Saturday, January 31, 2015

California / Arizona Times

Day 12, Saturday January 31, 2015
Day 11, Friday January 30, 2015
On the road after breakfast by 9 this morning and on into Mesa to Denice's deceased Aunts and Uncle's beautiful double wide park model home at 2929 Palm Desert Resort on Main Street' We had been invited to just use the unit as our own by MaryAnn, their daughter. We did as she had advised and after settling in made a quick trip to Fry's Grocery store for a few supplies needed for the next few days. This just feel like home!!

Day 10, Thursday January 29, 2015
Left Larry's shortly after 9 AM and went down past the Salton Sea again until joining with I 80. Eastward on I 80 to Yuma. There we met with My cousin Jim Rodgers who I have not seen for at least 40 years. We met at an Arby's, had lunch, and caught up on our lives for the last 40 years for over 2 hours. We must not wait another 40 years again!! They now live in Milk River in the summer time, Have a diesel motorhome and pull a Ford 250 ecoboost pickup. After leaving them to drove down to Gila Bend to a Best Western there.

Day 9, Wednesday January 28, 2015
After breakfast this morning  Larry suggested that we take a drive. He recommended, and we agreed, that we go down to the Salton Sea and then turn west to Borrego Springs. This was a very interesting place with a multitude of metal sculptures. After leaving there we headed west up over another steep pass and worked northward until we headed back east to Palm Springs, arriving home before 6 PM

Just one of the couple hundred sculptures at Borrego Springs -Amazing

Denice and I beside another

Day 8, Tuesday January 27, 2015
After breakfast this morning Larry took us out to an Oasis not far from town. We walked 2.4 miles up to an oasis pond and back again. Then home . A good day. For dinner, we met Brother Leroy and wife Gayleen, and Larry went out to one of the club houses within the park for Dinner. Good meal !! Then back to Leroys for a drink before returning home

Day 7, Monday January 26, 2015
Up this morning and headed into Joshua Tree Park. Spent most of the day just slowly cruising the roads taking in the sights. It was raining part time so we did little walking. Exited the park at about 3 PM and called Brother Larry that we were on our way to his house in Palm Desert Sun City. We had added his address to the Jeeps GPS, but forgot it was set for avoiding Freeways preference, where possible, so once in Palm Springs she took us in sort of a roundabout way to get there, but did arrive by 5PM. Larry Bar-B-Qued some great steak for Dinner and we caught up on things.

Denice under the "Split Rock"

Skull Rock

A nice Joshua Tree

Larry's Great Yard - "A Lot of Work"


Day 6, Sunday January 25, 2015
Left Death Valley this morning and headed west over a 5000 ft summit and down into another low elevation valley. Turned south and followed the valley road until it joined highway 395 at Ridgecrest. From there headed south toward Palm Springs, then east to Joshua Tree, then on to 29 Palms. Checked into a Best Western Motel and then toured the town to take pictures of all the murals on the walls there. Dinner at a rib steak house. Was good but we think the ones I do on the Bar-B-Que are better.

A very Neat Mural - the 3D effect was amazing

And in California they do move some big loads - (I think 128 tires)

Day 5, Saturday January 24, 2015
Toured Death Valley today. Down to Artists road again this morning, then down the west side dirt road for 40 miles of washboard then back to Bad Water, then 25 miles to Dante's Viewpoint, some 5500 ft above Bad Water, then returned to Stove Pipe Wells for the night. After Dinner and darkness we went down to the sand dunes where it was pitch black and we viewed the stars and the Milky Way

Day 4, Friday January 23, 2015
Away from Tonapah by about 8:30AM and headed down 93 highway to near Beatty, turned west to Scotty's Castle. Stopped there for a while - bought a years National Park pass for $80, then went to Ubehebe Crater. We wanted to to go on to Raceway but was 27 miles there and same on return on rough washboard dirt road so we decided to by-pass. Went south to Stove Pipe Wells and checked into motel there for 2 nights. As it was only a little after 1 by then went back to Titus Canyon. I walked up it for about a half mile before returning. Lots of pictures, then went south past Furnace Creek to Artists Palette Drive just before dark - more pictures before returning to Stove Pipe Wells. Dinner at the restaurant there, before turning in.

Colorful Formations

The Artists Palette

A Curious Visitor

The Walkout at Bad Water
View of Bad Water from 5500 ft above
(Notice the Walk out in the lower center)

Day 3, Thursday January 22, 2015
Left Tremonton by 8 this morning and went into Salt Lake during rush hour. Again decided on a new route so headed west to Wendover, about 120 miles, then south to Ely.  Was still too early to stop for the night so then decide to go over to Tonapah, another 165 miles. Desolation, was the subject of the day! Cars on the highway were few and far in between. Often none in sight for places where we could see straight sections of the highway for 15 miles or more. In Tonapah we checked into a Best Western Inn. Today was another 500 mile day. We just had left overs for dinner from our newly purchased cooler.
Day 2, Wednesday January 21, 2015
Left Great Falls by 8 this morning and drove to Helena, then decided to change route and proceed to Idaho Falls via West Yellowstone. Was a great day and a great trip! Weather was "clear and cold" highway was great and bare, although lots of snow south along the ditches of West Yellowstone. We saw lots of birds, Eagles, hawks and swans. Arrived in Idaho Falls by just after 3, so decided to continue on to Pocetello, but even then was too early to stop so went on to Tremonton and found a Hamptons Inn. Stayed there and had dinner at a Denny's again tonight.
Day 1,  Tuesday Jan. 20, 2015
Waited around morning until was able to get parcel from the post office - It was what I had hoped, my attachment between my new Nikon camera to me old Pentax lenses' As soon as I had opened that we were on the road by shortly after noon.
Stopped at friends, Tom and Linda's in Warner for a quick cup of tea for only 15 to 25 minutes, then on the road again. Crossed border without incidence, and were in Great Falls by 5:30PM. Stayed at Crystal Hotel up by Flying J. Dinner at Denny's

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Well, we have to try this again!!!

I know it's been a long time since I did an update. Just seems I was always too busy --- no, that is just an excuse. I am retired so have all the time in the world, but it is just too easy to procrastinate and not do it. So today I decided to try to get it going again. I may only do one post a week or so and will only download a few pictures. Seems, at least for me, that placing the pictures into the blog takes the most time. If I try to put the pictures from my camera in the are far too many megabytes to place "as is" so have to re-size them before uploading them. Other wise the blog gets far too big and slow for people to open it.
Enough of that and enough excuses!

Now, what have we been doing since my last blog, I think it was when we were on our way home from Texas in the spring of 2014! Bad Bad Dennis!!

We spent the summer at home in High River, completing the rebuilding of our home there, after the devastation from the June 2013 flood. We had a very good local contraction doing the work, and he had been doing all the rebuild in our lower level during the months we were down south in Texas. When we arrived home only the final finishing touches were required like panting and completing the fireplace. We were very happy with all his work and we would sure recommend him to anyone in need of carpentry work. Also our Insurance Company, The Cooperators," were amazing! At first we were not sure how much coverage we actually had, but found we were 100% covered. Both contents and rebuild. The only thing not covered was anything outdoors, but the DRP, (Disaster Recovery Program) did help us some with that end. They still owe us a couple thousand dollars, and the latest we read, is that all payments will be made before spring. Hopefully!!

Then during the summer we headed to Alaska for a 2 month trip north. We had a great time up there travelling with friends Roy and Lynn Penniket from Granum. I guess that could be a whole installment in this blog, but I will condense that to something more manageable. We travelled all the way to 70 miles beyond the Arctic Circle, but left our motorhome in Fairbanks and did the bus tour up to Coldfoot, then flew back to Fairbanks. Then on down to Anchorage. and out to the coast at Seward. Started having motor home issues at Anchorage and need mechanics assistance there, But that is another story that would take a long time to fill in all the details. Suffice to say from there all the way home had many issues, (about $5000 worth), that rather put a cramp in our trip, but on the whole was a great experience. We arrive home mid September.

We had already decided not to go south this winter as we had most used up our 182 days out of Canada for 2014. We wanted to just stay home for the winter for a change, and then during the summer months head south-east to the north-eastern states that we had not visited previously. There are about 7 that we have never been in, and want to add them to our list of visited US states.

We had a good winter, with only a few cold spells, but by the time January rolled around, we had this itch that needed to be scratched, and the only way to get relief, seemed to be to get to a warmer climate for a few weeks. Costa Rica was our first choice, but by once more procrastinating, had left it too  late to get good tours and connections. Second choice was Cuba, but we had already been there, so will hold that for another year or so. Third was just jump in the jeep and head south to California and Arizona. That is a no brainer, and no planning necessary. Two days later we were on the road!