Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas To All

The holiday's are a time to spend with family and friends, reflect back on memories, play games, watch football and of course eat, eat, eat and then take a nap. :)  However, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way, so you improvise and do the next best thing, which is exactly what we had to do this year.

You see; we are sitting in the middle of the desert outside Quartzsite, AZ so it would be a long drive back to Texas or Oklahoma to be with our families.  And of course, our families couldn't get out to us either, so we meet several of our new desert friends at Blue Water Casino in Parker, AZ to feast on the all you can eat buffet.  Although we didn't gamble, Jerry did find a nice shirt to purchase for his bride. Sorry no pictures, maybe at a later time.

Once back to the rig, it was time for a nap - at least for Jerry, as Deb and Max played outside.  Actually Max decided to catch a little lizard and oh well, you can imagine the rest. Later in the afternoon, we decided to take a walk and let Max run a little down the wash, as we usually like to do each evening, however this turned out a bit different this time.  Deb twisted her ankle coming out of the wash, and of course we were still about an 1/4 of a mile from home. She was a good sport and was determine to walk home instead of letting Jerry go get the truck.
One fat ankle, guess that will slow her down a bit

It has been a great day, as we are blessed to be healthy, be surrounded with good people, wake up to many text and e-mails, and a chance to talk to most of our family members.

So we will leave you with a few Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect.

Ham I Am...

Max posing for his photo shoots…LOL    Actually, it’s Max just being Max……
What, can't you see I'm reading?

Been riding since I was a puppy

Hurry up dad, I'm ready to go

See I know my manners
Nite nite time

Am I driving?

I love you daddy...

Oops, you caught me in the river

Watch me dive into the lake

Look where I am, on top of the large fallen tree limp

My pet rock

I love my ice cream too

Time to chill

Our handsome guy

Tamale Festival 2011

On Saturday, December 17th; we took another road trip down south to Somerton, AZ to partake in the 5th annual tamale festival.  This trip was all for Jerry as Deb doesn’t like tamales so much.  

Not a seat open in site

They were expecting over 20 thousand people for this one day event, in the heart of Somerton, on Main Street between Union Ave. and Somerton Ave.  Yes, I did say 20,000 people in this small space….   
Just a few people, don't you think...

White Tent (left by tree) = Ticket Booth
It was FREE to get into the event and for a buck fifty ($1.50) you could buy yourself a tamale or for six bucks ($6) get a tamale dinner (2 tamales with rice and beans).  It was nice they let you in on the price, so you didn’t have to stand in that ticket line twice. 

There were a variety of different tamales to try; standard- beef and chicken, a favorite - corn, specialties- green chilies w/cheese, as well as sweet tamales in pineapple, coconut, and apple caramel, just to name a few.  Note to self: It was best to see which vendors were steaming their tamales on site, as they were fresher, than from the ice chest.

Tamales where not the only thing, as other vendors were selling bake goods to help raise money for different school functions, so of course Deb had to contribute and get herself a cupcake. =)

Entertainment was as much a part of this festival as the tamales, with two stages – one on each end of the event.  This year there were local dance and choir and country & western group and some pretty famous Mexican groups – Los Cadetes de Linares and Los Tiranos del Norte.  We watched a few of the local dancers, then were out of there to escape the crowd.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello; Welcome to our blog!

As much as we enjoy sharing our travels with each reader, we also enjoy knowing our followers. Not to mention your comments on our travels- good or bad ;)!  Your comments help us to improve our blogging techniques, so please feel free to give us some feedback.  If you haven’t already clicked the “join this site” button, we hope that you will, as it will also let you know each time a new post has been added. 

Safe travels.  If you know us, then you know this quote fits us well.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mexico Bound…

Our friend, Barb had the opportunity to go with Gretchen last week to Algonones, Mexico, so she wanted to share the same experience with us.  It’s a little bit of a drive from Quartzite, AZ to Algonones, Mexico (88 miles +/-), so we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and share stories.  Driving up Hwy 95, Barb asked, “Do y’all see the Scotty dog on the mountain?”  

See the nose, forehead, ear, and the little tail? 

Shortly we made our way to Algodones, Mexico which is an unusual little border town. What’s so unusual about Algodones, you might ask? Within a four block radius there are more pharmacies, doctors, dentists and opticians than any similar four block area anywhere else in the world! And, this “border medical land” attracts thousands of Americans and Canadians weekly. What’s the big attraction? You can find heavily discounted prescriptions, eye-glasses, and medical and dental care. And, if you listen to your friends in the snowbird RV parks, they can tell you that the care from their Algodones doctor or dentist is as good as anywhere back in The States or Canada. 

First building you see when you walk out the corral, dentist office with a Mercedes in front.  Huh...what does that tell ya?


The guy in the white sweat shirt is trying to convince Barb and Jerry to try this dentist office.  He was offering teeth cleaning for $20, however we all passed.

Just like any border town in Mexico, it’s best to look around before you attempt to purchase anything. That goes for pharmaceuticals, vanilla, souvenirs or liquor. Remember, the Algodones shopping area is only four blocks. Once you find your deal, don’t stop there!  Jerry was looking for a nice leather belt, he finally found one, starting price… $35.  He finally got it for $18!!   Sweet Deal!!

After walking and dodging all the vendors, we decided it was time to grab some food.  Good news! Most people can eat the food served in the local restaurants and have a margarita without worrying about water-related and food issues. We had chicken fajitas, however no Margarita’s this time as it was just too COLD to be drinking for us, however no problems with the food.  We enjoyed dining at El Paraiso, The Garden Place. The patio is not easy to find as it’s in the center of one of the shopping blocks, however locals can direct you. Of course, dining in Mexico is quite different than in the states, as vendors went table to table trying to sell their treasures. While this added to the color of the experience, we were glad that they easily took “no, thanks,” for an answer.  

Adding to our experience; we had a good waiter as well as a great sense of humor.  Being a chilling day in Mexico (around 50 degrees), Deb was freezing!!  This is after having several layers of clothes on, plus her jacket.  Well, Deb was treated like royalty!!  Our waiter noticed Deb was cold, so came over and said, “He was going to build a fire right next to her.”  GREAT, jokingly Deb said “you do, get a BIG tip”…LOL.  Next came new mittens, then this colorful yellow table cloth draped around her.  Jerry asked  “How much is a BIG tip to you?”  Oh maybe $5, then we noticed the bill had and extra $6.50 added to it, so guess he did get a BIG tip!! 

After that dining experience it was time to head back to do some more shopping in Yuma, AZ. First, the true fun begin; trying to get back to United States soil.  One vendor was saying; “You want to avoid the lines, let me know.”  We were thinking; just another way to try and get your money before leaving!!  And we continue walking…..   Shortly we found ourselves standing in a LONG line, about an hour wait.


Avoid the lines?  A sweet escape route only cost $5/person.  Only wish we would have ask how to avoid the lines earlier!!

After a day of shopping; Barb wanted to take us through the farm land, which you could find different types of lettuce, spinach, date palm trees, and different fruit trees.  Stop by Imperial Date Gardens (location Bard, California on Road S24) to get some ice cream, however we elected to try a Medjool Date Shake.  Not something you get every day, but quite tastyThey even shared their recipe, so we decided to pass it along.

 Imperial Date Shakes
2 Scoops of vanilla ice cream
8 oz. milk
2 Tbsp. of Medjool date butter (or 3 dates)
Blend to thick consistency

WARNING: You may not be able to control yourself after you’ve tasted one.

The Medjool is the gourmet date unquestionably the largest, meatiest, and most favorable variety we have ever tasted.  For more details or ordering, click here

Medjool Date Village with some farm land in front.

Mexico December 2011

Happy Trails, now to leave you something to think about….

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Joshua Tree National Park

Today was our friend Jim D's birthday, so we took a road trip to celebrate.  Really the ideal behind the whole trip was for Jim and Jerry to get their “Senior Pass” cards, which entitles them to free entry to all National and State Parks, Federal Gov’t and BLM sites, plus 50% discount on camping fees. 

A little history: Minerva Hoyt persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936. In 1994, as part of the California Desert Protection Act, Congress renamed the area Joshua Tree National Park. Due to Hoyt and others efforts, this park protects 794,000 acres – nearly three-quarters of it designated wilderness – where the Mojave and Colorado deserts converge.
Dust storm in Cali, who would have thought?

Senior Pass = FREE
 Aging gracefully, who would ever guess these handsome young men are old enough to get “Senior Pass”?  I guess aging has its benefits!!              

Pinto Basin Mountain - Colorado Mountains 

Joshua Trees - Mojave Mountains
Joshua Trees grow in higher elevation, so you have to get into the Mojave Mountains before seeing them in the park.
Skull Rock

Who Piled Up All Those Rocks?
The roads and trails lead you through a jumble of stacked boulders where you can use your imagination to see unlikely shapes.  The rock piles began underground eons ago as a result of volcanic activity.  Magma – in this case a molten form of the rock called monzogranite – rose from deep within the Earth.  As it rose, it intruded the overlying rock, the Pinto gneiss formation. 

As the granite cooled and crystallized underground, cracks (joints) formed horizontally and vertically.  The granite continued to uplift, where it came in contact with groundwater.  Chemical weathering caused by groundwater worked on the angular granite blocks, widening cracks and rounding edges.  Eventually the surface soil eroded, leaving heaps of monzogranite scattered across the land like careless piles of toy blocks.

Snow on top of Quail Mountain - Mojave

This is just the top surface of what Joshua Tree NP has to offer, hopefully our next visit we will be able to get off the black top and do some hiking.  Today was not the day as the temps ranged from 34-50 degrees and the winds were strong

The road goes on forever, but the breath taking views never end.  On the left side of road is the Sheep Hole Mountains and the right side is Coxcomb Mountains – Cali Hwy 62 heading toward Parker, AZ.

Another great adventure; hope you add Joshua Tree National Park to your travel list.