New Friends in Kingman, AZ.

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I just realized that I don’t even have a single picture of Mark, his wife Angie and their four kids… 14 through 19!… They have been busy… I guess we were too occupied with all four dogs playing! The 6 cats were hiding… and then I was busy myself cooking…

It was an early start again from Lake Havasu. Seems that I have fallen under a routine now when moving… Funny that I can be ready to move on in under an hour… and that is a real move! I have whatever is left of my possessions with me, for the exception of some very personal belongings that I have left behind, trusted with friends of mine in a couple boxes… taking up space in their garage… There was a time were moving was a nightmare… weeks of preparations… and then again, this is not too unfamiliar to me as living on a sailboat was the same…

Off 95, exit 26, this structure was standing on the side and my thought was… Space Museum maybe. Wrong, just a private house… three stories… different? I was not invited in.


We arrived in Kingman early… found a brand new laundromat… some window shopping at a Radio Shack… and a disappointment at a Petco store as I always look for coats for Spirit. As I entered I notice that they had a great “Treat Bar”… It actually made me hungry!… which to that comment the clerk told me that a couple of their variety cookies are fine for human consumption.

It looked so great that I wanted to take some pictures… and guess what?… NO pictures allowed!

No scene, just turned around and walked out… but, this will not be the end as if I see another one I will, without asking this time take some shots… BOYCOTT PETCO!

An automotive store however made my day as they had some AMSOIL on the shelves… I was down to one quart, oil of choice for me for both the Bronco and the GS. I know, there is much discussion on what oil to use… no need to go there… the mileage on both vehicles proves me that it works… and that’s all I need to know!

It was time to head to Mark’s house. North Kingman, cell phones are great when I get lost… as usual, takes at least two calls to get on the right track, Mapquest or Yahoo Maps or not!

Fortunately he had left work early and came up right behind me as I was almost there… right!

And yes, always nice to put a face behind a handle and a name. Nice living quarters on 20 acres, plenty of room to camp and the best part are his 3 dogs!… okay, 6 cats and 2 horses are cool too, but I am always partial to dogs… The “mean” one… as he pre-described her to me end up being my buddy, she would not leave my sight just about all night… a great old yeller… and Lucy, as she was described to me, with reason I have to agree, a “goofy” Boxer, turned out to be Spirit’s new girl for the evening… you read right, I did not say for the night!

Mark and Angie had no clue that I could cook… I should have not said anything! I would have had a relaxing evening instead of sweating over the stove with 7 pairs of eyes looking at me!

Truthfully, it was a pleasure. I am always ready to shake that rust off and see some smiles on faces… specially coming form such great hosts. So we headed to the local food store, with a stop at Mark’s working space…

A huge hangar… full of planes! He is the part man there and it has been an education I have to say. These are the planes that will scoop 1700 gallons of water by skimming a lake or a river in about 10 seconds… dump it on a fire and do it again, over and over up to eight hours in 2 to 3 hour shifts! Made in Canada by Bombardier, they now have five of those planes and the only ones around! You can imagine how busy they must be in fire season…

How would you like these 18 cylinders in your motorcycle?… regular or unleaded?

I had always heard of aviation grade, specially lately when working on my sidecar with Grade 8 bolts and nuts… but never realized the cost of those aviation parts! I was suddenly holding, and wish I had taken a few pictures of them, parts that fitted in my hand at a cost of 15 to 20 thousands of dollars… A hydraulic pump at a cost of two years salary! And if that was not enough, an incredible maintenance plan at a cost of millions of dollars! Breakage I asked… no, maintenance Mark replied…

Have no fear… I am just sitting there… considering the cost of those planes… sitting there, very carefully as I do have a habit of breaking things around, that alone should be worth something!

Shortly after it was time to get it together, food shopping and start cooking!

Seems that everyone likes chicken. Into the pan with much diced green onions, green peppers and garlic… lots of it! Finished with diced fresh tomatoes and cilantro… can’t help it, we are in the South. Next to it some sauteed zucchini and squash, more onions, this time caramelized yellow ones. Some boiling water for some angel hair pasta, one more pot for a nice lemony Hollandaise for the vegetables… we had bought some great Artisan bread… no one spoke too much, too busy eating.

Spirit and Lucy barely stopped all night, Spirit… my dog… was also on the couch doing laps, how quickly they learn from others. But it was getting late, close to midnight by the time the ladies finished the dishes, hey, there is some rewards cooking as you can tell… We said our goodbyes as I was not getting up at 6am to see them off to work!

Great evening for the both of us… I think for all of us…

Well much riding starting tomorrow… There is snow on the mountains, there are bright lights in the skies emanating from Las Vegas… Lake Mead is not too far and today we even crossed the Hoover Dam which was a tourist and traffic nightmare!

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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