Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dick's Birthday--April 27th--Through the years

Happy birthday Dick...
Today is just another birthday but thought you would enjoy seeing just a few shots of the old man. Don't worry about sending any presents as all he needs these days is money for all for his hobbies.

We will be going out to dinner with good friends, Robbie and Alice, who are camping here at the same park for a week or so. Please enjoy a little trip back in time that started for him in 1943.

Dick and his older brother Guy sitting with his mother Pauline. Must be around 1944.
This shot was taken by Dick's Dad in about 1945. His Dad was also a camera nut, who had a dark room in the basement where he printed his own pictures. And, of course, everyone has to have the obligatory bathtub shot!

Not sure what year; you decide, it looks like most of the pictures of little Dickie also had his big brother in them. That was until his sister came along, and then all the pictures were of her. Such is life when you have a cute little sister.

Dick served aboard the submarine USS Gudgeon SS567 out of Pearl Harbor in the early 1960's and here he is ready to hit the town in his "civies". Notice the cool white socks.

Here he is in about 1968 and I think you can really see the red hair and his dad's curls in this one.

Not sure of the year but what a cute guy. Next to his on the table is one of those new reel to reel tape machines.

This was taken at a Washington State Jaycee meeting where he received his Jaycee Senatorship in 1978. Sure is a cute girl standing next to him.

And finally this is the way the world sees Dick now and also the way Dick sees the world. (Thanks for the picture, Sheri.)

To be continued...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Petroglyphs, rock hounding, and Jerome

This is the V-Bar-V Heritage Site, where several hundred petroglyphs are found. They were well preserved because the ranch where they are located was privately owned until the mid-1990's when the Forest Service acquired it. And, as you can see, it is roped off so people can only look, not touch. The volunteer there told some interesting stories about the petroglyphs.

We are off to the back roads again and out in the desert on a back country mountain road we ran across a Christmas cactus in full bloom so had to stop and get some pictures. Expecting the bright red to be flowers, we found...

beautiful red berry-like flowers. We took some cuttings (don't tell anyone) to take home and plant but Dick found out later that the little red balls had very fine tines that he got in his fingers, so on second thought we decided that this would not be a good plant to take with us.

We continued into the mountains in hopes of finding some treasures in the rocks. Dick has taken up rock hounding and so we are off in search of precious gems. If you look real close you can see a building at the Brown Springs ranch that is at the end of the road and on the left is what is called a road.

We got up early this morning and spent half a day out in the mountains trying to learn what is there to find. Dick is out on the hillside trying to decide on what to pick up and bring back. We did pick up about 50 pounds of agate and other rocks only to discard most of them when we got back home. This is our first big try at collecting so have a lot to learn. We spent an hour or so talking to the owners of a rock shop in Old Cottonwoon Arizona and got lots of information from them on where to go for different minerals.

Jackie and CC are heading back up the steep jeep trail trying to get out of the sun and find the truck so we can have lunch. Dick is lagging behind still trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, except there is no rainbow. We still had a good time and it was nice spending part of a day in the mountains with no one around. We must have traveled about 15 miles without running across any other humans. But who in their right mind would be out here in the first place?

Just as an added attraction to the blog: here are two critters we ran across. This little flying critter was about 1 1/2" long and Dick got the picture and then got the heck out of it's area.

Every place we go we run across these little critters. It's hard to get a close up of them but we lucked out this time. We just can't believe the speed that they can run across the ground.

We spent another day in Jerome, but this time we parked and walked the town. It is an artists' town with lots of galleries. We spent most of the day just looking at all the neat stuff that is produced in this little town. Dick had to stop and take some shots around town and here is the same wall from two different angles. Or should we say "what is left of a wall". Hope you enjoy.

This one was taken from a second story artist gallery down the street.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Montezuma (?) and a bear in the woods (?)

Sorry about the delay in updating this blog but we have been busy enjoying ourselves and seeing lots of things. We did spend part of a couple of days just bumming around home doing some chores and just relaxing.

Should be in the high 80s today so it's getting close to time to start heading North. That is in a week or two.

We're in Camp Verde, AZ, which is between Phoenix and Flagstaff (not as warm as Phoenix and not as cold as Flagstaff). There is much to do around here. Above and below are pictures of Montezuma's Castle. It's not really a castle and has nothing to do with Montezuma, but someone gave it the name and it stuck! It is really another cliff dwelling, made and lived in hundreds of years ago by the Sinagua Pueblo Indians. They took naturally-formed caves and made homes out of them. As you can see, they are in the rock of the hillside and they had to climb ladders to get there.
A close-up (as close as Dick could get with the camera as this one is not accessible to the public).

And another showing some of the rooms that are near the bottom of the cliff.

This is Montezuma's Well -- same story, it was used by the Sinagua. It is a naturally-occurring "lake" that the Sinaguas used for irrigation, forming canals. They also used the area for living, with cliff houses in the walls.

Another view you can see at the top some houses built into the wall .

A close-up of the "house" formed using the cave and adobe.

This is one of the small rooms made and used by the Sinagua. As you can see by what Jackie is wearing, it was a cold and windy day when we visited. But still a beautiful place.

Another day we took a ride on the road to Cherry. After finding three geocaches, we continued climbing up the mountain. This is the view looking back toward Camp Verde. We would call this road a old fire break or logging road back home. Lots of curves gravel and one lane.

Some typical plant life on this mountain road. Spring is here and the plants have come to life, greening up.

Further along this road, here is a bear someone carved out in the middle of nowhere! Of course we drove past it, then had to back up so we could get a picture!

Just out of the town of Camp Verde is an old Salt Mine (no longer used). We found a geocache there, too. If you need any salt just let us know and we can get all you want. We also walked across this huge pile.

Along the country road was this creek with the beautiful red rock. We understand that the red rock is even more spectacular up in Sedona, but that's for next week. We'll be moving to a campground just up the road later this week, so will continue to enjoy the beauty of this area for a little longer.
To be continued...

Friday, April 10, 2009

On to a warmer climate

Our last night at over 7000' elevation and and 20 degrees at night, it was time to schedule a new destination to warmer climates. It was great visiting family but next time we think we will do it when it is a little warmer in New Mexico.

We packed up the rig on Monday and started our trip to Camp Verde Arizona where it was in the high 70's. But first we made a 2 night stop at Gallup Arizona, a long haul for us as it was 231 miles. We usually try to average about 150 miles on one pull, but this was an easy drive so it was not bad.

On Tuesday we took a very expensive day trip, but it was worth it. We headed out to see a National Monument, but ended up stopping at a very large store that sells native artwork and jewelry. Dick found a turquoise and silver bolo tie that he had been looking for. He thinks he is a cowboy now that he has the hat.

We left there and took a turn that took us to the Zuni Pueblo (Indian reservation) and the picture is part of the mountain range that is just beyond the Pueblo. We had lunch and then walked the streets and visited several native shops where Dick found another bolo tie and Jackie found a beautiful turquoise and silver bracelet, necklace and earrings.

Now that we are broke we decided to continue our drive and do a big circle to get back home. In the middle of nowhere (really!) at an intersection we ran across this Tavern. I swear there was not another building for miles. We stopped to get a picture so we could prove that we visited Witch Wells Arizona.

We both got a good laugh at the drive-up window so we guess you could get a cold beer to go without having to get out of the car/truck on a hot day.
We ended up back home, had dinner, watched a little TV and off to bed for us. We wanted to get an earlier start as the weather was forcasted to get pretty windy on Wednesday.
We left Gallup heading west toward our next stop, between Winslow and Flagstaff. The wind was from the south and continued to get worse the further we traveled. When we went through Winslow we could see nothing but a big red cloud a few miles west of town. When we got to the "cloud" we found out it was a huge sand storm. We followed a line of traffic being led by a state patrol at about 20 miles per hour. No big problem as we could still see about 1/4 mile ahead of us. That is until we got about a mile into it and when we couldn't see the front of the truck we figured we are in big trouble, especially when vehicles were still passing us.
We finally made it through and we found out later that they closed the interstate just behind us as the winds increased to about 60MPH. Yes, our truck and RV are now covered with and full of dust (YUK).
We finally got to our destination at Meteor Crater RV Park, set up, hunkered down, for a very windy afternoon and night. We had to close some of the sliders because the wind was trying to bounce the slider up and down.

We headed out on Thursday and went up the road to view the Meteor Crater that was caused by a 150 feet across asteroid traveling about 26,000 MPH and did a little damage when it hit. This was approximately 50,000 years ago. The crater is about 1 mile across and 3 miles around the perimeter.

Looking back toward the interstate you could really see that the land is pretty flat and the area we are standing on was raised up as a result of the hit the earth took. Yes, that's our RV in the background and yes that's our antenna that we forgot to put down in the morning.
We traveled to Camp Verde Arizona without any other problems, set up camp and did some major cleaning. We still need to clean the truck and the outside of the RV, but at the time we are writing this (Saturday morning) it's raining. We can't remember the last time we saw rain.

Friday we took a ride to Cottonwood to do some shopping and look/see. We went to a rock shop to get some supplies so Dick could continue tumbling rocks. They told us about a little town called Jerome, so we ended up heading out there. This is another mining town but this one was built on the edge of the mountains with building on top of building and what a view of the lower area.

A closer look at some of the town that was full of tourists.

We headed out of town on a mountain switch back road and could look down at this area that they called a ghost town (really it is the old mine area). Looks like the owner has tried to collect every thing that had wheels on it.

We continued on another loop road that ran through the mountains and had to take one last picture of the red rock and the valley below.
To be continued...

Monday, April 6, 2009


If you have been following our Blog you know that we are in New Mexico, but do you know why? As you may or may not know, Dick has been doing genealogy research on our families for quite a few years.

Dick has two cousins in New Mexico that he cannot even remember meeting. So we felt that if we are this close, we better try and see what we can do to visit them. We finally decided to visit only Charles Pedigo because his brother lives a lot further North than we wanted to go.

After leaving Carlsbad we headed north to Tijeras New Mexico where Dick's cousin Charleston Arrlyn Pedigo lives. He now lives on the property that was his mothers'. He divided the property and his daughter, Cary Morris and her family also live on the property.

Here is a picture we got of the family, from left to right Charlene, Darlene, Cary, Janie and grandpa Charles.

On the far right is Jackie trying to get CC out of the picture. Our rig is parked in front of Charles' house and it got so cold at night that our water line froze up. (It was over 7300', and not only did the line freeze, but we had icicles on it!)

We shared a lot of pictures and printed out some that we had and also our family trees that Dick had on the computer. While talking, Charles mentioned that he had a large picture over the piano that was some "old Driver". We pulled the picture down and written on the back was "Edna, this is you grandfather, Dakin". Dick knew immediately who it was; not a Driver but John Robert Dakin, his great grandfather, the father of his grandmother Lily.

What an exciting find, Dick has lots of history on him but has never seen any pictures.

We made a day trip into Albuquerque to have some work done on the truck; that's another story. While there we ran across the Aztec Motel and as usual Dick had to stop to get some pictures on this unique building. By the way it's on the old highway Route 66. Hope you enjoy a little fun.

We went out to lunch at a great brew-pub on Route 66 (sitting outside), and then back to Charles', but before we left Dick decided to call his other cousin and again changed our plans and decided to head further north to meet him and his wife.

So on Saturday in heavy winds we headed north to Espanola New Mexico. It was a little white knuckled because of the heavy winds but we made it. We found an RV park, set up the rig and went shopping. We called Bill Pedigo and as he and his wife Bernadette had planned on being in town we invited them over to visit. We talked about 2 hours and made arrangements to go to their home in the morning after Church.

On Sunday we visited them at their home and they took us up to Taos for lunch and some shopping. We had a great time and Bill was excited that he had a copy of a family tree that was given to him by his niece and wanted to share it with Dick. He handed it to Dick and Dick started to laugh as the tree was made by him several years ago and shared with another cousin. Somehow it got around the family and ended up in New Mexico.

They also took us to to see the gorge of the Rio Grande River. Wow! Good thing we're not afraid of heights as we walked out on the bridge. But Bill says it pales in comparison to the Grand Canyon, which we have yet to see. In the parking lot by the bridge many artists (jewelry, pottery, etc.) set up tables to try to sell their wares to the tourists. Some neat stuff, but we were strong and did not buy.

We headed back to their home in the early evening, and shared pictures and memories (Bill remembered playing with Guy and going to Grandma Lil's), and then back to our home just before dark. What a wonderful time and are we glad that we took the time to visit both families.
To be continued...