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Friday, March 28, 2014

Congress and the Key West Connection!


March 27th and 28th, 2014

What does Congress and Key West have to do Me and Jan enjoying their patiowith one another? Of course, it’s Dan and Jan! That’s Congress, Arizona and Key West, Florida. Our Trumbonian friends live at an Escapees RV village known as North Ranch, in the town of Congress. Dan is a professional retiree. What I mean is that he retired when he was 47 years old and has been trekking all over the world ever siDan's Casita guest house!nce, with his lovely wife, Janice. This journey has been going on for 23 years he tells me.

We arrived at this very unique village, with its setup of full RV hookups on every house lot. Some 250 houses are ready to accommodate RV’s. We pulled into Dan’s spacious yard in mid afternoon and he had us all hooked up, with all the amenities.Dan, Jan Helen and Me at Kirkland Bar and Steakhouse

Dan, like myself, is a tinkerer. He walked me around his yard showing me the many projects he is in the process of working on. One of his priority projects is restoring a popup truck camper for next winter’s trip down into deep Mexico.

Jan sat doDan talking to employee, Kathy, a guest at Dan and Jan's Casita, (sitting), Jan and Helenwn with Helen, on the outside patio, and talked while Dan and I continued discussing the project’s in and outs. The afternoon was gone before we knew it. Later, Jan whipped up a delicious dinner and soon it was time for me to hit the sack!

The next day, Dan asked me what I wanted to do, and I said that I needed to rest and get the camper re-organized and cleaned. Dan said that wKirkland's historic Bar and Restaurant in Kirkland, AZ (Notice sawdust on the floor)!ould work for him because he had to run an errand into town for a neighbor. I spent the morning relaxing, which for me is washing the camper windows, wiping down everything that had gotten dusty from that infamous dust storm, back in the Casa Grande area. The sun was warming me as I worked, I just loved the free time to take it all in.

Dan returned from his neighbor’s errand and I helped them unload one of those (in a box) storage sheds. The four of us finished the afternoon talking about the wonderful time we had with the many military retirees and the farewell parties that we bothDan, Herb (Owner) Jan...Best Steaks in the West!! received when leaving Trumbo Point. Mike and Terry, Dave and Michelle, Kevin and Jinny, Steve and Cheryl, Paul and Joyce were just a few of the many people that made our stays in Key West so memorable. Dan, also has the knack of recounting his many trips around the world, with countless friends that he made along the way. I especially like his adventure of traveling from the Mediterranean Sea to Paris, France by canal in a rented river barge with other couples. The trip consisted navigating through some 80 or so locks. What a way to meet locals! From river lock attendants to people in small towns at grocery stores and shops. Dan and Jan have seen and done a lot of wonderful trips.

That evening, Dan and Jan took us to a remote small town, way up into the back hill country. Our destination was Kirkland’s Bar, Hotel and Restaurant. This establishment has been around since 1923 and is Wood fired grill with steak done to order!original. Besides being all of the above, it also boasts to be haunted and had a former brothel. Many a cowboy has been through the doors. The restaurant part has an open pit, wood fired grill, that the owner himself prepares western steaks that are the best in Arizona. I tried their locally brewed beer, which was tasty with the gourmet dinner. We had a tour of the establishment including rooms, hauntedNotice the face below the picture! Part of the haunted alure of Kirkland's areas, that have had ghost busters come in to do one of their TV shows. I took pictures of a face which appears on a wall. They say that the evidence in your camera will gradually disappear…We’ll see about that! We left the restaurant after dark and headed back to Congress. Jan was driving and after a long decent from nearly 6,000 feet to 4,000 feet, when we had a run in with a deer that was crossing the road. Jan’s truck couldn’t avoid hitting the deer. We stopped and checked out the damage. The bumper was pushed in and touching the tire. Dan and I pried enough to get it off the tire. We made it home with no other problems. Jan handled herself very well in the incident, she’s a cool person!

The next morning we said good-by to Dan and Jan and left for another days’ adventure.

That is what we did and saw!

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