Saturday, May 20, 2017

Digging for Diamonds!

Sometimes you just have to go dig in the dirt to have some fun!  At least that's what we told ourselves the other day!  ;-)

We stopped in Hot Springs Arkansas for a few days, and since we'd been here before and "seen all the sights" we decided that the "one we had missed" was just back up the road a bit, so, "why not?"  It was the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro Arkansas.  We knew about it last time, and thought about going, but it had started to rain, so chose not to.  Our campsite neighbors had gone the day before and had shared that it had "been fun".  They hadn't found any diamonds, but had a good time trying.  We tucked it in the back of our minds if we ever came back here. Soooo...


The weather's been "iffy", and we figured we had one really good, sunny day, so we decided we would jump on it and take the drive to Murfreesboro, which is about an hour and half from where we are staying in Hot Springs.  So, we got into our grungiest clothes & shoes and off we went!

When we arrived, Jack was surprised that the parking lot was already half full (I wasn't, people like to "try their luck!")  We paid our fee, rented our supplies (bucket, shovel, and two sizes of screens) and off we went to their very large field!  Even though there were several dozen people there, you couldn't hardly tell, as the field is so large, it could hold hundreds and not feel crowded.

Once we filled our bucket up, we brought it over to the washing station and began the process of rinsing the dirt through the screens to see what minerals were left behind.  Two kids playing in the mud!  Hadn't done this since my kids were little!  ;-)


While Jack searched for the "diamonds" (in the little stones) I went through the larger rocks and pulled out some "pretty stones" that I decided would make a nice bracelet for each of my granddaughters (since we weren't finding any diamonds!).


We continued to do this process for a few hours until we agreed we had had enough fun for the day!  ;-)  We bid "adieu" to the two fellows near us (who were avid diamond hunters) and let them "have at it" and went to see what we did unearth.

Turned out, I had collected some lovely pieces of Jasper, and a few small pieces of Barite, & Calcite.  Once I set them in a rock tumbler, they will polish up nicely and make a nice bracelet for my sweet granddaughters and I can tell them I found them myself!  Ha!

After we washed ourselves off as best we could, we headed back to Hot Springs to a "World Renowned Bar-B-Que" Restaurant, called McClards.  It's been written up in a number of magazines an books, including my 1000 Places to See Before You Die.  We both ordered their "ribs, beans & slaw combo".


Now, anyone who knows us, knows that we love BBQ, and love checking out BBQ ribs any chance we get.  So far, our most favorite place, hands down, has been Blues City  Cafe in Memphis, and so far, no other place has topped it.  And that includes McClards.  Sorry McClards.  They were pretty good, but a bit to fatty and the sauce a bit on the tart side for me - but that's a matter of taste, I'll admit.  But, as for the ribs themselves, Blues City's are much more lean, and still fall off the bone tender, and that's what counts.   However, I will give McClards an A+ on their beans!  Very different and very tasty!  Yum!  A wonderful way to end the day!

The rain did come, and we just hunkered down, as we do, and read and caught up on things...Stops like this are good for that.  We'll be on our way again tomorrow, rain or shine!

...kicking back in Arkansas,  Marie


If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beautiful Bayou!

We enjoyed Mother's Day touring the beautiful Caddo Lake on Capt. Ron's Swamp Tours!  What a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.  The day was absolutely beautiful and the lake was like something out of a movie set.

The tour is conducted on a pontoon boat, nice and comfy...slow and smooth.  As we exited the dock we passed by a few dozen homes that lined the bank.  Many (not all) were on very tall stilts.  The Capt. explained that when the lake flooded last year, when people rebuilt, they went ahead and built "up".  I asked why they hadn't in the first place, considering that their homes are right to the edge of the lake.  He shared that this was the first flood in over 50 years and most of the homes along here are passed down in the families, rarely is one "up for sale".  Wow.


We had experienced a good storm a few nights ago, so the lake was up a few inches, it makes that much of a difference.  We got the benefit of a fuller lake and a nicer day, but I don't think I would want to be here when it's storming...

It's beauty is awesome...  The feet of the Bald Cypress have to be in water to grow.  This lake is mostly in Texas, but it is so large (26,810 acres), some of it is in Louisiana as well.  It's the largest grove of Bald Cypress in North America.  Spanish Moss hangs from all the limbs, giving it that surreal look.


All kinds of animals and birds coexist within the bayou.  We only got to see a couple of snapping turtles and a Snowy Egret, but alligators, snakes, peregrine falcon,  and the Rafinesque's big-eared bat are among the "special" ones listed.  There are also 18 species of game fish, wood ducks, etc. Plus, lots & lots of bugs!  I was surprised that all those houses I saw at the beginning didn't have screened in porches!  That's the first thing I'd do!  They don't bother you during the day (nice breeze), but once that sun starts to go down, wow, look out!


After our boat tour, we stopped at the dock-side restaurant called Big Pines Lodge Inn for a late lunch.  Being Mother's day...and very limited choices...the place was crowded!  But, we didn't mind the wait.  I sat outside on a bench next to a grand ole lady and her daughter-in-law.  The lady and I struck up a nice conversation while we waited.  She'd lived here her whole life and shared some wonderful stories about Caddo Lake and picking Mayhaw fruit off of the lake and making jam.  I had never heard of "Mayhaw" before and had to look it up afterward!  It's a fruit that's only found along the bayous, and not much any longer; and a tradition of making jam (she told me all about how to do it!) that no one really does that any longer either.  I love the things you learn, especially from older folks who live in different places.  Very cool.  Well worth the wait.


Our last day in the "Piney Woods" of eastern Texas was in Jefferson.  Funny, because that was the whole reason we came to this part of Texas!  I had read an article about the town and decided to check it out.  It's a cute little town, with a lot of antique stores...or stores that have a lot of "stuff" really.  Inside are tons of dish sets, more than I've ever seen before!  Outside are, well, lots and lots of stuff!  Wow.  They had a couple of really cute old gas stations that they fixed up.  The town did a good job of "recycling" their old buildings.  I'm glad we came.

I have to say, of all of Texas, I really liked the Piney Woods!  Very pretty, lots of lakes and trees.  You would hardly know you were in Texas!  (and no chiggers!  I asked...)  A lovely way to end our stay here...and it sent us off with another lovely sunset!


...on the way to Arkansas,  Marie


If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Texas Adventures - Family & Friends...New & Old!

If you've read my blog before, you know that we come to Texas every year, sometimes more than once or twice!  (it's hard to miss!)  We have a son who lives here...and, it's a big state!  We always see & do something new...but this year, we've lucked out and have (so far) had several wonderful "new" experiences!  Some we expected, and some we didn't!

We came, expecting, and got, a new addition to our little family...a new, beautiful, healthy (thank God) baby Grandson!  My son and his lovely wife gave birth to our last (our children have proclaimed) and 8th grandchild.  We've had the wonderful privilege of being there for each of the births, so couldn't miss out on the last one either, so made sure we were "in Texas" for the big event!  We were all thrilled that all went well for baby and mom and they came home with only two days in the hospital.  Big brother was happy about that as well!


The surprise, for me was getting to meet and know my daughter-in-law's Aunt Michelle.  She had come in from Utah to be with her niece for the birth as well and was able to spend a week.  The two of us really hit it off!  She is just a few years older than my own daughter, but "wise beyond her years", as they say.  We have so very much in common that we ended up talking for hours and hours while we watched and played with Dublin (the big brother) and took care of the home front while mom, baby and dad were at the hospital, or resting at home.  I hated to see her leave, we all did, and teased her about making her miss her flight.  Such a sweetie and welcomed new friend that I'm sure will remain in my life.

We stayed on for several more days to play with both grandchildren and spend time with my son and daughter-in-law as well as to do some work on our rig.  That's the luxury of having a spot at your family's, you can work on your rig, where you can't at a campsite!

It was time to move on though, so we decided to see another part of Texas that we haven't seen before, and that is the eastern part, known as the "Piney Woods".  It's really the last section of Texas that we haven't seen yet, so we checked out several areas and decided on a COE park called Buckhorn Creek at Lake O' the Pines outside of Jefferson.  I had read an article about Jefferson that sounded like a great place to visit, so off we went (only about 3+ hours away).

Nice drive, and the park turned out to be just beautiful!  Great, large sites.  Each separated with grass and trees and plenty of space in between.  We have a nice view of the very large lake right in front of us too.  Our first night here our next site neighbors came over and introduced themselves and chatted for awhile.  So friendly.  We got a spectacular sunset that night!  One of the prettiest I've seen in a long time...a "warning" of the rain storm to come the next day tho...and did it ever!  Sure enough it came in with full force!  Lightening and thunder and buckets and buckets of rain!  Sure was glad we were all settled in with good books and plenty of food!  ;-)


I had taken a picture of our lovely site the day before, and on a whim, posted it on Facebook  Not something I usually do actually, but it had been so pretty, I just did it.  Well it must have meant to be, because an old friend of mine (one I haven't seen in over 25 years!) saw it and contacted me and said "OMG Marie, you are only a few miles down the road from where we live!  Call me back and let's get together!"  I was ecstatic!  We did and was able to arrange a time for us to meet at their home and have a lovely evening together.  I had no idea that she lived in this area...had I not posted that, I would have missed her, and gone on my way...Thank goodness for tiny miracles!

Elaine & Jack on their boat touring lake Simpson
We took a drive today out to Caddo Lake to check it out and see if we could take a boat ride.  It was all booked up for today, so we booked one for tomorrow, so decided to just take a drive "around" and see what we could see.  We had no direction, we just drove here and there...we ended up at one point in front of a little Cafe.  When we parked the car, there was a beautiful 1968 bright blue Mustang convertible parked near us and as we were getting out, two nice ladies (that looked to be in their mid 40's) came out and started to get in it.  I commented to them that "I should have known that that lovely car would belong to two lovely ladies such as yourselves!"  They thanked me, and we walked over and started talking to them, about the car at first and then in general.  We four must have stood there talking about "traveling the byways" for almost 40 minutes!  Such fun!  They were absolutely delightful!  Two great friends who loved to travel hither and yon, having great adventures whenever they can.  Jack pretty much talked the owner of the car into getting a little "Tear Drop" camper to attach to the back (she was thinking of "something" to pull behind).

They insisted I get in behind the wheel!  Such fun!  ;-)
They suggested a fun General Store in the town of Jonesville. It's been in operation since 1847.  So, when we left the Cafe (after a great lunch!) we decided to check it out).  Well...Jonesville turned out to be a Post Office, that General Store (T.C. Lindsey & Co.) and a couple of old abandoned buildings that used to be a Cotton Gin & storage buildings.  That's it.  That's the town!  The store was quite something to see tho and well worth the trip (so were the old buildings, I thought).


It's so much fun to meet new people, to share stories, to laugh and learn new things...this is why I love this life of ours...

...kicking back in Texas,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fiesta San Antonio!

Every few years we stop in San Antonio Texas en route to or from visiting my son.  It's a nice town and we like it.  The River Walk is nice and we have a favorite restaurant we like there.  This year we stumbled into their Fiesta San Antonio! What craziness!  We had no idea.  When we arrived at the campground we were given a Fiesta Book that was an inch thick that showed all the events of "when, where, & what!.  Oh my!!  ;-)  Something was going on everyday, somewhere, from April 20 through April 30th - all day and all night.

Well...we were in for some fun!  ...or a part of it anyway.  Our first outing was to the Fiesta Arts Fair at Southwest School of Art.  We had actually gone to this several years before and really liked it.  You have to pay to go into it, but it has some of the best arts and crafts we've ever seen.  Really unusual pieces here.  Really upscale artisans doing some very imaginative work.  I love to see their creativity!  I always sneak a few pictures...


Afterward we just to a nice walk around town and enjoyed the River Walk.  The following day we found out that evening was going to be their big Texas Cavaliers River Parade at 7:30 p.m.  We thought if we went down around 4 p.m. we would be fine...get a bite to eat along the river then enjoy the parade.  Ha!  We didn't realize what a "big deal" this parade was to the locals!  Ticketed chairs were all lined up all around the River Walk and most of the restaurants were either closed or all their tables were "reserved" or they had "pre-set menus of $65"!  After a long search, we lucked out at O'Malley's Irish Pub, right on the river.  We got good seats and got to watch the parade from there!  It didn't pass by there until almost 8:30 p.m. but we didn't care.  They even passed out a complimentary whiskey drink to us!  Fun crazy evening...


 Besides all the crazy Fiesta happenings, the city streets are all torn up with being widened, so 90% of the street parking is gone, which makes things difficult.  All the public parking people have taken advantage of the situation and have jacked their prices skyrocket.  Such greed, it was sad to see.  It took some time on our part, and we were able to find street parking, but most places were charging upwards of $20+ each time.  Such a shame.

We skipped the crowds the next day and chose to go out to see two of the Missions we hadn't seen in our previous visits.  Mission Espada (c1740), and Mission San Juan (1731).  Both beautiful sites, and not far from the downtown area.  I love the old Missions and the ruins surrounding them.  With all the festivities going on downtown, there was almost no one visiting them, so it was nice and peaceful there.   ;-)



Afterward, we decided to go see the small little shops I like in La Villita.  Well, once again, we wandered into "A Night in Old San Antonio" - a HUGE event taking place in the little village area of La Villita!  So much for our simple browsing!  A nice gentleman saw us wandering around (looking bewildered, I'm sure) and explained what was about to take place in a few hours, and offered us some free tickets to attend.   ;-)  We decided to head on over to the River Walk (once again), grab a snack, then return to "see what it's all about".  

We did.  After our snack, we did something we've never done before...we took a boat ride!  What fun!  The tour guide shared so much information and was a delight.  After all these years of walking along different sections, it was nice to see areas we'd not been to, and to learn about it all.  It was a lovely way to spend 40 min.  


Afterward, we headed back to La Villita, and sat and listened to a nice band play some popular music, then ventured into the crowd.  And CROWD it was!  Oh my!!  Wow!  Body to body...we had been warned (by that nice gentleman who gave us the tickets) and he was right.  Tons of people with lots of food and drinks, and music groups, each in a different section, each themed (Cowboy, American, German, Clown, etc) some shops stayed open, but mostly it was food vendors everywhere.  

We wandered for a while, then left.  I'm getting to old for that kind of crowds anymore.  Been there, done that.  As we left, they were pouring in like crazy and it was only about 7 p.m.  and this was a three day event!  I think they were going to be a success!  

Our last day, we decided to "leave the festivities behind" a bit and check out a small town not to far away, called Boerne.  It sounded quaint.  A nice town, less than an hour drive away.  It had some sweet shops, some antiques a few restaurants and a cute town square.  The boutiques were nice, albeit a little over priced, but nice to browse.  We had a nice quiet lunch and  peaceful way to end our stay.   


...on the road in Texas, Marie


If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beautil Big Bend!

When Texans tell you that everything in Texas is BIG, they really do mean it!  We've visited this state quite a number of times (it's hard not to, traveling across the country the way we do!), and you would think that nothing would surprise us anymore, especially when the word "big" is in the name! 

Big Bend National Park had been on my "to visit list" for quite some time, so this was the year we were able to cross it off!  April is usually a good time to visit.  If you can time it just right, the rains will have gone and the wildflowers will be blooming, and the weather won't be to hot yet.  The trick is all in the timing... Have you ever tried to "time" Texas weather?  Good luck with that!  ;-)

Well, we didn't do to bad... According to a birder (and there are a lot of them there!) the week before we got there, it had rained (a lot!)...but according to one of the Rangers, we did miss most of the wildflowers as they "came early this year".  The heat, however started getting up there.  You certainly needed to do your hiking early in the day, because by mid-day it was getting way to hot to do much walking in the sun, and that lasted until sunset which came around 8:30pm. and then it didn't really cool down much below 75 degrees.

Once we got settled into our campsite (which wasn't much more than a slot at a parking lot) we quickly set out for our first drive to see what we could, only having 3 days to explore this HUGE park (over 1200 miles of it!).  We decided to check out the Eastside and visit Panther Junction and Rio Grande Village area.  There were a couple of "easy" trails in this area that we thought we could do before it got to late in the day.

Even though the Ranger told me that most the flowers had left already, the park was still full of cactus blooms.  Almost all the Prickly Pear's had bright yellow or salmon blooms, and every now and then I'd even see a red one.  More than half the Ocotillo's were still in bloom and the same for the Tree Cholla.  I only found a few of the Yucca's still fresh though.  All in all, still lots of pretty color to see...making Jack stop every little bit while I snapped away!   ;-)


When we returned to our campground that night, we were greeted with a band of (at least 18) friendly Javelinas enjoying their evening meal of grass under the trees!  It was quite the sight to see.  On the other side of the lot were a couple of Turkey Vultures doing the same.  Must have been dinner time for everyone!


The following day we started out early so that we could take the full day and make the long loop all around the Westside, called the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.  This was going to encompass several trails and some dirt roads, so a long day ahead.  We loaded up on water, a picnic lunch, our sun hats and hiking shoes and headed out.

First stop was at the Sam Nail Ranch. Sam R. Nail and his brother, Jim, moved to the area just east of Burro Mesa, in 1916.  The two brothers, with little outside assistance, constructed a one-story adobe house following the building techniques of the native Mexican-Americans along the river.  The two brothers lived there alone for two years, or until June of 1918 when Sam married Miss Nena Burnam.  Here the Nails lived, reared a family, and ranched seventeen sections which they owned, plus about an equal number of leased or otherwise used sections which were within their fence. 

Although life on the ranch was difficult at times, on the whole they loved the place, and while they were in sympathy with the  movement for the establishment of the park, they gave up their ranch with considerable amount of regret. 

What is left now are ruins of one of the houses showing the adobe walls, two windmills (one still working) and a beautiful desert oasis that is a great spot for birding and wildlife viewing.


There were a number of "farmers" who, for a few years made their living here in this area, with no one around them for miles, it seems.  One such person was Wayne Cartledge, a businessman, who, back in 1922 decided to grow cotton here.  It all ended by 1942.  A few of his machines are left and a couple old buildings as a reminder of his adventure.  That's where we stopped for lunch.


Further down the road were some more ruins left by the Sublett settlers, who first came to Castolon in 1914.  They built a stone farmhouse and introduced mechanized farming into the Big Bend area.  By 1918 they had 2560 acres of sorghum, corn and alfalfa and other livestock feed crops.  They called it The Grand Canyon Farms.


From there we drove down into the Santa Elena Canyon where limestone cliffs rise 1,500' above the Rio Grande.  That was quite a site to see.  One fellow traveler remarked at looking at the canyon wall "well, that's an area Trump won't have to build the wall, Mother Nature already has done it for him!"  It separates Mexico & the US with just enough space to allow the Rio Grande to flow through quite nicely.


When we were down at the river's edge, we met a couple that were just coming out of it with their kayak and asked them how the trip went.  They shared that it had been very enjoyable!  They had gone earlier that morning for about two hours and saw wonderful things like caves and outcroppings and such beautiful rock formations.  It sure made me wish we had our own kayak...


That evening we decided to treat ourselves and have dinner at the Chisos Basin Lodge Restaurant.  So we drove the 40 minutes from the campground to there and was lucky to get a wonderful window seat.  Dinner was pretty good considering the location and as we left, the sun was just about to set.  As we started our drive back down towards the campground, we caught a really nice sunset.  It made for a nice ending to a perfect day.


Our last day in the park we decided to go check out the Hot Springs.  Now, with the temperatures being in the high 80's I had no desire to actually go into them, but I wanted to see them and the surrounding area.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but boy, I sure was glad we made the effort!  The trail, like so much of the park itself, changes from moment to moment.

As you drive down the dirt road to get to it, you pass these odd looking hills (?) that look like wavy stacks of shale.  Then when you arrive at the parking area, there are a couple of abandoned buildings that once was the home, store and small motor court back in the early 1920's when people used to come here for the "Hot Springs".  Then you continue on and you pass by a hillside that has several petroglyphs on one side and the Rio Grande running on the other side.  At the end of the path, you come to the spring.  It's odd looking too.  It's a cement square about 10 X 12 built on the edge of the Rio Grande River.  That's it.  Several people were there.  A couple submerged, a couple sitting on the edge, a couple sitting outside of it, and us.  We stayed awhile, chatted with everyone for a bit, took some pictures, then left.  Interesting.


Back at the campground we just relaxed for the rest of the day and tried to stay as cool as we could.  I was glad for the air conditioning and iced tea.  Being in the desert in mid April turned out to be a bit hotter than I expected.  This was a unique park and very diversified...I'm glad we took the time to come!

 
...on the road in Texas,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Relaxing by the River

We've been spending the last week just being lazy!  Sitting back, enjoying the sun, the cool breezes off the Colorado River, watching the boaters zoom by while we camped right on the river's edge...nice.


We've belonged to the Colorado River Adventures club for five years and haven't hardly used it, so while we were in Arizona, and not in to much of a hurry to get to Texas (trying to avoid tornadoes), we decided that it was "high time" we took advantage of our membership!  We'd stayed in Lake Havasu a number of times, but never out at their campground in Earp down by Parker Dam, so decided that we would this time, for a week.  We lucked out and got a site right along the river, and with 85-90+ degree weather, I was glad we did!  The cool river breezes really helped make the days enjoyable.

I ventured into the river as far as my feet, but decided it was way to cold for this "California girl", so no swimming for me!  Others enjoyed it, but they must be hardier souls than I!  ;-)  We went over to the pool area a few times, but being spring break time, it was busy with very active children having lots and lots of noisy fun.  Not my style either...

So, with good books in hand, both of us just sat back in our comfy chairs and read to our heart's delight!  Our week had a nice break with our friends John & Doloris driving in from Surprise to spend the day with us and go out to lunch together one last time before we head out for Texas.


We met nice neighbors and enjoyed chatting and sharing our adventures over ice cream, but otherwise, it was a pretty quiet week for us before the trek to Texas.  Sometimes it's just nice to do that!


...on the road in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Good times with friends...

As I've shared before...we did something different this year, we "settled in" at one place for 3 months.  If you've followed my blog at all, you know that's not something we do!  Staying anywhere longer than a week is rare for us.

We have one set of long-time friends who live at Happy Trails Resort in Surprise, Arizona full time and another set who live there part time.  Last year we stayed there for a month visiting with them while we waited for the rest of the country to "warm up".  This year we were talked into doing it for 3 months. With the crazy weather the way it's been...it was a good idea!

When we planned this trip, I had all kinds of things I wanted to do during our stay, knowing that Happy Trails has lots of shops (sewing, crafts, wood, etc) and classes (dance, computer, photography, etc).  With all the wonderful sunshine I envisioned I would get all this great exorcise in riding my bike everywhere, swimming in the pool and (re) learning line dancing!  Then at the end of the the 3 months I would be 20 pounds lighter!  Wouldn't that be a fun way to loose the weight?   ;-) 

Well...of course we all know that didn't happen!  One broken wrist later, and I spent the next 3 months going to doctors and physical therapists!  So, no sewing, crafts, dancing, swimming or (more) biking for me!  ;-(

What I did do though (besides all those "appointments"), is read a lot and meet a lot of nice people!  Being in one place for that long of time affords you the time to get to know the people around you. 

Our friends like to have people over, and several nights a week John & Dolores "were cooking" and/or "having drinks" at their site.  It was not uncommon for there to be 8 to 10 of us there several nights a week.  They loved it, and we all loved being there! 


I might not have been able to do much, but Jack kept busy.  Besides taking care of me, which at the beginning of my injury was pretty "full time", he got involved in the wood shop.  We have a game board called Aggravation that we enjoy playing that we learned from my family in Washington.  I thought it would be nice for him to make my two sisters each a board for Christmas this year.  We found some great wood on sale and he had fun creating some nice designs for them.  They turned out wonderful!  I'm glad someone got something done here! 


Just before we left, I was (finally) able to hold my heavy camera a bit, and went around the resort and took a few pictures.  The cactus are starting to bloom and many are just about bursting with flowers!  I could hardly contain myself!  Here are a couple of snaps of a few of them.  In another week or two this place will be a blaze of color tho...


We also got our RV washed and polished.  It's quite a job, since she's 10 years old and gets oxidized pretty badly.  It took 3 guys all day long, but they made her shine like new again!  Yea!  ;-) 


The last week of March seems to be the "end of the season" for many as well, because the parties were hopping!  Several nightly!  Some even had block parties with a live band!  Food, fun, lots of laughter and camaraderie was everywhere!  We almost hated to leave...


But leave we must...as that's what we do!  Places to see, adventures to experience...and onward to new roads!

...on the road in Arizona,  Marie