Sunday, December 11, 2005

3,400 miles in 7 weeks - I'm home!

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW -- What a Ride!"

The above quote has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. I had such a great trip - lots of memories of family, friends, and fresh reminders of the earth that God created. It's awesome in so many ways.

Thanks for following along via my blog. I'll "be back again" in mid January when I set out on another adventure. In the meantime, I encourage you to look for adventures - out and about or in your own town.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pancho Villa State Park - Again

After busy family days, activities, and a full day of driving on Tuesday, I was glad to have a day at Pancho Villa State Park. With 60+ RV parking spaces available - and only about a dozen rigs here - it is quiet.

A good day to get some motorhome chores done, make some phone calls and to get back to my current book: Blue Highways - a journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon.

"Life doesn't happen along the Interstates." Heat-Moon's journeys take him on "the three million miles of bent and narrow rural American two-lane roads to Podunk and Toonerville. Into the sticks, the boondocks, the burgs, backwaters, jerkwaters, the wide-spots-in-the-road, the don't blink-or-you'll-miss-it towns."

Cat was delighted to get outside to explore, roll in the dust and chase leaves while I read.
As I had expected, a helpful Ranger brought bolt cutters and swiftly got my stuck lock off the bicycle rack. When I go through Deming tomorrow morning, on my way to Percha Dam, I'll stop and buy a new one.

I'll also have breakfast at Columbus' Patio Café - home of delicious food and wireless Internet - to post to my blog. It will be my last post for this trip until I get home on Monday, Dec. 12. I'll be at Percha Dam for three days.

My next adventure will start mid-January and go through the end of February. It will include taking in the Yuma Lettuce Days where I'll judge the Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing National Contest entries, San Diego area to visit family and friends and take care of medical checkups, and Quartzsite where I'll join thousands of snowbird RVers. In mid-February I meet up with other Winnebago/Itasca motorhomes to caravan to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Jeremiah, Cat and I will be eager to be on the road again.

"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing," said Helen Keller.
So it is!

Monday, December 05, 2005

More family time in "The Valley of the Sun"

I have two sisters, one brother, and an aunt living in the greater Phoenix area, and I packed a lot into my two days there. Brother Ed and his wife Debbie provided my RV parking space - their driveway is just long enough. I had lunch with sister Alice and dinner with sister Margie and niece Jenny. On Sunday afternoon Ed and I visited Auntie Marian.

This morning as I was getting ready to leave on, I discovered I couldn't put my bike on the rack because the padlock on my rack wouldn't open. Arghhh! This meant loading my bicycle inside my motorhome - it barely fit after removing the front wheel.

I had intended to spend the night in Benson or Willcox (Arizona) which meant I'd have to take my bike out, lock it for the night, unlock and put it back in. As I drove south on I-10 I debated whether to stay with my plan - and deal with the bike - or to keep driving to Pancho Villa State Park. Stay - go - stay - go. I decided to keep driving. I know the rangers at Pancho Villa and surely one of them can cut my bike lock off.

I stayed on I-10, watching cars and 18-wheelers zoom past at 75+ mph until I got past the New Mexico state line where I headed south and then east on NM route 9. Once again I could take my half of the road out of the middle, sit back and relax. This is the same road I took weeks earlier - this time there was no sign of military or border patrol.

I arrived at Pancho Villa about 4 p.m. Another trouble-free driving day.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Prescott - Arizona's Christmas City

Nothing says "Christmas" like Prescott in December. My family visiting time coincided with the Christmas Parade and the Festival of Lights at the County Courthouse Square. This city goes all-out with Christmas decorations.

I love small town parades! Prescott's parade was two hours long, and from the numbers of people in the parade and along the parade route, it seemed that everyone from miles around was there.

Thanks to my friends Jackie and Ken Kimsey, my sister Susan and I had front row seats to enjoy the parade. The parade led off with the color guard, and ended with the street sweepers. In between I think that every preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school had a marching (actually walking) group. Several dog groups paraded their four-legged friends (including the Hospice Hounds Pet Therapy group) and car clubs entered their decorated vehicles. There were three dancing groups (see photos), several bands (one with a violinist - see photo), and floats.

Susan and I explored shops and enjoyed the musical groups playing on the courthouse steps while waiting for the 6 p.m. lighting of the Christmas decorations. Soon after that I walked back to the Albertson parking lot where I had left Jeremiah and Cat.

During my stay in Prescott, I also visited with my sister Elaine and her husband Don, and with my nephew K.C., his wife Shari and their year-old daughter Kaylissa.

Except for one cloudy day, the weather was bright and sun-shiny; the nights quite cold.