Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday 23rd May 2015…Day 5!!!!

Had another good sleep and my hostess Denise, left for holidays this morning so I did not see her but we said goodbyes last night….I was on the road by 8am and had my journey planned and I do not like Interstates so try to stay on the minor roads which are usually really good anyway…nice and warm and sunny and quiet roads even though it is a long weekend holiday.

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The first stop of interest

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My next stop was here

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This is quite a site and I took a few trails and enjoy the views!!!!

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Back on the road and to here

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Would love to have seen inside the rooms but the Monument is off limits!!!

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This river runs by the base of the ruins…

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In one day I saw a lot of historical landmarks!!!

At 5.30 I arrived at my accommodation for the next 3 nights a beautiful home close to Sedona….My lovely hostess Diane showed me around I have my own huge bedroom and private bathroom and full use of the kitchen….

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Notice the TV….well I am watching a hockey game Blackhawks and Ducks and it is in to overtime!!!

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Not a bad life is it!!!!!

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday 22nd May 2015….Day 4!!!

It was 67 years ago today in a small hospital that proud parents Doris and Percy, younger brother Malc welcomed this adorable and gorgeous new member into the Pearson clan!!!!!

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What can I say!!!!!

Had a great sleep and spent the morning planning the next few days of my itinerary, had a lovely breakfast and then at 11 am met Linda at Guy’s care home…..Guy was doing great sitting outside enjoying the sunshine.

Linda had brought some wonderful sandwiches and we had a picnic and then Linda produced this…. my favorite strawberry shortcake…

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It tasted as good as it looks…..it was such a treat for me to  have my Birthday lunch with these two long and great friends thanks so much.

Afterwards I went and did some grocery shopping and then came home and just relaxed for a few hours….read my book, sat outside and maybe just maybe there was an afternoon snooze in there.

At 5.30p m I picked up Linda and we headed out of town a few miles to a local church where one of Linda’s Grandsons, Tristan was having his graduation ceremony….

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This was a magical and teary evening seeing and hearing these kids and their dedicated teachers perfom…here Tristan is belting out the US national anthem and he did a wonderful job!!!!

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Very proud parents Melissa and Randy!!!!!

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Tristan’s siblings!!!!

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proud Grandma!!!!

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I could not think of a better way to spend my Birthday!!!!

Afterwards I drove Linda home and said goodbye to her as I leave in the morning………Thanks for everything you and Guy are special to me.

Thanks to many friends for wonderful e mail birthday wishes but as yet not received any cheques!!!!!

Have a great memorial day weekend to my many American friends….

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thursday 21st May 2015…..Day 3!!!!

Another time change yesterday which I think affected my sleep..I was in bed last night by 10.30pm and wide awake this morning at 5 am…so I read for a while did some route planning and then had breakfast and left around 9am a short drive today 120 km

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I arrived at my accommodation the same wonderful home I stayed at a few weeks ago, Denise was at work but she allowed me to come to the house

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and I unpacked a little and relaxed before I went over to see Linda and unload all the stuff I had brought from SMA for her..we had a nice visit and after I got all the stuff in the house I went by the pool for a couple of hours!!!

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We then went and had a visit with Guy it is always good to see him and he never complains and always has a smile…we stayed for a while and then met Teri and Muri,  Linda’s daughter and grand daughter they wanted to take me out for an early Birthday dinner…..we had a lovely time and food was great and I even managed to get the waitress to give me free pie for my Birthday, she was the waitress we had last month when I was here and she was funny…thanks for dinner.

Came home and had a nice visit with Denise and amazing how fast the day went by……

Yashi Kochi!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday 20th May 2015……Day 2!!!!

I had a good sleep till around 5.30am so got up Little Bluey was already packed and I made some sandwiches and was on the road a few minutes later it was just getting light!!!!

It was an easy journey through the big city of Chihuahua and then I turned west into the mountains and all was going well until I came to the final mountain pass which is narrow and steep and what was in front of me…..

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This was a huge oversize vehicle…there was no option but to crawl behind him and it was about 30 minutes before he pulled over to let everyone pass…I could not figure out why no other vehicles were coming the other way until I saw this incredible line up they obviously stopped the vehicles coming down the mountain pass…

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It was a beautiful drive and I was at the border after 9 hours….in line for 5 minutes and no issues sailed through and now at my motel, same room as a few weeks ago…

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So another long drive 815km and just under 10 hours but that is the end of these long drives……

Had a nice meal, did some shopping and now relaxing after a hot bath……good to be in the USA!!!!!

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NOTE!!!!!!!

I sent a generic e mail to my friends this evening and it came back undelivered with the words”Error 475” and now I can receive e mails but when I answer them or try to send an e mail it comes back undelivered saying suspicious activity on my account….I googled the issue and this sometimes happens when you send an e mail to too many people and it corrects itself after a few hours…

 

LINDA…..your cell phone message box is full and I cannot e mail you….how about I come to your casa around noon and wait for you I will have my book and be by the pool….

 

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday 19th May 2015……………the start of a new journey!!!!

With very mixed emotions I left this lovely town this morning at 6am and headed out onto a new journey!!!!!!!!

Little Bluey was loaded with stuff and also food and drinks and really most of the journey was on roads like this

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Very little traffic!!!

the weather was warm and I had lots to drink, my satellite Sirius radio and the journey was easy..this car handles really well and even though I do not have any bells and whistles I really do like it.

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Not many safety standards being used here…

More of the same…

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All empty roads and I like the cloud formation above!!!!

The only incident was on one of the roads I saw a federal police car on the opposite side of the road and I was not speeding but when I passed by I looked in my mirror and saw him come after me…he put his lights on and I pulled over…the officer was on his own and came to my window and was polite and I told him my Spanish was very limited but I understood him to tell me that it was illegal for me to have my rear and back side windows tinted……now I never knew this and see thousands of vehicles with not only those windows tinted but also the driver’s windows tinted too…not sure what he was  getting at but I said I was sorry and would get them fixed…he tapped me on the arm and wished me a good afternoon and took off!!!

I know a few of you think me nuts but I do enjoy road trips and driving so ten and a half hours and 955 km later I arrived at the hotel I always stay at and even got the same room…

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It is a really nice hotel with a guard and gated entrance and I drive right up to the room and a great bargain at 490 pesos.

I walked around and around the pool area to get some of the joints moving then swam some lengths!!!

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I had a real long shower and then dinner and relaxed reading a new Lee Child book(thanks Eric) and now after the blog will be time for bed…..I gained an hour today and tomorrow will be crossing the border into the States.

This is my route today from SMA to JimĂ©nez…..

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I thought this was in interesting article…

 

his picture taken on January 7, 2013 shows tattooed hands of a defendant rocker at a court in Pforzheim, western Germany.

The recent gun battle in Texas has put a spotlight on violent biker gangs in the US. Charles Falco is a former government informant who has infiltrated some of America's most notorious biker gangs and now lives in hiding. He shared what it is like inside some of these deadly gangs and what spurred Sunday's violence.

Why do they fight?

Unlike gangs in Europe or Canada who largely hold territory so that they can control the illegal drug markets in that area, US gangs see holding territory as an end in-and-of-itself.

"They're very territorial," Mr Falco said. "It's all over claiming territory or states".

The Bandidos, one of the gangs involved in the shootout on Sunday, control Texas as part of their group's territory, he said.

Members of other gangs can usually pass through or even live in Texas with little trouble, as long as they do not sport a Texas "bottom rocker" - a patch on the lower part of a biker's vest that shows which state the gang member is claiming.

The Cossacks, who were also involved in the shooting, started as a family biker club, he said. Over time, however, their ranks grew and they began wearing the Texas bottom rocker in an act of rebellion against the Bandidos.

"It's just to say they're the biggest gang on the block," Mr Falco said. "They want to keep expanding, and growing, and claiming that area as their own, and kicking out the other biker gang that might control that area."

Bandidos member in Berlin The Bandidos were formed in Texas, but have spread overseas to places like Berlin

Who joins and why?

Mr Falco said that a lot of the violent gang members were formerly in the military, and the gangs themselves have strict military-like features.

"A biker gang is highly structured - military style structure - with a ton of rules, regulations, and built as a war machine".

The men who make up these gangs are usually older and have better training in fighting than members of other types of gangs.

"They're much more sophisticated in turning out a war," he said. "A lot of these clubs started - were World War II vets or Vietnam vets - and now a lot of clubs have started based around guys returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. So you're having an influx of new biker gangs."

The Bandidos are no exception and formed in Texas during the Vietnam War era.

Mr Falco said joining or creating a biker gang allows a small set of "anti-social" veterans who "love-war" to live out their combat fantasies.

Sturgis Rally 2001

How do you join?

Joining is not quick or easy. The exact process of initiation varies in length and procedure from gang to gang, but they usually require inductees to go through several steps to prove their loyalty, according to Mr Falco.

The current gang members often invite newcomers - called hang-arounds - to their club houses and parties. At these parties the newcomer is expected to serve drinks and carry out other menial tasks to show their loyalty. Overtime, as trust is built, the hang-around is made a prospect.

"When you prospect you get the vest, but you only get the bottom rocker," Mr Falco explained. "You don't get the patch or anything that says the name of the club."

The prospect is still required to conduct many of the humiliating tasks that newcomers are required to do, but wearing the vest allows current gang members to see how the prospect conducts himself while in uniform.

"They're going to see how you deal with the police," he said. "Once you start wearing those vests... the cops are going to start messing with you."

After further trust building, the prospect becomes a bonafide gang member. The exact procedure for this transition varies between gangs, with some requiring a consensus vote by all members and others needing only local validation.

Nomad Dave shows off the new Hells Angels tattoo on his stomach as he attends a Hells Angels rally July 26, 2003 in Peru, Illinois

What is it like on the inside?

While many seek the comfort and security that gang affiliation might purport to provide, inductees often find that gang membership brings on a new set of insecurities.

Vigilance is constantly required, Mr Falco said. Members keep tabs on rival gangs and on potential moles within their own ranks. Betrayal and backstabbing run rife, as members compete for power both within the gang and against other gangs.

"They're jockeying for power, one minute you have power, once you lose it everyone leaves you," he said.

"Some of the guys are very likable, some of them have generosity towards each other, and you think 'Oh that's really nice'," he said. "In reality that's all for themselves, so that they have that power, so that they have that belonging."

Yashi Kochi!!!