|We left on Tuesday, Jan. 12 for Palm Desert, CA - Brad, Jan, Bill and myself. It was about 260 miles from Phoenix. Jan & Bill decided this is the way to travel (I have the pictures of Jan asleep on the couch and Bill asleep in the recliner to prove it!). I will be nice and not post them here. We have two cousins that live in the same development there, on the golf course. Jack Campbell and Bev McDill both of whose mothers were sisters to my mother. Jack & Nancy and Bev & Jim couldn't have been more gracious and welcoming than they were. We thank you - we had a great time. Bev had all of us for a great spaghetti dinner Tuesdayr evening and then had us all over for french toast casserole breakfast the next morning. Nancy had us all for dinner of Paella on Wednesday and invited us back for breakfast on Thursday am. Brad unfortunately came down with a sore throat and ended up spending just about all the time back at the coach. If you had to be sick that was the place to be - the temps were in the mid to upper 70's during the day and sunny. We were in a very nice RV Park (Shadow Hills in Indio) and were parked right across from the office and pool. He had plenty of entertainment watching all the RV's coming and going and was able to sit out in the sun during the day. Jack took us to the Living Desert in Indian Wells on Wed. afternoon. It is a Botanical Garden/Zoo combined. All of the plantings are native to that area of Ca. There is an area dedicated to the animals of Africa (Giraffe, Lion, Zebra, etc. but the balance of the park are animals native to the southern CA. There was a wildlife show and you could tour the animal hospital on the grounds. They had a tram that would take you around the park stopping at several places along the way which you could got off and on at. One of the things that Bill and I found especially interesting was a G scale miniature railroad. It took up a whole plaza in the middle of the park and they have been working on it since 2001. There were towns the trains passed through with all types of buildings, vintage cars, people, rivers to cross with all sorts of boats and rafts on them and many national landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and Route 66 sites. We were fascinated with it. There was also a huge control tower in which there was a man running the trains. We really enjoyed that stop. Thursday afternoon Jack & Nancy took us on a sightseeing tour. We went to the Salton Sea which is huge. Unfortunately there is so much salt in it now that it is killing the fish and they wash up on shore in the thousands. When we got home that night and I was watching the news on TV they announced there had been a 3. something earthquake at the southern end of the Salton Sea - it must have been when we were bouncing along that bumpy dirt road looking for the winery we never did find - we didn't feel anything. From there we went into Indian Wells again and stopped at Shields Date Store. Ever had a date milkshake? It really isn't bad! They had all sorts of dates for sale. The last stop on our tour was at a lookout near the top of one of the mountains surrounding the valley. What a view! It was also windy and chilly up there. You could see the whole valley and even the northern end of the Salton Sea. We ended that day with dinner at an Italian restaurant. We left this morning to come back to Tempe. Bill was talking to his son and daughter-in-law who are truck drivers and they told Bill that they were in Nogales, AZ on Thursday evening to drop a load and they spent the night in AZ but this morning got orders to go to LA to pick up a load and that they would probably pass us on I-10 going the other way. When we were coming into Quartzite where we were going to stop for lunch Bill called them and found they were about 20 miles the other side of Quartzite. They stopped at the truck stop we were in and we had lunch together. We got up into the Cab of the truck. It was the first time Jan, Brad or I had ever been in one. They have two bunks for sleeping, a small refrigerator and a microwave in there. The inverter can handle the power for the fridge and microwave. I marvel at how they can be out on the road for so long in such cramped quarters. Bill usually drives during the night and Terry drives during the day and they drive continually taking stops for breaks. They eat a lot of their meals in the truck. Quatzite is an interesting place. There are hundreds of RV's out there in the winter. Most of them are dry camping - no electricity, water or sewer hook-up. They had a huge mineral show going on at the time we were going through and next weekend there is to be a large RV show there. It's very congested at the 4 corners which is the center of town.