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.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mid-February to Mid-March

Over a month has passed since my last blog, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll try to hit only the highlights so it won’t be too long or boring.

Sitting on our lot in Benson for all this time has given me a chance to finish some knitting/crocheting projects. Two lapghans are ready to go to the Tucson VA Hospital when we get there soon.



I’ve also made a few scarves and several chemo caps for donations.

Don finished a project he’s been wanting to do for awhile, to replace the shelf inserts on his BBQ stand.


The pressed board material used by the manufacturer started warping, sagging and getting stained shortly after he started using it. They eventually became completely unusable.


He replaced them with 1/8” Plexiglass and, although the rounded corners weren’t easy to cut and shape, now the stand is better than new and weatherproof to boot!


We helped friends Tom and Carole Bezdeka install their new Magne Shades windshield cover at their lot in the Saguaro SKP Park on one sunny, wind-free day.


And we enjoyed having friends Larry and Connie Farquar over to our place for dinner during a slightly windy, slightly chilly day, while they were visiting the SKP park.


We met our (formerly solo) RV friend Karen Faulkner and her hubby Roger Smith in Tucson for lunch.


And another solo RV friend Al Schmadeke was also in town, so he joined our get-together. It was great seeing both Al and Karen again, and super to meet Roger. This picture turned out a little fuzzy with my smart phone.


We usually drive to Tucson fairly often while staying in Benson, and this sign on Kolb Rd just outside Davis-Monthan AFB has always intrigued me. How do you make a U-turn at 40 mph?


Karen and Roger finished getting service on their brand-new Winnebago Tour motorhome in Tucson then came to spend a few days with us in Benson. What a beautiful coach!


We drove to Bisbee one day to have a look around and enjoyed lunch at the historic Copper Queen Hotel.



When we got out of the car a couple asked if we were Escapees, seeing all the decals on the back of our CR-V. Yes, of course, and they are too. In fact, they were in Bisbee for a family reunion – the Bisbee family! It was great meeting Rick and Carol Bisbee and we hope to see them at the Escapade in Goshen, IN in May!


Roger, Karen, Holly, Max and Andy had to hit the road, so we bade them goodbye after their morning walk. We look forward to seeing them again in Goshen as well.


We wished they could have stayed one more day, as Don made a delicious St. Paddy’s Day meal in the crockpot. Corned beef with cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions, served with spicy mustard and horseradish. It just doesn’t get any better. It was enough for yummy leftovers for some time!


Today is our last day in Benson for about 2 1/2 weeks. Don has an appointment with his doc this afternoon, then we’re heading for Casa Grande to see Jan & Bill Mains. The 4 of us will go on to the SKP North Ranch Park near Congress for the guys to take part in the Woodworkers on Wheels week-long workshop. Afterward, we’re all going to Tucson for the SKP Chapter 21 rally April 1-6.

However, we had to move the motorhome a day early because the roads in our neighborhood are getting repaired tomorrow. We didn’t want to have to leave before the crew starts at 7 am, and we sure didn’t want to drive over fresh tar, especially after cleaning both the motorhome and car. So we took a pull-through site in the public area of our resort for the night.