Thursday, May 24, 2018

More from Prescott and Another Trip to Algodones


A few photos from our final day in Prescott, where we hiked the 4.5 mile Salida Gulch loop with Eric, Maureen and Sandy and saw some petroglyphs.


Eric and Jim.



Maureen made us laugh while making us pose.


That evening we met John and Sandy at Tara Thai, where the waiter felt sorry for us trying to take a selfie.



Although it is definitely a twisty mountainous road, Jim had no problem driving the Lazy Daze on Hwy 89 between Prescott and Congress. We hooked the Subaru back up after we got down Yarnell Hill, and with sharing the driving it was a surprisingly easy 330 miles back to Jojoba Hills. Terry and LuAnn returned from South America while we were gone so we are enjoying having them as neighbors.

One of the ponds at Jojoba.


Besides the usual, we spent last week cleaning up since our weather has been so pleasant. Jim scrubbed the roof of the Lazy Daze after removing all the vent covers, then did some caulking while I cleaned and polished the rest, along with the car. Now we’re in the process of refinishing some of our cabinet doors and drawers. It’s great to have the shed to work in.

Jim was walking back from the fitness room the other day and saw this bobcat strolling down the street. By the time he could get his phone out it ran up through a site and down a wash. Another couple was there and she managed to get a photo. They are spotted hanging around the park frequently.


Monday we drove to Algodones where we each had appointments to get a crown, or so I thought. Jim went first, got prepped and had a temporary put on. When it was my turn, Dr. Fonseca looked at my tooth and decided there was still a little swelling of the gum where I had the extraction six weeks ago She didn’t want to make a crown that might not fit well once the swelling completely resolves, since the crown I need replaced is next to the extraction site. No big deal but it means another trip to Algodones in month or so, or she said I could wait until the fall and get it done when I return for an implant. She polished the old crown a bit since it was irritating my mouth, so I may just end up waiting. She said it should be fine until then but not to chew anything hard on it. Since I’m missing the tooth next to it I’m not chewing much on that side anyway so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Candid shot of Jim in the dental chair.


Jim’s permanent crown was ready at noon on Tuesday so we spent the night at the Best Western at the Yuma Palms mall. It’s been many years since we stayed in a motel room, and although it was surprisingly nice, we couldn’t believe how much stuff we had to pack just for an overnight trip. And of course we forgot a few things. We have been spoiled by traveling with all of our worldly belongings in the RV for so long.

There isn’t much going on in Yuma, so we did a little clothes shopping since the mall was convenient, used the fitness center, then took advantage of our two free happy hour drinks, beer or wine. Since the beers were all light we each had some wine, and took the second glass back to our room where we ordered a Domino’s pizza to be delivered, then watched a movie. We are such party animals!

After a night of tossing and turning despite the bed being quite comfortable, we went over to check out the free breakfast, which as we expected didn’t consist of much in the way of healthy foods except for oatmeal and fruit. Then it was back to Algodones where it didn’t take Dr. Fonseca very long to put on Jim’s permanent crown. It looks and feels good, so he is happy. It’s really great going there now that all the snowbirds are gone. There were very few people on the streets and it only took a couple minutes to get through customs both days.

Our plan right now is to hang around Jojoba until after the 4th of July, with maybe a couple short trips in between, then start working our way to Canada. But knowing us that could all change. We’re just happy to have a place to spend two of the big summer holidays.

And one more photo.  A group of Gambel's quail came strolling through our yard the other day, followed by at least 10 baby chicks. They were so cute trying to jump up into our fountain for a drink.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Social Time in Prescott


DSC09440                                                 Thumb Butte, an iconic Prescott landmark

We’ve spent the past two weeks at White Spar Campground just south of Prescott, AZ. We stayed here last year and reserved the same campsite since we get great solar and there are no neighboring sites except across the road.

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Leaving Jojoba Hills we decided to take a longer route, going south through Anza Borrego Desert State Park, avoiding the steep and twisting Palms to Pines Hwy through Palm Desert and the more heavily trafficked route through Hemet. It turned out to be a nice drive around the Salton Sea, and we were surprised it even passed through part of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area. With temperatures in the 90s that day we didn’t see many people out on the dunes.

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300 miles was enough for one day so we stopped for the night at North Ranch, the Escapees park near Congress. We stayed there once before and our experience this time was similar. It’s fine for a stopover but not someplace we would want to spend an extended period of time.

It was an easy 50 miles to Prescott from there, and again we took a longer route through Skull Valley to avoid the curvy, mountainous part of highway 89.

Friends and former full-time RVers Eric and Maureen now live in Prescott , and John and Sandy, camp hosts from McDowell, were spending a month here. And it just so happened that Suzanne, who spent a week in Prescott before we arrived, decided to come back and stay another week while we were here. There have been many happy hours, much beer drinking, and eating out, besides hiking and biking in the area.

Suzanne arrived a couple hours after we did, and she was finally able to share some beer she’d been carrying around for two years after our last meet-up in the spring of 2016.

On our fist full day Eric and Maureen came over for a hike. It turned out to be a cloudy, cold and windy day, as you can see by how bundled up we are. There are miles of trails that can be accessed from the campground. Of course another happy hour took place inside our Lazy Daze after the hike.

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The next day the weather did not cooperate for outside activities, with highs in the upper 40s, rain, and even some sleet and hail that accumulated for a short time. We went to Fitness for 10, the gym we used last year, then met Suzanne at the movie theater to see A Quiet Place, a very suspenseful movie which required a stop at The Raven for happy hour after, where we met John and Sandy. After a beer we walked up the street to Bill’s Pizza, which was excellent. So much so that we ate there three times during our two week stay.

Not exactly the kind of May weather we were expecting.

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The sun came back out the next day so Sandy came over for a hike while John went mountain biking. We hiked across from the campground up the Quartz Mountain trail. Didn’t quite make it to the top but we had a good workout, climbing for three miles with nice views of town.

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High dollar real estate, no doubt.

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One day we hiked with Suzanne from the campground to Goldwater Lake, about 3 miles. Came across a little spring with a surprising amount of standing water that made for nice reflections.

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With a little bushwacking and chasing off some deer, we found a nice shady log for a snack with a view of the lake.

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We also did a couple bike rides, one along the scenic Peavine and Iron King rail trails where we rode almost the entire length of both trails for 16 miles.

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it passes by Watson Lake and goes through the Granite Dells, massive mounds of rounded boulders and unusual rock formations.

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One day we met John and Sandy at Pioneer Park for single track mountain biking on some fairly easy trails, but there was a lot of climbing and it was a hot morning, so we made it 6 miles and called it quits. We would like to ride there again on a cooler day.

We did a few other hikes, one to the overlook at Thumb Butte.

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Maureen, me and Sandy with Thumb Butte behind us. Eric took this photo while Jim and Suzanne sat on a bench in the shade. It was another hot day, one of several during our second week when temperatures got into the upper 80s, nearing record highs.

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View of Granite Mountain.

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Eric, Maureen, Jim and Suzanne. I couldn’t get anyone to pose.

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We wanted to check out Highway 89 south of the campground in the car to see if we thought we could go back that way, since it’s the shortest route. As always with RVers, we spoke with some who would not drive their rigs on this part of the road, and others who said it was no problem. There is a 40’ length limit, so we figured we might want to do it if we don’t hook up the car. After eight miles we decided it would not be a problem, and stopped off for a hike on a forest service jeep trail.

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Much of the trail was like this, steep and rocky, but for some odd reason Jim kept wanting to go higher and higher, so we did. We made it 2.25 miles although it sure felt longer due to the elevation gain and the heat. The nice part was that we didn’t see another soul, either on foot or off-road vehicle.

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More climbing gave us good views of the highway.

DSC09451                                                                                                                                                                                Unusual trail marker.

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See the building out there?

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It appears to be a house, and the only one for miles around.

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Yesterday we dumped tanks at Affinity RV so we don’t have to do it before we head back to Jojoba Hills tomorrow. The Prescott location is 8 miles from the campground and the only place in town to dump. It’s free, though, and the propane fill is right next to it so we topped that off, too. Last weekend we visited Affinity with Eric, Maureen, and Suzanne, all of us searching for our next RV. We were pleased to see that there are now quite a few floor plans offering recliners across from the TV, something that used to be uncommon. Too bad the quality is so poor on most RVs these days. The Grand Design Solitude 5th wheels looked very comfortable for living in, but we wouldn’t want to tow something that big. If we just had a few extra million lying around, Jim would buy one of these.

Today we have one last hike planned followed by dinner at Tara Thai, a wonderful Thai restaurant that we ate at last week with John and Sandy. We’ve eaten out more in the past two weeks than we have all year. Prescott is a great place for a vacation!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Few Hikes and Upcoming Road Trip


We finally got out for a few hikes over the past couple weeks. It’s easy to get lazy and just hang out here at Jojoba Hills since we can walk, play pickleball and ping pong, work out, etc. without leaving the park. But I was wanting to do a real hike, so on one of our grocery shopping trips to Temecula we stopped along the way at Dripping Springs, a forest service campground with two very nice trails. We’ve hiked the Dripping Springs trail a few times, and Suzanne and I hiked the Wild Horse trail a couple years ago but Jim didn’t join us so he wanted to check it out.

It’s a good trail that gains elevation from the start but it’s mostly a gradual uphill trek with nice views.

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Another day we drove 20 miles east to Warner Springs, where we hiked along part of the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. We’ve hiked to Eagle Rock in the past but this time decided to go a few miles in the other direction and see what it looked like. This isn’t the most scenic part of the PCT but it was an easy hike with not much elevation change.

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Resident wildlife along the trail.

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Across from the fire station where we started is the Community Resource Center that accommodates PCT thru-hikers with a store, showers, laundry and a place to pitch your tent. There were a lot of tired looking hikers hanging around. They get around 2,000 hikers stopping by during the months of April and May heading north from the Mexican border where the trail begins.

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Our last hike was on Tuesday when we joined a group from Jojoba Hills and drove about 40 miles to Idyllwild where it was almost 20 degrees cooler at 6,000’, a nice respite from the desert. We hiked the 5.2 mile out and back Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail. Jim actually had a good time, despite looking so serious in this photo.

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Suicide Rock, where we’ve hiked in the past. Neither of us remembered to bring a camera, so our phones had to make do, hence the strange colors.

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Lilly Rock.

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It was a fairly easy trail with about 700’ of elevation gain, one creek crossing and only a few rocky areas. And mostly in the shade.

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We came upon this woman with her two well-behaved dogs, who do their part by carrying their own snacks and water.

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On Thursday we met up with Hemet friends George and Tina for lunch in Temecula at Garage Brewery. It’s our new favorite next to Karl Strauss, and Jim really likes their Marshmallow Milk Stout on nitro. Since we saw them last year they’ve been to Iceland and even rented an RV there for a couple weeks. This fall they are taking a seven week Silk Road adventure tour. It’s always interesting hearing about their travels. I just wish I had thought to take a picture of Tina’s sassy pink hair!

And lastly, a few photos from our yard.

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The amaryllis are just gorgeous.

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We saw this on a street in the park. Not sure what it is but we knew he was non-venomous so Jim nudged him out of the road so he didn’t get run over.

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Tomorrow we’re heading off to Prescott, AZ for a couple weeks to meet up with friends, then we’ll come back to Jojoba since we need to return to Algodones to finish our dental work in a few weeks. Also Terry and LuAnn will be back tomorrow (sadly we will miss them) and we’re looking forward to spending some time with them before we all head out for our summer travels.