Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Passing Through

In previous years we have spent many months here at Deming, NM, but this time we allowed only a couple of days. 

Creepy guy again!!!


Dream Catcher is long and narrow with only one building (those window are in the office),


and a nice big dog park.


Inside the building, looking from the opposite end from the picture above, are a large dining/common room.  The near open door leads to restrooms/showers, then the kitchen and laundry.  The far open door leads to


a smaller common room with tv seating.  Along the right hand wall are doors to the craft room and pool room and the library is in the corner.  Next to the library is the office.


There is always plenty of room here, even when high winds force people off the highway. 

This view is taken from outside the large common room toward the back of the park.  Our rig is second from the left .  We are not at the very back.


The sites are very spacious and level.


View to the right of the truck.


The roads are wide and graveled with plenty of room to maneuver big rigs.

Today Duane went on a bike ride with a fellow biker we met last time we were here.  I stayed home and read a book without having to do anything else.  Tomorrow we will be meeting more friends for lunch and pickleball, which has come to Deming at last.

Louise and Duane

Monday, January 30, 2017

Changing States

A beautiful day for driving and drive we did.  AZ89 to I8 to I10 the road was mostly straight and flat. 


We left behind the fertile Tonopah Valley of orchards, hay fields, cattle feed lots, and chicken farms,


flew past Picacho Peak,




The road wound and dipped through the Dragoon Mountains and the Dos Cabezas Mountains


but for the most part it ran arrow straight.

In 7 hours we stopped three times.  Once for lunch at our favorite rest stop—mm318 on I10. 


Here the hills have eroded into piles of giant rocks.


Visitors can clamber around the rocks and take pix to their hearts content.



Our other two stops were for fuel—one was here.  What is The Thing?  We won’t tell you, but we can say that we enjoyed seeing it and that this is one of the few remaining iconic roadside stops in America.  It is located at mm 322 on I10.  It is a must see for any traveling adventurer on I10 in eastern AZ.


As we entered New Mexico the mountains receded and the desert changed from saguaro and creosote bush to yucca and grass.



We are staying at Dream Catcher Escapees RV Park for the next couple of days to reconnect with friends before moving on to Texas.  We like this area a lot for rockhounding, hiking and bike riding in the mountains, and we usually don’t travel 380 miles in one day, but our time is limited now.  We have to be north east Texas by the first of March.

Check in tomorrow to see what we do when we’re resting.

Louise and Duane

PS I try to make blog titles have more than one meaning.  In this one the state changed, the state of the desert changed, and the state of our travels changed from meandering to stepped up travel because of time constraints.  I hope you enjoy my little jokes.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Last Goodbyes

Tomorrow is moving day.  We spent our last beautiful sunny day in Arizona taking our Ohio friends Gene and Barbara on one of our favorite rides—to Prescott.  From Tonopah we went past our saguaro sentinels through Wickenburg, 


up “Yarnel Hill”


through Peeles Valley to the snowclad mountains in the distance.


As we ascended to the 6000’ mark, the snow more prevalent and the temperature went down. 


We parked on Whiskey Row in Prescott and headed to the Palace Saloon for lunch.


We spent as much time looking around the historically restored Saloon as we did eating. 

Gene and Barbara leaning on the original bar.  During the big fire of 1900, the patrons carried this bar and as much whiskey as they could carry to the courthouse plaza across the street.  They spent the afternoon drinking and watching the buildings burn.


We wandered in and out of shops to the corner, then crossed to explore the timeline on the courthouse walk before we headed for home.


For the ride home we took Iron Springs Road  along the western side of the mountains.


We rejoined 89 at Kirkland Junction, then retraced our ride through Peeples Valley and Yarnell and stopped at the valley overlook.  That bump on the horizon is Vulture Peak, which we would repass on our way home.


As we descended, we passed Arizona’s newest state park, the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.  We said goodbye to our good intentions of hiking that park.


Repassing Vulture Peak we said goodbye to the hiking that trail too, and to any other trips we had intended to take but were prevented by cold weather.


Past our saguaro crew again, and home.


We spent the evening playing cards with Gene and Barbara one last time.  Tomorrow we will not tell them goodbye but “see you in April”. 

Goodbye to you until next time.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, January 28, 2017

More Goodbyes

Gene, Barbara, Duane and I have one last dinner and chat with new friends Cliff and Judy at the Tin Top B & G outside Tonopah, AZ.


Tomorrow we take one last ride with Gene and Barbara.

Louise and Duane

Goodbye, Hello

Our time in Arizona is short now.  Today we drove to Wickenburg to pick up my new glasses.  While we were there we had a very short but very nice visit with friends Doug and Jan whom we met while we were all at North Ranch RV Park.  (Doug and Jan are now all moved into their new home in Congress.) We enjoyed Jan’s tasty homemade pizza while we had a lively chat.  We also stopped at North Ranch to say goodbye to the afternoon pickleballers.  They talked us into a couple final games.


We said hello to some signs of an early spring—a bright red cardinal flitting among  new leaves


and carpets of soft green grass across the desert floor.


Two days left in Tonopah.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A day in the desert Apache Tear hunting

While Louise and Barb went out for a girls lunch out, Gene and I went with 2 fellows from the park to hunt for Apache tears. The rocks are black and polish to a high shine.

The first thing we saw were 4 wild burros. There are a lot of these animals roaming wild in Arizona that were turned lose by miners years ago.


Gene strolling and looking.IMG_7513

Can you see it?  The black speck just below center and a little right. When the sin hits them they shine.


This is my find for the day. Notice the very top one? That one has been tumbled to a shine. When we get back to Texas we will hook up the tumblers and polish all of them.


Gene’s find for the day.


We really appreciate Rick from the park for showing us where to find them and what to look for. It takes a little time to learn how to spot them in the raw. Most of them shine when the sun hits them just right. When you go pick them up you have make sure your shadow does not go over them because you can’t see if it does.

Tomorrow I will turning the blog back over to Louise.

Till next time

Duane and Louise

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ride to the back country

Duane’s turn to blog tonight. Gene and I went for a ride in an off road vehicle with a fellow from the park. I will have to get his name later. Gene set up our ride and we had a great time. We loaded into the off roader and away we went.


Heading across the desert floor.IMG_7372

Through a bunch of washes.



 Past a really nice place way out in the desert. IMG_7385

Toward the mountains.





The old Belmont mine.

The Tonopah-Belmont Mine was one of the more productive mines near Tonopah. The mine itself is located 24 miles southwest of Wickenburg. Records indicate that the mine opened periodically from the 1860's through 1942.  The mine has a 500 foot vertical shaft with workings at the 100, 250, 400 and 500 foot levels. The Tonopah-Belmont also has many adits, or horizontal entrances to the mine.The mine produced gold, silver, lead and copper.



Gene strollin’ on


Cool arch



The arch from the other side of the mountain


Down the mountain we go.




I have been out in the desert in a jeep but never in a Razor type four-wheeler. This is Gene’s first time in Arizona and first time in the desert. Both of us had a great time and got to see an area that is only accessible by four wheeler or a really long walk. Round trip was  around 50 miles. We were out about 2 1/2 hours.

Tomorrow, Gene and I are going rock hunting with the man that operates the rock shop here in the park. We are going hunting for Apache tears, a black rock that polishes really nice.

Till next time,