Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thousand Trails

 Thursday was the day we departed the desert, not completely, just the area outside of Quartzsite AZ. We are now enjoying the comforts of a resort in the southern CA desert. We have hook-ups again, and after three weeks of boon docking it is great to have. We also have the comforts of a resort, pool, hot tub, clubhouse, and all the things that go along with "park" living, including neighbors close enough to hear things we shouldn't.

 Leaving Q was a task all in its own, the traffic was backed up 1.5 miles from I-10 so getting to the pilot station for fuel took a while. Once I got to pilot the line to get fuel was backed up to the point where I had to wait in the middle of the road while a couple cars filled up, before I could get on the lot and in line. Patience prevailed and before noon we were rolling west on I-10.

 We pulled into the Thousand Trails Palm Springs Preserve around 3 pm, (we gained an hour because of the time change). At the rangers station (guard shack) we were told to "pick our own site" which is very uncommon for larger resorts. Out of almost 400 sites we had to choose between three open sites we found, so the preserve is pretty full.

 We bought a membership to the TT, last March because we are slowing down a bit. For almost 5 years we haven't stayed in one spot very long, except when Marcia was working, so we think we are ready to spend a couple weeks in one spot, then to another area and spend a couple weeks. With the membership we can spend two weeks at one TT Preserve, (thousand trails park) and then go to the next one and spend two weeks. The problem has been there were no TT preserves where we have been until now.

 The park here is full, or about full everyday, and we were lucky we were able to get  reservations when we did. We will be spending our two weeks here, and then we hope to meet up with Bobbie and Sal at a resort for a couple days before heading closer to San Diego. We will be bouncing around southern CA until we venture back to Yuma, then Tucson, before we cross the country back to Savanna GA where we will greet Jon as he returns from a long tour in Korea.

 Over the next couple weeks I'll be blogging about the Palm Springs area and what we seeing and doing.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Class rally is over.

Here it is the 23rd of Jan already, we have been in the desert for 20 days. We arrived the week before the Class of 2007's  5 year reunion started. We were not the first ones here, and we won't be the last ones here.

 When we arrived Ron and Linda were already here with several from the 2008 and 2009 classes. Several others rolled in and several of the 08-09 ers moved out. I think they moved because one person got their panties all in a wad because she wasn't going to be running the show. It was after all the CLASS OF 2007's 5 year reunion, and ANY Escapee was welcome.

 Mike and Steve spent some time in Yuma acquiring some wood for the fires each night, (thanks Mike and Steve). Several of us made a trip to Los Algadones Mexico before the official start date of the reunion, and on the way back we stopped by Mittry Lake where Mike and Steve were parked and loaded Ron's truck with part of the wood.

 More class mates joined us for the reunion at La Posa South, the long term visitors area of the BLM Land just south of Quartzsite. We had some of the other classes join us also along with some that hadn't joined the Escapees yet. We all piled in parking where ever we wanted to, the parking crew had the week off.

 We had a couple pot luck dinners in the desert, we ate out a few times, one night we all had pulled pork that Mike had smoked. He spent a couple days smoking enough butt for everyone. We watched the ball game on Hank's outside TV, and we spent many nights sitting around the fire telling stories about the past few years.

 One evening we had a chili cook-off, and there was some GOOD chili there. We had everyone judge the chili this time, and we had a tie for first and a tie for second. I was told I was one of the ones tied for second, but my votes went to the cake that someone had baked. It was really good!!!!

 Then there was the auction for C A R E. CARE is like an assisted living place for RV'ers in Livingston TX. All the items were donated, and the monies collected was sent to help CARE. It was a fun auction, we watched Jim Chapman bid several times for Jim Tidball, and Jim T bidding for Jim C, either way you look at it CARE won, and the Class of 2007 will get another patch for donating another $1000. to CARE.

 Saturday was the first bad day, I say bad because we watched our friends David and Kathy hitch up and drive off. Today was another bad day because we watched 6 other rigs hook up and leave our little area in the desert. Thursday several other rigs will be pulling out, but we can take comfort in knowing we will be seeing everyone somewhere down the road.

 And my next blog post will be coming from somewhere down the road..........................

Sunday, January 15, 2012

01-15-2012 Already

Wow, it seams like yesterday that we were celebrating New Years, and now we are starting the third week of 2012.

 We spent the first 4 days of 2012 sitting in the desert in Salome AZ, we were at an Encore Park so we had full hook-ups along with a nice heated swimming pool, and a hot tub. A hot tub is a must in my book for an rv resort, if I'm going to pay the average rates for a site there should be a hot tub in the park.

 On the 5th we moved the rig 35 miles to Quartzsite AZ, we are parked on BLM Land in the desert. We have hundreds of rv neighbors scattered around. Although I don't think there are as many rv's here this year as there was in 2008 when we were here, and everyone said the numbers were down then. Maybe it has to something  do with not being able to find the good deals once offered here in Q.

 We are here for the " Class of 2007" 5 year reunion, all of us "07'ers" will hit the 5 years on the road this year. It was 4 years ago when we first met with about 32 other rigs less than a mile from where we are now. Many of the same people are here now that we met 4 years ago, and we have spent time with them in one place or the other over the last few years.

 The "official" class reunion dates are the 15th - 20th, but many have already been here a few days and many will hang around past the 20th. Later today several more are going to pull in and join us, and then at 4 pm we will have our opening celebrations. The entire week should be full of fun, food, and laughter, and the weather won't be quite as cold as it was 4 years ago.

 The sunsets are beautiful out here, the company is outstanding, and we are looking forward to a fun filled week.................................

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Escapade on

OK I really need to finish the recap of 2011 so I can start on 2012.

We left the Black Hills to do the 51st Escapade, the pre escapade was filled with friends and fun. Marcia and Wanda don't need glasses to share a picture of Margaritas at a gathering at a local Mexican eatery.

It looks like Donna helped with the Margaritas too.

Donna was a bit worried when we all took it a race at the local dirt track.

The unlimited class was AWESOME to see on such a small track. We all got dirt slung on us.

After the good, no great times at Escapade we were off to Yellowstone. This was our yard for one night.

We met Mark and Lydia in Yellowstone, and we know we will be seeing them down the road many more times as our travels cross paths.

Here we are in the Grand Tetons. Yellowstone NP is very low on my list of to See's, but the Grand Tetons are right up there with Crater Lake. I couldn't imagine the difference in just a few miles. (but then it may be who's running the show at each place)

In the Tetons we met up with class mates Sal and Bobbie. I think Bobbie is the youngest of our class, and maybe that's why they still work, but they work at some great places so it is almost like not working. Sal was kind enough to point out a great spot to view the local bear and her cubs. You my have to blow up the picture to find them because my droid phone is the only camera I carry now.

As we departed the Grand Tetons I had to get a shot of the KS and the snow topped mtns.

From the Tetons we were off to see Moab, but first we spent the night at a rest area on hwy 6.
 What a view.

In Moab we met Bill and Priscilla, we planned a jeep outing and guess who showed up? Mark and Lydia, so we all went wheeling one day.
This is some of the sights we saw.

A look at a distance.

And this is where the distance took us.

Marcia had to get her stamp at Arches NP and when she saw this sheep she had to wrestle it down.

From Moab and all the wheeling we headed for ALBQ. for the balloon fiesta. We joined Jim and Nancy along with the escapee boomers for 12 days at the balloon fiesta.
Marcia Nancy, and Jim was part of the crew team for one of the balloons, and they got to ride in it. I slept in until the balloons flew over the rig.

Then it was off to Tucson to visit Family and friends. We bounced around AZ during Nov and Dec.

We flew back to KY so we could watch our daughter Jenelle walk across the stage to receive her diploma, she is now a graduate of the university of Tennessee. I'm so proud of her.......

After returning to Tucson we had to head to Phoenix again to have a new exhaust manifold put on the KS. I was happy to find out it was still under warranty. We met up with several class of 2007 mates in the Phoenix area a few times before heading out to Salome AZ where Marcia and I spent a quiet New Years Eve soaking in the hot tub.

Now 2012 will bring many more adventures and many more amazing sights for us to see, and I'm sure I will share some of them with the readers of this blog, so please stay tuned........................

Monday, January 9, 2012

The next few months of 2011

Once we left KY and all our family we started missing them, but we were rolling again. Our first stop was Fort Knox KY. This is where I took basic training back in 1976 when I joined the U S Army. I still swear they moved the river that defines the borders of KY and IN because this was the coldest place I had ever been when we did those long marches and field training, and standing in the chow lines before daylight waiting was terrible. Now it is a beautiful fort and has a nice fam-camp.

After a few days at Ft Knox we headed to Evansville IN where we had the "Air force One" installed on the Kountry Star. That is the device that works the brakes on the jeep as I apply the brakes on the KS.

Then it was on to MI where Phoenix Paints repaired the damage I had done to the front of the KS.

While they had the rig in the paint booth we spent a couple days at Bear Cave Resort. I was never so happy to get back into our bed, although we did enjoy the hot tub.

Once Phoenix Paints was finished with the rig we headed west. We spent a week in a secluded campground in MN, and then on to ND where we spent the first night in the 48th state since we started full-timing.
It was strange spending a week on an Air force Base and never seeing an airplane.

In ND was visited Roosevelt National Park, and the Bad lands of ND. Both were OK but not on the top of our lists of things to return to see again, so now we can say we have been there and done that, but don't have a burning desire to return.

However, our next stop was Rapid City SD, a place we called home for three years and a place we love to visit in the summer months. We stayed at the Air force Fam-Camp because it was cheap enough during Sturgis Bike Week.

We did the petrified forest and Marcia was sitting on a petrified log when I took this picture.

We toured the air and space museum where we saw some impressive aircraft.

We did the Wall Drug tourist trap and Marcia had to tame this wild jack-a-lope.

We did the SD Bad Lands on a day trip, and that is a place I could spend a week at.

We also did Sturgis during BIKE WEEK. I have never seen so many motorcycles, they were every where.

Then we meandered into WY.

We spent a couple days at Devils Tower, staying at the CG there we were able to make several day trips to the outlying towns where we experienced their events during Sturgis Bike Week.

We spent a week in the Black Hills National Forest in WY enjoying the beauty of the area while we waited for time to arrive at the Escapade.

This was our site in the BHNF, we were almost the only ones enjoying this CG after bike week.

Here is a picture of us leaving Devils Tower, (sorry it is out of sequence).

Our next stop is the Escapade in Gilette WY. I will do it and the rest of 2011 in another blog..........