Mesa Rally 2016 – End of the Road?

Is this the last Mesa Rally for Chapter 44? See story & pics below

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29 Escapees gathered at Usery Mountain Regional Park just north of Mesa, Arizona from Sunday, March 13th through Friday, March 18th, 2016 for the 19th Mesa Rally. The Park is ideally situated just a few miles north of Mesa and it is truly a beautiful desert place. Every type of fauna found in Arizona apparently grows here!

Our group included: 14 Canadian Members; 10 US Members; and 5 US guests. Included in the Canadian count are the eight “Mesa Winter Residents” who come out for day trips.

Five new members joined during this Rally. We are pleased to welcome into Alberta Roamers Karen and Richard Offutt, Fraser and Bonnie Armstrong and Sandy Bianchini.

Because registrations were down this year we cancelled one half of the site we had reserved at the Park but we fit 11 rigs quite nicely into the “A” section. Several of our “regulars” from other years were unable to attend due to health and family issues.

As always we enjoyed lots of good food, conversation, laughs, campfires and comradery. Kay and Tony prepared a wonderful spaghetti dinner on Monday evening for all to enjoy. Tuesday evening pot luck was a great feast as was Wednesdays Finger Food Buffet. On Thursday we enjoyed lunch at Organ Stop Pizza while we listened to the great music played by Charlie B. on the famous Wurlitzer organ – the largest in the world with its 6,000 pipes; 50 miles of wiring; weighs 30 tons; 276 keys to play; over 1000 buttons and switches; largest pipe is 36 feet high; would take 90 minutes to go through all the sounds it can play; worth $5 million! And it’s in a Pizza Joint! Only in America you say!

Other activities included the Great Battle of the Sexes (sometimes called Bean Bag Baseball!) The Ladies squeaked out another win!

Lots of valuable stuff changed hands during the White Elephant Gift Exchange. Games were played, Craft ideas exchanged, RV problems solved, and new friends made. As always the week ended Friday morning with a great Hitch up Breakfast thanks to John and his crew. Thanks to Karen, Fraser and John our photographers. Lots of pics for the memory books.

Since no one came forward to host a 2017 Rally the site has not been reserved and this may be the last Rally we hold in Mesa. All good things must end. I enjoyed being the “Co-ordinator” for this “No Host Rally” and wish everyone safe travels down the road till we meet again!

Carol Davis

Usery Mtn. Park - Mesa, AZ IMG_3204IMG_3206 IMG_3207 - Copy IMG_3208 IMG_3217 IMG_3256 IMG_3265 IMG_0487 IMG_0490 IMG_3068 IMG_3088 IMG_3110 IMG_3119 - Copy IMG_3155 IMG_3156 IMG_3163

We are saddened to learn of Larry’s passing.

Lawrence Knuckey Dyer

DYER, Lawrence Knuckey – A.K.A. Friendly Frog or Knuck. Larry Dyer beloved Husband of Sheila Dyer passed away on November 27, 2015 at the age of 75 years. Larry was bornMay 11, 1940 to Hollis and Violet Dyer. He was raised along with his younger brother Leon in Sutton, Quebec. He attended Sutton High school where he was a member of many clubs and organizations. He also played basketball and baseball on school teams. This is where he met and married the love of his life Sheila Doris Ashby from Montreal, Quebec. On advice from a family member Larry moved his family of 3 children west to Calgary in 1970 ending up in Pincher Creek a year later to work at Shell Waterton Complex. He worked there until his retirement in 1993 as a Laboratory Technician. Larry and Sheila also owned and operated Larry’s Greenhouses Ltd., providing the community with garden plants and flowers for over 20 years. Larry had a love of rebuilding old vehicles and would often be seen with a new project regularly. In all he owned or restored over 90 vehicles and never grew tired of it. He always enjoyed new adventures from car racing, hiking, 4 wheeling in Arizona, to Geocaching of which he is credited with over 12000 finds. He also enjoyed coaching and refereeing hockey and baseball in his younger days. When he finally retired from Shell, Larry and Sheila spent 6 months a year for the next 23 years in the Yuma, Arizona area where they accumulated many friends from all over the world. It was their home away from home. Larry was always quick with a joke or a story and kept his friends in stitches with some of the antics he would get up to, and he could remember every one of them and the reactions from everybody. He was always a real joker. He will be very much missed but will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Larry was predeceased by his daughter Linda Ann Dyer and his parents Hollis and Violet. He is survived by his wife Sheila, his daughter Donna Jackson (Darryl, Heather and Janine); his daughter Susan Dyer (Jim McMurphy and Melissa Martin and great-granddaughter Mackenzie); his son David Dyer (Lindsay, Travis and Trent) and his brother Leon Dyer (Beverly) from Ayer’s Cliffe, Quebec). Upon Larry’s request there will be no funeral. We are requesting in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Windy Slopes Foundation, P.O. Box 2554, Pincher Creek, AB T0K 1W0 in Larry’s name. Larry will be cremated and his ashes buried in the Dyer family plot in Sutton, Quebec next to his daughter, parents and several generations of his family. Funeral arrangements entrusted to EDEN’S FUNERAL HOME (403) 627-3131www.edensfuneralhome.com13004019

Pictures from Carol’s close call (See Story below)

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NEWS FLASH: ROAMERS TREASURER EVICTED FROM DEATH VALLEY

We all know that Travel is an adventure. Sometimes more than others.

I decided this November was the time for me to finally see Death Valley. Many of you have talked about it but I had never been. Death Valley – the lowest, driest, and hottest place on the Continent. About ten days before my arrival I had heard that they had had a lot of rain so some roads would be closed. Mother Nature was not done yet.

I came in the West side – from the town of Lone Pine – highway 136 which joins in to highway 190. There are a number of summits one must cross and all of them were encased in clouds. No view from the top. Was delighted to run into four coyotes in one flat area that still had water lying. The furry creatures put on quite a show for the tourists. Camped at Stovepipe Wells (just a parking lot really!) Sunday morning I drove north, past the sand dunes and on up the road to Scotty’s Castle. The highway had a lot of debris on it in places where it had clearly been flooded previously. Camped at Mesquite Spring – a very nice campground next to a dry wash and down quite a hill from the highway above. It was a lovely Sunday morning and I decided to wait till Monday to visit the Castle.

Clouds blew in and over the course of the day we had several rain showers – nothing much. Just before dark I walked to the wash as I could hear rushing water. The wash was a raging torrent of muddy water. Amazing. Just after dark there was a knock on my door and it was a Ranger telling me that they were asking people to evacuate the area and move on down to Furnace Creek as there were flash floods in the area. Well I do not like to drive at night but decided I had best suck it up and get out. I never want to drive another road like the one exiting that campground. It was covered in mud and rocks and a rushing river. By now it was pouring down rain with lots of thunder and lightning. Actually the lightning helped you to see the road!! The sixty miles to Furnace Creek was a very LONG drive – lots of bad spots on the road. Sheet lightning everywhere which only made the night darker when it stopped.

I was told by the Emergency workers at the road closure spot near Furnace Creek that I was the last vehicle to make it out of the campground before the road washed out. The rest of the campers and Rangers were stuck there.

Now Furnace Creek is 190 ft. BELOW sea level. I have much to learn but I do know water finds the lowest point so it seemed like a good idea to leave here. Several roads out were closed but I was directed to go a rather long route to get to Pahrump. Even that way did not work as there was a river rushing across the highway. The Policeman said this was the first of five crossings on this road so it was not going to be open for quite some time. And that would be if the road was still there to open!! Back I went to the Armagosa Opera House corner. They thought that #190 might open later in the day or tomorrow. I am in no hurry -I will wait. Later that afternoon we were told we needed to evacuate the area. Highway 95 was now open to Vegas with Pilot Car service. It was still closed to the north with five wash outs and a chemical fire caused by lightning! There were many semi-trucks waiting at the Pahrump intersection. I presume they were headed north where they could not go.

Taking a very long way around I arrived in Pahrump just before dark. I can say I have been to Death Valley but I have a hard time buying the “Driest place” description. There are no words to describe the sheer force of water on the land. It was a site I will not soon forget.

All is well that ends well. I have met some of the Solos group here and they have been very welcoming. Dottie arrives on Sunday as planned and we will all journey back into Death Valley for the 49ers celebrations in November.

Life is good.