Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Monday, June 28, 2021

Happy Birthday Korey

Today is our youngest son Korey's 37th birthday. Where does the time go??? He has to work today. Since we are staying at the campground where he works, he will be able to stop by for a visit this afternoon.

We left Yuma on June 17th with temperatures around 116 degrees. The heat stayed with us through Arizona and New Mexico. Finally, it got cooler in Colorado. Since we've been in Nebraska, it has been quite humid with temps in the 80s and quite a bit of rain. Hopefully, we won't get stuck again at the campground like we did last fall. 

When we travel from Yuma to the Midwest, our first stop is usually Homolovi State Park in Winslow, Arizona. For years, I have seen the sign for the Meteor Crater attraction. This year we decided to finally go take a look. It is privately owned, and was $18 each for seniors. There is a very nice visitor center. Included in the price was a guided tour of the rim, a movie about what caused the crater, a museum, and a 4D movie geared towards kids. 

We went early to avoid the heat. Our guide was very informative, and we walked about 1/4 mile along a paved path to see and learn about the crater. Originally, it was believed this huge hole was a volcano vent. In 1902, Daniel Barringer, a Philadelphia mining engineer, came to the site and was convinced it was caused by the impact of a large iron meteorite. He spent years digging and mining beneath the site, hoping to find a huge deposit of iron. What he didn't realize, was that the impact was so massive, that the meteorite was pretty much pulverized on impact. The site still belongs to the Barringer family.

It is estimated the impact happened about 50,000 years ago, and that the meteorite was about 150 feet wide weighing several hundred thousand tons. It was traveling at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour, and struck the earth with the force of 20 million tons of TNT. That's enough dynamite to fill railroad cars stretched from California to New York. The crater is about a mile wide and 700 feet deep. Chunks of the meteorite have been found miles away. In this picture, you can see a boulder on the rim at the far side of the crater near the middle of the photo. That rock is the size of a two story house.

At the bottom of the crater there is still debris from previous mining operations. NASA used the site for astronaut training. There is a six foot cutout of an astronaut and an American flag attached to a fence at the bottom. You cannot see if from the top without zooming in. This is a picture using the 30x zoom function of my camera. To better understand the size of the crater, imagine that you could fit 20 football fields at the bottom and have seats for 2 million spectators observing from the sides. It's massive!!

Here's a view from the top of a viewing platform outside the visitor center.

It was an interesting visit, and now I don't have to wonder about it every time we drive past the signs!!

Saturday we spent the afternoon brewing beer with Korey and Cathryn. This year's selection is a Belgium Saison. 

Korey orders the beer kits from Amazon. This recipe was considered intermediate, so they were very careful to follow the directions to a tee. Here they are adding some ingredients. I was in charge of picture taking and did some stirring.

After the beer is done cooking, you have to cool it down quickly. The first year we used an ice bath, but that took a long time and a lot of ice. The next year Korey had purchased a copper cooling coil that goes in the pot with a hose attached to it. The water runs through the coils and cools the beer down quite quickly. Remy, the dog, was enjoying slurping the water from the hose. We had to keep him away at first, because the water was quite hot at the beginning.

Saturday evening we went to dinner for Korey's birthday. He chose a place called Fireworks in Lincoln. We had a great time, and it was so nice to be able to go out again without wearing masks.

We're leaving Lincoln on Wednesday, spending one night in Amana, Iowa, and arriving in Wisconsin on July 1st. It will be great to see our Wisconsin friends and relatives again. Hopefully, it won't be so humid. We're used to dry heat now that we spend most of the year in Arizona. 

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

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Getting Ready to Leave Yuma for a Few Months

 I was surprised to see I haven't posted since April 17th. I try to do at least a monthly update, but I guess time got away from me. Not that there is anything earthshattering to report. We have been doing much of the same.

We continue to play golf at least 3 or 4 times a week. It has been getting rather warm lately, so golf is a 7 am. Those of you who know Kevin, understand that is an early start for him. However, for golf he is up and ready to go!

There are two par 3 holes on the course here at Fortuna. Both are over 150 yards for ladies which is just a bit beyond my driving range. However, on Aril 26th, I drove the green on hole one (barely) for the first time. And, I have done it one more time since then. Yippee!! That was just six weeks ago, and I'm wearing a jacket. It sure has gotten warmer since then.

We have also done a few float trips on the Colorado River with friends. We all drive to the entry point. Then all the drivers take the vehicles to the finish area which is at Wetlands Park. Then all the drivers get back into one car and come back to the start where everyone else is waiting. It works out great. On one such trip Cynthia brought a waterproof camera, so these are the pictures I borrowed from her. As you can see, it is a tough life we lead. It was a perfect day!

Here are Kevin and Everett enjoying the trip. I don't know who is in the very back.

A group shot. I think we had seven people on this trip.

This is the Ocean to Ocean bridge spanning the Colorado River. It was built in 1915, and was the first highway crossing of the lower Colorado. The bridge was a crucial link of the transcontinental Ocean-to-Ocean Highway. That's Kevin enjoying the view.

In April there were a few small wildfires along the river. We saw quite a bit of burned out brush. These two palm trees were completely black with a few leaves struggling to hang on at the top.

Kevin and I enjoying the day. You might notice Kevin has a frisbee in his hand. They're used to help paddle. 

On Sunday, April 25th, we attended the Howling at the Moon gathering in the desert. This event happens every month from October through April for one or two days when there is a full moon. There is a stage where bands play, vendors are selling food and souvenirs, and thousands of people come to dance, enjoy the music and HOWL at the moon. We had never gone, because crowds aren't really our thing. But, it sounded like fun, and I wanted to experience it. So, when some friends mentioned they were going, we asked if I could join them. Here's the mascot at the entry.

This was the last event for this season. I'm guessing there were a few hundred people there. Two bands took turns playing. The theme was the blues, which is not really to our taste, but it was still fun. I've seen pictures during the busy season where the entire area is packed with people, so this was a nice and easy way to enjoy the event.

Friends went early and set up a pop up shelter from the sun, since it got pretty warm. We had snacks and plenty of beverages. You know, its very important to stay hydrated in the heat!!

At around 6 pm, the moon rose over the foothills. It was still light out, so not as spectacular as in the dark. You knew the moon was there because there was plenty of howling. I'm not really sure how this event started, but it has been going on for at least several years, and lots of people love it. In fact, it is so popular that our park now sponsors their own version during the busy months with a band and bonfire right in our park for our residents.

There are a lot of quails in the park, especially on the golf course. This year I saw baby ones for the first time. They are just adorable with their little legs going a mile a minute. I tried to get pictures, but they are just too fast! I was at a local shop, and couldn't resist these metal ones for our back patio. So cute!!

It seems there has been more wildlife than ever this spring and summer. Lots of quails, roadrunners and rabbits. Kevin was sitting on our front porch a few weeks ago, and this guy came jumping up the steps. He got pretty close to Kevin and then jumped off the side of the porch. I know some people feed them, so some of them are becoming quite tame.

One type of wildlife we saw yesterday on our back patio is not one I wish to see again. After some research, I believe it was a Palo Verde beetle. It was huge. Kevin scooped it into the dust pan and tossed it over the fence down to the golf course. The golf ball is for size reference. Yikes!! At least it wasn't a snake. There are some of those around, too. I haven't seen one in our park yet.

Before our friend Cynthia left to go back to Nova Scotia, she treated us to dinner with Everett and Nancy. After dinner we played a game of marbles. We have so much fun here!! She ended up flying to Maine, renting a car, and driving across the border to Canada. There were lots of restrictions in place for her to return, but she didn't regret coming and enjoying the warm winter.

We're leaving Yuma on June 17th. We're heading to Nebraska for a week to visit Korey and Cathryn. Then, we'll spend the months of July and August in Wisconsin to visit more family and friends. In September, we'll spend a few days in Iowa, then back to Nebraska for a while, and then five nights near Denver to visit Kevin's cousin. From October 1st through the 5th, we have reservations a the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. It should be a great summer.

We also booked a Panama Canal cruise for October, 2022. It was such a great deal, I couldn't resist. And, it's fully refundable, so we can cancel if necessary. But, I'm feeling hopeful that by then all will be well, and we can enjoy a fun trip. We've missed traveling!

Stay safe!!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

A New Golf Cart

 It's been over a month since my last post. We have been keeping busy and enjoying our friends and the beautiful weather during that time. 

We did decide to make a significant purchase last week. The golf cart we had that came with our park model when we purchased it was a 1997 EZGO electric cart. We've used it the last three years with no problems, but the batteries were now over four years old. It still worked fine around the resort, but it would not make it up the steep hill leaving the golf course anymore. The few times we tried to use it for a round of golf, Kevin ended up pushing me up the hill.

Rather than buy new batteries, we decided to look around for a used gas cart. Premier Golf Carts in Yuma had eight carts that had been turned in after being leased by a course for three years. We ended up buying a 2017 refurbished cart with a new body, windshield, seats and wiring. It looks like brand new, and we think we got a good price. Here she is!!

We put a for sale sign on the old one, and had it sold to someone in the park within two hours for a price we were happy with. 

We've continued to golf quite a bit. The organized golf groups ended in early April, but there are plenty of people still here to play with. I played quite a bit this year with two of my good friends, Carolyn and Cynthia. 

A few days ago Kevin and I were playing a round when I noticed something odd in one of the trees along the fence line. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a swarm of bees. Two days later, they were gone. I don't know if they moved on or if they were removed.

The Palo Verde trees which are the Arizona state tree are in bloom. I liked this view of the sun shining through one of them at Coyote Wash Golf Course last week.

Yuma is known as the Winter Salad Bowl of the country because there is so much produce grown here during the winter season. When we first came here, we were surprised at the amount of farm fields. I just thought it would be desert. There is a complicated irrigation system in place from the Colorado River which allows all of this farming to take place. Here are some of the green fields we saw while golfing at Butterfield Golf Course.

On March 19th the resort held a going away party. Tables were set up in the parking lot due to Covid restrictions. We enjoyed a free dinner of corned beef and fixings and free drinks for the evening. 

The band was set up on a trailer. The theme was Roaring 20s and there were lots of great decorations. Our friends Pat and Jim were enjoying the music and showing off their dance moves.

Our resort has happy hours every weekday at the pool. Every once in a while we attend. Here we are with a group of friends on March 31st. As you can see, everyone is happy!

The last happy hour of the season was held on April 15th. It was pretty warm, but we found shade under one of the cabanas at the pool. When we got there, we found out drinks were free. Bonus!! As you can see, everyone is again happy!!

Carolyn showed us a new craft idea called pebble art. It's making pictures out of small rocks. We had a ball being creative.

Here we are with some of our finished products. 

I found a picture on Pinterest that I liked, so I made my own version of a hiker. Our friends Nancy and Everett lead the hiking group, so I thought it would be perfect for them. I think they really liked it. I have a few other ideas in mind, but haven't gotten them finished yet.

We also did some rock painting. I made this rock cactus planter. I have ideas for some other rock painting projects, but I just don't know where the time goes. Who knew being retired would keep us so busy!!

Someone in the resort has a drone and took this aerial picture. Our house is where the arrow is. I thought it was a cool view.

I have been quilting, but most of the projects are gifts, so can't be shown yet. I did finally finish this queen sized bedspread for our fifth wheel. I started it last summer in Wisconsin. It was a lot of work, but I'm very happy with the end result. My decorating theme in the fifth wheel is north woods, so it fits right in. It will be much nicer than the one that came with it.

So, that brings you up to date on what we've been up to. We plan to leave Yuma in mid June and make our way to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa to visit family again this summer. On the way back, we have reservations at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. We're very much looking forward to seeing our family again and attending the festival.

Stay safe everyone!!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Lots of Golf

 Because of many activities being downsized, we've been playing more golf this season than ever before. It must be paying off because both of our games have improved. 

My handicap has dropped from a 19 to a 16 (for 9 holes), and I have had several games in the past few weeks with a score of 50 to 52. That's quite an improvement for me. Kevin has also been improving his scores, playing regularly in the 40s. Here I am concentrating very hard on making that putt.

These are some of my golfing buddies.

Since my last post, we have been enjoying life here at the resort. We rarely leave other than to grocery shop. At the end of January, they had a 5K walk/run here at the park. (A few people did actually run!) It was an overcast and blustery day, but we soldiered on. It even sprinkled for a little bit. Here are some of my walking friends. Kevin walked with a group of guys. We made it under an hour, and that was good enough for me.

After the walk, there were snacks and beverages at the pool area. It's great to have such wonderful friends here.

In February the resort sponsored a bike ride outside of the park. We trucked our bikes to downtown Yuma, and then rode about 9 miles on paved paths. At the end, we met at a park where the resort supplied a free bag lunch for all participants. Below our resort manager, Greg, is giving last minute instructions.

About 60 people participated. Not bad for a year where the resort is only about half full.

One of the work campers has the job of taking pictures of all the events and posting them on Facebook. She got a nice picture of us.

The Activities Department employees handed out delicious turkey or ham sandwiches, chips, fruit and beer, water or soda in little cooler bags we got to keep.

February 26th brought us a full moon. The timing was perfect to get some amazing pictures as it came up over the foothills.

One morning Kevin came in and told me to come look at what was out on the patio. Sitting on top of our flag pole was a very unusual bird. At first we thought it was some type of hawk; but when it turned it's head pretty much completely around, we knew it was an owl. That's the first time we've seen an owl here. I tried to identify what type it was, but couldn't come up with the answer. If anyone can identify it, please let me know.

We continue to get together with our New Kids on the Block friends for our weekly Friday night potluck. There is so much fun and laughter. It's so good for the soul!!!

In February we also participated in the annual night golf tournament. You are paired with another couple and play 9 holes in the afternoon. This year we had a take out supper of a hot dog, cup of chili, chips and a beer or soda. 

Then we played another 9 hole round of night golf in the dark. Everyone decorates their carts with glow in the dark balloons and other glow sticks. You are not allowed to turn on your lights. The holes are shortened into par 3 for the night round. There are glow stick lights to lead you to each hole and down the fairway. The flag has glow sticks on it, too.

This is the third time we've done it. It's an amazing event that we really enjoy! And, we finished in 4th place.

I don't know who the guy is in the above photo. It was someone who was at the event that night. I stole the picture from one of my Facebook friends because I thought it was such a cool looking picture!

Last Friday I was out running errands. I saw these two unique rigs in the parking lots. That's the smallest camper I've ever seen. It has 2 solar panels on top, and 2 propane bottles on the rear.

We've seen a lot of unusual towing configurations in our travels. But, this is a new one. I've never seen a boat loaded on a pickup truck like this. I saw that they have a hitch on the back of the truck, so my guess is they also tow a pull behind camper. 

So, as you can see we've been plenty busy, and enjoying our life here in Yuma. Covid cases are very low in Yuma County as well as at our resort. I haven't heard of anyone in the park being sick in quite a while. Kevin got his first vaccine last week. I get my first one on Tuesday as Arizona has now opened it up to those 55 and over. We look forward to life returning to some normalcy soon. 

Until then, be safe!!!