Monday, January 30, 2012

On the Road Again

We dawdled in Glendale this morning, had an early lunch, and pulled out about noon.  Uncle Phil, Elsie, and Paula said their goodbyes to us.  We'll miss them!  We headed north on US 60 and US 93 to Kingman AZ.  Here is a view along the way:
This route is called the "Joshua Tree Parkway of Arizona Scenic Drive" and it was quite pleasant leaving the flatlands of the valley and climbing through gentle grades.  The steepest grades were about 6%.  We stopped along I-40 just outside of Kingman at a campground to get some "Kicks on Route 66" tomorrow.  Here is our campsite:
We are also at a higher elevation (>4200 ft) so we can expect a little cooler nightime temps until we head south once again later this week.  We got spoiled by the upper 70 temps in Phoenix.  We'll be back to the warmer temps later this week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Work Here is Done

Today, Friday, we are packing and loading to hit the road again.  Not too far this time, just back to Paula and Tom’s place to do our laundry, some shopping, and to address a plumbing issue.  Once these are done we will become tourists for awhile, until our next project begins in 3 weeks.  We have a few places to go and things to see, but no schedule as to when we get to them. 

Yesterday was a day off for us as we finished all the project work earlier than expected – a very efficient and energetic group!  We spent time in the afternoon sitting outside enjoying the great weather and the company of our fellow project workers. 

The guys were shelling pecans that were picked at a church member’s ranch.  Note that Bob is staying away from this process as he’s very allergic to these nuts! 

The women were knitting and visiting.  We all had a great interest in knitting and shared many patterns, ideas, and books. 

It was a great, productive project and now we’re looking forward to spending a bit of time with Paula, Tom, Phil, and Elsie to say our goodbyes in a few days and then hit the road to see a bit more of the country. 

By the way, Paige’s Mom had her hip replacement surgery about 10 days ago and is recovering nicely now in a rehabilitation facility in Duluth.  Paula will be taking some time out of her busy schedule to be with her when Mom returns home in another week or so.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Project is going well

We are now over halfway through our 3-week project here in Buckeye, and things are going well.  For a relatively small number of workers, we have completed all of our work on the church in Buckeye and most of our original work at the church in Liberty, so the painting has expanded to include a nearby classroom building in Liberty.  These are both older churches.  Here are some of us hard at work:

Last weekend we took a “field trip” with Paula and Tom to their weekend place at Rocky Point, Mexico.  Paula gave us a tour of the city, the new hotels, and the shops.  We went out for dinner and saw the shrimp boats coming and going.  Here are some pictures:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back to Work

Last weekend we moved about 40 miles, from Paige’s sister’s place in Glendale, AZ to Buckeye, AZ, a farming community west of Phoenix.  We are working with 5 other people on a project for NOMADS (see ).  This specific project involves doing work at two different churches: the Community Church, here in Buckeye, and the Liberty Church, about 4 miles east of here.
Monday and Tuesday Bob and a fellow Nomad removed a plain wooden cross from the church’s south wall and added backlighting to it.   Here is the finished look:

 And, a closer view:

Meanwhile Paige had a chance to learn how to use a pressure washer to clean the office’s exterior as well as hone her carpet shampooing skills.  

Wednesday the whole crew went to Liberty, pressure washing the church’s exterior early in the morning, and painting nearly half of the building during the rest of the day.

This weekend we’re going to Rocky Point, Mexico with Tom and Paula.  They have a home near the ocean that we’ve never seen before.  We’ll do some relaxing, shopping, and eating!  

Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Road for a Year

On this date last year, we awoke to zero degrees in Minnesota, and finished packing up our stuff from the house.  When we left town (a little later than planned) the temperature had gone up to 9 degrees.  It peaked with a high of 32 later in the afternoon in Iowa.  As I write this, the sun is just now coming up in the Phoenix area and the temperature is 48 outside, on its way to 80 as predicted for later.

It has been a great year on the road. 
     It took us 3 days to get to “shirt-sleeve” weather.
     We got into Louisiana before an ice storm came behind us.
     We volunteered for 8 weeks at 3 locations.
     We made lots of new friends from around the country.
     We caught up with scattered family in TN, AK, and MN.
     We felt our first earthquake in Kansas.
     We avoided all major rain storms and tornados.
     High winds caused us to park an extra day, twice.

Last Friday we took a road trip with Phil, Elsie, and Paige’s Mom, Joyce.  We went to Fountain City, Payson, and Camp Verde before returning to Glendale.  Lunch was at a nice Mexican restaurant in Payson.

We saw snow in the higher elevations from 5,000 to 7,000 ft but then returned to the mid 70 temperature in the valley.  A nice diversion!

Our New Years Eve was quiet and enjoyable: we watched the crystal ball come down in Times Square (Eastern Time), watched the local news, and called it a day by 10:30 Mountain Time; no traffic issues, no late partying, followed by a pleasant morning. 

For the coming year, we expect to work at more projects, travel fewer miles, get into different states, and keep on enjoying a variety of activities.

We hope all our family and friends have a great 2012.