Monday, February 16, 2009


Whew, we have been rambling outside of the blogosphere for quite some time! Most of which was, admittedly, a welcome change, free from noise, busyness, and "have-tos." Actually, we have been on a techno-free vacation (fun) followed by a few short leaves of absence (not-so-fun). We are considering blogging during our next vacation; wouldn't it be fun IR (in real-time)???
Ricochet ridin' shotgun; tough job
My granddaughters' school has been on a year-round schedule, which has afforded us precious winter "off-track" opportunties to spend time together. Most people seem to choose summer to travel, making winter vacationing very enjoyable! Sadly, the girls will be back on a traditional schedule next year, with regular summer vacation. *boo hoo*

Anyway, we packed up the Equinox, the two smallest ranchdogs, the twin girlies, loosed the bonds of everyday life and headed out for our annual two-week winter road-trip.

Our first stop:
Pam's? YumYum? Donuts: Beaumont, CA: 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤
Right off of the Beaumont exit, just north of the I-10. A MUST stop if you are ever anywhere near that town ... if you like donuts, that is! Hands-down, they had the largest selection of the freshest, most delicious donuts we have ever seen or tasted! The rich chocolate they use is like no "regular" donut shop! Oh-my-goodness!!!!

Next stop:
Chiriaco Summit, CA: 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤
Post Office made out of chollas
We stop here on every road trip, coming and going. A good place to stretch and care for various needs: including kitty-petting, there are always purring cats appreciating attention from travelers. The Chiriaco story is one of fascinating local family history. Click here to read about it. The link on the title has further information as well.

Always welcoming and kid-friendly. There is a comfortable patio area with plants, fountains, shade, a pet walking area, an unusual rural Post Office made out of cholla wood, a sit-down restaurant with good homestyle cookin' and a nice little gift and souvenir shop. The cheesy to the antique, there is something for everyone. Gas and services are conveniently right across the drive.

Right next door:
George S. Patton Memorial Museum: 4-5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤-¤

Photo:Courtesy of motorhome05
A wonderful, bigger-than-life statue of Patton and his dog welcomes you. A little-known, yet hughly important, piece of U.S. history. There is a small fee for the museum, which is full of memorabilia and artifacts found locally. There is a "tank yard" out front which houses a Sherman Tank, a Stuart (both from WWII) and others. Military buffs will LOVE all the militaria! GREAT photo opps! Also sand dunes of fine/soft sand that you can sink your toes into. Definitely an enjoyable and enlightening hands-on world history lesson for kids and adults alike!>
General Patton "actually handpicked this site and was the first commander of the Desert Training Center (DTC) with Camp Young as the headquarters, eventually training over a million men to go into the WWII." He also reportedly imported camels to this location, planning to use them in the war.

Photo: Courtesy of - AWESOME website - recommend visiting!
To see pictures of the inside of the museum: click here!

Also located at the Patton Museum:
West Coast Viet Nam Veterans Wall of Remembrance
Very sobering, touching, and relevant.

Photo: Courtesy of snowbirdchronicles

Continuing east on Highway 10 ... w
we crossed the Colorado River.
Photo:Courtesy bikeacrossamerica

... and voila!
Photo:Courtesy bikeacrossamerica

We see our first saguaros and ...

Our next stop:
Quartzsite, AZ: 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤
Just east of the CA border, on both sides of Highway 10, is an incredible must-be-experienced event held during January of every year. When you come over the hill from CA, it looks like snow down in the valley ahead. But it is soon apparent, that it is actually a bazillion RVs and tents that you saw.

This guy has ALL the skinny on Quartzsite shows

Photo: Courtesy of Hitchitch

There are acres and acres of gems, rocks, minerals, and stones, in every form you can imagine, in their rawest states to finished jewelry. From countries all over the world are vendors selling jewelry, beads, goodies, gadgets and gimmicks.
The customers and sellers are every bit as interesting as the merchandise (none however, that you would want to take home, like the jewelry...hee hee). There are crusty "desert rats" to high-class store owners and celebrities. There are also dogs of every kind (mostly little) in every imaginable kind of wagon, stroller, and homemade pet-"vehicle."

There is mostly dirt and rocks on the ground and you are a little dusty by the end of the day, but all are happy. Everyone there is friendly, welcoming and helpful. A unique and fun experience for adults and children alike. Caution: potentionally "dangerous" if you really like jewelry. You will find gift items from 50 cents to whatever you are willing to spend. Hint: Only take as much money as you are prepared to part with. :)

Bring: comfortable walking shoes, plenty of water, a camera, money, a c-card and a gift list! If bringing children, sunscreen and caps and/or an umbrella for shade would be wise. There is really nowhere to stay overnight, unless you RV or camp, except perhaps in Blythe (or Ehrenberg, if you're really lucky.) Love's has the best prices in town for gas. There is a General Store, a Post Office, several stores and "restaurants" ... and an AWESOME little bakery with genuine homemade goodies, the wildest police car you have ever seen, and a very STRICT 35 mph speed limit! (Don't ask how I know!)
Tyson Wells Sellarama

We, however, did not come for the show, our friends Linda and Art live in town and we stopped to visit them. We visited Linda at their sales booth, explored the "Sellarama" a little, and left with trinkets for the girls' "medicine" pouches and colorful metallic hair extensions.

Our friends were gracious enough to feed us wonderful bbq'd "steak" and cold canned pork and beans ... our favorite! Anyone else out there like them that way??? Oh yeah, YU-UMM! They also put us all up for the night in their oh-so-cozy and beautiful southwest desert hideaway.

Shiloh's Stagecoach at the Ranch in Quartzsite

Linda and I have been blessed to be bffs for 27 years! Their home has been my first layover in AZ since I started coming here! Murphy always remembers their house and is especially excited to see his "buddy," Art! He follows him all over the property, whatever he's doing is good for Murph (must be a "guy thing.") The girls and I wore our "triplet" matching cowboy jammies and got to sleep on Linda and Art's awesome new couch bed!

KJ, CJ, Richochet

Linda was up bright and early, making tea. Art said, "Sue, your sunrise is outside." Waking up to an Arizona sunrise is always SO exhiliarating! The fresh air, the wide open skies ... ahhhhh ... I'm "home!"

CJ, KJ and "Linda's gecko"

All too quickly time passed and we had to hug, kiss and say our goodbyes.*sniff* Our friends took off for their day of work, we took a few more pictures and then
headed out to continue our adventure.

I must, at this point, insert 2 massively, vitally serious exhortations

Love fully every moment! Do not miss even a small opportunity to give a good hug and say "I love you." Do not take for granted that you will see that person again. You just don't know.

See your doctor regularly!
Brave up and take any and all age-appropriate tests (especially heart, blood pressure, cholesterol) and/or medications he or she suggests.

I just thank God that we made this visit when we did! We could not have know, but this would be the last time we would see one of our beloved friends! Less than a month after our visit, Art unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord.
Back to front: Art, Linda, CJ, KJ, Murphy

ART: You are loved and will be missed by every life you have touched! I know that I will see you there my friend! If it is possible, put in a good word for me with Jesus, OK???

LINDA: My forever-friend and sister, we all LOVE you and keep you constantly in our prayers. We are so THANKFUL that you are in our lives! My heart hurts for you. We have been on a few journeys together over these 27 years ... this is the toughest one yet, but a brand new journey has begun for you ...
As we left Quartzsite, we headed east towards Phoenix, then to old Highway 71 North, towards Prescott, one of my favorite roads and a highly recommended adventure! There is an old, comfortable familiarity about this route that used to be the "thoroughfare" for Easterners traveling out "West." Ruins of late 40s motels evidence bygone days of the early driving tourism post-WWI; old cool road signs and all.

There are quaint, interesting little country stores and places to eat, explore, and photograph! Ruins of mines, and remnants of the first wood and wire that fenced off "private" lands. The open landscape is BEAUTIFUL! Saguaros, ocotillos, creosote, cholla, yellow and purple flowers, the beautiful and very special Harcuvar mountain range,

BIG blue skies, peace ... and open highway!

We will explore some Highway 71 treasures on our next "On the Road 2009" edition.

Thanks for joining us! We love sharing the awesome wonders that the Lord in His wisdom has placed in and along our paths.


1 comment:

His Girl said...

what an amazing adventure! I'm so blessed that you guys got to visit A & L when you were there- such an incredible memory :)

thanks, moomis, for providing experiences these girls might never have otherwise, and for certain will never forget!