Patio Sale

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Our RV resort held a patio sale yesterday. Residents could sign up to sell items from their RV spot or patio home

I signed up to sell felted soap, so I got a front row seat to the craziness.

Think of a cross between garage sale and Halloween on steroids.

Transportation varied from golf carts to bicycles to cars. Oh, and the occasional pedestrian.


Late Friday afternoon, early lookie loos wandered around the park scoping out the hot spots so they could be first in line in the morning.

The sale started promptly at seven. Why seven you might ask? Because the sun wasn’t up at six. 🙂


Husbands and wives often split up. One would drive to one end of the street and park while the other would walk along slowly and look. Reminded me of Halloween because that’s exactly what I did with my kids.

The other day I heard about a drive-by funeral home. This patio sale was a drive-by sale. I lost count of the number of cars that slowly drove about five mph and about five feet from my table.


I would say “Good morning.” The husband would say, “It’s soap.” The wife would shake her head, and they would drive away never even acknowledging my greeting let alone making eye contact. It was like they thought being in their car made them invisibile to me.

The good news is that I did sell some soap. And the better news is that the morning provided some of the best people watching moments ever!



On the Apache Trail

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We went for a drive along the Apache Trail yesterday. It runs along State Route 88 and bills itself as America’s Oldest Highway, celebrating 100 years.

The Apache Trail was a stagecoach trail that ran through the Superstition Mountains. It was named after the Apache Indians who originally used the trail to move through the Superstitions.

It’s been a while since we’ve been on a road trip other than to Costco and Winco. Sophie was hap-hap-happy!


The drive was beautiful. The scenic road had lots of curves and one lane bridges. Lots of fall foliage and even a bit of shade.


We passed through the teeny, tiny town of Tortilla Flat. It’s a funky little western town.


They serve a mean hamburger and provide live music.


One of the two stores in town has covered its walls and ceilings with thousands of one dollar bills…



The original school house is now the museum.


There are lots of mining and old western antiques and replicas.1128141226

Something interesting  happened when we stopped to look at Canyon Lake.


We saw three men riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. They had stopped and were taking pictures of one another. Unfortunately I didn’t get a very good picture of them.

But the interesting thing is that Rich and I came to the same conclusion about the three men but we got there by very  different analyses…


We determined that two of them were newbie motorcyclists and one was a seasoned veteran.

Rich noticed that two of them parked with their front wheels by the curb while the other backed in so that his bike was ready for him to take off. He explained to me that motorcycles don’t have a reverse gear, so most bikers take the time to position their bikes so they can take off without having to reposition the bike.

I noticed that the two who parked the same way had brand new leather coats. They were very shiny compared to the other rider whose coat looked like it had been on hundreds of rides, through all sorts of weather.

While Rich and I often agree on things, we seldom see things the same way… 🙂

Burning Man vs RV Resorts

Gold Canyon, Arizona

While Carol was visiting last week, she commented several times at how living in an RV park/resort is very similar to attending Burning Man. (Learn more about Burning Man. )

Let’s take a look…

From the air, they look very similar, very structured with lots of streets.



Art cars are similar to golf carts, providing colorful transportation.

Burning Man Art Preview: Church raising and glam heels art car


Everyone decorates their place with their own personal flair.



There is lots of personal and colorful creativity and expression.


Hands of woman knitting a vintage wool quilt

And there is at least one happy hour each day although the ingredients creating the happiness are different…



Happy Thanksgiving!

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Dear Gentle Blog Reader,

I wish you and yours a very


Rich and I are going for a hike this morning.

Then we’ll come home to celebrate Thanksgiving in Homer with a hopefully scrumptious turkey, stuffing, and cranberry dish from Costco while watching oodles of football…

I’m grateful for so many things, too many to list…


But I’m quite sad because I’m really missing my kids this year. I’m thinking that we should celebrate Christmas in July or whenever we can all be together.

Wishing the best holiday season for y’all with lots of love…


Happy Hour

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Every afternoon between 4:00 and 4:30, RVers and Annuals (those who own or live in park models) start scurrying about the park.

Shuffling this way and that, some are carrying food, some are carrying bottles, and some are carrying glasses.

What’s going on?

The bewitching Happy Hour!


Laughter and conversations drift all around the park from random abodes. By my inexact count, there’s a happy hour meeting in about every ten residences.

So once this park is full (after January 15), there will be about 75 happy hour parties–each and every night.

The group we meet with sit out in the ‘street’ and watch the beautiful and colorful effects of the sun setting on the Superstition Mountains. It’s a great group, and we have combined to solve almost all of the world’s problems if just someone in authority would listen to our collective wisdom… 🙂


The emphasis on many of the happy hours is the alcohol. We had a great giggle the other day while entering Costco. An 85+ year old woman was buying three large bottles of whiskey. An 80+ year old man told her, “Go ahead… Just buy four!” She snapped back, “I only need three right now!”


Her happy hours are most likely very happy. 🙂

Beep Beep

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We went to Winco and Costco yesterday to stock up for the week and to buy a few special things for Thanksgiving.

We got to Costco at 9:59 a.m. The parking lot was nearly full even though the store didn’t open until 10:00 a.m. It is good that so many of us are stimulating the American economy… 🙂


After our groceries run, Rich took Sophie for a hike and I went for a jog. I had the best time of all three of us…

Sophie stopped walking shortly into their hike. She kept licking her lips, but Rich couldn’t see anything. It wasn’t until I got home later that we found the problem: a cacti needle stuck into her tongue. Ouch!


While Rich and Sophie were having troubles, I was enjoying a nice jog. I ran across the highway and jogged through the subdivision. There were enough trees to create a hint of shade on the roads.

The houses all look virtually the same: same stucco color, same tile roof, same landscape touch… So the only way to tell them apart is either the yard art or the contents of their garage.

20140421192029347280000000-oTowards the end of my run, I was rewarded with a roadrunner sighting!

No, not this kind of roadrunner.


This kind!

Rich really wants to see a javelina while we are here. A roadrunner was first on my wildlife wish list. Color me bird happy!

My Best Day?

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Yes, I know it’s Week 12 of the NFL. But between traveling, NHRA, NASCAR, and life, I haven’t been able to watch all that much football until today.

Woohoo! Today I was in pigskin heaven.


I don’t really care who wins or who loses. I just like to watch the strategy, the drama, and the athleticism of the game including a catch last night that might be the best catch ever...


I even watch the pre-game shows, and there was a fabulous piece about “My Best Day” on ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown. It involved Mark Keys, a man who was severely disabled by an accident at work over 20 years ago. He has had over 35 surgeries since that accident.

He started writing celebrities in 1994 asking them to describe their best day. After a while he started writing athletes. He has written over 10,000 letters, and he has received thousands of responses to his requests which have been compiled into a series of books.


In the piece, WalterPayton’s son, Jarrett, read a letter that his dad had written about how his best day was when his son introduced him into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993. (Paytyon died in 1999 when his son was just 19 years.) Jarrett had never known about his father’s thoughts until he read the letter.

I’m still looking for a copy of that video and will post it if and when I find it. It brought tears to my eyes…

In the meantime, here’s a link to an article written about Keys in 1997: Newport Man Makes…

That got me thinking: What was my best day?

Aside from the births of our two kids, I would say that my best day was running The Avenue of the Giants Marathon in 1999.


I believed in myself enough to think I could do it, loved myself enough to set aside massive amounts of time to train for it, and pushed myself to complete my goal.

Running that marathon in a little over five hours gave me time to process the life changing event it was…

What was your best day?

Arizona Fast Facts

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Since we’re going to be in the Phoenix area for another two months, I thought it was time for me to learn a bit more about Arizona.

State Flag: (The flag of Arizona consists of 13 rays of red and weld-yellow on the top half, the colors of the flag of Spain, representing the 13 original states. The red and yellow also symbolize Arizona’s picturesque sunsets. The copper star represents the copper mining industry in Arizona. The rest of the flag is colored blue, representing Colorado River.)


  State Nickname: Grand Canyon State (In addition to its geologic wonders, the Canyon contains outstanding biological diversity, containing five of the of the seven life zones which is the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada. It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and threatened/endangered plant and animal species. The park contains over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species.)


State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Blossom (Saguaros are the largest cactus species in the U.S.—they can grow more than 40 feet tall. A typical saguaro can live between 100-200 years.  A fully-grown saguaro can weigh more than a ton.  Depending on how much water they amass, saguaros can shrink or swell in girth by 20-25 percent over the course of a year.)


State Gem: Turquoise (Turquoise is a blue to gray-green mineral consisting of copper aluminum phosphate. The mineral turquoise is formed by a chemical reaction which occurs when water containing specific minerals such as copper and aluminum leak through a rock. It forms in veins, which later then turn into a clump of turquoise.)


State Bird: Cactus Wren (While the female is incubating on clutch of eggs, the male wren builds another nest. This nest will be used or a second clutch of eggs as the parents may rear several broods of young in one year. Building the nest in cactus provides some amount of protection for the young. The wrens also use these nest throughout the year as places to roost.)


State Tree: Palo Verde (Palo Verde is a relatively small tree that can reach a height of approximately 32 feet and a trunk diameter of 1.5 – 2 feet. This tree has a deep root system which allows it to tap into the ground water and survive periods of extended drought and withstand severe flash floods. Palo Verde is drought deciduous (sheds its leaves during extended dry spells) at which time the tree relies on its green stems and branches for photosynthesis.)


State Fish: Arizona Trout (aka Apache Trout) (The Apache Trout has a golden color with black spots. It can weigh up to 6 pounds, and grows to 24 inches long. The Apache Trout is unique to Arizona, and is not found anywhere else. It is considered an endangered species, but recent conservation efforts have allowed the state to permit some sport-fishing of the Apache Trout.)

State Neckwear: Bolo Tie (Silversmith Victor Cedarstaff of Wickenburg, Arizona, claims to have invented the bolo tie in the late 1940’s (and later patented his slide design) but it is also said that bola ties are a North American pioneer creation that dates back to between 1866 and 1886. Boleadoras orbolas (from Spanish bola, which means “ball”) are throwing weapons made of weights attached to the end of cords.)


PS Who new states had official neckwear? I sure didn’t… 🙂


Mesa Marketplace

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We went to the Mesa Market yesterday. It is an amazing place.


“There is more to see here than anyone can see in one day! A single breezeway covers a mile and a quarter of shopping lanes. 900 merchants stock 1600 shops. The place is enormous. The pace is relaxed, the merchants are friendly, and there are lots of places to sit and people-watch, too.” (

While we were there, we ran into Fred and Hope. Fred’s a pickleball buddy from Boise, and they just bought a park model at our resort. They were looking for yard art for their new place. They won’t be disappointed by the choices available at the market.


We passed by one man trying to convince his wife to buy this metal burro.


He wanted to place it with its head towards their house and find a sign to place near the back end of the burro that said, “KISS MY…” 🙂

It’s always amazing what special deals are available at a market. These bras were a steal at 6 for $25. But you just gotta wonder how comfortable they were.


There are so many items available: everything from apple parers to hot tubs to zebras made from metal.

And if you get too tired, you can always rent a scooter to get around.


We found our favorite garlic rub (in the 80% less salt version). We first found it at the Garlic Festival about 20 years ago in Gilroy, California. If you love garlic, you’ll love Garli Garni. Yummy!


I also bought a HipKlip to carry my cell phone. (They are available in many different sizes and styles online at

double_zip_cat_photoOoh, and last time there I found these vegetable keepers made by Hutzler. I already had the onion keeper, so I bought the green pepper keeper. They are fabulous and available at amazon; check out the entire Hutzler food storage line at


Can’t wait to go shopping again to see what other amazing things I can purchase and somehow stuff into Homer’s already bulging cabinets.

Well, That Stunk. . .

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I said good bye to Carol  yesterday after a wonderful visit.

This goodbye was even harder because we don’t know when we will see each other next…


And drat… Carol and I have to change the way we communicate.

Since Rich and I have been traveling, we can’t  chat online as much as we have for the  last eight years. At the risk of sounding immodest, we were pros at type-chatting via  Facebook Messenger, achieving lightning fast speeds. 🙂


But now I can best chat by texting free on my phone. Carol’s cell phone plan charges for texts.

Carol has access to WiFi, but I most often do not. So texting via Facebook costs me data and money…

We are both a bit phone phobic, me more than Carol.


But we have agreed to talk by phone at least once a week, hoping to make each good bye a little easier.

We love each other and our relationship, and we are very lucky to have each other and that relationship.