Saturday, 5 December 2015

Wrapping up 2015

Watson Lake AZ

After the dentist in Yuma we went north to Cave Creek in AZ to catch up with our friends Bill & Michele. Lindsay took the opportunity to get the truck and trailer detailed to keep it looking good. One of the days we went up to Prescott to have lunch and then onto Watson Lake, which is really pretty. Another day we took a picnic up to Yellow Cliffs at Bartlett Lake in the Tonto National Forest.

Yellow Cliffs, Bartlett Lake AZ

A first for us was meeting up with a couple whose blog I follow – Mona-Liza and Steve. They were staying in nearby Cave Creek state park, less than 10 minutes from where we were. We spent a couple of hours drinking red wine and swapping stories. They have been to Australia where Mona-Liza fell in love with sticky date pudding, it just happens to be one of my specialities, so I've sent her the recipe. They have been to nearly every state in America, so have lots of information and ideas that I will be able to use for our upcoming North-east coast trip next year.

I had booked a week in Cathedral Springs as it was so nice down there when we visited a few months ago. Many snowbirds come from all over North America to spend winter here. I was looking forward to some mild weather but unfortunately Mr El Niño had other ideas, giving us 10 degrees cooler temperatures than normal. We had some great catch up dinners with Cameron & Christine, Lane & Debbie, and Ben & Amy.

I managed to talk Lindsay into a hike up Whitewater Canyon. After about half a mile we came upon the famous Pacific Crest Trail and stayed on it for the next 1.5 miles. The Ranger said that about 300 people attempt the mammoth 2,663 mile walk each year. It goes from the Mexican border to the Canadian Border up over the Sierras. So you are probably going to have to deal with 100°F temperatures and snow. After the movie Wild came out the number increased to 800, but many only walked a short way. By absolute coincidence, we had watched the movie the night before but hadn’t realised that our walk would be any where near the PCT. Even on our fairly cool day we got quite warm and stashed our jumpers behind a bush to retrieve later; I would hate to think what it would be like in 100°F.

Lindsay booked our truck in for a problem with the diff because it was leaking oil. The prognosis was not good and they wouldn’t give our truck back to us until they have completely rebuilt the differential. Hopefully this will be covered under warranty. As it’s Christmas it won’t be ready until after we have left the country. So lucky we don’t need it to leave the States this time as we are flying.

Our last week, including Christmas was spent with our good friends Dale and Shelly. They are at 3,200ft, so it is even colder than down in the low desert. But not cold enough yet for snow, so no white Christmas!

After spending winter on Vancouver Island last year, we decided this year we would go somewhere warmer. After watching an episode of Househunter’s International on Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, we decided that it looked like a great place to go. It’s a favourite spot for winter with Americans and Canadians on the coast of the mainland (as opposed to the Baja). From Mexico City draw a straight line to the west coast and you will have the approximate location. Temperatures will be somewhere in the 20’s, just the way I like it. We will be living a normal life for a change, living in once place for more than a week and without a house that moves.

The night before we fly out we're watching 'Beach Front Bargain Hunt' and it’s on a Canadian couple wanting to buy in Puerto Vallarta – it’s a sign! The weather outlook for next week is 27°C - 29°C (79-82°F) - perfect.

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