Life on the Open Road

The continuing saga of a full-time RVer, who travels primarily in the West.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

When Granddaughter Mara, age 3, heard that I was 59 today, she said, "That's a really nice number, Grandma. I love that number!" I guess I like it too. I feel fortunate that I was able to retire at an early-enough age to really enjoy my retirement.

What did I get for my birthday? "Brother-in-law" Ron installed my big 1500-watt inverter that I had gotten in Quartzsite. The only thing I will use it for is the microwave. I have a little inverter for the TV, and a DC charger for the computer.

It's installed under the couch, next to the batteries. Check out that BIG 200-amp circuit breaker!

For those who are worried I'll get a short from the springs under the couch, the batteries do have a cover.

Now to see if the microwave works.... Hmmmmmm.... Guess I need to move some stuff....

Ah, that's better. But it's been 9 years since I've had a microwave. I hope I remember how...


Saturday, March 01, 2008

What Do I Do Now?

After the Dance Rally, I came out to Florence Junction with Barbara and Ron to live in this beautiful cactus garden. Our site even came with a Buddha yard decoration.

The poppies are blooming! Spring has definitely sprung in the Desert Southwest.

I can sit at my table and watch the hummingbirds dodge in and out. What could possibly be the problem!

Barbara and Ron want to leave tomorrow. What do I do? Stay here alone in paradise, or rush back to the safety of the Apache Junction Moose Lodge?


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What Will YOU Do on your 80th Birthday?

Go skydiving?

Probably not, but that's what my friend John Clairmont did on his 80th!

He was one of 8 WINs who took the plunge at the Dance Rally. (He's the one with the camera.)

Then, the next day, he hiked to the top of Picacho Peak.

This is not an easy hike; there are several places where you need to pull yourself up by cables.

I wish we could all be in this great shape on our 80th! Happy Birthday, John!


Monday, February 25, 2008

More Scenes from the Dance Rally

The Dance Rally is over and it's time to leave. I have really had a wonderful time, and I can't tell you how many people have said they had never seen me smile so much!

The WINs cannot get together with out having a pizza party. Yum!

That's Barbara and Ron looking at the camera.

And we had the usual Talent/No Talent Show.

That's Jim, our DJ, and Judy, the dance instructor for most of the dances. Jim is an excellent dancer, who asked me to dance several times. I must have passed muster. It's always a little intimidating dancing with a guy who is an expert.

On Saturday night, instead of a DJ, we had a live "band," Dakota Kid. He came off the stage to sing "God Bless the USA." Excellent voice!

Bagpipe Bob entertained us during the break, (very popular with the ladies) and some did the Irish Jig.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

On the Road to Recovery

Breaking up with Randy was a real shock, and will certainly take some time to recover from. I am still really hurt and really mad. But I got an email from a fellow blogger, who said I should try to have WAY TOO MUCH FUN. Sounded like good advice to me.

Fortunately, the WIN Dance Rally was this week. All I needed was a little advertisement. I got a shirt at Goodwill and a pin explaining the situation from Too Crazy Ladies.

I think the guys got the message. And I really love to dance!

There were dance lessons all day

And dances every night.

I really love to dance!

There were also socials some afternoons.

Did I mention I really love to dance??


Friday, February 15, 2008

Goldfield Ghost Town

I have to admit I've never stopped here before because it looked like a tourist trap that costs money. But it doesn't! At least not to walk the streets of the town. So in I went.

There were lots of my favorite things, rusty stuff, to photograph.

And a bordello, near a chapel.

With the Superstition Mountains in the background, it was a beautiful spot.

Barbara found a guy with a big bag of gold, and immediately started flirting with him!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wow! It must have been a wild New Years Eve! Here we are at our New Years morning coffee get-together.

This little tract of land we are parked on is full of interesting sounds and sights. Besides the paintball fights and the trains, we have a lot of hummingbirds. They are hard to photograph, but I tried. My best guess? That is a Costa's on the left and an Anna's on the right. If there is an expert out there who has a better idea, please let me know.

We also have dive-bombing cropdusters flying overhead every evening. Yuma is "The Winter Lettuce Capital of the World." Over 90 percent of the country's winter vegetable crops are grown in this area!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Whale Watching in a High Surf Advisory

I guess we should have known this was a bad idea.... I ran over to San Diego after Christmas for a few days and we decided to go whale watching. All was well at the dock, where Mara learned to use the binoculars. We were all looking forward to seeing some humpback whales, on their way south for the winter. Even the harbor was nice and smooth, but as soon as we hit the huge waves in the open ocean, there were a lot of green faces on the boat. I thought it was lots of fun, but I don't think anyone else agreed with me. We didn't see any whales, so we all got a coupon for another trip. I don't know if too many of the passengers will take them up on it, however....

In addition to the retired USS Midway, we got to see two active aircraft carriers in the harbor. On the left is the USS Nimitz, commissioned in 1975, the first of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. In the center is the USS Ronald Reagan , the 9th and latest of the same class, commissioned in 2003. Both are about the same size, with flight decks of 4.5 acres each. If you look closely, or click on the picture, you can see the elevator doors are open on the USS Ronald Reagan.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas with the WINs

This free BLM camping spot is the best utilized piece of government land in the US. About 75 WINs traditionally assemble here for Christmas and New Years.

Christmas Eve there was finger food, music and singing around the campfire. The tent is our "WINwam," an experimental games and gathering place.

One windy morning, 50 of us crowded in for our morning coffee get-together.

We all enjoyed a terrific Christmas dinner at the VFW, complete with turkeys, ham, and oodles of side dishes. The weather was 70 and sunny. The VFW is located next to the piece of land we're camped on. It's a great dancing spot, with a live band almost every day.

We hope you all had a very merry Christmas

And best wishes for a happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

War in the Woods

We are camped just at the edge a lovely, mysterious patch of salt cedar trees, just outside Yuma. Local would-be warriors come often to wage paintball wars. I braved the war zone long enough to get these shots.

Their hi-tech guns hurl 5 cent paintballs at an alarming velocity. But the warriors are all helmeted and armored. Multicolored tree trunks tell the story of many battles.