Friday, November 18, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

We had a pretty lazy morning...other than doing our resistance exercises, that is.  It was after 11:00 by the time we headed outside.  Steve put away the barbeque and table and then we hitched up the trailer to the truck.  Well at least that is done...there will still be lots to do tomorrow morning before we grab the cab to the airport.  Oh yeah...I also called the cab company to pick us up at 11:00 tomorrow morning.
Shortly after noon we put our bathing suits on and headed over to the pool.  It was another beautiful day...might as well take advantage of it.  Another repeat of need to take pictures again.
I decided that I had had enough at about 2:30 and decided to head back to the trailer...Steve wanted just a few more minutes in the sunshine.  I was getting anxious...still had to pack the suitcases.
It was 4:00 when I had the suitcases all packed...all but the last minute stuff tomorrow morning.  We are more than likely taking way too much...but, hey...I just might want to wear this or that!!  While I was packing, Steve was doing a little precautionary work...we had heard last year that spiders don’t like ‘Bounce’ dryer he was replacing the old sheets with new sheets in each cupboard...he also got a mouse trap out and set it up in the kitchen...just in case!  Our rig will be stored here in the desert for the 2 weeks we are gone...we must take all necessary precautions!
So, since we are leaving tomorrow morning, I will sign off for 2 weeks....we return to this RV resort late afternoon of December 3rd.   We made a big decision yesterday...since we will be flying home to Victoria two weeks after we get back from Cabo, we have decided to stay put in this RV resort for a month (Dec 3—Jan 3).  Although the sites themselves are nothing to look at, the resort is nice with great amenities and is handy to the Phoenix area.
We will be back in 2 weeks...stay tuned for a review of our vacation in Cabo...and pictures!

Thursday, November 17, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

As I mentioned yesterday, today is laundry day...and there was a mountain of it!  Steve loaded the 4 big bags of laundry onto the back of the truck...he is going to drop me off at the laundry room on his way to fill up one of the propane tanks. 

The laundry room has six double-load washing machines and dryers.  The other day when we checked it out, there was no one using them...but not so today!  All six machines were in use when I arrived...figures!  I tucked my bags of laundry in a corner and wandered outside and over to the clubhouse.  I returned to the laundry room just in time...another lady had arrived with her laundry and was about to butt in front of me...she wasn’t very happy when she saw me return!
It’s one thing waiting for a washing machine but the dryers are totally different because the time required to dry the clothes really that means, I’m finished with a washer...but now have to wait for a dryer...sheesh!  Consequently, the laundry seemed to take forever...
Once a couple of bags of clean laundry were ready, Steve carried them back to the trailer and returned wearing his bathing suit.  He brought me a bottle of water and then continued to the pool. 
Once the last of the laundry was done, I walked it back to the trailer and quickly changed into my suit.  I am going to join Steve at the pool...ahh...beautiful!

That's Steve sunning on the lounge chair...

After about an hour, our stomachs started to we headed home for lunch.   Also time to put the clean laundry away.  We made a quick trip back to Target to pick up the missing items from yesterdays shopping trip....and that was basically it for the day.
Tomorrow we want to spend some more time by the pool but first of all we will have to get our suitcases packed...and things all lined up in the 5th wheel before we put it into storage on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

Well, I’m afraid today was not too terribly exciting...and the next couple of days probably won’t be either, as we get ready to leave for Cabo on Saturday.

It was just a gorgeous day...with a perfect temperature in the mid 70`s...clear blue sky...ahhh...gotta like it! 
Steve looked up some information on the 5th wheel that the RV place wanted to know in preparation for servicing it in on December 6th.  After a couple of calls back and forth with them, that was all taken care of.
We headed out late morning to do a little shopping at Target in Fountain Hills...just a few miles away.  I wanted to pick up a few "essentials" to take with us to know...Imodium, Zantac...etc.  The odd thing was that when we got home and I unpacked everything, three things were missing...the Imodium, Zantac and shampoo.  We had had quite a chatting older fellow at the checkout that kept putting our things into a plastic bag instead of our cloth bags.  So we figured that the things missing had been put into a plastic bag and left behind.  However, when I checked everything off the receipt, those things weren`t on it...hmmm...somewhere along the way from my putting these items in our buggy to checkout, they disappeared.  Well, at least we hadn`t paid for them.  It just means we are going to have to make another trip to pick up these very important items!
Other than a power walk around the campground later on in the afternoon, we didn`t do anything I said...not a very exciting day.  Tomorrow is laundry day...another exciting day...haha!

Here are a couple of pictures of our site that I meant to post the other day...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

It has been a long time since we had been woken by an alarm...but at 5:30 my iPod`s alarm sounded...shortly after Steve`s watch.  I got up first and just right into the shower and then relaxed with a cup of coffee while Steve had his. 

We headed out at 7:00 a.m....just like we were going to work...sheesh!   And of course, we joined the hundreds of other cars on the highways...the morning rush hour. 

Downtown Phoenix from the freeway...

Following Serena`s directions, we arrived at Midway Chev (a huge dealership) shortly before 8:00 and were met by Brian, who would be our service rep.
After all the usual paperwork and discussing some issues Steve wanted looked at, we headed up to the main building where a shuttle would take us to anywhere we wanted to go.  There was a big mall about 8 miles we were driven to Arrowhead Town Center.  Unfortunately, we were dropped off just after 8:30 and the stores in the mall don`t open until 10:00...but the mall itself was open.  So we joined all the "mall walkers" and wandered around one level of the mall before deciding to grab a coffee and snack in the food court and sit down for bit. 
As we wandered the lower level of the mall, I noticed a couple of hair salons...I desperately needed a haircut and was planning on getting one this week so decided to make use of our "waiting" time and get one here at the mall.  Steve also decided to get a trim.  That took up almost an hour of our time...and then we continued to wander the mall.   I spent some time in a store called Puppy Love...yes, it was a pet store with puppies for sale.  I fell in love with a little 3 month old Pomeranian...a tiny ball of fluff!  Soooooo cute!  But I reluctantly left empty handed...
By this time it was close to noon, so we thought we would find someplace for lunch.  We ended up walking across the street guessed Olive Garden Restaurant. We had a very delicious lunch and then called for the shuttle to pick us up.  We probably should have called before lunch because it took awhile before we were picked up...but we waited outside in the beautiful sunshine.
Back at Midway Chev, Steve talked to Brian about the truck...they are going to replace the fan clutch even though it`s been running normal for the last few days but, of course, they have to order it in. Steve already had one of these replaced shortly after we purchased the truck. When it sticks on it sounds like the truck is screaming along in too low a gear. The intermittent leaking coolant issue we had has also fixed itself. They did a pressure test and found no leaks?! We have an appointment to have the fan clutch replaced on December 5th...after we get back from Cabo.
On the way home, we went through Mesa to RV Traders...another research job Steve did on Montana 5th wheel dealers.  We made an appointment to take it in on December 6th, for some warranty work...just a few minor issues that need to be taken care of.  So when we get back from Cabo, we are going to be busy "taking care of business".
View of the mountains as we head towards Fountain Hills...

Passed the entrance to Fountain Hills (a very pretty place with lovely homes)...

It was around 4:30 when we finally got home.  We relaxed outside for a bit and then headed starts getting dark so early now. 

Monday, November 14, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

We woke to a nice sunny morning...a great start to the day!  And it was actually daylight when we got up...yes, we slept in until 6:45 a.m.!  

We thought we would walk over to the clubhouse and partake in the free continental breakfast.  We were a little disappointed...all they had was coffee, juice and various types of donuts.  I managed to find one last of those big, high-calorie ones full of was tasty (of course).  We thought they might have cereal and toast...they had the toaster but no bread...oh well.  We chatted with a couple from Minnesota as we finished our coffee...and then headed back to the trailer. 
The truck is due for its third service so Steve was researching places in the Phoenix area to take it.  After calling one place and finding that they don’t do warranty work, he settled on Midway Chev, called them and scheduled an appointment...for tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.!  It is almost an hour’s drive away, so that means we have to leave by 7:00 a.m....and that means we’ll have to be up around 5:30 so that we can both have showers and breakfast before we go...sheesh!
With that appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning, that meant that the truck needed to be was very dirty!  Steve had asked at the office if there was a car wash nearby with big bays and was told that there was one not far away in Fountain Hills.  So off we went.
We easily found it and after a good hour and $17 later, the truck was all clean...and Steve’s arms were tingly and sore from holding the high­-pressure wand for so long.  I had had a very important job...feed the coins into the meter.

We were back home around 12:30 and after some lunch, Steve went back outside to finish cleaning the truck...vacuum the cab, do the windows, tires...etc. I settled in front of the laptop at the table and after chatting with Chris via MSN, I decided to update my iPod.  Well, it had been a long time since I had done it...the software was so old that it wasn’t even recognized when I plugged it in so I ended up having to manually open the program.  After a couple of hours, I finally had a “brand new” iPod all up-to-date with the latest software. 
We had our usual evening...after dinner and dishes, we settled in front of the TV to watch our favourite Monday night programs. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

We had a pretty laid-back day today.  After all the sightseeing we did in the Sedona area before heading down here...we figured we would just relax today.

After our usual coffee time, we did our exercises, showered and had breakfast.  After that we sat inside for was cloudy and had rained quite a bit last night.  I worked on our travel journal while Steve watched some programs on TV...still lots of post-Veteran’s Day shows on the Military station. 
We finally decided that we should get outside and go for a walk around the RV Park.  We walked the perimeter of the park and then checked out the swimming pool...

...stopped at the clubhouse...where they serve a free continental breakfast every morning...and checked out the laundry and fitness facilities.
A few more pictures taken around the RV Resort...

After we had finished our “outing” we settled back inside...resuming our previous positions.  The Fort Casino is just down the road and the RV Resort offers free shuttle service so we thought we would go out tonight.  When we checked in, we were also given coupons for $15 each to play the slots and we also were told that it was “all you can eat” crab legs night at the buffet.  So we decided to have a date night.
Shortly after 5:00 we walked over to the office area where the shuttle pick-up is and using the direct phone, called for a shuttle to pick us up.  It’s just a short drive down Fort McDowell Road, across the highway and you are, the parking lot was full...a very busy place!  The shuttle driver said that business was just starting to pick up...I guess it’s pretty quiet around here in the summer time.  Must be all the snowbirds that flock south in the winter that brings in all the business!
The first thing we did was find the spot where we redeem our coupons for a $15 cash-card.  Okay, that’s done; we decided to go over to the Lucky Seven Bar where we heard a live band playing.  We sat up at the bar and ordered drinks...$1/glass of beer (albeit a rather small glass) and $2 margaritas...sweet!
It was a country band playing...Country Floyd, I think was their name...they were quite good...considering we have never been big fans of country least the old whiney stuff.
We had a few drinks and then headed to the buffet for dinner...all very tasty and good...not that big on the crab legs, though...just too much work and too messy for me!
After dinner, we decided to go try out our cash-card.  They only work on select slot machines....and needless to say, they really didn’t let us win much.  Steve had a bit more luck than I did...but then his winnings were gone...time to call the shuttle for our return to the RV Park.  Unfortunately, there was about a half hour we had another beer...really not enjoyed due to the fact that we were so stuffed from dinner.
The shuttle dropped us off right at our was just before 10:00.  After a nice Skype call with Rob and Angie, we headed to bed.  We had had a great evening out...we both really enjoyed it.  They are having “all you can eat” shrimp and prime rib on Thursday...we might just have to have another evening out (which would be a good thing...we are running low on food since I don’t want to go grocery shopping before we put the rig into storage on Saturday).

Saturday, November 12, 2011 (Travel to Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

It was after 9:30 by the time we left our site at Dead Horse Ranch State Park...and we still had to stop at the sani-dump on the way out of the park.  Finally on the road, our ETA at Eagle View RV Resort in Fort McDowell (just east of Scottsdale) was 12:30.

We stopped at a Sunset Point Rest of the largest rest area we have seen...and with a great view...

As we approached the Phoenix area, we exited I-17 onto highway 101 loop east, towards Scottsdale.  This is the most traffic Steve has had to deal with in a long time...

We pulled into Eagle View RV Resort at about 12:40.  We stopped at the office to register...very nice...big clubhouse with library, billiard/game room, heated swimming pool and spa, free continental breakfast, WiFi at each site...and a free shuttle to the nearby Casino.  It is a typical desert environment...the sites are paved with gravel between.  They are fairly close together and have no picnic tables...I guess RVers don`t barbeque....hmmmm.  We backed in easily to our site, got levelled and unhitched.  Immediately, we could feel the much warmer temperatures even though it was fairly cloudy out.  It wasn`t long before we were in our shorts and sandals! 
Steve was setting up the satellite dish while I was scrubbing the bathroom...when he came inside to check on the signal, I heard him laugh...he did it again...managed to get it tuned right in!  He did go out for some fine tuning but couldn`t improve the signal...he`s getting pretty darned good at this!
One of the first things I did after we were all set up was to turn the laptop on and check the WiFi...a good signal!  Well, no wonder...the tower is right outside our site...excellent!
Before we knew it, it was after 4:00 and time to sit down and relax with a cocktail.  I am way behind on our travel journal, so I settled in with the laptop and decided to get my writing done.  Steve just has to read and edit and then I hope to get it all posted on our blog...well maybe not all of it tonight; after all, we have a lot of pictures from all of our recent sightseeing.  My goal is to get our blog up-to-date in the next couple of days...

Friday, November 11, 2011 (Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ)

It was cloudy when we headed out this morning...quite a change from the past few days.  We had 4 parks to visit today...our first destination was Montezuma Castle National Monument.

We arrived at the Visitors Centre to find that entrance fees to all National Parks had been waived this weekend (normally $5/person)...a special over the Veterans Day!  After going through the exhibits on the prehistoric Sinagua people who lived in this region, we headed outside to see the castle. 
Montezuma Castle is really quite amazing.  It stands in a cliff recess about 100 feet above the valley.  Sinagua farmers began building this five-story, 20 room dwelling early in the 12th century. 

A short distance west is Castle A...once an imposing six-story apartment with about 45 rooms, it is now badly deteriorated....

It was all very impressive!  Now to carry onto our next stop...Fort Verde State Historic Park...which ended up being much less impressive. 
Fort Verde was a base for General Crook`s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers in the 1870`s and 1880`s.  Some of the original buildings still stand, giving visitors a unique glimpse into Arizona`s yesterday.  We paid our $4 each and then walked through the displays and exhibits in the main building...

...before walking across the street to 3 buildings that had been restored...
All of the displays inside were behind glass, making it difficult to take pictures without some reflection...
On our way out, Steve went to the far end of the property to take a picture of all the buildings...

Okay...fine...that was boring (okay...not really...but it really didn`t hold my interest all that much).  Time to move on to our next Park...Montezuma Well National Monument.
Montezuma Well is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern.  The springs that feed it flow continuously and was a source for both the Honokam and Sinagua to irrigate their crops.  Traces of their irrigation ditches, thickly coated with lime, can be seen.  The Singua dwellings here vary in size from large pueblos of 55 rooms to one-room houses.  Between 1125 AD and 1400 AD, about 200 Sinagua lived here.

There are some ruins along the cliff wall...

We came across a baby tarantula on the pathway...not a very smart place to be if he wants to grow up...
Here is a very cool trail that leads down to the spring...very cool...

Our final stop was Tuzigoot National Monument which is fairly close to Dead Horse State Park where we are staying.  So on our way we stopped in Cottonwood to fuel up with diesel...we are leaving tomorrow and it is much easier to fill up without the 5th wheel.  The best diesel price we found was at Fry`s (which is a grocery store affiliated with Krogers in the eastern U.S.).  We have a Krogers "card" that we got last year and we had enough points on it to get 10 cents/gallon off...good is the cheapest diesel we have found so far... $3.67/gallon.

We arrived at Tuzigoot National Monument at hour before closing.  Instead of going through the displays in the Visitors Centre, we decided to go see the ruins first.  Another very incredible place...amazing how these people built their homes!  Tuzigoot (Apache for `crooked water`) is the remnant of a Sinagua village built between 1125 AD and 1400 AD.  It crowns the summit of a long ridge that rises 120 feet above the Verde Valley.  The original pueblo was two stories high in places and had 77 ground-floor rooms.  There were few exterior doors; entry was by the way of ladders through openings in the roofs.  The village began as a small cluster of rooms that were inhabited by about 50 persons for a hundred years.  In the 1200s the population doubled and doubled again as refugee farmers, fleeing drought in outlying areas, settled here.

Another very interesting place...

Grinding stones...for grinding corn...

They have made the Visitors Centre blend in...

Inside the Visitors Centre...

It was just before 5:00 when we left the Visitors Centre.  It was just a short trip home...however, not long after we turned onto the main road leading to the State Park, there were flashing lights on the trucks and police...oh, oh...  We were told that the highway would be closed for about an hour...hmmm...must have been a very bad accident!  So we had to turn around and find our way around to highway 89A that would take us back to Cottonwood.  We made it but it was well after 5:30 by the time we got there.  We had planned on getting the trailer hitched up less thing to do tomorrow morning...but it was late and we were tired after a full day of sightseeing.  So we will do it tomorrow.