Friday, December 18, 2009


Last January, we briefly met JC and Bev at a gathering outside Doug and JoAnn’s 5th wheel in the desert around Quartzsite during the Boomer get-together.  Since then, we’ve connected with them in the virtual world from time to time, but it would be a stretch say we knew them.

When JC read that we were headed to Mesa, AZ, he sent an email suggesting we all get together – he and Bev were in Mesa visiting friends.  We all agreed to meet yesterday at 10 am at the Wind Cave trailhead here at Usery Mountain Park. 

Bev, JC, Laurie, Odel, Nancy, Len, ready to conquer the trail. Wind Cave from below, the black smudge at the right end of the rock band.

When JC and Bev showed up, their friends Len and Nancy were with them.  Introductions were made at the trailhead, and we hit the 3.2 miles roundtrip trail up, up, up the mountain to Wind Cave.  (See the little dark shadow to the left of the high peak in the photo?  That’s Wind Cave.)

I expected a lot of huffing and puffing (from me), with frequent rest stops along the way.  Instead, we all marched right up the trail, talking non-stop, buoyed by shared interests, amazing and amusing stories, and similar political viewpoints.  Suddenly – surprise – we were at Wind Cave. 

The Grille Master at work.The trip down wasn’t quite as easy – old knees do better on uphill than downhill – but was just as much fun.  What a congenial group!  At the parking lot, Odel extended a lunch invitation… soon the grille was fired up and burgers were sizzling.

Chalk it up as a fine, fine day.  I hope our paths will cross again soon.

Consequently, I felt less than thrilled when I awoke this morning and contemplated our agenda: make a grocery list, then off to do the errands.  Shopping within a week of Christmas is a bad idea, and I was prepared for the worst – packed parking lots, long lines and Grumpy Laurie.

First stop: CVS Pharmacy for a few medical items.  Parking lot mostly empty.  No waiting at checkout.  Hmmmm….

Next stop: UPS store to ship a package.  Two people in line, 5 minute wait, exceptionally courteous and efficient service.  Wow!

The parking lot at Costco was a different story but, since we don’t mind walking, we parked at the less congested far edge of the parking lot.  Our shopping took about half an hour (sticking to the list) and – get this – Odel was through the checkout lane and ready to head out the door in the time it took me to visit the restroom!  What’s up with that??

Luna the Morsel (thanks to Len and Nancy for the photo)We had a long, long, list for Trader Joe’s, something from every aisle.  Yes, there were bottlenecks all over the store but we were next-in-line at the register.  What a shock! 

The rest of the day consisted of vacuum-sealing foods to go in the freezer, taking a little hike, and escorting Luna on supervised walks. Yes, all you pet-lovers who sent comments and emails about Luna’s safety, rest assured that we are responsible servants.  Before Luna can walk out the door (which she did not demand this morning), Odel does a thorough inspection of the “yard”.  Upon his okay, Luna and I step out.  While she takes her dust bath and checks the perimeter for interesting scents, Odel and I flank her like Secret Service agents, scanning in all directions.  Coyotes, beware!


  1. Can you send some of that beautiful desert weather our way? Wish we could be out there with you!

  2. Hey Laurie & Odel... How nice that you could meet up with new friends and have such a wonderful day... Isn't that the best part of RVin & Bloggin... You meet so many wonderful people. I had to go back and read the previous post about Luna & the coyote... How cool to hear them in the night BUT I can sure see why she was hesitant... Have FUN!!!
    Travel Safe

  3. It sounds like you picked the perfect day for shopping! I love it when I don't have to wait in long lines everywhere.