower—which will mean higher temps.  Yay!

Nothing but fun ‘til we move.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, December 25, 2016

We Came To The Desert….


hoping to spend Christmas wearing shorts and eating dinner with a warm breeze blowing through open doors and windows.  Instead we got snow on the mountains,


truck doors frozen shut, frost on the picnic tables,


and ice on the puddles.


Then I got the best Christmas gift—a look at the last little sliver of the moon before it goes dark for a week.  Awesome!!!!


In the afternoon we drove to the new house in Congress (AZ) of our friends Doug and Jan for Christmas dinner. 


Also joining us were other rv friends from the park, Allison, her husband Danny and their baby Catkin and their dog Buster, and Doug’s brother Dave who is visiting from Colorado.

From the left, Duane, Jan, Allison (not sure that’s how she spells her name), Catkin, Danny, Dave, Doug, and Buster who wasn’t invited to the table, but jumped into my chair.


We all enjoyed dinner in our own ways,


then Catkin got a bath and a nap while the adults sat around eating dessert and visiting.


A very nice day with our new friends, who filled in for our absent families.

We hope your day was as happy as ours.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, December 24, 2016


More o’ the same weather as yesterday (rain all day) with two changes.  We reached our high of 43 d.f. at one oclock, then the temperature plunged to 35d.f. by four, and all of our mountains were visible under a coating of snow.





Louise and Duane

Friday, December 23, 2016

Not Again!

This morning I saw the last quarter moon running from the sun, which actually decided to put in an appearance.


The sight of the mountain tops starting to peep out of the clouds gave me hope of a nice day after yesterday’s rain.


All of the puddles had dried up, the clouds broke and blue sky showed through the clouds along with the sun.


Then we were back to almost the same cloud cover as yesterday.  The vague outline of mountain tops was the only difference


Until the rain started again.


More rain predicted for tomorrow.  Oh well!

Louise and Duane