Monday, January 31, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
This is not Sassy. This is Bennie.
A couple of years ago I discovered a blog written by a single woman who RV’s full time with her Harley. Her companion is the cutest ball of fluff named Bennie.
Denise (Sassy) had some problems and had to leave the road for awhile but I never did delete her blog from my blog list. So when she did get on the road again, up popped her posts. She is from Newfoundland so she can only spend six months down here in the states before she has to head back to Canada.
We started to e-mail and I invited her to join us in Yuma if she felt up to boondocking. At first she really wasn’t sure that she wanted to do that – she does like her hook ups. (That’s true with most of us but for a few weeks, boondocking is great.) She also is a loner and the thought of a whole bunch of people was rather overwhelming.
But I finally convinced her to give it a try. She didn’t have to park with the group. She could park further away and didn’t have to join in the big group activities unless she wanted to.
We were already in Yuma and she told me when she would be arriving. I saw this Class C towing a trailer pull into our area and went out to wave to her. However, this Class C had two people in it and a guy on a motorcycle following behind them. I told Jim I just waved at the wrong people and decided to put our girls in the motor home. Came back out and here come these three people.
Definitely was Sassy and a couple of friends she had met on the road who wanted to keep her company until she got to Yuma. You can read more about this on her blog at http://sassysondaroad.blogspot.com
We have had a wonderful time getting to know Denise and Bennie. Needed to rescue her a couple of times (see her blog for details), and got to introduce her to our other Harley riding friend, Paul.
It really is a lot of fun when you finally get to meet people who have been reading your blog, or whose blog you’ve been reading. What a great life this is.
Friday, January 28, 2011
WELCOMED VISITORS (AND A FEW NOT SO WELCOME)
The desert is a very active community. At one point we had 18 rigs in our group. It was hard to keep track of them because people would leave and new people would move into their spot.
We had some rigs parked near us that didn’t belong to our group but their owners dropped by to say hi and visit for awhile.
We also had a problem with people driving through our campsite. Not only did they drive ATV’s and bikes through, but also cars, trucks and RV’s. Just amazing to me because we were parked in a U shape so it was quite obvious that the road ended before it got to us. But it didn’t stop them. Terry put up some orange cones at the opening to the U but the wind kept blowing them away.
We also had one couple who forgot to read the most current directions for getting to our site and ended up stuck in the sand. But the people in our group rode to the rescue and were able to get them out and lead them back to where they belonged. The funny thing about that is their last name is Sand.
We had Para-sailors who flew over our site and waved to us. Delcie was very sad because they didn’t land and give her a chance to go for a ride with them.
Also, out in the middle of the desert, we had some hummingbirds. Jim tried several times to take pictures of the one that seemed to like our feeder the best. But every time the camera came out the birds would disappear. I wish I could show you his beautiful bronze colored neck that absolutely glowed in the sunlight. He was shy, I guess.
VISITING, RELAXING, AND CAMPFIRES
One of our main goals this year for our reunion was to give everybody a chance to just sit and visit and catch up with other RVers. We’ve all had a year of wonderful and some not so wonderful experiences that we needed to talk over.
There are campgrounds that we liked and ones that we didn’t like. Places to see that are definite musts and others that were maybes. All of this information needed to be shared.
So that’s what we did. We sat outside in the sun during the day and around campfires at night.
I found that if I headed outside with my book I could have several friends sitting out there with me within a matter of minutes. Isn’t that just the best way ever to read a book. With the book closed and lots of friends nearby.
There was also a lot of food to be eaten. Even our happy hours turned into a time for snacking.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
That’s right, sunrise. Not sunset. At least not this time. It’s really hard to believe that we were up early enough to get these pictures, but it does happen occasionally.
We had some really bad wind a couple of nights while we were on BLM land. Everybody was up at 3:00 a.m. making sure the chairs were all folded up so they couldn’t blow away, that awnings were in, and the fire was out.
We also pulled in our big slide cause we were rocking pretty good. Nothing like we had in Quartzsite last year though when we had those 70 mph winds and rain.
All in all the weather was beautiful the second week we were there.
AND STILL MORE
I have no idea why my names won't line up with the pictures but at least they are in the right order so you can identify people.
Denise just yelled at me because I hadn’t posted anything for so long so here goes. It’s just that we were so busy doing nothing that I just didn't have time to post.
But now I’m back in Apache Junction and I should have more “spare” time and I can get caught up. So prepare to be bombarded with posts.
I want to continue introducing you to some of the people who joined us in the desert outside Yuma. These pictures were taken the night we went out to dinner at Da Boyz Italian Cuisine. The food was really good and the service wonderful. This is definitely a place we would go back to again.
Monday, January 17, 2011
REUNION - #2
Okay – let’s see if I can introduce you to some of the people that we have gathered here.
This is Paul. Carol has her back to us.
One of the problems with our January Reunion is the fact that we are all too busy visiting to keep up with our blogs. At least I am.
It’s really amazing how time flies by when you spend the day sitting outside visiting with old and new friends. The men seem to congregate in their circle and the women into theirs.
The men are solving the problems of an RV world like solar, tires, batteries, and amperage. Women are so much more diverse – every topic is open for discussion and we seem to hit them all.
When we arrived on Sunday only Doug and Toni were here. By this Sunday we have 17 rigs parked in our area. (Carol took this picture and Toni posted it on her FB page, so I borrowed it. Isn’t it just wonderful.)
We have had several happy hours, finger food hours, a couple of pot lucks and an outing to the seafood buffet at the Q casino. Notice we continue with the food theme that you will find with any group of RVers.
The first few days we were here the weather was cold and windy. Everybody was bundled up and nobody stayed outside very late.
Monday, January 10, 2011
BLM – YUMA OR WINTERHAVEN
Jim plans on doing some fishing at Martinez Lake which is between Yuma and Quartzsite, so I drove the truck and towed the boat following behind the motor home.
It was a beautiful day for traveling even though it got off to kind of a rough start. We had been sitting in Apache Junction for seven weeks and our coach battery needed to be charged and all of the coach tires needed to be pumped up. So we were a little late getting out of town.
But we finally made it to our Reunion Site. The actual address is Winterhaven, CA but Yuma is right next door to Winterhaven and better known so we usually call it the BLM out of Yuma.
Toni and Doug had arrived shortly before we did and after some looking around, we found a spot that should work out really well for the reunion.
Several people are already in Yuma but they are in RV Parks in the area. Hopefully some of them will come out and join us this week.
Jim had to go up on the roof to fix the TV antenna so while he was up there I had him take some pictures of the area. As you can see, we have lots of room available.
Jim and my brother-in-law, Don, went fishing on about the most perfect day we’ve had since we’ve been back this year. Don said the water was just as smooth as glass.
However, the water temperature is still really cold. Surface temp was only about 57 and Jim said you couldn’t get the fish to bite even if you threw the bait in their mouth. So our hopes of a fish fry any time soon are being dashed.
Jim said this bird was the best fisher (man, thing, whatever) out on the lake. Judy, if you’re reading this – any idea what it is?
Thursday, January 6, 2011
We finally got to take our tour this morning. Thank goodness we’re retired and flexible with our plans.
We picked up Judy, Don and Paul once again and headed to the University of Phoenix stadium. This stadium is where the Arizona Cardinals play their home games.
This was really a great tour and I would recommend it to everyone. One of the facts that really caught my attention was that the stadium has the University of Phoenix name. They pay $7.7 million a year for 20 years for this right. And the University of Phoenix does not have a football team. Or any athletic team for that matter.
Here are some other facts about the stadium. I couldn’t remember most of the facts that Cheryl gave us during the tour but I was able to find most of them on line.
The stadium features the only rollout field AND retractable roof in North America. Dallas now has a rollout field with their new stadium. The field was rolled in while we were there because of the Fiesta Bowl last week-end and the BCS game this next Monday night.
This is one of the luxury lofts.
Approximately 63,400 permanent seats, expandable to 72,200 seats. It had the extra seats in place during our tour because of the BCS game. 88 luxury lofts, approximately 7,400 Club Seats, Two 39,000 square foot Club Lounges
77 - Public Restrooms - and yes they have more women’s than men’s (35 for the women and 30 for the men). The other 12 are family restrooms.
10 elevators and 18 escalators for public use. If you have a luxury loft, you, of course, have four private elevators to your seats.
The exterior is supposed to represent a barrel cactus. I just don’t see it. We took a vote and we think it looks more like Jiffy Pop. Remember those?
We weren’t allowed in the Cardinals locker room but we toured the visitor’s locker room. Not very fancy.
- The stadium seats, if set in a straight line, would stretch for approximately eighteen (18) miles.
- The amount of concrete used on the stadium is equal to 900 miles of sidewalk, the distance between Phoenix and San Francisco.
- The stadium air-conditioning system will generate 8,000 tons of cooling capacity, enough to cool 2,300 residential homes in the Phoenix area.
- These people are cleaning the seats and checking to see if any of them need to be repaired.
- Two massive "thermometers" at the south end zone gauge crowd noise. The north end zone bridge displays photos of past players.
- There are six levels in the stadium: the field (or service) level; the main concourse, the club level, the suite level; the upper concourse and the mechanical level.
- The luxurious Club Level features wider seats, preferred parking, private entrances, and climate controlled club lounges with multiple two-story spaces, comfortable seating, plentiful TV monitors, upgraded food and beverage offerings and dedicated restrooms.
This is the press room. Everybody on the tour thought this would be a great place to watch the game from. Of course, this was before we got to see the luxury box seats.
The grass field rolls out of the stadium on a 18.9 million pound tray, residing outside of the stadium except for football and soccer events. This picture shows where the field resides when it is outside. If work needs to be done on the watering system or the rollers, they have a “jiffy lube” type area where the engineers can work under the field.
- The grass field remains outside the stadium in the sun until game day getting the maximum amount of sunshine and nourishment, eliminating humidity problems inside the stadium and providing unrestricted access to the stadium floor for events and staging.
- The site has the stadium situated along a slight northwest to southeast axis for maximum sun exposure for the field in the outboard position.
- Having the rollout field saves $50 million in costs since it is more economical to move the field than having the entire roof retract to allow the necessary sunshine to reach the grass.
- The roll out playing field weighs 18.9 million pounds and will travel at a speed of 11.5 feet/minute (1/8 mph); it will take approx. 75 minutes to travel approximately 741 feet.
- The field is 234 feet wide x 403 feet long and 39 inches tall.
- Field tray rests on 13 rail tracks and moves in and out of the stadium on 546 steel wheel assemblies (42 rows).
- 76 - of the wheel sets are powered by a 1- horsepower motor (total = 76 hp).
- The field will support approximately 94,000 square feet (over 2 acres) of natural grass.
- The grass is a Bermuda hybrid. It was planted by using plugs that provide the best long-term field conditions.
- The tray has a fairly sophisticated irrigation system that works on timers and can be customized. The water will drain through a 1-inch-deep mat and several pipes that lead to a main drainpipe underneath the field tray.
- A few inches of water will remain in the tray while the field is in play to keep the grass moist.
- The translucent “Bird-Air” fabric roof will allow the stadium to have an open, airy feel even when the roof is closed. The roof has two large retractable panels that will uncover the entire playing field while providing maximum shading for fans. The roof can be closed and the facility air conditioned in the hot months, while the roof can be opened to take advantage of the Valley’s world-famous climate in cooler months.
- The roof is supported by two 700-foot long trusses.
- Each truss is 87 feet high at its tallest point and weighs about 1,800 tons.
- The top of the roof is 206 feet above grade.
- Each roof panel weighs 550 tons.
- The roof takes approx. 15 minutes to open.