A busy start to the new year

Happy belated New Year and New Decade!!

You would think with working just two days a week, we would be living the life of leisure, and having a lot of free time on our hands, but we have just been busy, busy, busy.  This is turning out to a year of change for us, and it has been both exciting and stressful.  So let’s get caught up…

On Christmas Eve, we picked Dan’s parents up at the Mesa Airport, about a three hour drive from Yuma.  Dan’s brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Julia, rented a house in Tempe, Arizona, for the week of Christmas.  Their three daughters were also able to fly in for Christmas.  It was nice to spend the holidays with family!  Thank you Gary and Julia for inviting us over for Christmas, as well as the matching “Minnesota Go Jump in the Lake” t-shirts that we all received!

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On New Year’s Eve, we drove Dan’s parents, Joan and Stu, back with us to Westwind RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, as they were able to rent a park model for the month of January.  We didn’t have to worry too much about them, as they had a busy month of activities, with golf, dances, block parties, and cards.  We enjoyed spending time with them, during their “free” time!

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Fridays and Saturdays have been busy with work, as well as volunteering at the Friday night dances, and attending the Saturday night concerts in the ballroom with Tom, Ellen and Bob.  Dan and I are both involved in several golf leagues on our off days.  I have played more golf in the last three months, then I have in ten years.  We sell tickets for the 50/50 raffle at the dances, to raise money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.  Last year they raised close to $5000 from the raffle, and this year we should exceed $5,000.00.  Here we are with Henry and Terry, the Golf Shop Managers (and former co-workers of ours at Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota).

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We have seen several excellent concerts, including a tribute to John Denver (which my sister LuAnn would have loved)…

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as well as an excellent tribute to Linda Ronstadt.

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We did manage a few trips up to Quartzsite, one for the annual RV show, and another to meet up with friends Wendy and Terry (met them work camping at Luton’s Teton Cabins).  And Wendy and I managed to find another “big chair” to sit in.

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Today we had a ‘Mardi Gras’ parade in the park.  We decorated one golf cart, to represent the golf course.  Since we were in the parade, I only have a few pictures from the staging area of some of the other decorated carts.  In addition to candy, we threw (gently) golf balls to crowd gathered in the park to watch all the decorated golf carts.  Here we are, ready to go!

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Some of the other floats…

CHANGE IS COMING!

As I have previously mentioned, we will not be working this summer (our first time in 6 years). We will spend the entire summer in Alaska traveling with friends Karen and Al, as well as two other couples (one of which we just met this week in Yuma).

We have spent the past month or two seriously looking at various RV’s, as we don’t plan on taking our 5th wheel to Alaska.  We have looked, and talked with dealers in Oregon, Michigan, Las Vegas and several in Arizona, regarding Class A’s, Class C/B’s and truck campers.  Ultimately, we decided to go with our original plan of getting a truck camper. It will make it easier for us to get into many of the smaller campgrounds, allow us to boondock (camping without hookups) more often, and make us much more mobile.

This year, Westwind RV enforced the rule of no truck campers allowed in the park.  So we spoke with management regarding our plans of picking up our camper in March.  They advised that we would not be allowed to stay in the park.  Our friends Dave and Marilyn, who have a house in Yuma with a 30 amp hook-up, were kind enough to allow us to park at their place, for the month of March, and then we would leave.  We told our managers in the golf shop that we would only work through the end of March, and skip the two weekends in April that we were scheduled to work.  We had also advised them that we would not return next year, as we would not be allowed to stay in this park with a truck camper.  And, we did not want to rush to purchase something else after our Alaska trip.  They were fine with all of this.

Well, three days after we got all the details squared away with everyone, the corporate owner of Westwind (he owns several RV and mobile home parks), fired the managers here.  And the next day, among many rule changes, they changed the rule regarding truck campers.  Any type of RV is now welcome at Westwind RV.

So now we can stay at the park and finish out our commitment for this season.  Our last day will be April 11.  We are still leaning towards not coming back next year, as we need to see what happens with all these management and rule changes.

We have been super busy going through our 5th wheel and making piles of “stuff going to Alaska” and “stuff to keep, but not going to Alaska.”  Downsizing from 400 square feet to 80 square feet has been challenging, and a bit overwhelming.  Sometimes I just have to sit down and stare at all of our crap…I mean stuff!  Fortunately, Dave and Marilyn will let us store some stuff at their house.  They are such wonderful friends!  (we promise that someday we will return and pick it up!).  Of course we still have stuff at my sister Margie’s, brother Brian’s, and Dan’s parents to sort through as well…someday!

Here’s a quick peak at what we have put an offer on, and will pick up next month.  A 2008 Host Truck Camper.  Once we pick it up, I will have a blog with more pictures, as well as an update on the downsizing!

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We hope all is well with everyone!  Until next time!

Quote of the Day:  “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

 

 

 

An Electric Parade for Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers!  And safe travels for those who will be traveling during the holiday season.

We really enjoy working two days a week in the golf pro shop here at Westwind Golf and RV Resort.  It’s a very low stress job!  The weather has cooled down (lows in the 40’s, and high’s in the mid 60’s) making it much easier to tell the difference between a Canadian snowbird (still in shorts) and a year-round Yuma resident (pants, gloves, earmuffs, and a winter coat!)

Last Saturday was the Foothills Off-Road Vehicle Club’s annual Electric Light Parade.  Members decorate their jeeps and other off-road vehicles and go from RV park to RV park at night to show off their vehicles, and to collect donations for the Yuma food pantry.  This year there were a few hot rods added to the parade, which were a big hit with the crowd.  Enjoy!

Quote for the day:  “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple:  loving others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” – Bob Hope

Back to work for the Winter

 

Life is pretty good in Yuma, Arizona, the sunniest place in the United States!  The park we are working at, Westwind RV and Golf Resort, is slowly filling up, as the Canadian and American snowbirds make their way south.  We are about half full, and should be close to capacity in January.  It has been a lot of fun catching up with the many friends and co-workers we met last year, that have returned again for another season.  In addition, our friends Tom, Ellen and Bob have joined us this year at Westwind to work.  They all seem to be enjoying their jobs, and the warm, but not humid, weather.

This year, we have new jobs, which we are both enjoying.  Last season I had a paid (minimum wage) job in the office, three days a week, and Dan worked three days on the golf course, which covered our site rent, and all utilities.  This year, we are working in the Golf Pro Shop, two 10-hour days a week.  We really enjoy working just two days, Friday and Saturday.  Here’s a few pictures the inside of the Pro Shop.

 

It’s small, but we have a great view of the first hole out the window that you see above on the right.

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Our view

We have seen many “interesting” shots off the first tee!!  Here are some views of the course, which is a nine-hole Par 3.

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This is the first hole straight ahead, with #3 on the left, and #9 fairway on the right.  One of Dan’s duties is to fish out all the balls in the pond (and there are many!).

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In exchange for our two 10-hour days, we receive our site for free, all utilities, and a $640 voucher each month which can be used at the onsite restaurant, golf shop, and concert tickets.  Our duties are taking tee times, selling merchandise (clothing, hats, gloves, golf balls), and keeping the patio area outside the Pro Shop clean.  It’s as easy as it sounds!  I don’t miss working in the office, but I do miss working with Lori and Roy.  We were able to get together for dinner, and talk about future work camping opportunities and places to explore.  We both have a lot more travel adventures in our future!

Another bonus of coming back to Yuma is getting together with friends Dave and Marilyn, that own a house here.  We have had several get togethers, and met up for the Howling at the Moon on November 12.  It was Tom, Ellen and Bob’s first experience, and they all seemed to enjoy the strange little gathering in the desert.

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Howling at the Moon

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Bob, Jim, Carol, Marilyn (Dave behind in blue shirt)

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Ellen, Tom and Dan as sun was setting behind

The sunsets in Arizona are always full of color

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And then it was time to start “howling!”  If you are ever in the Yuma area, and it’s a full-moon, you need to partake in this free festival!

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We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.  It looks like most of the country is going to be hit with some storms, so stay safe!

Quote for the Day:  “Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.” – Herodotus

On the road again!

Hello everyone, it’s your favorite dog blogger, Makena!

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Keeping my peeps informed!

We are on the road again!!!  While my parents are busy driving from Wyoming to Yuma, Arizona, I’ll get you all caught up.  We have finished up with our fourth and final summer at Luton’s Teton Cabins, just five miles east of Grand Teton National Park.  Once again, we were the last work camper couple to leave.  My dad steam cleans all the carpets, so it takes a while to get thru all 14 cabins and the lodge.  I have enjoyed my time here, because I can run around off-leash on the property.

The one problem, for me, with being the last to leave is the weather.  It always snows before we leave, and it gets cold.  It was 17 degrees when we pulled out this year.  But it sure is pretty!  This was our view from Luton’s on Saturday, October 5, when we left.  It had snowed the day before.

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I think I caught a cold or something, because I’ve gotten sick the last two mornings before we left.  My parents had to wash my favorite blankets two days in a row, and I’ve been sneezing a lot.  But now that we are on the road again, I am doing better.  I spend all day in my crate in the truck, so I have been getting a lot of rest.  It’s my “safe place.”  My parents say I’m an excellent traveler.

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We are going back to Westwind RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, Arizona.  I’m looking forward to the warm weather and sunshine!  My parents told me they will have new jobs this year, and will only be working two days a week.  Yay!  That means more time for me!  They will have an orientation day on October 15th, so I’m sure my mom will get back to blogging and have more information on their new jobs after that time.  And their friends Tom and Ellen will be working at Westwind this year.  They stopped over at our house a month ago, and brought their new puppy, Duffy, with them.  He promptly sniffed my butt and ate all of my food.  I don’t like him….

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Before I go, I’m going to post some more photos of the Tetons that my mom took in May, and September.  The Tetons are a beautiful place, and I hope all of my readers can someday visit the park.  Good-bye Tetons, looking forward to new adventures next summer in Alaska!  Here’s a view from Oxbow Bend at the beginning and end of our season.

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May 2019

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September 2019

 

Jenny Lake is a popular area in the park for hiking.  This is a view from an overlook.  In May, the lake was still frozen.

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May 2019

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September 2019

Quote for the day:  “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin

 

Winding down for the season…not yet!

We have started our last month here at Luton’s Teton Cabins, but instead of winding down, we are full speed ahead.  September is the third busiest month in the park, and we are at full occupancy until the third week of September, and then half full for the remainder of the month.  Many of our guests this month are repeat visitors, and it’s always fun catching up with them.  By the middle of the month, Dan will switch over from housekeeping to steam cleaning the carpets in all the cabins and the lodge.  He enjoys the change of pace.  Karen and I continue to be busy in the office, booking many reservations for next year.

I haven’t been faithfully posting this summer, but with this being our fourth year here, I just haven’t been that motivated.  We are very excited about going to Alaska next summer.  Our friends and co-workers Karen and Al  have done a fabulous job planning out an itinerary and looking into fishing and sightseeing opportunities.  We have already made a few campground reservations, but have a loose enough schedule to make changes, if need be.

Dan and Al have have gone fishing multiple times this summer, including one successful outing on Jackson Lake in the park.  I think it’s the “here fishy, fishy” hat that draws them in!

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All those fish led to a wonderful employee pot-luck for everyone.  Dan and Al grilled the fish.

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This has been a good summer for visitors!  A former co-worker of mine, Laura, came out here with her family, and we were able to spend a little bit of time with them!  Makena especially loved meeting her kids, and suckered them into some belly rubs!  Ironically, it was six years to the day that I left work when Laura and her family came to visit.  We had a great time catching up on the past six years, and I’m so happy she stopped by!

Dan’s brother Gary and his wife Julia also came out to the Teton’s.  Julia’s father John was celebrating his 90th birthday, and their entire family flew out to the Teton’s, and took a bus trip for the next week visiting many national parks and historic sites.  They were only here two days in this location, but we enjoyed our brief visit, and took Gary and Julia out for a hike along String Lake, one of our many favorite places here.

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Jean, Julia, birthday boy John and Gary

We met up with friends Jack and Ruth Ann, and Ruth Ann’s sister Jean.  We first met them working at Amazon in 2013.  Jack and Ruth Ann, as well as our friends Tom and Ellen, took us “under their wings” when we first started.  We all ate lunch together at Amazon, and learned so much from them about RV’ing.  Jack and Ruth Ann have been full-time since 2005.  They have volunteered several times at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, and we talked about doing that in the next year or two with them.

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Jean, Jack, Ruth Ann, Jonell and Dan

And speaking of Tom and Ellen, we did make it up one night to West Yellowstone, Montana, to surprise Tom for his birthday!  We will be seeing them again next week when they stop through for their last visit to the Teton’s.  They will be joining us this winter in Yuma, and next summer they will be working in Skagway, Alaska.

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Happy Birthday Tom!

Friends Dan and Nancy from Wisconsin also stopped in for a visit.  Dan just retired from teaching in June, and they were visiting their son in Idaho, and stopped on the way back.  We had a long discussion on full-time RV’ing, and on their way back home, they stopped in South Dakota and changed their residency.  They will be working on transitioning to this wonderful lifestyle!  We wish them all the best!

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Dan, Nancy, Jonell and Dan

We always enjoy playing ‘tour guide’ and giving out suggestions to our guests on things to see and do in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  We have enjoyed our four summers in this area, but we are also ready to move on to new adventures!

Quote for the day:  “Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.