Fulltime Roadrunners

Fulltime Roadrunners
Winter Boondocking in the desert. Summer Workamping wherever

Still Surviving

June 25th, 2015

Help is on it’s way.  The BLM is providing us with gas for our Honda generators, and ordering propane right away when we tell them the tank is down below 30%. We use the Hondas to run the portable A/C, and the propane generator supplements the power to the batteries on the solar system which we use to power the house including the big 15K a/c on the RV.  We are now running the Honda AND the propane generators all night long so we can have both a/c’s on all night. 

We have another 13K a/c over the bedroom, but every time we’d run it, it would run 15 to 20 minutes then trip the breaker.  Even though the other two a/c’s were running all night with a fan blowing up to the bedroom and a fan in the bedroom, it would still be mid 80’s until the early hours of the morning.  One of the guests who have been here since the 19th does air conditioning and offered to come take a look at it.  After telling him what was happening, he said it could very likely be a bad breaker. He attached an amp meter to the breaker (20 amp breaker) and we turned on the a/c.  After about 10 minutes it tripped and the meter only read 16 amps.  Right next to this breaker is a breaker for the washer/dry we don’t use so he switched the wires and , viola, the a/c ran all night long giving us the best nights sleep since the heat hit.  If I had time and could stand the oven being on in the RV, I’d bake him a cake or cobbler.

We’re not seeing many snakes at all now.  I guess the heat is such that they only roam around at night after the temps get low enough. The lizards are sure active though. Every time I walk outside I see a lizard scurrying away.  I’ve seen 3 separate Desert Spiny lizards, the male and female I shared in my last post and a youngun’ about 1/2 the size of the female. Other’s we have out here are varying sizes of the Giant Spotted Whiptail Lizard, the Ornate Tree Lizard and the Side-blotched Lizard.

(Remember, for all photos you can click on the photo to enlarge in a new window, when finished looking at them just close the window to come back to the blog.)

Giant Spotted Whiptail
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Ornate Long-tailed Tree Lizard
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Side-blotched Lizard
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I mentioned earlier that “help is on it’s way”. The BLM has purchased a 20K diesel generator for our campground (host site only) and it should be here the first week of July. They have already filled our diesel jump tank so we’ll be ready to go when it gets here.

Not many people coming out to go fishing, but those who do are doing pretty well. One guy caught a 50 lb. Flathead Catfish out of the river (not a back water) just a bit up river from here. I took photos for him, but with his camera and IPhone and didn’t get any with my camera.

With the temperatures getting up above 110° and staying there during the daytimes, our guests on the point have been doing a great job of beating the heat. These shots are all in our lagoon.

And here’s a photo of their group, shot from the Oxbow Bridge.

We’d welcome this group of people back any time!  They are a joy to have in the campground. They are respectful of us, the land they are staying on and the creatures who share this land. Usually when we have a group like this at least one of them can and will be a pain in the…. tongue (from my biting it constantly), but every single one of the people in this group are lovely to have around, even the kids (the older I get the less tolerant I get to brats).

A week ago we had a snake I rarely see go through our campground. This one is quite difficult to get photos of because it is so very fast. It’s actually called the Red Racer. This one was at least 6 feet long. The first pic is the whole snake and the 2nd is after it hid under a board and started feeling safe, it stuck it’s head out to see what was happening. You’ll often see them moving along with their head up in the air like that looking for prey.

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Planning and preparing meals has been challenging. I don’t want to heat the house with the oven, nor do I want to stand outside in the sun in 115° to cook on the BBQ. Last night fixed a shrimp salad and was so disappointed. Where can you buy (in the state of AZ) shrimp that is NOT farmed. The shrimp last night was mushy and flavorless. I haven’t been able to find shrimp that is wild caught and not farmed in the stores I have access to. I love salmon, but can’t afford wild caught. Produce is hard to find at a reasonable price and it’s rare to get fresh. Although, on that point, we do have Van Dyke farms in Blythe that we buy whatever and whenever we can find. We don’t mind paying the price for it (about the same as the stores) because we know it’s fresh. They have yummy melons and fresh corn. We are eating a lot of veggies, fruit and cheese now and a lot less meat, but when we do eat meat it’s often Schwan’s precooked chicken patties or precooked chicken breasts.

Pineapple has been available at a reasonable price so I’m buying a lot of it. I learned that if I slice it, lay it out flat on a cookie sheet and freeze it, I can store it in plastic bags in the freezer and pull it out as I want/need it. I find eating it after it’s thawed just a tiny bit is super refreshing, like a pineapple ice.

California grocery stores have raised the price of a dozen eggs, med or large, to near $5. We were in Quartzsite yesterday but didn’t think to look at the General Store, but next time (next week) we’re definitely stopping there for eggs…. still under $2.00/doz.

I made my beaded parrot. I have a lot of changes I’ll be making next time. The beak will be orange or black/charcoal and the colors will be per my choices not the pattern.

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Thom just went out to get the propane genny going and it wouldn’t start. Said it sounds like the starter and he’s not a mechanic. We’ve switched to our big ol’ 10K to keep the a/c’s going.

All I can think of for now so I’ll quit rambling.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

I’ve Been Threatening-

June 19th, 2015

—or is that promising, to write in the blog.

It’s been a challenge out here this year.  It’s been hotter than it was last year and we don’t have any supplemental power to help run the A/C’s to keep us cool.  We are relying on the propane generator to keep the big a/c going and our Honda’s to keep the portable genny running.  When the highs outside get over 110° it takes both of the a/c’s to keep the temp in the RV down to 88°, which isn’t good but better than 110°.

Between the mosquitoes and heat, we are spending as little time outside as possible. Luckily, the mosquitoes have abated pretty much except for early morning and late evening when the temps are down.

The high temps out here have been above 110° (as high as  120°) for over a week now, and are forecasted to be for another week. 

Since it’s too hot for me to sit outside in the fresh air to work on my hummers, I’m getting as much done as possible holed up inside. I finished my last order and have been doing what I can to build inventory and try some of the new patterns I’ve purchased.  I did my first attempt at the White-throated Jacobin; the Raven, which is Thom’s favorite bird; an Anna’s Hummingbird to go into inventory; and am working on a parrot right now.  I bought the parrot pattern over a year ago and am finally getting around to trying it. I’ve taken time off from accepting orders and am working on things I want to try as well as building up a bit of an inventory.

Here are pics of the White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird and the Raven.

 

Here it is…. HOT, HOT, HOT, and we have a couple in here with their 5th wheel and boat to camp for the weekend, and are expecting 7 more RV’s in here tomorrow to camp.  At least all of them are well equipped to deal with the heat.  The group of 7 bring a large diesel generator to power all of their a/c’s and the one that came in this evening is prepared to run their genny all night.

(Next Day)
The group of 7 is all here now.  I’ll catch up with them all tomorrow to see what we have…. preferably in the morning while it’s cooler. I’m going to enjoy the group.  They have children and the kids always have questions about their surroundings.  There’s nothing I like better than sharing info about “my” desert and “my” river.

The smoke was a lot less this morning, but a hefty breeze from the west kicked up and brought the big haze back. I can’t believe that we haven’t had a campfire restriction here in the area since we have had less rain than CA has had.

We are still in a heat wave. We’ll have temps from 114° down to 110° from now through Friday. I pray the Monsoons don’t hit while we are in these temps. Have I said this before? I’ll say it again. This is unusual to be this hot for this long this time of the year.  Last year when we got this hot, it only lasted 1 or 2 days.  (I think … a reread of the blog may prove me wrong)

We have finally received word on what kind of mitigation we’ll get for our power situation.  Power still won’t be out here until probably sometime in the Fall,  but the BLM has purchased a 20K diesel generator for us to have out here so we can survive. It may seem like they are taking advantage of us (which I’ve never ever thought), but it does take time for things to get approved.

This heat is definitely taking a toll on my garden.  The leaves on the tomatoes have all turned brown, the cucumber leaves are curling and the only nice cuke I have isn’t going to get longer than its current 4”. It’s an Armenian Cucumber and they get up to 18” long.  My Jicama is doing great however.  It’s truly a lover of HOT weather.

We have a couple of Desert Spiny Lizard out here dancing around each other.  He wants to make babies and she’s not so sure about it.  It’s been going on for days so I bet we’ll have baby Spiny Lizards running around in a few months.

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I’m almost done with a a 3D parrot, a new pattern.  I bought it a year ago, but this is the first chance I’ve had to give it a try. I have a lot of changes I want to make on the next one.

Time for me to say g’nite.  I’m sure there will be stories to share from the weekend. In the meantime….

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy.

Toodles.

The Heat Is On

June 12th, 2015

It’s getting close to the middle of June and the temps are climbing rapidly.  Today was predicted to get to 104° but made it up to 106°, and it will get warmer every day, up to 112° on Tuesday, and 115° on Thurs.  We are barely able to stay cool at this point, I’m pretty concerned about doing okay when it gets 10 degrees hotter.  We’re burning propane like crazy in the BLM generator to supplement the batteries so we can run our big A/C, and even then we’re only able to get the indoor temp down to 83 or 84.  We’re also running one of our Honda generator to power the portable A/C as a supplement. I guess if we need to run the portable all night, we’ll switch Honda’s and run it all night.

Business is still doing pretty good out here at the campground for the month.  This weekend isn’t very busy at all yet.  Only a couple of campers and a few launches.  Maybe it will pick up tomorrow.  For me, personally, it would be better if it didn’t pick up.  Then I wouldn’t have to go outside in the heat and skeeters to sell passes or check permits.  I hate insect repellent so much that I avoid using it until I get swarmed the minute I go out.  I almost always end up with at least 3 bites at the end of the day.  At least the humidity has dropped to 35%, so it’s not quite so unbearable.

In spite of the stress of working at beating the heat, I often find myself suddenly feeling a serenity and peace and recently realized it always come when I’m sitting and looking out my window at the river or standing on the bank looking out at the river.  The sun shining on the river, the wind blowing up white-caps on the river, the shadows of the trees and brush on the river, the sunrise reflecting on the river. 

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Another think that makes being out here worthwhile is the joy I feel when I look out the window and see something exciting, or Thom calls me on the radio to tell me about something exciting I want to take photos of.  The King Snakes mating, the first Hooded Oriole and Western Tanager of the year, and the Desert Spiny Lizard this morning trying to attract a mate.

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All this in my front yard. Is it any wonder I love it out here?  There is never a day without a hummingbird, even when the feeders are empty. (They come to the window and scold me for not filling them).

This month is Thom’s birthday month and next month is mine as well as our anniversary so when we found a turkey fryer at a great price we splurged and bought it.  It’s called a fryer, but is actually an infrared roaster (propane). I cooked a boneless pork roast in it and it turned out pretty good, super moist, but I’m not cooking anything else without buying the accessory pack for it.  I have a whole chicken I’m dying to try, but the accessory pack will allow me to hang the chicken midway in the fryer to get a more even ‘cook’ on it.  Hope to get the accessories when we go to Yuma next time. They have them at Home Depot.

I finished the last of my hummingbird orders a week ago and am now taking a month off from orders and creating for myself… to build inventory and to try new patterns.  I’ve done the Raven and am pleased with it.  Of course, I can see where some changes can be made.  I have a pattern for a parrot and hummingbird earrings and intend to try those as soon as I get a few hummingbirds for inventory.  Will be making an Anna’s Hummer next.  Here’s a couple of shots of the Raven. The Raven is Thom’s favorite bird and one of my favorites. We are both thrilled when we see one.

 

We got our dryer fixed yesterday and today was laundry day.  When you’re off the grid even doing laundry isn’t super easy.  Thom went to Blythe and got water so we could do laundry. We have to hook a hose to the tank on the water trailer and run the pump on the trailer to get water to the washer, then when the washer is done we run the 10K generator to run the dryer to dry the clothes.  The towels HAVE to be dried in the dryer because they are stiff as a board if dried on the clothesline.

Okay Judy, ramble on.  Nah, I think I’m done for the night.  Gonna cut myself a bit of the Santa Claus melon we bought at Van Dyke Farms in Blythe and enjoy the heck outta it!

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy.

Toodles.

Staying Busy at the Oxbow Campground

June 6th, 2015

Our flow of guests at the BLM Oxbow Campground has been pretty steady all of last month and so far this month.  Most of our campers have been coming in groups of 3 or more.  The group we have in here now are a bunch of internet friends, some meeting in person for the first time.  They are spread out all over the campground, most in tents on the north side of the lagoon.  This is the first time this group has come here, although a couple of the folks have been here a time or two in the past.  Word is spreading about us.  It would be nice if this place brought in as much business in the winter as it does in the summer.  On the other hand, it’s really nice to have some alone time out here during those months.

The BLM brought their big shovel in and built a gravel road connecting the bathroom road to the road that run alongside the lagoon.  They cleared some space and put two spurs for RV’s to park also. I understand they hope to make more room for parking/camping over there.  Here’s a photo of the beginnings of the new road, followed by one showing the new spurs.

To view the photos full size just click on photo. It will open in new window,  close that window to come back to the blog.

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I finally got around to my first attempt at making a White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird with my beads.  I’m happy with the first attempt but can see a thing or two I will change when I do it again.  I’m making a Ruby Throat right now, which will finish off my list of orders.  I think I will take some time off from orders for a while (maybe a month) and have some fun building an inventory of the different kinds of birds I can make. I have a parrot pattern and will be trying to make one fashioned after the colors of my Quaker Parrot.  And I want to make one each (at least) of the different kinds of hummingbirds I make.  Here’s a couple of photos of the White-necked Jacobin I finished the other day. For those of you who are friends on Facebook, just scroll on by, I’m sure you’re quite tired of seeing these. Winking smile

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Yesterday Thom was changing tires on the Pressure Washer trailer and broke his ratchet wrench.  He went into Sears at Blythe to get it replaced (lifetime guarantee) and saw a turkey fryer at a tremendous price. When he got home he told me about it.  I did some checking online for this brand and model and everything I found was fantastic so we called to find out how long it was on sale. Yesterday was the last day so back to
Blythe, but this time I went with him and the Turkey Fryer came back with us.  It’s actually an infrared fryer, so technically it would be a roaster. It runs on propane.  I’m thawing a 3.2 lb. boneless center cut pork roast to try out tomorrow.  I’ll let ya’ll know if it’s any good.

Our temperatures are definitely warming up now.  Today is our last relatively cool day (at 99°), then it goes to the 100’s a few days, a couple more days at 99°, and then back to hot.  Our power won’t be here probably until fall now.  Southern California Edison Power is dragging their heels getting things done and the BLM, being Government and having requirements, takes time to process all the paperwork and plans. I know our supervisor is working on something to help us survive the heat, but I don’t know what and he won’t say anything until it’s a sure thing.  It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with. 

We still love it out here and still want to stay for as long as we can. 

I’ll finish the blog off with one of my favorite lizards.  This guy is really large, from nose to tail tip about 14” long.  The Desert Spiny Lizard.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

dsrtspny-0509   dsrtspnybg-0509

 

Busy Campground This Month

May 29th, 2015

Of course Memorial Weekend is in May, but is at the end of May.  We’ve been nicely busy all month.  We had a good number of guests in here for the holiday weekend, but most of them had annual passes that are good through this month.  We still brought in almost as much $$ this month (so far) as we did last month with the 200+ members of the motorcycle group. We’re getting a lot of repeat guests out here now.  We’ve had several people stumble on the place and spend the night, enjoying it so much they vow to come back when they can spend more time…. and some have.

This is what our backwater/lagoon looks like during the busy weekends.
(if you click on the photo it will open in a new window, to come back to the blog, just close that window)

And this is what the point above the lagoon looks like with the owners of all these boats parked up there. Most of the boats were towed in by motorhomes.

Living the way we do, off the grid, can be a royal pain in the butt sometimes. (I’m probably on my way to a rant right now). Thom recently realized he qualifies for VA benefits. In the process of getting his baseline physical exam they want to do several tests. Because he mentioned concerns about possible heart issues they want him to be hooked up to a monitor for 48 hours.  We live off the grid, we have no steady shore power, we rely on solar panels and generators, we get good cell phone service with AT&T out here, but not Verizon or others.  We have no access to landline phone.  The heart monitor relies on Verizon cell phone or the “antique” model relies on landline. We’ve had two systems sent to us, one Verizon (no reception), and one AT&T (4 bars of 3G), and the program on the phone that comes with it says “poor cellular service,” on both phones, so it can’t transmit data to the main office. I now have two systems to ship back to them while they look at sending another system of some sort or another to us.  If we didn’t have a dog and two parrots we’d just go to Tucson now and spend the 48 hours there so they could get their stuff.  We have to go to Tucson in July anyway for an echo-cardiogram. …OK, Rant over.

We have lots going on out here regarding our power situation, but no firm answers and nothing in concrete, so I’m not saying anything until we have real answers.

This is frustrating… yesterday and the day before I had several thoughts pop into my head that I wanted to share on the blog, but they popped right out again.  I’ll say g’nite for now and will be back soon I hope.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Working With The BLM

May 25th, 2015

We are finding that, now our Yuma Field Office of the BLM is getting it’s manpower back, it is making life much better for everyone involved.  Not just us, but our campers, campground and day use hosts, and the users of these areas.

We just went through our biggest weekend of the year, Memorial  Weekend, and it went a whole lot smoother than last year.  Yes, last year was our first time and our guests didn’t know us and were bound to try us, but also, the BLM didn’t have the manpower, due to people off training or illness, to cover the weekend like they normally do.  Last year wasn’t a huge trial but we made mistakes, and our guests took advantage of our being new.  This year they knew what they could push, and to make it really nice, they knew us and they like us, so were easy to deal with.

*side note*… I wish these people would send word to the BLM how they feel, but it’s only those whom we tick off who call the BLM.  If anyone sends good words about us, it would be nice to know, but we only hear if they complain.  Anyway…… I’ve shifted from my intended thoughts to share big time.

Our Supervisor was able to see that we had ample Park Ranger coverage as well as Law Enforcement coverage this year…. yes, last night happened, but if we’re not prepared to deal with those issues, I guess we shouldn’t be here.  (Ya’ll, knowing us, gotta know how hard it is for Thom and I to stay away from and not get involved, but we’ve learned that stuff is going to happen and we have to know when to step back and let it happen).

I’m totally aware that a lot of the readers of my blog think the BLM takes advantage of their volunteers, but you need to realize we, and all volunteers, have a reason for doing this and we love doing what we do, for whatever reason.

I have to say we felt well covered by our Rangers and our Law Enforcement this weekend.  The BLM Law Enforcement made their presence known all weekend and our Park Rangers were out and about and making sure all our guests knew the requirements for usage here.

The Imperial County Sheriff’s Dept. came out here and launched a boat to monitor activity on the river both Saturday and Sunday and I got a couple of pics of them on the river in front of our campground. We let them park in our compound since parking was very limited this weekend. This first picture is the Sheriff’s boat anchored out on the river watching the boats coming and going from our boat ramp and lagoon.  The second is the guys moving a bit north.  We really appreciate their presence here, it makes a tremendous difference in some of the boaters demeanor sometimes.  Remember, if you click on the photo it opens full size in another window and when you close that window you come back here.

impcoshrfboat-0524 impcoshrfbt-0524

I’ve finally finished my latest beaded hummingbird.  This one took me 5 days to make, but that’s due to the big weekend.  This one will be shipped tomorrow and I hope to start a new one for another order.  I’m getting closer to being able to bead my self set challenges, and to build an inventory!  Those of you who are thinking about ordering, keep in mind that in the next month I’m going to shut down accepting orders and will spend a month working on building an inventory and working on creating the challenges I’ve set myself, like the White Throated Jacobin.

Time to say g’nite, but I hope tomorrow to figure out what photos I’ve taken recently and share a visual of my world with ya’ll.  Thanks for reading.  If you have something you want to hear about or see, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I totally want to share my photos of the King Snakes mating, and the shots of the migratory birds we’ve had visit our campground.  For those of you who absolutely hate looking at snakes, I’ll give a fair warning that there are pics of snakes coming up.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Tah!

Starting the Blog Again

May 24th, 2015

I have been told by several people they want me to blog.  They want to hear about happenings in the campground and our lives.  What better time than one of the busiest weekends of the year, Memorial Weekend.

Yesterday we had 113 uses (that is by vehicle count, not people, and includes camping and day use), today we had fewer launches which brought us down to 84 uses (vehicles).  Needless to say we were busy running hither and yon all day both days.

At least this year our supervisor was able to arrange schedules so we had ample Ranger and Law Enforcement coverage this weekend…. or at least almost ample Law Enforcement coverage.  Our one Law Enforcement Officer left at about 5:30.  Granted, things were slow then, but his shift ran until into the night.  At about 8:30 or a bit later we had some folks come in to pull their boats out of the water and they were acting totally intoxicated and were verbally fighting.  It was escalating to where I thought it might become a physical fight so I called 911 and finally got a Sheriff’s dept. to send someone out.  Of course he arrived 1/2 hour later so all was done.  He did take a report and they did go out looking for drunk drivers towing boats, but nothing came of it.  Today these same people came out and launched a boat again so the Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) were here and ready. Of course, today they didn’t get drunk and all was well.

The La Paz County Sheriff’s dept. launched a boat here and anchored at various places on the river maintaining sanity on the water. It was amazing to watch the boats speeding along crossing in front of other boats and being totally reckless until they saw that Sheriff’s Boat out there and they slowed down to a crawl!  I have pics of them anchored out in front of the entrance to our lagoon that I hope to post tomorrow or the next time I post, whichever comes first.

Having been here for over a year (19 months), this year is totally different from last year.  We have learned to relax and still get things done AND keep the guests happy. We’ve made friends with several of our regular campers and folks who launch.  We really look forward to them coming in and being here. 

We totally love being here and don’t plan on going anywhere else for as long as we can stay here.

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day, but in a different way.  I hope to be able to say g’bye to the campers on the point who have been here since last Wednesday, super wonderful people, couldn’t ask for better campground guests.  We will also have several regular weekenders launching and I need to keep track of the launches so I can track the usage on a spreadsheet.  I do believe it will be a much quieter day though.

I’m tired and need to get the massager going on my neck so maybe I can sleep.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

What a Difference…

November 4th, 2014

…a few days make.  Our weather lately has been perfect!  No more having to run the A/C. We’re keeping the windows open all day long and for a while there we were keeping them open all night long, but the last couple of nights we’ve had to close them because it’s been getting too cool.

We’ve acclimated so well that the low temp of 48° yesterday was quite cold for us and even at 67° I’m wearing long sleeves and pants.  Thom is still in tee shirts and shorts, but he wears shorts until it freezes.

Things have really slowed down here in the campground.  The cooler weather causes the river and back waters to cool down too making it less desirable for both recreationists and fishermen.  The fish are still biting, they’re just a bit deeper now.  The temp of the river has dropped from about 88° to 75° which makes the water-boarders, skiers, and tubers stay away. 

About all we’re getting in the campground now are the really avid fishermen, snowbirds, cyclists, canoes and the occasional hunter.  The ducks have just starting coming south so we should be getting more hunters in soon.

We just got word from the Yuma Office this morning that we will be getting a large group (48) of students and faculty from Evergreen State College out of Washington state to camp here from the 6th to the 8th.  Then 24 of them will leave and 24 will stay until the 12th.  That’s just 2 days from now.  They will be doing some work and/or study of trees over in the Cibola Wildlife refuge while here.  The college is in my old stomping grounds.  I lived in Western Washington for 18 years.

Yesterday morning Thom drove all the way into Blythe to get water and discovered water is no longer available at the place we were getting it.  He was able to get the load of water out of Cibola, but we can’t do that on a regular basis.  He drove back to Blythe yesterday afternoon to talk to the water dept. and/or parks dept. to see if we could work something out, but it’s a no go.  He also talked to some water suppliers like sparklets to get rates.  The cost is pretty prohibitive.  We’re still working on checking into options.

Tomorrow we are going in to Quartzsite to visit with Lee and Ilse and are going to take our water trailer with us to fill at the BLM La Posa South LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area).  It’s about 46 miles to the LTVA.  We can’t afford to drive 96 miles every 5 or so days to get water.  We’ll figure something out.  We’re still looking for options.

Quartzsite is starting a new Farmer’s Market tomorrow.  It will be every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon.  It’s located in the front row of Desert Gardens Gem show.  There will be fresh baked goods, local crafts and, of course, local produce.  The Eastside Breadery will be there with baked goods, Van Dyke Farms out of Blythe will be there with their produce and goods.  I’m not sure who else, but I’ll report back after we’ve experienced it tomorrow.  It should just get better and better as more snowbirds arrive.  I’ll try to take pics too.

I’ve got a few orders for my beaded hummingbirds so I’ve been spending a lot of time working on those and not near enough time on housework and other things.  I don’t have any time at all to get out and go fishing or work at getting my garden so it will grow plants.  I’ve got 4 birds to make right now and it takes a minimum of two days to get them done.  I’m limited to about 3 to 4 hours a day, after that I start making careless mistakes and spend more time undoing than doing.

As you might know, AZ doesn’t observe Daylight Savings so we didn’t turn back our clocks.  Our cell tower doesn’t know we are in AZ because it’s in CA so our phones tell us it’s an hour earlier than it really is here.  Minor frustrations, but sometimes still confusing.

That’s all for now, I’ll try to get some pics ready to post and get pics of the Farmer’s Market to share.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah.

Life at Oxbow

October 25th, 2014

We got our washer ‘n dryer home on Thursday.  We definitely needed the help of the firemen to get unloaded.  Thom has spent the better part of yesterday and today getting them set up and ready to run.  Tried the first test run and the washer wouldn’t run.  He’s been tinkering with it for the past hour and I just heard the generator start again so we’ll see if it works this time.  This is one of those times when being off grid is definitely  a pain in the neck.  Having to rely on a generator for power and a water tank and pump for water (cold water only) can be challenging, especially when you are dealing with appliances with minimum power and water pressure requirements.  Will let you know if we ever get it gong.  Thom did get it going and we did get one load washed and dried, will do the last tomorrow.  Although the sales person told us we only needed to connect the cold water hose if we were only using cold water.  After much digging in the instruction booklet Thom found in trouble shooting section that both hoses had to be connected in order to run.

On our way back from getting the washer ‘n dryer, we stopped to check mail in Cibola and a truck driver was there trying to get directions from a resident to get to Hwy. 78.  Thom told the driver we were going that way and if he just followed us we’d show him where to turn to get to hwy. 78.  When we stopped to point to the road to turn on, he got out of his truck, got into the back and brought out a whole case of fresh Snow Peas and handed it to Thom.  I’ve been sharing with our guests here in the campground, but I’ve still got lots left.  They’ve only been in the fridge for 2 days so are still very fresh.  If anyone in Quartzsite or Blythe or anywhere else nearby want’s to have a sir-fry in the near future, drop on by and I’ll share until I’ve no more to share.  Just PM me in FB for my phone number or directions to the campground, or email me. Thom and I can only eat so many sauté’s snow peas or salads with snow peas, etc..

Our group of guys that come here on a “mancation” to fish catfish were back.  Once again they held a fish fry.  This time I made up a big potato salad and we ate at their place.  Yummy!  They’ll be back again sometime in March I think.  Our Firemen will be back in late March or a couple of weeks before Easter.  They all know to avoid the week before Easter because that is when the Chosen Few motorcycle group come in… if they are coming.

We have a couple of local Bass Fishing clubs launch here and stage their weigh-ins in our parking lot for the day.  Weigh-in is usually at 3 p.m. and after that they release all if their catch in our lagoon right at the ramp.  Bass fishing is pretty good that evening and next morning.

We haven’t done any fishing to speak of all year.  It’s either been too hot, or I’m just too frustrated with my fishing line to try to get it straightened out and back on the reel.  I need to change line completely.  In the meantime I’m thinking I’ll take my lightweight trout pole out to the lagoon and see what I can catch with it.  A couple of pan sized bass or large blue-gill, maybe a 1 or 2 lb catfish.  That would be a nice supplement to the diet.

I’m now going to share some photos from our last few months out here.  Remember, you can click on the photo to get the larger picture in a new window.  Just close that window to come back to the blog.

These are a couple of the more frightening critters we get here in the campground.  They are frightening mostly because of their size.  This first one is the Apache Click Beetle (aka Black ‘n White Click Beetle), this one was 2-1/2” long.
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This other one is the Palo Verde Borer Beetle.  This one is a little longer than 3”.
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The other reason these guys are frightening is their life cycle.  Both of these beetles lay their eggs in burrows at the base of the trees.  The grubs bore through and eat the roots of the trees.  If there are enough of the grubs, they will destroy a tree in short order.  The Click beetle’s cycle is 1 year underground then a few months to a year as an adult.  The Palo Verde Borer (so named because it’s preferred host tree is the Palo Verde) is an adult just long enough to breed, gather nutrition, and lay eggs.  The grubs spend up to 3 years underground eating roots of the trees.

Just because I love them and was so thrilled when Thom called me on the radio to tell me this guy was on the bathroom wall… I’m sharing a new reptile with you.  It the Western Banded Gecko. We tell our guests that if they see it on the wall, don’t panic and, by all means, don’t kill it!  They eat spiders almost exclusively and we get a lot of spiders in the bathrooms.
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You can tell when a gecko is well fed because they store their fat in their tails.  See where it’s tail is a bit thicker?  If you are thinking of buying a gecko from a pet store, make sure it has a healthy fat tail to know it’s well taken care of.

We have our true beautiful jewels out here as well.  This is a Blue Ringed Dancer damsel fly.
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Our Widow Skimmer Dragonfly
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The Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly
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All in all, it’s beautiful out here and we love it.  Life is truly good when you can wake up with this as your greeting to a new day.
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Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

Would like Your Input

October 22nd, 2014

I know it’s been months since I last posted.

When I started this blog many years ago, we were just making plans to become full-time RVers with the plans of boondocking much of the time.  I intended the blog to follow our expectations, preparations and learnings as we progressed, with the hopes of helping others benefit from our experiences and learnings.

Along the way we enjoyed sharing life on the road, the pluses and minuses of Workamping and the joys and frustrations of meeting all kinds of people.

Well, the summer of 2013 we pretty much quit being on the road. We spent the summer at Senator’s Wash Reservoir volunteering for the BLM and then they asked us to move to the Oxbow Campground.  We jumped at the chance and are now planning on being here for as long as the BLM needs us and lets us stay.  This means we are no longer on the road, not on the grid, but not totally off the grid (boondocking).  I quite writing the blog because I figured people no longer would want to follow my blog since I have no sharings regarding being on the road, or experiencing new places and situations.

Since I quite writing to the blog I’ve had several people who follow the blog comment to me on the fact that they miss it.  I found that there are a number of readers following the blog I didn’t know were reading it and they too missed it.

So, now, I would like those of you who read this to let me know if you want me to continue to write about our experiences out here at Oxbow campground, the wildlife we enjoy, our experiences with the BLM (with whom we have no complaints at all…so far), and our experiences with the diverse guests we get out here.

Please click on the comment link at the bottom of this post, or send an email to judy@jggrafx.com and tell me what you feel and what you’d like to hear about.

Now I’ll try to do catch-up in a capsule for the last 3 months.

As we were told, the summer here was hotter and more uncomfortable than at Senator’s Wash in spite of the fact that Senator’s is further south and we are right on the river.  Thom was able to deal with it much better than I, but we both spent as much of the heat of the day as we could in the air conditioned RV .

We didn’t get as much usage this summer as they did last summer.  I don’t think any recreational areas did.  We do, currently, have the retired and active firefighter’s group in here.  They started arriving a week ago and many of them plan on staying until Friday.  Great, fun people (men) who do a great job of policing themselves. They keep offering to help us however they can and  tomorrow we may take advantage of that offer.  The water pump in our washing machine gave up the ghost.  Because it’s a Swedish compact, it would take about $1000 to get someone out here to fix it, assuming the part can be found.  We found a Whirlpool set at the Sears in Blythe at a closeout price for about the same price, so we go pick it up tomorrow and will ask the guys to help unload if we need them.  My back hasn’t been happy for days (since I ran out of glucosamine/condroitin).

We’ve enjoyed the cycle of critters we get in here.  Many migrating birds from orioles to tanagers to warblers to water birds.  The rabbits and other mammals are more evident at different times of the year and the lizards are out and about all the time.  Rattlesnake sightings are rare and King and Gopher Snakes are beautiful and plentiful, which may account for the rattlers being scarce.

Enough for now.  I hope to choose what to share and get pics shared in the next few days, from our guests enjoying the water and campground to the critters we get to enjoy.  Maybe even a shot or two of the beadings I’ve done in the last 3 months.

Again, let me know what you think about my continuing the blog.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy.

Toodles!

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