A Travellerspoint blog

Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens

Spring time in the desert

Desert Botanical Gardens

Often when we have to have the rig in for work we are faced with killing time while we wait for our home. In such situations we enjoy taking in some local sights be they museums, gardens, cemeteries or scenic drives. We were fortunate to have an excellent spring day in which to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix to view the cactus and other indigenous plants. So many varieties of succulents, flowers, shrubs and trees, even a butterfly exhibit, we we're delighted. Afterwards Brad treated us to an outdoor lunch at Cibo an upscale bistro for some awesome eats.

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I'm happy to report the rig has been outfitted with a new solar panel on the roof and 4 new 6 volt batteries allowing us to "boondock" or dry camp easily. So although we have enjoyed the last 3 years here in Peoria and have made some good friends, we have decided that we won't be coming back next year as it's time to explore other areas. We're excited to hit the road again at the end of April and make our spring/summer trek to the Pacific Northwest. Safe travels to all and as always, happy trails!

Posted by curlysharon 13:43 Comments (1)

Parker Boat Races 2017

Bluewater Casino fun with the gang!

Parker, Az

Our good friend Leslie of Tustin, Ca invited Brad and I to a weekend of boat races in Parker on the Colorado River (Arizona side) for Team Reiter as part of the support crew. We had a great time cheering for the driver Mark and seeing all the boats racing the course as we had never been to boat races before. We had excellent weather, plenty of ice cold beer and good people to keep us happy. All of the rooms at the Bluewater Casino face the river so great views and an easy to navigate casino (not too big). The best part was cheering on Mark as he came in 2nd on race day (Sunday)! In fact we had such a good time that we failed to come home on Monday and stayed another day! The last pics are of us at the saloons along the road home, enjoy.

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The videos can't capture the exhilaration of boat racing; the smell of the high octane fuel, the roar as the big boats skim the surface of the water. We look forward to being a part of the races in October when they return to the Bluewater!

Posted by curlysharon 09:20 Comments (2)

Phoenix Area Hike

Squaw Peak

Squaw Peak Hike

One of the aspects of our lifestyle that we especially enjoy is getting to know folks as we travel around (or stay put). Beyond making friends it's the best way to pick up local knowledge about all kinds of things; where to eat, fish, hike, etc. A friendly bar acquaintance told us about a hike very popular with the locals that was just a few miles away. Squaw Peak, once attained has views of Phoenix and surrounding areas. Many people use the trail as their "workout" so it was busy even during the week which makes it a bit more challenging. The trail is steep and rocky, 3 miles round trip and described as "strenuous" on the website, which it proved to be for me. Brad marched right up to the peak, waited a bit then headed back for me and accompanied me back to the summit. Coming back down was hard for both of us, tired knees! Lovely views of the valley on a perfect ( not too warm) day!

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Until next time, happy trails!

Posted by curlysharon 19:17 Comments (1)

End of 2016/Beginning 2017

Peoria, Arizona to Newport Beach and back again

Peoria, Arizona

It's always great to get back to our "home pad" at Casa Del Sol in Peoria, Az and settle in for awhile. Even better is seeing old friends again and catching up over cocktails! The day we rolled in our good friends and fellow full-timers Jimmy & Glenn had a beautiful al fresco dinner homecoming for us! Glenn made us his homemade lasagne which was the largest and most delicious we've ever had, what a lovely welcome after a long day of traveling.
After setting up the Tiki hut and outdoor kitchen Brad surprised me with beautiful flowers and we were ready to party. We hosted "Friendsgiving" dinner attended by our Casa pals and the turkey and fixings were great but everyone agreed Brad's fried chicken was a most excellent addition!
It was especially nice to have the holidays at home and to decorate a bit. Brad treated us to his world class dry aged rib roast (which he also smokes and then roasts to perfection, I made a Yorkshire pudding to accompany it, so decadent! I also had to include some pics of the cheese souffle I made as it took a couple of trials to get it right.

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Quartzsite, Arizona

We planned a trip to see family and friends in So Cal after the holidays to avoid all the crowds and traffic. Our travels take us through Quartzsite, Az where we like to stay a couple of days to check out the rock and mineral shows. A little too rainy for rock hounding this trip but I did get to shop at Gem World, a favorite of mine with all kinds goodies for jewelry making. Brad joined the Quartzsite Yacht Club, the largest yacht membership in the US with reciprocity across the country, ha ha.

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Newport Beach, California

We had stormy weather on the way to Newport Beach, that pretty much describes our stay this February; stormy and wet mostly. Still we managed to get out and walk and bike and enjoy beautiful Balboa Island and beach communities. It was especially nice to see the folks (Brad's parents) and spend time with Lance and Tina Robinson, Brad's brother and sister in law. We visited all our favorite bars and were introduced to some new places and of course enjoyed delicious meals and seafood.
Our newly wedded daughter Loretta and her husband Jeremy drove down for a weekend during our stay (we had a month at Newport Dunes Rv Resort) and we had fun showing them around a bit. All said, we loved our annual stay in lovely Newport Beach, it always goes by too quickly.

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So back to Peoria to finish off the winter dry and warm until April when we migrate north for Spring and Summer! Peace & safe travels ♡♡♡

Posted by curlysharon 10:46 Comments (2)

Fall Travels 2016

California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico

Widen Wedding San Francisco

As reported in part one, we traveled over 10,000 miles in the 6+ months we were on the road. We came back from the Pacific Northwest early in order to attend our daughter's wedding in San Francisco the first week of September. We had fine weather and a lovely gathering of family and friends to help us celebrate Jeremy and Loretta's union & celebrate we did!

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Coloma, Ca
Soon after the wedding we had another reason to celebrate, Brad's 52nd birthday! We decided to make a "Grand Tour" of the Gold Country saloons since we were camped on the American River in Coloma, Ca. We also attended Oktoberfest and the Weiner Dog Races in Placerville, silly fun indeed!

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Reno, Nevada[b]
We said our goodbyes to folks in California and headed east through the Sierra Nevada mountains. We had decided to no longer traverse Hwy 5 south from Sacramento anymore as that road is so hard on our rig. For 2 years in a row we've sustained damage as a result of driving Hwy 5 resulting in travel delays and expensive repairs. Besides, we had missed seeing family in Utah for the past two years and were overdue. We stopped a couple of days to visit good friends in the Reno area and to see the world renowned National Automobile Museum. Displaying historic automobiles from the late 19th century and from throughout the 20th, most of the vehicles are from the collection of the late casino owner William F. Harrah.

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[b]Salt Lake City, Utah

We were excited to see our family in the Salt Lake area and were able to catch up to almost everyone during our stay. We explored the city, enjoyed an energetic (strenuous) hike up Big Cottonwood Canyon with Brad's cousins. We were rewarded with spectacular views of the fall foliage and climbed to an elevation of around 8500 feet to alpine Lake Blanche. Always a pleasure, we look forward to seeing our Utah family more on our new route.

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Moab, Utah

Having never been to the National parks of southern Utah (Brad hadn't been in over 30 years) we were both entranced by the beauty of Arches National Park, located a short drive from Moab. We had decided to concentrate our explorations in Arches and see as many of the formations as we could hike to. Many beautiful arches are accessible by car and a short walk and there are varying degrees of hiking trails. We scrambled up narrow paths and down sheer sandstone cliffs, no jokes it was at times anxiety ridden but we overcame and felt elated to have endured! We also drove the LaSal Loop around the mountains of Moab. Next visit we'll concentrate on another of the 5 national parks; Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Brice, Zionsville and Arches.

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Pagosa Springs, Colorado

As a final treat, our itinerary included traveling to New Mexico which took us briefly through southwestern Colorado. We were so glad it did as we came upon the mesa verde town of Pagosa Springs for overnight. As you see the springs run right through the quaint town and we hope to spend more time in the future.

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Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

We finally made it to our favorite resort in New Mexico, Ojo Caliente a natural hot spring spa that is situated among red rock cliffs in the area of Taos. We treated ourselves to 3 days of soaking in the many different pools and pampering by the spa staff (massage for me!). We left feeling completely relaxed and ready to make the trek back to our winter home in Peoria, Az.

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We wish you all a happy 2017, a year of further exploration and friendly times! Cheers and safe travels!

Posted by curlysharon 09:00 Comments (1)

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