Friday, 1 July 2011

19/05/2011 - Flagstaff, Page (The Wave), Monument Valley

19/05/2011 - Flagstaff, Arizona.  We spent a couple of very cold days in Flagstaff.  By the time we arrived in Flagstaff - it was snowing.  We had snow for the two nights that we were there and that was enough for us.

20/05/2011 - Page, Arizona.  It was nice to leave the snow behind us we, climbed down from 7300 feet to about 4000 feet.  We will be basing ourselves in Page for a week, we hope to obtain a Permit to hike into The Wave.

21/05/2011 - Page, Arizona / Utah.  We were up early this morning and driving to the Paria Ranger Contact Station.  This is where you need to go to try and obtain the permit to do the hike to The Wave.  We arrived to find that there were only 35 people here (it can range anywhere from 30 - 100) so our chances looked fairly good.  They complete the ballot by allocating a number to each application, then your numbered ball goes into a wire cage (very similar to playing old bingo) and if you are one of the lucky numbers called out you will receive a pass - our luck wasn't with us today.

Oh well, we have asked the Ranger what hike they would recommend - Wire Pass into Buckskin Gulch was the recommended hike - so off we went.  After about a 15 minute drive we take the turn off to the dirt (very corrugated) road - this road goes for about 14 kilometres. 
We finally arrive at the trail head and begin our trek.  This trek takes us into the slot canyon Buckskin Gulch - the world's longest slot canyon.  A slot canyon is a narrow canyon, formed by the wear of water rushing through rock. A slot canyon is significantly deeper than it is wide. (In this case the Canyon ranged from 10-20m deep and .05-2m wide.  In many places you had to take your pack off and pass through sideways.  Wow this was truly a spectacular sight.  The Big Fella who does get a bit of claustrophobia walked quickly through a couple of very narrow areas.  If you want to hike  the whole slot Canyon it takes two full days and there is only one place that you can climb out along the way.  You also have to be very aware of the weather as it can rain 100km away and flood this canyon within hours.  We hiked about 7km in and then the water crossings were getting too deep so it was time to back track.

22/05/2011 - Again we are up nice and early and on our way to the Paria Ranger Station for another chance in obtaining a permit for the hike to the Wave.  Today there was about 70 people for 10 slots - yet again we had no luck.  After the ballot drawing we headed for another trail - Toadstools Trail.  Toadstools are balanced rock formations assuming the shape of a toadstool or mushroom. Differential erosion with the bottom stem portion eroding at a much faster rate than the top cap is essential for the formation of toadstools.  Another beautiful trail.  I made the mistake of letting the Big Fella go shopping at Walmart by himself - and today he came back with a compass - he has decided the compass will come he handy for hikes.

23/05/2011 - Again, no luck in the ballot, today there were 94 people for the ten permits.  Today we have decided to hike the Wahweap Hoodoo Trail.  We arrive at the trail head and it does take a little while to get going as Dave needs to check the map and the compass - I now know that it is going to be a long day.  We walk another 100 metres down the trail and we need to stop and check the compass against the map - just to make sure.  We make it another 500 metres and after checking with the compass Dave decides that we can take a shortcut across the banks of the stream rather than following the creek bed - well this continues all the way to the Hoodoos.  The trail to the Hoodoos is suppose to be 6km - but thanks to the shortcuts that Dave has found it takes us 8km - great work Big Fella.  On the way back I take the lead and we take the trail down through the dry stream bed - yep 6km's and we are back at the car park - can't wait to use that compass again. Today we had a blow out of Dave's hiking boots - the sole on his right boot has nearly come completely off, we can't complain about our boots though we have had them for over 10 years.

24/05/2011 - Still no luck with the ballot, today there were 90 people.  After 3 days of hiking we have decided to drive Shooter around and have a look at Lake Powell.  Lake Powell is the 2nd largest man-made lake in the States.  It is 186 miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline.  The water is sparkling and clear.

25/05/2011 - Yet again, no luck with the ballot - but hey we are certainly persistent.  Today we went for a short hike to Horseshoe Bend - another stunning view.  We then went for a game of golf at the National Lake Powell Golf Course in Page.  The Big Fella is really on a hot streak - smashed me, but I pulled the chain on the last hole (double or nothing) and thank goodness I won this one.  I did say to The Big Fella that he is playing some unbelievable golf - to which he replied, yes - I was only one over the front nine...

26/05/2011 - Still no luck with the ballot.  This morning we went and booked in for the Antelope Canyon Tour.  Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American South West.  It is located on Navajo land.  You can not enter by yourself you need to take a guided tour, run by an American Native.  Our tour was run by JC and was absolutely unbelievably stunning - so very glad that we decided to take this tour.  The Big Fella even took his camera with him, we haven't been taking the Cannon with us on our hikes - too big and heavy.

27/05/2011 – We have decided to move closer to the Ranger Station (where the ballots take place), we’ve done all the hikes around the Page area that we wanted to do, and so instead of driving 45 minutes each way to try and get a permit, we’ve moved to a campsite right next to the Ranger Station.  Still no luck with the draw, today, it is starting to get really frustrating, especially when people come in and get it on their first try – try No 8 tomorrow.

We arrived at the campground (which is also a working ranch) and were talking to the host, this campground caters mainly for the Intrepid camping tours, so we’ve been warned that they will probably be partying until early hours of the morning.  He also told us that they used to have a lot of country’s flags hanging up in the barn, but due to a few Aussies having a few drinks and burning the British flag, they are now scattered around the campground.  Dave and I figured that they must not have had a New Zealand Flag.  We went for a 3 hour horse ride around the area - we had a great time, even though after about two hours our knees and buttocks were starting to ache, time to get off and have a stretch.
28/05/2011 – Yet again, no luck with the ballot system – it’s starting to feel like ground hog day.
29/05/2011 – Still no luck, we have decided that we can no longer handle rejection and tomorrow will be our last try.  We went for a small hike around the area we are staying at – mainly so Dave could practice using his camera – he wasn’t happy that my little camera had taken some better shots in the Antelope Canyon – he said that he had brought the wrong lens....
30/05/2011 – Well today we have no. 9 in the ballot (attempt no 10 and our last(, when we get to the desk the staff said that they are feeling really sorry for us.  As our luck would have it - 5 numbers have been called out amounting to 9 people so there is only one spot left – so you guessed it our number was called out, so of course The Big Fella put his hand up first and said that he would be happy to leave his wife at home and go on the hike to get some great photos – which of course he will show me when he gets back.  So we get back to Stubbie and The Big Fella is all pumped for his big hike tomorrow, and I ask him if he wanted to go for a hike around the area we are staying at – to which he replies 'thanks, but no thanks', I need to save myself for tomorrow.
31/05/2011 - Today the Big Fella is getting ready for his hike into the Wave.  And boy is he rubbing it in, first off he asks what I'm going to pack him for lunch, then I say to him that I probably wont go to the entry point for the hike (there is also another trail - that you don't need to get a permit for), and he says that is a good idea, because it would be less hassle, he said it would be better for me to stay with Stubbie and do the cleaning and the washing - oh boy he is going to pay for these comments....

I went for a 10k hike along the dirt road, at the back of the campground.  It really is amazing what your imagination can do.  I was hiking on the dirt road by myself (did I mention that the Big Fella was at the Wave), for about an hour, when I thought I saw a snake up a little further, so as I edged (very slowly) closer, I realised it was just a stick, this didn't happen once but several times.  I was hiking for about 2 hours and in all that time, I only saw one other couple.

The Big Fella has arrived back to Stubbie (and no I didn't move camp while he was gone - lucky) he is barely able to climb the steps to get into Stubbie, he said the hike was really strenuous, oh but well worth it. So after he has crawled into the shower and is refreshed, it is now time to sit down and have a look at his photos (well over 200), I did say to him when he gets it down to 50 (I thought I was being generous) I would sit down with him and go through them.

He has captured some great photos and by the sounds of it he had a wonderful time. He did mention that he was glad that he had bought the compass (there are no trails to the wave - they don't wont people to find it), he had to help a few people out (God help them). He did mention that the hardest part to find, was getting back to Shooter.

01/06/2011 - Page - Monument Valley.  Today we head on over to Monument Valley, where we plan to spend a few nights before driving back to .....Vegas.  We had some great news that Bobbie and Brant will be joining us in Vegas for 4 nights - really looking forward to seeing them both one more time before we head on home.  When we arrived at Monument Valley, Utah there was some enormous winds happening, the place looked red, with all the red dirt and sand flying around.  So this afternoon is planned inside Stubbie, we now have a decent Internet connection, phone service and Cable TV.

02/06/2011 - Monument Valley, Utah / Arizona.  Today we took a drive through the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.  Now part of the Colorado Plateau, Monument Valley was once a simple flat basin. Over millions of years, layers of sediment piled onto the basin, which was eventually uplifted by pressure from below. Then, wind and water slowly eroded the plateau, leaving Cutler Red siltstone and its sand behind, forming the wonders of Monument Valley.  Monument Valley has appeared in  many television programs, commercials, and movies, especially westerns.  Some of the movies are:  Stagecoach (1939) starring John Wayne, 2001:  A Space Odyssey, National Lampoon's Vacation - where the Griswold's car falls apart, Forest Gump - where he finishes his cross country run and the list keeps going.  Unfortunately it was still windy, but thank goodness we were in Shooter.

Friday, 20 May 2011

24/04/2011 - 19/05/2011 - Parker - Flagstaff. Arizona

24/04/2011 - 06/05/2011 - Parker Dam, Arizona / California.  Well after a month of enjoying the sunshine, seclusion and taking it easy, we decided it was time to move on.  Before we left Jim and Melanie and their dog Spike took us for a boat ride on the Colorado River, Parker Dam.  We had a lovely day, it was unusual in the fact that everyone drives their boats up to the Dam Wall, then they turn off their motors and float down the river. 

We also managed to get in two games of golf at the Parker Golf Course.  On our second outing Jim came and enjoyed the course with us.

06/05/2011 - 08/05/2011 - Phoenix, Arizona.  We spent two nights in Phoenix just to have a look around the city.

08/05/2011 - 10/05/2011 - Tombstone, Arizona. The most famous event in Tombstone's history was the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral, which didn't actually happen at the corral, but in a vacant lot on Fremont Street. On October 26, 1881, members of the "Cowboys" had a run-in with Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp with help from Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday. 24 seconds and 30 shots later, Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury were mortally wounded. In many peoples opinion, it was this one event that has kept Tombstone alive for all these years. 

Tonight we went to do the ghost tour at the Bird Cage Theatre - not sure if the Big Fella was really keen or not but he came along anyway. The Bird Cage Theatre was a saloon, theater, gambling hall and brothel. Legend has it that no self-respecting woman in town would even walk on the same side of the street as the Bird Cage Theatre. It opened its doors on Christmas Day 1881 and ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year until closing its doors in 1889. In 1882, The New York Times reported, "the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast." Evidence of this can still be seen in the 140 bullet holes that have been found in the walls and ceiling. The Bird Cage was named for the cage style crib compartments suspended from the ceiling. It was in these "Bird Cages" that the "ladies of the evening" entertained their customers. The story goes that they were the inspiration for the song, "She's only a bird in a gilded cage", which was quite popular during the early 1900's.  Well we didn't see any ghosts, but in our photos were white circles - supposedly orbs.  Apparently orbs have been broadly interpreted as a highly variable range of paranormal phenomenon without verifiable causation — including invisible spirits, auras, angels, ghosts, energy fields, psycho-energetic artifacts, energy balls, etc

09/05/2011 - Today we went for a walk around Tombstone.  We did stop and go into the OK Corral and watch the reenactment of the gunfight. 

10/05/2011 - 11/05/2011 - Casa Grande, Arizona.  Today we drove from Tombstone to Casa Grande - an overnight stay to fill up the fridge, oh there was also some outlet shops that we did visit.  Just another stop in the desert.

11/05/2011 - 13/05/2011 - Camp Verde, Arizona.  We have decided to stay for two nights at Camp Verde to go and see Montezuma's Castle and Well and also to get ourselves set-up for 5 nights camping in the National Forrest - which doesn't have electricity, water or a dump station. 

12/05/2011 - Montezuma's Castle and Well.  Montezuma Castle is near the top of a Verde Valley cliff and is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It was built by the Sinaquas about 700 years ago.  The name Montezuma Castle was a mistaken name. Early settlers who discovered the cliff dwelling ruins erroneously connected them to the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but in-fact the Sinaqua ruins had been abandoned a hundred years before Montezuma was even born. And the dwellings weren’t a castle at all, but a multi-family “prehistoric high rise apartment complex”.

Montezuma Well is a natural limestone sinkhole through which some 1,400,000 gallons of water flow each day through two underground springs. It is located 11 miles (18 km) northeast of the castle. The well measures in at 368 feet across and 55 feet deep. The water is highly carbonated and contains high levels of arsenic - I'm surprised the Big Fella didn't throw me in.

13/05/2011 - 18/05/2011 Sedona, Arizona (Coconino National Forest).  Today we drove into Sedona - OMG what a spectacular drive.  The Coconino National Forest is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes ranging from the famous Red Rocks of Sedona to Ponderosa Pine Forests, alpine tundra to Oak Creek with Rainbow Trout.  We first notice as we are driving into the campground that there is a hummingbird feeder with about 4 hummingbirds having a feed.

After we got set up, the campground sites for RV's is tight, we went for a drive and walk to see the Sliding Rocks.  (Which is basically a slippery waterfall that you can slide down.  We chose not to as the water is the melted snow coming down the mountain so it is a bit chilly.)

Later on in the afternoon,

14/05/2011 - Today we have decided to go on a hike on the West Forks Trail.   West Fork Trail is touted to be one of the best trails in Arizona and one of the top 10 trails in the United States. The trail is approximately 13.5 km round trip and is rated easy. Although, there are a few areas where short uphill stepping stones are used. There are also numerous stream crossings which are done with stepping stones and logs. At the end of the trail a pool of water surrounded by cliffs is encountered. Just awesome hiking.  Tonight we sit around the camp fire and have a couple of drinks with our two hitch hiker friends - Lea and Alberto.  Lea is from France and Alberto is from Italy.  So Dave being so good with names has nicknamed them Frenchie and the Italian Stallion (he eventually called Alberto the Pony).

15/05/2011 - Today we all head off to do the Cathedral Rock Trail. This is a short 2 km hike but rated as a strenuous hike as it quickly rises 608 feet in elevation. The midsection of the trail has a near vertical segment which requires climbing.   On the top, there is a narrow plateau with steep slopes on each side. The width is about that of a wide sidewalk and several stones are perfect for sitting.  Once we got to the top we sat down for a while and enjoyed the view, probably not a great hike if you are afraid of the heights. Another spectacular hike. 

Well we have finished this by about 10:30am - yes I got the Big Fella out of bed early.  So we decided to go do the Devils' Bridge Hike.  Devil's Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. From a trail head elevation of 4,600 feet, there's a mere 400 foot climb in altitude during this moderately difficult 4km round trip; the journey to reach the top doesn't leave you breathless -- but we would never say the same about the views you witness when you finally get there.  To get to the trail head is about a 3km car ride along a dirt track - recommended for 4wd vehicles only.  Of course not everyone takes notice of the sign and we did see a couple of sedans make the drive.(Must have been company cars...)  When we were leaving there was this large Jeep (fairly new) and the driver was asking if it would be okay for them to take their 4WD on the dirt track, a sedan had just left in front of us - I have no idea why people who buy a 4WD wouldn't drive off road.  Shooter managed to get us there just fine.  I had to remind the Big Fella that we needed to keep at least three wheels on the ground at any point as we climbed over a few large boulders.

16/05/2011 - After two strenuous hikes yesterday - the Big Fella has a sore right Achilles, so we have decided to have a rest day.

17/05/2011 - Well we woke up this morning and I checked on the Big Fella to see how his right Achilles was, well - he lets me know that his right Achilles is okay but now is left one is sore.  So that counts out the 20km strenuous hike we were going to take.  We decided to do the Courthouse Butte Loop a 6.5 km easy hike.  This is a hike which goes around the Courthouse Butte and the Bell Rock formations.  This was a beautiful hike but for me not as spectacular as the other 3 hikes.  Yet again we had finished this hike by around 10:30 am - so we decided that a nice game of golf was in order.  The Big Fella is playing some unbelievable golf (it really is annoying me) he has been going around most of the golf courses (sight unseen) only about 5-6 over par.  I must admit it is taking us a lot longer as we need to get the range finder machine out every time he has a shot - I'm just surprised he hasn't used it for putting, YET.

18/05/2010 - Well it is time to leave the stunning Sedona area.  Our black (sewage tank) is nearly full and we have just about run out of fresh water - we have decided that we can only stay out 5 nights without having to dump our tanks or fill up our fresh water.  (We use 10 gallons of water per day.)  We have really enjoyed our time here and would recommend it to anyone who likes to hike etc.  We have been blessed with great weather the days go up to about 26 degrees and the nights down to about 10 degrees.  A couple of the evenings were windy so we were not allowed to have camp fires.

18/05/2011 - Flagstaff, Arizona.  We have only about a 35 minute drive to our RV park in Flagstaff - but the weather is really deteriorating.  (Flagstaff is about the same elevation as Mt Kosciusko's.)  By the time we get to our RV Park it is snowing - it's Spring.  So much for the warmer weather.  We no longer need the air conditioning during the day - we had 3 heaters and one electric blanket going last night as it was extremely cold.  The weather station said it got to -2 however with the wind chill factor it was about -7. 
Whilst we have a few places yet to go we are really looking forward to hiking into the Wave.  Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world to hike to.  It is not a place marked on any of the maps, it has no marked trail, and the Rangers only allow 20 hikers a day. (It is a ballot system.)  You can view it on Google Earth. "The Wave Arizona."

Thursday, 28 April 2011

17/03/2011 - LV-Mesquite-Paker Dam, Arizona

17/03/2011 - 20/03/2011 -  We left LasVegas for Mesquite, Nevada - about an hour and half drive.  We will be coming back to LV (yes yet again), we are planning to catch up with friends from our old Telstra days (Colleen and Geoff Pierson).  Mesquite has about 8 championship golf courses - which is why we are here.  Of course we are staying at a Casino, Golf, RV Resort - what more could we ask for.  The population of Mesquite is less than 20,000 - I'm sure there are at least than many visitors here.

21/03/2011 - Today we went for a drive to see the famous Wolf Creek Golf Course - (known as one of the golfing simulations of Tiger Woods in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Series for playstation, WII and Xbox).  Well what a majestic looking golf course - but boy does it look hard, this is one that I think the Big Fella will be playing on his own.  After this we headed on over to the Casino to have a look around and a bit of a Poke.  This really is a golfers / slot machine mecca.  I overheard some men talking who said that it costs more to bring the wives than it does for them to play golf everyday - there are a few casinos and many spas / salons around the area - they have catered for both males and females...

22/03/2011 - Well it's off to Casablanca Golf Course for an early morning tee off.  Of course with our luck there has been a frost delay - so our tee of time is delayed by about half an hour.  This is a lovely course, but one which as claimed a  few of my golf balls - not sure how the Big Fella went - but he played really well and we had a great day.  Yep no surprise to anyone the Big Fella whipped my butt. 

24/03/2011 - Today is the day that the Big Fella is playing Wolf Creek - I've decided that my money would be better spent signing up and playing in the Slot Tournament at the Casino - a first for me.  It costs $20.00 to enter for 3 time slots between 11:00 and 4:30.  I'm registered at 12:00, 12:20 and 12:40.  Well of course registration was at 10:00 so I had two hours to spare - needless to say I go and play the pokies - which of course costs me a lot more than the $20.00 - it could end up being an expensive day.  Well 12:00 finally came and I entered the room which has 30 Poker (Slot) machines set up, the idea is to get as many credits as you can within 10 mins - all I can say is that I've never seen so many people hit their buttons so quickly - it was a real mad house - my right hand / arm got sore so I had to change over.  It was a bit of fun - but something that I don't think I will do again - even though it was definitely cheaper than being out on the floor - or for that matter playing wolf creek.  The Big Fella came home with a big smile on his face - he had a great day and was really amazed by the golf course.
25/03/2011 - Off to Palms Golf Course.  Well for me the weather that I hate the most to play golf in is the wind - and the wind is swirling around at up to 60km's per hour.  Not good for my golf - I know I'm going to be in big trouble.  After about 7 holes - Cornelia has decided that enough is enough it is now starting to rain as well. The Big Fella, myself and Rick have decided to continue - which we were glad that we did - because the wind did die down on the back nine and the rain stopped. Rick is a real athlete and we found out during our golf that he was an Olympian ski jumper, received a football scholarship for uni and played high level baseball.  Of course even with the weather change this didn't help my golf - even though if I was playing well I couldn't beat the Big Fella - even with the weather he had a great round and finished up only 5 over with 37 putts - he had a fantastic round and really played well - I think I need to reconsider these bets.  One of the things that I did enjoy about the golf though is the little chipmunks and many many rabbits around the course - of course the Big Fella lets me know that I'm not suppose to feed the chipmunks - but hey the apple core slipped out of my hand.

26/03/2011 - My usual routine is to wake up in the morning - go for a walk, come back have a look at our email / facebook.  Well the first email that I notice is one form thanking us for the purchase of a Bushnell Pro 1600 Slope Edition Rangefinder - the Big Fella has been busy last night.  Of course when I talk to him about it he says that he bought it for me - yeah right - as if I'm going to believe that.  We decided to go for a drive up to St George, Utah - one to have a look around and then another to see if I can buy a pair of golf shoes, I've decided that if we are going to keep playing golf - I need to get a pair of golf shoes rather than playing in my runners.  Of course the Big Fella already has a pair (maybe this will help my golf - I doubt it - but I've got to try everything). The drive up to St George is a lovely drive - unfortunately after going to about 4 different golf stores, I have no luck trying to get a pair to fit me - no wide sizes.  As luck would have it on our drive back to Mesquite, we passed a golf shop and decided to turn around and go back to it - lucky that we did as I finally found a pair of shoes that would fit.

27/03/2011 - It's time for a rest day - we are staying home to watch the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament.

28/03/2011 - Canyon Ridge Golf Course - Today we had another lovely day on the golf course - oh life is great.

29/03/2011 – 31/03/2011 - Virgin River Canyon – Utah. One our drive up to St George we saw this campground and decided that we would come here for a couple of nights. This campground is really out in the middle of nowhere – but has just spectacular views and is so relaxing. It was nice to just sit outside beside a campfire and really take in the views.


31/03/2011 – 06/04/2011 – Vegas (again). We left the Virgin River to return to Las Vegas to catch up with a couple of friends from out old Telstra days – Colleen and Geoff Pierson.  We spent our first night in Vegas in the old RV Park in the downtown area – we really do love this side of Vegas – it seems to have more atmosphere and character than the Strip. We met up with Colleen and Geoff on Friday afternoon and took them to the old downtown area where we had a great look around and a lovely dinner. We introduced Colleen and Geoff to the 99c margaritas.

02/04/2011 - Dave picked up Geoff and they went to the Atomic Testing Museum (thanks Geoff – because you went with Dave I didn’t need too).   A fact not welll known about Las Vegas is that Area 51 which is about 50 mile from Las Vegas was used for testing atomic bombs.  From downtown Las Vegas you could see the mushromm Plooms when they exploded the bombs.  Obviously very little was known about radiation at that stage.   

04/04/2011 - Dave and I ventured down to Pimm to have a game of golf course at the Lakes Golf Course. We just can’t get over the spectacular golf courses around here. Even Dave is impressed. We are really enjoying our golf and after Dave had a large winning streak, I’m back on track and have one the last couple of games – I really did hate losing – I’m not the best loser.

05/04/2011 - On Tuesday we met up with Geoff and Colleen and took them for a drive in Stubbie out to the Nellis Air Force Base – they both had a turn at driving Stubbie around in the car park at the NASCAR track. We then went to one of my favourite chain restaurants ‘Red Lobster’ for a delicious lunch and suggested to Geoff that he order the Lobsterita – a very large Margarita, whilst Colleen and I had a lovely bottle of white wine. Colleen and Geoff were planning to catch-up with friends for dinner at around 7:00pm so we decided that we should just go to Circus Circus for a little while. Well of course it is Vegas and all good plans can go astray. The guys went to the TAB Bar, whilst Colleen and I headed for the pokies and for drinks. Of course I should of known that when we discovered that Colleen and I had the same birthday (Nov 28) it was going to be a great night, well let’s just say that Colleen and Geoff cancelled their dinner date. Which at the time I thought was fantastic; they are both great company and a lot of fun. I do remember playing roulette, Blackjack and Craps – oh and eating a huge pizza – but in between there are a few blank spots – I do remember laughing and having a great time though.

06/04/2011 - The one problem was that Dave and I had booked Stubbie in for a service and to get a service on the Propane at 8:00am. So of course we needed to be up early to drive her over to CampingWorld. We had originally planned on not hooking Shooter up to Stubbie – but when we both woke up (after the alarm went off for a little while) at around 6:00am we were a bit fuzzy so decided to hook Shooter up so we would both be in Stubbie. Well all I can say was that it was a long day – they didn’t finish with the Propane until around 2:00pm –by this time we had both had enough of sitting in the waiting room and were a little bit tired. We still a 3 hour drive in front of us to get to Parker Dam. It was a long drive for me, as when Dave is tired – he hands the wheel over to me – so needless to say I did most of the driving – at one stage I said to the Big Fella to have another sleep, in which he replied that I must be getting tired and that he would stay awake – well within 30 seconds I didn’t need to look over to see that he was sleeping – he was snoring. We arrived at the RV Park at Parker set-up, had some dinner and then we both went to bed early.

 07/04/2011 – Parker Dam, California / Arizona. The RV Park that we had selected to stay in just fantastic. One of our requirements was that it needed to have Cable TV so that we could watch the Masters. We have 70 channels of cable, unfortunately we don’t have Wifi at the site – we need to walk up to the clubhouse, and we don’t have cell coverage anywhere in the park. The Park is situated on the Colorado River and is just beautiful. The park includes all sorts of cohabitants including wild donkeys, rabbits, road runners, woodpeckers, hummingbirds (The Big Fella’s favourite birds) and many other species of birds and ducks.Of course it is Spring and the flowers are starting to bloom and the animals are coming out to play - some of them are realy frisky especially those donkeys. The water in the river is just so clear (a bit cold for me to swim in yet – even the temp has been up to 37.5 degrees Celsius (humidity only 10%). It is great to sit back on the bank (or in Stubbie) and watch all the skiers, fisherman and pontoon boats go up and down.

13/04/2011 – Today we decided to head up to Lake Havasu and see the London Bridge  London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, that is based on the 1831 London Bridge that spanned the River Thames in London, England until it was dismantled in 1967. The Arizona bridge is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, that was bought by Robert P. McCulloch from the City of London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America, in order to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City.

We had originally planned to spend a week here, but it is just gorgeous and so relaxing – we are getting a few things done and we are both really really relaxing and enjoying everything, so we have actually paid
for the whole month.

16/04/2010 - Today I have decided to try out the Yoga classes are held on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Well after my first session on Saturday, I realised just how inflexible I have become and also that my balance is not so good, the instructor said to me to just concentrate on my breathing and to focus on one point – I said I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. I have really enjoyed the classes that I have been too. Even though I wasn’t keen on the instructor letting me know that the rate for over 50’s was $8.00 – I know I didn’t have any make-up on and I’d just been for a walk – and the worst things was that I confessed to the Big Fella – who doesn’t miss an opportunity to remind me.

16/04/2010 - 17/04/2010 - Dave and I have been sitting by the River watching all these really fast boats go up and down the river and wondering why - then we found out there were speed boat races going on about a mile down the river - that explained a few things.

18/04/2011 – We decided to go for a drive to Quartzsite - Quartzsite is a popular RV camping area for winter visitors, and tourism is the major contributor to Quartzsite's economy. Nine major gem, mineral, and 15 general swap meet shows are very popular tourist attractions, attracting about 1.5 million people annually mostly in January and February.

The snowbirds travel here and spend the winter – whilst I think it might be fun to stay for a couple of nights, I really couldn’t see us spending more than that here.

25/04/2011 - The Big Head and I've decided to go and have another game of golf - it's been at least two weeks since we've had a game and the Big Fella is getting itchy.  The Emerald Canyon Golf course is only about about 20 minute drive away so that's where we head.  After checking in and being told that the rattle snakes are out and not to go into the dirt, I knew there was a good chance that I would donate a couple of golf balls - if they go one foot off the fairway - I'm not going to try to recover a $2 golf ball. After 18 holes we were all square - much to the Big Fella's disappointment...  Oh well at least neither one of us had to pay our debts. I must admit now that the Big Fella has his new Bushnell Pro Finder - it does take us a bit longer to get a round of golf in - of course every shot has to be measured at least once, before a club selection is made. 

26/04/2011 - Now after the golf course letting us know that the snakes are out - I'm looking around a lot more closely for any signs of a snake -they are definitely not my favourite animal.  Of course I'm wandering through the park and hear a hissing noise (okay I thought it was hissing) so of course I turned around and never went past that bush again.  I later realised that it was more likely to be the noise from the sprinklers.  I let the Big Fella know about the fun I've had and then he also reminded me that the rattle snakes make more of a rattle noise not a hissing sound - no comfort to me now.

Well we have booked our flights home and will be arriving back in Brisbane on 24 June. We will be putting Stubbie and Shooter back into storage. Our Visa’s for the States expires at the end of July. We had originally planned, that in this trip we would of seen all we wanted to see of the North East side of the USA and the South East side of Canada – but we have decided that to be out of the States by the end of July we would need to really get a move on – and we enjoy taking our time and not having to rush – so we have decided to come home for awhile and then come on back to the States and Canada.