Wednesday, April 22, 2009


02/14 – 2/21/09

We traveled with Sam and Carolyn Kidd to Mesa, AZ, which is just north of Phoenix. We camped in the Goldfield Recreation Area. Carolyn picked this area because she was told it had easy access to several lakes-(Canyon, Saguaro, Apache, and Roosevelt) and she had just purchased Sam a two-person inflatable kayak for his birthday and wanted to get it in the water.

Tonto National Forest encompasses almost 3 million acres of spectacular country, ranging from Saguaro cactus studded desert to pine forested mountains. Elevation of the forest ranges from 1,300 to 7,900 feet.

Tonto is the fifth largest national forests in the US, and is one of the most-visited “urban forests” with approximately 5.8 million visitors annually. It is bounded by Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north, and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservations to the east and the Gila River Indian Reservation and Salt River Indian Reservation to the West.
Our time here was very enjoyable. We saw wild horses running across the desert near our campground, we saw
an eagle nesting not far from our campsite; and we were within walking distance of the Salt River. We explored several walking trails and saw several large Saguaro cactus. It was beautiful!

As for Sam and Carolyn, they had one day that they might say wasn’t all that enjoyable. It was the day they put their kayak in at Saguaro Lake at Butcher Jones Recreation Area. This was another beautiful area and the lake was gorgeous. Their launch went well. They paddled out with another couple and spent the morning exploring the lake. They came in for lunch and then headed back out to enjoy the lake a little bit longer. Then it happened! Carolyn got a leg cramp and started moving her leg around to get it to quit hurting. In doing so, she turned them over… Not Good! Cold Water-Wet Camera-Lost Sunglasses, etc.

Well, after Sam and Carolyn got dried off and speaking to each other again-(just kidding), we all went out for pizza in Mesa, at Organ Pizza. It was an amazing place. They had an organ coming up from the basement into the center of this restaurant on a platform and all of the pipes and horns were all built-in around and above the eating areas. And the organist would play requests. The music was beautiful. It was a neat experience.

The pizza wasn’t the best we’ve ever eaten but it was a neat place to go for the atmosphere.

Our table was right under these horns.
They sounded great!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


02/08/09 - 02/12/09

We attended Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande, AZ. This was an RV rally where RV’ers had an opportunity to meet up with fellow RVers to learn more about RVing and relative topics from Nick and other special speakers.

Nick and his wife, Terry, have been RVing for many years and are fulltimers. Nick publishes an RV newspaper. He has written several books and has websites and blogs that he maintains with a “tell it like it is” style we all like.

Nick and Terry take their readers meandering with them wherever they go. They want you to go with them and see and do the things they write about. They also take awesome photos. They have a great following of RV’ers. And I can see why after meeting them both. They are good people! I hope someday that maybe one of my readers will be able to meet them. If so, I don’t think they will be disappointed.

Back to actually pulling into the Casa Grande fairgrounds on 02-08-09, in the rain with our fellow Boomer friends: Sam and Carolyn Kidd and George and Janice Olsen. The fairground was muddy and they parked us all in a mud puddle. I think Sam got the worst parking spot. He had to hook up his electric standing in water up to his ankles. Not Good! But we were able to all park along side each other.

Parked along the front row of RV's was this unique 1965 White 3000 with a 1946 Trailmobile owned by Bob and Jan Vanden Berge. Ken and Sam got a tour through their RV and they thought it was very nice.

Ken really wasn’t feeling well when we pulled into the fairgrounds and he just didn't get better. And the weather just wasn’t cooperating-windy and cold-and raining. He missed the welcome and vendor introductions by Nick. The next morning Ken gave up and went to the urgent care center in Casa Grande. He had bronchitis.

The first evening of the rally, all three of us ladies won door prizes. There was music-jam session-cards and games after the session.

Every morning of the rally donuts and coffee were served in the community building. Our good friends Jerry and Suzy LeRoy sold raffle tickets there each morning for daily cash drawings that were drawn each night of the rally. They were so much fun.

Then it was time to attend the seminars of your choice. At check-in everyone was given a list of daily seminars and another handout giving a description of each seminar. There was a wide range of seminars some funny, some related to hobbies, some technical RV related, insurance, photography, scrapbooking, and you name it topics.

There were one or two daily seminars before lunch and then one or two seminars after lunch. Then an evening performance was given with door prizes and a raffle ticket drawn.

The last evening performance had the “Rally Queen Contest” which had a twist-As you can see from the photo. The winner was a real beauty!

Nick and Terry made it a blast!