Lens Travels - Living our Dreams! travel blog

Spectacular Arizona sunset

Another shot of the same sunset

One of the best Mexican restaurants I've ever been to

Tia Rosa Mexican restaurant in Mesa

Tia Rosa Mexican restaurant in Mesa

Outside dining

Inside dining

Beth and Bert Schlabach from Rochester, NY

Beth, Bert, and Nancy at Nancy's house

In Nancy's back yard

Bert and I in Nancy's back yard

A rose among thorns

Playing pool

Playing pool


It's been very busy here in Phoenix for the last while. Nancy and I had guests from Virginia for a week visit which we really enjoyed, and then the pollen hit.

It seems that in this area everything pollenates at about the same time and with great intensity instead of spreading it out over more time as it does in the east. I have never before had a severe reaction to pollen, but I had one this time. For several days it was most uncomfortable with a runny nose, watering eyes, headaches and a general sense of overall discomfort, and very little sleep at night.

Once I decided to stay inside things started to improve and I'm now almost back to normal. Nancy tells me that this will pass in a week or so and won't come back until next spring about this time. I'm still mostly staying inside and will continue to do that until most of this has passed.

Word seems to be getting around to people that I haven't seen or heard from in many, many years about my travels and my website, which is resulting in some very interesting contacts. One such contact was from Bert Schlabach whom I had last had contact with some 45 years ago in the Buffalo, NY area before I went away to college. He and I worked together for his dad who was a masonary contractor in the area. We became good friends and even roomed together with several other guys for a period of time. Somehow we lost contact with each other after I left for college until very recently, when I received a lengthy email from Bert detailing some of the things that had happened in his life since our last contact. I responded with a phone call, and found out that he and his wife Beth were to be in the Phoenix area to attend a wedding for a week or so in early March.

We decided to get together at Nancy's house for a reunion of sorts. What an outstanding idea that was! It was amazing comparing the paths that our lives had taken since our last contact, and we ending up spending a good bit of time together talking about all manner of things over wine and good scotch. We also played some pool, and in general had just a great time. Hopefully Nancy and I will be able to visit them in Rochester, NY when we take our extended east coast trip during the spring, summer, and fall of 2010. Wonderful, interesting people!

Nancy and I have recently done a real cleanup and reorganization of the inside of the Dutch Star. Nancy's a real hard worker and is very well organized, and together we've managed to better organize things, removing some things and adding others. I'm going to get a new set of Corel dinnerware, and Nancy has brought some of her neat gadgets to the rig.

The next step it to take a serious look at what's in the basement area and reorganize it if necessary, eliminating things that I haven't used for a long time etc. After that the outside gets a real good cleanup, and then we'll be good to go.

In a week or so we're going to take the rig to a campground located in Tortilla Flat which has water and sewer for $6 per night with no limit on how long you can stay. No electric, but I have the solar system for that, so we're going to spend 3 or 4 days there as a base to explore Tonto National Forest. This will also be a test to see how Nancy's cat Packwood is going to adapt to life in the Dutch Star. He's a great cat, but this could be traumatic for him.

I'm really liking my new bike and as soon as the pollen situation improves I'll be back on it regularly.



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