Monday, January 31, 2011

Joshua Tree Part Deux…

The other day we made quite a few plans with John and Pat to fill in the next couple weeks.  Today’s plan was to go up to Joshua Tree State Park.  We didn’t plan on some pretty nasty winds while we were there!  At least we had all sun, and the temperature was not too bad, but for most of the day the wind was up!

We started off by heading over to arches rock! 

Ya, none of us were brave enough today for our shorts with the big wind up…


It is kind of a neat rock!


Here is the crew making the climb up to the rock.


With the high winds, we decided to take the Jeep Eco Tour that takes you out into the middle of no where until your lost, and then hope you can find your way out!   We did…  we had a blast doing the 18 mile trek in 4 wheel drive!


All kinds of neat rock formations along the way…


We came across this freak Joshua Tree… no one knows why it grew so straight!


Yup, that would be cap rock below…


Here is John looking at Palm Springs from the top of Keyes Lookout! 


We found some rock climbers, look in the direct centre of the pic below…


The lake below had dropped about 2 feet since Judy and I were here about 3 weeks ago…


Pat is checking out the dam the cowboys built.


A long time ago, local Indians painted these rocks with some petroglyphs… Judy and John are checking them out.


We had a great day, and then headed back down to DHS and picked up a Pizza Hut Pizza for din din!

It is hard being a tourist!

Till tomorrow…

A very special day!

Happy Birthday today, to our Dear Sweet Emmie.  She turned 3 years old today and we had a great skype video call with Her out of Grey, Tennessee this morning.  She was pretty excited, as well as Her Sister Paige!  Great to see them!

Right after breakfast we decided we would make a visit to the Palm Springs Air Museum.  It was a windy day today, and a lot of the Museum is inside, so we figured that would be good.

No, I did not go out and buy another model helicopter!  This Company offers site seeing tours of Palm Springs for $50.00 a head, and operate out of the side parking lot of the Museum.


Off they go… with Mount Jacinto in the back drop.


They have a nice museum here, with a bunch of palm trees…


We were in luck, they had a B-17 at the museum, on loan from the museum in Mesa, over near Phoenix.  This is a beautiful plane, that was referred to as the Flying Fortress during the war.  It carried a crew of 10.  It is crossing the U.S. on a Nation wide tour right now.  More on it a little further in the blog.


Inside the Museum was the Flag of Honor.  It contained the names of all the people lost during the 911 attacks in New York City. 


We attended an hour long lecture on the war in the Pacific Ocean, that was excellent!  Lots I did not know about!

Check out the old army helicopter below… wonder if my remote controller will work with it???


Judy and Pat were checking out a flight simulator.


Judy and I went inside the B-17 from above.  It was a replica of the original, including the machine guns!  It was like flying in a pop can.  I could not imagine being in this while other people are trying to shoot you down! 


It was a little tight inside the B-17… I only hit my head once!


I made my way up to the pilot’s chair, and this is his view as you look out to your left…


Oh… which button and lever to push????


There is a gun turret, right behind the pilots, where the gunner would stand to shoot with his head up in a glass bubble… this is the view, with weather starting to come in off the mountains, and the machine guns ready to shoot anything that gets in the way!


These are what the machine guns fired! 


If the machine guns didn’t work, you just dropped a bomb on them!


Nice Mustang below, waiting to be fired up!  Most of the planes here can fly!



They have a full library at the museum, and we all found the original copy of Life Magazine, for the day we were born!  Cool.  Judy is holding March 14, 1955… oopppss, I am giving secrets away…


Yesterday, while we were at the Palm Spring Wal-Mart, the B-17 took off from the airport, and was great to see it fly…  For a small fee of only $425.00 they would take you for a private flight in the B-17.  While at Wal-Mart yesterday, it was funny when a fighter plane took off after the B-17 and buzzed Wal-Mart and set off about 5 car alarms… had to be there!

We spent over 1/2 the day here and had a great time!  Well worth it!

Till tomorrow…


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Easy day in the Desert!

OK, so I have been taking it on the chin a bit about my helicopter!  

This morning I decided to go out flying by myself, and get the thing going!   I made 3 great flights that sent the bird about 100 feet up and was flying it all over!  Life was good… until the fourth flight, the helicopter suffered an in flight mal-function and sort of made a harder landing than planned… so we are in need of a couple spare parts for the blades, but should have it fixed and up and running soon… stay tuned!

This morning after flying, we headed into the Palm Springs College of the Desert Market.  Had lots of fun and enjoyed lunch there!

A little dark on the picture, but here are the tourists at the market… lots of people there today, and yes, we kept the economy going!


After the market, we went for a quick run up Hwy. 72… there is a great look out that we stopped at to show Pat and John a great view of the Corcella Valley.


We met a nice bunch of folks from the area that took our pic.  There was some haze today so the viewing was limited.  We are up 2,000 feet here.


We made it back this afternoon, and enjoyed a run at the hot tubs… it was great!  Judy whipped up a great dinner, and then it was outside tonight to enjoy fire in a can… great night to sit out… warm!


Just another great day in paradise!

Welcome to Russ Krecklow, our latest blog follower!  Be warned Russ, life is tuff down here in Palm Springs for the next while!

Till tomorrow…

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Population of Desert Hot Springs increases by 2…

Today John and Pat M. came down off of Big Bear Ski Hills, and joined us at Caliente Springs Resort! They had a rental car they dropped off at the Palm Springs Airport, so we picked them up and brought them out to the resort!

They had made arrangements to rent one of the rental park model units for 2 weeks, and it was set and ready to go.  It is basically a brand new unit fully set up to go with everything you need, and only a couple blocks inside the park from our lot.


We did not do much today, just got them settled into the unit and showed them around the resort.


It was simply a beautiful day in DHS with temps in the high 70’s… (+25 for the Canadians…) with no winds at all, it was a great opportunity to have a full audience while I tested out my new toy helicopter to earn my licence!


It is a little harder to fly than I thought it might be, and you need to practice, but I did get it up a few feet in the air… you need to pay full attention to what you are doing!   Judy took the pictures to record this event for us today…


We enjoyed a great BBQ dinner with John and Pat tonight and spent hours getting caught up!

Till tomorrow…

Friday, January 28, 2011

A day at the “Q”…

So if you wonder how we decide what we are going to do in our retirement… here is how it goes…

This morning we are sitting having coffee with our laptops going over the daily email, and I say to Judy…  “so what do you want to do today???”  She looks over at me and says… “why don’t we take a drive over to Quartzite?”   The next sound you hear is the Jeep firing up!   That is how deep we are into planning our lives!

Now for those of you who live in caves, and have never heard of Quartzite, it is the biggest RV spot in the west!  Thousand of RV’s boondock here on an annual basis… and then every January they have this humungas RV show where they sell everything from a to z!  Check out the main tent below… it is the big top!


All kinds of people were in spending money left and right… the economy was good here!


There are a whole bunch of venders outside as well selling in the desert sand!


The show runs all week, and there were a lot of people here today for a Thursday!


Judy is checking out this new 2011 Tiger.  It is built on the Ford F350 Diesel truck and comes with 4 wheel drive and is built to go where ever you want it to go.  Sells for just over $100,000.00… not bad.  It was loaded.


This was a gas powered ice cream maker… weird…


Now Judy will tell you that on Tuesday of this week I spent toooooo much time at Edwards, looking at all the planes and helicopters… so as I was walking through the big tent today, I found a vender from California selling these neat little Helicopters… Remote control of course…


I have always have had an interest in flying but could never trust myself to fly a plane, so this will be the extent of my flying career!  It is a fair big bird.  It actually has twin motors and twin blades that spin opposing each other.


It carries a lithium Ion battery to power the motors, but it did not come with any rockets to shoot off or any machine guns… darn…


So I will have to let you know how my new career works out with my helicopter!

Many thanks tonight to our good friends David and Angela up in Bracebridge.   David is off work recovering from extensive shoulder surgery.  So while he is recovering, he takes care of all our business for us back up in Ontario!  He gets our mail, and scans and emails it to us… phones us on skype to fill us in on anything important… such as a cheque arriving!!!!!!  Runs to the Bank for us, well, you just name it!  Appreciate your help guys and will see you soon in Lake Havasu City!

Till tomorrow…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let’s slow things down a bit…

It was nice getting back home last night after a long drive from Edwards AFB.  So today, was a bit of a shut down day. 

We took care of domestic duties this morning, and then Judy took in a Fashion Show at the Resort, along with an opportunity to purchase some of the goods!  She did! (and she did pick wisely!)

If you can imagine, I gave up the chance to go to the Fashion Show, opting instead to go for a ride on the motorcycle.  Had a nice tour around Palm Springs!

There are a couple of things I would like to highlight from our tour of Edwards… kind of hard to put everything in on one blog!

Pictured below is the SR-71 Blackbird.  Quite a plane.  The Blackbird design originated in secrecy in the late 1950’s…  It was not until 1976 that President Lyndon Johnson publicly announced the existence of the plane! 

This plane was designed to fly at Mach 3.2, just over three times the speed of sound! More than 2,200 mph at 85,000 feet, now that is moving. 

A lot of high altitude experiments were made with this plane, and it certainly led the way for future aircraft development.

Check out the cones in the front of the jet engines.  They could actually move, and regulated the flow of air over the motors, and acted like a ramjet to give you big performance from the engine.  Problem with this plane was the amount of fuel it burned.


The information gained also led to developments in the Space Shuttle Program.  One thing was clear in the tour, development of one plane, led to the development of a better plane, all through history. 


In this pic of a pic, you can se it taking off with full after burners going.  One interesting thing that came out of the research, was the fact that asbestos was used in construction of the plane.  They found out that this changed the radar signature of the plane, and ended up in the development of the “Stealth” program!


Below is a “Mate-Demate Device”.  This was built for the Space Shuttle in 1976 at a cost of $1.7 million.  It is still in use, and they can service and lift the Shuttle in order to place it on the back of the 747 to fly back to Florida.  It stands about 10 stories high.  There is 3 hoists that can lift a total of 240,000 pounds!  Yes, a shuttle is heavy.


Currently, NASA is working on the next generation of space travel as the Space Shuttle Program is coming to an end.  The Ares 1 is a new launch vehicle, (rocket) that will lift the next generation space craft up to the moon and maybe beyond!  It is being developed here at Edwards!

Got a phone call tonight from John and Pat up in Big Bear, and they report the ski hills are great and are having a blast!  They will come down to earth on Friday, as they check into our Resort!

And a big “Thank You” to all our Readers who have pushed our blog hits to over 25,000!  Thanks!

Till tomorrow…