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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

No Longer In Denial

~Thursday, January 20, 2022~

Day 585

A beautiful, clear sunny day. Honestly, it just couldn’t get any clearer than it is here. Not one ounce of smog and the mountains appear to be so close you can almost touch them. We also couldn’t ask for better temperatures. Low 70’s everyday. The only time we have to run the propane heater is first thing in the morning with the trailer temp in the low to mid 50’s. As soon as the sun comes over the Superstition Mountains, things warm up quickly.

Here’s a subject for you……insurance. I know, not very exciting and am sure you’d prefer a better topic such as a great bike trail we found, or another incredible hike. But when I find something that’s too good to be true, I just have to share. Since Jeff and I have accepted we are now in a different category which I prefer to call “seasoned”, not old, we’re starting to think about better ways to be smart with our money. There’s a lot of savings to be had out there for us 50+ quinquagenarians (try pronouncing that one) or if you prefer, half-centurians. What prompted my call to compare car insurance rates was a brochure I received along with our new AARP membership cards (yes, we just recently became members). I usually reevaluate our insurance about every 4 years anyway, so it was time. I didn’t know that Hartford, a company that’s been around for 200 years, has partnered up with AARP to offer a huge savings on car/home insurance. What I like about Hartford is their JD Power Award in customer satisfaction/loyalty and that they are #1 in claim satisfaction (oh my goodness I’m sounding like one of those infomercials! 😬) And the policy is only offered to people 50 and over, basically designed for AARP members with savings and benefits that younger drivers haven’t quite earned. It makes total sense. Why should we be paying the same rates as younger drivers? Robert spent about an hour with me on the phone, asking the questions, with absolutely no pressure, so that we could compare apples to apples with the new and current policy. In the end, with the exact same coverage and deductibles, we’ll be saving approximately $1,000 by switching. Well worth the few hours of phone calls.

Left for dinner around 5:30 (I know, early for us), but we decided it would be nice to enjoy the evening with a little daylight still. Since we hadn’t really celebrated our hiking achievement the other day, we were due for a night out. We heard about this really cool, funky pub just 10 minutes from our campsite called the Handlebar Pub and Grill.

A really popular place with a great outdoor seating area, live music and awesome food. We had a very nice table near the stage, with our own tabletop fire pit which heated our surroundings perfectly. As we listened to Acoustic John playing his mellow guitar country tunes, Jeff and I enjoyed our yummy dinner. In fact, Jeff’s Stuffed Pasilla Pepper dish with his side of Blue Cheese Potato Salad were 10’s! And my Pepper/Bacon Burger scored just as high. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything on the menu for a pescatarian so I had to come to the “dark side” for a meal. It’s all good. At least I had a bit of “healthy” with my side of Kale salad. Evidently they are in the midst of a kitchen remodel for another month, so everything was being prepared from a small food truck. You couldn’t tell the difference as everything was absolutely delicious. The staff was a 10 also!

Since our big hike the other day, our normal evening routine is to look up the mountain to see if anyone else didn’t manage their time right. It seems every night, someone falls victim to managing the trail by headlamp. Who knows, maybe they intentionally stay at the top late to enjoy a fabulous sunset? I still can’ t imagine purposefully coming down in that terrain, in the dark. Crazy!!

We keep hearing about these hurricane force Santa Ana winds that are supposed to be here any day……California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Crossing our fingers it won’t be on our driving day, Sunday. Be safe everyone!

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