Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring CHRPA Trek 2018

Spring SW CHRPA Trek (via Albuquerque)
March-April 2018

Tuesday, 2.27.18
Baker City to Ogden, UT
426 miles

       Brrrr! It is hovering around 6 degrees when we pack up the trailer and pull out of Baker City at 6am in the morning! We have a long day ahead of us with the time change and Salt Lake basin traffic! (Which we are trying to avoid if at all possible!)
The sun begins to light the hills of Burnt River Canyon. 

        The trailer is streaked with ice on the north side from the snow melting off the top. School was cancelled on Monday due to the 8” of snow that fell late Sunday night. An auspicious start to our Spring Soiree South! Usually the snow has melted by now, not just begun to fall!
       But….it is smooth sailing, a beautiful sunrise on the snowy hills, and crystal clear skies over southern Idaho. Rick drives to Mountain Home and I take the wheel until the first rest area as we start south toward Sweetzer Summit. I don’t want to drive in possible frosty conditions! As we near Utah, the clouds begin to gather more and we lose our blue skies. A few flurries of very light snow over the top and then down past Tremonton to Odgen and our night’s reservations at Sleep Inn. Large parking lot in the back for the truck and trailer, and Uncle Lew’s Cafe next door where we get a Breakfast Dinner for a VERY reasonable $17.25 including tip for the two of us! Gotta love a bargain!
      Early to bed right after NCIS (MT zone earlier!). Which was nice because the alarms are set for 5am AGAIN to slip through SLC before traffic builds up.

Wednesday, 2.28.18
Ogden, UT to Cortez, CO
326 miles

       A restless, but restful night. (Does that make sense?) We finally turned the fan on for a little white noise because it was so quiet and a little stuffy! That helped. Our phones must be in sync because they both beeped 5am within 3 seconds of each other! Pleased to find that breakfast was already out on the counter, so we could grab coffee and a bagel to go!
       SLC is never fun – except maybe at 2am in the morning on a weekday! We drove in the dark with a yellow fullish moon sinking into the western horizon. Rick found a truck going 60 and just stayed with him all the way to Spanish Fork. Only had one slow up down south of downtown for the whole 90 miles to Route 6. But sleety snow was lightly falling, it was dark, and the moisture was freezing on the windshield. Traffic was still heavy, but not impossible. However, still a tense two hours for Rick. He could breath a sigh of relief when we pulled off in Spanish Forks and gassed up for the drive over the mountains to Price.
       Hills are snowy with the bare winter trees and evergreens dotting the landscape. Good roads though in spite of clouds and spitting moisture in places. We pull over in Wellington at the little city park for a potty stop and to switch drivers. Clear skies and dry roads. My turn to take the wheel for the 110 miles down to Moab. I don’t mind this stretch at all. Not particularly scenic, but tolerable – and mostly downhill!
        We park on a side road in Moab, arriving around 10:30 am. Wander downtown in search of somewhere to eat and find the Peace Tree Cafe – a funky little place celebrating the Iroquois Indians Peace Accord (they buried all their weapons in a tree well and then plant the “peace tree” on top). Organic smoothies with ecclectic ingredients! I had green eggs and ham, which meant scrambled eggs with spinach and pesto, tomatoes and feta cheese with a chunk of ham on top. Rick had whole wheat blueberry pancakes which he said were very tasty!
        Gas, and then down the scenic route toward Monticello and Cortez! LaSal Mountains behind Moab are gorgeous with snow, and peaks west of Monticello misty in the clouds.
        We arrive in Cortez around 2 – I think the only ones in the hotel at this point! Privacy! Relaxing afternoon and we dine on stuff in the trailer later on.

Thursday, 3.1.18
Cortez, CO to Edgewood, NM
311 miles

        What a beautiful day of driving! (Of which, Rick did it ALL! I didn’t even work needlepoint today – just sat and looked at beautiful mountains and took pictures! )
Mesa Verde Entrance peak
        We pulled out of Cortez shortly after 8am, having breakfasted on waffles! Headed east on US 160 toward Pagosa Springs. Up and down, cresting the ridges that separate 4 different river valleys as they descend from the San Juan Mountains to our north. We gas up in Durango. As we pass Chimney Rock, we begin to reminisce of our first build in Pagosa Springs back in fall of 2012.
        But the view of the Continental Divide range of peaks as you drop into Pagosa valley is breathtaking. The peaks are a little lean of snow, but still spectacular. Pagosa truly does sit at the crossroads of Colorado mountains.
Continental Divide peaks from Pagosa Springs, CO
        Top off the tank and then head down US 84 the final 30 miles to the New Mexico border. A few miles further and we cross the Continental Divide near Chama. Elevation 7800’. Just a skiff of snow alongside the road here.
Old barn and rimrock near CO-NM border
      We head south toward Abique, stopping for lunch at Echo Amphitheater. The skies are crystal clear and blue. We hike up to the center of the amphitheater and let our echos resound! Fun because no one else is around. A school group arrived just as we were getting ready to leave.
Echo Amphitheater
        Past Ghost Ranch and on down past beautiful mesas, lined with red rimrock, strata, and pinnacles. A stop in Espanola to gas up and wash the trailer in a car wash (it was filthy!)
Through Santa Fe and down the backroads to Randy’s, arriving around 3 pm. We get set up and then head into Walmart to pick up some groceries (including that to replace what I accidentally left in the fridge at home!)
        Run into Rachael leaving who informs us the whole house has been sick this week. Doesn’t make us eager to go inside and visit! Ryan is still sick, as is Regan. Patty went back to work today, Randy yesterday. I guess everyone was down on Tuesday. Wow. Around 6 we went in – Patty had dinner ready for us! Meat loaf, taters, and veggies. So we ate! Rachael had left to take Regan to the ER – she has been working in spite of not eating for days.
        Back out to trailer around 7:30 to chill (literally) and wind down. We will head into town tomorrow and take Luke his treasure trove of goodies!
Echo Amphitheater
Redrock country near Ghost Ranch

Friday, 3.2.18

         After a brisk night, we take off for town around 9:40a to unload all of Luke’s stuff from the truck. I drive into town since Rick drove all day yesterday! We move the boxes to the car to be taken to the office and the trunk and its treasures up the stairs to his condo. A little chit chat time and then off for Mom’s.
        We finally decide on ABC Chinese for lunch and enjoy Korean entrees for the three of us, while Grandma had a more typical chinese menu. It was good.
Trying to get more volume on my Cube, we
discover it will take remote pictures! 
        Back to Three Fountains to visit for awhile. Luke helped answer phone questions for me and delete some of the stuff on my phone hoping to help storage issues and battery problems. I am in the market for a new phone!
        Around 4 Luke takes off and I head down to Dollar Tree and JoAnn’s for some shopping.
Rick and Weston
We leave Mom’s at 6:30 for the drive back out to Edgewood. The full moon is just cresting the Eastern horizon as we drive out 344. Big and orange and almost flat at first. So awesome!
        An hour of interaction with Jaxon and Weston before everyone is ready to head to bed! Yawn! Me too!

Saturday, 3.3.18
Play time with Jax and Weston!

Soaking up some sunshine at the park! 
        A beautiful spring day in Albuquerque with temps reaching 70 in the city! It felt soooo good!
Luke and Jax on swings
We head into Mom’s around 9:30 and just visit and relax. Luke comes over around 11:00 and helps me with a few computer issues. Then off at noon to meet the Edgewood gang at a local park for some play time before we head to Golden Pride BBQ for lunch. The playground is great fun with ropes, education, climbing walls, and all sorts of swings, slides, and such. Luke and Jax played hard! Grandma and Patty watched and soaked up the sun! Ran and Rick chatted. Rachael had primary care of Weston, although Rick and I got a few chances to hold him! He is warming up to us. Jax is obviously very fond of his big cousin Luke! Fun to watch.
        Golden Pride was delicious and simple. Family friendly place! Afterward we headed back to Grandma’s and the gang went shopping before heading home. We are promised ice cream cake when we get back tonight! Yum! Rick brought Mom and Luke a piece this morning and put it in her freezer.
        Just chilled at Grandma’s. Luke and Rick talked football draft and I finished another needlepoint nativity figure, as well as cutting out the plastic canvas for donkeys and sheep. We set a rendezvous time for the morning hike before parting around 5:30pm.
        Saw Regan tonight! Ice cream cake and family time before holing up in our trailer for the evening!
Rick tickles Weston from the safety of Patty's arms!

Sunday, 3.4.18
Jimez Hike, Glass Etching, and… Whew!
A proper sunrise to begin a great day!  
What a day! We are spent by the time we get back to Randy’s at 9:30pm! But a great day.
Battleship Rock - the trailhead
Wandering along the trail
     Off to Luke’s at 8:30a for a day of exploration and hiking in the Jemez Mountains northwest of Albuquerque. We veer off 550 toward Jemez Pueblo and Jemez Springs. Beautiful red rock strata cliffs on either side, pueblo houses, and old churches. We wind up the canyon to Battleship Rock picnic area and the start of our 3.5 mile hike. Luke hadn’t been on this hike before and we THOUGHT it was going up the creek, but discovered a bit more climbing was involved! Our destination was McCauley Warm Springs (not HOT!) located on the ponderosa hillside above the canyon. Views across the canyon to the rocky cliffs, and a thick red-barked forest of ponderosa pine, juniper, and some cedar. We even found some Douglas Fir trees!
          The springs were about 1 ¾ miles UP the trail (I am out of shape!) with three large pools linked by small gurgling water and tiny falls. We had the place to ourselves while we were there, altho we passed several other groups of hikers coming and going. Time for a lunch break and then we had to head back out – we have a date with the YAVs later this afternoon!
Rick pauses by the springs.

Luke at the Upper Spring

Mini waterfall of warm water between the pools. 

Warm water greens up the area!

Ginger near Upper Pond.
Family picture with Battleship Rock on far right. 
Colors of Battleship Rock in afternoon light. 

Another view of Battleship Rock

     The predicted winds have picked up as we drive back into town – dust swirls out in the flat lands kicking up all over. Everything is so dry because they haven’t gotten their usual winter moisture (snow levels are down as well!)
Menaul - Teacher's Hall
     Showers for all at Luke’s and then we head down to Menaul School. Communication error – we arrive and find the YAVs have left for Luke’s place! Oops! Luke calls them and they drive back down to meet us -in the meantime I get my quick tour of the Menaul campus. The school is 7-12 grades, with about 20% of the students international and boarding. The rest are pulled largely from the ABQ area. Nice sports facilities, library, dining hall, etc. Faculty houses and the “Teacher's Hall” for volunteers. The YAVs have rooms on one floor and access to the common area kitchen. Other residents are VIMs (the adult kind!)

The Menaul School Dining Hall

Taylor cuts her stencil
 It takes awhile to get the group rolling on ideas for the small glass I brought for each to etch. But then their creativity kicks in and we are still going strong when the VIMs arrive for the joint goodbye celebration they are having for one of their own – with the YAVs. I don’t even clean anything up – we just transfer the mess to another table and leave all for the women to finish later. Luke said he’d stop and get it all Monday or Tuesday! Quick goodbye hugs, thanks for the Valentine care package, and we are headed south to the Nob Hill area and the Bosque Brewery. It is nearly 6:45 and we HUNGRY!!
Claire shows off her etching.
     So….tonight is a first for me in my lifetime. I ordered a beer. Yes, you read that right. Ginger Rembold drank an 11oz glass of beer. It was called Elephant’s Head – a blend of fruits and a wheat ale. It didn’t taste like beer at all, but not as bubbly or sharp as hard ciders. My first beer. Wow. The food was delicious – I had three street tacos, all different kinds. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the last one I had was going to be the spiciest, so I had to steal a few fries from Rick to get the spicy out of my mouth! It was a fun, relaxing evening of conversation after a full day. The pub is right down near the University so busy even on a Sunday night. (PS...I'd post the picture of me and my beer, but Luke hasn't sent it to me yet!)

     Forecast is for possible teens at night so Rick and I stop at Walmart to see about finally purchasing an electric blanket for the trailer. But….they just put all their blankets and mattress pads away! (Kinda like when we tried to buy a heater another time!) So….Rick retrieves one of the heavy blankets from the couch downstairs and brings out to the trailer. The wind is howling and the trailer fabric flapping up a storm as we cozy down for the night. Heater turned up as it is 46 degrees inside when we get back.

Monday, 3.5.18
Mom Chores Day
     Not a terribly exciting day, but we got some stuff done for Mom. Cooler with a good wind still blowing, although it died down during the night and then switched to a north wind. That was good because the shop protects the trailer abit then! 43 degrees when I arise this morning in the trailer.
A very happy Weston! 
     We head in to Mom’s around 10 and spend the morning doing the laundry. I walk over to JoAnn’s and Walmart for a few purchases (no more mirrors!) and to check on an electric blanket. No luck.
     I work on labeling my photos from Sunday most of the morning. Then some window washing, while Rick puts cheesecloth in from of Mom’s vents. We aren’t sure it is going to work as she pictures it, but we did it for her!
     Luke arrives around 5 and we head over to Walmart to get dinner: rotisserie chicken, pasta salad, and sweet potatoes, plus bread. Quick, simple, and cheap! And tasty as well!
     We head back out to Edgewood around 6:45, hoping for a little time to play with the boys and visit before Regan comes to take them home. As it was, we never saw Regan – we went to bed first! But boys were in great form and Weston, especially, was fun to play with.

I actually stole this picture off Mom's shelves - trying out
the telefoto lens on my new camera!  

Tuesday, 3.6.18
Lazy Day
       Relaxed morning and into Mom’s around 10. We didn’t do much (I organized needlepoint and drew on a steeple picture!) Lunch we brought – the soup from fridge and hummus, etc and veggies. The soup may have been a mistake for me anyway…. Luke came over at 5:45 and had a pizza with us. Mom got a haircut and did some shopping at Walmart. NOT too exciting an afternoon!
     Back to Randy’s in time to play with the boys one final evening.

Wednesday, 3.7.18
Old Town
     I did not sleep well last night with intestinal issues, so took it easy this morning and eventually felt well enough to go in with Rick as today was our day for Old Town with Luke as well! I think it was the chicken sausage soup I ate yesterday that had been in the fridge for over a week. :(
We met Luke at BackStreet Grill around 11:30. I didn’t eat all. But everyone else had a good meal! Rick even got sweet tater fries!
Mom and Rick cruising Old Town.
 Afternoon spent wandering the shops. Luke took a time out to walk over to the Walgreens to get me some pink pepto pills when I thought I was going to throw up in the Christmas Shop. I think they helped. We picked up a few things, but didn’t spend that much! (Other than lunch!)
Luke came back over to Grandmas and helped me with my phone, Instagram, etc. We couldn’t figure out linking the computer and new camera via wifi. Will save that for Jed when he comes to Tucson! Luke also presented me with a birthday present! He bought a ristra – one of hanging red pepper creations, only this one is shaped like a cross! It will be a challenge to get home, but lovely!
     Rick picked up some Klondike ice cream bars and I ate a third of one. That was enough! Back out to Randy’s and an early evening to turn in!

Thursday, 3.8.18
Chores and Goodbyes
     We have work to do this morning! Laundry! Plus Rick wants to close up the trailer, move it over into Randy’s driveway, and empty the black water. We checked with Patty and she doesn’t need her car for the evening, so we can stay parked in the driveway for the night. It will make for a fast get away in the morning!
     We get two loads of laundry done and the trailer readied and are headed into town by 11:30. Rick has the address of a car wash Luke uses on San Mateo, so we head there first. It is a drive through one and we get the works done for $15. Then to a Smiths for some cheap gas (although  not as good as the $1.98 we paid Sunday night!) and on to Mom’s.
     We go to Olive Garden for my second birthday lunch. The good news I have a much better appetite today and thoroughly enjoy my soup and salad lunch special (as well as three breadsticks!)
     Leisurely time afterwards at Mom’s. I pick up some bubblewrap at Dollar Tree and packaged my ristra for the trip. Then I worked on some of the glass etching stuff while Mom napped in her chair! By 6pm we were saying our goodbyes with hugs until October!
     Some visit time with Randy, Patty, and Rachael and goodbyes as we head out to the trailer around 9pm. Back on the road again tomorrow!

Friday, 3.9.18
Edgewood to Camp Shalom, Tucson
475 miles
We have a sunrise to send us on our way!  
     A long day, but a good one! We were up at 6 to enjoy an Edgewood sunrise, pulling out of Randy’s place at 6:40am. With the early start, we decide to brave the Albuquerque traffic and take the freeway all the way down, rather than heading East to Moriarty and then down to 60 and over to Socorro. It proves to be a good decision, as we encounter a little traffic, but not too bad and are in Socorro at Sophias in under two hours!
      Breakfast burritos at Sophia’s, gas, and a switch of drivers. Rick really doesn’t like the stretch from Albuquerque to Las Cruces, so I usually take this up and down section of freeway.
Parked at Sophias with M Mountain in the background.
For a downhill run of the Rio Grande, the highway certainly has a lot of uphill!
     Into Hatch, where we switch drivers again as we wait for a one-way bridge construction entering town. The shortcut from Hatch to Deming is filled with power generation – windfarms and solar farms, as well as a huge dairy farm!
     A stop for gas in Deming, then Rick drives on to Lordsburg, where we gas up again just to make sure we can get all the way into Tucson. We are fighting a head wind as we go west, so gas mileage will not be great. In Lordsburg, I drive again into Arizona. We stop at the Texas Canyon rest area, just 20 miles outside of Benson, and Rick takes us the rest of the way into Tucson. We arrive at CHRPA headquarters around 4pm.
All set up at Camp CHRPA
Quickly see Eleanor, Bob and Marj, and then Walter and Lorene! The latter made us very happy as they exclaimed what a treat it was to see us.
The feeling was mutual!
Our new trailer sign! 
     We de-winterize the trailer and set up camp. Rick takes off for a quick grocery run, dinner, and then I enjoy a long birthday phone call with Liz! Another long visit with Lorene at their trailer while trying to get the current internet password. (Since I am on a new computer, I have to re-insert all these passwords!)
     A beautiful sunset closes out the day – always a good ending to a Tucson day!

Saturday, 3.10.18
Happy Birthday, Ginger!

   A good day waking up to the sound of birdsong! By 8:45 we are on the road heading out Speedway east to its dead end in the Sajuaro National Park East. We haven’t been to this section of the park before and we like what we see! The day was forecast for low 80’s, but a cloud cover has come in and is filtering the sun. A MUCH WELCOME relief! There is even a gentle coolish breeze that blows every now and then to make things very comfortable.
Eerie shadows from sun
and cactus spires
Vegetation of Sajuaro NP
     We take off up the trail network at 9:30am. The trailhead is a jumble of cars – this is obviously a very busy part of the park. But we seem to pick sections of trail that are off the beaten path, and other than a group of boy scouts, and a busful of school children, we encounter only a few others as we hike. (Oh, one group of horseback riders!) We are higher up the slope of the park, and the views to the Catalinas and west are beautiful, even though the sky is not particularly blue.
I think this looks like real Christmas
Cactus - red and green!
A birthday picture! 
     I love the many facets of Sajuaro cactus. They all seem to have a personality! We don’t have our identification books with us, so will have to remember some of the plants later. It is always a challenge when we return to Tucson to remember all the birds and desert plants by name. We do identify ocotillo, which is erupting into green leaves and blooms due to the rains a couple weeks ago. Prickly pears and multiple types of cholla. This upper section of park was once the site of a weekend ranch, with tanks of water, mini dams on the streams flowing down from the Rincon Mts.
     We hike about 4.2 miles total. The cloud cover is beginning to dissipate and it is getting warmer. Time to get out of the sun!
     Back into town and a stop at Walmart to do some grocery shopping. I have decided to cook my own birthday dinner to guarantee that I get to eat what I want! The menu includes sauteed shrimp and broccoli, bread and wine, plus chocolate cake!! But first a lazy afternoon editing pictures, watching basketball (that would be Rick) and showering!
     Dinner is GREAT! And before we eat our cake, Jed calls and we visit for an hour or so. Answered prayers! Jed has a contract for next year! It is for one credit less so a slight decrease in pay, but still benefits. He will sign, but up the search for a more permanent position. Margaret calls shortly after, and then Luke!  Family love! 

     A good birthday. I received multiple good wishes via Facebook and emails. Conversations with family and friends. A beautiful hike. Thank you, God.  
Rick, the trail, the sajuaros, and the Catalina Mts.
Sunday, 3.11.18
Shalom Worship – Sweet Tomatoes!
        I love waking up to the sound of the birds! And there are some distinct singers around here! The skies are sunrise of glory, but welcome rain fell in sprinkles again during the night. Needed moisture!
        We walk over to the doors of Shalom Mennonite Church and are welcomed by many. Most with the declaration, “we didn’t know you were coming!” Apparently Scott doesn’t share much! Only three songs to really sing harmonies with, but I so enjoy singing with this group.
        At noon we headed over to Sweet Tomatoes to join the group of Soopers for lunch. Nothing better in my mind than a salad and soup buffet, but they have added some desserts, pasta dishes, and tasty breads! A good meal and good conversation as we sat with Walter and Lorene and Peter and Viola from Manitoba. The group totaled about 14 in number!
        Lazy afternoon. I prepared some needlepoint canvas to be worked, and etched four more ornaments, plus finishing up the ones I did at moms.
        We will wander over to the SOOP Lounge around 6 to play some games, work the puzzle, and have popcorn! (Reminder….SOOP stands for Service Opportunities for Older Persons!) Tomorrow we go to work!!  

Monday, 3.12.18
We had to drive through Sajuaro West NP to get to the job.
     Oh boy...6am comes early when you really have to be up and “at em!” But we are ready to roll on time and gather at 7am in the finally finished new CHRPA meeting room in the back.           Mondays are lean days for volunteers, and a couple of MVSers are gone. But we meet a few new employees and get big hugs from Abi and Josh!
Our client had 10 giant
sajuaros in her yard
We had to build a base for
the window swamp cooler.
     Rick goes out with Vern and they have a successful day installing a shower wall unit (pebbleboard) and then installing a new hot water heater. Vern and his wife have been here since the first of the year and he knows what he is doing, so Rick said it was an easy day for him!
     I went out with Dan Wilhelm and got to enjoy a beautiful drive through Sajuaro NP West on Picture Rocks Drive!   We installed a window swamp cooler, patched two holes in the floor, repaired a frayed electric line, and patched the flashing on a porch roof. I mostly used the circular saw and drilled holes and screwed in screws!
     We gave Abi and Josh their wedding present. Hamburgers for dinner, a little puzzle time for me, some TV, and then to bed early!

Tuesday, March 13
     We are beat. The weather was warm again today – mid 80’s. Not horrible for Tucson standards, but warm when you just left winter!
Vern put his leg through the hole in this roof last week. 
     Rick and I went out together today in a team of four – up in the mobile home suburbs north of town. Roof repair,
OSB all installed over old roof. 
bathroom repair, sink repair, cooler repair. You name it – the place could use some TLC!
     Rick ended up with the smellier, stuffier, and dirtier part of the job: he and Vern tackled a major bathroom floor repair, plus they fixed the leaky sink. The toilet is salvageable, but will need some new inner parts. As we left today it was sitting on the front porch! (They have another bathroom!)
A leaky swamp cooler supplies
plenty of water for cactus growing
in the gutters. 
Rick and Vern put in a new floor in the bathroom - to be
vinyled tomorrow. 
     I had the sunnier, hotter part of the job – up on the roof! I made two trips to Home Depot with Josh to purchase OSB (we found more soft spots and hence had to go back for more!) and then spent most of my time screwing the OSB down. My knees were sore to kneel, and I ended up with a bottom full of splinters from scootching around on the OSB! Unpleasant!
     The client brought out colas and water during our lunch break. Much appreciated. Josh and I stopped enroute home to pick up the roofing material for tomorrow, and then all four of us helped cut and load it into Josh’s truck. Don’t know if Rick and I (or one of us) will be on the job again tomorrow or not.
     Showers, rest time. Whew.

Wednesday, March 14
     Same crews as yesterday, same place – we had a job to finish (or rather, jobs!) Rick and Vern stopped at Home Depot to pick up some supplies, while Josh and I drove up the non-freeway route to make sure nothing blew out of the truck!
Rick and Vern plan out the pebbleboard for shower.
Palm tree growing in
     The bathroom job involved pebbleboard around the tub today, a new shower head, and then linoleum flooring installed. Toilet then rebuilt (the guts were not good). The bathroom looked great by the end of the day!
Josh and I finish up the edging of the roof.  
     Josh and I enjoyed a wonderful morning on the roof, with overcast skies blocking the sun and a nice breeze blowing. We got the TPO (a heavy vinyl roofing compound) spread out and I began the process of using the impact driver to screw in the plates holding down the vinyl. All exterior edges had a metal strip that was installed – screws every 6”. By the end of the day, I had probably put in over 175 screws, over a hundred of which involved reaching around the edge of the roof and holding the impact driver towards me. I’ll feel it in my stomach and arms! Josh heat sealed the overlapping edges, and then caulked along the metal trim. He will probably be replacing the shingles portion of the roof in April, so some of which we did was temporary.
     The sun can out full force around 11:30am, so the afternoon was definitely warmer than the morning!
Our pretty white roof. 
A blackberry sangria at
     We worked hard today, so a dinner out at Applebee’s was in order! We like their Happy Hour Appetizers at half-price. Neither of us selected drinks from the Happy Hour menu, but even so a good meal for reasonable rates! I had a Blackberry Sangria with real blackberries in it!

Back to the trailer around 6p to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Over to the office for some internet action in prep for the weekend’s adventure east of town. 

Thursday, March 15
CHRPA Day 4 – CHRPA School!

          Ah...a cooler night! So nice! The CHRPA office is full this morning, as it usually is on ‘School Day’! Dan Wilhelm presents on installing new plumbing in shower or bathtub work. I still could not do it on my own!
          Rick and I are again together today with Vern. Ann was scheduled to work with us, but we didn’t need that big a crew, and Abi was short-handed, so Ann went with her. Scott asked me to write up the story, so I will use my write-up for my blog as well!

Gloria’s Floor
      On a delightfully cool spring day, our team of 3 has been sent to the north side of town to replace portions of the bedroom floor for 68 year old Gloria. Her old, somewhat rundown mobile home is situated in one of the nicer parks in town, with green grass, tall trees, and well-manicured lots. Gloria is so happy and proud to live here, but struggling with the maintenance of the trailer itself.
Vern and Rick work to clean
off the floor joists.
The holes in Gloria's floor
      She takes us to her bedroom in the back of the house. The metal lid of a popcorn tin marks the first of two major places where the floor has broken through under the carpet. For four years Gloria has stepped over the lid, only to remember a second hole just a foot away. The posts of the bed have made four more smaller holes in the flooring.
Sistering in support for the floor patch. 
      Our first task is to move the furniture out of the way. The double bed, dresser, mirror, and door are removed. Gloria tries to help as much as possible as we somewhat invade her privacy as dresser drawers must be removed and contents exposed. She is so grateful for our help.
      We roll back the carpet and padding and begin the process of peeling away the broken pieces of sawdust based particle board that have disintegrated beneath the carpet. Rick and Vern pull out staples and with the saws-all level the joists of old flooring and glue. I haul all the debris out to the truck.
      Half the bedroom floor must be rebuilt. New joists are sistered to the old to provide anchor points for the boards inset and screwed down. Gloria comes to inspect and laughs as Rick tells her she will be able to dance on it now!
A photo-reluctant Gloria on her
rebuilt steps with railing.
      While Rick and I screw in the new boards and re-lay the pad and carpet, Vern strengthens and stabilizes the back stairs to the trailer, and adds a handrail to make it safer for Gloria. He sees a water leak in the cooler line and replaces a valve. The back door is repaired. Little jobs that take only minutes, but combine to make the trailer safer.
      We vacuum the carpet and move the furniture back in. The highlight of our day comes as Gloria goes to walk out of the bedroom and automatically steps over the spot where the tin lid used to be! She laughs with us with the joy of knowing her bedroom is now safe, but it might take a little time to undo four years of habit!
      With a hug and multiple ‘God bless yous’, we leave with warm hearts on a beautifully cool day.

      We ate lunch in the park right across from Gloria’s trailer and are back at CHRPA HQ shortly after 1pm. An easy day!

       I use the opportunity to return to the office for internet and to send my pictures in as per Scott’s request! Vern and Shirley are leaving this weekend, as are Viola and Peter. Slowly the SOOPs begin to leave.