Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taxes Done

I called TurboTax regarding our missing tax program and spoke to a nice semi English speaking gentleman in India who finally understood the problem and offered to send me a download link for a new copy of the program. This conversation took well over a half hour. He then had to call his supervisor to authorize sending me the code to open the program. While I was waiting on hold I looked through a pile of mail Norma had set aside as obvious junk mail and lo and behold, there was the Turbo Tax program! I waited for the gentleman in India to come back on the line and tried to explain to him that I had found the original program but he kept insisting that what I had found was the email with the download and code he had just sent. We were getting nowhere so I thanked him and hung up.

I collected all our tax related documents and started entering numbers. I then went to my Quicken program and got all our medical deductions including what we spent on travel medical insurance and the glasses I bought in Mexico. We end up paying just under $5,000 ($2,400 more than was already deducted at source) between the two of us after taking advantage of the income splitting Canada offers. Quite a bit for a couple of old pensioners.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I got up at 5:30 Monday morning and drove Brooks to the Nanaimo Airport for his 8:00 AM flight back to Fort McMurray Alberta where he is working as an electrician on the Tar Sands.

Brooks lucked into this trade in an unusual way. The job he was doing as a carpenter was rained out one day so instead of sitting in the bunkhouse all day watching TV like the rest of his crew, he grabbed a pickup and drove to the work site where the electricians were laying conduit inside the building he had just built and asked if he could help. The boss told him he had to have his electrical apprenticeship papers to do anything to do with electrical, even laying conduit. The boss, admiring his initiative, told him if he wanted to, to take the truck into Fort McMurray and fill out the papers at the Government Office. He drove the three hours each way and when he returned he was a Government certified electrical apprentice. Since then he has been working as an electrician, first laying conduit and now installing transformers, all the while collecting his journeyman carpenters wages which are higher than electrical apprentice wages. It was a very lucky break!

We said goodbye to LindaLee and drove up to Campbell River, parked in the driveway, unloaded the car and dolly, took the necessities of life into the house and relaxed. Dave and Doris left the house spotless and with everything working so there was nothing to do. Unloading the motorhome can wait for another day.

Today we will sort mail and start the tax preparation process. One tiny glitch was our TurboTax program was not waiting for me in the mail. I prepaid for the program and they were supposed to mail it in March but it is not here. I will have to go downtown and buy one and call TurboTax to get a refund.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Safe and Sound Back In Canada

We got in line at 7:15 AM and boarded the ferry. We had reservations but may not have needed them. We rolled off the ferry in Victoria and lined up for Customs. A nice woman asked us how long were we gone, five and a half months, how much did you spend, $1602. How much liquor, two sealed bottles and six more in the liquor cabinet, partly empty. Welcome home and have a good day.

That was it. It was like we were not "Red Flagged" from the problems last year. What a difference! All that stress for nothing.

We are at Brooks and LindaLee's house. LindaLee's mom and dad are just back from visiting another daughter in China and are here as well. We had a very enjoyable evening. Brooks has a fence to finish tomorrow and then he flies back to Alberta on Monday. I will get up early and drive him to the Nanaimo airport and then we will head home. Taxes await!.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Port Angeles

We are in Port Angeles making lists and adding up purchases. We are under the allowed $1600 on purchases but over on booze (as usual). We got into trouble last year but we have WAY less this time. We will just tell them what we have and that we are willing to dump out whatever will make them happy. I do not want to pay $1 per ounce duty nor do I want to stand inside for an hour making a declaration. I hate crossing this border! It is so much easier going into the USA or Mexico.

Our friend Kris advised us to make a reservation so what is what we did for the 8:20 AM sailing.

Well, back to the list...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Woodland, WA

Drive, drive, drive! 400 miles which is a long day for us. We had breakfast at Denny's, left at 10:00 and arrived here at 5:30. Pulled into the nice new Walmart which is festooned with "No RV Parking" signs. We went and asked anyway, we had nothing to loose, and were told to ignore the signs and go ahead and park.

What the heck? Maybe the local mayor owns the RV park.

Tomorrow night will find us at or near the ferry dock in Port Angeles and we will catch one of the ferries on Saturday, either 8:20 AM or 2:00 PM. Brooks is working all day so we would not see him until later anyway.

Here is one of the fences he built on his days off. He is trying to keep the business alive so he is doing work for repeat customers or those who were sent to him by regular customers.

He is working in the Tar Sands 24 days on and then they fly him home for 10 days off. The work days in Alberta are ten hour days. It is tough going but the money is very good and the fencing on his down days helps as well. He is even making payments to "The bank Of Dad".

Ontario, Oregon

Another three State day, Nevada, Idaho and just into Oregon. We are trying to get back to the Island before Brooks flies off to the Alberta Tar Sands for another 24 days. We parked in a friendly Walmart as we had to exchange our electric heater for one that works proberly and return a HD TV flat panel antenna that did not perform as expected. No problem with either return even though I had no receipt for the heater.

It poured rain all night which kept waking us up until we finally admitted defeat at 7:00 AM. we will have a quick breakfast and take down the Starchoice which I set up in "stealth" mode, tucked in between the motorhome and car dolly where it is hard to see.

Our goal is to make it past Portland today. It will be a long day

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Highway Of Tears

Somewhere between 18 and 48 aboriginal women have been murdered between 1969 and present while hitchhiking along the 500 mile stretch of British Columbia's Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George. This highway has earned the name, "Highway Of Tears". If these women were "white" something would have been done about it years ago. The fact that they are "marginalized" women has allowed the killings to continue. It is time to once again bring attention to this travesty and force the RCMP and the BC Government to take action!

Painting belonging to Hazelton Mayor Alice Maitland to honour a girl murdered on Hwy16 - shows ghosts of past victims trying to stop a young woman from hitchhiking!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


It is ten o'clock at night here in Jackpot and it is snowing like mad. The car has about an inch on it and there is no sign of it stopping. We brought the slide in so we can escape tomorrow morning if that is going to be possible.

We had a surprise visit from Carol, a long time Blog reader tonight. Carol and her husband wintered in Mazatlan and are on their way back to Port Alberni, BC. Thanks for stopping by Carol!

Jackpot, Nevada

It is freezing cold here! I would not be surprised to see snow in the morning. We are in the RV park connected to Cactus Pete's Hotel and Casino, $18 per night but the water is turned off for fear of freezing and the dump has a sign saying "Gray Water Only". What's up with that? It is good we filled the water up before we left Ely this morning.

We walked over to the casino to look at the buffet and on the way Norma donated $30 and I, $7. Nobody won. That left Norma with $20 left from her last night's winnings so that helped a little with the buffet. It was pretty good for $14 each.

We will try to get an early start tomorrow and try for Pendleton, Oregon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ely, NV

We are in the RV park attached to the Prospector Hotel & Casino in Ely, Nevada. It was a five hour drive from Las Vegas so it is a natural place to stop. It is pretty basic, 30 or so full hookups (50 amp) on a gravel parking lot but the price is right at $16 per night.

When we went to pay we got coupons for two free margaritas in the casino so maybe we will wander over there later and donate $5 to the penny slots. It was not a long drive today but it was a little tiring because of the gusting cross winds.

Tomorrow we will be in Jackpot, NV on the Nevada / Idaho border.

** End tally: I lost $6 but got two free margaritas, Norma won $50

Sunday, April 20, 2014

One More Day

It is another beautiful day here in Las Vegas and the finals of the curling competition that Norma is hooked on are today so we have added one day onto our stay. We will fit a trip or two to the pool and hot tub in as well. Tomorrow we will head to Ely, NV and some cooler temperatures.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


That is what Emeril Lagasse says while he cooks, isn't it? That and, "Let's kick it up a notch". Well, our visit to his Emeril Lagesse's Stadium Restaurant was not all that spectacular. I found it by Googling, Best Affordable Places To Eat in Las Vegas. I had to add "affordable" after discovering all the places you can't get out of for under $100 per person. Two sites I found raved about their Happy Hours where beer is $3 and appy's, $5. This would be a good deal and we would be able to get out of there for $30 or so.

We drove down, parked (more on that later) and went to the "Please Wait To Be Seated" desk and told them we were there for Happy Hour. We were informed they did not have one. I told them I saw it on the Internet. "Let me ask someone else", she said and off she went. "No, we have never heard of a Happy Hour here". Well, we had already valeted the car so we asked for a table on the outside patio. I ordered an India Pale Ale for $7 and Norma the cheapest chardonnay on the wine list for $15 per glass. I stupidly said, "She just wants a glass, not the bottle" She laughed like she had heard that joke before and told me the whole bottle was $65. The beer was ice cold and good but the wine was way too sweet for a chardonnay, not as good as our "Two Buck Chuck". She drank it but did not enjoy it.

We ordered one appy (raw tuna) for $15 and fish and chips for $17. Norma had watched Emeril make his fish and chips on TV and wanted to try them. They were very good The fish was grouper and the portion large. The tuna appy on the other hand was pretty bland. I am spoiled by my son's seared raw tuna dish. Raw tuna should be served room temperature but this was fresh out of the fridge, ice cold,. I asked for some wasabi and she had never heard of it, she thought it was a drink. I asked her to check with the chef and she actually returned with some which helped "kick the tuna up a notch" by at least giving it some flavor, albeit the wrong flavor.

The bill was $68 before the $10 tip. We paid, walked around the casino for a while and then retrieved the Honda.

When we arrived for dinner there were two parking lanes, one for "Valet" and one for "Self Park". The last time we did self park in one of these huge casinos we lost the car. This time we went to the valet lane. The kid opened the door for me, handed me the slip and stared at the dash. "Any special instructions for driving this?" he asked. I suddenly realized the car was at least five years older than him and laughed. "It is just a Honda but be careful, it is an antique!. The valet service was free, the tip, $5.

So, that was our adventure at Emeril's. It could have been "kicked up a notch".

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vegas, Baby!

We drove over the Boulder Dam and into Sin City. Last year we stayed at the Oasis RV Park at $46 per night but this time we are in the Road Runner RV Park at $16 per night. It is a three day special rate. We have been here before and it is a nice little park with a pool. Maybe a little crowded (smaller spaces) but for the price it can't be beat. Norma whined a little about having to take the dolly off so the woman at the check in found us a pull through. It was 96 degrees when we checked in and I set up the dish. Thankfully, it did not take long. There was a wind strong enough after dinner to move the dish so I found some rocks to steady it. The guy across the street has six (!) concrete blocks around his dish so maybe there is a bit of wind here.

It will be our last chance to soak up some sun so we are taking advantage of it. We should still get home by the 29th but the extra five days Canada has added to the filing deadline for taxes gives us some breathing room.

We do not have much planned for Las Vegas except soaking up some rays. And maybe a Happy Hour at Emeril Lagasse's Stadium Restaurant. His appies are on for $5 and beer for $3. Now to find out when Happy Hour is.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Fix. It's Only Money!

We spent the night in a Walmart near the repair place and were in front of the service bay when they opened at 8:00 AM. They had a "universal" ladder in stock and it went on fairly easily and looks good. I could have bought a hacksaw and done it myself but they did a good job. There was a tear in the rubber roof where the ladder was ripped out but I carry a roll of Eternabond for just such occasions and the roof was soon waterproof again. The new ladder uses different attachment points on the roof so it screwed into new plywood (or whatever it is). He used the same standoffs for the vertical part so no new holes on the back of the RV. The fridge vent cover was an easy fix as well and I would have gotten out of there fairly cheaply considering BUT... Norma had her own list of things she wanted adjusted so that added a couple of parts and a bit of labour onto the bill.

The total was $541, parts, labour and taxes included. It could have been worse. If anyone is looking for an honest RV repair place in Mesa, AZ, give Worldwide RV 480 832 5600 a call. They did good work.

We got out at 12;00, right when they said we would. We drove to Wikieup. AZ and checked into Dazzo's RV Park, Their Passport America rate is $10 per night with 50 amp power and great WIFI. Norma has some things we wanted to PVR tonight so I quickly set up the StarChoice. I remembered from last time that the path to the bird was precisely parallel  to the side of the RV when it was in a pull through so with only a slight altitude adjustment, I had it. Two minutes, tops.

Last time we were here their office, store and restaurant had burned down so there was nothing here. Everything is now rebuilt and they have chicken takeout which Norma is going to get for herself later. It is 96 outside and 85 inside with the A/C running. We are fairly high here so it will cool down later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Not Paying Attention

We were only a couple of miles away from the RV park when Norma spotted a Target store she wanted to stop at. I turned off and into the parking lot and right away, "CRASH, CRUNCH"! I got too close to a tree branch and took off the fridge vent cover and part of the rear ladder! Damn!

I called a couple of repair places and found one that can take us at 8:00 in the morning. The ladder is $99 plus installation and the vent covers are cheap. It is a bother but not serious in the overall scope of things.

I wasn't paying attention!

Time To Move

As much as we hate to leave the beautiful weather here in Fountain Hills, it is time to go. We will pack up and head to Las Vegas for a couple of days before heading into the cooler temperatures.

Revenue Canada's computers were hit by the Heartbleed virus and as a consequence they have added five days onto the tax filing deadline. We now have until May 5 to file. This will give us a little breathing room when we get home.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nothing To Crab About

We were driving back from the grocery store this afternoon, thinking about what to have for dinner when I said I wonder if the casino has crab on again. When we got home I Googled the casino and yes, they had crab. Dinner problem solved!

We put the fridge stuff away, changed and headed over. Being the weekend, the Players Club discount was not as good so instead of $9.99, it was $14.99. OK, I can live with that. I had already decided to head straight for the crab table and ignore the salad and veggies. I piled 3 crabs on my plate and made my way to our table before heading back for lemon wedges and melted butter. Norma followed me with a plate of salad. By the time she had eaten her salad and gone for a tiny slice of beef, I was headed back to the crab table where I reduced their haul by 3 more crabs. Yes, if you are counting, that is six crabs. I wasn't counting. In my defense, these were not huge crabs. The bodies held little meat and some of the legs were too thin to bother with but I still had my fill. As you can probably imagine.

About half way through this display of gluttony, Norma could take no more and left the table. She said she was going to walk around the casino and I could find her when I finished (if I didn't die on the spot from an overdose of melted butter). She assured me she was not going to gamble. Ya, right!

When I finally waddled out of the buffet I spotted her on her way back to get me. She smiled and said, "I lied. My favorite machine was not being used" and showed me two cash out slips, one for $150.00 and the other for $30. "Wow", I said. "How much did you put in?" "Two twenties"  After deducting $30 for dinner, that is a $100+ profit for the evening. I am starting to like this place. And to appreciate Norma's slot machine talents.

We stopped off at the RV park office as they had forgotten to update our park pass when we added three days earlier in the week and were told that because of some error they owed us $17 but could only give us credit, not cash. We gave them $12 to add another day and now we don't leave until Tuesday. That gives is about 12 or 13 days to get to the Island as we want to spend a day or two with Brooks and LindaLee before finishing the drive home to face Income Taxes. The fun is almost over!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


We had made arrangements to go out to dinner with our friends Brian and Sue before we leave Fountain Hills. Brian loves to research this type of thing so we let them choose where to go. Brian soon emailed us three choices and we picked the Sapori D'Italia, a local Italian eatery that once stared in some Restaurant Makeover TV show. We met in the bar at 6:30 for a Happy Hour drink and then moved to the patio for dinner. I must say that whatever the Restaurant Makeover did for them, they did it well. My Mussels Marsala were huge and delicious, served over a plate of pasta. Norma had veal and ate "most" of it. Sue had mussels only in a white sauce and Brian had clams.  The conversation was great and the food delicious. We will be back to this place and Brian told the owner on the way out, "I think we have found our favorite restaurant in Fountain Hills".

Once again we were stuffed and headed home for coffee and an early night. The space below would normally have a photo of the four of us but I forgot my camera and the photo I had the waitress take with my phone did not turn out. So... no photo.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Slide Topper

We have all seen slide toppers in need of replacement. This year ours joined these ranks. It has been exposed to ultraviolet rays for nine years and was fraying. The other day a mobile repair truck was in the park and I asked him if they did this work. He gave me his card and told me to phone his shop. I did that and they asked me to send photos and take some measurements which I did. The truck is arriving sometime today (yesterday) with the new fabric.

They were however, quick to remind me that I had done the measuring and if it was wrong, it is my fault. Not so sure I like this.

The installer called in the morning and told me his ten year old son had been injured in school and was in the hospital. I told him to take care of his son, tomorrow was good enough for the install. About three hours later he called back and said he was on his way. The injury was a sprained ankle that they thought might be broken so they sent him to the hospital.

I asked him if the school had insurance for this and he said no, they have to file a copy of their medical insurance with the school before the child is allowed into the gym.

The install was not as easy as I thought it might be and took him about two hours. When he finished we moved the slide in and out and everything worked. The bill was $471 US. I don't know if this is cheap or expensive. Anyway, it needed doing. The main awning is also showing a little UV damage from the sun so it will probably have to be replaced in another year or two.

When the installer left we decided to go to the casino to have a look around. We signed up for a card and they put $10 on each one as a gift. I spent the gift amount and walked away with $18 cash. Norma spent the gift amount plus $20 of her own and walked away with $37. It was "$9.99 Crab Leg Night" in the buffet so we invested most of our winnings there. The crab legs were actually quite nice. A lot larger and easier to get out of the shell than the last time we had them in Las Vegas for $25 each. All in all a good evening. I pigged out, going back three times for more crab and then I hit the desert table. I did not even have room for coffee when we got home.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ATM Glitch?

I just read that 90% of worldwide ATM's are running on the no longer supported XP operating system. Changing them out to the newest system (till they change it again) could cost as much as $700 Billion. Maybe they could leave them alone. Maybe hackers will not find a way to make withdrawals. Maybe.

England's entire Health Care System also runs on XP and for all I know, maybe Canada's as well.

How much will it cost bank customers and taxpayers just because Microsoft wants to change the color of the ponies on the merry-go-round?

Three More Days

Our plan was to leave Fountain Hills tomorrow morning and move on to Las Vegas. The weather is perfect here and we have no real reason to spend time in Vegas so we have decided to stay here for another three days.

Just after this decision was made the awning guy phoned to tell us his son was injured at school and is in the hospital. I told him to go to the hospital and deal with his son, that tomorrow would work just as well. 

It is forecast for 91F today. The A/C is having trouble keeping up.

Windows XP

Today is the last day for Windows XP support. No more updates, we are now more open to viruses. I have only one of 4 computers still on XP, my little Asus Netbook which will be moved to Linux when we get home. 

What angers me is the fact that my computing needs could get by quite nicely with Windows 98. I do not "game" and I do not watch movies on the computer. I surf the web, email, write and read Blogs and run an older version of Quicken. These things make up 99.9% of my computer use. I could care less if "Bloody Assassin 2019" requires 12 Gigs of RAM to get to level 35. Quicken requires 500 Megs and that is all I need. Microsoft, quit making me spend more money for upgrades I have no use for. 

It is like the auto industry announcing that since the 2015 model year is out, nothing older can be serviced or repaired. It is "legal" extortion.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This Is What We Came For

U.S. National Weather Service Alerts for Fountain Hills, AZ



    Now - Wednesday, Apr 9, 7:00am

More Les!

Yesterday as we were getting ready to head to the pool I checked my email and there was a message from our friend Les asking if we were going to be home later. Les is an old friend from Vancouver Island who has moved to Mexico. We usually manage to see Les once a year but it has been almost two years since he came to visit us in Queretaro, Mexico. He had just crossed the Mexico/USA border and his GPS told him he was six hours away.

Sure enough, six hours and fifteen minutes later his little blue VW pulled up in front of us. He had driven 1200 KM and was understandably weary but he found time to bring us up to date on his many adventures. He is on his way to Yosemite and then to Vancouver Island where he will visit his "Island Family" in Nanaimo and then he will fly to Spain where he will tackle the "El Camino", a 500 mile hike across Spain. Like I say, he has adventures!

Our socializing continued and Norma made a salad for dinner and soon after, Les headed out to the local hotel we had found and booked online. Les is a great friend and it is always nice to catch up with him.

Les always has a way with the women!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Car Show!

We went for breakfast Sunday with our friends from Fountain Hills. Phil's Filling Station Restaurant has a large parking lot where they hold an impromptu car show every Sunday. Classic and custom cars from all over the valley assemble and they put on quite a show.

Here is a sample. Leading off is one of the original 1964 1/2 "Playmate Mustangs", given to every Playboy Magazine "Playmate". There are only two remaining in existence and this one has found new life as a "Breast Cancer Awareness" vehicle.

And finally, the Fountain at Fountain Hills. At full power it can shoot almost 500 feet into the air. It was built in the middle of nowhere by Robert P. McCullough of chainsaw fame in hopes that it would attract people to his housing development. It worked!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fountain Hills

Finally! Beautiful weather!!!! Thank You Arizona!! It is 9:30AM and already HOT! Yesterday we went for a swim and hot tub and then laid in the sun by the pool before having Happy Hour with our friends Brian and Sue who live here in Fountain Hills. This morning we are heading over to Phil's Filling Station Grill to meet Brian and Sue for breakfast. Phil's has an impromptu car show on Sundays where car enthusiasts from all over the Valley gather to show off their rides in the parking lot.

We booked for three nights but are adding another three. It is too beautiful to leave here and we need better tans.

Our end spot with desert behind us $44 per night with a "pay for two nights, get one free" special on.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tioga George

For those of you who have followed Tioga George's Blog, he finally posted an update. About two weeks ago he suffered a heart "episode" while at the wheel of Ms. Tioga and went off the road, wrecking the motorhome.

He has now recovered from surgery and is driving a rented car to San Diego where he will spend some time visiting friends.

We have met George a couple of times in our travels and quite like him. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery!

Friday, April 4, 2014

45 Years!

It is a beautiful day today. We are up early because our bodies are still two time zones ahead of the clock. It is a great day for travel and......................

It Is Our 45th Anniversary! And I have to say that it was me who remembered it, not Norma. Norma says if you add the time we lived together before the wedding, it is actually 48 years.

We have been invited to our friends Brian and Sue's in Fountain Hills for dinner tonight so that will be our dinner out. We just have to get settled in the Eagle View RV Park and get Starchoice hooked up before we head out to their house.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Three States!

We covered three States yesterday! We left El Paso, Texas after a great night in the WalMart, entered New Mexico and just kept driving until we got into Arizona! Aside from the excitement caused by the high cross winds we endured all day, it was a pretty boring drive through the desert without much to see (besides desert).

We drove as far as Willcox and The Ft. Willcox RV Park, a Passport America park where we have stayed every time we have been through this area. It is easy access, all pull throughs, $20 per night and the owner makes and sells delicious pies. PLUS free waffles and coffee in the morning! What's not to like?

We hooked up and noticed the main awning had started to come unfurled in the horrendous winds we dealt with all day. It does not look like there is any damage but it unfurled a foot or so and could have ripped right off if the wind caught it right. Pretty scary situation. With the help of our friendly Ohio neighbor, we opened the awning and re-closed it properly. We have not used the awning at all this year and I had to re-learn the process. Speaking of awnings, the slide topper has started to rip in front and needs replacing. Maybe something to do if we can find an awning place along the road.

We contacted our friends and fellow Bloggers Brian and Sue, "Brian and Sue on the Road", who we met in Mexico. They live in Fountain Hills, in the hills just above Mesa, AZ and we are arranging to meet with them. We will stay three nights at Eagle View RV Park in nearby Fort McDowell which is close to their house. There are no cheap RV parks in the Phoenix area but Eagle View has a "pay for two, get one free" deal on right now so that gives a little relief from their $44 per night rates. It will be great to see Brian and Sue.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guess Who We Ran Into On The Road To El Paso!

We drove from Odessa through miles of pretty featureless scrub desert until we found ourselves in Pecos, TX. I was trying to explain to Norma just who Pecos Bill was when she was distracted by a Denny's sign.

We sat down and ordered when a couple came through the door. I recognized the hat immediately, it was fellow Blogger George from "Our Awesome Travels". I was just starting to form the word "George" when he walked over and asked if I was Croft.

George and Suzi sat with us and we had a great gab for what seemed like only a few minutes but was actually over an hour. We were headed in opposite directions, them home to Ontario and us west so our chance meeting was brief but enjoyable.

George and I have been reading and commenting on each others Blogs for ages and once again it is proven that the impressions you get from reading someone's Blog usually turn out to be pretty accurate. What a great couple they are and I would love to be able to sit and swap stories with them sometime.

We continued on to El Paso, through the freeway construction that has been going on for years and found the WalMart. Our route took us past the RV park we always used to stay at until they stopped honoring Passport America. We relented and paid their $35 for one night last year but it is too much money for what you get. The Walmart suited our needs for a few hours sleep.

We parked and Security drove by. We asked if we could stay for the night and he told us where to park and assured us that they were guarding the lot all night and told us we would be safe. El Paso shares the border with the Mexican city of Juarez and the area is an active drug "Plaza" for the Cartel. They are not interested in a pair of 70 year old Canadians but the pickup with the flashing lights on the roof make Norma feel better and when Norma is happy, we are all happy!

Meeting new friends and a safe place to park means once again that, "Life Is Good"!

-photo ripped from George's Blog (with permission of course).

Yes, We Have No Propane Today

We are finding it very difficult to find propane this year. Few service stations sell it and the ones that do all seem to be in some kind of contest to come up with reasons to not sell it.

"My son has the licence to pump it but he is off for lunch. He should be back in a half hour". We waited because it was the only place we had found all day and we were very low. We made lunch and had a nap and an hour later I went back in. "I don't know where he is. He has a new girlfriend so maybe he stopped there. I don't know her phone number". Half an hour later he was still MIA so we left.

On a Sunday we pulled up to the propane tank in a TA Travel Center and Norma went in to ask for someone to come out to fill us. "We don't sell propane on Sundays" the clerk said while giving her a look as if she had gone out of her way to insult the lord or something. Well, they sell beer, wine, tobacco and condoms on Sunday, why does propane violate their religious convictions?

After struggling to connect his hose to our tank for ten minuted one guy asked, "Where are you from"? "Canada", I answered. "Well, you have a Canadian fitting, you can't fill it in the USA" he explained as he rolled up his hose.

Another Love's Travel Center had a "Propane Now Available" sign at the Interstate exit. We pulled in and could not see the tank. Norma went in to ask and was told they did not sell propane, never had. She told them about the sign and they knew nothing about it. "I don't know what the sign says, we don't sell propane"!

This place takes the cake. "Do you sell propane"? "No, but your truck takes gas, not propane". He stated as if I were stupid. "I know, it is for the RV fridge, stove and water heater. Do you know of anyone in town who sells it"? "Hey George" he yells to someone in back. "Do you know if anyone in town sells propane"? George came out and looked at the motorhome, "I think Bill at the hardware store sells it in those little green bottles".

Wish us luck, we are off to find propane.