Fall in Colorado

Fall in Colorado
Fall in Colorado

Monday, January 23, 2017

Friends

I've been wanting to write a post on this subject for some time because we have made so many fantastic friends since we started RV'ing and I was finally motivated by a gesture our friends, Ron and Patsy made by giving us a drawing (Patsy sketched the drawing) from a photo and put it in a wonderful frame with the title "FRIENDS".


Is that incredible of what?

She took herself and Ron out of the selfie photo and sketched just myself with Glenda looking over my shoulder. It reads...FRIENDS are people that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little brighter, Live a little better. More true words could not be spoken about friendships. Words can not describe our feelings about this gift and our friends.  We're grateful for our friendship and appreciate how well they put up with my joking. :-) We have been so blessed to make so many new friends since our decision to live full time in an RV.

I've probably told this story before but we met Ron and Patsy our first winter here at Canyon Vistas RV Resort. I joined the hiking club and being the more open person that I am I asked Ron to take my picture on one of the hikes(a better selfie). The picture was very well done so I continued to ask him to take my picture on other hikes we were on. I  asked a couple of times to ride with them to some of the hiking locations and then they started to ask if I wanted to ride with them. I'm kind of forward that way. Anyway we got to be friends but they hadn't met Glenda yet.

We just happened to go to an event at Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa and Ron and Patsy were there too. They met Glenda and right away we connected. Shortly after they invited us to their home to play cards. They have a beautiful home in the casita community in the park called Superstition Views.  We started playing Bocce Ball, playing pool and of course hiking with them. Over the last 3 winters we have become closer friends and plan to visit their home in Terrace, BC Canada in 2018. Never a dull moment when we get together. That brings us to other incredible friends we have made in this lifestyle.

Steve and Debbie from Down the Road are another wonderful couple that we love and always look forward to getting together with. I started my blog in 2011, I think about the same time Debbie started hers. I wanted to document our travels as we started RV'ing and had been reading as many blogs as I could of others who were either full time RV'ing or planning to do so. Debbie and Steve were doing the same. I would read her blog and she would read mine then comment on what each other had written. This turned into an opportunity to meet in IL as they found a Ram 3500 Diesel Dually in, of all place, Clinton, IL about 25 miles south of where we lived at the time. the funny thing was, they lived in CA and traveled to IL to buy a truck. Go figure. So we made plans to meet at a Mexican Grill in Normal, IL just a few blocks from our home.

The connection was instant and over a 2 hours period we talked about so many things. We even closed the place down. We found out they would be attending the RV Dreams Rally in Elkhart, IN a couple months later. We made plans to get sites next to each other. After our meeting they took off the next day to pick up their 5th wheel before heading to the rally. We did get sites next to each other and met so many wonderful people all with a passion for RV'ing.

We said our goodbyes at the time but knew we would be in contact through our blogs. As it turned out we met them again in New Mexico after our winter in AZ and their winter in FL. Here are my posts from our get together. Preparing to meet friends, Pancho Villa SP, and City of Rock SP - Boondocking. Steve is a big beer lover like me, they love hiking, good food and new adventures.

We've also had meetings in Grand Junction, CO and Durango, CO. In addition, Steve, Debbie and I got tattoos that commemorate our friendship. (All highlighted words are links to my posts)
Steve and Debbie are stuck in CA right now due to heavy rains and flooding and we hope they are able to move on soon. Looks like we'll be getting together again this summer as we both are planning trips to the NE. Looking forward to it for sure.


Faye and Dave from The Wandering Camels are friends we met in IL. Faye is down to earth and Dave is Dave. Ha-ha. We love you both. Again this happened through our blogs. Following each other, commenting and finding out Faye has family near our favorite Army Corp of Engineer park near Sullivan, IL. We first met at Comlara County Park just north of Bloomington/Normal where we lived before retiring. It was a brief meeting but we had a great visit and conversation and an opportunity a year or so ago to meet at Bo Wood COE while they visited family. We then were able to meet them in TX at their park in Port Aransas as we traveled east our first year on the road. Then they decided last winter to workamp in a regional park in Cave Creek, AZ after Dave retired. We were invited to a bloggers happy hour/dinner at the park with additional new friends and bloggers...Ingrid and Al from Live, Laugh, RV and Mona Liza and Steve from The Lowe's RV Adventures. You can read about our fun time HERE. We also had the opportunity to do some hiking with Mona Liza and Steve before they left the area. Faye and Dave also invited us to see Trans Siberian Orchestra with a Christmas theme. You can read about that HERE. What a show.

Faye and Dave are back in TX this winter so when we leave AZ March 1 we'll be heading east toward TX and will be connecting again there. We plan to travel together through the Gulf States of LA and MS into AL to Gulf Shores, AL and stay at Gulf SP. They've invited some other RV friends to join us so we'll be expanding our circle very soon. I want to be like YOU. :-)

Glenda and I have been to Gulf SP and love it there. It'll be nice to go back with friends and make new ones. We love the desert but a change of pace at the beach will be welcome. This lifestyle allows us to see so many places and landscapes and share it with our friends, family and those who may be reading this blog. We're so blessed to have made these friendships and look forward to making more.

I feel like these people are like our inner circle of friends. There are also folks that we have never met but feel a bond with like Rick and Kathy from It's about Time .They recently entered the full time RV life too. I know one day we'll get to meet. And folks like Mark and Patty from Mark and Patty RV Adventures that we've only been able to met once. We have this bond, this togetherness that's hard to explain. I guess it's because of our lifestyle. The freedom, the love of adventure and new experiences.

Thank you all for your tips, advice, help and most of all your friendships. There are a lot of words in this post but I still say these words will never fully describe how we feel about our friends.
Thank you so much.

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.