Monday, December 1, 2008

Cactus plants of all kinds

One of the very interesting aspects of Arizona is the amazing variety of desert plants -- especially cactus plants. Orinda wandered around our part of the park today (while Rick was chasing the golf ball) and took pictures of some interesting plants.

We are not yet cactus experts and so do not have an idea of the names of these, but they are very pretty to look at.

This is one of my favorites and represents the classic cactus shape to me. These are very rubbery plants and excel at preserving water.

These are beautiful plants and apparently take very little maintenance which is just what is needed. We have to remember that the temperature in the summer is near 120 at times.

I did not realize the wide variety of cactus plants that are available. Some are tall and thin such as the one below, while others are very low growing and thick. These add quite a bit of interest to our daily walks through the park.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Day at Palm Creek and Cody gets in Trouble!

We have been at Palm Creek for about 2 weeks and have had a wonderful time so far. Orinda is shown here checking for our mail at our local box. If we have large packages, we just go to the central mail office to pick it up.

Rick has played golf several times already. The course is a par 3 course, but features several long holes (up to 200 yards), so it is quite challenging. The course is also in wonderful condition and is a joy to play. Orinda was kind enough to model the putting green for us.

This shows the first hole, which is a short 95 yards. This is a bit tricky since club selection is critical. Plus, everyone else gets to watch you tee off!

The club house facility is wonderful. There is a large swimming pool (as well as a couple others in the park) here as well as a complete facility for golf, meeting rooms, etc. We attended Church in the ballroom each Sunday.

Yesterday, Cody and Orinda were home alone for a short time and Orinda had baked some mini pecan pies. Unfortunately, Cody's great nose sought these wonderful pies out and he could not resist and was able to eat the top layer in each pie before Orinda caught him. She was NOT happy!

The culprit, right after being caught. Does not look very unhappy, does he?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Introduction to Palm Creek RV Resort

We have been at the Palm Creek RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ for a few days and are very impressed with the place so far. When we drove in, we were greeted by this beautiful sign and landscaping which really stands out in the desert.

The entrance is very pretty and we were warmly greeted by the attendant at the gate (who is a resident in the park). He directed us to the reception area by the clubhouse.

Orinda shows us how the main entrance road looks. Very nicely landscaped and the whole park is beautifully maintained.

We passed this reflecting pond with fountains which surrounds the 7th tee on the golf course. I was really delighted to see the many flowers that line the streets.

Orinda is next to the road and walkway that leads to the clubhouse. Beautiful!

This view is right next to the clubhouse which contains a pro shop, bistro cafe, activities center and much more. This also shows the first hole on the par 3 course and the practice green area where Rick is working on his chipping. We will see if it helps when he plays!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Servicing the coach at Freightliner - Tolleson, AZ

We arrived at the Western Star Freightliner dealer for an M1 routine maintenance and were greeted by Kurt, the motorcoach service writer. This is one huge facility and is open 24 hours a day, every day. Wow, there are LOTS of trucks and motorhomes here.

The Oasis designation is a special certification a service facility is awarded by Freightliner to show that the facility is specially set up for motorcoach repair and service. This is the second Oasis facility we have used and have been happy with each of them.

We were able to plug in to electricity overnight so we could be ready for our 7:00am service appointment in the morning. This makes things very convienient.

One really cool thing I found here is that this facility is an American LaFrance firetruck service facility, so there were quite a few firetrucks being serviced. For Rick, who loves these trucks, this was great.

While waiting for the coach to be finished, we looked at some of the trucks available for sale. This RV hauler was very nice and could handle most any fifth wheel trailer. While nie, we decided we liked the motorcoach approach better for our needs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

At Robert's Resort in El Mirage, AZ

We arrived at the Pueblo El Mirage Resort last night on our way to have some service done on our coach in Phoenix. This was an interesting place based on their Internet site and we decided to take a look. While this was an OK site, it was not very impressive to us.

We did enjoy walking Cody through the park which has some nice landscaping features. This is near the extensive clubhouse area.

They have about 1,000 sites with about half being devoted to RV stays, but as you can see, we are a bit before the start of season. Still, the weather is wonderful and at the back of each site is an orange tree that was heavy with almost ripe fruit.

We seven saw some Gambel's quail in the development. These were the first I had ever seen and Cody was very interested!

We broke out the bikes and used them to visit the clubhouse and restaurant where we had a wonderful breakfast. They have a full 18 hole golf course in the park which was nicely maintained.

This shows a typical street scene in the newly developed area. We went through a few of the model homes and they were surprisingly nice. Still, I think we will stay with the coach for now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crossing the London Bridge -- in Arizona!

We did some exploring on our last day in Havasu, but first, had to have lunch. Orinda found a great fried chicken spot (amazing how she finds these), and we had to stop. This place lived up to its reputation and was wonderful.

We then went down to see the famous London Bridge, but on the way, saw a road runner -- first such bird that I have ever seen. Very cool.

Lake Havasu is a huge lake and is about 45 miles long. The lake is formed by Parker Dam and is beautiful. Most of the shoreline is owned by the state, so there is little development on the shore.

London Bridge is great. This was the actual bridge that purchased in London, dismantled, and then re-built in the Arizona desert! This (and the city of Lake Havasu), were developed by Robert McCulloch, who was quite a visionary in this regard.

Here, Cody and Orinda show us the official London Bridge sign.

London Bridge was built in 1831 and purchased by McCulloch in 1968. It is pretty amazing to wonder what the original builders might think of this.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lake Havasu Classic Car Show

As we drove toward Lake Havasu from the RV park, we noticed many beautiful, classic cars parked at a local Chrysler dealer and learned there was a classic car show going on. Cool -- Rick had to stop.

We were delighted to find some 400 beautiful cars on display. These represented almost all eras of automotive production, but the 50's and 60's seemed the most numerous. This Model T was an excellent restoration and shows how far cars of come over the years.

Rick liked this Buick 88 from the early 50's. This was a car made of real metal and lots of it! The owner had done a great job of restoring it to original condition.

There were also many custom cars of all descriptions. This one had a fully supercharged V-8, air conditioning, and all the comforts of a modern car in a classic body. I would love to know how many hours were invested in this one.

Rick was surprised to see this replica race car. It was very nicely done and looked like it would be a blast to drive. Not many creature comforts in this one! We had a great afternoon at the car show under the usual perfect Arizona weather.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The RC Float Plane Fly-in at Lake Havasu

Today we had a great treat (at least Rick did!) -- we learned there was a Radio Controlled float plane flying meet at Lake Havasu today. We found the flying site close to our RV park and were surprised to find over 150 RC aircraft flying from a great beach right on the lake. This shows just a few of the many RC aircraft waiting their turn to fly. Usually, there were 4 or 5 aircraft in the air and on the water at the same time.

At Noon, there was a special flying demonstration that was amazing. The pilot flew a large (7' wingspan) Piper Cub doing spectacular aerobatics. He started by doing a touch and go on one float, but curving gently away for a couple hundred feet on the float without touching the wing tip.

He then showed us how to hover a Cub -- right on the deck! In fact, this picture shows him right after he touched the tail into the water and then accelerated straight up. Cool!

Here are a couple more aircraft that we watched fly. This was very enjoyable since I have flown RC planes for many years. A great way to spend the day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Driving to Lake Havasu City

We left Indio and headed east on I-10. We were amazed at the size of the desert area that seemed to go on and on. We stopped for lunch at the Willy Wells rest area and I noticed the sign above saying to look out for rattlesnakes! Orinda and Cody, the photo dog, were very impressed!

This is a picture of the desert that is typical of this area and is right outside the rest area. I was really interested in the fine sand that covers the area. I would hate to try and cross this desert in a horse and wagon!

We got off of I-10 at Quartzsite, AZ which is the noted boondocking location. We saw a number of RVs camped in the desert area on the BLM land, which you can stay on for a very small fee a year.

Taking Hwy 95 north, we traveled along the Colorado River. Amazing, a beautiful river, brimming with blue water, in the midst of the desert.

The scenery is wonderful with hills and mountains rising abruptly from the valley. We enjoyed the trip and look forward to exploring the LAke Havasu area.