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March 15 Rain, Snow and Flooding
We are away
3/15  Bowling Green KY -Not much better    
3/16  Stayed in a field in southern AL    
3/17 Sat signed up for a week at DOCS RV in Gulf Shores    
3/19 Mon ML returns to bike riding with a 2.2 mile jaunt on the bike path to lunch at Arbys. But got lost on the way home... lost on the bike path? Traveled an extra 4 miles    
3/25 Sun same old, same old, 75F Bright Blue Sky and Sunshine,     
3/27 Cooled down to 74, we moved, about 700ft North, same place new neighbors.    
4/1 Saturday, A big day in Gulf Shores, the Sausage Festival was only 30 miles, we move on to Bay St. Louis, the Hollywood Casino. Where they gave us free campsite, free food and money to play the slots. JW wins big at PENNY slots, $400 thank you very much, we're off to Texas.    
4/3 Tuesday- San Antonio, Hill Top RV Resort, Dinner at PoPo Restaurant, a great little piece history.  
4/5 So a night in Ft Stockton and on to Deming, NM after lunch at Cochise's house.  
4/6 Off to visit Bob Colburn and Rockhound St. Park On the edge of the Florida Mountains. where I captured a Geode!  
4/8 Easter Sunday   End of a 3 day stay @ the St. Clair Winery then on to Cochise Terrace in Benson, for three nights.  RECALL I received a recall from the RV refrigerator Mfg, they told me to immediately turn of the gas! and head to a dealer! And this is while towing the Jeep!  
4/11 Moved on to in Tucson for 3 days, Convenient and acceptable, had a big rain during the night.    
4/14 Stayed 2 more days, super weather and nice pool.    
4/16 Moved to Picacho Peak, where we staged for the assent. A 3100 ft landmark between Tucson and Phoenix.  
4/17  The Climb

Picacho Peak

Only a quarter of the way up.Halfway, called the Saddle. This is getting ridiculous, but we are committed

.The top a critter and there is the RV.

4/18  Moved on for a weeks stay at Palm Creek RV @ Casa Grande  Camped next to Ken & Jo Ann Drone of Foresthill CA. Since they rent their site annually, and we travel in the summer, they suggested we rent their site next year if we are in the area. Very nice.    
4/22  Breakout Sunday, took Jeep to Mineral Mountain, out Cottonwood Canyon RD, and back through Box Canyon and Price Road to Rt. 79. The Superstition Mts. and Weavers Needle in the distance.Check out this little Rock Climber ("Odd Angle"), they gave me words of encouragement and sent me to Box Canyon.

Across the rock piles and through a beautiful canyon. Canyon was very narrow.

4/25 Rolled on out of Casa Grande to check out Mesa  AZ, everybody has stories about Mesa, now I have mine, Its Horrid.  So we move on to Apache Junction, Sunrise RV, on the outskirts of Phoenix with a view of the Superstition Mts. Superstition Mountain  
4/26 Soak up the pool and the local folklore about the Lost Dutchman Mine. Lots of camping space at Canyon Lake. Now here is a little spot I'll bet  you'll never see! Tortilla Flats
4/27 Well now we walked the Flea Market, got some stuff, and bought yet another camera for ML. (I dropped her old one when I fell on Picacho no picture on the screen)  The excitement of the day was the water main break right in front of the RV, watched repair crew make one mistake after another. Then off to the Movies.  No water going into Saturday, the line blew up after repair, called another crew. Thankful for the RV Water Tank!!!Park was without water until 4 a.m.    
4/28  Lazy day, big dust storm huffed and puffed, the sky darkened, the wind blew, put everything away, put top on Jeep and , Nothing Happened, heard they closed I-10.    
4/29 Just another beautiful day, bright deep blue skies.    
4/30 It's off to the Mesa Rangers Office to get a permit and combination to the locked gates in th Tonto National Forest. So we crawl rocks through Bulldog Canyon. Pretty ride in the AZ sun. Garmin led the way, I drive to where the trail head should be, but there is only a road to the north, the book says the trail starts south. After studying the maps and book for maybe 10 min, I conclude damn it I am there! I set the maps down and look out the back, yep we are there, across the road the trail heads south. The Garmin should have told me to look behind. Climb up out of the canyon for a closer look. From the canyon floorThis guy seem to be watching.
5/2  Revisit to McDowell Mountain Park, near Fountain Hills, with a view of Four Peaks.  
5/5  Misty flies to Phoenix with Evan,  Finally a little sun and fun at Deserts Edge NW Phoenix, then its off to dinner with our new hat!
5/6 Off to the desert, and playing in the sand.  
5/7 Again is was off to the desert, and a place called Carefree, We petted a Gila monster and played in the rain from a rock. Then we at lunch at Sundial Plaza.
5/8  Early up and off to the Airport, but first a rock for my daddy!.  
5/9 Moved to McDowell, visited Houston's, had a great time, sandwiches and vino.    
5/10 Fort McDowell Casino & RV Park, this was the "Original" Indian Casino, 1984-Conceived and built by the Yavapai Nation (often confused with the Apache), they survived FBI raids, and Arizona Supreme Court rulings A view of the fountain from the RV park. A very nice place.
5/11-5/12 Back to Apache Junction for supplies and a layover to stock up for the long pull to Show Low. Layover was at Queens Valley, The Strangest Place we have ever stayed, 2-3 hundred lots, and everyone has left except 2 people, and they went away for the weekend, so the whole place is ours, laundry, pool, billiards, crafts, library, computer, TV room, Jacuzzi, a private Resort! A look back at our private villa  
5/13 We stopped at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, exotic desert plants, we saw a plant (yucca-yupu) that bloomed for the first time in 32 years. Then for the long pull up to 6500ft to Show Low, thru the Salt River Canyon, which looks exactly like the Grand Canyon.

Finally Arriving at Juniper Ridge, they are not open yet, but they let us stay anyway.  Very flat, you can see the Appalachians, Montana and Mt. Montezuma. What a day!

Restaurateur at Queen Valley told us to stop here at Seneca Lake and  see bald eagles, Nothing in the air, Not even a Crow
Spectacular views all the way!
5/18 It seems the pool is under repair and we have had a couple of afternoons of showers. The air is very fresh and clean. Google Earth shows a number of black rectangles north of Snowflake. I recorded the coordinates and traveled to the site, I was met by and armed guard, and a sign stating Disease Control. Further investigation reveals that this was a pig farm. Pigs For Farmer Joe.    
5/20 Happy Birthday Mary Lou, Sun, Heat, Pool, Casino, and Filet Mignon, but not winners.    
5/21 Stopped at Picacho Peak to get my hard earned T-Shirt. Home at last, the Voyager, Fun in the Sun.  Signed up for 1 month. Stay tuned. And after hours of guessing and inventing I got the GD Linksys Expander- Repeater, the only thing more difficult is Rubik's Cube.    
5/24 - Met some people from last year, got ML a golf Cart to go to the pool, went to a movie, they voted for no intermission, the Illusionist, good movie.    
5/30  Relaxing on the patio, the sky went dark as an object flew overhead, yep I was  buzzed by a big Owl. Jumping up to search the sky I find it sitting on a Wi-Fi antenna where it waited for dinner to make a move in the wash. A very big remarkable Owl.    
5/31  A major rip off, visited Biosphere-2, located about 400 miles north of Tucson, a skeleton of a ridiculous boondoggle, $20 per ticket. What was learned?, if you double the Co2 the trees can Double the O2 production. Fortunately  ML had a friend give her a major discount, thanks Dawn. 300 million, 8 people tried to live in it for 2 years, but they ran low on oxygen so more was  pumped in. All these trees, would you believe that this was not a Gov, project!
6/11  It's official, it rained in Tucson, the sky got dark, lighting clapped, thunder roared, and we had a couple of real drizzles, it almost soaked through my T-shirt. The Storms brought 5 fires and they lost 8 trees here at the Voyager..    
6/16 More of the same, it hit 110F, at the pool, books, puzzles and tinkering. Mary still going to pool exercises at 9am, gets caught up on al the gossip. It's Here

So it's off to town for an impulse buy from La Mesa, we were getting the Refrige fixed and this happened.

6/19/07 Mary flies to Columbus for Evan's 1st Birthday celebration. 6/21/07 Big Day, Evan's Birthday & my last day at the Voyager so I'm off to Cochise Stronghold, deep in the Dragoon Mountains. As I turn toward the Stronghold the first sign is ; NO Water at Campground, ok that will keep the crowds down, second sign is; No vehicles longer that 26 ft; we're only 45 ft total, so I push on. Third sign is, Pavement Ends, ok now I'm on a dusty washboard road that is rearranging everything in the camper. Next sign, Road Narrows , then Narrow Winding Mountain Road and finally Cochise Stronghold Campground. Here I am under 1/4 inch of dust and parked inches from the trees and hanging out in the road a little but a great place. Hot, no pool, no phone, no internet, no hookups, no TV, just the ghost of Cochise , and a very few people. I take a few walks, look around and spend the night trying to figure out how big the critters are that are pawing the ground outside my window. Tomorrow I walk the Cochise Trail. All New RV, shakedown run.  
6/22 Up early a quick breakfast and I hit the trail, headed for Cochise's  Spring, as the trail winds higher the surrounding peaks also seem to get higher. Climbing to 5256 ft. I find the spring, dry as it can be. So I head back and make plans to hit the Border.  Along the way I notice the Satellite radio antenna shows signs of being dragged along the road for miles before it's magnetic base jumped to the safety of the bumper. Just one of the peaks that surround the campground.  
6/23/07  A special day, JW investigates The Border


Border Photos
A side trip to Bisbee, an old mining town, mostly copper, now closed down and maintained by Phelps-Dodge. The artsy-craftsy folk who have inherited the area are focused on the Bisbee 1000, a project to restore the steps built by the WPA Projects of the 30's. If your the first to run up 1000 stairs, carrying 8lbs. of ice you can win $100.

The Lavender Pit, mining copper.

6/25 ML returns in the middle of the night from Evans 1st Birthday party.    
7/4 Misty, Jon and Evan came to visit for a few days, 109F in Tucson while Phoenix approaches a record 115F    
7/5 Off to the Zoo, pretty impressive, except JW forgot his hat and end up with a heat exhaustion and a fever of 104F.    
7/6 Went to Tombstone to visit Wyatt and the boys. Yipes!, looks like trouble all the way around. Can I have this one?
7/7 A ride through Saguaro National Park, West and a visit to the Golden Corral.    
7/8 All packed and departing but one last ride in the golf cart  
7/12 Found Elephant Butte Lake State Park, pretty place and the weather changes. A great little oasis in the desert A campsite with a view.
7/13  Friday 13th and ML drove across NM., to Santa Rosa, a touch of Old Route 66, and dinner at one of the classic diners.
The drive across NM was a Memorable one, great views of the desert's unscarred land. 
7/14  Moved on to Amarillo, this is the 3rd time so we have to do the The Big Texan
I've been to Chicago, New York, Kansas City, I'd say this was the best. Home of the 72zo free steak, if you eat it.
View from our Balcony table. No French on this Menu!


7/15  Moved on to a Great Texas Park, Palo Duro Canyon. Lucky to catch the appearance of Jimmy  "(Tumbleweed)" and Sarah Northcutt, told stories about the Panhandle, and Sarah recited some of her poems related to the west. A grand time by all. They called him Tumbleweed. Who's the Intruder? Second largest Canyon in the US, whatever that means.
7/16 Moved on to Red Rock Canyon, OK. Pretty park, few campers, Whoops, no picture?  
7/17 After spending 20 bucks on Turnpike Fees, we take the back way to Branson, MO, over persistent objection from Maxine. The campground loads us with show flyers.    
7/18 Yakov and the Platters are selected and we're off. Yakov finds the good in America and greatly appreciates it, while the Media tears down America everyday. He is truly from Russia  with Love. So incredibly he pays tribute to the country via 9/11 The old fogies  enjoy the Platters, it was the best of times.
7/19 Thursday, It's off to the Branson Belle for the dinner cruise. A cruise on Table Rock Lake. And of course  performances by the Show Stoppers.
7/20- Moving on , cloudy skies-- land @ mile post 52 in IL. A Bounder's Rally? Well not much here so we push for home.  
7/21- Sat., We make it home , but Sunday, Mary's Mom has a heart attack and died 7/28/07 at 93..    
Need  Back Surgery  So....

Off to TAMPA -10/10

  24 day roundtrip

So we rolled to Norris Lake Tennessee, Made camp and settled in for the night. A bang on the door and the cry "your in my spot" shock the night. So under the cover of darkness we unhook everything and move to another spot. Early next morning a wrap on the door and the man says were in a reserved spot. Now PO'ed and there is no way to know what sites are reserved, we slam everything in it's place and roll out of camp and didn't stop till Tifton GA. where it becomes apparent that the Jeep has NO transmission response, we try a little fluid to no avail and head out for Tampa, here we meet Cathy @ Jerry Ulm Dodge & Jeep, she  arranges for the car to be picked Friday night for free since the Jeep is under warranty, and after a confirming call from Tucson AZ a tow truck shows up. Then Cathy arranges for the car to be worked on Monday and arranges for Enterprise to pick me up and give me a rental at a discount rate. Now for a two week rest in good old buggy - muggy Florida

With the Jeep securely in the shop of what will be a very major repair, not covered by that Life Time Warranty we here so much about if time for my trip to the Laser Spine Institute for another non-warranty operation.  
But the trip home was fun with a re-visit to Gatlinburg  after 30 yrs. and a backyard of the campsite was picturesque  
11/3/2007  So we park it for the Winter.