Saturday, May 12, 2012


Alert!!  We have changed our itinerary so we can spend the summer in the Delta Area of California.  Please check our Itinerary in the Right Hand column!


May 11 - We stopped by the Post Office in Camp Verde this morning to mail a couple of cards. As I was walking out of the Post Office a gentleman said, "You look like you are on your way to play tennis." "Pickleball", I said. "Have you heard of it?"
To my surprise he replied, "Yes. There was a segment about Pickleball on the CBS Morning Show this morning. It was named for a dog named Pickles."
I came home and looked for Pickleball on the CBS Morning Show. Taryn Winter Brill on the CBS Morning Show delved into Pickleball at The Villages in Florida, Good show. (About 5 minutes). Here is the link:


May 07-08 - This is unbelievable!! How can we be so lucky to be so unlucky??!! As we were traveling from Yuma to Apache Junction on April 30, Ken noticed that the dash Air Conditioner had stopped working. For quite a while (a year or more) the fan for the Air Conditioner had been making a loud noise spuratically. Then all of a sudden it stopped making noise and there was no A/C. When we arrived at Countryside, we called Tiffin Motor Homes and talked with their Serviceman. He suggested we go to Mesa RV, a huge RV dealership near Apache Junction, but we were reluctant to get involved with them.
The next day when we were talking with our friend Harold who lives in Mesa, he told us about RV Specialists in Apache Junction where he had a lot of repair work done on his own rig. He took us by to meet and talk with John at East Valley RV Specialists. We set up an appointment with them to repair the dash Heater/Air Conditioner on Monday, May 7 when we were scheduled to leave Countryside.
This is how we came in contact with RV Specialists, and we are so glad we did. This is what happened. Because in the meantime, we discovered we had no hot water. Ken went to light the propane hot water heater, but it would not light. We added hot water heater repair to our list.
The electric hot water heater was easy to solve. The switch for 110V was somehow turned off. Everything else checked out OK. However, the gas valve for the propane heater was bad. A new Atwood thermostat had to be ordered and would be in late that afternoon. This is the beautiful new thermostat! But it was too late to go to Camp Verde, so we took Harold up on his offer for us to park the RV overnight at his place.
But, this is the most amazing thing!! We were so lucky!! When we left Countryside to go to RV Specialists on Monday morning, we stopped by Fry's for diesel. About a half mile after leaving Fry's, Ken noticed the motor home was suddenly heating up! We were only three miles away from RV Specialists, so he decided to keep driving and we drove in on "a wing and a prayer"!! It was the drive belt that had broken!! On the way to the RV repair!! It could have happened half way between Yuma and Apache Junction!! It could have happened half way up the mountain to Verde Valley!! But, it happened three miles from the RV Specialists!! How lucky we were to be so unlucky!!
Here is the new drive belt!!

While replacing the drive belt, the serviceman noticed our radiator was clogged with oil and debris. They said they would need to remove the radiator to clean it properly (about 10 hours). Ken decided we could clean the radiator with de-greaser and a garden hose while we stayed at Harold's place overnight. We did a good job!!
When the serviceman was moving the RV to the service area, he noticed an air leak when he pushed down the parking brake button. That was a quick fix requiring only a repair of a loose air fitting at the connection.
Here is Ken settling up with John!! Ugh!!

With all the work done, we were ready to leave to stay overnight at Harold and Marion's place, ready to leave for Camp Verde the next morning.

At Harold's place we took care of cleaning the radiator!! Then I tried to extend our automatic WeatherPro awning. It went out about 18 inches and stopped!! It would not come in!! We had only a few minutes to call RV Specialists before they closed. John told Ken to remove the screw stop at the top of the awning so the awning would close. We set up an appointment to see they the next morning to take a look at the awning.
They discovered the awning control box was bad and had to order a new box. Delivery would take about four days. What to do??!! We decided to have the control box shipped overnight so they could repair the awning on Tuesday. In the meantime, we would stay overnight at RV Specialists. Everything worked out as planned. RV Specialists installed the new control box and we were finally on our way!!
The new control box.

The Engage/Disengage switch on the side of the control box.

The remote.

Finally, all of our repairs were complete and on Wednesday afternoon we were on our way to ROD Camp Verde!!  At last!!  What a trip!!!


May 02 - 08 - We stayed at Countryside RV Resort in Apache Junction for a week before going up to Verde Valley for most of May and June. Our good Pickleball friend Harold and his new wife Marion live in a mobile home park in Mesa, AZ about five miles away from Countryside. They were gracious enough to entertain us during our time in Apache Junction.,

This is Harold's home in Mesa.

After Harold's wife Althea died early in 2011, his relationship with Marion, their neighbor across the street, soon changed to something more than friends and neighbors. They were married last December (and did it again in January) and now live in Marion's home.

Saw these sculptures in the neighborhood. This is something you guys can do with your empty beer cans!!

Neat!!!  A tractor!!


Harold and Marion invited us to dinner the evening after we arrived in Apache Junction. They also invited an old Pickleball friend of ours, Mel, whom we knew years ago at TT Verde Valley. Mel and his wife Bonnie live only a few houses from Harold and Marion.
Harold, Ken and Mel.

The ladies in the kitchen preparing the meal!!
Bonnie (we just met tonight), Marion and Faye.

Marion served something we did not know even existed! Frozen Pre-cooked Hamburgers from Costco!! Better than the prepared Hamburger patties because you don't have to cook them!! Just take them from the freezer, into the microwave, and serve!! They were delicious, too. Moist and juicy, and they did not shrink in the microwave!! We'll have to give them a try!

After dinner we all sat around playing Spinner, a dice game. I think we may have played this game years ago. The evening was a whole lot of fun.


On Thursday we all decided to take a day trip to Queen Valley RV Park. Ken and I stayed there for the month of November in 2000 and again in 2002. At that time Queen Valley was an Encore Park and offered a month's stay during the off season for only $99/month plus electric. We have such fond memories of our time there that we wanted to visit again. And Harold and Marion had never been there.
Queen Valley is East of Apache Junction, tucked behind Superstition Mountain. Superstition Mountain is a dominant landmark in the area. You cannot go anywhere without viewing the spectacular mountain!

This is the club house at Queen Valley. It still looks the same. We happened to run into Norma, whom we met during our stays at Queen Valley. She lives there now in a park model. Norma told us that Queen Valley is no longer an Encore Park but is privately owned. And while the club house looks the same, she said it was recently repainted.

There is a beautiful pool and spa on the deck behind the club house. The other three went into the pool area when I was in the restroom. When I saw them, they were on the pool side of a big metal gate!

I was caught in the hallway on the wrong side of the gate!!

Let me in!!! Let me in!!!

Some of the scenery as we were driving home.


I could never miss celebrating Cinco de Mayo!! Although, now I wonder why I think I have reason to celebrate!!
I have know for a long time that Cinco De Mayo is NOT a celebration of Mexican Independence. An Apache Junction newspaper article refreshed my memory that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took placeon May 5, 1862. In 1861, France, sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as theywanted to collect on some war debts. The French army of Napoleon III was much larger, bettertrained and equipped than the Mexicans struggling to defend the road to MexicoCity. It rolled through Mexico until it reached Puebla, where the Mexicans madea valiant stand, and, against all logic, won a huge victory.

The first Cinco de Mayo celebration took place in southern California in 1863. Why?? The same newspaper article stated that California held a big celebration because the French had promised to aide the South in the American Civil War. But, because of the loss of the battle at Puebla, the French were unable to keep that promise!! This, of course, would have an impact on the War!!!
Food for Thought: If the above is true, then Cinco de Mayo is actually a celebration of the South loosing the War Between The States!!!  Then why do I, a Southern Lady, celebrate Cinco de Mayo???!!! Because it's FUN!!
We celebrated Cinco de Mayo this year with Harold and Marion.

Harold and Marion enjoying their margarita!

While the Mariachi band entertained us!

The food was delicious and we had a most delightful time!!
But it was not over! The Super Moon put on a show for us as we left the restaurant!!

A perfect ending for a perfect celebration!


May 08 - We were supposed to have left Apache Junction yesterday, but here we are. (See Article: RV Repairs) Harold and Marion asked if we wanted to go out for dinner, but Ken suggested that we take ingredients for his Seafood Pasta to their home and he would prepare dinner for them!
Here Ken stirs the garlic, shrimp, crab, and minced clams to make the succulent sauce while Marion cooks the Linguine!

The sauce is ready!

Ummmmm, ummmm good!! Great idea, Ken. A delicious dinner!!

Thank you Harold and Marion for entertaining us all week!!!


Apr 30 - We stopped at the Flying J Travel Plaza as we were leaving Yuma and heading for Apache Junction near Phoenix.  We have only been to Flying J one time just after they merged with Pilot.  At that time, they gave us the Pilot Driver Payback card and said we should use it.  Problem was, it did not give you a discount on your fuel -- you just accumulated points!  We did not like that, so we never went back.
Today, however, I gave the cashier all my Pilot and Flying J cards along with my charge card.  I told her I did not understand about the Driver Payback points!!  She explained:
When Flying J first merged with Pilot, they didn't know how things would work.  Now that things are straightened out, The Pilot Driver Payback is for commercial drivers.  RVer's do not use this card!

RVer's use this Flying J R.V. Real Value Member card.  We also had one of these and saved $$ on our diesel.

The Yuma Flying J had two RV fill-up lanes right beside the truck lanes.  We used one of the RV lanes but Ken said it had a small nosel and took a long time to fill up.  I forgot to ask the cashier is we could use the truck lanes for the same RV cost.


Roy, this one's for you!

Apr 28 -  While cruisin' around Yuma, we went over to the Pivot Point Interpretive Center, as reported earlier.  One of the main attractions of Pivot Point is Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive Engine No. 2521.  I had a particular interest in the Steam Locomotive Engine because as posted in November 2011 Ken and I went with friend Roy and his wife Sandy to witness the last Steam Locomotive Engine built for Union Pacific as it made it's final journey through Indio.
Here is Engine No. 2521 at Pivot Point.

We were able to climb inside the engine!!

Don't be jealous, Roy!!

And walk all around it as we were exploring Pivot Point.

There was supposed to be a twenty minute sound display depicting the locomotive arriving at the station - "The Ghost Train" - but we missed it.   But, we actually heard the real thing when that old Union Pacific steam locomotive finally came down the track back in November with Roy and Sandy!!

(Union Pacific Steam Locomotive passing through Indio.  November 2011.)


 April 24 - 30 - We left TT Palm Springs after a great winter season in the area.  We needed to have check-ups by our Dentist in Mexico, so we spent a week at ROD Pilot Knob, Winterhaven, CA only a few miles from the Mexican border.  Pilot Knob is also only a few miles from Yuma, AZ so when we were not at the Dentist, we spent a few days enjoying Yuma. 


Our friend (and my Pickleball Partner in the 2006 Palm Desert Senior Games) spent the winter in Yuma, working with her friends.  I called her, hoping she was still in the Yuma.  She was not only in town, but she invited us to have lunch with her!

Lunch was delicious and it was great catching up with old times.  Thank you Carolyn. 


The first train crossed into Arizona from California in 1877 on an alignment that corresponds to present-day Madison Avenue. The pivot that supported the swing-span rail bridge still exists and is the centerpiece of Pivot Point Interpretative Plaza.

I read a blurb somewhere that the Government had forbade the Southern Pacific Railroad to build the railroad across the Colorado River.  So, the swing-span rail bridge was completed under the cover of night.  I have not been able to find that story again, but it was very intriguing!!

These are some of the panels showing how the Swing Span worked.

and displaying early steamboat traffic at the site of the swing span rail bridge that accommodated both rail and steamboat traffic. 

Looking down on the Park by the Colorado River at Pivot Point.


Apr 25-27 - When we were out west back in 2004, long-time Pickleball players, Brian and Eileen, recommended a dentist in Mexico that they said was a "gentle and understanding doctor".  Her name was Patricia Vicente.

Back then she was with the Cotton Valley Dental Group in Los Algodones, MX.  They were located on Avenue B, quite a little walk from the Border.  

After our first visit, we made an appointment to see Patricia every time we were back West.  On one such occasion, we discovered this open air Taco "restaurant" right across the street.  So now we make it a point to stop here for tacos every time we are in Los Algodones.

Patricia has changed dental groups and is now with the International Dental Group, much closer to the Border, but we still took the walk over to have tacos at our favorite taco place.  The owner, as usual, was grilling chicken leg quarters on the outside grill.

We ordered our usual tacos and Mexican beer.  This is the garnish plate to go with the tacos.  They were delicious!!  And the price was right!!  Five tacos and two beers = $11.

After eating, we walked back over to Patricia's new office.  Street scene on the way.

International Dental Group is located inside this "mall" on Avenue A, and, as I said, much closer to the Border!

Here is the International Dental Group office.
On this trip on Wednesday we both had our teeth cleaned and X-rayed.  We had to return on Friday for Ken to have a crown put in and I had a filling.  $280 total!!

A good trip to the Dentist!!