Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cochise Terrace Life

We’ve been on our RV lot at Cochise Terrace Resort in Benson for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and we’re settled in for most of the winter. But we already have a trip planned…more about that later.

DSCN0188 We’ve really enjoyed having Craig & Liz visit (Don’s son and daughter-in-law). They stayed 10 days and helped us with some projects we’ve been wanting to work on.

First, Craig wanted to build steps from the back of our lot down to the wash below. He decided it would be too steep without a handrail, making the job a little more complicated. So he came up with the idea to create a ramp instead. It goes at a gentle pitch parallel across the back side of our lot down to the wash, with garden border boards on the sides. Now Don can walk Shadow down there easily, and we can take a shortcut to other parts of the park.


DSC01685Another project was to expand the patios. We have two separate patios, created with cement pavers; one borders the motor home and the other borders the shed, with stepping stones connecting the two. The photo above was taken soon after we moved onto the lot last winter, before the fence was built.

We had enough space to move the motor home about 2 feet closer to the DSCN0087utilities on the driver’s side, and therefore could add 3 feet of pavers to the patio, placing them closer to the motor home to make it easier to access storage bays without stepping off the pavers.

Last year we weren’t able to find pavers to match, so we thought we’d have to get creative about mixing in another style of paver. However, a neighbor suggested we look at Sutherlands Hardware in Sierra Vista. Hurrah! They had the matching pavers, but not enough of them. We bought 90, and asked to be notified when they got some more, since we still need about 50.

I used a spreadsheet on my computer to create a grid and figure out a pattern for incorporating the new pavers with the old, since the color’s different due to exposure to the elements. We used alternating rows on the rear patio, and replaced about half of the pavers, moving the old ones to expand the front patio.


DSCN0099There, we created an alternating border with the new pavers, leaving the majority of this patio original.



The finished result is that few people notice that some of the pavers are new. As they, too, are exposed to sun, wind and rain, they’ll fade and blend even better. Although the rear patio isn’t quite finished awaiting more pavers, it’s still usable, just not yet expanded. Next, the fence needs to be adapted to the larger patios. But that project will wait for another day. We were all happy with our handiwork.

DSCN0088Even the 4-legged members of the family, Shadow and Koa, who had been supervising the whole project, approved. 




DSCN0127Having finished our projects, we took a day off for fun and visited the Pima Air & Space Museum at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. 

There are too many aircraft to report on, but here are a few of my favorites.

DSCN0139 The Bumble Bee, credited by The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest aircraft ever flown. This record was later broken, so the creator built Bumble Bee II and set a new record. This aircraft was destroyed in a crash, so only the original is on display.

DSCN0143Liz had fun playing pilot in one of the planes!




DSCN0144It’s long been my dream to have my own personal helicopter. Little did I know that the Hoppicopter was built a year before I was born! That would have come in handy during my commuting days.

DSCN0157The biggest plane at the museum is the SR-71 Blackbird, with a top speed in excess of mach 3 and a cruising altitude of over 80,000 feet.

DSCN0173Finally, I was fascinated by seeing the Sikorsky Skycrane, a twin-engine helicopter designed for heavy lifting. When reading about this on the web, I found the statement “…the helicopter can lift just about anything: tanks, airplanes, and even a house!”

DSCN0185The evening before Liz & Craig departed, Don treated us all to dinner at Gracie’s Station, which has become one of our favorite restaurants in Benson.


DSCN0187Don had to model the sweater I knitted for him. (Amazing -- it actually fits!)






DSCN0194 After bidding ‘the kids’ goodbye on Saturday morning when they departed for Albuquerque, we had a brief rain and were treated to a beautiful double rainbow.DSCN0202









As happy as we are to be in our ‘winter nest,’ we’re eagerly looking forward to our next outing. Ken and Maryanne Watson invited us to join them for Thanksgiving at their beautiful home in Cave Creek. The full-hookup site in their backyard awaits, along with lots of great turkey and all the trimmings, plus the fellowship of friends and family!

P.S. After publishing this post, I noticed the spacing didn’t turn out like I expected. Rather than try to fix it, I’ll wait to see if any blogging gurus out there can offer some advice. I’m using Windows Live Writer to create the posts.