Sunday, 29 December 2013

Agau Caliente Campout 2013

Last post I forgot to mention the cotton fields I was driving through on the way to Palo Verde. Did not know they grew cotton in California.
Made it back from Mesa Okay. Stopped in Indio and visited with Jane and Gary one more time on the way by. This is a picture of where they were at Worldmark Indio. Going there again tomorrow to see Cathie.
On Dec 25 I had Christmas with Ken and Karen and their friends. 9 of us in all and 8 dogs. We had a houseful but a great dinner of turkey and ham and all the accoutrements. On the 27th I left for the campout at Agua Caliente in California. I traveled down 111. Had breakfast in Indio and then headed down on the west side of the Salton Sea and arrived and set up camp.
Other people started arriving and what a good bunch we had. Tim, Phil,Paul, Kelly our cook and even my friend Jordeane from Coeur d'Alene. So good to see her. The next morning there was this beautiful sunrise.
I did a nature hike around the campground and this time we saw 5 Rocky Mountain Sheep, big ole jack rabbits and I saw quail and a road runner.
The food was terrific. Kelly outdid himself as usual. The fire was wonderful when it got chilly and John brought an old sofa which everyone fought to sit on by the fire and then they burned it. The chair fairies made the traditional chair sculpture after everyone had gone to bed.
Jan and Di Hoffman originally from Lethbridge and  editor of the Airhead magazine.
John making Stout beer.
Phil and Paul 
When I left this morning I stopped at Box Canyon. Then I stopped at Borrego Springs with the intention of phoning Turk after I got fuel I drove back a block to a café with a F650GS like mine parked in front. It was Turk. How handy was that? I left and went up Montezuma. A very steep mountain out of Borrego Springs. What a beautiful ride. When I got to Sunrise Summit I pulled over to do up the top snap of my jacket and who was stopped there but my friends Burt and Lisa from Ontario. I followed them til I had to turn off and head for Palm Desert.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Palm Springs to Mesa

Left Palm Springs and had breakfast in Indio. I found Trish at Oxbow Lake with very little problem.

Sunrise the next day over Oxbow Lake. Today we had omelets in a bag and I met the others of the group in the Wins. We went four wheel driving in the desert the next day and I hitched a ride with Doug Hubbard who is a BMWMOA ambassador whom I have heard about through our magazine . How ironic that I should meet him under totally different circumstances. He has been to many of the same Nationals as I have.
This is Trish's motorhome whom I stay with when we hook up. The next day we went and played miniature golf and then went into Blythe for pizza. Then we went geocaching. The weather was threating to change so I decided not to spend the night but it was getting late so I only made it as far as Quartzite before stopping for the night.At the Palo Verde campsite I met this great gentleman who is walking across the USA gathering  signatures to try and get the powers that be to get their fiscal house in order. Very interesting and a very worthwhile cause. Rob Hatnr

sunset at Oxbow Lake

Well here I am at Merrill and Joyces's in Mesa. I arrived Thursday and yesterday we went to the Mesa market. Lots of walking and they had real nice stuff to buy. I have been really spoiled. Lots of good meals and today we went to Tortilla Flats. Pretty cool.
The Lost Dutchman Museum
Chain Fruit Cholla
Joyce in front of the Christmas Tree in the livery stable
Merril from the stagecoach
Superstition Mountains
Tortilla Flats Lots of great old buildings and cute cowboys and another gunfight and a bordello.


Monday, 16 December 2013

Palm Springs

Thurs Dec 12 I have left the cold and snow of Calgary and after a 3 hour fight landed in the heat and beauty of Palm Springs.
I love the azaleas here. So colorful. I arrived on Thursday and managed to get a ride from the airport to Ken and Karen's. I walked down to Palm Canyon Drive and had lunch at King's Highway. Okay but not the best. Then back to the home and waited til Karen got back from work. The next morning I arose early only to find my bike would not start. I don't think the accessory plug is working to do a charge. So I took the bike apart. Found the battery and changed the program on the charger and walked away. Walked 4 miles round trip. Shades of Europe. Walked to Smoke Tree Plaza and had a lovely turkey sandwich at Smokin Burgers. Getting back I went to the bike. Things did not look very different so I unplugged and plugged back in and low and behold it started. So I got it out and parked in the carport. The next day I headed for Indio and visited with Jane and Gary my niece from Sundre. They are staying in a beautiful place called Worldpark Indio. We went over to the Spotlight 29 casino and they bought tickets to the Oakridge Boys. and we had lunch at the buffet. I would have loved to go to the Oakridge Boys but I had promised Karen I wou7ld go to the dog races with her the next day and we had to leave early for Brea.
Finally got my photo of Hotel California just around the corner.
More Azaleas on my walk.
Slingshot 29 casino.
Jane and Gary
The next day Karen kept me busy at Brea at the oval track dog racing. The whippets did well . I was going to leave this morning but decided to stick around for one more day. I will head out tomorrow for Palo Verde and Trish and Oxbow Lake.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Remembrance Day

Usually when I am between trips. I do not Blog but somehow this seemed important. Tonight I stopped on Memorial drive and took pictures of the 3000 crosses set up there. My camera does not do it justice but you get the point. It is a pretty impressive sight and as you get closer and read the age of the soldiers who gave their lives it is extremely sad. The oldest I saw was 43 and youngest only 20.
Why a Poppy
Why are they selling poppies, Poppies in town today?
The poppies are symbols of love my child for the soldiers who marched away.
Why is the poppy so red mother, Why is the poppy so red?
Red is the symbol of blood my child. The blood that the soldiers shed.
Why is the heart of the poppy black, Why is the heart so black?
Black is the symbol of loss my child for the soldiers who never came back.
Why mother dear are you crying so? Your tears are like falling rain.
The tears are fears for you my child for the world is forgetting again.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Oct 14, 2013 Fall

Today is the last day of the BMW mileage contest so I went for a ride south to Nanton , Chain Lakes, Longview, Bragg Creek and home. Fall is definitely here and I was surprised to find snow on my journey. It was a beautiful sunny day but quite cool. I wanted to get some fall leaves pictures but found they are prettier in town right now as we have not had the snow and wind like the outlying areas. There are no leaves left and their nakedness brings thoughts of the cold to come. However I do have my airline tickets for Dec 12 to Jan 10 to Palm Springs to keep my thoughts warm. Just got to do a few things before my thinking can take me to warmer climes. I did my mileage for the BMW mileage contest and just have to get it verified and send it in. A little shy of last year but I did 24,513km.
I took these at Chain Lakes and as indicated I found the leaves prettier in town.
I took the next one in my own back yard.
So until next time.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Las Vegas and Palm Springs

Well I have been home for 4 days and figured I better get me home on the Blog but as usual I have been go, go , go since I stepped foot back in Calgary and am struggling to keep up to date. After leaving Valley of Fire I headed in to Las Vegas and without a lot of difficulty ended up at my friends place by Nellis Air Force Base. The biggest problem was I thought I had the wrong address as I could not believe they lived in this beautiful home.
Bill designed it and had it built. Wow! I had my choice of 5 bedrooms each one with its own television and bathroom. There is even a theatre with 8 lovely leather lazy boy chairs. A vanishing edge swimming pool and the whole thing overlooks all of Las Vegas.
Soon Bill will have the garden trains set up in his yard . Lynn and I took a ride downtown just so I could say I had been in Vegas but I never stepped into a casino or did the usual Las Vegas stuff.
That night we went to a friends to an 80th birthday party for a friend of a friend and I met Teri and her friend Igor and Teri wrote a book about Igor and the roadrunner he befriended. Great story. The next day after hiking the mountain we drove out to Lake Mead. This is the first time I had ever seen it and it is lovely. They have a boat and often go there fishing.

We went to this lovely restaurant in Boulder City for lunch and then for ice cream afterward and out to the railroad display where Bill volunteers as engineer/brakeman/conductor.
This bench was outside an antique store in Boulder City.
The last day was very interesting for me We went to Pioneer days at Spring Mountain Ranch. Bill was playing with his fiddle group and I was sitting watching and received this wonderful glorious kiss from Penelope the cow. She thinks it is her duty to greet everyone who comes to the ranch. What a character. Here is a picture of Bill playing with his group.
Before they started I went for a hike. This area is known as Red Rock Canyon and I took these interesting pictures. 

There was a little lake back there known as Lake Harriet.

The occasion at the ranch was Pioneer Days and that is why the fiddlers were there and then there were representatives from Mountain Man Rendevous and Civil War Re-enactment and they had candle making and washing on a scrub board and ringer and flute and drum playing. A lot of families were there participating in these wonderful fun and historic events. Lynn took me over to the Ranch House and we did a tour. The ranch was originally started by the Paiyute Indians of the area. Then it was sold to a Mr George who rose chinchilla's He was the furrier to the stars. It was then sold to Vera Krupp who lived there. She was the daughter of a very rich German industrialist and she took acting in Germany and then came to America to become a Hollywood actress. She is famous for marrying Mr Krupp and he gave her the Krupp diamond which was Later stolen from her and found by her heirs and auctioned off to a man by the name of Richard Burton who gave it to his wife Elizabeth Taylor. Vera had a secret room added to the ranch house and the door to this room posed as a closet door. The ranch was then sold to Howard Hughes but there is no indication he ever went there and the ranch went into a caretaker state. Very interesting and fun story.

Penelope manning the greeting line 
Drumming and the gentleman in the corner is playing the flute 
Bet you cannot tell this is father and son. Wow I just had to get a picture. 
Some of the buildings of the original ranch.
We went from here to a potluck and jam session over at Blue Diamond Ranch not far away. That night we went back home and watched the Stampeders get beaten by the Blue Bombers. The next morning we went for breakfast at the Timbers a Packers Bar and then I headed for Palm Springs. I stuck to the Interstate as it was very windy and I was not comfortable with taking the back road through Amboy. I arrived at Ken and Karen's early and we got the bike parked and the next day just hung around the house and Tuesday I flew out of Palm Springs and landed here in Calgary at 5:30. I went to Beavers and the next night was group committee and then Thursday saw me at a Richard's Ride meeting and that evening Scout popcorn kickoff. Never a dull moment.