Our best wishes to you and yours for a
blessed and happy holiday season.
This will be a special Christmas for us as we have been truly blessed. Through the prayers of loved ones and our extended family of newsletter readers, our health problems are now behind us. The last PSA report was 0.2.
The events of this past summer have reinforced our full-timing life style choice as we experienced the love and concern of hundreds of friends from every state, Canada and other countries. Who could ask for more?
You are so very special.
by RonAre we getting domesticated? Barb sure enjoys the telephone hook-up and I love the paper at my door every morning. Never fear---we will be "Movin' on" in a few days.
I will also miss the Wall Street Journal available in our park library every morning. As my friend Jim Neve would say, "we have been in high cotton."
This old accountant can still get down and "twist" with the best of them. Just ask daughter Marty about that. It was great to share the park's Saturday night dance with her. Fun!
Thanks to your prayers, good mental imaging and timely treatment, the medical report is good. As reported on the front page, my recent PSA test (shows cancer level) was a negligible 0.2. This is not a concern and will require only six month check-ups.
You didn't think I was serious about our 25th wedding anniversary party, did you? For those who missed the notice, it will be held at the Hilton on South Padre Island, (TX) December 22, 2009. Don't forget that I am a big spender and it will be a gala celebration. Two couples have already said that they will come.
When I retired, I never thought that I would be buying another suit. Since I am now a trim 160 lbs (by design and doctor's orders) and my old clothes were looking baggy, this cowboy now owns a very stylish western suit complete with accessories. Texas two-step anyone?
Christmas in Michigan...hope I can borrow some gloves and a warm hat.
(Remember that this report was written many years ago and the restaurants may or may not be in business or as they were.)
Tortilla Flat Restaurant. Tortilla Flat (pop. 6) is about 18 miles northeast of Apache Junction on route 88. The rustic bar (with saddles for bar stools) and restaurant is a fun outing any day. They are famous for their hamburgs and "Killer" chili and rightly so. The chili is very spicy and tasty. The hamburgs are huge (½ pound). We split one and added a cup of the Killer stuff. Great lunch and the prices won't break you. Good service too.
Goldfield Steak House & Saloon, Goldfield. Located just 3 ½ miles north of Apache Junction on route 88 in the Goldfield ghost town. Lots of great atmosphere abounds in this 1890's saloon. The costumed waitresses and waiters add to the fun. Menu is mainly steaks and big ones at that. The special was a 14 ounce steak which we split. Prices are reasonable and the entertainment was terrific. The live music for the dinner hour was a man who sounded just like Johnny Cash. We understand that the band that plays later in the evening is great too.
Monti's La Casa Vieja, 1st & Mill Street, Tempe. Once the
home of Senator Carl Hayden (senator representing Arizona from 1912-1969),
this very large restaurant features steaks and seafood---all moderately
priced. Ron's mom and Barb each had a small filet which was delicious and
only about $7.95. Ron enjoyed a baked cod dinner. It was scrumptious, large
and again very reasonably priced. The Roman bread served with every meal
is exceptional as is the service. The building is very historic too. It
was built in 1871 by Charles Hayden as a port for his ferry service across
the then flowing and turbulent Salt River.
Many who have never visited Arizona think that the state is primarily desert. We remember even being surprised that the Grand Canyon was in Arizona; we thought it was in Colorado probably because the Colorado River runs through it. Arizona, like many states, is a state of contrasts. You can find desert, canyons, mountains, pine forests and much more. From here in Mesa, would you believe that one could drive about 60 miles SOUTH and ski in the winter?
When we entered Arizona back in October, we had been driving the interstates for what seemed like forever. Ron and I generally try to avoid them. So after entering the state from the east on I-40, we got off and headed southwest on red roads (they are printed in red on the maps). U.S. route 191 looked good on our map and would be new for us. By the way, we mark the routes previously taken in each state's map in our Rand McNally Road Atlas with highlighters so we know where we have been before. At St Johns we turned on route 61 which took us to the beautiful Show Low area and from there picked up state route 77 which ran into U.S. 60. That drive was spectacular as it wound its way up, down, through and around the Salt Canyon. The whole day's drive was a gradual descent until we were in Mesa.
It is wonderful to look out in any direction and see mountains and even more exciting to take a drive into them. For starters when you are in the area, plan to visit South Mountain Park/Preserve in Phoenix. As the world's largest municipal park, it is a wonderful playground---all 17,000 acres of it. You can picnic, hike and bike to your heart's content. There are several stables where horses can be rented and one can just enjoy the drive to the view point at the top. From that vantage point the whole city of Phoenix and its surrounding mountains form a magnificent panorama.
We wanted to visit the Desert Botanical Garden, Mystery Castle, Tovrea Castle, Wrigley Mansion, and Papago Park/ Hole-in-the-Rock in Phoenix but ran out of time. Be sure to stop in at any Visitor Center and pick up a copy of the Phoenix Visitors Guide.
For an exciting drive and day long trip, head east from Mesa on Apache
Trail then turn northeast on state route 88. In just 3 1/2 miles
you will pass Goldfield ghost town on the left, but save that for another
day since you will want to spend several hours there. Enjoy the scenic
desert drive especially as the road goes up and around the mountains. There's
a nice scenic overlook at Canyon
Head towards Globe after the dam and in just a few miles, you will see the signs for the Tonto National Monument. This monument preserves the masonry ruins of the prehistoric Salado people who made their home here for about 300 years. They left the area about 1400 AD. Even though we had seen other Indian ruins, we enjoyed these. Each different culture builds its own unique dwellings. It was also exciting for us since we were sharing it with Marty who had never seen ancient ruins before.
A visit to Goldfield is a must. This once bustling ghost town is only 3 1/2 miles from Apache Junction. There is no charge to visit the town. From the moment you cross over the overgrown railroad tracks, you will constantly wonder, "Is this for real?" Everything looks old, but how could it be in such good condition? Never mind, for now, just enjoy looking at all of the old things. You will see the mine entrance off to the left. If you check it out, you will discover they give tours of the mine often. Do not miss this opportunity especially if Richard Nicodemus is your tour guide. We had been on mine tours before, but never had understood all the little details until this tour. It was well worth the $4 admission price. If you want to pan for gold you can do that too. They will tell you how then give you a vial of water to collect your gold in. The price for this is just a couple of dollars.
Goldfield Ghost Town also features a rock shop, ice cream parlor, old time photos, gourmet shop (specializing in salsa and dips), Mexican imports, old gold, leather shop and the Steak House and 1890's Saloon (see Good Places to Eat pg 3).
My favorite shop in town was the Gidy-Up Gourmet which is advertised as "Southwest foods and salsas that will sizzle your shorts." They have several sauces and jellies for sampling and at the recommendation of Graig "hot sauce" Hardy, I purchased the Mad Coyote Salsa Mix which is excellent. You can make it as hot or mild as you like.
Also in town is the Lost Dutchman Museum. One interesting area in the museum is the display of maps to the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine. Jacob Waltz took the secret of the location of his mine (if there ever was one) to the grave with him in 1891. Upstairs is a scale model of the Superstition Mountains and there is a short slide show. While the slides of the various views of the mountains are shown a tape of the old song about Superstition Mountain is played. I felt that at $2.50 it was a bit overpriced for what they had.
Also available in town are jeep tours, hiking and horseback tours (from the livery, of course).
When we took the mine tour, I talked with Richard about the town. It has been rebuilt. In fact, he is one of the owners. Another partner is in the demolition/construction business. Whenever they demolish an old western building, they reuse the lumber and fixtures to build a new (old) building in Goldfield. And they authentically reconstruct the buildings according to old maps, and other data avail able. The mine is also a reconstruction and in fact is not at all underground although it sure felt like it. The original mine was lost when the area flooded just five years after the boom. We had a good time in Goldfield.
Right in Mesa (at Falcon Field) is the Champlin Fighter Museum. It boasts over 30 perfectly restored fighter aircraft from World War I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era. In the lobby and throughout the buildings are autographed photos of fighter pilots from around the world. Also in the museum is the "most complete private collection of historic military auto matic weapons in the world." I liked the gift shop the most. It was there that I could hear the music piped over the intercom the best. It was the big band music that we all associate with WW II. They had a very nice collection of model planes, aircraft books, prints, tee shirts and so on. The admission to the museum is $6.
There are many nice state parks in the area and we enjoyed a picnic brunch one morning at Usury Park with the euchre bunch. Another day, Ron and I had a picnic lunch at the Lost Dutchman State Park. It would have been fun to have time to hike the many trails in the parks. The things we didn't do and places we didn't see were many. We had planned to drive to Sedona and Jerome, but... next time! It has been fun just living here for a while.
Book Pushed Them Over The Edge
Somewhere in Tennessee, I think, reading your book took us over the edge and we have now developed and are implementing a plan to take our show on the road. We have been RVing for 6 years and have just traded our 23' Tioga (named Cozy) for a 33' Winnebago Elante (named Cozy up). Looking so forward to reading your next Movin' On. We are both going to be 48 in December and plan to be on the road for our 50th birthdays.
Ginger (& Wyatt) Ewald
Two Surprising Problems
...Couple things that bother me in our new lifestyle that I didn't expect. We have a little...dog we love dearly but find it much more difficult having a dog (an area I never thought about) due to: they cannot go outside without a leash---either attached to a person (me) or tied up. After having a big fenced yard, I found this confining for our dog and he's small.... Plus the dirt they bring in is more obvious... The positive side is that they do make the owners get out for a walk at least once or twice a day and the reason for having a dog---their wonderful affection and enjoyment they give.
The other thing that bothers me is that I've always been a very neat-clean (spot less) type and this type of living is like having a tiger by the tail!! Any little mess or project is a BIG mess in short order!! I'm learning to relax more and not let it bother me so when things are all over. (I'm hoping it's 'cause we're still so new at this & I just don't have everything organized yet-ha!) ...coated metal racks ...[have] doubled our cabinet space for us---but once items are out of cabinets & sitting around “ouch!”...
Have new address. Got a mail forwarding at a mail box business in the same town as two of my daughters live. I did that to satisfy my feeling of losing control of the mail and it taking so long to get to us. I feel this way---if need be one of my daughters could go by to fax something, or open and read something for us or whatever. Maybe I'll get over this fear as time goes by....
Terry (& Gerry) Rensink
Thought Provoking Article On Fire
... Keep the newsletter coming---thanks to you and Julie Selner for the thought provoking article on fire [October '94]. We certainly aren't prepared and it gave me the incentive to start---inventory the first on my list and then reposition some of our important files---at present they're under the bed and not very assessable....
Dena & Gordon Duncan
Ten Days to Pack and Move Out
Well, we've done it! Our house sold while we were on vacation in Colorado.... The buyers were pre-approved and wanted to close quickly, so we had only 10 days to pack up and be out. Thank God for friends who let us store things in their houses and garages until we could figure out what to do with them. Even with that, we have a 10 x 10 storage shed full of stuff to distribute or get rid of. It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate. It sure feels good not to be burdened with it all. Of course, we're not totally unburdened. We own a condo in Ft. Meyers, FL, that we rent out in the winter months (which pretty much covers the cost of ownership). It also gives us a place to store some things we're still having a hard time giving up. However, we do have our computer, sewing machine, craft supplies, two guitars and a mandolin on board. It took some creative arranging, but we have all we need with us. Home is now a 33 ft. 1984 Shasta motorhome. We love it!... Good thing we really like each other, though. Choreographing our morning routine for getting ready for work has been a lot of laughs....
Larry has decided to retire from his job on November 30. We plan to go to Ft. Meyers for the month of December.... In January, however, he plans to go to Southwest Texas University in San Marcos for a Masters in Math degree. He wants to be prepared in case full-time travelling doesn't work for us.... As for me, I guess I'll try to find a waitressing job to help support us....
Please count us among the many who are keeping you both in our prayers. With a prayer network like you have, there should be little doubt of great results. You two have a way of making people feel like everyone is a close friend and all of these friends really care about you both. What a wonderful gift!
Char & Larry Fetterly
Still Learning After Four Years
First let me express our pleasure with the newsletter we receive. We are also full-timers (going on 4 years) but always find there are new things & ways of doing routine junk someone has happened in to. Thanks for y'alls effort & time to share with so many of us....
Have "Trainer" Motorhome
We are relieved to hear that your medical problems are somewhat under control for now. You folks are in our prayers---particularly you, Ron.
We've just finished reading (and rereading) the November Movin' On and have our Arizona map out. Wish we could join you at Valle del Oro.
After 40 years of adult and juvenile corrections in two states, we're sure looking forward to “rain-birding” in two years. Full-timing will start for us in 1997. We are just wannabe's now.
We acquired a 21 foot, Toyota powered motorhome in August (our "trainer motor home"). We've traveled over 4,000 miles on vacation and weekends already. The hands-on experience we're getting is very useful. Now what we hear, see and read about RV's, travel and full-timing is really soaking in. We've lots to learn.
We've read your book, both editions, and are ready to re-read. I've loaned out both copies to someone. I'll be phoning Publication Services Monday to order another one....
Herb & Bee Lay
Wants Membership Campground Info
I enjoy and appreciate your segment on campground update. Since Dean is in the process of retiring I am now very serious on buying a membership in CCC or Thousand Trails or ??? I would appreciate any information like do's and don'ts you and your readers have to share with me. P.S. Please print my address. Thanks.
...My wife and I recently embarked on our full-timing career. We are both RN's and are taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to nurses these days. We take temporary positions at hospitals around the country. We look for hospitals in regions of the country where we've never been and/or would like to visit at length. Usually we're in one area for about 13 weeks, allowing us to experience the area rather than just see the usual tourist sights. After taking one assignment to "test the waters", we decided to go all the way! We put our house in Augusta, GA, on the market and arranged the purchase of our new home, a 1995 34J Bounder.
We picked up the Bounder on our way to our current assignment in Blythe, CA. We set up camp just north of Blythe on the Colorado River at Hidden Beaches RV Resort and Marina, which I highly recommend for anyone coming through the area. Since arriving we've visited Phoenix, Tucson, Tombstone, Yuma and Palm Springs, and we've still got six weeks left in our assignment!...
You may have guessed by now we are not exactly the traditional full-timers. At ages 38 & 39, we will both be working full-time for a good while yet, but we are fortunate to be in a profession that allows us this kind of mobility and intend to take full advantage of it....
Ron and Connie Perritt
Having a Ball
...We're having a ball as full-timers and like so many others have been encouraged by reading Movin' On. And may we be reading it for the next 20 years!
John & Bernadine Vanderkuyl
Getting Stranded Was an Advantage
How can I thank you for being just perfect guests on my program yesterday? I am so new at this, and find it very fright ening at times, but your graciousness yesterday calmed any fears I might have had. Sharing your life for one hour with the friends that join me every morning was so good. I mean, really good!
Your book! What a gift that has turned out to be for me. Again I have to thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us through your literary talent. You both are consummate communicators. I pray you keep it up for a long, long time.
I am always looking for interesting topics or issues to share with the folks that listen to The Pat Ackley Show. Getting stranded in Waukegan, Illinois, turned out to be an advantage to me, the talk show host, by providing me the opportunity of meeting a Mr. David Hofmeister, who just happened to have very interesting parents.
I am looking forward to meeting you both in person. Please promise me that you will contact me the next time you are traveling up or down I-70, through Salina [Kansas]. To be honest, I still have a bunch of questions I want to ask about you and full-timing. You see, I can see full-timing in my future, after retiring as Executive Director of the HOTLINE (a crisis counseling, information and referral service here in Salina) and as the host of The Pat Ackley Show. If nothing else, you make it sound appealing to me and to my husband. So, please stop by and let's finish our conversation....
Radio Show Delayed Travel Plans
You guys sure know how to foul us "old country people" up. We were planning on leaving Scandia in our motorhome yesterday at 9 a.m.. I'm just getting ready to pull the motorhome out of our driveway so I can hook on the car, WHEN Idolia says, "Pat is going to talk to Ron and Barb right after the news."
So, I came in the house and we listened to your interview. We enjoyed it very much !!! I almost called in to ask, what tape do you play as you're leaving a campground, but thought I shouldn't. You both sounded great, on the radio so we hope and pray things are going well for you now....
Max & Idolia Berry
Expecting a Little Brochure
Received our free issue of Movin' On. We were expecting a little four page brochure instead of the 10 page brochure. You two are providing a wonderful service and are having a great time doing it! So this is what retirement is all about!!...
If you have not been to the Monte Vista Resort Village [Mesa, AZ], we recommend that you check it out. The office staff there is suberb! This is our first choice for any long residence....
My husband has finished reading your book (this is a milestone for him). I am taking my time and highlighting things as I go along for future reference. We both say that you have produced an excellent source for future full-timers....
Toni (& Bob Shields)
This 'N That
Wow!! You have been really terrific in writing. I had a hard time choosing from all the great letters this month and had twice as many that I would have liked to print. As it was I had to cut more than I wanted from the those printed. But I'm not complaining. Keep up the good work. Even though we will be in Michigan the month of December, we will still get our mail.
I am frantically getting ready for our month-long trip to Michigan---trying to get the newsletter out and everything packed. One of the things I am doing is trying to use up anything that is in the refrigerator and freezer. I do not want to experience what happened the two times we left our house and went to England for 4-6 weeks. We came home to a rotten, stinky mess in the refrigerator. We are not taking any chances this time and will leave it empty and off. We will re-stock upon returning.
Gotta tell you about a great new RV book and it's author. Ray Parker was the head writer for Art Linkletter for 12 years and also a writer for Bob Hope. In 1988 he and his wife, Ethel, took an extended trip in a new motorhome. In this new book, RV Having Fun Yet?, he writes about the experiences. It's a very funny book. Ray and Ethel, originally from California are staying here in the park and we have enjoyed visiting and sharing.
More on Ray & Ethel. They were in a fifth wheel until last week. They attended our seminar at Earnhardt and for some reason or other decided that they missed the motorhome they had previously owned. Practically on the spot they traded truck and fifth-wheel for a 1994 Bounder and little car. He blames us for the whole thing and we take the credit.
This is nothing new, but we are sure going to miss all the folks we have met here---everyone from the folks we met at euchre, bridge and cribbage to the walkers we wave to each morning. There will be lots of nice memories and a little bit of a void. This park is so friendly that it is even fun to play bridge here. Bridge players will understand this.
Thanksgiving dinner here at the club house was really great. Bonnie and Lyle did a super job of organizing the pot luck for our two tables (the euchre gang plus a few). The park furnished the turkey, dressing and gravy which was cooked by many loving volunteers. It was nice to have Ron's mom with us too.
Remember how I talked about all the foxes that greeted us when we went for our walk in Denver? Well here we have rabbits---cute little white tailed ones that scurry around early in the morning. After being up all night they are probably in a hurry to get to bed.
Do you remember a letter from Bill Scheurweghs last month? He said that I should have a CD ROM on my computer. Well, we had been thinking about it and have now added the CD and four MB of RAM. Ron, the ever efficient accountant thought it would be good to do it now and take the tax deduction for this year. Because I didn't want to fool with installing it, I let my "fingers do the walking." Stanley and Shelly from PC Services took care of us in fine order and even came to the motorhome so we didn't have to cart the box out. I had given Shelly a copy of the last newsletter and low-and behold she showed up a little later with a gift---the Yanni Live at the Acropolis CD that Bill had written about. The CD is so fantastic, and I love the new games I can play. If you ever need help with your computer when you are in the area, call 602-827-1114.
We heard from Paul & Deb Pfenneger, our national park ranger friends from Yosemite and Hot Springs National Parks. They have transferred to Luray, Virginia. I think that will put them at Shennendoah National Park. Good! That gives us another park to check out. I'll be ready for more volunteering soon. Deb wrote that they ran across a couple who were planning to full-time. Deb recommended our book only to find out that they already had it. Guess our book is getting well known.
I put our phone number in the last newsletter and we were happy to get your phone calls. We were pleased that you cared enough to call. And thanks to those of you who stopped by when you were in the area.
The Arizona Republic did a nice full-page spread on us and our live TV debut was fun. The reporter loved our house especially the bathroom and the last shots show him standing in our bathtub so everyone could see that even at 6'4" he had plenty of room. And if you read Pat Ackley's letter, you will know that our radio show interview went wel---even across the miles. It was fun.
Upon returning from Michigan we will be heading to the Sands RV Resort
in Desert Hot Springs, California. We have a one month reservation there
so if you are in the area give us a holler but not by telephone. It's not
worth hooking up for only one month. From there we will visit my son, Mark
and his family in Saugus, California.I have a couple of grandchildren to
get to know there---one I've never seen and he will be two in January.
We will try to stay at the CCC in Valencia. From there we may go to Vegas
or Laughlin or Death Valley or
Okay so the post office is raising their rates; we won't. Movin' On
will remain $1.50 per issue. What a bargain, right?
Bumper sticker seen in Mesa
This is the day the Lord has made
From Char & Larry Fetterly
Don't bother us!
Blessed are they who laugh at themselves
From a friend
You don't stop playing because you grow old,
1________________ 2________________ 3______________
2. Soils suitable for agriculture cover about _______% of Arizona's
3. Arizona produces more than half of the nation's total copper
4. Arizona was the _______ state admitted to the union.
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