Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Funniest pic at Barrett Jacson

Jan 16/2018   This is the funniest pic at the Barrett Jackson.  I know your looking at the car but what about the GUY?
That is a real guy under the car!!!

Shiny Cars at Barrett Jackson

Jan 16/2018. Weather 73, low 47.  Get ready for some steps.  We are putting our walking shoes on to visit the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, at Westworld.
classy classic car
new 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
 Every year at this time vehicle collectors from all over the world descend on Scottsdale.   This event is in its 47 th year with an expected crowd of up to 400,000 people. It has 1770 vehicles on display and then they will be auctioning over 200 cars daily.  It’s amazingly inexpensive to walk around, we purchased tickets on line for $17 each.
Billy wanted to take this wagon home.....

and Rosey wanted this one
 The tents go on forever with every imaginable collector vehicle you can think of.   A highlight this year is the new 2019 Mustang Bullitt - Cult Classic!  This year Barrett Jackson had tent coverage of 1.1 million square feet - new World record for a temporary structure.  The guys love this..... Billy and Jim were constantly saying “I had that”. “My Dad had that”. My Mom had that”. Ahhh I WANT THAT ONE!!!!!!   We had a fun day with our friends Jim and Paulette from back home.  Walked the cars, had a bite to eat, and watched a bit of the auction.  Money, money, money.
the staging lanes into the auction

at the auction

Why do they call it a “flea” market?

Jan 12/2018. Weather 74, sunny, low 48.  
Mesa Market
We are not really shoppers per se.... but have heard that the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet is worth taking a walk around.  Up to 1500 vendors, music, food, you name it they have it. Maybe we could find a book or two and a couple of jigsaw puzzles - so away we went.  This market is off Baseline Street (not to be confused with the Apache Trail Swap Meet).  Doesn’t it bother you that they call it a “flea market”?  Did you know it was a direct translation from France; at the turn of the century there was a second hand market in Paris that had critter infested goods.  Technically this is called the Mesa Market Place Swap Meet but everyone in the RV parks call it the flea market!  Not to spread a bad review but we were told the Apache Trail Swap Meet is known as the ‘dirty’ market!   OK, so we are at the right one!
full of snowbirds

Think we have a thing for funny signs - Hey Barbie here is your sign!!!
The Mesa Market is very clean and we did not see any little critters, in fact we did not see much second hand stuff ; most of it was new.  We did not score any used puzzles or books but we did find some new silicone bakeware that we wanted.
every RV should come with this silicone bakeware
 This product is hard to find and so handy in the motorhome.  It is light weight and can be scrunched into a cupboard for storage.  When you pull it out it pops right back into shape.  And what else did we get ? A new airplane pillow, the kind that goes around your neck ; you know what it looks like.  You always wish you had one when you fall asleep on the plane and wake up with a crook in your neck.    You just never know what you will find at the market, it’s like when you go garage sale-ing.  Fun day and afterwards we celebrated our finds with a yummy custard ice cream at our new favourite place Culvers.  Billy is addicted, and of course I just go along for the ride,,,, so bad. 
Did someone say Ice Cream?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

What's in a? Plate?????

Jan 7/2018  Weather in Gold Canyon, AZ is warm high 70's and 50 at night.  No need for the electric blanket.   This is one of the few warm spots in North America right now. 
Bolivia plates!!!
When camping we have a curiosity to read everyone's vehicle plates.  Our eye just gravitates to it.  Can't help it.  I guess we are from somewhere else and of course so are all the other campers.  So we walk and bike and drive and look at peoples plates.   We had a camper that intrigued us with it's plate.  We walked by several times but never found a person to ask the question "How did you get here?"    So we kept wanting to make up our own story to go with the result:)
are you kidding me?
Then one day we stopped at a Cummin's service center to find a guy to fix our Onan generator.  (that is another story)   In the parking lot which would be employees we saw a pickup truck with a weird plate.   Like a spoof on those little stick characters people put on the back of their windshields.   We had to walk closer and closer.  Starting to read it out loud..... What the heck?
Jack Sh_t
Full a Sh_t
Dip Sh_t
Load a Sh_t
Pisa Sh_t
Dog Sh_t
Yup and it was a full time plate....... HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHH . 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Sky

Dec 31/2017  Happy Happy New Year to all. 
Weather was hazy all day, high of 70.  Low of 45.   
Phoenix is that way, etched into the hill off Usery Pass Road
What we thought was just a grey, cloudy haze was really pollution.   This is the first time that we have been aware of the air quality in question day after day in the Phoenix Valley.  Looking back we have not camped in this area often, only a couple of other times and we are always on the outskirts, thankfully it is a good choice. 
Gold Canyon is way to the right on the map on hwy 60
Gold Canyon is on the outskirts of the metro area and we prefer it for getting out riding on the motorcycle, less congestion, less populace and now for a better air quality.  Ironically many snowbirds come to Arizona for health improvement from the dry weather - lots of conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and asthma.   Phoenix sits in a valley and with little wind and no rain of late the air pollution has been reported as the worst in years.  There has been a no wood burning ban on to stop even more pollution into the air.    Here is a photo on the news tonight showing the low lying smog looking into Phoenix.
air pollution over metro Phoenix
We had a fun day at Star Wars then New York style pizza so the hazy day did not affect us.  Thankfully the best time of the day was at sunset when we were out for our walk.  Tonight Mother Nature gave back in all her glory. 
sunset in Gold Canyon
And of course the temperature 70, then the forecast out  73, 73, 75, 75, 73, 70, 71, 72, 71.  Yes we can take this for sure:)  Mid 70's is our perfect weather and especially compared to home.  Yikes!!!!!  Minus -22 F wind chill....... it looks freeeeeeeezzzzing cold on the map!!!
Southern Ontario in a Deep Freeze

Night Sky

Dec 22/2017   The day was normal here in the Valley but the night was something else. 

TV News shots of the sky over Peoria, North West Phoenix Valley
Nearly 500 miles away in Santa Barbara California at Vandenberg Air Force Base the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off .  500 miles away and yet it could be seen in California, Arizona and parts of New Mexico!!! 
Just before 6:30 pm in Arizona you could see the engine cut off and the stage separation with the engine burn underway.  Less than 10 minutes after that, the second stage engines cut off and the satellites went into coast phase.  According to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket delivered 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium NEXT, a company focused on data satellite communications.   The reason we saw it Arizona is because the sun had not set yet in California and we could see the contrail higher in the atmosphere reflecting the sun's light.....  Amazing.  We have no photography capable of these shots, all came from the local TV stations. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ho Ho Ho

Dec 25/17   Weather sunny 74, low 42.  Christmas in Arizona.... is pretty good. 
Winter number 7 in the motor home and it is our first time staying through Christmas.  So we hung our tree....
oh christmas tree
and wrapped our presents
a new jigsaw puzzle?
and put a turkey breast and stuffing in the crockpot!  Even made fresh cranberry sauce.  Smells like Christmas dinner :)
Honestly we had such a wonderful day, peaceful and quiet.  
Going home last weekend and celebrating with family made it feel complete. 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 
snow on the christmas card is just enough


Friday, December 22, 2017

Cactus on the Move

Dec 22/17 Weather in Phoenix is cool for the next two days, high of 58 and low of 37.   Feels wonderful in the coach or in a jacket in the sun.  So we are catching up on tidbits, like flipping through the pictures on our cell phone and we found two that were forgotten.   When we were in Catalina State Park we saw a Cactus on the move.  Literally.  Now one would have to ponder how you would go about moving a Saguaro Cactus that is 15 to 20 feet long and has many arms.  An old mattress would be handy to keep it away from you! Looks like they used a ladder to keep the longest arm supported, pretty smart actually.  Then there are lots of strappings to keep it in place and as much foam padding as needed.  Definitely takes a few hands to do this transplanting.  A Saguaro this size could be a hundred years old and about 2000 lbs. 
takes of ingenuity to get such a big cactus moved
they are very proud of their work

Hurry Up and Wait ~ otherwise known as Airline Travel

Dec 14 to 18/17  Weather in Arizona is lovely, 70's and 40's.
flying into Canada
Home in Ontario is SNOWY and COLD!  Apparently Winter came just in time for me to fly home for the weekend.  Oh boy!  Billy was my Uber driver and dropped me off at Phoenix Skyharbor Airport Thursday and picked me up on Monday.  It seemed sensible to have just one of us fly back this year.    So funny, I was the only one with an airport shuttle that was a motorcycle!  But at least this way I could not overpack and I had my leather jacket and gloves on to take with me.
My airport shuttle
My Westjet flight stopped in Toronto and then on to London but it was late by about 1 hour.  The rental car desk was closing at midnight and when we got in about 11:45..... I was thinking please don't leave before I get my car.  Little did I know that my dearest friend was waiting for me and had already told the car rental guy to get the car cleaned off from snow and warmed up for us!  Ha, ha.  Paula is the best, giving me a place to stay coming and going.  The weekend days were spent down in Chatham visiting with my family.  We had the best time, the best Christmas.  Thanks to my sons we had so much fun seeing our annual christmas  Star Wars release.   Lots of hugs and laughs.  After I got back to Phoenix the very next day the snow melted, haha - of course it did.  I'm pretty sure my shoes and socks were wet the entire 3 days slopping around in the snow.   But it was worth a pair of shoes  :)
Not used to driving in the white stuff

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Motor Oil to Olive Oil

Dec 10/17  Weather 76 sunny, night 45.  
traditional Olive Tree plantation

Agriculture and Farming are plentiful just south of metro-Phoenix.  You will find cotton, cattle, pork and Arizona's only working olive farm and mill.   Oddly the gentleman who owns and operates the farm and business is from the Detroit area.  We found that bizarre, how did he end up here in an Olive Farm business?  Well apparently like us a warm getaway from the chilly Detroit weather was a turning point for their future.  Within a year(1997) they moved from Detroit and planted 1,000 olive trees on 100 acres in the outskirts of the town of Queen Creek Today Queen Creek Olive Farm and Mill have over 7,000 trees/16 varieties.  Mr. Perry went to study the trade in Italy and acquired his Masterblender & Olive Oil Sommelier accreditation.  
shopping for oils, olives, vinegars

Beyond the olive tree groves and the Extra Virgin Oil Processing you will get to enjoy a delicious eatery, which uses many of their products and a coffee roaster on site - Superstition Coffee.  Shopping will include their oils, vinegars, wines, and an array of interesting foodie stuff.
Superstition Roasters ~Coffee Beans

A small tour (tasting included) is available where you will learn why you should always buy "Extra Virgin".  It contains the most nutrients and the highest quality.   Other tips: 1) the label should display the harvest and bottle date - which you want to keep for no more than 18 months maximum; 2)a dark bottle is necessary to keep out light which promotes oxidation.  Never buy "light olive oil"; it appears to make you feel it would be good for you when in fact it is made from the leftovers of the process which are called refined oils and then has perhaps 5% Virgin added back into it.  In other words it is garbage......   Good to know.
The food was wonderful and the fresh roasted coffee!!!  Oh boy this was a great place to visit.  We left full and happy and healthy with a supply of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  And the wine.... so funny, no we did not buy the Happy Bitch.  If it had said "Lucky Bitch"; that's me.  Haha.
Queen Creek Olive Mill Award winner
hilarious...... Happy Bitch Wine

Friday, December 8, 2017

Working the left and right brain

Coffee and our Morning Puzzle
It is so nice out each morning we take our pot of coffee outside and last week we started working on a puzzle that we can leave outside on our table.  When we walk away we cover it and start up at another time.   It is so addictive and fun.  
3 days later 

Did you know there is a warning on a puzzle box that it is good for your Brain?  The Brain produces a chemical known as dopamine that is chiefly responsible for learning and memory. The production of this chemical increases in the brain at the time when it is engaged in solving the jigsaw puzzle.
Jigsaw puzzles also promote the relationship between the left and right brain. The logical left brain looks at individual parts. It is sequential, rational, analytical and objective. The left brain is stimulated by problem solving. The creative right brain sees the big picture. It thrives on randomness, is intuitive and subjective, and even likes the unfamiliar. Jigsaw puzzles satiate the needs of both the left and right brain.

Beeline to Rim Country

Dec 2/17 Weather sunny, high of 74 and only 67 up in Payson, low of 48.  Our neighbours are riders and knocked on our door to go for a ride.....but we missed out.  We have to admit we were still in bed the first time they knocked  ~it was 7:30 a.m. and Billy and Rosey don't move till about 9 a.m. !!!  So the next time we asked what time are you leaving and we set our alarm clock to go for a ride.  We left at 9 a.m.  and had lunch in Payson then looped back past Lake Roosevelt and popped out at Globe and then back to Gold Canyon.  About a 200 mile ride, back at 3 pm.    Nice riding day.
Beeline Hwy headed to Payson from Phoenix
The destination was through the Mazatzal Wilderness with over 250,000 acres of the Tonto and Coconino National Forests.  Hwy 87 is called Beeline Hwy and the name fits as the population of Phoenix can make a quick escape up to Payson to escape the heat.  The entire 90 miles is worth the ride, the views are quite beautiful.  Notice the haze in our pictures, there were several controlled burns going on for a few days in the Forest and it created a softness to the shots. 

smoke laying in the valleys near Payson

Monday, December 4, 2017

Canyon Lake

Nov 28/17  Weather sunny 85, low 51.  Today might be the 100th day here in the Phoenix area with no measurable rainfall.  Can you imagine?  
views are great, road needs reconstruction
We meandered out along the historic Apache Trail.  The road was once an old stagecoach trail that ran through Superstition Mountains.  The quality of the road has really deteriorated; it is a washboard.   If travelling on a motorcycle we suggest going during the week when there is little traffic so you can take it slow and drive around some of the ruts when possible.
a view like a painting
The end of the pavement is at Tortilla Flats and beyond that the road turns to dirt and very narrow and steep cliff drops and little in the way of safety barriers.  No worries, we turned around at the end of the pavement.  We have heard some horror stories of bikers wiping out.  Most of the road has a maximum speed limit of 15 mph. Little known tidbit: test drivers from General Motors Proving Grounds used to use the Apache Trail to test tires and vehicle maneuverability. 
how the Apache Trail became a road
22 miles of dirt, hairpin turns, switchbacks........time to turn around
We backtracked to Canyon Lake where we sat on the marina restaurant patio and had a bit of refreshments.  We are good at eating out; have you noticed?  Haha.   This is one of the reservoirs of water created when damming the Salt River. 
from the restaurant patio view of Canyon Lake

Old Willy's

Nov 25/17  After a great few hours of hiking around the Arboretum we jumped on the Harley and road a few miles farther down the road to Superior.  There is a cool bar and restaurant in the old downtown section called Porter's Cafe.
Porters Cafe before the $'s came down
We understand it has changed ownership and all the dollar bills have been taken down off the walls and the new owners donated them to local town charities.  Sounds like a great thing to do, we just hope the burgers are still as good !!!!     (Yes we can say our burger was great; although we were starving and would have ate anything!!!)    Next door is an antique store and look what he uses as his advertising sign - an old Willy's (1940's circa) the original Jeep.  Willy's Overland manufactured the Jeep for World War II.  Interestingly the plant was in Toledo and the Chyrsler Jeep plant is still in Toledo, Ohio.
Old Willy's
our ride parked beside the Willy's
And ours is sitting at home..... saying "Hey what about Me?"  We still really like our motorcycle riding; but in the future we will get our Jeep ready to tow.  Would be great for off roading in Arizona that's for sure.
maybe one day we will tow our Jeep

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fall Festival

Nov 25/17  Weather  sunny, 84 low of 55. 

along the garden path
on the 2 mile walk
everything is picky so stay on the path
About a half hour away from Gold Canyon is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on hwy 60 near Superior.  This desert botanical garden has over 2600 species.  We heard there was a fall festival with live music, artists, and fall colours.  Now fall colours are not what we think of when in the desert.
found the fall colours
It made us curious so we took the 2 mile walk/hike through the gardens.  About half way through we both sat down in the shade for a while.  Phew it was hot!  I asked Billy if I should call the MediVac to come in with a chopper and get us.  Haha.  Not funny.  Haha.  Ok lets keep going...... need water.
Rosey halfway around the loop
There are some very unusual plants and trees and the setting in the canyon is stunning.    Billy loves jujubes and now we found the tree they come from, finally! 

jujube tree!!!