Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mesa, Arizona 2013

I arrived at the Moose Lodge in Goodyear, Arizona, at 1:30 PM.
After setting up the motorhome I called Susan, a former neighbor at Camino Hills. She told me that Jack was playing Ping Pong. She called Jack and he told her that I should be at his house at 3:30 PM.
I met Susan and Jack there. He has a beautiful house in Sun City, near Phoenix. He also has a house in Prescott, in the mountains.
He spends his summers there. Susan sold her house in Sun City and bought a house near Palm Springs. She will be moving there in April.
We had a wonderful conversation. I always enjoy visiting them.

At the lodge are two large motorhomes, belonging to Karen, the traveling nurse, and her friend. It is easy to spot a WIN. Both have kayaks on top of their Jeeps and WIN decals on the motorhome and car.

At 6:00 AM, when I got up, it started to rain. It rained all morning. Since there was not much to do, I decided to drive to Mesa and pick up the Tonto Passes, which I need for camping there. I am glad I did it by car, instead tomorrow with the motorhome and the car in tow. At the Ranger Station in Mesa is not much room for big vehicles.
There was snow on the Superstition Mountains, it was a pretty sight. Later, it snowed in Phoenix. The snow turned into slush right away.They call it groupel. It is a soft hail.
I am glad by then I was back at the motorhome.
At the Goodyear-Phoenix Airport I saw those mothballed DC-10’s. It brought back memories. I probably walked in some of them when the fuselage was still in sections.

It took an hour to move from Goodyear to the Phon D Sutton Forest Service camping area in the Tonto National Forest. It is a large parking lot next to the confluence of two rivers.
The host greeted me and told me that the WINs left this morning to do sightseeing. I went to Caroline’s motorhome and since the door was open started talking to her through the screen door. Her big dog barked at me, but she did not answer me. Later, I found out that she always leaves the door of the motorhome open even when she is not there.
Late afternoon a lot more WINs arrived. I went down to the river and took a little walk.

Today we did what the WINs do best: “ Eat”.
Barbara Morgan and Ron Kollross invited us, for Happy Hour, to their house in Mesa. They stopped full timing and bought the house and travel now mostly in the summer to get away from the heat.

Tom Cassidy had his birthday today and Barbara baked a cake. Tom helped with the cutting of the cake.

In front of Barbara and Ron’s house were a lot of cars with kayaks on the roof. A sure sign that the WINs are here.

This weekend they celebrate in Apache Junction the “Lost Dutchman Days”. I went to see the parade.

Since there is also a rodeo, a lot of horses and riders are in the parade.

A little six year old girl led this group.

I thought it was funny to have this little girl on the wagon, sitting on a toy horse.

There were also a lot of old cars. One Model T was pulling a little camping trailer.

It was a long parade. It seems everybody in town tried to participate.

The Shriners were funny in their tiney cars.

After the parade I visited Colin. He comes from Calgary and stays six months in an RV Park in Apache Junction.
Nobody was back at the motorhomes. Most of the people stayed at the Event Center for more entertainment. Today and tomorrow is the Rodeo and a Variety Show and the Carnival.
I went for a walk along the Salt River. There are a lot of big Saguaros.

Today Spring Training started for baseball. Several clubs have their training camps here. During the day the weather is fantastic.

It was cool this morning when we went on a hike. After a while we had to take off the heavy jackets.
Some of the group went to church, others just took it easy. I felt like joining the hikers.

We found a dead Saguaro and got a lecture about the boot. Birds make a hole, for a nest, in the cactus. In order not to damage the plant the bird covers the wall of the nest with saliva and other stuff. When the saguaro dies the walls of the nest, in the shape of a boot, can be found.

Red Mountain makes a wonderful backdrop.

In the afternoon I went to the RV Park where Lola Gonzales and Bruce stay. They were not home and her telephone did not accept messages.

In the morning I finally got to see Lola and Bruce.

From their motorhome I went to the Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction. The museum has the Elvis Memorial Chapel and the Apacheland Barn on its property. Both survived the fire on the movie set in 2004.
The chapel was used in the movie Charro, starring Elvis Presley.

The museum has a lot information about the building of the Roosevelt Dam. There are also items used in households and military information.

The 1897 Sears Catalogue is behind glass. I would have liked to take a look at it.

Outside the museum is a tree stump with a lot of carvings.

My next stop was the Goldfield Ghost Town. They have a mine tour and a little train which goes around the place. The whole place is interesting to look at, but it is a typical tourist trap. The location is very pretty with the Superstition Mountains nearby.

This is my last day in Mesa. The Phon D Sutton Recreation Area is a beautiful spot for a gathering. Most of the WINs will be staying here for a few more days. They will not go to Maricopa, the next stop on the itinerary.
I did not do all the things I wanted to do. Visiting the Heard Museum in Phoenix is one of them. I had been there before but the exhibits always change.
Today I went Down Town Mesa to look at the bronze statues on Main Street. They have them on each corner. I took pictures of the ones I liked best.

My next stop was Fountain Hills. I could see the fountain from the camping area, which must be at least fifteen miles from Fountain Hills.
In this city they have a lot of public art too. Most of those statues are also made from bronze.

The fountain shoots about 330 feet in the air. A lot of people were sitting at the outdoor portion of the restaurant, up on the hill, and watching the fountain. It is an hourly occasion. At the full hour the fountain works for five minutes. The park and the lake are a beautiful setting for this water spectacle.

For the way home I took the Bush Highway, a little scenic road through the mountains, past a lake and along the Verde and Salt Rivers.
I will miss the Golden Eagle soaring above the camping area looking for mice and other little animals, and flying low above the Salt River looking for fish.

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