4/8/09 Hello from Tucson. We are here visiting Elaine's sister, Penny, and her Aunt Marion. Luckily, Aunt Marion has a big yard and we are happily parked here with all the infrastructure we need and lots of nice warm weather. We have been washing everything: ourselves, rig, clothes, car, after all those weeks on the desert. Penny comes over nearly every day for dinner and a visit, and last night, she had us all over for a spaghetti feed. Here is a picture of the 3 of them in Penny's living room:
On our way here, from Yuma, we stopped briefly at the Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site. It was not nearly as interesting for us as it might be for others, since we have visited quite a few of these sites in other countries, such as Chile, in the Atacama Desert. There was a large rock-covered hill and most of the rocks had petroglyphs carved on them, some from very ancient times (7500BC) and some by more recent indigenous tribes such as the Ho'Okum (1450AD). Here are a couple of the rocks:
Being in Yuma enabled us to find some time to visit with friends who were still in the area, such as Carol & Ron Leonard. Here is a picture of them in front of their new casita, which they just finished building and are now in the process of doing the finishing work.
We often stay on their property when we are in Sacramento and always enjoy the brief times we are able to be together. Here is a little yard ornament which they had up and which I thought was priceless:
If you can't read the small print, here is what it says: We get along in our RV cause we don't have room to disagree."
Our friend, Eileen Cooper, also came out for dinner one night, and we were having so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures. Another couple we always try to see if they are anywhere nearby is our dear friends, Lee & Susie Blattner. They have a site at the SKP park in Yuma and they were staying there. But we managed to get together at their place for dinner and travel talk one night, and again at our campsite at Lake Mittrey. Here they are with Elaine, at Happy Hour:
Unfortunately, all the visits weren't just fun social interactions. We got a call from our friend, Maria Roberts, that Bruce had died on April 1 of cancer. Although they both looked and felt wonderful when they attended our wedding in late October, he had started having pain in December. They decided to buy a mobile home at a park in Yuma and he was being diagnosed and treated at the local medical center. She has now put their bus up for sale and will live in Yuma. They had been together for 40 years and lived in their big green bus for more than 20 years. They became our good friends on the drive back from the Panama Canal in 2004, and we have had many happy times with them ever since. He was a wonderful man and we will greatly miss him. Here is a picture of them with us at our wedding:
One of the best parts of staying in the desert and also at Lake Mittrey, was spending time with Mike & Marilyn Harrison. It is comfortable to be with them and they are always warm and gracious when our friends are visiting. It was hard leaving them last Sunday but we know we will be seeing them again, perhaps sooner than anyone thinks!
Now that the weather is starting to get warmer a little further north, we are going to be heading that way starting Friday. I think this will be a trip that we improvise as we go along! Our ultimate goal is to be in Newfoundland for July & August, with visits in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan on the way. It has been a long time since we have traveled cross country here in the USA, so we are looking forward to seeing things we haven't before, as well as having visits with family and friends who happen to be on our route. If there is something fantastic that you have seen or done that you think we shouldn't miss, please e-mail us and tell us about it.