Sunday, November 27, 2016

Superstition Mountain Museum and Trains

AJ, AZ  High 72  Low 54

If you like model trains and are in this area, you need to make a stop at the Superstition Mountain Museum. The Museum itself makes for a great visit and the train just adds to it.

Thomas and Percy were running for the kids.

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The following is from their brochure.

Welcome to Dutchman’s Gulch, a journey through Arizona history via a Garden-scale model train exhibit. These larger models run on 1500 feet of 45-mm gauge track. This exhibit displays the key role that the introduction of the railroad to Arizona, during the period 1875 to 1930, played in the rapid growth of not only Arizona, but the entire American West. The coming of the railroad to Arizona enabled the transport of key Arizona exports (including cattle, cotton, citrus and ore products). In addition, tourists and settlers were able to travel to Arizona to enjoy the climate.

Native Americans were the first settlers in the area, then came the Spanish establishing missions in the Tubac and Tucson areas. Prospectors and explorers followed. With the coming of the railroad, mines, ranches and towns sprang up along the railroad track.

There are seven areas showing the growth of Arizona.

1. NATIVE AMERICAN SETTLEMENT – circa 1500.

The Pima are related to the Tohono O’odham people. They are probably descendants of the ancient Hohokam Indians. The Pima are American Indians who live along the Gila and Salt rivers in southern Arizona. They call themselves the Akimel O’odham, meaning “river people”.

2. SOUTHERN ARIZONA – TUBAC AND TUCSON – circa 1690.

Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was one of the early Spanish explorers of the deserts of the American Southwest.

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3. ROOSEVELT DAM – circa 1905 to 1911.

Theodore Roosevelt Dam was the first dam on the Salt River that controlled water flow into the Greater Phoenix area. The dam is 357 feet high and was built between 1905 and 1911.

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4. GOLD MINE – circa 1860.

Two major finds occurred in 1859 and 1862 in the Yuma area near the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers. If the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine here in the Superstition Mountains does exist, it is still waiting to be rediscovered today.

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5. SILVER MINE – circa 1858.

There were four major areas of silver production, the largest being the Silver King Mine near Superior which produced an estimated $42 million worth of silver ore between 1875 and 1900.

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6. CATTLE RANCH – circa 1865.

Cattle and other livestock came to Arizona over 300 years ago with arrival of the Spanish Missions. After the Civil War, overgrazed pastures in Texas led ranchers to the Arizona Territory and began the state’s cattle boom. By the 1890s, about 1.5 million cattle roamed in Arizona.

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7. FRONTIER TOWN – circa 1864 and forward.

The town in the exhibit is representative of towns in the early 1900s. In 1864, Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple (Army Post near Prescott). At that time Tucson was deemed ineligible as they were supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War. After the Civil War, the Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877. Finally, in 1889, Phoenix became the territorial capital and in 1912, the state capital.

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Elvis Chapel

Another stop you want to make while at the museum is the Elvis Memorial Chapel which is a movie memorabilia museum showing the movies that were filmed at Apacheland.

Elvis Memorial Chapel

There are several hiking trails also available in this area and with the Superstition Mountains as a backdrop, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Few Things That Make My Heart Happy

AJ, AZ   High 83  Low 62

A November Sunrise

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The Super Moon

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Skittlez

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The Superstitions

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A text from our son saying “I love you guys”.

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An e-mail from Denise (Sassy) letting me know she is doing good in her cancer battle.

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A meet up with Paula (Shadowmoss) and learning that she’s been accepted into a cancer study.

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The privilege of knowing Rod (Retired Rod) who is losing his battle with cancer.

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Jim’s family who has accepted me with open arms.

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All the wonderful friends we have met throughout the years who have made for so many fantastic memories.

A clean cancer scan for Jim.

These are a few of the many things that make me realize how thankful I am for my blessings.

                       Happy Turkey Day

               Turkey

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fishing, Veterans, and Friends

AJ, AZ   High 83  Low 64

The weather has been beautiful this past week. A little breezy at times but still gorgeous.

Jim had to replace the starter on the boat, but as soon as he got that done he and Mark went fishing. Had a good time but no fish. The next day he and Marv went fishing. For some reason Jim and Marv together are a jinx on the boat. This time, the starting battery died and would not start no matter what they tried. This happened last year but they were able to get it going. Not this year. So they were using the trolling motor to get back to shore when they were able to flag down another fisherman. He was able to give them a jump and they made it in. Jim now has a new battery in the boat.

BUT – look at what Marv caught. It’s a huge large mouth bass. No, they didn’t keep it. But he sure gave Marv a run for his money.

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November 2016On Veterans Day we went to the parade here in AJ. It was a wonderful tribute to our men and women in the armed services. I remember my Dad walking in the parade in our home town of Sidney, MT carrying his father’s flag. All the deceased veterans had a flag that was carried in the parade and then raised in the park for the day. My Dad was so proud of being an American and he passed that love of country on to his children.

A few pictures from the parade

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He drove this car backwards in the parade. Had Fife as a license plate.

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Our future

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Lots of old cars

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Our Vietnam Vets

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And what is a parade without horses

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The pictures aren’t the best because we were sitting on the wrong side of the street. The sun was shining brightly into the lens of the camera.

After the parade we headed out to Chandler to meet up with Jan and Bill for lunch. Jan had an eye appointment and everything went really good so we were celebrating. Found a place called Philly’s Famous. Really had no idea what to expect but what a find. One of the best Philly sandwiches we have ever had. Jim ordered an Italian Hoagie which was really good but after he had a bite of my Philly, he knew he had made a mistake. We will definitely find a way to get back over there again.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Settling In–Well Sort Of

AJ, AZ – It’s been hot. 100 a couple of days ago and setting all kinds of new records.

I had thought by now that we would be settled enough that I could catch up on blog reading because I am so far behind. But somehow we are busier than ever and my internet connection is so slow. I really think I need a new Wi-Fi.

happyWe went to visit Aunt Happy who is still amazing. She turned 103 last August. She had a great summer with no health issues except for a little arthritis in her hands. We talked about the election (she’s as fed up as we are with both candidates) and the fact that she had already voted. She is also very worried about the impact of the election on the stock market and what it will do to her money situation. Like she says, she never expected to live this long. She also had a pair of earrings that had broken. These are very inexpensive earrings which happen to be one of her favorite. Other people told her she should just throw them away, but she told them that Jim could fix them. If Jim couldn’t fix them and told her to throw them away, then she would. Well, Jim could fix them which made her so very happy. It was a wonderful visit.

Skittlez is glad to be home again.

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We’ve been spending a lot of time being welcomed back to the park. Jim and I were talking about how much more of a community we live in here in AJ than we did in Billings when we were working. For us, this is a comfortable feeling. We can be as involved as we want to be and still know that if we need any help, there are always folks around.

Another first for us. We now have DirecTV. We have never had satellite TV before and we almost didn’t get it this time. Jim loves NASCAR and a lot of the races are not available on antenna TV. I finally decided we’d bite the bullet and get him NASCAR and a few channels for me.

But it sure didn’t happen without lots of problems. The salesman who took Jim’s order didn’t get it right at all. We wanted two receivers and two dishes so we can have satellite TV in the Bungalow also. The installer showed up on Thursday with only one set up. We thought he could at least do that one and then come back to do the Bungalow, but if he did that, they would charge us an installation fee for the Bungalow. The installer called back in to reschedule for us and told whoever what we wanted. Scheduled for Friday morning.

Friday morning two different guys show up. Took one look and told Jim that they cant install DirecTV in an RV. WHAT!!! Jim took them across the street and showed them two different fifth wheels with DirecTV. He didn’t want them touching our rig and sent them on their way. (These installers are independent contractors and don’t work for DirecTV or AT&T which now owns DirecTV.) Another call to DirecTV. After being transferred four times to different people (including being told to call Wyngard for who knows what reason), he hung up and called back. This time he asked to speak to a manager.

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After a long discussion, they said they finally agreed that they would send out a senior technician Friday afternoon. This guy actually works for AT&T. And he knew what he was doing. Yahoo! After several hours we now have satellite TV. The challenge now is learning how to use the remote.

Mom, get rid of that flash please.

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I want to express my sadness that our dear friend Joe passed away. Our love goes out to his wife Betty at this very sad time. We also have many loved ones fighting Cancer. Retired Rod is still undergoing chemo. Denise (Sassy) is recovering from her brain surgery. Paula (Shadowmoss) is starting her battle with breast Cancer. Our beloved niece, Patti, is going through Chemo for lung Cancer. We ask for prayers for all of them and for everyone else who is fighting the brave fight.

Friday, October 21, 2016

We’re Back

Apache Junction, AZ   High 96  Low 68

We left Las Vegas on Tuesday after spending an extra day because of the wind. We drove to Quartzsite to spend the night before heading into Apache Junction.

Quartzsite is still pretty empty but a few of the folks who spend the winter there are starting to arrive. I’m really not sure why anyone would want to spend the winter in Quartzsite, but each to their own. Some of the restaurants were not open and the vendors were few and far between.

One of my classmates from grade school through high school and her hubby just became full timers and this is their first winter in the southwest. They chose Quartzsite because of friends who are also there. This gave us a chance to have dinner with them and catch up on a lot of old memories.

Wanda and Dale

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We went to the Yacht Club for dinner and it was really good. We will be seeing Wanda and Dale again next September in Billings for our 50th Class Reunion.

We left Quartzsite about 8:15 and other than the usual traffic on I-10, had an uneventful trip back to Apache Junction. We have spent the last two days moving stuff from the Bungalow into the fifth wheel.

But we got the Bungalow settled in her storage space and took a break from “work” to have dinner with Paula at Los Gringos Locos.

It’s good to be back.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV   High 90  Low 67  Windy

The storms that hit the PNW, sent their winds down to Las Vegas. It has really been moving the rig around but it is supposed to die down today and we will be heading out in the morning.

We are camped at the Road Runner RV Park on Boulder Highway. Definitely not anything to write home about but close to our friends. The park does not take reservations but we have not had a problem getting a site if we get here by 11:00. However, we have a small travel trailer. I’m sure the larger sites fill up quite rapidly. The rate is based on the length of your rig. We are 23 feet and our rate is $20.60 per night plus tax. The sites are close together and it is definitely not a park that we would stay in for any length of time. But for the short time we’re here, the price is right.

murrayEven with the wind, we’ve had a lot of fun since we’ve been here. We met up with our friend, Key. He got us tickets to see Murray the Celebrity Magician at Planet Hollywood. Great show, but the music was much too loud for my poor ears. It was a family oriented show and there were lots of children in the audience and they were as much fun to watch as Murray. Thanks Key. We really enjoyed the show.

The next night we went to dinner with Key at the Hash House A Go Go located down in the Linq area. Their menu is really interesting and we were warned ahead of time that the portions they serve are huge. Sure glad we knew that cause Jim and I split the chicken pot pie. Take a look at this serving.

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Key had a hamburger with mashed potatoes.

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The Linq has been decorated for Halloween. Jim and Key made a new friend.

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Another night we went duckpin bowling with Key. In an Airstream. This was a lot of fun. Jim grew up with duckpin bowling and I had heard about it.

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bowling3The balls are much smaller than regular bowling balls and have no holes. The pins are also smaller and in this bowling alley they are attached with wires that set the pins. The rules are the same as bowling – strikes, spares, the foul line.

I bowled two games while the guys bowled three. We did okay and that’s all I’ll say about the scores.

The Airstream is located in the Silverton Casino back in the bar. If you are in Las Vegas, this is definitely a fun stop to make. It cost $3 per person per game.

Table and bench

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Thought this map of the US was really neat. Each state was created by using one or two license plates from that state.

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We also found Jim a motorcycle at the Bass Pro Shops.

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We also were able to catch up with our friends Peter and Steve for a wonderful visit and lunch. Steve and I have been friends since 1968 and have a lot of good memories to share.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

I Can See for Miles and Miles

Las Vegas, NV   High 88  Low 63

After saying goodbye to Boise and family, all we have done is head south. We stayed in McDermitt, NV, Winnemucca, NV, Hawthorne, NV, Beaty, NV and are finally in Las Vegas for a few nights.

road3Those of you who have driven Highway 95 through Nevada will relate to the title of this post. For me, this drive was a wonderful relief from all the trees. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to live out here in the middle of nowhere. But I love being able to see for many miles in all directions.

georgeThe only break we took from our drive was in Hawthorne. Our good friends, George and Sharon live in Walker Lake which is only a few miles from Hawthorne. We had plans to to take them out to dinner, but we found out that Sharon was in Nashville having a good time with her sisters. That meant we got to take George out to dinner and had a great visit with him.

A lonely cloud

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Fun clock

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Hopefully I’ll have a blog or two to post from Las Vegas but after leaving Las Vegas we will take two days to return to our home park in Apache Junction. I know I’ve overwhelmed you with blog posts while we traveled but you’ll be getting a break because we will be doing the normal routines of life. If anything fun or exciting happens, I will post a blog; but I’m kind of looking forward to not being on the go so much.