Homeward Bound

It is September 1st and we are heading home for the winter. We drove about 230 miles to our first stop, Canyon Pines RV Resort on the Little Salmon river just south of Pollock, ID. We traveled 2 very steep and long downgrades, White Bird Pass and The Lewiston Grade. Engine braking made it much less harrowing than on trips past. Our site is very pretty and the sounds of the rapids are quite nice.

Our Site at Canyon Pines

We spent 2 nights here which afforded us the chance to drive up Hells Canyon. We only went a few miles up the Salmon River from Riggins and the scenery was excellent.

Back to the task at hand, a few more miles south down the road took us to the Mountain Home Elks Lodge where we spent Labor Day Weekend.

Site 1 at the Lodge

Right out our front door, I found many Agaricus Campestris mushrooms. Unfortunately, most of them were past their prime. Sad, because this close relative of the common grocery store white button mushrooms, Agaricus Bisporus, is quite tasty.

Field Mushrooms

Rolling on, we were off to Tremonton, Utah where we spent one night.

Site 49 Aspen Grove RV

The next day we were headed to Deer Creek State Park near Heber, Utah where we stayed 3 nights. Because we eschewed the Interstate as much as possible, we were able to purchase ripe local peaches and delicious sweet corn which we found at roadside stands along Utah highway38. About halfway between Tremonton and Heber on Utah highway 6, we stopped at the Tie Fork rest area. It is certainly a unique and enjoyable place even if you don’t need a break.

A few more miles and we arrived at DeerCreek.

Deer Creek State Park Site 14

While here we explored the towns of Heber City and Midway. Bought cheese and ice cream at an artisan creamery and relaxed.

It is now September 10th and we are off to Hillview RV which is about 6 miles south of Price, Utah. We have time here to do some exploring.

Our site at Hillview RV, Wellington, UT

With 2 full days here we did a little exploring The first day took us back up the road to Price where we viewed the Utah State University Prehistoric Museum and then on to Helper where we saw antiques, crafts and the Big John statue..

Our next stop was the Circleville RV Park in Circleville, UT. We wished we had planned more than one night. As it was a very pleasant park with many things to see and do nearby. And on the way we found a great spot for lunch.

Our site in Circleville

Kanab was our last stop in Utah. We stayed at J&J RV which was on the edge of town giving us the opportunity to check out some of the area attractions.

Our Home For 2 Days In Kanab

Simply because we felt that Kanab to Prescott would be more of a drive than we cared to do and because it has been many years since we have been in Page we decided to spend a night. We checked out a couple of trading posts and went out for dinner.


Site 8 At The Elks Lodge in Page, AZ

Our very last stop on this adventure, Prescott Valley, AZ.

At the Elks Lodge in Prescott Valley

We enjoyed a day wandering around historic Jerome, AZ an old mining town and now a tourist attraction with many places to spend time and money.

On our last day we traipsed Whiskey Gulch which is the historic district of Prescott, AZ and ate ice cream for lunch. A fitting end to this years odyssey.

I will leave with a picture of the sunrise as we were hitching up to head to Tucson.

A Great Way To Start The Day

Until we hit the rode again, Your Random Rover, Gordon

Summer ’21 1st Installment

After missing last year, as did almost everyone else, we are on the road again. The plan is to spend a month in Spokane Washington, camp hosting at Riverside State Park and spending time with family, then taking a month off on the Pacific coast with stops to relatives here and there, and finally returning to Riverside for another month of hosting. Other than heading homeward after that we really have no plans maybe just randomly roving so we don’t know when we will get back to Tucson.

Dazzo's RV Site 15
Dazzo’s RV Site 15

Our first night was in Wikieup which is really just a wide spot in the road with a few convenience stores/gas stations and diners, but it is a simple one-night stop. While not particularly commodious, Dazzo’s Rv is suitably located and has many Joshua trees and large Saguaro cactus throughout the park. When we were leaving the next morning we learned that the gas station/convenience store/restaurant/gallery where we fueled up the night before had burned to the ground. We could still smell the smoke at the park. Sad news.

Site #4 St George Elks
Site #4 St George Elks

5/24/21 and 278 miles to St George, UT where we stayed at one of our favorite places the, Elks Lodge overlooking a golf course and beautiful red rock formations. Actually, St George is a fabulous destination in itself. The city which has many historically significant landmarks also has beautiful parks and hiking/biking trails. On this trip, we visited Brigham Young’s winter home and did a little shopping on our day off the road.

Lakeside RV Provo, UT
Lakeside RV Site H7, Provo, UT

5/26/21 and another 270 miles closer to Spokane. When we arrived at the Provo Elks Lodge there were no sights available so we spent the night at Lakeside RV which was very near the airport. We never did find the lake but the campground was OK for a night.

Bannock County Fairgrounds
Bannock County Fairgrounds

5/27/21 A shorter day, only 207 miles to Pocatello, Idaho.

Junior Rodeo

We spent 2 nights here where we enjoyed watching the junior rodeo competition and also did a little shopping for provisions.

5/29/21 281 miles to Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge Montana. We are spending 2 nights here so we can return to Philipsburg and shop the Sweet Palace candy store. (Awesomely beautiful drive and fun shopping.) Deer Lodge will be our last stop on the way north. On the 31st we will drive the last 280 miles through Montana, across the Idaho panhandle, and on through Washington to Riverside State Park.

Bowl and Pitcher Campground Riverside State Park

Just keeping the shiny side up, and reminding ourselves that over the hill is still better than under it.

Your Random Rovers, Elaine and Gordon

A Day Trip – Mt Lemmon

Our truck "R2" and Saguaro cactus
Starting Near the Desert Floor

It is March 29th, 2021 and we are taking a day trip up Mt Lemmon to Summerhaven, AZ. Only about 30 miles by highway one way from our home in Tucson but over a mile up. Mt Lemmon features many different climate zones from Sonoran desert to Canadian forest with micro-climates for variety.

Saguaro, Ocotillo, and desert shrubs with Tucson

We are less than 1,000 feet up here looking back over Tucson. This is still desert vegetation here. What an awesome view! There are many pull-outs viewpoints and waysides along this scenic route which is variously known as Catalina Highway, Mt Lemmon highway, and General Hitchcock Highway (in honor of Postmaster General Frank Harris Hitchcock).

Wild Flowers
Some wild flowers at Molino Canyon Vista.
Notice the Arizona Oak on the left only a few miles up the road

It is begining to feel cooler as we climb up the mountain and I no longer see mesquite trees

The better half of the Random Rovers
Elaine spotted this natural sculpture
A Windswept Rock

A stop at the General Hitchcock Wayside provided arresting mountain and canyon views with lots of interesting formations and yet more changes in vegetation. Juniper, Arizona Oak, AZ Rosewood, and ScrubPine predominated. On up the mountain we saw snow by the roadside and the forest changed to Aspen and Pine.

Almost all Pine forest here at our destination. We bought a decal at the general store which was the only business that was open. It was late march so too late for skiers and too early for summer tourists. We consider this drive a must do when you come to Tucson. We simply did a little sight seeing, but this area is a meca for hiking, biking, birdwatching, climbing and of course snow sports in the winter. In the summer it will provide a respite from the Arizona heat.

A natural rock sculpture alongside the Catalina Highway

This has been a short Hobbit’s holiday, but we will be leaving on an extended trip to the pacific northwest in May. Bertha and R2 are ready and so are we.

Travel safely and enjoy life everyday, your RandomRovers

Elaine and Gordon.

Gila Bend, AZ

Why Gila Bend you ask? The town itself appears to be dying. The last grocery store closed more than a year ago. All that is left that might be of interest to a traveler are 2 truck stops, a couple of gas stations, a store that specializes in southwest yard art, a Family Dollar store and a Dollar General store. I should note that one of the gas stations also has some yard art. Just outside of town is the Sonoran Desert RV Park where we stayed 3 nights. The park and all of its facilities are sparkling clean. The sites are big enough for any RV and have full hookups including cable if you should desire it. Cell service is excellent. For a quiet relaxing respite with outstanding hosts this is the place whenever you find yourself between Phoenix and Tucson. We came because we wanted to check out our new (to us) tow rig with sliding hitch and every other bell and whistle you can find on a pickup. The truck, which we christened “R2”, performed flawlessly and I am sure will make our future RV traveling much more pleasurable. The second reason we went was to do a we bit of shopping in Phoenix without the stress of the long drive from our home. And, the final reason: We needed to have a safe outing with a change of scenery during this Covid pandemic.

Bertha and R2 at site 124
Bertha and R2 in Site 124

A lot of sunshine a little rain. Mostly pleasant weather for our short but very nice outing. We can’t wait to get out on a real trip. Vaccines and summer will get here!

Trying to keep the shiny side up. Your Random Rover, Gordon

Arizona’s White Mountains

We have our remodeling project about 80% complete. We haven’t done much of anything with the landscaping but we will. We have been working inside almost continuously because with the Covid-19 crisis and the summer heat it has provided our only viable outlet. But now we have decided that we need to take a break. So, with Bertha loaded and checked we are going camping for a few days.

Ready To Roll

231 miles from the Sonoran desert to the Coconino National Forest at 7,000 feet above sea level. Much cooler here and pine trees instead of saguaros.

Our Site With Forest Behind Us
And A Meadow In Front Of Us

We plan to do some sightseeing and relaxing. Though this resort is lacking in amenities, it is very pleasant and the scenery is beautiful.

One of the many wildflowers we saw.

And another

Mostly we relaxed and enjoyed the mountains.

Excitement

We found out that the little road in front of the campground was the prime location for landing the aid chopper to transfer patients for the ride to larger medical facilities. We are out in the country here. We had two visits during our stay. That is as exciting as things got which was fine with us.

Sonoran Desert Resort, Gila Bend, AZ

On the way home we decided to stop for the night at the KOA Journey in Gila Bend so we could do most of the clean-up and dump duties in cool of the morning and then do the easy 2 1/2 hour drive home. Our first surprise was that it was no longer a KOA campground, but no fear folks, the same great people are running it. We did have a disappointment however. Just down the road a bit from the campground we had planned to shop for yard art at Holt’s Shell as they always had great prices and a good selection. Unfortunately, Holt’s has closed and is being replaced with a Pilot truck stop. We headed on homeward in the morning arriving safely and in fine shape to start planning our next escapade.

Your Random Rovers

Wikieup AZ

And we are off! OK, friends I didn’t mean it that way so keep your clever comments behind sealed lips. Day one went very smoothly. We used the Phoenix bypass route which only really makes sense if one is headed toward Los Angeles but only adds a few miles and skirts you around most of the heavy traffic. A few more miles but a lot less aggravation.

On the way I stopped for nothing. It seems there is a ghost town here that is named Nothing. The town once had a population of 4, a convenience store, gas station and garage. After the town died another person tried to resurrect it and started a pizza business that also failed. So even though I stopped for nothing it did give me the opportunity to give you a picture of nothing.

Nothing Arizona
An Exiting Picture of Nothing, AZ

Well, if you think nothing was wonderful, the most awesome thing in Wikieup right now (other than yours truly) is Snoopy’s Rocket. You can find it and the town of Nothing on the web so I won’t elaborate further.

Snoopy’s Rocket

We are here safe and sound and fueled up for another day. Happy Hour happened, Elaine fixed a great salad dinner (it’s over a 100F so salad is perfect) and we are looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.

Dazzo's RV
Dazzo’s RV

Keeping the shiny side up and a silly grin on my face,
Your Random Rover, Gordon

Heading North Summer 2019

Almost Ready To Roll

Pull Slides In, Hitch Up, and Roll Down the Road
A synopsis of our plans

With Tucson temperatures around 107 F every day for the past week it is definitely time to start. It is June 17th, Bertha is ready to go and so are we. Our plans have us leaving on the 19th and traveling less than 300 mile on any given day with a couple of 2 night stops on the way to Spokane WA, our first destination, to see the kids and grands. After leaving Bertha with son John we will head to Port Ludlow WA to spend some time with Brother Phil and his lovely wife.

From there we are off to Vancouver BC where we will embark on a 3 day cruise to Alaska. Off the ship and onto an 8 day land tour of the Yukon Territory and Alaska followed a 7 day cruise back to Vancouver BC where we go back to reality, and start doing some of the daily chores of living again. The first will be driving back to Spokane.

Interesting Note: If I understand correctly, since these are international voyages (Canada/US and US/Canada) we get the privilege of going through customs numerous times. For instance day 1: Canadian customs at border crossing into Canada at Blaine and as the ships destination is Alaska, US Customs before getting onto cruise ship.

We plan to stop on the way back because we figure by the time we clear customs (twice) and actually hit the road it will be mid afternoon. Back in Spokane we will need to quickly reorganize and depart for Heyburn Lake State Park in Idaho where we will be volunteer camp hosts for a little over a month before we even consider heading homeward.

I will post along the way as time and internet connections allow and hope that you will follow along.
Your random rover, Gordon

An Update From Tucson, AZ

I lied. I am writing this post from New Mexico. As we now live in Arizona, the title isn’t completely false.

I lied. I am writing this post from New Mexico. As we now live in Arizona, the title isn’t completely false.

We have been very busy for the past few months. First we spent weeks and weeks looking for a suitable house. Of course, once we found it, we then had to go through the process of buying it.

What we found was/is a fixer in southeast Tucson. That’s OK because it is allowing us to make it the way we want it. It is and will continue to be a lot of work.

B00
Street View

B001
Yes! There is a shop.

We are having all the old windows replaced. We’ve had the old evaporative cooler completely removed. The heating and ac systems have been checked out and are in excellent condition. We have already re-keyed all the locks, added some new weather-stripping, thresholds, and sweeps, put in a new salt free water softener system, replaced the dishwasher, refrigerator, and washer and dryer, put in a new kitchen faucet, replaced the thermostat, and some of the light fixtures and so many other things I don’t recall them all.

Inside we have started by completely redoing the master suite. We removed the popcorn ceiling, removed and replaced all of the flooring, replaced/moved the vanity, replaced the shower plumbing, shower door, added a shower bench, replaced the vents and all of the lighting. Not to mention realigning a few walls and installing all new closet cabinets, shelving and rods. Wow, it’s all new!!

B002
Dated,  Cluttered, and Tired

B004
Light, Airy, New!!

B005
Shower is nice now

With the first phase done, we decided to take a short break and head back to one of favorite quiet retreats, Columbus, NM. AKA, Pancho Villa State Park. So here we are 232 miles and several light years from our new home, relaxing.  While we are here I intend to finish the new kitchen design and Elaine is working on some curtains. But it is not all work. Today we went to The Pink Store (AKA La Tienda Rosa) in Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua where we shopped for some decorations and found a very nice painting that will be perfect for the master bath. Tomorrow we head to Deming, NM to do a little shopping. Some will be necessities (Walmart), some “must haves” (the very best mexican chorizo from EL Reys Carniceria) , and some niceties (like books from Readers Cove).

B00
Here We Are At Pancho Villa

It is springtime and the desert wildflowers are all around us. I took these pictures during a quick walk around the park.

Another short walk and more flowers. Our wet winter is paying off.

Our respite ends today so we’ll clean up, pack up and head back home.

Wishing you happy adventures and safe travels wherever you wander.

Your Random Rover, Gordon

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