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2018-11-01 – South Coast Airstream Club – Emerald Desert RV Resort – Day 1

This weekend is our regular camp-out/rally for out home WBCCI club – South Coast California Unit, soon to be renamed “South Coast Airstream Club”.  We meet for a weekend rally on the first Friday of every month, with few exceptions.  Due to our travel this year for the Southwest Adventure Caravan, and our move earlier in the year, we have missed several rallies, and it is great to be back, to have a weekend rally, and see old friends again.  We’ll even meet some new friends this weekend…

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Even though today is Thursday, we packed up and left Redlands this morning and arrived in Palm Desert at about 1:00.  It is a one hour drive… After living so far from this part of the desert for so many years this is a real treat!  Emerald Desert RV Resort is a true RV resort, with many amenities and services, beautiful grounds, and great facilities.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the one downside of Emerald Desert is that it not only is adjacent to the 10 freeway, but between the freeway and the RV resort are railroad tracks.  About once per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, a giant, 150+ car freight train rumbles past…)

But, despite the trains, we love this place, we are thrilled to come in a day early, and we will be staying two days after the official end of the rally on Sunday, taking full advantage of the opportunity to camp here at club rates…

When we leave here, on Tuesday (election day), we will travel about 6 hours, to Paso Robles, for five days or relaxing in beautiful wine country… More later – stay tuned!

So after we arrived here we had to wait to check in; being the first day of November, there is a huge influx of “snow birds” who come to stay for “the season”.  Most come for four to six months, enjoying the great weather in this beautiful place.

We finally secured our site assignment and started to get settled.  Soon we were joined by six other Airstreamers who were also coming in one day early.  It was great to see these people again after so long.  Happy hours soon ensued, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset…

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And, in case you missed it, yesterday was Halloween…

Here are our four grandchildren on their first Halloween, at ages 5 mo., 7 mo., 9 mo., and 12 months…

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And here they are as they looked yesterday, at age 5 yrs, 4 yrs, 3 yrs, and 7 months…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

2018-10-15 – Day 58 – Home!

We spent the night in Palm Desert in the Villa in the parking lot at the golf clubhouse…  We were on the road at 7:00 am, and at Mentone Beach by 8:00 am.

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We spent about an hour unpacking and cleaning, then we were home in Redlands…

Our next trip out is November 1 – the Airstream Club weekend rally in Palm Desert, at Emerald Desert RV Resort, then off to Paso Robles for some wining and a “Friendsgiving” at the Record Family Vineyards…

And, as is our custom…

The McAnoy family takes a walk…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-10-09 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 52 – Caravan is over; we head for home…

We watched the balloons fly one last time… We walked on the field amidst the chaos…

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It’s always fun to see the special shaped balloons – later in the week they will have a special competition just for them…

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This is Bill Lee, the pilot who organized our balloon rides last week in Gallup.  His balloon is the official balloon for the State of New Mexico… We tried to talk to him, but I think he was preoccupied…

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So we walked on…

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After a few minutes we looked back and Bill Lee was aloft…

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Once all the balloons had ascended we walked back to the Villa, hitched up, and left our happy campground full of Airstreams…

Our destination today is Gallup, NM, back to USA RV Park, which we left less than one week ago… We are spending one night, to dump the tanks, take showers, and get re-oriented again for our trip home…

We stopped briefly to stretch our legs, and then traveled on…

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We crossed the Continental Divide (7275′ elevation) at about 11:00 am.  It was 44 degrees outside… And then the rain began.  It was not heavy, and it did not hinder our trip…

There is not a lot going on out here in western New Mexico…

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But soon we were settled in to our site at USA RV Park, just west of Gallup, NM.

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This evening we had planned to walk the 1/2 mile and eat at Virgies, a Gallup institution.  Literally seconds before we left the Airstream it started to rain in a giant downpour.  It didn’t last long, but we didn’t want to get caught in another such downpour… Also, the highway was too wet, in our opinion, to walk…

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We called Uber and 9 minutes later we were at Virgies:

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By the time dinner was over we were able to walk back to the Villa…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Oh!  Here’s Evelyn:

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2018-10-03 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 46 – Traveling from Gallup to Cubero, New Mexico

Another travel day… These days are my favorite – driving down the highway, watching the scenery, going places that we’ve never been before… Today we took the long way around, choosing to drive the back roads for three hours instead of the interstate for two hours…

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We drove south from Gallup, towards El Morro National Monument, then through El Marpais National Monument.  This area is very volcanic, yet the mesas still exhibit interesting rock formations…

We stopped at a few historic markers…

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The road eventually turned east, then northeast, where it intersected with the 40; about 20 miles later we were at Cubero, site of the Sky City Casino, Hotel, and RV Park.  Sky City is the name for the Pueblo at Acoma, where we will go tour tomorrow…

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We had an easy time setting up in a very modern, but very bleak RV park.  Naps, then Happy Hours, and dinner ensued…

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As Happy Hours were transitioning to Dinner we were hit by a sudden thunderstorm, followed by a rainbow…

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News flash!  This morning it dropped below 70 degrees in Los Angeles, and rain MIGHT happen.  Erin quickly dressed Evelyn in all her winter clothes:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-29 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 42 – Gallup, New Mexico…

Another quiet day on the caravan.  We began by visiting an Indian Trading post and learning about Pawn.  Among the Indians, Pawn is nothing like the typical pawn shop where folks down on their luck borrow a few dollars on something semi-valuable that they own.  For the Indians, Pawn is a combination bank and safe deposit box.  Since there is little private ownership of land, and semi-communal living is common, there is no place secure for the Indians to store their valuables.  So they bring them to the Pawn and Trading Post; the trading post will store the valuables and give a token “loan” to the owner.  The owner then comes in every 2-3-4 months and pays a fee to keep the items in pawn.  When they need their possession back, they pay back the “loan” and claim their goods.

This trading post has over 1,800 saddles in Pawn.  I doubt there are even 1,800 horses in this part of the reservation… There are also guns, ceremonial head dresses and boots, lots of jewelry, and many other things the Indians deem valuable…

The saddles…

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After listening to the Pawn explanation we saw an artist demonstrate his craft.  He showed us how he sketches and etches his design (in this case a silver bracelet) into a piece of soft stone.  This makes a mold, into which he pours the molten silver.  Out comes the rough bracelet, which he then polishes and finishes into a fine piece of jewelry…

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Most caravaners then proceeded to spend lots of money…

We returned to the Villa.  We enjoyed a Saturday afternoon watching college football.  While the internet service is terrible here in New Mexico, the satellite TV is great!

We had many Happy Hours with our Airstream neighbors, then watched football again well into the night…

And again we have a short day, so here I present Erin and George expressing their feelings about spending all day Saturday watching T-Ball…

img_9071And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-28 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 41 – Driving to Gallup, New Mexico…

We left Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam and headed roughly Southeast across some of the most remote and desolate terrain I’ve ever seen.  This is mostly the land of the Navajo Nation…img_5963img_59611img_90631

We drove for miles and miles… and saw nothing but miles and miles…

At Kayenta, AZ, we stopped at a Burger King, home of a great exhibit telling the stories of members of the Navajo Nation who served in WWII, and, particularly, the story of the Code Talkers.

By the time we had finished looking at the exhibits other Airstreamers had also arrived…

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And then we left and drove to Gallup, NM.  Nothing too exciting.  In the evening we enjoyed a BBQ dinner provided by the RV park in their dining pavilion…

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We were visited by the representative of the ballooning folks to brief us on the coming days’ activities – we are going to be riding in hot air balloons!  We are scheduled for Sunday…

So, as is our tradition, on slow news days, we present some of our great grandchildren…  Maybe you’ve seen these before…

Roisin, age 5:

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Ian, age 4, and George, almost 3:

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Ian, Roisin, and Evelyn, age 6 months:

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Ian:

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Evelyn

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And, finally, Evelyn:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-26 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 39 – Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

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Today we took a boat ride around Lake Powell… We chose to sit on the upper deck in the sun all day…

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Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona.  Most of Lake Powell, along with Rainbow Bridge National Monument, which we will be seeing today, is located in Utah.  It is a major vacation spot that around two million people visit every year.  It is the second largest man-made reservoir by maximum water capacity in the United States, behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet of water when full.  However, due to high water withdrawals for human and agricultural consumption, and because of subsequent droughts in the area, Lake Powell is currently larger than Lake Mead in terms of volume of water currently held.  The lake was filled to capacity in the early 1980s and has never been completely full since then.  Today it is about 150′ below maximum capacity, and about 50′ below average levels…

Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  The reservoir is named for explorer John Wesley Powell, a one-armed American Civil War veteran who, as you already know, explored the river via three wooden boats in 1869.

Lake Powell is over 186 miles long, and averages about 25 miles wide.  There are over 90 side canyons, making the shoreline longer than the entire west coast of the USA.   We will travel up the lake over 50 miles today, then we will go into one of the side canyons, dock, and walk/hike about one mile to see the Rainbow Bridge National Monument…

As I mentioned above, the lake is below its historic levels, as evidenced bu the white cliffs seen here.  This “bathtub ring” shows where the water level was in the early 1980s…

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Along the way we passed by several marinas, all packed with several millions of dollars of idle boats…

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Our destination is Rainbow Arch, a natural bridge (an arch formed by water flowing under it…).  This particular bridge is quite sacred to the Navajo people, and its preservation was a major concern during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and the resulting Lake Powell.  Even at “full pond”, as they call it, the Rainbow Bridge will remain untouched…

But Rainbow Bridge isn’t the only geologic wonder… We passed by what appear to be frozen, or “petrified” sand dunes.  These are solid rock…

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We passed by many buttes…

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While it was quite warm on the boat’s upper deck, the sky and water and rocks were beautiful…

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After traveling about 50 miles we turned into this small side canyon.  There are hundreds of these small side canyons along the lake’s 186 mile length, which makes it an ideal place for boating…

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The further we went up the canyon the narrower it became…

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While I’m sure our pilot knew where she was going, it was nice to see a sign that reassured us that we were in the right place…

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Narrower and narrower…

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Finally we spotted the dock…

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We docked, and set out on the 1 mile hike to the Rainbow Bridge…

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Finally it appeared…

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But we walked on, and even went behind it to see it from behind…

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Whether this was worth spending over five hours on the boat was a topic of discussion amongst the various caravaners…

We returned to the campground along the same route, so if you want to see what we saw, review the pictures above, backwards…

We had a lovely dinner at “Bonkers”, an unfortunately named restaurant in Page, with another caravan couple, then we returned to the campground for another Drivers Meeting…

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Apparently, our granddaughter, Evelyn, enjoyed her dinner today, as well…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-20 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 33 – The Arizona Strip

2018-09-17 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 30 – Traveling to Fredonia, AZ, near Zion National Park

Today we traveled to Zion National Park.  Except, not exactly… We are camping 13 miles outside Fredonia, AZ, at the Kaibab Paiute Band Tribal RV Park.  The RV park is across the street from the Pipe Springs National Monument, and is about 50 miles from Zion…

I took this picture because… Not Rocks!

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It was an easy drive.  After about 1 1/2 hours we arrived at the town of Kanab, UT, a nice little town…

We stopped for lunch at the Rocking V Cafe… Interesting place in this very remote town…

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Other Airstreamers were in town, too, having lunch, shopping for groceries…

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We also shopped for groceries – finally found half-&-half.  The last four grocery stores didn’t have any… What’s up with Southern Utah and their lack of half-&-half?

As we left the grocery store and headed to the RV park, we noticed a strange thing:  It is 1:34 pm, and we will arrive at our destination, 20 miles away, at 1:06 pm…

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Obviously we are in Utah, and our destination is in Arizona.  They are in the same time zone, but Arizona does not believe in Daylight Saving Time…  However, as we approached the RV park, rather than changing the actual time to Arizona time, it changed the destination time to Utah time!  Apparently the RV Park is quite close to cellular towers in Utah.  Our Apple devices and our computer similarly kept switching back and forth such that we never able to know what time it was… To avoid the confusion we set a real clock on Utah time, and the Caravan all agreed that we would operate on Utah time… Of course, Zion is on Utah time…

As we approached the RV park, this was the landscape surrounding us… Arizona looks a lot like Wyoming around here…

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Zion National Park is an national park located in Southwestern Utah near the city of Springdale.  A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which stretches 15 miles long and spans up to half a mile deep.  It cuts through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.  The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain.  Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.  Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans;  however, these Indians moved away by 1300 and were replaced by other Southern Paiute subtribes.  Mormons came into the area in 1858 and settled there in the early 1860s.  In 1909, President William Howard Taft named the area Mukuntuweap National Monument in order to protect the canyon.  In 1918, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service, Horace Albright, drafted a proposal to enlarge the existing monument and change the park’s name to Zion National Monument, a name used by the Mormons.  According to historian Hal Rothman: “The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time.  Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it.  The new name, Zion, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience.”  On November 20, 1919, the United States Congress established the monument as Zion National Park, and it was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.  The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument in 1937, but was incorporated into the park in 1956.  

We parked The Villa and set up camp… As did all the others…

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As we settled in at the RV park we learned that one of the Caravaner couples, who live in coastal North Carolina, had learned that their property (not their house) had sustained damage due to debris and flooding from Hurricane Florence, so they decided to leave the caravan and return home… We held an impromptu gathering to wish them well…

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After the gathering, as we headed back to The Villa.  The sunset was striking…

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Another momentous event occurred 39 years ago today … Our daughter, Erin, was born… She celebrated today by letting her not-quite-three-year-old capture her on film:

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I think he has caught her essence…

 

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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