Talk about not writing, it's been far too long since my fingers pecked away it this keyboard, unrolling the events of our Life on our webpages. It was nothing more than a time of distancing myself from what I really wanted to do, which was write, all because I didn't want to write. Life is made up of paradoxes, and this was certainly one of those and more. I'll put it over into the unsolved mysteries category and pick up where I left off those many months ago.
What follows is going to be a travelogue, iterating our stops of the past half year, with very little commentary, beginning with a miserably hot day in late July when we were staying in Baker City, Oregon at the time when we last opend the curtain on our daily lives. Since then our travels have taken us to Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and currently, Arizona. In addition, Linda flew back to Ohio to visit her sister. It was just the usual life on the highways of America, a few minor problems with the coach, an inordinate amount of wonderful scenery and places, topped off with time spent with great friends.
Our reason for going to Oregon was to watch our granddaughter, Lindsey, play in a national softball tournament. The team didn't expect to win the tournament, but they ended their season playing far beyond the expectations of any of the players, making for a wonderful life lesson for those 12 year old girls. It was a time to revel in the thrill that our son-in-law felt as a team coach, and to spend time with our daughter Jenny and other two grandchildren, Justin and Abby. We also sweltered through the worst heat wave in Salem's history as our front air conditioner continued to exhibit a lack of life purpose, meaning it still wasn't working.
Immediately after the tournament, at the first of August, aka the hottest month of the year, and still without air conditioning, we were fortunate the weather started to co-operate as we moved to the far north across the mighty Columbia River. For several weeks we stayed near Mount St. Helen, Washington at Castle Rock, while our son Rich and our grandson Zachary flew up to visit. Later, when "Uncle Richie" flew back, Zachary's mom, our daughter Megan flew up for a visit.
Next we moved south, once again back into the heat bouncing around the Portland area having the air conditioner problem diagnosed, then waiting a week for the new air conditioner to be shipped and finally installed. Comfort and joy, comfort and joy that's all that needs be said. Talking about being said, so much for my little preamble about this being a travelogue with little commentary, however if I don't start following that ideal this is going to take weeks to write. Bad Bob, stay on track.
Heading east we visited with a couple we had met during our tour of Turkey, then angled south, ending up in Deer Lodge, Montana staying for a week and where, along with some day trips, we spent a good bit of time simply relaxing. Discovering the weather was supposed to continue to be much more pleasant than usual for this time of the year, rather than continuing south, we turned 180 degrees and headed north to Glacier National Park. After spending several days on the west side of the park and wondering why everyone raves about what a glorious place it is, we moved over to the east side and discovered that they were right. We fled just in front of the snow a few days later, but will definitely be back.
After a brief one night stop in Idaho, as the snow held off a day, we arrived in Utah, where we would spend the next five weeks. Between Provo, Salt Lake City, the Genealogical Library, Linda flying back to visit her sister, our time in northern Utah seemed to fly by. Then it was off to what is truly one of the most magnificent places anywhere on earth, southern Utah, or more percisely, the red rock country of southeastern Utah.
There is beauty and then there is beauty. One night we had 5 inches of snow, but the next day found us in Arches NP, where every twist and turn of the Park's road brought another Oh! or AAH! from us. We had seen photos of Arches after a snow, but actually seeing it covered with a blanket of white in person makes you realize that there are some things that have to be experienced to be apprciated and understood. We also found time to visit Canyonlands and Natural Brigdes along with many other natural wonders. After only two brief weeks there, the forecast was predicting the emminent arrival of a prolonged cold front and we knew it was time to head further south.
For most of November we were in New Mexico, staying in Grants, Albuquerque, Tularosa, and Roswell. Between the lava fields of Grants and the aliens of Roswell, a good time and then some was had by all. We discovered we had cheated ourselves by never spending time in this State. They call themselves "The Land Of Enchantment", and we call ourselves "Dumb and Dumber", for never having realized that those words aren't just a slogan, but precisely what New Mexico is. The more places we visit, both here and abroad, the more we realize the more there is to see, kind of like drawing water from a well. It doesn't matter how many bucketfulls you pull up, there's always just as much water in the well.
I had always wanted to visit Roswell, not because I believe in little green men, but then I don't disbelieve either, rather it was simply to experience the experience of experiencing Roswell. While all the alien "stuff" was fun, we discovered there was another side to Roswell, history and art, something that seems to be ignored by most visitors, but will have us coming back again, as we barely touched the surface of this fascinating town. I feel sorry for all the tourists who spend a couple of hours in the several blocks of downtown that are all things alien, then leave town thinking they've been to Roswell. They may have been to Roswell, but they were also to show'em and fleece'em.
We left Roswell the day after the big snow to meet our good fiends John and Judy, they of our spring French canal boat cruise. Unfortunately the meeting place was Carlsbad where the storm had dumped even more snow than it had in Roswell. So much for thinking it gets nicer the further south you go. Perhaps John and Judy were to blame, being from Michigan and all, maybe they got homesick and ordered in this weather to pick up their spirits. It only took a couple of seconds for us to realize they were thinking the same thing, but in reverse. That this weather was our doing, and we were trying to make them feel at home with these icy blasts reminding them of Michigan. Something they were quick to point out they didn't want, preferring the mild weather more typical of the southwest. It took us several days to get this all straightened out, but shortly we were back in nice weather once again.
The next several weeks were spent meandering slowly towards the Tucson area where we would be spending Christmas, while John and Judy planned to fly to Portland from Phoenix. Our stops included both Columbus, NM and Bisbee, AZ, two places we have visited several times before, and are seemingly drawn towards like moths to a light. Christmas Day was spent with Bob's cousin Steve and his wife Anna at their winter home in Tucson. Our home base during most of this time was the SKP Co-op park at Benson. While there we talked with them about getting on the "hot list" for a lot, which currently has a 8 or 9 year waiting period. It's one of those if, you wait a few more years you may never get in, so we added our name. Whether this is where we will live out our "used to be" years someday is for the future, may or not be the case, but we are on the list just in case. That "used to be" is John's term for all the SKP's that have stopped traveling, and are now living the stationary life in their RV. I guess some day, in the far, far distant future, we won't be saying "we've been fulltimers for x number of years", we'll be saying, "we used to be fulltimers" but got too old for the travel, becoming "used to be's".
Just before New Years we journeyed to the Imperial Dam LTVA, about 20 miles north of Yuma, where we celebrated the New Year, and are currently enjoying the warm weather while boondocking in the desert. It is a time of relaxing before heading off to Quartzsite and the Big Show for a few days. The future brings Mexico once again, and also, though on no timetable, the resumption of my daily posts. Gosh, it's good to be back writing once again.