Postcard from Arizona-2

When we returned from Santa Fe it took a few days to get our nearly frozen body parts thawed. We came to appreciate that while 65 deg F high for the day doesn’t seem all that warm compared to the Florida Keys, it’s a lot warmer than northern New Mexico this time of year!

Before leaving for home we had made an appointment to have an auxiliary tank installed in the truck by Cliff’s Welding in Mesa, AZ. And, since we have the dogs roosting in the back seat while we’re underway, we decided a lockable storage space in the bed of the truck would be nice too. Cliff’s sells a combo tank/tool box built by RDS in Florida that seemed about right: 40 more gallons of diesel plus a 10″ x 18″ x 30″ storage compartment. Installation took 3 hrs. and I was on the way. It was a great job except for one tiny detail: I couldn’t move fuel from the auxiliary tank to the main tank. Cliff’s figured it out quickly: RDS had neglected to install the siphon tube in the tank when they built it. Cliff’s doesn’t test the installation since insurance companies don’t like welding shops to keep fuel on the premises (they told me how to test it). Thankfully it was no big deal for them to fab the missing part and 30 minutes later we were good to go. Lesson #127: make sure new equipment is working before you leave town!

We found a great place for BBQ in Gilbert. Called Joe’s Real Barbeque on Gilbert Road, they served a great meal. Besides great ribs etc., they also have homemade root beer and Admiral-approved chocolate chip cookies. The folks that own Joe’s also own the Liberty Market Restaurant across the street which we plan to try next time we come this way.

Scottsdale, AZ

We managed to get to Scottsdale on 12/19 and spent the day wandering around old-town. They had some helpful volunteers that mentioned a few things to see and loaded us with more maps.

The patio at Cien Agave restaurant/bar

After a couple hours we were ready to load the dogs back into the truck so we could get a bite to eat. A waitress at Cien Agave came out to admire the dogs and to tell us they had a dog-friendly patio where we could bring them with us and have lunch. Cool! Comfortable spot and, if you’re ever there with your pet(s) and want to eat, they have great burritos.

In chatting with our waitress (who teaches school during the week) we learned that Arizona has a law that requires restaurants to serve non-alcoholic beer to minors if they are accompanied by their parents and the parents order it. N/A beer has as much as 0.5% alcohol which for me- I stopped drinking alcohol in the mid-’80s- is enough to get buzzed. I was floored that the state would permit teenagers to drink any kind of alcohol in public places. Our waitress hasn’t been faced with the situation yet, but her plan is to refuse to serve N/A beer to a minor and fully expects to be fired if it should come up.

There were several things we wanted to see while here in the greater-Phoenix area, but all we could manage was to get Xmas packages mailed, buy some groceries, and it was time to leave.

Benson KOA

We had reservations at the KOA in Benson where we are right now. As you can see from the photo, reservation weren’t exactly necessary! [ Reserving ahead using the on line reservation system for KOA saves us 10%, so we do it regardless. ]

We did some sight seeing yesterday (Monday) since Tombstone is only 30 minutes away. We wandered around Boothill Graveyard where the Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers are buried. Clanton and the McLaury brothers died in the gun fight with Wyatt & Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday at the OK Coral; three others were wounded. The stone cairn graves are from about 1879 thru about 1882. The ground seems impossible to dig for a conventional grave so this must have been the only practical solution. I can’t imagine what it smelled like at the grave yard at the time!

Tombstone’s boot hill

Tombstone must have been a difficult place to reach an old age. The more dramatic reasons for death ranged from ‘shot in the head’ to ‘hanged’ and ‘poisoned’, but there were also things like consumption, pneumonia, scarlet fever, mine-accident, and other less movie-worthy deaths. In case you can’t read it, this grave marker gives some insight into the gallows humor of the day:

Here lies Lester Mor
Four slugs from a .44
No Les
No Mor

We walked the dogs thru the old town center where they got lots of attention. We must have said at least 50 times that
– they’re Bernese Mountain Dogs;
– yes, they shed a lot;
– yes, they’re very mellow;
– of course you can pet them.

All she needs is a saddle!

And so on. It was fun and the dogs loved the attention.

There were several locals hanging out that seemed to be there to add some flavor. They were decked out in boots, jeans and western hats, some with side-arms. The town offers a narrated stage coach tour for we tourists. We weren’t able to take the tour, but we heard most of the spiel as we wandered around town and had the coach pass us several times.

We had a great lunch at the Longhorn in Tombstone. Not so much because of the sandwiches but because of the to-die-for desserts they serve. I haven’t had apple pie that good in a long time. I probably shortened my life by at least a year because of all the lard they used in the crust, but it sure tasted good!

We’ll leave the Dog House here in Benson while we drive to Santa Fe for the holiday. When we get back from Santa Fe we’ll start heading toward Florida. There is a fly in the ointment…

I just received a jury summons. I believe that it’s been less than 36 months since I served on a jury in Santa Fe, so I hope to be excused. If not, this may be the end of the trip till April when my time on the jury panel ends. [start whine!] I can’t be sure, of course, but I believe they keep rotating the same people thru jury duty until they either move out of the county or die or they prove to be controversial enough there will be a problem with being selected. That seems to be the only reason they get new blood into the loop. Doesn’t seem to be a very fair system as far as spreading the pain. [/end of whine!]

Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

About bruce10b

Celia and I are full-time RVers wintering (and now summering!) in southeast AZ. Our 2 Bernese Mountain Dogs, Annie & Kelly, prompted the name of this blog but sadly are gone because of kidney failure. They will live forever in our hearts.
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