One more week "on the River" .....

April 12, 2013 - Blythe, California, United States

Hi everyone !!!

I can't believe it has already been almost a month since I wrote last ...... my bad !!!  Sorry.   I have been really, really busy if you can believe that.   Thought I would update you on where, when, why, how, etc.  

I am right now still camping (primitive camping) on the Colorado River near Blythe, CA.   I arrived here on Feb. 4th and it looks like I am going to be leaving here on or near April 24th or so.   It has been a lot of fun and very peaceful.    I was able to entertain some guests and still find some time to read, play guitar, do stained glass work, eat well, exercise and just plain enjoy nature.

Have to admit though ..... the weather is changing and it is getting hotter by the day it seems.  Time for me to go back to Phoenix and my second home with Howard and Penny so I can stay cool.   I also have some unfinished remodeling work to do there and want to spend some time with Penny teaching her how to use the internet.  (She just got a Kindle Fire HD and is excited about learning about all the internet has to offer.)  

My plans are to spend about 3 weeks there at Howards and then "join the convoy" to Minnesota.   What convoy you ask?   Well, I left Minnesota by myself but I am happy to announce that I am returning to Minnesota with a girlfriend ..... Valerie!  


Howard and Penny asked us if we would like to travel back to Minnesota with them.   Long story, but we are going to be heading north in a convoy of three vehicles on May 13th it appears.  Let's back up and explain a little more .....   Valerie and I have been dating for around 3 months now and it is an amazing coincidence about our meeting.   We met on the internet and her site said she was from St. Paul.   Well, she is, but she grew up there and actually was in Phoenix ..... so ..... we met and hit it off and have been together ever since.    She grew up in Inver Grove Heights on the same block as a guy named "Ted Ketchmark" ..... my sister Terri and brother Jim will remember that name.   My best friend in my youth was Ted's younger brother Charlie.   Valerie babysat for Ted's kids.   It is just plain spooky how many things Valerie and I know about together or things we like, etc.    She is fabulous and I look forward to traveling with her and her amazing pooch ..... Sammy.   She is moving back to Minnesota to be closer to her children and grandchildren and will at least start out living near where she grew up.   She will temporarily move in with her wild and crazy brother Larry.   More to follow about Val.

The river has been such a great place for me to relax and think about life.    I have enjoyed it all and although I will miss parts .... I also look forward to going home and to seeing friends that are so dear to me.    I miss Dan and Nanc and of course Ginger and all the Princeton folks.   So many more I am missing and honored to have as friends.  I haven't seen my sister Terri or brother Jim for what seems like forever and I look forward to the summer times up at the lake again with them and their families.   Time to go home.   

I am also anxious to meet all of Val's family and friends and to getting to know them.   It will be fun to introduce her to all of you guys also.

Beside's ..... its getting too hot.    It is regularly in the 90's now and my suntan is pretty good.  Today I have been looking at the snow storm that is hitting MN, so please folks, get that stuff taken care of soon will ya !!!!    Last thing I want to see is snow.

I am so excited about turning around and heading down to Colorado when I get home to attend my daughter Amy's wedding.    She is getting married on June 28th to a really great guy and I am so, so happy for her.    I have been making a gift of stained glass to memorialize her big day .... it is a surprise so please don't share these photos ok?

stainded glass 001stainedglass 001   cactus 003

It is not done yet of course but this gives you an idea of how it is made.    I will be soldering the lead lines, then finishing with an oak frame and a nice placque attached.   I hope they will like it.

I will miss some parts of being here a lot.    Each day it seems I am right on the flight path of planes going from Phoenix to LA.   Their jet stream is beautiful and although this pic doesn't show it very well .... kind of like "sky art".

planes 001

The moon is beautiful here also as are the stars of course.   Here are a couple of the moon photos I took.   On of my stained glass pieces is shown hanging from the inside of my trailer.  It is an Irish Claddaugh.


The desert amazes me.    Although it appears dry, dusty and without life ..... in fact it is full of critters and beautiful in its own way.   The coyotes sing to me almost every night and morning.    Much, much life exists there.

cactus 001

 You have to go out and walk around in it to really appreciate the beauty and see the critters that make their life there .... when you do, you always are amazed.    Seems like I see new duck, pelicans, gulls, almost daily here on the river.

As the warmth arrives the locals are using the river more and more.    I see speed boats almost daily now but when I arrived I saw none for weeks.   I even saw a water skiier go by the other day.    Kids were jumping off cliffs across from my camp last week into the River so the temp of the water must be going up.   Fisherman are more and more prevalent and they are actually catching stuff now ..... bass, catfish, striped bass and sunfish.    A youngster caught a 1 1/2 pound sunfish the other day !!!   Eat your heart out Jim !!!

All good things must come to an end and good adventures all need to warp into new adventures some day.   That time has come for me.    And hey!...... I am coming home with a very new and very nice someone special.    We are both excited to be "going home".

Miss you all ..... stay warm!




cactus 001
cactus 003
stainedglass 001


Valerie Kendle:
April 12, 2013
Hi ...Val here,

I just need to clarify one little thing about Dave's journal. Most of you have seen his camper and if you haven't .... I don't really think having an espresso machine, AC and a flat screen really qualify as "primitive camping"....just saying!

I can't wait to meet all the rest of you....I have heard nothing but great things about all his friends and family.

See all of you soon,
Jim Miller:
April 12, 2013
Hey Brother
Can't wait to meet Val! "primitive camping equipment" -Thanks Val, I didn't know about the espresso machine. Dave, really?

The Ketchmarks, it is a small world.

I won't be catching any big sunnies unless I feel like getting the ice auger out! Dave, I'd stay down there till July 4th - Stick Lake might be open by then. But you and Val have to get up to see us at the lake. Sounds like we would have two Sammys and a Sadie up there then.

Colleen and I are looking forward to Amy's wedding. Just set-up flight, room, etc. last weekend.

Will see you guys when you get back up here to the Great White North. I'd drive really, really slow.

April 19, 2013
Don't come home yet Davey! We got 13 inches of snow today! This spring is a disaster.

It will be good to see you again, I am truly jealous of you and the things you have done this winter. You have earned it.

Take care, travel safe, take care of Howi.

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