Tuesday, February 01, 2011




I was surprised to see stars from horizon to horizon first thing this morning upon stepping out of the rig.  Monday’s cloud cover & winds were gone.  The temperatures may be down overall but for sure we’ll take another big bright sunny day here in Southeastern Arizona….…….10-4:))



PB & J are the latest folks on our blog Followers list.  Here is a family traveling  the southeastern United States together enjoying everyday life on the adventuresome road.  A nice way to go.  Thanks for hooking up with the Bayfield Bunch folks:))



Unfortunately, our quiet sunny morning didn’t last & by noon the wind had picked up bringing with it a broken cloud cover.  Felt cold outside so I confined myself to barracks for a long day in my Poang chair reading & catching up on computer stuff.  Gonna be tough to come up with something readable tonight but maybe I will try responding to Bill’s comment in our Monday night blog.



Kelly & I aren’t gun people.  That doesn’t mean we are for or against guns.  It just means we are from Canada where guns are not a big issue like here in the States.  I don’t play golf so I don’t have golf clubs.  I’m not a model train guy so I don’t have model trains.  I’m not a hunter, gun collector or target shooting enthusiast so I don’t have a gun.    Aside from a neighbor back home who is a hunter we hardly know anyone who has a gun.  It’s just not part of our personal life or culture back home.  We do not live in a violent crime area so we see no need for weapons at our house.  Yes, traveling in an RV is different & we have thought about it but to carry a weapon for self defense opens up a whole different kettle of fish which I won’t get into here.



DSC_0001   DSC_0013

I do understand farmers & ranchers having guns for protection.  There are rabid animals out there as well as wildlife that will kill livestock & people sometimes.  There are injured cattle that may have to euthanized in areas where Vets cannot get to.  Along the border with Mexico here there may be other reasons for carrying a gun & with the death of a rancher near here awhile back some ranchers along the border feel there is a need to be extra vigilant.  Maybe a business owner wants to protect his property.  I understand that.



I can honestly say I feel safer here in southern Arizona than I would feel in many downtown big city areas across north America including Canada.  To see someone here visibly carrying a gun always attracts our attention but so do police officers carrying guns back home.  When a policeman walks by, a woman might notice the color or cut of his uniform & what material it’s made of & does the shirt match the shoes.  I’m a guy & when a policeman walks by I always look at what kind of gun he has in his holster.  Probably just a guy thing.


Now, as far as traveling in different States based on that States laws & politics or the life threatening things in that State which may harm someone, I have the following thoughts.  Would I not go to the States of Louisiana, Florida & Georgia because they have Alligators & poisonous snakes?  No!!  Would I leave out Montana & Wyoming because they have wolves & rattlesnakes?  No!!  How about bears & Mountain Lions in a lot of places.  No!!  Would I stay out of Arizona because of it’s politics, gun laws or the fact some people may wear guns in public?  No!!  Doesn’t matter what State you are in I’ll bet most of us would be totally shocked if we actually knew how many people right around us every single day are carrying concealed weapons, legal or not.



To not see the wonders of the Grand Canyon, to miss the awe inspiring drive through Arizona’s Monument Valley, to forego the Apache Drive east of Phoenix, to deny yourself the experience of hiking the Chiricahua Mountains or the Sonoran Desert surrounding the Organ Pipe National Monument is an unfortunate result of media hype, misinformation & politics.



Fortunately for me I am not a politically minded person.  With the exception of the Mexican border, our travels are not decided by State or Provincial lines, gun laws, immigration policies or who did what to whom a hundred years ago.  We come to the Southwest because we love the beauty it has to offer, the history that is still alive, the great ongoing weather & the freer laid back lifestyle of it’s people.  Remember, we are from Canada & our lifestyle there is much different from the way we choose to live here in the Southwest.  Yes, there is still a part of the old wild West going on and it is that older laid back adventuresome lifestyle that attracts us.  At this stage of the game I much prefer the excitement, history, adventure & environment of the Southwest to our more suburban like lifestyle back home during the summer. 



For any travelers out there, I suggest trying to set your politics & prejudice aside & go wherever you wish while you still can & enjoy the beauty this land has to offer, coast to coast.  This life will end soon enough for all of us so don’t deny yourself this valuable time to see this great country because of politics.



Now, before the war wagons roll up to my gate let me just say again that these are just my opinions, right or wrong.  They are not meant to stir up any dust or ruffle any feathers.  Just a little something to think about for anyone putting together future travel plans.  We all have our own journeys.  We all have our likes & dislikes & we are all, fortunately different.  It is these well intentioned & constructive differences of opinion that keep this ball of life rolling & our thoughts moving forward…….…10-4!!DSC_4985


GROANER’S CORNER:((   And, here’s a few reasons you might want to consider buying a new car sometime in the not too distant future.

.Your passenger seat is on the National Register of Historic Places.

.Instead of an air bag, there is a whoopee cushion taped to your steering wheel.

. The 15 minute Jiffy Lube needs to keep you car for 3 days.

.While sitting at a stop light, people keep running up to you and asking if anyone was hurt.

.For the last five years, you've had to settle for making "vroom, vroom' noises while in the driveway.

.When you gas up, the attendant asks, "Can I re-duct tape that windshield for you?"


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it. 

BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/
OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. Well said Al. I totally agree.

  2. I'm with you Al. I even had someone tell me they AVOIDED the state of AZ because of the posibility of violance,,,,then they went to CALIFORINA,,,one of the most violent states in the US....Go figure...

  3. I fully agree! Common sense goes a long way for making decisions.
    Take care and enjoy the scenery.

  4. Funny, hubby and I were in our RV a couple of years back, crossing the border into Canada. The border patrol asked us if we had firearms, and we told them no. They asked if we were sure, and we told them we were sure that we did not have guns. They asked if we owned guns, and we told them that we did not. They then asked if we were sure, because they thought everyone in Tennessee owned guns! I was just glad they didn't ask about my organic beef and pork in the freezer....

  5. I love the beauty of AZ and the desert. This is where I feel the most peaceful and happy. (Just not in the summer). And I won't let the politics of any state or any person take away from that feeling. I will continue to travel where I want as long as I can. Life is going to happen regardless of whether I sit or get out there and enjoy it. So I pick enjoy.

  6. Great post Al... and pictures as always!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  7. well Al..for someone who thought he had nothing to say you sure came up with something to blog about!..as for the guns..to each their own...we are all about the scenery, environment and the experience!..everyone has their own opinions and that is what makes like interesting.
    great photos today as always..love the one with the wheel!!!

  8. Like I've always said, RV'ers are no different from anyone else as we all have different views and opinions on all kinds of things.

    Like you, I wouldn't be concerned about states or provinces with alligators & poisonous snakes. Nor would I be worried about places with wolves & rattlesnakes. I live in a place with lots of bears & Mountain Lions so that doesn't bother me either.

    I mentioned yesterday in a comment on your blog regarding your photos of guys wearing guns and holsters that it was one of the reasons why we decided not to stay in Arizona for the first time in the past 4 years.

    I'm comfortable with that decision and have absolutely no regrets about it. You, and some others, disagree and that's just fine too. We all do what we think is right for us. If folks want to visit Arizona, then I applaud them and hope they have a great time there. It doesn't really make any difference at all to me.

    Each of us makes our own choices based on what we feel is right for us. You have. I have too.

  9. We're from England and like you we don't generally see people carrying guns, nor do we own them ourselves. We've been visiting the USA for many years and love Arizona, the current border problems don't deter us from visiting, we're just a little more careful about places we visit.

  10. Ever have to defend you and your family's lives with a firearm?
    Sounds like not. You must be of the "Privileged caste."
    I've lived a life-long of espionage, and was sent to ground with several military secrets, and my cover involved a pretty despicable reputation, and yet was ordered to stay armed all the time.
    Someday I'll get my promised back pay, I suppose.
    But - If someone in my situation can't carry, and instead being called a criminal for that, instead - You'll have no government undercover agents to do long-term work.
    Catch my drift?
    This could be what the enemies of the US Constitution actually want.

  11. http://www.opencarry.org is my answer.

  12. in total agreement with this well written blog...

  13. Al, you are so right, As a retired police officer, yes I do keep a handgun at home or in the trailer, Mostly for the one instance you sited, if I come upon a deer or other large animal that has been injured maybe by a car, and there is no one that can humanely dispatch it,the big difference in my case is I am authorized by The Homeland Security Act,with over 20 continuous years of police duty to carry. Do I carry a weapon on a regular basis, No, very rarely when hunting or in the field. Even with a lot of bad guys I put in prison, I don't feel threatened enough to have to carry a weapon.I retired from those days.Be safe out there, Sam & Donna

  14. Total agreement Al, we carry guns in Montana and here in Arizona and agree with your other commentors--it is our right to do so here in the United States. After we were attacked by a pit bull last year, we seldom go anywhere without our guns for which we have legal permits to carry.

  15. Oh No! There are snakes and alligators in Mississippi?? Hmmm, maybe I'd better rethink this assignment. :))

    Love the going home pick.

  16. Very well said! We would feel much safer in Arizona than anywhere in Chicago...These are the times we are living in..I'm with you...don't let stuff like that keep you from seeing our country..BUT...don't be stupid either!(why we didn't intend to go to Mexico)..LEAN FORWARD!!!!

  17. I much more prefer pepper spray to a gun.

    When exposed to it, it makes people roll on the ground, cry like a baby and blow giant snot bubbles out of their nose.

    At least that's what I looked like the first time I had "training" in its use and was sprayed with it. ;c)

  18. A little hypocrisy goes a long way it seems. Are you not the same blogger who wrote he wouldn't go to Mexico anymore because of what you call politics? Or was it just safety? Maybe those who wont go to Arizona are just concerned about safety, not politics, just like you are about Mexico.

  19. Al

    I certainly don't want to impose on your blog and, as is generally the case, anytime there is a comment about "guns" some bring up gun control. That being said, I want to clarify my earlier comments.

    You are exactly correct saying politics shouldn't stop someone from visiting Arizona. My comment was that it was becoming further down our list because it does not correspond to our values. That, however, won't stop us from visiting Arizona. We just don't plan to make it our "go-to" destination.

    My comment about "packing a pistol" had to do with a comfort level - or, acceptance level if you prefer. If one was to reread my earlier posting, you would see that I said carrying a pistol into "public indoor settings" was a bit over the top. Nothing to do with gun control. You commented that you were "bothered" by the "young gun with a big gun and an attitude." That was your comfort level or acceptance level. For us personally, we are uncomfortable when someone carries a weapon into a public setting. Growing up, my mother always chastised my brothers and me for wearing our caps indoors. She said it was bad manners. To this day I think men should remove their caps indoors, but that doesn't mean I am rabid about it. We all have our comfort levels.

    You are gracious to allow comments on your blog, but that doesn't surprise me. I grew up in North Dakota, near the Canadian border and enjoyed trips into Canada. I have always observed a cultural difference between Canadians and Americans. A more tolerant and patient people. I hope we will meet someday for a cup of coffee.

    Bill in NE

  20. Thank you, Al, well said. Unfortunately, people's opinions are based mainly on what they have heard on the media and that's always the worst of humanity. Our local station has something they call "what's happening county by county" and it's always a robbery or an assault or some such thing. There maybe only 1 or 2 things in all of the counties, but it's never anything good! Sheesh!! There are a gazillion interactions between people everyday that are friendly and kind, even just a smile but they never make the news. I'll step off my soap box now! And yes, my husband is a big hunter and we have lots of hunting guns and they are all locked up in a very secure safe. But basically, his hunting is the meat that we eat all year.

  21. This is comment #20 on your list today. I'm with you, as my comment yesterday stated. That's 19 out of 20, a 95% positive vote.

  22. Al, I respect your opinion as far as it goes... and I certainly haven't felt a need to have a gun on my person during our last 4 years of fulltiming all over the USA.

    But there are some that feel having access to one is akin to having a grab-bag survival kit (basic tools, water purification capability, extra food, clothing, and other key materials) in order to be more self-reliant in the event of large natural or man-made disasters and the accompanying likely breakdown of law and order.

    It's easy to assume civil order is an enduring natural state of affairs. The reality is that it's a very fragile condition that would likely and quickly break down during any number of scenarios. And it's then that one might feel a need for some level of self-protection.

  23. Quick comment on the gun totters. They're both wearing cross draw holsters which tells me that they are wearing them for the LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! reaction from people around them. They wear them because they think they look cool, but anybody with the slightest bit of Firearm training knows that they are death traps, same goes for a shoulder holster.

  24. Al:
    Very good discussion on a topic that we all must think about.

    As for weapons, I have been involved with them most of my life, but choose not to carry one around with us in the RV. Like others mention, we prefer to have other non-lethal but I think effective ways of protecting ourselves.

    As for not visiting places that have a point of view I do not agree with-heck -if that is the case, I might not be able to go anywhere :)

    I have traveled most of the world including places that I would not give two cents to return too, but I still consider myself lucky to have seen them first hand at least once.

  25. Well said Al, this is certainly a topic that alot of people will have a different opinion. As far as I"m concerned, everyone needs to do what they feel most comfortable with for themselves..

  26. An armed society is a polite society

  27. Good blog Al and I think you got comments from some pretty knowledgable folks. As Canadians we know that it is difficult to own a handgun and almost impossible to acquire a permit to carry one unless you are a peace officer. Just to much rigamorole for me to go through.

    That said over the generations my family has collected quite a number of long guns and I am quite sure they will be around for another few generations. I have hunted, used them for euthanizing a critter in pain, and even think about taking one with me into the back country when we are riding, but for the most part they stay locked in the gun safe in my basement where they pose no threat to my grandchildren or other unwaring unknowing folks who in the past might have stumbled upon them in the closet.

    We don't lock our doors back at home so I don't feel the need to have to protect myself or my family from emminent danger, although if I lived in a spot where that was a concern I certainly would rethink my stand.

    Till then it is lock 'em or lose 'em when it comes to guns in our house.

  28. Last year two escaped prisoners on the run killed the owners and stole their RV, I wonder if their last spoken words were, "You can have our camper, but please don't kill us".