Sunday, December 12, 2010




Just another great warm & sunny day here in southeastern Arizona.  Our hometown of Bayfield is being totally pummeled again today as a heavy winter storm blasts through the area.  Road closures, zero visibility in spots as the snow squalls come blasting in off Lake Huron.  I know someday our warm sunny RVing days will end & we will once again be faced with the horribly miserable existence of winters in Canada.  There, I just went & ruined my whole day!!!!



Back in December of 09 we met fellow RV’ers Doug & JoAnn from, LIVING OUR DREAM over in Yuma.  They have covered a lot of miles across the country since then, spending last winter in Florida.  This year they are happily back in the southwest staying at the Benson SKP Park which is not too far from where we are at.  JoAnn emailed this past week suggesting a get together & today was it:))  Another long time RV couple who we have been in email contact with occasionally was coming with them so we were looking forward to finally meeting Fred & Jo Wishnie from, THE WANDERING WISHNIES.


NOW, HERE’S A COUPLE OF PROUD DADS:))  (The furry kids are Fillmore & Booboo)

Margies Corner Diner in Sunsights was selected for the meeting place at 12:30 today & we pulled in about 30 seconds after they did.  Lots of greetings all the way around & a few surprises.  Jo & Fred didn’t think I would be as short as I am & we didn’t know Jo was tall enough to look down on basket ball players.  I could tell Fred was an easy going jokester kind of guy right from the start so that took a little of the edge off for me.  I’m always a bit nervous meeting new people.  After reading my blog I never know if someone is going to be friend or foe.  Nice to see Doug & JoAnn again.  I think Doug & I could be great Pals if we got to know each other better.  And JoAnn was just her absolute usual pleasant self:))

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Our lunch & chin wag lasted nearly 2 hours & I must admit, I enjoyed their company & was glad JoAnn had made the effort to set up the get together.  All & all it was a good day.  We didn’t get into any arm wrestling or name calling & nobody got hurt or started a food fight.  Food reviews were mixed by the way.  Had ourselves a flurry of photos, hand shakes & hugs.  Some quick jokes & quips & then it was into our vehicles with the Benson gang heading up the valley & the Bayfield Bunch heading down the valley.  Thanks again for the cookies guys & we’ll see ya all down the road one day again.  All the best with that medical problem Doug.

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After extolling the virtues of Bisbee in Saturday’s post I had to chuckle a bit this morning about something I had forgot.  Our very first visit to Bisbee Arizona in the winter of 06/07 ‘was not a pleasant experience!!!!’

I think it was late December of 06 or early January 07 when we rolled out of Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus New Mexico heading west for Tombstone, Arizona.  It was one of those cold windy days with the winds ripping right through our clothes.  We were driving a truck & 5th wheel that year as we made our way along highway 9 just north of the Mexican border. Beautiful scenery but too cold to stop for photos.  We eventually swung from a westerly direction to a southerly track & headed over the Arizona State line on target for Douglas, AZ.   Big mountains loomed on our right.  Years later we would come to know this range as the Chiricahuas.  Stopped at a stone cairn monument to the great Indian chief Geronimo alongside the highway & were nearly frozen to the spot by the Arctic winds.  Heavy dark clouds were rapidly moving into the area ahead.


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PIT STOP AT THE GERONIMO MONUMENT (note the ramp we used for getting the doggy guys in & out of the truck)

Douglas Arizona looked very drab to us as we rolled up to the Visitor’s Center in a cold rain.  I was heartened to see some actual green grass growing along the sidewalk.  Visions of home flickered in my mind as I looked around at the dreary weather now upon us.  Picked up a few brochures & continued west into what appeared to be another mountain range ahead.  The name Bisbee didn’t mean a thing to us.  Just another name on a map.  We were very hungry, tired & discouraged with the weather by this point & had been driving a lot of seemingly endless miles. 



The east side outskirts of Bisbee looked cold & bleak with all it’s massive slag heaps & cold rain soaked houses as we entered the town.  Caught site of a large parking lot & an even larger hole in the ground just as it began snowing.  Made a quick left turn into the lot & got out to have a look at the massive Lavender Pit open mine.  Minutes later we were back in the warm cab with the windshield wipers going.   Headed up the road looking for the RV Park…..which we never did find!! 



Frustration levels dramatically increased two fold as we angled off the highway & made the mistake of hauling the fifth wheel down into the little town of Bisbee.  Right from the start we were in trouble.  Confusing road signs, narrow streets, cars parked willy nilly here & there.  I was tired & hungry with my nerves working overtime.   My patience & endurance levels were at the max.  Managed to wiggle around some tight corners, wedge ourselves past numerous cars & get ourselves turned around in some fashion that led us back to the confusing area we had just picked our way through.  Saw a sign that said Benson & somehow nosed the truck onto that ramp which took us under a low bridge that I thought for sure was going to rip off our air conditioner.  We got flipped around a tight curve to the left & somehow found ourselves back up on the highway with Bisbee on our right hand side.  It was snowing even heavier now as we made our way up a snow & rain slicked slippery grade.  What hell hole must this place be!!!!  Wasn’t long before we drove out of the high mountain snow line & began to descend into welcome snow free desert surroundings.  We were so glad to be out that nasty & confusing little place on the map called Bisbee!!


Despite our snowy mountain dilemma we had both seen something upon leaving Bisbee that remained in our memories.  It was all the little houses scattered across the steep hillsides in a snowy Christmas looking Alpine village like setting that etched itself into our minds.   We both thought it would be nice to come back some day when the weather was nicer.  And, once again, little did we know how Bisbee & the entire Sulphur Springs Valley was about to play such an important & wonderful part in our lives just a few short years later:))


Now, to shift gears……..Kelly came across an interesting blog a few days ago where an American RVing boon docker fellow had some insightful thoughts about traveling in Canada a few years ago.  Read Bob’s take on Canada at THEIR COUNTRY, TIS OF THEM.  You can catch Bob’s current blog here at, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.


Remember those days of yesteryear before plastic Christmas trees.  The days of heading out with saw in hand, trudging through crunchy snow with Jack Frost nipping at your nose & making for purple toes.  Well, for most people those days are only a distant memory, but for the folks at, RVING: SMALL HOUSE...BIG BACK YARD those Christmas spirit days are still alive & well.

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GROANER’S CORNER:((   Some of the old favorite singers and bands have re-released their great hits with new lyrics to accommodate their aging audience. Some examples:

  • Herman's Hermits: "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker"
  • Credence Clearwater Revival: "Bad Prune Rising"
  • Marvin Gaye: "I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts"
  • The Who: "Talkin' 'Bout My Medication"
  • The Troggs: "Bald Thing"
  • Carly Simon: "You're So Varicose Vein"
  • The Bee Gees: "How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?"
  • Roberta Flack: "The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face"
  • Johnny Nash: "I Can't See Clearly Now"
  • The Temptations: "Papa Got a Kidney Stone"
  • ABBA: "Denture Queen"
  • Leo Sayer: "You Make Me Feel Like Napping"
  • Commodores: "Once, Twice, Three Trips to the Bathroom"
  • Procol Harum: "A Whiter Shade of Hair"
  • The Beatles: "I Get By with a Little Help From Depends"


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. I liked seeing picks of Doug and JoAnn and Jo and Fred as real people. I read their blogs, but I'm kind of partial to Blogger as opposed to the pictures on the Trip Journal sites.

    I was to Bisbey many years ago, and don't remember much about it. Perhaps I'll visit again some day. :)

  2. that is quite the trip down memory lane you had today!..good thing your memory of bad things was erased!..I can just picture us doing this same thing! wrong turn and you are committed to the narrow streets with no where to turn the rig around!!
    boy ...Fillmore and Booboo all in one and Kelly are turning into good ole regular social butterflies!!!

  3. So fun to remember how we first saw places..and how we see them now....Great that you bloggers got together...

  4. The description of the narrow streets of Bisbee strikes terror, even though I now have a much more maneuverable RV setup. I might park on the outskirts and walk in.

  5. Nice pics. Great meeting you guys today. Hope we'll connect again this winter. I hope I didn't offend you with my comment about your height. Everyone is shorter than me. LOL


  6. Thanks for all the Bisbee info. We were there last year for a afternoon only and missed almost everything you have a pic of. Wifey says we will be there in March and spend more time.
    Nice to see you being social and all. I do hope to meet you someday.

  7. Like Sue said, you are turning into a real social butterfly what with all your visitors, eating out and stuff!

    It's funny how sometimes our first impressions of places aren't always correct or lasting. That's a good thing because I would have missed seeing a lot of great places by not returning for another look around!

    Can't wait to read about your next social engagement. Please don't make it a 'pot-luck' because that would really change your profile forever!!

  8. We really enjoyed your post today. Meeting up with previous friends and making new ones is just one of the good things about RVing. Your photograph with the seven of you is such a great portrayal of your lunchtime meeting! Also, I have to admit that I was laughing fairly loud this morning while reading your description of your first visit to Bisbee. Finally, thanks for the “how to” email yesterday concerning Picasa. I am now looking for an opportunity to give it a good try.

  9. I hope all us visitors in the past week don't burn you out, Al. We chatted briefly with Jo and JoAnn and Doug Saturday evening at our park's Christmas tree decorating party, and they told us they were heading down to see you.

    Nice new header picture -- it certainly looks familiar!

  10. Great photo of many of my favorite RV'ers!

    Rick, I'm with you... look's like a pot-luck is the next step for the Bayfield Bunch. Oh, man - when that happens, we can just assume the sun won't rise the next morning; the world as we know it will have come to an end.

  11. What fun meeting blogging friends! So far we have only met Laurie and Odel and Kate, but I can see that this might be fun. Although like you, Al, I get a bit nervous meeting new folks now and then. Trying to learn from Randy! Hope I am around for the infamous potluck!

  12. Such a beautiful pictures from Arizona. Thanks for sharing. Regards from Arizona resorts

  13. What fun! Looks like you had fun meeting up with fellow bloggers and RVers!