Archive for Wanderlust

Eleventh Retirement Anniversary

eleven-red-rocks.pngThe last year seems to have gone by in a whirlwind despite the social and biological plagues of 2020. Since our Retirement Post Last Year, we have been busy with our everyday routines accompanied by some occasional deviations from the norm. We find things to keep us busy, I guess, as most retirees do, and that seems to make the time pass quickly.

Because of the overblown COVID-19 pandemic (or should I say DEM panic?), we have postponed any excursions in the RV to next spring and/or fall. We had planed a couple of trips for 2020, but stuff happened.

IMAGE: Numeral Eleven textured by the red rock gravel around our house where many people would have a lawn. We have to pull weeds once in a while, but no mowing in retirement!

During the past year, on two occasions, we have entertained overnight visitors in our home. The first visit was from a couple that we have known since the early 1960’s. They stayed a couple of nights with us and had a reunion dinner at our place with another couple who, like us, relocated to Arizona from Kalifornistan. The second visitor, also an old friend and former workplace associate, stayed with us a couple of nights in August while on his way from Colorado Springs back home to the Los Angeles area. Those were both nice visits that we enjoyed immensely.

October is going to be an eventful month. I have my second cataract surgery scheduled mid-month with pre- and post-surgery visits with the ophthalmologist plus visit scheduled with the proctologist for an exam and to schedule the next colonoscopy. I also have some more dermatology work to be done sometime in October. I also plan on seeing the orthopedic surgeon next week regarding knees, shoulders and hips. There’s nothing drastically wrong with those (I hope) but I have a recommendation from the family doctor to go to the ortho for x-rays and follow-ups.

So, here we go into our twelfth year of retirement. We’re praying that the widespread insanity diminishes enough for us to get back to normal and maybe hit the road to relieve our wanderlust.

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New Office Furniture for the RV

Office ChairEarlier this fall, the Damsel and I purchased two office chairs to replace the stock RV dining room chairs. Today, I finished assembly of the first of the two and took the photo seen at the right. The chair is positioned facing aft just behind the cockpit chairs. It will move to its normal position at the dining room table after assembly of the second chair.

The original chairs consisted of two fixed and two folding chairs which were a matched set of four. We only used the folding chairs on a single occasion when entertaining friends in Kalifornistan in 2018. At that time, one of the original folding chairs COLLAPSED while one of our friends was sitting on it. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt. The RV dealer replaced the chair, but we haven’t trusted them since.

Damsel and I used the fixed dining chairs as office chairs when we would set up our computers on the dining table. After a while seated on them, however, our butts would get sore or fall asleep. We then resolved to replace them with some chairs comparable to those we currently use in the Arizona Home Office.

We figure we can just have a couple of garden-variety folding chairs standing by in the RV wardrobe closet for the rare occasion where we have guests in the RV. The old set of chairs, which are reasonable-looking and nice as a set, will be donated to a local charity for resale.

The second office chair will be assembled sometime in the first of the year, well before they will be needed for our spring excursion. The first one, pictured above, sure is comfy to sit in. Click on the image to enlarge.

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We’re Home Again!

Approaching Flagstaff Saguaro Sighting

Our trip today took us from the high Arizona Desert (5700 feet MSL) through the mountains (7000+ feet MSL) and down to the lower high desert (2100 feet MSL) where we reside. The two photos above are (L to R) approaching the San Francisco Mountains east of Flagstaff along I-40 and the first Saguaro cacti along I-17 as we descended through 3000 feet North of Black Canyon, AZ.

Most of the driving over the past two weeks has been fairly easy in the big RV, but for some reason, today seemed a little more tedious, with rough roads, heavier traffic, gusty winds and some winding roadways, not to mention the ubiquitous road repairs underway. We got through it OK, however, and upon arrival home we ate lunch and relaxed with an adult beverage or two. The major unpacking and post-travel chores to resume tomorrow.

We still have no access to the RV drive at the west end, so I had to once again back up the east driveway to park in our customary spot. It’s a tight fit with an uphill in reverse and a nearly ninety degree turn in reverse to get in the spot.

Believe it or not, the recalcitrant leveling jacks deployed in their normal fashion and the RV is level again after having not worked for the past two weeks. We’re still going to have the RV in for service and to check out the levelers and the door step which has also been a problem. That service will be scheduled soon, but meanwhile, we’re going to get back into our usual routine and become accustomed to home again.

Home Parking Spot

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We’re Back in Arizona Tonight

Red Cliffs Along I-40

Our route was along I-40 all day with stops in Grants (Walmart - provisions) and Gallup (Diesel), NM with our evening destination here in Holbrook, AZ. Even along a major interstate, the scenery can be breathtaking as evidenced by the red cliffs near the AZ/NM border in the photo above (courtesy Damsel). There were many other worthy sightseeing photos Damsel took today, but we have neither the data space nor the bandwidth for the seven hundred plus images I downloaded from her camera today.

This is our last overnight stop and we will be home in Wickenburg tomorrow afternoon. Damsel and I both enjoyed this “vacation from retirement” excursion and will be anxious to travel again real soon as soon as practical. Meantime, we have some important things to do at home. Below is the campsite for tonight with dinner already being prepared in part within the grill on the picnic table (Chicken Jalapeño Casserole).

Holbrook Campsite

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We’re Back in the High Desert

American RV Albuquerque, NM

We traveled over 300 miles today from Colorado City, CO to Albuquerque, NM. We originally planned to camp in Santa Fe, but I screwed up and waited too long to secure reservations for a weekend in a popular venue. I managed to get reservations here, so we’re happy and relaxing after a long (for us) drive. We tend to keep it under four hours, but today was in excess of five.

We stopped in Las Vegas for provisions (the New Mexico Vegas) which extended our time a bit, but we now have things we need to continue. Damsel had some items she needed for a recipe she wanted to try and we both had some things on a list we keep as we go along. All is good.

The scenery was wonderful driving down I-25. Unfortunately, although we had scrubbed the front windshield clean of bug carcasses, by the time we were an hour into the trip, the view was cluttered with splats galore. Earlier in the trip, Damsel got this nice shot of Spanish Peaks (Huajatolla) before the bugs had completely taken over.

spanish-peaks-southern-colorado.jpg

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Relaxing in Colorado City, CO

Weather

Damsel took this photo today while we were taking a walk around the RV park. We have seen this kind of weather for the past couple of days, but it hasn’t cramped our style much unless you consider grilling in the rain a cramp. The linked photo is of me preparing country-style pork ribs on the grill, in the rain.

There is always something to do when traveling in a motorhome, so today, I washed the giant front windshield, dispatching bug carcasses and other road crud. I also hooked up the sewer line which I left until today to do. So there isn’t 100% relaxing, but we still feel relaxed.

We grilled again today, this time it was dry outside and we got the job done in the usual fashion. Today’s food faire was Grilled Filet Mignon Steaks and Damsel fixed a wonderful cucumber, lettuce and cherry tomato salad. We could eat like this all the time.

Steak Dinner

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Family Memorial Day

Pike’s Peak

Our travel today took us from Limon, CO to Pueblo South KOA near Colorado City. As we passed Colorado Springs, Damsel took this photo of the famous Pike’s Peak (named for Brigadeer General Zebulon Pike). General Pike was ordered to explore and discover the headwaters of the Arkansas River, which brought him and his regiment to Colorado. The rest of it is a long story - click the link to learn more about Pike.

Our main stop along the route was Mountain View Cemetery in Pueblo, where several of my relatives are buried. These include (on my Dad’s side), my Grandmother and Grandfather, an Uncle and Aunt, another Uncle who died in infancy, my Great Grandparents and several other same surname as me relatives who I did not know, but we honor them anyhow. Damsel and I placed eleven wreaths and a couple of American Flags in their honor today.

Family Plot in Pueblo

After the cemetery, we drove some 20 miles down I-25 to the campground where we are currently parked and will be until Saturday. As of this stop, we have met our visitation objectives by virtue of today’s decorations and those of last Saturday in Montrose. The rest of the trip is relaxing and sightseeing all the way back to Arizona.

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