Wintering in Arizona

WE ARE CONNECTED!!!!! 

We had originally made Howie’s iPhone a “hot spot” for access to the Internet.  The problem was it was only for 5GB…when you reach your limit it is then $10 per 1 GB (very pricey)…well…we reached our limit before the end of our monthly billing cycle.  The Internet service at Destiny/Phoenix RV Park was too slow and wouldn’t even load pictures…we won’t even consider that service.  So, today we went to Verizon and purchased a Verizon “Jet Pack”…we have 10GB a month…should be enough…if not…we can increase. Yippee skippee…we are connected!!

Verizon “Jet Pack”.

Just so you are aware we arrived in Goodyear, Arizona on Monday, October 8 around 2:05pm…it was 91 degrees.

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We left Meteor Crater RV Park on Monday, October 8 around 8:30am…it was 41 degrees.

Meteor Crater RV Park.

Between Meteor Crater RV Park and Flagstaff, AZ

Between Meteor Crater RV Park and Flagstaff, AZ.

The San Francisco Peaks mountain range east of Flagstaff, AZ.

Another view of the San Francisco Peaks east of Flagstaff, AZ.

Desert flowers outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Our first stop was Flagstaff Medical Center for my blood draw.   I did receive my results and my INR was 2.40…really good.  The Nurse said I didn’t need to have a blood draw this week and could now go weekly.  But…being anal…I said I would like one more blood draw on Thursday because my diet is going to change…it will be going from McDonald’s and TV dinners to fresh meat and fresh veggies.  So, I have a blood draw on Thursday and if that is good I will go weekly!

Flagstaff Medical Center.

A business in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona.

We left Flagstaff around 10:30am…I didn’t like those roads on I-17at all…I held on to the door handle most of the way so I didn’t get a lot of pics. Howie is an excellent driver…it just is hard to be a passenger.

Interstate 17 (I-17), also known as the Black Canyon Freeway, is an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the state of Arizona. I-17′s southern terminus lies within Phoenix, at Interstate 10, and its northern terminus is in Flagstaff, at Interstate 40.  I-17 is one of the most scenic Interstate Highways as it gains more than a mile in altitude between Phoenix (1,117 ft) and Flagstaff (7,000 ft). The highway features several scenic view exits along its route that overlook the many mountains and valleys found in northern Arizona.

Interstate I-17.

West of Flagstaff, AZ.

West of Flagstaff, AZ.

A toy hauler…a toy hauler is a RV that has a ramp door on the back and cargo space to load motorcycles, ATVs or other toys inside.

This is an example of a toy hauler.

I know we are getting closer to Phoenix because of the Sorgento cacti.

The Phoenix Metropolitan Area, often referred to as the Valley of the Sun, the Salt River Valley or Metro Phoenix, is a metropolitan area, centered on the city of Phoenix which includes much of the central part of the U.S. State of Arizona.

We are now in “the Valley of the Sun”.

Entering Goodyear, AZ.

Cranes around Goodyear, AZ.

Someone’s business truck.

The University of Phoenix Stadium, opened August 1, 2006, is a multipurpose football stadium located in Glendale, Arizona. It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) and the annual Fiesta Bowl. The stadium features the first fully retractable natural grass playing surface built in the United States on top of an Air Field Systems drainage system. An opening on one side of the stadium allows the playing field to move to the exterior of the building, allowing the entire natural turf playing surface to be exposed to daylight.
The stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLII (and will host XLIX in 2015), WrestleMania XXVI.  It will again host Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
The University of Phoenix acquired the naming rights in September 2006, shortly after the stadium had opened under the name Cardinals Stadium. The “University of Phoenix” name is applied as a corporate sponsor, and not as the home stadium of the University (which has no intercollegiate athletics program).

University of Phoenix Stadium.

University of Phoenix Stadium.

Palm trees…for our friend Sherrie.

Now that we are at our destination I will be blogging once a month. I hope you enjoyed our travels…it certainly was an experience.  Thank you for traveling with us…we enjoyed all your comments! Next blog will be October 31.

Wintering in Arizona

We woke up at 5:15am this morning…hoping to see some of the balloons. This was the view from our window.

The sunrise at 6:15am.

We did get to see some of the balloons (next year we WILL be at Fiesta Park).  The balloons were quite a distance from us…the following are pics of some the balloons we saw.

The famous overpasses of Albuquerque.

The following pictures are from Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Meteor Crater in Arizona.  You will see the different terrain as we go west.

A bridge on Route 66.

I have been trying to upload pictures for the last three hours and this “high-speed” internet service is worse than dial-up…it wins…I give up.  We will be in Goodyear tomorrow and as soon as we get internet service I will upload pics from today and tomorrow.

Wintering in Arizona

We left Amarillo, Texas at 9:32 this morning.  It was cloudy and the temperature was 42 degrees…brrrrr.  It was cloudy most of the day and when we arrived in New Mexico we had fog…we didn’t see any blue sky until about 20 miles from Albuquerque and then it was mostly cloudy.  The balloons did not go up today due to the winds.  Albuquerque has high wind warnings until tomorrow at 7:00am.

My pictures aren’t the best today due to the weather.  I was going to touch them up or lighten them up but decided to leave them…you can see the type of weather we had today.

This was our morning view.

We actually saw a lot of “snowbirds” today. 

This was a “big dog” only he wasn’t so big…he had trouble going up the hills and the lights on the back of his car didn’t work.

Billboards, billboards, billboards. It was foggy today and you could still see the billboards… but thankfully the fog didn’t bother the highway.

Entering New Mexico…cloudy, cloudy, cloudy.

Everywhere you look you will see a mesa in New Mexico.

A mesa is the American English term for tableland, an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape.

There is a mesa behind this fog.

The following photos are pictures of the terrain in New Mexico.

This is New Mexico’s idea of a rest area…some are beautiful and some are like this.

We stopped for lunch and fuel in New Mexico.

I decided I would be better sitting in the truck.

One side of the road has rocks.

And the other side of the road has pine trees.

Desert wild flowers.

Speed limit in New Mexico.

The bottom right corner lists the speed limit (75) and actual speed (64). Yes, Howie was driving 64mph.

On I-40 you go up hills and down hills…up hills and down hills.  Going up was gradual…come down was…not so gradual.

Note the sign and they are not kidding.

I like this license plate…PECANS.

We are staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Albuquerque.

This is our view tonight…the Sandia Mountains.

This is another view of the Sandia Mountains.

Remember…this was our view last night.

We will take this view anytime!

The bottom left corner you can see the 5th wheel and the “big black truck”.

I just took this pic…I wish it wasn’t so hazy…the mountains are beautiful.

We are hoping to see some balloons in the sky before we leave…we have our denim Balloon Fiesta 2012 shirts just waiting to be worn.  But with the high wind warning…guess we will be waiting a year to see the hot air balloons.

Tomorrow night we be staying at the Meteor Crater RV Park (265 miles)…20 miles west of Winslow, Arizona.  First, we need to stop in Gallup to go grocery shopping.   When we planned meals we planned them for five days and we would be in Goodyear…well..we know that didn’t happen the way it was planned.

I am slow at replying to emails…but I will respond.

Wintering in Arizona

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

This morning we  went to St. Anthony Hospital at 7:30am to have a blood draw.  I will find out the results later today. We left Oklahoma City, Oklahoma around 9:30am and the temperature was 53 degrees and cloudy.   A lot of the “big dog” motor homes also were getting ready to leave.

This person goes to each site and picks up the garbage.

This is the office at Twin Fountains Resort. Howie went to say “goodby” and “thank you”.

License plate on a car stopped next to us at a light.

Before we left Oklahoma City we stopped at Camping World. This was the Camping World we were looking for when we decided we should go to Emergency instead. Glad we made the right decision.

Inside Camping World it was Fall…they had balloons displayed like a saguaro cactus.

Someone was very creative with balloons.

The King lives.

After visiting Camping World we were off to Amarillo, Texas.

I kept my leg resting on the dash…my foot is not swollen…I still am wearing my ace bandage.

It’s a hazy day in Oklahoma…but…they have cranes.

Tractor tires…big…tractor tires.

We are in the Bible Belt.

Someone had stacked these rocks along the road.

I just liked this billboard.

No significance…just something different.

Someone’s “treasures”.

Wind turbines in Oklahoma.

A blade for a wind turbine.

The red soil in Oklahoma. The soil is red because it contains minerals like iron oxide which makes the soil red.

More red soil in Oklahoma.

Leaving Oklahoma.

Entering Texas…hello George W.

I-40 in Texas.

Different terrain in Texas.

In Groom, Texas one can find a leaning water tower which currently serves as a decorative item. It originally was a functioning water tower which was slated for demolition until Ralph Britten bought it and moved it to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center (located on a stretch of interstate that was once a part of U.S. Route 66). This truck stop can still be seen, set back off the road behind the tower, now boarded up and in disrepair following a devastating fire decades ago. The leaning water tower still remains a popular target for cameras, and the town of Groom turns on a large colored star mounted on the top around Christmas time. The water tower is a common image from Route 66 photography books.

The leaning water tower.

We arrived in Amarillo around 3:00pm today. The temperature was 63 degrees with a freeze watch for tomorrow morning. Goodyear, Arizona had a high of 91 degrees today…just say’n.

We are still in the Bible Belt.

This is where we are staying tonight.

This is our guide taking us to our lot.

This trailer is right across the street from us.

This is the view from our front door. It is what it is.

We only drove about 258 miles today…that was enough.  This morning when we left I only wrapped my lower leg…when we stopped for lunch I wrapped my entire leg…it felt better.  There is hardly any swelling but it is very sore and I am still limping…it is hard for me to walk…really.  My INR came back and it is 2.25…very good…my next blood draw will be Monday in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Tomorrow we are off to Albuquerque (280 miles) and will be staying in a Holiday Inn. We hope to see some of the balloons!

Wintering in Arizona

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Today was a lazy day…we stayed in most of the day and didn’t do much.  I did get reservations made for the next few nights.  We are leaving tomorrow morning after I have a blood draw…off to Amarillo, Texas.

I took a nap this afternoon…”I just had surgery” so I needed a nap…not sure how much longer I can get away with that…maybe next time it should be “my leg still hurts”.

I did get outside for a few minutes…it is 62 degrees in Oklahoma City.  I took  more pictures of the motorhomes.

I like the graphics on this motorhome…the paint looks so shiny and smooth.

This 5th wheel has a little ramp up to the door.

This is a horse trailer…the living quarters are in the front of the trailer.

I took a picture of this  cart yesterday but a tree was in front of it. Today I took a better picture of the cart..I think it is cute.

This is the view from our front door…same motorhomes…only today it was cloudy.

WINTER STORM WARNING IN NORTHERN MINNESOTA…UP TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW!    YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wintering in Arizona

(click on pictures to enlarge)

I had my stitches removed and left the hospital today…yippee!…with a swollen leg (my leg is still wrapped), a limp, a huge cold sore right in the middle of my bottom lip and a big smile on my face.

It’s GREAT day!

A pink ambulance outside of the Hospital.

St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma…goodbye and THANK YOU!!!

We needed some groceries so we stopped at the nearest Walmart (couldn’t find a grocery store)…we miss Festival.  Walmart is Walmart…no matter where you are they are ALL the same.

Walmart in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I guess I qualify.

We arrived at Twin Fountains RV Resort, in Oklahoma City, around noon…the RV Resort is about 15 minutes from the hospital.  It was really nice to hop up those steps into the trailer.  We ate lunch and I took a well deserved shower (which felt really good) and then I took a 2-1/2 hour nap while Howie did the laundry…what a guy!  (I’m hoping to use “I just had surgery” for quite a while.) The RV Resort is very nice…the motor homes, trailers, and 5th wheels are very nice. The following are some of the motor homes we saw today.  Some are towing matching trailers…probably have nice cars inside them.  The vehicles that they are towing are really nice.  Can’t have a beautiful motor home without towing a nice vehicle behind.

View from our front door.

These are pictures that Howie has taken from the past few days.

Yup…that’s a women cleaning the slides…Howie said she even hooked up the vehicle to the motor home.  When they were leaving the husband was driving the motor home…nuf said.

Nice Hummer.

We are going to rest another day before we leave.  We will leave Friday morning, after I have a blood draw, and will be in Amarillo, Texas Friday afternoon.  Oklahoma City to Amarillo is 258 miles…about four hours.  We are taking it slow and making lots of stops. I am attaching a “revised” itinerary.

On Thursday we would like to go to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.  We have been to the Memorial but not the Museum. We need to wait and see how I am tomorrow.  I don’t want to over-do but we do want to see the Museum.

The Memorial Museum takes visitors on a chronological, self-guided tour through the story of April 19, 1995, and the days, weeks, months and years that followed the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The Museum tells a story of one of the largest terrorist attacks on American soil. The story is told in chapters, and takes visitors through this historical event beginning early morning April 19, 1995, and ending with a message of hope for today.

We have a debate to watch tonight.

Wintering in Arizona – 2012-2013 – Day 8

Day 8…Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (for two more days).  Temperature is 69 degrees.

Yesterday I had surgery to remove my blood clot.  They discovered there was also a problem with the blood flow in my thigh.  As you know, they inserted a sheath in the back of my knee and it went all the way to my heart. They found one spot in the vein that was completely blocked (four inches of the vein was collapsed).  What had happen…the aorta was resting /rubbing across the vein that went down my left leg and due to the constant rubbing on the vein it caused scaring…the scaring (spider webbed) was so bad that it collapsed four inches of the vein and cut off blood flow to the upper leg. They cleaned up the scarring and inserted a six inch stint in the vein (one four inch stint and one two inch stint). Once the stints were inserted the blood started to flow normally. Besides the blood clot behind my knee I also had blood clots from my thigh to my bellybutton…all the clots were vacuumed out of the vein.

The aorta (red) was resting on the vein (blue).

I had to be flat on my back for four hours..then I could gradually sit up in my bed.  My left leg was wrapped tightly from my thigh to my toes.  Today the Doctor loosened the wrap on my entire leg…it felt so much better.  I am still swollen and will be for a while so I need to keep the leg wrapped until the swelling goes down. Howie and I walked up and down the long corridor once…that was great!  Tomorrow I will have the stitches removed and I WILL BE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL!!!

My leg is very tightly wrapped from my thigh to my toes.

I am taking 5mg of Coumadin, a baby aspirin, and still getting Lovenox shots twice a day in my stomach.  I am hoping I can stop the Lovenox before we leave.

Coumadin (warfarin) is an anticoagulant (blood thinner). Coumadin reduces the formation of blood clots by blocking the formation of certain clotting factors. Coumadin is used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in veins and arteries.

Lovenox is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots.
Lovenox is used to treat or prevent a type of blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). A DVT can occur after certain types of surgery, or in people who are bed-ridden due to a prolonged illness.

A side effect from Coumadin and Lovenox is bruising…this is my wrist.  Jennifer told Howie to wrap me in bubble wrap.

Yes, I watched Dancing With The Stars…yup, that TV sure is small.

View from my window.

I will need to have my blood drawn twice a week…the test is called INR.  The INR is a test of blood clotting, which is primarily used to monitor Coumadin therapy, where the aim is to maintain an elevated INR in a certain range, 2.0 to 3.0. It is initially checked frequently, but as treatment is stabilized it may be done less often.  Changes in the Coumadin dose take several days to affect the INR result.  When I checked in to the Hospital my INR was .9…very low…my INR now is 2.5…right smack in the middle.  Who knows what it will be tomorrow.

“My plans” are to leave the hospital tomorrow.  New itinerary is completed…what a surprise. Since I will have blood drawn Mondays and Thursdays…I have our days planned so we will be going thru Flagstaff on Monday morning…I will stop at a hospital in Flagstaff to have my blood drawn.

We will be leaving Oklahoma City, OK on Friday after I have my blood draw.  First night we will be staying in Amarillo, TX at a RV Park.  We will be in Albuquerque, NM on Saturday…maybe we will get to wear our denim Balloon Fiesta 2012 shirts while watching the balloons.  Sunday we will stay in Winslow, AZ at the Meteor Crater RV Park.  Monday we will go thru Flagstaff, AZ in the morning…stop at a hospital to have a blood draw…then off to Goodyear, AZ…FINALLY!

I want to thank EVERYONE for all the “get well” wishes…I really appreciated the support!