Way too Long!

Howdy folks. Sorry for such a delay between posts. Kathryn and I have been out gallivanting spending time in Mexico as well I have returned to Canada twice to help run TRP 2 programming. We have really enjoyed our time here in Yuma Arizona this winter. Having escaped what seemed like a terrible winter everywhere in Canada including Victoria, we find our selves ready to depart our new southern home this coming Tuesday and heading back towards the great white northern exposure.

The friends we have made here since Nov 2018 have been great indeed. Soooo many Canadians and several US folks have made our first Snowbird experience just great. We have already booked this same location for next season as well as 6 weeks in Bucerius Mexico next Feb and into March 2020.

Thanks so much to Shari Lukens for watching our pup Nikki while we were in Mexico this winter. That was a huge stress off our plate to have someone we know watching out for dog and trailer. Many thanks.

Working the business from Yuma and in Mexico hasn’t been the trouble we had anticipated. Although using a AZ cell phone to call potential clients I found myself screened almost every-time. Most people reported to me later they thought I was some telemarketer or something. Once we got the internet piece with Verizon Jetpack sorted, we were away to the races. Internet was great in Mexico so no issues there. We are hopeful that once we return to Canada, we will source a solid mobile option for us as we romp around western Canada again this summer. If anyone has suggestions we are all ears!

Kathryn’s wrist has healed well and she is back playing golf and cycling a bit. No pain with golf but she experiences some difficulty with riding still. The forward pressure on the wrists is a bit too much for it so far. We are sourcing some solutions as we will both be riding in the Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride in late May in France. This will be a great trip so hopefully her wrist is better.

I will try and get going again with posts while we are on the move so stay tuned as the Grey Water Tales road show is about to start again! Not sure yet of our routing as we want to go north through Las Vegas, Reno and such but we will eventually have to cross some mountains. From what we’ve seen thus far on highway cameras at the highest elevations we need to cross, there is still bags of snow…. If that persists, we will head over to California and link with I-5 and follow that until we hit Canada. We expect to cross to Vancouver Island from Port Angeles and settle into Weir’s Beach RV on 1 April. Hope to see some of you soon.  C and K

A Little too Long

Howdy folks. Well it’s been a little too long since we updated you on our Yuma excursion… It has been typically nice here with a few coolish days where we really had to wear long pants and maybe a sweater in the evenings 😉 The days remain sunny for the most part though and allowed us to explore the area as much as possible. I took a short trip up to Victoria last week to take part in our recent delivery of TRP 2 at the Prestige Resort in Sooke. Went well and I was able to maximize the trip by visiting with a few folks like Mom and Dad, Tim and Alex, sister Carolyn and husband Rick as well as an old friend from High School (Heather) along with her parents from Lachine PQ (Mister and Mrs Maxwell). Great to see them all again. I was also able to get some Accountant and Banker stuff completed which is hard to do from Yuma. Mom and Dad were well, we enjoyed a couple of evenings together and some good food. Sabhai Thai… mmmmm

In Sooke, I was blessed with working with dear friends and colleagues Megan, Paulo and new therapist Mila. A dynamic trio to be sure! Thanks for your dedicated work you guys.

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Kath has finally made it to a golf course again where she whacked a few out onto the range. It was great to finally see her swinging the clubs again as she’s been off it since July when that “thing” happened that we can’t speak of ever again…. Just in time for our trip to Mexico coming up 1 Feb where we plan to do a bunch more whacking of balls..

This past week we made our way to El Cajon, a suburb of SanDiego. The purpose of our trip was so that I could be in my happy place, the Taylor Guitar Factory and Headquarters…. They put on a tour of their factory where all the magic happens. I was extra impressed by how much they do to plant new trees that more than quadruples what they take from forests as far away as Cameroon. Before we could take the tour we managed a visit to the San Diego Aviation Museum to see some old war birds. Kath was amazed at just how small the pilot area was. Pretty cramped quarters even for a short ass like me!

Later the Taylor guitar tour was packed with at least 50 people, but the view was terrific anyway. Since I own and love my Taylor 414ce, it was extra special to see the entire process from raw lumber to finished and amazing sounding instrument. Before we moved into the fifth wheel, I had reduced my guitar collection from seven down to just my Taylor. This also included the sale of my travel guitar which seemed like a good idea at the time. I have had my eye on the Taylor GS Mini and wouldn’t ya know it, they had one in the show room! I think Kath saw the longing in my eyes and cleared me to “hot” for the deep dive. To make a long story even longer, I picked one up along with a Taylor Sense humidifier sensor for my 414ce. Moving from extreme wet to dry climates wreaks havoc on precious wood in guitars so this is a wise investment me thinks. Had an amazing Pho Vietnamese meal. Likely the best Pho we’ve ever had! But now on to the Guitar porn!

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IMG_0261.jpegMy Taylor 414ce and new GS Mini. Great new travel guitar!

So, we made it back to Yuma last evening after what was a great two days together in San Diego seeing some touristy stuff, eating some great food, and visiting what I consider to be the starting point for one of the best guitars made. It was great to speak to other guitarists there who felt similarly to me and to enjoy each others playing with these great instruments. I feel good and we are doing well.   Talk soon.  C and K

Los Algodones Mexico Time

The weather here in Yuma has been nice this week with a few scattered clouds and a couple of coolish days but overall it’s been terrific. Made it out on the bikes yesterday. The first time for Kath since the day that shall remain “un mentioned” last July when she had some up close and personal time with the pavement resulting in the fracture of her wrist. She ended up doing fine with a bit of wrist swelling and throbbing pain but it settled with some ice and Tylenol. She needs to get it in shape for the BBR19 ride in France this May/June 2019 so starting now makes sense.

 

IMG_0131  Headed down to Los Algodones Mexico today which is just inside the California/Mexico border and only 15 minutes drive from Yuma. Effort free crossing by foot with a great big ass parking area on the US side making the crossing much less work. Lots of typical Mexican shops with most of the same stuff we see each year in Bucereus. Amazing showing of pharmacy, liquor and dental shops there. Apparently it is huge business for that type of tourism so if you need a tooth pulled, orthodontist work or prescription drugs or whatever, you are good to go in Los Algodones. One thing I didn’t expect to see was the shop offering Stem Cell work…. I did not see that coming!

IMG_0134  Met a terrific couple at a local watering hole for a Margarita and chips and salsa. They were from Arizona and seemed intent on buying up all the local art. We got a kick out of her T-shirt that explained that she simply didn’t give a fuck! They said that many US citizens come to Mexico to buy all their needed medications as they are a fraction of the cost when purchased in the US. Sun was nice, and the drinks and people were nicer! Great way to spend the 23rd of Dec we’d say.  Talk soon.  C and K

‘Tis the Season!

Well the Christmas season is here in all its glory… no snow here but we were greeted today with our coolest temps yet… 10 this am but warmed to mid teens later. We received the daily Yuma rag today but this festive flyer caught me eye…

Since we’ve been here, just over two weeks, there have been three reported tragic shootings where two were accidental involving one young child shooting another with an unsecured pistol in the house. The third was a “road rage” event not far from here where one guy shot a man and a woman. Guess they REALLY cut him off! Love the title on the paper of a Christmas Classic Sale…. Just wow!  Stay safe this holiday season everyone.  C and K

Two weeks in

Howdy folks. Kath and I are doing well here in Yuma. Weather has been hovering between 22-27 daily with brilliant sun. So nice to be feeling this summer like weather in Dec! We have met many new friends here. The community is very supportive as both US and Canada Snowbirds are here for the same reasons.

We remain astounded by just how dry it is here. The ground hasn’t seen much moisture since the summer so it is so compacted when it does rain the water doesn’t sink in; just stays on top and evaporates. Have managed to get in a round of golf last week; a few more to go soon.

We have visited old Yuma downtown which was a bit different to what we expected. All very low level buildings without any glass and steel structures. Some very nice restaurants though. We walked on a trail adjacent to the Colorado River which devides Arizona from California. Saw my first ever fake palm tree cell phone tower…. photo to prove it below.  We’ve been enjoying the local “street meat” tacos as well as doing most of our own cooking on the BBQ.

This afternoon we are heading out to explore and take in a “Date Milkshake” recently recommended by some Canadian friends here. Will report on it next post.

For two weeks in, all is good.  C and K

4×4 views to die for, and an amazing dinner.

Howdy folks. It was US Thanksgiving here yesterday and so I was invited by Bob Lukens out to do some 4×4 offload stuff in a CanAm off-road vehicle. There were three vehicles total and we departed Yuma about 9am but before we’d clocked three minutes driving, we were already bouncing through the desert dunes. These vehicles were terrific and can simply go anywhere!

I wasn’t sure where we were headed but I was told to bring plenty to drink and a packed lunch as we were going to visit the “Great Wall of China”…. OK.  We weren’t ten minutes into the ride when one of the vehicles had a flat tire. They had all the equipment to repair that on site so within ten minutes we were once again underway. I was amazed at the scenery being so dry with some kind of vegetation that can endure such harsh environment. We reached the foot of what seemed like a significant mountain and up we went essentially riding the peaks of each level on the way up. A well marked and worn trail led us to a huge Marker/reflector panel at the summit about two hours drive. The origin and purpose of the huge metal panel was the topic of much debate as to what its purpose actually was. Anyway, we could see well into California across the Colorado River and south into Mexico for miles. It was a slightly overcast day and temps at the summit were around 70 degrees. Not a terrible way/place to enjoy my packed lunch. On the way out, the group mentioned we would be visiting “Hitler’s Bridge”…. I said Pardon??? Anyway they wouldn’t explain, they said, “you’ll just have to see it”. We began the trip down the mountain and once on the flats below we came across this bridge… pictured below, and they were right, I wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d seen it. The Swastikas across the side walls of both sides of the bridge were dated  “1907” so well before the Nazis claimed the use of this symbol. Hitler would have been just a young boy when this was built so clearly it was not reflective of the Nazis but I have to admit, the whole site made me a bit uncomfortable. Once at home I googled it and found the following:

“For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance – on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artefacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order.”.. who knew!

Last evening, being the new kids on the block, we were graciously invited to a US Thanksgiving meal two doors down from us. There were about 35 people at this backyard potluck so the food was both plentiful and abundant. We have been made to feel very welcome in this community and we are very grateful for Bob and Doreen Lukens who have graciously connected us here. They have helped guide us to the best places to get us comfortable quickly including cell phones (now working great), internet, and various other shops one should know about while living the Arizona experience. Many thanks to them.

Today we are back at working on TRP and COPE planning well into 2019 now. We are most grateful that our retirement from the military has led us to this place where we can continue to pay forward our own good health and happiness. We are also grateful to those clinicians and support people who continue to deliver the programs to an extremely high standard. Also to Wounded Warriors Canada who have continually provided the funding to allow us to do this work.  It truly does take a community to make all this happen. We are particularly grateful for the fact that we can be in this place and still do all that important work. Have a great day!  C and K

Yuma my Best Friend!

Kath and I made it toYuma a couple of days ago and have spent the time getting things settled like internet and cell phones. One has been successful thus far and one a miserable fail.

As we arrived we met Bob and Doreen Lukens (Shari’s M and D) who graciously helped us secure the spot we have parked our rig for the next 4 months. We are in a regular residential area where they have converted the property into two 50 amp sites for big rigs. This gives us huge property and no RV park rules to comply with. We are on the east end of Yuma looking south into Mexico. Very desert like and the heat has been terrific thus far. Our trailer made the trip rolling well down the highway without any incident at all. Truck performed well but its time to rotate tires and change the fuel filters.

Beam Speed internet is up and helloing me to get this note out to you. Installed yesterday early and in about 30 minutes. Cell phone instigation didn’t go as well yesterday after struggling to get our older iPhone 6s unlooked through Telus and then loaded up with a US SIM card. All seemed to load ok but then it never did give us service through Verizon. I went back to the dealer and they struggled for an hour with Tech Support to no avail. I drove away without a functioning US cell phone and now it is Thanksgiving here so we will have to continue to use our Canadian iPhones this weekend but we are still on our Canadian/US plan so we are good.

I am off this am with Shari’s Dad Bob in his CanAm four wheeler. We are going to some place called “The Great Wall of China”…. that should be interesting to say the least! Anyway they have made us feel very welcome to our new “hood” and we are looking forward to a milder and very different winter this year. I will post photos of the ride this morning later today. We have a date with another neighbour for Thanksgiving Dinner. Apparently about 30-40 people are expected…. Talk soon.

ps. I will forward our new US cell number soon.     C and K