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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

      We hope that this finds each of you doing well following a wonderful Christmas… excited and enthused about this new year ahead!  We are now in the desert again, near Yuma, AZ… happy pets; happy people!
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      While in Fallbrook, CA we had MANY good visits!
  2013.12.26 Budd, Patty, Dianne, Tom    2013.12.27 004
                   Budd & Patty with us                                                               Steve & Gloria
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            Me and John                                               Us with Sharon and Jerry
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My mom, cousin Christine, Aunt June, me.                                                            Christine & husband, Kevin

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the lovely family breakfast together!

     Tom made progress on our solar project while parked at Sharon and Jerry’s… Sharon and I had coffee and good visits, and the guys did “guy stuff” sharing thoughts and ideas as Tom constructed the brackets and got them attached to the two solar panels.     
Thanks again, Sharon and Jerry, for the rv site and hospitality !!!
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     Today is New Year’s Eve, and we installed the two solar panels on top of our rig!  Now, on to the wiring.   I’m just the helper… grateful for a talented, creative husband and partner who can tackle these projects.  As much as we love boondocking and being off grid in wide-open spaces, this should make quite a difference!!!   Thanks, too, for good advice and suggestions from friends!!!
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So, as we say goodbye to this year and welcome 2014, we send you our best! 

May we each live our life with faith, compassion and tolerance, and celebrate daily all that we have. 

We feel so truly blessed and grateful for our remarkable family and friends… near and far!
Happy New Year!!       Love, Dianne & Tom

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!


     The Winter Solstice has come and gone, and the days begin getting longer!  It’s almost Christmas, and soon a new year begins… where did 2013 go???

     Our time in the Anza-Borrego area of California was wonderful and peaceful.  Made some great new friends, had some terrific visits, enjoyed the open spaces and amazing views.  The first two photos are with my sister, Sherri, and her husband Ed, who drove out from Fallbrook to visit for a day… we were honored!  The fireside gathering was Escapee RVers all parked in the area… way fun to meet up with friends, old and new!

2013.12.17 019 Ed, Sherri, Dianne, Tom  2013.12.17 021 Ed & Sherri 2013.12.18 001 

L-R Standing: Karen, Terry, Edie, Paul, Dianne, Bob, Skip, Jean.       Seated: Harry, Shoko, Tom, Denise… look forward to seeing you all in Q!

     We finally pulled together our plans to add some solar to our rig… a most exciting step, to say the least!  So, with a home on wheels, we changed our plans… yes, the plans that we write in the dust on the dash :) Went to Norco, CA to pick up solar panels, a charge controller and supplies to get started. Then went to Jojoba Hills SKP for a few days to regroup and shop in Temecula… another bonus was time with friends Kathleen and Mike who are residents there (their photo was in our last post).  Thanks for the hospitality, K & M! 

     Saturday evening was a special gathering at my sister’s home… she and Ed are great hosts, and time with their three children, spouses and two little ones were great fun.  Also there, and nice to visit with, were other family members… a very enjoyable evening! Below is a family photo of them from last year and the new one from Saturday evening.

2014.2013 Alfords

L-R Michael, Jaxon, Sierra, Megan, Drew, Asher, Leah, Sherri, Ed

     So, now we are parked at the home of friends in Fallbrook.  Great location for visits!  We are tucked in   a sunny spot behind their shop. Thanks, Sharon and Jerry!  (The two photos below show our current location.)   While here, we look forward to time with family and friends in the area.  Heading to Yuma, AZ on December 29th.

2013.12.23 001 Kayl's - Fallbrook, CA  2013.12.23 002 Kayl's - Fallbrook, CA

     At this time of year, with celebrations and gatherings aplenty, we pause to focus on the meaning of the season, on the joy of family and friends, and the many blessings in our lives.  May this Christmas and the new year ahead be a special blend of reflection and anticipation.  And, may you travel your path in peace!

Fondly, Dianne & Tom

Sunday, December 15, 2013



     Hello again from Borrego Springs, CA.  Oh, how we are enjoying this desert!  Particularly, boondocking in the middle of nowhere!  We so enjoy the peace and quiet, and never tire of the views!  Our pets are happy to be free to roam, though we send Nell out with Maggie to keep her from being coyote bait.  Nell barks like crazy and chases any away that come snooping around, and we are amazed how many coyotes there are here.  But, it is their land and we are visitors… we just don’t want them to eat our cat!

     On December 1st, friend Christie arrived to spend a couple of days with us.  We crammed lots of good conversation into our time together, and took a great hike up the Palm Canyon Trail.

2013.12.03 Dianne, Tom Christie   2013.12.02 016

     Mostly we just hang out, but one day we took a drive to visit friend Lee at Slab City and did a bit of shopping in Brawley.  Kathleen and Mike came from Jojoba Hills SKP near Temecula for a day… good visits with three special people, and we loved every minute!

2013.12.09 Slab City, CA 009 Lee   2013.12.12 006 Mike & Kathleen Cavanaugh 

    We are enjoying amazing sunrises and sunsets, with lighting and colors that never cease to amaze! We have friends parked a short distance away (the tiny dots you see in the distance behind our rig) and have made new friends, many of whom are Canadians!  Tom is gathering info and tips regarding adding a bit of solar to our motorhome as we continue to research ways to be more energy efficient.  Last Friday we made our one overnight for December to a rv park in town with full hookups.  We cooked, baked, cleaned, dumped our tanks and took on fresh water… set to be in the boonies again for another couple of weeks!

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     Well, that’s about it for now… mostly we are just enjoying this time here and counting our blessings! Sending best wishes to all… Dianne & Tom

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Visits

     Greetings!  We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday!  Blessings!
     While in the Phoenix area, we so enjoyed a dinner and visit with Sandi and Jim… friends we first met in Quartzsite last year, and had last seen in Albuquerque in May. 
We chatted and got caught up (and talked about each of you in our Escapees Club!)
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     In Quartzsite, we had a quick visit from Sandy and Paul, longtime friends who stopped over for a night as we were all heading west… great to visit and see their new rig!  More RVing in their future!!!
2013.11.23 005 Sandy & Paul Rueckert  2013.11.24 006 Sandy & Paul
     Thanksgiving week in Borrego Springs, CA was spent with Dianne’s parents, who drove “over the hill” from Fallbrook, CA to visit for four days.  We spent many hours drinking coffee and visiting, went to a great farmers market, did some site-seeing and visited the Anza-Borrego State Park Visitor Center.  We particularly  enjoyed seeing all the metal sculptures in this area commissioned by Dennis Avery and crafted by Ricardo Breceda.  Truly beautiful and inspirational!        Mom and Dad stayed at a nearby motel and visited frequently at the rv park where we stayed… weather cooperated, and we had most meals outside.  For Thanksgiving dinner, they treated us to the holiday     buffet at a nice restaurant. Thank you, Mom and Dad :)
2013.11.27 Dianne, Tom, Bev, Mac - Borrego Springs, CA  2013.11.28 002
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     So now, on this last day of November, we are headed out to a boondocking area about seven miles east of Borrego Springs.  Looking forward to great sunrises and sunsets parked out in the middle of this open area.  Plus, many activities, lectures and hikes to look forward to during December here in the Borrego Springs area.  Not to mention… just relaxing in the desert!
     Best wishes to all as this last month of 2013 begins!Be well, everyone! 
Sending hugs, Dianne & Tom

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mid-November Update


The three-day Moab Folk Festival was a great start to the month of November… any day listening to music is a good day!  And, we discovered a couple of new musicians we like, in addition to seeing three we had enjoyed in the past.  We then said goodbye to the beautiful red rocks of Moab for another year.

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We had heard from friends about Goosenecks State Park, so made it our final Utah stop… breathtaking!

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After a couple of days in Prescott, Arizona, we are now in Cottonwood enjoying some great boondocking on National Forest land not far from town.  Mostly, we have just been hanging out and feeling blessed to have remarkable, warm weather and great views!

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We have explored this area, Jerome and Sedona.  The following are a few photos from Sedona… beautiful red rocks and the gorgeous Chapel of the Holy Cross.

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From here we will travel to the Phoenix area next week. Looking forward to meeting up with friends Sandi & Jim! Then moving on to Quartzsite for a couple of days to have a quick visit with longtime friends Sandy and Paul who will be passing through on their way from Texas to California to spend Thanksgiving with family. This is their first “real trip” with their truck and new 5th-wheel, and we are looking forward to the visit!  From there, we are headed to Borrego Springs, CA where we plan to enjoy the eastern California desert through the end of this year.  We look forward to visits with friends and family in the Southern California area who might venture out to visit us there… you know who you are :) and we’d love to see you!  Just write or call and we’ll make a plan!!!  My parents are coming to join us in Borrego Springs for the Thanksgiving week :)

We want to send out a big THANK YOU to friend Carol who took the new photo that we added to our blog profile. While in Moab, we were so glad to finally meet Carol and Steve after knowing of them through the Escapes forum for the past couple years.  Carol is a professional photographer and asked to make a portrait for us.  After some reluctance (and being a bit embarrassed), we told her to go for it.  We are most pleased to have this new portrait… thank you Carol! 

Well, that about catches you all up on things with us… we are well and happy, and wish the same for each of you.  Please stay in touch, and we look forward to seeing some of you in the desert of California in December, or in Quartzite in January!

Fondly, Dianne & Tom

Monday, October 28, 2013

October in the Utah Desert


     Hello and best wishes to all!  October has been a time of beautiful fall temperatures and sights.   From our spot  parked on a ridge near Goblin State Park, we enjoyed amazing views and hikes through the park, thru slot canyons of Little Wildhorse Canyon, and across the valley to a cave Tom spotted… what a special treat to discover a “window” and many pictographs in the cave! 

     And, we’ve had great fun with friends in Moab!     (group photo… top,Carol and Steve; bottom, Dave & Nancy).  Tom attended a gem & mineral show, and went on a field trip. After a week in Moab, we traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado with Nancy and Dave for a few days of “big city” stuff… service to the vehicles, another gem & mineral show, a movie, and some stocking-up shopping.  We returned to Moab for another eight days of boondocking out in the middle of nowhere on BLM land… oh, so peaceful and beautiful there! Today we moved to Sand Flats Recreation Area, three miles from town to be more convenient for the Moab Folk Festival next weekend. (the last photo is where we were parked on BLM land with Nancy & Dave, 27 miles from Moab, Utah)

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     While parked on BLM land outside Moab, our quiet changed to much activity for a couple of days as we found ourselves in the “vet check” area of the Moab Endurance Ride, a horse event of some 100 riders traveling 25 and 50-miles per day, over three days. A couple of days before, they brought in stock tanks and alfalfa… we found out what was happening and volunteered to help.  We enjoyed seeing the horses and riders, and being part of the activities…I set up coffee each morning for the veterinarians and volunteers, and Nancy, Dave and Tom recorded times as the horses and riders came in. Fun and interesting experience!

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And, now for our news… It’s Official!!!   

     We are most excited to share with you that we have accepted a position for next summer as hosts at a small, remote BLM campground in western Wyoming!  We are taking over from friends who have been the hosts at Warren Bridge Campground for the past three years and, due to family obligations elsewhere, are unable to return next summer.  After submitting our resume, telephone interviews and some finger crossing, the BLM offered us the position and we promptly accepted!  We feel it will be a great fit for us, on the Green River with similar elevation and terrain to our Southern Colorado roots. So, we will continue to happily travel along for now, but stay parked next summer.    Lots of fishing, rockhounding and exploring to do in the area… Tom is grinning ear to ear!

     One more story and photo to share… while in Grand Junction having service on our motorhome, we locked our cat, Maggie, in the bedroom most of the day while parked at the service center.  When we let her out mid-afternoon, she headed to the back of the sofa at the window… stretched long, warming her paws on the window, and soaked up the sun!

And, thanks to friend Don M. for this photo of us in our rig :)

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     Well, that’s about it for now… November will take us to Goosenecks State Park before leaving Utah, and then on to Prescott and Sedona, Arizona for some exploring in that area as we move south and west.     Life is good and we are blessed!  Please stay in touch… we love hearing from each of you! 

Fondly, Dianne & Tom