2014 Travels travel blog

Carpe back "home" in RoVer's Roost

Hot air balloon over Verde Valley

A decent closeup of balloon

Heading downhill on I 17
This 6% grade drops more than 2,000'

Carpe Diem gets 150 MPG!
Heading downhill, that is...

Welcome to Casa Grande

Back at RoVer's Roost

A Casa Grande rarity
Not too many damp and foggy mornings in the...

We celebrated our 36th Anniversary...

...still very much in love!

Carpes had to vacate the site
Here they are across the road

Our lot is prepared for new rock surface

Overloaded half-ton pickup

Dave and his crew await the new rock

Twenty tons of rock
Ten for our lot, ten for our neighbor

Dumping our new rock

Just about finished

Ten tons of rock awaiting distribution

All finished, Carpe's back home

"Geeks on Tour" presentation at RoVer's Roost

Bob attentiverly soaking up Geek Knowledge

Lesson #1: Keep your new drone away from trees

Desert Sunset at RoVer's Roost

Sat, 22 Nov: Downhill in search of warmer weather...

We've been at Thousand Trails Verde Valley campground for almost two weeks now. It was a wonderful and very relaxing experience. The weather turned cooler early this week with overnite temperatures in the twenties and daytime highs in the fifties, if that. We've sure used the furnaces a lot.

It is time to head back "home" at RoVer's Roost. In addition to warmer weather (lows in the thirties and forties) it is almost Thanksgiving, and celebrating at RoVer's Roost is the closest thing to being with family we know of.

Yesterday, Bob dumped the holding tanks and Sandi checked the tire pressures. We ran some errands in the morning, the first time we'd started the car in a week. Upon our return we hooked up the car, a chore more pleasant on a sunny afternoon in the fifties than a morning in the twenties.

Once finished with breakfast and getting the coach ready for the road, we started the diesel and let it warm up while building up air pressure and retracting the jacks. We used the block heater in this morning's 28°F temperatures so the Cummins started right up.

Bob eased Carpe out of our space and by 0830 we were soon rolling along AZ 260 east toward the Interstate. As we left Verde Valley we saw a hot air balloon floating in the valley below. A pretty sight on a crisp and clear morning.

Once on I 17 Bob took us "downhill" from more than 4,000' altitude to the Phoenix Valley at a "mere" 1,100'. Just north of Phoenix we switched drivers and Sandi got the honor of driving the maze of freeways that make up Phoenix. Fortunately, the traffic was Saturday morning lite so we had no difficulty.

We arrived in Casa Grande at half past eleven and stopped to add 43 gallons of diesel to Carpe's tank. Then another seven miles to RoVer's Roost where we disconnected the car and backed into our lease lot. All settled in a bit after noon we settled down to a quiet lunch.

Today's trip was 155 miles via Arizona 260, I 17, I 10, AZ 387, AZ 84, and local roads. Overall fuel economy, thanks to lotsa downhill, was a respectible 8.8 mpg.

We'll be here for the balance of 2014. No trips planned till mid January when we're planning to make our annual trek to the madness known as Quartzsite.

To each and every one our best wishes for the holidays.

Thu, 04 Dec: Update...

We've been parked in our lease site for almost two weeks now and, to be honest, we're very much enjoying our "down time". The SKP park is beginning to fill up and many of the winter denizens are already here or will soon arrive to escape the miserable weather farther north.

We have been busy with medical appointments and the holidays. Sandi had an appointment with the eye doc at Mayo, where she got the news that things are stable. With glaucoma, that is good news. The next day we both visited the dentist for cleaning and inspection. Both of us got good reports ("Look Ma, no cavities").

Thanksgiving at RoVer's Roost was a festive and delectable feast. As is the custom, the Cooperative provided the birds and the folks provided the remainder. Sandi was again asked to prepare the gravy, which was well received if the empty bowls are any indication.

The sides ranged from veggies, spuds, yams, dressing, pies, etc., etc. We are always impressed with what comes out of these RV galleys, and this was no exception.

No, we did not get up at dark o'clock and run to some store first thing Friday morning. To be honest, there are very few things we want or need, and standing in line to fight for some TV or other unnecessary gizmo is not our idea of spending our time.

Monday we had a pleasant surprise, Ben & Bonnie Ackerman stopped by the Roost enroute from their winter quarters in Benson to Gila Bend. We spent time yacking and then went to Nico's for a few of their wonderful burritos. We're looking forward to another visit mid-month when they return home, as well as spending time together next month in Quartzsite.

Yesterday, Sandi had another doc appointment, and again received good news. She also had a follow up at Costco Hearing Center, where they did some "tweaking" of her devices, but again all is A-OK! She really loves her hearing aids.

The balance of 2014 looks to be pretty laid back. We'll be "roosting" at RoVer's Roost till after the first of the year, when we plan to spend time in Quartzsite. Beyond that, we hope to undertake some long term "projects", which means Bob will do the "projects" and Sandi will bury herself in her Kindle.

Mon, 22 Dec: Happy Anniversary to us!!!

Yes, today is our thirty-sixth anniversary. We got sung to at today's Social Hour, and last evening was the monthly Anniversary/Birthday ice cream social, so we also got sung to there. It has been a wonderful thirty-six years and we're still both very much in love (yes, with each other!)

It has been a busy few weeks, but for some reason we've accomplished very little of note. We did drive to Tucson to visit with our dear friends Bobbie and Lee Powell. Good friends Carmen and Domingo Davila arrived a few days ago. They barely escaped winter in Michigan, a fate not for the weak of heart.

The "Roost" is filling up with many leaseholders returning and lotsa renters enjoying the peace and tranquility of the Arizona desert. Activities included a Valley-wide SKP lunch at the Golden Corral and our first ever roadside litter patrol. RoVer's Roost has "adopted" four miles of Montgomery Avenue between Gila Bend Highway and Interstate 8. What we found littering the sides of the road was pretty bizzare.

We've contracted with a local handyman to resurface our lease lot. Where it is not paved it is covered with pea gravel, that is getting pretty thin. They'll remove all the gravel and dirt to a depth of two inches and replace it with half inch red rock. If all goes well that should be finished B4 Xmas (we'll see...)

Sat, 27 Dec: A relaxing Xmas with new rock...

Hard to believe, but the handyman was motivated to get paid B4 Xmas so he showed up with a cadre of fellows to finish digging up our lot and getting our ten tons of red rock. He finished up late on Xmas Eve and we sent him off with his check.

We had to move Carpe Diem from our lot in order for them to do their work. It is the first time she's been moved for a month, but all systems seemed to work OK. Sandi moved her across the road into a vacant boondocking site while the rock work took place.

We're very pleased with the result, and have received many compliments. Hopefully the larger (½" rock) will not get tracked in the way the pea gravel did.

We had a wonderful Xmas lunch at the clubhouse. About 85 folks attended. Meat (turkey and ham) was provided by the Cooperative and dishes to pass filled the serving tables to the point they were sagging. Once we finished the tables were no longer sagging, but we sure were...

Our weather is desert winter, which consists of overnite lows hovering just above or below freezing and sunny days in the sixties. We start out in sweats, switch to shorts, and are back in sweats by sundown. Our furnaces are getting a real workout, especially in the early morning before the sun starts warming things up.

We are now entering the last week of 2014. Last minute financial matters need to be tackled along with ensuring all is ready for the New Year. We'll welcome 2015 with our RoVer's Roost "family" in the clubhouse. The party is scheduled to last until the ball drops in Times Square NYC (10 P.M. MST), and we expect to all be tucked in our beds by half past.

Wed, 31 Dec: Happy New Year and Adios 2014...

Just a quick entry to bring everyone up to date on our final week of 2014. It has been a comparatively relaxing week, especially given how hectic the holidays can be. We try to eschew much of the hoopla and commercialization of the season and cower inside our coach within the walls of sanity that surround RoVer's Roost.

On Monday we ventured to the stores again. We visited Sam Club for some "big box" items and then braved the aisles of Wal*Mart. Of course, with In-N-Out Burger across the street from Sam Club, lunch was a no-brainer. Sam was quite civilized and we bought our contribution to the Roost's New Year Eve party. Wally was a bit less sane, but we survived.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we had a "Meet & Eat" at the Pacific Seafood Buffet in Chandler. It is the first time we've been to Pacific Seafood, and it was really good. It is, primarily, a Chinese/Asian theme, but they do have dishes from around the world. Their emphasis is on seafood, and the buffet seemed to go on forever. We ate way too much and staying awake during the drive back to Casa Grande was a real challenge. Of course, traffic in Phoenix tends to generate plenty of adrenaline, so that helped.

Back at the Roost Jim & Chris Guld, aka "Geeks on Tour", presented their informative seminar. They are always up to date on the latest gizmos so their seminars are always fresh.

After the seminar Jim demonstrated their new toy, an upscale drone. Sandi wants one, but after Jim got it stuck in a tree she sorta lost her desire for something new.

Today, Wednesday, is cold and wet. As this is being written (1415) it is only 47°F. and raining. The weather has been "desert winter" the past week with overnite lows at or slightly below freezing. Propane sales have been brisk, and our normal ten day supply of propane in the portable tank only lasted us five days. It is forecast to warm up early in 2015 and we're looking forward to that.

Tonite the denizens of RoVer's Roost will gather in the clubhouse to welcome 2015. We'll watch the ball drop in Times Square (10 local time) and hustle back to our rigs and beds. By 10:15 there won't be a light burning in the entire park. That's the way seniors "celebrate" on New Years.

We hope to get the 2015 section of the Trip Journal up and running within a few days. Once there, we'll start off at RoVer's Roost until we head out to Quartzsite mid month. Till then, we wish you and yours the very best for 2015. May the New Year be filled with all you desire.

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