Dec 26, 2007

Christmas in Portland

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. Our Christmas festivities began on Christmas Eve, when we got together with daughter Julie, future son-in-law Jeremy, daughter Michelle, son-in-law Ian, grandchildren Nemo and Mia, and Ian's Mom, Vivien. Julie and Michelle did a great job preparing a wonderful dinner and even had stockings for all of us. Then Christmas morning we went to Michelle and Ian's apartment to open Christmas presents. We had a great time with each other and it was fun watching everyone open their presents. Especially Nemo and Mia! Later we were able to talk by phone with our other daughter Melissa in Michigan and we made a Skype video call with son Jonathan in NYC. Portland even had a white Christmas this year. For the first time in over ten years it snowed on Christmas day. Nemo doesn't see snowflakes very often so he thought this was great and he quickly got his hat and coat on and ran outside. It didn't last long and later turned to rain. As we continue to hear of snow storms and bad weather along the route we traveled a few days ago, we continue to be so thankful for a safe and uneventful trip. Today we just hung out at the motorhome. Reading, relaxing, resting and adjusting to pacific standard time. That's all for now.

Dec 22, 2007


We left Twin Falls at 6:30 this morning. Once again we were treated to a beautiful sunrise. The eastern Idaho mountains came alive in the early morning light. The roads were dry and we made good time. North of Boise we made a quick stop at a rest area for some hot tea and yummy treats, sister Diane had made for us. We crossed into Oregon and up over the Blue Mountains. There was lots of snow on the hills and ominous warnings to make sure you had chains. While we do have a set, we agreed that if chains are required, it's time to pull over and wait out the weather. Fortunately the roads remained dry and we soon dropped down into Pendleton. Soon after we ran into rain which would stay with us all the way to Portland. The drive along the Columbia River was a fitting end to our journey. It is one of my favorite drives. We are staying at the Jantzen Beach RV Park for several weeks while spending time with family during this Christmas season. We are so thankful for arriving safe and sound and on time. We realized when planning this trip that we might run into serious weather delays. For several days we did not see another RV making us wonder what we were doing. Being here however is the reward.



Dec 21, 2007


Today was a study in contrasts. We were on the road early. After listening all night to the blaring PA at Flying J we were ready to leave. It was dark but the roads were dry. The sun rise chased us west and caught up with us west of Laramie. It was beautiful. The hills covered with snow glowed purple and gold. As the light filled in we saw a huge herd of Antelope. Could it get any better than this? Apparently not. We soon ran into a snow storm with high winds. It was near white out for several hours. The roads weren't covered, but visibility was non existent. We decided to push on taking our time and leaving plenty of room between us and the trucks. Around Green River the snow stopped but now the roads were slick. This continued into Utah. Coming down into Ogden the mountains were beautiful. Blue sky, snow covered red rock and dry pavement. This is the way it's suppose to be. We pushed on to Twin Falls Idaho where we are spending yet another evening at a Flying J Truck Stop. A little noisy but the price is right. If the weather cooperates we may even make it to Portland tomorrow. On a side note. We are enjoying our Internet access with our Verizon wireless card. So far it has worked flawlessly.

A little tired, a little weary, but safe and sound,


Dec 20, 2007


After a early foggy start, we made good time today. But I must say Nebraska is a boring state to drive through. We were blessed once again with dry roads. We arrived in Cheyenne Wyoming after 10.5 hours on the road. We are half way to Portland and tonight are once again guests at a Flying J truck stop. And to tell you how tired we are, we got some takeout from Ronald's Place. I think this is the first in a long time. I have a feeling it may be a long time before we try it again. They are predicting snow tomorrow so we'll have to take it easy. Mollie continues to adjust and is a good traveler.

That's all for now

J,J,and M

Dec 19, 2007


We were on the road by 8:50 this morning. It's amazing how many last minute items we had to do. Turn the water off, turn the furnace down. Put out the trash, load the jeep. And of course Judy had some last minute cleaning to do. We headed to the storage unit to get out the RV. We had it already loaded, so we hooked up the jeep and hit the road. There was snow on the ground but the roads were dry. Going through Chicago was a breeze for a change. We are just west of Des Moines tonight at a flying J truck stop. 1700 more miles to Portland. Mollie is proving to be a good traveler. The only quandary was what wine to drink with a Lean Cuisine meal. We gain an hour so hope to hit the road early tomorrow.

John, Judy and Mollie

Nov 8, 2007

New York City and the Flip-Flop

Last week, with Mollie safely tucked into Camp Bow-Wow for a few days we took off on a quick road trip to visit Jonathan and Laura in New York City. We walked a lot and took the subway everywhere. I think we got more exercise in two days than we have had in months.
Laura had to teach school on Friday so Jonathan took us around the city and was an excellent tour guide. We went down to South Sea Seaport and walked around a bit there and saw the Brooklyn Bridge off in the distance.
Then we walked up to Lombardi's Pizzeria for lunch. Very good pizza. They claim to be the original pizzeria in this country.

We walked through a bit of Central Park and then took the subway uptown to watch the 5th grade girls soccer team that Laura coaches play their weekly soccer game. After the game we took the subway back down to lower Manhatten for dinner and the Broadway show 'Curtains' starring David Hyde Pierce from the tv show Frazier. It was very entertaining and we had a lot of fun. The next morning after brunch it was time to hit the road and head back to Michigan. It was a quick trip, and a lot of fun .We had a great time with Jon and Laura.Over the last few weeks, mollie has not only morphed from a black and tan puppy with floppy ears to a silver and tan puppy with ears that stuck straight up. But they matched. Well, about a month ago one of her ears flopped down.
Yes, she had one up and one down and this was most distressing to her mama! But all is well . When we picked her up from camp after returning from New York we discovered that her other ear had flopped.

Mama is very happy.

Oct 10, 2007

Mollie goes to Day Care

After begging and begging I finally convinced my caretakers that I was old enough to go to PreSchool. I have had all my shots and that all important "operation". So last week they said I could go. I get to go 3 days a week and have already made friends. As you can see by the picture I am leading the Pack. Would you expect anything less from a Randall.


Jun 14, 2007

Mollie and the big Shoe


Mollie is now 10 weeks old. She has spent a week in the rv with us and is making herself at home in the condo. Judy is working on the paper training with pretty good success. Still a few accidents. She likes her food, wants lots of play time and mostly sleeps through the night.

May 14, 2007


After saying we would never have another dog, here we go again. Molly's father is a small Yorkshire Terrier and her mom is a small Maltese. That makes her a teacup MORKIE. She will probably not weigh over 5 pounds fully grown. She is only 6 weeks old so we will pick her up in a week or two. Judy got first pick from 2 litters. Molly's Dad gets around. :)

Apr 17, 2007

Jonathan and the big apple

April 17th

So after being out west, what's left but to head east. After taking care of a few items of business and getting our taxes done, it was time to head to NYC to deliver Jonathan's belongings. We had promised him that when we got back from our winter trip we would come out with his stuff. So Saturday morning we headed out in our trusty Expedition pulling a U-Haul trailer. Saturday's driving was uneventful, and we stopped in Roxbury, New Jersey for the evening, which is about an hour outside of Manhattan.
The next morning we were awakened to the sound of rain, and lots of it. We of course chose the weekend that a Nor'Easter arrived along the east coast. We were a bit nervous about navigating through the city but thankfully our Google map was correct and very helpful and we arrived at Jonathan's apartment in Brooklyn safe and sound, if not a bit soggy. We had to unload in pouring rain, but with Jonathan, Laura, Judy, and I we were done quickly. Thank goodness for only one flight of stairs. Jonathan and Laura wanted to go to the Ikea, store, so after returning the trailer, we drove out to Long Island. Did I mention it was raining? This was not a Portland drizzle, this was a downpour with 40 to 50 mph winds. We were glad to be riding in the Expedition. Even so ,the car got hit by a few flying tree limbs and it took out the right front turn signal housing.
Shopping done, we went back to the apartment and helped Jonathan assemble his Ikea purchases. Then we were off to Manhattan. Jonathan works at the Trump International located at Columbus Circle and Central Park and had arranged for us to stay there at a great rate.

All I can say is, you should either have deep pockets to stay at this place, or have a son who works there.
We had a great 1 bedroom suite overlooking the Circle and Central Park. What the pictures don't show is the 2 bathrooms and the full kitchen. We ended Sunday by taking Jonathan and Laura out for dinner at an incredible Italian restaurant and enjoyed a great meal.
Monday we went out sightseeing with Jonathan while Laura was at school. We rode the subway all over Manhattan. It sure helps to have a guide. Laura joined us for a dinner at their favorite Thai restaurant in Union Square. To finish off the great evening we walked over to “Chocolate by the Bald Man” for dessert. This place is incredible. If you like “real” chocolate this is your place. Tuesday we walked down to Times Square and had lunch at the famous Carnegie Deli. The sandwiches are huge. Our Jewish mother waitress provided ample boxes for Jonathan to take home our leftovers. She wanted to make sure he had enough to eat later. I think he left with at least 2 pounds of corn beef and Judy's leftover cheese blintzes.
Jonathan wanted to send back T- shirts with us for his former co-workers back in Michigan, so we went in search of “I love NY” shirts. He found some for the bargain price of 5 for 10 dollars. After that it was time to say good bye and get on the road so we walked back to the hotel to get our car and Jonathan hopped on the subway to go back to his apartment. An hour later, we were out of the city and on our way home. So what's New York like? It's big, busy and sometimes you feel like a rat in a maze. At the same time the culture, the entertainment and dining is certainly exciting. It's a fun place to visit but I don't think I'd want to live there. It's bittersweet leaving your son in the big city. On one hand we worry about him, and at the same time we are proud that he's making his own way.. No matter how old he gets, he will always be our son and...... we will always be his parents.

Apr 5, 2007

1425 miles and worlds apart

Wednesday morning in Cimarron and it was time to hit the road. After dumping the holding tanks, making sure the antennas were down, and hooking up the jeep we were on our way. We were both in a quiet, reflective mood. Taos had an effect on both of us and we knew our trip was winding down.

As we drove east through New Mexico the grazing land and ranches were peaceful and the road was smooth. We would spend all of Wednesday on 2 lane roads. Through little towns like Springer, Gladstone, Clayton and Felt. In a few hours we entered Oklahoma, and a short time later Kansas. The miles went by and so did the towns. Keyes, Elkhart, Wilburton, Rolla, Montezuma and Dodge City. Past wind farms, cattle ranches and oil wells. Evening found us at the Flying J in Salina, where we parked for the night.

Thursday morning, after fueling up, we continued east. We were on 4 lane roads today with heavy truck traffic. After passing Topeka and Kansas City, we drove into Missouri. We pulled over to fix lunch at a rest area and it was soon time to head on. We were not in the mood to go through St. Louis so we detoured north to the town of Hannibal. Located on the Mississippi River and home to Mark Twain. I don't know if it was the gray, gloomy weather, or our attitude, but I'm not sure what to say about this town. We spent two nights in Hannibal. You know the saying.... If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything. So I'll leave it at that.

Saturday morning, we decided that we would drive through all the way back to Grand Rapids. So after a eating a quick breakfast we hooked up the jeep and hit the road. Illinois was uneventful including the drive through the Chicago area. We arrived in Grand Rapids at 5:30 and by 7:00 we had the motorhome put away, partly emptied, and had the first carload of stuff ready to take over to the condo.

We had been on the road for almost 3 months and now we were back. I hesitate to use the word home. Because for Judy and I the RV is just as much home as our condo is. We have learned and experienced much on this trip. We made new friends and were able to visit family. We drank 2 Buck Chuck in Quartzite and tasted Port with Chris and Teresa in Paso Robles. Judy finished knitting a baby blanket and learned to make beaded bracelets. I was able to attend a photography workshop. We saw deer, Jack rabbits, elk and elephant seals. We drove past towering redwoods and drove down into canyons. We drove up to Portland and down to Bisbee. We listened to a family sing bluegrass in the desert, and our grandson Nemo sing at Preschool. We went to art museums and admired paintings, and to the desert and admired the petroglyphs We drove on the 5 lane expressways of Los Angeles and the 2 lane roads of Kansas. And you know what? We didn't even scratch the surface of what's out there.

I would be remiss if we didn't thank some people who made our trip possible. Stan and Kathleen are both close friends and business partners. We could not have been away had it not been for their willingness to hold down the fort. I only hope those of you reading this have friends as loyal and faithful as we are blessed to have. I also want to thank our new friends Bob and Linda. They encouraged us to dry-camp out in the desert. Something we weren't sure about. We enjoyed our time together both at Quartzite and Petrified Forest N.P. We look forward to our paths crossing again.

We returned to Michigan with temperatures in the 60's, but as I write this, nature has played a cruel trick on us. As you can see in the picture we have had one last (hopefully) snow storm. We are ready for spring. Sunday is Easter and Melissa, Todd, Emma and Ella will be joining us for the weekend. In a week or so we will hitch up a U-haul trailer to the Expedition and head to NYC. Jonathan has been patiently waiting for his bed, desk, computer and other stuff. We look forward to seeing him and our future daughter-in-law Laura. We will post a few pictures and tell a few stories when we get back. We are so thankful that we were able to make this trip and that we were able to do it safely. What more could we ask for??

Mar 20, 2007

A State of Mind

Where in the world are Judy and John?????

As we left our intrepid voyagers they were in Santa Fe contemplating where to go to next. It was on to Cimarron, New Mexico where else? We have always wanted to visit Taos and the “enchanted circle”. After discussing the route with locals it was decided that we should go east and then north to avoid some difficult roads. That wasn't true but more about that later.

So on Monday morning we headed out of Santa Fe. We arrived in the sleepy little town of Cimarron 4 hours later. We checked into the Cimarron Inn and RV park. We were the only ones staying in the campground and as it turned out we had no cell phone service or internet connection. We fixed ourselves a quick lunch and then hopped in the jeep to check out the small town. Also known as the home of Philmont Scout Ranch. Cimarron is an old western town with lots of history, and it was authentic. By that we mean no gimmicks, just nice people struggling to make a living. We think we were among the very few 'non-locals' who visited the little shops that day. We had fun and just relaxed.

Tuesday morning we headed up Cimarron Canyon to hook up with the 'enchanted circle'. This is a road that goes through several small towns and offers spectacular views as it circles around the highest mountain in New Mexico. Mt. Wheeler is actually on the southern end of the Rocky Mountain range and is over 14 thousand feet high. Our circle started as we headed north out of Eagle Nest. We went over Bobcat pass and dropped down into the town of Red River. We visited a store that was selling animal wood carvings to look for a bear. We didn't see anything we wanted to buy but enjoyed the stop.

In the town of Questa the circle turned south and we soon found the terrain to be between high desert and mountain. We went through several small towns and it was easy to see the difference in the economy. If the town had skiing available, like Red River, the economy was doing well. If it didn't have anything to draw tourists, it was barely surviving.

We then took a brief detour to the west to view the Rio Grande gorge. It's hard to explain, but we were driving across the desert and suddenly a giant slit in the ground appeared. It's a 800 foot deep gorge with a bridge across it. We have never seen anything like it. This shows the gorge from the middle of the bridge. When you are standing out on the bridge it shakes up and down every time a truck goes across. Not exactly reassuring.

It was time for lunch so we headed south to Taos. It was warm outside so we found a little cafe and sat outside to eat. When we were done with lunch we visited a few galleries and then found a coffee shop with some great local coffee. Before leaving Taos we visited the St. Francis of Assisi Church. After being at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy it was only fitting to visit St. Francis of Assisi church in Rancho de Taos. Built between 1772 and 1816 it is uniquely southwestern. This church has been painted and photographed by artists such as Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams. So it seemed only fitting that we should photograph it!!!

We then headed east back over the Palo Flechado pass, past the ski resort town of Angle Fire and completed the circle in Eagle Nest. We headed back down the Cimmaron canyon and called it a day. It turns out we could have taken our rolling home from Santa Fe directly up to Taos. The roads aren't any worse than some others we have traveled on. So we will consider this our scouting trip. We'll be back. D. H. Lawrence is quoted as saying “Taos is not a place, it's a state of mind”. Who are we to disagree.

Mar 19, 2007

Tamales, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Blue Bunny Ice Cream

After our day at the Petrified Forest National Park with Bob and Linda it was time to move on. Our next stop was Santa Fe. This is my third visit and Judy's second. Santa Fe sits in a valley with mountains to the north and east. It is the capital of New Mexico and a neat mixture of art and southwest.

Saturday morning we headed to the downtown plaza. After some window shopping and admiring the turquoise jewelry, it was time for lunch. On our last visit we had eaten at the Blue Corn Cafe and really enjoyed it, so we headed there again. Bad choice. So So food, loud loud music, and indifferent staff. Frankly we couldn't wait to leave. After a little more window shopping we stopped in at the Chili store. We bought a couple of things and then hit up one of the people who worked in the store for a few dining suggestions. When we told her where we had just eaten lunch she rolled her eyes. Same reaction for the famous Coyote Cafe across the street. She did however give us 3 or 4 recommendations.

Our last stop of the day found us at the Photo Eye Gallery and bookstore. This is a favorite place of mine. The gallery had a show by Nick Brandt on display. These are large pictures of African wild animals, but done as fine art. Hard to explain but incredible to see. Unfortunately the prices are a little out of our range. If you would like to see some of the images go to When we go out for lunch, we always eat in for supper. We had leftover white chicken chili and a piece of Bob's Red Mill Irish soda bread that Judy had made in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

After such a disappointing lunch on yesterday, today we decided to skip breakfast and go out for lunch at Maria's. This was one of the restaurants recommended by the lady at the Chili shop. It turns out we had eaten there a few years ago on our last visit to Santa Fe. We were not disappointed. Yes, we try to eat low fat, low carb most of the time, but now and then we indulge. As you can see from the picture, I indulged. One of my weaknesses is really good tamales. I wasn't disappointed. Maria's was as good as we remember it from our last visit. Of course what do you expect from a restaurant that has over 100 varieties of real margaritas on the menu. In their words. “No mix, sugar, or additives in our Margaritas. We use only REAL tequila, REAL triple-sec, REAL fresh squeezed lemon juice and ice made with filtered water”. There's even one called “The Randall Scandal”. No, Judy and I did not misbehave, it's named after a Santa Fe resident named Randy Randall. After we finished our lunch and waddled back to the car it was time for a little culture.

We drove over to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. O'Keeffe has been a major figure in American art since the 20's. She is chiefly known for abstraction and representation in paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, and landscapes. Her paintings have crisp contoured forms with subtle transitions of color and she often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract forms. She was married to the internationally known photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Her work was first shown in 1916 at Stieglitz's avant-garde gallery, 291 in NYC. After Stieglitz died she move west permanently and lived north of Santa Fe at Ghost Ranch. That there is a museum in this town devoted solely to her work speaks volumes. After watching a great documentary on her life and viewing her work we wandered back down to the plaza.

What a beautiful day. Native Americans selling jewelry and people just hanging out enjoying the warm weather. We certainly have enjoyed our stay here. This is a beautiful area and with regret it's time to move on. We hope your day was a good one, and to our friends in Michigan. Spring is coming, Soon, Soon.

P.S. About the Blue Bunny ice cream. We have been on a quest to find some Sugar Free Blue Bunny ice cream. Finally, today we had success. So after a light dinner of scrambled eggs, dessert tonight was a sugar free cookie, and some bunny track ice cream.

Mar 16, 2007

Stop and smell the Petrified Wood

Today was a special day. We visited the Petrified Forest National Park.

We have visited a few other National Parks across our great country but would come away a bit underwhelmed. There may be several reasons for this. First ,we're of the Disney World generation. We are used to being awed, then quickly moving to the next line to be awed again. When we visited Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park a few years ago we sat on a bench for almost an hour for it to erupt. When we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in Disney World, Old faithful went off exactly on the half hour. Another reason is related to Disney as well. Most National Parks are huge. It took us a full day to drive around Yellowstone and we only made a couple of stops. Do you think we really got to know and understand Yellowstone? Not hardly. At Disney you can 'walk around the world' in just a few hours at EPCOT. One of the lessons that we've learned on this trip is you have to slow down and take the time to really appreciate what's there.

With this in mind we were ready to see the Petrified Forest. Oh, one more thing. We had a personal guided tour today. And I mean for the entire day. Complete with dinner afterwards. Our friends Bob and Linda are volunteering at the park during March and April. And they had graciously invited us to see the park on their day off. They had also arranged for someone to show us some behind the scene stuff as well.

We met at the visitors center at 8:45 and after hugs all around they introduced us to Scott, who is one of the curators. Scott has an interesting job. One day he might be cataloging pottery and the next he might be preparing an exhibit of petrified wood. Petrified Forest N.P. is a 28 mile long corridor made up of 3 distinct areas. The north end which is located off of I-10 has a visitor center and the Painted Desert. The area in the middle is where a large numbers of artifacts have been found from a native people who lived there around 700-900 a.d. The south end is where the petrified wood is found. Scott showed us some samples of pottery discovered in the middle area as well as some very special wood from the southern area that is not on display. He also explained the various layers and formations that make up the painted desert of the northern area. Then it was time to get in the car and hit the road. Another great thing, I didn't have to drive today.

Our first stop was at Pintado Point in the Painted Desert then we headed down to the south end of the Park. This is where the original park entrance was built by the C.C.C. If you don't know what that is, you're probably too young and should look it up. Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. Linda had suggested we each bring a picnic lunch along. As we ate our lunch we got a chance to catch up with each other on our travels over the last couple of months, and then it was time to head on.

We made numerous stops along the way to view petrified wood, petroglyphs, and ruins. The weather was sunny 70's and the company great, so time passed very quickly. By the way, if you are thinking of taking even a small piece of petrified wood out of the park, I have one word for you... don't. It's a federal offense and they don't kid around about it. Bob had his Park Ranger radio with him and we heard radio conversations regarding some people who were trying to leave with a few samples. It's not real smart because there are only 2 ways out of the park. I could go on and on but let me just say it was a great day.

After visiting the Painted Desert Inn which was part of the original Route 66, Bob and Linda said it was peanut time. If you have read their blog you know about this daily ritual. It happens around 4:00 pm and it's their way of celebrating another great day. As you can see in the pictures, we ate peanuts on Chinde Point overlooking the painted desert. It was a little breezy, but a perfect way to end our tour.

But our day was not over yet. Bob and Linda had invited us to their RV for a grilled shrimp dinner. Back in February, they caravaned to Mexico in their motorhome with 20 other adventure seekers. They brought back some very large, fresh off the boat shrimp. After a glass of wine and appetizers it was time for dinner. Bob grilled the shrimp and some sweet potato and Linda had made a tomato salad and coleslaw. And the perfect end to this great meal was a piece of Linda's chocolate zucchini cake and a glass of port. Now I ask you, can it get any better?? As we drove back to our RV under a star filled sky we both agreed it had been a very special day. Thank you Bob and Linda. We look forward to the day our paths cross again.

P.S. We realize not everyone can get a guided tour like we had so here's our advice. Read all you can about the Park before you get there. Allow twice as much time as you think you'll need. Ask for help. The rangers and volunteers love to help. Take advantage of the special tours and guided walks. We noticed there were at least 4 guided tours available at no additional charge. Slow down and soak it in. This is not Disney, but it is our history and heritage. Enjoy it.

Mar 15, 2007

Get your kicks on ROOT 66

It's been almost a week since we updated the blog. I know the millions of our faithful readers must be wondering what we have been up to since Bisbee. Did we get overrun by the undocumented workers, did we fall in the Lavender Pit mine, did we go home to Michigan to enjoy the spring thaw. Well stay tuned and we will answer these questions and more.

Tuesday morning we left Naco and headed north. We crossed I-10 and stuck to the 2 lane roads. We were going to stay in Globe but arrived there by 1:00 pm so decided to push on north. After an hour of climbing mountains the terrain changed and we soon dropped into the Salt River canyon. The only way I can describe it is a miniature Grand Canyon. We carefully worked our way down the switchbacks across the river and up the other side. Sorry no pictures. Another hour found us in Show Low Arizona. What a contrast. We were now at 6,000 feet but what a change in scenery. Instead of the mountains and pines we entered the Colorado Plateau. Flat, yes, really flat. 40 miles further north found us in Holbrook. Holbrook is a neat little town in a funky rundown sort of way. Lots of Route 66 stuff. Hopefully the pictures help tell the story.

Wednesday we went exploring and just relaxed. We had something special planned for Thursday, but I won't give away the surprise just yet. Even though we are at a high altitude, it is sunny and mid 70's during the day but gets down to a chilly 35 at night. I'm sure all you people in Michigan feel sorry for us.

We are staying at a neat little campground near Holbrook, Arizona called Root 66 RV Park, (yes I know about the spelling but check the picture), run by a Native American family. Complete with chickens and petrified wood sales. It is right on the original Route 66 road and there are the remains of an old motel on the campground. More later. Hope your day was a good one.

Judy and John

Mar 12, 2007

On The Border!!

We are doing our part to protect the border. We are currently in Naco, Arizona. We are literally 300 yards from the U.S. Mexico border. We even arrived here early in the day. Saturday's visit to Tombstone was less than inspiring. So Saturday night we carefully reset all 6 clocks in the motor home an hour ahead. You all remember, daylight savings time. We got up Sunday morning so proud of ourselves, and got the motor home ready to leave. Check out time was 11:00 and we didn't want to overstay our welcome. This was a nice resort, but more rules than necessary. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention there are 2 states in our wonderful country that don't recognize Daylight Savings Time. We just happen to be in one of them.

After a short but beautiful drive down through the town of Sierra Vista and along the Huachuca Mountains we pulled into the Turquoise Valley Golf and RV resort in Naco. Not really a resort, but they claim if you are Tiger Woods you can hit a ball into Mexico.If you look carefully in the picture of the park we are staying in you can see the Mexican flag. The border is that close. If we are overrun, we'll call for help. We figure we can barter some of the extra wine we have on board. I'm sure Chris and Teresa back in Michigan wouldn't mind contributing a few of their cases to better U.S. and Mexico relations.

So what brings us to Naco. Well it isn't the golf, and although the weather is perfect, (mid 70's and blue skies) we are here to visit the town of Bisbee. Bisbee is a mining town which was settled in 1880 in the Mule Mountains. The town is literally built in the canyons. The mines here have produced nearly 3 million ounces of gold, and more than 8 billion pounds of copper, not to mention the silver, lead and zinc that came out as well. In the early 1900's Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. But as with most things, the mines played out and the town population shrank. The last mine closed in 1975. Bisbee might have ended up as a ghost town but in the 70's the town was revitalized by hippies ready to settle down and artists seeking inspiration. And the retirement community discovered it's wonderful climate. 8 months of the year it's in the 70's,. 2 months of 80's, and 2 months of 60's.

Bisbee is a town to run away to. We must admit we are enjoying our stay here. As you can see in the pictures there is still a little of the hippie influence here as well as wonderful small diners and great Mexican food. On the outskirts of town is the Shady Dell Park, an old fashioned trailer park with restored airstream trailers that you can rent by the day. There is also an old fashioned diner there to complete the experience. Many of the old Victorian and European style homes in Bisbee have been restored. But not to perfection. Instead they have let them age gracefully. Kinda like Judy and Me.

Yesterday we met a young man who has a coffee roasting business. He was as passionate about coffee as the wine makers are in California. We ended up buying some freshly roasted coffee and it is great. He runs his business over the Internet and ships all over the United States. Kind of like Pro Lab Express, only with coffee. If you would like to go to his website it is, and if you have questions email Seth at This young man was so passionate about his business. He ended our conversation by telling us and I quote “I want to be your personal coffee roaster.” Now how many people do you know who have their own personal coffee roaster? He's got my business. His prices are very competitive and the quality was outstanding. He also makes some chocolates, and in one of them there were dried cherries. He gets the cherries from Traverse City, Michigan.. It sure is a small world out there.

One other thing has really made an impression on Judy and me. The people on the street and the merchants in town have all been so friendly. In a truly genuine way. We can't wait to come back here again. Tomorrow we head up to Northern Arizona. We hope you feel as blessed today as we do.

Oh, by the way, our youngest granddaughter Mia had her first birthday on Sunday. We wish we could have been there but our thoughts certainly were. Happy Birthday Mia!!!