Monthly Archives: April 2017

Greetings from Casa Grande, AZ

And bye bye to Big House, about 45 miles south of Phoenix off I-10, a suburb, but not without its own growing economy. Jobs have almost doubled in eight years. Major players with manufacturing facilities include Abbott Labs (huge nutrition building looms nearby), Frito-Lays, Daisy Brand, and a Wal-Mart distribution center among others. We’re in Sundance 1 RV Park. On some ways, it is a step down from Caliente Springs. It’s more like a small city and not very dog friendly.

Our trip here included one night at the Ramblin Roads RV Park in Hope, AZ. That place was close to an RV park we stayed in previously in Salome. They are both really nowhere, not the actual ‘Nowhere’, which we passed through last year, just way out in the desert boonies. Look it up on Google maps. Look everything up on Google maps. Good geography lessons.

On that vein, this entry is one of those travelogue types. No philosophy, no politics, no jokes only only funny to me. Just pictures with simple comments. I know, they were more entertaining when I was loopy, though, of course, in the era of alternative facts, everything is, apparently, debateable.

Speaking of the desert, on our drive we noticed something very different about the desert this time – it was green. Not exactly golf course green but enough to give the entire landscape a light green hue. See I-8 photo.

Most of the pics are of the last days of Palm Springs. Sounds like a title for a movie about a volcano. A tiny recess of my brain still has black and white reels from ‘The Last Days of Pompeii’ where the ancient Italians got buried in lava. One of those great old disaster movies, long drawn out stories for adults but all the kids want to see is the big event – people buried in lava. So we spent two months sitting on the San Andreas fault waiting for that movie to come true.

VOR Near Parker. Any pilots out there? That little white upside down ice cream cone on the plate in the middle of the desert is a VOR – Very High Frequency Omni Directional Radio Range. It transmits a signal on a specific frequency in all directions. Pilots with planes that are VOR receiver equipped, and that is just about everyone overhead, tune in to that frequency and aim toward the direction indicated by the signal. Auto pilots use them as well. These cones dot the US landscape. Flying is easier than driving, as long as you figure out that landing thing. That can be fun. Ask Harrison Ford.

Beep-beep: almost daily, this roadrunner would scamper through our site, pause as he approached the fence, then would jump up on it with one wing flap. Luna chased one of these once. She was probably fast enough to run it down but that flying part was disappointing for her.

Last Sunset at Caliente: that was nearly a month ago now. You ever wonder how many of those sunsets you have left to see? Since most of you are no spring chickens, we’ve most likely seen more than we will. Get out and enjoy them when you can.

Joshua Tree: Niece-in-law, Chris, Andrea, and Luna enjoying a perfect February day in Joshua Tree National Park, literally Chris and nephew Sasha’s backyard.

Casa Grande Mountain Park: before the temperatures soared to near 100 earlier in the month, we took a prickly hike among the suagaros in this local park. We wandered off the trail at one point and we’re immediately attacked by jumping Cholla cactus balls, or, if you’re scientifically inclined, cylindropuntia fulgida. The name is a bit misleading. Older pieces of the plant fall off but these parts, containing a dozen or more spikes, are so light that the wind will take them as will a brush with clothing, or, so it is reported, by static electricity. Luna had two on her face which she immediately made worse by trying to swat them off. Andrea and I each attracted one and then got poked again trying to clean up Luna. Lesson learned. Stay on the trail when Cholla cactus present. Those needles are sharp.

Cactus Flowers: that’s right here in Sundance 1 RV Resort. Somebody’s cactus garden bloomed.

Sunset here: that was last Saturday night. I couldn’t get out to the clearing beyond the RV park fast enough to get that last brilliant red so framing the palm tree across the street would have to do. Other than the occasional Arizona sunset, not unique to this park, this place has few redeeming qualities. It’s nice enough, the people are all very nice and welcoming but it has some negatives. The busiest rail line we’ve ever experienced is less than a half mile away. There’s actually a northbound and a southbound set of rails and they cross Thornton Rd, our address, just 500 yards down the street. The train engineers each have their own idea of how to employ their horns. A few minutes ago one hit short toots for at least a minute before the crossing. Some guys just lay on it like their trying to annoy their ex-wives who live nearby. As I said, they come from both directions and there are other crossings east of here, closer to commerce. They’re blasting away also. I hear one coming now, the rumbling a few miles away, horns to sound shortly. This goes on all day and all night long. They wake us up at 3-4-5 in the morning. Enough with the trains. The other annoying sound is the that of the doves. Hooh-hoooh, hooh-hooh-hoooh, hooh-hooh-hoooh,… Over and over, all day long in quadraphonic. And last night the wind came up pretty strong from the southeast, where a field had obviously been recently covered in manure, or some foul, horse-shit smell. Nasty. Casa Grande has been eliminated as a future stay. One of those damn trains from Picacho Peak State Park included.

And the last picture, the Cactus Garden right here in the RV park. Eh!

Kind of odd that we’re here. The NCAA Final Four is just up the road in Glendale tonight. Like I care. Two years ago we were in Mesa when the Super Bowl was in town.

There. I finished a whole entry without some wild ass rant or major vulgarity. Boring.

On to Apache Junction tomorrow. That’s east of Phoenix. We’ll be looking for you, Tom and Vicki, if you haven’t gone back to CO yet, to commiserate Kansas’ loss. After that, we’ll be heading back to Monument. There’s a grand daughter due to make her Earthly debut near the end of April.

Y’all drive safely. Speaking of, here’s a scary fact: 20 people will die on US roads today in accidents in which teenagers were driving. Every day.

One last cheery note to leave you with. We turned on the TV at about dinner time last week and I noticed the 1992 Best Picture was just about over, ‘Unforgiven’. The first word spoken was “Misfire!” and all bloody hell breaks loose. My favorite movie line was about to be spoken by Clint Eastwood’s character, William Munny, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition. It kind of sums up how I feel about this whole life thing.

Gene Hackman’s character, Sheriff Little Bill, shot, dying, and about to have his head blown off with a Spencer rifle in his face: “I’ll see you in hell William Munny”.

Clint Eastward, finger on the trigger to avenge the savage murder of Ned (Morgan Freeman), his longtime friend, considers that statement and says, “Yeah”.


That’s life, and I can’t deny it.

Or, how about this one from ‘Forest Gump’, “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.” (When asked by Lieutenant Dan if he’d found Jesus yet.)

Of course, ‘My Cousin Vinnie’ is being recorded during this dumb basketball game and how many classic lines are in that one?

(Think Gene Autry)

Happy trails, to you, until we meet again.