Culture Photography Recreation Road Trip Journal RV Travel

Start Your Engine (Day 1 Summer Road Trip 2012)

So we’re off, having gone from Lake Havasu at 7:10 on Thursday morning, and arriving in Phoenix around noon. A slight motorhome challenge delayed us while still in the city limits of Lake Havasu, when, in the faithful Country Coach motorhome, Jerry discovered the radiator water level to be low. Poured and hosed in water. Voila! Problem solved.

One of the neat things about motor home travel is the option of pulling to the side of the road for meals or snacks should violent hunger strike the occupants of said motor home, and going-down-the-road snacks and sandwiches don’t seem enough. We had eaten no breakfast, having arisen early, and having presented Melina’s birthday present to her. We had discussed driving awhile, then we would stop to eat. Bouse was the place Jerry chose.

Jerry turned on the generator, we ran the air-conditioners, and I actually cooked bacon and eggs. Well, the bacon supply was of such skimpiness that I’m not sure it even counts, but we did have one slim slice each. I cleaned up the dishes, grabbed my camera, and went out the door so that I could preserve the moment.

With all due respect to its founder and to its current residents, I do not believe I would choose to live in Bouse. 🙂

We had scoured the area as we drove so as to select a level place; this spot held promise, as there appeared to be no customers around and we wouldn’t be in the way. From the slatted roof of this structure, cool shadows played on the ground.

I had noted what might be a bird’s nest in the upper reaches of the structure, so I pointed my camera there, but I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to see a mama bird with babies on her nest. I did enjoy looking at the old buildings and loved the name of the area where we stopped: Pricklepear Square.

What sort of people have lived here over the years? I pondered as I walked about. Founded as a mining camp, there are no doubt  countless stories of intrigue and drama in what now is just a dusty little place on Arizona State Highway 72.

Why choose to live here? for just a few miles away is Parker, that beautiful little town through which runs the sparkling blue waters of the Colorado, and which is surrounded by jagged, splendid mountains. Interesting. Just a few miles farther is stunning Lake Havasu.

Perhaps it is the solitude, the sense of history…the memory of a culture long gone.

Road trip mileage:  Today–200     Trip total–200

Friends Marriage/anniversaries Road Trip Journal Travel

55 and Counting!

Summer road trip. Day 26 Monday June 27, 2011

55. Jerry and I spent our 55th wedding anniversary in Globe, AZ. Jerry and Brother Dean, along with Brother Dean’s son played 18 holes of golf beginning early in the morning. I had to take care of some printing and mailing, then poked around this nifty mining town where there are lots of historic buildings.

Suddenly, as I prowled about with my camera, wafting over the warm air, I heard magnificent music. It was 11:00, and coming from this building were clear, splendid peals of church bells. It was beautiful.

Meandering flower shots.

In the evening the Deans joined us for our anniversary dinner. We drove out to Roosevelt Lake, but both the places they had in mind were closed on Monday. No problem, for when we had eaten at the Mexican food place on Saturday, Brother Dean’s steak has looked so delicious, and he had raved about it so much, we gladly went there. Jerry and I shared a 16 oz. rib eye. Fabulous.

Art/Architecture Christianity/Religion Church Road Trip Journal

Sunday in Globe, Arizona

Summer road trip. Day 25 Sunday June 26, 2011

Brother and Sister Dean came to Globe 19 years ago. Since then, they have baptized scores of people, and have erected this fine building. Actually the front half of it was already standing when they bought the property; the extensions were added by them. All of it is paid for.  I want to honor this fine couple today for their commitment to God and to His Church. They are a wonderful couple, with the Work of God being uppermost in their thoughts and plans.

We joined them in a sweet service on Sunday. Several visitors were present, and were praying in the altar.

More food afterward, of course, and Italian it would be. Delicious meal in a wonderful atmosphere.

This building piqued my interest as they showed us around Globe.

In the evening, we met them in Judy’s Cook House for a snack and for more great visiting.

Christianity/Religion Photography Road Trip Journal

The Deans in Globe

Summer road trip. Day 24 Saturday, June 25, 2011

Having left Safford early, we arrived in Globe before 9:00 on Saturday morning. Actually we’re in an RV park that is 6 miles south of Globe. Apache Gold is its name, and when Jerry went into the office to register, and to be assigned a spot, the gentleman said, “Just pick a site, see that everything works, then come in to register.” We’re on Indian land, although I see no teepees, and I keep looking for squaws with papooses on their backs. Not happening, of course. Just typical Arizona desert/mountainous terrain. This valley is beautiful, surrounded by splendid mountains that thrust far into the distant sky, then lop down and form rolling hills. I am hoping to visit an Indian reservation before we leave Arizona. We have driven across hundreds of miles of reservation territory throughout our travels, but we’ve never really explored one. I want to see their stores, schools, judicial places and such.

We settled into our nice RV spot and Jerry hooked up everything outside. I cleaned windows and mirrors and vacuumed the motor home floors before taking a shower and washing my locks. Around 3:00, Brother and Sister Dean arrived to pick us up for a tour of the historic mining town of Globe. We had known that a few days before, the Deans had gone to California to pick up Sister Dean’s mother who will now be living in a small house behind theirs. What I did not know is that Sister Dean’s mother is Lou Reinert, whom I have known in a cursory way for many years. She received the Holy Ghost in the Bellflower church when Brother White was pastor there, and she is a dear friend of Sister White’s.

So there were five of us who prowled about charming Globe and who ate dinner at a great Mexican restaurant in Miami, a tiny town that joins up with Globe. Afterwards, we had coffee at the Dean’s lovely home, which has the most magnificent view from their front yard.


Later, we slept. Not many yards away from our RV site, the casino was lively, ablaze with lights and with rows of cars in the parking lot. We could neither see nor hear them, but I knew as I drifted off to sleep that inside that wide building were flashing colored lights, and the sound of cha-ching…cha-ching…cha-ching.

Christianity/Religion Food Friends Photography Road Trip Journal

Burros and God’s People

Summer road trip. Day 23, Friday, June 24, 2011

I love God’s people. Here in Safford today, they are working hard at a fund-raiser, making burros. (Derek at Yelp says, “Burro was the old original term for a burrito…somewhere along the way it got switched.  I think they still say Burro in some parts of Texas.” )

When I stood by her to watch this morning, she said, “I’ve been making these for years.” God bless those aged hands as they work for the Kingdom of God. God bless this precious, faithful saint of God, Sister Betty.

All ages are working together. Collen prepares to make deliveries. She and Aubrey went about town yesterday taking orders.

Brother David Staten works on the order list.

Pastor’s wife keeps cooking.

…as does this precious Sister Sylvia. (Except that she just took a break and brought four fat burros to our motor home. We ordered medium; they’re hot…but delicious.)

Another precious man of God is in the mix. Brother Hammond is his name.

A few children sat at a long table with Pastor Keyes. I chose one of them for my picture of the day and have posted it on my photography blog. She is a charming little girl. Don’t fail to take a look at her.

God’s faithful people: I love YOU.

Arizona Christianity/Religion Photography Road Trip Journal

Bible Study Night in Safford

Summer road trip. Day 21, Wednesday June 22, 2011

Rebecca is checking our post office box in Crestline once a week and sending the mail we need. In the last batch, there was communication from Brother Stoneking saying he was willing to critique my manuscript: BACKSLIDING…the bitter bite of beelzebub. So, on Wednesday morning, I bundled up a copy, wrote a few thank you notes to friends, and made a post office run.

It was a very hot day, so instead of gadding about the country side for pictures, I snapped a few shots inside the post office.

The highlight of the day was the Wednesday evening service at Harvest Tabernacle. Following a good session of worship–excellent music here–the women moved into the fellowship hall, while the men stayed in the auditorium. Brother Keyes had asked Jerry and me to teach a lesson to men and women respectively. The best part! At the end of the women’s session, a backslider named Francis began fervently praying, and in a few minutes was fluently speaking in tongues! It was wonderful. As I understand it, 20 years ago she and her family were intensely involved in the church here in Safford.

A wonderful conclusion to Day 21 of our long summer trip.

Arizona Flowers/Gardening Road Trip Journal Weather/Nature

Picnicing at Gila Box Canyon

Summer road trip. Day 20 Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Picnic! I cannot remember when last we had a picnic, and I was eager for it to come around. I took our small ice chest from its place in the bay the night before and cleaned it so that it was ready in the morning when I filled it with soft drinks, cold chicken, cheese, tiny tomatoes, strawberries and grapes. I stuck cookies, chips, sourdough bread, paper plates and such into another bag I keep in the motor home for such events. We were ready when the Keyes arrived. They loaded their things into our Jeep, Brother Keyes took the wheel and we headed to the Gila Box Canyon area, where he served as our gracious tour guide for the afternoon. He spent many years of his childhood in this area, and is very knowledgeable of its terrain and its history.

First, though, before we left town, we drove to a facility here in town that interests them as a site for a new church building. We couldn’t get inside, but we peered through the windows, and Brother Keyes has a call in now to check on its availability. If you are reading here, and care about the effective spreading of the Gospel, pray for this pastor and the church congregation here in Safford that God will direct them to a new building.

Sanchez was at one time a thriving settlement, which now has little to show except for an abandoned school house, a cemetery, and a few scattered houses. There is a strong Mormon influence in this area.

The scenery was spectacular, and even though this whole area is suffering from lack of rain, the river bottoms were lush, and the Gila River was flowing.

This picnic table was situated perfectly. Although it was hot, this beautiful tree provided great shade. The river was close by, and after we had feasted, three of us walked down to the water. I waded in–shoes and all. Sister Keyes was neater than I; she removed her shoes.

Despite the dryness here, the profusion and beauty of wild flowers was amazing. A tiny bug was exploring this yellow one.

Can you believe these are weeds? So beautiful.

This last two flowers are my favorites; they look like water color paintings.

Pastor and Mrs. Kris Keyes, my friends!

Flowers/Gardening Life Photography Road Trip Journal

A Walk-About in Safford

Summer road trip. Day 19 Monday, June 20, 2011

A rather quiet day here. I took a walk this morning and snapped a few pictures along the way. Jerry and Brother Keyes played 9 holes this afternoon, and when Jerry came in the motor home, he was moaning. Hasn’t played in a long time, and he was already getting sore. Not quite 9:00, and he’s already in bed. 🙂

The streets around here are lined with small cottages and well-established gardens. Stunning flowers were blooming everywhere.

I was intrigued by this scene and couldn’t make up my mind whether the jeans were hanging for “decoration” or whether they were out to dry. I walked over there later, and they were gone. Guess someone’s wearing them now.

I peered about, but although the okra sign was hanging, I saw no sign of a garden.

More pictures from my walk on my photography blog.

Food Friends Photography Road Trip Journal

Spam and Pulled Pork in Safford

Summer road trip. Day 17 Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just past 7:30 am, we pulled away from the church in Sierra Vista, and before 10:00 we were on the church property in Safford, some 90 miles away. Parking the motor home was a little bit tricky for Jerry, but he is quite good at maneuvering the 40 feet long rig, and soon had it set up.

Brother Keyes had come by, and then called to say they wanted to go out to dinner around 6:00 or 7:00. We went to this neat little Hawaiian grill, where I had delicious pulled pork. I had left my camera in the car, but went to get it when I saw Spam on the menu! Tickled me. Is it common to serve Spam in restaurants in Hawaii? Is it true it is the meat of choice there?

Another neat thing about Safford, AZ.: We have internet connection in our motor home! Fast, too.

Edit: Read more here of late night activities.

Arizona Food Friends Photography Road Trip Journal

Last Day in Sierra Vista

Summer road trip. Day 16, Friday June 17, 2011

Had to happen on this road trip–it will be more than once, actually: Laundromat morning. 😦  I don’t know why I have such an aversion to laundromats; it’s really quite unreasonable. For I can gather up a two-week accumulation of dirtied clothes, stuff them into machines, push in a few quarters along with appropriate dollops of detergent, and in about 30 minutes our clothes are clean. Pitch them into those huge dryers, insert more quarters, and in 15 minutes the light weight ones are ready for folding. In little more than an hour, our laundry is finished. Quite efficient. Just can’t figure out why I dislike doing it that way. In my home, I rather enjoy doing laundry…and it takes a much longer period of time than does a visit to the local laundromat.

Anyway, Friday morning found Jerry and me at such a place in Sierra Vista, and as I waited for the machines to do their magic, I heard a siren that sounded differently from the others, that, because of the fires, we had been hearing often. Closer came its sound, then an ambulance pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall where we were, followed by this large fire truck. Probably 10 minutes later, the sirens sounded again, and the ambulance headed for the hospital. Life goes on, doesn’t it? Regular life–heart attacks, panic attacks, an impending birth, accidents. Not all the emergency vehicles are in place at the site of the raging fires; others are on standby here in the town. Ready to deal with the ordinary–the ordinary life that midst its joy and celebrations, mingle in a bit of the wretched, the fear, the pain.

Once again we went to the beautiful library where we checked our email, and I loaded pictures onto Flickr and updated my blogs. Near the entry way is a magnificent sculpture; I photographed part of it that depicts two small children reading books…once upon a time…is chiseled into a page of their book.

One last meal with the O’Bryans who have been the epitome of graciousness. Their daughter, son-in-law, and Brother O’Bryan’s parents joined us, and finally someone said, “They’ll be charging us rent if we stay here much longer.” So we rose from the table, leaving behind tasty morsels that testified to the excellence of the meal. We said our final good-byes.

Jerry had our rig ready. Saturday morning, he would disconnect our electricity, connect our Jeep to the motor home, and we would be off once more.