November and December 2012, Apache Junction, AZ
Business on the Dolly Steamboat has been slow and Rex has not been scheduled to work in November so he has partnered with Charlie, a handyman in our park. He is keeping busy washing the outside of park models, doing repairs, building steps and other handyman stuff. He is enjoying the work and getting to know a lot more of the park residents.
Tom, a friend of ours, opened the Desert Dwellers Express this summer and asked Rex to work with him as a conductor during the winter. This is a trackless train that provides rides at street fairs, school and church functions, birthday parties, etc. Rex is enjoying working on the “train” and even gets to wear his train hat.
Nancy’s mom and dad again joined us for a very nice Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by our park. The park furnished the turkeys and we all brought side dishes. We had a lot of really good food and as always we ate too much!
Rex turned the big “60” on November 27th. Nancy tried to surprise him by having a party at a restaurant. It is very hard to surprise Rex and he knew something was up but at least acted surprised when we walked into the restaurant.
We all enjoyed a great Italian dinner and Rex's favorite - pineapple upside down cake – here is Rex with our friends; Pauline, Randy and Wendy.
The balloon says it all!
This year Rex is again leading the Friday hikes in our park. We started hiking the first week in November and have had great weather except for one day in December we had to cancel because it was raining.
We went on a hike with group from Superstition Mountain Museum to the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. This is a wonderful place to hike but, unfortunately, is about 90 miles from Apache Junction so we will not hike there very often. The hike crossed Aravaipa Creek many times and we also had to hike in the creek a couple of times. The area was beautiful – lots of green along the creek and the leaves on the trees full of fall color. There were lots of huge cottonwood and Sycamore trees along the creek.
After hiking a couple of miles upstream, we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the beautiful view.
We really enjoyed the hike and meeting some new people.
As the holidays approached, the Desert Dwellers Express got pretty busy. Here the train is decorated for the holidays as they work a street fair.
About the middle of December our park manager offered both of us part-time positions in the park. We are now working as camp hosts after the park office closes for the day and on weekends. We check in campers who arrive in the evening or on the weekends, show them to their sites, tell them about the park and area, etc. After the first of January there will be 3 camp hosts so we will only be on call every third week. Nancy is also working 3 days a week in the park office helping out with whatever is needed. She enjoys the work and the challenge of learning the computerized reservation system being used here. This is a great way to meet the park residents that she doesn’t already know. Rex is also locking up the building at 10 pm every night and doing a security check. He drives the golf cart down every street and looks for anything that might be suspicious.
We are both keeping busy with these jobs and Rex is so busy with the handyman jobs that he decided not to continue working on the Dolly Steamboat. He hated to give us that job because he enjoyed it so much but now he doesn’t have to drive 15 miles on a curvy mountain road to get to work.
Rex was helping Nancy’s dad trim trees at their place when he fell off the ladder. He received bad bruises on both his heels, hit the side of his head pretty hard, and scratched one arm pretty good. He was hobbling around very gingerly for a week and is slowly getting better. We were concerned that he might have re injured the ankle he fractured in September as it was hurting him some, but it seems to be getting better. We keep telling him that now that he is in his 60’s he doesn’t bounce as good as he did when he was younger!
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!