http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Turned Winter Back On

Late March snow This is what it looked like outside our windows this morning, the sun on the bright snow and the clear blue sky made for great photos.  It was a chilly 20 degrees, too!  We took a round about walk in spite of the snow—Emmi gets just totally snow covered—she buries her nose in animal tracks and kicks the snow up onto her back.  We were all glad to get back inside the warm house.

Not much going around here today, Michael worked in the garage and I worked on the quilt I started yesterday.  I would have been finished with the quilt top today if I hadn’t had to play fetch the duck or bear or whatever with Emmi this afternoon—she just would not leave me alone! 

Emmi keeping warm 10 months Emmi got up on the hearth while I was fixing lunch and stayed there for a while—she must have been cold!

We have a flock of juncos hanging out at the feeders along with the chickadees and the woodpecker.

Crazies Winter time sun

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It’s Snowing

snow2 It was raining when we got up and about this morning but the rain quickly turned to snow and this evening as I write this blog we have probably 5 inches on the ground.  We took a walk this morning and this evening in spite of the snow. 

Laundry was on the agenda today and quilting.  I made great progress getting a quilt top started—all the pieces cut and almost all sewn together.  Emmi slept most of the day but late this afternoon someone changed her batteries and she is a little on the wild side—she and Michael are playing “chase the bear” right now.

Michael has been trying to figure out what is wrong with the refrigerator without much success and working on various other “shop” type projects.  It is good to have our own space again—when you live in less than a 300 square foot motor home you better like each other a lot! 

Life is very good!  Lots of little birds at the feeders today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Need A Housekeeper

Woke in the night to a howling wind and it kept right on howling all day.  We managed to walk this morning, perhaps a little faster with the wind pushing us along!  Did my exercises and started cleaning and cleaned and cleaned—by noon I was deciding I needed a housekeeper for sure.  When you are gone for more than 3 months, dust takes up residence, cobwebs grow by the foot and dirt just seems to multiply.  I had dust bunnies the size of Emmi!  But, most of the cleaning is done, I still have to do light fixtures and kitchen cabinets but the most of it is finished.

Mike made a run into town to pick up our tax return but our accountant was not available.  Michael could have just picked up the return but needed to talk to Bob so we will have to go back into town again later this week.

Tonight Nancy and Geoff hosted a little neighborhood happy hour.  Everyone contributed something to munch on and it was great to visit and see everyone again.  George, we missed you, we will be thinking of you tomorrow.

We left Emmi “home alone” tonight and she was a good girl and so glad to see us when we got home.  She is the sweetest little dog and so much fun.

A very windy, stormy looking day and evening!

Wintery Boone Mtn Storm coming










Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Beautiful Day

Boone Mtn It was a beautiful day and although our forecast was for severe wind, the big blow hasn’t gotten here yet.  We took a really long walk this morning still scouting out places to put a greenhouse and garden.  Remember last fall when we were over at Lonn and LoraLee’s removing windows from their old house—well one of those large panels of windows will make a wonderful south facing greenhouse wall.  I am ready to get started and as usual when we come home there are so many projects we want to accomplish!

I spent the day doing a little cleaning upstairs and a lot of cleaning downstairs in the quilting room.  Got all the quilting supplies I took south with me put away and the longarm back together, cleaned and oiled—I am ready to go. 

For lunch I made Gina’s taco soup and accompanied it with cornbread and coleslaw.  After lunch Mark and Gemma came over to borrow our preparator which is a huge attachment for our skidsteer which sorts rocks from dirt and spits the rocks out.  We had a nice visit. 

Lonn and LoraLee stopped by to bring us the rest of our mail that didn’t make it into the original box we picked up on Friday.

And that’s about all the excitement around here for the day.  I did try to change our Verizon aircard back to a cellphone online and was unsuccessful—was told this past fall by a Verizon rep that I could do the changes each time online—NOT—I get so frustrated when given totally wrong information—maybe Verizon needs to do a little more training!

Remember last fall when I was taking Nat to Billings to the dermatologist and when we received very poor service, I blogged about that poor service.  Several days after that blog post I was contacted by the public relations department for Billings Clinic but never connected with anyone.  Then the physician himself called to try and explain the procedure and length of time it takes to do a MOHS procedure.  For Nat’s next MOHS procedure we were treated very well and were in and out of the office in much less time.  Just last week an article was published in our local newspaper, the Billings Gazette detailing the salaries of some of the hospital employed physicians.  Nat’s dermatologist was listed as the highest paid physician in Montana earning almost one million dollars for the last fiscal year and for the two previous years was paid right at one million dollars.  And to be fair, this physician wasn’t the only highly paid doctor in Montana, there were several that came close to one million.  The article states that Montana must pay its physicians well in order to compete with other areas of the country.  OK, healthcare in the US doesn’t need some kind of help?????  What is the answer—the blame can’t be laid solely at the feet of the insurance companies.  What about the medical supply companies who think nothing of charging outrageous prices for artificial heart values or stents?  What about the drug companies who make billions of dollars per year and chalk it up to research and development?  The mess our government made trying to change healthcare is appalling so what’s next??

OK, I’m done with my rant—it is still good to be home. 


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gardening Lessons

What a beautiful morning—bright sunshine, blue skies.  We took a longer walk this morning scoping out spots to put the bigger garden this summer.  I submitted a seed order to Fedco Seeds and got lots of good stuff seeds and some flower seeds.  After lunch we drove just down the road to our neighbor’s, Ed and Beth.  They have been married 54 years and Ed says he is still in training!  They have a beautiful garden every year and I wanted to ask for some pointers.  Had a nice visit, got caught up on all the local gossip and came away with great gardening advice. 

Nat came up for lunch, steaks on the grill, garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus and salad.  He was operating his sawmill today (he is almost 88 years old—doesn’t that scare you???)  While I was finishing up lunch he was playing with Emmi and her duck—she somehow tripped and fell over hard and just yelped and yelped—when I got over to her, she jumped up on my leg to be picked up.  While we were down south she favored her left shoulder and leg some and we thought maybe she had injured it running down the motor home steps—so we stopped letting her go up and down the steps by herself.  She stopped favoring her leg but now we don’t know—may be time to get it checked out.  Here she is collapsed across Mike’s lap right after the fall:

Relaxed Emmi Doesn’t she look relaxed??

Michael and I managed to get the longarm mostly back together today and the motor home is empty.  We moved the tiny refrigerator upstairs today as going up and down the stairs while cooking was getting old—at least we have milk, water, butter and eggs up here now.  I have an appointment in Billings on April 2 so we will purchase a new refrigerator then.  In the meantime Mike is going to see if he can fix the old one. 

It is so good to be home as Al from the Bayfield Bunch said enjoying faster internet, long hot showers, big bed and lots of space!

aspens in winter west boulder mountains in winter

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Robin

Woke to a sprinkling of snow then every kind of weather today—wind, snow, sleet and more wind—blew through, nothing to speak of in the way of moisture.  After our walk I spent the day sorting and putting away stuff with a couple loads of laundry thrown in.  It is just absolute pleasure to use my own washing machine again (sick aren’t I??) 

There is a lot of talk in magazines and on TV about the need to exercise and that you should walk 10,000 steps per day to be healthy.  Well, I’m not having a bit of trouble getting those steps in—my refrigerator died—yes, my less than 10 year old big stainless steel refrigerator died.  I have another regular sized refrigerator in the basement so everything went into that one which means when I cook I have to go up and down the basement stairs to get stuff—nope, those 10,000 steps were easy to get today!  We have another really small refrigerator that was an extra one we used when we had the 5th wheel—it fit very nicely into the washer/dryer closet and we loved having the extra refrigerator/freezer space.  We are going to move that small refrigerator upstairs to use until we go to Billings and get another one. 

After lunch we drove over to Lonn and LoraLee’s on the West Boulder to pick up our mail—we have our very own private mail service—the post office just starts putting our mail in their box when we leave for the winter—how simple is that???  We just call LoraLee and tell her where to send the mail if we want it while down south.  It was good to visit with them and Emmi had a great time playing with all the dogs.

I walked out to the compost pile a while ago and heard and saw a robin—I’m afraid he/she may get a little cold before spring actually gets here but it was good to see one!  I also think I heard a sandhill crane but I could be mistaken. 

Here are a couple of photos I took today going over to Lonn and LoraLee’s. 

Over to the West Boulder West Boulder mtns

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We Are Home

Remember these two photos from April 6, 2009 when we arrived back in Montana to 3 FEET of snow, took us hours and hours to get the RV up the driveway and Michael still has holes in his jeans from the butt chewing he took for bringing me home so early.  Well, today is March 25 and it was my idea to come home this time, I was just ready and this is the scene that greeted us today.

todays driveway house today Just a little bit of difference don’t you think??? 

Emmi woke us at 3am this morning and we struggled to go back to sleep in our little roadside parking spot.  Finally did go back to sleep and got up about 6am, on the road by 6:30am and pulling into Nat’s around noon after a quick stop at the Livingston grocery store.  Nat looks good and was very glad to see us and Emmi.  I think she remembered him.  After lunch with Nat we headed up the Boulder.

As you can see from the photos there is not much snow this year which could be a problem come summer.  Montana is famous for its spring snow storms, though, so we won’t get too worried yet! 

Emmi acts as if she remembers home running around smelling, barking and finally pooping out on the sofa.  Mike and I unloaded from the motor home all the stuff that might freeze before calling it a day.  Neither truck that was parked in the garage here at the house will start—dead batteries so we pulled the older one out so we could get the sports car in the garage.  Mike got the motor home backed into its parking spot and we will finish unloading tomorrow. 

It is so good to be home, sitting in our easy chairs, looking at the view, enjoying the fire in the fireplace and a good glass of wine.  Life is good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Way Down The Road

Last night after a wonderful dinner of Gina’s taco soup recipe we decided to take another walk with Emmi—after all that cooking Linda did we need all the walks we can get!  It appears that the jackrabbits in the Cathedral Gorge Park have been doing what rabbits do best—there are hundreds of the rabbits running around.  This guy thinks he is hiding:


We left Cathedral Gorge about 6:30am and were heading for Jackpot, NV for the night.  Dry roads and one 7700 foot pass later and we arrived in Jackpot about 1pm or was it 2pm—anyway, too early to stop.  We did go into the casino and have lunch—Terry, I lost your penny and my dollar!  Then on the road again—Mike was in a driving mode today and I even drove some.  We kept going and going finally ending up near Dubois, ID about 6pm—whew—that’s a long day!  We are in a pullout beside a forest service road.  But it was OK, we stopped frequently, walked around, stretched our legs, ate and drank!  So, tomorrow we will be home fairly early.

I have traded in my flip flops for shoes and socks plus a coat.  We saw lots of snow today, too.

Our spot for the nightOur spot for the night.









Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Panaca, NV

Pulled out of Bouse just after 6am this morning and pulled into Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, NV about 2pm.  We fought wind in our face all day and managed to get over 6 mpg, paying a high of $2.99 per gallon for diesel. 

Just outside Henderson, NV we saw this sight—Rollie, eat your heart out!  It was literally acres and acres of solar panels with another area being cleared nearby to install more panels.  There were four huge transmission lines coming from this complex.  Amazing!

Solar panels south of Henderson

On to Las Vegas where Michael just breezed us right through about 10am this morning, light traffic but lots of wind!

Here comes LV

We took Highway 93 north out of Las Vegas and although it is a two lane road, traffic was fairly light and it was beautiful, much better than the interstate.  We stopped for the day about 2pm at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, NV.  What a wonderful surprise.  The campground is tiny, there is one pull through spot and we are in it for the night, $14 per night with no hookups but the park does have a heated shower/bath house.  Several of the other spots were long enough for us but a motor home pulling a car would have to unhook the car to fit. 

Cathedral Gorge was established in 1935 and many of the structures which the Civilian Conservation Corps built are still in use.  The spires and cliffs are spectacular against the blue, blue sky we have today.  It is an arid country and I bet it is very warm here in the summer.  We took about a 3 mile hike this afternoon and walked up inside some of the slots, just awesome! 

Onward tomorrow toward Jackpot, NV, I’ll put a penny in a slot machine for you Mr. Baird!

slots5 slots6 slots7 slots9

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Make A Decision

Beavertail blossoms2 We took our last walk in the Arizona desert today and the desert showed its colors for us.  Aren’t these blossoms gorgeous on this beavertail cactus??

Yes, I have lost my mind—I am ready to go home.  The “go home” bug has bitten both of us way earlier than usual this year so off we go tomorrow.  We intend to take it slow and do some sightseeing along the way—I am hoping that as I put this in print Michael will honor his promise!

It is way too hot to continue boondocking in the Arizona desert without air conditioning and I know I am going home to at least 2 more months of cold but I am still ready.  I miss our friends, my quilting friends, my big sewing room and family—it is time!  Our granddaughter Laci, who has just gotten back to the US from Iraq will be home in Montana soon and our other granddaughter Katie surely needs my help planning that wedding (probably not but just in case)!

So, off we go tomorrow saying goodbye to the Arizona desert for one more season.

Blooming desert2 gorgeous desert2 Gorgeous desert

Sunday, March 21, 2010

On The Road

Last night we enjoyed hamburgers cooked on the Smokey Joe, potato salad, Linda’s baked beans and for dessert Linda made a to die for homemade shortcake to go with fresh strawberries.  It is a good thing we were leaving today, all that dieting I did with Ellie has probably gone by the wayside!  We said our goodbyes last night as we didn’t know what time we would be heading out this morning.

Emmi decided she was cold/needed to go outside/who knows what about 5am this morning, poor Michael was the designated Emmi sitter and they both headed outside but were quickly back in bed under the heating blanket!  We all slept in until almost 7am.  After a couple cups of coffee we decided to start the motor home and head down the road.  Linda came out to say a quick goodbye and we were pulling out of Tombstone about 8am.  We pulled into our favorite Tucson Costco a little before 10am and waited for it to open by walking Emmi for a while.  Stocked up on some much missed Costco items and were back on the road. 

Arrived in Gila Bend and filled the thirsty diesel tank to the tune of over $200 and then took advantage of the Shell station’s free RV dump and water fill station.

The traffic was light on this Sunday—we stopped in Salome and filled our drinking water containers before finally arriving in our special spot in the desert about 4:30pm.  Michael brought down our chairs from the roof storage container and we grabbed glasses of wine, leftover potato salad and boiled shrimp to enjoy.  Emmi was even glad to be back, she trotted up the hill to see if Jasmine and BoBo were still here—she seemed a little sad to find they were gone!

A very nice travel day—no stress!

nine and a half months2 Sweet Emmi girl.The Huachuca Mtns2 The Huachuca Mountains as we were leaving the Tombstone area this morning, still snow covered here at the end of March!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Girl’s Day Out

Don’t know what I did or ate or drank last night but it was a sleep filled with nightmares which I usually don’t have!  I woke both of us up screaming at about 1am—took me a while to go back to sleep to say the least!

Took Emmi for a walk while Mike did up the mega pile of dishes this morning then Linda and I headed off for Benson.  I had noticed a cute little quilt shop the other day and wanted to see what fabrics were stocked.  Well, it was my lucky day!  Today is National Quilt Day and the shop was celebrating by having a 30% off sale of everything in the store—oh, my!!!  I found some beautiful, perfect fabric for one of the quilts I am making this summer—awesome!

Then it was on to lunch which I can’t say was as exciting as the quilt shop—don’t think that little restaurant will be in business long!

Wal Mart for groceries and other things then Safeway for the same.  Back at our respective houses, Linda came over and used our computer for a while—can’t get that woman talked into one yet!  I put together the potato salad and hamburgers for dinner tonight then did a few chores. 

We have decided to go on down the road or shall we say back up the road tomorrow—back to our place in the desert in Bouse.  It is so much warmer there and we loved it—we will go home from there in early April.

Jim and Linda have been wonderful about having us stay here in their driveway and I have especially enjoyed the electric cord! 

A beautiful day here in sunny Arizona!

Mike & Jim2 Mike & Jim3 Mike & Jim enjoying the courtyard.

Linda's house Linda and Jim’s beautiful living room!

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Touring

Emmi and I got a surprise this morning on our early morning walk, a javelina ran across the road right in front of us then stopped in the neighbor’s yard and watched us.  I picked Emmi up—didn’t want her being javelina breakfast but the javelina finally started to wander off.  Later after breakfast we managed to find a good spot for a longer walk and then headed off in search of more land.  Saw some beautiful country but nothing that strikes us as the “right” for us place.  In one area we drove on a terribly bumpy, washboard road for over 5 miles—when topping the hill there were all these gorgeous, large, newer homes out there in the middle of nowhere—do these people drive this road every day to go to work?? 

In the small, tiny gown of Sunizona there is a market—we were in need of a pick me up snack and stopped on the way home—as we walked in Michael remarked that the grocery store also sold tack—saddles, bridles and cowboy hats!  Mike has been in need of a new straw hat for summer and low and behold, he found one there in that little market that fit!

It was the day for strange little grocery stores—in Sunsites, AZ there is a market called the Produce Wagon.  I wanted to see what kind of groceries were available—I was pleasantly surprised—good produce, reasonably priced meats and the strangest thing—a huge aisle of bulk spices, oatmeal, beans, grains, etc.  All out in the middle of nowhere! 

Emmi was a little trooper—she road along all day in my lap.  It was a cooler and very windy day here in this area today.

When we got back to the motor home  Emmi and I took off on another long walk, we both needed it after riding in the little sports car all day!  Then it was off to Chef Linda’s for another great meal—we are going to have to leave here soon or both of us will weigh much more than we want to! 

Deer The white deer and her gang snacked on Linda’s shrubs yesterday morning and Mike took this photo out the window of the motor home.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Friends And A Drive

Last night’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner Linda cooked was delicious!  We had corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  That woman can cook and feed people.  She thinks portion control is a myth obviously! 

Jim and Linda were off to the dentist in Nogales today so we entertained ourselves by looking at property and meeting friends for lunch. 

A realtor showed us a small southwest style house this morning here in Tombstone, needs lots and lots of work—lime green bathroom sink and tub, and that’s just one of the minor things—the lot is a junkyard disaster but it had great views and a wonderful porch. 

Next on the list was lunch with our friend Nancy and her new significant other, Dave.  We met Nancy while staying in a county park near Kingsville, Texas 3 years ago.  She was traveling solo and we took her to dinner one night.  We have kept in touch via e-mail.  When I e-mailed her recently asking her whereabouts, she responded that she was in Benson at the Escapee’s park.  She has a new man friend in her life and they are planning all sorts of travels including a dance rally in Bandera, Texas the first of April.  We had a great lunch and visit in downtown Tombstone with all the rest of the thousands of tourists—where did they all come from????  Nancy and Dave were then headed to Naco, Sonora, Mexico to the dentist.  Many of the Escapees use this dentist and there are also 2 pharmacies in this sleepy little town.  The crossing back into the US takes about 2 minutes Nancy and Dave told us—nice to know for future reference.

After lunch we picked up the Emmi pooch, put the top down on the car and headed over to the Elfrida area to look at a 20 acre parcel of land—we liked—right at the base of the Swisshelm Mountains, very quiet and private, near a huge commercial pecan grove:Pecan grove

By then it was 4:30 and we headed back to Tombstone and were within sight of Linda and Jim’s when she called inviting us to have dessert, chocolate pudding cake—and of course we got Linda size portions!  YUM!  Took Emmi for a walk and we are in for the night—a fabulous day!

Sunset on the Dragoons Sunset lighting up the Dragoons

Vinegarroon Is this not the ugliest critter you ever saw.  Jim was telling us that when they were remodeling their house, he stepped outside one morning and saw this creature—a vinegarroon.  Its only defense is to spray a shot of very strong acetic acid (vinegar) from its tail—the vinegarroon is able to aim so accurately it can score a direct hit into the eyes of an approaching predator!  Other than that, it is harmless but if I discovered one in my house do you think I would scream—oh, yes!!!!  The creature is about 3-5 inches long and looks like a tiny lobster—this photo is one taken of a photo in an Arizona Highways magazine.  YIKES!—maybe I don’t want a house in Arizona.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Little Of This and A Little Of That

Yea, we both slept like rocks last night!  Did a little internet surfing, had breakfast and took a walk around the neighborhood.  Not exactly our kind of walking but it will do for a few days.  Emmi and I walked a couple more times today, too. 

When we got back to the rig I decided to take the laundry into Tombstone and get that chore accomplished.  I left Michael working diligently on the taxes.  I was back in just over a hour and he was ready for me to take the taxes to the post office and ship the nasty things off to our accountant. 

After lunch Mike headed out to help Jim and the guy they have hired as handyman replace fence boards.  He said it actually felt good to do some labor today.  2 hard working guys

I just did some chores here in the rig and took advantage of Linda and Jim’s lovely patio area and soaked up some sun.  Put a loaf of bread to rise as Linda is treating us to a St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage tonight.  I am supplying the bread and the dessert. 

Sheeps Head in the Dragoons Sheeps Head in the Dragoons2

This is the view of the Dragoon Mountains from Linda and Jim’s place here in Tombstone.  Can you see the “sheep’s head”?  Several years ago Michael and I owned property in Dragoon Mountain Ranch at the foot of these beautiful mountains.  I frequently say, “I sure wish we hadn’t sold that land,”—I probably say that every time we come here and I see how beautiful it is out there. 

A very good day!








Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We Move Again

While we were hiking today (I forgot the camera) and seeing some incredible scenery we talked.  Mike has boondocked so long that even a nice state park such as Kartchner Caverns just doesn’t satisfy him!  I really didn’t want to leave this area just yet, I wanted to spend some time with Jim and Linda.  Linda has talked about having me help her get a computer and getting her started—I wanted to do that if Linda still wanted to.  So, we took Jim and Linda up on their offer of parking in their driveway—we fit, trailer and all and are tucked in beside the house out of the wind. 

Michael worked on the taxes for a while this morning and I ran into Benson for groceries.  I also stopped by a quirky little book store called Mary Ann’s Mostly Books.  When I opened the door I was kind of taken aback—to say the store sold books was an understatement!  There were books everywhere, piles and shelves in no particular order.  I quickly found a couple to take home and I also found a new bird book to take to Linda. 

Emmi and I walked around the neighborhood here where Linda and Jim live—very, very quiet and lots of old, quaint southwest style houses. 

Jim, you would be so proud of Mike—he used the Smokey Joe grill tonight!  Linda had purchased these huge rib eye steaks and wanted us to grill them.  This Jim remarked that he sure missed the taste of charcoal so Mike pulled out the grill and got it going.  The steaks were to die for, so tasty!  I had baked potatoes, sautéed asparagus and made a salad. 

While Mike and Jim were outside in the courtyard grilling they noticed the “white” deer that has been frequenting the neighborhood munching on shrubs and flowers.  I was able to get these two photos—the deer is not albino as you can tell from the blurry photo but she is sure white compared to her buddies!

White Deer and her pals White Deer

It is so nice to see and visit good friends—very glad we came here!

Mike & Jim in the car Mike and Jim took the little car out to look at a house that is for sale.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We Have Landed

Our spot in the Kartchner Caverns State Park has no traffic or train noise and it is dark!  We pulled in here around 10am, got the car all cleaned up from its journey of yesterday trying to find boondocking spots and then headed off to Tombstone to see friends Linda and Jim.  We met Jim and Linda many years ago while participating in Cowboy Action Shooting.  They were full time RVers until last winter when they purchased a home in Tombstone.  It is an older home and they have done a fabulous job of restoring the inside and of furnishing and decorating.  I love the furniture Linda and Jim bought—wouldn’t that be fun to purchase a whole house full of furniture??  They have a small enclosed courtyard protected from the wind and we sat out there enjoying the warm sunshine before heading off to an early dinner in Tombstone.  We were entertained by a cardinal couple using the bird bath.

This area is at a much higher elevation than the Bouse/Quartzsite area from where we came.  I think Sierra Vista and Tombstone are right at 4000 feet and as a result it is much colder here.  Jim and Linda have had snow 4 times this winter, just a dusting, but snow.  A cold wind was blowing this morning but it did warm up nicely this afternoon.  This is an incredibly beautiful area but we don’t think we want to be cold in the winter, we can be cold in Montana!

Huachuca Mtns Snow on the Huachuca Mountains outside Sierra Vista.  We drove down toward Sonoita today and had a quick lunch at a deli there—also beautiful country but 5000 feet elevation. 

We are now all tucked in for the night, nice and cozy!  Emmi has been walked and we are all ready to call it a night and get some sleep after the last two near sleepless nights.  It was a great day!

Trains, Trains, Trains

Are Michael and I just the exception to the norm—maybe I don’t want some of our friends and family to answer that!  After a nearly sleepless night we are moving on today.  Benson, AZ is known for its trains, many of the RV parks located in Benson get poor reviews due to train noise.  The Saguaro Escapee’s Park is over a mile from that continuously running track and it is amazing how clearly you can hear the whistles and rumbles. 

We are disappointed as this park is the best without a doubt Escapee’s Park we have ever stayed in—much, much better than North Ranch in Congress.  Everyone in the park has greeted Emmi and me with a nice “good morning” and smile.  The clubhouse, facilities and other amenities are first rate but that train noise is terrible.

OK, enough grousing—we will have a better day today!  We are going to check out Kartchner Cavern State Park for the next couple of nights.  Wish us luck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What A Day

We both woke at 2am, struggled to go back to sleep, tossing and turning, waking up every hour or half hour—at 4:30am Michael asked me if I would be mad if he got up—nope—I was wearing out the sheets anyway with my tossing and turning!  So, we tried to drive out quietly past Jim & Ellie and Gina & Rollie and were rolling down the road just before 5am!  While boondocking I use a percolator type coffee pot on the gas stove.  This morning I fired up the inverter as we were traveling and had the first cup of perked coffee in over 2 months, YUM!

What should have been an easy day turned out to be a struggle!  We reached our destination of Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains just before noon.  Michael had researched and researched boondocking options in this area and thought the USFS area just outside the USFS campground at Cochise Stronghold would work—NOT!  (Jim, be very, very glad you didn’t come over here with us!)  Very narrow roads with ugly sticker bushes along the edges just waiting to put scratches in the paint—the one spot we did think we would fit was crowded with 3 other rigs and the road into these spots was atrocious.  OK—onward—the afternoon was still young.  On to the Chiricahua Mountains thinking we could boondock on USFS ground there, again, NOT!  Miles and miles of nasty dirt road, beautiful but just not feasible plus the phone and aircard did not work over there.  At this point the afternoon is not young any more and we are out of options, I called the Escapees park in Benson and they had room but we would have to boondock tonight as the office closed at 5pm—not a problem so we are in a dry camp spot for the night and will be moved to a spot with hookups tomorrow morning.  As RV parks go, this is really a nice one—the spots are good size, it is right in the middle of the desert and it is quiet without huge street lights—I think we can live with this for a while.  Emmi is having to get used to walking on a leash again!

I told Michael I was going to start a boondocking blog with precise directions for spots such as; “if you are wider than 4 feet you won’t fit!!!”  Jeez!!  And some comments about the roads getting to boondocking slots such as, “if you wear dentures you might want to take them out before the road shakes them out!!”  or “make sure you secure everything with duct tape, and I do mean everything!”

I had a new experience this morning.  Michael is an evening shower person, I take my shower in the morning.  Our early departure this morning did not deter me—as we were going down the road toward Salome and I10, I took my shower—it was a little difficult but I managed! 

Tomorrow we will get to see our friends Jim and Linda who own a home in Tombstone and hopefully a person we met several years ago while camped in a park in Kingsville, Texas.  Nancy was a single person new to full time RVing traveling alone and having a little bit of a hard time—Mike and I took her to dinner and we have stayed in touch.  Nancy work camps mostly as a tour guide in places like the King Ranch near Kingsville and in Teton National Park.  We exchanged e-mails last week and found out she has a new man in her life and they are camped here in the Escapees park at Benson. 

It has been a long, long day—time for bed!  Pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All Packed

Another beautiful day in the desert—very warm, sunny with a little breeze.  Emmi got very warm on our walk this morning so it is just as well we are leaving the Bouse area as it is forecast to be in the upper 80’s next week.  We have so enjoyed our time here and will be back.  Leaving our friends behind is sad but we will see them down the road at some point in time.

Mike took our last load of trash to the Bouse transfer station and picked up an additional 20 gallons of water then spent the rest of the day packing and loading the car into the trailer.  Seems we accumulated some extra stuff!  But he did manage to get it all stuffed into the nooks and crannies! 

Ellie came down and gave me a Microsoft Streets and Trips lesson.  I have had the program for years and just never got into it.  I watched Ellie using her newer version the other day and thought I would try ours again.  It really helped to have someone show me the high points. 

Emmi has spent the day sleeping and chewing on her bones—such a life! 

Bouse sunrise Michael took this photo early this morning while taking Emmi out for her morning constitutional!  You can see the sliver of the moon between the two dead sticks.  Nice photo Michael!

Bouse view Bouse sunrise2

We are off to Gina and Rollie’s for our last dinner all together—Rollie smoked a turkey today.  That man has more toys with him including a large smoker!  We will miss these guys and Jim and Ellie.  Emmi will probably have Jasmine and BoBo withdrawal!  Off to new adventures tomorrow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why We Come To Arizona

Today was one of those “why we come to Arizona” kind of days.  Warm, sunny, no wind, just perfect!  Mike took the Emmi girl for a walk while I showered and we then went into Bouse to the “city” wide garage sales which consisted of about 5 sales and some vendors at the community center.  Back home we just proceeded to enjoy this beautiful day sitting in the sun and soaking up some rays.  Mike did manage to pack a few more items. 

Jim and Ellie came down to claim the items we had been storing in the trailer for them so we and groceries or water could all fit in their car when we traveled to various places.  Jim has a small charcoal grill called a Smokey Joe which I have admired—there is just something about the flavor of a charcoal grilled burger/chicken breast/pork chop—you get the picture.  Well, to thank us for introducing them to the wonderful boondocking adventure, they brought us a Smokey Joe and all the trimmings—charcoal, lighter, wood chips.  What a wonderful gift, thank you Jim and Ellie.

About 3pm we left again and took the motor home to Bouse to fill with propane and to get gas for the generator in preparation for our departure on Sunday.  I had also ordered an 800 watt iron and was hoping it had been delivered to the post office—yea, it had—what a cute little iron it is!  When I am piecing quilts it is necessary to frequently press seams and my big iron just made the 2000 watt Honda generator groan—the big Onan in the motor home handled it with ease but it was a noisy pain to have to run the big generator the entire time I was quilting not to mention much more expensive as it is diesel and less fuel efficient than the Honda. 

Back to paradise—today happens to be Gina and Rollie’s 28th wedding anniversary and Jim and Ellie were cooking.  And what a great meal it was, hamburgers and hot dogs, beans, chili, pico de gallo, chips and a chocolate “happy anniversary” cake.  We had the best evening with these not quite so new friends and the new friends.  We discussed the fact over dessert that we have all met the greatest people in this RVing lifestyle from all walks of life—truly wonderful friends such as Jim and Ellie and Gina and Rollie.  A fabulous evening.

We are home in our cozy rig, blogging and surfing, life is so truly good and we are so truly blessed!

Gina and Rollies anniversaryFrom the left, Mike, Jim, Gina, BoBo, Rollie and Ellie

 Rollie and Gina's Anniversary Anniv cake