November 12, 2012:
Without this blog, I wouldn't be able to remember half of the stuff we have done. It didn't seem that we did much during the past week, but thinking back, really hard, straining my memory bank, we kept pretty busy.
We did about 5 miles of hiking on the National and Mormon loop trails at the South Mountain Park outside Phoenix. This is a very popular mountain biking trail and running trail overlooking the city of Phoenix. The people who run up and down the mountain annoy me tremendously, especially the ones who aren't even breathing hard, no one should be in that kind of physical condition, of course most of them are about 20 years old. I take some solace in visualizing that they will be shuffling around with bad joints when they are my age.
Many new happy campers (snow birds) have arrived at the Destiny campground this week, the pool is now getting crowded at times. The water temperature was 82 degrees and people were complaining that it was cold, one woman was even carrying around her own personal pool thermometer to check, people are strange ! We are getting addicted to the fresh Grapefruit and lemons from the campground trees, really nice to just go outside a pick a fruit off the tree.
A single elderly woman, Mary, 88 years old, moved into the site next to us. She has been wintering here for years, all the long time residents know her. She is living in a van, not a special custom RV conversion, just a plain old van. She comes from Illinois near the Mississippi River and has told us several times that she lives on the Great River Road. She originally comes from a small northern South Dakota town and she told us that when she was going to elementary school, she was the only person in her grade. She told me that staying at the RV Resort was cheaper than heating her house for the winter. She is a very pleasant lady and everyone here kind of looks out for her. I admire her hardiness, it was especially cold last night and I know she doesn't have heat in that van. I wonder if someday I will end up like that ?
The big NASCAR race is happening this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, so we are seeing lots of race fans, especially at the food market buying cases of beer. We were thinking about staying an extra day to go to it, they have a giant RV camping area, it's like the ultimate tailgate party, but we decided to avoid the crowds and just get quietly out of town.
We went to the Heard Museum in Phoenix last Friday, it is considered one of the best native American Indian museums in the world. I would have to agree, it was great.
I checked out another Phoenix live music hangout, the "Thunderbird Roadhouse" for their Wednesday night open mike night. They have a house band with other people joining in. A couple of the guys were good players, they did a really nice version of Jimi Hendrick's " Red House". The bar crowd kind of reminded me of "Cheers", lots of joking and laughing, except they were not funny and sort of creepy.
I also went back to the "Rhythm Room" on Saturday night to hear another hot local Phoenix blues band, "The 44 Band". These are guys who have been doing it for decades and are incredible. The Rhythm Room is hands down the best place for blues in Phoenix.
Lots of family time this week, we took my mother, my sister Marie and her daughter Angie out for lunch on Thursday, then the whole family got together for dinner on Friday evening, then again for lunch on Saturday. It seems our get togethers always involve food ! We said our sad goodbyes on Saturday afternoon.
We had a few brief rain showers Saturday evening and a cold front is now moving in with low 40 temperatures forcast. I say brief showers because they didn't even wash the dust off the truck. We haven't seen clouds or rain all month here ! Hard to believe, but constant perfect weather can get a little dull after a while.
We left Phoenix on Sunday and are currently outside Tucson, Arizona at the Desert Trails RV Park. The Saguaro National Park is next door, we can hear the coyotes howling at night with no traffic noise !!!
|View of the smog in the valley from South Mountain|
|Phoenix in the distance from South Mountain|
|Heard Museum collection|
|I can relate to this|
|Heard Museum jewelry collection|
|View from the trail at South Mountain|