Monday, January 28, 2013

Imperial Valley

We are back in the Imperial Valley near Yuma, Arizona.  

This whole area is a crop grower's paradise.

Lynnae and Judy decided to cut their own cauliflower for $1.00 a head.

It's fun and can't get any fresher than this.

We also visited the Sun Gardens Date Farm and had the traditional date shake.

We are heading to meet friends near Quartzsite, where we will stay a week or two boondocking in the desert. This is route 95 heading north from Yuma with "Castle Dome" at the highest point on the mountain  and "Fat Albert" in the sky above.  Fat Albert is one of a series of US observation blimps tethered to the ground that keep an eye on the US/Mexico border.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Algodones, Mexico

Algodones, Mexico is a tourist town just west and south of Yuma, Arizona.

 It's a fun place to spend a day shopping and getting glasses, hearing aids, dental work, prescriptions filled and other medical procedures done at extremely low prices.

We have gone to this dental office for several years now and are very happy with the care given there.
I have had cleanings, endodontic root canal treatment and crowns done there and the quality and materials are the same as I had in my own office near Chicago for 27 years.  As a fellow dentist, I have talked with a number of dentists there and the education, equipment, materials, and sterilization procedures are as good and many times even better than what we have back at home.  The latest in digital xrays and computer technology is often used.

This motorbike is a Mexican postal vehicle, wonderful for getting around the narrow and crowded streets in these small towns.

Jim would have liked to have one of these instead of the desk he had for over 40 years in postal management.

I once had our truck washed  in a place like this.  It took two guys over two hours and it was spotless inside, outside and underneath also.  Total cost was around $6.00US.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unusual Museums

On a recent trip to San Antonio, we stopped in Alamo Heights and made an appointment to see Barney Smith, the well known toilet seat artist.  

Barney, a 92 year old retired plumber, has converted his garage into a museum of sorts.

He has designed almost 1,000 toilet seats and is passionate about his work.

He knows the details of every seat and what's in every box he has.

                    His garage museum is a virtual Geocache location.

We signed the Escapee RV Club seat and documented it in Barney's log book.

                                      I signed the Dental seat

And Judy found the Nurses seat.

                                   Barney showing Judy his family shield seat.

                    Barney has been featured in many magazines and TV shows.

                                         The Early Show Seat

                                                The View

Ripley's Believe It Or Not

                            He has seats with items sent from around the world.

            You can see more of Barney at:
I hope I leave this world with a legacy as great as this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


                  The relatively small archaeological site of Labna was home to as many as 4,500 Mayans.  We saw only four other tourists on the day we were there.

Architecture here is typical Puuc style.

There are the usual serpents, some with human heads in their open jaws.

There are many arches, columns and Chac masks with large protruding noses.

 There are a number of Chultuns here.  These sites are so quiet, peaceful and enjoyable to visit and explore when there are so few other tourists to share them with.

The sacbe or "white road", made of raised limestone, can be easily seen here and connects the main palace with other parts of the city.

                                  Another well preserved and still working chultun.

                                   Chac noses and detailed workmanship.

Judy taking a nice morning walk on the sacbe just as the Mayans did over a thousand years ago.

                          The main palace has over 60 rooms and is 393 feet long.

                           The very dramatic end of the sacbe in Labna.

Friday, January 11, 2013


                           Kabah is another important Mayan site in the Yucatan.

Second in size to Uxmal, it covers over 2470 acres, much of it still covered in heavy jungle.

      It is known for its Palace of Masks. The palace is covered with over 250 of these hook-nosed rain god Chac masks.

  The Yucatan peninsula is a flat limestone plain, with no rivers or streams.  It is pockmarked in many areas with sinkholes called cenotes.  These provided water for the Mayan cities. This region, however, has no natural cenotes, so the Mayans had to depend on rain for all their water here.  This is the importance of the rain god, Chac.

                             This large site was occupied from the 9th--12th centuries.

These 3D human figures, called atlantes, are extremely rare in Mayan architecture.

                                       Entrance to a Mayan building.

The Mayans built cisterns here to catch rain water.  Over 60 of these cisterns, or chultuns, have been found so far. Some of these hold as much as 7,000 gallons of water and are still working today.

The arch at the end of a sacbe. This one connects Uxmal, Sayil, Kabah and Labna.