Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Rick and Paulette (http://rickpaulettervjournal.blogspot.com/) held a contest on their blog. Rick had received five extra copies of the 2011 version of Microsoft Streets & Trips and he was kind enough to want to share them with his blog followers.

We won! I am so excited about using this program. I’ve read really good things about it but have never bought it. I’m sure it will save us from a lot of the situations I’ve gotten us into that took Jim a lot of maneuvering to get us out of.

microsoft-streets-trips-2011-20100615_thumb[2] I’ll give you an update after I’ve had a chance to use the software. Since most of you know I am not a computer person, it could prove very interesting.

However, I do need to get some tax returns done before I spend much time playing so be patient.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


DSCN0489 With the drought that AZ is experiencing, this is one scary sight. The fire was across the road from the Olive Mill as we were leaving.

IMG_0366 The fire trucks arrived shortly and put the fire out without it spreading which is a blessing.


schnepf_logo_082607_1_001 We’re always looking for cheap entertainment (especially with the gas prices lately) and my sister found an ad for the Peach Blossom festival at Schnepf Farm. The admission price was perfect – free.

Schnepf Farm is a working farm that has also become a tourist attraction in Queen Creek, AZ.

IMG_0351 They offer a lot of family friendly activities including train rides, hayrides, a petting zoo, and a small group of carnival rides for the kids. Since we were there on a week day, there weren’t very many children (except a few young ones) so none of the rides were running. Probably a good thing because I’m not sure we could have kept Jim and Don off of them.

IMG_0349 We did take the train ride ($2 per person) through the orchards but I was disappointed because there is no narrative on the ride. You just ride through the trees with no explanation of how things are done.

IMG_0361 I didn’t know that they flooded the peach trees but here in the desert the trees need lots of water. They love the sunshine however and thrive in this climate.

peach blossoms The blossoms were not very big yet so I borrowed a picture from their website of the beautiful peach blossoms.

IMG_0346 They also offer food, of course. Jim really enjoyed his warm peace cinnamon roll. The rest of us opted for peach pie which was excellent.

dininggrovesm After leaving the farm we also stopped at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. We thought we might take the tour of the mill but we decided not to the spend the money. All of the olive oil they had for sale was quite expensive and I am not an olive oil aficionado so I couldn’t tell the difference between most of the oils we sampled. I also do not like olives. So no tour and no purchases for us.


Jim has been out fishing several days when the weather permitted but he wasn’t having much luck with the catching part of fishing. That is until this last week.

IMG_0329 He decided to go out later in the day and along about 5:30 (when he normally starts to head in) he started to get some hits. That’s when he pulled in these beautiful large mouth bass.






And no, he didn’t keep them. They are both females and are full of eggs (which you can really tell in the picture of the biggest fish). So back they went into the water to have lots of little fish that hopefully will grow up so Jim can catch some of them next year.

Isn’t this picture of the sunset on the lake just incredibly beautiful?



IMG_0321 I love the Superstition Mountains. And I especially love the history and tales that surround them.

Jim, Dianna (my friend from grade school) and I headed up to visit Goldfield which is only about five miles from Apache Junction. Jim and I had been there two years ago but I wasn’t able to do much walking because of my ankle and I really wanted to go again. Dianna had never been there before, so off we went.


IMG_0320Situated atop a small hill between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains, the settlement of Goldfield got its start in 1892 when very rich, high grade gold ore was found in the area. A town soon sprang up and on October 7, 1893 it received its first official post office.

IMG_0324 This “official” find, coupled with the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine, which had been circulating for years, led plenty of new miners to the area and in no time, the town boasted three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school. For five years the town boomed until some 1,500 souls were residing in the burgeoning city.

IMG_0326 But like other gold camps, Goldfield’s bustling days were quickly dashed when the vein of gold ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped even more. Just five years after it began, the town found itself quickly dying. The miners moved on, the post office was discontinued on November 2, 1898, and Goldfield became a ghost town. (Don’t the Superstition Mountains look beautiful in the background of this picture?)

IMG_0323 However, some prospectors clung on to the area, sure to find the elusive Lost Dutchman Mine or perhaps, a brand new vein. Others tried to reopen the existing mines, but all attempts were unsuccessful,


But Goldfield was obviously not destined to die permanently. In 1966, Robert F. “Bob” Schoose, a long time ghost town, mining, and treasure-hunting enthusiast made his first trip to the Superstition Mountains and instantly fell in love with the area. He moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1970 and soon began to dream of owning his own ghost town. He had heard of the old site of Goldfield, but upon inspection, he found little left other than a few foundations and rambling shacks. He and his wife, Lou Ann, then located another five-acre site that was once the location of the Goldfield Mill and decided  to rebuild the old town.



IMG_0322 Purchasing the old mill site in 1984, they first reconstructed a mining tunnel, which included a snack bar and opened for business in 1988. Next came a photo shop, the Blue Nugget, a General Store, the Mammoth Saloon and the Goldfield Museum.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


DSCN0321 Last Saturday (when the sun was still shining) My sister and her hubby joined us for the drive to Scottsdale to attend this parade.

On Friday the festivities kicked off with a reenactment of the Hashknife Pony Express where  riders brave weather, terrain and more obstacles on a 200-mile trek from Holbrook, Arizona to Scottsdale. 

DSCN0360 Members of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Posse pick up mail along the way and camp overnight in towns like Heber, Pine and Strawberry to deliver over 1,000 letters to the main post office in Old Town Scottsdale just like they did in the Old West.

DSCN0347 Then on Saturday they hold the Parada del Sol which means “walk in the sun”. This parade has the distinction of being known as the World’s Largest Horse Drawn Parade.

  DSCN0436It was a wonderful parade. Some of the most gorgeous horses ever.






DSCN0464 A couple of golden retriever rescue groups, amazing bike riders, and wonderful Mexican dancers. Along with high school bands and other odds and ends of organizations.


DSCN0368 Sheriff Joe was also in attendance along with the Mayor and City Council of Scottsdale.

DSCN0315 Jim took well over 200 pictures of the parade and I’ve spent the last week going through them trying to decide which ones to post. Sure hope you enjoy them.



DSCN0316 Bringing up the end of the parade was Walter The Bus. An amazing contraption built with lots of love and artistic endeavor. I really recommend that you visit his website at www.walterthebus.com and find out more about him.DSCN0483 DSCN0310



Wednesday, February 16, 2011


IMG_0318When you own an RV, things need to be fixed just like in a stix and bricks. The difference is that our home has wheels and we take it into the service shop rather than having them come to us to fix it. We needed some recall work on the propane tank done and Jim wanted to have our generator checked.

We dealt with Holiday RV in Mesa last year when we needed work done and were happy with them. So called them about this work. They have been bought out and are now Luxury RV, but Drew, the Service Manager, was still there. We made an appointment and took the rig in on Tuesday of last week.

We have found that that nothing gets done as rapidly as it should be done and we ended up spending the night at their facility. We had neighbors who had purchased a new, larger motor home and were trying to move all their stuff into it.

They were able to finish up the work on Wednesday which included new faucets in both the kitchen and the bathroom. We are now settled again in our spot at the Santa Fe RV Park.

Monday, February 14, 2011


valentines-day-heart To all my wonderful blog friends, I wish you a truly wonderful day.

I want to share with you my love story so I hope you don’t mind how personal this post will be.



hawiai 011 I grew up in a very loving home with parents who loved each other on this earth for 67 years until Mom died and that love continues today. I have two sisters, one of whom died as a baby before I was born, and a younger brother. We lived next door to my grandparents – my Dad’s parents. A very ordinary wonderful family.

hawiai 043 (My brother, Rob) My parents raised me to be an independent person for which I am so grateful to them. I was always heavy, even as a child. So dating wasn’t a part of my high school years and I think that also contributed to my independence. When I was in my 20’s my weight increased and so did my loneliness. My 30th birthday was one of the most horrible times of my life because I was alone. I had wonderful, wonderful friends but no special person in my life.

At the age of 31 I decided to have gastric by pass surgery. This was back when this surgery was brand new and required many weeks of recovery. I came through the surgery with some problems but as the weight began to come off, I was ecstatic.

irs At this time I also got a job promotion within the IRS and moved to Washington, DC. A whole new life for me where I finally started dating. But still not anyone that I felt that special connection with. As the years passed I became very content with my single life. I traveled often (always have had that gypsy spirit), I was dating some really nice guys, had a lot of great friends, and was very happy.

MVI_6794 Then one night at a country western dance hall, this guy asked me to dance. After the hall closed, a bunch of people went out to breakfast and this guy realized my friend, Linda, and I didn’t have any idea where to go so he had us follow him. Then he paid for our breakfast – WOW – what a gentleman. As we left there, Linda said: “I think we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of this guy.” (This is the Linda that joined us for our Niagara Falls adventure last September.)

What a true statement. This wonderful man became my husband. Not without some difficulties though. He had already been married twice and had vowed never to get married again. No way, no how, never. Isn’t it great that we always have the option to change our minds if we’re willing to open up our hearts.

We will be married 25 years on our anniversary this year and I love him more now than ever.

jim These are the words from the card he gave me this morning:

To My Wife

Remember when it all began … when all we had was each other and that was enough? But our life is so much richer now. We’ve dreamed together, worked hard together, and seen some of our dreams come true. We’ve made a good life for ourselves with the best family anyone could ask for.

What we have now is so much more than what we started with and yet it’s still the same… We have each other and that will always be enough for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.


I love stories with happy endings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


IMG_0314 Isn’t it fun when you can reconnect with someone from your far distant pass? Meet Dianna. She and I went to elementary school together many, many years ago in Sidney, MT.

Our paths have crossed several times over the years, especially since I convinced her to go to work for the IRS where I worked. Then I moved to Washington, DC and she stayed in MT. She transferred to Alaska and then down to Phoenix and I returned to MT. I retired from the IRS while living in MT and hit the road. Dianna was living in Phoenix but transferred to Fargo, ND and she just retired this month. She still owns her home in Phoenix and decided to live down here for awhile.

She came over to dinner and we got caught up. She’s still in vacation mode instead of retirement life so hasn’t quite learned this slowing down process. But I’m working on her.


IMG_0313 We had another get together at Jan and Bill’s house in Casa Grande. Lee and Loralie were there as well as Dave and Sherry, John and Karen and several other couples from the SKP Chapter.

Spent the afternoon visiting and catching up and figuring out where people were headed next and when. The usual stuff of RVers.





IMG_0248 When we visited with my aunt and cousin in Yuma, we found out they were having a family get together at my cousin’s daughter’s house in Tempe. Jim and I decided we needed to crash the party.


IMG_0252 They had hamburgers on the grill and all kinds of other good stuff to go with it. Got to visit with my other cousins some of whom I haven’t seen in at least 20 years. Had a really nice time and was sure glad we made the decision to drop in.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Back in Apache Junction we have been doing laundry, more laundry, and more laundry. We’ve also been sweeping and vacuuming and dusting and then doing it all over again to try and get rid of some of the sand and dirt from three weeks of boon docking. (Even with all the work that comes afterwards, I still love being out there in the desert.)

We stopped at Blue Beacon and had the outside of the coach washed. For $35 they sure do a great job of getting the desert off the rig.

Took time to visit with my Aunt Happy and my sister. And then the cold weather set in. It’s really hard to work up any enthusiasm for doing very much when it is so cold.

IMG_0294 Jim got one day of fishing in before it got so cold and we took a drive up the Apache Trail.




IMG_0257 The Apache Trail was a stagecoach route that ran through the Superstition Mountains. It was named after the Apache Indians who originally used this trail to move through the mountains.


IMG_0291This historic road covers some of the most rugged terrain in Arizona. The Trail winds steeply through 40 miles of rugged desert mountains, past Canyon and Apache lakes. The land surrounding the road rises steeply to the north to form the Four Peaks Wilderness Area and to the south to form the Superstition Wilderness Area.

IMG_0262 The narrow, winding road is unpaved from just east of Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Dam.




IMG_0258 There are steep cliff drops and little in the way of safety barriers. The trail requires caution when driving and it is not recommended for large vehicles. In fact, this 40 miles took us 3 hours to cover because the road is definitely not in good condition. Most of the time you can only drive about 25 mph and a lot of the road you are down to 10 mph. But absolutely beautiful scenery.

IMG_0261 A couple of years ago I posted about our trip to Goldfield Ghost Town, The Lost Dutchman Museum, Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat. The road had been washed out so we didn’t venture any further on that journey.


IMG_0275 This post will show pictures of the area past Tortilla Flat up to Apache Lake.




IMG_0282 From Apache Lake we continued on another 12 miles of unpaved, often one lane road, to Roosevelt Dam and Lake, and then to Globe and back to Apache Junction on the paved road.


IMG_0284There is a campground at the north end of Apache Lake – Burnt Corral. It was really a nice campground, right on the lake and beautiful sites. But there is no way I would try and take our motor home into it on that road. Maybe if we had a pickup and camper. Jim said the fishing would have to be spectacular in Apache Lake before he would even be willing to take the boat over that road.

IMG_0301  Had lunch at Hog Haven in Globe which serves really good BBQ but I go for the fries.


There are also some really nice campgrounds around Roosevelt Lake and we plan on taking the motor home up there for a week. We’re going on the paved road up through Globe this time.