Friday, July 11, 2008

Dance Rally 2007

We are on our way to the WIN Dance Rally in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The group rented again part of the Pinal County Fairground, near Casa Grande.

We left Carlsbad at 8:30 AM and had no traffic problems, since it is a Saturday.
We stopped at Sunbeam Lake and checked whether Pete Shurko was at his weekend home. He was not there. Outside the resort is a small county park. We stopped there and had lunch.
We had not stopped in El Centro and got some gasoline for the motorhome.
I wanted to try again and find out how much gasoline the fuel tank holds.
The book says 38 gallons. If this is true we always have 10 gallons left in the tank when the gage is on zero. The most I ever put in was 28 gallons. The motorhome started to stutter when we were about eight miles from Yuma. I stopped on the side of the road and put some gasoline in the tank.
At Winterhaven we visited the RV Park where Vicki Daly and Jim have their fifth wheel trailer. We were lucky and talked to Jim for a few minutes and then met a neighbor of theirs. He saw the WIN decal on our motorhome and car and started to talk to us. We were ready to leave because Vicki and her parents had gone shopping.
Talking to the neighbor was a good thing, as we tried to leave, Vicki and her parents came home. We talked to them for a while and then headed for Yuma to get gasoline and a place to stay.
In Yuma we went to a gas station and filled up the tank, it took 32 gallons. Now I know how low on the gage I can go before the tank is dry.
We decided to go to the BLM land near the VFW. After we set up the motorhome we went for a walk and met some of our WIN friends. They are also on their way to the dance rally.

Lola called us early in the morning and asked us where we would be going today. We told her that we would go as far as Gila Bend. She agreed to meet us there.
The 100 miles to Gila Bend was an easy drive. We stopped at Dateland for a Date Shake, though. Lola was already at the Elks Lodge when we arrived there.
We ate lunch and then another WIN came to the motorhome. While we talked to him a lady, who will become a WIN in Casa Grande, also came in the motorhome. We talked to them for a while. When they left it was too late for a nap. Doreen, I, and Lola wanted to check out the Painted Rock Park.
We always saw the sign on Interstate 8, but never stopped to see what it is. We went by car and were pleasantly surprised. The painted rocks are hills of large boulders, and each has petroglyphs on it. I never saw so many petroglyphs in one area. The park has trails leading to signs which explain the origin of the rock paintings, and have pictures of the landscape from the late 1800's. At that time the Gila River was still flowing through the valley. Dams have stopped that now.

We left Gila Bend at 8:00 AM and arrived at the Pinal County Fairground at 9:30 AM. After setting up the motorhome I went for registration.
The first dance lesson started at 12:30 PM. I went to the second lesson, the Patty Cake Polka. It was supposed to be a fun dance. It probably was fun for people who watched us.
Some of our people have done a wonderful job cleaning the hall and decorating it in a Hawaiian theme. At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we were treated to a Hawaiian Show. Four WIN women, dressed in Hawaiian costumes, were dancing and singing songs of the islands.

Two WIN men in grass skirts ended the show, it was funny.

We brought Hawaiian shirts, unfortunately the weather has changed and it is raining off and on, and we are not able to wear the shirts. At 7:00 PM we went to the evening dance.

I had volunteered to help setting up the breakfast, and Doreen helped clean up. During Hugs and Mugs, coffee, tee and juices and muffins, toast, and bagels with cream cheese were served. There was also yogurt and different kinds of fruit. During the dance rally we have that every morning. When we are in the desert we do not have a big commercial kitchen like at the fairground. There, people have to bring their own coffee to Hugs and mugs.
From 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM I went for dance lessons. The two step was taught. From 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM we had a refresher course and learned the promenade.
At 7:00 PM we went again for the evening dance. The women seem to enjoy to dance the electric slide and line dancing.
I was able to dance the waltz a couple of times and did better than ever before, and we did not have lessons yet. I am hopeful that my two left feet will be a thing of the past after this dance rally.
We also had a waterfall, where you dance with a different woman every five minutes.
The weather has improved

Today we learned the Lindy, also called the East Coast Swing, or Jitterbug. The basic steps are easy, but the inside and outside turns are difficult.
It was another summer day. I went alone to the evening dance. Doreen took a rest.
The non dancers watched "The long, long trailer", with Lucy Ball and Desi Arnez.
During the day people, who do not take lessons, go golfing, and sight seeing

Another beautiful day in the desert. We had only morning classes today, and I skipped them.
Doreen and I went to Tucson and visited our friend Susanne.
We were back for the 6:00 PM "No talent, talent show". Actually the performers were rather talented, at least they had courage to get on stage.
At 7:00 PM the evening dance started and I stayed. The dance rally is a success. There are 122 trailers and motorhomes and 142 people. Some of the group parked their motorhomes somewhere and came with a friend.

Today's lesson was the Night Club Two Step. I had no problems with the basic steps, but the turns gave most of us a hard time.
At 5:00 PM we had Social Time, and at 5:30 the pizzas arrived. There was plenty of pizza and ice cream.
The theme of the social time was "Pirates". Doreen and I were not in costume. We forgot to bring them. We stayed for the evening dance and had a good time.

This was the last day of the WIN 2007 Dance Rally. I was waiting for this day all week, because today was Waltz Day.
It went OK. Some of the fancy turns could have been better. At the 4:00 PM circle meeting the host thanked many of the group who helped with the rally.
Pot Luck was at 5:00 PM. Ham was bought by the group and side dishes and desert were brought by individuals. Doreen and I did not go. Doreen cooked a meal. We had enough with the pizza from yesterday.
We went to the evening dance though. Most of the women wore fancy Hawaiian dresses and the men Hawaiian shirts.
It and we were able to wear Hawaiian outfits today.
It was a fun week.

We left the Fairground at 8:30 AM and arrived at the Florence Elks Lodge at 9:30 AM. After setting up the motorhome we drove to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior.
The arboretum is located at the base of the Picketpost Mountains and displays 10,000 varieties of desert plants from throughout the world.
We walked the main trail and had lunch at a bench, overlooking part of this beautiful park, with the mountains in the back. Peanut butter sandwiches and an apple taste especially good in these surroundings.

Our next stop was the Tonto National Monument, a cliff dwelling. At the Visitor Center we saw a movie about the Salado Indians, who inhabited those ruins.
On the way back we visited the historic district of the mining town of Globe.

Today we are in Apache Junction. We arrived here at 9:30 AM, unhooked the car from the motorhome, and took the scenic Apache Trail Highway, highway 88, to Tortilla Flat. The highway features miles of spectacular desert wilderness and scenic beauty.

We passed the 2,000 feet high Superstition cliffs. The Superstition Mountains are hiding the Lost Dutchman Mine.

Nearby is the reconstructed Mammoth Mine. They have tours through the mine and the old buildings house shops, where women,( and men too )for hours, can look at jewelry and other merchandise.

The whole complex is a paradise for photographers. In Goldfield is the Lost Dutchman Museum, where one can learn about the history and folklore about this region.
The road follows the shore of Canyon Lake for a few miles. The lake and the mountains are a spectacular combination. This road is not for fast drivers, it is very curvy, and has two one lane bridges.

We took our time and enjoyed the scenery.
At Tortilla Flat we went to their tiny museum. We had an ice cream, but we did not order their specialty, the Prickly Pear ice cream.
The bar, store and restaurant have the walls and part of the ceiling, covered with dollar bills and paper money from 56 other countries. There is about 70,000 dollars hanging on the walls. People write their names on the money.
On the way back we stopped at the Canyon Lake restaurant, had lunch, and watched people board the Dolly Steamboat and go for a cruise on the lake.
The weather is perfect, T shirt weather. It gets cold at night though. Late afternoon Lola and Bruce came by, and we had a nice visit. They are staying in Apache Junction for the next month.

More winter weather is on the way. We are heading for home. We left Apache Junction at 7:30 AM and encountered heavy traffic in Mesa.
Highway 60 joins I-10, south of Phoenix. When we got on I-10 the traffic improved.
As soon as we left Phoenix the wind became a problem. I had to hold on to the steering wheel. The motorhome was shaking occasionally when a wind burst hit us from the side.
While on highway 78 the wind blew sand over the road. When we came to the sand dunes near Glamis, visibility was restricted, we were in a sand storm.
On highway 86 traffic was going at 50 miles an hour, fortunately there was no sand blowing. We got some relief on County 22. When we came near Borrego Springs there was even the sun peaking through the clouds.
At Peg Leg Smith Monument I set up the motorhome and then walked to Ron Carlson's motorhome. Doreen took a rest and then started dinner. She got tired watching me holding on to the steering wheel.
It was too windy for a camp fire, so we put a movie in the VCR and watched: "Catch me if you can" a movie with Tom Hanks.
We woke up a couple of times during the night, Doreen thought the wind was blowing the motorhome over.

When I woke up in the morning, and looked out of the window, I saw snow on top of the mountains.
It had rained at night up there. After a sand storm we had the pleasure driving through snow. The snow plows had done a good job and we had no problem. I watched for black ice though.
My taste buds were tasting already a bear claw from Dudley's bakery. When we arrived in Santa Ysabel, the bakery was closed. Tuesday and Wednesday is their day off. Sometimes things do not work out, so we had breakfast in Ramona instead.
The dance rally was a lot of fun, a lot of work for me, but I improved my dancing skills. Doreen took it easy this time, she did not sign up for classes. She had some good times shopping with Lola. We also met a lot of our WIN friends from the Utah and Colorado trip and other outings.
Doreen will not forget so soon this dance rally. Lola and Doreen were walking at the fairground for exercise. It had rained before we came to the rally and there was a lot of mud. Doreen slipped and did a belly flop in the mud. What a mess, they had a good laugh anyway.
Now we have some time for other activities. In the third week of March we will be going camping with the Convair Camping Club. A lot is planned for April, going to Eureka and seeing Nicolette and Jacob, and to Stockton for the Escapee Escapade..

No comments: