Hello friends and relatives.
We are at the Pinal County Fairground, in Casa Grande, Arizona,
40 Miles south of Phoenix.
A note to my Convair friends: Last Friday I went to the remembrance service for Dave Moyer. Peter Shurko, Alinda G-12, Gary Magee, Jim Greco, Dick Dray and Rick Markey were there too. It was nice to see them again. Some of them I had not seen for ten years.
Dave was 62 years old.
We had out of town guests for lunch today. So we took off for Borrego Springs late: we left at 3:00 PM. I wanted to go across the mountains before the rainstorm arrived. We arrived at Peg Leg Smith's Monument at 5:30 PM. It looked like it would rain any minute and it was very cool.
I walked to Ron Carlson's motorhome and asked him whether he would have a camp fire tonight. He thought it would be too windy.
We spent the evening catching up on our reading.
At 8:00 PM we were on the road to Casa Grande. At Dateland we had lunch at the parking lot, and after lunch I went to the restaurant and bought a date milk shake.
We arrived at Casa Grande at 5:00 PM. Some of the WIN motorhomes were parked outside of the fair grounds. There was a Livestock Fair going on.
We walked in and watched the young people loading their goats, pigs, sheep and cows into trailers.
After most of the farm people were gone we drove into the fairground and set up the motorhome. Then we went for a walk. We stopped where a man gave a young cow a manicure. The animal was strapped on its side on a flat bed trailer, and the man was grinding the hooves with a grinder.
I have the same grinder, with the same wheel, I use it for cutting steel.
After breakfast we registered for the rally. Since there were no activities planned for today, we decided to drive to the Casa Grande National Monument.
It is a multi story ruin of a house, built around 1100 AD by the Hohocam Indians. When the Spaniards saw the ruin, they named it Large House. We walked around the compound and saw a movie at the visitor center.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we talked to some of our friends from other gatherings. Members of the committee asked people who did not want to dance every day, to sign up for other activities, like sky diving, golf, swimming, and sightseeing. I will concentrate on dancing. Somehow I have to get those two left feet straightened out.
At 7:00 PM we went dancing.
At Hugs and Mugs, at 8:00 AM, they have coffee and juice and all kinds of baked goods.
The line dancing classes started at 9:00 AM. We do not participate in line dancing.
Ball room dancing classes started at 10:30 and stopped at 12:30 PM. The classes continued at 1:30 PM and lasted until 3:30 PM. It is hard work, especially since you continuously change partners, but it is fun. Today's lessons were the Two Step. We went again dancing at 7:00 PM.
The second full day of the dance rally went rather well. We completed the Two Step.
Two hours of lessons in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, on a concrete floor, is not easy.
Dancing in the evening is from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Last night I managed to stay until 9:00 PM and tonight I stayed until 9:30 PM. Doreen has had enough and turns in earlier.
The dancing facilities are better this year. The women decorated the hall very nicely. Because it is still cold in the morning, Hugs and Mugs is held inside, in a smaller hall. Of course with the juices, yogurt ,coffee and baked goodies available, it is difficult to hug properly. Everybody has his hands full.
During the day the weather is beautiful.
Before we leave here I have to make some time and crawl under the motorhome. When I go 25 miles an hour the motorhome shakes. I brought it up at a meeting, and the consensus was that it is the universal joints on the drive shaft. Let's see whether our WIN experts are correct.
There were only morning classes today. Since I was not interested in learning Traveling Four Corners, Cotton Eyed Joe, and the Ten Step, we took the whole day off.
After Hugs and Mugs I crawled under the motorhome and found that one of the drive shaft support bearings was very sloppy. The rubber cushion was worn. I hope this is the cause of the shaking we experience when driving low speed.
We went to the Ford dealer in Casa Grande. They do not have a bay large enough for the motorhome and referred us to a muffler shop.
We have an appointment for Monday morning. Instead of going to Scottsdale we will spend a day in Casa Grande.
From Casa Grande we drove to Tucson to visit Susanne, a friend of ours. She lives in Sun City Vistoso.
We were impressed with her new house and the community. After she served us a wonderful lunch, she showed us the clubhouse and all the facilities.
We got back to the motorhome shortly before 7:00 PM, too late to attend the No Talent Talent Show. Some of the WINs can be funny and have talent. No talent was required though.
I worked hard today to master the waltz. I think we learned too many fancy steps.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting future WIN outings were discussed and the members of the group, who went to the orphanage in Mexico, reported what they had accomplished while they were helping this organization.
At 5:00 PM we had a social hour and at 5:30 PM a salsa cook out, which turned into a regular pot luck dinner. Lola was not very happy, she did not win the salsa contest, she had a lot of salsa left in her container. She told us the she would go home and bury it.
The 7:00 PM dance had a Mexican Theme. There were a mix of sombreros and colorful dresses and skirts for the ladies. Most of our Merry Widows and Divorcees looked very good. I think we do not have any Merry Unwed Virgins, not at our ages.
The evening dances consist of dances from rock n roll and swing to waltzes. We also do waterfalls and line dancing.
Today's dancing lessons were the Lindy, also called the East Coast Swing. I attended the morning class and took a well deserved afternoon break.
Social hour started at 4:30 PM, and dinner was supposed to start at 5:00 PM. We were treated today to a catered chicken dinner, and a live band.
The chicken were not finished in time and we started eating 45 minutes later. This was no big problem, we sat with a bunch of nice people on our table.
The food was delicious and I was able to get one of the four pieces of chicken, which were left over. I shared it with one of our table companions and Doreen.
Today's theme was Western, most of the WINs wore their cowboy and cow girl outfits.
The dance rally is a success. 156 people, in 136 motorhomes came. Because of the gasoline prices, a few more than expected. There were a few rigs with more than two people in them. Our president had her mother with her.
There is also one married couple. This is rare, most WINs do not marry. I think they have too much fun to get married again. If both are WINs and get married they can stay in the club. And there a few which have a companion, like myself. The group is getting bigger. Member number 2800 was signed up. My number is 2648; I joined two years ago.
This morning the teacher taught Horseshoe. I skipped the class and we went to the Creek Orthodox Monastery near Coolidge and Florence.
It is an Oasis in the desert. The landscaping is very beautiful and the buildings have excellent masonry and wood work. Throughout the complex are many fountains.
We knew the dress code and wore long sleeve clothing and Doreen had to wear a skirt.
The Monastery provides scarfs for the women. Their head has to be covered by a scarf. Women who do not have a skirt can borrow one.
There is still some money in the dance rally till. Tonight we get treated with a pizza dinner and ice cream and cookies. Dancing starts again at 7:00 PM.
Tomorrow will be a different exciting day. The motorhome has to go to the RV doctor. Besides the bearing on the drive shaft there seems to be a leak in the radiator and we smell propane on the outside of the motorhome. I can not find the leak. We will see.
The Dance Rally was fun, that is all what counts. A lot of people are exhausted, especially the ones who took line dancing lessons every day before the regular lessons.
We arrived at the K&C Budget Muffler shop at 8:00 AM. They have a 25,000 pound RV lift and do all kinds of automotive work. The Border Patrol and the State Police are among their customers. They were working on five Border Patrol cars and two cars of the State Police.
By 10:00 AM, Kevin had called for parts and prices. Besides the carrier bearing for the drive shaft, three U joints need replacement.
The front brake pads and rotors also were worn. Two years ago I had them replaced. The new Brake Buddy should help save the brakes. The motorhome had to brake also for the car. Coming over the mountains, on the way to Casa Grande, I could feel the difference.
The radiator is leaking, when the previous owner had an accident in Alberta, he had it replaced with a rebuilt one. I am getting a new radiator.
Today the drive shaft and brake work was completed, while we went to the library, visited an outlet shopping center, went to our banks, and to Walmart. I also had them extend the muffler tail pipe.
We picked up the motorhome just before 5:00 PM. It runs smooth and there are no vibrations.
Tonight we are staying at the Elks Lodge, down town Casa Grande, instead of going back to the Fairground. The Fairground is located 10 miles from the city.
Tomorrow morning we bring the motorhome back for the radiator work. They also will install new hoses. I told them to check the water pump and the belts. So far the bill is $ 1,658.18.
I put a lot of miles on the motorhome in the last four years. The odometer shows 100,850 miles. I hope I can put a lot more on it.
Summer weather has arrived. The last two days we did not need an extra blanket. The temperature was 62 degrees F in the motorhome when I woke up. During the day it is 80 degrees F, shorts weather.
We spent the morning at Denny,s and the library. I read all the financial magazines. I better make some money in the stock market to pay the motorhome doctor.
The work on our house on wheels was completed at 1:00 PM and a half hour later we were on the road to Goodyear.
Doreen has allergy problems and wants to go home. I had planned to follow the Apache trail by car. Perhaps we get a chance next year.
We arrived at the Moose Lodge at 3:00 PM, and after setting up the motorhome, talked to John Priest Junior about the condition of his father. His father is at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. While riding his Harley, he was run over by a car. He had several operations already. John Junior has his father's and his own fifth wheel trailer and the trucks here at the lodge. The accident happened while the WINs met in Quartzsite. We try to see him tomorrow
We also try to visit our friend Susan in Sun City West.
Today was a cloudy day, perfect weather for Arizona. We went to the VA hospital in Phoenix and visited John. He was happy to see us. His last operation was a success. A week ago the doctors talked about amputating his leg. But now they have the infection under control.
From the hospital we drove to Scottsdale and had lunch in Old Town and Doreen was able to take care of her shopping fix. She did not buy anything though, the prices were very high.
Our next stop was the Heard Museum in Phoenix. It is one of the best museums for Native American culture and art. Their pottery, katsina dolls, and basket collection is very large and has many beautiful items.
We had visited the museum before and it is always a pleasure to come and admire the outstanding displays.
Our friend Susan has the flu and we could not visit her.
The original plan for today was to drive to Borrego Springs and stay there today. When we came down the hill towards Indio, I remembered that on Thursday nights they have in Palm Springs a Street Fair. Since today is Thursday and we never went to this event, we decided to stay at the
Elks Lodge in Indio today.
The other half of this duo has to tell you that I drove today, perfectly well for about two whole hours.
After setting up the motorhome we had lunch and a long nap. Late afternoon we drove to Palm Springs and had dinner. While we were eating we watched city workers block off Palm Canyon Drive, and vendors set up their booths.
After dinner we walked the seven or eight blocks of Palm Canyon Drive and looked at the merchandise for sale. There were organic fruits and vegetables from a farm in Fallbrook, Arts and crafts from around the world, little bands playing all kind of music, and bratwurst and other food booths. Doreen looked at most of the jewelry booths. There were some fancy earrings and necklaces made from coins, and some fancy stuff made with beautiful blown colored glass.
Just walking the automobile traffic free street, and with all the lights of the booths and the lights of the stores along Palm Canyon Drive, and the aroma the food vendors dispensed, and the whole street filled with people, was a wonderful experience.
Doreen had told me before we went outside the restaurant that we should not stay very long. When she saw what was happening in the street she changed her mind.
Because of the detour created by blocking off Palm Canyon Drive, we got lost. I had to stop at a gas station and ask for directions. We got home safe and tired.
Tomorrow morning we are heading home. In March we have only one short camping trip with the Convair Travelers. I hope we can go with them to Agua Caliente County Park, in the desert. We like the group and of course the hot swimming pool.
In April we will be going to Eureka to see Claudia and family, Emmi and Bert in Oregon and then head for the big Escapade with the Escapee Camping Club. This gathering will be in Chico, Northern California.
Besides entertainment there will be seminars and I hope a lot of fun.