Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 28 - Tucson area bus tour

The morning was crisp and cold
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky
We was ready for more places to behold
We was all lined up ready to go
Mission San Xavier del  Bac
Was much like the Alamo
It has been there for many a year
The guide we had was friendly and smart
He knew all the facts from A to Z
Time flew by till time to depart

The city tour was short and sweet
We saw what we could but that wasn’t much
The city was busy fixing the streets
The next place we stopped was really neat
It had a salad bar with all kinds of things
The best thing it was all you could eat

Biosphere 2 is an amazing place
They lived there two long years
All under glass they was totally encased
They breathed the same air
And drank the same water
No sickness no pain did any occur

The next place was a great big canyon
It was rocky and rough but a beautiful place
A little Grand Canyon is a good comparison

The Gaslight Theatre was our next stop
We all took our seats and started to eat
We ate popcorn and pizza till ready to pop
The show was funny and really neat
They rode their horses and sang good songs
They wore pretty costumes that was really neat
Then it was over and time to go home
Ready for tomorrow and the Aircraft museum
Emmy was glad we finally got home

Submitted by:
#14 Joe and Donna Risley

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 27 - Travel Day to Tucson, AZ

After four days in Mesa at the Mesa Regal RV Resort our group moved on to Tucson. Mesa Regal was not suited for our group. We were scattered throughout the Park feeling isolated from one another! Parking was very very challenging missing a Citrus Tree on one side and the lamp post on the other side.  Driving out of these sites was just as Challenging as the sites were so tight.

Traveling down Interstate 10 we saw Sally and John our Leaders, along the road about one hour from our Destination. The Huettemann’s pulled over and picked up Sally while John stayed with the Truck and 5th wheel waiting for the Tow Truck. We arrived at the Park and Sally took charge and got everyone all checked in and we all enjoyed a rest before our evening social. What a Pleasure to be grouped together again.

We gathered for our Social at 4:30 and enjoyed all the treats everyone contributed. We then played the gift exchange game and enjoyed many a laugh. We all had a good time and the coveted gifts which were stolen the Maximum times were the flashlights, Carmel Corn and wooden salad tongs. Joe’s dog Emma and Madi’s Kitty Missy enjoyed watching all the activities from their traveling homes. 

Sally and Madi presented each couple a gift to help remember our trip, which was a Donkey magnet which will always bring fond memories of our trip to Oatman.

Just as our evening Social was ending our Wagon Master John rolled into the park about 6 p.m. He got his fifth wheel into his site and the truck in the garage for repairs. Cold, Rain, Wind or Break Downs the Caravan goes on. 

Submitted by:  
#11 Aldo & Cece Risi

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 26 - Mesa, AZ - Tour of Phoenix and Surrounds

At last, a rainless day!!!  Until late afternoon, we had clear blue skies with crisp but breezy, fresh air.  This was another tour day.  Our first stop was at the Queen Creek Olive Mill.  We were informed about a myriad list of facts for growing olive trees, harvesting their fruit, and the production of extra virgin olive oil.  Arizona is the only state with an olive grove and mill.  This company has 2500 trees, using a mix of Spanish, Italian, and Greek varieties.  A blend of 60% purple to 40% green olives creates their signature Tuscan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

As we drove through the outlying regions of Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix our tour guide told us that the primary brush to be seen was creosote.  And we were told that the increased development of housing has diminished the acreage of cotton, alfalfa, and corn that was once so prominent.  Our guide mentioned too that there are now 357 golf courses in the Phoenix area.

Old Town Scottsdale gave us the opportunity to choose an eatery for lunch.  Sufficient time was given to us for dining, exploring and relaxing.

Next, we entered into a most extraordinary exploration of world music at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM).  Our numbers were split into two groups each led by a docent for a one hour whirlwind travel tour through five Geographical Galleries showcasing music and culture from every country.

At this point, this blog reporter wilted, and was unable to witness those Adventure Caravan souls in the Experience Gallery for their hands-on moments.

We finished the evening by attending the George Dyer Show for his live performance.

Submitted by:
#10 Paula and Verne Rigdon

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 25 - Mesa, AZ - Live Arizona Opry Dinner Show

It rained again last night so in the morning we decided to drive the Bush Highway Scenic Road and return to Mesa by the Usery Pass Road.  We saw Red Mountain and many different cacti.

For lunch, we decided to try Waldo’s BBQ to see if it was as good as Texas BBQ.  It was very tasty especially the pulled pork since we usually don’t get that in Texas.  We did; however, miss having pickles and onions with the meal.  

We then visited the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)-Arizona Wing Museum in Mesa.  The CAF is dedicated to the preservation of WWII warplanes.  Of special interest is Sentimental Journey, a restored WWII B-17 bomber in flying condition.

We arrived at the Arizona Opry Dinner Theater for an unforgettable evening of music variety.  The Barleen family did a great job of entertaining us with special guest Bill Wells.  George Staerkel, the music director, has a 5 octave vocal range and is comfortable with almost any instrument.

Submitted by:
#9 Jim and Claudia Miller

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 24 - Mesa - tour of Apache Junction

Our bus ride through Apache Junction to Tortilla Flat, AZ was a bit rainy but the rain clouds brought spectacular views of the clouds over the mountains. The first stop was Tortilla Flat, AZ, (pop. 6). Tortilla Flat is last surviving stagecoach stop on the historic Apache Trail.

Tortilla Flat was an interesting stop. We visited the Mercantile store/Post Office loaded with souvenirs and friendly employees. We also visited the "The Superstition Saloon" where the walls are covered with $1 bills, saddle bar stools, and the most interesting rest rooms.

We were unable to go beyond Tortilla Flat, AZ  because the road was flooded but everybody took advantage of the time to watch the 4-wheelers pass through the flooded road and take pictures of the water as it flowed over the road.

Our next stop was to visit the Canyon Lake Restaurant for lunch and then a ride on the the Dolly Steamboat. During the ride on the Dolly Steamboat we were blessed with sunny weather. While riding on Canyon Lake we saw spectacular views and abundant wildlife including eagles and prong horn sheep.

After our ride on the Dolly Steamboat we traveled to the Goldfield Ghost Town where we enjoyed a ride on a narrow gauge railroad. We also saw a reenactment of a wild west shoot out in the middle of the town. In the ghost town there were a number of shops, museums, and eateries for all to enjoy.

As we left the Goldfield Ghost town we headed back to Mesa after a very full day.

Submitted by:
#8 John and Brenda McMillan

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 23 - Travel Day to Mesa/Phoenix, AZ

We have another travel day for our blog.  It rained all night and was still raining as we left the campground and Quartzsite.  Walmart plastic bags come in handy to keep John’s shoes dry as he hitched up, although the rest of him was wet.

We have been seeing the dry desert, but today we saw pools of water on the land and even some green spots outside of Buckeye.

After we arrived in Mesa and parked our rig, we met up with friends from New Jersey at Organ Spot Pizza.  The main attraction is a Wurlitzer theater organ and the man who plays it.  The organ has 6000 pipes and is covered in real gold worth about one million dollars.  It was fun and the pizza was good too. 

We saw the Dutton Family Show in the evening.  They are an interesting group of talented musicians from the smallest child to the oldest adult.  We really enjoyed seeing the children perform.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Note:  USA Today, Thursday, January 25, had a picture of the larger than life statue of Marilyn Monroe in Palm Springs, getting a cleansing shower from the aerial truck of the Palm Springs Fire Department.

Submitted by:
#7 John and Connie Huettemann

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 22 - Quartzsite, AZ

We woke this morning to cloudy skies.  Verner and I went shopping around 11 am.  People were milling around going in different directions.  Some in small carts, some with walkers, but most were walking.  There were dogs walking; some in strollers and some being held by owners.

Verner purchased a flag pole and several other items.  He especially liked shopping at a miscellaneous tool booth on a corner.  I bought some dip.  We heard it wasn’t bringing in the people as usually did, but the show was having a good flow.

It rained this afternoon.  We are waiting to see what our social directors are doing.  Rain or not, we had a great social and heavy hors d'oevres outside with a slight falling rain. 

We discussed our travel  tomorrow to Mesa, Arizona.  We can arrive after 12 noon.

Submitted by:
#6 Verner and Sue Gregory

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 21 - Quartzsite, AZ

WELCOME TO OUR FIRST FULL DAY AT QUARTZSITE.  More about the camels in their welcome sign will follow.

The morning started out very cloudy and a little mist was in the air as Jim & Claudia Miller joined Bob & Janice Eldred on our walk over to La Mesa RV Dealer for our free pancake breakfast.  It seems that the rest of the crew decided to drive over.  Once our breakfast was finished and we checked out a couple of RV's we headed back over I-10 to check out the big tent where the RV show is taking place. 

After the 4 of us checked into the Adventure Caravans booth we separated and each couple did their own thing looking at all the booths' wares and fantastic offers.  Since each person had the day to do what they wanted to do here in Quartzsite, each couple pretty much took in what interested them. Lots of vendors line the street and go back into lots of nooks and crannies.

After much walking around at the show, we returned to our RV for a light late lunch and a brief rest before leaving in our truck to search out the city itself.  We tried to find a small garden, but was unsuccessful, but did see where they are trying to revitalize an older part of town with new offers of sites for sale, both for homes and RV's. 

We did find an old cemetery in Tyson Wells - HI JOLLY MEMORIAL.  This memorial honors Hadji Ali, nicknamed Hi Jolly by the soldiers and pioneers.  This Arab came to Arizona in 1856 with an Army consignment of camels.  The camels adapted well to their new area, but they scared the cattle, horses and mules to stampede.  The ashes of his favorite camel is burned in the memorial shaped liked a pyramid at this location.  Hence the reason for the camels in the city's welcome signs.

At the evening social, everyone shared what they bought or saw during the day. 

Tomorrow is another free day to shop until we drop. 

Submitted by:
#4 Bob and Janice Eldred