Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Many Times Can You Say WOW!!

A lot I guess—around every corner today you would find us saying, “Wow, can you believe this, how lucky are we” and any other manner of descriptive phrases.  It started out as a cool, cloudy day and remained so until we rolled back into camp when the sun popped out.  We were dressed for the coolness—in the photos you will see the cowboy and me in our former motorcycle gear—leather chaps and jackets—it fits the bill, we were never cold while riding.

Moab is breathtakingly beautiful, awesome, spectacular, giant country—around every corner is another glorious view, another red, towering rock.  The town of Moab was a zoo of jeeps yesterday, seems we’ve arrived during a yearly jeeping event—there were people and jeeps everywhere.  We worried it would be crowded out on the trails—shouldn’t have worried.  Other than the spot where we watched the extreme jeeping we saw less than a dozen people all day!!

IMG_0681Determination Towers in the distance.  IMG_0683

I had Bayfield Bunch Al’s disease today—I took 132 photographs and several movies of the crazy guys in jeeps trying to come up this incredibly steep, uneven rock face—they all made it!  It took me a while to sort photos tonight and I can’t possibly post all of them but here are some of the best:

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IMG_0725IMG_0718Tusher Tunnel—a slot canyon which you walk through coming out the other side with another breathtaking view.  Emmi got to meet another schnauzer, Sid, at the other end of the tunnel.  IMG_0736

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IMG_0743Our lunch spot—not a bad venue!!

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IMG_0788-001In the left side of this photo you can see black tracks on the rocks, this is where the trail leads, there are even white paint stripes painted along the trail to keep riders on the right path!

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Thanks so much Geri and Larry for a wonderful day!!  I have a video of one of the jeeps coming up that steep slope but our internet connection is not cooperating tonight—maybe tomorrow I can post it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We Move To Moab, Utah

IMG_0634Almost before daylight Larry and Michael had us heading out bound for Moab, Utah.  Note the moon above their air conditioner; and no, I did not get up to see the eclipse. 

Michael and I are not tourist attraction kind of people—“STOP HERE, SEE THE WORLD’S LARGEST SNAKE”, etc.  But obviously after today we should stop at more places!!  Larry and Geri wanted us to see the Dinosaur Tracks, a spot on the Navajo Indian reservation just east of the junction of Arizona Hwy 89 and 160 near Tuba City, AZ.  This isn’t a developed touristy type place, no buildings, no hotels—just Native Americans meeting your car or rig and offering to take you out into the desert to see the tracks for a donation.  Are we ever glad we stopped.  Now, I’m not up on my dinosaurs so I can’t remember what the young man told us as we walked around the site but here are some photos of the tracks we saw.

IMG_0636IMG_0637 Even Emmi got to go see the tracks!

IMG_0638IMG_0642A skeleton beginning to show itself due to time, wind, sun and erosion.  There are no archeological digs, fences or structures to protect the artifacts. 

IMG_0647A fossilized claw next to Geri’s hand.

IMG_0650Dinosaur poop—yep, that’s my foot next to the fossilized dinosaur poop—dog owners, can you imagine picking up this pile???? Smile

IMG_0658This is one giant track, our guide told us this was a T-Rex track—Emmi is sniffing this one out.  We enjoyed this short little diversion very, very much!  Onward we go following that Raptor all day with the scenery getting more and more spectacular!

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IMG_0673Mexican Hat

IMG_0675Well, our parking spot location certainly changed—we are boondocked on BLM land just outside Moab, UT after taking on water at the Arch View Campground.  We traveled 491 miles today!!IMG_0678Not a bad view, right! Smile

Monday, April 14, 2014

Making A Habit

Of short blogs that is—I am so exhausted after our wild and windy night—the wind blew so hard it was scary, our rig rolled and rocked making all kinds of noises—sleep was impossible.  I was outside at 1am rolling in the window awning over the driver side windows and got sand blasted.  It was one miserable night!

We spent the day packing and cooking, I made a quick run into Wickenburg to the dump and for last minute groceries while Michael and Emmi held down the fort.  The rest of the afternoon was spent helping Geri and Angela start blogs and we were successful—Blogger has sure changed up that process since I began ours!!  Here is a photo of our “class!”

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I was making dinner for Mike and Pat, plus Gina and Rollie who were to arrive in Phoenix around 1:30—they didn’t get there until almost 4pm right in the middle of rush hour traffic.  They got back to North Ranch around 6pm and Gina has some kind of nasty stomach bug so we didn’t even get to see her.  And is was a super short visit with Rollie too. Sad smile  Dinner was spectacular, Angie made a wonderful potato salad to go with the hamburgers and baked beans I had prepared.  Geri furnished us with the healthy dish—honeydew melon and grapes.  Dessert was cream cheese pound cake and strawberries—oh, my!!  I didn’t eat all day in anticipation of this meal!

We are sad our visit with Angie and Ralph was so short too—maybe we will cross paths this summer as they tour up the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. 

Larry and Mike have decided we are leaving before the crack of dawn in the morning, Moab here we come!  I went back in the blog and read about our last trip to Moab which was in 2011—whetted my appetite for more!!  Blog will be brought to you from a different location tomorrow night—if we have internet!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Busy Day And Friends Arrive

My day was spent cooking—we had a party to attend this afternoon and tomorrow I’m doing dinner for everybody after Gina and Rollie arrive. 

Years ago when we were participating in a shooting sport, 2003 I think, we met Angela and Ralph in Tucson, AZ.  Ralph was a shooter, Angie said her job was to take care of Ralph! SmileWe became good friends and have kept in touch all these years.  They’ve visited us in Montana and came to Aransas Pass to see us last winter.  They are fulltimers and just recently got back on the road after spending some time in Maryland and Texas dealing with family issues.  It is so good to see them! 

IMG_0627Ms. Emmi likes Angela and it’s a good thing as Angie is Emmi’s designated guardian if something should happen to Mike and me.  Yep, I know that sounds silly but it does happen—remember Bruce and Margie in Pismo Beach, CA??? 

Michael loaded the ATV’s today, aired up tires, and puttered.  Emmi chased balls and barked—up until this winter she wasn’t a barker like most schnauzers can be but all of a sudden she has developed this nasty habit which we are going to nip in the bud—I have the water squirt bottle on hand!

This afternoon we had the pleasure of going to Joe and Kathy’s for a “clean out your freezer/refrigerator party.”  They provided the pulled pork and fixings, the rest of us brought other dishes.  I ate too much as usual when I go to potlucks but it was so good.

From the left, our hostess Kathy, other Cathy, Geri and Nancy IMG_0629IMG_0630Fred and Larry

IMG_0631Tom and Mike

IMG_0632Dale and his wife plus Angie and Ralph.

Angie and Ralph came back here with us and I made a pot of coffee—we sat outside and reminisced some more.  I am just in shock—Angela is not a geek, she uses a computer but has never been in an easy relationship with one Smile.  Her phone was a flip phone—she shows up today with an iPhone!!!!  I’m so proud of her!!  Years ago I taught her how to download photos from a camera card and enhance those photos using a photo editing software called Microsoft Picture It—she claims I was like a Catholic school teacher rapping her knuckles when she did something wrong. "Smile

One last thing—Michael was on the phone with his Dad last weekend.  Nat had complained of having itchy skin and I gave him a bar of my Cetaphil soap—it cured his itch-ies.  Well, he ran out and asked Michael where I had purchased the soap—the grocery store nor the drug store in Big Timber stocked it, Nat had asked.  I went to Amazon.com, found the soap for less than I pay at Wal Mart, used my Prime membership and ordered Nat six bars of Cetaphil soap.  Today they are talking again and Nat said, “I just don’t understand it, I am talking to someone in Arizona on Sunday and on Wednesday soap shows up on my doorstep!”  Isn’t technology great! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Planning

It wasn’t as hot today and our early morning walk was pleasant.  Ms. Emmi received a bath and haircut in preparation for our departure—she really didn’t see the need for all that fuss but my nose told us otherwise—she was a dirty pooch! 

We have lots going on the next few day, our friends Angie and Ralph arrive Sunday afternoon plus Gina and Rollie are due back here Monday afternoon.  Our plans are to leave here Tuesday morning bright and early heading for Moab, UT.  Larry and Geri are going with us and will serve as our tour guides while we do some ATVing and boondocking.  We will then head home to Montana about Easter Sunday. 

IMG_0619-001Palo Verde tree in bloom

This afternoon we spent some time at Larry and Geri’s talking about our trip and looking at some of their maps and books—the scenery looks spectacular and we are looking forward to this little side trip—the weather should be cooler there, too.

Well, our house/land/property search just didn’t pan out this year.  We made an offer on a house here in North Ranch, a foreclosure, but the bank thought it was worth a lot more than we did.  So, maybe next year—we do have plans to come back to North Ranch this fall staying on a private lot.

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IMG_0625Easter decorations in North Ranch.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Short Blog

A busy day for us getting the motorhome ready for our departure, Wickenburg for Emmi’s medication and groceries then back to Wickenburg for dinner with friends.  Our social life is busy—not that we are complaining, we’ve enjoyed meeting all these new friends and spending time with old.  But, it’s way too hot down here for we Montana folks—time to head north! 

And who knew propane tanks expired???  We have a 5lb. propane tank we use with the grill—it needed filling.  North Ranch employees told us the tank was too old?? and could not be filled.  It has the newer three sided shut off value and the newer connector but was not stamped with a current certification date—is this an Arizona thing or nation wide???  The propane place in Wickenburg also would not fill the tank so we just exchanged it for a new one.  We are now propane tank legal!

A good day in AZ!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wickenburg Massacre Site

Whew, it was another hot one today, about 90 degrees but we still managed to take an ATV tour with other Michael and Cathy leading the way to the site of the Wickenburg Massacre in 1871.  There is a maze of trails out across the desert in this area, we left North Ranch about 8:30, visited the site and ended up at the Dairy Queen off Vulture Mine Road and Highway 93. 

Lots of gates to open—Geri and Larry in their ATV travels started a tradition of giving the gate opener and gate closer a piece of candy—so there is a battle to be the one to close the gate, first in line of course opens the gate and automatically gets candy! SmileEasy, mostly flat trails today and we enjoyed our lunch in the shade near the massacre site. 

There are conflicting stories about the perpetrators who murdered eight people on the morning of November 5, 1871.  Indians were the prime suspects, or was it Mexicans dressed as Indians or was it white men dressed as Indians??  Books of the Southwest, Arizona Library gives a very good account of the massacre—the only female, Ms. Sheppard and a male passenger jumped from the stagecoach opposite of the attackers and ran—they were both wounded but survived.  Ms. Sheppard was taken to Date Creek Camp hospital and later moved to California.  It is reported in the above article that she died several years later in California from the results of her injuries in the fracas. 

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I was under the impression that there were graves at this site we visited—the stones certainly appear to surround graves but all the accounts of the massacre I read state the bodies were buried in Wickenburg??  Maybe the stones are just placed where the victims fell?? 

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It was another great day spent with friends—as I said, our journey included a very refreshing stop at the Dairy Queen—as hot as it was that diet Coke and mini-Blizzard I had tasted so good!  Emmi was a trouper about wearing her new goggles—a couple with a dog in the truck stopped us at the Dairy Queen asking how we got Emmi to leave the goggles on—we put them on this morning, scolded her a couple times about rubbing her face with her paw and that was it.  Here she is telling other Michael how awful they were first thing this morning.

IMG_3240IMG_3241One styling Emmi girl!

IMG_3256IMG_3260This hill doesn’t look steep but let me tell you, it was, probably the steepest hill I’ve been down on the ATV!

Tonight we enjoyed dinner out at the Arrowhead Bar & Grill with the gang from today, a perfect ending.