Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fun With Friends in North Ranch

It started out as a bean-and-ham-soup party that Dennis Hill invited friends to attend. Pretty soon he realized there were too many friends 1) to feed with the soup and 2) to find a place in the shade on their lot. So Susie & Denny Orr offered (were asked?) to host the get-together at their house. And it became a potluck dinner with an “anything goes” policy.

It turned out great. Not only did everyone have plenty to eat, but we all had a great time telling stories and sharing experiences. Here are a few photos, all of which were taken by my camera but some not by me.

Carol and Sandy smiled at a funny story.


Susie welcomed Ed, longtime friends sharing a hug.


Mark brought some of his special brew, of course.


Lots of goodies to fill the bowls and plates.


Good pizza!


We women shared lots of fun stories!


The men dominated the living room.


Dennis had to see what was so interesting in the women’s group. But Carol wasn’t so happy with him ‘crashing’ the group! (Actually, Dennis is always welcome anywhere.)


It was a delightful evening, and we all look forward to more fun times together for the next week. Thanks to Susie & Denny for letting us use your house for parties, and for being so gracious to invite us back!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two More Moves in Quartzsite, On To Congress

After a few days with the Boomers, we again joined Chapters 6 and 21 for a couple of nights and another Polar Bear party. Jack Stout served as the bartender.


Bruce Ratcliff cooked up a big pot of chili.


Lots of folks watched this action and discussed world problems under clear blue skies.


One of our neighbors flew his kite.


Later we joined Dennis & Carol Hill and their group, parked nearby, for happy hour.


With the Hills and us, we had 2/3 of the 2011 Alaska “Loosey Goosey” gang together again. Jean & Claudette Fradette came from California.


Gary & Mary Olsen came from Nevada.


We were only missing Larry & Marilyn Forbes, and Jim Smith & Pat Livingston from the group that traveled together. Another couple we crossed paths with during the trip were also here, Ken & Jan Tilton, from Arizona.


Carol and I had fun taking pictures of each other taking pictures.


An ultralite aircraft took off from a nearby site.


Several mornings we saw a hot air balloon launching nearby, but I didn’t get a picture. So I ‘borrowed’ this one from Dennis’ blog, with both the balloon and the ultralite.

Balloon ultralite

We had lunch one day at this BBQ place in town. The free samples were better than the tri-tip sandwiches we paid for, but it’s nice to see a new food vendor in town. (And Don’s tri-tip is far better!)


Here’s a big rig that I wouldn’t want to be operating in traffic!


We heard there was a trolley available for rides around town but didn’t get a chance to ride it.


We had dinner at the Grubstake a couple of times.


The first time was with our longtime friend Carol Hinkley and her son Dean Hancock.


On Friday, we moved south of town to La Paz Valley Road and joined the RV Driving School Soiree, hosted by George & Valerie Mayleben, owners of the school. Before long, Valerie came out to greet us!


As usual, there was a happy hour when we enjoyed renewing friendships and making new friends.


On Saturday morning, the instructors met for about 2.5 hours. Then Don and I went to the big tent for yet one more thing! And he had a chance for another smoked turkey leg. We ran into more friends, and enjoyed shopping among smaller crowds as the RV show winds down.

Saturday evening we had a potluck dinner with the driving school group. Think we had enough food?


George and Valerie gave out several door prizes with help from Frank Piccolo, including this wind spinner made out of Pepsi cans by Art Fennell. There were also some WalMart gift cards and other goodies, but we didn’t win any this time.


There was a nice campfire, but I had to enjoy it from far enough away so I didn’t breathe the smoke.


The evening ended with a nice sunset.


Sunday was a free day, and we enjoyed not having any responsibilities, just time to chat and enjoy folks and scenery around us. We met our good friends Frank & Gloria King at the Grubstake for dinner. Seems like we’re always eating!


We returned to the driving school group, and most of the others had gone out to dinner. I understand there was more partying late into the night, but Don and I turned in early.

After saying our goodbyes this morning, we bade Quartzsite farewell and drove about 90 miles northeast to the Escapees North Ranch RV Park near Congress, AZ. We passed through the town of Hope, among several small towns along our route, and of course we saw the sign telling us we are (misspelled) now beyond hope!


There aren’t many sites of interest along the way, but I had the camera ready just in case. There were long stretches of lonely road, with scattered clouds against beautiful blue skies.


Here’s an early native.


The Saguaro cactus seem to like the hillsides best.


Yucca and other plants prefer flat places.



We again have full hookups and a nice level site. Ah, Home Sweet Motor Home!


After lunch and Don’s nappy hour, we drove into nearby Wickenburg to buy a few groceries and get the car washed. Don treated me to a beautiful rose bouquet.


We shared hugs, stories and laughs with friends until it got too chilly to sit outside.


While Don set up our Weber Baby Q to grill some steaks, I caught another pretty sunset.