Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Friday, March 30, 2012

It’s Been Hot

The temperatures are rising here in Arizona. It’s been consistently in the 80s and this weekend is predicted to be in the low 90s. The nice thing about the desert is that it cools down nicely at night. Kevin heard on the news that the average first day that Phoenix hits 90 degrees is March 30th so they’re right on target. It’s time to head north. I don’t care what they say about dry heat, it’s still hot.

We’re leaving here on April 3rd. We plan to spend a week in New Mexico in the Carlsbad Caverns area at The Ranch, an Escapee park. Then we’ll make our way back to Wisconsin arriving around April 19th. Of course, the weather will determine our exact arrival date. We’ll be watching the storm forecasts carefully.

We’ve been taking it easy. On Tuesday we went to our last spring training game this year. The Brewers lost again. We’ve been to 7 games, with 4 losses, 2 ties and 1 win. They’re overall record is at about .500, so I think we’ve been bad luck this year :)

The rest of the week we’ve been doing our daily 3 mile walk. We’ve also ridden our bikes shopping a couple of times. We rented the movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. It was pretty good, but a little long.

I’ve been working on the quilt I’m making to donate to Korey’s camp. I’m almost done. The free motion quilting I chose to do has been a bit of a challenge. It’s definitely not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty nice. I just have to finish hand sewing the binding and then I’ll post a picture.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend and don’t let those April Fools jokesters get you!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meeting a Fellow Blogger

Last week I received an email from Susan who writes the blog What’s Up With Susan and Company. She is a follower of my blog, was in the area, and wanted to know if we could get together on Saturday.

We were happy to meet her and so after a couple of emails and phone calls it was decided she would come and visit us around noon yesterday.

She was in the Phoenix area on Saturday to attend the Good Sam Rally at Phoenix International Raceway as a day visitor. Her granddaughter came with her. She also had her cute little dog Angel with her.

We spent a couple of hours getting to know each other. She’s had lots of interesting life experiences and was fun to listen to. I’m constantly amazed at the courage of the ladies that are out there fulltiming on their own. I don’t know that I’d be willing to do it.

She’s still learning about her rig and had some questions for Kevin. He showed her a few things and hopefully was able to help her with some of her questions.


They left after about two hours to head to the rally. The entertainment at the rally for Saturday night was Martina McBride and they had plans to see her.

Thanks Susan for reaching out. Hopefully, we’ll see you down the road!

The rest of the weekend has been pretty uneventful. It’s been quite hot. Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far with a high of 88 degrees. We did our daily walk, road our bikes to Fry’s to pick up a few groceries and a movie. The rest of the time has been spent sitting out in the shade reading.

The movie we rented was Tower Heist. I didn’t necessarily like the ending, but it was a pretty good comedy type movie.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Another Day of Sightseeing

After a good nights sleep and our free continental breakfast this morning, we continued our sightseeing trip.

Our first stop was the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This chapel was the inspiration of architect Marguerite Bruswig Staude in the 1930s. She visited Europe looking for sites, but found the perfect spot while on vacation in Sedona. Frank Lloyd Wright collaborated on the project. It was completed in 1956. What an inspirational and beautiful site.



P1120796The view from the top is equally amazing. There were some very pretty fountains and flower beds around the building. Definitely worth the hike up from the parking lot.







The area surrounding the chapel seemed like the more affluent area of Sedona. This little house was down the hill. Notice the pool and fountains.


We continued on 89A. Our next stop was Tuzigoot National Monument in Clarkdale. We’ve been to quite a few of these Pueblo Ruins in the last two years, so we didn’t spend much time here. I stamped my National Park Passport book and took a quick look around. Kevin stayed in the truck. He’s had his fill of rock walls :)


A few more miles up the road is the town of Jerome. I found the history of this town fascinating. It’s built right on the side of Cleopatra Hill. The houses are built at about 5,000 feet elevation on a hill with a 30 degree incline. Each row of houses looks down on the roof of the house below. I can’t believe they thought it was a good idea to built at that incline. There were times when blasting from the mines actually caused entire houses to slide down the hill.


The streets are very steep and narrow.

jerome, az

The town was established in 1876 as a copper mining town. Mining continued until the 1950s with over $1 billion worth of copper being mined. At its peak the population was over 15,000, mostly men. As you can imagine, saloons, brothels and gambling were prevalent.  A New York newspaper called it the wickedest town in America.

After the mines shut down, the population dwindled to about 50 hippies. The town is now a National Historic Landmark and has become a tourist area as well as an artist community. It was quite an interesting place.

We continued on 89A towards Prescott. The road took us up to over 7,000 feet through the Prescott National Forest. There was still quite a bit of snow at that elevation. I’ve discovered that I like snow when it’s in the 70s outside and I’m wearing shorts. It’s quite beautiful. It’s driving in it and the cold that goes with it that I don’t like.


We continued through Prescott. It’s a pretty big town and looked like a nice place. We saw several RV parks with lots of RVs in them. We arrived back home at about 3:30 pm, just in time for our Friday afternoon cocktail.

We enjoyed our trip, and the scenery was very nice. In my opinion though, the red rocks of Utah are more impressive. The areas around Moab and the Monument Valley had more red rock and were just phenomenal. I doubt we’ll go back to Sedona. Just too touristy for our liking.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sedona, Arizona

We left Buckeye at 9 am this morning and headed north towards Flagstaff. We took Interstate 17 to 89A just south of Flagstaff. The stretch of 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona is listed as a scenic highway in my book of scenic drives.

As we climbed in elevation we noticed more and more snow along the side of the road. Near Flagstaff at just over 6,000 feet there was lots of snow. They received over 2 feet last weekend. We haven’t seen snow in a while, and it was very pretty as long as we weren’t dealing with driving on snowy roads.


We saw this gorgeous view from the Oak Creek Canyon Vista Overlook.


I did the tourist shuffle with some people, I’ll take your picture if you take ours.


The drive down into the canyon has lots of switchback turns. I wouldn’t want to be towing (there is a 50 foot limit on the highway), but I didn’t think it was as bad as some other roads we’ve been on.

The scenery along the canyon was fantastic. It took about an hour to get to Sedona once we were on 89A. Sedona is quite the tourist trap type of town. It’s location among the red rocks makes it a beautiful place to visit. But, with visitors comes lots of shops and restaurants. We decided to take the trolley tour. The tours were booked until 5 pm so we bought our tickets and spent three hours wandering around.

It took an hour to check out all the shops. We didn’t buy a thing. Then we spent another hour enjoying margaritas and bottomless salsa and chips at Taos Cantina. Their salsa was the best I’ve ever had. We finished off two baskets of chips and two bowls of salsa. We are so full we aren’t having any supper. We spent the final hour sitting on a bench enjoying the wonderful views and weather and people watching. Here’s the view down the main street.


The trolley tour was interesting. We learned about the history of the area. The driver pointed out lots of rock formations with goofy names. There were some that I just didn’t see what it was supposed to look like. I’m thinking there may have been alcohol involved in the naming of some of them :) This was one of the prettier views.


We stopped at this spot which is supposed to be a vortex. In the 1980s some psychic lady came to Sedona and claimed there were certain areas that were a vortex where there are special energies coming from the earth. Supposedly some people experience intense feelings at these sites. We didn’t feel a thing. There are lots of spas and shops selling crystals and psychic type items in Sedona.


After the tour we drove up to an overlook on Airport Road. Our trolley driver told us it had the best views of the red rock and Sedona.


It was almost time for sunset and there were lots of people at the lookout. We waited for about 20 minutes and were rewarded with this gorgeous sunset.


We’re now in our very nice room at the Days Inn watching NCAA basketball. Wisconsin lost by one point earlier today. Marquette is losing at half-time. Hopefully, they’ll pull out a win. More sightseeing tomorrow.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Uneventful Game

Today we headed northwest to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to watch the Brewers play the Arizona Diamondbacks. The facility was new last year and is very nice.


I had heard on the news that the Diamondbacks had sold out several of their games this season so I ordered tickets online last week. It was a good thing I did because today ended up being a sell out as are their next four games. They actually had a record attendance today of over 12,500.

The game was another dud ending in a 0 – 0 tie. We’ve now seen 1 win, 2 ties and 3 losses. I’m hoping our team is saving themselves for the regular season. Spring Training has not been very inspiring to watch this year.

The weather was beautiful. Our two days of winter are over. Today was in the 70s and sunny. It actually felt hot sitting out there in the sun.

Yesterday we road our bikes to a shopping area near us. It’s about 3 miles round trip and there is a Fry’s food store, Wal-Mart and all kinds of other shops. In case you were feeling sorry for us because of our cold snap over the weekend, I took some pictures to show you how we are suffering here in Phoenix.

Along the way there are lots of beautiful blooming bushes including some gorgeous pink azaleas.

P1120737All of the stores with garden centers have had their plants out for a couple of weeks. Here’s a sample of what’s for sale at Lowe’s.


While we were in Tucson in February they were explaining on the news that it was safe to plant tomatoes as the threat of frost was over. All I’ve ever planted in February in Wisconsin was a shovel into a pile of snow :)  So you can stop feeling sorry for us. We’re not suffering here in “cold” Arizona. I am very happy that everyone up north is enjoying such warm weather. I sure hope it stays around for summer!

Tomorrow we are heading on a little adventure. A have a book called “The Most Scenic Drives in America”. We’re going to follow one of the routes from Flagstaff to Sedona. We’ll spend tomorrow night at a hotel in Sedona and then do some more exploring on Friday as we make our way back to Buckeye. With gas prices being so high, we figured it wouldn’t cost any more to stay in a hotel for a night, and then we don’t have to tow the RV up there. I’ve heard Sedona is beautiful and am looking forward to exploring.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dinner and a Cold Front

P1120730Our son Korey was the only one who identified the person correctly on my last blog posting. The picture is of Rollie Fingers, who was an amazing closing pitcher on the Milwaukee Brewers in the early 1980s. He was known for his handlebar mustache. Carol guessed correctly that he was wearing the wrong hat. I didn’t know that he had spent most of his career as an Oakland A. So, I was taken aback when I saw him wearing that hat. To me he was only a Milwaukee Brewer.

On Saturday Frank and Betty invited us to their rental condo for dinner. They’re staying in Sun City West in a very nice one bedroom condo. They fixed a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner. We brought a bottle of wine and an apple pie for dessert.

I had meant to bring a corkscrew with us in case they didn’t have one but forgot it. The condo did not have a corkscrew, but Frank came through. He was able to push the cork down into the bottle using a screwdriver, and we managed to drink every last drop :)

There is an orange tree growing on their patio. The blossoms smelled so nice. I could actually smell it as we walked up to the front door. Betty sent us home with a big bag of oranges from the tree and some grapefruit that were being given away at their rec center. I’ve never seen such huge grapefruit. So far, I’ve eaten two oranges and they’re very good.


On Saturday night a cold front came through Arizona. Northern Arizona was under a winter storm warning. Flagstaff has gotten two feet of snow and many roads up there were closed yesterday.

We got an inch of rain which was very welcome in the Phoenix area. They haven’t had any measurable rain since December and were two inches below average for the year. Some areas also had hail, but luckily we didn’t get any of that. Yesterday and today highs are only expected to be in the high 50s. Brrrr!

I know the Midwest has been warmer than us for two days, and I’m happy for all of you. However, I’ll take two days colder and the rest of the winter warmer :)  By the end of the week we’ll be back in the 80s.

Kevin spent most of the weekend glued to the NCAA basketball tournament. Both of the Wisconsin teams won and are still in the hunt. I did some sewing and watched some shows on the computer. The wi-fi at the park is free. Sometimes I’m able to stream video and sometimes it’s too bogged down. Today we’re going to run some errands and stop at Camping World to pick up a few supplies.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, March 16, 2012

*Moving on Up*

Authored by Rickey Combs

After almost two years on the market, our house finally sold. Thank goodness. We didn’t get what we had originally hoped for it, but honestly, we were just glad to break even in this economy. It was hard to see no profit, but we got such a deal on our new house, that we can’t really complain. Five bedrooms, 3 and a half bath, full finished basement, granite countertops, hardwood flooring throughout, fenced in back yard on an acre. So out with the old, and in with the new! Onward and upward. Since my husband doesn’t do well with finances, or paperwork, I am the one taking on getting everything set up and connected. The thing I did first was go to to get our internet connected. Now that we have internet, I can go online to most of the other websites and have everything transferred to our new home. Let’s see, I need to have our mail forwarded, but I can do that online, have gas turned on, have electric turned on, set up a time for our security company to set up a new system, etc. Click, click, click, done! Thank you technology!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What’s Wrong With This Picture

Our family have been Milwaukee Brewers baseball fans for many years. Some of our best memories are from games Kevin and I attended in the early 80s when Harvey’s Wallbangers were playing their hearts out. Our team had such greats as Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas.

On Tuesday we went to watch the Brewers play the Oakland A’s at the A’s Spring Training park, Phoenix Municipal Stadium. There were four former players there signing autographs on the concourse. I recognized one of them. But, there was one problem with what he was wearing. Here’s his picture. Can any of you guess who he is and what’s wrong with this picture?


The park is the only one in the Phoenix area that does not have lawn seating so we had to buy outfield bleacher seats. We were pretty close to the field. The seats were in the sun and it was hot with highs in the mid 80s. The park is very near the airport so we saw planes flying quite close throughout the game.


The Brewers were winning until pitcher De La Cruz came to the mound. He ended up giving up four runs and was taken out of the game before he got even a single player out. Those four runs cost us the game again. He also gave up four runs in the previous game we had been to which caused a loss. So, we had now been to four games and seen three losses and one tie. I hope it’s not a sign of what’s to come for the season.

A funny thing happened at that game. There was a family sitting in front of us with a little boy, about five years old. I foul ball came their way and the dad was able to snag it. He handed it to his son, and the little boy immediately threw it back out onto the field. After he found out he could have kept it, he felt bad and kept trying to get another one. All the people around them were also trying to get one for him. Finally, near the end of the game a ball was tossed into our area, and the man who caught it gave it to the little boy. I’m sure he’ll never live down that story :)

On Wednesday we went to Hohokam Park in Mesa which is home to the Chicago Cubs. It’s a huge stadium seating almost 13,000 fans, and it was packed. We met Frank and Betty at the game. We bought lawn seats and found a place to sit. It was again in the mid 80s and no shade. Luckily, there was a shady area under the score board where we could go and cool down a little. And, the good news is the Brewers won 10 to 2. We finally saw our first win this year!


After the game the four of us went to a Mexican restaurant in Mesa I had found online called Blue Adobe Grill. The food was very good. I had a chicken wrap which was delicious. The rest of the group had the daily special of stacked enchiladas. The prices were good, you got lots of food, and it tasted very good.

Today we had our carpets cleaned. The day we arrived at this park, I saw an RV a few sites down from us with a carpet cleaning van outside. I got the guy’s business card, and today he came to clean our carpets. This is the first time we’ve had them cleaned. He also cleaned our 5 x 7 area rug. The total bill was $90. I’m not sure if that was a good price, but it needed to be done and it looks like he did a good job.

So, now our recliners are squeezed into the kitchen and our dining chairs are outside. We’re waiting until tomorrow morning to put everything back to give it time to dry thoroughly.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Some Relaxing Days

We went to three ball games last week, so since Friday we’ve been hanging around the RV park and relaxing. We are staying at Leaf Verde RV Resort in Buckeye, Arizona. This is the same place we stayed last year when we came to Spring Training.

We really like this park. The monthly rate is only $350 with 9 cents per KWH for electric. Most of the sites are pull-through and somewhat close together. But, there are sites around the perimeter of the park that are back in and a little bigger and more private. Here’s our site. There is a hedge of oleander bushes behind us which gives us nice greenery to enjoy out of our back window. The area behind the bushes is undeveloped so there is nothing behind us.


The park has a pool, shuffleboard courts, a basketball area, pickle ball court, horseshoe pits, a rec hall, dog walk area, and an outdoor fire pit area with grills and picnic tables. They have a few activities, but not as many as other places we’ve stayed at. That’s fine with us. We don’t really participate in many of the planned activities. It’s a very clean and quiet park.


The pool is quite nice and a good size. There is not a hot tub, but the pool is rather warm. It was a little cool this morning, so the cover was still on it. This afternoon it warmed up to about 80 degrees. This whole week is supposed to be around 80.


We rode our bikes to the store the other day and have been walking about an hour each morning. I’ve been doing some sewing and Kevin spent the day today watching basketball and Nascar. Two of his favorite Wisconsin college teams are in the March Madness tournament so he’ll be watching those games this week. We also plan to go to a few more games at some of the away stadiums in the Phoenix area.

Last Thursday we met some friends from Wisconsin at a Brewer game. Frank and Betty (on the left) are renting a condo in Sun City West for two months this winter. They are members of the camping club we belong to in Wisconsin. Don’t you just love Frank’s hat!


Joan and Al (in the middle) are one of the couples we met up with in Tucson and cruised with. They drove up from Tucson for the game. We all had a great time even though the Brewers lost again. They’ve been winning other games we haven’t gone to, so hopefully they’ll start winning when we go!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unexpected Excellent Service

One of the tires on our truck had been losing air for about a week. At first Kevin thought it was maybe just a fluke, so he pumped it up and kept an eye on it. However, after about three days it needed more air so he decided to take it in and have it looked at.

There is a Discount Tire near our RV park so he took the truck into them yesterday. They were able to take a look at it right away, and after waiting for about a half hour, they brought the truck back to him. The guy told Kevin there had been a nail in the tire, so they fixed it and balanced the tires. When Kevin asked how much the bill was, he was told it was FREE. What, unheard of!

The service consultant explained that Discount Tire does not charge for tire repairs and/or tire balancing regardless of where you bought your tires. It’s a service they provide. Kevin spent his entire career in the service end of the automotive business. He knew that fixing a tire would be at least $20. So, he gave the guy a $10 tip. Still a deal for us, and a little extra for him.

We’ve never purchased any tires from Discount Tire so can’t speak to the quality or price of their tires. Kevin did look at prices while he was waiting and thought they were pretty good. We’ll definitely keep them in mind when we are in the market for new tires.

So often we’ve had to fight with companies for good service. This was un unexpected bonus, and we thought we should give kudos to Discount Tire.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Baseball and Wildfires

We’ve attended two Brewers games so far. Both days the temps were in the 80s, and the weather was great for sitting outside and enjoying a ballgame. Kevin says he’s now on vacation. Apparently, the cruise to Hawaii was my vacation and Spring Training is his :)


Last Sunday the Brewers played the Giants. The final score was 1 to 1. Most of the time Spring Training games do not have extra innings, they just end in a tie. Yesterday the Brewers played the Athletics and lost 6 to 0. Our team had 2 hits and 4 errors. So far, I’m not very impressed with their performance. Hopefully, they’ll get all of the bugs worked out and perform better.

The weathermen had predicted high winds for yesterday afternoon. On our way home we saw this dirty cloud in the sky. I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the sandstorms in the desert.


As we got closer to home, we saw what looked like smoke, but it was very orange and dirty looking, practically blocking out the sun. We weren’t sure what was going on.


When we pulled into the RV park, we saw quite a few people outside looking at the sky. I turned on the news and this is what they were reporting.


There was a brush fire several miles west of us. Luckily, the strong winds weren’t blowing it towards us. Apparently, a farmer decided to do a controlled burn, and it got out of control. No kidding, winds were predicted to be over 35 MPH. What an idiot. Here’s what it looked like from our window.


According to the news, the fire was not near any structures. The winds died down overnight, and they were able to get it under control after about 300 acres were burned.

There were 3 different wildfires reported in Arizona yesterday. Last year we were close to a fire in New Mexico, too. I guess every area has it’s weather disasters to deal with, but I don’t like these fires!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Old Tucson Studios

Yesterday we spent about five hours at Old Tucson Studios. This was another attraction that was in the Tucson coupon book we purchased. Admission was $16.95 and we got one free with the coupon book. It was an okay place to visit at half price. I don’t think it was worth full price.
Old Tucson Studios has been in existence since 1939. The original buildings were built for a movie called Arizona. Since then there have been over 500 productions filmed there including over 300 movies. Some of the more famous films include 3:10 to Yuma, Young Riders, Gunfight at OK Corral and Tombstone. John Wayne filmed four of his movies at the site. Here’s the main road.
Lots of TV shows were also filmed here including Little House on the Prairie, Gunsmoke, and The High Chaparral.
One of the more recent movies was The Three Amigos with Martin Short, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. The film ended up costing three times more than budgeted because those guys kept screwing around. Imagine that :)  Here’s the mission seen in that movie as well as many others. The mountain in the background is called Golden Gate Peak, and is the signature scenery for the studio, seen in every movie filmed here.
There was an area that was being set up for a shoot next week. It was a secret, but they did tell us it was for a well known cooking show and the studio would be closed to the public for a week to film the show. There were three very large expensive looking grills in the road.
There were some informational presentations and shows throughout the day. We watched a couple of the shows including a can-can dance show, a gunfight, and a show in honor of Arizona’s 100th anniversary as a state.
The shows were not the best, pretty low budget stuff. But, we had a good time and learned a little about the business of making westerns.
They had a train and a stagecoach you could ride on. There was also a carousel and some old fashioned cars for kids.
Today is our last day in Tucson. We went for a nice long walk in the desert this morning. I will miss the nice hiking trails right behind the park. I won’t miss the noise from the Tucson Skeet and Gun Club a couple of miles away. Every day you can hear the pop, pop, pop of guns being fired. The noise really takes away from the beauty and peacefulness of hiking in the desert.
I don’t know that we’d come back here. We enjoyed our stay, but there are so many other places to see. The RV park was adequate, but somewhat old and tired, and the sites are quite tight. Our plan for next year is to spend the winter months in Texas.
Tomorrow we’ll be on the road to Buckeye, which is west of Phoenix. We’re looking forward to enjoying some Spring Training baseball games.
I’m just watching the news, and they’re showing more damage from today’s tornadoes in the Midwest. It’s the same weather front that came through here on Monday and brought very strong winds. I’ll take the wind over the tornadoes any day. My heart goes out to all those people!
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!