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Journals 2013
  June 2013 - AZ
  May 2013 - AZ
  April, 2013 - AZ
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June 2013 - AZ
June 17 - 23, 2013 - NM, KS, MO, WI
Monday, June 17. Today was another long but fortunately, an uneventful day of travel. Although, when I got in the car this morning, I noticed a warning light was on and after looking it up in the manual, I learned that my tires had low pressure. I stopped at the first tire shop that I could find and the man checked them all and filled that one that was low - no charge.

We stopped at a nice little park in Pratt, KS for lunch and some much needed stretching and fresh air. I pulled up to the Best Western in El Dorado, KS at about 4:30. I'm still on Mesa time, so it was 2:30 to me.

I freshened up and headed to see my brother, Ron, who lives about 6.5 miles from here in a teeny little town called Towanda. The last time I saw him was 2 years ago, just before he moved here from WI to be with his girlfriend, Janeen. She is just a bubbly, friendly gal with a busy family life - 3 daughters, 2 boyfriends, and lots of dogs and cats. She and the girls fixed a nice steak dinner and we had a really nice visit.

I got back to my hotel room just as the phone was ringing, so I had a very nice conversation with Ben. Goodnight.
June 10 - 16, 2013 - AZ, NM
Monday, June 10. After breakfast this morning, we headed for the Petrified Forest where we walked the Crystal Forest Trail and saw lots of examples of those trees that lived here over 200 million years ago - that is impossible to even imagine. There is also evidence of human occupation that goes back 13,000 years - and this is a desolate and barren landscape. We did see some wildlife though - 2 small green lizards that posed for us from the tops of petrified wood.

Tuesday, June 11. We decided to stick close to Pinetop today and just do some exploring in this area. A walk along the Mogollon Rim Trail (about a mile) was very enjoyable. The rim follows a fault line that extends from northeastern Arizona to southwestern New Mexico at an elevation of about 7,000 feet. It separates the northern plateau from the lower deserts. The rim (a rocky ledge) ranges in height from 1,000 - 2,000 feet. The views were spectacular, the air smelled fresh and piney, and we learned a little bit about the vegetation and geology from signs along the trail.

Sonja has trouble with her legs, so she walks with the help of 2 walking sticks. Along the path, we stopped briefly to chat with another couple. As we approached end of the trail where the car was parked, that same couple came upon us again. They were concerned about Sonja's walking and wanted to check if she was all right. How nice is that? We ended up chatting a bit longer with them - nice folks. Then, as we approached the car in the parking lot - we realized that Rudy left the rear hatch door open and my purse was lying under the seat and all of their personal stuff was in the car too. Nobody touched a thing - again, we realize that there are many good people in this world.

Back at the condo, we had some lunch and all got involved in different activities. Sonja recently got a new iPad, so I helped her to load some apps for touching up and resizing photos. After that, I spent some time sitting on a swing under the shade of a beautiful Ponderosa Pine tree - I read, relaxed, took a short nap, watched the birds, and had a cry. It just isn't right being on vacation without Mike - and I couldn't help to think about all of the nice times that the 4 of us had together.

After we all had a rest, we played a game of mini-golf. Sonja was the winner, I came in last, and Rudy scored right in the middle. The weather was beautiful and the course was small but enough of a challenge.

Wednesday, June 12. Wednesday, June 12. Up early this morning, we had breakfast and headed to the Meteor Crater, about a 2-hour drive from Pinetop. This country is so wide open, you can see for miles. We kept commenting on the long, long stretch of road in front of us, I think you could see about 5 miles ahead of us. After purchasing our tickets, we got in line for the guided tour. Eduardo was a friendly and colorful character that led the tour. He started by getting to know a little about each of us, asking where we came from and having a knowledgeable comment for each of us. There were folks from Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and the US. He then told us a little about himself before telling us about this incredible place.

This crater is the result of a meteorite that came crashing to the earth 50,000 years ago, is an impact crater, hurtled through the sky at 26,000 miles per hour. It hit the ground, creating the crater, and then it disintegrated - all in just 10 seconds. Very little of the meteor was found at the impact site - the closest findings were located about 2 miles away and those 3 pieces are located here and in 2 other museums. It is hard to describe - a hole in the ground that is a mile across, a 60-story building deep, and it could hold 20 football fields and 2 million spectators. Crazy stuff.

When the tour was over, Eduardo answered our questions and offered to take photos of us. What a great guy, he seemed to love what he was doing and loved this place where he worked.

From there, we decided to take a route to the north of I-40 that would take us through the painted desert. We saw lots of the Apache Reservation, but not a lot of painted desert. In fact, most of the route was pretty nondescript - just more desert with a few large rock formations scattered here and there. Our decision added about 2 hours to our ride back home.

Tonight, Rudy and Sonja were introduced to Ben and Charlotte via FaceTime. We had dinner together and had a nice conversation with Ben but Charlotte wasn't real talkative tonight. They had a doctor appointment today and the twins are developing as they should and everyone is doing well, the are 20.5 weeks along now.

Saturday, June 15. the website has not been functioning right and I haven't been able to post an update since Monday. Either Ben fixed it or It worked itself out.

Thursday marked 4-months that Mike has been gone. At times it feels longer than that and again, it seems like only yesterday when I relive the events of that day. It's just not right. I got home that evening and started to get ready for the trip to the Midwest..

I had a much needed haircut on Friday and went to the TGIF and had a nice visit with my friends and neighbors that night.

Today, I met up with Nan and Dale and we went to an estate sale in Scottsdale - an 8,000 square foot house that was gorgeous but their stuff for sale was wired - children's sporting goods and everything baseball, football, and socker - boys and girls. It was kind of creepy. From there we went to Postino's for a glass of wine and some lunch.

The car is packed, the plants have been delivered to their caretakers, and I'm ready to go. The plan is to be on the road early in the morning.

Sunday, June 16. I was wide awake at 4:15 this morning, tried to fall back asleep and that didn't work, so I was on the road by 6:30. this was the 3rd time in a week that I have been to Holbrook, AZ. the friendly clerk at the gas station there offered to start pumping my gas while I was in the bathroom but the tank was locked and she wouldn't go near the door with Frisco in there.

Once again, I undestimated the time it would take to get from Mesa to My destination of Santa Rosa, NM. Including breaks totaling about an hour, I was on the road for about 9 hours. That is a bit much when you are going solo. It looks like about the same for tomorrow, but we shall see how that goes. I may just have to quit early.

Frisco was really good, had to make about 50 spots at the dog runs each time we stopped - I was surprised, they actually had fenced-in dog runs at 2 of the rest areas where we stopped.
June 3 - 9, 2013 - AZ
Tuesday, June 4. My crud is finally clearing up and I'm feeling so much better. I actually got ambitious today and took some of the small items off the patio, did some laundry, disposed of my recyclables, hit the pool for a while, and stayed busy most of the day.

Yesterday, I had to take the Honda in for a repair to the door lock on the rear driver's side door. I realized one day last week when I parked and was walking away, it sounded as if the door locked and then unlocked. I played around with the fob and sometimes it locked, but then unlocked and sometimes it didn't lock at all - Nice. They ended up replacing the locking mechanism and my Honda Care covered the entire cost - YAY! And I feel much safer having all of the doors locking again.

Friday, June 7. No much has been going on this week - it is too hot during the day to do much. I have managed to go to the pool a couple of times fairly early in the day and spend an hour or so.

I went to McMahon RV on Wednesday and met Diane Drenk (maiden name, Stai) from Stoughton for lunch. We went to Sassie's Cafe and had a delicious tomato basil panini sandwich. I've seen the place in passing but had never gone there before - their bakery looks delightful, but I resisted. I've got to cut back on sugar - my nemesis these days. We checked out a small thrift store in the little shopping center before leaving - I will have to go back there for yarn, as they had a very nice selection of high quality wools and silks.

Charlotte's sweater is coming together nicely. The body is done, the hood is done, and I have started on the first sleeve. I made another trip to the Fiber Factory on Wednesday to make sure that I was on the right track. It looks like it might be too big for her right now, but it's hard to tell. Really cute pattern and I'm enjoying the project.

The corner of my computer room is filling up with items that I need to take with me on my upcoming road trip. My car will be full of stuff but that's ok - I have plenty of room.

The plans for Mike's gathering are coming together and I have the help of lots of folks. I'm trying to keep it simple so I can just celebrate the wonderful family and friends that have been such an important part of our lives. We always did enjoy a good party - so that's what this will be. I just hope the weather clears up and we get a nice day for it.

Sunday, June 9.. The car was loaded and I was on the road by 8:00. The drive through the Salt River Canyon on the way to
Show Low was beautiful and enjoyable. I had no trouble at all. After a couple of potty breaks (that's what happens when you sip on coffee while driving), I made it to the kennel where Frisco will be staying for the next few days. The friendly owner, Carolyn greeted us and showed us to his home - it's just a kennel, but she thinks he is darling, so he will be treated well.

From there, I found my way to the Roundhouse Resort and the unit where Rudy and Sonja are staying. Their warm and loving hugs brought on lots of tears. Once again, I feel like I am in the company of family. After visiting for a while, we headed out to explore Woodland Lake Park and we walked the trail that wanders around the lake. It is hard to believe that we are in Arizona, at an elevation of 7,000 feet, surrounded by Ponderosa Pines, an abundance of ducks, and it is way under 100 degrees.

A simple dinner of broasted chicken from Walmart, bread, fruit, and a gin and tonic topped off the evening.
June 1 - 2, 2013 - AZ
Sunday, June 2. I'm finally feeling better - starting yesterday. I met Karen and her friend Nancy at Tia Rosa for dinner last night and enjoyed the taste of the food and a Razzie Rita margarita (not my favorite flavor, but good enough). We had a nice time with plenty of girl talk.

This morning has been all about getting the Miata ready for it's new owner - I hope that he loves it as much as Mike did. My feelings are bittersweet right now - I know that it is the right thing to do, but I hate to let it go.

It is really warming up around here right now, we are supposed to see 107 degrees today. I'm glad that I got my walk in before 7:00 this morning, it even seemed warm then.

The Miata is gone. I picked the guy up at the airport, we headed back to my house, put the hard top on it, he gave me the money, I gave him the title, and he was headed down the road. A very nice guy who shopped around for just the right car for a long time. He said he has had his heart set on a car that was British Racing Green since he was a child and had a toy race car of that color. I think he will be happy with it and that it is going to a good home. I did end up selling it for $100 less, as the AC was not working very well today. I think it was just way too hot as it cooled me down on the way to the airport but after sitting in the cell phone lot, it just got to working too hard. Anyway, the guy said that is what it would cost him to have the AC tuned up and recharged - so that worked for me. I felt bad - when you want things to go just right - they don't.

Created on 06/02/2013 11:30 AM by bridge
Updated on 06/21/2013 04:01 PM by bridge
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