Hi ~ wow, can't believe it's a month since we left home (Agassiz, that is ). We drove 4 days in good weather, only a little rain and were just tootling along when -bang!! One of the tires on the trailer had blown out! It took the trailer skirting above it too. Luckily Malcolm stopped immediately so there was no damage to the wheel-well. We had had all the tires checked before we left home too! Anyway, we are fine , bought 4 new tires (upgrades from the ones we had) and getting a quote to get the trailer repaired (thank goodness for insurance as it will be about $2500!!).
Once we hit California and warmer weather we stopped to relax a bit. Drove up onto the high Mojave desert ~up,up,up out of the green countryside , past hundreds of wind-turbine farms and into cacti and Joshua trees and some very poor little towns. But also wealth ~ we had a few days in Desert Hot Springs , next to Palm Springs and Palm Desert, where millionaires and movie stars have homes. We went for a nice walk in a park which actually has a running creek and where they have made some ponds- hoped to see birds but not many around. We ended up on the Pacific Crest Trail, recently famous in the movie "Into the Wild" based on the book by Cheryl Strayed. We have been to this area before, one reason for going back is that there is one street lined with citrus trees and you can just help yourself so we now drink fresh squeezed grapefruit every morning.
From there we headed south through date-growing country where Elinor had to have her date shake (yummy!!) and we bought some absolutely delicious Medjool dates. We spent a few days at the Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort to visit with some friends from home then went a few hours south to Yuma. The farmland here is all irrigated (California's long drought is having devastating effects on the farmers) and we saw lots of lettuce and other crops being harvested. We stayed there only long enough to walk across the border into Mexico for Elinor to have some glasses made (and shucks, had to have a margarita while we waited ).The other attraction of Yuma is a huge "swap meet" where you can get anything RV-related so we picked up a few odds and ends. Yuma seems to be constantly windy and dusty so we were glad to leave.
We got a really nice welcome when we arrived here at Far Horizons ~ lots of people whom we met last year came by as we were setting up and said they were glad to see us (imagine that ) and we are enjoying getting back into activities we did last year. The glass fusion studio was open the day after we got here so off I (Elinor) went :) Have played Pickleball, been to exercise class and done one hike so far and the muscles are feeling it!! The hike was up into the local mountains and it was interesting to see how much grass there was ~ much more than in the past, due to the amount of rain they had this summer. Apparently Tucson is officially no longer in a drought.
One annoying thing is the number of people who say "oh Hi Tess" and we have no idea who they are!
Last week there was a "welcome back" party (no, not just for us ) ~ buffet lunch by the pool with a steel drum band, margaritas and pina coladas - tough life ! The park is quite full now but also quite a few people go home for Christmas so it will be early Jan before everyone is here.
The resort has a little bus that they supply to take us places (the little old folk going on an outing ) ~ anyway we went to a gallery which was built by an artist named named Degrazia who did a painting which is used as UNICEFs logo.The gallery is large and had some wondeful paintings and sculptures. It was the festival of Our Lady of Guadaloupe so there several Mexican handicraft booths.a group playing Spanish music and a group of Yaqui indians who did a "deer dance" where a guy wears a tall mask/headpiece with large antlers and the dance symbolises the deer moving through the forest, encountering coyotes - a struggle between good and evil. No photographs were allowed. At the end a group of schoolchildren carrying a replica of the Lady of Guadaloupe and singing. Fun afternoon.
Last Friday the bus took us out again ~ this time to the 4th Ave Fair! Malcolm didn't come so I spent a fun few hours with some friends checking out all the stalls - lots of handicrafts and food. I bought a little dress and had a great Mexican lunch
The weather changed suddenly from hot, pool time to pouring rain and cold enough for jeans and fleece :( Today is sunny but still not hot and it looks like that's what we'll have for the next few days. I know, not expecting a tiny bit of sympathy :)
There are lots of Christmas decorations here (including a few of ours) and we are going to a Christmas dinner here so starting to feel Christmassy.
Wishing you a wonderful time with family and friends and a happy, healthy 2016!!
Malcolm and Elinor
(and Tess, of course !)