Wednesday, March 26, 2014

John and Dexter On The Road Again

Another Gift From My Angel

You may remember I wrote a blog about a visit I had from a hummingbird while I was in Montana.  My heart told me, as I held that beautiful and delicate little living creature in my cupped hands and felt its heart beating, that this was more than a little bird.

I decided today to read a few verses in the Bible.  The Bible I have with me was Pati’s Bible since she was a little girl.  Pati was raised Catholic and attended a Catholic school before starting high school.  Her Mom and Grandmother were very religious.  I admit I haven’t read the Bible much over the years but I am starting to realize the need for any type of positive support since I lost Pati.  I have been going to church as much as possible and I have been praying more than I ever have.  Anything it takes to give me the strength to get though each day. That is why my blog is named "One Day at a Time" is the only way I can do it now.

All that aside, today I opened Pati's Bible and was scanning through it when I came upon a place where there was something between the pages.  I will show you a picture of what I found. 

Pati's Bible

My Air Force emblem in the Bible

I am drawn to Paragraph 12......
That blue and white US AIR FORCE emblem was one of many that I had during my eight years active duty in the USAF.  It is silk and it was made to be sewn on our uniforms.  Pati had sewed them on for me.  The uniform shirt and pants were tan or khaki.

Anyway…why is this a big deal to me?  Well for one thing that silk emblem has been in that Bible for almost 50 years and I just found it.  I believe Pati put it in that Bible since, I estimate, 1966 when I was sent to Vietnam for a year long tour of duty.  It was a very dangerous assignment being “boots on the ground” in the middle of a war that was escalating rapidly.  The Tet Offensive occurred about six months after I got there in 1968 when the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong attempted to over-run Saigon.  I was stationed at Ton Son Nuit Air Base in Saigon and worked on the flight line when that happened.  It was a very scary time for everyone.

The fact she placed this little emblem where she did could be nothing…simply where she put it with no thoughts about it.  The fact it is on Page 186, Judges 6, paragraph 12 intrigues me.  Was this her way of hoping I was safe and had the Lord with me?  Paragraph 12 states “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” 

I am not trying to overplay this issue or make it seem like something it wasn’t but is sure makes me think I have had an Angel looking out for me since I met and fell in love at first sight with my Pati in January of 1965…….and she’s still watching over me.

Wickenberg and Prescott, Arizona

Wickenberg is a neat small Western town and it’s elevation makes for a lot cooler days and nights than it was in Tucson.  I stayed a few nights in town but only had a spot with water and electric and that cost me $30 a night, which is way too expensive for this ole boy’s budget.  I found some BLM spots outside of town but decided to just head on over to Prescott Valley and see what there was. 

On the way to Prescott I saw an exit for Bumble Bee (?) so I decided to check it out.  The road, all gravel, was a little rough but I was curious enough to keep going about five miles off the highway looking for a good parking spot on BLM land.  I did find a spot with a great view and no one around so I sat there for a few nights.  Unfortunately my battery was getting low too quickly and I didn’t want to get stranded so I packed up and headed to Prescott Valley looking for an RV park.  

I really like Prescott Valley and Prescott but the altitude is 5200 feet and which means thin air in the mornings are around freezing and the days are in the sixties….not bad but a little cool.  The RV park at the fairgrounds was reasonable so I stayed for four days.  That gave me a chance to switch out my 12v battery that would not hold a good charge with the two 6v batteries I have been carrying around since I traded in my old trailer for this 5th wheel.   I am hoping they will hold a charge better until I get some solar panals to help them out.

Prescott had an uppity feel about it that made me realize I don’t want to stick around long.  It is very obvious there is a lot of rich folks living in this area of Arizona.  Not always, but money seems to breed snobs and I don’t like snobs.  One walk around Trader Joe’s and you would understand what I am saying.

Prescott Valley from my RV Park

Cottonwood, Arizone as seen from Jerome, Arizona

Jerome, formally a ghost town but a tourist town now on the side of a mountain.

An RV park near downtown Prescott....very pretty area.
 Westward to Vegas via Laughlin

My brother, Mac, told me about a National Recreational Area called Katherine’s Landing prior to Bullhead City and Laughlin so I checked it out.  It is very nice and the price is right at five bucks a night for dry camping.  They have water and a dump but no electricity so it takes a little planning to stay long term.  The sites are real nice as you can see by the pictures.

Going into Katherine's Landing campsite

Casinos and more....even looks like a paddle boat but it is a hotel/casino.

Nice campsites water or power or sewer.

I checked out Laughlin and it is not for me.  I am not into casinos and people and that is all there is.  They did have an In & Out so Dex and I had lunch and enjoyed that.  They area almost as good as Five Guys but I think Five Guys has the best burgers around.

The big problem with this area is it is HOT!  High eighties and going to be in the nineties the next week.  Even the camp host was complaining about the heat and was glad that he only has nine more days and then he gets to go to Louisiana for a new gig..  With no AC (no power) I am not going to sit here and sweat so I called it quits after two nights.  I might add that it was a weekend and there was a young couple with four young kids next door tent camping and they just about drove me crazy!  They left on Sunday and I was out of there too….mainly because of the heat...not the kids.

So, here I am at Nellis AFB, home of the Thunderbirds, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The RV park was full so I had to take a water and electric spot, which is really crappy, if I wanted to stay longer.  I chose to stay only four days here.  I really don’t think I will go down to the strip or the clubs and deal with all the crowds.

I am going to lunch today with my nephew, Wade and his wife, Laurie.  Wade is a police officer here and I haven’t seen them since last year.  His Dad, my brother Mac, lives in Hurricane, Utah, about a hundred or so miles up the road.  That’s my next stop. 

Well.....that was a good day and I really enjoyed spending some time with Wade and Laurie. They have a beautiful home here and are enjoying life with their three cats.  I will always stop in for lunch when I come this way.

Tomorrow I think I will go to see the Red Rock Canyon area.  I have already gone through the Thunderbird Museum and I have some nice shots of the F-16 jets flying over constantly. 

As seen standing outside my RV at the camp...daily flyovers.

Well, Red Rock Canyon didn't happen.  A cold front (not really cold) came in with really high winds all day today so I decided to just hang out at home.  I did a little shopping at the base commissary and realized that our fighting men and women are really getting ripped off if they buy anything at the base commissary or exchange.  I bought a grilled chicken today and it cost $6.99.  The same chicken, much larger, at Costco is $4.99.  Gas at the base pumps is 20% higher than outside the gate. If you do buy groceries at the commissary and think you are getting a deal, you need to factor in a sur-charge of 5% for some odd reason. They have posters all over saying "tax free".  Not really.

I will say the best thing this country gave me, other than the pride of serving 26 years of service to this country, because I love my country, which is consistent with the fact the Murray family has given over 150 years of military service to this wonderful country, is my health care benefits.  I could not have made it without the health care benefits I received after retirement.  The cost of trying to get ahead of Pati's health issues, all brain related over a nineteen year period, must have been in the millions of dollars.  For that I am eternally grateful.

Tomorrow morning I leave here heading North.  I am going the slow route by Lake Meade and my first stop will be Valley of Fire State Park for a few days to see the unique rock formations etc. that is supposed to be there.  

Happy Trails ..............