December 31, 2014

Blowing and snowing here this morning in the valley. Ten years we've been coming down to this area in the winter and this is the first time we've experienced snow. But we're toasty - the furnace is going, internet is working, and so is the TV.  We're good to hang out.

California and Nevada (and parts of Arizona too) are experiencing some pretty cold temperatures, with some wicked winds. Snow in lots of places.

Still awaiting the arrival of Darlene and Ed, et. al. Weather has slowed down their travel. They spent the night last night in Cedar City, Utah. Hopefully they will find better travelling weather today. If not, we'll see them when they get here. Travel safe you guys.  Look forward to hangin' with you for awhile.

December 29, 2014

Nipper and Sheryl left on the 26th to carry on on their adventure and for the past few days we've been busy packing up the motorhome (again) and getting ready to move out of the park model. We had one last Happy Hour with Doug and Ginette at our place on Sunday afternoon, and said our good byes. 

Today we arrived here at Fiesta RV Resort in Bullhead City. We were welcomed back by friends Sandi & Dave Solverson and Tom & Jyme Hurley.  Have to say that it was pretty cold. But the fire and the company was very warming. Now we await the arrival of Darlene & Ed and Paulette & Mark, who according to Tony in the office should be arriving tomorrow!!

In the picture with Michel are: on the left Jyme & Tom Hurley and on the right Dave & Sandi Solverson.

December 25, 2014 Christmas Day

Christmas Day with good friends. The only ones missing from this picture are Steve and Doreen - miss you guys!! But thanks for the use of your park model, we've really enjoyed our stay here!

I cooked the turkey this year, something I haven't done in a few years. But it turned out okay. I'm sure we all put on a couple of pounds - lol. 

December 24, 2014 Christmas Eve

 Happy Hour with Doug and Ginette. We've had some pretty chilly temperatures, it was nice to sit under the heater while we enjoyed our wine with good friends. 

Later in the evening we went indoors to enjoy a little karaoke. We all sang and had a good time.  

December 24, 2014

Nancy and Marcel Sabourin 
Christmas Eve we were invited for Brunch over to Marcel and Nancy Sabourin's place. What a spread they put on!!  The hostestess with the mostest! 

We started with mamosas - yummy!  

Marcel made tourtiere which was delicious. There was buscuits and gravy (another yum supplied by Pat and Jacquie), bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, waffles and all the trimmings!! 

So much food! Finished with egg nog and coffee! Thank you Nancy and Marcel for including us!!

December 20, 2014

 Thursday (Dec. 18th) we got visitors from home (Greenwood).  Nipper and Sheryl got here early afternoon and by the time we finished saying hello and chatting, it was happy hour. Boy that day went by quick - lol.... 

The next day we took them up to the Oasis for a little walk.  Nipper is an avid bike rider, riding in excess of 70 km at a time, so a little walk was just a warm up for him. But we enjoyed the walk again. 

December 10, 2014

This was an amazing experience. In the middle of the dry, dusty desert - a paradise!!

'In 1905, visionary stock rancher Louis Wilhelm traded two mules and a buckboard wagon for the Thousands Palm Oasis, an 80-acre jewel of land in the heart of the Southern California desert. “Whatever it will become,” Wilhelm said, “it is too beautiful to belong to one man.” '

The Coachella Valley Preserve, located 10 miles east of Palm Springs near 1000 Palms is a 17,000 acre site that is home to the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, found nowhere else in the world. (we did not see any on our hike) It is also the home of the spectacular Thousand Palm Oasis which is fed by water seeping out of the San Andreas Fault. 

Marcel walked with us

There are several other Palm Oases, including the Willis, Hidden Horseshoe, and Indian Palms, but in the center is the Paul Wilhelm Grove, the location of the Preserve's visitor's center. The preserve has several hiking trails including the McCallum, Hidden Palms, Moon Country, Pushawalla Palms, and Willis Palms trails. We hiked the McCallum and The Moon Country. Total distance 4.4 miles approx.

First we hiked from the visitor center (which is an oasis in itself) to McCallum Oasis,  about 1 mile.

This adventure takes you across the Fault zone, through a desert wash to the McCallum Oasis, one of the largest groves of desert fan palms in California. 

The McCallum Pond once served as refuge for the Desert Pupfish, but crawfish infested the pond, so there are no more fish..... Park employees are seen here checking their crawfish traps. They have trapped tens of thousands in their efforts to eliminate them and restock the pond with fish.


Then we took the loop trail through Moon Country. Desert walking up and down hills. 

A vista point on the hillside above McCallum Oasis. The vista point has a wonderful birds-eye view of McCallum Oasis and a 180 degree view of Joshua Tree National Park,

Back at the visitors center

December 7, 2014

Palms to Pines scenic byway

The byway follows CA Hwy 74 and CA Hwy 243 for 67 miles between Banning and Palm Desert. The map on the right will show you the path we took - beginning in Palm Springs then through Idylwild and Banning.

View of the road we travelled

This scenic drive climbs from the desert through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, about 5000 ft.before descending again to the desert.
View of Palm Springs from 2000 ft. elevation

Among the wildlife inhabiting the area are bald eagles, and bighorn sheep, but on our road trip we didn't see any wildlife.
(borrowed picture) Night view of Palm Springs 

These are by far the largest pinecones I've ever seen!

Drivers can pull off the winding and often steep road at a number of pulloffs or lookout points, to view the forested mountainsides.

We had a very nice relaxing day, stopping for a late lunch at the Paradise Cafe at Mountain Centre. 

As we were driving through Banning, we happened upon this sign. Had to snap a photo! 

December 1, 2014

Today Michel went on a nice hike with Henry Rempel. We met Henry and his wife Evelyn (from Chilliwack, BC) in this park a couple of weeks ago. 

This morning Henry and Michel hiked up a hill that is over 2,000 ft above sea level,  

There is a monument built at the top of this hill. It was erected by a Croatian man as a thank you to Pres. Bill Clinton. 

Michel at the monument

Michel enjoyed the hike, and the company.

A couple of hours later he was back home again and we got ready for our little road to trip to see RIch and Tina.

Rich and Tina are staying in Thermal, which is about an hours drive from Sky Valley. 

So we enjoyed their company, a little happy hour, and dinner before we began our trek back home.  

November 30, 2014

Darlene, Jacquie and Ginette

Grey Cup Sunday!

The party was at Darlene and Harveys. There were 18 of us including two couples who are not even Canadian! 

Lana, Myself, Lorraine

The ladies sat outside so the guys could watch the game inside where the TV was (Calgary vs Hamilton). It was pretty cool once the sun went down - thus the blankets!

Jacquie, Ginette, Marilyn, Marie

Everyone brought appies - there were so many both tables (inside and outside) were covered with goodies!

And the hostess (Darlene) made a huge batch of chilli. So we all got enough to eat that is for sure!

Marcel, Michel, Bob, Harvey

The guys made a 'pool' for the game and Michel won 1/4 of the pool money. 

Bob, Harvey, Merv, Wink, Pat, Brian

It was a good day. Everyone enjoyed themselves, though I'm not entirely sure they were all happy about the outcome of the game - Calgary won. 

November 24, 2014

We thought Doug and Ginette might be getting tired of left-over turkey from Thanksgiving, so we had Mexican dinner at our house -
black bean enchiladas, spanish rice and re-fried beans.
It was pretty good, if I do say so myself - lol!

November 23, 2014

L to R: Darlene, Lana, Ginette, Jacquie, Marie, Nancy

L to R: Bob, Harvey, Marcel, Pat, Michel, Brian, Doug
Happy American Thanksgiving!! 

We had our big Thankgsiving dinner early. Yesterday we gathered at Doug and Ginettes' - all 14 of us! 

Ginette cooked a delicious turkey and everyone brought the rest of the fixins. What a great meal - with new friends. 

The guys gathered outside on the deck for happy hour - the gals did the same indoors.

We had a lot of laughs and good conversation. Thank you Ginette and Doug for inviting us to join your group and partake in such warm friendship.

Doug and Ginette (Kamloops, BC)

Nancy and Marcel (Spruce Grove, Alberta)

Darlene and Harvey (Edmonton, Alberta)

Pat and Jacquie (Sky Valley Resort)

Marie and Brian (100 Mile House, BC)

Lana and Bob  (Sky Valley Resort)
Bob wasn;t around for pictures

Thanksgiving Toast given by Marie - CHEERS!!
After dinner out came the karaoke. Everyone enjoys that. Some sang with the mic, and we all sang along. 
Ginette got the karaoke going

Nancy singing her number - we all joined in!!

October 30, 2014

Well, here's what we've been up to for the last 10 days, since we left home. 

We did our usual route again this year, spending our first night along the Salmon River in Idaho, and meeting up with good friends Rich and Tina in Jackpot, NV. for our second night on the road. 

And speaking of road - this is what you see all through Nevada.... just a long straight highway. 

Night #3 at Pahranagat Wildlife Reserve just north of Vegas. This is becoming an annual stop. It is 2 miles in on gravel so it is dusty, but we figure it's worth it.

Day #4 and 5 we spent in Laughlin, NV, arriving early and parking at the Casino. Here we took in a movie and tried our luck on the casino floor.  I played Bingo and won $100.00 so I was excited!!!

On Day #6 (Friday) we got to Yuma. But not without a stop for lunch at Silly Al's in Quartzite, AZ.   They make the absolute BEST pizza we have ever eaten, so we have to make the stop at least once a year!

Other Pizza joints could take lessons from these guys on how to make pizza. It is so loaded with 'stuff' and the crust is just so nice and crunchy..... I'm hungry just talking about it....

So we dry camped at the Q Casino outside of Yuma until Tuesday, the 10th day of our journey south. In that time Michel got new glasses - and I had all kinds of dental work done....Ouch, ouch and more ouch! But now I'm done, so that is a good feeling. Still a little sore from having a wisdom tooth extracted, but nonetheless a good feeling to be finished at the dentist. 

We met up with old friends Russ and Mary Thomas, whom we met way back in 2005 in San Felipe (they now live in Yuma) and their friends Wayne and Cheryl (Yakima, WA).  We had lunch in Algodones, MX then just hung out with them for awhile, enjoying our visit. 

That brings us up to today - we arrived here in Sky Valley on Tuesday, put our motorhome into the park storage and settled into Steve and Doreen's park model. 

We said hello to Doug and Ginette and later we enjoyed happy hour with them on their deck (they live two doors down)

We'll be here for two months and we are both looking forward to it. 

Our deck looks onto the horseshoe pit, so Michel wandered over this morning and joined the men in a game or two.  Then coffee afterwards.  I think we will enjoy our stay here.