Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chiricahua Hiking

Click here to view our slideshow from the hike.

The Chiricahua National Monument is a spectacular hiking area. “Chiricahua”, Apache for “standing up rocks”, is aptly named. The spectacular rhyolite stone pinnacles, thought to have been formed by ancient volcanoes, fill the park.

Today was our third time hiking the trails. In 2004, we climbed to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the highest peaks accessible, only 1.8 miles round trip, but considered a moderate climb due to its elevation of 7,310 feet. In 2006, with friends J.D. and Laura, we explored Echo Canyon, a 3.3 mile loop.

Today, we chose to hike from the summit of Echo Canyon to the Visitor Center, a 4.3 mile hike, but mostly downhill. A park shuttle picked us up at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m., along with 6 other hikers. He drove us to the Echo Canyon Parking Lot, at 6780 feet elevation. The forecast was sunny, but windy. We were hoping to be sheltered from the wind a little by the canyon walls, and we were not disappointed. There was just enough wind to keep us from being hot in the mid 70’s temperatures.

It was a great hike, full of scenic postcard views. The other hikers soon left us behind, as I paused repeatedly to take more photos. Although the park cautions you may encounter black bear, mountain lion or rattlesnakes, we saw nothing larger than a skink.

A rock ledge at the bottom of the canyon provided the ideal spot for our picnic lunch.

We hiked among cypress, pine and fir, and then as we worked our way lower in elevation, encountered sycamore, juniper and oak, and finally near the visitor center, cactus and mesquite.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our day, exploring the depths of the Chiricahuas.

From here, we’ll move on to Deming, NM tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

From Yuma to Willcox, AZ

Our four month stay in Yuma has flown by. We were on the road this morning by 7:30, having said all our good-byes yesterday. Leaving each spring is a bittersweet experience, hating to leave good friends, but looking forward to seeing family and old friends again.

One of the more scenic spots along I-10 is Texas Canyon, lying about 20 miles east of Benson. The scenic canyon is said to have gotten its name from a group of settlers traveling from Texas to the west coast. When their horses were stolen, they were forced to stop and settle in the canyon, naming it after their home state. There is now a rest stop located at the canyon.

We have stopped at Livestyle RV Resort for the night. There’s nothing special about the RV park, but it does boast an indoor pool, free Wi-Fi and a small gift shop and trading bookshelf.

Willcox is small. It’s claim to fame is being the hometown of Rex Allen.

Those of you under 60 are probably asking “who was Rex Allen?”, but his voice is no doubt familiar to all of you. In addition to being “Mr. Cowboy” in many of the western movies of the 50’s, his voice narrated over 150 Walt Disney characters throughout the years.

We have stopped in Willcox in order to hike the Chiricahuas tomorrow, just south of town.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Our start as Full-Timers

We first started traveling in an RV in 1991.

In 1992, we sold the mini and bought a 24' fifth wheel.

Each year and each trip, our love for the lifestyle grew.

In 2004, we took a 5 month trip, beginning in Indiana, northward through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South and North Dakota, across the top of the nation through Montana on U.S. 2, down though Idaho, along the Columbia Gorge and up into Washington, down the west coast of Oregon and California on U.S. 101, eastward through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Louisiana north in Mississippi on the Natchez Trace through Alabama and Tennessee, across Kentucky and on home.

In 2005, we spent our first full winter in the RV (in Yuma, AZ). That year, we were away from our house 8 months out of the 12, and the experience convinced us that we would love to become full-timers, an idea we had toyed with for years.

We put the house on the market, and for 2 summers, had no lookers. Then this past spring, we found a newer 5th wheel and truck, and sold the house within 4 days.

Within a month, we were living in our new home.
We spent the months of June and August camp hosting in central Indiana at McCormick’s Creek State Park, June in Campground Loop A, and August in Loop B, shown here.

We enjoyed hi
king in the park during the cooler times.

July found us camphosting in another beautiful central Indiana State Park, Brown County.

Our story continues in the next post....

From Indiana To Arizona 2007

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge

Our first major stop each autumn is usually at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in southern Oklahoma near Lawton. We’ve been coming here for a week’s stay now for several autumns.

The wildlife roam free, so it’s a common sight to see longhorns lounging by the bathhouse, bison walking the center line in the road, or white tail deer and turkeys roaming through your campsite.

There are numerous places to hike, from the very easy to very strenuous. We’ve done quite a bit of both.

Like to see a few of our photos – CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW

Dancing and Hiking last Autumn

We carry a national square dance directory with us, always on the lookout for square dances in each locale where we park. This fall, we danced in Lawton, OK; Kerrville, TX; Deming, NM; Las Cruces, NM; Silver City, NM; Benson, AZ; and of course in Yuma, where we winter.

The next month was spent in Kerrville, TX, visiting with friends and changing our residency to TX as many full-timers do.

We stay at the Take-it-Easy RV Resort in Kerrville.

Deming, NM

The "Sleeping Dragon" lies just southeast of Deming.

Deming, NM, usually claims us for a month also each autumn. We began our square dancing with Deming’s Good Time Squares 3 years ago, having our first 5 lessons with caller, Rusty Wright, before moving onto Yuma that year. Over the years, we have made several good friends in Deming, and a return there is like going home.

The "Good Times Squares" club meets
each Tuesday night in the local Senior Center.

We often stay at the Little Vineyard RV Resort.

This year, while there, Ron taught an Introductory Square Dance Class twice a week in the RV park.

We also like hiking the deserts around Deming –- the Pony Hills, Spring Canyon and Rockhound State Parks , the Floridas, etc. For some of our photos from the hikes, CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring in Yuma, Arizona

We have spent the winter in Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona. Spring comes early in the deserts of the southwest. This winter we have experienced more rains than we have known before during our three winters here. Consequently, the deserts are blossoming. Our park is in the Foothills suburb, and across from an empty lot. These photos of the blooms were taken yesterday.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cactus Gardens

Yuma has been our winter destination since 2005. We stay and play in the Cactus Gardens RV Resort on the east side of Yuma. Our days are jam-packed with park activities, visiting with friends, hiking and dancing. In 2006, we took the Plus square dance lessons, and have a dance available to us 6 nights a week (if only our legs would hold out for that much!)

This year, we tried to find time to hike weekly with friends. Click on each place name for slideshows from some of those hikes:





Cactus Gardens
Going Away Party

But time is running out on another season, and on March 29, it will be time to leave the park for our annual migration slowly toward the north and Indiana. We will take our time, as always, arriving in Indiana toward late May.

I hope to keep the blog updated as we travel, showing you some of the magnificent areas of our country.