http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Castle Hot Springs

Itchy feet disease—I think that’s what we both have, after one day at home, we need to get out the next day! SmileWhen we arrived at North Ranch and Michael started pursuing our Backcountry Adventures Arizona book—if you click on the link you will automatically be taken to  The cowboy picked out several trips jeeping/ATV trips he wanted to take—today’s choice was Castle Hot Springs.


Castle Hot Springs is one fantastic spot—built out in the middle of nowhere fifty-five miles northwest of Phoenix—it’s an oasis in the desert when you top the hill and all the palm trees come into view.  Opened in 1896 as a hot springs resort, it was considered to be one of the “premier resorts” in the United States.  In the 1920’s and 1930’s America’s wealthiest and most famous families visited Castle Hot Springs—Zane Grey, Clark Gable, the Astors, the Vanderbilts, the Rockellers and presidents Roosevelt, Harding, Wilson and Hoover


During World War II it was used as a military hospital and in January, 1945, John F. Kennedy spent three months there trying to recover from chronic back pain. 

The resort remained popular until heavily damaged by fire in 1976.  There has been a series of owners—Arizona State University and several private owners.  Recently the resort was on the market for          $6 million and most recently on the auction block with a starting bid of $500,000.  In searching the internet we can find no information regarding the sale—did it sell or not? 

The hot springs are fed by an underground reservoir producing 200,000 gallons of water at 122 degrees Fahrenheit—that’s hot water!!  The resort is no longer open to the public and a caretaker lives on site.



What an amazing, interesting place—guess I need to go out and buy a lottery ticket!! 

We had a great day—just the three of us bouncing and bucking along the rough, rocky back roads of AZ.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cloudy, Cool, Quiet Sunday

We woke up to unexpected clouds and while the clouds dissipated by noon it still remained windy and cool, 69 degrees for a high.  It was nice and cool—read less chance of seeing rattlesnakes—when we took our 2.5 miles walk this morning. 


Emmi has been on the “real” meds for her urinary incontinence issues for three days now—our continued trial of the natural supplement came to a screeching halt.  She is still waking us up between 2am and 3am—we aren’t sure if she is cold and wants in our bed or needs to go out but whatever it is, it sure is hard to go back to sleep after having to get dressed and take her outside.  Tossing and turning, finally falling back asleep tends to make us sleep later and then we walk later—this morning’s coolness was welcome!

After lunch it was time for me to work on my art quilt—I’ve gotten all the pieces positioned as I want but will leave it for a couple days and see if I notice any areas which need more work.  It’s amazing how busy we are when in Arizona—I’ve not done any quilting! 

We watched a movie today—one loaned to us by our jeeping buddies, Bev and Jim about a man who befriends a huge bull elk in Idaho—very, very enjoyable to watch.  It was amazing to see the interaction between the elk and this man!

Talking to Lonnie and the granddaughters back home it is still snowing, sixteen inches of new snow on the ground and it is still snowing!!  Winter go away!!!


Out in front of one of the homes we walk by there is a box of grapefruit with a sign, “help yourself.”  So, yesterday I helped myself—while not as sweet as a ruby red grapefruit the fruit still has a good flavor and are huge!!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Slow Saturday

A slow start, a walk in the desert and a trip to Prescott—that’s about the extent of our day.  My new glasses were still hurting my ears and needed some adjustment.  It probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do—go to the big city on a Saturday when all the working people have to be out shopping!

First stop was Five Guys for a delicious hamburger—really the fries are better than the burgers but both are pretty dang good. We sat outside in the sunshine—it’s at least 10 degrees cooler up the hill in Prescott and the sun felt good.  Ms. Emmi got to join us at the picnic table and enjoyed scrounging for tidbits under the table—that’s the only way she gets people food! 

A quick stop at Costco—Michael stayed in the jeep with Emmi while I ran inside, got my glasses adjusted and picked up three items for a total of $36!!  Who ever gets out of Costco for $36???

Back home we were just in time to attend happy hour and help finish off the leftovers from last night.  Larry and Geri are leaving us tomorrow heading to Apache Junction—their niece is getting married and their daughter is arriving for the wedding.  They will be back here in about a week—we will miss our ATV tour guides but most of all we will miss Larry’s escapades!! 

So, a not very exciting day but a good one!  Any day spent with my cowboy and Emmi is a good one!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Potluck And A Haircut

Whoa, someone sure lowered the temp in our little refrigerator/freezer we have in the cargo trailer!  I went out this morning to put my jello salad I had made for tonight’s potluck in that refrigerator and saw some nasty looking brown liquid on the floor just below the door.  I knew we hadn’t used that refrigerator to store any meat and opened the door with trepidation—nope, it was a frozen coke which had blown its lid!  The iced teas were frozen solid as well as some of the water bottles.  Hmmmm—maybe we should lower that temp to less than freezing you think???


We enjoyed a wonderful potluck with Larry and Geri tonight at Mike and Pat’s.  Geri and I did the cooking as Mike and Pat have spent a large portion of this week in Phoenix.  It was a great evening spent with good friends—and the food was dang good too!

I had my last haircut on Feb. 10 in Billings, MT—I was about 3 weeks past due for a trim!!  My hair is extremely thick and begins to look really Texas big when not brought under control by a good hair dresser!  Our realtor, Linda Stephens has a nice haircut and she recommended her stylist, Christi who did a fabulous job with my hair!  Much better!

You know, there are just some people who live to give the rest of us our laughs.  Larry is one of those kind of people—when we are around him it’s a laugh a minute!!  Here’s another Larry story.  Ms. Pat teaches line dancing at the Activities Center several mornings a week.  She uses a wireless microphone while dancing and teaching.  The refrigerator freezer in the clubhouse is stocked with ice cream bars—you leave your money, take an ice cream.  Ms. Pat saw Larry (he didn’t see her) come in and saw him in the freezer—she says into her microphone which booms out over the building, “Larry—get out of the freezer!” 

Larry said his hand stopped immediately on its way into the freezer to grab that ice cream bar—he thought God was telling him he really didn’t need that ice cream! Smile

IMG_3138Geri in the middle telling other Michael and Sandy how it is done.



A good Friday in the desert!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Camp Date Creek

Last week Tom of the ATVing group which we are privileged to be a part of suggested a ride to Camp Date Creek—of course we were all game and today was the day. 

'’Fort Date Creek is located along Date Creek near Date Ranch and was originally named Camp McPherson for General James B. McPherson at its founding on January 23, 1867. The fort was initially a temporary base protecting the road from La Paz to Prescott during the Hualapai War.'’  Wikipedia

The above map is from a website I found with lots of Date Creek information.  The remains of the building labeled as “l” above are shown in the below photographs:


One source we read said the soldiers initially spent more time prospecting for gold than fighting off Indian bands.  We love walking around old places such as this—you can almost hear the voices of those early pioneers and soldiers.  There is lots of rubble such as metal bands from wooden barrels, tin cans smashed flat and square nails such as this one we found:


The ride over to Date Creek and back was simply spectacular—there were nine rigs and 11 people making the trip.  Tom and his wife Sandy were our guides for the day and we rocked and rolled up and down the hills and rocks through gorgeous scenery—huge piles of rocks, saguaro, blooming cactus, mining shafts and sunshine.  This group has such an easy camaraderie—lots of joking, teasing and laughter.  We ate our lunch near Camp Date Creek and then walked around the fort ruins and to the bluff overlooking Date Creek—the creek has flowing water with fish!!—a rarity in Arizona! 


IMG_3140from the right, Tom, our leader, Fred, Michael and Joe.



Let me give Larry a little grief—he was working on a total strike out today, first he tells us the ride is going to start at 8am—well, we (Larry, Geri plus ourselves) are at the meeting spot shivering (it was chilly this morning) and no one was there and not only was no one there at 8am, NO ONE showed up until 9am!!!!—that’s one strike. After we take off and get through the community of Congress I am riding along and realize I can’t see the rider in front of me—we have a rule—when you make a turn, you wait for the rider behind you, making sure he/she has seen the turn. Well, it was becoming quickly apparent that Larry had not waited for me and the two people behind me—we were lost—not really, we turned around and there was Larry to lead us to the right spot—strike two. I’m not sure he ever made the third strike but he was working on it last time I checked!

IMG_3184Larry in his napping pose!

I feel as if I am getting better and better at this ATVing business but geez I am beat!!  More photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rocking, Rolling and A Doggie Rock Star

IMG_0503She is not impressed in case you can’t tell!!!  They don’t fit very well and I may return them for a smaller size.  Emmi looks adorable in the goggles, she just doesn’t think so!!

Michael left early this morning to meet up with Larry and the other Mike—all were helping other Mike’s Mom and Dad move from an assisted living facility in Wickenburg back out here to North Ranch.  It didn’t take them long, I think they’ve been moving stuff for a while and just the heavy stuff remained. 

I was mighty productive while the cowboy was gone, Emmi and I went on a 2+ mile walk out to Inspiration Point, I cleaned the rig and did a session of yoga by the time Michael arrived in time for lunch.  After lunch he suggested a drive, “out Vulture Peak way.”  We had discussed a week or so ago going out to look at the boondocking area around Vulture Peak—I’m thinking nice highway drive out there, stop at Safeway on the way back, maybe Dairy Queen.  NOT!! 

As we are sailing past Vulture Peak Mine Road and I’m saying, “hey, aren’t you going to turn there??”  He is saying, “no, we are going to Morristown.”  Well, Morristown is on the BACK side of Vulture Peak Mountain meaning somehow we are going to get around to the Wickenburg side.  Yep, you guessed it, we went rocking, rolling, and bouncing across the desert in the yellow jeep.

IMG_0490Beautiful country, saguaro forests, rugged, jagged rock peaks, flowering cactus—we had a great afternoon!


We took one wrong turn and in my frantic mode I managed not to get any photos of the most exciting part of the day!!  We came to a VERY narrow opening between two LARGE rocks—the cowboy thought he could get the jeep through by climbing up on the right hand rock.  Emmi and I elected to dismount and watch from a distance—NOPE, not happening, we were too wide—the ATV’s would have fit but not the yellow jeep. 

It wasn’t far to backtrack and we were then on the right path, rocking, rolling and getting new pin striping as Al always says!




The wind has howled today and the dust from the Phoenix area is just hanging in a huge cloud making it look stormy.  The temp tomorrow morning may be a little chilly for our planned ATV ride but if the sun shines as usual in the AZ desert, the day will warm up nicely.

Larry and Geri joined us for happy hour at our place, Mike and Pat had gone into Phoenix for some medical stuff and were just rolling in very tired at 4pm. 

Another great day in the Arizona desert.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Emmi Goes To The Vet And A Visitor


When the family pet and in our case the furkid needs to go to the vet in a new place, it’s always hard to chose one whom you can trust.  It was easy here as Al and Kelly had taken Pheebs to the Wickenburg Veterinary Clinic and used the services of John Oplinger, DVM.  Wow, were we ever impressed—laid back, quiet, no rush whatsoever.  He explained his take on Emmi’s problem and for the first time some of her issues made sense!

Since last spring Emmi has had issues with involuntary urination—she wakes up in a puddle of urine—not good!!  Our vet in Montana placed Emmi on a drug called Prion which stopped the urination problem but caused nasty side effects—Emmi trembled all the time and became very lethargic.  We took her off the pills and started her on a herbal supplement called Bladder Strength.  It worked—no accidents but for some reason which neither of us can remember we stopped giving her the pills.

Well, the problem is back, the herbal pills don’t seem to be totally curing the problem.  We are helping the pills by getting up in the middle of the night to take Emmi out—a practice neither of us wishes to continue.  So, thus the vet appointment today. 

Dr. Oplinger said the return of Emmi’s issues could be the warmer weather and her need for more water thus filling her bladder—makes total sense to us.  He also did not have much faith that the herbal supplements would continue to work so sent us home with a different medication to try—Incurin, a form of estrogen.  We are going to continue using the herbal supplement and not take Emmi out at night to see what will happen before we change to the prescription meds.  I am prepared, her bed is now on top of a plastic sheet on the couch (she always sleeps on the couch) and that plastic sheet comes to our bed with her if comes for a visit!! Smile

When we came back from town Geri and Larry were unloading groceries from their truck and we were met with a very strange sight—Larry is like Michael, wears long pants and long sleeve shirts—yesterday he shocked us by appearing in a short sleeve t-shirt but today we were shocked even more--white legs—yikes, get out the sunglasses!!! SmileSmileSmile

Just before noon, that BMW motorcycle rolled up in front of the motorhome—it was Sarge—he had been in Tucson for a few days and is now slowly meandering his way north to Montana.  He better meander really, really slowly if he doesn’t want frostbite!! Smile He does have heated clothing at least!

Sarge stayed and had lunch with us and when I looked at the clock as he rolled away, it was 2pm—where do the days go???  I sat down and read some of a great book I’ve started, The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans And Their Epic Quest For Gold.  Then it was time to head down to Mike and Pat’s for happy hour with Larry and Geri. 

And that’s about it for our day—when the evening cooled we got out and took Ms. Emmi for a walk.


Monday, March 24, 2014

A Routine Day And Snake Video

No crested saguaros or long ATV rides today.  Instead we took garbage to the dump—exciting, right???  North Ranch consists of private owned lots and the owners pay for garbage pick up just like in a housing subdivision.  Because the owners of this lot we are renting are seldom here they don’t have garbage service.  The garbage bins up near the front of the park are for people staying in the campground—so, we take our garbage to either the Congress or Wickenburg landfill.  Now isn’t that just the most exciting thing you’ve ever read???

While in town we did go through some second hand stores—at the Habit for Humanity store I found a set of measuring spoons identical to my favorite ones I have at home and the most important find—an ice cream scoop—ours broke last fall and I never replaced it.  We also had lunch at Anita’s—Michael’s lunch was good, mine was awful.

I woke in the night sneezing and today my nose would not stop draining—there are a lot of trees and plants blooming right now—when we came home from town I took a nap but it didn’t help much.

We joined Larry and Geri for happy hour at Mike and Pat’s and this evening a group of us went to Mike and Cathy’s to watch the ATVing movies Geri has done of some of their travels.  She has a GoPro camera attached to her helmet and has taken some great video plus she has mastered the art of creating a movie using Movie Maker which comes with Windows 8 I think she said.  Cathy and Mike provided all the ice cream and brownies any of us could eat and we watched the movies in their outdoor living room—now we have lots more places on our “to go ATVing list!”

A good day—it was warm here today, up to 84 degrees!

And, oh, the lady across the street from us has a garden and today she put out a cooler and a coffee can with a slit in the top.  Inside the cooler were bags of beautiful lettuce—I took a bag and put my $2 in the coffee can.  Imagine—lettuce in March!! 


Don’t know why I wasn’t thinking yesterday—I could have taken a movie with the camera—was glad Geri took one—please ignore my voice!!  We are all still debating whether he was a diamond back rattlesnake or a green Mojave rattlesnake—whatever he was, he was dang grumpy and scary!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

An Elusive Crested Saguaro and a Rattlesnake

Larry and Geri called yesterday asking if we were up for an ATV trip to see a big crested saguaro over by Wickenburg—well, that was a silly question, of course we were up for an ATV trip.  Today we got more than we bargained for—not only did we see one grumpy rattlesnake but that dang crested saguaro was playing hide and seek causing us to ride a total of over 50 miles today—our longest ATV trip yet!

We left North Ranch with Larry, Geri and Mike (not my Mike) about 9:30am heading for Wickenburg the back way.  We missed you today Cathy!  Emmi bumped along with us every inch of the way—she rides in Michael’s lap, then she rides in my lap, then she rides in the box—she’s a happy dog as long as she gets to go along!!

IMG_3087The cowboy sporting his new goggles and Ms. Emmi

IMG_3088The desert ocotillo are beautiful right now, the sun was so bright my photographs are washed out looking, the flowers on the tips are vivid orange. 

if you don’t like snakes, scroll fast

Larry was leading the pack with Geri right behind him when he came to a screeching halt and started waving Geri and me forward—he almost ran over this snake which reared up in the road rattling and hissing—we all got off and watched him with Emmi safely in Michael’s arms.  The snake finally decided we were no threat and ambled off into the bushes.  Let me tell you, every time I saw a stick or a root laying across the trail the rest of the day my toes curled involuntarily making me want to pick up my feet!!!



We enjoyed our picnic lunch at the Wickenburg rodeo grounds before heading out to find that dang elusive crested saguaro.  In our search we did find this medicine wheel—Geri thought it was created by someone living near Wickenburg in the 1960’s. 

IMG_3101IMG_3103Squint and you can see the green turtle.

At times looking for that saguaro I felt as if we were going back the way we came.  I accused Larry and Geri of trying to make an expert ATV rider out of me today—we climbed some really steep hills.  I appreciate so much Larry and Geri’s regard for my riding skills—they both always make sure I am comfortable before we start up these steep hills.  On one hill today with steps in the rocks, I freaked right when the steps started, Larry rode right up beside me, offered some advice and sent me up the hill with confidence.  They have along with Michael said, “don’t be afraid to say, “OK, I’m not doing this, one of you ride my machine up, I will walk.” 

And I will do exactly that—a long time ago when I first married Michael and we were riding horses in the mountains for overnight pack trips my friend Jill said, “I’m too old to have to prove anything to anybody and if I’m scared, I’m getting off.”  That became my mantra as far as horses were concerned and it is my ATV mantra. 

IMG_3107Strawberry hedgehog cactus

IMG_3108And then there it was, the elusive, hiding crested saguaro, one of the largest in the area we are told.




OK, it’s now a long ride back home—we need sustenance!!  This trail crosses dry washes and riverbeds right at the back door of the Wickenburg McDonald’s!!  So, we pulled into the parking lot, Geri and I went inside and we were soon enjoying diet cokes, milkshakes, and McFlurries.  Ahhhh—now I think I can make it the rest of the way home. 

But uh-oh, not too far from home Larry pulls over, his machine is not running well, off come the panels, out come the tools and it’s a dang good thing Geri and I were traveling with not only one mechanic but THREE!!! SmileThey soon had Larry going again and we were pulling into North Ranch. 

Another stupendous day in the Arizona desert—except for the snake!! Smile