Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

The end of one year and the beginning of another. I have read a lot of interesting histories of the last year from what is happening to the economy and how it will improve, get worse or stay the same and all for good reasons, to how to solve wars and get the price of oil back on it's way to better levels and maybe even make GM profitable. I'm not going to hazard a guess on any of that and as for what happened in the last year with us you can take a walk back through the blog to see what happened when it happened and it will not be obscured or coloured by the mists of time.

Tonight we went out with the folks whose lot we are parked in to spend New Years Eve with them and their friends. A fun group of folks from all over the states. Lots of funny stories and interesting people. Not the least Phyllis and Bob our landlords. Here they are settling in to start a transfer of funds under the guise of a friendly card game. Those who know me well know that I am not a very good game player (I hate to lose) so what with Brenda's heavy meds putting her to sleep and my fear of losing money we said our goodbyes as the game started. I am sure there will be a lot of great stories started at that table as the evening progresses.

Happy New Year and may 2009 bring you success and happiness at whatever you would like to be happy and successful at.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Universal Health Care

I have had a lot of questions about our Health Care system in Canada. I am far from an expert but like anyone who has been around for more than a half century I have had some interactions with the system and have formed some opinions. For the most part I think we have a great system. Yep, we have some waiting lists, but I don't know anyone who needed care immediately who didn't get it damn quick. If your knee is bothering your golf game though you may have to wait awhile until the guy who can't walk is looked after. Acute things like Heart problems and Cancer are looked after immediately in my experience. I suppose like all things there are exceptions but as a rule things happen in a timely fashion.
There is a misconception, mainly in the US, that our Health Care is free. Well that is not true, our taxation system is different, we pay higher income taxes, higher sin taxes and higher taxes on our gas and diesel. Those things all help pay for that "free" health care.
One of the nice things about the Canadian system is that all you need is your health care number and you are off to the races when it comes to getting started at the doctors or the hospital. No fuss, no muss, no money changes hands.
Today we had an encounter with the American system. Brenda has had a sore arm for a while and it has spread from her elbow to her wrist and up to her shoulder and neck. Today we figured we should get it looked at. First we went to one clinic that told us they don't deal with Canadian insurance or travel insurance and we would have to pay them up front for everything, before they actually do anything. Surprisingly they were more expensive than the clinic down the street who are insurance company helped us find. We started off with our travel insurance provider. Although they were helpful they sure needed a ton of information about Brenda, my policy, the clinic we had chosen, and the doctor that was assigned. It probably took an hour to get all the information recorded so that we could go ahead and actually see the doctor. After the appointment we needed to call back and give a blow by blow of the diagnosis and the follow up. The clinic here in Yuma doesn't want to bill the insurance company for more than 20% so we paid them 80% up front, before you see the doc, as well as covering the cost of the prescriptions. I am sure our insurance company will reimburse us for the cost but kind of strange that they will bill them for 20% but we have to cover the rest. I'm thinking Manulife is probably a better credit risk than me.
But you are right there are no lineups, I guess folks here better stay at work so they can pay the doc up front.
As for the arm, the doc says here in Yuma he treats a lot of aches and pains and stiff joints so he is pretty sure he is on the right track. We have a bunch of drugs including one our vet has Socks on at home so I guess we will see.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Slab City

We took a trip over to California to see what we could see and maybe scout out some future boondocking sites. Just across the Arizona/California border you cross through these dunes. At the point where the highway crosses the dunes they are crawling with ATV's and Dune Buggies. We stopped to take this shot and there was a steady drone of unmuffled engines roaring in the background. Rumour has it that there are large sections that are off limits to the motorized crowd so I guess there is something for everyone, even Mother Nature. We noticed a lot of folks boondocking out here both along the highway and farther afield.

Farther along near Niland, California we came to Slab City. This is the site of a WWII military base and has acquired quite a collection of RV's both snowbirds and some fulltime residents.

What it really needs to acquire is a garbage truck. It is a great example of why folks are unable to live without the government meddling in their affairs. I don't think I have been anyway where there was so much garbage strewn about the landscape. Needless to say I don't think our outfit will be calling this garbage dump home anytime soon.

Salvation Mountain is a site just at the entrance to Slab City and a site worth seeing. Somebody has spent a lot of energy here building this tribute to his lord. Hard to imagine what drives a person to do this but it is a definite must see if you are in the area. but beware the garbage begins just past this sign.

Here is a local RV.

Now I have been wondering what to do with that old International at the farm. Maybe I can spruce her up and make a gate ornament like this one.

I'm not sure what the surface of this but it appears to mud and straw covered in paint. Lots of paint!

This was the trophy room, the trophies all were from the Niland Tomato Festival

Not sure of the significance of these but they were colourful.

This is hollowed out and is supported by trees branches and such and maybe even a tree built into the structure.

Here is a final shot of Salvation Mountain.
We also continued on to the Salton Sea looking for a spot some Kiwi's had told us about. It certainly was better than Slab City as a location but not near as comfortable as some of the other desert sites we have been fortunate enough to visit.
We also managed to hit Costco over in El Centro so we have scratched that itch and have resupplied our meat locker and the water supplies. Anybody who knows us knows that we are convinced that Costco sells nothing but the best when it comes to beef. The other thing that Costco did was supply us with a pretty reasonable lunch. Lunch for both of us including desert and drinks amounted to $7.50 and of course there was a myriad of appy's available as we shopped around the store.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Washing Machine Fire

Today was pretty much a camp day even though we are in Phyllis's lot instead of our usual boondocking spots. I went for my walk this morning and covered most of the neighbourhood snooping in every For Sale sign. Real Estate is pretty reasonable here and if a person was of a mind to purchase it is probably not a bad time. Brenda ran out to wash her Jeep but couldn't find a self serve car wash so was back in record time. The rest of the day we just sat around and caught up on our reading.

Bill and Marg and Linda and Mickey dropped by at Happy Hour so we had a visit with them for an hour or so until they headed home. Then we dropped in on Phyllis and Bob, our landlords, campfire. They had a bunch of their friends over and the party was rockin'. Here is a shot of the group enjoying the fire.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Spot

Not much happening today, but we did move to a new spot. We are out in the Foothills area east of Yuma. We decided to move out to a spot owned by some people I had connected with on the RV-Dreamers site. Some of our readers probably know Phyllis and her husband Bob. Nice folks and the spot is great, all the amenities and in a quiet location also. It is a mix of homes and RV lots with Casitas on them. It is just a few blocks from that amazing Christmas light display we visited on Christmas Eve so we may get there one more time before the season is over. A lot more space than you will get in any RV park we have been in.

The weather is a little cooler today, just in the high 50's and a little windy, but it is sunny.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Kids Christmas Video

Christmas Day in Yuma is certainly different than Christmas in Calgary. I didn't get up till after 8:00AM and sadly there was no mad rush to see the kids rip open their gifts. We spoke to them though as they were sorting their way through what sounded like a mountain of gifts.

After eating a bunch of fresh baked muffins we made our way down to Bill and Marg's. Their fridge gave up the ghost a few days ago and the new one was delivered yesterday so we were packing the old one out and putting the new one in. Sounds like a simple exercise but the old one was to big to fit through the door so we had rip some parts of it off to make it fit. The new one was a little smaller and fit through the door, barely. Once we got it in we found it to be an inch taller so we needed to do some remodelling to the headboard to get it to fit. A little measuring combined with a little sawing then some more measuring and a little more sawing and it slid right into place. That shocked look must be from being caught working, don't worry doesn't happen often.

The old one was a tight fit coming out even if we had ripped the front door and it mounting apparatus off.

Bill, Mickey and I assessing the new one, it looks a little smaller so maybe it won't be so difficult to get back in.

And in she goes.

Hmmm, now what's the problem it seems to be to tall to fit the hole. Bring out the saws.

Christmas Eve we took a stroll down 55 Street in Foothills. These folks go all out to make Christmas a well lite affair. Here's Brenda in front of one of the homes along the block.

And not only the houses are decorated, this poodle/reindeer was carrying a pack with batteries and was well strung with lights. Too bad I got the exposure to high to highlight them. He was pretty well trained as he stood there like a statue for folks to admire.

Well I guess a snowman is really out of the question down here but a few tumbleweeds and a little decoration make a pretty fair substitute.

Not as flashy as 55 St but the streets in our park were lined with candles and white lunch bags, sounds simple but it makes for a pretty cool display.

And just so the grinch didn't spoil Christmas for the folks back in Canada we managed to get him penned up here in Arizona.

Tonight we are having Christmas dinner here in the coach. The smells are already wafting around, now if we just could find some decent bread in this country we will be ready for sandwiches and leftovers tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas

Folks on my email list will have to bear this photo one more time. It appears earlier in the blog also, without the text, but I thought it was a good symbol of our time and place in this season.

Early this morning I readied myself for an assault on the nearby Walmart. We needed a few last minute things and I don't think Brenda could bear the thought of Walmart on Christmas Eve. At 10:00AM I think I got the last parking spot in the very large parking lot. But once I got in the store I found it populated by folks whose intent was to look at every item before they made a decision, so with my short and specific list of items, and a pretty good knowledge of where to find them, I was able to work the perimeters of the store and get back to the checkout before the rush started there. All told it was only a half hour excursion. Must be a record for Christmas Eve shopping.

I came back to the Park and they were bagging sand and candles for some kind of luminary candle show that is a tradition here. The work party was supposed to start at 11:00 but when I got there it was almost over. It will be interesting to see the results as there is a white bag with sand and a candle in it placed every yard/metre or so all along the roadways. Not sure whose job it is to light all these but it will be a large undertaking.

Bill and Marg dropped by on the way to the airport to pick up her sister for an early Happy Hour and we are expecting Ron and Edie later this evening before we head out to see the Christmas Lights in Foothills a suburb of Yuma.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Out and About

Sunset from the steps of our coach.

We met our neighbours here in the campground Ron and Brenda who are from Cutknife, Saskatchewan. They have been here for two years now and like the activities here in the CG. But like most of Canadians what they like best is the lack of snow and freezing temperatures.

Today we decided that we would get out and see a few of the places folks camp in the desert around Yuma. We had heard about them but never had been out to locate them exactly. We went out to Yuma Lakes where Ron and Eddy are camped. It is a spot right on the edge of a manmade lake. The other side of which has a commercial campground. Ron and Eddy have a view of the lake and no neighbours who are close, by campground standards. The road in and out is a little rough but nothing going slow wouldn't solve. After that we headed over to the Gravel Pit and scouted that out. We liked that spot a little better but apparently it is a little noiser as there is a gravel crusher working a half a mile away or so. Could even be a railroad track over there also.

While we were out wandering around we passed a "lettuce picking" operation. There were four of these outfits working in a field and they were cultivating and discing right behind them. This looks like back breaking work and is mostly done with Mexican labour. I'm thinking that if these are the illegals that the Border Patrol is working so hard to keep out, if and when they are successful the price of salad will be out of reach of most of us. I have a hard time imagining many Americans standing in line to do this work and am certainly glad that we don't grow lettuce at home so I can use that for an excuse to draw my pension rather than pick up a little part time work in the lettuce fields.

We also managed to fuel up the Jeep for 1.98/gallon for diesel, about $36 US$, not bad considering this summer when the dollar was at par we paid over $100 for a tankful at home. While we were out we also managed to restock our candy drawer at Walgreens and pick up a few Xmas decorations to make it seem more like Christmas.

Our friend Margaret's sister Linda and her guy Micky are trying to get to Yuma for Christmas from Lower Post up near the Yukon border. What with the weather up north that is proving to be a challenge. They left Whitehorse and made it to Vancouver and are now headed towards Calgary, where they hope to get a flight to Denver, then Los Angeles, to Phoenix and then hopefully on to Yuma. It might be quicker for them to catch a ride on the Christmas Eve sleigh.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Last night we had a stroll around the Campground and had a look at the lights. Really pretty nice, I need to get my tripod out to do them justice though.

We had our coach washed today. It was covered in grime from the drive down from Vegas. Remember the snow and rain and the sand off the desert had made it pretty much a mess. A couple of Hispanic fellows came by and gave it a quick rinse and did up the chrome and the windows pretty good. The price was more reasonable than Vegas but the job was less detailed so after they were done Brenda and I hand dried it ourselves. Looks pretty good and rain is predicted for the afternoon....LOL.

After that was done we ran down to see Bill and Marg at her cousins place. It is a nice lot in the Foothills area with room for a couple of big RV's and a Casita (adobe fish camp cabin). It is really well laid out and has one room with a combined kitchen, living room, Murphy bed and a large bathroom off the side complete with washer and dryer. There is also a deck on the roof so you can enjoy the sunsets without interference from the neighbours house.

After that we were over to Phyllis (Dreamer) and Bob's place as starting next Saturday we are going to rent a space from them for a while. Not sure for how long but a week anyway and maybe two. You know the problem, our plans are cast in jello....LOL.

It had been a couple of days since we had hit Walmart so we thought we would hit the big time and search out the Sam's Club. Kinda like Walmart's version of Costco without the great meat and with a lot more stuff crammed into the same space. Purchased a couple of cases of water and some California Clemintine oranges, supposed to be like the Jap oranges we get a home, we'll see.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kicking Back

It's Sunday in Yuma, the sun is out and the temps are in the high 60's and low 70's. Lot's going on but nothing that struck our fancy. We ran out to see where our friends are staying in Foothills. Looks like a nice spot in a neighbourhood that is a mix of casita's with RV spots and houses. It is their cousins place and they are staying there for the next two weeks. We also did our Christmas shopping so we have our Christmas dinner in the fridge, just ready to prepare. Brenda had a look around Mervyn's to see if their "Going out of Business Sale" had any deals but she said it looked pretty well picked over.

I stopped at Staples and bought a new notebook, my old one is full of notes so I am trying to transfer the important stuff to the new one today. One thing about this life there is not much important except where the odds and ends that are in the storage bins are kept. Saves me rifling through all the storage tubs everytime I have to locate something. Oh, that and a few phone numbers of folks that we are bumping into from time to time down here.

Once all that shopping was completed we ran over to the Flea Market and dropped in on a couple of important shops. First the used bookstore, need some fresh reading, and then over to the Candy and Nut shop. Can't have Christmas without candy.
I heard from our friend Randy, he was in Vegas for the snow storm a few days ago and had some stories to tell about how the desert folks handled that unfamilar sight and road conditions. I imagine it was something to see, as long as you didn't have to get out in it with them.
Here is a sunset shot I took a couple of days ago over at the Cocopah Casino.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Los Algodones

We have moved from the Cocopah Casino into a park called Araby Acres. We will be here for a couple of weeks over the Christmas season. We'll be able to hook up our Xmas lights and run the heaters for a little extra heat during the cool desert nights.
Here is a shot of our new digs, that's us down the way with the silver windshield cover. Not to bad but sure not a lot of room like out in the desert.

Today we ran down to Los Algodones in Mexico with Bill and Margaret and did a little souvenir shopping. We got a couple of kerosene lamps for our return to the desert in the New Year and some "gold" jewelry that was being aggressively marketed. Unlike last year there were no long lineups at the border and some of the folks down there said it has been a bad season for them. They figure the traffic is down by half and the people who are coming are not spending near the money they have in other years. Many folks come down here to acquire their medicines and the streets are lined with dentists and opticians so there are a lot of nice smiles built here and folks are even able to see them better.

We also managed to have dinner down there at a great little restaurant right across the road from the Border Crossing. Can't remember the name but the food was great.

Now we just need to decide whether we are having "a very small turkey" chicken or something else for Christmas dinner. My bet is on the chicken.

Here is a shot of two little Mexican kids that were playing along the street. Makes me think how spoiled we have become. These two were happy as larks playing house under a sign along the busy throughfare.

sorry about the shortage of pics but our internet connection is not robust enough for that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cocopah Casino

We woke up this morning to another rainy day. Not so great but better than the three or so inches of snow that has fallen in Vegas recently. We got on the road pretty early and stopped in Quartzsite at the Love's to fuel up, $ 1.87/gal of diesel, and also top up our fresh water tank. That done we headed towards Yuma. It rained pretty heavy all the way down here.

We are parked at the Cocopah Casino and will probably stay here for a couple of days before moving on. We have been joined her by Bill and Margaret our friends from Dease Lake. Also ran into Faye and Glen, a couple we met from Calgary, last winter in Laughlin. It is kind of neat the way that after you do this roaming around for a while you realize that the same folks are traveling a like circuit so you get to see them time and time again. Brenda tried her luck with the slot machines here but I guess she left it in Vegas.

There is a Marine airbase in Yuma and their planes seemed to be constantly in the air and doing touch and go landings just down the road from us. I guess it is the "sound of freedom" but I am hoping they take the night off.

We had happy hour with the above mentioned folks and then it was time for a little TV before we called it a night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Plomosa Road

This is our spot along Plomosa Road.

Today we are camped at the Plomosa Road 14 day area north of Quartzsite. It is a nice spot along Highway 95 north of town. Not our usual Quartzsite haunt but this one has the added bonus of cell and air card coverage, at least for our Trac Phone and Sprint Air Card. We have a great spot along side of a wash that is filled with trees to break the wind that was here last night when we arrived. We are a little close to Hwy 95 and in the daytime there is a little traffic noise, but that route is pretty quiet at night so no problem there.

I managed to get my walk in this morning, I love walking in the desert, and you don't really have to have a destination in mind, just go where the mood takes you for an hour or so of physical and mental exercise. No fences out there to hold you back.

We have nothing planned today or maybe it's better said as we plan to do nothing, just in case folks think we are too lazy even to do some planning. It is nice to have a day where there is nothing on the agenda except catching up with some reading and giving Brenda time to make some of my favourite "Butternut Squash" soup. "Mmm hmm good."

We picked up a little propane incandescent heater while in Vegas and had an opportunity to use that last night. It is a lot more efficient and certainly quieter than the furnaces in the rig. My only concern with these "Mr. Heater" things is the necessity to have a window open to supply then with fresh air. Throughout my childhood I had it drummed into me about having a heater in the rig. So be assured the window is open and the heater is turned off before bed, even though these new ones apparently have a low oxygen sensor that shuts them off, hopefully, before the occupants shut off. That would require putting a lot of trust in some engineers though so we won't be testing the theory.

If anything interesting happens later in the day I'll update this but we have the internet and inverter in now so I'll post this as is.

Here is a shot of the sunset tonight

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back in the Desert Again

Well we are back in the desert again. It is nice to see the bright lights but nicer to leave them in the rearview mirror. We have a great site and a lot of space here, you don't get that in the Parks in the cities. We are north of Quartzsite about 3 miles and have nestled in behind some trees so even though it is a little windy we are not feeling it.

We had our rig into Las Vegas RV to complete some work we started last week and it was done early so we headed south. They were talking about 4 inches of snow around Vegas so we thought that was our cue to beat it. Sure enough as we headed south past Searchlight we had some snow falling. Although it stuck to the windshield the road stayed clear and we managed to get through without the tire chains. LOL Kinda like one of those July flurries back home.

Yesterday we met Wayne and Vel and went to lunch at the Riviera Casino and ate in a restaurant called Kady's Coffeeshop. It was really just a coffee shop with coffee shop prices but the food was great. I had the pork chops, and Wayne and Vel had the T-Bone steaks, all excellent and Brenda had the hamburger and it was homemade and great. Nice to find a reasonably priced place with good food there as there are a lot of the other kind.

After lunch we filled the propane tank with some very expensive propane and left the KOA behind and spent the night at the Camping World. Couldn't get off the street to far but it looked OK when we got there. Little did we know there was a gravel haul that would be going by all night. Oh well that won't happen tonight. Camping World is a great place to meet people though, they usually have a customer lounge and most the folks waiting around in there are RVers and have a lot of interesting stories. Today we met a couple of Kiwi's named Clive and Gilly who are on the continent for the next 3 or 4 years to see it all. They have a new outfit and were getting a little warranty work done before heading out looking for the next interesting place. They should be in Canada next summer so maybe we'll cross their trails again.

The rodeo was great and it was nice seeing friends and even some family but it is good to be back in the sticks. Here is a shot of our new License Plate. Till next time

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Well That's All Folks

The rodeo is over. It was a great show and well worth the time and money. Well my time comes fairly cheap right now but it was worth the money anyway. It was the 50th Anniversary of the National Finals so that is a milestone.

Pretty high tech show that opens with a laser light display. Tough to catch it in all its glory in a photograph but here is the best I could do.

Barrel racer Lindsay Sears clinched her first world title after Round 8, so the only question remaining in that event was how much the Canadian would win and how high she would set the season earnings record bar. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, finished the season as the sport''s first $300,000 barrel racer, earning $323,570 in 2008 while claiming the gold buckle. Her horse, Martha, was named AQHA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year, and Sears has been more than complimentary when talking about the talented horse."I''m very honored and very proud to be Canadian today, and it means a lot to get the first barrel racing world championship that we get to take home to Canada," said Sears, who finished third in the Wrangler NFR average. "It''s been such a surreal year this year. It''s unbelievable. I''m so thankful that I have such an awesome horse. Martha''s really the world champion. She deserves it, and I''m so proud of her."Sears won five of the 10 rounds in Las Vegas, including four in a row from Rounds 6-9, to pocket $139,002 at the Wrangler NFR. I stole the first part of this paragraph from the PRCA website and the report on the results for tonite. They said it better than I could. I think a lot of Canadians are pretty proud to have her bring home the World Championship buckle.

This is a shot of her making the turn on the first barrel tonight. Not her best run but, the best shot I got.

Earlier today we had some visitors, Wayne and Vel, from Caroline, Alberta, and Randy and Sue, from North Pole, Alaska. After a visit we went into the Circus Circus for lunch, the salad bar was great and the desert table was certainly well attended. As for the rest it wasn't particularly good but it filled the empty spot.

As for whats next, we are still figuring it out but it probably includes heading to more southern latitudes for some warmer weather.

Canadian World Champion

Not much to report but I thought I better make an appearance so those who read regularly don't think we have been taken out to shallow graves in the desert for non-payment of our gambling debts. Those who know me know that is unlikely in my case, and for the record Brenda has been exacting a toll from the casinos. Not enough to buy a new motorhome but enough for spending money!!

Oh yah Mick, we saw your baby brother, Mike, and he is doing fine. We have also met Derek and Shawna, friends of our from Alliance, and some of their friends also, for a good visit yesterday.

Thursday night Lindsay Sears mathematically eliminated everyone else from the World Championship race. She has been smoking 'em the last three nights. All runs below 13.6, which is pretty quick. And she did it again on Friday night. That means she has won the go arounds in 5 out of 9 nights so far. Not to get greedy but one more would be nice. Whoever thought you could make $300K a year chasing cans. You go girl!!

As for the weather it has been pretty nice all week. In the 60's for you folks back home dealing with the -20's. That said we are looking forward to heading back south to the desert and some warmer weather down Yuma way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NFR - Performance 7

The other day when I went for my morning stroll I went down the strip to the Wynn. It is a beautiful hotel and the maintenance crew was hard at work keeping the pools sparkling. One of the fellows told me that they were the only property on the strip that had not laid off any workers in the downturn. The MGM Mirage group which owns the Circus Circus property where we are staying had plans to demolish most of the existing infrastructure and build a new casino and hotels and condo's but I am betting that all those plans are on hold until there is a turnaround in the economic situation. So it's tough, even in the gambling business.

Here is a shot of the Grand Entry, with all the cowboys and cowgirls lined up at the start of the rodeo.

Traffic is certainly an issue heading over to the Thomas & Mack, but we just caught the shuttle bus here at the Circus Circus and it dropped us at the front door and picked us up after the rodeo and brought us back, no problem.

That red splotch, pardon me, proud banner with the red maple leaf, on the far side is the Canadian flag being brought in by Lindsay Sears for the Grand Entry.

It was a pretty good night for the Canadian competitors also. Curtis Cassidy won the Steer Wrestling and Lindsay Sears a Canadian cowgirl cleaned up at the barrel racing later in the evening. It looks like she is on her way to her first World Championship as she is about $64,000 ahead of her nearest competitor. Another cowboy who is married to a Canadian and makes his home down the road from us for at least half the year, Jeff Chapman, won the Tie Down Roping. The rest of our Canadian folks certainly made it competitive also. Tonight is Canada night at the Rodeo so we're hoping for another great showing. Love to see those Canucks take those good Yankee dollars back north with them!!
Today we are having lunch with some friends from Canada, Wayne and Val. He comes down to the rodeo every year and found the tickets for us this year. His usual haunts are in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories so even though it is in the 60's here it is a whole lot warmer than Inuvik at -30C.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cut and Colour

Not much happening today, although Brenda did head over to J.C. Penney's for a new cut and colour. Apparently her stylist was a deaf lady named Wendy, and from the result she knew her stuff. The cut and style is great. This is the second time she has trusted the folks at J.C. Penney to do her hair and has been pleased with the results both times.

We then headed over to Cowboy Christmas, a gathering of western vendors, at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Almost the same kind of group that is also at Mandalay Bay. Really the only difference is this bunch charges $10.00 to park while the Cowboy Marketplace at Mandalay Bay lets you park free. Still we managed to acquire a couple of shirts and a coat and it would be totally unlike me not to have a souvenir buckle from the Rodeo.

After that mad shopping spree we came back to the coach and I chilled here while Brenda headed in to the Casino to replenish our funds.

We are off to the Rodeo at 5:00 so there will be no pictures today, sorry Mick, maybe tomorrow. Tonight is the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night at the rodeo. Nearly all the contestants and most of the fans will be wearing pink tonight. This to help raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research. So if you're out there tonight, either at the rodeo, or at home watching on TV, get out your best pink shirt and let everyone know that you are "Tough Enough to Wear Pink".

I'll head off to the archives and try to find a pink picture for the post tonight. Something from East Lake Fish Camp in Kissimmee, Florida.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wash Day

I guess the most important thing that happens today is it is my middle brother and my eldest grandaughters birthdays today, so Happy Birthday to Brent and Claire.


Today Brenda was catching up with the laundry. It sounds as if the KOA laundry here is not the most efficient operation she has come across. In the spirit of keeping things clean I have made arrangements to have the coach washed also. They will not allow you to wash it yourself here, not surprisingly many Parks will not, but they have a couple of approved contractors who can do it. So we have asked Stephanie at Spit and Shine to come by and give it the once over. They do the roof as well as the windows for about $2.00 a foot. Doesn't sound like much until you remember how many feet this thing is. While they do that we will run into the casino and get some lunch. Brenda stayed in the Casino after we finished our lunch and made sure to return all of her winnings from yesterday. Don't want to break the bank in one day. The economy has really hit Vegas hard I think. It appears that about 50% of the visitors here are wearing cowboy hats and are here for the NFR. If it wasn't for that event it might be a pretty empty place.


After we got the coach washed and shone we headed out to Costco to replenish our supplies of drinking water and reading material. Have to get back to Quartzsite and the naked booksellers used book store soon. After that we made a stop at Walmart to stock up with some things there. The traffic around here is quite a challenge for a couple of country folk. In Cremona and Dease Lake if two folks arrive at the intersection at the same time it is a traffic jam, a little more exciting here.


We met up with Del the fellow we bought our rodeo tickets from so we have them in hand now, and starting tomorrow night we are off every night till it's over on Saturday.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Circus Circus

Sunrise in the City of Lights, and luckily not much traffic on the freeway for our drive across town early this morning.

We have moved from Arizona Charlie's to the KOA at Circus Circus. We are staying here for the rest of the week and will use this as our base for the Rodeo. I popped in tonight to watch a little of the rodeo at the bar while Brenda made sure the slots were working properly. Probably cheaper to gamble than pay the price for soda pop that they want.

Earlier in the day we were at Las Vegas RV and Camping World getting a couple of things looked at. They have to order parts and they will take a long while to get here so we are going to just make do until we get back home in the spring. Woody's can look after it all then, the important thing was getting it documented so it will be covered under warranty. While they were looking at the coach we ran down and did a little shopping at the Bass Pro. I needed a couple of light bulbs for an electric Coleman lantern I have and we also got a little propane heater to keep us warm on those cool desert nights, if they come.

Also went and had a look around the Cowboy Marketplace at Mandalay Bay but managed to get out of there without buying anything. Other than that we are just cooling our heels and staying relaxed. The weather is not as warm here as down in Arizona but it ain't bad I guess compared to the snow back home with cold weather to follow.
There was a beautiful sunset this evening, difficult to get a decent shot from down on the strip though.