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This is the web site of Steve and Colleen Peachey, a place where we share adventures with our family and friends. This is our 44th anniversary year and we remain full timers in Wally. Be safe and keep love in your heart. Namaste'.
( Travelog) (Vietnam)

[11/10/2017] We have secured the new house and toured to Sunny Tucson for the winter. Before leaving Caldwell Idaho we had several interesting events which include but are not limited to a fun yet somewhat disastrous visit from Cousin Hal and Laura and Larry our WallyPark neighbor. While the cousin was visiting their friends mistakenly elected Kitty to drive at night. Now it is not that Kitty can't see at night, which she can't, it's that Kitty was the sober one...oh me. The car, not Kitty's car needed fuel and they discovered most cars don't run well on diesel, at least not very long. The police were amazing so Hal and I were able to locate the girls and return them home without jail time. A story that will be told many times around the campfire and trust me it would be hard to embellish this one beyond its origins.

Our neighbor Larry arrived in time to help install the garage storage rack, dispose of the remaining extra items from the garage to the auction and finally attend the air show. Among other acts the Canadian Snow Birds put on a wonderful show, which is interesting because we also are known as snow birds....cool 'A'. We visited a winery and the Warhawk museum and the local bird sanctuary, there is much to see.

We stayed for the trick or tr eaters and left early the next day to an Air B&B in North Las Vegas. A long drive, 10-11 hours to find our way into a gated living are overlooking Vegas and Nellis Air Base where among others the B2 airplanes are flown. Our host Rick was wonderful and we spent a nice evening cooking steaks on the grill by the pool. The next day we headed to Douglings for a few days helping Nona invest more of their hard earned retirement dollars into technology. Finally we drove the last few hours to Tucson to meet up with Kitty's brother, sister in law and Kendra where we remain tonight.

Tomorrow is veterans day and many of the locals including yours truly are going to be in the Tucson Veterans Day parade. While our home in Boise has experienced 20 degree nights we enjoy 80 degree sunny days here. We will be moving into WallyPark next week full time next week and taking up may activities as we suffer out the winter.

     

 

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I am currently on an anti GMO (genetically Modified Organism) kick. There are two sides to any story and from Monsanto's perspective they are not poisoning Americans and there is no scientific information that says so (reminds me of the movie "Thank You for Smoking", a must see). There are those that believe the poisoning is in process and are asking (like many European countries) for GMO labeling so the consumer (us) can make an informed decision on what we put into our bodies. The FDA seems to be part of the problem which may in part be due to the fact that Michael Taylor (ex Monsanto executive) is their head. Watch the video and you decide. To date, more than 70 bills have been introduced in over 30 states to require GE labeling or prohibiting genetically engineered foods

Center for food safety

Take Action in Your State
Hover over the map above to explore what is happening in your state!
Clicking on each state will provide you state specific information involving GMO labeling efforts. You will also get information on contacting your local representatives so you can tell them yourself how you feel about GMOs. Please also take a moment to tell your US Senators and Representatives that you want them to support GMO labeling in Washington DC.

States in dark blue are states with active pending legislation..

Help grow the number of Americans who support GMO labeling! 0 to date!

Albuquerque 0716 / Fort Collins 0717 / Spearfish 0718 / Rapid City 0719 / Custer Park 0720 / TRPark 0724 / Ronan 0727 / Bigfork 0801
Wally Travel Schedule
         

[2017/08/26] August was a busy month with Kitty's B-Day with Mama in Bigfork, the total eclipse then off to Tucson September 1 to pick up the new car/truck. We have now returned to Idaho where we are unpacking the additional baggage transported from Tucson. On the way we stopped at Jan and Joe's for sightseeing adventures and the unveiling of the Vietnam bricks Joey bought.

We drove 1 hour north in the dark for the total Eclipse and found a place on the Snake River that was not crowded with a bathroom. It doesn't get much better than that. The bugs came out at daybreak for an hour and I took my first photos using the solar filter as the sun rose in back of the hill in front of us. Several hours later the eclipse began and took over an hour to become full. I had timed photos leading up to totality, then removed the filter and took bracketed timed photos during the totality. I got some fantastic shots and I must admit was very lucky with clear skies and a beautiful setting. Kitty had her bathroom and most everything went without a hitch. As soon as totality passed we packed up as the bugs came out again because they thought it was daybreak...cool. The ride back took an hour longer but we had to return to meet Wally Park friends. We had a nice dinner and took off the next morning for Bigfork.

We have surrendered to the fact that we take two days to drive to Mama's. Upon arrival we visited Allen in the hospital with a new knee and met his wonderful daughter who doted over him the entire time we were there. We had a fine time with Sue Hanson, the Briney's and many of Mamas friends. Mama does not have the time she used to as Allen keeps her attention and her meetings as always seem endless. We spent a wonderful B-day with many Bigfork friends and drove back to Idaho to take a plane to Tucson.

We had a cab pick us up at 5AM for the 30 minute ride to the Boise airport and arrived in Tucson at 9:00 where DeeDee picked us up and drove us to the car dealer to pickup our new auto. We bought the car there because of the trade-in of Kitty's auto winnings and they agreed to deal with us where as the local Idaho folks would not. We spent the better part of a week with DeeDee and Ellis adding parts to the truck and then packing our belongings from Wally and storage. We did not have enough space to pack everything but we plan to return in a month or so for the winter.

Driving to Joe's through the mountains on a beautiful sunny day with clear roads and a comfortable truck was pretty nice and 9 hours later we were in the arms of Joe and Jan. Their beautiful home was perfect as always and we relaxed viewing with wine overlooking the nudist colony below. We enjoyed their hummingbirds, traveled to Silverton and Oury and entered yet another car winning opportunity. Oh goodness, I hope not. The Irish bar included Guinness and a large gathering of music makers and more Guinness. We met and ate with Jean-Pierre at his restaurant listened to a piano concerto by Jean and Henry. Joe had some bricks made for the cemetery wall with our names so we helped Tony from the American Legion to unload the bricks for later installation, a real honor to help .

The journey from Colorado to Idaho took two days passing through Arches National Park on the Way to Orem Utah for the evening. We had a wonderful four weeks and thanks to all the fine folks that made our stays and visits possible. Hopefully all will be quiet for the next few weeks before we return to Tucson for the winter and all the additional baggage can find a home.

 

 

[2017/07/15]July was a month to distribute belongings that there is no longer room for while preparing to the solar eclipse. We've been discovering many small towns in the western Idaho and eastern Oregon while we have been searching for the perfect viewing location for the total eclipse. We have been experiencing significant smoke because of the seasonal wildfires and are keeping our fingers crossed for a clear day on the 21st of August just before noon. We stopped by a road side stand today and picked up some flowers and vegetables, how exciting! As last week we enjoyed several conversations with store owners indicating many hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected on the 21st and to prepare to hunker down in place for the week before and after the event so we will need to shop this week. Kitty has gone to calling the event Y2E in honor of Y2K which was blown all out of proportion and gave the news media lots to talk about. This might even take the pressure off the president for a few days. Kitty put up a humming bird feeder and they are fast and hard to photograph but I am practicing. I did plant squash and it's begining to give fruit, after visiting Mama at the end of the month we should have plenty. We are then planning to fly to Tucson to pick up the car which will make August a very busy month.

 

[2017/05/15] It is now mid May and it's been a busy time at Peachey Casa de Idaho. We shot over to Portland and had a nice visit with Glyndon and Ken, packed up half our storage units and beat the moving truck back to Idaho. The next day after what seemed like thousands of boxes were delivered we drove to Montana where we stayed with sweet Sue Hanson and celebrated Mamas 92 birthday and attended the pie auction. EA and Bek showed up to surprise Mama and stayed with Faith and Lloyd where I took some wonderful photos while they reminded them what it's like to be young, what a wonderful visit. Mama entertained many visitors while all drank copious amounts of wine and all had fun. We took two days to return to Idaho searching for sobriety with a stay in Idaho Falls.

An interesting tidbit is that in 1999 while returning from our RV romp to Mexico with the folks we found ourselves at Craters of the Moon Park in Idaho, about 2 hours outside of Idaho falls. On that occasion we placed our wedding champagne glasses into a lava formation there. Now some 18 years later we are living in Idaho. Some sunny day when next we head to Montana we will visit the park and search for the glasses. What are the odds?

Upon our return to Caldwell Idaho the second moving truck arrived preventing any vehicle access to the three car garage and making moving about in the house near impossible. I now have a lawn mower, my first, a string trimmer and a blower to manicure our small yard. I am repairing the sprinkler system while Kitty prepares the kitchen cupboards to receive more hardware than they can possibly hold. I guess after 44 years of collecting I should expect this although after 4 year in Wally in a minimalist mode this just seems like too much.

In the mean time we have taken possession of the little white car Kitty won in Tucson. This meant resolving the issues of licensing, insuring and powers of attorney. Ellis and DeeDee picked up the car a few days ago and it is now on Craigslist in Tucson to sell. You see there are no bolts on the bumper to secure a snow plow. We are thinking of a truck for the snow plow and to drag the important bits back to Wally for the winter.

Life is good and we have to thank Charlotte, Sue, Faith and Lloyd, EA and Bek for the most amazing birthday ever. For now it's time to unpack and to sell off the things we no longer have room for. Do not come to visit this year unless you are willing to sleep on boxes but next year looks promising.

Love and Light, Steve and Kitty

[2017/04/19]  It is Mid April, we are sitting in Caldwell Idaho on old lawn chairs in an empty house .. hey the heater works. We drove from Tucson one week later than was expected as leaving on time has never been our strong suit plus we were struck with an amazing event. I won't put this all on Kitty because as the end came nearer I got depressed, leaving out friends at WallyPark seriously saddened me. The five months of potlucks and get togethers, lapidary and wood shops had all to quickly come to an end. Our friends were taking off to all points North, East and West and the Park was almost empty as the Tucson warmer weather was gaining ground. After three weeks the Ford transmission had been repaired, brought on by Kitty locating a concrete bit in a parking lot and puncturing the transmission pan then driving it till the oil stopped flowing. Truthfully she did call and say something about smoke billowing from underneath but I misunderstood the severity of the problem an told her just to drive it back.


The joke around the nightly campfire was if we had yet to retrieved the ford. You see we had taken it to a small local Hispanic transmission shop, had no receipt, and were given no expectation of when we would get it back or how much it would cost. We would stop by every few days and each time talk to a person would would look at the Ford sadly and state, “it only goes forward” its status when we brought it in and was the jest at happy hour. Now the good news is we didn't need the Ford as we still had the pickup and at the end of the third week to the day and needing the car to travel from Tucson we received the Ford, all fixed and running perfectly. Kitty and I found that while our car was in the shop the owner had a baby and his house had caught on fire so he had been busy. He charged us a fraction of what people pay for this kind of work so all was right with the world.


One of the things which occurred in the final week was that Kitty won the Tucson Medical Center Lottery, an annual event which funds care for the locals and a pretty big Tucson phenomenon. We were in the final Wally packing phase when Kitty received a phone call from a lady claiming to be a local celebrity breaking the news. Highly animated Kitty called for me to listen to the phone and when I questioned the caller as to her validity she stated, “ don't you recognize my voice,” I did not. Perhaps I should spend more time listening to the radio, or any time really. This would be the beginning of another happy delay from our WallyPark departure.


When the day came that we would see the newly won prize we called on the Kitty's family, local and WallyPark friends to join us where we googled over her prize and had a fine lunch in celebration. Winning a prize is a complicated series of events and three weeks later we are still working out the details but celebrating with our friends is what will be remembered.


Wally looks like a Christmas package and the Tucson family fed and housed us for the last week as many loose ends were resolved. We loaded up the Ford to the brim, left the newly won prize at the dealer while paperwork was completed (it takes weeks) and took off to Caldwell Idaho.


While Kitty was was winning the lottery and we were frantically packing we closed on a home in Caldwell Idaho, just outside Boise. We had only seen pictures with a realtor using her Ipad as a camera to walk us through the property. It took two days of driving with a large bag of clothes secured to the roof of the Ford but the weather was clear and the traffic light. We took off to Phoenix early on a Sunday morning (most of the sinners were still in church) and bypassed Las Vegas using the Lake Mead bypass, Lakeshore Road which works if you have the old person park pass then on to hwy 93 spending the night in Ely. We arrived at our new home around three the next afternoon to find the key hidden under a frog in the front yard and entered our new home which is in reasonably good shape for a seven year old dwelling. After a quick inspection we took off to the local Walmart to acquire food and an amazing air mattress which we are still using a week later.


We have been operating on cardboard boxes plus lawn furniture from the back porch and spending money like it was endless. Buying washer dryer, lawn mower stuff to run wiring in the walls, routers and modems and everyday items which could not be brought from Tucson. I'm afraid that when we finally arrange for the shipping of our Portland storage areas only a fraction will fit and the garage sale we should have had four years ago will begin. This will give us something to do in retirement. It was sad to leave our friends in Tucson but we have paid in advance for our stay in WallyPark and look forward to November.

[20160723] We have been traveling and totally off the grid for the last week as we worked our way through the Custer State Park. When I say off the grid it means no internet, email, Phone, text or any other electronic media. Tonight we are at the northern part of the park, in Spearfish South Dakota and we finally have internet. I have been taking photos and will post a few so you know we are alive and well. Life is good and all is well

[20160619] We have left WallyPark (AKA Rincon West) and parked Wally at brother in-law Franks while we traveled about spending a week in Reno getting tax law training and visiting with Skip and Nikki. Good times had by all and many memories. I did come back with my shirt so all was not lost.

We have, with the help of friend Larry identified a different park location for next season. It is a bit more isolated but with the many friends at the park we will not be alone. Not quite sure when we will return but I suspect it will be late October or early November. Monica is out chasing icebergs and we wish her warmth and fair weather.

The weather has warmed up and we would be gone had it not been for the rebuilding of Kitty. Last of the knee visits are this week and theoretically last of the eye appointments are the first week of July. The good news is that Kitty is walking fine and should have legal driving vision (without glasses) soon. I have not allowed her to drive until both eyes meet the minimum driving requirement which has not made her too happy but she is putting up with me as a chauffeur .

I have been suffering in computer hell this month when my PC failed to connect wirelessly to the Internet. No matter the coaxing with many hours tried I finally rebuilt my disk from the ground up using Windows 7 and installing the 30 or so program I use. The true joy was finding that after installing Windows 7, Microsoft downloads a patch during updating that prevents the computer from working until Windows 10 is installed. For the geeks out there the file id is KB3133977. Eventually I figured this out and disallowed this specific update and we are back on line.  

Mama has gone and returned from Russia so any existing political issues should be resolved with perhaps some new ones started. Dougie has been operated on and is successfully recovering. Not so sure that his over zealous workouts were the cause of his hernia, but I could be wrong.

Hopefully we will be heading North to Mamas the second week of July, then to Rogers and Ambers, to Ninners and Calvin's, to Tom and Sues and perhaps some time in Idaho before returning to Tucson for the winter. After attending the training in Reno and hearing of the nightmare the IRS is in I could not have picked a better time to retire and visit with my family and friends, while I'm young

 

[2016/04/04] Time has gone by all too quickly and our many friends here in Wally Park (Rincon West RV Park) are returning home for the summer.  This also means that Habitat for Humanity has ended for the season (the park group) but not before we had a home dedication for a nice young family. This frees up my Thursdays giving me more time, well for everything.  We had several couples from Oregon visit the air museum that friend Ron and I took on tours.  Speaking of Air Museum, that volunteerism has also finished for the season leaving my Wednesdays free. This year’s project was a WWII light bomber and my contribution, although minor, was to help friend Ron build parts of the engine covers (cowlings). Before we completed the project it was hauled to a new hanger (#5) where others will continue the restoration effort. We are also restoring a PBY sea plane that has been in for paint (white) and that I suspect will be complete before I return next season. The key factor to restoring these vintage aircraft is the fabric covering the control surfaces of the wings and tail.  One of the amazing ladies that makes that happen is Mary-Ellen who also lives here in Wally Park. She is a wonderful seamstress and well known around the world for her covering skills. One day I will have to tell of her exploits on the sea as she spent 12 years on a square rigger bark as a blue water sailor.

Friend Lou is a full time employee and is known by the volunteers at the museum as a curmudgeon, that grumpy old man who works in area 51 where they build planes from scratch.  Friend Ron brought Lou out of his shell this year and we had many wonderful moments as he showed visitors his shop (forbidden to both the public and volunteers alike).  There is a photo of Lou scrounging parts from an old flight trainer.  His wife Judy helps in the Lapidary shop where I spent a good deal of my free time this year. Small world.

We attended the rocket night launch of SARA with many of our E-Street companions.  The Southern Arizona Rocket Association does a night launch once a year far out into the desert and cleared by the Air Force and Tucson International Airport to 8,000 feet. It was a fun photography experience and as I found a good use of my cameras 10 frames per second capability.

Ending the Week we said goodbye to many of our E-Street friends as they are returning home for the summer with a breakfast for 34 at the White Stallion Dude Ranch. We took the tour and gave hugs and parting salutations. It’s sad to think that we’ll be nearly alone shortly but we’re also looking forward to the peace that it brings. Friday mornings I will continue volunteering at the VA until we leave Tucson which may be another three months due to Kitty’s cataract surgeries.  The remainder of our year is not yet planned but we still hope to do the Northwest counter clockwise tour again starting with Bigfork MT.

[2016/01/01]Another exciting year end as Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone. I've had fun in in the shops but now it's time to return to volunteerism at the VA, Air Museum and Habitat. Fun with Joe and Jan as always and with DeeDee, Ellis and Kendra. Kitty is scheduled for a knee replacement at the end of the month and I expect she will be in the hospital for the month of February leaving me free to play in the shops..we will see. Mama on the other hand has attempted an impromptu windows 10 upgrade and is now hard down. This means don't expect a Travelog update any time soon but the good news is she is doing OK. We will remain here in Tucson till April and have no plans for 2016 although after we said that last year we didn't have a free minute the rest of the 2015. We hope everyone is well and you are making the most of the little time we have on this planet.

[2015/10/24] We will have spent two weeks in Boise before heading south. We have looked at many neighborhoods, houses and museums. The weather has cooperated and it seems like clear sailing to Tucson. Many of the homes here have three car garages, which is our preference and some of the older ones (20 years) have RV pads alongside. Both La Conner and Boise seem to be the locations Kitty is settling on and after house shopping for two weeks I am ready to call it complete. Where La Conner has both friends and family, Boise has newer homes, community and significantly less traffic. Our preference are the smaller towns outside of Boise like Emmett, Star or Middleton, still in striking distance but with a small town feel. We figure we will prepare for a decision over the next few months as we organize our lives, finances and domicile ourselves in the state of choice.

[2015-10-13] Well arrgh and shiver me timbers, we made it across the briny deep on the ferry boat with Wally and the truck after leaving our friends in Port Ludlow. The cost of a good time was about 70 bucks which I thought was fair as the alternative was to drive south to Olympia then North through Seattle (OMG) then to La Conner. Avoiding Seattle is a good thing as it has the worst traffic on the planet, well second worst after Honolulu, Kitty corrects me. After the ferry ride we re-connected the truck, filled up with gas and found our way to Rogers. A nice two hour drive.

As always Roger had a place for us to stay and a cold beer waiting. We spent the week crabbing, house hunting and helping with a few odds and ends around the ranch. Dinner with Ilene, Jennifer and Monica was almost a disaster as we came close to running out of real butter for the crab. It’s always a pleasure to catch up after the year that separates out visits and it was a nice and relaxing experience.

We headed to the mountain cabin for a few days where we relaxed and Roger with Kitty spent time painting owls, a Kitty-Colleen and Roger favorite. Roger did a fine job getting Kitty to take out her paints and join-in. The trip to the mountain was not exactly as expected as we stopped so I could get my hair cut. I have been taken by Roger to many events most of which include oom-pah bands and beer but never a barber. It’s not that I didn’t need a haircut as November is when my semi-annual one comes due but no beer was provided!

From the Mountain we drove south a few hours to Rich and Amber where this year at least I parked at the correct house. We had a lovely time dinning with their friends and again eating with Jen and Monica who brought a lovely vegetarian casserole. I was amazed at Ambers cooking skills, she is a true artisan baker, the lemon cake and tomato soup were just perfect. One of our many stops was the Bluewater Distillery where the owner John brews vodka and Gin, welds his own furniture and is welding his own boat. He was fun conversationalist.

At zero-dark thirty on Sunday we headed south and through Seattle, a relatively easy journey to Pendleton Oregon where we stayed at the Indian Casino RV Park. We woke up this AM and were so tired from our week of visiting we decided to stay another day before heading to Boise Idaho. The sunset last night was so amazing I will try to photograph it tonight, it is such a wonderful completion to our fantastic northwest visit, re-joining with our wonderful friends

[2015/09/26] Left Portland yesterday after terrific visits with Glyndon and Ken, Calvin and Rose, Gail and Patrick, Donna and Rich, Chris etc. A joy was had with all these beautiful souls. We were poked and prodded by many doctors and declared PERFECT, well except for Kitty who apparently is in need of a knee replacement so maybe I'm perfect. Calvin who suffers from neck and pack pain crawled under Wally to install a track bar, a device to keep Wally going straight down the road. This made a world of difference driving Wally and the 5 hour jaunt from Wilsonville to Port Ludlow was an easy, tireless breeze. Uh oh, Kitty may want me to spend more time driving, I told her I would only drive two hours a day. My favorite, albeit only sister Glyndon and husband Ken fed and cared for us and kept our spirits high and it is always such a joy to visit and eat. Thanks to everyone in Portland for feeding and caring for our many needs, visiting is such a great delight. After arriving in Port Ludlow we sojourned with Marty and Bob as they fed us and planed or stay here on the Olympic Peninsula, they also helped plan our exit strategy on the Port Townsend Ferry. They are a 7 minute drive from this lush green well-kept RV park which seems like forever compared to the 2 minute drive the other way to Patty and Noland’s new home. It turns out we are at the crossroads of Port Ludlow near the gas station which apparently IS the center of town. Pattie retires from the IRS on Tuesday and has found this place to homestead and it is very pretty. We are off to tour Sequim and the surrounding area with our friends so more about our adventures and trip to La Conner on the ferry later.

[2015/09/14] Nice visit with Tom and Sue in The Dalles, then onto Wilsonville. Today we attendede the funeral of friend James. Saw a bunch of old friends from the service and learned more of the truth about amazing James. We will miss his spirit and will do our best to emulate his energy to help others. We are installing a new toilet in Wally, hopefully this week that will do Happy (Tualatin toilet) proud. We are well and will spend the next few weeks meeting with friends and having our annual doctor visits.

[20150826] Today is our 43rd anniversary and it is an amazing sunny day although still the smoke from the Washington wildfires hangs heavy here in the Bitter Root Valley (Bigfork). Yesterday we finished our Canadian adventure to Banff and Lake Louise and FYI Americans may not be welcomed for a few months but we had fun.  When we began our journey north it snowed in the Canadian Rockies clearing the skies and enhancing our sightseeing adventures, see the beautiful photos. One more year with my sweetest honey bunny is the best thing anyone could hope to experience.

Before we left for Canada, I got word that friend James had passed away and it was only a few weeks before I found out he was sick… sad, indeed… and for those who did not know him, there is no one we know who did more for his country. I met James at the IRS where he was the senior tax-law specialist in the Portland Office.  I took a class taught by James. After I had done badly on a test, he pulled me aside, and that was the first time we really talked. He said that, whatever my scores, I would still have to go to work when the classes were done, and to just do my best. I was relieved because I no longer felt my job was in jeopardy, and that is where our friendship began.  He became a critical member of my team, known as a lead, and remained so until my retirement a few years ago. His way of teaching was to ask another question such as – “James, I have this caller” …then I would take the next four minutes trying to describe the situation, and he might respond with, “Do you really think this is about?? Have you thought about ……?”  We worked together to identify the Vets in the Portland office and to recognize them throughout our organization. He was a great teacher and good friend.

James came to Viet Nam the year after me as an Army helicopter pilot (where the average life expectancy of helicopter pilots was two weeks). He had great stories but never bragged about his participation in them. He became a Ranger and and after his enlistment remained in the Army Guard the rest of his life… he was one of the most senior members there, as well. James would annually go to helicopter re-certifications and make inspection tours into the war zones for his teams. He often participated in humanitarian aid trips on which they would send him all over the world (while working for the IRS and other jobs not yet mentioned). He flew aid to Thailand during the tsunamis and aid to Tibet and countless other areas with his team… he was flying every month. It would be worth noting that he slept very little, perhaps two hours per day, which allowed him time for all the other jobs he took on (i.e., the Oregon State Troopers).  After returning from his Army Enlistment, he went to work for the State in law enforcement, another job he did until his death. He worked weekends and evenings securing our highways and managing events around the state. He was a farmer and would tell stories of barn painting and harvesting the hay to keep his animals fed. He volunteered each month to provide security for the local homeless shelter, participated in marathon runs and hiding eggs for Easter egg hunts. He had a beautiful family which he loved to brag on and countless dogs and perhaps a few cats.  His wife is a nurse and gave her services to various disaster areas around the world, also taking care of others.  His only complaint was the color of the car his wife chose, although I’m sure it was in jest as he loved her very much. James was constantly recovering from injuries acquired from his jobs, like cracked ribs from an IED blast or being stabbed by the hook of a one-handed man.  The stories were few and exciting and never about his heroics.  He was a wonderful role model…my wife and I called him Amazing James. 

His life was finally terminated by the cancer he had fought for the last four years. James would tell war stories of how he got sick that would make any sailor proud, all the while being upbeat and positive.  It was not even clear to me that he was ill although, at our meeting last year he seemed gaunt and thin…he lightly explained it away, of course, because he never wanted pity or sympathy from anyone.

In a few weeks, James will be buried in a military cemetery in Portland and I will be there. He did more for the people of this world than any of us will ever realize and any of us could ever do.

 

 

[08/15/2015] Busy week driving up from Colorado to Bigfork and parking at sweet Sues (see first photo).  The dinosaurs at the Bozeman Museum were very dangerous but we survived, they may be afraid of rain. We did the concert with Mama last Sunday and tonight is Kim and Ken, we’re looking forward to it. We rearranged our schedule and are off to Canada the end of this week by rental car and have found places to stay along the route to Lake Louise. Many dinners with Mama who is walking much better and for sobriety’s sake has switch from wine to Champaign.. go figure. All is well and looking for another exciting week.

[2015-07-26] After seeing every museum known to man in Colorado Springs we traversed Monarch Pass to celebrate Dougies birthday in Gunnison. Nona put on a rousing affair that included 22 of the family acknowledging Doug entering into Medicare; very exciting. The term herding cats is what the three day affair was all about and getting everyone to hold still at once for a picture was out of the question. There seems to be a trend in some families to make faces for group photographs which I find morally objectionable, but then again I am the one attempting to capture my memory. It was a true delight visiting with the family which included brother and sister, cousins, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Not sure of the nomenclature but many were there including Nona’s mom and dad, sister and aunts, pretty cool. Tomorrow we head north to Fort Collins for several days to recover from this non-stop party. (see the photos/2015 for more pictures)

[2015-08-04] We have now left Colorado and I must say of all the states it is our favorite.  With many good friends, beautiful vistas and more museums than you could ever visit. We came to Colorado Springs after visiting Mesa Verde and Joey & Jan then traversing Wolf Creek Pass with Wally (Hell Hill). From La Veta we called for a campsite and were assured of a place to stay for the next night but upon our arrival they had no record of us.  Worse, there were no other places to stay!  Thelma, the manager said we called the right park, the correct phone number but there were no such person that we talked to at her park.  She then spent the next hour calling every park in the Springs to find us homes (three) for the next few weeks as apparently summer is a very busy time for RVs.

Our motorhome friends showed us an excellent time, sharing their families and acting as Colorado ambassadors.  The picture of the salmon cooking did not come out but the lesson was not lost and the meal was delicious. Ron and Yvonne toured us about Colorado Springs visiting the wild cat sanctuary before providing the most delicious dinner ever.  Karen and Chuck drove us to Rocky Mountain Park, which takes an entire day to see the beauty of the mountains and the wild life. As we passed some bull elk Kitty grabbed my camera from my hands and captured some of the best pictures of the tour.  That’s just not fair. Had it not been for these fine RV people our Colorado experience would have been much less memorable.  I will make them cinnamon rolls when we return to Tucson for the winter.

We are planning to be in Sherman tonight and Bozeman the next while heading to Bigfork and Mama.  Rather than taking the 15 into Canada we decided to first see Mama first and drop off what seems to be significant amounts of Canadian contraband with her (our) friend Sue Hanson. Then we will take the 93 slowly to Banff and Lake Louise. Regardless we will be back in Bigfork to celebrate Kitty’s B-day, 39 comes to mind. We are extremely flexible and don’t have a firm schedule.

Kitty volunteered to do another brochure for the California tax group which was sent off yesterday so we are back on the road.  This diversion keeps her creative mind working which makes her happy which of course allows me to be happy. Thanks to everyone that made our Colorado trip so memorable we had a fantastic time and already look forward to visiting Grand Junction next year.

 

[2015-07-11] Our plans seem very dynamic and due to issues beyond our control we choose to be flexible.  After our bus tour of Mesa Verde we traveled to Joe and Jans and had such a wonderful time we extended our stay. This meant we did not return to Mesa Verde for the photo tour. Perhaps we can make time next year. This year Joe is hosting a hamburger cook-off with his visiting guest so of course we participated. The burger included chuck and hanger steak plus rib meat all ground together. Now no burger would be complete without the perfect bun, so I made some wonderfully light French rolls.  This leaves the next contestant something to shoot for. 

No cook-off is complete without a blessing from the gods and Joe is nothing but creative. The Delphi of Tao brought all the forces of the gods to bear and miraculously produced beers. Being kind to the gods would be the preferred approach but after making fun, the two beers that came from the sky injured my hand in opening, thus the bandages.

Kitty found a Bird House in our tour to Albuquerque a few months ago and painted it for Joe and Jan's Colorado home. Kitty is very proud of her efforts and rightfully so.

We ended our visit to Durango with a non-sobering visit to the Fox Fire Winery visiting with Rich and Linda.  They named the winery after the fox fire books which Mama referenced a time or two.

We spent last evening in La Vete where Kim and Ken hang out in the summer but we missed them. Oh well, next year.

Today we are in Colorado Springs and things are so busy we are staying in four locations over the next few weeks.  We have never been pushed about like this but we are flexible. We plan is to see the sites and visit Doug and Nona at the end of the month for a birthday celebration before heading north.

[06/30/2015] For most of June we have been holed-up in Wally Park getting all the bits put together to get back on the road. Each time we expect to be gone from the toasty Tucson Summer we're wrong.  The current delay is the appointment on the first of July to see a lawyer in an attempt to keep Kitty out of jail and then we hope to be off to the North and cooler places. Kitty has been designated by the courts as “The garnishee” due to complications of a purchase made in 1982 and the evil son of the seller. As most know, Kitty is not a cheap date but hopefully this will all be behind us soon. The monsoon season is upon us and it rains most every day for a few minutes and the humidity is high. Our next stop is either Farmington New Mexico or Mesa Verde Colorado or right here in Tucson depending on how things go with Kitty.

The Crown Victoria Story:
I had to write about my flat tire because it is perfect.  

Before we started our Texas trip last month we put new tires and shocks on the Ford to smooth the ride for my sweetest honey bunny.  The trip went without a hitch as we covered 3500 miles returning home last Sunday. Monday when Kitty was returning from the store and just entering WallyPark (where we stay in our RV for the winter) she encountered a sharp metal object which immediately flattened the right rear tire. Since she was just a 100 yards away I had her drive to Wally (our RV) where I attempted to resuscitate the tire without success. We called AAA and young man came to our rescue jacking up the car and replacing the bad tire with our spare.  

After he removed the jack I noticed the car seemed elevated but I supposed it would level out upon being driven.  It did not and the ride was dreadfully hard like I had no shock at all. I stated to the AAA person that I would drive it to a local shop and have it checked out and he stated he could not allow it because he did not deem it safe and called a tow truck. Within the hour another nice young AAA person showed up with a truck and carted the Ford and me to the shop that put the shocks on previously. 

Apparently some cars have jack points on the axel and if not used, especially with the bouncing of a hand jack rips the piston right out of the shock. The young lad had jacked up the Ford on the frame which caused the permanent failure to the shock. The following day and $300.00 later I have new rear shocks, you can't replace just one and a flat tire in the trunk. The tire store did not hesitate to replace the failed tire and I am on my way without a bill.  Perfect! 

The next day I open the trunk to find the hardware which mounts to the tire and holds the hub cap so I return to the tire shop to have it installed. The manager detects the problem immediately and pulls over a hand jack to slide under the frame in the SAME location the AAA person had used just two days before.

The manager seemed offended as I exclaimed "NO" in a somewhat elevated and firm voice.  Understand that one, I did not need another trip to the shock garage and two, only three nuts are needed to be removed to install the bracket and jacking up the car was not required. He caught on quickly and I told the shock story as he installed the bracket. 

As any good tire person would do, after using the air wrench to re-install the three lug nuts for the bracket he acquired a torque wrench to ensure all the nuts were properly tightened.  It did not bother me that the three lug nuts he removed took a few turns to properly set but all the lug nuts required several turns.  This means I had been driving a day on a wheel that was essentially loose (in the purest sense).

Today I have taken my tools out of storage to pack for the RV tour we begin at the end of this month. When I come across my torque wrench I will check all the lug nuts. Did I mention that yesterday the same shop replaced the front tires on our RV!

I began this story stating this was perfect which may seem odd.  Our recent trip took us thousands of miles and to places that were so desolate that if this problem had occurred then, let say Canyon De Chelly, we would still be there.  We are blessed

 

[06/30/2015] For most of June we have been holed-up in Wally Park getting all the bits put together to get back on the road. Each time we expect to be gone from the toasty Tucson Summer we're wrong. The current delay is the appointment on the first of July to see a lawyer in an attempt to keep Kitty out of jail and then we hope to be off to the North and cooler places. Kitty has been designated by the courts as “The garnishee” due to complications of a purchase made in 1982 and the evil son of the seller. As most know, Kitty is not a cheap date but hopefully this will all be behind us soon. The monsoon season is upon us and it rains most every day for a few minutes and the humidity is high. Our next stop is either Farmington New Mexico or Mesa Verde Colorado or right here in Tucson depending on how things go with Kitty.

r e t i r e AT W a l l y p e a c h 2.c o m

 

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