January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Monday, February 28, 2011

Can't get away from it!

Gila Bend, AZ

We left Benson about 8:30 this morning and arrived at our "home" for the next 6 days here at Holts Shell RV Park in Gila Bend.

But now back to yesterday.   We went to bed Saturday to the sound of winds a whippin and the rig a shakin.  During the night I woke to the sound of rain.   It had been so seldom that I'd heard rain in the last two months, I really was not at all sure if that was it.   

Then around 6:30 I awoke and looked outside.  To my surprise - SNOW!    Real snow.  Yup, just can't get away from it.

Slippery steps out of the rig.

View from the steps:

After our morning coffee and a little breakfast, it was off to church.  We have attended to same church our five Sunday's in Benson.

When we went into services at 9:30 there was snow on the ground.  When we came out at 10:30 it was gone except for the higher elevations in the mountains.

The drive from Benson to Herefore where cousin Muriel lives is about one hour.   Being hungry we grabbed something at the McDonalds in Sierra Vista on the way.  We arrived at Muriel's about noon.

After visiting for a few hours we decided we would all take a ride up to Ft. Huachuca not far from Muriels.  She worked at the Fort a number of years.

This is an active military base.  To gain entrance we had to show ID's at the gate.   Muriel directed us around the base.   Even though it was quite chilly and there was still snow on the ground there, we got out and walked around the cemetery for a bit.

When we were in Deming, NM we were curious about a large balloon type thing hovering in the sky.  When we got down near Ft. Huachuca we saw the same type balloon.  We had asked Muriel what it was.   She explained it is a surveillance balloon that detects drugs, weapons and other illegal movements.   The one at Ft. Huachuca sat grounded yesterday, probably due to the high winds.

The locals call it Fat Albert.

After our tour we were all hungry.  Muriel suggested Chilpolte Grill.   We had seen this chain but never ate at one.    Hey, it was good!

Back at Muriel's she showed me some OLD photo albums left to her.   Most of the pictures were taken in the 1920's until 1950's.    As I was leafing through the pages, I saw a picture of a group of children seated around a table for a birthday party.  Muriel was not in the picture but her younger brother Bill and younger sister Bonnie was. As it was at their house, the party must have been for one of them.  And there seated with the children was me and my brother.  Muriel had no idea these were us.  

Ah, it was so nice getting to know Muriel.  Our time together will always be a precious memory.  As we pulled away from her house I shed a few tears.   But it was time to move on down the road to our next adventure. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shady Dell and hiking

Bisbee and Benson, AZ

Our friend Scott back in NJ had told us about this RV park in Bisbee that is actually a motel type facility.  People can rent the rigs for overnight stays.  Yesterday we decided to take a ride to look at Shady Dell RV park.   There is also a VERY small diner on the property.   We timed our trip hoping to have lunch at Dot's Diner.

However, the diner was closed and no one else seemed to be around except one car of which we assumed the occupants were staying in one of the rigs.

Downtown Bisbee:

As Dot's Diner was not open, we decided to head to Pizza Hut over in Sierra Vista.  I called cousin Muriel and asked if she wanted to join us.   Sure she would!   A few days a week Muriel tends to a 20 month old, Oliver.   Apparently it was Oliver's nap time.  He fell asleep in her car, never woke as she carried him in to Pizza Hut and slept the entire time on the bench seat.   He only slightly woke when Len picked him up and put him back in Muriel's car.   Can not imagine our Abby or Charlotte sleeping through PIZZA TIME!

Earlier today we decided to again take the hike up into the hills behind the campground here in Benson.   It is a very steep climb starting only about 50 yards behind our site.  Looking down from the hill, this is the park.  We are the end unit second back on the right.

The path often runs along a ridge with steep drop offs on both sides.

A view from the path:

Engineers must have been at work on the trail.   This is one of a few very interesting structures.

Winds were kicking up in short blasts while we walked.  Now there are continuous winds with high gusts.  Our home is shaking and slide toppers flapping.  Thinking we will just stay tight.   Yikes, it's sure hard to get used to these winds.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Benson, AZ

First we welcome our dear friend Judy Hughes from Baton Rouge and also JoJo who now lives in Arizona but grew up in New Jersey.     Glad you found us here!

Most of us know what it is to live in a small space.  I looked around the other day and noted some small changes we made to our 2009 Montana 3455SA fifth wheel.   Most of them were to give us a little more storage or keep clutter to a minimum.

Really important is that Leonard needed a place to "hang his hat".  

This is the same hat rack we used in our old house.  Works well in the fiver.   However, aren't the shelves on either side of our bedroom TV dumb???   Sure, they might look nice, but wouldn't some small cabinets been more practical?

Then I needed a place for the few shoes I decided to keep.  We found a cloth shoe rack but had to cut it to fit inside the closet.  It hangs the length of the closet.

We added two sets of hooks to the bedroom side of the sliding door leading to the bathroom.

In the bathroom we added a hook over an outlet on the wall next to the sink to hang my curling iron.

I love that our unit has a separate computer desk as you walk in the door.  The area has two levels, a lower one for the computer and a higher one where the printer could be placed.   We decided to put the printer in the cabinet right over the higher cabinet, leaving room for the coffee pot, etc.

No work area is complete without a cork board and calender.  Mine is on the wall directly in front of the computer.   A hook for the calendar and an expensive cork board from WalMart suits just fine.

I was getting tired of having dish towels getting in the way or laying on the counter.   We found a curtain rod the same color as our hooks, cabinet handles, spigots, etc.   It fit perfectly on the end of our counter.

As many others have done, Leonard made sewer hose supports from PCV pipes.

To store the long supports and hoses when not in use, he rigged a container made of PVC behind the front legs.

We enjoy sitting outside on nice days and sometimes watch a little TV or a DVD.   Len made a cabinet for the TV, etc and installed it in a basement storage unit.  Note the paper towel holder on the side.  Comes in handy when he is grilling.

 Our unit came with two recliners placed on the back wall in front of the large window and a sofa on the side.   We switched them around and like that arrangement much better.   This can not be done in a lot of rigs because the sofa is too deep and will not clear the slides.  We are fortunate that ours does.

I would bet you have made some beneficial changes too!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Border fence and more

Benson, AZ

Hello and welcome to Mike and Gina, our new blog followers.

On Wednesday we picked up cousin Muriel in Hereford (about 50 miles south of Benson, close to the border) for our border fence tour.   We first drove to the border town on Naco.  There is a Naco on both the American and Mexico sides of the border.  I took this picture as we drove into town.   You can see a dark line in the middle of the picture starting from the left.  About half way in the picture, the line stops.  I suppose this is an area of  fence building in process.

From Naco we headed to another border town, Douglas.   For about twelve miles we traveled a dirt road that runs right along the fence.

On the way to Douglas we took a quick side trip into a very small, rundown town.  This is the tunnel into this little town. 

Once in Douglas, we stopped for lunch at a very old hotel.   I took a picture of the lobby.

We then went to Coronado National Memorial Forest.  We drove first to the Visitors Center and took the 3 mile mostly unpaved road up to Montezuma Pass Overlook.   This is Leonard with Muriel.

The road up was narrow with many switchbacks and sharp drop offs.  There were times I had to hold my breath and close my eyes.  That's okay I wasn't driving.  Looking down from this point, we could see miles and miles of fencing. It does not show in this picture well.  It is the faint dark line running between the mountains in the forefront and those in the distance.

At the Pass were Border Patrol vehicles including this one which appears to have a radar scanner.  One wonders how they can capture someone in this immense, vast terrain.

Yesterday we drove up to Phoenix (160 miles EACH way) for NOMADS leader training.   On the way back we were awed by this beautiful sunset.

Wondering - are any of our readers attending the Gypsy Gathering in Yuma starting March 7?  This will be our first rally with this group.   Looking forward to it for sure.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ali, Ron and then Tombstone again.

Benson,  AZ

One of the many pleasures of RVing AND blogging is actually meeting blogging friends.  Ali and Ron of the Wandering Workentins are headed for a job at the Escapees Park in Hondo, Tx.   As they were traveling across I10 we decided to meet for breakfast on Tuesday. This is truly a delightful couple.  Meeting them seemed like catching up with old friends.

We visited for about an hour and a half then they had to get on the road.  Perhaps again some time in the future.

Because we enjoyed Tombstone last week, but I was having problems with the ankle, we decided the weather was perfect for a revisit.    We first toured the Courthouse ($5.00 a person).

The Courthouse is a museum of early Tombstone history.   The hey days of Tombstone were in the late 1870's and early 1880's.   The actual courtroom...

We walked around for a little then decided to take the 1/2 hour Trolley ride around town ($5.00 per person).  The driver pointed out sites of interest.    72 men were shot and killed (not all at the same time) in just one intersection of town.

The Earps only lived in Tombstone about 3 years but Tombstone will always be remembered because of how Hollywood has betrayed the Gunfight at OK Corral.

Wyatt's house:

His brother Morgan's house:

The infamous Boothill Cemetery.   For a $2.00 charge you could walk around the cemetery.  We could see enough  looking for the fence.  Yes, we are cheap!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend accomplishments

Benson,  AZ

What did we do over the weekend?


Finished the zigsaw puzzle:


Installed the 2nd set of steps the dealer sent to us. To do so, Leonard had to do a bit of fabricating but we are pleased with the results.  FINALLY!


On Sunday we had lunch with Carol and John Simons.  We met them back in Deming, NM at Rockhound State Park when Carol waved us down because she saw the NOMADS sign on our truck.   They are also NOMADS.   We were all surprised when two weeks ago they were at the Methodist church here in Benson.    They are staying at the campground next of ours. They leave on Wednesday to go to a project elsewhere in AZ.  We wanted to get together with them before they left.  We did.


We took a long awaited walk around the campground.   It had been either too cold, windy or my foot hurt.

This is a neighboring front yard.

The walk back to our site was uphill.   Have to admit, I sure was glad to see our home in front of us at the top of the hill.

My goal for this week is INCOME TAXES.   We will drive over to WalMart a little later to pick up this years version of Turbo Tax.   Once I am done with this annual chore, I will really feel I accomplished something.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Whatta house!

Hereford,  AZ

On Friday we again visited with my cousin Muriel.  It is a treat getting to know her better.  She occasionally lived about 10 miles from where I grew up.  However, her father worked on military installations as an ammo inspector and was relocated every two years.   They owned a house in NJ but the only times she lived there was when he was in Japan or Korea. I can remember her family living in SD, Ohio and Kentucky.   And as she is 4 years older, we never really "hung" together even when she lived locally.

Muriel lives in a church campground.  This is the view from her side yard.

The camp is an active children's camp during the summer but they hold other events throughout the year.

A covered wagon used as a buck house.

The amphitheater. 

Muriel "cat sits" by feeding cats for friends when they travel.    She took us with her as she fed the cats.  We never saw the cats but sure did check out the house!

The house sits mostly out by itself.   There is a 4 acre minimum in that area.   The couple are COLLECTORS of old stuff, trading on EBay.  It was impossible to take it all in.

In the living room

Dining room

Guest bedroom

Front entry

After our house tour and the cats were left food, we went to Muriel's church where they were having an fundraiser dinner and cake auction to benefit the youth.   We had a lasagna dinner followed by the auction.  Cakes went from $12.00 to $175.00.  The best part was lots of people donated their "bargains" for dessert.

Over $1,900 was raised for a good cause.

Can anyone help?     As my daughter Amy reminds me - there is a spot on my lens which shows up on pictures in the upper left corner.    She tells me it is driving her crazy and I need to remove it.  I don't know how!    Leonard read the documents that came with the camera.  It is a Casio Exilim.  I am afraid of doing damage.  Any suggestions?