Friday, April 08, 2011

Really Good Jerky

Let me start by wishing Sharley a big Happy Birthday. I hope you had a wonderful day and that Ben did something special for you today. 

Next I'd like to tell you what a wonderful day we've had today. Pat and Gary Norton are two very good friends of ours and Pat is also a second cousin of Lisa's on the Kesler side. Pat and Gary have been serving a mission in Arizona for the last eighteen months and are going to heading home next week. We decided that we'd really like to see them and that Arizona is a lot closer than Canada so since today was their preparation day we loaded up the van yesterday afternoon and headed east. The drive through the desert was actually a very beautiful drive and since it is still only April it wasn't too hot yet. We got to Quartzite Arizona in time for their going away party for Pat and Gary. Let me tell you about the Quartzite branch. In fact let me tell you about Quartzite. 

When we got to the party Sarah was the youngest person there. The next youngest person to Sarah was Lisa and I. After Lisa and I the next youngest people were Pat and Gary. During the winter the Quartzite branch has over 800 people but during the summer the branch population drops to just a few people. This town has very few buildings but thousands of trailers. Sure there are many trailer parks but that doesn't stop these people. They will tow their trailer out into the desert and just park it there. There are wide open areas of desert with hundreds of trailers parked out there and every day a truck comes by and every day and truck comes by and fills up their water tank and empties there sewer tanks. It is rather amazing. Of course those old geezers just loved Sarah and she was quite popular with the old men. They had some very good food at this pot luck though so I need to run extra miles now. 

After the party we headed up to Parker Arizona. I've never heard of Parker but as it turns out it is a very special place for everyone in San Diego. They have a dam here called the Parker Dam and most of San Diego's drinking water comes from this dam. I'll tell you more about the dam later. We got to Pat and Gary's apartment in the evening (those old geezers don't shut down their parties pretty early) and we visited until about 9:00 just catching up on each others lives and hearing about their mission. It was fun and I didn't want to leave but they get up early and I'd had a long day. 

We hit their apartment early the next morning for breakfast and helped them clean out all of their food so they don't have to pack so much home with them. The pancakes and eggs were very good. Pat had an appointment she had to go to so Gary gave us a tour of their area. Their area is huge and from the south end to the north end is over 50 miles. He was telling us that they have to fill their car with gas about every other day. Crazy. The only good thing is that their gas is $3.62 a gallon but across the river (that would be in California). The gas is well over $4.00. I paid $4.05 in San Diego. 

The Colorado river is nothing like I imagined it. It is a beautiful blue color and for some reason I always pictured it as a slimy green brown color. It also flows very fast. We drove along the river for some time and saw some amazing huge houses along the water. It looked very appealing but I have to remind myself that in the summer the temperatures out here can top 120 degrees. I didn't get any good pictures of the million dollar houses but here are some pictures of other houses built along the banks of the Colorado river.

And then there is the Parker dam. This is the tallest dam in the world. You'd never know it by looking at it but what you don't realize is than less than a third of the dam is above water. Most of it goes below water and into the ground. This is the dam that diverts most of the irrigation water for the the desert and it also sends water to LA and San Diego. It is also the dam that forms Lake Havasu. I never knew any of that. 

Sarah was begging to go swimming in the river from the moment we saw it but we managed to keep her out. We finally caved in and stopped where she could "touch" the water. We more than let her just "touch" it. We actually let her immerse her feet in it. She is a funny girl. 

Starting about twenty miles out of Parker we started seeing billboards advertising "Really Good Jerky". I guess I was just in the mood for some really good jerky so I just had to stop. When I saw that a package was $8.00 I said to myself that it'd better be really good. Sadly it wasn't even as good as the stuff you can buy in the grocery store. If you happen to see this place, don't bother. What was really good though was the olives. The little store had a shelf full of olives with all kinds of things stuffed in them. They all looked very appetizing to me and I finally bought some that were stuffed with Feta cheese. They smell very strong and taste absolutely wonderful. I opened them as soon as we got home and now the bottle is pretty much gone. I sure hope olives aren't fattening. I'd better go check. 

So around 4:00 we decided to head home for San Diego. It was pretty much an uneventful drive home until we hit the 215 at which point is poured on us. I haven't seen rain that hard in San Diego in a very long time. 

So it was a great day. Sharley turned 23, we got to see Pat and Gary, Sarah got to "touch" the Colorado River, I ate some "really good" Olives and I learned where our water comes from. 

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. 


Lynn said...

YAY! It's good to see Uncle Gary and Aunt Pat again. It sure has been awhile....and yet just yesterday... when we said our goodbyes and parted ways in South Jordan at my sister's house there when we were down in Oct. of 2009 for conference. They've written us and we them, so we knew they were coming home soon...but still...not soon enough. ; D I know they will be sad to leave the area and the good people there....but we kind a like them too. HA ha.

Glad you had a GREAT time with them before they headed home.

Lisa said...

It was a great trip and thank heavens for electronic devises to remind us of birthdays while we are out of town.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I wonder where you got that fact from ;)