Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reunion Notes and Jail !!!

A few words about my 45th Class Reunion, which I did not attend .... I was rather glib about it in a past post.  My classmate Larry Masengale and I have worked on this project for about 8 months.  It is NOT easy to put on such an event.  We were determined to make it EASIER and less expensive this trip around so more would feel it was affordable.  Turns out I missed a great party with over 200 people in attendance.  Don't get me wrong ... I don't at all regret staying to help my best friends pack for their move to Tucson.  It was my choice to make.  It did get a little crazy with all the work leading up to the reunion with text messages and emails going back and forth ... several every day.  So I would like to make a couple of comments ... if you are having a class reunion, please PLEASE volunteer to help.  Without the volunteers at the door, it would have been a disaster.  Kudos go out to Larry for getting stuck at the last minute with making announcements and chasing down people who tried to sneak in and get a free dinner by stealing someone else's ticket.  Yes, it happens, and I'm glad he was there to take charge.  Many many thanks also go out to Frances Lunney who spent hours and hours on the internet trying to locate every single classmate so they would not miss the fun.  She did an amazing job ... and now we have lots of new people to add to the Facebook Page I set up so friends could keep track of friends.  From all the comments, everyone had a great time and the band was amazing!!!

Back to Buzzards Roost, Patty had a baby gift to deliver to friends in Sonora, so yesterday we drove up the familiar route to their old stomping grounds.  Patty spied the farmers market first, so we quickly parked, only to get there as they were tearing everything down.  I scored a loaf of banana bread and Patty nabbed some peaches and nectarines.  Very few pictures here ... Miss Patty said "Nancy, better take your camera!" ... but did she listen???   NO.  At any rate, we went off to locate the Museum where her friend Lori East works.  They were having an open house with lots of volunteers in costume leading tours.  Five long blocks and my phone GPS later, we finally arrived at the museum.  Turns out the Museum is the former Jail from early 1800's to 1960.  Lori escorted us through the building and I was so excited I didn't even take phone images!!!  What was I thinking!!!  I did get this back wall and window taken on the alley.
The Sheriff and his family resided on one side of the house while the jail cells ... over a foot thick brick walls with steel doors ... held the prisoners on the other side.  Oh the stories these cells could tell!!  One of the cells held a recently donated gun collection including some nice black powder specimens.  Out back was a small stamp mill (actually working) and an Open House party in the exercise yard.  The volunteers walked around telling stories ... including these backcountry gals!!
I'm so sorry I didn't take my camera.  Walking around with Patty hearing her tell all the stories about the buildings in Sonora was a lot of fun.  This town is on my list of "must photograph"!!!  Besides that, they have an amazing quilting store called Bearly Quilts.  A must see for any fabric person!!

Back at the house, we relaxed on the patio and threw the balls for the dogs ... their favorite game!!  Seems Miss Jessie Bell has become Patty's best friend.
I'd better get going ... Patty has already finished pruning and pinching back my entire front yard and is starting on the patio.  I hear the broom calling my name ....................

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Relaxing Day at the Castle!!!

What I expected to be a relaxing time before we head off to Maui has turned out to be anything but!!  We spent the first two hours of the day pruning in the yard.  Everything was very overgrown and bermuda grass had invaded my flower beds.  Another hour spent unpacking more stuff from the motorhome.  I think by noon I had finally gotten to all the hiding places and extracted the final pieces from underneath.  The elk horn, purchased at an antique store in Cottonwood for $35 (versus a small deer horn we spied yesterday in a local shop for $95) ... has found it's place on the coffee table along with one of the rugs I purchased.  I think this is a great start to my redecorating scheme.
The mule sign is temporarily hanging from the fireplace but will eventually find some wall space.
My 45th class reunion was held while I was gone, at which I was supposed to be the photographer.  I chose to stay and help Patty and Dan pack in Lake Havasu instead.  I don't know most of those people anyway!!!  LOL  But the duties didn't disappear just because I wasn't there.  When I returned, the photography student I hired to replace me, had a photo card with over 200 images on it for me to dig through.  Thank goodness Patty helped me match up names and photo numbers ... it took us 5-1/2 hours to get the job done.  Poor Patty ... I kept her working right through dinner, when we discovered we didn't HAVE anything for dinner because we forgot to go to the store.  Hmmmm taquitos and salad.  I'm not a very good hostess my friend ........  I made up for it with skinny cow ice cream!!!!!
We SHOULD have been out shopping and/or relaxing the entire day ... but I was waiting for delivery of my Giants Baseball Playoff and World Series Tickets to arrive, which required my signature.  You buy the entire set of tickets ... any games not played are reimbursed to your account.  The Giants team has already clinched the pennant (and beat the Dodgers)!!!!!!!!  Too bad I'll be gone for the Division Series and the Championship Series ... but I WILL be here for the World Series.
In between all of the above ... oh, and throwing the ball for Cooper a million times ... we tried on snorkeling gear and started packing.  I'm taking all my dive gear and clothes in one large bag ... my camera gear as a carry on.
Patty is calling "it's breakfast time" ..... I'm loving this!  It's like I have my own personal chef!!!!!!
With all the not-so-fun stuff out of the way, it's off for shopping!  DAN --- send more money!!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And We're Off!!! Twice!!!

Much as we weren't looking forward to the 108 degree weather, we headed back to Lake Havasu to Patty and Dan's house.  After moving the boat, the enclosed trailer, the open trailer, Dan's motorhome, Dan's truck and various other vehicles, I pulled my RV into Chance RV park where they have a full hookup including 50 amp service.  You can access this site for free at ... well actually you can't because it's in their driveway!!  My last visit here in my fifth wheel resulted in my dumb poodle (no, they really aren't that smart!!) slipping through the gate and running amuck in Lake Havasu for several hours.  Luckily, we finally chased him down and all was well.  However to ensure this didn't happen again, Dan enclosed all his gates in wire mesh.  Here's mine when they discovered a k-i-t-t-y lived in this house!!
We immediately set about packing up the Chance household for the move to their new digs in Tucson.  We worked our butts off ... I wish literally, but no such luck.
Every room was stacked with boxes ready to make the journey.  Since the house will be put on the market and shown to prospective buyers, we put a lot of the boxes in a closet.  Miss Kitty Gracie couldn't resist.
Sami was such a good girl ... helping us at every turn.    "NOT"!!!!!    She's snoozing!!  It's tough being a dog!!  No, I didn't touch her ears!!!
After running out of boxes three times, Patty and I finally packed up my motorhome and headed back to California, leaving Dan to fend for himself.   In a couple of days, he will take off for Tucson to get the place in shape (and build a huge storage building/workshop/garage) while Patty and I lounge on the beach in Maui!  It's a tough job, but you know .......
Hooked up and ready to roll!!!
Patty thinks there won't be enough room for all her furniture in the new house, so she chose to part with her beloved hoosier that she has had ever since I've known her.  Thankfully she chose to send it my way.  Believe it or not, Dan measured the Liberty and decided it would fit.  And it DID!!!  It rode home safe and sound in the back of my car and now has a place of honor in my kitchen.  Lucy and Ethel got it unloaded with only a broken, bloody big toe!!!   Okay, just bloody!!!  LOL   This beauty is only on loan however ... if she ever needs it back, it's hers!!!!  In case you were wondering, the "Bread" box has dog treats in it!!!
We spent the day cleaning out flower beds (a mess after only 45 days) and have a long list of "stuff" to do, including a trip to see Patty's son David in Modesto, taking my horse for more x-rays, washing and cleaning the Mobile Castle as well as my truck and packing for Maui.  We're short on time and long on "stuff" ... so best get to work!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Steaming to the Big Hole and Jerome Mining!!

I'm getting further behind, but will try to catch up a little today.  I have internet service but it's slow.  We took the train to the Grand Canyon, pulled by Old #4960 accompanied by other Golden Spike members.  We trucked along quite nicely ... too fast to get many pictures ... the windows wouldn't open so I could hang outside, as I did in Carson City.  Before the ride, we watched a little Old West Shootout.  We ran into these guys later in the day.  Nice horse ......
Here she is in all her glory ...

Rounding a couple corners, I was able to get this image through the glass.  Yes, that is a diesel "backup" engine ... just in case.  It's about 65 miles to the Grand Canyon station ... not an area you want to get stranded in.
Out the back window ....
Along the way we were serenaded by a couple of guitar players ... and the Sheriff visited with everyone.
Upon arrival at the canyon, we had a great lunch at the Bright Angel Lodge.  From there we followed our personal bus driver guide Dan out the Hermit's Rest Road.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to stop at every location and we headed back to the train.  On the way home we were treated to a holdup ... the train stopped, the bad guys got on and collected change while walking through every car. The Sheriff followed, but not close enough to catch them!!
Thus ended a great day on a steam train to the big hole in the ground!!!
From Williams, Patty, Dan and I headed off to Verde Valley for a few days stay, hoping the temperature in Lake Havasu would ease off to allow for packing up the household for the move to Tucson.  This was the first time I have stayed at a Thousand Trails campground and it was great!!  Although we were close neighbors, we had 50 amp sites, nice grass, trees and a swimming pool all to ourselves.  Cooper and Jessie weren't fond of the stickers on the roadside, so we stuck to the grass.
After some fat quarter quilt shopping, we headed out to Jerome, an old cooper mining town.  I was expecting more of a "ghost town" like atmosphere ... but instead it is very artsy ... so artsy in fact it is rather out of my price range.  Still, there were some nice buildings to check out.
As we walked up the hill ... we oohed and awwed over the lush flowers and trees.  The hill is pretty steep, the view is awesome.  Well worth the climb.  Here's a look at the entire town from down the hill.
The Hotel Connor is still standing.  Most of the wooden buildings burned down ... those that could, rebuilt with brick.
Before we left, we drove further up the hill, up a VERY narrow single lane road, towards the Jerome Hotel and the Asylum Restaurant.  Pretty scary drop-off, but soooo cool to drive.  We ended up at a rock shop that was a hospital in a previous life.  The miners got a little carried away with blasting, causing a back corner to collapse.  So they just built another hospital at a site across town.  The old building, currently under repairs, has a glass solarium on the top floor, allowing natural light for surgeries.  That's a scary thought ... surgery in the 1880's!!  Yikes!!!

They have a great National Park Museum, but time constraints (and shopping) dictated we move along.  This rock is outside the building ... no photoshop here.  It's an amazing piece of Mother Nature's work.
As is this shot of the Verde River outside our campground.  Okay, it IS kind of a stream .. but a raging river when the monsoons are here.  We trekked uphill and down, through thickets of cottonwood trees and stinkbugs ... to get this image of the river.
Time's up ... but I definitely want to come back.  My shopping trophies include two elk horns for Buzzards Roost (my home), a GREAT new cowboy hat ... like the old time cowgirls used to wear.  I know, but I'm not THAT old ... will get a pic later for you.  Lots of new Indian blankets and southwest quilting material as well as some fudge and toffee.  Uh yeah ... that's gone already!!!!

We arrived back in Lake Havasu yesterday to 108 degree temperatures.  My two AC units are screaming ... but keeping my RV a nice 80 degrees.  Today Patty and I packed up the china cabinet and the spare bedroom.  Tomorrow the world!!!  I mean the bedroom and kitchen!!  Wish us luck!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Technical Difficulties!!!

"Steaming to the Big Hole" and "Jerome Mining" will have to wait.

We left the Grand Canyon and wound our way down the mountains to the Thousand Trails Campground just outside of Cottonwood Arizona.  GREAT RV park .. I can't believe all the amenities they have here, including 50 amp hookups.  It only gets up to 85 degrees or so but the sun is very hot and the air conditioning much appreciated by the puppies.  The goatheads and stickers I could do without, but the park is clean and green!  The problem is my Sprint wireless MiFi is  s l o w w w w as is my AT&T phone.  I could go to the Meeting Room and use theirs, but Patty and I are up early exploring the local areas, including the old copper mining town Jerome and today on to Sedona, while Dan checks out tractors.  No time for blogging when great shopping is within 50 miles!!!

In a couple days we will be back in Lake Havasu and I'll continue.  Hope to have some great images of Sedona for you!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bearizona!!! Awesome place to check out!!

Today we gathered up the troops and headed for Bearizona ... a drive through wild animal park here in Williams.  Sometimes you wonder whether it would be worth the trip, or the money .. $20 each.  We figured after reading that 6,000 people went through their facility on labor day, that it would be worth visiting.   And it truly was!!!
The entrance gate gives you an idea of the types of animals they have.  Bear, wolves, mountain sheep ... and did I mention bears??  They asked that you keep your windows closed ... but who can take good pictures through a window??  First up was Rocky Mountain Goats and Donkeys.

Next up American Bison, Alaskan Tundra Wolves and Arctic Wolves.

Eating dinner .....

Dall Sheep ... when the Raven got a little too close, the sheep ducked his head ... look out below!!
Next up a herd of White Bison ... one bull, three cows, three calves and one teenager in a gorgeous meadow!!
And finally to the bears.  First we saw one ... then another ... then were REALLY surprised to see many many more!!!  Fat and sassy, most were snoozing in the noonday sun!  This guy hugging the tree!

Back at the main building, just in time for the High Country Raptor show.  We were kind of rushed and I didn't get the camera set up perfectly ... but you get the picture!  Owls and hawks flew inches over our heads!!
Except this guy didn't fly!!!  He just bothers other birds until they get sick and throw up ... that's his dinner!!

After the bird show we walked around to see what other critters they had, including 12 new bear cubs born this last year!!
Beaver ...
A beautiful Canadian Lynx ...
This little cutie pie raccoon posing on their rocks ... which by the way are wire and mesh covered recycled city buses.  Pretty inventive ...
And the best part ... after the bird show, they asked for donations.  Just give your dollar to the caged Raven and they would put it in the donation box for you.  Amazingly, they did!!!  
We soon discovered just how smart these guys are.  When they put a dollar in the can, they get a treat ... dog food.  For every dollar, they got a small piece.
Didn't take this one long at all to figure out how to take the dollars back OUT of the bucket ... then put them back IN ... and they would get ANOTHER treat.  The raven did this trick time after time until the trainer finally came and got all the money so she couldn't reach it!!  She did succeed in getting lots of extra treats.
A great place to take the kids ... but I would probably suggest keeping the windows closed ... especially around the wolves and bears!!!!!