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WEARING DOWN THE TREADS WITH THE COLEYS

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    A "HEART-Y" SCAVENGER HUNT, A REALLY BIG BABY, & A MICROBURST

    FEBRUARY 24, 2021

     

    We came back to AZ with the expectation that we would only be here for the winter (a year ago) hibernating, exploring and planning next summer’s adventures.  As we all know, last winter extended to this winter.  We’ve met some really great people this season and as much as we’ll be glad to travel back home to family and years-long friends, we’ll miss those new friendships made here, but knowing they’ll be here next season will make it easier to head south again next November.

    THE DESTINY GANG:  Front:  Mindy, Shirley, Pam 

    Middle:  Patrick, Rick, Carol, Tracey, George

    Back:  Greg, Bill, Tony, Janie is taking the photo.

     

    After fifteen months of staying in one place though, we’ve discovered that living in an RV while not traveling can really be boring.  This is not what we envisioned when we started our ‘adventure’.  Wheels are meant for rolling and the pandemic hasn’t just slowed everything down, it stomped on the brakes.  Hard!

    We’ve pretty much been staying close to home, that’s not to say that we’ve been completely stuck inside the RV.  Occasionally, we venture out and about, visiting careful friends, grocery shopping, ordering carry out and a little sightseeing. Someday, like everyone else, when things are better in the world, we’ll again dine inside, visit crowded events, etc. Right now, we absolutely won’t be doing that with the regularity we once did. We feel that traveling from town to town, state to state, inside dining and gathering with people who gather with friends that we don’t know can potentially spread Covid-19 to us OR, we could be asymptomatic without knowing it.  That would be irresponsible and potentially dangerous.  We’re awaiting the Johnson & Johnson one injection vaccine.  BUT, we haven’t stopped outdoor activities and we’ve been doing those as much as possible.

    JUST WHAT HAVE WE BEEN DOING?  One of those excursions took Kathy and Tom Tanton, George and I over to Phoenix to Soda Jerk Co. Milkshake Bar.  OMGosh, you guys!  Their shakes are seriously MONSTROUS!!  And cheap.

    George indulged in Death by Chocolate Milkshake, Tom attacked a Turtle Milkshake, Kathy ate most of her Tuxedo Milkshake and, as you can see from the expression on my face, I was suffering a brain freeze from my Dreamy Orange Milkshake.  I suggest you visit their website to see their list of flavors with mouthwatering descriptions.  Better yet, check out their Facebook page that has photos and testimonials from patrons at. And, when in Phoenix, visit their shop. No one left dissatisfied; just stuffed to the point of bursting.

        

           

     “THE HEART OF GOODYEAR”:  Goodyear, AZ is celebrating their 75th anniversary by placing ten five feet tall and six feet wide hearts around the city that were painted by local artists.  The front and back sides of each heart represent a decade of Goodyear’s history and its future. The artists did their own research to develop their designs.  The scavenger hunt took George and me around the entire city searching for each of the hearts.  We even got to meet one of the artists as she was touching up some wrinkles.  Allow me to take you through the decades:

    1940’s by Esther BeLer Wodrich:  During WWI, local women worked at Goodyear Aircraft.  They supplied flight decks for the Navy.  There also were German and Italian prisoner of war camps in Goodyear.  POW’s worked the cotton fields during the war.

      

    1950’s by Jenita Landrum-Bittles:   She wanted to celebrate women with her heart.  Due to men being off to war, women of the 50’s were important in the employment industry.  “The Balloon Girls” made hand-carried balloons that were used in the Macy’s Day Parades.

        

    1960’s by Adam and Addie Turner:  This father and daughter team’s heart represents local and national events of the 60’s.  Television transitioned from black and white to color.  The colors are reminiscent of the 60’s.  They wanted to depict growth and important events that impacted history, such as Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech, the Endangered Species Preservation Act and the Water Quality Act.  The reverse side of the heart details the Phoenix Raceway and a Vietnam fallen soldier to honor those lost fighting for our country.

       

    1970’s by Lucretia Torva:  Not a lot of events took place in the 70’s, but NASA put the first tire on the moon. Muscle cars, “Saturday Night Fever”, and disco were popular. The artist painted the dancer’s head as Paul W. Litchfield, president, chairman and first CEO of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.  He was founder of Goodyear, AZ and Litchfield Park, AZ.  Litchfield also helped produce the first airplane tire, long haul conveyer belts, hydraulic disc breaks for airplanes and many other inventions.   

     

       

    1980’s by Jessi Kerr:  She used icons and wild designs from the 80’s pop culture.

      

    1990’s  by  Oliverio Balcells:  Thefront of the heart represents the World Wide Web and a person’s brain that simulates connecting neuron’s forming a multicolor network.  The hands symbolize the community.  The back side of the heart is a world map connected by the World Wide Web.

      

    2000’s by Emma Garcia:  The swirls at the bottom represent the roots of Goodyear, which make the city amazing.

      

    2010’s by Susan Rossell:  She saw that the Goodyear community is very strong and the silhouettes of the buildings signify the city’s growth.  The cotton fields and desert landscape depict the history of Goodyear. Yearly festivals are represented by the hot air balloons and fireworks.

      

    2020’s by Annmarie Perry:  She wanted to bring respite from politics, Covid-19 and comfort from all that 2020 ensued.  She was inspired by wildlife and mountains and thought they’d bring peace to the community.  This is my favorite.

      

    FUTURE by Nathan Carmichael:  He’s a local teacher that invited children to draw their future selves.

      

    A 20’ BABY? George and I took a ride out to Loop 303 and Camelback Road to capture a photo of the twenty-foot baby billboard.  The giant Baby Jamie and life-sized cutouts of a farmer and Kathleen Duncan once stood as a landmark in the West Valley for fifteen years and pointed people to the Duncan Family Farms.  They took him down when construction began on the freeway back in 2013.  They weren’t able to salvage the original baby, so they contacted the artist to replicate the original and returned him back to the valley this year.  Isn’t he adorable?

    MICRO BURSTS are FREAKING scary!!  It was raining. YAY!!  Boy, does AZ need rain. Nothing all spring, summer or fall and it all fell in one day.  Then came pea-sized hail…lots of it.  The wind picked up and suddenly, we saw large branches flying across the field next to us and then right behind our RV.  We thought it was a tornado as the RV rocked and we were sure we were going to roll over.  And then it was over; lasting about sixty seconds.  These are behind our rig:

      

    George, being a former fireman/EMT, was in rescue mode and started running towards all RV’s with trees on them, making sure everyone inside was safe. (That’s him in the pic below removing branches from the street. He’s wearing the Aurora 88’s hoodie). Before I go further, everyone was safe.  Many RV’s have awning, roof and/or slide damage.  One had a branch go through the side wall.  A lot of our trees were felled and some were sheared of their top branches or stripped of their bark.

      

    When he returned to our RV, he noticed that the tripod attached to the kingpin (the part that attaches to the hitch in the bed of the truck) had moved off the pads used to keep the tripod’s legs from sinking into hot asphalt.  The tripod stabilizes and minimizes shaking and movement from inside and outside the RV.  So, the force of the wind DID move us.  We envisioned a domino effect as we were rocking.  Thankfully, the wind stopped as quickly as it began and that did not happen.  Here are some pics of our park:

       

            

    MOTHER OF THOUSANDS                    PLANT: She bloomed!            Ignore the background, but    the temperature dropped to    thirty-four degrees and we      brought her inside for the        night.  Unfortunately, she’ll die  now, because that’s what they do  after flowering. Apparently, all the seeds that were on her leaves had blown off and none took root in the pot, so we won’t be having babies.  

    WHAT’S NEXT?   We took a day trip to Yuma, AZ at 3:10 (for real) in severe fog, which caused us to miss our turn ending up at the Mexico border instead.  We turned around and headed to Yuma.  We attended an outdoor Super Bowl party and a few other fun things.  I’ll post those pics next time. 

    For sure, we definitely will not be going to northern AZ in the near future.  That means cold and snow…LOTS of snow.  We’ve seen photos on Facebook that friends and family are posting.  We left IL to stay away from that kind of weather.  There have been some very cold nights (down to 34 degrees) and cool to cold days here this winter, but it ain’t nuttin’ like up north.  So, we’ll stick to going south for now.  We’ll let you know.

    Until next time, stay warm and safe and thanks for dropping by.

    Pam and George