Sunday, March 25, 2018


Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
March 14-22, 2018

Home again, home again jiggety-jig.  Yep, Moab and especially Gopher Flats is our happy place.  Surrounded by friends in the neighborhood,  the red rocks of Moab Rim to the west

and the snow-capped LaSal Mountains to the east make for a beautiful, quiet setting to call home.

But the "bestest"part is Dee-time !

Spring is in the air!  We arrived just in time to see the apple trees budding...they will be blooming soon...
and see the grass green up.  Sally is waiting patiently !
WileE has a few changes since we drove it last fall. 
Jeff (owner of Dirt Squirrel, Inc...our friend and neighbor) installed an Atlas TC, lowered the body a couple of inches, worked on the coil over springs and did a few other things.

Then our friend Rory (Moab Motorsports) replaced the ball joints, installed new brake rotors, and repacked the wheel bearings.

We had two "shake down" trail runs this week.  Wednesday, we stayed close to home and drove Steelbender with Dee and Warren.  WileE did great and we can sure tell the difference in the ride from last year.  
Dee leads the way in Elliott...her very capable 4 door Rubicon on 40 inch tires with a new soft top and kick a$$ attitude. Yep, it has a Hemi!
We have missed these beautiful views.
That's Warren in the mirror in his very capable jeep buggy ! It is awesome !
Dee getting lined up to crawl down a very gnarly ledge.

Dee watches when it's Warren's turn.  
On Thursday, we followed Dee again as she led us down Backward Bill Trail to Wipe Out Hill.  Warren joined us again.  A huge thank you to both Dee and Warren for going out with us.  We made a right turn at the top of WOH and followed a very tippy section of trail Dee refers to as Eilene on 7 Mile Rim.  We didn't do the whole trail, but we did drive between the Monitor and the Merrimac rock formations and passed Uranium Arch before taking a connector trail that led us back to Wipe Out Hill and Backward Bill and to Hwy 313.   

We had never done Backward Bill Trail before.  Its quite scenic with Big Mesa, canyons and distant views of the LaSals along sandy and slick rock surfaces.   
 There was a crowd of people at Wipe Out Hill...the steep ledge (black tracks) in the center of the photo.  It was a fun climb.
Next up was tippy "Eilene" ... just follow the black tracks as they turn right on the slick rock.  It's a sidehill section that feels a lot more tippy than it looks !  
I got a nice view of the canyon below as WileE leaned passenger...insert wide-eyed emoji here ! This was the first time we had driven Eilene in this direction.  Usually it's driver side leaning and I like that better. 

Easter Jeep Safari has begun and we will enjoy the week of excitement.  We also used our Silver Sneakers card (a senior citizen benefit with our insurance that covers all costs of the gym) and joined Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center again this year.  We will make at least three early morning trips/week to the gym during the time we are here.  Life is good !    

So until next time, 


Monday, March 12, 2018

Friends and Tucson

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
February 12-March12, 2018

Tucson is a yearly stop for us...usually sometime in February.  We are always busy with appointments which include doctors for us and a list of things for Belle (our bus).  
The pool area at Lazydays
This year was no exception.  We arrived on Feb. 12 and on the 13th, it all started with the dreaded dermatologist visit.  We both had spots frozen and a couple of biopsies taken.  So happy to report this is the first year that Joe did not need any MOHs surgery.  Also, very excited and thankful to say Joe is cancer free...starting his fourth year.  

Seeing friends here is the best part of coming to Tucson !  Carol and Ronnie, and of course Cooper, were here for a couple of days when we pulled in.  We were invited to their home for dinner.  What a nice treat for us after a long and tedious 4 day trip from the Texas Gulf coast.  Right down the street from us were Sue, Dave and Lewis,  two rows over were Pam and John and MonaLiza and Steve were around the corner.  Sue and Dave had all of us over for a fun get together...awesome folks these people are and so much fun to hang out with.  MonaLiza and Steve left and in rolled Jodee, Bill and Tessa.  Jodee made yummy tacos and we enjoyed a chilly evening at their home...thanks for the blanket Jodee !  Jodee and Bill left after a couple of nights.  

The day before the Banks and the Wrights left, we had a get together here.

I even made a lemon chess pie with lemons from the tree in "our yard".  It was messy, but tasty !
L to R: John, Pam, Sue, Dave and Joe

Steve and Joe

MonaLiza and Steve returned to Lazydays so we had one last visit with them.  Joe, with Steve's help, grilled veggies and steak for fajitas.  Joe and I were disappointed in the fajita steak we bought at Dickman's . MonaLiza brought over a tray of delicious mango, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries...the best part of dinner !

In between doctor visits, and fun get togethers, Belle had some much needed work done.  First on the agenda was a new windshield.  Andy Rothman with Superglass was great to work with.  
Andy(on the far right) and his crew...
He handled all the insurance stuff, returned to fix a leak after a heavy nights rain and then returned to make sure we were good to go after we had Belle washed.  The best part about the replacement is it is done on sight ! 

We also met Kenneth and Rachel the owners of Cameron's Reliable Maintenance and Mobile Service.  They make a very good team...reliable, honest, great quality and hard workers. 

We are very pleased with our new slide toppers and look forward to having a few more things done next year when we return.    

Every year Jason does a fantastic job washing and waxing Belle.  This year I forgot to get a picture.  Thanks again Jason ! 

We did enjoyed a few quiet, lazy days...
 ...and when Jack is no where to be found, I know just where to look.  Sometimes he is completely hidden behind the pillow !

There are a few places we enjoy shopping here with REI being at the top of the list.  Definitely our go to place when we need outdoor shoes.  

A couple of years ago we discovered Tucson Premium Outlet Mall.  

A clean, comfortable and eye pleasing  place to go if we need other stuff.  And a big has never been crowded when we have been there.

I mentioned Dickman's Meat and Deli.  
Another dear friend who we met the very first time we visited Tucson is Randy.  Randy is usually in Tucson this time of year as he has a son, daughter, and several grandchildren who live here.  Well, Randy suggested we might want to try Dickman's.  Joe and I were disappointed in the fajita meat we bought which is the end pieces of their patented Ugly Steak.  We won't buy that anymore.  Several days after dinner with the Lowes, Joe grilled the Ugly Steaks we had also bought.  Yummy...tender like in cut with a fork tender and very tasty.  
So returned to buy more steaks and black angus ground beef for the freezer.  All their beef comes from Iowa.  Dickman's is a family run business that has served the Tucson area for more than 30 years.  According to the family, Ugly Steak is trademarked and a well kept secret.  On Mondays the deli serves Ugly Steak sandwiches...might just have to try one next year !  FYI, some two-dozen types of brats are created in house and draw a crowd also.  

That wraps up our month in Tucson.  Tomorrow we head north and arrive in Moab on Wednesday.  We are so excited to be healthy and heading north.  
Wile E has had lots of attention thanks to Jeff, owner of Dirt Squirrel Motors and our neighbor and good friend in Moab. Stay tuned !

Until next time...enjoy your day and