Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What a difference a week makes...

We were still waiting for the Parks to re-open BUT need to plan ahead for our time in CA, so we headed to Palm Springs on a day trip (2.5 hours from Salome)
Coming down out of Morongo Pass, approaching the valley where Palm Springs lies we were, once again, able to enjoy the "Army" of over 4000 windmills which are spread out across the valley and help supply this well populated area with electricity.
on Tuesday, to see Jan's Ortho guy, knowing we would just have to drive back to Salome that night:-(

I had my check-up with the ortho and he agreed that I need a full knee replacement (go figure) and sends his surgical scheduler in.  Then it goes downhill...(keeping in mind I was at the end of my rope in August when the surgery fell thru in Colorado) the scheduler says..."OK we are booking for just after January 1st".  I looked at her with my mouth open..."what?"... and she repeats herself.  I then explained to her that a delay in the surgical schedule had also occurred in CO in August.  I am now in unbearable pain and we are scheduled to be in Texas on January 1st....she stood her ground..."well, he is our busiest surgeon, and the schedule is full until after the 1st of the year".  Then it happens (with no intent), I started crying.  All of a sudden the scheduler looks at their paperwork and with a bewildered facial expression says "well, I think we had a cancellation for the end of October, let me check and I will get back to you this afternoon".  

We left there and headed over to Yucca Valley (adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park) to have lunch with friends Jerry and Connie,     

Entering Yucca Valley from the west

Residents of Yucca Valley, who are the "Official" and permanent Overseers of the Queen Ranch at Joshua Tree, whom we got to know and love last year when we worked there in the Fall. 

Note the Joshua Tree in the backround

As we approached the park, and Joshua Trees began to appear, here and there, we, once again, began to feel "at home".  

This is a feeling we are experiencing more and more as we travel and become increasingly familiar and at ease, with the many wonderful people we are priviledged to get to know along the way.

Soon after this rewarding visit to Palm Springs and Yucca Valley, I was able to obtain a timely surgical date (October 30, 2013).

Then it was back to Salome, AZ where Thursday was booked solid with dental appointments, RV DISH installation and dinner with 


Judy (and Ray Pierce) and Nancy (and Jerry Simmons), Bill's Phoenix cousins.

The government finally returned to work and we spent our last hours in AZ with plans to head to Joshua Tree on Friday morning.

During our pleasant and productive stay at Dick and Debbie's, where the accomodations were

1st class 
and, the hospitality unsurpassed.  

During the furlough we enjoyed fun times, like flying to Parker, AZ for groceries (note Bill at the helm),
Joel (Dick's next door neighbor) lets Bill take the wheel of his airplane

 How did Dick get this one by me?
me, glad to be on terra firma once again, Debbie and I taking turns making dinner, the boys going to a 
Dick flying his airplane
 fly-in auto show, and Bill and I rediscovering Macayo's of Phoenix....(for Bill, after 60 years). 
Bill found Macayos as good as he remembered
Alas, this fun trip to Salome, AZ and beyond came to an end and we prepared to bid adieaux to our generous hosts. Throughout our 2.5 week stay with Dick and Debbie they held nothing back..... including Dick's ENTIRE machine shop, where he builds custom aircraft for fellow aviators, who are not so gifted.

Heading down the dusty trail on Friday morning the excitement was growing as we made one final stop for lunch before hitting the park.  The Summit Cafe was a tasty and unique little place:

Photos of Chiriaco Summit Cafe, Chiriaco Summit
This photo of Chiriaco Summit Cafe is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We had earlier made the decision to enter the park at the "Cottonwood" gate....BIG MISTAKE....as the main road was washed out and caused us a 2 hour delay of arrival at our campground, and that included our NOT stopping to see our boss at 29 Palms.

Make it we did and were introduced to our

 Campground boss, Cynthia, and our teammate Dwight.  

We have settled in to the "job" and are seriously enjoying this beautiful campground.  This past weekend was a real experience with most of our sites taken, and taken by L.A. college students out to have a good time.  We actualy had to work on Saturday in a vain attempt to keep the noise to a minimum so that our early to bed crowd would be able to catch some shuteye.

The upside of the weekend was meeting Max (and his parents), a very special 6 year old with whom Bill and I were able to share some time and space.  Max was asking about some of the things Mr. Bill has made and I am committed to showing him some of these things:  I hope Max (and Y├íll) enjoy these......

Pine Grosbeak

Octoberfest Sister Bay

Osprey: when I was young

J. A. Weborg at rest

The Joseph Conrad: Mystic Seaport, CN
In Progress currently: 

1st public showing of his art:  the Alpine Chapel Art Show

Mailbox and sign for the Keenans

1st sleigh: for Natalie (now 15 YOA)
There is, of course, alot more...but they will have to wait.

I am now in surgical prep mode getting ready for tommorrow.  I am both excited to get my new knee and nervouse about going thru surgery.  I am not anxious about rehabbing while living in a 5th wheel as I have talked to other full-timers who have had this same surgery and worse and managed at "home" just fine.

Now, I can get this over with and be ready for January 1st at the LBJ Ranch, where I am sure to be doing a great deal of walking as an Interpretive Guide.

Your prayers are most appreciated.  Thanks, Jan

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