Sunday, January 26, 2014

And Before We Were Done, We'd Walked From Arizona All The Way to Nevada!

It's been a relatively calm 2 weeks since we returned to Lake Mead. We're back out on the back country 'Approved' roads performing our Road Monitoring jobs and the scenery is still as spectacular as when we left. The temps here in Boulder City and Lake Mead NRA are great considering what some places in the country are experiencing. We usually wake up to temps in the low 40's and then spend the day watching the thermometer rise up into the mid 60's. We saw our firsts sightings of coyotes Thursday night as we were leaving our campground. 2 large coyotes had just come down from the hills behind the campground and were on their evening commute towards the lake via the campground road. Not enough time to snap a picture as they headed into the bushes as soon  as they saw our vehicle. Well, maybe next time.

(L-R) Steve, Joan, Barb, Liz, Liz & Bob

Last Monday was a holiday and several of our friends decided a hike back into Majestic Canyon might be in order. Majestic Canyon is located just behind our campground. It's pretty much a consistent uphill hike through a wide wash until you reach the steep high dark canyon cliffs.

The wash continues to narrow as you hike further and higher into the canyon, eventually ending at a high overflow that is impassable unless you're willing to climb using a knotted rope. Here's a pic of me probably 70'-75' up the overflow.

Err....wait....who photo bombed my pic! OK so I was only a few feet off the ground....I still went further up than anyone else. As we started back down the wash we were all rewarded with seeing a pair of peregrine falcons apparently nesting in and among the high cliffs. Nice little hike in & out, maybe a couple of miles all told.

Boulder Beach Marina

Saturday Joan & I decided to see what the Historic Railroad Trail was all about. The trail is 3.5 miles from the Lake Mead parking area to the Hoover Dam parking garage; and travels along the old railroad bed used to transport supplies and equipment to the dam during its construction. The trail passes through 5 tunnels along the way. We parked 1 vehicle at the Lake Mead Visitor Center (the parking area was full) and drove down to and across the dam to where we parked on the Arizona side.
Tunnel #2

We hiked from the Arizona side back across the dam to the trail head on the Nevada side and then onto the trail itself. Nice views of Boulder Beach, the marina and our campground once we reached the tunnels portion of the trail. All together we probably hiked about 4 miles taking about 2 hours to complete the walk.

Special Breaking News........this just in........earlier in the week Joan and I received employment contracts from Crazy Horse Memorial just outside of Custer, SD. We had contacted Crazy Horse after reading about our friends Phil & Rudee's (Workin' RVers) work experience there last year. We're excited about the opportunity and it's another new location for Joan & I to explore this summer. We'll report to work April 30th and work through the end of September. Phil & Rudee have both a jeep and motorcycle so we're really looking forward to spending time with them as they'll be returning to Crazy Horse for the 2014 season. Phil has even picked up a set of golf clubs, so maybe I'll have a golfing buddy this summer as well! Yahoo!

2 of my favorite girls
Birthday Girl Vickie &
my Granddaughter Tristyn

3 Shout Outs this to my sister Vickie who celebrated a birthday last week (she's the one on the is she getting old!)

2 more of my favorite people
Chris & Joan

Another to my youngest son Chris who will celebrate his birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthday to both of you.

And finally to Joan's son Sean who celebrates his birthday on Thursday! That's him Today...........

And in the day.......who's mother would send their son to school dressed like that?????!!!!!! Borders on child abuse. Poor kid probably got beat up at school too! I'm sorry Sean. I'm still working on your mom. Together we'll get her where she needs to be before we're done.

Well that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

We're Back! Whew!

Hello boys and girls......we're baaaaaack! Back home in our own little RV at Lake Mead. And we're glad to be back. As much as we enjoy seeing our family and friends back in Florida, our RV is our home. And being gone for almost 5 weeks reinforces how much we enjoy our RV and our RV lifestyle.

Our trip to Florida was fantastic. We drove our car from Vegas to Joan's brother's house in Alabama in 2 days; where we spent 2 nights before stopping over in Atlanta to see Tristyn (and her mom & dad). Why is it that every grandparents' grandchild is the prettiest/most handsome grandchild ever? And when they are about 3 years old they turn into the smartest child in the world! It's amazing how that works.

After a couple of days we stopped over at my sister's house in Snellville for a night before we continued our travels into central Florida and set up 'moochliving' with our friends Jim & Debbie. I don't know how they stand us for that long, but we're grateful they do. This is the 2nd time we've stayed with them during our Christmas holiday vacation in Florida. Jim & Debbie still have a couple of years yet before they can go 'fulltime', but we're doing everything in our power to convince them they should start as soon as possible. We keep tempting them with pictures and stories of our adventures as well as inviting them to come visit us while we're on the road. Hurry up guys....we miss you already!
Merry Christmas
Ryan, Emily & Bradley

While we were in Florida we spent lots of time with our families, attending multiple Christmas parties. We also traveled back and forth across Florida to see friends in person that we've kept in touch with while on the road with via Skype, Facebook, email and cell. Our friends Dave and Lydia found out on Christmas eve that they are going to be grandparents for the first time (subsequent testing determined their daughter is having twins!); my cousin Terri and her husband Joe will become empty nesters as both their children are now engaged and planning weddings; we caught up with Workin' RVers Rudee and Phil as they arrived in Florida the day before we left to return to Vegas;

Happy Birthday Mom!

We celebrated my mom's 77th birthday by taking her to the Cotillion Southern Cafe in Wildwood (if you haven't been there, you may want to try it!); Joan's girlfriend Terri from Seattle flew into Florida to spend Christmas with Joan and her family; I got to play golf twice (twice as many times as I played during the entire year); and I even got to play in my first 60+ softball tournament with my old team the Cardiac Kids; we took Joan's grandkids fishing on my parent's lake;

Joan, Will & I...Semper Fi!
We attended a party for Joan's nephew William who has joined the Marine Corp Reserve and reported for training Jan  6....can you say Hello Paris Island!; we met our friends Tom & Rita who informed us they are retiring and moving to Texas this summer (now we'll have a stopover point in the middle of the country!); and more and more and more.....whew! enough! Time to head home.

Go Noles! 2013 National Champs

We packed up the car and headed out, stopping in Atlanta once more to visit with Tristyn and watch the BCS National Championship game between Florida State and Auburn. Tristyn and her mom & dad are hardcore Seminole fans which is plain to see in her first pic.

Who Did That?!

I'm sure you already know who won that game but I bet you didnt' know some behind the scenes recruiting was going on by some devious person with a blue knit Florida Gator stocking cap! I'm not sure if a certain 'new' forget I said that.....if a certain grandmother will be allowed to hold Tristyn for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell.

Larry looks real good for 75!
We took a little more time driving back to Boulder City, stopping in Monroe, Louisiana for gas and Cracker Barrel only to get turned around and end up driving by the Duck Dynasty warehouse! Didn't see any of the family or get invited in, but it looks the same as on TV. We stopped in Buckeye, Arizona to see our friends Larry and Jean; and Mel (all friends we met and worked with in Oregon in 2012). Larry even invited me to play in a 'pick up' softball game with his fellow league members.

While there we met Jerry and Kim of CR8TING THE LIFE who we've followed on their blog. We traveled on to Yuma and caught up with Don, Donna, Jerry and Phyllis, also friends we met in Oregon. Then it was a short drive back to Boulder City and home.

We arrived on Saturday, got everything set up and reported to work on Monday. On Wednesday we were invited to participate in the Eagle/Raptor Count on Lake Mead. Joan and I loaded up on boats early Wednesday morning and headed out to our assigned 'section' of Lake Mead with our pilot Tom, Recorder Vanessa and Chief Observer Christy where we spent 9 hours and traveled 80+ miles documenting all eagles and raptors observed. I'm not sure how many people or boats total were involved, but our group alone documented 16 eagles.

Tom, Christy, Vanessa

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come.