Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, BC, Canada

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Settling in, Tattoo with friends and a hike

As I mentioned in my last post we had been working hard at getting the truck and rig cleaned up and ready for winter in AZ after our travels this last spring, summer and fall. Once we got that done we started to settle in at the park and spent an afternoon at one of the pools.

I also got started playing Pickleball and Glenda had a couple of line dancing classes. It was still early in the season and most folks hadn't arrived yet so I sent our Canadian friends, Ron and Patsy a photo of us at the pool. I got a text message back shortly after stating they would be heading down to AZ in a few days. So in the mean time we had made plans to meet Steve and Debbie from Down the Road. We had just left them a few weeks before in Durango, CO and had the time of our lives....biking, touring, geocaching, train ride, fall colors and of course eating some great food and drinking beer. You can read about our time there at this LINK.

Steve and Debbie love hiking as much as we do and they like to challenge themselves too. Well last winter they did a very challenging hike to the top of Flat Iron in the Superstition Mtn range just outside Apache Junction near our park.

Now for many years Debbie recites the words Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) once she has completed a difficult hike or activity. After an accomplishment like that they wanted to commemorate making it to the top so they decided to do that with a tattoo. They happened to find a great tattoo artist in Cave Creek and got tattoos with that quote. Debbie's was on her ankle and Steve's on the back of his right calf. Steve also got a cool pirate tattoo on his upper arm.(He loves pirates). They were so incredible and had such deep meaning to them. Seeing those tattoos got me thinking about one for myself. I had wanted to get one for many years but could never decide on what it would be or where on my body it should go. My son and two daughters all had them but, if I were ever to have something permanent like that, it had to be in the right place, have meaning to me and be done well. Not something I might regret.

I started my research and came across compass tattoos. I found several patterns and designs so I sent some to Steve and Debbie for their opinion. They loved them and wanted to get similar compass tattoos too. It's believed that getting a compass tattooed on yourself will protect you over rough waters, and you will return home safely. This is one of the most essential reasons why sailors, navy personnel, and fishermen get a compass inked onto themselves. Additionally the compass tattoo was thought to guide a person on their journey through life and is a vital tool that any traveler would need. Well of course I don't travel over rough seas however with all the travel we do as full time RV'ers I thought it would be appropriate to have one inked on my body. Now I have the tattoo idea, next, where to have it inked.

I thought of the back of the calf like Steve had for his first tattoo. Ok, that's where it will go.

Now it was time to make an appointment and meet Stave and Debbie so we could solidify our connection as travelers.

Steve and Debbie made the appointment with Leland. Leland worked at Goliath Tattoo in Cave Creek. It's a pretty new tattoo studio but Leland has been an artist for several years and does amazing work. That's the guy I wanted. We met them there and Debbie was already getting hers done. It was a perfect opportunity for me to see the process. Debbie got a compass with roses and a quote underneath "Gypsy Soul".

What a beautiful work of art.

I began to feel more at easy after seeing her go through that process.

Then it was Steve's turn. He was originally going to get his on the back of his other calf but after taking to Leland he went with the side of the calf. This way he could see it better. It also turned out fantastic. His was a compass with an eye in the middle. Very realistic.

Is that cool or what?

Then it was my turn. Leland is great at discussing the size, placement, highlighting and design. After talking to him and seeing the stencil we changed the size, the highlighting and the placement. We made it a little smaller with gray highlights and moved it to the side of my left calf. Leland said that most folks that get their first put them in places where they can't see them so we moved it. I'm extremely happy with the changes and the finished product. Here are a few photos as I went through it.
Enlarge the photos for best viewing

Stencil on

Ready to go

No turning back now

I thought you said it wouldn't hurt

Finished product

It did sting some but overall it was not as painful as I thought it would be. Leland did exactly what I wanted and I couldn't be more happy. Special thanks to Steve and Debbie for the inspiration and helping me find the right person for the job.  It was getting late and we were all hungry so we found a Longhorn Steakhouse and had a wonderful meal. During our dinner conversation I found out there is a lot of after care needed to avoid infection. Steve and Debbie had put together a cool aftercare package of saran wrap, tape, gentle soap and lotion to keep the skin moist and clean as healing takes place. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. This is the experience I was looking for with my first tattoo.

We even found a geocache about 2/10 of a mile from the restaurant to top off our day. We parted ways with hugs and see you soons. We'll be seeing them again later this winter.

Finally Ron and Patsy made it to the park. We made a dinner that evening for them knowing they would be tired and ready for a home cooked meal. Once they got their home opened up and set up we planned a hike just outside the Lost Dutchman State Park. We parked at the Old Mining Camp Restaurant and hiked the Prospectors View and Treasure Loop trails. These are trails we've hiked before but never get tired of.

Superstition Mountains

Patsy and Glenda


What a view

We found our 100th geocache

As we made our way along the trail I got my phone out with the Geocaching app and found 3 caches along the trail with the final one being our 100th cache. A nice milestone to share with friends.

We would have liked to have Steve and Debbie with us too but we'll save the 200th one for them.

After our hike we had dinner at the Old Mining Camp restaurant and then headed home to prepare for our trip to IL and IN. We will be spending time taking care of our 3 year old grandson for a week while Mom and Dad go off to Cabo with friends to celebrate our daughters 40th birthday and their 5th wedding anniversary. Then visit the grandkids in Osceola, IN and on to Bloomington/Normal to see my brother and Dad. This should be interesting. I'll have that account next time. Wish us luck. Haha.


  1. You two haven't slowed down and by the looks of it the lifestyle suits you well.
    I continue being a Blood Donor so getting a tattoo is out of the question.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Rick and Kathy...thanks for your comment. I understand and that's great that you are a donor. So happy there are folks like you helping others. Tattoos aren't for everyone. Doing our best.

  2. We had a great time with you guys as usual! The tattoo looks great! Nice hike! Yay 100!

    1. As usual for sure. Thank you again for the care package. I know that's why it turned out so well. Got to get to work on 200 now. :-)

  3. Since I still haven't decided a tattoo was for me I'll enjoy my new compass necklace that looks very similar to your tattoo.

    1. I was there too for so many years and it may not be for you. I just had some incredible inspiration from friends. Necklaces are nice too. Looking forward to seeing it in the spring. I know a necklace would suit you more than me. Ha-ha