Sunday, January 31, 2016


Once again, we packed up the RV and trekked to Quartzsite, Arizona, for the RV Show, Sell-a-Rama, and Rock and Gem annual events.  For such a tiny town, they certainly have a lot going on.

We parked closer to town this year in an area which the campground host called South Dome Rock.  Funny how they refer to the check-in personnel as campground hosts since there's no campground - just spots in the desert.  Here is our lovely home for two weeks.  Later on we had neighbors but they weren't too close.

I'm glad we weren't near these people - just look at the trailer full of wood!

All of which they used building their massive fires.  Those are whole logs in there!

We made many trips to town to check out the RV show,

Good places to eat,

And, my favorite, the grocery tent filled with barely expired food.

But Ron has a new interest this year.  Quartzsite is the site of lots and lots of quartz, hence the clever name.

And where there's quartz, there could be gold!  Ron had recently joined a prospecting club near our home in Mesa which has some claims around Quartzsite.

First he broke out the metal detector,

Then the gold pans,

Then he bought a sluice and, with the addition of a small pump and some parts, created a system that recirculates the water for desert usage.

Pretty ingenious, huh?  So far he hasn't found any gold, but it does keep him off the streets.  ;-D

And what's a post about Quartzsite without a sunset picture?  They sure have some amazing ones.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Although we have done a few hikes and Ron has so many projects he had to make a list, winter is my downtime for blogging.  However, I do want to post my 2015 year-in-review, using pictures from the calendar I always create.  If there's too big of a gap, I might add a picture or two.

Before we left Mesa in early April, I took a late afternoon picture of the Superstition Mountains just to the east of our metropolitan area..

Our plan was to slowly make our way up the west coast beginning in San Diego.  We explored several of the Spanish missions, including the beautifully restored  San Luis de Francia.

I'm always distracted by the flora and fauna.

The famous town of Capistrano had pretty water lilies, but no swallows.

We spent two months hugging the coast on our way through California, enjoying the spectacular views of places like Crescent Bay,

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park,

And the gorgeous coastline of Big Sur.

We paid the $10 fee to drive the private road through swanky Pebble Beach and saw the iconic Lone Cypress.  At over 250 years old, it's barely hanging on.

The West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz was pretty.

Eventually, the coastal route 1 turns inland to US 101 where the redwoods are the splendid attraction.

Although we spent a month driving up the coast of Oregon, my next calendar picture is two months later in Washington, so I'll have to add a couple.

We had quite a bit of fog along the Oregon coast, but we saw a lot of lighthouses.

And didn't see others.

And enjoyed seeing all the unique bridges including this one north of Coos Bay.

After three weeks along the Washington coast, we made it to the northwestern point in the continental United States, Cape Flattery.  Here we are with Karen, Ernie and Wanda who we met up with for several days.

(Alright, I guess little Tatoosh Island over our shoulders is really the northwestern point, but we refused to swim.)

Back to the calendar pictures.  When we left the coast, we headed inland to route 20 through the North Cascades National Park.  I've wanted to go this route for years and was really excited.  At first, it was everything I had imagined.  Mount Baker was splendid.

But then the smoke took over when Washington and Oregon were inundated with wildfires.  At that point, we hurried through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to Colorado where we visited with Ron's family in the Denver area.

On our way back to Arizona, we stopped in Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument where the campgrounds are right along the rim.

We arrived back in Mesa in late September, but weren't done traveling yet.  In early October, we flew to Pennsylvania to visit my father, then drove to the Catskill Mountains in New York.  We met up with Diana and Phil for some touring and sister time.  Here's Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1880.

That's it for 2015.  I hope you had fun following along on our travels.  See you in 2016!