Archive for Wanderlust

Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Crowding

View from Yavapai Point

We can all agree that the scenery at Grand Canyon’s South Rim is nearly unsurpassed in its spectacular views of the canyon. And, looking at the second photo below of the South Entrance traffic this morning, we can all agree that the canyon’s popularity tests its infrastructure to the limit. Also, given that 2019 is the canyon’s Centennial celebration, it has become an even more internationally popular attraction.

South Entrance Traffic Jam

Although Damsel and I haven’t been there in a couple of years, the last several times (starting in 2008) we have gone to the South Rim we have found difficult parking, overcrowded view areas and tons of inconsiderate people who seriously detract from the enjoyment of the visit. We probably will not visiting there soon, but I asked the internet to show me slow times at the south rim and I got the following hit from the National Parks Service about a South Rim Survival Guide. They address several points, not all of which are useful to us, but I’ll share them anyhow.

Visiting During Busy Periods

Like other national parks, Grand Canyon has seen a dramatic increase in visitation over the last few years. The South Rim experiences crowded conditions during busy periods throughout the year, including spring break, summer, and holiday times during fall and winter. You can expect:

  • Long entrance station lines,
  • Long shuttle bus lines,
  • Limited parking near Grand Canyon Visitor Center,
  • Large crowds at popular viewpoints.

However, there are ways to navigate and avoid some of this congestion to make the most of your time on the South Rim. Here are some tips:

  1. Park in Tusayan and Ride the Free Shuttle into the Park
  2. Planning to Drive Your Vehicle into the Park?
  3. After 10 am Parking Becomes Limited Around the Visitor Center
  4. Enter the Park at Desert View, If You Are Approaching Grand Canyon from the East
  5. Tips for Touring Scenic Hermit Road
  6. Visiting the South Rim with 3 Hours or Less?
  7. Arriving in the Afternoon with 4 or 5 Hours?
  8. Less Crowded Sunset Locations
  9. Take the Train

The enumerated tips above are all expanded on their Survival Guide. As I said, not all are options for our needs, but we may try to avoid some of the hassle by taking a suggestion or two.

As usual, click on either image to enlarge.

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Happy New Year!

happy-2019.png

We had a pretty good day today. It started out with a little light snow, some of which stuck. Snow is unusual for us here and, coincidentally, it snowed here on New Year’s Eve in 2014, but today’s snowfall was nothing compared to that event. After it warmed up a bit, some gentle rainfall slushed all the snow away this afternoon.

2018 was good to us. Even though we had some surgery on the thyroid last march, there have been no health issues other than the usual arthritis and other aging things. We started a diet a couple of months ago and it has been working. I lost over 10 pounds so far and a couple of notches on the belt. Damsel is doing as well.

In the coming year, we have springtime plans to head to Colorado. This year, we had a marker placed on an ancestor’s grave in Montrose, CO and we are planning to go view the work and to place a wreath or three. We also will be visiting in Pueblo, CO to place more wreaths and perhaps meet up with some long lost cousins.

For 2019, we wish everyone a wonderful, prosperous and happy new year!

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New Arizona Ham Radio License Plate

W7GD License Plate

That was a pretty fast turn-around! I ordered the new plate 29 days ago and it was already in the PO Box this morning. The lady at the MVD that took the order said about 30 days while the literature on line said six weeks. Regardless, it’s here and already mounted on the Motorhome.

They only issued a single plate because AZ doesn’t require a front license plate. I think I can get one for the front of the RV, though. I will check on-line and see if that is possible.

We won’t be able to show off the new plate until springtime because we’re not going to go on our planned trip to Colorado until the weather changes. Maybe we will have some other place to go in the meantime, but we’re not planning on anything yet.

So, there ya go . . . a good-looking ham radio call plate on a good-looking Motorhome. Click on the image to enlarge.

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State Firearm-Friendly Rankings Graphics

Graphical Depiction State Ratings Levels of Restrictions

Last October, I posted about Arizona Still Number One for Gun Owners. Since then, Guns and Ammo, who prepared the ratings, posted a graphical map of the US showing the states rankings. That is the image on the left above. Click on the image to enlarge.

Reprinted from the October post:

States were measured by the following criteria:

▶ Right To Carry
▶ Treatment of “modern sporting rifles” (ARs, AKs, etc.)
▶ Magazine capacity limits
▶ Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground
▶ Treatment of NFA firearms
▶ Miscellaneous issues such as constitutional protections, preemption, restrictions on gun or ammo purchases, CCW reciprocity, availability of places to shoot, etc.

I also found a still from an animated graphic that shows an updated status through 2017 of Right to Carry for each state. As of 2017, when the image was produced, there were 13 states with Constitutional Carry. Click on the image to enlarge.

It disturbs us a bit, that some of the states through which we will be going next spring, have poor rankings. Even though we have CCW recognition in Colorado and New Mexico, we will just have to be extra cautious when we are in those places.

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Retirement Milestone Nine

nine.pngIt’s hard to believe that another year of retirement has passed, for which we’re very grateful. We had a good year with some travel to visit family and see the sights of the great American Southwest. We have had a good health year, only suffering some of the usual senior aches and pains, but nothing too serious.

We still love living here in the Sonoran High Desert of Arizona. We currently are experiencing some light rainfall with a promise of heavier showers overnight. That should break the drought in this area good and proper.

During the coming year, we are planning a vacation in the springtime to visit the grave of my great grandmother Emma in Montrose, Colorado. She was buried there in 1960 and until just a few weeks ago had no marker on her grave. Damsel and I changed that and ordered a slant from a monument company in nearby Delta. We would like to visit the cemetery again to view the marker in person and decorate it with a wreath. My great great grandmother Adeline is also in that cemetery so we will place wreaths on her marker which she shares with her son, my great uncle Ulysis.

We don’t have a lot of other plans for the coming year and are playing it by ear, so to speak. We have plans to do some home improvement; painting the house exterior and walls plus new furniture for the inside. It should be a good year until the tenth retirement anniversary next fall.

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Safe Arrival at Home

Cactus Wren on Saguaro Buds

We’re safe at home today, after a five week absence. We drove from Bullhead City over to Kingman and then down US 93, also called the Joshua Tree Forrest Arizona Highway, but there is lots more to see along that scenic route going from I-40 down to Wickenburg. Damsel and I are happy to be at home again, having missed our beautiful retirement home. Our two small dogs seem equally happy to be getting back in their routines.

The Cactus Wren in the image above was waiting on the big saguaro out front to greet us. It is our State Bird perched on the buds of our State Flower. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Camping at the Colorado River

Camping at the Colorado River

Tonight, we’re camped at a neat little RV park right on the Colorado River in Bullhead City, AZ. The campground is less than 300 feet away from the river where we enjoyed the view that Damsel captured in the image above. It is a lot warmer here than we have had during the entire trip with the mercury hitting a bit over 100° at check in time this afternoon.

Yes, we’re finally back to our home state. We got here by a circuitous route designed to avoid Las Vegas metro area. From Beatty, NV, we went down US 95 Veterans Memorial Hwy and actually went back into California along CA 127 to Baker, up I-15 a ways and across again to Searchlight, NV, Laughlin, NV and finally arriving here in Bullhead. There is always plenty of beautiful scenery along all the desert highways. We had sunny weather and a pleasant drive with only some minor gusty wind conditions in mountainous areas.

Our plan is to head home in a couple of days after relaxing here and enjoying the summer-like weather in the RV resort. The RV’s dual A/Cs keep the temperature comfortable inside.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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