Fulltime Roadrunners

Fulltime Roadrunners
Winter Boondocking in the desert. Summer Workamping wherever

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.

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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!

The Heat is On

July 25th, 2014

We have had consistent 110°+ for a week now.  Up to and over 120° a couple of days.  I understand this is normal for the Oxbow Campground from mid-July through August.  We are supposed to have a few breaks under 110°, but none below 100° until September.

It is currently 111° with a humidity of 42%.  It’s not real comfortable to be outside.  We’ve the same humidity inside but the temp is only 84°.  What’s sad is it is only noon, so we have hotter temps to look forward to today.  There is a 10% chance of thunder storms all week long.  10% means plenty of humidity but no rain.

About 1-1/2 months ago Stan, our maintenance guy, had to come out and scrub each of our 300 gallon drinking water tanks.  It had a fierce algae bloom going on.  He then “shocked” it with bleach, dumped that water out and rinsed it good and refilled it with fresh water.  Now, just 1.5 months later it has developed another algae bloom.  We’ve just decided to quit using those tanks and use just our 125 gal. tank on the little trailer and our fresh water tank in the RV.  Of course, we are still using our fantastical Big Berkey water filter for drinking and cooking water.  At least now, our shower water doesn’t smell musty from the algae.  Since we were filling our RV tank from the 300 gal. tanks, we had to shock our RV tank again with bleach before putting any fresh water from Blythe directly into the RV tank.

It’s kind of funny… the telling of things is quick and simple, but the doing can sometimes wear a person out.  Dealing with the worry, planning, figuring out what to do and how to do it, and then the actual act of doing it.  The power situation was a real headache and still wears us out.  Thom has to get up and turn off the diesel generator by 6 or 7 in the morning, switch power cords from genny to solar power (there are 4 of them with 2 being out by shed and cargo trailer), start the Honda genny to run the portable a/c and periodically check the power level at the solar system.  We’ve learned that if we run the portable a/c on the Honda we can turn the big a/c on in the RV around 10 a.m.  Every time we switch the power source we have to go to the inverter and turn off the charger because it doesn’t work and sucks power from the house batteries.  It automatically goes on when power source changes.  We get the diesel genny running again around 4 or 4:30 p.m., switching all the cords again.  When the diesel gets running, I turn the fridge to electric and turn on both big a/c’s and the portable a/c.  Some of those of you in stick houses don’t realize how much simpler it is for you.  It does keep us more active than we’d normally be in all this heat, but it’s also a bit wearing.  We’re just happy we are able to stay relatively cool and comfortable.

Thom has been on the hunt for a relatively inexpensive generator that will run our washer and dryer.  It took him several days, but he did find one at Home Depot that was on sale with $200 off.  It’s a Duramax 10K that runs on gasoline.  It’s a bit louder than our old Diesel (72 dB) but we’ll only be running it to do laundry or if we lose all other sources of power.  It should be at the store for pickup around Aug 4.  We did the math and counting gas to get to Blythe and back it’s costing us about $45/month to do laundry.

I haven’t been out much to take pics, but I do have a couple of new ones.  Yesterday on our way back from doing laundry one of the farmers fields had been flooded for irrigation which brought a bunch of White-faced Ibis in.

My Desert Spiny Lizard come by every morning and climbs up into one of the trees.  Here he is on the Cottonwood tree right out my front door.  This is the smaller one of my two big ones, he’s about 12” from nose to tail.

While trying to sneak around the tree to get this shot I almost stepped on a snake.  I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye and looked down.  It was a lovely 4.5’ Gopher Snake (thank heavens – wouldn’t have wanted to be that close to a rattler).  It was so intent on the hunt it didn’t even pay any attention to me.

 


That’s all for now.  Hope to post again soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

Still Coping

July 19th, 2014

We’re still doing good out here.  When things go wrong we have been able to either work around it or fix them.  It’s not been fun and every time we think we’re on the road to being able to work on catching up and getting ahead we end up having to spend more to make things work.  We haven’t gone under though, so all is well and life is good.

The Monsoons still haven’t hit here, all around us, but not here.  This morning was the first time it looked like it might happen since I last posted, but it didn’t hit.  I think it dropped 10 or 12 raindrops, and no wind to speak of.  The dark clouds did keep the temps down and with the breeze it was quite comfortable outside this morning.  An hour ago, though, it was 111° and no so comfortable.  A pic of our dark skies this morning.
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In managing our power and a/c usage, we don’t use the smaller a/c over the bedroom until we get the diesel generator going.  This is during the hottest part of the day when the sun is beating directly on the a/c unit.  On the hotter days it will run for about 15 minutes then trip the breaker.  After it has a chance to cool down, we get it going again.  When the temp gets below 100° it will stay on.  Thom went on top to get dimensions and figure out how to mount a shade cloth over it.  Unfortunately there isn’t any way to anchor it.  Back to square one.   Earlier this week the diesel genny would shut down in the middle of the night and Thom had to go out to get it started.. two and 3 time a few nights in a row.  We called the rental company and they brought out another exchange.  We’re on our third one now.  This one is working great… for now.  I hope it continues.  I can just see the rental company telling us we’re a jinx and they aren’t sending any more.  He he.

Our little oscillating fan fell to the floor and broke a blade so it’s no longer usable.  I didn’t realize until it broke how much I rely on it to help keep us cool.  I have to go to Quartzsite on Monday, so I’m definitely going to stop at ACE Hardware or Kmart to replace it.  I’m going to Q to buy some beads I’ll need for a project I want to try, and to pick up some apricots I’m buying from a friend there, Pamela.

I finished and sent off the Seattle Seahawk hummingbird my cousin’s daughter ordered and plan to make one for myself, only with a regular short beak.  
 seahawk2-0714    seahawback2-0714

Before I start that one though, I’m going to try to make a Bullock’s Oriole.  They are so striking and beautiful… that’s the one I need the beads for.
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The water pump that was here for pumping water from the lagoon to water trees wasn’t in working order so it was sent in to be fixed.  Got it back, ran fine but still wouldn’t pump water.  Sent it back, was gone for about 2 weeks, but when it came back it finally worked.  So now Thom is pumping river water from the lagoon into our portable black water tank (had been cleaned) and is now driving it around to water the trees in the campground.  If I ever get a working garden, we’ll use this to water the garden too.  I don’t want to try to plant anything without having the shade cloth to protect the young plants, not even the jicama which is supposed to be a lover of full sun and heat.

We’re still not besieged by rattlesnakes.  Thom did see one two nights ago while walking Willow at 10 p.m., but it was on the edge of our campground.  I couldn’t get out there fast enough to get a pic before it headed down into a field.  Yesterday morning we did have a lovely 4-1/2 foot California King snake hunt through our yard.  I love these guys.
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The Gentian (Texas Bluebell) is finally blooming down by the lagoon.  It should continue to bloom through the summer and in to September.  Another thing of nature I love here.
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My mind has gone blank so I’m going to say g’bye for now.  Will post again when I’ve something to say.

For my “parting shot” - Post Sunrise this morning with sun path on the Colorado River.
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Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy.

Toodles!

Last Couple of Months

July 10th, 2014

I just haven’t felt like posting lately.  Don’t know why.  Maybe I’m just afraid everything I have will be negative in spite of all the positives we still have in our life.  One of the negatives is the heat.  The positive that comes with it is we have learned to deal with it, adjust, and we are acclimating.

We’ve had high temps in the 3 digits every day since early June.  In order to keep cool we had to use our big diesel generator to help run the RV air conditioners.  The big diesel genny isn’t meant to be run in hot temps, but we had to use it or melt in our house.  In the process of keeping us cool, the generator worked too hard and just quit, never to run again.  Luckily we still have our Honda 2000s and the portable room air conditioner, plus the BLM’s solar system and propane generator to supplement when the sun was scarce so we were able to get by for the couple of days until the BLM rented and brought out a 20K Whispersoft Generator.  The rental agreement allows us to run the 20K for 16 hours/day.

We are now getting high temps running 110° and higher consistently.  We are managing to deal with it by running our portable a/c with the solar system from the time we get out of bed until the temp in the house gets uncomfortable, then we switch on the large RV a/c and turn off the portable, running it occasionally to boost the cool… still on the solar system.  We usually run the propane generator an hour or so in the morning to top off the batteries on the solar system.  At 3:00 p.m. we start the 20K generator (diesel), switch our power cords to it and run the whole RV on it’s generated power until 6:00 a.m.  Then we start all over again the next day.  If we have to go someplace, like Yuma or Blythe, we leave the portable a/c running so the pets don’t get too hot.  It’s a challenge and sometimes a hassle, but we’re getting by.  I do have to admit there are times when I wonder just what the heck we were thinking when we signed up to do this, especially on a particularly hot weekend and I have to spend more time outside with guests than I do inside in the cool air, but then I remember all the plusses and joys.  The heat and discomfort only lasts 3.5 months while we have lovely wonderful weather the rest of the year.

Monsoon season has started and will continue now through August and into early September.  We have had no rain, but have had some wind.  We had one night with thunder and lightning, but it was happening a few miles away from us so we only got a smattering of rain drops, not even enough to wet the ground, just enough to smell good and drop the temp by 10 degrees.  I hope we get at least one good rain storm in here.  For the rest of the summer we have to pay attention to what’s happening around us.  If there are storms to the south of us we probably won’t be able to get to Yuma unless we go the long way around through Quartzsite.  Even going through Quartzsite might not let us get there.  This week they have been hammered by two storms.  Extensive damage to RV’s, carports, windows blown out and flooded washes closing roads.  The wind caused two RV’s to roll over, one of them 3 or 4 rolls with 3 people inside.  The people only had a few cuts and scratches, thank heavens.The owner is a BLM volunteer, working maintenance during the summer.

We’ve been getting a lot more critters through here since it started heating up.  I’ve seen several migratory birds – two types of Tanagers, 2 types of Orioles, 3 or 4 types of Warblers, and the Black-headed Grosbeak.  AZ also get the Blue Grosbeak and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and the Cardinal, but I’ve never seen any of these.  I’ve seen 5 different types of Hummingbirds out here – the Black-chinned, Anna’s, Costa’s, Calliope, and Rufus.  I may have seen an Allen’s, but I wasn’t able to verify it.  We get lots of different water birds.  We’ve seen Bobcat (Willow chased one), Cougar, Raccoon (Willow chases these every time she sees one), Skunk, Cottontail Rabbits, 1 Rattlesnake last year, 1 King Snake and 3 Gopher Snakes.  Two of the Gophers and the King were 6 feet long, the 3rd Gopher was about 5 feet and the Rattler was about 4 feet.  We haven’t seen any Rattlesnakes this year yet.  Lots of different lizards.  And, of course, we have a gazillion bugs!  The Apache Cicadas have been vibrating very loudly for the past 3 weeks.  Today I finally got a picture of one in a tree.  They blend in quite well.

This heat makes it difficult for me to cook.  When it’s 84 to 86° inside you don’t want to use the oven or stand over a hot stove.  When it’s 110° it’s difficult to keep the BBQ cool enough to not burn your food.  We’re not necessarily eating healthy right now.  We do eat more salad though, it’s easy to fix and requires no heat.
We had to go to Yuma yesterday so I got a very large pork picnic roast going in the crock pot before we left.  We now have enough leftovers for lunch and dinner for 3 days, plus meaty bones for yummy soup when it starts to cool down.  The crockpot did warm up the house a bit, but not too bad.

If anyone wants me to share more of something or want me/us to share more about our living where and how we do, just email me or post a comment.

Now I’m going to share some of the photos I’m taken the last two months.

Black-chinned Hummer – male        Cedar Waxwing
blkchnthroat-0510 cedarwxwing4-0522

Cottontail Rabbit eating Birdseed        Desert Spiny Lizard (8” w/o tail)
ctntlstump-0602  dsrtspiny2-0527

                                              6’ Gopher Snake
gopher-0525  gophertongue-0525

Special Guests having fun                           Apache Cicada
dallas-kids-jetski-0608  apachecicada-0705

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly                    3” Palo Verde Borer Beetle
widowskmmrfem-0604  palovrdeborerbtl-0704

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

Time Flies!

May 6th, 2014

It seems like January was just a few days ago, yet here it is May already. 

We’re getting a few things accomplished out here.  The BLM gave us an “easy-up” shade canopy to put over the table outside where I write the annual passes for our guests.  I managed to get it put up all by myself other than having to have Thom help me position it over the table to give us the best shade.  It’s a great place to sit and bead while watching for new arrivals.

canopy-0427

Thom finished putting together and filling our raised garden.  Just yesterday I transplanted some Armenian Cucumbers to it.  I’ve started some Jicama also, but the plants are teeny tiny still.  If they survive and get big enough, I’ll transplant them into the garden near the cukes.  They both need something to climb on so we’ll be putting in trellises on that end of the garden.  We also want to put up some shade cloth before the summer gets too hot.  At least we’ve got it started and we’ve got plenty of time to work on it as we can.
cukes-newgrdn-0505

It’s getting hotter out here in the desert.  We’ve had several days in the 3 digits.  Thom is getting quite acclimated to the heat, he will go outside and sit in the shade to watch the arrival and departure of our guests.  I can only last 15 or 20 minutes out there, even in the shade and with a breeze.  105° is quite warm whether it’s in the shade or not.  I hope we can do well when the temps get above 110°.  I understand that when they do it’s not for many days so hopefully we can get through without it costing us an arm and a leg in diesel for the big generator.

Spring at Oxbow Campground and the surrounding area is a bird watcher’s paradise.  We get all kinds of warblers, tanagers and orioles.  The last couple of days any time I look out my window I see up to 6 or 7 Black-headed Grosbeak.  The first one is the Male, second a female.

bhgrsk-0421  bhgrsbkfem2-0501

We get a Lazuli Bunting now and then, and, of course, all those hummingbirds! 

Yesterday on our way in to Quartzsite I had Thom stop above this place across the river from us called the Hippy Hole” so I could take a photo of the American Avocet all in a row.  I think they are so pretty.
avocethippyhole-0505

I made a hummingbird for a gal in Quartzsite and delivered it yesterday.
joannesannas7-0502

The gal I buy my 3D bead patterns from has created a new pattern for a beaded Phoenix.  I bought the pattern and now I’m excited to get it started and see the results.  While in Quartzsite I bought some beads I need for the new pattern..  As soon as I’ve finished this post I’m going to bring out the beads and start working on it.  Today is a cooler day, 9 a.m. and still only 67°.  Only supposed to get up to 78°.  It’s windy though and supposed to get windier.  Since I’ll be pretty much holed up inside anyway, it seems only right that I do some beading.

The Bureau of Reclamation is still releasing copious amounts of water from Parker Dam.  I’m beginning to wonder if we will ever have a beach on the pond again.  The boaters are loving it though.  Fishermen not so much.  At least the people fishing the river aren’t real happy, but those fishing the backwaters and lakes are still getting lots of action.

I do need to get a couple of things done before I can bring out the beads, so I’m going to say g’bye for now and get busy.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

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