Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Old Friends

Simon and Garfunkel have this great song.  This part of the lyrics are applicable to our visit today:
Time it was and what a time it was…
A time of innocence a time of confidences
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph preserve your memories
On Monday night after returning from our Devil’s Bridge hike I was browsing Facebook.  One of my friends had posted photos of her hike on the Devil’s Bridge trail that very same day.

I’m sure you have heard me talk about something similar in the past where I have been reunited with an old girlfriend, someone who was connected to me through who we dated in our early years?  After all I was pretty young when Don and I started dating and since we’ve been together ever since it shouldn’t be surprising that many of my girl friends from school dated a guy in our group or one of Don’s friends.

Anyhow, this time it was Robbie Westgard!  Robbie dated Don’s cousin back in the day, as well as we were one year apart in high school.  We have not had a face to face visit since before Don and I were married, so prior to 1980.  Other than that we are not exactly sure.  So after a few messages back and forth we decided to meet in Phoenix for lunch and a visit!

What a great visit it was!  Of course we only made it through a few memories and a couple of years of catching up, but the real thing about this sort of meet up is the flooding of memories of who you were and who you have become.  Yes people change of course we “grow up”, but the truly lovely personalities you remember are usually still there.  The smile, the laugh, and the joy in being who you are is what is shared again.

For me meeting these people from our past touches my soul, and takes me back to A time of innocence a time of confidence.  Just like listening to an old song.

Till next time Robbie and Ken…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sedona You Own Me!

Honestly – I love this place.  Although the town itself is a bit crazy busy for our liking, the areas surrounding are amazing, our boondocking spot is one of our favorites (thanks Ivan), and the hiking is whatever you want.

We are so fabulous at boondocking, and we do enjoy it.  When you find a place like we are at, everything combines for perfection.  First the weather in Sedona is just so fair.  Although the days are hot, the evenings are cool and breezy, no need for air conditioning, heat, or anything in between.  Although there are several units here this year, boondockers are quiet and respectful people.

We finally had the opportunity to take in some “real” hikes.  This means boots, packs filled with water, and some sore feet.  The perfect combination.

Our first hike was the Cathedral Rock.  It was a nice trek until the end, where the expectation was to climb quite vertically up a crack in the mountain, to the top.  Don went as far as he could, I stopped at that point.  Besides a fear of coming down more than going up, I have a torn tendon in my shoulder that I am still being careful with.  A climb like that requires lots of draw on your arms and shoulders, and I didn’t want to risk it.  Nonetheless it was a great hike!

One day on a drive we came upon a sign for Tuzigoot National Monument.  Although we have been to Sedona many times, neither of us recalled checking it out, so we turned it.  Although it was a casual walk around, the monument itself is worth the stop.  I’ll let the pictures tell the story!

This visit our camp area had some colorful visitors, more than one early morning.  I will now never forget the sounds of a hot air balloon landing immediately adjacent to ur trailer.  The roaring bang of the propane heater at 6:45 am is quite the noise!  And the orange glow cast inside the trailer form the balloon being RIGHT beside us was a bit spooky.  I assume the pilot knew he was almost landing on us??  Apparently we are in the area that they land in a lot, based on three consecutive days of landing.  I will admit the last time was a bit tedious.  I have had a lot of Board meetings while away this year.  Two mornings in a row this stay, so the balloons only woke me once.

We were busy enough here that I will break the visit into two posts!

You won’t believe who is featured in the next one.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Devil's Bridge Trail

Well I really just wanted a simpler hike, and the attraction of a new natural
bridge was too strong to avoid.  Cited as easy in the trail guide I was reading,
which is no longer one I will use, it was an easy choice where to hike on

The notes mentioned you needed a four wheel vehicle to get to the trail
head.  I think the folks who write these references should all have to start
with a class on some idea of consistency in descriptions.  We have been on ATV
trails that were supposed to be un-navigational for trucks, and now this “truck”
trail that ATV’s were sometimes struggling with.  The reason behind my whining
is that it added a LOT of distance to the hike.  But oh well right?  This was
after all an easy trail so final distance wasn’t a concern.  Apparently I was
born yesterday!  I always wondered.

Back to the trail.  It was an absolutely beautiful hike through trees and
rocks, and the ultimate prize – viewing the natural bridge – was more than worth
it.  So was the sense of accomplishment that always comes from finishing one of
our hikes.

Somewhere along the trail there was an old friend of ours.  We never
encountered her on the trail, but later the same day saw on Facebook they were
there.  That just teases you into the next post so stay tuned.

Meanwhile more amazing photos from my driver…


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Break in Lake Havasu

That is Connor and Mason’s spring break.  LOL  But the title may have drawn other readers in!
Lindsay and the boys joined us in Lake Havasu for a week.  When we were planning this part of the trip, we were excited to stay at Lake Havasu State Park. Camping right on the beach would be a daily adventure for the boys.  Get up, have breakfast and head to the sand.  It did kind of go that way, but it was sooooo HOT.  By about 10:00 am the sun had us as warm as we wanted to be.
We had quite a few adventures this week.  We took the boys to see the burros at historic Oatman.  Did you know the story about the burros?  They were used in mining times, and when the mines shut down they were just released to roam.  I’m sure they are in many places in those hills, but a group of them live on the streets of Oatman.  I tried to explain this corny little community to Lindsay but I’m sure she would agree that seeing was believing.  Mason’s eyes got so big when he saw them and actually realized they were right there on the streets and you could walk up to pet them and feed them!  It seemed Connor was a bit more hesitant.  But “donkeys on the street?” was heard a few times.
We slipped in a day of shopping in Bullhead City as well.  The boys were promised a Lego figure at Target, and we were hoping for a truck nap for them.  Success at all levels!  Lindsay and I love Target, so sad isn’t it?
On another day we took the boat across the river to the Havasu Landing Casino and Restaurant in California.  I know it seems like an odd trip for two little boys, but the boat ride was an exciting trip, and lunch out was also a hit!  At $2 a ride it was an nice excursion.
The rest of our days were spent playing lego, trucks in the sand and gravel depending on the sun, and a visit to a flea market.
It was so great to have them visit us.  Maybe a taste of how it could go if we stayed away from home in the future for longer times?

The day that we took them back to the Las Vegas airport, Ken and Brenda joined us in Vegas for the day.  We walked, ate and shopped our way through the day.  They had not been to Vegas so it was a quick intro to Freemont Street and the Strip!

And that concludes our time in Lake Havasu!  Wonderful as always.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Parked in Parker

After Yuma it was time to move on, but where?  Lindsay and the boys are joining us in Lake Havasu next week and we needed an in between until then.  We have driven through, by and around Parker but never stopped there.  It is an appealing area because of the river and the green growth due to that.  I don’t dislike the desert, but I find it tedious sometimes.  Camping near water always makes it more enjoyable for us, and on those hot dry days just adds a nicer touch.

We stayed at La Paz County Park.  We have such a problem spending the big bucks at RV parks, so if we aren’t boondocking our next choice is always a municipal park or a state park.  Some state parks are getting pricey as well but those are typically in areas where the RV parks are astronomical.  We love to drive and explore, not just park and sit, and choose to spend our money on fuel rather than camp sites.  We have worked hard at making our fifth wheel comfortable without dependent on hook ups, so life boondocking is totally comfortable.

Parker was a great place to take a break in.  We spent pretty casual days but one especially fun day was watching the speed boat races on the Colorado River.

Now we just have to rest up for the boys' visit!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

An Oassis

We really wanted to stay a bit near Yuma this year.  We have made some flying
stops through Yuma before, and needed to make an effort to stay and relax for a
while.  As well we wanted to visit Walter and Pat, I needed to visit the dentist
in Algadones, and maybe some new eyewear.

Thanks to all the blogs Don reads and our intrepid boondocker Ivan, he knew
of a boondocking site just north of Yuma on Fortuna Pond.  It turned into an
oasis and a long stay.  Just 15 minutes from town, and a pond side spot to park.
So beautiful here.

We had a lot of adventures while here.  Besides visits and meals with Walter
and Pat, I successfully had a visit to Mexico for a teeth cleaning, purchased 2
new pairs of glasses – prescription glasses and sunglasses, found Don some Robax
for his back (not an over the counter product in US, but in Mexico hell ya), and
enjoyed a Margarita or two.

We also spent a day visiting Mission Beach in San Diego and Coronado Island. 
Don’s brother had spent a holiday in his prime back in 1979 at Mission Beach. 
It seems it was quite different to him than memory allowed, but hey who knows
what 1979 was like?  LOL  We took a more adult perspective to it, having a great
lunch and stroll on the piers.

Of course Brenda and I enjoyed a bit of shopping while here as well.  The old
downtown Yuma has some excellent shops if you have the desire.

The dessert was in bloom as we drove to San Diego.  Lovely to behold and I am sure you have been just waiting for my annual flower photos!

Well that’s our time at Yuma – enjoyed a bunch, and a new boondocking spot to
mesmerize us and bring us back time and again!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Campgrounds

Although I myself didn’t spend many nights at these sites, I wanted to tell you about 2 new locations we tried this year, both worthy of staying at again.
The first one is Cholla Campground on Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest.  This is a beautiful place to stop, and very affordable.  Although there are no services they offer showers, toilets and an RV dump and fill.  The sites are large, with sunshades and tables as well as fire rings.  There was never an issue with the solar panels getting enough sun.  The website says a maximum of 32’ trailers but we are 35’ with no issues, and there were many even larger than us.
The cost to stay is $8 a night.  The pay system is a bit odd, to us at least.  You have to purchase a Tonto Forest day pass, but they are not sold on site.  It turns out that many many retail outlets sell them though, and the ones we purchased are valid until 2020.  You scratch off the year month day time, etc. and hang on your post.  You need one pass per day.  We over purchased so we will be back.
I had one day with the group.  We drove to Tortilla Flats or a burger and beer.  As always the food and the entertainment was great there, and we had a visit with Ron and Bev.
Don went with Ken and Brenda on a hike to see the ruins of the Salado Indians at Tonto National Monument.  He said it was a great little hike and the ruins were fantastic.  That’s what I love about good pictures, you are transported there by them.



While I was back in Alberta,  Don moved campgrounds.  He stayed at Pinal County West Park.  The convenient location near Stanfield on the south side of Phoenix makes this a great stop.  While there Don was able to visit one of his cousins who stays in Maricopa during the winter months.  He picked this site as it was easy to get to the airport when I returned.   West Pinal Park has huge sites, you can’t easily see the other trailers form your own site, but sadly no dump or fill station .  But again another great spot to remember for future uses.

I’m not the best at campground reviews, but honestly these two are worth remembering!