© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Sonoran Desert, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Sonoran Desert, Arizona

Bonjour tout le monde!

Here we go into March with new friends. We were excited to have a visit from Marc and Julie Bennett from RVLove, this time a sit-down dinner while they were in the Phoenix area. Having guests after months of traveling was satisfying. How does one entertain in a T@B trailer you ask? You picnic outside! It was nice to share a simple meal, laughter, stories of our RV lifestyle beginnings, and the places we’ve been.

 © 2018 Julie Bennett from RVLove. Marc explores our home (Putt-Putt) / Marc explore notre domicile (putt-putt)

© 2018 Julie Bennett from RVLove. Marc explores our home (Putt-Putt) / Marc explore notre domicile (putt-putt)

 © 2018 Julie Bennett from RVLove. Marc, Michael and I talk candidly about our rigs, with the RVLove Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in the background / Marc, Michael et moi parlons franchement de nos caravanes, avec la Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk de RVLove à l'arrière-plan

© 2018 Julie Bennett from RVLove. Marc, Michael and I talk candidly about our rigs, with the RVLove Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in the background / Marc, Michael et moi parlons franchement de nos caravanes, avec la Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk de RVLove à l'arrière-plan

March break included my dear friend, Flavie from Ottawa. We collected Flavie at the Phoenix Airport and then we drove three hours north to Sedona. We stayed at the Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground in Cornville, fifteen minutes from Sedona, where both tents and RV’s are permitted. Flavie was prepared with all the comforts of home while tenting. Having only a couple of days, we opted to see the backcountry with a Safari Jeep tour, allowing Flavie to perceive the red rock country. What a hoot! Our guide was feisty and informative and enjoyed finding what made his guests tick. The Mogollon Rim Run road—if one can call it that—is rough, very, very rugged. Our kidneys were left behind somewhere between the dips and huge boulders spread out over the trail. On our way back to the campground we stopped at the Javelina Winery for some Sedona wine tasting, some accompanied by chocolates.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our setup at Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground in Cornville, 15 minutes from Sedona / Notre terrain de camping Lo-Lo-Mai Springs à Cornville, 15 minutes de la ville de Sedona dans l’Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our setup at Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground in Cornville, 15 minutes from Sedona / Notre terrain de camping Lo-Lo-Mai Springs à Cornville, 15 minutes de la ville de Sedona dans l’Arizona

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Flavie pitches her tent at Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground / Flavie plante sa tente au camping Lo-Lo-Mai Springs

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Flavie pitches her tent at Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground / Flavie plante sa tente au camping Lo-Lo-Mai Springs

 © 2018 Michael Sutton. Flavie and I undoubtedly enjoy a relaxing time after carefully setting camp / On relaxe, Flavie et moi après l’établissement de notre campement

© 2018 Michael Sutton. Flavie and I undoubtedly enjoy a relaxing time after carefully setting camp / On relaxe, Flavie et moi après l’établissement de notre campement

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. We positively enjoyed our jeep tour with Brandon Decker, our excellent guide by day—remarkable singer and musician by night / Nous nous sommes amusés en tournée de jeep avec Brandon Decker, guide le jour—remarquable chanteur et musicien la nuit

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. We positively enjoyed our jeep tour with Brandon Decker, our excellent guide by day—remarkable singer and musician by night / Nous nous sommes amusés en tournée de jeep avec Brandon Decker, guide le jour—remarquable chanteur et musicien la nuit

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Mogollon Rim Run road in Sedona, yes, the photo is fuzzy, we also lost our kidneys! / La route du Mogollon Rim Run à Sedona, oui, la photo est floue, nous avons aussi perdu nos reins!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Mogollon Rim Run road in Sedona, yes, the photo is fuzzy, we also lost our kidneys! / La route du Mogollon Rim Run à Sedona, oui, la photo est floue, nous avons aussi perdu nos reins!

Before leaving Sedona, we swung by the Tlaquepaque, known for its signature Sedona events, art galleries, fine restaurants, and one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. Sedona is packed with tourists in the Spring, so there were no places to park putt-putt to view up-close and personal the amazing Bell Rock and Courthouse Rock. Driving towards the buttes of Sedona to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, on Chapel road, I noticed a big sign with the words “NO TRUCKS WITH TRAILERS” posted. Michael, being a stickler for details noted that we possessed a SUV, not a truck. Da!!!! So, as we progressed into the parking area, I repeatedly mentioned the written words; but ignored by “no problem” Michael, we proceeded. A parking ambassador gesticulating vehemently stopped us in our tracks. URGH! He asked if Michael had read the sign. Michael replied, the sign said “NO TRUCKS WITH TRAILERS”, not “SUV WITH TRAILERS.” I just rolled my eyes. Michael carefully executed a 7 point turn in a one-lane parking lot. Fifteen minutes later, the parking lot and the sign were in our dust. Mighty sorry, no exclusive photos of this specific incident! 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Bell Rock (left) south of Sedona in Yavapai County with an elevation at its summit of 4,919 feet/1 499 m (appropriately named because the shape resembles that of a large bell) and Courthouse Butte on the right / Bell Rock (à gauche) au sud de Sedona, dans le comté de Yavapai a une élévation à son sommet de 4,999 pieds /1 499 m (nommé de façon appropriée alors que sa forme ressemble à celui d'une grande cloche) et Courthouse Butte est à droite

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Bell Rock (left) south of Sedona in Yavapai County with an elevation at its summit of 4,919 feet/1 499 m (appropriately named because the shape resembles that of a large bell) and Courthouse Butte on the right / Bell Rock (à gauche) au sud de Sedona, dans le comté de Yavapai a une élévation à son sommet de 4,999 pieds /1 499 m (nommé de façon appropriée alors que sa forme ressemble à celui d'une grande cloche) et Courthouse Butte est à droite

The weather was a bit out of season, so we drove back to Phoenix to take advantage of the 90°F/32°C warmth and the sun. The KOA in Gila Bend was our vacation home for the next five days. There we planned a hike in the Sonoran Desert, where cacti thrive. Then a visit to The Painted Rock Petroglyphs Site, to see the largest known site with about 800 images pecked onto weathered basalt boulders overlaying a granite outcrop. The outcrop is an east to west orientated oval form about 400'/123m long, and about 20'/6m tall.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. KOA Campground in Gila Bend, Arizona, some people naturally have bigger rigs! / Le camping KOA à Gila Bend en Arizona, certaines personnes ont des caravanes plus grandes!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. KOA Campground in Gila Bend, Arizona, some people naturally have bigger rigs! / Le camping KOA à Gila Bend en Arizona, certaines personnes ont des caravanes plus grandes!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael and Flavie leave for a hike in the Sonoran Desert with our Nova-Scotia sticks in hand / Michael et Flavie partent en randonnée dans le Désert du Sonoran avec nos bâtons de marche de la Nouvelle-Écosse en main

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael and Flavie leave for a hike in the Sonoran Desert with our Nova-Scotia sticks in hand / Michael et Flavie partent en randonnée dans le Désert du Sonoran avec nos bâtons de marche de la Nouvelle-Écosse en main

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Painted Rock Petroglyphs Site comprise a collection of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs near the town of Theba, Arizona / Le site de pétroglyphes de Painted Rock comprend une collection de centaines de pétroglyphes antiques près de la ville de Theba en Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Painted Rock Petroglyphs Site comprise a collection of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs near the town of Theba, Arizona / Le site de pétroglyphes de Painted Rock comprend une collection de centaines de pétroglyphes antiques près de la ville de Theba en Arizona

Flavie and I enjoyed the beauty of 140-acres/56.66 hectares of cacti in the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden, located in Papago Park. The scent, textures, and colours were breathtaking. The extensive planning continued as we enjoyed margaritas and laughs at Otro Restaurant, and finally admiring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West for a few hours before waving goodbye to Flavie at the Phoenix Airport. The sunsets in Gila Bend were not the same without her. Michael and I stayed another month to write, create, and relax.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Texas Mountain Laurel is a drought-tolerant evergreen shrub with drooping clusters of fragrant bluish lavender flowers, which smell oddly like grape bubblegum. In Arizona it’s the aromatic smell of the Larrea Tridentata shrub which exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote. In Arizona where it grows, its smell is often associated with the "smell of rain", it nourishes the soul! / Le Laurier de Montagne du Texas est un arbuste à feuilles persistantes avec des fleurs de lavande bleuâtre, en grappes tombantes et parfumées qui sentent curieusement au bubble-gum au raisin. En Arizona l'odeur aromatique de l’arbuste Larrea Tridentata expose une odeur caractéristique de créosote, son odeur est souvent associée à "l'odeur de la pluie" ceci nourrit l’âme!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Texas Mountain Laurel is a drought-tolerant evergreen shrub with drooping clusters of fragrant bluish lavender flowers, which smell oddly like grape bubblegum. In Arizona it’s the aromatic smell of the Larrea Tridentata shrub which exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote. In Arizona where it grows, its smell is often associated with the "smell of rain", it nourishes the soul! / Le Laurier de Montagne du Texas est un arbuste à feuilles persistantes avec des fleurs de lavande bleuâtre, en grappes tombantes et parfumées qui sentent curieusement au bubble-gum au raisin. En Arizona l'odeur aromatique de l’arbuste Larrea Tridentata expose une odeur caractéristique de créosote, son odeur est souvent associée à "l'odeur de la pluie" ceci nourrit l’âme!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Organ Pipe cacti ready to bloom in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix / Le cactus de pipe d'orgue prêt à fleurir dans le Jardin botanique du désert à Phoenix

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Organ Pipe cacti ready to bloom in the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix / Le cactus de pipe d'orgue prêt à fleurir dans le Jardin botanique du désert à Phoenix

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Glass sculptures by artist Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Gardens / L’artiste Chihuly présente ses sculptures en verre dans le Jardin botanique du désert

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Glass sculptures by artist Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Gardens / L’artiste Chihuly présente ses sculptures en verre dans le Jardin botanique du désert

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. We stop for a bite to eat at Otro Restaurant in Phoenix, we end up tasting a beer and a margarita / Nous arrêtons pour manger un petit quelques choses au Restaurant Otro à Phoenix, et nous finissons par goûter de la bière et une margarita

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. We stop for a bite to eat at Otro Restaurant in Phoenix, we end up tasting a beer and a margarita / Nous arrêtons pour manger un petit quelques choses au Restaurant Otro à Phoenix, et nous finissons par goûter de la bière et une margarita

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Flavie tastes her first margarita served in an old fashioned glass! / Flavie qui goute sa première margarita servie dans un verre à l’ancienne

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Flavie tastes her first margarita served in an old fashioned glass! / Flavie qui goute sa première margarita servie dans un verre à l’ancienne

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. This sandwich was absolutely delicious! / Ce sandwich est absolument délicieux!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. This sandwich was absolutely delicious! / Ce sandwich est absolument délicieux!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Taliensen West, Phoenix

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Taliensen West, Phoenix

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael makes a friend with one of Frank Lloyd Wright Sprites at Taliensen West / Michael fait ami avec une des sprites de Frank Lloyd Wright à Taliensen West

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael makes a friend with one of Frank Lloyd Wright Sprites at Taliensen West / Michael fait ami avec une des sprites de Frank Lloyd Wright à Taliensen West

One afternoon, we received a phone call from the KOA Campground Director while driving around Phoenix. Our first thought was Putt-Putt was in danger! They did not give us much information, but suggested we return immediately. Distraught and anxious we drove HWY 238 through the Sonoran Desert National Monument in a frenzy. When we arrived, we were greeted by a camera crew for a shoot of the KOA Annual Directory. They fell in love with putt-putt and wanted to photograph it as part of their promotional material. We agreed to the shoot, thinking it was just Putt-Putt; but no, they also wanted our mugs in the photos. We spent the next three and a half hours drinking and smiling for the director and camera-man to frame the shot. We had lots of fun meeting this fabulous photographer Jeff Dow, who was very generous with photography advice. The shoot ended as the sun reached below the horizon and new friends were made. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Photographer Jeff Dow makes every shoot, every shot a fun experience. Here he is planning the photo shoot with the film director / Le photographe Jeff Dow fait que chaque tournage, chaque tir est une expérience amusante, le voilà qui planifie la séance photo avec le réalisateur

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Photographer Jeff Dow makes every shoot, every shot a fun experience. Here he is planning the photo shoot with the film director / Le photographe Jeff Dow fait que chaque tournage, chaque tir est une expérience amusante, le voilà qui planifie la séance photo avec le réalisateur

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. I return the favour by taking a photo of Jeff photographing us / En retour je prends une photo de Jeff Dow nous photographiant

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. I return the favour by taking a photo of Jeff photographing us / En retour je prends une photo de Jeff Dow nous photographiant

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The sun reaches the horizon as the photo shoot comes to an end / Le soleil atteint l'horizon comme la séance photo se termine

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The sun reaches the horizon as the photo shoot comes to an end / Le soleil atteint l'horizon comme la séance photo se termine

 © 2018 Jeff Dow. Extra photo gifted by Jeff / Photo supplémentaire offerte par Jeff

© 2018 Jeff Dow. Extra photo gifted by Jeff / Photo supplémentaire offerte par Jeff

 © 2018 Jeff Dow. The photo published by KOA on their  KOA  website / La photo publiée sur le site Web du KOA

© 2018 Jeff Dow. The photo published by KOA on their KOA website / La photo publiée sur le site Web du KOA

Many sunsets were admired as the days went by. At the beginning of April, we received another invitation. In this instance it was for a toilet video from Marc and Julie from RVLove. Yes! The imperial throne, le WC, the john, la commodité, the crapper, le berniquet, the loo, le vay-say, the privy, le pipi-room... is a critical element of full-time RV life... Presently Michael is famous for his putt-putt wet bath scene in the RVLove video.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our last sunset, the sky fills with amazing colours / Notre dernier coucher du soleil, le ciel deveint rempli de couleurs stupéfiantes

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our last sunset, the sky fills with amazing colours / Notre dernier coucher du soleil, le ciel deveint rempli de couleurs stupéfiantes

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael says goodbye and anticipates our return / Michael dit au revoir et prévoit notre retour

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael says goodbye and anticipates our return / Michael dit au revoir et prévoit notre retour

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. We leave Gila Bend for Utah, as the Palo Verde trees are in full bloom at the KOA / Nous quittons Gila Bend pour l'État de l’Utah, lorsque les arbres Palo Verde sont en pleine floraison au camping KOA

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. We leave Gila Bend for Utah, as the Palo Verde trees are in full bloom at the KOA / Nous quittons Gila Bend pour l'État de l’Utah, lorsque les arbres Palo Verde sont en pleine floraison au camping KOA

Most tourists leave Arizona when the cacti start to bloom. Lemon yellow and fuchsia flowers pop up everywhere—a sign that summer is on the way. For us, it was just a continuation of pleasant, sunny weather. Dreading leaving our wonderful space, we went up north to Utah to meet up with friends and take advantage of our health practitioners. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael shares with AG, a boondocker and rancher in Camp Verde, Arizona / Michael partage avec AG, un boondocker et propriétaire d'un ranch à Camp Verde en Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Michael shares with AG, a boondocker and rancher in Camp Verde, Arizona / Michael partage avec AG, un boondocker et propriétaire d'un ranch à Camp Verde en Arizona

 © 2018 Michael Sutton. Our site at Page Lake Powell Campground in Utah / Le camping Page Lake Powell dans l'Utah

© 2018 Michael Sutton. Our site at Page Lake Powell Campground in Utah / Le camping Page Lake Powell dans l'Utah

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. We enjoy the weather, the sun, olives, bread, and wine at Page Lake Powell Campground / Nous jouissons de la température, du soleil, des olives, du pain, et du vin au camping Page Lake Powell

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. We enjoy the weather, the sun, olives, bread, and wine at Page Lake Powell Campground / Nous jouissons de la température, du soleil, des olives, du pain, et du vin au camping Page Lake Powell

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The magnificent view from our site at Page Lake Powell Campground / Une vue magnifique de notre site au camping Page Lake Powell

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The magnificent view from our site at Page Lake Powell Campground / Une vue magnifique de notre site au camping Page Lake Powell

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. One peaceful night at Snow Canyon State Park in Utah / Une nuit paisible à Snow Canyon State Park dans l'Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. One peaceful night at Snow Canyon State Park in Utah / Une nuit paisible à Snow Canyon State Park dans l'Utah

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Breathtaking view in Snow Canyon, Utah / Une vue époustouflante à Snow Canyon dans l’Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Breathtaking view in Snow Canyon, Utah / Une vue époustouflante à Snow Canyon dans l’Utah

 © 2018 Michael Sutton. A pleasant evening at boondocker Steve Wilcox’s ranch in Kanosh, Utah / Une soirée agréable au ranch de Steve Wilcox, un boondocker à Kanosh, Utah

© 2018 Michael Sutton. A pleasant evening at boondocker Steve Wilcox’s ranch in Kanosh, Utah / Une soirée agréable au ranch de Steve Wilcox, un boondocker à Kanosh, Utah

 © Michael Sutton. The following morning after freezing all night, we woke up to six inches of snow in Kanosh—unexpected weather! / Le lendemain matin après avoir gelé toute la nuit, nous prenons conscience de six pouces de neige à Kanosh—une température inattendue!

© Michael Sutton. The following morning after freezing all night, we woke up to six inches of snow in Kanosh—unexpected weather! / Le lendemain matin après avoir gelé toute la nuit, nous prenons conscience de six pouces de neige à Kanosh—une température inattendue!

In Salt Lake City, Linda and Marty Muir served as our hosts, while my foot healed and we planned our next phase of our emergent lifestyle. It was the best B & B we ever stayed at, although 6 weeks passed and we had to leave them to their privacy and move on. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda and Marty, our dear friends from Sandy, Utah, generously offer us the best camping site / Linda et Marty, des chers amis à Sandy, Utah, nous offre généreusement le meilleur terrain de camping

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda and Marty, our dear friends from Sandy, Utah, generously offer us the best camping site / Linda et Marty, des chers amis à Sandy, Utah, nous offre généreusement le meilleur terrain de camping

While in the west we made a detour to Boise to spend a fantastic time with Dale Rogers. We even made time for a movie and margaritas. Remember those margaritas! Wow! We heartily enjoyed loads of those!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our dear friend Dale’s margaritas are hands down the best margaritas—they are still at the top of the list! / C'est la margarita de notre chère amie Dale qui est toujours en haut de la liste!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our dear friend Dale’s margaritas are hands down the best margaritas—they are still at the top of the list! / C'est la margarita de notre chère amie Dale qui est toujours en haut de la liste!

After months of extensive research for a better-sized trailer, I think, we fortunately found, our new rig. Living a year in 90 square feet, we sincerely wanted to explore a bigger trailer with more space. Michael desired a zone to write, and I would love to spread out to publish my artists' books. A bed that does not need to be taken apart in the morning and prepared at night would also be fantastic. A freezer for ice-cream and ice cubes for our wine, would be a dream...

We traded our Kia Sorento for a Ford F-150. This provided me the chance to get used to a truck before hitching it to a bigger trailer—which I never drove in my life—and the truck is the size of a battleship!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our brand-new sexy F150 at the Henry Day Ford Dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah / Notre tout nouveau sexy F150 chez le concessionnaire Henry Day Ford à Salt Lake City, Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Our brand-new sexy F150 at the Henry Day Ford Dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah / Notre tout nouveau sexy F150 chez le concessionnaire Henry Day Ford à Salt Lake City, Utah

May ended with our departure from Utah and the start of our eastward voyage to deal with the repairs to Putt-Putt. We are extending our travels for another year, and enjoying our incessant journey. 

Bigger trailer or bust!