Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Hope this goes through. Basically a trial run.
Connie and LeRoy
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The grass was freshly trimmed yesterday, and a sturdy back to "weed" around the flowers would be appreciated.
The flowers in the mound garden are just a very few of the marvelous blossoms surrounding us. All over town and the countryside the blooms are exuberant on the trees and bushes. From the jacaranda's vivid blue/violet, the texas wild olives covered in white, the red, orange and purple bougainvillea, red roses, red and yellow cannas, and many more painting the landscape. The bottlebrush and orchid trees are now past their prime, but still contribute to the color.
It's a great time to live in Leisure World! And with apologies to Fran, we just have to check the streets for heavy traffic.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Roger Gallea was the first to try out the new machine. (He and Gary had their first experience with Big Red.)
Meanwhile, Arnold had a crew at work removing the soffit on the west end overhang. They discovered, much to their surprise and dismay, that steel beams can rust out when years of an undiscovered leak are revealed.
At least the termites won't be getting the blame for this one.
Keep checking your blog for progress updates throughout the summer.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Look at all those Tattoos. What a Fun Day
Oh yes, Brent got a tattoo, too, and look at that pretty tattoo artist.
Ok, I'm learning. Be patient with me as I get more experience on the blog, please.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Boarding was fun, the ship was pretty much full but room for everyone. I don't know how many were on board.
We plan on making this an annual event. Next time we will try for earlier in the season while more people are still here to join us. We invite all of you to come walk with us.
Thanks alot Girls! It was great walking with you!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Merle and Darlene had their daughter, granddaughter, and three great grandchildren visit the week of Easter. They had a great time going to South Padre, to Mexico, to Gladys Porter Zoo, and swimming in the pool. They sure tired grandma and grandpa out. We are so grateful to Roger & Verna for letting our kids stay in one of their rental units while they were here. Thanks, Roger & Verna!
Friday, April 9, 2010
We also want to report that Thea Soland is doing well after lung surgery. She will be going into therapy at Weslaco Rehab. The doctor reports that for her age she is in great health. She has also quit smoking which is a miracle. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Jewett Powers had eye surgery and is recovering nicely. She will have a follow up surgery in a few days.
Jeannie and Lyle Cook were pleased to have their son Phillip and grandson Blair here for Easter. They all spent a few days at Padre Island. Great time was had by all.
The cement work at the Rec Hall and thru out the park is progressing nicely. We are also closing the gate all day on Saturday and Sundays. The trees and shrubs are all blooming. It is a beautiful time here in the valley. Hope it is pretty where you are.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Everyone managed to find something to keep the conversation going.
And Mac McFarlin set his pencil to work on the place mats.Plenty of good food soon arrived.
And the sound of chewing didn't override the dinner entertainment.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Lorna and I have decided to once again detour through Arkansas on our way back to Alberta. This time it is to Holiday Island, which is close to Eureka Springs in the northwest part of the state. Our first day on the road got us to Texarkana, TX. This city gets its name from portions of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. The city actually straddles the border of TX and AR and is just 15 miles north of the border with LA. The next morning we headed east on I30 to Little Rock, which is the state capital of AR.
This is a very old city with history galore. It is super clean with many gorgeous homes dating into the mid 1800s. We toured through the downtown on an ancient streetcar with an informative driver. River Front Park hosts many old buildings with restaurants and pubs and a huge bolder climbing area near the Arkansas River’s bank. And of course the President Clinton Library is located downtown as well. Unfortunately we did not go to it as it was inundated with children and parents on a huge Easter Egg Hunt.
The trip up through Harrison to the Springs reminded us of why we came here. Corners and great roads everywhere. Ah, but we are still on 6 wheels. We arrived to our timeshare exchange around 6 and checked in to find a fabulous condo overlooking the White River. Wow! This place is spectacular!
The unit is over 2,000 sq. ft. and has floor to ceiling windows and a stone fireplace that are perhaps 30 feet high. The master bedroom is a loft at the top with a totally mirrored bathroom including a huge Jacuzzi tub. And the most dramatic thing about this area is that there is no noise other than the birds. No planes, trains or fire engines. It is super quiet here and so our first night’s sleep was fabulous. Our Unit was #18 on the right.
Sunday was quite cool so we toured around with the Durango and went window-shopping in Eureka Springs. Now let me tell you there are a lot of windows there! We also arranged a tee time at Kings River Golf Course for Monday. Now this course has good small greens with lots of trees and side hills. You have to hit high to avoid the roll, but when you do so, you could end up in the trees. Definitely a conundrum.
Tuesday was our first day of riding. Sunny with blue skies so we headed north into Missouri again and over to Branson. Last time we were there it was with Don and Sandra Beaton in 1998. Branson has changed considerably, but the main drag is still slower than the proverbial ‘Slow Boat to China’. We circled the city and went over to Table Rock Dam. We then took #76 east to 160 then 125 south to Peel Ferry that takes you across Bull Shoals Lake. The roads here are lined with tall oaks and conifers on both sides, and the hillsides have many 600-foot long narrow barns, actually chicken coops. This area of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas is a huge poultry production area. And the corners. . . . did I mention the corners? They are banked like you were at a Formula 1 track. We found that there are two options on the bike we would never use here. If you guessed Cruise Control and Highway Boards you are totally correct. My throttle hand got a good workout and ‘push steering’ was the order of the day. We understand that yellow paint goes for a premium here. Seems the Departments of Transportation use it all for two solid centre lines and corner and speed warning signs. Our total trip was about 230 miles with more corners than you could find in Alberta in a week.
On Wednesday we headed southwest on 23 and 12 and our first stop was the War Eagle Mill. This mill originally built in the 1850s, grinds grains up using an undershot water wheel for power. The mill can grind up to 1,000lbs a day. They bag and sell the product right there for cereals, pancakes, breads and what have you. Many of the products are bagged in cloth bags just like in days of old. We are itching to try the Blue Corn Pancake/Muffin mix.
Our next stop was the Chamber of Commerce in Rogers. A gentleman in a suit came up and told us some of the great roads in the area to ride and got us appropriate maps. Then he told us he didn’t work there . . . he just wanted to help us out. That’s pretty well the way it is everywhere down here. Real friendly folks looking to help. On his recommendation we would head towards the famous Pig Trail, but not until we did some riding next to the Oklahoma border, SW of Rogers. This area is more wide-open farmland but still chicken coops prevailed over cow barns. We finally ended up on highway 16 to the junction of 23 south. From here to the town of Ozark is the Pig Trail. It has several 10mph corners and a few switchbacks. In places the tree branches are right over the road. At Ozark we had a Sundae and then did the Pig Trail the other direction again. At the junction we headed back to Eureka Springs and stopped for dinner at La Familia TexMex. Quite good and reasonable. Back to the condo for a total of 250 miles.
Thursday is sunny and warm again and temps would get to 85f. They have been setting records here this week. We started our ride today by going next door to the town of Beaver. To get there one must cross two one-lane bridges, including a fairly long suspension bridge. Then we headed for the Beaver Dam, but didn’t spot any beavers . . . only concrete and earth. We realized that we had left without our map and planned route for the day so back over this gorgeous backcountry road to the condo to pick that up. We then headed down 62 to Forrest Green and then south on 103 to the Buffalo River. We travel along the ridges above the river to Jasper. This is a tiny town with several historic buildings including the Newton County Jail. It is time for lunch so we opted for a Spinach Calzone at The Pizza on the Square. Mmmm, Mmmm. We then headed south to 374 and 123. These is the best curvy roads we have ridden. There are several switchbacks and many 10 and 20mph corners. And first you climb for 3 or 4 miles and then down again. The scenery is fabulous but we are disappointed that there was only one viewpoint on the entire trip where trees are not in the way for photo ops. And speaking of trees this warm weather has the leaves popping out. Another few days and it will be all green. By now we are getting low on fuel, and gas stations are almost non-existent in this area. So we head back to Jasper via 7. We met a fellow on a Suzuki from Cochrane, AB while filling. He has spent the winter in Tulsa, OK and had been riding lots in this area. Then we are on to Harrison and 62 back to Eureka Springs and a cool beverage. Total for this trip was about 220 miles.
This would be our last day of riding as we have a tee time for Friday and we have to pack up again and head for Kansas City and points north. You see lots of bikes here even though tourism is slow at this time of year. And it is easy to understand why so many two wheelers come to this area. Great highways and scenery, mountains and water everywhere. I hear lots of talk about Deals Gap and the Great Smoky Mountains, but I just have to say, “What could be better than Arkansas”? Can’t wait to come back.
Friday we golfed the Holiday Island 18 hole Course. It is quite challenging with some side hills. Greens are in very good shape for this time of year. We finished packing in the evening and were on the road by 8am on Saturday the 26 of March. We headed up to Kansas City via highway 71. We stopped and shopped at Costco for groceries and then continued on to stay overnight in Sioux Falls via I29. On Sunday we went to Mitchell, SD to see the Corn Palace but it was all closed up for Easter. We did take some snapshots of the exterior then headed up 281 to Aberdeen SD and Jamestown ND before getting to Minot. The eastern parts of the Dakotas and the western part of Iowa has lots of moisture on the ground with many fields being covered in water. From Jamestown on we had very little snow showing anywhere and it is obviously very dry for the rest of the route home. We drove from Monot to Lorna’s sister Jane (who was down to LW in February) and stayed overnite with her in Saskatoon, SK. Today we traveled home to Sherwood Park on the eastern edge of Edmonton and arrived home about noon!
Wally and Lorna Bentt (#320
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Pat LaFoe organized the dinner, and cooked the ham and turkey provided by the Park Management for our eating pleasure.
Gary Bringham, Association President, did the duties with the camera.
Thanks to all who provided the excellent food, stimulating conversation, and the work that made it all a very Happy Easter.
We hope yours was as enjoyable as ours!