CrossCountry Bob does Serendipity

Sliding down the West Coast, one must take the weather, people and places as one finds them; but CrossCountry Bob sometimes gets the urge to move beyond “as you find it” and indulge in “click and comment”, thereby exposing his biases, ignorance and even, perhaps, a glimmer of intelligent comment (hopefully).  Judge for yourself.

This poster was in a seafood shop in Charleston, Oregon.  Should the person who posted this be charged with heresy? In Canada, Trudeau would say this person has “unacceptable views”.

Of course, you need oil to produce those turbines in the first place

Enough of that type of reality. Did you know that the ocean produces lovely sea foam when churned by winter storms?

Attack of the sea foam 🙂

And there is always one contrarian in the crowd (don’t turn to look at CrossCountry Bob as you read that).

As CrossCountry Bob sees it, the two on the left are toeing the government line, the one on the right is taking care of business.

Another take on the gender issues of the day – it actually comes with the best advice…

Yes, please wash your hands 🙂

Meanwhile, never take anything for granted.  For example, during a pleasant day enjoying Bodega Bay, CrossCountry Bob turns around and there is some weird looking dude taking a liking to Paintin’ Peggie…

Hey, Charlie Brown!

CrossCountry Bob smiles at the term “atmospheric river”.  Sounds so ominous (probably on purpose he thinks).  Way back in the 1970’s, they called it a Pineapple Express and before that it was a “winter storm”.  Don’t we love drama when it rains and rains…

Heavy rain at our campsite (it’s the West Coast remember?)

CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie go beachcombing (often), and invariably come across the cycle of life, it’s everwhere; a little bit sad but the cycle waits for no one.

Stranded…

So CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie try to stay in the up part of the cycle instead of the down part of the cycle (don’t be a starfish in otherwords). And one thing found in the upper part of the cycle is the best fish and chips in Bodega Bay…

Yummy! (all cod, no starfish).

Another part of the cycle is kids…as in camping with kids…

It seemed fun at the time remembers CrossCountry Bob

Meanwile, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie are happy to be in the grandparent stage, using our limited energy supply doing our “stuff” as in, Paintin’ Peggie paints and CrossCountry Bob writes. And they both go traveling here and there and there and here.

More cycle of life.  Yummy crab sandwich…

Sustainable harvesting of wild crab – 5 stars

While CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie prefer to sit at a table to eat, others prefer to eat right on the beach…

Chow time on an Oregon beach, or, how to eat bugs and love it.

Changing gears, at a rest stop on Interstate 5 in central California; peaceful prayer is the way to go.

Rest Stop prayers

Incoming! – Momentary panic at the Salton Sea as CrossCountry Bob sees and hears motorized paragliders.

False alarm, no weapons aboard

Dos Palmas – two palms in the 1800’s, so the story goes, turned into this; in the middle of desert, fed by underground springs pushed up by the San Andreas fault.

Fine place to visit but another big earthquake is overdue, so time to exit gracefully in Winnie – Arizona is calling and the mobility of an RV is advantage number one.

Speaking of RVs, check out this RV when money is not a concern.  That is a “Phaeton”, checking in around $400K on a good day.  Being towed is a late model F150.

All the comforts of home

In the cycle of life that CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie inhabit, Winnie and its Jeep fit the bill.

On the road again!

Such exploration opportunity the Jeep provides! A game changer to use a well worn but apt phrase.  More about that Jeep in CrossCountry Bob’s next blog post.

Heavy Weather to the South

CrossCountry Bob has a few firm rules about Winnie and one of the most important is no driving when the wind is in charge.  So, with heavy rainstorms pounding the California coast, it was a case of waiting out each storm, then scooting on south on the fair weather days.

Another hard and fast rule that CrossCountry Bob is particularly fond of is to avoid dump trucks cutting a blind corner and forcing the Jeep Cherokee almost into the ditch.  Paintin’ Peggie was feeling a bit queasy after that encounter.  If it was Winnie instead of the Jeep Cherokee…well, different result.

Leaving aside close encounters of the stupid dump truck kind, there was the close encounter of the flooded road kind but lucky for CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie they were in the Jeep…

Turn the Jeep around please

And finally, the close encounter of the seafood kind – fresh oysters (yummy prepared and coated with panko (by Paintin’ Peggie) and lightly fried to golden brown (by CrossCountry Bob), fresh smoked steehead (incredible) and unique salmon sticks (salmon pepperoni Paintin’ Peggie called them); CrossCountry Bob called them fabulous.

Then, a weather window opened and it was time to depart Bandon, Oregon, heading south towards, hopefully, more pleasant southern climes…

The next storm dodging stop calculated by CrossCountry Bob was Eureka where weather was incoming but not of the super-storm variety further south.  CrossCountry Bob located a convenient stop using his trusty “AllStays” app and there Winnie waited, all plugged in and warm. As CrossCountry Bob planning would have it, next to the RV park was a Mexican restaurant with a reputation for grade A “comida Mexicano”.  It didn’t disappoint, nor did the colourful décor.

That night was a bit storm tossed, plenty of rain and wind, and then the next morning, eureka, it was surprisingly sunny.  Taking full advantage, Paintin’ Peggie was soon riding her bike along the dune roads while CrossCountry Bob did some beach power walking.  Then there was a storm-tossed jetty area to investigate which included a few surfers who maybe should have reconsidered (thought CrossCountry Bob)

And away from the jetty, at the beach, with the beach surf producing a vicious undertow, we have one set of kids doing it right and one set (apparently unsupervised), doing it wrong.

And meanwhile, if you don’t care about oceans, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie wandered into Artica, a suburb of Eureka. and found a throwback and modern all wrapped up in one city block…

Monitoring the weather as always, CrossCountry Bob noted another window of opportunity between storms and it was exit Eureka…

Leave now says rainbow

Each of the last two years, south of Eureka, Winnie would angle over to the coast and down Highway 1.  This time, with constant high wind warnings, that highway (coastal road more like it) was no place for Winnie as CrossCountry Bob was not interested in seeing if Winnie could act like a kite. So, it was down Highway 101 instead, which slithered south cross country some way inland from the Pacific.

The destination of the day was Bodega Bay, which had been stormy, super windy and very wet, but was now reverting to fine form of partially sunny and 10 degrees.  The drive was, as they say, uneventful, until it was time to turn west towards the coast and the bright idea was formulated to avoid Santa Rosa and the freeway by angling southwest on “country roads”.  No blame will be assigned to that “idea” as both Paintin’ Peggie and CrossCountry Bob clearly had their brains in neutral (shut off?), not processing the obvious incoming data (as in water, water everywhere)…

Couldn’t see the rainwater lake? Look again…

notice the new lake in the background

So Winnie angled to the west and it turned into zigging and zagging as successive narrow country roads were closed due to “flooding”.  Something to remember when we reminisce said Paintin’ Peggie but at that moment she didn’t sound too convincing to CrossCountry Bob.  Then, when it seemed as if the worst was past, there was this…

More than enough water for CrossCountry Bob

CrossCountry Bob watched someone coming from the other direction and thought, hmmm, only axle deep, we can do it (and no place to turn around anyway).  Slow and steady went Winnie with apparently sound footing underneath.  High heart rate and high blood pressure for a minute and then Winnie was through.  Paintin’ Peggie was right after all, it will be something to tell the grandkids (by the time that tale is told the water will have become twice as deep and the underwater road twice as long).

And then, CrossCountry Bob noticed with relief, the road was rising out of the valley and the water threat faded.  Then it was over the hill and down into Bodega Bay. Nothing to it, apparently, and CrossCountry Bob, stupidly, said that out loud. Shortly after there was a turn a touch too sharp (CrossCountry Bob thought) in a grocery store parking lot and one tow arm bent just slightly and jammed.  CrossCountry Bob will spare you the angry thoughts, the sullen curses and more.  Paintin’ Peggie calmed things down, pointing out that a bent towbar was a pain but not a biggie in the grand scheme of things. Although CrossCountry Bob knew that was true, he was sadly aware that knowing that would not straighten out the towbar.

Last rites for this towbar – RIP.

So, assigning the towbar to its fate (the junkyard), CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie walked over to the ocean and instead of thinking of bent towbars, there was this…

And did you notice the sun was out (part of the time).  So, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie settled into ocean front camping in Bodega Bay.

A rest after all that weather weaving and dodging

Plein air painting to follow for Paintin’ Peggie and exploring for CrossCountry Bob.

Survived the storms!

Bye for now.

Warm and Wet in Oregon

Well, CrossCountry Bob is back and heading south.  Staying close to home for Birthday 98 for Mom was more than worthwhile.  Great get-together with lots of wine and food and cake and…you get the picture. There were two adjacent birthdays as well, CrossCountry Bob’s son, Kenny (January 21) and CrossCountry Bob’s grandson, Ellis, (January 15) Age 1.

Great grandma (98) & great grandson (age 1)

As it turned out, there was an uninvited and unwelcome guest at the party.  This guest (first name unknown, last name Covid) cozied up and said “Hi” to some but ignored others.  Luck of the draw as they say, but nothing serious for anyone (thankfully).

The trip south for CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie traditionally
(yikes, only year 3 and already a tradition) includes a mandatory stop in
Bandon, Oregon. Why, you ask?

Here are a few reasons:

  • beautiful state park next to that fabulous Oregon coast;
  • the best fish & chips around at a small shop at the harbour;
  • good biking country and great beach-combing
  • inspires Paintin’ Peggie to paint
  • inspires CrossCountry Bob to explore the beaches and avoid writing this blog.

And that was how it worked out for a day, getting out there (knowing the rain was coming).  

Then, as expected, the rain arrive during the night along with enough wind to shake Winnie a bit and cause Paintin’ Peggie to be awake more than asleep. In the morning, the rain decided to stay…

Testing to see if Winnie is waterproof

And when it rains all day, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie both work inside (and you thought this going south was all fun and leisure).  No, no, no.  Attention and focus keeps the mind strong (as Paintin’ Peggie likes to remind CrossCountry Bob from time to time (as in daily).

So there is a hidden benefit to the rain and CrossCountry Bob is fine with that just so long as the rain remembers to not overstay (hear that, weather forecaster?).

Well, time for CrossCountry Bob to have a break from writing and take a walk in the rain (no, this is not like Trudeau taking a walk in the snow).  CrossCountry Bob is not going anywhere and plans to plague you with his writings and musings for some time to come.

Oh, and you have to be careful of the wildlife when out for a walk…

And the next morning, the weather starts to co-operate with CrossCountry Bob…

After the rain

Bye for now.

Winter in Arizona BUT Winnie is Warm

With Chiricahua and its snowy surprise fading in the rear view mirror, Winnie motored happily to a lower elevation.  There was more Water on the Road but Winnie merely slowed to walking speed and rolled on through.

CrossCountry Bob was amazed at how some drivers did not slow much, obviously used to the situation but perhaps not familiar with the expensive engine repair that would result if those fountains of tire spray sailed into their engine air intake.  Well, we each have our problems and many seem determined to increase their load through ignorance or otherwise (a little philosophy by CrossCountry Bob, sorry, he can’t always resist even though he himself is far from immune to ignorance (or just keeps doing dumb things, take your pick)).

Meanwhile, Winnie was headed for Kartchner Caverns State Park, an old haunt from last year.  The large limestone Caverns were out, reservations to enter running well into April, but CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie were not much interested in any event ( the caverns in southern Spain and the prehistoric caves in southern France seemed more fascinating but, hey, maybe that’s CrossCountry Bob doing a bit of rationalizing because he wasn’t able to tour Kartcher Caverns).  Wintering in southern Arizona does come with flocks of snowbirds after all – and it seems enough of them were smart enough to make reservations well in advance.

Caverns aside, the park had two sparkling attributes that kept CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie happy.  First, four reserved nights with power and water (keenly appreciated after the chill of Chiricahua and, as it turned out, a happy happenstance as you will see). Secondly, a couple of interesting hiking trails (presumed CrossCountry Bob, soon to be set straight by Paintin’ Peggie).  The hiking trails had become a primary requirement ever since Paintin’ Peggie’s ebike went missing in action in Tucson and made mountain biking trails redundant.

The weather at Kartchner was much improved, reaching 22 degrees in the afternoon.  The Americans were all settled in…

Flag is a must accessory

CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie had no flag accessories but were ready to hike.  CrossCountry Bob had checked the trail map and had it figured (he thought).  Five miles all in, a perfect distance.  Starting out, the trail seemed familiar.  As CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie climbed up and away, the trail turned out to be the very same one the very same intrepid hikers had completed the previous year without being too much impressed.  Needless to say, Paintin’ Peggie was even less impressed this time around (very much annoyed would be more accurate, probably even annoyed enough to turn CrossCountry Bob to this if she had Harry Potter’s wand:

CrossCountry Bob doesn’t survive the desert?

But, wishing fire and brimstone on CrossCountry Bob aside, the reality was that reversing course was dumber than going forward (said CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie actually listened), as the trail would eventually intersect the “Other Trail” (that being the one Paintin’ Peggie had wanted to be on to begin with (oh, CrossCountry Bob, how did you mix up those trails on the map (easily it turned out as CrossCountry Bob’s boy scout map reading skills were more than a bit rusty).  Note to self: Study the map itself more closely and pay less attention to the poetic exaltations that pass for trail descriptions.

Perhaps to the surprise of Paintin’ Peggie, the trail intersection CrossCountry Bob promised actually showed up when he said it would, and then up and away Paintin’ Peggie went on the “real” trail with CrossCountry Bob tagging along behind (not his day, apparently).  From that intersection (with 5 km already in the bag), it was a further 6.8 kilometre loop way, way up, around the back and then tracking back down through a canyon busy with boulders.  Fun times for all (even CrossCountry Bob) at first, a nice trail up with grand views of the valley.

CrossCountry Bob was tired near the top and Paintin’ Peggie (bless her compassionate soul) offered to turn back. CrossCountry Bob thought about that (a lot), but then determination prevailed over logic and sore knees, and CrossCountry Bob said “keep going” and they did. Up to the summit (not too bad it turned out) and then down the other side of the loop through the boulder filled canyon and much harder going.

By the bottom of the canyon, the persistent signals from tired legs and sore knees lifted slightly as, like horses returning after a day on the trail and then smelling home, their pace picked up as thoughts of runners off and feet up took hold.

Well, once CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie were back at Winnie, all was right with the world; the gin and tonic was a rewarding elixir and paired with Miss Vickie’s jalapeño potato chips, well, there were sighs of tired relief with no complaints from the gallery.  With that perfect combo in place, what could go wrong?  Well, the weather (of course).  Storm incoming (again? Yes.). One of the storms tracking through California had apparently decided it would be fun to rush across the Arizona desert and torment the snowbirds.  Well, how bad could be it be thought CrossCountry Bob.  “Urgent wind warning” said the US weather office, winds of 40 mph with gust to 60 mph.  Hmmm, thought CrossCountry Bob.

By bedtime (barely made 9 pm that night – excuse is the hike if you must know) , the wind was up but the real stuff wasn’t due until after 11 pm (said the weather office with an accuracy pretension CrossCountry Bob found, well, surprising).

Around 11 pm, CrossCountry Bob woke to some shaking and buffeting.  A few gusts, but not too bad.  The weather office was wrong about the intensity (hoped CrossCountry Bob), after all the weather office is wrong as much as it is right).  Turns out this time it was right more than it was wrong, just an hour early.  From midnight on, the wind was relentless with gusts that shook Winnie meanly and snatched at the tarp convering the slideout.  Inside, Winnie was a howling echo chamber that kept Paintin’ Peggie awake, eyes wide.  CrossCountry Bob figured the tarp was a goner as it snapped hard back and forth.  And then the snow started sometime around 3 or 4 am, blowing sideways – a blizzard in the desert!  CrossCountry Bob dozed fitfully. Paintin’ Peggie didn’t (doze or sleep). But by morning, the wind eased and sunrise displayed a blanket of white. Temperature: minus 4 centigrade outside. Plus 18 inside Winnie with the heater cranked up.

The folks in nearby Benson said it was the most snow they had ever seen in one dump and for the month of February was a record total (Kartchner received much less snow than Benson that night, lucky for Winnie and occupants).  But by evening, the desert sun had finished its work and…

Evening and the snow is gone

Well, apparently CrossCountry Bob has some knack for picking (bad weather) camping spots with uncanny timing (this aptitude for timing not always applicable to his efforts in the stock market however).

None of this is by way of complaining it must be noted.  Just reporting the weather as it happens (it would be a treat if the news media tried that on occasion);  oops, don’t stray there warned one reader.  Why ruin a good travel blog with politics?  CrossCountry Bob suspects that reader is right.  So, Winnie (who, unsurprisingly, doesn’t care about politics), moved a few miles north to the town of Benson and stayed a couple of nights in a private RV resort with full hookups and a laundromat!  That was a pleasant respite and so was Benson itself, a town of approximately 5,000 with a lot of very nice people, quaint little thrift shops (Paintin’ Peggie loved those) and a café with the best pecan cranberry hot cakes that CrossCountry Bob had ever tucked into.

After Benson, it was southwest to Patagonia, home of Ovens of Patagonia Bakery which, last year, had imprinted itself on the brain of Paintin’ Peggie due to the best lemon slice cake ever.  Arriving in Patagonia, it was all systems go – weather -very fine; shops and art galleries – open (no Covid limitations like last year); Ovens of Patagonia Bakery open (it was Sunday).  And then, what’s this?  Hardly any bakery items and customer tables where the shelves of unique and eccentric merchandise once stood.  To say Paintin’ Peggie was more than disappointed would not be an exaggeration..

brave smile at Ovens of Patagonia Bakery

Paintin’ Peggie recovered with a chocolate chip cookie while CrossCountry Bob contented himself with a quite adequate cinnamon bun (turns out Ovens of Patagonia Bakery had been sold and the new owners were, well, cut from a different cloth).

The town of Patagonia itself was still fun to explore, more so because this year there were no Covid restrictions and the shops and galleries could be freely browsed, no problems.

The nearby Patagonia Lake State Park was Winnie’s station for the next two nights and that campsite was maybe cut from the same cloth as the new owners of Ovens Bakery.  In Canada, Patagonia Lake would qualify as Patagonia Puddle (but in southern Arizona you takes your water where you finds it).  Paintin’ Peggie especially loved the aroma of the inexplicably located effluent processor (say no more)  The area is famous for bird watching and Cross Country Bob found that interesting.  He saw his first Northern Cardinal (brilliant red, wow!), followed up by a Vermillion Fly catcher (intense red breast, also wow).  Too entranced to take a photo, it was Paintin’ Peggie to the rescue with this shot..

Colour plus!

Not to give Patagonia Lake too bad a rap, the bird watching was fun (so many birds in such a small area (says the brochure and that means its true (yes?)…even if CrossCountry Bob didn’t spot many…

and the evening lake view was peaceful…

Patagonia Lake

Leaving Patagonia Lake on a warm but cloudy morning, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie made a pit stop in nearby Tubac (an artist colony for sure and maybe a place to stay for  a month or two next winter). The galleries are certainly interesting…

With the Tubac refresher done, it was onward to  Catalina State Park northeast of Tucson (no longer the favourite Arizona city of CrossCountry Bob as bike thieves live there, damn it).

Ebikes aside, there are rumours that some desert flowers are blooming in the Catalina State Park area.  See you there.

And the latest from the grand baby files:

Arizona is Desert OR Water on the Road

Welcome to Tucson, Arizona…or not.

The drive to Tucson from Palm Canyon was pleasant enough, a combination of mostly desert with occasional blocks of agriculture where water was available.

Part of the plan for Tucson was to stop at a premium outdoor store and purchase proper hiking pants and good hiking poles (CrossCountry Bob’s knees are not what they used to be and assistance from poles is a premium idea he thinks and highly recommended by his sister, Marguerite, who has had her own challenges with knees).

The outdoor store outlet selected by CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie was the REI Co-Op, located in the Tucson Mall. Perfect thinks CrossCountry Bob, easy parking near the store, a busy mall with all types of stores (if we wanted to shop more); a no brainer as they say (note to self: often a no brainer means doing something without pre-applying brains to the situation). Into REI went CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie and that store turned out to be rich hunting grounds and within an hour CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie emerged with quality hiking poles and hiking pants.

Turns out that the REI store wasn’t the only rich hunting grounds in the area as CrossCountry Bob took one look at Winnie and swore (a lot). The bike tarp was flipped open and Paintin’ Peggie’s eBike was GONE.

Welcome to Tucson!

Nice big mall, lots of cars and traffic. What the??**!!

Well, CrossCountry Bob will spare you all the tedious details but a report was filed with the Tucson police department and the policeman at the station said that Tucson Mall is between two areas – to the north a fine area, to the south, not so good (CrossCountry Bob can sure pick ’em).

Lots of memories for that eBike, starting across Canada in 2018. All that is left now is those memories and this picture

Missing (probably forever)


Looking on the bright side – file the insurance claim and go bike shopping once Winnie is home. Meanwhile the rest of the journey, sadly, will include no biking explorations.

Before leaving Tucson, there was one more thing for that night – a storm with winds of 80 km/hour with gust to 100 km/hour. Ahhhh, the desert. Fortunately, we were tucked into a big RV resort (filled with snowbirds), hiding between park models, and the night passed with minimal shimming and shaking in the wind gusts (not always the case, as you may read about later as these storms are persistent and insist on passing through again (and again), oblivious to CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie and, for that matter, everything alive or inanimate.

And with that, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie said goodbye (and good riddance) Tucson, and pointed Winnie southeast for Tombstone. Yes, that Tombstone with the OK Corral shootout, Wyatt Earp and the entire crew, reenacted every day. Yes, sir! The legend lives on.

Pure tourist kitsch, that town, but that was expected and it was entertaining to see. Good place to take the new grandkids when they are old enough to get super excited to ride a stagecoach (might pass on the shootout though…in America you never know. Take this old fella in a small town Arizona cafe…)

And with that it was goodbye to Tombstone and hello Bisbee, twenty miles further down the road and a town Paintin’ Peggie (especially) wanted to visit. An old copper mining town that, after the mines expired, reinvented itself as a place worth visiting with an eclectic district filled with curio shops, art galleries and artisan shops with jewelry and pottery (of good quality, produced in the area and not imported from China – how original!).

Bisbee was a pleasant interlude with sunny skies and temperatures around 15. A mile down the road from Bisbee is Lowell, essentially a celebration of a bygone era. See for yourself…

CrossCountry Bob has to confess that he felt somewhat antique himself when he saw the Shell gas pump as he remembers watching a pump just like that put gas in the family’s 1960 big, brown Pontiac station wagon. Yikes! That is a few years back). Well, wanting to feel not so antique, CrossCountry Bob thought the best remedy would be to hike into a one of those scenic vistas that Arizona has in abundance. As coincidence might have it, not far up the road was the Chiricahua National Monument, a little bit north and a lot higher. Beautiful rock formations, great hiking and a pleasant campground. A natural remedy for feeling antique. No matter that remedies often have side effects. That was not a factor weighing on CrossCountry Bob’s mind which was focused on the hike and that balancing rock.

Gotta’ see that!

But Winnie had to get there first and in the desert water isn’t usually a problem, right? Well, the odd snow storm and snow melt had different ideas. A jeep…no problem. But Winnie wasn’t too happy and it took a bit of reconaissance before she crossed (if the asphalt was undermined and a wheel dropped down, well, it was a long walk to cell service…

Turns out the asphalt was sound and Winnie crossed a few “Water on the Road”. By the last one, Winnie hardly paused. Easy in, easy out? Maybe…

Well, before hiking Chiricahua there was an important item of business to take care of. Happy Birthday, Paintin’ Peggie!! Following protocol, CrossCountry Bob will not reveal age, suffice to say that Paintin’ Peggie looks fabulous. Birthday evening found Winnie boondocking outside Chiricahua as the campground was full that night. It turned out to be a quality boondocking spot, beautiful and peaceful.

Chiricahua National Monument lived up to the billing (even if the painting that got us interested exaggerated the size of the balancing rock). It was natural hiking weather, partly cloudy and cool which was a good thing as the trail gained 1,500 feet in elevation over several miles. Real antiques can’t climb that much (thought CrossCountry Bob with some satisfaction).

But of course, as noted, most remedies have side effects and after a fine day of hiking and a quality gin and tonic (favourite reward of CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie) those side effects came calling early the next morning…

No hiking in the snow (CrossCountry Bob may have a touch of antique but that didn’t make him dumb). It was time to move on, both CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie decided (they often think alike in that regard which makes the travelling a LOT easier).

The next destination was Kartchner Caverns State Park for 4 days. Great hiking area and a civilized campsite with power and water (boondocking is fine from time to time but CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie (especially) do appreciate the comforts more than occasionally).

See you there.

Meanwhile, the new grand children are getting along fine without CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie which is exactly how it should be. Both sets of new parents are working hard at it and are doing a fine job!

Signing off.

CrossCountry Bob