Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quartzsite and Another Great Hike

Last Saturday we drove about an hour to Quartzsite to attend the annual RV show held there. Dick and Wanda came with us. One of the reasons I wanted to go was to see if I could find any deals for RV parks in Florida for next winter. The only booth there with Florida parks was the Encore Resorts corporation. I spoke with one of their reps, and she is supposed to be getting back to me this week with some possibilities, so we'll see how that goes.

We did manage to do some shopping at the show as well. A tire pressure monitoring system has been on our radar for a while. Some people swear by them and wouldn't be without them. Others say they are useless and not worth the money. We spoke to a couple of vendors selling the systems. We ended up buying one of them for the four wheels on our fifth wheel. We'll see if it helps us to avoid any future tire blow outs. At $218 we thought it was worth it for some peace of mind.

We also purchased two very nice folding chairs. I've been pricing these type of chairs, and felt the $35 was a good price. The chairs are very comfortable. I've always liked the director style chairs because they have the attached side table, but I never found one that was comfortable to sit in. The plastic tray on the side of the new chair fits great, and now I have a comfortable chair with a side table as well. The side trays were two for $10, which is the best price I have seen them at. These trays only work on recliner style chairs. Our new chair is a five position recliner without the bottom part for your feet. We'll just use a foot rest, and it is much easier to store and transport than a full recliner.

Another reason for going to Quartzsite last Saturday was to attend the second annual Bloggerfest. It was an opportunity for bloggers to gather and meet in person. George and Suzie of Our Awesome Travels did a great job of planning the event on the BLM lands outside of Quartzsite. Over 50 people were in attendance. We reconnected with some people we had met in the past, and met some new bloggers as well. A great time was had by all.

Yesterday the hiking group drove about ten miles east of Yuma to hike on BLM lands near Muggins Peak shown below.

This was probably my favorite hike we've done with the group. We did a little bit of scrambling over rocks and there were a few places that were a bit dicey with loose rocks or climbing up and down a few steep spots. But overall, we walked along fairly flat trails or in the washes near the bottom of the mountains. The scenery was beautiful, and I could actually look around me rather than focusing on my feet to make sure I didn't step wrong and fall. Near the beginning of the hike, we meandered through some slot canyons.

Here's part of the group. There were 43 hikers on this trek. That's a record for the group, which I think is in its 12th year.

We stopped for a break at this interesting spot. There are a number of places in this area of the desert where the wildlife people have placed water storage tanks underground. They collect rain water, and then slowly disperse it in the summer so the animals don't die. The main purpose is to keep the big horn sheep population healthy. With humans infringing on their water territories more and more, the sheep were becoming endangered. This dam has a 2,500 gallon water tank under the ground in front of it. The water collected in it is then slowly released into the pool at the bottom behind the dam. Animals such as the sheep can come here to drink in the heat of the summer.

We hiked over 5 miles, and it was a great workout.

This morning we are playing pickleball again. We try to play at least once a week. After that, I'm going to a pie crust making activity with Wanda. We will each make our own pie with a crust recipe one of the workampers here in the park will share with us. She brought one of these pies to a shared meal at the park, and everyone raved about it. So, she is hosting this activity to share her crust recipe. I'm not much of a baker, but it sounded fun. There is even a lunch provided.

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

An Interesting Hike and Meeting Bloggers

Last Monday we joined the resort's hiking group for a four mile hike in the desert outside of Yuma. We drove several miles along a dirt and gravel road to the ghost town of Dome, Arizona. The town was established in the 1800s when gold mines were in operation in this area. It was also a stop on the Butterfield Coach which ran from St. Louis to San Francisco.

It took about 25 days to do the full trip, 24 hours a day. Horses were switched out every 10 hours at stations along the route. I can't imagine spending 25 solid days and nights in a stagecoach on the bumpy dirt roads. Passengers and the mail were carried on the coaches. The town of Dome existed until about 1940. They even had a post office. There are some old trailers sitting out there. I'm often amazed by the remote places people lived.

We hiked for about two hours including a stop for some snacks and a rest. Some of the terrain was fairly easy along a path. In other areas, we were scrambling over rocks and picking our way down the sides of hills. At one point, I went down part of the way on my butt because I was afraid I'd slip on the loose stones.

We came to this water hole in the desert. Our leader Everett did not think this was a spring, but rather a deep hole where water accumulates and stays. It was very dirty. We saw some animal tracks around the edges.

Everett's wife Nancy found this sheep's horn at our lunch stop. Just a small piece was sticking out of the ground. She dug it out, and what an amazing find. We've never seen any animals on our hikes. It's no wonder with 20 to 40 people tramping around.

On the way back, we stopped at the Dome cemetery. It looks like these white crosses were put here in recent years to replace older and decaying grave markers. There is a registry of all the people buried here at the city office. Word is that only Mexicans, Indians and other non-whites were buried here. The whites were buried in Yuma.

All of the crosses had coins placed on top of them. Some of the coins were very old and weathered, others were quite new and shiny. This is done as a sign of respect. I've never seen that before. As you can see by all the footprints around the cross, there are a lot of people who come by here either hiking or on ATVs. It's refreshing to see that the coins are left alone.

Yesterday we had lunch with Steve and Joan. They are also fulltime RVers, and have been on the road about as long as we have been. We've been reading each others blogs. They are in Yuma for a few days visiting friends, so we made plans to meet in person.

As is always the case with fellow fulltime RVers, we had plenty to talk about. After reading someone's blog for years, you feel like you already know the people and have an instant connection. We enjoyed hearing about their adventures. They have been volunteering at Lake Mead during the winter the last few years. It sounds like a great place. We will definitely plan to get there sometime to check it out and meet up with them again.

Last summer they got a job working for a company that does back road mapping for the BLM. They spent all summer driving along the back roads in Idaho, Wyoming, and some neighboring states checking the roads in their Jeep. Sounds like a great job if you enjoy Jeeping and exploring.

Tomorrow we're heading to Quartzite for the day. In the morning, we'll check out the RV show tents. In the afternoon we're attending the 2nd Annual Bloggerfest. It's a gathering for bloggers to get together and meet in person. We know of a few people that will be there whom we have already met, and I'm looking forward to meeting new to us bloggers as well. Should be a great time.

We've been golfing at least once a week since we've been in Yuma. I am happy to say that my game is improving a bit. I'll never be great, but at least there is a bit of improvement. Keeps me coming back.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

I Won!

I can't believe I haven't done a blog post since Christmas. I hope all of you had a very happy new year. We've just been busy enjoying ourselves with nothing too earth shattering to write about.

Friends John and Janie left at the end of December, so the week after Christmas we made another trip to Mexico with them and had them over for dinner before they left. Since then, the weather is slowly starting to improve, so we've been enjoying more outdoor activities including golf, pickle ball and bocce ball with Dick and Wanda.

Last weekend Dick and Wanda invited us to join them in attending the "Boomers and Beyond" event at the Yuma Civic Center. I would describe it as a type of health fair as well as businesses with booths that might be of interest to older folks. Kevin and Dick listened to a program about the art of beer making. Wanda and I went around and filled out entries to win prizes at some of the booths. I also had a free bone density screening test done. I had the test done quite a few years ago by my doctor, so it will be interesting to see what he says about the results I got here, and how they compare to the earlier test.

I ended up winning a basket from Emerald Springs Assisted Living Facility in Yuma. The basket was full of delicious baked goods from a local bakery including cinnamon bread, chocolate bread, caramel corn, cookies and cinnamon syrup. There was a recipe for a french toast bake using the cinnamon bread. I made it the next day and invited Dick and Wanda to share it with us. It was okay, but I don't think I'd make it again. The baked goods are all delicious.

Sunrise isn't until after 7 a.m. Occasionally, there are some clouds in the morning. Here is one of the more beautiful ones I've observed lately.

Yesterday we went to a free golf clinic advertised as a putting and chipping event at the golf course here at the resort. The presenter was the golf pro from a local course in Yuma. The guy talked for an hour and a half, and we really didn't learn much of anything except the more you practice, the better you should get. I was not impressed with the guy, and would certainly not pay to take lessons with him. Oh well, at least it didn't cost us anything.

A group of ultralights have flown over the resort a few times lately. They are fun to watch. My dad always loved seeing them in Wisconsin. It was one of his dreams to fly one, but he never did. When I see them, it makes me think of my dad. I hope he's flying one every day in heaven :)

I hope everyone up north is staying warm. We certainly are enjoying the winter here in Yuma.

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