Monday, December 29, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 30 Sunny High 57) 

What began for us in 2001 when we took our first trip to Middle Earth to see "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings" has ended. Six movies later we have taken our last trip to Middle Earth, the mythical creation of J. R. R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbitt. We recently saw "The Hobbitt: Battle of the 5 Armies".

We are sad that our visits to Middle Earth has ended. Neither one of us have ever read the books. We went to the first movie because some of our friends were giddy with excitement to see them and we were hooked. "Battle of the 5 Armies" concludes the 3 movies made from one book, "The Hobbitt". To be honest they probably should have stuck with the original plan to make 2 movies as the 2nd and 3rd movies drug a little in spots and could have been combined. But that way they wouldn't have made so much money.

In this movie Bilbo Baggins and the dwarfs have reclaimed the dwarf kingdom under the mountain from Smaug the dragon. Smaug attacked the humans in the nearby community and once that was resolved the humans and elves want their share of the treasures under the mountain. War is about to break out when an army of Orcs arrives, the old saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend applies and the humans, elves and dwarfs combine forces to fight the Orcs and defeat the first wave. A second wave is also thwarted when the giant eagles arrive.

Another great Peter Jackson directed visit to Middle Earth. 6 movies and 13 years later and we still want more. There are rumors that another movie either based on Tolkien's "Silmarillion" or an original work is being thought about, if they can make money you know they will try. We hope we can visit Middle Earth again but only if it is a good movie and not one just thrown together to make money. 

It is hard to recommend this movie; if you have visited Middle Earth before you probably already have plans for your return visit. If this would be your first visit it may not work out for you.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Mostly Sunny High 60)

Merry Christmas to all, "Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people".

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Partly Cloudy High 61) 

Subtitled: How we got to where we are today.

We like our current 5th wheel, Carriage Cameo, a lot but were amazed at the room that are in the wider body fifth wheels like the Carri-Lite. When Lifestyle RV started making wide bodies we made the huge mistake of visiting a RV dealer in Albuquerque. Bet you can guess the rest, we found a floorplan that we liked and were flabbergasted how a few inches wider, taller and longer made it seem sooooo much bigger inside.

It was a 2014 and we were real close to buying it but it didn't have the options we wanted, specifically dual pane windows, so we headed on down the road in our Cameo. Bob researched all the options and spec'd out what we wanted figuring we would have to order one. After we got to our winter home we drove to Tucson to see the floorplan again and compare it to others. Our earlier conclusion was verified and we were prepared to leave.

The dealer had other ideas. After a lot of back and forth, from modifying the unit there to a unit already on order we finally came to an agreement. With the Christmas break and potential weather issues our new home is expected in Tucson in early January.

Part 2 will deal with our new home. In the mean time here is an exterior shot showing our paint colors.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 47 Partly Cloudy High 74) 

We have been real busy lately with Doctors appointments and getting settled in Goodyear. Plus we are dealing with a lot of changes in our lives so we haven't done much blogging. With Christmas being so close we decided we still needed a little outside decorating. What we like about these decorations is that they look almost as good in the daytime as when lighted at night.

No inside decorating for us this year as we are getting a new fifth wheel in a few weeks (more on that in a future post). On top of that we have a new bank so Bob is changing all the billpay information. All the while trying to learn Windows 8 on a new computer. Lot of fodder for future blog posts for sure.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Clouds High 71) 

We recently saw Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

Part of the Hunger Games trilogy of books made into 4 movies if that makes sense. We guess it does for all the money they are making. The Hunger Games trilogy is the top seller on Amazon surpassing the Harry Potter series so they have a huge built in audience.

The story is set in a world that has survived an apocalyptic event resulting in a central Capitol that is modern and prosperous and a number of districts that perform all the work for the Capitol and reap none of the benefits. Hunger Games are held with two contestants from each district in a fight to the death. The victor wins food and supplies for their district. It is a way for the Capitol to exert control. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss Everdeen who volunteers for the Hunger Games when her younger sister is chosen at random. The movies deal with her first Hunger Games and then future events as she becomes the focal point of the districts rebellion against the Capitol. The first two movies, Hunger Games, and Hunger Games: Catching Fire were both good. To describe this movie is best to use a baseball analogy. This movie setups the climax in Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and is kind of like the middle reliever in a baseball. The starters are done with, the first two movies, and your closer is waiting in the wings, the final movie in the series. What the author accomplished in 1 book the movies do it in two to garner more money. We like the movies so much we fell into their trap.

If you liked the first two Hunger Games you need to see this one, but don't make this the first Hunger Games movie because you will be lost and it is kinda slow in spots.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Sunny High 82) 

First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope everyone is safe and enjoying the holiday. We are thankful for all of our family and friends and the fact that we can tour this great country and enjoy the wonderful scenery like this from our visit to Yosemite.

Bob has been tearing out his hair recently researching Obamacare. He was one of many that lost his insurance because of Obamacare and after his experience it should be called the "Unaffordable Care Act", at least for us. He is not old enough for Medicare, who thought the day would come when you were looking forward to Medicare?

Here are the cold hard numbers, premiums went up 80% over what he was paying for retiree coverage. That premium is now about 1/3 of his pension. The deductible and out of pocket maximum are both higher. We think this change will easily double what we were paying before after you add in the higher deductible and out of pocket expenses. The only good news is that he signed with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas which we know is a good company.

Finally, we got some feedback that our description of the great horned gremlin that was causing our trailer brake problem might need some better explanation. Here is hopefully a better picture.

Here is hopefully a better description. The above is a picture of the brake wire that was cut out. The plastic insulation on the wire was peeled back forming the horns by the wire rubbing against the grommet that it ran through into the frame. As we bounced along the rubbing exposed the bare copper, you may have to zoom in to see the exposed copper, which then shorted out occasionally. If you click on the photo it should become bigger. We think this great horned gremlin was the problem with the trailer wiring.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 37 Sunny High 72) 

We had quite the time chasing all the trailer brake gremlins away. We would change something (pigtail plug, truck socket, power line to the brakes, etc.) and the problem would appear to be fixed but crop up later down the road. The last fix was good for about 800 miles and 5 trips. Exhausting all the possibilities from the truck towards the actual brakes it was time to examine the brakes.

Dale's Mobile Service in Albuquerque first tested the workings of the brakes and they were OK. Then he checked the power line from one side of the trailer to the other that runs through the axle. One line had a small defect that may have been an issue but the other line revealed the great horned gremlin.

The insulation was peeled back exposing both power and ground leads. The gremlin was just waiting for the right bad road conditions to strike. Although all the other things we changed out "could" have been a problem this certainly appears to be the culprit. 

We had trips from Albuquerque to Gallup, from Gallup to Winslow, from Winslow to Congress and finally Congress to Goodyear and we had brakes all the way every time. We think we finally found the gremlin, a great horned gremlin at that.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 37 Abundant Sunshine High 70) 

After a great couple of weeks at Escapees North Ranch in Congress Arizona we headed yesterday to our winter home. It was approximately 60 miles, here is the route we took.

We had brakes the entire way and arrived safely at are at our usual place, Destiny Phoenix West.

We will be here until early March. While here we plan to blog at least once a week but our days here are more relaxed than when we are traveling across the country. We have a few blog entries from our stay in Congress and others that we hope won't bore you too much.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, November 17, 2014


Currently in Congress AZ (Low 35 Mostly Sunny Currently 45)
Heading to Goodyear AZ (Currently 41 Plenty of Sun but Cool High 67) 

We teased earlier with a photo of a crested saguaro. Here is our adventure getting there. We have been lot sitting at Escapees North Ranch near Congress Arizona the last couple weeks, parked next door to the Roving Riders. They have a Polaris side-by-side ATV and we went on multiple trips to the desert. We really enjoy the ruggedness of the desert. We also got a chance to drive the Polaris, aka the blue buggy. Here is Jo really enjoying her turn at the wheel.

The desert on the way to the crested saguaro.

Saguaros are everywhere.

We came across a dead saguaro. Notice the woody spines that provide the support for these beasts.

Congress in the distance.

A couple more shots of the crested saguaro.

We liked this shot of the crested and regular saguaro with the mountains in the distance and a barrel cactus closer.

It was a great day in the desert.

Today we are heading to our winter spot at Destiny RV in Goodyear Arizona, Lord willing and the slideout comes in, AND the brakes work.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Currently in Congress AZ (Low 40 Clouds and Sun High 71) 

We were having so much fun in Congress Arizona that we extended our stay. We have been real busy sightseeing and other activities, we sure have a lot of blog entries to catch up on once we settle into our winter home in Goodyear Arizona next week.

Sorry that we haven't blogged lately, here is a teaser on future blog entries. We went with our neighbors The Roving Riders to the desert a number of times, one time was to see a crested saguaro.

We will have more on this visit, what causes the saguaros to crest, and other activities in future blog entries so stay tuned.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Currently in Congress AZ (Low 49 Sunny High 71) 

We left Winslow Arizona yesterday and drove approximately 200 miles to Congress Arizona. This is the route we took.

We are at Escapees North Ranch and will be here for a week.

Our next stop is our home for the winter, Destiny Phoenix West in Goodyear Arizona.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Currently in Winslow AZ (Low 50 Partly Sunny and Windy High 75)

We left Gallup New Mexico yesterday and headed to Winslow Arizona. It was approximately 145 miles, this is the route we took.

We are now on Arizona time which means we fell back 1 hour once we crossed the border. Arizona does not observe daylight savings time so we are ahead of the curve and changed our clocks before everybody else this weekend.

As mentioned we are in Winslow, aka Windsblow per the truckers, and today is no different. Luckily it wasn't bad wind yesterday during our travel but really bad now and the forecast is bad tomorrow. Hopefully it will be OK on Monday our next travel day.

Besides no wind issues the other good news from yesterday is that we did have trailer brakes for the entire trip. With high winds and rain in the forecast tomorrow we will probably just hang loose the next couple days. Here is a photo of Meteor Crater which we visited during our last visit to the area.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Currently in Gallup NM (Low 28 Sunny High 75) 

We left Rio Rancho yesterday and drove to Gallup. It was approximately 165 miles, here is the route we took.

View Larger Map

We had trailer brakes the entire way. Maybe, just maybe we have chased all the gremlins away. We are staying at the USA RV Park, here is an image from the web.

It will be three nights in Gallup then off to Arizona.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 40 Cloudy Currently 42)
Heading to Gallup NM (Currently 33 Sunny High 66)

We woke to this great sunrise this morning over the Sandia Mountains.

We had a great time in Rio Rancho near Albuquerque. We ate at a lot of our old time favorites, did some shopping, and maybe, just maybe finally got our trailer brakes fixed (more on that later in a future blog entry).

Stagecoach Stop RV Park is our go to place for the Albuquerque area. Reminds us of Goodyear Arizona in that we are close to Albuquerque (Phoenix in the case of Goodyear) and can go there but we are away from hustle and bustle of the big city. Most everything we need is just a short drive away.

The highlight of the park though is the Sandia Mountains. From the great sunrise shown earlier to later in the day as the sun is setting. This is also the view from the right of our site and out our dining room window.

The Cameo from the front. We are in a pull thru at the end of hte row.

From the rear showing the dish and the Sandias.

To the left.

We have enjoyed our stay but it's time to move on. So, Lord willing, and the slideout comes in, AND the brakes work all the way, we are heading to Gallup New Mexico.

We will let you know about the brakes.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 40 More Clouds Than Sun High 72) 

Monday we left Eagle Nest New Mexico and headed to Rio Rancho. It was approximately 145 miles, this is the route we took.

View Larger Map

About 70 miles into the trip, luckily after most of the steep downgrades, Bob hit the brakes and got the dreaded 'Fault in Trailer Wiring' again which meant no trailer brakes. With experience driving without trailer brakes we just pushed on. Here is where it gets weirder. There wasn't really a good place to pull off so we kept driving until we got to Stagecoach Stop RV Park in Rio Rancho New Mexico. Before Bob checked in at the park office he checked the plug and it was still firmly attached. He unplugged it and turned off the truck. After about 5 minutes he came back, plugged it back in and turned on the truck. Guess what, we had brakes.

We think we have eliminated everything except raising the back and inspecting the brakes which we will have done while in Albuquerque. Bob called the RV repair places and they were scheduling in the middle of November so we have a mobile tech coming next Monday or Tuesday.

While waiting for these repairs we plan to catch up on shopping and maybe a movie or two while we are here. Here are a couple shots from the park showing the Sandia Mountains from an earlier stay.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 20, 2014


Currently in Eagle Nest NM (Low 23 Foggy then Partly Sunny Currently 33)
Heading to Rio Rancho NM (Currently 43 Storms in Spots High 72) 

Golden Eagle RV Park in Eagle Nest New Mexico is a nice park in northern New Mexico along the Enchanted Highway Scenic Byway. More gravel is needed on the sites but other than that it is OK. It is pretty scenic, here is our view out our front door.

The Cameo from the front.

To the right showing the north end of Eagle Nest Lake.

To the left, as you can see we are pretty lonely here this time of the year.

From the back showing the dish with a good line of sight and the mountains on the other side.

JJ and Sandra liked the park, here they are together checking something out.

With overnight temperatures in the low 20s and a temperamental furnace that quit working below freezing we are ready to leave. We are not sure if it is altitude, we are at 8300', or water in the propane or oil in the propane or a bad regulator or a bad thermostat or a bad board on the furnace. We need to do some more troubleshooting down the road. So, Lord willing and the slideout comes in, AND the brakes work all the way, we are heading to Rio Rancho New Mexico just north of Albuquerque.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Currently in Eagle Nest NM (Low 20 Mostly Sunny High 70) 

After a chilly start we had an absolutely wonderful day yesterday. Our friends Ed and Diane have a cabin near Angel Fire which is about 10 miles from our park. They served us an excellent brunch of biscuits and gravy and a green chile egg casserole (we are in New Mexico after all). After an excellent meal and great conversation we headed to Taos. A winding scenic drive on the Enchanted Circle through the Santa Fe National Forest and Taos Canyon with yellow aspens throughout.

By now it was warming up and we are walking around the Square in the low 70s and sunny.

We just walked and talked going into the occasional store. We only bought pumpkin spice truffles from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company, continuing our 2014 pumpkin adventure and they were really good. Here is a view of the mountains from the square.

Kit Carson, the famous western scout, lived in Taos. Here is his home that has been restored. It is located near the Square in old downtown Taos.

We then headed to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, known locally as the Gorge Bridge or the High Bridge. Here is a picture we found on the internet.

The Gorge Bridge is a steel deck arch bridge across the Rio Grande Gorge. At 565 feet above the Rio Grande it is the 7th highest bridge in the United States. Just before the bridge we saw some bighorn sheep. We parked and walked to the gorge with the mountains in the distance. There were vendors selling jewelry and other items in the parking area and Jo bought a nice rayon poncho.

Here is the sunny side of the gorge taken from the bridge. When trucks were on the bridge it got a little shaky.

The shady side.

It was back to Taos and a quick stop at Walmart and then off to lupper at La Cueva which was highly rated on Yelp. One of the reviewers said it was the best chile relleno that they had ever had so we all had to try them. We were disappointed and cannot recommend this place, at least we cannot recommend the chile rellenos. On our way back we got a driving tour of Angel Fire. 

A wonderful day on the Enchanted Circle in northern New Mexico; good friends, scenic drives, beautiful weather and a great brunch.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Eagle Nest NM (Low 16 Sunny and Warmer High 63) 

We drove yesterday to the Golden Eagle RV Park in Eagle Nest New Mexico. It was approximately 215 miles, this is the route we took.

View Larger Map

Golden Eagle RV Park is on the north side of Eagle Nest Lake on the Enchanted Highway. Here is an image we got from the web.

We will be at 8300 feet and it will be colder than Colorado Springs with a low in the teens our first night. Let's hope we don't run into this, also from the web for the park :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 13, 2014


Currently in Colorado Springs CO (Low 34 Mostly Sunny Currently 38)
Heading to Eagle Nest NM (Currently 20 Mostly Sunny High 53) 

Another great state park in Colorado, Cheyenne Mountain State Park campground is gorgeous. Here is the Cameo from the front in site 39 Swift Puma Loop.

To the right

To the left

The Cameo from the rear.

Here are some views we had while sitting outside and reading. The view out the back window.

From the dining room window.

The mountains from our reading site.

We've had some rain this week, being at 7000 feet interesting to see clouds at just above eye level.

The view of downtown Colorado Springs at night out our back window with the moon.

Today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in AND the brakes work all the way, we are heading to Eagle Nest New Mexico where it will be a little cooler.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo