Friday, October 31, 2014

Last couple days in Camp Verde and the first week in Apache Junction

We did a couple more things before we left Camp Verde. Number one, we visited Fort Verde This couple are volunteers here and he did a fine job of giving us a tour through the museum. 

We enjoyed going through the four buildings and the museum

The day before we left for Apache Junction we took a ride on The Verde Canyon Railroad . We rode in a first class coach. Passengers enjoyed Champagne or Apple Juice and Chips while waiting for the train to begin the trip up the canyon. 

We left at 1:00pm and arrived back at the station at 5:00PM. Appetizers served included chicken wings, vegetable trays, meat sandwiches, and wonderful brownie bites. 

We settled into Thousand Trails/ Encore Countryside RV Resort on October 25th 
We are not far from friends Marilyn and John we met about ten years ago at an RV Resort in Washington. Marilyn is author of  Footprints and Fragrance and Child of the Outback  I've read both of the books and had a difficult time laying the books down until I had finished them. Tomorrow she is picking me up and we are going to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and do some walking and have a little sack lunch while Joe is with his Buddy Russ participating in a Horseshoe Tournament in Mesa.

This was a delightful find for Joe. It is the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa. We arrived shortly after they opened and were there until about 2:00pm. 

Joe is talking to Docent Jay. Jay was one of the best docents Joe has come in contact with and he has been to a lot of air museums to compare. Of interest to Joe, was seeing a couple of planes, one built by, and the other one piloted by a man from Kindred, North Dakota.  Why would this be interesting to Joe you ask?  He was born in Walcott, ND. Not too many folks have ever heard of Walcott, but everyone knows Kindred which is the next town to Walcott.

Another interesting thing about this air museum, you could go in the area where they are restoring old planes including this B-17.  I took the following paragraph from the Internet.
The most difficult task was locating a top turret. One was eventually found through Art and Birdine Lacey, who owned the “Bomber Gas Station” in Milwaukie, Oregon, where a B-17 had been sitting on top of their station for over 37 years. Harsh weather and vandals had done significant damage, but the top turret was still intact. A deal was struck between both parties: the Arizona Wing would provide much needed work for the “The Bomber,” and the Laceys would donate the top turret to Sentimental Journey.

First, the members had to prepare the parts they would need for the Laceys' plane. A new glass nose and facsimile top turret were fabricated along with a fiberglass tail. In July 1981, a team arrived at Art Lacey's gas station, and in 48 hours had replaced every piece of glass in the plane and all three missing doors. A dummy fiberglass top and tail turret were installed, topping off the work with a pair of simulated .50 caliber machine guns for the chin and tail turrets. The crew reported that there were no words to describe the Laceys' hospitality. By August 1982, the top turret, along with the “Cheyenne” tail turret, were installed on Sentimental Journey.
And Docent Jay, got very excited after  telling Joe the story about that Turret on top of the plane in this picture when Joe told him we live about five minutes or so from "The Bomber"  

Another day trip we took  was to Tortilla Flats. We've been there before. The scenery coming in going from there is beautiful and the ice cream when we got there was sooooo good. The ice cream shop is at the end of the buildings in the picture.

This is Canyon Lake 

Yesterday we went to Casa Grande, about a 45 minute drive from here to see dear friends Carol and George. We met them on our honeymoon in Soap Lake, Washington and  they told us we were married on their 49th anniversary. Next June 4th they will be celebrating 60 years of marriage. We went to lunch with them at a very special cafe. Creative Cafe in Casa Grande The service was great, the food was wonderful and we look forward to eating there again someday. Thank you George and Carol for suggesting Creative Cafe.

Arizona sunsets are the best! Every night this is what I see from our patio. and every night I take about a dozen pictures.  I think this one is my favorite. My favorite cactus the Ocotillo and another Arizona sunset.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Donkey and the Well

While we have been in Camp Verde we have visited Jerome, AZ three times and we still haven't seen it all.  But one of the places we did enjoy visiting there was the Gold King Mine Ghost Town

I am not a lover of horses or any animal that even resembles one. But this day I had more than a lot of fun.  I watched this donkey, Pedro Gonzales, ring his bell for attention, give kisses and hugs. Tim, one of the care givers there, encouraged me to feed Pedro a carrot. See how my hand is?  He took that carrot out of my hand...

And here, Tim is showing me how Pedro will take the carrot out of your mouth.....I don't think so, but something got into me and do you see what is in my hand??? Yep, I put that carrot between my teeth

and look where that carrot is now.  Pedro took his lips and pulled that right out of my mouth. He did it so fast Joe couldn't click the camera button fast enough.  His "flappy rubber lips" got the end of my nose ...oh yuk!!!! but I have to admit it was a fun time.  

Mr. Don Robertson owns the Gold King Mine and this is his home, built with his own hands.

He took a liking to us, and invited us inside his home to show us his Harley Motorcycle he keeps in the living room.  

He also wanted to show us the fireplace he made.  See the cart the rocks are in "coming out of the entrance to the mine?"  That is where the heat comes out....the actual fireplace.  Clicking on the picture will enlarge it.

He was very proud of the patio he built using a rock wall that is over a hundred years old. The Gold King Mine Ghost Town is much more than a donkey and a motorcycle! You could spend a good share of the day there looking at old buildings, a working lumber mill, old trucks, cars, mining equipment... I'm so glad our friends told us this was a must see place!!!

Another Day we went to Montezuma Castle National Park    I was in awe of that place. You can't go up to it like we were able to in the Tonto National Forest, but there are many advantage points with benches, paved walk ways.  What an awesome place.

Yesterday we went to Montezuma Well  All of these places are with in a half drive or so of Camp Verde RV Resort where we are parked until Saturday. I am feeling better every day and yesterday I felt like I could do a little hike up to Montezuma Well.  Again, it was a paved walk way, quite a few steps up, but there were signs along the way to read, so we took our time and enjoyed the afternoon.

There were dwellings here too.  This time we were looking down on them instead of looking up.

And this is Montezuma Well. You will find a lot of information about this well by clicking on the link above.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tonto Natural Bridge

Yesterday we took a day trip thinking we were going to wind up at the Petrified Forest. but we ran out of daylight because along the way we found two very interesting stops. One being the little towns of Strawberry and Pine, AZ  The other, The Tonto Natural Bridge.  So we made plans to go to the Petrified forest next week and we will be on the road by 8:00 A.M. so we will have plenty of time to explore.
This little berg isn't very big but it was fun to drive through. Then I saw a sign "Historical School House" and we were off to see it.

It was particularly fun for Joe because as a young child he went to a one room school house just like this in North Dakota

And it had an out house just like this also.

The next town after Strawberry was Pine. We were getting hungry so we stopped at HB's Place. First thing we saw was a sign on the door, cash only. We went in and were greeted by a very friendly waitress. The place warm warm and inviting and very clean. Decor was American Red, White and Blue and very patriotic.  We received our food in a timely  manner.Joe had a BLT and fries and I had a cup of chicken vegtable soup and a half of corn beef on rye. Both very tasty. In a short visit with our server, she asked if we had seen the Tonto Natural Bridge yet.  We said no, and she pointed us in the right direction.

And off we went..........down, down, down and

Lots of curves

At the bottom, we were greeted with this sign and a State Park Ranger asking for our $10 entrance fee

TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE  was a wonderful surprise for us! So beautiful!

I wish we would have had more time to spend here. Not only was the bridge magnificent but the park was beautiful too. There was a 3:00PM wedding scheduled on the grounds. Beautiful setting with the white tables and chairs. But we had to be on our way to the Petrified Forest which was our original destination. After a few more miles, we made the decision to head for home and plan a full day next week to come back via the freeways which would be a lot faster (but definitely not as pretty)
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the way home

but with those dark clouds we shouldn't have been surprised that we rain into a very heavy rainstorm around Flagstaff. It did take us by surprise though even though it only lasted for a couple of miles and we were back on dry pavement the rest of the way home. This morning about 6:30 AM. I was awakened by thunder.  It is 9:30 now and still raining with thunder in the distance. I checked the weather bug and it still says it will be 82 this afternoon.  We'll see.  We are going to go for a ride after church to see if we can find a Honda Dealer with a Service Center.  People behind us on the way home last night kept blinking their lights at us so Joe finally stopped at a rest area, and found out why they were blinking at us..... our tail lights were both out.  All our signals and brake lights work but no tail lights.... So getting that fixed will be first on our agenda tomorrow. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Finally Caught Up and also starting to feel better

I have seen Las Vegas in passing, but had never really SEEN Las Vega. We stayed at the Thousand Trails RV Resort for four days. So we came into town, parked the car in a public parking lot, and walked, walked and walked.

From one end of town to the other. We also saw a couple of shows. Million Dollar Quartet  at Harrah's and
Las Vegas....The Show at Planet Hollywood.  We did see one other one and  for the price we paid we were very disappointed in it. Country Superstars  

These guys were such a kick!  Look closely. What is he sitting on :P

I think my favorite cassino was the Venetian and the  Grand Canal Shoppes.It was so beautiful inside. I loved the Gondola's and the Gondoliers singing. There was even a female gondolier and she had such a beautiful voice.

Our last day in the area, we took a day trip to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.

Can you see how low the water is?

We took a tour through the power plant. Except for being stacked in the huge elevator lake sardines in a can, it was a very interesting and informative tour. We had to go through security like at an airport and Joe didn't see our car key he left in the bucket with other pocket belongs. (he also had to surrender his little pocket knife and was told it could not be returned to him.)

The tour guide in this picture was explaining to Joe and a few others about the drought situation.

As I said in the title, I'm finally starting to feel better. Trying to get my energy level back up. I had my first good nights sleep in weeks  last night. Thank you for all your prayers.  I would also like to add, for those of you who commented on The Christmas Card Blog....
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year  is our 2nd most favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie.  We are looking forward to the new ones coming out this season.