"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Wheels are Rolling Again

Placerville, CA
County Fairgrounds


The rain finally stopped and the sun came out for two warm weeks.  We've been waiting since November for this!  We had one week to get things in order and pack up before the weather changes.

It's about a 1/4 of a mile drive from where we park the rig on my brothers ranch, down through the lower pasture to get to a side road for us to leave.  The ground has firmed up, but you can see where the wheels still sunk in.

We made it out!!

My shiny tires and rims need a little touch up.

Back on pavement!

We still have two more days before we drive off, but since the rain was coming early, we drove a couple miles into town and stayed at the county fairgrounds.  It was St. Patrick's Day and our friends, John & Tina stopped in to say goodbye before they headed out for some green beer.

Our spot for 2 nights at the fairgrounds.  Water and electric.  Pretty pricey for $35 a night, but it worked.  We had a last dinner planned with the kids, a couple of their girlfriends and my parents.

Ryan, his girlfriend Diana & Shane.

Brennan and his girlfriend, Alex.

Dad & Mom

Our daughter Kaylee, always on the phone.
 

Hurley and Diana.
 
 

One last picture of the kids!  See you again in December. We'll miss you!
Kaylee, Shane, Brennan, Alex, Diana and Ryan.

After our goodbyes, we headed back to Arizona.  This time with the trailer :-)  Our destination will be Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction.  With the backdrop of the Superstitions, this is one of our favorites!
You can't beat our backyard view at site #94.
$30 a night, water and electric.  Great cell service.

One of the cleanest and well kept parks we've been to.  They rake them and make special designs in the gravel.  Very cute.  Great views of the Superstions and lots of hiking, biking, nearby lakes etc.
 
At first we were pretty bummed knowing that most of our RV friends have left Arizona over the past few weeks for other areas of the US.  We were happy to get a message from Mike and Kathy of  Life Rebooted to meet up for dinner.  We overlapped one day before they head north.  How lucky is that?  We spent a couple visits with them last year in Colorado and did a little hiking.

Us, Kathy and Mike

We woke up to a beautiful morning.  The temperatures for the next week and a half are back to the cooler side, with 70s and 80s.  Perfect hiking weather!  We are planning to hike Flat Iron again.

Flat Iron in the background.



Seems we just got settled in when I got a text from old Placerville friends that moved here inviting us to their house warming dinner and concert.  Two nights in a row with friends.  Awesome!

The Old West Trio performs in Placerville quite a bit and we've watched them at the Wine Smith that Shelly & Jeff used to own. It was a great night and nice to see them perform again. Thanks Jeff & Shelly for a great evening.

The Old West Trio


 
 A short video of Tonight We Ride.
 
 
 
The next day I couldn't wait to hit one of the trails.  While we hiked much of our time in Colorado, and most of it over 10,000 feet, that was a few months ago.  The hike up Flat Iron is only 5,057 feet, but the elevation gain is 2781 feet.  Pretty much straight up!  No switchbacks.  Lots of rock climbing and scrambling.  We need to get some shorter hikes in first.

Gorgeous views and lots and lots of flowers still blooming.



The Ocotillo is starting to bloom up here.


We were going to do a another short hike the next day.  Then we learned of a geocache hidden in Saguaro Lake.  Not on a trail.  In the lake.  So off we went with the kayak and Hurley.

Heading for the cove.




So relaxing.

We found the area where the cache should be hidden, but we couldn't find it.  We figured with the level of the lake it should've been about 10 feet under the water line.  The water was so murky though that Steve couldn't see well enough under the water to find it.  Hurley had a fun day swimming and chasing sticks and we had fun just being back in the kayak.  It gave our legs a break and worked on our arms.  On Flat Iron there will be a lot of climbing to do so this was a nice change.

It's been a busy few days here!  Oh, and we just found out that Skip and Tammy, from Colorado, are in the area so we'll see them in a few days.  Next weekend RV friends Cori and Greg & Lee and Trace will be camping with us before we all head out different directions for the rest of the year.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Quick Trip to Arizona

Surprise, AZ
Happy Trails RV Resort


As I mentioned in our last post, we were practically out of time to visit with Steve's Dad in Arizona before we head east to Maine for the rest of the year.  We decided on a last minute road trip.  The weather in California was still rainy, cold and some snow so it was now or never.

So glad we went as we were able to meet up with Curt and Glenda just before they left Arizona.  We may see them along the way or in Maine later this year.

Curt & Glenda
We didn't do much more than visit with the in-laws, ride bikes, hike and geocache a little. 

Hurley cuddling up with Bunny.

We found a great geocache series nearby and had fun discovering those over a few days and some hiking along the Maricopa Trail.

 

 
 
Nothing like an Arizona sunset!
 
Another day brought us out near the White Tanks for more caching.  The sun felt great and all the blooming flowers and cacti made for a great time to be outside soaking up some rays.

 


Two weeks came and went quickly.  As we headed back home we decided to break the drive up into two days.  This gave us some time to stop in Quartzsite where there were still a couple RV friends.  Most have left and scattered to different parts of the US about now.  We're usually here in January with everyone, but it was not meant to be this year.

 
We met up at Beer Belly's for lunch with Steve and Dianne from Canada and Brock and Nathalie.

 
Like most of Quartzsite, Beer Belly's is a quirky, outdoor eating and entertaining area.  We had a delicious hatch chili burger.




 
One more geocache and we were on our way.

We've seen some clever caches like this one so we knew what to do.  Once you find it, you need to figure out what to do to get to the cache.  You plug the hole at the bottom and pour some water in the top, then the cache floats up.

The giant "Q" needs a little work.

I can't say enough, how pretty the drive has been these past few days in the desert.  All this extra rain has made for an explosion of color in the desert.  This part of I-10 was covered in beautiful purple!

Purple, and more purple all around!

Crossing back into California was a little confusing.  It was 5pm Arizona time.  Once we crossed the border it became 4pm and in a few hours, thanks to Daylight Savings, it will be an hour earlier again.

Those of you that drive I-10 have probably seen this.  There is this section that has a bunch of "headless" palm trees.  Don't know what the story is on that but there must be one.

Still snow on the mountains.

 
 We spent the night in fabulous Bakersfield :-)
We grabbed something to eat and a couple more caches along a bike trail.
 
 
Heading back into Placerville we can see the snow-capped Sierra in the distance.
 
 
 And guess what?  The weather for next week looks great!  More sun. That means we can finally heading out.  Only 2 months behind schedule.  Thanks Mother Nature!
 
We will be busy getting things ready and seeing the family once more before driving back to Arizona next week.  We're so happy that we don't have to cancel our reservation at one of our favorite state parks where we'll be camping with Greg & Cori.