Hanging Out on the Parker Strip (La Paz County RV Park, AZ)

We’re back in Casa Grande at the “dirt farm” right now but I need to update you on our week after the Havasu Fireworks Rally.  We drove 25 miles south of Lake Havasu on State Highway 95 to the La Paz County Park to take advantage of their weekly rate of $155 which works out to be ~$22 per day.


Plus, we know at least two couples that are in the park.  Bob & Mary from Colorado:

Bob & Mary McCord.

And Jerry & Marilyn from Oklahoma:

Jerry & Marilyn Baumgartner.

If you get the chance, the La Paz County RV Park is a nice place to hang out.  They have 114 sites and a pretty nice overflow area which is where we ended up near Jerry & Marilyn.  We had 50 AMP power and water but no sewer hookup.  An RV dump station is on site.  Bob & Mary had an even nicer spot overlooking the Colorado River.

The park is also right next to the Pirates Den RV Resort on the south side and shares a paved walkway along the river with the County Park.


On the north side, the park is accessible to the Roadrunner Floating Dock Bar & Grill via the beach access path.  There are also a good number of businesses and nice places to hang out near the park within driving distance.  We also frequented Fox’s RV Resort that claims to be the Colorado River’s oldest drinking establishment:

Fox’s on the Parker Strip.
Fox’s on the Parker Strip.
Fox’s on the Parker Strip.

and then there’s the Sundance Saloon, check out the link (HERE) for some more google images.

Sundance Saloon, Parker AZ.
Sundance Saloon, Parker AZ.
Sundance Saloon, Parker AZ.
Sundance Saloon, Parker AZ.

Great views across the river from the Sundance:



We had a great week visiting with friends and checking out the local scene.  Bob & Mary drove us through nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park after we went out to eat with them one day:



According to their website; “Buckskin Mountain SP commands one of the finest views along the Parker strip, an 18-mile stretch between Parker Dam and Headgate Dam.  Mountains line the river on both the Arizona and California sides, and the wildlife is as varied as the recreational opportunities along the river. This picturesque park provides a scenic respite, mountain hikes, a desert escape and fun-filled water adventure.  The park has a campground, cabana sites, beach, hiking trails, restrooms, showers, boat ramp, picnic area, basketball and volleyball court, playground, restaurant, camp store, arcade, gas dock, and ranger station.”










We might have to stay here at Buckskin Mtn State Park sometime in the future… pretty nice 🙂

One day, we drove into Quartzsite with Jerry & Marilyn to check out the local vendors.  It sure looks a lot different when the big RV Show isn’t going on.  We bought a few small items that we figured we just couldn’t live without 🙂  And then we stopped by Beer Belly’s Adult Day Care for liquid refreshments.  Yes, it’s still open.



We also finally made it to the Hi Jolly monument at the Hi Jolly Cemetery in Quartzsite.  Click (HERE) to learn more from my friend Wikipedia™.  It’s an interesting story.




Informational placard on the history of Hi Jolly.


On Saturday, I got the opportunity to get the ATV off the truck when fellow Alpine Coach owner and friend Chris Cratch invited me to join his group for a ride to the Desert Bar.


I met Chris and his wife Sonja at a previous Alpine Coach Rally (a couple years ago) and most recently I saw Chris again at the Alpine Coach “Desert Rat Rally” in Quartzsite… I remembered they stay on the California side of the Colorado River near Parker in the Emerald Cove RV Park, so we stopped by and visited them one day while we were out doing a day-tour.  We took a drive over the Parker Dam to the CA side of the river to check out the area.

Chris & Sonja Cratch at the Desert Bar.

Here’s Chris & Sonja in their side-by-side ATV:


We took some pretty neat 4X4 trails on our way to the Desert Bar and even got into some pretty gnarly boulders in a dry wash, but no one had any problems.  I think we had about 8-10 vehicles in our group.  Some in the group took a different route partway to the bar, so we didn’t see them until we got there.

Another group of Jeeps on the 4X4 road to the Desert Bar.

The lower parking area (below) at the Desert Bar filled up quickly with Jeeps, Quads, and ATV’s.  By the time we left, there was hardly any room left.  I didn’t think the Desert Bar would be so popular outside the time-frame (January) of the Big RV Show in Quartzsite.



I also met up with Jerry & Marilyn while at the Desert Bar.  They took the unpaved “easy” access road in their pickup.

Friends Marilyn & Jerry at the Desert Bar.


We enjoyed the unique atmosphere of the Desert Bar along with some pretty good food and adult beverages, (in moderation of course) 🙂


Here’s some of the group (above) that I rode in with.  Chris & Sonja (below).


We made it back to the parking area along State Highway 95 after a full day of fun 4-wheeling where we all loaded our ATV’s back up.   Thanks for the invite Chris!  Let’s do it again soon 🙂


Back at La Paz County Park we enjoyed our short (week-long) stay when we weren’t out-and-about by taking lots of walks with our grandson’s dog Sheba that we’re still dog-sitting.


She sure likes the water.


Stilla and Sheba in the Colorado River at La Paz County RV Park.


You never know what you’ll see on the river… one day,  I saw a boat that was made up to look like a ’57 Chevy.  Pretty cool, eh?


On Monday we said goodbye to our friends and headed on back to Casa Grande.  Thanks Bob & Mary for sharing your park with us!(they stay here for most of the winter).  Jerry & Marilyn posed with us for a farewell picture (below).  It was good seeing you again Jerry & Marilyn, thanks for hanging out with us 🙂

(L to R) Marilyn, Jerry, David, Stilla, and Sheba.

Our next Alpine Coach Rally is scheduled for early March in Goodyear, AZ.  We’re now back in Casa Grande to take care of a few things before the rally, i.e., pick up our dog “Coach” that my Mom’s been dog-sitting, check in with our daughter, do some maintenance items on the Coach, etc.,

I’ll post again soon.  Stay tuned…

Alpine SoCal Winter Blast Rally – Days 4 & 5 (Lake Havasu City, AZ)

The Winter Blast Rally has been over for two days now and we’ve moved on to the La Paz County RV Park in Parker, AZ.  But, I still have to recap our last two days of the Rally for you; which really just includes one more day of fireworks (Sunday) and then the always sad moving day (Monday).  Sorry for the delayed reporting, but us full-time RVers get busy too 🙂


Our Sunday morning started out like all the other fine Alpine SoCal Rally days, with an awesome breakfast spread put out by our now famous Host(s) and Co-Host(s); Dave & Nicole Guhsé and Paul & Katie Lisec.  Thanks once again guys!  They prepared and conducted a flawless Rally as seen through the eyes of the members, although I’m sure there were many behind-the-scenes challenges what with all the moving parts and pieces.  They even had a specific challenge when the wind picked up just before dinner-time to threaten our scheduled Chicken Dinner, but they adapted and overcame as you ‘ll see later in this blog post.

The now famous; Alpine SoCal breakfast spread.



Another nice sunny morning enhanced our breakfast conversation.  The forecast called for a little wind with some gusts later in the day.


One of our members showed off this cool cloth, (I’ll call it a towel), that she embellished with the logo of an Alpine Coach commemorating the Alpine SoCal Winter Blast 2016 Rally.  Teresa Weitz is a very talented lady with a very capable sewing machine.  I wonder if she’s taking orders!?!


We hung out at the Rally site all day on Sunday and caught up on emails and my previous day’s blog while visiting with our fellow Alpine SoCal members.

View from the upper level at the SARA Park Rodeo Grounds of the many Motor Homes and Trailers in attendance.

As usual nowadays, we took our grandson’s dog “Sheba” for one of her long walks through the Rodeo Grounds.  She didn’t take the fireworks too well the evening before.  Stilla spent most of the evening comforting her in the bedroom of the Coach when the fireworks started.


All manner of motorhomes and trailers are here in the park for the fireworks extravaganza.  Here’s a nice vintage trailer (below).


Here’s another picture of our site (below).  The wind is starting to pick up and the flag is whipping around.  You can see Mike Kuper’s “new to him” Can-Am Spyder® which is parked next to the Urban Escape Vehicle.  I helped Mike & Donna get it loaded into his trailer.


This is Mike & Donna Kuper (FlyingtheKoop.com) putting the Can-Am Spyder “to bed” after squeezing it into their trailer.  I helped Mike guide it in while Donna sat on the back because the rear tire kept spinning on the slick ramp.  I think Mike’s committed to buying a bigger trailer in the near future.  Check out his blog to find out 🙂


Even the gusty winds didn’t stop some of our hardy SoCal members from gathering during the day.


By mid-afternoon, the wind gusts got bad enough that our Host(s)/Co-Host(s) decided to take down the tables and chairs at our get-together site before they blew away.  We also had to take down the EZ-Up tents for the same reason.


The wind didn’t stop us from getting our scheduled chicken dinner tho…  the contingency plan was to serve the food from Dave & Nicole’s Coach.  Everyone took their meals, covered with an extra paper plate for protection, back to their respective Coaches to eat out of the dust and wind.


Everyone lined up at the Guhse’s door like homeless people on Thanksgiving Day at the local mission in the inner city 🙂



I had a moment of clarity, (it’s rare, but it happens), and decided to help out by standing in the doorway and handing the covered plates out to folks.  This way, we minimized the in & out traffic in their Coach and prevented anyone from a slip, trip, or fall on the stairs.  Here’s Teresa (below) begging for her meal 🙂


The wind actually cooperated with our Rally and died down in the evening.  Here’s another beautiful Arizona sunset for you:



And then it was time for more fireworks.  Here’s a small sample again:



Of course, our grandson’s dog “Sheba” didn’t enjoy them so much again, but this time she did better and wasn’t shaking as much or as often as on previous nights.  We wouldn’t have brought her along on this trip if we knew how she’d react to the fireworks, but we didn’t have any other options since we’re dog-sitting for our daughter who doesn’t have a place for her yet.

On Monday morning, folks started packing up to move on to their next destination(s).


We spent the morning saying our goodbye’s and see-ya-laters as folks rolled out of the park.







By noon-time there were only a few Coaches left in the parking area.  We initially thought we’d stay put for one more night.  Our fresh water was still around 1/2 and our waste tanks only showed 1/4 full…


… but, we got a message from some friends we met in Colorado who are staying just down the road in Parker, AZ at the La Paz County RV Park.  So we decide to join them.



So here we are now with Jerry & Marilyn Baumgartner who are on an extended RV trip from their home state of Oklahoma:


Our other old friends Bob & Mary McCord from Colorado are also here in the park.  I wrote about them in a previous post.  They spend most of the winter here hiding from the snow in Colorado.




I’ll post again soon.  I think we’ll enjoy a week-long stay here next to the Colorado River and take advantage of the weekly rate of $155.

Stay tuned…

Alpine SoCal Winter Blast Rally – Day 3 (Lake Havasu City, AZ)

Lots of pictures today… consider viewing on your desktop or laptop computer instead of mobile device for the optimum experience 🙂

Today’s schedule for Saturday includes, but is not limited to; Breakfast, Board Meeting, Cowboy Concert & BBQ:


Good morning from “Alpine Row”:


Breakfast was stupendous once again thanks to our “Wagon Master(s) Dave & Nicole Guhsé along with Co-Hosts Paul & Katie Lisec.


The “now famous” Alpine breakfast spread:


I think it’s safe to give our Host(s) and Co-Host(s) an A+ rating for their rally hosting performance so far 🙂  There’s only one more dinner (Chicken) to be served to our group on Sunday.  Thanks again, Dave/Nicole and Paul/Katie!!!

After breakfast we held our Alpine SoCal Member Meeting.


Here I am trying to act “presidential”…


For you Alpine Coach Owners… don’t forget to go to the Alpine SoCal website under the “Members Only” section to read the minutes from the (very productive) meeting 🙂


Once we completed our meeting, the guys stuck around our designated “get-together” site to decorate Valentines Day cupcakes…


Our awesome co-host Katie Lisec came up with the idea for the guys to decorate the pre-made cupcakes with different colors of icing squeezed from zip-lock baggies which she expertly applied per each persons requested preference.


Then she had lots of different sprinkles and candies on hand for the guys to get even more creative with…


Of course, some were more creative than others:

Jack Giddens.
Joel Langord.
John Foster.

Won’t Mary be surprised?…


Hope that icing doesn’t stain Katie 🙂


Most of the guys couldn’t have done it without a little artistic talent to help them out.


We all stored our Valentines Cupcakes in Paul & Katies’s basement.  The idea is to bring out the cupcakes after our dinner on Sunday.  Won’t those wives be surprised ?  AWWW 🙂


After our rigorous morning of meetings and cupcake decorating, some of us decided to go on a hike to “The Crack”.  The trailhead starts just outside the entrance to the RV parking area here at the Rodeo Grounds and follows the dry wash through a slot canyon to the Colorado River.

At the beginning of our little (~3 mile) hike we saw signage at the entrance/exit to the Rodeo Grounds RV Park reminding folks to sign up early for next year’s event.


We hit the trailhead with walking sticks and plenty of water.  Follow along on our hiking adventure:


Our hiking entourage consisted of Greg & Marcy Vaughan, John & Lorraine Foster, Donna Kuper, and of course, Stilla and I with grand-dog Sheba.


We took “Sheba” off her leash.  She did great and always stayed with the group.  There were quite a few other hikers on the trail today and many of them also had their dogs off-leash.




I was the first to go down a particularly steep drop in the canyon.  Luckily someone put a rope here to help folks get safely down.  This rope wasn’t here last year when we did this hike.  To read about last year’s blog post on this hike click (HERE).


Stilla handed Sheba down to me.  She wasn’t too sure about this drop, but she was fine in all the other areas and turned out to be quite the mountaineer dog.




Donna took a unique approach to the drop.



After everyone negotiated the steep drop, we navigated our way down into the bowels of the canyon.  However, Greg & Marcy were smarter than us and turned around at the drop.  They were sipping adult beverages long before we finally made it back to the Rodeo Grounds 🙂






I believe we only had one wet shoe casualty getting through the canyon… but I think it’s best they remain unnamed, right Lorraine?




Sheba would often go out ahead and scout out the trail.  If we took too long, she’d come running back to see why we were so slow.





Once we successfully navigated the narrow canyon, and came back out into the sunlight, we decided to not continue in the dry wash to the Colorado River and took the high trail back towards home.


Nice view, eh?


You can see the Colorado River (Lake Havasu) in the distance.


We made pretty good time on the return trip since we were above the dry wash on a rocky trail and out of the soft sand most of the time.  Although, it was definitely cooler inside the canyon and we were reminded of that as the sun beat down on us.  Sheba would often rest in the shade of a bush or rock and wait for us to catch up.  Silly humans, she probably thought to herself 😉

When we got back, not too much worse for wear and tear – we found a couple of our members working on some new flagpoles!  Ed Mathews and Jack Giddens made a flagpole for the Alpine SoCal club while helping Michael Weitz put one together for himself.


Thanks Jack and Ed!  They refused payment for the new flagpole, so I’m probably going to be indebted to them for a while on behalf of the club.  I think they like it that way 🙂  We’ll see each other again at the next rally in Phoenix (Goodyear) for baseball training in March where I’m sure they’ll come collecting, right?


Around 4 PM it was time for all of us to head down to the Rodeo arena and barn for the Cowboy Dance & BBQ:


Donna and Stilla in front of the live band.

It was crowded, but everyone got fed after going through the long food line.




The food was excellent and the band played a wide variety of music.  Our Alpiners were well-fed and well-entertained 🙂





Back at our designated “get-together” site we all gathered for the evening fireworks again.

Even the Langord’s mascot was in fireworks viewing position at one of our tables 🙂

I had a “Chinese Lantern” that we purchased in Quartzsite last year and have been carrying around in the Coach.  It seemed like a good time to set it free.  We saw quite a few of these lifting off from the RV Park so we decided to “join the crowd”.


Greg and John helped pre-heat the air over a campfire while we lit the flammable material.


Up, Up, and Away it went.


And now, how about some fireworks?  That’s why were here, right?





I took a few pictures of our Alpine Owner’s group watching the fireworks through my night-vision device by holding the iPhone up to the lens:






Pretty cool, eh?  Okay, here’s some more fireworks then…







And that’s all for now folks… hope you enjoyed the show!  We all did 🙂

I’ll try to catch you up on our last day (Sunday) here at the Rally as soon as possible.  Stay tuned…


Alpine SoCal Winter Blast Rally – Day 2 (Lake Havasu City, AZ)

It’s too easy to get behind on the blog posts here… with so many friends (old and new) to catch up with, coupled with late night firework displays to watch, and my “presidential” duties; it seems as if there’s just not enough time in the day (or evening) to keep up.  And on top of that, the internet connectivity slowed waaay down once more folks arrived in the park.  Anyway, here’s your Day 2 recap (better late than never, right?), starting with another copy of our Rally Schedule:


As you can see from the schedule (above), each day is pretty much “free time” to do whatever you want with fellow Alpine Coach owner’s and friends.  Many folks go out sightseeing, others hang around the park and do hikes or other activities.

Our Day 2 (Friday) of the Rally kicked off with another awesome breakfast spread courtesy of our Host(s)/Co-Host(s) aka “Wagon Masters” David & Nicole Guhsé and Paul & Katie Lisec.  Dave went all out once again (just like at the Lake Powell Rally) and toasted bagels to order.  We also had hard-boiled eggs along with the usual complement of yogurts, fruits, and assorted pastries.  No one is complaining yet, except maybe about their waist lines 🙂



Dave toasting bagels. We’re all still waiting on the Omelettes though 🙂
Awesome Alpine breakfast spread.
Full and contented Alpiner’s after breakfast.

After breakfast, I held an Alpine SoCal Board Meeting.  My first as the newly elected president.  We only have a small number of Board Members in attendance here at this particular Rally and it was relatively quick and painless 🙂  It was mostly an opportunity for me to prepare for tomorrow’s (Saturday) Membership Meeting.  Now, I just have to find time to write up the “minutes” of the meeting 🙁

Then Stilla and I took our grandson’s dog “Sheba” over to the SARA Dog Park again (like we did yesterday) but found out it was closed.  We are still dog-sitting until our daughter finds a place in Phoenix that allows pets.  Meanwhile, my Mom is dog-sitting our little dog “Coach” back in Casa Grande, AZ at the “dirt farm”.


We went in search of another dog park in Lake Havasu and ended up  stopping by one of the beaches that is accessible to vehicles on the man-made island after crossing over London Bridge.


Sheba had a great time running and playing on the beach and in the water:



Then we stopped at London Bridge Beach


… and found a nice ‘off-leash’ fenced-in dog park for her to play “catch”.




She played “catch” until she was all tuckered out.


Then we drove down to Parker, AZ to visit with old friends Bob & Mary.  They spend time during the winter here at an RV park in La Paz County next to the Pirate’s Den RV Resort.




Bob & Mary are also good friends with my Dad and stepmom Elaine. They are members of the same camping group (FCRV Rolling Springs) in Colorado Springs, CO.  We are also still members of the same group.  We’ve attended a good number of camp-outs with them over the last few years along with my Dad & Elaine.  It was great to see them again and catch up on things 🙂  We missed the opportunity to visit with them while we were at the Quartzsite “Desert Rat Rally” in January because we just didn’t find the time.  Good to see ya again Bob & Mary!  Until next time… 🙂

(L to R) Mary, Bob, and Stilla alongside the Colorado River in Parker, AZ.

We headed back to the SARA Rodeo Grounds for the evening’s fireworks show and got back just as it was getting dark.


I was amazed at how many people were parked alongside the highway as we came back into Lake Havasu and neared the SARA Park Rodeo Grounds.  Folks were setting up at any place they could find to watch the fireworks:




Some people found high vantage points (above) and others just parked alongside the highway (below).




Happy Hour was in full-swing after we got back to our RV Park.  Those Alpiner’s sure know how to party (in moderation of course) 🙂


I won’t bore you with lots of pictures of fireworks today, (especially since the battery died on my camera/iPhone) but here’s a couple that I “borrowed” from fellow Alpine Owner’s John & Lorraine Foster:



Needless to say, the Western Pyrotechnics Association put on a pretty good show and it promises to be even “grander” tomorrow evening on Saturday.  And then, everything that’s left over gets shot off on Sunday we’re told.  The fireworks vendors aren’t allowed to leave with any unspent fireworks.

Unfortunately, “Sheba” didn’t do very well with the fireworks going off.  She trembled and panted quite a bit throughout the evening until the noise stopped at 10 PM or so.  The only way we could find to keep her calm was to have one of us stay with her in the bedroom of the Coach with the doors and windows closed and the radio turned up loud.  Stilla spent a lot of time in the Coach comforting her.


Our little dog “Coach” handled the noise quite well last year when he was here with us, but every dog is different.  They all have their own unique personalities, don’t they?

Well, that’s all for now.  Check back soon for a recap of our Saturday activities.  I’ll try to get caught up quickly.  It’s now Sunday afternoon and I’ve got a lot of other things to get caught up on as well 🙂

Alpine SoCal Winter Blast Rally – Day 1 (Lake Havasu City, AZ)

Here’s your Alpine SoCal Rally recap for Day 1 of the 27th Annual Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show (←link) which is held at the Special Activities and Recreation Area (SARA) Park Rodeo Grounds.

According to the official website (www.golakehavasu.com) SARA park is an 1100-acre regional park with spectacular mountain views and access to Lake Havasu.  The park’s facilities cater to a wide range of recreational activities and also serve as venues for events such as the popular Winter Blast fireworks display, obstacle races and concerts throughout the year.  SARA Park has a network of hiking and mountain bike trails, ballfields, dog park, rodeo and fairgrounds.  Other activities include BMX and motocross racing, roller hockey, RC plane field and a shooting and archery range.

Last year we attended the same fireworks show and rally, click (HERE) to catch up on last years fun if you missed it.

Here’s our Rally Schedule:


As you can see from the Schedule (above); we are all basically “free” to do whatever we want each day after breakfast because all the activities take place in the afternoon/evening.  Today (Thursday) is a Happy Hour at 4 PM and then a Pizza Dinner w/Salad will be delivered to us by 5 PM.

How about a quick tour of our area?  Here’s the sign at the entrance to the Rodeo Grounds.  I guess they haven’t gotten around to changing it out for the WInter Blast Pyrotechnics Show.


RVs were lined up at the entrance throughout the day to check in to the Rodeo Grounds parking area for the weekend activities.


This is the access road leading to our upper level parking area (below).  A couple of the RV parking areas are separated by the rodeo arena and grandstands.


Most of our Alpines are parked in the same area, spread out over at least three separate rows.  We ended up in the middle of row D with good friends Mike & Donna Kuper on our left and Ed & Donna Mathews on our right.


We’ve known Ed & Donna since our first Alpine SoCal Rally in St. George, UT back in 2012.  It was great to see them again after such a long time 🙂  Mike & Donna we came to know first through Mike’s blog @FlyingtheKoop.com and then we finally met in Portland during the Alpine Coach Pre-Rally to the FMCA Rally in Redmond, OR which we both attended together in 2014.

Here’s some shots of our Rally site taken yesterday and today:



The parking area for the RVs is spread out over the rodeo grounds on at least three different levels which you can somewhat make out from the photos:


Good looking Coaches, eh?



For those of you who have been following the blog, you may recall that we were able find a good home for one of our oldest daughter’s dogs the morning after we arrived here.  Little ‘Ember’ went to Alpine Coach owners Ron & Jeanne who live in Las Vegas and we’ve since heard from them that she’s doing just fine 🙂  Jeanne sent us this pic (below).

Ember seems to be “Lucky in Las Vegas”.

However, we’ll have to continue dog-sitting our daughter’s other dog ‘Sheba’ (pictured below) since she really belongs to our grandson Kaan and he’d be heartbroken if we gave her away.  Although, there’s been some interest shown among our fellow Alpiner’s 😉

Stilla and Sheba.

It wasn’t very late in the day before folks started congregating between the Coaches for drinks and conversation.  Happy Hour starts early around here 🙂  I busied myself during part of the day with some cleaning on the Urban Escape Vehicle exterior while Stilla went shopping with a couple of the girls.




A couple more Alpines are still expected to arrive.  We’re supposed to have 25 Coaches once everyone gets in.  Here’s Peter & Patricia Huber’s coach pulling in (below).  They arrived just in time for the first official dinner of the rally; Pizza night, Yoo Hoo!


Around 4:30 PM everyone started gathering in our designated “get-together” site that our Rally Host(s) and Co-Host(s) set up between their Coaches.


In my new capacity as president of the Alpine SoCal Chapter; I said a few words to welcome everyone to the rally and we thanked our Rally Host(s) Dave & Nicole Guhsé along with our Co-Host(s) Paul & Katie Lisec for setting everything up.  So far, so good… but we’ll have to wait until later in the Rally before we can truly rate their performance 🙂  Right?

Come-n-get it!  Pizza is served:




Everyone enjoyed the pizza and salad as well as each other’s company:





Good times again with good people 🙂

At dusk, the first fireworks started going off in the park area next to our Rally site.  The fireworks were mostly random and sporadic with long lag times between.  Probably test shots and some training for the pyrotechnic crews.  Many folks went back to their Coaches and didn’t hang out at the “get-together” site for very long after it got dark.  There will be plenty more fireworks in the evenings ahead.

Our grandson’s dog ‘Sheba’ didn’t take the noise very well and Stilla left early to comfort her inside the Coach with the radio on to help drown out some of the loud bangs.  Hopefully, she gets a little more used to it before tomorrow’s fireworks show which should be pretty spectacular based on our experience last year.

Stay tuned…

Taking Care of Family (Casa Grande, AZ & Colorado Springs, CO)

My last post was on Wednesday the 27th of January.  It has been a busy and stressful couple weeks since then.  We had to move our oldest daughter and grandson from Colorado Springs to Phoenix.  Let me bring you up to date:

We left the Urban Escape Vehicle at the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande and took the Silverado with our (empty) cargo trailer on a ~17 hour drive to Colorado Springs (COS).  We made it late Thursday night (28 Jan) without incident.  Thanks Dad and Elaine for putting us up at your place 🙂


On Friday we loaded up all the daughters’ stuff in COS.


Nice weather and nice view of Pikes Peak from where we picked up the daughters’ stuff.  That was about to change tho… the weather I mean.



After getting everything loaded into the trailer and pickup bed, we joined my Dad and stepmom Elaine at the COS Elks Lodge for Friday dinner.  Other friends also joined us when they heard we were in town.

(L to R) Stepmom Elaine, Monika Malmquist, and my Dad (Bill).
(L to R) Good friends Biff Anderson, Daniel Malmquist, Linda Anderson, and then Stilla.
(L to R) Stilla, Monika Malmquist, Christine Bargy, and Biff Anderson.
(L to R) Tim Bargy, Daniel Malmquist, Linda Anderson, and my stepmom Elaine.

We enjoyed after dinner conversation in the downstairs lounge.  It was great catching up.  I think it was September when we were last here.


On Saturday, I stopped by my old high school buddy’s auto repair shop to say hi and air up the tires on the trailer and truck for the extra weight I was now hauling.


Here’s my old high school pal Mike.  He owns Chuck’s Auto in COS.


Mike and I, along with a couple others from his shop went out for a late breakfast.  We had some of the best biscuits & gravy I’ve eaten in a long time at the nearby Mill Hill Saloon.


A big storm front was moving into COS and snow was expected overnight on Saturday and it was supposed to get real bad Sunday or Monday.  So I made the wise choice to start heading south before the bad weather hit.  Stilla stayed until the next day (Sunday) to spend time with our youngest daughter Joleen, plus the oldest daughter Jennifer still had to clean the place we moved her out of and take care of a few last minute items.

Storm front coming over the mountains.

After getting safely over Raton Pass, I stopped near Springer, NM to see what new car displays they have inside Russell’s Truck Stop.  I try to stop by here anytime we go down I-25.

Cars on display at Russell’s Truck Stop and Restaurant, Springer, NM.
Cars on display at Russell’s Truck Stop and Restaurant, Springer, NM.
Cars on display at Russell’s Truck Stop and Restaurant, Springer, NM.
Cars on display at Russell’s Truck Stop and Restaurant, Springer, NM.
Evening sunset in New Mexico.

I drove as far as Albuquerque and got a room at Motel 6.  Ugghh, it reminded me of why I like to RV.  And their cheapest room was still almost $50 🙁  Oh well, at least I successfully missed the snowstorm before it shut down Colorado Springs.

Stilla, Jennifer, and Kaan caught up with me around noon just south of Albuquerque, they had some light snow and icy conditions getting out of COS but the roads were fine after that.  We all made it safely to Casa Grande late in the evening on the 31st of January.

Back at the “dirt farm”, we worked on my Mom’s casita that was still under the last stages of construction.  We just had to put a few finishing touches on it to make it livable for Jenny and Kaan until we find her a place.  I helped my stepdad Jim finish putting in the toilet and carpet for the floor, then we set up the air conditioner and heater.  And finally, after a trip to Home Depot for some window blinds, we had a nice one room apartment, aka casita.


We then spent several days looking at houses, rentals, property, etc., and finally came to the conclusion that she needed to be in or near Phoenix to find a job and good school.  We luckily, have a nephew in Phoenix that has extra rooms she can stay in for a couple months.  Thanks Matthew!  Matthew is my younger brother Donald’s kid who lives in Florida.  Matthew owns a house in Glendale where he’s going to college.

Grandson Kaan at nephew Matthew’s house.
I think Kaan likes the pool here.

We drove by the Elks Lodge in Tempe, AZ on the way back from dropping Jenny and Kaan off at Matthew’s house in Glendale.  We wanted to check it out for possible future RV spots.  They had a Super Bowl buffet that we joined in on.  In the RV park, we saw an Alpine.  So I naturally popped by to say Hi.  It was Todd & Janet Legg!  We last saw them at the Desert Rat Rally in Quartzsite.  I talked to Todd for a bit but didn’t get to see Janet.  See ya later guys 🙂


We finished up the evening back at the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande by watching the Super Bowl with my mom and stepdad Jim.  Go Broncos !!

Now we just have to figure out what to do with Jennifer’s dogs.  Having pets certainly makes it harder to find a house or apartment for rent.  And she can’t have them where she’s staying now, so I guess we’re stuck with them for now.

This is Ember (below).  Our little dog “Coach’s” sister.  We put her on Craigslist under the title ‘Free to Good Home’ but only got one response from an animal rights group called S.A.F.E. which stands for Save Animals From Euthanasia.  They take pets every Saturday at a designated PetSmart® in Phoenix to find homes for them.



Luckily, I also put a couple pictures on the Alpine Coach Owners Facebook page and got the attention of Ron and Jeanne.  We worked it out through correspondence to meet in Lake Havasu once we get there for the Alpine Coach Rally.

We left the “dirt farm” in Casa Grande on Tuesday the 9th with both of Jennifer’s dogs onboard to get to the Rally.  We left our dog ‘Coach’ with my Mom because three dogs is just too much in an RV.  Thanks again Mom for watching ‘Coach’… personally I’m beginning to wonder if she’ll even give him back 🙂

We left Casa Grande a little late in the day and finally made it to the Rodeo Grounds in Lake Havasu just after dark.  The volunteer guards at the entrance were still ready for late arrivals and had our check-in paperwork.  We followed a guy on his ATV with annoyingly bright and flashing color LED antennae to our designated site in between the other Alpine Coaches that are already here.  We set up quickly, said some hello’s to our neighbors, and watched a little TV with the generator on until 10 PM when we went to bed.

This morning (Wednesday), we met Ron and Jeanne at the SARA dog park around the corner from the rodeo grounds.  They drove down from their home in Las Vegas to meet us about adopting our daughter’s dog ‘Ember’.  They are fairly new Alpine Coach owner’s and haven’t had the opportunity to join one of our rallies yet.  As a matter of fact, they inquired about this one but it was already full 🙁  Hopefully, they will have the opportunity soon to join us soon 🙂

Jeanne with her “new to her” little dog, Ember.

Ron & Jeanne took little Ember with them to give her a loving home… as I’ve said many times before; those Alpine Coach owners are the best of people 🙂

And so here we are again… at another fine Alpine Coach Rally.  It is now Wednesday the 10th of February.  The Rally officially starts on Thursday the 11th and I’ll try to keep the blog updated with rally activities.  We are dry camping (without hookups) at the SARA Park Rodeo Grounds (←link here).  We’re here for a week of fireworks… called the 27th Annual Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnics Show (←link).  We attended the same rally here last year, click (HERE) for a link to the beginning of those blog posts if interested.

Stay tuned…