Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Summary

Wow, New Year’s Eve. . .already? Doesn’t see like it’s been a year since we wrapped up managing a Christmas Tree lot in San Antonio & spending a fantastic, impromptu visit with fellow Casitans Lynn & Dave in an Austin TX State Park. Seems like the year has passed quickly — until I remember some strong emotions during the year.

January & February gave us time to mourn for Jeff’s father’s December passing, bury & mourn my brother’s sudden death in late January, learn to live in the Casita during a mild, Texas winter in Missouri, & determine where to go to do what.

March 1st Jeff & I finally got married. . .after a 17 year relationship.

March thru October had us working at Compton Ridge Campground in Branson MO, running the Whistle Stop Café. We made lots of day trips in & around the area, & totally love the scenery! We selected this workkamping job so that Jeff could get back into cooking & I could be within a few hours of my now alone elderly parents. My brother lived with them most of his life in a large house, so we had the opportunity to help them move into a small senior-citizen apartment behind the local nursing home, have an auction, & sell their house. Although Jeff & I tried to visit often & help all we could, daily life without my brother  (even with much less responsibilities) has been very difficult for my parents. At 87 & 90, it’s tough to make lifestyle adjustments. Loosing a child is not easy or simple tho at any age.

August was a chance for a week-long vacation when we drove to Sioux City SD to get my new legal driver’s license & zipped across MN for some Wisconsin cheese & brats in La Crosse before returning to Branson.

November was finally a time to scratch our hitch itch! We left Branson, visited Jeff’s mom in Virginia, his daughter & grandson in Kansas City, & my oldest girlfriend in Springfield before heading south. We had some enhancements done on the Casita near Dallas, visited Archer’s Poudre River Resort (west of Ft Collins CO) where we decided to work next summer, & headed to Utah. We spent a week in Moab visiting all the sights & national parks in the area.

December we left Moab to spend 5 days criss-crossing southern Utah sightseeing & visiting all the national parts & state parks we could squeeze in. We finally landed in Zion National Park for 30 days of much needed rest & relaxation. We made friends with neighboring campers & had a great Christmas Eve dinner at the Park Lodge & a Christmas Day outdoor lunch with lots of laughter in the sunshine & around a campfire.


This New Year’s Eve started early when we discovered a light, overnight snowfall (the 4th or 5th in the past 3 wks), 21° temp, & an empty propane bottle. Switched to another propane bottle, got warmed up, & took the below photos around the campground while walking Kira. We gotta do some shopping today, & might watch “the ball” fall in NYC tonight since our DirecTV signal comes from the East Coast. We have no particular plans. In fact, I was happy to learn decades ago that the New Year will happen without me staying awake for it! We leave Friday, probably for the Grand Canyon, & have some cleaning & projects to complete before then. Hanging out enjoying this gorgeous setting has definitely been fantastic! Enjoy this winter-only view of Zion.






See ya next year down the road.


  1. Those pictures are absolutel gorgeous - so glad I am inside viewing them. We have around 6-7 inches of snow now with it still coming down strong. Falling snow is beautiful but the scenry its falling on is NOT near, not at all like what you have bestowed on us. Thanks. And, "Casita" down the road too.

  2. You guys have a great New Year, hope we see you again if you get up this way. Rigg's says to tell Kira HI and he thinks she's cute. Don't forget the liberty is good here at the Ranch. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna. Tell Jeff from one old rotorhead another keep em turning and burning.

  3. Beautiful pictures of Zion, love that place. Happy New Year to both of you.

  4. Thought of our last new year's hike while walking on the beach today.

    What could be better than bringing in the new year while sleeping soundly in our Casitas?

  5. Gorgeous photos - you inspire me. Sounds like a challenging year; thanks for sharing. Happy 2013!



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