Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today's adventure

NOTE: I wrote this post yesterday but apparently it didn't go up.  Re-posting it on May 30.

It looks like the weather is going to be reasonable here in Southern Arizona so Kim and I have decided to do some exploring today.  From Willcox, we are headed down the "Ghost Town Trail" to visit the once booming towns of Pearce, Courtland and Gleeson.  The first part of the trip is mostly paved roads from Willcox to Pearce.

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From Pearce, it's all dirt on a road so insignificant you can't even modify your route on Google Maps to follow it.  If you click on the map below it will show you the round about way to get over to Tombstone.   For us, it will be straight down the Ghost Town Trail until we reach Gleeson road, then a right turn and off to Tombstone.

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May 30 update - If you view the above map in it's own window you can zoom in and see the Ghost Town Trail.  It connects point A and B.
We will be in Phoenix tonight and back in Flagstaff this weekend.

Catching Up!!!

As Doug wrote in his post, we're back in the state of Arizona after having been away for almost six months. It's amazing how much living we've done since we've been gone and to sum it all up, life has been great!!!

It's been quite the busy week since we've left Florida eight days ago. After we left Atlanta, we made our way to Little Rock, Arkansas to spend time with Doug's Mom, Nancy, and her husband Roy. We had talked about going for a bike ride that we've done several times before, but Doug and I were too exhausted so we decided a relaxing day with family would be better. Doug's Aunt Betty and Uncle Denny came over later that day for a visit. And just as we got there, it felt like it was time to leave. How can everything go by so quickly?

The next day, Friday, we drove to Gun Barrel City, Texas where we visited our friends Glenn and Etta at their lake house. Their lake house is so beautiful plus it's an amazing place to just kick back and relax! And speaking of relaxing, Etta and I went out on the lake the next day with wave runners. After having gone through my bone infection ordeal, it was a great feeling to be on the lake. But because of my medical ordeal, Etta thought it would be a good idea to cover both my feet in plastic bags while I was playing on the wave runner. I did look funny though with plastic bags on each foot wrapped with neon pink adhesive, but my feet didn't get wet nor did I have to worry about any bacteria from the water!!! Thanks Etta for your concern.

That evening Glenn and Etta hosted a party for their friends which was a blast. The food was simply amazing-Glenn smoked a rack of ribs and a brisket, Etta made several dishes, and their friends brought over a variety of dishes. It was a fun evening as we laughed a lot and enjoyed all the great food. 

Even though it was a holiday weekend, Glenn and Etta had to return to their house in San Antonio on Sunday and they invited us to join them there for the night. We took our time getting there stopping along the way to letterbox. It turned out to be quite a big deal letterboxing that day because I found, with Doug's help, my 200th stamp in Corsicana, Texas. Very exciting!!! And before we got to their house, we found a famous bakery, Collin Street Bakery, in Waco where we stopped to eat lunch and of course had some cookies and other treats. The bakery was originally started in Corsicana, Texas over 115 years ago and is actually famous for their fruit cakes that everyone raves about. No, we didn't try the fruit cake because they don't just sell one piece, you have to buy the whole thing. You can check them out at

(Kim's 200th Letterbox find)

I always think of Memorial Day as the beginning of Summer so we decided to do a little side trip to celebrate the upcoming season. In addition to letterboxing, I also love, love, love to find and photograph unusual post offices all over the country so what better place to do that then Luckenbach, Texas! It's an adorable little place with a population of just 3 people where everybody is somebody according to the locals!!Then we drove to Fredricksburg, Texas which is located in the beautiful hill country of the state. I tried to talk Doug into playing golf so I could shop in town, but he didn't go for it! That's ok otherwise I would have found a few too many things to buy!!!

We spent Monday night in Van Horn, Texas which is in the middle of nowhere, but was actually made famous by John Madden back in 1987. Madden stopped at a local restaurant called Chuys in order to watch Monday night football then he told everyone what a great meal he had. Madden had returned to Chuys often while traveling plus he even has a meal named for him. I have to agree with Madden that Chuys is an incredible mexican restaurant in the middle of nowhere!

So all of this catch finally brings me current to today, Tuesday. Whew!! So we're back in the state of Arizona where we visited Chirachua National Monument. I knew nothing about the monument, but was overwhelmed with it's beauty and history. It's located in the southern part of the state near the city of Willcox. The monument is famous for these incredible rock formations that are tough to even describe. You can check out some of our pictures to get an idea of what I'm talking about. And you can check out the national park service website, for additional pictures and information, but if you're ever in the area, the park is a must see.

Once again, we thank you for sharing our incredible journey with us this summer; we're glad you're here. Please feel free to leave us comments as we would love to hear from you. I promise to keep a bit more current so I don't have to write a book next time!!

Back in Arizona

Today we drove from Van Horn, Texas over to Willcox, Arizona.  We got two hours back as we crossed from Central time to Arizona time.  (Az doesn't observe DST so it's the same time as California for the summer.)  Since we had some extra time we decided to drive down and visit Chiricahua National Monument.  We did a short hike at the top of the scenic drive, it was a bit hot for Leaya so she got the Princess treatment.

Today's map:

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Day Miles - 428
Trip Miles -2,527

Texas Hill Country

Monday we headed west from Fair Oaks Ranch outside of San Antonio.  We ended the day at Chuy's in Van Horn, Texas.  We took the scenic route as we headed west.  Our first stop was

After that we drove up to the town of Fredericksburg.  We visited the visitor center and saw the film about the area before heading west.

The map for Monday's trip follows.

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Day Miles - 438
Trip Miles - 2,099 give or take

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Road to Texas

We have made two more drives on our trip west.  The first one was last Friday, when we drove from my Mom's in North Little Rock to Gun Barrel City in Texas.

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Day Miles: 316
Trip Miles: 1,380 ish

The second was yesterday, when we drove from Gun Barrel down to San Antonio, where we find ourselves this morning.

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Day Miles: 281
Trip Miles: 1,661 or so

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo of the day - Alabama Edition

Princess Leaya encourages everyone to visit Alabama.  We saw most of it from the window of the truck but the rest area's were beautiful.  I also enjoyed about a 90 minute nap while Kim took the wheel.

Hello Central Time Zone

Yesterday we drove from  Smyrna, Ga to North Little Rock, Ark.

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We spent last night here and plan one more day before continuing west.

Day Miles - 518
Trip Miles - 1,064 (Approx)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On the Road

Good Evening from Smyrna, Georgia

Before I write about our travels today, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the horrible  event that occurred  in Moore, Oklahoma this afternoon. Our hearts go out to the people affected by the tornado especially the families of the children lost in the destroyed school. Please take a minute to say a prayer for these people.

Doug and I had every intention of leaving early this morning, but that didn't happen! Of course we had to pack up the truck, do several last minute things, and say goodbye to our neighbors. Then after all was said and done, we finally got on the road about 10 this morning. And really, what's the rush? We're on vacation, right?

Several years ago, our friend Mary from Colorado, told me about this fun hobby called letterboxing. Letterboxing is where people from all over the country and the world have carved some amazing stamps then place them along with a logbook in a container and hide them in different places. I go to a website,, and put in where it is I'm traveling then I get a page or several pages listing stamps in or around the area.  Once I pick the stamp I want to find, I look up the clues provided. Once I find the stamp, I stamp their logbook with my personal stamp then I stamp my logbook with their stamp. After I've finished, I put the stamp back in it's hiding spot making sure nobody sees me so that people don't steal the stamps or just throw them away. It's lots of fun looking for letterboxes as I've learned about many areas, certain places or people I would have otherwise never known about.

So today we made three stops looking for letterboxes-two were located in rest areas and the third one was in a Georgia town. The first one was fairly easy to find in a Florida rest stop, but the second one in the Georgia welcome center had terrible clues so we never found it. Plus we were getting swarmed by little bugs. The third one was in Jonesboro, Georgia which became famous when part of the movie Smokey and the Bandit was filmed there and I would have never known about the town had it not been for the letterbox. Two out of three boxes today was a great accomplishment!  But let me just say that Doug likes the hunt for the boxes and I'm the one who does all the stamping. Also Doug is much better at finding the boxes than me, but I am getting better. So if you get a chance, take a peek at the website to get more information on letterboxing. Doug and I have a great time plus it gives us a chance to take breaks throughout the day.

We made it to Smyrna, Georgia  a little bit after 8 this evening. We're visiting with Doug's brother Dale and his wife Angie for the next two nights. Tomorrow Doug and Dale are playing golf together, but because Angie has to go to the dentist, I'm tagging along with the guys for the day. It's supposed to be a gorgeous day tomorrow so I'm looking forward to being outside.

Well, it's the end of our first day of traveling with many more exciting days ahead. Thank you for joining us on this incredible adventure as we're excited to share it with you. Don't forget that you can always leave us comments.

Good night from Georgia where they're glad they're on your mind!!! And once again, please keep the people of Moore, Oklahoma in your thoughts and prayers-they have a long road ahead of them.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 1 - Rotonda West to Smyrna, Ga

The trip starts tomorrow morning.  We hope to be on the road and headed north by 9am. The first day of the trip looks like this:

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Not sure how often we will be posting as we travel.  We have added a box on the right where you can sign up to get an email when we do get a post up.  Please feel free to sign up!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We're Getting Close Now

     Hello to all our new friends who are joining us on this exciting adventure ahead. Doug and I promise to do our best to keep you up to date on this amazing trip all the way north to Alaska.

     I didn't let myself get too excited about our upcoming trip because for the last nine weeks I've had to deal with IV antibiotics here in Florida. But today, the day I never thought would get here, finally arrived and I'm thrilled to report no more IV line. In it's place I have neon pink wrap, thank you Lisa for getting that color for me, and it feels so strange not to see  an IV in my arm. It was a very emotional and difficult nine weeks, but thank you to everyone at Dr. Wazny's office for your support. And along that part of my journey, I met some great people who I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with.

     Now reality hits and I have to think about packing as we leave on Monday the 20th of May-that's only four days from today!! I have a good idea of what to take, but I can finally admit that I'm the queen of procrastination. There I said it!! And Monday is coming up way too quick.

     The first leg of our trip takes us to Atlanta to visit with Doug's brother and his wife Angie for two nights. Then we head to Little Rock for two nights to see Doug's Mom and her husband Roy. Then for Memorial Day weekend, we go to Gun Barrel City, Texas which is outside of Dallas, to spend time with Glenn and his wife Etta. They have a beautiful lake house with two wave runners and a party boat. I can't wait to ride the wave runner. After the holiday weekend, we make our way to Phoenix to see Dan and Gayle then it's up to Flagstaff to get a few things. We're hoping to see several of our friends and hopefully have lunch or dinner with them. And finally we should arrive at my Mom's house in Santa Rosa, CA by June 3rd or 4th.

     Once we arrive in Santa Rosa, we have a lot of work to get done before we leave for Alaska. The RV hasn't been out for months so we need to get it road ready as we have a long way before we get to Alaska. My favorite part of getting ready is shopping at Costco filling up the grocery cart and of course we splurge just a little! Better to buy things in the states because once we get to Canada, many items are ridiculously overpriced. We have found a gallon of milk for eight dollars! But then we have to put it all away in the RV!!! I will say that we do eat very well on our trips plus Doug loves to grill some awesome meals. I can't wait!

     So thank you for joining us on our Florida to Alaska 2013 adventure. It's going to be exciting as we plan on going all the way to the Arctic Ocean in the Northwest Territories, Canada. And don't forget that you can comment on any of our posts, but it may take a day or two before you see them. We have to approve them prior to posting because we got strange posts in the past from unknown people. Welcome and here we go!!!!


Friday, May 10, 2013

The 2013 trip

Hello Blog Visitors - just wanted to let you know that Kim and I are getting ready for one more cross country trip.  This time, we will be traveling all the way from Rotonda West, Florida to Alaska and back.  The trip is tentatively scheduled to start on May 20th.  Thanks for reading and we will keep you posted.