Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sad note

My favorite author and the person most responsible for my desire to visit the southwest, Tony Hillerman, died this week at the age of 83 from pulmonary failure.
His 18 murder mysteries set in and around Shiprock and the Four Corners area of New Mexico are special. He could never write the next novel fast enough for me. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are good friends of mine.

The Tonto Basin Loop (Hiway 188)

Dave and I set sail at nine this morning for a 170 mile loop ride to Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto Basin and the Tonto National Monument. Another gorgeous day, blue skies, 94 degrees, wind in our hair (if we unbutton our shirts) and not much traffic.

We left the RV park and turned north on Hiway 87 through the Tonto National Forest. It is a forest of Saguaro cactus. We turned east on 188 to the Theodore Roosevelt dam and the resulting Roosevelt Lake. The original dam was the largest masonry dam in the world at the time of construction. It was later modified and rebuilt using concrete.

A short distance east of the dam, we hiked up to the lower cliff dwellings in Tonto Basin. We weren't able to go inside due to an infestation of Africanized (read killer) bees. The half mile hike up to the dwellings was worth the sweat and hard breathing (we weren't dressed for hiking) if only for the views from the path.

After a decent pulled pork sandwich at The Boston Bar & Grill, we finished our loop by continuing to Hiway 60 and west to Apache Junction.

As always, click on the picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best laid plans

The planned ride didn't quite go as planned. The advantage of riding on a weekday is that their is far less tourist traffic. The disadvantage of riding on a weekday is that there may be construction - and there was. We stopped at Winkleman to tinkle man and were told that the road to Globe was closed while ADOT blasted rock to widen a stretch of road. We retraced our ride to Superior and went east toward Globe on 60 only to be stopped for some extremely wide loads passing over narrow bridges just before Miami. As we had seen the best part of that road, we turned around only to get stopped for another extremely wide piece of mining gear being moved over another narrow bridge.

The ASARCO Copper Mine was an interesting stop. You know those huge earth movers that you see on the Discovery channel or National Geographic? If you look close you'll see some tiny trucks in the distance. That's them. The observation point has a tire and a bucket off some piece of machinery. Does the picture make my butt look skinny?

It was a nice ride, good company, good weather and a good meal at the West Side Cafe in Kearny.

p.s. The Honda is sold. The first person that rode it, bought it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What a pig!

As Charlotte said in her web and I've just said in my web blog. The difference being that Charlotte didn't eat the pig. Paige and Dave took me to dinner at "Waldo's World Famous BBQ". You can read the official information on their website: http://waldosbbq.com/ The ribs were tasty, good sweet, tangy sauce and endless sides (I had slaw and okra). We all had take home boxes at the end of our visit. My one disappointment was that I didn't get any bread pudding, but it was refreshing to have the wait staff and cook tell me that the bread pudding wasn't very good that day. I guess I'll have to get it on another visit.

Today Dave is leading me on a loop ride through Superior, Miami, Globe, Winkleman and Kearny via hiways 60, 77 and 177. I'll try to remember to stop and take pictures this time. I'm usually having so much fun riding that I don't want to stop. The other problem is that a picture just doesn't convey the moment. You can't feel the wind or sun on your face, or get lost in the vastness of the horizon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nice bike!

The bike got here about 4 this afternoon. The driver was more tired than me, at least he had an escuse - I just couldn't sleep. It's a sharp looking bike and rides real solid. Dave and I rode a few miles on Hiway 88 just to check it out. I'll wash it and polish it tomorrow. I'm tired.

Sunday morning

I was up with the birdies this morning, anxiously awaiting the delivery of the Harley. I'm trying to keep myself busy - fixing little things (there are always things that need fixing), walking, playing on the computer, and pestering Dave. He says he understands. While I was on the roof fixing the television antenna I took this picture of the sun rising on the Superstition Mountains. Watching the colors and shadows change on the mountains is a favorite pastime around here. At one point of the year, the shadows actually form together to create the silhouette of a mountain lion chasing a bird across the face of the mountain. I have seen a photo of this and look forward to seeing it for myself.

Well, this took about ten minutes. I wonder when the shipper will arrive with the bike. Maybe I should wait for him at the driveway. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Historic Apache Trail (Hiway 88)

Went for a short but very enjoyable ride up Hiway 88 to Tortilla Flat. It's only 16 miles from the RV park to the end of the pavement on Apache Trail, but what a beautiful, fun ride. The posted speed limit for most of the ride is 25 due to the sharp twists and turns around the buttes and mesas and boulders and lakes. There are no guard rails and at times the drop offs are impressive. Dave and I rode to the end of the pavement. The road continues, but our bikes don't. Lunch of chilli cheese fries at The Superstition Saloon in Tortilla Flat, where the bar stools are saddles and the wall paper is dollar bills, was a pleasant diversion. The return ride was just as much fun - maybe more now that I knew what to expect. On weekends the road is packed with crotch rockets and Buicks, so going on a Thursday was a good thing. It is Thursday isn't it?

Click on the picture to see it full size.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My snail mail address

1371 E. 4th Ave
Space #94
Apache Junction, AZ 85219

Monday, October 13, 2008


I am firmly ensconced in my winter home. The Superstition Mountains look over my shouder. The moon rising over them was amazing. More tomorrow - I'm tired.
Here is a pic of the new bike:
I am excited to get it shipped down here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Long drive on roads that seemed to go forever, but here I am just outside of Las Vegas. Tomorrow will be the final leg to Apache Junction, just east of Phoenix.

The big news is that I have engineered a trade of my Chevy pickup for a 2005 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail. That will be one less thing to store, but after I get the new bike shipped to Arizona, I will have to sell my Honda.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


A short drive to the Whiskey Flats RV Park in Hawthorne, NV. Lots of snow in the hills, very cold wind blowing. I have lots of propane now and the heater is running full blast. They are expecting 80 degrees next week - 49 degrees at 1:30 in the afternoon today.
Tomorrow is a long drive, 340 miles to Boulder City, NV just south of Vegas. I hope there is less wind.
Here is my view. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Travelers Beware

Along with the threat of snow, CalTrans has advised all campers, travel trailers and motorhomes stay off the roads near the California/Nevada border.
Another night here is prudent.
The fresh water hose froze last night, a few flakes are in the air, the coach is covered in icicles (the landscape sprinklers worked over night), the gray water valve is frozen open.....
another night is prudent.

SNOW!! windy and cold...brrrrrrrr.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bikers Beware

Dave and I rode out of the RV park this morning headed for that portion of Hiway 49 which runs through Tahoe National Park and over Yuba Pass (6,708 ft). There were 35 miles of flat, mostly straight two and four lane hiway to get to that point just beyond Loyalton where we saw the sign that read "BIKERS BEWARE, 42 MILES OF DEAD MAN CURVES AHEAD". The next 75 miles of twists and turns, uphill and down along the North Fork of the Yuba River were a blast. We were treated to some gorgeous scenery along the way. We stopped in North San Juan for gas and lunch at 49'ers Pizza - very tasty. The road beyond North San Juan was under repair, so we reversed our course and reveled in the ride all over again. Snow is forcast for Saturday and the day never really warmed up, but Dave in his heated clothing and I in my long johns stayed snug and warm.

Tomorrow we're off to Lone Pine, CA.
Snow is coming a day early - tomorrow - maybe. Hope it doesn't affect our plans. We are discussing options.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Thanks to a missed turn, I made a loop around Mt. Shasta on my way to The Bordertown Casino and RV Park. What a beautiful mistake. Hiway 89 is a wonderful drive thru the Lassen National Forrest. The RV park is very nice and we got coupons for free drinks! None of us are gamblers, but we'll hit the buffet at least once. We're staying two nights as Dave and I plan to go for a ride tomorrow on Hiway 49. Looking forward to getting the Tourer out of the trailer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A one and a two...

Day one was an uneventful drive to Moro, OR and a night at the Sherman County RV Park - $16 with full hook-ups, even cable. The Biggs Bridge was actually closed this time, so I had to detour to The Dalles, then back east to 97.
Day two was a windy drive to Klamath Falls, OR. Driving in the wind can be exhausting. Staying at the Oregon 8 Motel and RV Park just north of town - $27 for electric/water/cable.
I think it's happy hour.

Monday, October 6, 2008

On my way

It's that day. I've been waiting for this day for a couple weeks. Time to run to the sun. On the other hand, my family and friends are here. I didn't spend enough time with all of you, I didn't even see some of you. I hope you understand. I'll miss you all and think of you often and wish you were all there with me.