Spring Training

Back to the Tempe Elks

Before I left Yuma I called Liam, the camp host of the Tempe Elks Lodge.  He assured me that there was a spot available.   This is the 2nd year I will be staying there.  It is convenient for a few games and is in a location I am familiar with.  Plus the fact that there is full hookups will really make it comfortable in the heat.  So off we went.

It only took a few hours to get there and when I did I looked up Liam.  I mentioned that I had parked last year in the space right behind his rig.  However this year he said my rig would be hanging out too far and wouldn’t let me stay there.  There didn’t seem to be any other space available so i started looking on my GPS for other campgrounds nearby.  Then Liam came running over and said he had a space for me.  The guy on the end space was moving so I was able to take his spot.

After parking I went into the lodge, enjoyed a beer and paid for 9 days at $20 per day.  My son Curt will be flying in on Thursday so I will have a few days to myself to do laundry, shopping, etc.

Happy Saint Paddys Day

The Elks Lodge was having a Saint Patricks Day dinner so I planned to go to that.  Of course I had to have a couple of Guiness to start off the celebration then I had a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner.  It was one of the best I have ever had or was it the Guiness talking to me.  HA!

I was checking out my email on my iPhone when I realized that Barb and Chuck (my friends from my Amazon days) were in the area.  I called them and low and behold they were in Mesa just a hop, skip and jump from me.  So off I headed to Mesa to meet them at an Irish Pub.  It was great seeing them again and we had a lot of catching up to do.  Then we were going to another place they had mentioned and in the process of driving over there my car started to die on me.  Fortunately we were stopped at a light and I was able to get there attention.  Chuck and I pushed the car through the light and into a parking lot where I called Coach Net to get a tow back to the Elks Lodge.

Within an hour the tow truck was there and I was on my way back to the Elks with my broken down car.  I knew what the problem was since I had the same problem in Fernley when I was there.  ALTERNATOR!!!  I had my alternator changed twice while in Fernley.  The first time the alternator was defective and they replaced it again.  It has only been in the car for a few months and now is bad for the third time.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the car in the morning.  I looked on Yelp and low and behold there was an 5 star auto repair joint just 2 blocks away.  I walked down there to see when they could get to it.  They were very busy but would try to fit me in on Thursday.

So now I am without a car and my son was flying in on Thursday.  I decided to call Enterprise to see about renting a car for a couple of days.  I also contacted my son and told him to take a shuttle to the Elks Lodge as I wouldn’t get the car for a couple of hours. Then Gene’s Auto Worx called me and said it was the alternator and they would tune it up as well.  They said it would be done in the afternoon.  First I have 0 cars in the morning and now I have 2 cars in the afternoon.  DUH!  I called Gene’s back and asked them if they could hold the car until tomorrow after I return the rental car.  What a day!

Our Annual Spring Training Get-to-gether

This is the 2nd annual spring training we have planned.  We will be going to 2 baseball games and a hockey game.  The first baseball game was in Glendale which is way on the other side of Phoenix about 25 miles from the Elks.  We saw the Angels play the Indians at Goodyear Ball Park.

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The two best players on the Angels.  Mike Trout at bat and Albert Pujols in the on deck circle.

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Two of the best fans during Spring Training.

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The hockey game was also 25+ miles from home so we did a lot of driving on those days.  We also wanted to see the new Cubs ballpark in Mesa which wasn’t as far.

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Here are these same two goofy fans.  HA!

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CHA CHING!!!

Before we went to the first game we stopped by Arizona Casino to try our luck.  I was lucky right from the start.  I put $40 in a slot machine and won $90, then ran it up to $140.  Then I tried my luck at a progressive machine and low and behold I hit a jackpot of $522.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have never been lucky before except in small amounts.  I immediately cashed out and called it quits.

The ballgame was fun especially since the Angles trounced the Indians.  Lots of action and in one inning the Angels had 4 triples.  WOW!  The hockey game was very exciting and lot of noise.  It was a great time.  Our last game was a Padres/Cubs game at the new ballpark in Mesa they built for the Cubs.  A great park and another fun game.

We went to a Gordon Biersch Brewery where we had ate last year as well and sat on the balcony overlooking downtown Tempe.  It was a great dinner and capped of our 2nd annual spring training.  We are already making plans for the 3rd annual and discussed some options like different ball parks.

Back to Yuma

I was going to leave on the 24th and head to Yuma to exchange my hearing aids for a set that comes with rechargeable batteries.  I don’t want the hassle of buying batteries all the time.

When I got to Yuma I had a big surprise.  I pulled in the Casino parking lot right across from Chris.  He had just returned from a few weeks in Mexico and we had a lot to talk about.

Later in the afternoon Debby and Kim picked us up and we went to the Elks for a great dinner and lots of catching up with what everyone was doing.  It was a great time, but unfortunately didn’t get any pics.

Back to California

After picking up my hearing aid charger I made a beeline to the Oceanside Elks in Oceanside, CA  I will be here for several weeks to take care of business and just plain relax by the ocean.

More to come later.

Life Since Mittry Lake

Paradise Casino

After I left Mittry Lake I headed to the Paradise Casino.  From there I drove into Los Algadones, MX to have my teeth cleaned by my dentist Dr Eva Urena.  All went well and I didn’t have to have any other work done. I got out of there paying only $35.  Not too shabby!

While I was over in MX I decided to have my hearing checked out.  I found the place my friends from a couple of years ago got their hearing aids.  They had lots of good things to say about them so went in without an appointment and they said to return for a hearing test in about an hour.  I love the fact that you can go in any office without an appointment and they will get you in so fast.

My hearing test results were exactly what I have thought for some time.  My hearing is going down the drain.  She recommended several types of hearing aids including one that only costs $695.  However she mentioned that I would probably be in there in a year or two upgrading to new hearing aids.  I decided to go with the better hearing aids.  I gave her half of the amount and told her I would be back in a week or two to pick them up and be fitted.

My teeth cheaper the Chica’s

The last thing I would have to do in Yuma was getting Chica’s teeth cleaned.  A vet in CA told me that she had Periodontal disease and quoted me a price anywhere from $850 to $1100.  YUK!!!  I took the quote to the Animal Hospital of Yuma and they quoted my a price of $470 for the same procedure.  However they wanted to see her first before going ahead with anything.  I took her in and they said she had a mild case of Periodontal disease and needed a tooth extracted.  But what she had could be cleared up with a deep cleaning which would only run about $185.  What a difference.

Anyway I took her in and since I had her teeth cleaned there last year, they gave me a discount and only charged me $165.  Now she is good to go for another year.

Let me see – My teeth – $35  Chica’s teeth – $165.  DUH!!

Scattering of Ashes

I then returned to CA and stayed at O’Neill Park.  My sister Bev had found online someone who would scatter my parents ashes in the Saddleback Mountains.  How cool is that.  We originally planned it for February 28, but it was raining and overcast and we had to postpone it until March 7.  I got up early on the 7th and took a bunch of stuff over to a picnic site where we would be able to see the plane when it flew over scattering their ashes.  Once the family showed up we were all ready to view it.  She circled several times before scattering the ashes.  It was really a beautiful site.  I tried to get pics but they didn’t come out too good.  We combined both my father’s and mother’s ashes together.  It was their wishes to have their ashes scattered over Saddleback Mountain and we were so happy that we finally carried out their wishes.  I will never see Saddleback Mountain again without remembering this day and the beauty of seeing their ashes float down to the trees.

We then spent the afternoon roasting hot dogs and eating a great picnic lunch.  It was fun seeing everyone again.

Back in CA

I wanted to see if I could qualify for Lasic surgery on my eyes.  I HATE wearing glasses and was hoping I could have the surgery so I would only need glasses for reading.  I made an appointment and went in to see the eye doctor.  I found out that I have cataracts and astigmatism in both eyes so the doctor suggested I have cataract surgery and he would also replace my lens to correct the astigmatism.  He would do one eye at a time with a period of time between eyes.  I was ready to go.

Then he stated that he would have to get an OK from my primary physician.  My previous primary physician was with Kaiser Permanente who I have not see since I started full timing almost 5 years ago.  I usually went to Renown Care in Reno each year and they would renew my prescriptions.

I checked on the Internet to find a Primary Care Physician in the area and I found a real gem.  I was able to make an appointment on line and was notified by his office almost immediately.  I went in and he checked me out but wanted to run a CT Scan of my heart and blood work as well.  The CT Scan came back with a 324 result so he suggested I seen a Cardiologist as well as a Pulmonary doctor because he could hear some noise in my lungs.  I went to the Cardiologist and after speaking some time with her she wanted me to take a treadmill test.

I finally got the OK from my new Primary Physician and made the appointments with the eye doctor.  I had to go in and get further measurements of my eyes and scheduled the right eye to be done on the 2nd and the left eye on the 8th.  There is usually a two week wait between eyes but he knew I would be headed up north for a summer job so he made an exception.

Back in Yuma 

After much prodding and poking by doctors I returned to Yuma to pick up my hearing aids.  That went very well but they didn’t order the charger for me as I requested so I will have to return later.  I also stopped in to see Gayle and Jim at the space they are renting in Yuma while their get dental work completed.  It was a really nice area and very scenic since they are so close to the mountains.  Chica also enjoyed seeing Sophie and Elvis and had fun on a walk with them.  I stupidly didn’t get any pics while I was there.

Heading to Phoenix

I was going to spend a few more days in Yuma, but when the temperature hit 94 and we have no hookups at the casino I decided to go where I have full hookups.  More on that later.

Getting things done at Mittry Lake

Still at Mittry Lake

Since I arrived here I have replaced my GPS, Dish Receiver and pocket camera.  My camera stopped working last year but didn’t want to spend the money to replace it.  It was a Nikon CoolPix and I loved the camera but it just stopped working.  I had already sent it into Nikon during it’s warranty period and they were able to fix the problem, but since then it started the same problem over again and decided it was time for a new one.

I went to Best Buy where I was able to pick up a new Sony Cyber Shot.  I looked at them all but decided this one had many of the features of my Nikon and would be easiest to get used to.  So far I am very happy with it although the flash pics aren’t the greatest.  I guess I will have to read the manual for a change.  Sure Jim!

My next item was a new GPS.  My old one was a reconditioned unit I had bought through WOOT several years ago and it gave me many years of instructions on how to get where I was going.  Then on the way to Yuma I plugged it in and it never did come on.  I picked up a new Garmin at Best Buy also and am really please with it.  I looked at several different models including the TOMTOM but decided on sticking with the Garmin in the same size I had.  So far I like it much better then the one I had.

Last but not least, I set my Satellite Dish up but couldn’t get the receiver box to even turn on.  I contacted Dish support who determined that I might need a new receiver box.  They gave me the address of a local retailer in Yuma so I headed over to them to see if they could test my box.  They plugged it in and again nothing.  They did have a replacement box in stock which they programmed for me and now I also have TV.  Hot Dog!

Chica’s Teeth

When I was in So CA I took Chica in to get her nails clipped and saw the vet.  He mentioned that she had a loose tooth and possible Periodontal disease.  YUK!  Poor little girl!  He gave me an estimate of $800 – $1100 to get her fixed up.  I thought I would go to the vet in Yuma at Foothill Animal Hospital to get a second opinion.  Before I took her in I stopped by there with the estimate I received from the first vet.  They literally cut that in half and said it would cost less then $500, however they wanted to see her first.  Then next day I took her in and the vet examined her and determined she didn’t really have periodontal disease but she did need a good teeth cleaning.  It is common among her breed that plack really builds up.  I took her in to the same vet last year and they did her teeth then  so early Thursday we are off to the vet.  They will also bring her up to date on her shots and trim her nails again (they grow so fast).

 

Please Daddy, not the dentist again!

Please Daddy, not the dentist again!

Life is good at Mittry Lake

Lots of friends, great weather, good food, and its totally FREE.  What more could you ask for.

Off to Yuma

Thanks

I would like to thank everyone for the thoughtful comments concerning my Mom.  I am so lucky to have so many friends like yourselves.

Finally off to Yuma

I was finally able to pick up my rig at the Ford dealer where they fixed my steering box, upgraded my A/C and did my front brakes.  Then I went back to Doheny State Beach for 2 days to get organized and purchase food.  My sister Bev took me to Costco and Trader Joe’s where I really stocked up.  I packed up on Friday morning to make the drive to Yuma.  Glad to get out of all the traffic in So CA.

Cool driving

I am sure glad that the Ford dealer was able to fix the A/C.  Since my rig is an older model they could not just add freon, but had to upgrade to the latest freon they now use in all the new vehicles.  It was getting hot crossing the desert and both Chica and myself were nice and cool.

Mittry Lake

I headed straight to Mittry Lake where I met up with friends who were already there.  Jim and Gayle, Debbie, Chris, Jeanne, Barbara, Suzanne and Kim were already there and Chica and I moved right in.  Martin and Charlie arrived later and it was good seeing them.  It sure was fun meeting up with old friends as well as some new ones as well.

Chica also met here friends Sophie and Elvis as well as Rupert and Eliot, Katie and Riley.  She was really glad to see them.

 Visited Stan

The next day I drove over to the Paradise Casino to visit Stan who was a fellow camp host last summer at Baker Lake.  He had called and mentioned that he would only be there another day or two so decided to stop in and pay him a visit.  He is going back east to Mississippi.  It was good seeing him before he left.

I also need groceries so headed over to Fry’s to restock my new refrigerator.

Off on a hike

A few of us left on a hike about 9:00am to avoid the heat.  It was a hike I have done many times before so knew where we were going.  This is a pic of our rigs looking back from our hike.

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I will take more pics of the area and Chica once I get my camera charged up.

I am glad to be back on the road and meeting up with friends.

Sad News

I Lost My Mother

Two days after my last blog post my Mother passed away.  Since then I haven’t quite felt like blogging and I apologize for not keeping you up to date.  I just haven’t felt like it.  She was 91 at the time and we were very lucky to have her so long.  It was very fortunate I was in Southern California visiting relatives when she passed away.  You will really be missed Mom.

She used to always tell us to stop and smell the roses.  Her she is doing what she always loved.

Mom smelling the roses

A pic of her and my sister Bev at the San Juan Capistrano Mission.

mom at San Juan

We had a Memorial Service for her overlooking Dana Point Harbor.  It was a really nice service.

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She will be greatly missed by us all.

Quartzsite

With everything going on with my family I was not able to attend Quartzsite this year.  I really missed seeing everyone and will just have to catch up next year.

Back to the Mothership

I called Vince at Lazy Daze and he was able to fit me into their busy schedule to get some much need items repaired/replaced.  Vince was really great and did everything I needed done including replace the refrigerator, oven, toilet, kitchen faucet, and two new AGM house batteries, and ladder plus numerous small items that needed attention.  It sure was nice to get everything taken care of.

Still in SO CA

I am not sure when I will be leaving SO CA as there are some other things that I have to attend to, but once I do I will probably head to Yuma to get my rig washed and waxed plus see my Mexican dentist to have my teeth cleaned.

A very nice advantage of Blogging

I received this email recently

Hi Jim,

My name is Molly. However my maiden name is Molly Blackwell and I’m originally from libby,  MT.  A  friend of mine sent me a link to you’re blog about Blackwell Flats.  And I have to say I enjoyed it very much.  I grew up I that very same spot and spent much of my childhood fly fishing right there.

My grandfather Lewis Blackwell moved to libby from Billings to build the libby dam. There was nothing out there so just above blackwell flats he built blackwell trailor court and that was for the men and their family’s building the dam.  it stayed long after the dam was built and turned into its own tiny town.  Laundry,  gas station,  grocery store….my aunt drove a garbage truck while my dad and uncle dumped the garbage.  Years after it closed Blackwell flats came to be and it was named after my grandfather. Just a little history.  Thank you for the story.  My grandpa would have loved to know it was being enjoyed.

Molly

I wrote her back asking permission to post her email on my blog.  Shen then wrote me the following email.

You can absolutely share that story…. There is a lot of fun history about libby.  We lived off hwy 2 heading towards troy.  So we were all over those trails and swinging bridge growing up.  If you get the chance the movie,  a river wild,  with kevin bacon and meryl streep was filmed at those falls. Also in the early 90’s I believe the movie,  always,  with john goodman was filmed on the other side towards kalispell out at the “airport”. I also read your other blogs about libby and the falls.  I just really enjoyed them all and it made me home sick. Thank you

Molly

Thrilled to get that email

It always makes me feel good when someone lets me know they enjoyed my blog.  But to have someone who actually grew up in that area is really special.  Then you get a sense of what it was like for them growing up.

I visited Libby back in June/July, 2013. just after my trip into Canada.  No one had mentioned Libby to me, but I just thought it looked interesting.  What a treasure that was.  Plus the camping was very cheap.

There are two blog posts that Molly is referring to:

http://jimbosjourneys.com/2013/06/27/blackwell-flats-campground-part-1/

and

http://jimbosjourneys.com/2013/06/27/blackwell-flats-campground-part-2/

There are several other blog posts about the Libby, MT area which you can read.  I loved this area and would highly recommend it to anyone traveling in Montana.

Pics from my stay in Libby.

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Thanks Molly!!

Thanks Molly for the wonderful emails and a bit of history about Blackwell Flats and the Libby area.  It brought back great memories of my trip there.

Southern California for the Holidays Brrrrrrrrrr!!

Off to sunny SO CA to warm up – HA!

I couldn’t wait to get out of Fernley and down to SO CA for the holidays.  I will warm up for sure down there and enjoy all the nice sunshine.  I stopped in Beatty, NV again where it was a bit warmer then Fernley but not much.  Then headed straight to Orange County to visit family and friends.

I stayed a few days in a pull through site at O’Neill Park.  But then realized it was not a good site for either solar or WiFi so moved to a back-in site where everything is good.  Great solar and 4G Internet.  How could it get much better?  Well as it turns out it could be much better.  The weather was freezing.  It seemed like I was back in Fernley.  One night it rained on the valley floor but snowed in the Saddleback Mountains just a short distance away.

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Chica and I went over to my sister Bev’s home and spent the holidays with she and my brother-in-law Bob.  We had a great time and Chica was glad to see their dog Lando. They get along great and loved to run in the park.

Visited my Mom

Bev and I took Chica over to see my Mom one afternoon.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics.  We did go back another day to visit her without Chica and I got this clip of her.  She put on Bev’s glasses and was interested in going through her purse.  HA!  She is doing well but is very frail and doesn’t talk too much.  It sure was good to see her though.

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Chica visits Santa 

Bev and Bob have a cute Santa in his sleigh.  Chica fit in there perfectly and she was very content sitting on Santa’s lap.

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I’m sure she was wishing for lots of cookies and fun toys to play with.

Here Chica is with Lando.

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Plus a pic of Chica, Lando and my sister Bev.

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Heading to the beach

In a couple of days I will be heading to the beach.  I will spend a week at Doheny State Beach right on the ocean in Dana Point, CA.  I have always wanted to stay there but it was always crowded and hard to get a reservation.  It is supposed to warm up this week so looking forward to it.  More pics to come.

Soon on to Quartzsite

I usually get to Quartzsite, AZ around the 4th of Jan.  This year I will be a bit late.  I intend to arrive in Q on the 14th just in time for the show.  I will be camping at Rogers 1/2 acre as I have done in the past.  I hope to catch up with a lot of my friends when there.  If you are heading there be sure to stop in and see us.  It is a blast.