Not for the Superstitious

Before leaving Tucson we heard from Red Fox and Hawk that they had high-balled it across the country in record time and were checking in a day early to Lost Dutchman State Park to coincide with our arrival on November 8, 2016. Lost Dutchman is located at the base of the Superstition Mountains and is the home of many myths the most famous of which is the story of Jacob Waltz and his gold mine. We checked in early in the day and Hawk and Red Fox arrived later in the early evening.  This sooner than expected rendezvous would give DD and Red Fox an extra day to discuss a whole host of ISSUES encountered (some real but mostly imagined) over the past 6 months or so. The most prominent shared ISSUE seemed to revolve around the inability of their respective chauffeurs to strictly adhere to the navigational directions provided regardless of how erroneous or misguided they might be. Fortunately Hawk and the Captain have learned over the years to politely ignore these inconsequential admonishments.

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our campsite at Lost Dutchman

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views from our campsite

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Superstition Mountain

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view of campground from lower hiking trail

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Red Fox, Hawk and the Captain rest along the trail

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Red Fox, DD and CC

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another view along lower trail

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the coyotes are real scary here

Despite the incessant girl chatter we were able to get in a couple of hikes during our 4 days here. As a warm-up we undertook a relaxing 3.5 mile hike across the base of the mountain as preparation for the more strenuous Basin/Flatiron hike which we would take on the next day. On the day of this hike the temperature was expected to be in the very high 80Fs so we got a reasonably early start of 8:00 am. Good thing as the 2 mile, 2 hour hike to the Basin had a vertical rise of 1100 feet. Still feeling a little bit frisky at this point we climbed past the Basin toward the Flatiron for another 400 vertical feet at which point reason overtook pride and we called it quits. After 5 hours we arrived back at base camp hot and tired but more than satisfied with the trek.  The last mile under a glaring sun had started to take its toll, although it didn’t seem to faze some of the kids continuously passing us by. In fact several groups of youngsters who went all the way to the Flatiron passed us on the way up and on the way down.

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heading to the trailhead before the sun rises

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heading up the trail

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view from the trail

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the Flatiron

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Barny the Dinasor rock

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Red Fox and CC clearing the trail

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Hawk heading down the trail

On November 11th Red Fox, DD and the Captain went on a 2 mile group Moonlight Walk across the base of the mountain. The 70 plus participants enjoyed learning a bit about the park and environment under an almost full (super) moon. Later in the day we headed into Yuma for pizza at the world famous Organ Stop Pizza. The pizza is pretty good but the entertainment is great.

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the renowned organ

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must be playing something from Cats

When not out hiking the US squad challenged the Canucks to a Domino showdown. The Canucks obliterated the Yanks in the first game by a score of 18 to 500+. First team over 500 loses. In a desperate effort to reverse their misfortune and misery the Yanks invoked the use of the home side set of dominoes rule. Despite this misguided and fruitless strategy and a much closer score of 475 to 500+, the Canucks walked away with a 2 to nil victory.

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Hawk gives the surrender sign

While Hawk and Red Fox planned to stay at the Lost Dutchman until the 13th DD and the Captain had to vacate the premises on the 12th as no open sites were available. Hawk and Red Fox would be making their way west to California for the winter while CC and Debbie Dewdrops would be setting up camp again at Imperial Dam. It’s always a treat for us to spend time with Red Fox and Hawk and we will miss their company this winter.

Back to the Desert

So here we are back at the Imperial Dam LTVA for our 4th winter. Arriving here on November 12th the place looks pretty deserted. Could be the extreme heat (high 80Fs) or the election results or just whatever but I’m sure things will change over the next month or so. Regardless many of our good friends have arrived including the Cling-ons LLL and BBB, nos Quebec amis RRR and AA, Andre and Danielle, some of the Missourians Jim and Virginia and of course our hiking buddy Steverino and general all round nice guy and perhaps next year’s mayor Buster. Sad to say there a quite a few of the old timers who won’t make it back this year due to health and other reasons. The most noteworthy absentee is the infamous Slobberjaws who almost singlehandedly looked after the dog burns, weekly jeep drives, Christmas parade of lights, CB roll call, the Liberry (library) and search and rescue. Jaws will be sorely missed by the desert denizens.

We have spent a few days setting up camp. Putting up the solar panels and sun shade, levelling and stabilizing the Eagle5, rebuilding the picnic table, assembling whatever needs assembling, cleaning windows and on and on. Now not to complain, but I just can’t help myself, it has been around 90F since we arrived and without AC there ain’t much escape from the heat so for the next few days we’ll probably lay low and pray for snow. NOT. Funny thing though that when we arrived DD developed a sore back but now that all the setting up work is done the back seems to have improved and as I write this DD is off at her Uke lesson. Very strange don’t ya think.

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our patch of desert

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Andre and Danille’s rig in the background

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view from our backyard

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sunrise

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full moon setting in the nortwest at 6:45 a.m.

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Lucky Lonesome Larry –  a true sports pylon

Steverino led the first group hike of the season with a revisit to the old gold mines.  A short but never-the –less enjoyable trek for the inaugural hike of the season. And wonderfully the temperature cooperated by dropping into the low 70Fs and a strong wind kept things reasonably cool.

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inagural hiking group, Nancy, Mark, Steverino, DD and John

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the Colorado River

By stubbs99

Where the Eagle5 Flies

Even though it is always hard to leave our families behind the Captain and DD had been getting antsy to get back on the road and head south to our “home State” of Arizona for another winter of hiking, biking and reunions with old and not so old desert friends. But first we had to get to Smithville Ontario to pick up and pack up Eagle5. Given our recent (not so good) experiences with Sicard RV it was with some trepidation that we pulled into the lot on the morning of October 24, 2016. Our concerns were quickly assuaged when Eagle5 rolled up sporting a beautiful shiny new front cap paint job. We definitely made the right choice in deciding to change the front cap colour from dark brown to ivory to match the primary sidewall colour. Almost like having a new trailer.

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the old brown Eagle5

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the new improved Eagle5

 

Anxious to get moving we quickly paid our bill for the repairs to the slide room and wheel bearings and packed away what we could and headed to our first overnight stop at the Casino in Sarnia. DD said she had a really good feeling about winning, so off we went to see what we could turn our $20.00 into.  Alas, DD came out with $180.00 to the good and thanked LLL for not being with us…seems he was always winning! After enjoying our last Timmies until the spring we headed to the US on October 25, 2016.

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red trees at Sarnia Casino

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over the Blue Water bridge to the USA

Already a few days behind schedule we didn’t dally as we motored towards Cameron Missouri where we would spend 4 days visiting our friends Jezebel Jeannine and Dashing Dave.  We arrived on October 27, 2016 and as always when we stop in, JJ and Dashing Dave outdo themselves in making sure we have an enjoyable visit. And no visit would be complete without a trip to the nearby Amish settlement near Jamestown where CC is known to load up on numerous bags of ginger snaps that have, or so I am told by many people, snapped up numerous big awards for their quality and taste. The M&H Amish store is also a great place to graze the innumerable candy samples scattered throughout the store. Yum Yum!!

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Dashing Dave’s family – Mars (the dog) Jenna (granddaughter) Suzie (daughter) & Anthony (son in law) with very large Maitake mushroom (CC gives the peace sign in back)

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CC and the ginger snaps

While touring around the Amish farming area we came across several Amish farm vehicles (non motorized) on the roadways and working in the fields. We also got a glimpse of an Amish luxury sedan which can be seen in the following pictures.

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Amish harvester

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ploughing the fields

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the luxury wagon from behind

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Dashing Dave and grandson Jay spent the weekend sitting out in a hunting blind hoping to bag a 5 point or larger buck. As a vegetarian, I would like to be able to report that the endeavour was unsuccessful but alas I am unable to do so. Just hope there is no deer sausage on the menu at our next visit.

DD and JJ made a day trip to nearby St Joseph to do some shopping and I know this will be hard to imagine (or maybe not) but DD came home with more new shoes. She is quickly getting up to the mid teens in numbers so a cleansing may be in order. (Editor’s note: they were slippers not shoes)

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strange birds over Cameron

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and fish

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and more fish

Not wishing to hang around for trick or treating we snuck out of town on the morning of October 31, 2016 and stopped overnight again at the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City Kansas. This has become a regular stop for us and as usual and now expected, there were plenty of tricks but no treats for us here. BOO!! November 1, 2016 we made it to Albuquerque before getting to Tucson on November 2, 2016. Our first stop in Tucson was at yet another gambling house, the Casino Del Sol where I completed a trifecta and am now a third time unlucky at the slots on this trip.

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along the road to Albuquerque

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they should name a game show after this place

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dust weevil in the desert

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right the “Thing” 

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The Casino Del Sol provides a huge parking lot for over-nighting RVs and graciously doesn’t seem to impose time limits. Very generous and much appreciated. Now some of our faithful followers may recall of years ago I wrote about fellow RVers who seemed to have an infatuation with parking as close as they could to the Eagle5 regardless of how much open space was available. Well it happened again, and I can only surmise that these RVers have identified that we are from that friendly and unarmed country to the north and therefore feel unthreatened and secure to be in our embrace. Really!!! Anyway these folks were close enough that had they asked, we would have without much of a stretch, passed across the salt and pepper.

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too close for our comfort

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pass the salt neighbour

As we had a few off days before heading to Superstition Mountain State Park near Apache Junction on November 8, 2016 we have plugged in at Catalina State Park for a few days and took the opportunity to clean off some of the accumulated road grime and wash Eagle5 and the truck. The weather here is fantastic, blue skies and upper 70Fs. This morning we took advantage of the great bike trails and peddled just over 20 miles.  Just a little saddlesore after not being on the bikes for awhile! Last evening we took in a free outdoor concert here in the park. The music was provided by Jaye Parks and the Sho Cats.  Felt just like being at home as about 25% of the music was from Canadian artists (Joni Mitchell, the Band and others). Does the reach of the CRTC really reach this far south?? Canadian joke folks.

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our campsite at Catalina

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Catalina State Park in Tuscon

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relaxing at the concert

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Jaye Parks and the Sho Cats

Video of the concert with Lonesome Lee singing

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DD still  looks refreshed at the halfway point

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DDs giant bug

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CC’s Art Deco photo of the week. DD took the week off

UPDATES

The Aud One – we phone the Aud One and the Coach daily and although the Aud One still has pain issues she is moving around a bit more and the Coach is proficiently providing a positive environment with help from brothers Jim and Don and partner Sylvie. Thanks Guys.

Dashing Dave – Dave underwent heart surgery this week and despite an OOOPs moment he came through it and we still expect to see him in the desert this winter. Stay well Dave.

Hawk and Red Fox – left Boston on schedule on October 31st and are heading west to a rendezvous with the Captain and DD at Superstition Mountain State Park on November 8, 2016. See you soon guys.

LLL and BBB – have landed safely at Imperial Dam LTVA and taken up their regular site for the winter. Things are back to normal for the kids as yesterday BBB was out on the garage sale circuit. See ya soon kids!!

By stubbs99