I’ve met some new friends and I think they are trying to kill me!

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We are spending the winter in Arizona at a RV Resort.  Lots of activities to keep you busy.  You wanna play crib?  Cross crib?  2500? Bridge? Majohng? Poker? well do you?

I’m not much of a card player so to insert myself into the group here and get to know some of the fine people that surround me I decide to join some of the more physical activities that are offered here.

Pickle Ball?

 I’ve played badminton in my younger years, I can hit a ball with a paddle, I’m pretty sure of that..  Off I go and sure enough I can hold my own out there with the others.  What else can I join?

Billiards?

  I’ve played some billiards in my younger years, I can hit a ball with a cue, I’m pretty sure of that… Off I go and sure enough I can hold my own in there with the others.  What else can I join?

Hiking?

I can walk a mile or two or three, I’m pretty sure of that.  It’s the desert, it might be kind of warm out, but we are leaving early.  I’ll wear shorts and bring a couple bottles of water.  I’ll be fine… Off I go…

Me and 12 of my new friends meet at the clubhouse at 8AM.  They look innocent enough, they have white hair, grey hair, dark hair and are a cross section of your typical winter snowbirds.  Tall, short, medium, stout, skinny, wood walking sticks, titanium walking sticks, fanny packs, bright orange hiking shirts, durable footwear, smiles everywhere.  Looks harmless… right?

My assumption is that we are going to all go to the site of our hike and then break into our “easy” and “arduous” hiking groups and all will be good.  One group jumps into a van and off they go.  The rest of us separate in to 3 trucks and away we go.  We drive in the direction of The Wild Burro Trailhead in Marano, Arizona.  When we arrive the 3 trucks park and we disembark.

‘Where are the people in the van?’ I ask..

I am told: “They went on the “easy” hike on Casa Grande Mountain.  But don’t worry you’ll be fine!”

We begin our walk along a flat trail.  It’s beautiful.  My new friends point out different flora, fauna and cute little sing song birds that we can hear and see all around us.  We walk for 15 minutes and stop at the kiosk.  The kiosk is where you sign in to the trail system ( I found out later it’s so they know how many bodies they may need to retrieve if you fail to survive the Wild Burro Trail…).

We casually continue our walk along the wash towards the Tortolita Mountains and pass the lovely Ritz Carlton Hotel and Dove Mountain which you can see up the rise and off to our left after walking about a mile.  I’m having a great time, I’m seeing chain fruit chollas, saguaros, ocotillos, ironwoods, agaves and jojobas.  This is fantastic!

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We have now reached the end of the wash and my new friends have stopped for a break, we drink some water, discuss the hawks, bunnies and birds that we’ve seen so far.  Then our fearless leader points to the purple sign post that says “Wild Burro Trail” and the climb begins..  Are we really going UP THAT MOUNTAIN? … well yes we are.. OMG and before I know it, the 7 brightly colored orange shirts are off and climbing with ease.. It doesn’t take long before me and one other skinny guy wearing jeans are bringing up the rear.  My new friends are being pretty polite, they holler down the trail to ask if I’m ok… I weakly wave and give a thumbs up that yes, I’m OK.. (can’t they hear me and Mr. Jeans gasping for breath from where they are?).. This torture continues for at least an hour as we climb, stop and gather our breath, climb, stop, climb, stop, stop..  We finally arrive at our intended lunch break spot at the basin of the Wild Burro Trail.  We have a beautiful view of Marana and the valley.  There’s an old ranch site, stone walls and round depressions in the rocks called morteros.  They are thousands of years old and it is hard to imagine how many years of grinding it took to wear an 18 inch deep hole in a granite rock.  Were they grinding acorns? nuts? beans? Maybe all of those things?  Archaeologists aren’t really sure.

After catching our breath, battling the little gnats and flies while eating our lunch, we begin our return trip.  I’m relieved when I find out that we are taking an easier route back to the truck.  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you I’m thinking.. then away they go.  We begin to climb a little more (I’m officially horrified to learn that we have to climb around this little mountain before we begin our descent).  The view was incredible, there was a nice cool breeze, and we saw a batch of colorful flowers along the trail.

The name of the return trail is called… wait for it.. The Alamo Loop.. (you know what happened to the guys at the Alamo right?).  But there’s not much I can do now, here we go.. down, down down, switchbacks, rocks, ledges, head down watching every step, don’t trip, don’t fall, don’t grab a cactus for support (Mr. Jeans learned that on the way up when I stopped suddenly and he had no choice but to grasp at the nearest thing to support himself).. poor guy, I felt bad for him.

We safely negotiate our exit, arrive back at the wash and trudge our way back to the safety of our vehicles.  All in all our hike lasted 5 HOURS and our distance travelled was 7 MILES.  I had survivor’s euphoria when it was completed.

 All in all, I enjoyed my hike, it was longer than I thought it was going to be, it was more exercise than I thought it was going to be, but my new friends were very supportive, made sure I had water, didn’t leave me behind and didn’t manage to kill me or Mr. Jeans.  I will definitely join them on another day!

 

Are you a Boondocker or a Resorter?

 Golden Acres K75_4094IN

Before we started RV’ing we travelled a bit to different places.  When in Mexico, Belize or Thailand we chose to stay in places that were a bit more rustic.  Gaps in the walls, holes in the window screens, basic shelters with handmade furniture, a stove, a sink and rusty appliances.  We’ve travelled to cities in the USA, stayed in Paris, London, Barcelona and Lisbon at places that I refer to as “Brass and Glass”.. they have all the fancy staff, stuff, and all the amenities.

How do you travel?

How do you RV?

Are you a Boondocker who choses to stay in places that are out of the way, a bit rustic, are you comfortable without electricity, wifi and tv?

OR

Are you a Resorter who prefers swimming pools, hot tubs, hot showers, laundry, free cable tv and wifi?

Us?

We’ve certainly tried a bit of each on this trip and stayed at Campgrounds and RV Parks that are a bit of both.

  We’ve overnighted at farms that raised alpaca’s, goats, lambs, or chickens.  We’ve visited wineries in Canada and the USA and tasted wine and bought a few to take with us on the road.  We’ve overnighted in a few driveways of people who are kind, inquisitive and generous with their time and made us feel so welcome.

We’ve been in RV parks that have dirt roads, gravel roads, or paved roads, we’ve dealt with roots, ruts and steep sites from back to front, more often than not the sites are level.  We’ve been in public showers and bathrooms that are spotless, with perfect hot water and great water pressure, and some that are none of the above.  Laundry room machines that function and are spotless., and some that aren’t.

Both choices have their charm and place in any road trip.  It all depends on how you like to roll!

Alpaca K75_3854-2IN

Alpaca at Wildwood Alpaca’s in Woodford, Virginia.

Technology & PINK scans

We all agree that technology is awesome when it works like we expect it to.

It’s simple, right?

We have a Xerox photocopier/scanner at work.

Step1: scan an important document.

Step2: Technology kicks in and it sends a PDF file to our desktop computer which I then attach to an email and on its way it goes.  (This is critical)

Step3: take important document and shred it, don’t be needing it anymore.

Step4: forget to email it to the intended recipient.

Step5: remember the following day that it is sitting in the scan file somewhere.

Step6: No problem!  Open the scan file and send it one day late.

Step7:  SHIT – the scan program isn’t communicating with the Scanner and I can’t access my documents.

Step8:  Get the scanner program talking to the Xerox again, which is now talking to my desktop scan file.

Step9: Do a test scan.

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Step10:  Success

Step11:  FIND IMPORTANT DOCUMENT again, email it for sure this time,  now QUIT SCREWING AROUND WITH PINK-POST-IT-NOTES and get back to work.

Flickr and the Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow 1266

My most viewed photo this week.  I like how it looks like it’s poked up thru the cloud and is reaching in to the sky.  I’m hoping the reason that it’s getting so many views is that everyone thinks it’s a cool photo, not because it starts with a “P” if you know what I mean. 🙂

Inside OUT

Me: ‘Would you like your invoice and your receipt stapled together?’

Boater mumbled something like: “*(&)”

Me as I’m stapling their invoice and receipt together: ‘Pardon, did you say you wanted it stapled together?’

Boater: “I’ll take it whatever way you hand it to me, I’m horrible with receipts anyway”

Me watching as boater takes my nice and neat stapled invoice and receipt and folds it INSIDE OUT.  By inside out I mean that all the writing is on the inside and all they can see on the outside is blank paper.

lined paperMe: ‘No no no, you don’t want to fold it like that, if you fold it like that then the next time you are looking for a receipt amongst your millions of folded papers, you have to UNFOLD each of them to see what it is’

Boater: “Well, isn’t that the SMARTEST thing ever, I’ve NEVER thought of doing it that way before!”

Me thinking, Don’t I have the most rewarding job ever?  I wonder if teachers feel this way everyday?

#BsLabels, Boneless Bananas, Popcorn, and Marketing.

banana bonelesswatermelonI was doing some searching about Boneless Bananas and found this article (which I’m sharing) that pretty well covers what I’m thinking about the creative labelling on products.  Click this link to read the article #BsLabels, Boneless Bananas, Popcorn, and Marketing.. I guess this proves that you can always gain an edge with some smart marketing ideas.  This runs on the heals of my post the other day about “ORGANIC WOOD”..  I saw a sign yesterday marketing “Boneless Watermelon”.  I’m not kidding, so keep an eye out and shop smart I suppose.  Don’t want to crack a tooth chomping down on your fruit do you?

Sarcasm doesn’t really hurt my feelings – does it hurt yours?

I found this comment on Facebook this morning… It got me thinking… Sarcasm doesn’t hurt my feelings..

does it hurt yours?

hospital for free

I took a quick look on the internet for mean, sarcastic jokes ABOUT Canadians and other than the predictable newfie jokes I didn’t find much.

And then I got sidetracked and found this:

A truly Canadian Apology to the USA, courtesy of Rick Mercer from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC Television:

Hello. I’m Anthony St. George on location here in Washington.

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I’d like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven’t been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry. I’m sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron, but it wasn’t nice of us to point it out. If it’s any consolation, the fact that he’s a moron shouldn’t reflect poorly on the people of America. After all, it’s not like you actually elected him.

I’m sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you, doesn’t give us the right to sell you lumber that’s cheaper and better than your own. It would be like if, well, say you had ten times the television audeince we did and you flood our market with great shows, cheaper than we could produce. I know you’d never do that.

I’m sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defence I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. As word of apology, please accept all of our NHL teams which, one by one, are going out of business and moving to your fine country.

I’m sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you’re going up against a crazed dictator, you want to have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

I’m sorry we burnt down your White House during the War of 1812. I see you’ve rebuilt it! It’s very nice.

I’m sorry for Alan Thicke, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Loverboy, that song from Seriff that ends with a really high-pitched long note. Your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer, but we feel your pain.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I’m sorry that we’re constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you’re not upset over this. Because we’ve seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

For 22 minutes, I’m Anthony St. George, and I’m sorry.