April 9th, 2018

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Well alas my friends, family and blog followers.  Earl and I have completed this leg of our journey as first time snowbirds in the Arizona, U.S.A. area.

We came to meet, greet and explore so many new people, friends and experiences along the way and are already looking forward to what the 2018/2019 season will bring forth.

Our voyage home in our motorhome was quite an experience.  If we weren’t fleeing dust storm, we were fighting the strong winds of impending tornados along the way.  It took us the better part of a week to get back home with one of our stop being in Kentucky to visit the Diamond Caves in all it’s glory and historic appendages.  We plan to return to explore the Mammoth Caves next year but must remember to plan ahead for that one as it seems they are booked months ahead.

Upon our return we were happy to be greeted by our daughter Tara and her husband who let us call there home – our home.  We were not long getting in touch with my mother and father who made us feel most welcomed and missed while we were away.  It touched my heart in a place no one has touched in a very long time.

We also missed very dear friends of ours – George and Louise Leck.  These great folks have been an important and endearing part of our lives for many years and have shaped the people who we have become today.

We have yet to catch up with other very important people in our lives but we look forward to travelling to Cabos, Mexico together next week where I am honored to be the official photography at my nephew John’s and his lovely bride Carrie-Ann’s wedding.  It promises to be the best family time ever.

Once we return from Mexico we will be taking a couple of months to gather ourselves in preparation for our trip to the Canadian East Coast where I will be photographing and logging our experiences during that time and this will be the next leg of our adventures.

Thank you for following us here on our blog.  I have been pleased to have been introduced and begin to follow other fellow bloggers and there many talents and journeys.  I won’t be away long and look for me in the near future.

So goodnight everyone.  Until we meet each other again in my future blogs.

God Bless!208A8760

Earl and Pauline Kelly

April 3rd, 2018

Yesterday we made our way to Park City, Kentucky  KOA from the KOA in Memphis, Tennessee.  We had booked and planned to stay her until Thursday morning but someone knocked on our door to warn off of possible tornado warnings for the next day.  We finally made the decision to stay overnight, go to the Diamond Caverns in the morning and leave on April 4th for our return home to Ontario.

We had planned to also visit the Mammoth Caves nearby but when we went to buy our tickets we were informed that they were sold out and we would have to reserve for them several months in advance.  So we didn’t do that but we did find a quaint little buffet place along a country road where we stopped to have some lunch before our descend in the ground and into the cave.

We arrived at the Diamond Caverns Centre about 11:30 a.m. and had a bit of time to spare so we took a couple of pictures while we waited.208A1123-Edit

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We had a young man as a guide around the caves and he was well informed and quite humorous as well.  After laying out some clear rules and do’s and do not’s about entering the caverns we set off on our way.   This isn’t our first time visiting caves but this one was very beautiful as well.

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I haven’ t had time to edit most of them but here are a couple to show you here.

Well we are leaving early in the morning so I will say goodnight now.  See you soon!

 

 

April 1st, 2018

Wishing all my family and friends a very Happy Easter this morning.  It is our first family holiday away from all those who are important to us and let me tell you it makes you appreciate the kind, loving and caring people who make up a big part of your life.

Tara I was very happy to receive you Texts this morning…..your timing was so perfect and it put a smile on my heart and Kathleen and Rick dad and I are thinking about that delicious Easter Breakfast/Brunch you always put together so nicely.  Love you all.

Mom and dad it was so nice to hear your voice this morning mom.  You are so often on my mind when we are away from home and constantly wonder how you are both feeling and pray that God is taken care of you and keeping you safe and healthy.

Earl, Casey and Finnigan bought me an small Easter Bunny to enjoy later today.  Although we all have been eating healthier these days nothing will keep me away from that milk chocolate later this afternoon.

It is also April’s Fools Day but no one was around to pull pranks of any kind this morning.  Chris, I didn’t have to look over my shoulder when I woke up this morning – but I thought about it. LOL

THE ROAD TRIP BACK TOWARDS HOME

 

As you may know we left Picacho Peak R.V. Park in Arizona bright and early on March 30th travelling towards our next destination – Mammoth R.V. Resort in Kentucky.   We had to say goodbye to some nice people we got acquainted with and who welcomed us with a smile and a few stories.  They became friends quite quickly and we look forward to meeting up with them all next year.  I didn’t get pictures of them but I did snap a shot of their home away from home in our Arizona neighbourhood. LOL

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This is where Jan and Stew live from December through April and have done so for the past few years.

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This beautiful motorhome if where a lovely couple (I forgot their names but it will come to me soon).  The volunteer at this KOA and in return they get to stay there free of charge and a few buck to top it off for all the help they give.  Also another very lovely couple I hoped to get to know better next year but I believe they will be moving on to another KOA elsewhere in the country.

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This is where Phil (as we have come to know him) lives.  His wife has not yet retired but she drove up with him and returned home for the rest of the winter.  On Thursday she flew back in to drive back to there home with her husband.  Phil is a passionate motorcycle enthusiast and never does a day go by that he doesn’t take it out for a long drive up and down the side roads of Arizona — letting the wind blow through his hair and the sun brown the top of his head.  He has a love southern accent and we look forward to meeting up with him and his wife again next season.

We have gone through Arizona, crossed into Texas and went through a couple of time changes since then.  We have watched the desert fade away and watch the green grassy hills and the cattle, horses, alpacas, goats, sheep and even geese and turkeys grazing the lush pastures and waddling in the ponds.

The spring flowers in every color imaginable are  growing along the side of the highways shouting loud and clear that Spring has arrived.  We are surely blessed.

Going through Texas has been a wonderful experience.  I was ever so impressed with the Cities of Fort Worth and Dallas Texas.  There infrastructure engineering is outstanding and right in you face when driving through them on Interstate 30.  I took some pictures with my cell phone and I will post them a little later.

The first night on the road was spent in Vanhorn, Texas. We pulled in about supper time, watched some television for a while and then it was lights out for the night.  Got up early and we were back on the road for another day of travellingLast night we stopped at a Sam’s Club affiliated camp site name “Shady Lake R.V. Park.  We arrived just as sunset was setting in and I was able to grab the camera and take a picture or two before it set itself down.

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Earl walked Casey and Finnigan around a bit for their last business of the day while I took a couple of pictures of some fenced in goats clearly asking for attention and maybe a snack or two.  They were very cute but noisy.

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So it brings us to this morning.  Earl cleaned the windshield on the motorhome so the bugs would have nice clean glass to run into as they smack against it.  We did some routine preparations, set the radio up for great tunes to listen to while driving, got the computer ready to my time blogging for you all and after a cup of jo and a bite to eat we are back on the road again. (Sounds like a song I know). LOL

So this is all for now folks and I will catch up to you all later.

 

 

 

 

March 30th, 2018

Short and sweet tonight.  We spent the day cleaning everything and packing up the outdoor chairs, tarps, floors….bird feeders, and all sorts of other things.  We are ready to head back home towards Canada with a stop in Kentucky for a few days stay and maybe visit the Mammoth Caves while we are there.

Come in late tonight so this will be goodnight to all my friends and family.  Catch up to you another day soon.

 

March 27th, 2018

SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN RANGE

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/hieroglyphic-trail

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Resource:  Internet

This was the inspiration for completing our 3 mile hike up the Superstition Mountain Range on the HIEROGLYPHIC-TRAIL today.

After researching this destination Earl suggested that we take this moderately difficult trail today complete with Casey and Finnigan, a packed lunch, lots of water (for us and the dogs), and all of our camera gear.  After misplacing my quick release strap for Canon camera we had to detour to a camera shop in Phoenix to get myself another one.  

Arriving at our GPS guided destination we found a locked gate, a sign stating the trail was closed and ran over a huge rock (no damage to the car) a huge new high end luxury homes sub division was built where the trail used to be.  Lucky for us we decided to scout around to see what was there and we located a new road posted with clear signs directing us to the new parking lot at the bottom of the mountain we would be attempting to climb.

A couple of places along the trail were gated (mostly for livestock) and we had a bit of trouble convincing Finnigan to make the jump above the bar so he chose to go under it (yup, that is our boy.

Once the gate was safely closed behind us we made our way up the Hieroglphic-trail and on our way to find the springs we read about.

We were not a half a mile up yet and our muscles were “screaming” at us “WHAT – WE ARE DOING THIS AGAIN TODAY” – ARE WE CRAZY”.  Earl and I looked at each other, took a deep and cleansing breath and continued on.

To make a long story short we were very happy that we did and proud once again of this physical accomplishment.  Hiking is a new activity we’ve built into our lives now that we are fully retired and have to time to travel and experience the world from a different and celestial point of view (from on top of the world looking down).

We met so many new people both on the way up and on the way down and we were thankful for the opportunity to catch our breath while everyone took time to meet and visit and but scratch Casey and Finnigan.  It is so apparent the impact that animals have on we humans.  There is a calmness and a satisfaction that comes with hugging and loving our pets.

Casey and Finnigan had never been hiking (never walking more than a half hour at a time and never on such a steep slope) and in this next image they seem to be asking us “WHAT THE HECK ARE WE DOING – ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

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I just love Finnigan’s smile and Casey’s look of curiosity and astonishment. LOL

When we got to the top of the mountain – well not really the top but where we were heading anyway I was a bit surprised because the image I saw gave me the impression we would see a waterfall.  What I hadn’t realized was that happens in the spring when the rains occur and gently flow to the springs below.  But we did see a depression with water in the rocks.

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In these images it is very difficult to see but you can spot a bit of it where all the people are walking about.

However we were very pleased to see the heirogryphics on the rocks.  There are so many places that indicate the native populations here in Arizona.

Earl took a few pictures of a squirrel like critter and some birds living in or around the caves.

I have so many beautiful pictures to show you so I will put it in a slideshow and you can view it if you wish to do so.

And of course he couldn’t resist taking pictures of me resting on the rocks while he made me nervous watching him climb higher on the mountain to get the perfect picture.  It was a nail biting experience for me.

We both took so many beautiful landscape and nature photographs – I mean a lot so I am putting them in this slide show that you can watch if you wish.  It is very worth it to experience the beauty of  the Superstition Mountain Range.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy!  I will see you again soon.

Big hugs everyone!

 

 

March 26th, 2018

A place we have come to love since we arrived here in Arizona.  We didn’t know it when we left Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada that this would become our home away from home, but it did.

Picacho Peak is a mountain very distinguishable from the many hundreds of mountains in this part of the world.  It seems that it doesn’t matter which direction we drive in, whether it be on highway 10, country roads, highway 8, from Phoenix or Tucson , Casa Grande, Eloy, Oro Valley or Arizona City, you can’t help but see this geological formation know as “PICACHO PEAK” and know you are close to home.

THE PECAN TREE CROPS:

I’ve talked about the fields of Pecan trees the farmers work here in Arizona but there is something about them that command my attention as I pass them each and everyday.  The rows of tree are straight, organized and go on forever.  They invite me to walk among them but they are not open to the public.  The farmers and workers tend to these trees with loving care and definite attention to detail.  I am curious as to what crops the trees will protect as they are growing beneath their branches and above their roots.

I am fascinated by the irrigation systems used to keep these dry desert fields watered.

From what I understand the farmers flood pre-determined acres of pecan trees until they are about 6 feet deep in the soil.  Then they move to the next lot of acres.  They do this every two or three weeks depending on how hot and drenched the fields become.

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I was practically standing on an awkward angle to take this image of the ditch/dyke/ or whatever else they call it but you see this cement  ditches all over the miles and miles of crop fields.

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And this is what they look like after the pumps are turned on and the water had flowed and flooded them thoroughly.

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I found this to be a beautiful area that shows how the valley is protected by the mountains and the desert is not always desolate and dry but green and fruitful.

Earl and I enjoy going out for drives along the country roads and off the main highways as we never ever know what interesting facts we will uncover or what things we will see and discover in the moment.

Well I will say goodnight my friends.  See you tomorrow.

March 24th, 2018

Good news.  We would like to congratulate our nephew Trevor Pause and his wife Laura on the birth of the son Nolan.  Welcome to the family Nolan.

WIND STORMS IN ARIZONA:

While our family and friends in Ontario, Canada are patiently awaiting for the snow to melt and for the spring flowers to bloom, we here in Arizona have learned all about Sand Storms here in the desert.  The winds can pick up quickly and blow at 60 km an hr on the low side blowing sand in the sky so high that it makes driving a blinding experience.

All tarps, tents and awnings are quickly pulled up and put away to avoid and damage by the winds.

DINNER WITH THE WHITESIDES:

We left Ontario on February 2, 2018 with Colin and Sharon Whiteside.  I can’t believe today is already March 24th and our friends will be leaving us in the morning to continue their trip to Vancouver to meet up and visit with Colin’s family.  They will head towards San Francisco, California where Colin is hoping to see and take pictures of the large ships there.  Earl and I will remain here for another week and head towards Kentucky on March 30th.

So tonight Earl and I hosted a lovely Chicken dinner complete with stuffing, corn, carrots, mashed potatoes and grave and cheese cake for desert.  It was so delicious!  Afterwards we spend time setting around the fire remembering all the fun and good times we shared.  Earl and I are going to miss them until we get back home.  Be safe guys!

CHANGES TO OUR CAMPER:

As we live in the motorhome we find ourselves making minor chances here and there to organize our space and making it more efficient and comfortable.

Two day ago we bought a new table lamp and I wanted to place it on the dining room table, which we did.  However that meant moving the radio somewhere else so Earl put a shelve under the table where we placed the boom box – thus freeing up the table.  Brilliant Earl and thank you.

Also I needed some place to keep my bird, butterfly, animal and photography books so he built me a shelf above the window behind his side of the table.  It looks really good.  Job well done.

We are very happy with how easy and comfortable it is to live in our motorhome.  Everything has a place and a purpose.  We don’t change things up or around as to not make things confusing and this keeps everyone happy and relaxed.

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You can see here the shelf that he build but I have a few more books to place there yet.

That is about it for the news today folks.  See you around!

Goodnight.