Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020

I spent 2.5 hours on the phone yesterday, comparing Medicare Advantage plans. It’s not like I was on hold a lot but the process took a long time. They go through the entire process with you, even though I had already done the comparisons and had decided on two options. After the selection process, you are transferred to an enrollment specialist and that took a long time to get through.  But it is done and I don’t have to do it again until next year if I decide to make a change. I am saving $30/month.

We haven’t done much this week other than hanging out here at the park, some chores, and the pool.

We have made some friends here in the park - Dan and Gail from North Dakota who live in one of the Villas behind us. We have had conversations while walking in the evening and ended up sitting on their patio talking into the night last night. It turns out that we are in a sea of Trump lovers and they feel the same as we do that the Dems can turn things around in November.

Gail told me about a shed that might be for sale, so we walked by Millie’s lot and talked with her and we claimed first dibs on her shed - a 6-8 for $100. The park manager has a single bed frame that has wheels mounted on it that is used for moving them.  After prying each corner with a steel bar to raise it and putting blocks under to get it above the frame, it is pushed onto the frame and rolled to wherever it needs to go and the process if reversed when it gets to its destination. We watched the operation and he and the work camper moved one that was next to us - it worked pretty slick. It will probably happen next week some time. It will be nice to get some of our excess stuff stored in there and will seem like we have so much more space in the trailer.

We ended up washing the trailer this afternoon after Tom borrowed a ladder and checked out the roof and learned that it was covered in a layer of dust - imagine that. Since he had the hose set up, I decided to wipe down the sides - he did the upper part that I couldn’t reach. It sure smells a lot cleaner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Today is a sad day. My longtime friend and classmate, Susan, from Stoughton lost her husband, Dean today. They had been married for 52 years. I was shocked by the news this morning, although I knew that he was in serious condition and had been in the hospital the last ten days. He was hospitalized after experiencing severe back pain, then had some surgery to repair a vertebra, then was diagnosed with cancer and started having congestive heart failure.  

Susan and Dean met at Rusty’s bar in Middleton, WI the summer after our senior year of high school - the same place where Mike and I met. They have two sons. We haven’t always been close to each other distance-wise but have stayed in contact through the years and visited whenever were nearby. Class reunions are always fun. My heart is feeling heavy after this news. The photos are from the last time we were together when they visited Arizona in January of 2018.

The last week has been spent getting settled into our spot here at Shiprock. We have made it to the pool and hot tub a few times and have done quite a bit of shopping - online and in person.

Ben and his family have a new addition - Yoshi - 12 weeks old and unknown breeds, a Heinz-57.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

We were fed and loaded and checked out of our room by 9:00. Tom went down to start the truck and - nothing. We had left the plug-in cooler in the truck and it drained the battery. He hasn’t had good experiences with his roadside assistance, so I checked my policy - no roadside assistance. Of course, I just changed my policy to cover me for comprehensive only, since it is in storage. So he headed to the office to get a recommendation for someone to call and the friendly gal behind the desk said “I can do that for you”. She pulled her car next to Tom’s and a few minutes later it was a done deal and we were on the road.

An hour-and-a-half later, we pulled up to our site at Shiprock RV.  This is the route we took - we even saw a couple of wild horses in the river along Bush Highway.

Then we proceeded to set up and take inventory of all working components. Everything was working well and in good order, except for the layer of dust coating all surfaces. Fortunately, Tom and covered the couch and bed to protect them. We spent the afternoon unloading the truck, cleaning and getting organized. By dinner time, we were both too tired to do much of anything, so I ordered Chinese for delivery. With Door Dash, all went smoothly.

We did some grocery shopping today and walked out of Walmart with a $200 bill, quite a bit was beer, wine, booze and groceries. Leftover Chinese was out dinner and we are now sitting out on the patio watching the reflection of the sunset on the Superstition Mountains. What a view - we will enjoy it until some rigs move in there and block our nice view.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020

I was awake at 6:30, got ready for the day, took Frisco for a walk, and Tom was up when I came back in. That led to us being on the road by 9am.  Today’s route started with beautiful views as we drove through Wildcat Canyon just south of Durango but the landscape leveled out as we went through a lot of Native American land in the Navajo and Zuni Pueblo’s. 

As we approached our destination of Payson, traffic picked up and we were bumper to bumper moving slowly for close to three miles - there was no construction or accident, only a narrowing from two lanes to one. We decided that it had to be weekend traffic heading back to the valley. When we checked into the motel, the clerk said it was like this ever Friday through Sunday.

Tomorrow, we get back to Apache Junction and see how the trailer stood up through the summer heat. Fingers crossed that all is well.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Saturday, October 10, 2020

We had breakfast, went for a short walk and packed up the car and headed for Durango. I had made a reservation for two nights but we are having second thoughts about that. This is the route we took. Although the distance was only 171 miles, it took us over five hours, as we reached the summit of at least four mountain peaks (Coalbank Pass, Molas Pass and Red Mountain Pass) along the way, stopped to explore a bit and at a couple of scenic overlooks.

The stretch of road between Ouray and Durango is called the Million Dollar Highway and is considered the most beautiful drive in the US, although it is quite treacherous in some areas. The uphills and downhills are steep, the are pullouts everywhere with access to trails, some curves have no guardrails day at places the road is quite narrow.  Tom did an excellent job of maneuvering the road and got us to our destination in time.

Yes, the dots are bugs on the windshield.

We arrived at the Caboose Motel and both had regrets almost immediately.  We were told our room wouldn’t be ready until 3:00 because the the disinfectant had to dry before it could be occupied.  So we drove around the town a bit and returned about 3:15.  The lady got a bit huffy with me and said the cleaning staff wouldn’t be done until 4:00, so we wandered around and then sat in a little fenced are of the property until she came out and told us to take a different room that was complete.  It is OLD and DATED, has few electric outlets, but it is clean and it’s only for one night.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Friday, October 8, 2020

We were so glad to observe people following CDC guidelines and to learn that this town has had only one new case in the last three weeks. Everyone is wearing masks. 

Our motel has a hot breakfast but their safe way of handling is that you call the front desk, place your order, and they box it up - you pick up in the lobby.  Although it was pre-prepared, it was tasty.

After breakfast, we took Frisco to the dog park (a couple of blocks from our motel) to romp around - his idea of rolling around is strolling with his head down, catching all of the different scents.  We then took a drive to explore the Gunnison River Canyon and Curicanti National Recreation Area and stopped at a couple of places along the way to walk the trails along the river. Again, Frisco got to dip his toes and tummy and slurp the cold, fast moving water.

The Gunnison River

                                                                           A cool sculpture along the river trail.

After taking short naps, we decided to explore a little more of Gunnison, so we headed to Hartman Rocks on County 38, then off on a gravel road and found it to be endless zigzagging trails through the hills and rocks, open to hikers, bikers, campers, cross country skiing in winter, and ATVs and Jeeps.  We went back to the county road and headed south again until it turned to gravel, then turned around and headed back to town. Along the way, I spotted this cloud in the sky and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The cloud is a lenticular (cap) cloud that indicates there is a strong wind flow down the slope on the side of the mountain without wind.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

We packed up and cleaned up the motor home, had breakfast, thanked our host and hostess for their wonderful hospitality, and said our goodbyes - until we meet again. 

This is the route we took to get to Gunnison although we made a few stops along the way. The drive through several canyons; Royal Gorge, Texas Creek, Monarch, and up to the summit of Monarch Mountain.  The golden yellow clumps of Aspens and the rippling water along the roadsides were gorgeous, although my photos don’t really do it justice.

Royal Gorge ($25, so we didn’t go to the bridge)


The Arkansas River, Frisco got to wet his feet and slurp up some cold, cold water.