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November, 2005
November 1-3
This week has been spent getting ready to move on once again. We have a reservation at an RV resort south of Tuscon for the next 5 days. Didn't want to travel too far in case we had a problems. We had to get a towbar installed, stock up on groceries, rearrange the storage compartments, and just get acquainted with the new motorhome. Everything seems to be in order. Thankfully, gas prices have gone a lot. We've been seeing prices in the $2.45 range.

Tonight we went to Monica's dance concert, Poppins, Pan, & Potter at Mesa Community College where she danced in several of the numbers. It was very lively and colorful and we enjoyed it a lot.
November 4-8
November 4
Left Tempe today to the St. David RV Resort south of Tuscon. Its a nice place, but kind of in the middle of nowhere. Will stay here for a few days, then move on again.

November 6. Today we went to tour the town of Tombstone and Boot Hill. It was really nice to leave Lucy behind in the air conditioned motor home and get away, not having to worry about it being too hot for her or whether dogs were allowed in public places.

We picked a good day because a western music festival was in the works and we got to hear various singers performing as we strolled through the streets. The courthouse is designated as a state park and stands where it was originally built, has many of the original artifacts, including the double gallows in the back courtyard. Many of the historic buildings in the town remain as they were in the 1880??s. A tourist trap, the streets are lined with jewelry, leather, cowboy hat & boot, western wear, and t-shirt shops, but the townspeople were dressed for the era so it gave it an authentic feel. Horse pulled carriages took tourists for narrated rides.

After walking the streets and visiting some shops, we stopped at a saloon. While sitting there, one of the music performers came in, took a seat, and began to sing. A bit later, a whole lot of folks from the reenactment at the OK Corral came pouring into the saloon. We felt quite out of place, and it was strange being in a room with dance hall girls, the sheriff, two of the Earp brothers, and many other colorful characters, all friendly. We talked to a fellow who said it was a good day when you were killed twice in a gunfight but were able to still come in for a drink.

November 8. Moved west to Desert Shadows RV Resort near Casa Grande. We decided to come here because we have an appointment on Friday to get a few things taken care of on the RV and now we can hang out with Nan & Dale again on the weekend. Its not an easterly movement, but we have the time, so who cares?? This is a nice park with lots of amenities and because we purchased a membership, we get to stay here free.
November 11-22
November 11. What a day! Our appointment at the RV dealer was for 9:00, so we left Casa Grande around 7:00 with Rose driving the Suzuki (didn't want to make a bunch of noise hooking it to the motor home) and Mike following in the motor home. As I drove the Suzuki, I kept noticing that every time I shifted to 5th gear, it lost power and I had to downshift in order to get back up to speed. Not really a problem until we neared Tucson and all of a sudden, I completely lost power and had to pull to the side of the road. Turning the key did nothing. We hooked it to the motor home and proceeded to the dealership. People driving past us were pointing and indicating that something wasn't right. When we pulled over to check again, noticed oil dripping and spraying all over the underside of the car. Back on the road to the dealership.

Since Nan & Dale were to meet us at the RV park for the weekend, they kept in touch by phone. Dale suggested we come back (home?) to Tempe and he could hook us up with a good mechanic. When the motor home was finished we towed the car and headed back to Tempe.

November 12-14
Mike & Dale picked up Luis, the Mexican "master" mechanic and he started operating on the car in the Kahl's driveway. His first discovery was that the timing belt was totally shredded, some of in was almost in powder form. Most of the problems stemmed from that, but it was a 3 day process to get it repaired and back together once again. Luis was meticulous and cleaned every part thoroughly, replaced anything that looked worn or old, and fixed anything that looked broken or that could break. He is a very hard working, hardly willing to take a break. We sure are glad of the connection.

Nan's grandmother passed away on Sunday and the family will be returning to Wisconsin for the services. Mike and I will stay here to watch the dog and the house while they are gone. After they return on Monday the 21st, we will all pile into the motor home for another trip to the beach to celebrate Thanksgiving at Rocky Point, Mexico.

November 16
Saw the movie, Capote, today at a theater near the University of Arizona campus. It was a good movie, about 1959 murders that compelled him to write the book, "In Cold Blood" that made he famous. A strange man.

November 17
Decided to take the Suzuki for a drive today to get all the new juices flowing through it and to give it a longer field test. We headed east toward Globe and headed north on a "primitive" road outside of Apache Junction. The road took us back about 7 miles into the mountains through the desert. The roadside was covered with Saguaro, Chorro, prickly pear, and all other kinds of cactus. It was much greener than I would expect. Unfortunately, we didn't have the camera, so can't share the images with you.

Mike got to test his mechanical skills once again, when the 4-wheel drive locked and we couldn't get it back. Fortunately, this had happened a week or so ago and he was able to have a mechanic show him how to fix it if it happened again. So... Mike got to be covered in grease to his elbows (one of his favorite things). He got it fixed and we were back on the road. Now we have to get Luis to check that out so we don't have it happening again.

November 18
Today's highlight was a drive to North Phoenix to visit my cousin Donna (last seen 18 years ago) and her son Tim, whom I haven't seen since he was a teenager (about 40 years ago). They moved to this area in the late 60's and now their ranch is kind of an island with housing development sprung around them. The area is gorgeous with the mountains as a backdrop, lots of desert vegetation, and is fairly hilly. We had a wonderful visit, then went to the Road Runner Restaurant, a local spot for a good Wisconsin-like Friday night fish fry.
November 23-28
Thanksgiving weekend at Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico with Nan & Dale, Nan's mom, Karen (aka Ma Lewis), Dale's son Dylan, Monica & her boyfriend Anthony. We rented a 15 passenger van for the 4-hour drive. We stayed in a condo (Las Olas II, #10) on the beach in the Las Conchas section of Rocky Point - an area of condos and private homes just south of the city. North of the city is an area of big motels and hotels. The beaches are clean, uncrowded, and beautiful. The water was a little on the cool side but the days were in 80s.

We had a wonderful time walking the beach, collecting shells, hanging out, cooking and eating a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, a trip to the fish market, drinking margaritas, a horseback ride on the beach at sunset, a bonfire on the beach, watching the sunsets and generally just having a great time.

Tempe to Deming, NM (329 Miles) November 28 - On The Road Again
We finally got out of Tempe (no offense to our gracious hosts, Nan & Dale), but it felt good to be on the move once again. We really do like the area and plan to come back this way again. The route today took us through the Saguaro National Monument and parts of the Chiricahua National Monument as we drove east on I-10. After Willcox, AZ the terrain was wide open desert and not a lot to see along the way. The motor home did well and we got 8.6 miles to the gallon. One nice thing was that we drove 429 miles before having to fill up again. A real coincidence ?? as I was checking the mileage, the trip meter read 429 and I looked at my phone to use the calculator and it said 4:29. What does it all mean??

Our stop for the night was near Deming, New Mexico at the Hidden Valley RV Resort ($6) ?? it is truly hidden. The drive took us about 10 miles north of the freeway, at least 7 of it on a gravel dead-end road through the desert and into a valley sheltered by mountains at about 4,700 feet. Needless to say, the motor home and Suzuki are covered with dust (even inside the Suzuki). Guess that means a stop at a truck wash for us. The place is great, though cold ?? down in the 20s tonight and there were warnings in the office of coyotes and bobcats frequenting the area. Since we arrived just before dark, I am anxious to see what it all looks like in the morning. We don??t plan to stay, will move on again in the morning.

November 29
It was 19° when we woke up this morning and our water connection hose was frozen. Got a late start -- it was 10:30 before we were back on the road and that was after the 10 miles of washboard gravel and another coating of dust on everything. As we cruised down that road, we saw several golden eagles feeding on some road kill. Later on, we saw a good-sized herd of deer along the roadside. We always consider it a good day when we have seen wildlife.

The terrain changed several times during the day and my favorite was the Texas hill country. It reminded me of a trip we took in this area back in the early 90s. El Paso was a lot bigger than I expected and I was doing the driving at that time, but we need the experience in this thing and all went well. We covered about 350 miles and stopped for the night at the Comanche Land RV Park ($10) near Ft. Stockton.

Deming to Ft.Stockton (341 Miles)
Ft. Stockton to Luling, TX  (369 Miles) November 30
We were able to get on the road by 9:00 this morning and the drive was wonderful. You can see so much farther from the ??cockpit? of the Brave. The route between Ft. Stockton and San Antonio (about 450 miles) was beautiful, transitioning from desert to hills covered with cypress trees, blotches of gold, browns, and reds from the deciduous trees covering the hillsides. We actually saw river and creek beds with water in them, rather pleasant. The ground is covered with grasses and prickly pear cactus. There were wind farms just outside Ft. Stockton and the roadside is scattered with oil pumps. We did see a few live deer, but there were a whole lot more that were road kill. Those made us feel that we needed to be off the road at dark.

Just east of San Antonio, we stopped for the night at Luling and the river Bend RV Park ($10). It is a very nice setting along the San Marcos River. Lucy was happy to put her feet on grass instead of gravel for a change.

Created on 10/31/2005 08:56 AM by bridge
Updated on 12/01/2005 08:36 AM by bridge
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