Wednesday, November 28, 2018



Minutes after posting Tuesday night’s post our Bayfield neighbor Monica texted from Frostproof Florida saying she had found the main ‘clue’ about our 'haven’t left yet’.  Monica wins first prize and a dump truck load of cold Ontario snow is on it’s way to her place and will be delivered right to her front door.  Must say I was a little surprised so many readers caught on so fast.  Good work gang, your on your toes.


Now for a few details………. I had resigned myself to the fact that we would not be returning to our beloved Southwest this winter.  I was having a great deal of difficulty with that reality but there appeared to be no options.  Kelly and I had both agreed to sit out the winter and that was that.  And it was that until last Saturday morning when I heard these words….”I think we have been way over thinking all this and we should just go”. ‘What’????  I wasn’t sure I heard right at first but within a matter of seconds it suddenly became clear to me.  Our RV travels were back on the table again and we were both equally on board with the idea.  Less than an hour later I was outside in the carport pulling all our RV stuff back out of storage.  The task ahead seemed mammoth considering we had taken absolutely every single thing out of the rig several months ago and even put the original furniture back in.  But no matter, my feet were barely touching the ground as I skittered about getting things organized.   With a tentative departure date a month away there was no hurry but I hurried anyway.  I have a habit of doing that when I feel good about something.  What a great feeling it was to have a project underway, something to do, something to look forward to, and somewhere to go again.


I’ve already taken the dining room table and chairs back out of the rig and loaded the basic traveling things into the bins.  New front tires will go on the coach December 6th.   Biggest problem I am having is finding a lot of the stuff we took out of the rig.  This failing memory of mine will not tell me where I put stuff so everything has to be hunted down.  Couldn’t even remember where I had put my 22-10 ton gallon Cowboy hat.  Kelly had to find the Atlas’s and I have a list here as long as my arm of things I took out of the rig and now have no idea where they are despite searching every nook and cranny of our carport, two sheds, and the house.  It’s no wonder I get so upset with myself.


My initial thought was not to mention anything about our last minute travel decision until our first day on the road but being the big Blabberfingers I am I knew it would be impossible for me to stifle my thoughts and sit on my hands.  I did manage to delay my blabber for a few days though.  Come to think of it that short buttoning up of myself was an amazing accomplishment for me.  Three days without a blab….’Wow’.


Had I never seen or been to the great American Southwest during the winter months I would probably be grudgingly stuck with just staying here like I did for over 60 miserable winters before.  I wouldn’t know what I was missing so I wouldn’t miss it.  I first saw mountains in the spring of 1971 traveling through Washington State in the America’s northwest.  It was love at first sight for me and it hasn’t changed one bit.  My first travels in the southwest were in May of 1992 and I knew at that time I had to come back some day.  Had I been born an American I would have chose to live there somewhere in the southwest for sure.  My next mountain sighting was in Las Vegas Nevada when Kelly and I made a quick trip flight there  one time for four days.  Soon as we got off the plane we didn’t even go to our hotel room, we rented a car and drove out into the desert exploring.  It was dark by the time we got back to the big swanky hotel.  (Stardust) Next mountain sighting was a quick trip to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas over the Christmas/New Year holidays in 2004/05.  It was Kelly’s first mountain sighting and she was hooked too.  Then came 2006 when everything changed  for us and we’ve travelled back and forth to the southwest every year since.  It’s funny how a place gets in one’s blood like that.  I have not seen another area in the United States where I have felt more comfortable and as good about being there as I do in the mountains and green deserts of the American Southwest.  It is a land of magic for me and always has been right from when I was a kid riding a stick pony under a big 22-10 ton gallon cowboy hat.  Hopalong Cassidy was my guy.  And a big thank you to Russ Krecklow who on November 4th of 2013 sent me something very special….A Big Surprise In The Mail Today From Oregon:)) 


Not a nice weather morning with strong winds driving the 32F temps even lower.  A combination of snow and drizzle in the air which I like to call ‘snizzle’.  Minor drifting as Pheebs and I headed to Goderich on Porter’s Hill Line and back.  Our usual  Goderich routine took us down around the harbor to have a look at stormy lake waters.  Picked up some bananas and headed home.








Squirrels knocked down one of the suet feeders twice Tuesday and this morning they knocked the Finch feeder to the ground.  Chased Squirrely off the bird station twice this afternoon but the third time Kelly saw him going up the center post and somehow doing a double back flip up onto the feeder platform.  It was then I remembered a piece of stovepipe I had in the shed so I quickly retrieved that and wrapped it around the post.  However there is a vertical gap of maybe 8 inches where the pipe sides don’t meet and I’m sure Squirrely will be smart enough to scurry up the gap.  The hunt is on now for something smooth about four feet long and eight inches wide to cover that wooden gap.  In the meantime the Squirrel gang is keeping as close an eye on me as I am on them!!  The Squirrel score is now all tied up at 6-6.



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An interesting article in Bayfield’s own Bayfield Breeze today showing the last moments of the old steamboat Linda Hindman before it slipped beneath Lake Huron waters November 19th.




Finished another good book regarding a young man’s life on the ground and in the air over Europe during the Second World War.  An Ace of the Eighth: An American Fighter Pilot's Air War in Europe  To me, the stories of these fine young men and their life and times during those years of turmoil and struggle are fascinating.  It is no wonder they are often referred to as the greatest generation.  As I read all these books and absorb all their stories it is easy for me to see the difference in human nature and character from then to now. 

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Last year at this time before heading off to the southwest on December 22nd we were talking about how and what things we could do differently when we got there.  I know I have blogged about this before and it’s on my mind again this year.  Where can we go and what can we do that we haven’t done dozens of times before.  Still want to touch base with some of our old favorite spots but how can we change things up a bit.  These thoughts have been on my mind for the past few days…………….





GROANER’S CORNER:((  An old cowboy sat down at the Starbucks and ordered a cup of coffee. As he sat sipping his coffee, a young woman sat down next to him.She turned to the cowboy and asked, 'Are you a real cowboy?' He replied, 'Well, I've spent my whole life breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling calves, bailing hay, doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors, and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy..'She said, 'I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about naked women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about naked women. When I shower, I think about naked women. When I watch TV, I think about naked women. It seems everything makes me think of naked women.'The two sat sipping in silence.A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy and asked, 'Are you a real cowboy?' He replied, 'I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian.'


Q: Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?  A: Because it " soots " him!

Q. What happened when Guy ate the Christmas decorations?  A. He went down with tinsel-itis.

Q: What do you do if Santa gets stuck in your chimney?   A: Pour Santa flush on him.


One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I'm not going." "Why not?" she asked."I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me, and two, I don't like them." His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church. One, you're 54 years old, and two, you're the pastor!"



  1. Oh wow! So glad that you guys are planning to go south again this winter. Sorry that you had taken everything out on our account. We will be watching your travels closely. Stay well and stay safe.

  2. Well Al there is one wonderful result of you staying into the winter time up there. You have given me some of the most wonderful winter weather photographs I have ever seen to enjoy. Now come on down to the less cold area of our continent to warm the old bones.

  3. What a great Christmas present. Those squirrels and birds are going to miss you.

  4. All it took was a couple of weeks of Ontario winter reality to set in, and you said to yourselves "Holy crap, what are we thinking?"!!

  5. Pheebs is very happy with your new travel plans!πŸ˜€

  6. Happy the Bayfield Bunch will be on the road again. So enjoyed your beautiful photos tonight. Feel like I could just reach out and touch the birds and the squirrels.

  7. Great news! So happy for all three of you!

  8. I think you are aware that we bought a place here in Quartzsite. Partially because you were so gracious in opening YOUR place in Congress to us total strangers, we would like to invite you to stay with us when and if you get into this neck of the woods. We have full hookups. It's an RV oriented property, clean and in a nice neighborhood right in town. Campfires at night, etc. Stay for as short or long as you like. Just let us know.

  9. I’m so glad you and Kelly are heading South again

  10. Glad to hear you're hitting the road again, and even happier that this decision has raised your spirits. Looking forward to hearing of more adventures!

  11. Good for you guys...literally!
    Box Canyon Mark

  12. If you are serious about finding new places to explore, maybe it would work well to fly to Phoenix, rent a van or minivan, throw in a couple plastic boxes and a Coleman stove, and then go out there and feel YOUNG and FREE, with just enough comfort to be reasonable.

  13. So exciting to be getting ready to head out. I have no doubt you will eventually find the things you seek. Before you know it the big wheels will be turning and the temperatures will be on the rise with the ugly white stuff left behind.


  14. WOW I can read the excitement in your writing! Good for you guys. The beauty of this lifestyle having wheels to roll when you feel like it.

  15. So glad you will get to escape for a while, at least! Your writing definitely shows your excitement.

  16. Great to hear Al, we know how much you love the southwest. You, Kelly and Phebes are still young, so come and enjoy. Looking forward to reading about your travels, have safe ones.

  17. Ditto to what Bill says. Congrats on a great decision in our eyes. :)

  18. Happy for you both. One of the best parts of a trip is the planning and preparation stages. Enjoy every moment.

  19. Glad to hear you three are in for another great winter. Yuma hates the cold snow under his feet.

  20. I KNEW that would happen. Al, you are not the guy to sit at home doing nothing than staring at snow and ice. Good for you and Kelly with this change of mind. Happy trails!

  21. Sometimes we forget we can change our minds and feel trapped when we aren't.

    Hoping you avoid some of your travel stress by taking a few multi-night stops along the way. There's so much to see in this beautiful country "down here".

  22. Look forward to more interesting posts from the southwest!

  23. I second what Jodee said, Al. Enjoy the trip and take your time getting there. 😊

  24. Wow! I guess I missed one important post! Good for you guys! Glad to hear you will be on the move again back to the warmth. One question that may have been asked before, doesn't Kelly have U.S. citizenship? Have you thought of just moving down there altogether in the bus and finding a permanent spot in a full time park and be done with the winters and the travel altogether? I see you have a subscriber in Quarzsite who has offered you a spot; when we went there we found it to be extremely cheap to find spots in their RV sites, like under 300 a month. Kids and grandkids can always come and visit. Just a thought....