Fran Crawford's WebBlog

Monday, April 25, 2005

How Much Wood Can A Woodcarver Carve...

4-02-05 to 4-19-05

Once we were beyond Hope it was only about an hour and a half to the Escapee RV park at North Ranch. More old friends to meet and visit. We have missed the past two years of the Woodcarver meetings so it was really great to see everyone.

North Ranch has more or less become the home of the SKP Woodcarvers BOF (Birds of a Feather groups are gatherings of SKPs who have like interests). The recreation hall facility there is large enough to hold the big group and is a great, modern facility. The group has grown over the years to more than 70 active 3-D carvers, wood burners, relief carvers, chip carvers, and power carvers.

North Ranch is in the hills west of Phoenix between Wickenburg and Congress somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. Here's a cute story about being in the 'boonies'. We went to the Congress, Arizona, Post Office one day to send a Priority Mail package to Yuba City, California. When the woman in charge looked up Yuba City to find the charges she commented “Wow, Yuba City must be out in the sticks!!”

Ha! And that coming from someone who lives in Congress, Arizona!!??

In our carving classes Steve did a cute cowboy caricature and worked on a cane and I tried the class of carving on found wood... or bark carving. I made a tree house first and then a dog coming out of the bark... usually the bark comes out of the dog!

It has become a custom for any dulcimer players in the woodcarver's group to get together and entertain on Wednesday night. This was the first time I joined them and also the first time I tried to play with a group. I did not do well but the others were able to cover my sounds so it wasn’t too awful. Anyway, everyone was nice and said we all sounded great. And they clapped when it was over... probably BECAUSE it was over!

At the end of the second week it was discovered that several of us in the carving BOF had Q Chords. None of us are experts or even players but we gathered one night and had a great time hooting at the little we all knew about the instrument since we all had them for several years. We vowed to get together earlier next year and work up an evening's entertainment for the others.

Our friends Ginny and Ron Boyce who now live in the Phoenix area came to visit one day and we went into Wickenburg for a great dinner at Anita’s Cocino.

Cell phone service is non-existent at North Ranch. We had to go into Wickenburg to use our Verizon system and those with other systems reported like problems with theirs. Our computer satellite system worked fine after the correct zip code was input. Steve opened access to our system so that others nearby with wifi could get their email. Friday before we left the man next door told Steve his wife would pay for us to stay another for another day... she wanted to do more email.

We had a great time at North Ranch despite wide variety of pollens and the very strong winds that buffeted us most of the time we were there. Suddenly it was Saturday and time to fasten everything down and pull the house from North Ranch at 2800’ to Winterhaven, California where it is 137’ above sea level.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Adios Snowbirds

3-19-05 to 4-02-05
Our two weeks at Ramblin’ Roads in Hope, AZ went by quickly. We were kept busy visiting with folks we knew. We also toured the new Little Church of Hope that the congregation built almost entirely with volunteer help and donated materials. They built it in three or four months and were able to hold Easter services in it. Winter inhabitants of the park presented a Quilt Show, Art Show and Craft Show on separate days the first week.

The desert burst into bloom around us with cactus flowers of all sizes and colors plus ground cover plants showing their finery in purple, white, yellow and orange. The whole area seemed decked out in spring finery for RV travelers stopping through on their way to cooler summer places.

Activities of the festival week kept the whole park buzzin’ with tournaments for horseshoe pitching, golfing and shuffleboard. Afternoons were Steve’s favorite with a jam session every day. Evening entertainment each night varied from programs by groups hired to perform to a play and musical presentations by tenants of the park. A beautiful quilt was raffled off the last night to benefit the new church.

The great thing about the festival week is NO COOKING! For thirty five bucks a person we were fed breakfast, a mid afternoon snack and supper each night.

Saturday, April 16 was moving day. After breakfast with those left at the park there was a mass exodus of RVs heading out. Many of the group of folks who had come to join the adios festival week were caravaning to Laughlin, Nevada, for more activities celebrating River Run Week there.

By noon we were beyond Hope... and headed for the Escapee park at North Ranch.