Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Parked in Parker

After Yuma it was time to move on, but where?  Lindsay and the boys are joining us in Lake Havasu next week and we needed an in between until then.  We have driven through, by and around Parker but never stopped there.  It is an appealing area because of the river and the green growth due to that.  I don’t dislike the desert, but I find it tedious sometimes.  Camping near water always makes it more enjoyable for us, and on those hot dry days just adds a nicer touch.

We stayed at La Paz County Park.  We have such a problem spending the big bucks at RV parks, so if we aren’t boondocking our next choice is always a municipal park or a state park.  Some state parks are getting pricey as well but those are typically in areas where the RV parks are astronomical.  We love to drive and explore, not just park and sit, and choose to spend our money on fuel rather than camp sites.  We have worked hard at making our fifth wheel comfortable without dependent on hook ups, so life boondocking is totally comfortable.

Parker was a great place to take a break in.  We spent pretty casual days but one especially fun day was watching the speed boat races on the Colorado River.

Now we just have to rest up for the boys' visit!!

Friday, March 24, 2017

An Oassis

We really wanted to stay a bit near Yuma this year.  We have made some flying
stops through Yuma before, and needed to make an effort to stay and relax for a
while.  As well we wanted to visit Walter and Pat, I needed to visit the dentist
in Algadones, and maybe some new eyewear.

Thanks to all the blogs Don reads and our intrepid boondocker Ivan, he knew
of a boondocking site just north of Yuma on Fortuna Pond.  It turned into an
oasis and a long stay.  Just 15 minutes from town, and a pond side spot to park.
So beautiful here.

We had a lot of adventures while here.  Besides visits and meals with Walter
and Pat, I successfully had a visit to Mexico for a teeth cleaning, purchased 2
new pairs of glasses – prescription glasses and sunglasses, found Don some Robax
for his back (not an over the counter product in US, but in Mexico hell ya), and
enjoyed a Margarita or two.

We also spent a day visiting Mission Beach in San Diego and Coronado Island. 
Don’s brother had spent a holiday in his prime back in 1979 at Mission Beach. 
It seems it was quite different to him than memory allowed, but hey who knows
what 1979 was like?  LOL  We took a more adult perspective to it, having a great
lunch and stroll on the piers.

Of course Brenda and I enjoyed a bit of shopping while here as well.  The old
downtown Yuma has some excellent shops if you have the desire.

The dessert was in bloom as we drove to San Diego.  Lovely to behold and I am sure you have been just waiting for my annual flower photos!

Well that’s our time at Yuma – enjoyed a bunch, and a new boondocking spot to
mesmerize us and bring us back time and again!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Campgrounds

Although I myself didn’t spend many nights at these sites, I wanted to tell you about 2 new locations we tried this year, both worthy of staying at again.
The first one is Cholla Campground on Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest.  This is a beautiful place to stop, and very affordable.  Although there are no services they offer showers, toilets and an RV dump and fill.  The sites are large, with sunshades and tables as well as fire rings.  There was never an issue with the solar panels getting enough sun.  The website says a maximum of 32’ trailers but we are 35’ with no issues, and there were many even larger than us.
The cost to stay is $8 a night.  The pay system is a bit odd, to us at least.  You have to purchase a Tonto Forest day pass, but they are not sold on site.  It turns out that many many retail outlets sell them though, and the ones we purchased are valid until 2020.  You scratch off the year month day time, etc. and hang on your post.  You need one pass per day.  We over purchased so we will be back.
I had one day with the group.  We drove to Tortilla Flats or a burger and beer.  As always the food and the entertainment was great there, and we had a visit with Ron and Bev.
Don went with Ken and Brenda on a hike to see the ruins of the Salado Indians at Tonto National Monument.  He said it was a great little hike and the ruins were fantastic.  That’s what I love about good pictures, you are transported there by them.



While I was back in Alberta,  Don moved campgrounds.  He stayed at Pinal County West Park.  The convenient location near Stanfield on the south side of Phoenix makes this a great stop.  While there Don was able to visit one of his cousins who stays in Maricopa during the winter months.  He picked this site as it was easy to get to the airport when I returned.   West Pinal Park has huge sites, you can’t easily see the other trailers form your own site, but sadly no dump or fill station .  But again another great spot to remember for future uses.

I’m not the best at campground reviews, but honestly these two are worth remembering!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Farewell to Mom

Well it seems i can’t get back to blogging about our adventures until I write about the past week and the not so adventurous activities.  On Thursday March 9 I received a phone call that my mom in Edmonton had passed away.  Of course that set off a series of phone calls and plans. Although my brother who also lives in Edmonton was the executor and held all powers of attorney, etc. I still felt a personal need to go home and hopefully find some closure in a sad situation.

I had visited with mom right before we  left at the end of February, as well as I had spoken to her the day before she passed.  Until the last few years mom had been one of my greatest supporters in life, and as a grandmother was also very involved in our girls’ lives. So from the perspective of losing a mom, I am honestly settled with it.  Some think she had a long and often thankless life, and as it wasn’t full of material things it was unhappy.  Luckily for me I saw the other side of her life, the fun she had with co workers and her sisters that lived close when she was in North Battleford, and the visits she made out to Alberta to see us through the years and help in my years of young motherhood.

I have re-written this next part so many times, and found I was using it as a sounding board for all my pent-up frustration with family and the path mom’s life was on that last few years.  But I will close with saying thank you to my many friends and closest family who sent their thoughts and hugs since mom passed.  Remember you never know the whole story if you haven’t been there!

Goodbye mom!  I hope you are warm and pain free.  Love you forever.

Back to our travels next blog.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Viva Las Vegas

I just had to write a little it about our exploration into Vegas today. We have been here at least 15 times, which seems like a bit of overkill doesn't it?  We've stayed in hotels on the strip, on Fremont Street, in our RV and most often camping out of town and driving in. Sometimes we drove in to shop, once we drove in for an Eagles concert, and often like yesterday we drive for the light show and seafood buffet. 
We rarely visit the strip, unless it's to drive through and  gawk. But we love Fremont Street. 
We had a great outing and as always the entertainment of people watching and the light show were worth it. 



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Finding Our Way

Well we have been on the road for a week now and it feels great!

As expected we left home at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  As I had noted before, the roads and weather south weren’t behaving and we were anxious to get through and see what was up.  We had a long wait at the border.  There was only a few vehicles in the line up but they were all taking a lot of time.  However, our turn was painlessly easy, hardly and questions and we were off in a couple of minutes.  We are pretty easy customers now as we don’t take any food, Don doesn’t even smoke cigars anymore, etc. 

Our goal for the day was Idaho Falls and we did make it.  Overall it was uneventful but we certainly were surprised at the blowing snow and amount of snow north of Butte.  It was very clear where Ken and Brenda had their stopover.  We did face a few miles of blowing icy snow on the highway that caused a few white knuckles, but once through that all was well.

Our usual spot at Walmart was open, and we opened up the trailer, put on the heat, and visited Famous Dave’s for dinner.  (And that’s how we ended up addicted to Famous Dave’s pickles)

The second day was uneventful, short and sunny.  We landed at Sand Hollow State Park where we hooked up to services, flushed all the tanks and got ready for serious RV action.

A trip to AT&T for Don’s phone, a stop at Costco and Walmart for groceries, and we were ready to officially start the holiday.  It is always a decision – to stay one night and feel a bit rushed, or two and feel anxious to leave.  We paid for two nights so we wouldn’t rush out too fast.  It was a good choice, as we didn’t do a great job of inventorying our food needs, and made a couple more visits to the retails.  And also we had some phone plan issues and revisited AT&T.  As always we still struggle with the perfect phone plans, balancing between sufficient data to support our online browsing as well as work requirements, and not paying through the nose.  Telus has a pretty good roaming price – for $7 a day you can use your number and keep the same plan.  It maxes out at $100, but still when added to the cost of the plan you already have that is $200.  Of course it is nice to have the same number, but that is quite a high expense.  This year I decided to use Roam Mobility and put my Telus number on vacation disconnect.  Roam is unlimited calling and texting to and from Canada 4G data for $159 Canadian for 3 months.  The vacation disconnect is $30 monthly.  So my total cost for 2 months is $219.  Don is using AT&T.  As he has no contract his vacation disconnect is only $10 a month, AT&T is $60 US a month for the same phone usage as mine, but 8G of data.  His total cost will be approx. $180 for 2 months.  Of course all plans have to have a snag at one time or another.  It turns out that the AT&T plan does not allow to hotspot on a Windows or Android device.  ARGH  So we switched SIM cards, Don is with Roam and I am with AT&T.

And that brings us to where we are today.  Stewarts Point  near Overton, NV.  Always a favorite place, it allows easy trips into Las Vegas, beautiful scenery, access to Overton McDonalds for WIFI, etc.  It has been very windy, actually wind warnings, but that hasn’t lessened the enjoyment of this amazing place.

We  checked out the hot springs near, visited Las Vegas, and took a long walk around Lake Mead which for some reason we had not done before.  Tonight we are going back into Vegas for the infamous Freemont Street seafood buffet, and the light show.  We can’t miss that traditional opportunity.

Tomorrow we are headed to.  Nope not going to tell!