Saturday, January 6, 2018

Wrapping Up 2017 With Family and Friends

December 25-31, 2017
Santa Clarita - Desert Center, California

Jeff (my youngest, our number four) joins us for a lazy Christmas day of football and turkey sandwiches. Later in the day Corey (Bill's number two, our number three) and Richie (Bill's youngest, our number 6) stop by for awhile. The park is very quiet, it's 75 degrees!

Christmas Day, 2017
After two months we're excited to get back on the road on Tuesday. We don't hit any traffic until almost Beaumont. We do however almost hit an idiot who pulls in front of the rig and stops - in 65 mph traffic. I stand on the brake and manage to not lose control. As I take the off-ramp behind him, Bill asks "What are you doing?" 

"I'm going to kick his ass!"

"Oh, okay. I haven't been in a fight in a long time."

I regain my common sense, remember he is only days from his last cataract surgery, and decide that getting back on the freeway is smarter. The idiot sees me coming and makes a right turn, cutting off another driver, to get away. He doesn't hear me yelling what a coward he is......but I'm sure he "felt my wrath."

Karma will sort him out.

The brake assist light keeps coming on and Bill gets out to disconnect it for the remainder of the trip. Hopefully it's not permanently compromised from our little incident. Breathe in, breathe out......repeat.

A short time later we find the traffic and follow it for almost an hour to Desert Hot Springs.

I-10 East the day after Christmas
Catalina Spa RV Resort is a huge park that is less than 1/2 full, but we're still given a tight site between two other rigs. With a large concrete patio it's one of the "nicer" spaces, but we'd rather have a bit more room to squeeze into. After the freeway drama I'm ready to set up and relax.

The large slide doesn't open. Sigh.....

We know the mechanism is bad and are waiting for the new one to come in, but were really hoping it would last a couple more stops. 

A couple cold ones at early dinner improves my attitude.
Wednesday we head into Palm Springs to surprise one of Bill's college friends. He hasn't seen her in forty years but knows where she works from Facebook. She is very surprised!! 

Bill and Nancy - college buddies.
We'll be staying in his home community starting the next day, but find out our friend Coy is in the hospital nearby with pneumonia :-(.  We head there to visit him and check on his prognosis.

With two of these on either side of the lobby, the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs is quite the facility!
Coy's in good spirits and we're confident he'll be able to join the fun in a couple days. 

In the past we have always parked in Coy's yard, but his brother Jimmy (another very good friend) retired on Thursday and his new 5er parks there now!! Along with four other high school friends, we get a space in the little RV park at Lake Tamarisk, just across the lake from the house. Perfect.

We get set up at Lake Tamarisk Desert Resort - and the large slide opens!!! What a relief for our week stay with lots of friends. A nice clean gravel and concrete space, level with 50 amp FHUs, we like it here. 

Our friends Kevin and Bridgette are four spaces away, and are here for a couple months. They join us for dinner, it's great getting caught up, since we last saw them at the annual reunion in April.

Coy is back and ready to play on Friday so we all take the Jeep and ATVs out for a few hours. 

Beautiful, warm weather.

Bill, Coy and Kevin

Castle Rock where we survived many parties in our younger days.

Tessa doing rock impressions.....

Lots of slick rock to climb on.
Very few people know that this memorial is embedded at the top of the rocks. I've posted it before, but it's nice to know it's still here.
Other friends arrive and we spend a couple days enjoying each others' company in the desert where we grew up. The weather is perfect, and so much of the area looks exactly like it always has.

Audie and Bridgette on photographers' row.

Wonderful patterns in the sand and sky - and doggie photo-bomb.

Amazing to be hanging out with our friends of forty-five years, back where we made so many memories together.

Lots of signs of life in this sparse environment.

Looking for rocks and artifacts - and stopping to chat.

Bill and Patty

Finding shade where you can.....
Rita and Jodee

The only one to find an arrowhead - the newest "member" for our group (married to one of our school-mates) is now known as Arrowhead Audie!

Diane, Darla, Kevin, Shirlene and Maggie

All but three graduated from our high school - and those three have been with us for over thirty years!
Thanks for taking our photo Audie!!
New Year's Eve we enjoy good eats and drinks with good friends around the fire. I don't get many pics, too busy visiting. No, we don't make it 'til midnight :-)

Diane, Shirlene, Darla, and Stacey

Bill and Coy

Good night 2017!
Wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year - may 2018 bring your heart's desire.


  1. Looks like a great way to see out the last year with so many friends. Tessa imitates rocks in the desert very well.

    1. She's so dirty! More than once I've "lost" her just yards away :-))

  2. Love Tessa's photo bomb, she looks huge, and her rock imitation, it's flawless.. Just love her period. Such a perfect way to wrap up the year, with SO many friends in a spot with SO many memories. And the slide working. What more could you ask? Happy 2018 to you and all your gang of family and friends. PS also love the "Bill's #2 our #3" descriptions.

    1. She's quite the character - and loves going on these group adventures where everyone treats her like a princess :-) Happy New Year to you and David as well. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on your posts this week!

  3. Great fun as you close out the old year with family and enough high school friends for this to qualify as a reunion.

    1. The more of us who retire, the bigger these mid-year gatherings feel like reunions! It's such a treat for us that more and more are getting RVs.

  4. What a great time with family and friends! Looks like so much fun in the desert with lots of Jeeps and friends. Tessa does a mean "rock!" Haha!

  5. You make me wonder what it would be like to meet up with my high school friends. It would be more of a shock, I'm sure, since many of us haven't seen each other in 40 some years. It's good to see you keeping in touch with your friends.

    1. We've met up with a few in the past couple years who we hadn't seen in over forty years, and while a few surprises, it's like no time has passed with many of them!

  6. Wow...that looks like it was a great meetup in the desert! Glad you cooled off with the idiot situation. You are right...karma will have its day.

    1. We had so much fun!

      I'm confident he'll "get his" :-))))

  7. So glad you're back on the road, so sorry you had such a scary encounter with that idiot on the freeway. I told Eric about it and he wondered if the guy was trying to get rear-ended for an insurance claim? Except he would have been flattened, not just rear-ended! A candidate for the Darwin Award, for sure. That margarita was good medicine. Happy New Year, and safe travels!

    1. It was a tiny truck so he would definitely had more than a claim to worry about!

      We love being back on the road :-)))

  8. You have the greatest bunch of high school friends! Love those fire close up shots! Tessa found a nice spot under that tumbleweed.

    1. We really do - and now that more are retired we'll have more fun times together! She can always find a sliver of shade.