Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake
Saguaro Lake

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Time passing quickly this winter....in other words we're keeping busy

The holidays have come and gone and here we are in January 2017. Wow...can't believe we're into another year of full time RV'ing. We're still loving it and the opportunity we have to spend our winters in warmer climates than when we lived and worked in IL. We had a wonderful Christmas with our son and his girlfriend, Audrey. We had a nice gift exchange and dinner. We also took a drive over to the Latter Day Saints Mesa Temple to see the Christmas lights again. This is the 3rd year to go and continue to enjoy the way the LDS Church celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. .






We're still doing our usual activities here with hiking, Pickleball and line dancing. We also were able to help Chris with a home project. He stripped wallpaper off the walls in his laundry room just off the garage and painted the walls a nice light gray. He needed some shelves hung so Glenda and I went over to help. He also had a light fixture and vent to be replaced too.




We got to work hanging the supports and made sure they were level and one by one the shelves went up. We got the washer and dryer back in their places and that was done. Next we got to work on the light fixture.
Before

After

A much better LED light with more style. The light is supposed to last up to 45 years without burning out. Great fix.

Then we got to work on the vent above the dryer that circulates air in the room. Easy fix...just take the old vent down and up with a nice new one.


Of course all this entailed a trip to Home Depot for all our supplies. While we worked Glenda was baking some cookies. They were a wonderful treat after our hard work. We tried to work on a vent connection for the microwave hood and did get to the point of installing it after we had to move the electrical outlet over because it was in the way of the vent tube. Then we couldn't get the hose tube to go over the fittings so we gave up for the day and Chris finished the next day on his own.

Now we're getting close to New Years Eve. Chris and his girlfriend had a party to go to that night so we got together with our friends, Ron and Patsy. We had a nice dinner at Olive Garden and then back to their home for a full night of cards. I think we must of played 7-8 rounds of Spades until after 1:30 am. Way past our bedtime but so much fun.

We did stop long enough to go outside and see some fireworks in the nearby communities in the distance from their rooftop patio. We always appreciate their hospitality and friendship.

We also had the opportunity to have a visit from some IL friends that we have camped with before. Todd and Corrine and their daughter Alecia flew into to Phoenix to visit with Todd's brother and we made arrangements for them to come to the RV park so we could show them around and took them to lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. We then took a drive to Saguaro Lake for some beautiful views.







 You just don't expect to see this much water in the desert. It was such a wonderful time to spend with good friends. We really appreciate them making the effort to visit. So glad to see them.

Well then we had some more hiking to do with our friends Ron and Patsy. We drove to Hieroglyphics Trailhead and hiked the Lost Dutchman Trail. A nice 5 mile hike with spectacular views. We even got a glimpse of a rock formation we called Gargoyle Rock. See if you can see him.


See the gargoyle?




We came across a very interestingly shaped saguaro, took our typical selfie and the girls got a little crazy with their poses. Never a dull moment with our friends. Life is good.

Patsy has a Fitbit activity tracker and we use it to keep track of our steps, floors climbed and miles we hiked. Glenda wanted to have the same way of tracking her activity so we ordered on from Amazon for her and we decided that would be her anniversary gift from me. We got it yesterday so Glenda and Patsy did some walking and today they were going to go out again and Ron and I were going to go hike some on Silly Mountain. Well the girls decided they would rather go with us than just walk around the park so we drove a short way to the trailhead and got some great exercise. We all got in over 10,000 steps and with the ups and downs of the trail we had about 10-15 floors climbed. A fun way to get our exercise. The sun was shining, there was as cool breeze and you can't beat enjoying the day with friends. We even played some Bocce Ball this afternoon.

Flatiron in the distance


5057 peak

More Flatiron with great foreground

Last night we had the opportunity to have dinner with our SIL. Paul, who was in the area on business and our son, Chris. We found a really delicious Mexican restaurant near his hotel and had great conversation and tried to get him to consider moving the family to the Phoenix area since he does have a branch for work here. I think he really enjoyed the weather compared to what is going on in IL right now. We'll keep putting a bug in his ear. :-)


We have about 6 mores weeks here in Gold Canyon, AZ before we start heading back east. Of course we'll be staying south as long as possible until the weather improved up north. We love having family visit and having family close. Time is passing quickly and we're having fun keeping busy.






Saturday, December 31, 2016

Keeping the pace up and Christmas in AZ

We continue to maintain our active lifestyle here in AZ with Pickleball, Line Dancing and visiting with friends. Of course we always try to get some hiking in too.

We recently got together with our friends Ron and Patsy and did a hike at the Usery Regional Park to the Wind Cave. It's a steady uphill trail with great views of the Phoenix area. The cave isn't really much of a cave, more like an overhang of rock but still scenic.




Stairway to Heaven?

The Wind Cave

It was a nice cool sunny day for our hike and we had a great time getting some outdoor air exercise.

We stopped at the Wind Cave to have some snacks when we noticed a lot of chipmunks around us. They seemed to swarm as they became bolder and bolder and closer and closer as we ate. IT almost got a little creepy but it was still fun to see them running around.


The little black specks are all chipmunks

They like apples

Our views were amazing and we could even see some of the Phoenix downtown skyline in the distance.





Another fun day of hiking with friends. OF course we always end our hikes with lunch somewhere and this was no exception. Once we got back to the truck we headed to an great Mexican restaurant.




We haven't had a chance to be with our son, Chris for Christmas for about 5 years wince he had moved to Nashville, TN and then on to Mesa, AZ so this was a wonderful opportunity to get together. He has a very nice house and plenty of room to cook and have a gift exchange and dinner. We had already enjoyed time with him and his girlfriend, Audrey at Thanksgiving so this was a special treat.

We had the usual turkey, mash potatoes, Jello salad, green beans and rolls. Of course we stuffed ourselves. Very happy we could spend quality time together.




After dinner we watched some football and I think I may have even dozed off a little. Good food will do that to me. We made sure to call the daughters and my Dad to wish them a Merry Christmas. This has been a very good year and we've seen a lot of places and shares some incredible times with family and friends. Still loving this lifestyle. We only have 2 more months here in AZ before we hitch up and begin moving slowly east trying to stay far enough south until the weather gets warmer up north. We're beginning to put some plans together for that trek and once we fully work it out you'll be the first to know. Thanks for following along. So hard to keep up on the blog when we're having so much fun. I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keeping busy at our winter home

Time does sure fly when having fun and that's what we're doing now that we've been back in AZ after our visit with family and friends in IL. I can't believe it's been over a month since we left AZ to watch our grandson, Aiden and just under a month that we've been back. I've neglected the blog but for good reason. We've been keeping busy.

One of the first things we did was have Thanksgiving dinner with our son, Chris and his girlfriend, Audrey. They cooked a wonderful ham, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. We brought some veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, marshmallow fluff, sweet potatoes and of course, pumpkin pie. What a thankful, delicious dinner and time we had. And what goes better with Thanksgiving than Football? We definitely watched that too. :-)

What a spread

Happy faces after dinner

The amenities here in the RV park are so many there just isn't time to do everything so Glenda and I tend to concentrate on what we like best. For Glenda that's line dancing. She goes to classes twice a week and learns new dances. This is probably the most popular activity at the park.



 And for me, it's Pickleball. I try to play 3-4 times each week and get into a round robin tournament on Saturday mornings. Great exercise and good for the reflexes.

Photo from the web

However both of us enjoy hiking with our friends Ron and Patsy.

Picketpost in the background

Picketpost Mountain

Saguaro cactus and the mountain

Once or twice and week we try to get out for some hiking with our friends. Picketpost Mtn is about 25 miles further east of our park near Superior, AZ. Going to the top of Picketpost is a very challenging hike but none of us were ready for something like that right now so we did out hike about half way up the mountain to get some great views of the surrounding desert.



This was our first hike after coming back to the SW. We had a great hike and had some lunch in Superior after. We recently did another hike on the Coffee Flats trail near Peralta trailhead. It's a nice up and down trail with mild elevation changes but great landscape.

Trail leading to Coffee Flats

Miner's Needle

Grasses growing in a wash

The magnificent Saguaro cactus

Looking out over Coffee Flats

Lush color

Follow the leader?

We never get tired of the desert and the beauty that we find. Some may look at it as just rocks and sand but if you look really close you'll find life in every fashion. Can't get enough.

Continuing on with our activities, our friends Ron and Patsy had company come for a few days and they invited us to go with them to Organ Stop Pizza. This was a first for their company but we've been before and jumped at the chance to go back. If you CLICK ON THIS LINK I did a full write up of our first visit there in 2014. The history is certainly something to learn about, the pizza is very tasty and the music is something you should not miss. If you're ever in Mesa, AZ you need to go.

 Last weekend we had the opportunity to see Chris in a Holiday parade. His class in lineman school had a float(truck) in the Chandler-Gilbert Holiday Parade and Festival. Chris dressed in a Coyote costume and was on top of the float waving to the crowd of people.

Coyote Chris

Every parade has horses

And dogs?

It was a festive parade and tons of people lined the streets. After Chris's float got to the end of the route he headed back to where were watching the parade pass by and we decided to see what they had for food at the festival.

Nothing like a festival with Deep Fried Klondike Bars and Bacon Lemonade

Chris and Audrey

After we taste tested some OTHER foods, we parted ways and headed home. It's so nice to be able to spend time with Chris leading into the Christmas season. I noted in my last post, we won't be going back to IL and IN this year. We'll certainly miss everyone back there but not the weather they're getting right now.

We love the activities here at the RV park and have made so many great friends. We love the weather here and are so happy we tried AZ after we retired. Such a beautiful state. Tomorrow we plan to go on another hike with our friends. Keeping busy in AZ. Thanks for following along.