"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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Quick Trip Back to CA before Leaving AZ - Barn Demo!

Surprise, Arizona
Happy Trails RV Park
Before we head back to California to help my brother out with dismantling and cleaning up the mess from a large oak tree falling on his barn, we had a few more things to do in Surprise.  First off was meeting up with Curt and Glenda for dinner and a little geocaching.   This will be the last visit with them this year unless we cross paths later in California.
The next day there was some new geo-art placed in the desert just a few miles from where we were staying.  It was layed out in the shape of a cross (if viewed from the air) over a few miles. We had started it but wanted to get the rest of the caches before we leave for the season.  It was a warm and breezy day and we enjoyed the exercise and the surroundings.


Hurley thought it was hot though and cooled off in every puddle we came across.
On the way back he couldn't wait to get into the big one!
Then we finished up some rig maintenance, including replacing the anode in the hot water heater.  The new one is one the left, the old on the right.  We would be staying at my Mom's while in CA, so we locked up the rig and left it behind.  Much better gas mileage without pulling it along.
It was a long drive but we made it to Barstow for the night.  We were up early then arrived at my brothers to survey the damage.
It was nice to see everything starting to green up and flowers pop up.
I had to say hello to Blue and Baily.
Love those blue eyes!
 The pond was filling up nicely.
 Here's Steve moving :-) what's left of one of the main trunks that fell onto the barn and flattened it!
 And here's another part of the trunk that went the other way.  Luckily it just pushed the chicken coop off its foundation and didn't hurt anything else.
 This is a picture of where the truck split, falling opposite directions due to a bad windy snow storm.  Once it fell you could see that it was dying from the inside out.
My brother left Arizona a month ago to start the assessment, insurance and clean up.  I was surprised how much they got done.  There was only the skeleton of one end of the barn left up. 
Even so, it looked like a bomb went off and there were piles of items destroyed in the barn, wood that needed cutting, dump runs, etc.  We had some items in the barn also and luckily they were mostly unharmed.
 Piles and piles of wood that needed cutting, splitting, raking and burning.
I got quite the workout moving and stacking logs. 
One of the items we had in the barn was the original gas stove that was in our grandmas house.  Surprisingly it didn't get crushed but it did get dented in a few places.  Unfortunately with it sitting in the rain and snow for a month it was rusted badly and pretty much ruined.  We all had such good memories of this stove.  It also had a wood burning section.

I'm pretty handy with a crow bar.  After dismantling, everything had to be sorted and stacked.  You see the really sad part, besides loosing the barn and its contents, was that it was built in the 1800s and had historical significance to the area.  On the plus side, the old barn wood and tin was worth quite a bit.
We struggled with the weather as it rained half the time we were there to help.  I wish we could've done more.
Once the rest of the barn was down and we had all the usable wood and tin piled up, it was time to burn the rest.  Cut, stack, rake, burn.  Oh boy my back was killing me by the end of the week.  Luckily I was able to baby my shoulder somewhat and it didn't cause me much of a problem.

Before we head back to Arizona we were able to visit with most of the kids and my parents.  My Dad continues to do very well.  Of course the kids love to tease me how tiny I am compared to them.
Kaylee and Shane
We also visited with my sister and some friends at our favorite Mexican place.
Me, Kris, Doug, Deanna and Steve
 It was a beautiful end to the day.

 Last up was a dinner with Rick & Angie and Mike & Rose for Rick's birthday.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the rest of us.  We went to a Brazilian place and ate ourselves silly.
Happy Birthday Rick!

This picture somehow got mixed up with the rest.  This was in Quartzsite.
Diane, Glenda, Cori, Curt, Greg, Steve, Me and Steve.  Guy and Sue are somewhere in there too.
It was an absolutely exhausting week and time to get back to Arizona as we would be heading towards Utah in a couple of days.
We decided to go through Laughlin and Kingman at the end of January to get back for a change of scenery from I10.

We also drove through the now deserted town of Nothing, AZ.  It was established in 1977.  At its height, Nothing had a population of 4. It had a gas station and small store.  It has tried to be revitalized a couple of times but is once again abandoned.
As you drive down 93 towards Wickenburg, you pass an area full of boulders.  This one looked like Snoopy.  There are also tons of Joshua Trees here.

Fourteen hours later, we arrive back in Surprise.  Very tired, but happy to help out my brother.

Some last minute washing and waxing and we'll be back on the road, continuing north.


  1. Great you were able to go back and help out. Then to get to see family and friends, an added bonus.

    1. Always fun to go back. Really a shame about the barn though.

  2. Nothing, Arizona is really something, isn’t it? Arizona has some pretty fun town names. :)

    Glad you could help your brother with the barn, Debbie!

    1. I get a kick out of those names. We were happy to help my brother out.

  3. That tree really did a number on the barn! I bet they appreciated the help and it must have been great to see everyone.

    1. It was caught on his outdoor camera and it just went POOF in a cloud of snow.

  4. The horses were happy to see you again :-) Too bad about Steve's barn. Old trees can do quite a bit of damage. Years ago our next door neighbor's trees fell on his neighbor's house (two houses away from us) and put a gaping hole in their roof :-( My son is taller than me, but my daughter is shorter so I'm right in the middle :-)

    1. Love being back on a ranch but happy not to as well. The barn was a real bummer.


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