We’re on the road again, saying farewell

To Arizona and Voyager RV Resort. We’ve been here since December 1st of 2022. At first I was befuddled about being anywhere. But as things got better, it became our home away from home. We got involved in some of the 100s of activities they have going on and met incredible people from all over.

Dave is sitting at one of the Villas you can rent, the other pics are of the dog run and dog park.

The park has 16 pickle ball courts, an area for 12 shuffle boards Dave is in one of the 3 pools they have along with 2 hot tubs and a men’s and ladies sauna.

They also have different shops  with different creative things to do like, wood working , quilting, sewing, glass fusion,  ceramics, silversmith, Lapidary and stain glass.

Dave chose this class and he said “NO, NO,NO, I did not take a lap dance class. I took a Lapidary Class. What is that you ask, it is defined as such. Lapidary (from the Latin lapidarius) is the practice of shaping stoneminerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochonsengraved gems (including cameos), and faceted designs. Below are two of his creations.

I made the two stain glass pieces on top.

I took stain glass never realizing how much it involved, especially cutting all the pieces of glass out with a small tool and getting all the pieces to fit back together. One of the talented people here did the one below. Learning all the hard work it entails I really appreciate the art. I plan on doing bigger and better stain glass projects next time we’re here.

Dave’s favorite cactus is called the Ocotilloor/ Flaming sword.  They  can reach heights of up to 20 feet. they appear brownish off season but when Spring comes they turn green and flower.

The Best thing in the park is Fat Willy’s. Dave & I came here often and the food was always good!

But the best time was when my friends got together every Friday night for Ladies happy hour. To my right is Bert, next to her is Saleen and her son Robert who was visiting from Alaska, so we let him join us. Marsha and Sharon and me. Missing from the group is Kathy. We had a lot of fun and I will definitely miss going. Till we meet again ladies. 😊

Voyager has so many different things going on all the time. Between all the sporting activities going on, the clubs, groups, entertainment, etc. you don’t have to be board, only if you want to. If your in the area give it a try.

We are truly going to miss Arizona and the West but we will return. The desert is beautiful with all it’s different flowering cactus and wildflowers.

Of all the paths you follow, be sure a few of them is through the desert.”

Things you might not know about Arizona: The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and the only one located within the United States.

The world’s first McDonald’s drive-thru is located in Sierra Vista, AZ.

Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is the only place on earth where the iconic saguaro cactus grows. Cutting down a saguaro cactus is illegal. If you cut down an endangered cactus, you can face up to 25 years in prison.

Tequila was invented here! It’s made from the Weber blue agave plant, which grows in Arizona & Mexico.

If your driving through Arizona, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and maybe a few other  states, keep a look out for this sign:

I’ve been told that “An open-range state means that cattle are typically free to roam at large” so if you hit a cow it’s your fault and you face a huge fine and sometimes your insurance won’t pay for the damage. So beware if your out here.

In Tucson they have  Sonoran hot dogs that taste really good!  It originated in Mexico and now they are in Tucson and other parts of Southern AZ.  It is a bacon-wrapped hot dog tucked into in a warm bolillo roll, topped with pinto beans, pico de gallo, jalapeños, mustard and mayonnaise.  If your in the area this is a must.

Tucson has break rooms or rage rooms,  a room designed specifically for destruction! It is a safe place where you can gear up and destroy items without any worry about the mess. I hear you can also bring your own stuff to crash. The Breaking Room in Tucson is suppose to be good from what I’ve heard.  I’m sure that they are in other states too, just never heard of one before. I haven’t felt the need to use it, but you  never know.

Our first stop was in Deming, New Mexico at Dream Catcher RV Park.

Is this suppose to be a Dream Catcher?

We’ve been riding on interstate 40 & 44 which runs along side The Historical Route 66.

I’ve never seen the series, we were to young but I found out that It was completed in November 11, 1926,a nd  winds 2,448 miles from Chicago to L.A. Through most of the Western states. It was one of the original highways in the United States Numbered Highway System. With its iconic landmarks, quirky roadside diners, retro neon signs, museums, shops and spectacular scenery. Finding out there is much to do on route 66 we’ll be coming back thru this way to see some of the attractions.

Our 2nd stop we stayed at Edgewood RV Park in New Mexico. Which was right off of Route 66.

It is Tuesday May 23rd, and we stayed two nights in Amarillo Texas right on route 66.

Amarillo is famous for all the Route 66 crazy tourist attractions. We aren’t doing really any sight seeing on our way back but we did have to see Cadillac Ranch since we were right there.

In 1974, local billionaire Stanley Marsh  teamed up with a San Francisco-based art collective named The Ant Farm to create Cadillac Ranch, which has now become one of the most famous roadside attractions in Texas, as well as along Route 66.

The group set about acquiring ten used Cadillacs, ranging in model years from 1948 to 1963. Built along with the tattered remains of historic Route 66, the cars represented the “Golden Age” of American automobiles. Most of the cars were purchased from junkyards and averaged about $200. The cars were then buried nose-down, facing west along the old highway. Those that could run were driven into the half-burial holes; the rest were hoisted in. In 1974 the project was completed, and in no time at all, visitors began to come from all over the world, leaving their mark on the ever-thickening graffiti-covered cars.

Right next to Cadillac Ranch is The 2nd Amendment Cowboy.

the Cowboy has Cadillacs right next to him, but you can’t paint these, darn.

John Wayne was driving this caddy.
Willy Nelson was in this caddy.
Dave remembers his Grandfather driving a caddy just like this
Elvis is driving this one.

Wednesday the 24th we stayed in Oklahoma at the Mustang RV

It was a very nice place and they even had Tornado Shelters just in case.

It’s now Thursday the 25th and we are now in Springfield, MO staying at a KOA.

We are here for two nights and there is a regional car show, I got to take a few pictures before a few of them left for the show.

I gotta say I like the red 1963Valiant the best.

Tomorrow the 27th we’ll be on the road going to Vandalia, Illinois


It has been a while since I have posted, Melissa of late has been doing that ,and a fine job she is doing.

As most everyone knows it was a very trying time here last December and this January, with Melissa being very, very ill. (thank God they have state of the art health care here)It was also a trying time for me. However as of this post she is back to her old self, although on a few extra meds right now, and some extra doctor visits.

With Melissa sick, we had to extend our stay here at Voyager,(in some ways it has been a very good thing)and had to cancel all of our plans of heading up into Utah, and Idaho for the spring and summer. So ,we have been just at Voyager for the last four months. We like it here and will be coming back in the fall.

So , what are our plans, we will be leaving here May 20 th and taking 10 or so days to travel back to our home base in Buffalo, NY. There we will reconnect with friends, and family. We also both have a lot of doctor appointments to catch up on too. We will stay there until about mid September, when we will head back down here to Voyager and stay from Oct 1 to March 31 of 2024, six months. Then hopefully we will take, April, May and part of June 2024 to travel up northeast Arizona, Utah, the western side of Colorado, and back down the east side of Arizona. Then we will decide if we want to go back to home base for that summer, or head back to Voyager. Even if we head to home base we will be back to Voyager for that winter. Then again we will decide if we want to stay long term, (as we do like it hear). So, that is our plan for right now, and We both know full well plans can change.

That’s the update for now.

We visited Picacho Peak State Park 

On Saturday, April 29th with our friends Dawna & Scott.

Visitors traveling along I-10 between Tucson & Casa Grande in southern Arizona can’t miss the prominent 1,500-foot peak of Picacho Peak State Park. The state park has 3,747 acres for hiking, rock climbing, spring wildflowers, and camping. The peaks are visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles. The summit rises to 3,374 feet above sea level.

Once inside the park we saw some Saguaro cactus. I think they are really neat and their flowers are Arizona’s state flower. The Saguaros are only found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert. The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. They are very slow growing, a10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall. Saguaro can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall. When the rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.

Saguaro flowers are usually found near the tops of the stems and arms of the cactus. They will start to bloom May – July.  They are white in color about 3 inches (8cm) in diameter. They emit a strong smell, sort of like melons. During the night the flowers are pollinated by the lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican long-tongued bat. During the daytime the flowers are pollinated by bees and birds such as the white-winged dove.

After the flowers have been pollinated they mature into bright red fruit. When the fruit ripens it split open showing juicy red pulp. Each fruit can contain up to 2000 small black seeds. The fruit is a source of food for many desert animals.

Saguaro flowers bloom for less than 24 hours. They open at night and remain open through the next day. They only have that very short time to attract an animal to be pollinated.

The pole that is used to get the fruit down from the cactus knocking it to the ground.

I would like to try the fruit one of these days cause it has Vitamin C, helps rehydrate the body, Cure Rheumatism and is rich in fiber. You can eat the fresh fruit or turn it into juice, make a reserve, jam or syrup from it, the seeds can be dried and pulverized to use as flour or make porridge, you can also use it to make wine and use the seeds for oil. The saguaro plant can also be used for splints, furniture and fences. I have to apologize for my lengthy description of saguaros but now you know more than you ever wanted to about them. 😊

Visitor Center

We learned that the rocks of Picacho Peak have seen the passing of prehistoric humans, Spanish explorers, gold miners on their way West, Mormon soldiers, and, most notably, Civil War combatants. Once Dave knew that there there was a Civil War battle fought here he was excited to learn about it, and now I’m letting Dave write about it. . .

So, little did I know there was a civil war battle in Arizona, really a small skirmish, that lasted about two hours. Although if you were killed or wounded in this battle, it was the biggest battle of your life.

In Early 1862, confederate Texans crossed into Arizona, and came as far as Tucson, which became sort of a supply area and staging for troops. After the union found out about this they sent U. S. California cavalry troops, east to see what was up. In early April of 1862 the confederate troops had an outpost at Picacho pass set up. Picacho pass was a well known landmark at this time seen from a long way off to guide people in there travels. Union forces approached on April 15 and decided to attack. They split up and one force followed the dirt road, while the other force went around the small mountain range. When the union troopers surprised the confederate troops they were willing to surrender, however, someone, deliberately of by mistake fired a shot, and the skirmish was on. It lasted a few hours, with several killed and a good many wounded on both sides. The union withdrew and left the confederates in charge. However the next day thinking they were going to be attacked by a larger force, the confederates with drew all the way back to Tucson. It was not until six weeks later did the union advance on Tucson, but by that time the confederates had withdrawn back into Texas.

This little battle was the westernmost engagement of the entire civil war. Also after the war a few men from both sides came back to settle in the area, two of them settled about forty miles northwest of Picacho pass, and named there little town Phoenix.

Scott and Dawna were at Picacho Peak before and hiked on some of the trails. Dave & I decided we would come back another time and hike the trails. The park has 5 trails from easy to difficult.

We had lunch with Dawna and Scott at the park and then we headed to their site in Fiesta Grande RV Park Resort.

Later in the day, We had some of Dawna’s delicious chicken paprikash.

We had a good time at Picacho Peak and visiting with our friends.

What to do on a Saturday night in Tucson, go to . . .

We went there with our friends Sharon & Garth.

First we had dinner, which is always good at Little Anthony’s, plus we had entertainment!

We saw Marilyn Monroe and Sandra Dee, Elvis left the building.

There is something cool about old cars. They have a certain charm that modern cars will never be able to duplicate. Including things like nostalgic style and uniqueness among other things.

I know that modern cars designed for safety, fuel efficiency, have less noise, and the smell of a new car is wonderful but the Oldies are Golden.

Who didn’t know someone with a Beetle? My cousin had one with decals all over it like this one.

Gotta Love the old Corvettes.

How about a 1949 Willys-Overland Jeepster, – The First SUV Crossover.

How about a  1963 Volkswagen Classical Bus Double Cab Pickup.

1961 chevy carrier pickup

Cars from the from the late 1960s to the 1970s are what I call boats. They were very long some of them were 20.5 feet long. I don’t know much about them only that they are way cool, I know Dave would know all the cars, but he’s not doing this blog I am.

Check out 1968 Volvo. Dave’s old girl friends father drove one and it brought back a lot of memories when he saw it.

The come as you are cars & trucks. They still have their own appeal.

We both liked this 1962 Healey.

I love the chrome on classic cars. The air plane on top, the globe in the center and the bumpers.

A couple of Model T fords. Sharon posing by the skeleton head.

1930s Coups cars, with great colors and looks.

This nice lady really loved her 64 GTO, she was cleaning the engine and keeping it sparkly clean just before we got there.

Interesting old trucks.

Garth checking out the cars air conditioning, the tube right above the food.

1950 diners.

Another fun time at Little Anthony’s Diner

Voyager RV Resort hosted the Southwest Native American Flute Festival

We didn’t realize that the Native American Flutes, made of wood, are popular here nor did we realize how different they sound from a regular flute. How neat it was to hear them played by these famous internationally acclaimed Native American Flutists.

Jenn Steege does hymns for meditation with her flute.

Handmade & painted

Matthew Machu playing the Didgeridoo a really neat sounding type of flute.

The didgeridoo is played with vibrating lips to produce a continuous drone while using special breathing to produce a continuous tone without interruption, called circular breathing. The didgeridoo was developed in the northern Australia at least 1,000 years ago, and is now in use around the world. .

A didgeridoo is usually a cylinder or cone, and can measure anywhere from 3 to 10ft long. Most are around 4 ft long. Generally, the longer the instrument, the lower its pitch or key. Flared instruments play a higher pitch than unflared instruments of the same length. Anyway it’s a hard instrument to learn and play so we were happy to see Matthew playing this unique instrument. He also makes them.

Sherrie Davis is an Internationally acclaimed, award winning Native American Flute recording artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Rona Yellow Robe first picked up the Native American flute in 2002, and has since used it throughout her life as a musician, teacher and healer.

Bernard Wolfsheart Weilguni is Native American flute player & singer and a three time Native Music Award winner. He played various songs, one was Desperado by the Eagles and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, he used all his flutes in various parts of the song. They both sounded really neat.

We went to see Matthew Machu play the Didgeridoo a bit early so we saw Jenn Steege, followed by Matthew. They were both good so we stayed to see three more. Not knowing much about the Native American wooden flute, we really enjoyed listening to them play.

We went to the

Everyone who went to The Desert Museum told us to go there because it was an awesome place to visit. We went there on Tuesday the 25th of March and like everyone told us the museum was incredible.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a 98-acre zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum, publisher, and art gallery founded in 1952. Located just west of Tucson, Arizona, it features two miles of walking paths traversing 21 acres of desert landscape.

Their mission is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by forwarding love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. Visitors come from all over the world to walk its beautiful desert paths and explore naturally landscaped live animal exhibits.

The tool they use to take the fruit off the top of the Saguaro when it blooms.

The flower on top of the saguaro

The fruit on top of the saguaro

Did you know that they had Parrots in the Desert? This is a The Thick-billed Parrot and it is one of only two parrot species native to the United States. These parrots live in the Sonora Desert. 

We took a tour called the “Discovery Tour.” Our guide pictured above was a very informative guy. He took us to various cactus and plants and told us many things about them. What you could use them for – eating, medicine, tea, healing, and other uses. Like with the prickly pear plant. The (jelly stuff) in the prickly pear pulp lowers levels of “bad” cholesterol while leaving “good” cholesterol levels unchanged. Another study found that the sticky stuff in the fruit may lowers diabetics’ need for insulin. He brought a sample of healing salve from a plant. And told about the mesquite tree that it is extremely effective in controlling blood sugar levels. He also had an oil that came from a plant that was used for lamp oil. The Indians used everything in a plant or cactus they didn’t waste a thing. What I want to know how did they know which plant was poison and how they went about discovering all of this? Trial and error I guess.

There is even Mountain Lions in the desert.

And even prehistoric bones!

One of the reasons we went to the museum was to see the wild flowers and we weren’t disappointed.

The Blue Weber Agave above, is used to make Tequila! What a great agave is that!

A few of the cactus were starting to bloom. It must look incredible when they all are in bloom.

A labyrinth is one line, meaning there is only one path to the center and back out. The path twists and turns back on itself many times before reaching the center. Once at the center, there is only one way back out. There is no set time for how long it takes to walk a labyrinth since each one is unique.

Patterns range from simple to complex, and sizes of labyrinths vary. Walking a labyrinth requires you to merely follow the pattern, with no puzzle to figure out. This lets your mind focus on your meditation or prayer.

The labyrinth symbolizes a journey to a predetermined destination (such as a pilgrimage to a holy site) or the journey through life from birth to spiritual awakening to death. Labyrinths can be made of stone, wood, plants (such as hedges), or other materials. They may even be painted on a floor. When you reach the middle you are to sit and chill, like we did, and then walk out. You can’t step over a line or you will have to start again.

Birds, Butterflies and Bees are in this area

They even have milkweeds in the desert.

The Bird House

We didn’t see any bees, but we could hear them.

We heard a lady who yelled snake, it went right in front of me! Dave was right in front of her and he didn’t see it. we went back to take this picture and there it was a poisonous snake. That’s why they have these signs all over.

Rattlers, their much safer in here.

We never knew all of these plants and creatures were in the desert. It’s amazing, we thought it was just dry and flat with tons of sand.

That ends our day at The Sonora Desert Museum. We’ll have to come back because we didn’t see half or more of it. It’d an awesome museum.

Last week we went to the Ballroom for a bit of Nostalgia

We went to see a show that featured Barbershop Quartets from the area.   And nostalgic it was. My dad was a good singer so he sang a lot of old songs, I’m talkin old songs, from the 1920s to 1950s so my sister Jennifer and I know all the old songs too.  So I wanted to see the show so I could reminisce  and sing along.

This picture was takin on our walk to the ballroom in the RV park.

This chorus called themselves “The Coyote Chorus” The first act.

This quartet was called “A Touch of Grey”

These are “The Desert Transplants”

Here are a few of the songs they sang, I bet you know at least one song? How about “In My Life” By the Beatles?

Barbershop Quartets got started in Barber shops where they all hung out.

Barbershop harmony can trace its beginnings all the way back to the birth of traditional Western music. These chants were originally sung in unison, but over the years they slowly began adding harmony. There was no sheet music at this time, so the singers sung solely based on listening.

During this era, the local barber was more than just a hair dresser. Barber’s also pulled teeth, and performed minor surgeries. Barbershops slowly became a place for the town to gather and play instruments and sing while waiting for their turn.

At the turn of the century, amateur male singers would gather in quartets to perform at parties and picnics. Often time’s barbershop quartets would perform at Minstrel shows as a way to pass time, since no equipment was necessary.

These guys “All in A Chord” sang “Yesterday” by the Beatles, it was really nice to hear the song sung in harmony with no music.

A girl quartet “Havin a Blast”

How about an all girl chorus called “The Silver Tones”

Everyone got together to sing at the end “Let There be Peace on Earth”

I enjoyed the show very much, it put me back in time, like old songs do, a bit teary at times, but a lot of good memories. Sometimes with a song you can remember where you were when you heard it for the first time.

Tuesday April 11th is National Barbershop Quartet day, so maybe if you want, you can look-up Barbershop Quartet songs and listen to music with harmony and no music.

We went to visit the Mission San Xavier del Bac and watch an Indian Pow-Wow on Sunday March 19th.

First I’ll tell you about the Mission San Xavier del Bac.

The Mission San Xavier del Bac is also known as the “The White Dove of the Desert”, the building is a white adobe building that rises from a desert landscape. Considered the finest example of mission architecture in the Southwest, the beautiful church was built between 1783 and 1797, incorporating Spanish, and Mexican Renaissance architectural styles. It’s the oldest European structure in Arizona. The mission was named after Frances Xavier, a pioneering Christian missionary.    

When the mission that is here today, Mission San Xavier del Bac was built the first foundation stone was named after St. Francis Xavier a modern missionary. Kino’s vision was to spread Christianity to the local Tohono Oʼodham people.  Missions were an important part of Spanish colonization efforts. The Spanish sought to convert the Native Americans into a permanent European-style settlement.  The site is a historic Spanish Catholic mission on an Indian Reservation.  Like many times before, what they did was take the Indians land away from them and teach them how to survive their way.

We went there with our friends Scott & Dawna.

The first missionary was built about 2 miles from the present mission, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit missionary of Italian descent, founded the Mission San Xavier del Bac back in 1692.  This original church was attacked by Apaches often and was destroyed in fire about 1770.

Arizona Stamps (Mission San Xavier del Bac)

The church sat for a long while because of differences in the Spanish church. The Franciscans returned in 1913 and the mission later saw extensive restorations that helped restore its historic splendor. Local Indians preserved what they could, and the church was re-opened again and repaired after it became part of the U.S.     

Efforts are now underway to raise funds for a complete restoration for both the church and it’s surrounding buildings and property. The pictures above are just a few of the items that need to be fixed, painted or cleaned.

We went Inside the church but we couldn’t get to the sanctuary, what we did see was beautiful.

The church, however, was never actually completed, when the two bell towers are compared—one is topped with a dome, while the other has none. There are several legends explaining why builders left the church unfinished. One legend says that someone fell off the tower and work was halted. Others say a cyclone blew the dome off, or that it was left unfinished to dodge taxes. Another reason is the builders ran out of money.

The doorway has outsize scrolls, shells, and divided pillars. Parts of include nature, like the pomegranates. There are also scroll shaped forms near the top.

One unique part of the building is the sculpture above the doors which represent a cat threatening a mouse. The exact cat & mouse are on the other side. They see each other from their own sides and a Papago legend holds that the world will end when the cat catches the mouse.  We don’t have to worry right now because they haven’t moved.

There’s another area to see that is right by the mission. We went up a small hill to what is called the Grotto Hill. You can overlook the whole church here. You can also go to the top of the hill where there is a cross and where you can see along way.

The first two pictures are of a small cave on the property that is a shrine which was dedicated in 1900. The mission has courtyards that have cacti and other desert plants, small praying rooms and a gift store. The last two pictures are of the Mortuary chapel on the missions property it’s a small building the size of a storage shed, it contains statues of saints as well as candles used for special prayers.

There is an Indian market with shops and booths offering such handicrafts as fine miniature woven horsehair baskets, dyed horsehair rings, spirit catchers. And the Tohono O’odham have baskets made out of bear grass, yucca and devil’s claw, that they have made forever. The last picture is inside a Herb store they have here, as Dawna said “it was there yoga class because they used all the herbs like sage for medicinal purposes.”

O’odham (called Papago Indians by settlers) Mission San Xavier del Bac was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966

Visitors come to see the decorative and detailed artwork, to learn about the history, and to admire the careful preservation. Dave & I will have to come back to check on it and to climb the hill to the top.

And now to the Pow-Wow

Pow wows are Native American gatherings in which American Indians sing, dance, reconnect with old friends and celebrate their rich ancestral histories. Often accompanied by a conference or meeting. Some believe that the pow wow originated with the War dance Societies of the Ponca and other Southern Plains Tribes.  

The outfits worn by the dancers, like the styles of clothing today, evolve over time. It is not a stagnant culture, but a vibrant and changing way of life.

Dances have always been a very important part of traditional American Indian life. Most dances seen at pow wows today are social dances, which might have had different meanings in earlier days. Although dance styles and content have changed, their meaning and importance have not.

The singers and the drummers were also very important part of the pow-wow. As various Indian tribes gathered together, they would share their songs, often changing the songs so singers of different tribes could join. 

The pow wow begins with the Grand Entry. This is when everybody enters the arena. This originally was a parade through the host pow wow town. During the Grand Entry, everyone stands as the flags are brought into the arena. The flags carried generally include the U.S. Flag, Tribal Flags, the POW Flag, and Eagle Staffs of various tribes present. These are usually carried by veterans. American Indians hold the United States Flag in an honored position despite the horrible treatment received from this country.

The flag has a dual meaning. First, it is a way to remember all of the Native Americans’ ancestors that fought against this country. These flags t is also the symbol of the United States which includes millions of Indians. The flag here also reminds people of those people who have fought for this country.