Saturday, November 30, 2013


The past couple of days have been fun.  We celebrated Jeanette's birthday while enjoying the outdoors.  Before we left home, last Nov. 14th, our daughter, Ginette, dropped off a birthday gift for her mom.....and here it is.
New walking sticks....
While Jeanette tried out her new walking sticks, I opened the package we had previously picked up from John and Brenda's Dougpound South place  John & Brenda's Incredible Journey in Maricopa, AZ.  It was our new, internationally unlocked, iPad Mini, with SIM card that we ordered from Millenicom.
It took little time to have the iPad configured and working.  I called our Canadian Internet service for the 'incoming' and 'outgoing' protocols; followed by one quick call to Millenicom's tech support in Portland, Oregon.  Within a few minutes from completing my two calls, the iPad was up and running smoothly - and has been since.

We called our daughter and set up a time to Facetime with our little grandson, Easton.  What a joy that was.  He entertained us!  And he yacked and yacked.  His phraseology is quite impressive.  His favourite line though is,  "I don't Know!"  Facetime is important to us during our time away from home and this iPad (and Facetime) will be well used.
Back from a mid-morning walk,,,
We were truly enjoying the mid-70's temperatures.  We chose to head to one of the two spa facilities here.  Jeanette wanted to exercise in the pool.  I brought along a book and we enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours here.
One of the two outdoor spa facilities here @ Canyon Vista RV Resort.
The view from my lounge chair.
We were here while most folks were enjoying a  resort sponsored Thanksgiving turkey dinner.  We opted not to join in because we were invited out to dinner that evening with our friends, Pauline and Gerry.
Jeanette pretty well had the pool to herself.
Dinner out was at a great Italian restaurant (Buca di Beppo) in Mesa, AZ.  The memorabilia that covers every wall is something to see.
Pauline and Gerry
The food was delicious.  The presentation was great and the company was even better.  What a treat!
This 'stuffed shells' baked dish was so delicious.  The other awesome dish was chicken and sausage ziti.!
Being that it was Jeanette's birthday, we celebrated that too with this little desert and three candles.
Jeanette brought three candles along to light up her birthday dessert.  One candle represented our grandson, Easton, the second candle for Deni and Courtney's new child - expected this early January, 2014 - and the third candle for Ginette and Trevor's second child - expected this coming February, 2014. The three candles meant more to Jeanette than anything else she could have received on her birthday.
In the Vatican room within the restaurant.
The restaurant has themed dinning rooms.  Although we did not dine in the Vatican Room, a staff member took our photo before we left the restaurant. We took advantage to walk around the place to have a look at the hundreds, upon hundreds of photos that grace the walls.  Sophia Loren is featured everywhere you look.

So, it was a lovely evening and a fitting way to close off Jeanette's birthday.  Gerry and Pauline treated us to dinner.  Thanks, you two!!!  We'll return here......!

Yesterday was a planned golfing outing with Gerry and other members of the RV Park golf group.  We played a lovely golf course, located within three minutes from here called, Mountain Brook Golf Club. I had a very good round but the one weakness was with putting.  Most of my putts rimmed the hole.  Quite unbelievable! But....that's golf.  Great fun on a beautiful mid-70's day in the desert.
Sunny and mild day here in Gold Canyon, AZ.

We have planned a motorcycle ride to a few points of interest today.  We'll have more on that in the days ahead.
Sunset, last evening - Taken from our RV site.
Thanks for dropping by.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Fun Visit to Dogpound South....

And it was just that!  A really nice visit with John and Brenda made for a fun afternoon.  
Before we we could ride off to Dogpound South, I had to install the motorcycle windshield. 
By 11:00 am, yesterday morning, we were ready for the ride from Gold Canyon, west on I-60, on to the 202 Loop and south through the San Tan Valley and Chandler, till we headed south on I-10 towards the town of Maricopa.  It was about a 70-80 minute ride to John and Brenda's place.   John & Brenda's Incredible Journey
All set to roll.
It was a bit windy and cloudy on our ride but the temperature was very mild.  It was a nice ride and traffic was surprisingly light in the major metropolitan Phoenix area.  I-10 south was equally fine, traffic wise.
Heading south off the 202 loop
We were invited for lunch @ 1:00 pm and we timed our ride well because we pulled into Dogpound South at 1:00 pm.  Brenda had burgers ready for the barbecue - along with side dishes and Ceasar salad.  
We caught this photo of John returning from the coral that houses their three horses.
We had a dual purpose in visiting here.  John had received a package for us.  It is a new, unlocked, iPad with a SIM card - 4G - with service from Millenicom - headquartered in Portland, Oregon.  Janna  Tin TeePee/Log Cabin had been reading about our trials and tribulations trying to unlock another iPad - that our kids had gifted us before we left Canada for the US southwest.  Try as we did, we could not unlock it in the US.  Janna apprised us of a great deal offered by Millenicom and, while we were in Pahrump, NV, we ordered the package.  

Imagine an internationally unlocked iPad Mini with a T-Mobile 4G SIM card and 6.5 gigs of data/month till March 1st, 2014 - all for $199 + $49 activation fee and $15 shipping charge.  That's it!!!!  

Because we were mobile and not planning to be settled for more than one or two days - till Gold Canyon, that is - we contacted John @ John & Brenda's Incredible Journey and he offered to have the Millenicom package delivered to his place.  That was one part of the reason for visit with them yesterday.  
John officially hands over the Millenicom iPad with cell service.
Now......we had also been invited for lunch and Brenda's kitchen prowess is something to never say no to.  She sure knows how to throw a feast together.  The burgers from the barbecue were thick, juicy and  Add some good country beans and a 'to die for 'Caesar salad and we feasted like country kings and queens.
Brenda went even farther and prepared this awesome ice cream cake.  Although full with lunch, we sucked it up and enjoyed some of this ice cream cake.
This is Brenda's idea of a small piece of ice cream cake.  Hmmmmm....Goood!
I think we needed to walk around Dogpound South, a dozen or so times, to wear down some of the calories we ingested. But we didn't.  We sat around and chatted.  That said, it was a great meal combined with fun chat and laughs too.
It was a tad breezy so we ate indoors but, once done with lunch, we basked in the sunshine outdoors.  The winds had abated by then and we enjoyed the balance of our visit in the fine Arizona sun.
A neighbour friend of John and Brenda rode by and dropped in to say hello.... and to arrange a joint ride for today.  She makes her summer home in Fort St. John, BC.
By 5:00 pm - and with dusk fast approaching - it was time for us to ride back to Canyon Vista RV Park.
We checked out their 36'  combo horse and RV trailer.  What a great concept this Bison trailer is!!!!  This is the perfect home on wheels for John, Brenda, the three horses and the two dogs.
John is minding the gate as we leave their ranch.  He was quick to lock the gates once we were out.....and I wonder why???  LOL.

All said and done, we had a fantastic time at their place and we thank them again for the warm reception, the fun chat, the great lunch.....and just a wonderful afternoon.
Shortly after leaving Dogpound South.....and heading back north and east to Gold Canyon.
We will bring you up to date on our new - internationally unlocked - iPad with the Millenicom data service, as well as T-Mobile's SIM card, in the days ahead.  It is Thanksgiving today, in the USofA, and it is also Jeanette's birthday.  So....we have activities planned. We will close the day by sharing it over dinner with our friends from Montreal, Quebec - Gerry and Pauline.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Lake Pleasant to the Foot of Superstition Mountain

......and meeting new blogger friends too!!!!

From Wikieup, AZ, - where we last wrote from - we drove to the Maricopa County Regional Park called, Lake Pleasant.  This park is a gem!  It overlooks Lake Pleasant.  In our books, it rates 5 stars.  Located about 30 miles north and west from Phoenix, this is a great place to park the fiver for a few days.
On Highway 93 south towards Wickenburg, AZ.
We left Wikieup on Sunday morning under cloud cover....but the weather forecasters were calling for Monday sun and higher temperatures.  That was something to look forward too. 

We did want to get set up at Lake Pleasant in time to lock in our satellite to Anick 2  and to take in the 101st CFL Grey Cup (The Canadian Football League's premier final game) - the Canadian equivalent of the Super Bowl.
Wickenburg is an area we wish to spend more time discovering in the future.
Just south and east from Wickenburg was a very nice rest stop.  The timing was great to prepare some lunch and get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the area.  The rest stop offers a wide range of information.
Evidence of rain is everywhere......and the water doesn't dissipate quickly.
I am reading one of the numerous signs that inform about the history of the area; including the flora and fauna.
It was only about a 30 minute drive from Wickenburg to our two night stay @ Lake Pleasant, AZ.  We were without any internet service there though.  The park service doesn't offer WiFi.  And we are without a hot spot....but not for long!!!!!
Take a careful look and you will see the wild burrow looking as Jeanette takes its photo.
While I was registering for our stay at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Jeanette meandered around a bit and within minutes, she spotted two wild burrows in the hills above the registration hut.
There are two wild burrows; one looking directly at Jeanette and the other offering a side view while grazing.
Arriving at our RV site @ Lake Pleasant Regional Park.
We arrived at our site by 2:00 pm.  It took about one hour to completely set ourselves up for our stay; including setting up the satellite for the Grey Cup football game.  We arrived under the cover of clouds and that was the case for the balance of the day.  

Before leaving Wikieup, we received a blog message from fellow readers/writer; Kevin and Tracy of Adventures of a 50 year old! They were camped about 40 minutes east from us, at Cave Creek.  We were thrilled to get a chance to meet them.  By 4:00 pm, they drove up to our site and the exchange of thoughts, ideas and good information began.  It was cooling down outdoors so indoors we went.

Our site overlooking Lake Pleasant.
Kevin and Tracy at our site.
Their visit lasted a couple of hours and what a quick couple of hours that was.  This is a great couple with  a strong focus on their present and future plans.  It was fun to learn about their family too. These two have a lot to be proud of.
While visiting, I informed them that our Grey Cup Football game was the big event for us.....and they didn't mind that I would glance over at the TV, on occasion, to see the Hamilton Tiger Cars get seriously walked on by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It was a one sided game!
By 6:00pm, or thereabouts, Kevin and Tracy headed back to their camp spot at Cave Creek.  We exchanged our good byes - sharing some good RV hugs - but with a view to meet again in the future.  We hope that will happen on their Arizona turf or our British Columbia turf....or even points in between.  Good fun had!
Monday morning sunrise.  Not having seen the sun in so many days, Monday got me out of bed as soon as I saw a hint of the sun peeking over the eastern horizon.  I had to get a photograph.
It was not long before the coffee was brewing and I was looking forward to get outdoors, under blue skies, to tackle a few chores.  That started with cleaning up the motorcycle.  I managed to get it nice and bright, again.
Swabbing the final touches
The rains and road grit had clouded the 5th wheel windows and a cleaning was in order.  I got that done too!

Once breakfast was had, Jeanette and I left on a 1hr. 45 min. hike through the marked trails and some unmarked too.  It was a gorgeous day.  The views were stunning.
The park ranger told us we had the nicest of all spots in Lake Pleasant.  We concur!  Our views were second to none.  Really good paved and level RV spots in this park. See the blue sky?

The view from our deck chairs outside of our 5th wheel.
We chose to spend two nights.  Only here for one night last winter forced us to come back here again.  The place whets our appetite to return again for three or four nights, next time out.
Jeanette is a green thumb and she loves to touch anything that is plant oriented. Here she is examining a barrel cactus.
Impossible to tire of this place.
We took full advantage of our time at Lake Pleasant.  We wore down the soles of our shoes too.  But to walk and hike around here is such a treat.  I walked around at night too and relished the bright stars on a clear dark night.
Coming off I-17 south to take the on ramp east on the 101 Loop.  This 101 is like a ring road that circles around Phoenix and Scottsdale to lead us to I-60 east and our destination at the foot of Superstition Mountain - east of Mesa, AZ
Gold Canyon - in Apache Junction - was where we were headed for on Tuesday morning.  More specifically, The Canyon Vista RV Resort is to be our home for the next seven days.  This is a beautiful place.  We wrote about it in our blog last February when we spent two weeks here.  It is a nice resort with great amenities and the best thing about it is that it isn't a huge RV Park.  It is modern and clean.  The Passport America rate is enticing too.  They offer the 50% discount for a maximum seven day stay here.
Driving into Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, AZ.
We made quick time of backing in to a large RV site.  The motorcycle unloaded, we completed our set up then contacted our good friends who winter here. 
Gerry and Pauline - Photo taken three years back....when we last visited here
Pauline and Gerry, from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, chose Canyon Vista as their winter home several years back.  They gave up their 5th wheel for a beautiful park model on a green belt. We were so thrilled to see them again....and so thrilled in fact that the camera never left its case.  We even drove over to a nice Mexican restaurant for dinner but, again, the camera did not leave the case.  Too busy chatting!!!!!  We will see them again, in the days ahead, and I'll remember to remove the camera and get some updated photos.

Gerry and I go back to our time at CBC-TV.  He was the most senior TV station manager at CBC-TV, Ottawa, Canada's Capital City, in the Province of Ontario, when we first met.

Gerry did mention golf on Friday.  I'm up for that!!!!!
It seems Jeanette got my best side with this the motorcycle!!!!
We will avoid the crush of RVing through the American Thanksgiving holidays.  Being parked here during the holiday will be most enjoyable. Wednesday morning is when we will motorcycle over to a Maricopa County ranch known as DOGPOUND SOUTH.  To bloggers in the know, you will relate to John and Brenda Brown who winter there but make their Canadian home at another ranch known as Dogpound North - north and west from Calgary, Alberta.  John & Brenda's Incredible Journey

Jeanette and I look forward to the ride and to seeing John and Brenda again.  It was last year when we first met in person when we accepted their invitation for lunch at Dogpound South. We ride a mechanical horse, on two wheels, (so to speak) and they ride the real thing....with four legs.

We'll have another story to tell about our visit with John and Brenda so stay tuned for that.  There will be a connection to another blogger friend/writer, Janna of the Tin TeePee/Log Cabin blog.  You'll just have to wait!

Good to be in the sun and heat of southern Arizona.   

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Waking up in Wikieup, AZ

When looking outside our fiver this morning, the clouds were still prevalent.  Checking the weather reports, we learned that the sun could well shine today as we move further east.  We'll see.  Although not raining as I write this, the threat is clear.
Saturday morning @ Lakeside RV Park, Pahrump, NV - Sweeping the leaves and pine cones off of the slide tops.
We decided to weather the weather, so to speak, and drive further east towards the Phoenix, AZ, area. Rolling out of this very nice RV resort and casino - with the seven acre man made lake and numerous trees - we knew we would return some day.  And we will!  Our wheels were rolling at 10:00 am NV time (11:00 am AZ time).
We did not stop so we can't vouch that this place is 'World Famous'.  It was raining so hard, we simply did not have the interest to drop in.
The rain was coming down and @ 5400 feet in elevation, snow was sticking on the ground.
Only about  30  miles from Las Vegas - high in the mountains on Highway 160 - we arrived at the forecast snow line.  The road was very wet but the snow was not sticking.  Good thing!
The snow plows had been through the highest point before we got here, but the evidence was clear.  It had snowed several inches up at the summit.
And the long downhill drive towards Las Vegas only drew very heavy rain.  It was relentless!

This Las Vegas photo was taken from the cab of our tow a torrential downpour.
Although we have been to Las Vegas well over a dozen times, this is the very first visit where the weather reminded us of a typical Vancouver, BC, winter day.  The news broadcasts had shown so many vehicle crashes due to slippery roads. 
Our exit from Las Vegas towards Boulder City and Highway 93
We blew through Las Vegas and headed further east.  Still, the rain would not abate.

Having visited the Hoover Dam a few times before, we didn't stop here either.  We just kept driving.
Jeanette did manage to capture the photo below from the mile high road above Lake Mead.  
Lake Mead, AZ

The Colorado River - taken from the Arizona side.  This river is the border that divides Nevada and California from Arizona.
Relentles.....this rain was.

Soon to arrive at our destination; an RV Park in Wikieup, AZ
When planning our route east from Pahrump, we found a Passport America RV Park in the little town of Wikieup, AZ.  We read reports from other RVers who stopped in here and all raved about the great food in the roadside restaurant and the long pull through sites that were more than adequate for an over night stay.  
Rolling on to the Dazzo's RV Park, Wikieup, AZ.
And....we can honestly say that this is a pretty cool place to overnight.  The Passport America rate is $10.56 (taxes in).  And it is a real bargain for level pull through sites with all services.  The people here are really friendly.  Although the rain continued off and on, we did get to chat with other RVers who use this place as part of their yearly drives from north to south and back.
Our overnight spot at Dazzo's RV Park in Wikieup, AZ.
 The sun is breaking through as I get ready to post this blog.  It's nearing 9:00 am here.  By 10:30 or so, we will roll out towards our next destination; Lake Pleasant State Park - about 40 minutes north of Phoenix.  We'll hang out there for two nights before rolling further east to Gold Canyon - our future stop for seven days.

Thanks for dropping by.