Saturday – December 16 – We had a good drive to Casa Grande but lots of traffic through Tucson. We heard on the news the other night that as of June 2007 they are closing all the I-10 exits through Tucson while they widen the highway and this will take 4 YEARS!! It sounds crazy but apparently to do the construction without closing the interchanges would take 10 years so they decided to bite the bullet and do it the quick? way

We are at Val Vista Winter Resort and it is very nice, when we arrived we got a large package in a folder with all kinds of information, name tags which they request you wear when walking around or going to activities and a coupon for free coffee and donuts on Monday morning.

After we got set up we went into town and had lunch at Pizza Hut then toured around a bit. Casa Grande is a lot larger than we thought, and very spread out, but it seems like a nice place. Hopefully we will enjoy our two weeks here. The evening news says there is a cold storm blowing into the valley – just our luck as today was so beautiful, sunny and in the high 70’s and at 10:00 p.m. it is still in the 60’s!

And More Rock Formations Posted by Picasa
China Boy Posted by Picasa
More of the Rock Formations Posted by Picasa
Looking Across to Meadows Posted by Picasa
Rock Formations Posted by Picasa
House at Faraway Ranch Posted by Picasa
Cochise Stronghold Posted by Picasa
Sunset at Cochise Terrace Posted by Picasa

Friday – December 15 – Today was absolutely beautiful, sunny and warm. We decided to drive over to the Wilcox area as we didn’t do that when we were here in January. We took the Dragoon Road, then picked up a scenic route which circled around to Wilcox. We stopped at Cochise Stronghold where the Apache Indians, led by Cochise, fought the U.S. soldiers for over 20 years in the mid to late 1800’s. It is very rugged country and I sure wouldn’t want to be tracking through it fighting Indians!

We then went to Chiricahua National Monument, Land of Standing Up Rocks, which is a National Park and it was spectacular. First we stopped at Faraway Ranch where Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson settled in 1888. By the 1920’s their daughter Lillian and her husband Ed Riggs had turned the homestead into a guest ranch which ran from the 1920’s to 1973, at which time it was turned into a National Monument. Unfortunately, the house was closed today but I was able to peek into a few windows and it looked very nice and comfortable.

After visiting the house when we went to get back into the truck there were tons of bees swarming the truck so John got in and I walked around to the other end of the parking area to get picked up. Poor John, a couple got into the truck with him and one crawled up his pant leg and stung him - but he got it back and it won’t be stinging anyone else!!

From there we went to the Visitor’s Centre, then did an 8 mile drive to the top of the mountain, Massai Point, to see the rock formations – absolutely breathtaking. The rock formations are unbelievable, and so many different shapes, it is hard to believe that they continue to stand piled up on top of each other like they are. At Massai Point there is 360 degree view of Rhyolite Canyon, surrounding mountain peaks and adjacent valleys.

We then came back through Wilcox, which we weren’t impressed with, and picked up I-10 to Benson where stopped for fuel and some groceries. We came into Benson one way and went out another and lo and behold isn’t there now a Wal Mart Super Centre in Benson. It was a great day!

Thursday – December 14 – Well, on the road again! We had a good drive to Benson, not a lot of traffic and what there was was mainly trucks or RV’s. The weather here is much nicer than Benson, right now at 10:10 p.m. it is 57 and that was the high in Deming a couple of days!

After we got set up this afternoon we went for a walk and there is a motorhome here that was here in January but at that time we never saw anyone around. This afternoon they were sitting out so we chatted with them for a few minutes – they are from Port Elgin and are thinking of buying a house in Kincardine in the new seniors subdivision going in right behind Green Acres – small world!!

We are staying at a park called Cochise Terrace and it is really nice, large lots and where we are we have a beautiful view of the mountains, what more could we ask for. I turned on the furnace a while ago and it is still working so that is good, it isn’t supposed to be nearly as cold at night here as it was in Deming so it isn’t as important to have it working but it is always nice in the morning to warm the trailer up quickly.

Wednesday – December 13 – Today was a quiet day, we had to stick around for UPS to deliver the strut so I did laundry and cleaning. The part arrived about noon so John got it installed and now we are good to go tomorrow morning, not sad to leave here as it is too cold during the night!

Later this afternoon we went out for a bit, got fuel, etc. then came back. As soon as the sun goes down it gets really cold so hopefully we will get away from this tomorrow. At least the furnace is working again so we had some heat during the night last night, I was thankful as for some reason my electric blanket didn’t want to work. I fooled around with it a bit this morning and it then turned it on and after 2 hours it was still working fine so hopefully whatever was wrong is fixed and it will work tonight.

I had lots of e-mail today so was happy as I always like e-mails. I got an e-mail from Medipac in reply to the one I sent them yesterday and they are mailing out our refund, always good news to hear that you are going to get money back, it should have been mailed out a few weeks ago but apparently got overlooked!

Tuesday - December 12 – Today was another nice, sunny day but cool. During the night it went down to 24, our hose was frozen solid this morning so tonight it comes off as it is supposed to be about that again tonight.

Today we drove up to Silver City which is about 60 miles north of Deming. There isn’t a lot between here and there but when you get up around Silver City there are a number of small mining towns, all Phelps Dodge Mining towns. We were going to take a scenic loop around and back but when we got to Palo Alto and saw the signs that the next 18 miles were steep slopes, sharp curves and no lines on the road we decided to pass – chicken eh!

We had an e-mail from Andy about the furnace and John went out and did what he suggested and the furnace worked – wonderful. There is definitely a problem but as long as it keeps working until we can get it looked at that will be great. Hopefully it will work during the night and then we won’t have to worry about the plumbing freezing. We sure hope the strut comes tomorrow so we can head out of here on Thursday and hopefully Benson will be a bit warmer.

Monday – December 11 – Happy Anniversary Nan & Carl! Sorry I forgot to wish you a happy anniversary when I talked to you yesterday.

John called Andy this morning and guess what, he had never heard of this happening with the hitch – figures, we pave the way! Andy said we should stay put till it’s fixed, which we had figured, so John called Hensley and they are shipping out the part. The part costs $12.95 and shipping would be $22 for Wednesday delivery and $45 for Tuesday delivery so we opted for Wednesday.

John went out this morning and walked 3-4 miles looking for the missing strut but it wasn’t to be found, guess he got his exercise if nothing else!! After the phone calls etc. we went out and got fuel, went to the Post Office for stamps (that was a long line up) and mailed some Christmas cards then went to Wal-Mart. We both got our hair cut there then picked up some groceries, that was it for our exciting day.

Today at the post office a couple of women in front of me were talking and the one was saying that if you live outside the city limits of any town you can join the county library system. They mail you a brochure with a listing of books you can get, then you fill it out with the books you want to read and send it back. The books arrive by mail, no charge, in a canvas bag and when you are done you return them. There is a card with the persons mailing address on one side and the county library’s address on the other side and you just flip the card to return the books. Neat!

I forgot to mention that yesterday we crossed into Mountain Time so we are now 2 hours behind home, makes it a bit more difficult for calling mom as I have to watch when her meal times are.

I finally got the internet here so managed to update my blog and also get caught up on some e-mail. Still more to do but I have run out of steam for today.

Sunday – December 10 – Today was a gorgeous day, sunny skies and warm temperatures. We drove from Fort Stockton, Texas to Deming, NM. It was a nice drive, lots of desert but some beautiful mountains keep the scenery interesting. We were debating stopping in either El Paso or Las Cruces but neither of them inspired us enough to stop, so we kept going. Interstate 10 was quite quiet yesterday and today until where we hit the junction of I-20, then we picked up more traffic. Mostly truck traffic, but not too bad, we’ve been in worse.

Once we turned northwest towards El Paso there were all kinds of farming operations along the Rio Grande River valley, don’t know what they were growing but it looked like quite a prosperous farming area.

We arrived at the park in Deming where we are going to stay overnight and when we got out we saw that we had lost the struts on the Hensley, not good!! This will require a call to Can-Am tomorrow morning and we will probably have to stay here until we can get it fixed. The joys of RVing!!!

Saturday – December 9 – We left New Braunfels this morning as we are totally fed up with the wi-fi situation and we want to try to find someplace warmer. It was sunny for about the first hour then clouded over, the temperature never got past 49 until about 20 minutes west of Fort Stockton then it climbed up to 60 and got sunny again.

Boy, how different this part of Texas is, miles and miles of nothing, but the scenery is nice, lots of mesas to break the monotony and lots of hill climbing. We passed a couple of very large wind farms not far from Fort Stockton, there were 100’s of windmills, all of them going. We also saw lots of oil rigs drilling for oil, but little else. The towns are few and far between in this part of Texas. There were a number of dead deer along the side of the highway, even one with a real rack of antlers, and we also saw a small deer just grazing along the side of the highway.

We are staying at the Fort Stockton KOA, it is very reasonable -$20 for the night but no wi-fi. We did get logged on at one of the rest areas but it was very slow, I did manage to download my e-mail but that was all. Enjoyed your e-mail Pat. I don’t know when I will get a chance to post my blog again and I still haven’t had enough time to put up some pictures or to send any e-mails. Oh well, one of these days.

The KOA has the Road Runner restaurant and their specialty is ribs so we went over for dinner - $7.95 for ribs, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggie, coffee or iced tea and dessert. It was really good and you sure can’t beat the price!! They also have a good sounding breakfast special but we decided to try the dinner.

I talked to mom tonight but there was no answer at either of the girls so they must all be out for the evening, will try again tomorrow.

Friday – December 8 - Boy, another drop in temperature overnight. It was 34 when I got up this morning and the high reached 44 – we are not impressed!!

We drove up to Fredericksburg then Boerne (pronounced Burnee) and back to New Braunfels – a drive through the hill country. It was pretty but there was very little sun to brighten the day. We had lunch at Fredericksburg which is a pretty little town, much like Bayfield with all the exclusive shops, if you like antiques you would love it! We run into a couple of spots of sleet, fortunately the temperature was in the 40’s so the roads were fine but it was a bit depressing.

When we got back we stopped at a local motel and I downloaded a couple of days diary onto my blog as we still have no internet here, even though they have my money! I have tried to talk to the people who run this park but they also don’t return my calls. Since this is a Good Sam Park I will be contacting Good Sam when we again get internet and ask them to help me with this problem as I am really ticked with the whole business. We are leaving here tomorrow and heading west, hopefully into warmer weather.

Thursday – December 7 – Today was WINDY!! I did some laundry, we puttzed around but didn’t do anything too much. It was very overcast all day, not an exciting day.

Island on Riverwalk Where Approx. 200 Weddings/Year Take Place Posted by Picasa
Vine Covered Bridge over River Posted by Picasa
Riverwalk Theatre (Seats are on Other Side of the River) Posted by Picasa
Riverwalk Tour Boat Posted by Picasa
Christmas Tree in Front of Our Trailer Posted by Picasa
Christmas Tree at River Walk Posted by Picasa
Mission San Jose Posted by Picasa
Dead Man'O War on Beach at Padre Island Posted by Picasa