Saturday, March 22, 2014

Casa Grande and North Ranch

On Thursday we drove to Casa Grande and visited our friends Bill & Jan Mains. Upon arrival, we did our usual setup, but encountered another problem with our MotoSat TV dish.

It had a similar problem when we had moved the day before, but I performed a dish calibration which fixed the problem. This time though, nothing I tried worked. I called our tech friend Steve O’Bosky and he gave me a few other things to try, but nothing worked. And the biggest problem was that the dish wouldn’t stow completely. It was stuck about halfway down, in a skewed position.

Long story short, I managed to get connected to a mobile repair rep named Dale Morris in Apache Junction, about 50 miles away. He said he could be there in a little over an hour, and knew he could fix the problem. He arrived on time, tried several things, found some cable problems, replaced one and repaired the other. For $100 we felt very fortunate to have such quick and expert response!

Now we were free to enjoy our friends. Knowing them through RV activities, we’d never been to their house.


It’s really beautiful and their Native American and Western collections are amazing! Here are just a couple of them for you to enjoy.



One of Bill’s carved wood items – nice!


Don was hungry for some turnip greens, so we had dinner at Cracker Barrel.


On Friday, I drove our motorhome and Bill & Jan followed in their 5th wheel to the Escapees North Ranch RV Park near Wickenburg and Congress. The 120-mile drive was fairly uneventful, even though we had to drive through Phoenix traffic.

After setting up, we enjoyed happy hour in perfect weather in the partial shade of a tree on our site. Polly and Vern joined us and we got to see their beautiful new Mobile Suites 5th wheel – this is their maiden voyage in it. It’s so nice, I almost want to go back to a 5th wheel. But then I’d need a truck. A really big truck – this trailer has a GVWR of 19,000 lbs!


Today we went to Wickenburg with Bill & Jan and had lunch at one of our favorite places, the “nearly famous” Hog Trough Smokehouse.


Then we walked off lunch by visiting the six sculptures by J. Seward Johnson, all of which were accompanied by a recorded message describing an aspect of early days in Wickenburg. The first was a Vaquero with Guitar.


Next was the Jail Tree Felon. Jan kept him company while we heard the story.


The Cowboy & Saloon Girl are so realistic!


Including the look on the cowboy’s face!


Jan stood by the School Teacher waiting for the train.


And Bill got up close and personal with her!


Elizabeth Smith was owner of the Vernetta Hotel. Bill made friends with her, too.


Finally, the Miner & Donkey always draw a crowd, but this little guy wasn’t too happy to be perched on top.


There’s also a train engine and caboose that have been restored.


Inside the caboose, a volunteer couple told us the story of this 114-year-old car.


Besides a crew of 3, frequently 8-10 cowboys would travel in this car for up to two weeks. They slept in bunks that pulled down from the ceiling or folded out from the walls.


Their only form of “privy” was this makeshift toilet.


But they had a nice cooler for their food.


Outside, there are some old wagons, including this Conestoga from the 1850’s, which is in very good shape.


Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, we attended the opening session of the Woodcarvers on Wheels gathering.


To avoid making this blog too long, I’ll save the pics of carvings for another day, and just close with this marvelous Saguaro.



  1. Did you leave out the rattlesnake on the sidewalk on purpose? Gerry loved the others, but cringed when she saw how lifelike the rattlesnake was. Our good friend Yvonne spends the winter at the North Ranch. Just check with the quilting ladies and you will find her.

    How much longer will you be staying in Benson? We are here in Vail for the three weeks and then on to more exciting places. Have fun.

  2. No, I didn't leave out the rattlesnake, I just didn't get a picture of it. All the critters are so lifelike, including the snake and the tarantula.

    We'll be back in Benson around Apr 8, then leave on the 26th.

  3. Phil and I are in Apache Junction and he's having trouble with his dish. Can you give me Dale's number?


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