Thursday, February 27, 2014

What Have We Been Up To?

It appears that some regular readers think we are overdue for an update. Perhaps. It's just that we typically post about new adventures, and most of what we have been doing for the past few months is just living our normal lives. While our lives may seem like an adventure to some, when you have been full time RV'ers for nearly 15 years it's just business as usual.

After our Blue Ridge trip in late September we spent a couple weeks in early October travelling to Elkhart, Indiana where we had some maintenance work done on our trailer. The suspension system was worn out so we had the manufacturer replace most of the main components with new and upgraded parts. It is also the center of the RV industry in the country. We visited the RV Hall of Fame and Museum and generally enjoyed our time there. The weather was nice and we were able to see most everything by motorcycle.

Elkhart is Amish country and we enjoyed visiting the sites and eating good food. We arrived just in time to visit two "floral quilts". They are created from pots of mums which are arranged in quilt designs. They were most impressive and very lovely. We celebrated our 45th anniversary by going out to dinner and seeing a play, "Annie Get Your Gun".

We then returned to Tennessee and stayed until after Thanksgiving. It was the first time we have spent Thanksgiving with Darin and his family in a long time. We really enjoyed our time with them last summer. It was fun (and a lot of hard work) working with Darin and Diane as we whipped their new house into shape. They now have a very nice place to call home for many years.

The day after Thanksgiving we left for Texas to spend Christmas with Dayna's family. It was nice as always, but you can keep North Texas weather in December. Snow and ice storms are not fun.

After spending New Years with the Jennings, we made our way to Arizona to spend the rest of the winter. We spent a few days in Mesa visiting Mom before moving to Quartzsite for a couple weeks. Dale went with us and watched our trailer for a couple days while we went to California to see Greg and Tina who were visiting from India. Greg now works for a company in Chennai, India. We had a chance to see Marie and Adam's twins who were born on April 1, 2013, as well as the rest of Dianna's Southern California family. My brother Don was making a trip to Wisconsin that weekend so we were not able to meet up with him at the time.

We spent several days in Quartzsite before moving down to Yuma for a couple weeks. We did some hiking and also visited the old Territorial Prison. After that it was back to Mesa for another 14 days, and then to Tucson where we are now. We are staying in a boondocking area known as Snyder Hill. It is just off the Ajo Highway near Ryan Field.

Dale rode with us to Tucson but the next day we took him to the beginning of the Arizona Trail near Sierra Vista. He's hiking part of the trail this spring. You can read more details about his adventure on his blog.

While here we have visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum which is always interesting. We also made a trip to Kitt Peak. There are many more telescopes up there than the last time we visited. It was a pretty cold ride by the time we got to the top of the mountain, but we were prepared for it.

We made a short, quick trip to Albuquerque last Sunday and Monday to attend the memorial service for Joyce Stepp. She was the wife of our pastor in Edgewood and a dear friend.

Since our return we have made a trip to Saguaro National Park where we hiked to see several petroglyphs and then rode around the Tucson Mountains, coming back down Sliverbell and over Gates Pass. Tucson has changed so much since I grew up here that things are hard to recognize. In addition to good conditions for growing cactus, Tucson obviously also has good conditions for growing houses (you wouldn't believe Marana today) because they have sprung up everywhere. I think the only thing that has not changed in the past, nearly 50 years is the roads. It appears that they have not been repaved or maintained since then because they are some of the worst we have run into anywhere. It is a big contrast with the roads in the Phoenix area.

There you have it. You're all up to date. We plan to see a few more things while we are here this time, and then will probably head out to Ajo and Why for a few days before returning to Mesa. We do have plans to make another trip to California at the end of March for the twins' (Sydney and Noah) first birthday party. After that we have made tentative plans to spend the summer volunteering for the Forest Service in the mountains north of Payson, AZ.