Our next stop was camping with good friends Kathy Gray & Carol King at Apache Junction KOA outside of Phoenix. We had been trying to catch up with them since we left Charlotte back in August. As a matter of fact, we were supposed to visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina with them but hurricane Florence canceled that trip. We enjoyed hanging out by the campfire at night and met another couple (Freddie and Sally) who Kathy and Carol had convoyed with. Here is a photo of us and our good friends Kathy and Carol. We spent a day together at the Desert Botanical Garden outside of Phoenix. We did a guided tour of the gardens which I highly recommend.
Zoom in on the three pics below. Can you spot the hummingbird? They were flying all over the Desert Botanical Gardens.
Kathy was suffering from a bad upper respiratory infection and Carol had meetings scheduled with another avid photographer so Bonnie and I hiked around nearby Silly Mountain. The trails were well marked but full of loose rocks so we took our time when hiking them. At one point, we had to double back on another trail when we inadvertently turned onto the wrong trail. It was a beautiful, sunny day so we really enjoyed the mountain trails which overlooked the green valley and Superstition Mountain in the pics shown below….
The next day, everyone agreed that we would all do a tour together at Queen Creek Olive Mill. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about educating us on the health benefits of olive oil but we were disappointed because the olive processing plant was closed to public admission on that particular day. I love olives and jumped at the opportunity to bite into an olive pulled fresh off a tree. It tasted bitter and wasn’t anything like I expected. I learned that all olives must be soaked in brine in order to give them the distinct flavor that I love when eating both black and green olives. We ended up buying a jar of blue cheese stuffed olives and a couple of other items from their retail store. Here are a couple of photos from our trip to Queen Creek..
We left our friends at Apache Junction and traveled down to an RV park in Casa Grande which is south of Phoenix. Unfortunately, we could only stay for a night because we had scheduled more warranty repair work at the Airstream dealership in Scottsdale, AZ. This meant that we had to leave our traveling home with them for a couple of days while roof seams were inspected and resealed as needed. We had recently traveled through a tremendous amount of rain and noticed some water seeping through a couple of interior seams. Our trailer comes with a 2 year warranty and Airstream has always ensured that anything in need of repair has been promptly fixed at authorized dealers along the way. After a couple of days, we retrieved our “watertight” trailer from the Airstream dealer and parked it back at the RV park in Casa Grande. The Airstream service department in Scottsdale did a fantastic job fixing all items on our list.
My cousin, Marji Young, and her husband Kwong, invited us to stay with them in Chandler while our trailer was in the shop. Marji’s parents (my Great Aunt Norma & Great Uncle Dan) live the same housing development so that made it very convenient for us to spend time with them over the next two weeks. We cooked lasagna and sausage with savory vegetables for them and enjoyed several nice meals together. Marji had picked at least a dozen grapefruits from an enormous fruit tree in her backyard and asked us to eat as many as we wanted. We had some Hornitos tequila and decided to mix it with juice that was squeezed from the abundant fresh grapefruits. That way everyone was able to benefit from “healthy” margaritas before dinner !!!
Marji and Kwong made us feel very welcome and comfortable while staying at their lovely home in Chandler (thanks again). Kwong cooked up a big pot of oxtail soup that Bonnie and I devoured for lunch while they were both at work. They invited us out for delicious Thai food at an excellent restaurant they had recommended. Here is a photo of my lovely family in Phoenix…
One day, Bonnie and I drove up the Apache Trail highway and enjoyed some stunning views. We ate lunch at Canyon Lake marina and stopped at the Lost Dutchman State Park on our way back from Apache Trail. There was a 2 mile hiking trail right in front of Superstition Mountain so we decided to jump out of our truck and walk it. The view was incredible and the state park was very nice so we decided to book a week long reservation there for a return trip in the late fall. Check out these great pics Bonnie took along Apache Trail and Lost Dutchman State Park…
We met Bonnie’s cousin, Kris, and her husband, Kevin, for an early dinner in downtown Gilbert, AZ and enjoyed fantastic charcuterie boards of meat, cheese, and vegetables together. Later that evening, we hit golf balls at a nearby Top Golf franchise and enjoyed some dessert. It was great to see them again and catch up while whacking golf balls off the tee. Kevin works at a golf course so he led in points most of the way but I tried to give him a little competition. The ladies both struggled to consistently hit some long shots but everyone had a great time !!!
I don’t want to complain about the weather but we had many cold and rainy days while visiting the Phoenix area. As a matter of fact, Arizona was getting record rainfall and the daily temperature was 15-20 degrees below average while we stayed there. My father-in-law (Don Wilder) says we must be towing a big black rain cloud behind our trailer and he just might be right !!! All winter we have been in states that experienced record low temps and rain. California is our next destination as we continue the trip westward.
We made one last stop in AZ at a Harvest Host site in Yuma called “From the Farm”. We spent a peaceful afternoon and evening along side a large cabbage field that was ripe for harvest. Had some yummy tacos, a date shake, and as often happens we met some other Harvest Host members parked near us. We all enjoyed a nice evening playing fetch with their sweet golden retriever and shared some food and beverages.
Just a note to those following our blog. We are often staying a bit off the beaten path and don’t have great internet connection. The blog updates take quite a bit of bandwidth so my posts are often a few weeks behind. We have an Instagram account that Bonnie will post more current snapshots now and then if you would like to also follow us under danbosbigadventure there.