Fulltime Roadrunners

Fulltime Roadrunners
Winter Boondocking in the desert. Summer Workamping wherever

Back to Normal

April 16th, 2014

Our Motorcycle group trickled out Sunday morning.  It’s taken this long for me to get to a point where I want to talk about it so I’ve just stayed away from the blog for a few days.

We had well over 100 people in here from toddlers to grandpas.  Friday night was non-stop noise until after Thom went out to try to quiet them down around 2:30 a.m.  Then they were back at it around 7 a.m. Saturday morning.  Bill, our supervisor and another ranger, Ray, were here all day Saturday.  The booming of rap music and foul language flying around all day (from both the music and the campers) was hard to take.  About 3:30 Sat. afternoon, Bill told Thom and I to lock up the house, hop in the car and get away from the nearly over-powering noise for an hour.  It was heaven.  We just went to check mail and took a drive through the refuge.

The campground did very well income wise, but it also took a bit of a beating.  In spite of the fact that we handed out 1-1/2 cases of 55 gal. trash bags, Thom picked up 3-1/2 fifty-five gallon trash bags of trash, 3 broken camp chairs, an empty ice chest, cardboard boxes, etc.   We found unused trash bags on the ground.  We saw many trash bags filled with their belongings being packed into their cars.  We’re still running into trash here and there.  They also deliberately broke large branches off two trees along the river. 

Bill talked to the officers of each of the 4 chapters (San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Phoenix AZ) Saturday morning telling them that in the future they need to call him well in advance to make arrangements for coming here, always the weekend before Easter.  He will set some ground rules and they are expected to see they are obeyed.  Because it is usually only them in here at that time, we give them some leeway, such as quiet down a little at 10 p.m., more at midnight and no noise after 2 a.m.

Saturday when Bill left he told us to go into our house, shut the door and do not interact with the group at all.  We were off duty unless there is an emergency.  Our Law Enforcement Officer also stopped by and told us to lock ourselves in, there were some “thugs” out there and we were to stay away at night.  Wow!

There were some really nice people in the group and they were fun to talk to and help out. 

A couple of pics of the weekend “party”.

Parking lot side of campground. Nice Harleys.


River side of campground.


Launching their jet-skis.

The water level of the river is still quite high, but they are slowing down the heavy release from Parker Dam.  It will be interesting to see if we have sandbars when we have low water.

Our temps have gotten warmer than I expected for April but for the most part it’s still only in the 90’s and relatively comfortable.  It could be a long, hot summer.  We did pretty good at Senator’s Wash and should do just fine here.  In the meantime, it’s spring and the mesquite trees are covered with blossoms and I even have a flower on one of the Desert Lilies in the campground.
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Desert Willow

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Honey Mesquite Flowers

Spring also brings the Warblers back.  Here is a Wilson’s Warbler taking a shower/bath in our sprinkler.
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I have a potato salad to throw together and a beaded Anna’s Hummingbird to finish.  I better hop to it!

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

And it Begins…

April 11th, 2014

This post may take me all weekend to get written, but I need to get it started NOW so I can share “stuff”.

Those live Bluegill paid off for our Flathead Catfishermen.  The first night they kept two 15 lb. fish and 1 17 lb.
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The 2nd night they caught this one….. 57 lbs.!
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They said they got a years worth of catfish eatin’ with this fishing trip and they would definitely be back.  I’d settle for one of those 15 pounders!

Looks like the busy season has started and will just continue to get busier as days get warmer. The day our mancationers left we had some college students come in for Spring Break.  One of them had his parents motorhome and boat with a couple of friends in tents and another guy & gal with their own small toy hauler.  I have to say I was very impressed by these young people.  They were very respectful with Thom and I and very respectful of the campground and rules.  They were there for a good time, but, to be honest, they were quieter than our mancationers, and neater than them. 

We had a few days with nearly no campers and it was really quite nice.  There was a table over in the area by the lake that was falling apart and needed repairs.  The BLM bought the lumber and hardware we needed and Thom totally rebuilt that table.  Keep in mind that the table was anchored to the ground with cement and rebar.  Thom had to crawl under the table to pull bolts and remove the rotten wood, then again crawl under to attach the planks he cut to rebuild the table.  It only took him 3 days to tear apart, rebuild, and caulk and paint the new table.  Believe me, I’m impressed.  These 3 days were 100+° and the table was in full sun.  He had to do it in the cooler morning hours.  He was in a hurry to get it done because we had a couple come in who are with the Motorcycle Club who come in here every year and they said the group would be here this weekend and they always stay in that area by the lake.  He got it done in time, the group is here and still trickling in,but they have chosen to stay right up here in our main campground are.  Linda, you know what table I’m talking about… here’s a pic of the rebuild.
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  For those of you who follow this blog and have been to our campground…. these guys in the motorcycle group have totally filled up the area on the west side of the boat ramp as well as all of the point except for Linda and Al’s spot and they continue to trickle in. 

I’m sure I’ll be posting more about this group as the weekend goes by.  We haven’t collected any money yet for camping fees because it’s complicated, but hopefully that will happen before bedtime tonight.

My first impression of this group is they are kind of rough… bad language, easily angered, etc.… but they love and enjoy each other. They respect the campground and it’s rules.  We expect them to push the limits, but also believe they will be reasonable if spoken to.

We’ve handed out big black garbage bags to them so they have lots of space for garbage other than the ground. 

Like I said, I’m sure I’ll be posting more about the group called “The Chosen Few”.  We have 3 chapters of the Chosen Few in here, the hosting chapter from Los Angeles, quite a few people from the Riverside Chapter and just a few from the San Bernardino chapter.  Here’s a shot of a couple of their motorcycles.
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Yesterday I planted some Jicama seed and a different brand of Armenian Cucumbers in starter pots.  I’m hoping our garden will be far enough along when these starts are ready for transplanting.  I’m anxious to see how the Jicama goes.  It’s supposed to be perfect for growing in the desert as long as it gets water.  It tolerates heat, and is bug resistant. 

I was able to add a new bird to my life list.  Today we had an Inca Dove in the yard.
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I’m sorry, but my mind is totally filled with thoughts of the group camping/partying in here.  It finally got cool enough to turn off the a/c and open windows so the air is filled with the noise of their music (heavy bass booms), motorcycles movin’ about and children yelling and screaming and teasing.

I’ve lots of thoughts I’m trying to put together, but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow when it quieter.  My mind doesn’t function well with so many distractions.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

Lots Happening

March 28th, 2014

Happening slowly, but still happening.  Looks like the water level on the river and our pond has reached it’s peak and pretty much staying there for now.  It will recede slowly according to the Bureau of Reclamation guy who comes out here to launch his boat to check levels and maintain river equipment.  Surface level of the river is 224’ still but the flow has slowed down by 2,000 cubic feet/second.  They say it will be at least a 6 week time period for us to really start seeing the decrease again.

The BLM is still saying we WILL have “shore” power here in time to see us through the heat of the summer.  To RVers, shore power refers to power provided by a source other than your own RV… a place you can plug in and be assured of a steady power source.  That’s pretty important when the summer temps get over 110° and even into the 120’s and you desperately need the power for an A/C. 

We are also supposed to get our UTV out here in the near future so we can start using it to do rounds and to haul the pressure washer to the bathrooms for deeper cleaning and for generally getting around the campground to do our job instead of putting the wear and tear on our own pickup.

We know it takes time and there are many other considerations within the Yuma Field Office beyond the Oxbow Campground so we are trying to be patient, but that doesn’t keep us from reminding our supervisor these things still need to be fulfilled when he can fit it in.  I want these thoughts to be in the front of his mind, not the back.

The season is continuing to ramp up.  We were getting a few water skiers and wake boarders, but with the high water, which is colder, they don’t wanna come play.  But, the fishermen are coming out more and more.

The last couple of days we have had a couple of folks come out to catch live bait for Flathead Catfish.  The Flathead is a live fish eater, not a bottom feeder, and is considered the Cadillac of catfish eating.  These guys come out in the morning or afternoon to catch the Blue-gill for bait and then go fishing for the Flatheads at night.

Our “mancationer” group of men that were here last October are back.  They come here to go fishing for catfish during the day and have a good time in the evening.  They always quiet down early enough to not be annoying.  They usually have a fish fry their last night here, assuming they catch enough fish.  These guys are the ones who gave Thom and I our first taste of catfish last October when we’d mentioned we’d never tasted it.  We loved it!  Today they caught a good bunch of fish down river – along the banks and in the backwaters.  They were only out about 3 hours and between 4 of them caught 12 channel catfish, with a couple of those fish being pretty good sized.  Here’s a pic of their catch today.  (click on the pic to go to full size pic, close window to come back to blog)
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Looks like a pretty good fish fry coming up!

Only one of the guys does the fileting of the fish and I watched him do the first 3 of them today to get an idea of how to do it when/if we catch a fish.  Looks pretty simple with the trick being – have a sharp, flexible filet knife.  I’m ready!

There is a place down river on the other side of the river that is an isolated piece of state land.  This is right on the river and a little backwater and people come to this place, called Hippy Hole, to camp for free and party.  If the water is high enough they can launch their boats and can almost always launch their jet skis.  Unfortunately it has no amenities whatsoever which means many of the people who camp and even use it for day use will come to our campground to use the bathrooms and trash dumpster.  We have an ongoing battle keeping these guys from filling our dumpster and using our facilities.  They work hard at trying to outfox us and sneak in.  And,  because they are partiers and young they take dares from each other to do outrageous things in our bathrooms and campground, etc.  Thom did a drive around today checking for new campers and went past the Hippy Hole… there are several people there so we expect this weekend to present a few challenges, to say the least.  There’s nothing we can do other than take license numbers and file reports.

Most of our water birds are gone, but we are getting a few migrating birds coming through.  I had a male Bullock’s Oriole drop by one day.  I keep hoping he or others will come by again.  Today I saw a flash of yellow acting much like a warbler.  I’m hoping it’s a yellow warbler and I can catch a good picture of one flashing it’s color.

I’m seeing lots of little lizards and with the Mesquite bloom in full force, lots of bees, and some butterflies.  Today we had a Monarch on a Mesquite bloom.

We do love living here and watching our world change with the seasons and nature and even manmade events like flushing the river, and fire control weed removal.  Sure have a lot more Cottontails in our campground since all those weeds were cut down and the acreage dug up.  Probably destroyed a few burrows.
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The gal that runs the food shack in Cibola wanted to see my bead work so I showed her my hummingbirds.  She wants me to display some at her shack for sale and has ordered one for herself.  She didn’t want a traditional hummingbird like an Anna’s, Costa’s or Black Chinned, she wants one all purples.  I started it a couple of days ago and have the head finished.  I am throwing in a bit of black and white for contrast though.  I hope she likes it when it’s finished.  If not, I’ll start over.  If I’m pleased with it, I’ll post a pic to share with ya’ll.  If I’m going to put them on display for sale/order, I need to build up my inventory so I’m planning on doing Costa’s, Rufus, and Black Chinned as time allows.

Does it sound to you like I’m rambling?  Sure does to me.  Must be time for me to say g’nite.  Hope to post again soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

And it Begins…

March 23rd, 2014

The weather is pretty consistent now with highs in the 80’s, lows in the high 40’s and low to mid 50’s, sometimes a stiff wind, always a light breeze.  The water temp is in the low 60’s and the fish are biting.  Makes me think of the song that goes “Summertime, and the living is easy… fish are biting…” or something like that.  We had a wind from the south the other day that was strong enough some kayakers had to paddle to go down river, and that was with a water flow of 8,000 cfs.  We had a beautiful view of the river that day, what with all the whitecaps and sun making the water sparkle.

The Bureau of Reclamation is still releasing copious amounts of water from the Parker Dam.  Our water level this morning is 222’ (surface elevation) and the flow is 13,314 cubic feet per second.  It’s my understanding that Mexico wants more water from the Colorado River and at the same time the Bureau of Rec wants to “flush” the river in an attempt to wash a lot of the silt/sand out to get rid of the many sandbars that have developed.  It’ll be interesting to see if it worked when the water level gets back down to 217’ at flows of 3,000 cfs.  Here is a picture of Al ‘n Linda fishing on Dec. 21, 2013 on the pond’s beach, followed by a photo taken yesterday of that same area.

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Of course the warmer temps, high water levels, and biting fish are bringing out the water recreationists.  We have several people coming out to launch their boats for fishing in the early mornings and several others coming out to launch mid-mornings and head out to go water skiing or wake boarding.  The snowbirds are stopping in here for a few days to a couple of weeks on their way home to cold country.  Up until this last week most of our guests are people with existing annual passes, but now we are getting returnees buying the annual passes.

I still haven’t found or made time to try fishing again.  It’s been several days.  Until the Bass are done spawning I’m only gong to try for catfish or the larger blue gill/sunfish.  There are way too many fisher persons taking home the bigger egg laden females, or females pulled off their “nests”. Without the protection, the eggs won’t survive.  These people only care about filling their freezers now and don’t think about the future generations of the fish.  Besides, catfish taste better.  I plan to release any bass I catch until they are no longer spawning.

I’ve mentioned we get some interesting people in here.  Some are scary, some are sweethearts, and some have lived lives that have given them  a never-ending number of stories to tell.  One of the scary people is a single guy who came in last December and bought an annual pass, which allows him to camp here for 14 days then be 25 miles away for 14 days, then he can come back for another 14 days… which he has done since he bought the pass.  He sold his home and lives in his car, a fairly new Chrysler 300.  He’s tall ‘n skinny ‘n loud.  He is bi-polar and takes meds for depression.  He often goes into the food stand in the trailer park in Cibola and comes on to the women with words and actions, being quite touchy-feely.  He parks right next to one of our bathrooms and when our lady campers go to use it he flirts with them in such a manner that their husbands have told them to take one of the men with them or a gun when they go to the restroom.  He’s done nothing against the rules or the law so we can’t make him move away from the restroom or ban him from the campground.

On the other side, there is another single guy who is a veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  This guy has an annual pass but usually stays in out of the way places on open land along the river.  He does sometimes come in here and camp if there aren’t many people and his favorite secluded spot is available.  Obviously, he’s not comfortable around people and it takes a while for him to warm up to anyone.  Wherever he camps he gathers trash others leave behind and throws it away in our dumpster.  This guy gets permission from the farmers to go into their fields and harvest what the pickers reject.  He has brought us some of his pickings including broccoli and lemons.  Broccoli straight from the field sure tastes better than that from the stores!  I still have frozen lemon juice from some of the lemons.  He also fishes for food.  We haven’t seen him for a while now.  Maybe he’ll be back.

We are learning a lot about our area, and the people who live here, from our guests.  Many of them have been coming here for years and tell us stories about Jeff, the host who was here for well over 20 years and pretty much built this campground.  They tell us stories about the local people and sites to see, places to fish, etc.  One couple who is here now used to work out here with Jeff.  They love it here and come back several times a year.  We get many fun stories from them.

Living here is a joy for us and we wouldn’t change it for anything.  Sure, you’ll hear complaints from us about the heat and the prima donas and bugs, but they are just nuisances and nothing to chase us away.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

Still Alive

March 16th, 2014

It seems I took a 3 month vacation.  I haven’t written in the blog since December.  I’m back at it now and my head is full of things I want to write about in the blog.

Al ‘n Linda arrived here a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time with them until they had to head back towards Maine (in a round-about way) the middle of February. I cried when they left and still feel sad when I look out my window. My view is prettier, but much emptier. 

Scott ‘n Mari were here over New Years.  We had a great New Years Eve campfire, with good food and good friends. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Marv ‘n Deb came over for a couple of days.  It was wonderful to see them again.  Sitting around the campfire with them was kind of bitter sweet.  It hit home that last winter was the last time “the group” would be sitting around the campfire together.  “The group” being Thom ‘n me, Marv ‘n Deb, Al ‘n Linda, Ron ‘n Deb, Scott ‘n Mari, Bob ‘n Susie ‘n a few others who popped in now and then.  It would be wonderful to get all of them together out here for a couple of nights.  Now that Bob ‘n Susie have seen the size of the bass we have in here we may be able to entice them out.  It sure was wonderful to sit and relax by the fire with Marv ‘n Deb and catch up!

Life out here at the Oxbow Campground is totally different from life on the BLM LTVA in Quartzsite.  They both have their own sort of beauty. The Quartzsite desert has wildlife we don’t get to see here at Oxbow, like the two types of ground squirrel, Desert Iguana – which I dearly miss, hardly any Quail and to see a Mourning dove here is rare.  We don’t have much cactus or creosote or Ironwood, but we do have beautiful Cottonwood, Mesquite, Willow, and even the evergreen Tamarisk are pretty.  We don’t have much in the way of wild flowers here either. I’ve learned that since we arrived here the first week of September something is always blooming.  Mesquite was blooming last fall and is blooming again now, the evergreen Tamarisk (salt cedar) blooms year round, the deciduous Salt Cedar is blooming now,

side note – a real plus here – I’m looking out my window watching a 3.5 foot tall great egret walk along the bank of the river.

the Cottonwood bloom in February, the Arrow Leaf blooms in the winter, willow trees blooming now, and the Desert Willow blooms in spring & summer.  The sunsets at Quartzsite are gorgeous, almost noon-existent here, but the sunrises over the river are absolutely breath taking.

Here at Oxbow, we also have the Colorado River, Oxbow Lake, and our pond.  I love being able to look out my window and see the river floating by.  I love watching the many faces of the river, from slow meandering water interspersed with sand bars to water rushing by carrying lots of debris because of the high level of the river.  It’s really lovely when the wind is blowing pretty good creating choppy whitecaps speeding down river.

The downside of being right on the water is the myriad of bugs. I have to keep all my baking mixes and powders sealed in ziplock bags or the tiny beetles invade them. In the heat of summer we get invaded by flies of all sizes. Right now it’s mostly the little fruit flies, but the larger flies are becoming more and more.  The ants are starting to come out again also so we’ll have to keep an eye on them.

I’m still trying to get veggies to grow out here.  I’ve had pretty good luck with radishes and Swiss Chard.  The cabbage worms decimated my turnips and brussel sprouts.  I tried my cukes a bit too early and the cold got to them.  I’m having another go round now.  A couple of weeks ago I planted more cucumbers and today I planted some stubby carrots seeds and transplanted a heat hardy tomato I got last Thursday.  All of these in pots still.  I also planted a pot of regular sized Marigolds and a pot of dwarf Marigolds.  I’m hoping we have the raised garden built by the middle of April, but by then there will only be a couple of things I can plant and expect to grow… if I’m very careful and find some shade cloth.  I intend to transplant my Marigolds into the holes in the cinder blocks we’re building the raised garden with. The marigolds should help keep the bugs out of the garden.

I’m going to close for now and share a few pics that have been taken over the past few months. I still plan on sharing some stories about some of our guests and some of our thoughts about the local area and people, just at a later date.

Raccoon trapped in the garbage bin

My new Granddaughter, Bailey Faith, born 12/27/13
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Our campground from across the river.
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Lastly, a 22” 7 lb Large-mouth Bass caught in our pond.

Until next time…

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

Where to Start?

December 13th, 2013

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It’s been over a month since I blogged. This is partly because we have been busy, but mostly because I’m too lazy to get it started. Once it’s started the words come pretty easy.

Al ‘n Linda arrived Nov. 26th. You’ve no idea how wonderful it is to see them again. The last time we saw them was (I think) February, 2011… way too long ago! They have parked their trailer right next to the river and have the best view. They get the gorgeous sunrises right outside their window, the river flowing by, the occasional duck on the water and our currently moody skies.

We had a super Thanksgiving dinner. It was warm enough we were able to sit outside at the picnic table to enjoy it. This last week or so has been cold though. Not as cold as many people have, but cold enough for us. We’ve had to put my veggie garden into the Cargo Trailer due to freezing nights. It’s supposed to start warming up for the next week or so. We’re hoping for a 70°+ Christmas.

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It still got down to 35° this morning. Good thing we didn’t bring the cucumber out of the trailer. It looks like it’s dying anyway. If it doesn’t make it, I think I’ll wait until early Feb. to try again. Temps are supposed to get up to 75° by Monday. Yay!

We had to run in to Yuma yesterday so Thom could get his pic taken for his VA card and to pick up some paint for the floor of our new shed. We went to Fry’s to pick up some good buys. I got a spiral sliced ham ($1.49/lb) and Thom grabbed a turkey at 75¢ per lb. Now we have to decide which to have for Christmas dinner. With only 4 of us for dinner, cooking both of them would be overkill.

We will be going back to Yuma next Tuesday to meet with our supervisor, Bill to be fitted for helmets. That will put us 1 step closer to getting the BLM UTV out here and get the training so we can use it. We have to be BLM certified before we can use their equipment.

I’m still getting new birds in the yard and on the pond. A Redhead duck has found there is lots of water weeds in our pond so he’s been coming here the last 4 days. He’s a beautiful bird!

Our new storage shed was delivered on Dec. 6th. It was assembled and loaded on a flatbed trailer for delivery to our campground. It’s an 8’ x 14’ barn shaped shed with lofts for more storage. Here are a couple of pics showing the delivery and placement.
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It looks like we will be home today and all weekend. At least we have no plans to go anywhere. We’ve lots to get done around here. Today will be laundry day. I’ve got Christmas gifts for Coen and Bailey to get packaged up shipped off. I guess I will need to go to the Post Office in Palo Verde (3 miles away) today to get the package on it’s way.

On that note, with so much to do today, I better post this and get busy.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

I Honestly Tried

November 11th, 2013

11/10/13

I’ve planned on posting to the blog every day for the past week, but something always comes up to keep me from sitting her and writing our happenings.

Last Tuesday we went to Yuma and picked up a new BBQ we bought at Home Depot.  It’s the Weber Spirit 210, a two burner BBQ with plenty of room to cook a larger turkey, or roast.  I’ve used it 3 times and so far it’s wonderful!  We did a Papa Murphy’s pizza the first night, a steak for me and buffalo patty for Thom the next time and today I cooked a 10 lb. Pork Picnic Shoulder. All of it came out fantastic.  Here’s a pic of the stuffed pizza we did. Came out very nice.
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Here’s a shot of the BBQ
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Business in the campground is slow but steady. We’ve had two “Man-cation” groups in here. They come here to fish and relax at the campfire while their wives use the time to get together and go shopping, do massages, etc. Personally, I’d prefer the fishing, relaxing, etc. We’re also getting a lot of hunters. You’d think the hunters would be the quiet ones, going to bed early in order to get up early. NOT! They party with loud music and loud talking until we require them to shut down the music & noise. Both Man-cation groups partied a bit, but they were quiet partiers and very respectful of us and other campers.

I’m a bit worried about a group of campers that came in tonight. It’s a church group of 6 vehicles with large oriental families and 1 Caucasian  “guide”. There are several young children in this group. They plan on rafting down the river and paddling back. It’s the first time they’ve done any rafting. Here at Oxbow the Colorado River flowers at 4500 Cubic Feet per Second when it’s slow, 7,000 to 8,000 when it’s going good. There’s no way these people would be able to paddle up-river from even a mile down river, let alone the 3 to 6 miles. Thom is the one who greeted them and talked to them. He’s tried talking them into launching their rafts into the Oxbow Lake and paddling around the acres it covers. We hope they follow his advice. The river can be so unforgiving and with young children it would be crazy to chance it.

Stan, the guy who handles the major maintenance issues of our campground, called and told us there was a couple at Rice Ranch in Quartzsite who were selling storage shed so we went in to Q last Wednesday to look them over. The quality and price is right so we are ordering an 8 x 14’ barn shed with loft. Assuming all goes as planned it will be delivered by the first of January. We can empty the storage shed we are renting in Quartzsite and quit paying rent on that.

I’m beginning to nest here. I’ve planted 4 flower pots, 3 hanging and 1 one sitting on the table. I keep moving them around in the yard until they are in “just the right spot”. We’re making this campground “ours”.

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The group that was going to raft today decided a couple of the men would go up-river and put in a raft and bring it down to the Oxbow Bridge. They decided they wouldn’t take the kids on the river so they went across the road to the Oxbow Lake and let the kids get in some rafting there… much better idea.

I’m hungry for a turkey dinner and Safeway in Parker has them on sale at 75­¢ per pound so we’ll be going in to Parker tomorrow to do a bit of grocery shopping and stop at Wal-Mart to look for more flowers to plant and another pot or two so I can plant more turnips and sugar snap peas. We’ll freeze the turkey until a couple of days before Thanksgiving and have a turkey dinner for TG.

Yesterday and today I got some photos of new birds for my life list. This first one was in our Pond/Lake yesterday at the end of the pond standing on some cattail reeds floating on the water. It’s the Black-crowned Night Heron.  After a few minutes it took off and that’s when I got a decent shot.
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The 2nd one was swimming on the pond today. Because it’s a juvenile it took me quite a while to identify it.  It’s a Juvenile Common Loon.
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Just had a Red Shafted Northern Flicker land in the Cottonwood tree in front of my window. I managed to get a few pics. Will share next time I blog.

The weather is still near perfect… high 40’s to mid 50’s at night and low to high 80’s during the day. Lovin’ it!

That’s all for now.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Tah.

 

Mexico and Yuma

October 28th, 2013

Today we drove into Mexico to replenish our meds supply.  We got at least a 3 months supply of 5 different meds plus a canister of Bailey’s truffles (filled with real Baileys) and a bottle of vanilla extract.  In my opinion, Mexican vanilla is the best!  All this only cost $130.  It would have been a lot less but my nasal spray cost $33 for two bottles.  It’s around $100 per bottle here in the states.

From Algadones, Mexico we headed into Yuma, only about 10 miles distance and did some Home Depot and Sam’s Club shopping.  On our way home we took a side tour and drove into Walter’s Camp which is on the river.  A lot of people stop there when they are canoeing the river.  Our campground is a stopover when they start north of here, then they go to Walter’s Camp and then down to Martinez Lake near Yuma.  Walter’s Camp is pretty expensive.  They charge $10 per launch plus $8 per person.  We charge $10/car for day use which includes the launch, parking the truck and boat trailer and all the people.  Walter’s charges $18/night for dry camping and that includes one vehicle, the RV and 3 people.  If a couple happens to have more than 1 child they pay $8 per person beyond that 1.  They also charge for the launch.  We charge $15/night for dry camping and that includes all the people, the RV, vehicle and the launch if they bring a boat.

I’m getting a bit concerned about our water supply here.  I don’t know if it’s the water we get from the county park or if we need to shock our fresh water tank again.  When I brush my teeth I rinse my mouth with water from the faucet.  It tastes a bit muddy.  Algae can make that taste, but we also have to consider it was just a couple of weeks ago the water from the park was running very muddy due to a broken pipe.  All the water we drink is filtered in our Big Berkey and tastes fantastic, but I make my ice with faucet water and have found any drink I ice gets a bit of a taste to it.  I’m going to start using filtered water for ice to fix that, but in the meantime we need to address the issue of “flavored water”.  I think we should shock the fresh water tank first and see if that helps, if not, then we need to find a new source of fresh water.

Like most of the rest of the West our weather is cooling way down.  Our highs will only get to the mid 70’s the next 3 days and the lows in the mid 40’s, then the temps will go back up to the 80’s and 50’s.  I’m going to take advantage of the cool temps tomorrow and roast a pork shoulder in the oven.  That will give us 2 dinners plus sandwiches (and probably a noodle dish or soup).  I also found a hamburger and cheese soup recipe I want to try, substituting buffalo for the hamburger.  That should go nicely with a fresh baked loaf of bread.  If the soup is any good, I’ll post the recipe in my list of recipes on the left of this page.

I got a new Warbler for my bird Life List yesterday.  The only picture I got that allowed me to positively identify it is this one.  It’s not real good but t shows the markings.
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When I posted this bird on eBirds as one of the birds I saw that day, I got a notice back saying they wanted more information because it was rare to see this bird at this time of year in our location.  One of the warblers that is very common year round all over the states is the Yellow-rumped Warbler.  You can see in this picture why he is called that.  Every morning I’ll see 5 or 6 of them hopping around the Cottonwoods out front catching the bugs.
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(some people back east call him the Butter Butt)

We still haven’t had any regular yard birds at my seed feeders.  The Grackles and Collared Dove cover the ground feeding on the seed I toss out under the feeder.  I hope the others show up sometime soon.  I miss all the activity at the feeders.

I wish all of you could be here right now.  It’s so peaceful.  No TV noise, my noisy parrots have been covered and put to bed, the sun is down, the light is fading, there’s just enough nip in the wind and sound of the wind in the leaves to make you feel that Fall is here.  I can already tell I’ll be closing the windows tonight at bedtime.  I love it.

We’re so happy out here I even took my favorite hummingbird photo and dressed it up to use on Facebook as my profile pic… to show how I feel.
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I’m thinking this is going to be a really slow week because of the cool temps.  I hope we can take a morning and drive the refuge loop then drive the backside of the refuge along the farmer fields where I hear the Sandhill Cranes every morning.  Maybe even walk the path to the water bird pond on the other side of the Cottonwood trees.

I know many of you think you’d be out in shorts and tanks and having a ball if the temps were in the 70’s… perfect day to play on the water.  It’s all relative.  Here most of the locals have put away their boats unless they are fisher persons and even a lot of those people have put the boat away because the water is “cold” and the fish aren’t biting.  It’s 71° outside right now and I’ve changed into sweat pants.  Sure hope I never have to go north in the winter anymore.

That’s all for now, hope to have things to talk about soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy.

Toodles!

 

Update

October 23rd, 2013

Not really a lot to share but didn’t want to wait so long between posts, so I’ll try to remember things that happened the last couple of days.

The folks that were here to stay 2 weeks went exploring and discovered this place the locals call The Hippy Hole.  It’s very sandy, right on the water with easy access to both a shallow pond (backwater) and the river.  They decided they would rather be there where it was easier to get to the fishing areas so they moved.  That was fine with me.  They had an annual pass they bought here in the summer so we didn’t lose any income and until today we had the place all to ourselves after they left.  Nice and quiet.

Today we had 3 vehicles come in camping, 4 guys and another to join them on Friday.  They will be here at least until Sunday.  They bought 2 annual passes for 4 vehicles.  Two of them are brothers living in the same household and the other two are father & son.  Each pass covers 2 vehicles as long as they are in the same household.  Nice older guys.  They are here for what my son calls a “mancation”… fishing, telling stories, drinking beer and just relaxing.

One of them brought a generator that is definitely NOT a Honda.  Luckily he only runs it when it’s needed to power his camper.

Yesterday I did a 2nd planting of Swiss Chard and Radishes.  I’m out of pots now so planting more turnips will have to wait until I can buy another big pot.  I can’t wait until I can have an in ground garden!

Temps are still being very kind.  Highs in the low 90’s, lows in the low to mid 50’s.  Sunday it’s supposed to dip below 90 for a few days.  Today was cloudy and the humidity climbed a bit, but not too bad, just enough to bring on a wet neck if I stayed outside very long.

No matter how hard I tried the other day I couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up early and took Willow for a walk.  I got a couple of good early morning pics.

This is the sunrise on the river through a Mesquite tree and Willow bushes.
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This is the morning light on the reeds reflecting on the lake.  A couple of water birds thrown in for effect.
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And here we have our sunset tonight.
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Tomorrow we have to go into Quartzsite to pick up some things from our storage shed, check our mail, and will stop in Blythe at Albertsons to pick up a couple of things.  Honeycrisp apples are on sale for 99­¢, so I’m gonna pick up a bunch.

Enough for tonight.  Will try to post again soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

 

Ten Days Already

October 19th, 2013

Time flies when you’re not busy!  Actually we both stayed relatively busy during the shutdown.  Thom doing little chores he’s been wanting to get done since we got here and me doing what I like best – walking, observing and taking photographs of the wildlife, both flora and fauna.

Remember… when I post a photo all you have to do to see it full size is click on it.  It will open in a new window.  To come back to the blog just close that window.

Our weather has turned absolutely perfect the last 2 weeks.  Highs in the mid to high 80’s and lows in the high 40’s to mid 50’s.  Long pants & light jacket in the mornings when we first get up and shorts ‘n tee shirt or tank top from about 10 a.m. until after sundown, then back to long pants ‘n tee shirt, maybe a light jacket and sit at the campfire just chilling.  Life is good!

Most of the people we dealt with during the shutdown were understanding in spite of being annoyed with the Gov’t, but we did run into a few Annoying, Self-centered, Spiteful, Hateful, Offensive, Loutish, Exasperating people who made us want to toss them in the river when it was full and running swift!  We had people talk to us as if we were the idiots in Congress who were responsible for the shutdown.  We had a little vandalism.  I had one guy come in, drive down the ramp, park right in the middle and proceed to use a seine net to catch some bait fish while a couple teens with him went wading.  I walked down the ramp and asked him to please move his truck up to the parking lot to park and do his fishing over on the beach in order to not block the ramp.  He told me I couldn’t talk to him because we were closed and he was a cop and he could do anything he wanted because he was a cop.  If he blocked the ramp in spite of it being near the end of the day and there was a boat out there that would want to load onto the trailer that was too bad, we were closed, they couldn’t use the ramp.  I didn’t argue with him just told him that since he was a cop he knew he was breaking the law by parking there.  Yes, I COULD talk to him to tell him the same thing I was telling everyone else who came in and YES! I could call the Law Enforcement if he didn’t move his truck to the parking lot.  I then told him that if he chose to continue to stay there illegally, there was a better spot about 50 yards down the way where he could get all the fingerling carp he wanted for bait, but I couldn’t tell him he could stay and I couldn’t tell him he had to leave.  He moved his truck and went to the other spot, got a bucketful of carp and left in a better mood. 

We reopened last Tuesday morning and have had a small trickle of guests since then.  We have one couple in here staying for 2 weeks.  They live in their 5th wheel full-time and have been hosting campgrounds in Utah the last few years.  They are really nice people and, of course, it’s fun to share experiences.  He loves to fish.  I’m hoping he catches something worth keeping so I can watch him filet the fish.  He basically fishes for catfish but wouldn’t throw a good sized bass back if he caught it.  Today I got a photo of a fish in the Colorado River right on the edge of one of our campsites.  It’s a Green Sunfish.
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In identifying this fish I read that they are a great fish for beginners because they will bite anything and hit hard.  A fun catch for kids.

The migrating water birds are coming in now.  I’ve managed to get decent pics of a Pied Billed Grebe and I think the ducks are a pair of Gadwalls (If anyone thinks I’m wrong about the Gadwalls, tell me)

Pied Billed Grebe

Gadwall Duck

We have lots of butterflies going through also.  The yellow sulphurs are here year round, but I managed to get a Queen Butterfly who is quite large but around here only lands at the top of the trees so it’s tough to get a photo of them.  This is the best I got of the Queen.  The 2nd one is the Sleepy Orange.
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My garden is doing pretty good.  I still have leaf miners on my one cucumber plant, but as soon as I see an infested leaf I break it off and throw it in the river.  The garden still has white flies but I read they are not really that harmful, just annoying.  I hope so because, so far, nothing I use is getting rid of them.  Every time I water a cloud of white swarms off the soil and plants. 

Pics of my garden… hopefully I’ll be harvesting Chard in a few weeks and everything else will continue to do well.  From back to front on the garden:

Armenian Cucumber in small pot on left, Sugar Snap Peas in other two small pots.
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Swiss Chard in left pic, Brussel Sprouts in right pic.
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Salad Turnips in half the pot, the other half planted 4 days ago, barely sprouting.
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Armenian Cucumbers in large pot.  Plants are already growing bigger than in the small pot.
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I hope we have better success this year than we did last year.  I do know it doesn’t get as cold here as it does in Quartzsite.  We’ll see.

We are in the slow time of the year for this campground.  About the only people we will see will be the fisher persons and hunters.  We’ve had some hunters in this weekend for a couple of nights and a guy in fishing the big Oxbow Lake (no outlet to the river, but great fishing).  Duck season opened a couple of days ago and Quail season opened this morning.  Guns going off all around us!

Next time we get into town I need to pick up the hunting and fishing regulations for both states.  Heck, if I can put my camera down long enough I may even start fishing, but not until Dec.  The AZ fishing licenses go from Dec. to Dec.

It looks like we’ve blown another 400 amp fuse.  It has to have something to do with the screwed up electric system on the big solar arrays and their big generator.  We have to replace that fuse on the inverter again soon.  The charger isn’t working so Thom has to hook our battery charger up to our battery system to charge them.

Enough for now.  I’ll try to get more posting done now that the shutdown is over and we may have something to talk about, like crazy campers, etc.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

 

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