Friday, April 23, 2010


Montezuma was an Aztec ruler in Mexico and never visited Arizona - at least not as far as anybody knows. However, when the first Euro-American explorers (who were veterans of the Mexican-American War) saw these great cliff dwellings and large pueblos with standing walls, they didn't believe the local people had the knowledge or the ability to construct such imposing structures and so they attributed them to the Aztecs, whose magnificent ruins they had seen in Mexico.

A popular Marine marching song of the time referred to the Halls of Montezuma or Mexico City, center of the Aztec world. These veterans felt the Aztec king had to have been somehow involved in building these dwellings so they called them Montezuma Castle.

The people who actually lived here, the Sinaguas, inhabited these dwellings at least a century before Montezuma was even born.

The Castle is built into a deep alcove with masonry rooms and a roof of sycamore beams, reeds, and clay. Entrance to most areas was usually through a hole in the roof and by using a ladder. It consisted of 19 rooms and would have housed 35 to 50 people. Nearby is Castle A, which had 45 to 50 rooms. (Castle A is not as well preserved as the Castle.) The Castle is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The higher elevation gives some relief from mosquitoes and other vermin.

Montezuma Castle is located along Beaver Creek which was a necessary source of water for their survival and for watering their crops. The park service has made a diorama of what the Castle would have looked like when it was inhabited.

The Arizona Sycamore has been around for 63 million years. It has a ghostly white trunk and will reach heights of 80 feet and live at least 200 years. The Sinaguas used the tree for many of the support beams still visible in Montezuma Castle. Some of these beams, which were hoisted 80 feet above the valley floor, are estimated to weigh over two tons.

Montezuma Well is a natural limestone sinkhole. Water entering Montezuma Well is at a constant 74 degrees with a flow of over 1,400,000 gallons a day. The high levels of Carbon Dioxide (nearly 100 times higher than most natural water holes) means there are no fish in the well. But there is a unique aquatic community that has developed and four of these species are found nowhere else on earth. Algae thrive in the caron dioxide and provides food for amphipods (tiny shrimp like animals), leeches and night-swimming water scorpions. Scientists do not know where the consistently warm water in the Well comes from.


It's time for a few more pictures of our girls. We enjoy them so much even when they are really pains to have around. They get so demanding - wanting to go out and wanting to eat and have water to drink and be loved and played with, and needing a lap to sit on. Why ever do we put up with them? Do you suppose it's because of unconditional love no matter what?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We got set up in the Fairgrounds RV Park in Prescott Valley, AZ. I knew that Boris & Natasha (Paul and Mary) were going to be in Prescott to have some work done on their Winnebago. I was able to get hold of Mary and we decided we'd get together for dinner. (Their user name on the Escapees Forum is Boris & Natasha and their motorhome is Bullwinkle.)

Another friend Paul - had told us we needed to visit Whisky Row in Prescott. We picked up the other Paul and Mary and headed to Prescott.

Whiskey Row is the 100 Block of South Montezuma Street so named because of the more than 40 saloons that once lined the streets. On July 14, 1900, The Row was totally destroyed by fire and rebuilt by 1905.

The Row was originally located a couple blocks west. It was moved because of the insistence of manhy of the local employers and wives. The patrons of The Tow had to cross a foot bridge over Granite Creek to return home and in the west season, some of the more sot would fall into this very shallow creek and drown.

The Hotel St. Michael is decorated with gargoyles which allegedly represent images of local potiticans. Teddy Roosevelt, Zane Gray and Tom Mix are some of the more famous people who stayed at the hotel.

The Palace Saloon served libations to the likes of Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. When the fire destroyed The Row, the patrons of the Palace were able to save most of the liquor and the bar itself. They knew where their priorities lay.

We decided to stop in The Bird Cage Saloon before we went to dinner. This place was really going strong and we found out it was trivia night. We had a wonderful time trying to answer the questions and carrying on. It's named The Bird Cage because of the marvelous collection of mounted birds displayed all over the saloon.

After having a great time Paul asked his new found friends (Team 8 - The Retired Porno Stars) for a dinner recommendation. They sent us to the Brewing Company and the food was excellent. But better still was the company.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Jan and Bill told us about this place in Black Canyon, AZ. We had been carrying on about how good the apple pie was from Stouts in Willcox, AZ. Jan told us that these pies were even better.

Of course, on our way to the Sedona area Jim and I just had to stop and find out for ourselves. Jan had warned us to order our pie first but stupid us, we just couldn't listen to her. We ordered a hamburger and what a hamburger. After finishing the hamburger we knew we couldn't eat any pie.
We had wanted to have some apple pie so we could compare it with Stouts but they were out of apple. My next choice was blueberry but they were out of it, also. (Notice: Jim doesn't have a say in the kind of pie we're getting.) We both agreed that peach sounded good and we left with an entire pie. Had a piece later and it was fabulous. However, since it wasn't apple, it just wouldn't be fair to say that it was better than Stouts. But it was as good as. Thanks Jan.


After all the rain we've had this year in Arizona, the desert has really come alive with color this spring. I just want to share some of these beautiful colors and textures with you.

The one picture is a desert field of yellow flowers. Definitely not brown here in Arizona this year.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We are always looking for different and unique places to eat. Jim's favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Now don't get me wrong, he loves his other meals too. But breakfast food is his favorite.

I found rave reviews for this restaurant on the internet and we decided to make the trek into Phoenix to try it out. It was almost 40 miles from our home to the restaurant and we were doing this in rush hour traffic. I was pleasantly surprised at how well traffic flowed and we got to the restaurant about 8:45.

There was already a line of people waiting to eat so we signed in and waited about 30 minutes for our table. (If you look real close you can see our reflections in the window while we waited.) The restaurant is quite small but they keep everything and everybody moving nicely.

Jim had the hog and chick breakfast. Notice the size of the servings. The food was good but we both agreed the potatoes and the eggs were undercooked. I think they were trying to get people in and out too fast. The bacon and ham were wonderful and so was the toast.

This was a "do once" place for us unless we happened to be in downtown Phoenix (which I can't imagine why we would ever be in downtown Phoenix for anything).


We took a Sunday afternoon drive up to the top of South Mountain. It's in the south Phoenix area and our neighbor recommended we take the time to go up and see the view. And it is a gorgeous view.

South Mountain park is over 16,000 acres of Sonoran Desert country. Dobbins Lookout is the highest point in the park accessible to the public.

I'm sure the sunsets from up at the Lookout are beautiful, but there were so many families there with children that we didn't stay to find out. We see beautiful sunsets every night here in the desert in our rv park.


Two of Jim's favorite things - fishing and NASCAR. He has been able to enjoy both of these things while we've been here in Apache Junction. This is the bait shop where he hangs out trying to figure out how to out smart those fish.

The fishing hasn't been very good this year at Saguaro Lake But this was a nice looking bass that he hooked. It was all catch and release so maybe this bass will be waiting for him next year and will have gotten even bigger.

The ducks were also really happy with the weather and decided to keep Jim company while he was fishing.

He went to the NASCAR race last Saturday night out at Phoenix International Raceway. He left about 12:30 and didn't get home until almost midnight. But what a great time he had. His driver (Dale Jr.) didn't win but the green, white, checker ending kept everybody near their seats. I say near because nobody is sitting down for this part of the race.

He definitely wants to do it all over again next year.

Friday, April 9, 2010


One of my readers commented that it looked like we went to Africa when we went to the zoo. And that is where we did spend most of our time. The zoo is divided into different habitats and we need to go back and spend time in the other areas. But with both of our guys being diabetics, it was time for us to find some food for them.

I had found a hot dog place on line that got rave reviews and we all love hot dogs. So Jim programmed the address into the GPS and off we went. Well I have no idea where it was trying to take us but we ended up in an area of town that most people never see. That was after taking a tour of the Phoenix airport thanks to the GPS. I finally said enough is enough. We got back on 60 and I told Jim to just pick an exit and we'd find some place to eat. He took McClintock and as we were driving down the street, we come up the intersection with Broadway. Don looks over and says "There's the hot dog place." Sure enough. There was Ted's.

We pulled in and went inside. There was a long line but we weren't going to give up at this point. They have every kind of hot dog from regular dogs to polish sausages to Italian sauages. They also offer hamburgers but I'm not sure why you'd want a hamburger in a hot dog joint. Jim and I both had polish's and they were fantastic. Jim also had a vanilla shake and it was really great. We shared an order of onion rings and they were okay. Next time I'll have the fries. Notice the next time. We will definitely go back again. I want to try their hot dog next time.

But we definitely won't be using the GPS to get there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've mentioned before how much I enjoy the blog postings of my friend Jeri and this time she outdid herself. So I am going to borrow her blog post because I want it to be in my blog book when I have it printed up.
Of all the dogs she mentions in her post, I've met all of them except for Titan, the Great Dane. Therefore, they are all a part of our rving world and also a part of Scooter and Skittlez's life. Well maybe not Skittz because she's my coward.
Here's to you Duchess:

I started to title this Duchess' friends but then realized that these are really her acquaintances.
She'd like to make them all her friends but some just don't play the way she wants to play. She especially likes cats. She likes to chase them. However, she didn't even realize cats existed until last summer. As a then 8-year-old dog, she hadn't been exposed to any cats until then. That also marked the first time she didn't turn around and come right back to us when we called too. It was like a kid in love. She was in love with discovering them. About the same time she discovered squirrels. Thank goodness they can run up a tree and she can't.

She also tries to be friends with the little dogs but that doesn't always work either especially if the little dog is a dachshund or even a Boston Terrier. They just kind of ignore her. Dachshunds are actually the alfa dog. Well, at least two out of the three she has met are. People would tend to think that the Doberman is the aggressor. Not so with many small breeds. She's actually afraid of some. And, if she's not afraid of them they are afraid of her. Two dachshunds, Scooter and Belle, totally ignore her but she certainly knows they are boss. Skittlez (the third) wants nothing to do with her . . . ever.

Many pets allow their RV families to travel with them. That's actually how it is and not the other way around. You've got to admit that in most cases coming back as an RV dog is really a dog's life. The ones we've met are certainly catered to, pampered, fed, loved, offered lots of travel, provided with shelter and they don't even have to work until retirement. They start out being retired. What a life!

We've met many on the road. We've even met Bella. Bella is a cat that allows Paul and Marsha to accompany her on her travels. When she takes her daily walks she actually requires one to hold on to her leash so they don't get lost. Duchess doesn't play with Bella. We won't allow it.

Some dogs travel and do tricks for their owners. Duchess knows how to sit if food is being offered. And, most of the time she knows what stay means. Those aren't the only words she knows. She knows hot dog, walk, eat, go and ready plus a few others that have a special meaning to her. Obviously, these weren't words we taught her. She learned the meaning of those pretty fast. As most pet owners know, some words have to be spelled at times so the pets won't know what we're talking about.

Along the route Duchess has attached herself to some real playmates. She's been able to romp in the fields and have a super good time. However, these dogs are about the same size . . . or bigger, as in Titan, a Great Dane. Now with Titan she does try to be the alfa dog. He's the male and she's the female. She also tried to pull the same trick with her other boyfriend, Parker. Parker let her get away with it also.

Duchess met Millie in Arizona but didn't get much of an opportunity to play. She's an active dog with lots of energy. However, she had just had surgery so playing wasn't such a good idea at the time.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the relationship with Bandit and Kora. The dogs seemed to tolerate each other well. After all, they did spend some time together, but we didn't get to see them running around and acting like foolish school kids. They actually seemed to ignore each other . . . or did I miss something? Well, Bandit lost a lot of food and snacks when Duchess visited her place. Most dogs lose their supply of treats when she's around. Their treats are always better than her own.

These are just a few of the RV friends who Duchess has met on the road this year. Even dogs have a group they look forward to seeing again as the seasons change. And, last year there was a whole other group of them. Who knows what new friends this year will bring.