Our New House

It was brought to my attention that we haven’t updated our Blog since 2013. Since we have become stagnant and haven’t really traveled for a while I didn’t have much of interest to post. Not that our life isn’t interesting, there just isn’t much RV Travel going on.

Well recently we have turned another page in our lives. We decided since we like our lifestyle so much that buying a house wasn’t in our plans. However we have pretty much outgrown the RV so…

We bought a Park Model home in the same resort where we have lived for the last 11 years in the motor home. If you are not familiar with a Park Model, it is a small 400 square foot manufactured home. Ours however is a bit more than a simple park model. First off ours is set in the ground so it is ground level, then a 200 square foot addition was added making it 600 square foot overall and the whole thing is stuccoed and the roof is tiled. There is also a 117 square foot building on the property, which serves as a laundry room and a shop. This building is attached to the house by a covered patio with outdoor kitchen. Along with the real residential appliances they topped it off with an air conditioner that can turn the house into a meat locker in the 120-degree Arizona summers. You can see more photos by clicking on the link in the left column.

I have added a link to the photos of our house HERE.

So, although we are keeping the motor home, it looks like we are not Fulltimers anymore.

Best wishes to all our readers and I hope your travels are as enjoyable as ours.

I will leave the Blog up because I know others enjoy reading about our travels.

Monday, February 28, 2005

On the road to SanAntonio

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Texas is just what I have been told. Miles and miles of nothing. We made our way from Carlsbad New Mexico to Fort Stockton Texas. The drive was very good. We traveled a 2 lane back road and there was absolutely no traffic for many miles. We were able to travel at our own pace and not have to worry about holding up traffic. We were going to stay at a Passport America park until we saw it. The park was scary looking. We decided we would feel safer at the local Walmart so we asked and they said we were welcome. We are usually the first off the road and there are no other RVs in the parking lot. As usual, later that afternoon a number of rigs pulled into the lot. Walmarts are fun. All the campers come out and mingle in the parking lot to see where everyone is from and where they are going.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Touring Carlsbad

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Well we had just the greatest time in Carlsbad New Mexico. It rained off and on but it didn't slow us down at all. Saturday we visited the Carlsbad Caverns. This was a good experience because we had just visited the Kartchner Caverns in Beson Arizona a few days ago. They are both very different. I think I like Kartchner best because it is more of a living cavern. Living means it is still growing whereas Carlsbad is pretty much dry. There are a few formations at Carlsbad that are still growing but very few. I would not discount either one. Carlsbad is grand. One room has the same square footage as 14 football fields and there are many passages to explore. Funny thing, while in line for the Cavern tour, right behind us was a couple we were camped next to in Benson. They were on the same tour as us and even were camped at the same campground as us. We got together that evening and went out to dinner then went back to there place for some good conversation after. Small world.

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Sunday we visited the Living Desert Zoo in Carlsbad. This is a small natural zoo in the desert setting that contains animals that can't make it in the wild for one reason or another such as injuries. Note the rattle on the snake above. He started up as I rounded the corner even before I saw him. I got him to lift his head but he wouldn't strike. He is behind glass so not to worry. The Cougar in the photo came so close that I was able to stick my finger through the fence and scratch him. He must have liked it because he leaned into the fence for me and was purring. Yes I said purring. I never realized it but they purr just like a house cat.

Tomorrow we are back on the road. We are heading for San Antonio Texas and will have 2 stop over on the way.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Carlsbad New Mexico

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We arrived in Carlsbad New Mexico about noon today. The drive was good, no bad weather. There was a bit of snow over the Guadalupe pass in Texas. There was also some snow in the desert on the way here. It sure looks strange to see cactus covered in snow. The campground here is a little swampy. They say they had a pretty good rain last night but there is no more rain in the forecast. It is supposed to start clearing. Good thing since we are going to the Carlsbad Cavern tomorrow. Today we are just going to spend the rest of the day just relaxing.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

El Paso Texas

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White Knuckles! What a trip. We made our way from Deming NM to El Paso TX. The wind was blowing and the rain was falling. Mr. Toad (the Saturn) is so dirty but I am not going to bother to wash it until we get to Carlsbad. I was going to take the northern route through Cloudcroft NM which is over 8000 feet. The further north we got the worse the weather got. I knew it would be snowing at 8000 feet so I decided to turn around and head south. I thought I would take a chance with the wind rather than snow and ice. Why are we in Texas if we are headed for Carlsbad New Mexico? Well, the route we are taking takes us down into El Paso and back up into New Mexico. It is about 40 degrees here at noon with showers off and on. We are only here for one night but if the weather gets too bad we may hang out longer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Welcome to Walmart

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We passed the Continental Divide and are in Deming New Mexico right now. We originally planned to pull into this Walmart, unhook the car, and go find a suitable RV park for the night. I asked Susan if she wouldn't mind staying here at Walmart and she said no problem. Even thought there are signs on just about every lamp post saying No Overnight Parking, I thought I would ask. The greeter said no problem if you park over there. There was one other motorhome "over there" when we got here. About 30 minutes later a really nice Lightning, Thunder and Hail storm passed through which lasted about 30 minutes then the skies cleared up again. Next thing we knew there were RV pulling in like it was the best RV Park in town. Eventually the Security guy in his little truck started meeting them at the parking lot entrance and escorting them to their parking spot for the night. You don't get that kind of treatment at some of the finer RV Parks. By the way the security guy handled it all, I would say this is not unusual for this Walmart. One of the guys said this is a record for him. He says he has spent the night in many Walmarts and the most RVs he has counted was 18. There are over 20 here so far.

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On the road here we passed the whole NASCAR entourage on their way to Fontana CA for the big weekend race. It was kind of cool seeing all the transporters go by one after another sometimes 4 and 5 in a row.

I have been toying with the thought of, Do I take the southern route or the northern route. The southern route will take us through El Paso TX and back up into New Mexico. The problem with that route is that it’s not very pretty and I am told there are some bad winds for quite a stretch. The northern route is very pretty but there is a mountain climb to over 8000 feet which may have snow. I think I will take the northern route and stop for the night just below the mountain pass and see what the road conditions are before we leave in the morning. Climbing to 8000 feet shouldn’t be too bad considering we will be starting out at 4000 feet already. I was surprised to find out that the lowest point in New Mexico is 2842 feet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Rest Day

I finally got internet access here in Benson. I paid for 24 hours of Tengointernet, a wireless service, so I can update the journal and check my email. Now you all can catch upon what we have been doing. As you can see we have been very busy. Today is a rest and laundry day. Tomorrow we are heading out to Deming New Mexico. We will be on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. I am not sure if I will be able to get to the internet so I will post as soon as possible.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bisbee AZ

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Bisbee is a mining town south of tombstone. It was at one time one of the biggest cities between St Louis and San Francisco. While we were there we got a chance to take a mine tour into the
Queen Mine. They dress you up in the yellow mining slickers with hard hat and lantern before boarding an actual train that carried the miners down into the mine. The tour guide says it took years to do the work that can be done in about 90 minutes now a days. There is still a lot of capper in the mine but the price of copper has dropped to the point that it is not worth mining.

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Also we visited an open pit mine that is so huge it doesn't fit in one picture.

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In Bisbee there is the Shady Dell. This is a trailer park where the owner acquired a number of vintage trailers and restored them to original condition and now rents them to visitors. In the middle is a 1947 Chris Craft yacht restored with it's own dock.

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Next to the Shady Dell is Dot's Diner. This 10 stool diner was built in 1957 and located in Los Angeles and later moved to it's present location.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tombstone AZ

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Today we visited Tombstone Az, site of the OK Corral shootout in 1881. We also visited Boothill, the cemetery where Clanton and the McLaurys are buried after being shot down at the OK Corral. This town is full of history from the days when the Eurps and Dr. Holliday ruled the town. The Bird Cage Theater was locked up for 50 years and nothing inside was touched. It is still in it's original condition complete with the original red velvet curtains covering the rooms where the ladies of the evening entertained their guests. The poker room below the stage is still in tact where the worlds longest poker game (8 years) took place. They will point out to you the numerous bullet holes throughout the theater where it got a little unruly at times. After visiting Tombstone we rented the movie Tombstone to see the story.

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In the back of the Bird Cage Theater is the Hearst that carried every body buried at Boothill with the exception of 6. It is valued at 1 million dollars.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Big Room

We did the second cavern tour today. It is called “The Big Room” tour because it is the biggest of the 3 rooms you can tour. The first was the Rotunda/Throne room tour. They are 2 completely different types of tours. The big room covers a lot of different formations and is the only room that the bats return to every year. This was evident by the piles of bat guano (poop) in some areas of the cavern. They call this a time share cavern because they close the cavern to tours during the time the bats return each year. The Rotunda/Throne room has a pile of bat guano also but it is estimated to be around 45,000 years old. They say that with the ecosystem inside the cavern that the pile is still soft, I’ll take their word on that. The Rotunda/Throne room tour doesn’t have as many formations to see however the ones you do see, I believe are more magnificent than the Big Room. Especially the one they named Kubla Khan. Kubla Khan is a Stalagmite/Stalactite column that is 58 feet tall. As I mentioned before, these are Living Caverns. Most of the formations are still growing however you won’t see them grow, and if you come back a few years from now they won’t appear any larger because they grow at the rate of 1/64 of an inch a year. You can imagine (or maybe not) how long it took to form Kubla Khan. If you only have time to do one tour I would choose the Rotunda/Throne tour. If you do both, do the Big Room first. Kubla Khan is the last thing on the Rotunda/Throne room tour and it leaves a lasting impression.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kartchner Caverns

Today we toured the Kartchner Caverns here in Benson Arizona. Sorry, No pictures (See post cards link to the left). They don't alow camars inside. All I got to say is, WOW! There is absolutely nothing I can say nor pictures I can show you that captures the AWESOMENESS of these caverns. As we sit here in out living room and look out our large window at the beautiful desert landscape with the mountains in the background and the rolling hills in the foreground, it is totally unbelievable that such caverns exists under those hills. We were so inspired by the 1st of 2 tours that we immediately booked the second one for tomorrow morning. This is a “Live” cavern which means it is still evolving. You have to walk through a number of air locks and a mist tunnel so as not to disturb the ecosystem of the caverns. Once inside of the caverns you immediately notice the 70 degree, 99% humidity climate that is constant anytime of the year. When the tour guide stops talking, you can hear the water dripping from the numerous formations inside the caverns. It is hard to keep in mind that this is real and not a Disney creation. This is not only a MUST SEE when you pass through this area but a MUST GO TO destination.

Kartchner Caverns were discovered by 2 college students from Tucson Arizona. They were cavers (spelunkers) and were told that there were caves in the area. For several years they kept coming back to the same location every weekend, looking for more while going to school. In 1974 the a sink hole opened up and they knew they had found something big. The cavern was exhaling from the carbon dioxide that had been inside for many years. They had troubles keeping there carbide lanterns from blowing out as they entered the cavern. It took them 400 feet of digging and crawling to finally enter into the Big Room. They knew it was a living cavern and kept it a secret to preserve it for 4 years as they explored and mapped the caverns. Finally in 1978 they told the owners of the property, The Katchners, what they had discovered, showed them slides and convinced them they have to preserve it. It took another 10 years to convinced the State of Arizona the importance of this find. The state purchased the property from the Katchners for 1.9 million dollars, which is a bargain for what they got. Another 10 years after studying the effects of humans and constructing paths and adding lighting, the Caverns were opened to the public.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Passport America

We have noticed that a lot of the parks we are staying at are Passport America parks. Passport America is a half price club. After paying for the membership there are no more fees. The parks that honor it will give you your sites for half price. I joined last year but let it expire because we didn't use it, but now that we are fulltime we are running into a lot of nice PA parks so I signed up again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Benson AZ

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We finally made it to the east side of Arizona. We are only 75 miles from the New Mexico Border. However, we won't be seeing New Mexico for several days because we are going to spend some time in the Benson area. We only planned to be here for a few days but when we got here we found there is a lot to do so we extended our stay. Also the RV park I picked from the internet turned out to be a gem.

We reached our limits on our phone, internet, and satellite TV.
Our Verizon phone has switched over to what they call Extended Network. This is where we are out of the Verizon network but in another network that Verizon has an agreement with, in this case Sprint. This means we can not take advantage of any of our Verizon features such as The Verizon High Speed Network, or in layman’s terms, their internet connection. Also since we are out of the network, we are using our minutes to call Verizon to Verizon which is usually free.
Another limit exceeded is my dialup internet connection. I use Access4free which does not have toll free numbers. Instead they have local numbers for most major cities. Benson is not near a major city. I am forced to pay Tengointernet for wireless access in order to retrieve email and access the internet. This post will be fairly extensive since I have limited access.
The last limit is, I lost my local satellite channels. We were subscribing to the local San Diego channels but it turns out that we can only receive them within a 250 mile radius from San Diego. Actually we got them 300 miles away in Phoenix but lost them in Tucson. Tucson was 360 miles so I was unable to pick them up. I called DirecTV and switch to the West Coast Network feed so we can now get NBC CBS ABC and FOX again. These are coming out of Los Angeles so we are now watching the LA news. As we get closer to the east coast we will switch to the East Coast Feed which comes out of Chicago. We could keep the West Coast Feed but the programs will be on 3 hours late because of the time change across the country.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Tucson, AZ

Today we have moved on to Tucson Arizona. We are at the Beaudry RV Resort. This is a really nice 5 star resort buy I would rather be back at the Lake. We will spend a couple of days here visiting what is called a Desert Museum but is more like a zoo. We are also going to check out Old Tucson which is a western town that has been used in many movies. Somewhere in there we need to find time to do laundry and grocery shopping. Also while here I will see if I can get Beaudry’s service to replace the 2 after market spark plug wires that should have been replaced last time I had service done. The next few days will be a bit busy.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Another Great Day

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We had another great day with our friends in Arizona. We had lunch at Alice Coopers Place. For those that might not know, Alice Cooper is a Rock Star that is well knows for his bazaar face makeup (see photo above). All the people working his club wares the same makeup. The food was great and the memorabilia on the walls was just as great. Among the sports memorabilia was rock memorabilia including a number of guitars donated and signed by their owners. Among them were Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and many more.

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We also toured a community where you buy the lot and erect what is called an “Arizona Room” and pull your motorhome in next to it. The rules of the community is that you have to have an RV to park next to your Arizona Room. An Arizona Room is similar to a studio apartment. The above photo is one of the more elaborate ones. These are $100,000 to $200,000 lots with up to 1.5 million dollar motorhomes parked next to them. Also we viewed some new homes here in Phoenix, AZ. These Brand New homes are about the same size as the one we sold in California but only cost 1/5th the price.

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I finally got a nice sunset photo of Lake Pleasant here in Peoria, AZ.

Well tomorrow is another travel day. We are heading south to Tucson. Looks like it will be a nice day to travel weather wise.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Rodeo anyone

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The rain let up enough today that we went to the rodeo. Bruce and Sherri, friends we have met along the way, came by today and we all went to the Rodeo at Rawhide Western Town in Scottsdale. What a great time. This rodeo was particularly interesting because of all the rain we have had. The rodeo ring was a real muddy swamp. The riders that fell and the ropers got quite a mud bath. Tomorrow we will meet up with Bruce and Sherri again for more fun.

We may be loosing our San Diego channels. I have heard that once you are about 250 miles from your local area that you will be out of the foot print of the satellite. Well, I have noticed, since we are about 300 miles away, the signal for our San Diego channels are getting weaker. Last night during a good rain we lost signal altogether. The rest of the satellite channels were good but we lost our San Diego channels. I will either have to change to the Los Angeles channels or cancel the local channels. I was hopping we could keep up on San Diego all over the country.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Motorhome 4-Wheeling

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We are at Lake Pleasant in Peoria, AZ. Peoria is just outside of Phoenix. We are at the Lake Pleasant Harbor RV Resort but chose to stay in their overflow area. The view from the overflow is the best. It is raining right now and is suppose to for a day or so. But we don't mind.

I made a big mistake in my navigations here. There are about 5 roads into this area and trusting my GPS, we went 4 wheeling in the Aerbus with Saturn in tow. What an experience. It was about 2 miles of dirt and rock and to make it worse we came across a burned out hulk of what used to be a motorhome along the way. Susan wasn't too happy to see that. But we made it and so did the equipment. We will just hang here tomorrow and enjoy the rain over the harbor. This weekend hopefully we will get a chance to see what we can find of interest around here. We have some good friends we met along the way that are here to help us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

gila bend

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The trip to Gila Bend was great. The desert is green and there are large patches of desert flowers with a backdrop of rugged mountains. We decided since it was 4 hours to Lake Pleasant (Phoenix), and we are not in any kind of a hurry, that we would break it up. Gila Bend is a town with a population of about 700 and is ½ way between Yuma and Phoenix. We pulled into the Wheel Inn RV Park, Car Wash and Laundromat, well that's what the sign read. What A Mistake! This place was a dump but I figured it was the best we were going to find around here. After all it was only for 1 night and the price was only $18 for full hookups. Susan was so unhappy and I wasn't too pleased myself so I decided to go scouting. Just down the road I found The Gila Bend RV Resort. This is a Chevron fuel, Am/Pm Mini Mart, Subway Sandwich, Pizza Shop and RV Park all in one. The RV Park has clean large gravel sites with clean restrooms and laundry. And the best part, It's $10 a night for 50 Amp full hookups. No that's not a mistype, it's $10 a night. We paid for the night and ordered a sandwich for dinner and still only paid $18 total. Just outside our bedroom window is the best view of the desert and mountains. There is no Cable TV and we are too far from any kind of TV station but it only took me 5 minutes to setup the Satellite Dish and we have TV. Now we can get a good nights sleep before we head up to Lake Pleasant.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Meeting up with friends

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We attended the Rexhall picnic today here in Yuma. It was good to see some of the friends we have met in the past rallies and catch up on where they have been. I also got some more good ideas on where to go and what to see. One of the attendees is manager of a nice resort in New York and was handing out brochures. Looks like we have a place to stay when we get up to that end of the country.

We have been in Yuma for 2 ½ weeks and it's time to move on. Tomorrow we have no plans other than to get ready for travel on Wednesday. Although we have had a really great time and have met some really good people, we are ready for a change of scenery. We will be heading for a lake just outside of Phoenix. It is called Lake Pleasant. I hope so. We asked to not be in the resort, but rather on the lake overlooking the marina. I am tired of looking at the neighbors RV. I am ready to see some trees, water and wildlife.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Look who came to the Rally

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The above photo is Race Car Driver Scott Pruett's Parents motorhome. Scott Pruett's motorhome (The one in the middle of the three) was also at the rally however it was sold to a couple that have remodeled it because it was used mainly as a mobile office and was not real suitable for Rving. Also at the rally was another drivers motorhome. This was also purchased by a couple attending the rally. The funny thing about this couple is that they live in the town where Susan grew up and before that they lived 4 doors down on the street where I grew up.

We had such a great time at the Bus Nuts Rally and met the greatest people. You always go into these things wondering if you are going to fit in and have a good time. That was not a problem here. This is a very friendly and fun loving group. We are looking forward to next year in hopes that we can hookup with them again.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Finally an update

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We have been having such a great time, I have completely forgotten to update our site. We are still at the Bus Nuts Rally at the Yuma County Fairgrounds. These are a great bunch of people. It is kind of cool how they parked us around here. It was first come first serve and you just pick a place anywhere in the fairgrounds that you can find a place to plug into. If you are lucky you will have water near by too. We are right at the end and right under the flight path of the jets as they take off from the Marine Corps Air Station. Kind of cool but REAL LOUD. They calm down every evening but there is always 2 at 10:00p and 3 at 11:00p, then they are done for the night.