Fulltime Roadrunners

Fulltime Roadrunners
Staying Put at BLM Oxbow Campground on the Colorado River, Cibola, AZ

Perfect Weekend

April 28th, 2016

This weekend is going to be perfect for both camping and playing on the river.  Temperatures in the 80’s, light winds, sunny, and the fish are biting.  It may be a bit breezy on Saturday, but not bad at all.  The river won’t be as high as it has been the last month, but it will be plenty high for launching and navigating without worrying about going aground.  Surface elevation should be between 219’ – 221’ .

We’ve had work going on in the lake side camping area for the last 1-1/2 weeks.  They finished this morning.  They opened up areas for shore fishing.  They widened and smoothed out the ramp with a fresh layer of gravel and they made more camping pads in the slot to the north of the main area.  It’s wonderful!  All the Arrow weed and Salt Cedar (Tamarisk) is cut down so it’s a lot less buggy and there’s plenty of view of the lake.  On top of all that, the Desert Willow trees are blooming.

Main Area from entrance:    

 

Ramp: 

 

Area north of main area:

 

The beautiful Desert Willow flowers:

 

This season and the fall are why we love it so much out here.

Another reason we love it out here is the bounty of the river and the sweet giving nature of our guests.  They’ve shared their fish fry’s with us, they’ve shared their abundance of (already cleaned) fresh fish they don’t have room for in their freezers.  And, they come in here with produce they fear may go bad so they share that with us.  A couple came in today from California.  They went through Pauma Valley to get here and stopped and picked up a flat of strawberries.  The minute he said strawberries from Pauma Valley (Calif.) my mouth started watering.  I grew up in Southern California and remember very well the strawberries from there.  Of course there were only two of them so they just had to share a pint with us so it didn’t go bad.  My first bite of berry was manna from heaven…. and every berry since has just transported me back to childhood.  No chance they will go bad before we get to the end of them. 

The water level has been so high there isn’t much in the way of wading water for the shore birds to catch their fish.  We’ve had a Great Egret in the yard supplementing his diet with lizards.  He comes right up to the RV looking for the nooks an crannies the lizard may be in.  Here he’s caught a Whiptail Lizard (one of 6 for the day).

This year for the first time since we got here 2-1/2 years ago, we have Yellow-headed Blackbirds coming into the yard for seed.  They come in droves!  I’ve had over 2 dozen in here at one time.  Between them, the Great-tailed Grackle, Black-headed Grosbeaks and finches they devour 2 lbs of seed a day.

Time for me to say night, night.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Weekend of 4/8/16

April 7th, 2016

We’ve been ridiculously busy with “things”, so this is going to be a quickie.

The river continues to flow high and fast and should stay very nice for launching and playing on the river all weekend.  Unfortunately the weather forecast is pretty discouraging.  40% chance of rain today, 60% tonight, 30% Friday, 20% Saturday and 30% Sunday.  Temps will be in the high 70’s and winds from 5 – 25 mph.

Fishing is getting better but still not fantastic.  Some of the guys are telling me they are getting their limits on Bass in the backwaters.

The campground is near empty, so if you like camping in the rain, come on out!

I hope to get more posted in the next few days about what’s going on out here – wildlife and happenings with us.  But for now this is all.  Gotta get ready to head for Parker and prescriptions.

Ya’ll stay happy ‘n healthy!

Toodles

Easter Weekend

March 24th, 2016

Looks like we’re going to be busy this weekend.  We have a family that is almost always here on Easter Weekend, and they are already arriving.  We have 2 of a predicted 6 RV’s in already with that group so far.  We have some of our regular snowbirds in here soaking up a last bit of paradise before heading home for the northern states and Canada.

It’s Spring break as well as Easter, so last weekend we had a group of young folks.  I’m impressed by the young people we get in here.  They are respectful of us, the campground and their fellow campers.  No loud partying, no loud music and no objectionable language. 

The water levels are still running high so navigating the river is wonderful, but finding a sandbar to “park” the boat on and hang out is not gonna happen easily.  The surface elevation of the river today was 222’ all day long (normal is 218’ to 219’ for a good elevation). 

Tomorrow the water level will be plenty high enough to launch a boat and play on the river all day long.  The river should start rising around 1 – 2 p.m. and won’t start dropping again until midnight or so.  The whole weekend should be fantastic for boating.

As for fishing, Bass are spawning and thus a bit slow in biting but they are still catching them over in the Oxbow Lake.  Of course, Blue Gill are always biting.  The Crappie are in spawning mode as well, but I understand they are biting as well.

The weather this weekend is going to be near perfect.  Saturday afternoon is predicted to be a bit windy, but tomorrow, Sat. morning and Sunday are supposed to be great.  Temps in the low to mid 80’s and a breeze of 5 – 15 mph except for Sat. afternoon when it will go to 10 – 20 mph with gusts up to 30.  March came in like a Lamb, looks like it may go out like a Lion.

The cactus out here in the campground are blooming and keeping the shutterbug in me happy.

Beavertail Cactus

Buckhorn Cholla

Just a short drive from the campground we find more desert and cactus flowers.

Ocotillo

Our sunrises haven’t been fantastic lately but the scenery is still beautiful in the early morning.  This is a shot of the early morning sun shining through the trees out along the river.

0323trees

We’re keeping plenty busy out here just maintaining the campground and keeping track of our guests.

So far I don’t see next week as being very busy, so maybe, just maybe, I will be able to get my blog done earlier so it’s a bit more useful to those who are thinking of coming here for the weekend.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Tah!

Weekend 3/11–3/13

March 10th, 2016

Hi ya’ll!

It looks like a very promising weekend for playing on the river.  The forecast for Friday through Sunday are high temp mid 80’s on Friday, high 70’s Saturday and Sunday.  Water levels should be 218.7’ to 221’ surface elevation.  Unless you are trying to launch a yacht it should be an easy launch.

Fishing just keeps picking up, although it may slow down soon.  The Bass are building nests and starting to protect them, which I understand means you have to whap them on the head with your lure to make them angry and bite Winking smile.  Beyond that, the Crappy in the Oxbow Lake are biting quite nicely and our group camping over there are having fish fries often.  To be honest I haven’t had any reports of how the fishing is on the river, but the back waters are doing good.

We seem to be getting quite a few more campers in here this winter than we’ve had the last two.  Word of our little paradise on the river is getting out.  From Dec. 1, 2015 through today we’ve only had 3 days with an empty campground.

What I’m saying is, if you plan on camping out here this weekend, be prepared to get creative in finding a place to park.  Right now the point is pretty much full, there’s room on the other side of the ramp and there’s room down in the larger area on the lake.  I do know one of the folks on the point will be leaving Saturday sometime, and there are a couple more who might leave, but we’re not sure. Other than that I don’t know what it will be like this weekend.

We haven’t heard from our Motorcycle Club so we don’t know if they plan on coming in or not.  If we do hear from them, I will post the very day I find out.  With 200+ people in their group, they pretty much fill up our campground.  Stay tuned…..

With people coming in and going out and driving through, we’ve stayed so busy I’ve not been able to get out and take photos other than right here in the campground and on the way to and from getting mail and going grocery shopping.  I do have some shots on my cameras I plan on downloading and checking to see if they are share-worthy.  If so, I’ll post them as soon as I’ve got time to throw in an extra blog post.

In the meantime…..
Stay healthy and happy!

Tah!

Another Week

March 3rd, 2016

I really wanted to get this written and posted by mid afternoon, but between midday Dr. appointments and much needed grocery shopping, it just didn’t happen until much later. 

For those of you who have my card, don’t hesitate to call me for info if you plan on coming to the river and want to make sure it’s launchable or fishable, or want to know if we are or will be full of campers.  Of course, it’s first come first serve, but often we get forewarning.

On to the river and fishing……

The river is still running relatively high, but it looks like starting today, they are beginning to work their way back down to normal releases.  From the looks of the projected releases from Parker the water level here for the weekend will be high enough for launching even the bigger boats. 

Tomorrow the river will start rising around 10 – 11 a.m. and not start dropping until 11 p.m.  Saturday the river will start rising around 7 – 8a.m. and not start dropping until 12 midnight.  Sunday also should be a good day.  Rise – 9-10a.m. and not drop until midnight.

As for fishing….. I got to sample some of the best fish from the Oxbow Lake yesterday evening.  We were invited to a fish fry by some of our super Canadian Guests.  I tasted my first ever Crappy, and it totally lived up to it’s reputation…. to die for!  Yummm!

Right now is a perfect time for being out here if you are Bass fishing.  They are in the pre-spawn mode and are biting live bait in the shallower water.

The fisher persons in the campground are telling me the Crappy out of the Oxbow Lake are a substantial size this year. 

Our little lagoon off the river is even producing some decent fishing right now.  Last weekend a guest caught several Bluegill and used a couple to fish for Flathead in the evening, resulting in catching a 7 lb. Flathead Catfish.

On the birding front, we’re just beginning to get some of the birds migrating from hither to yon and there are still those who are here year round.  I love the ducks and wading birds I see on the little pond in Cibola when I go get my mail.

Wood Duck in Cibola Pond

Killdeer

Uh oh.  I know I had more I wanted to share, but it’s after 10 p.m. and my brain has shut down, so I’ll have to save it for next time.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Weekend of 2/6 thru 2/28 River Fun

February 25th, 2016

I’m not sure how long I’ll have internet connection, my modem is still not working right.  I don’t hear a fan running at all in it.

At any rate, I checked the projected releases from Parker Dam for tomorrow and Sunday.  This is what I believe will be happening with the river for the weekend:

Fri:  Should start rising approximately 7 or 8 a.m. and will continue to rise 4 hours, then hold steady for 5 hours before starting to drop a bit. Surface elevation no lower than 219’ (good)

Sat:  Surface elevation will remain at about 220’ all day.

Sun:  Repeat of Saturday.

Going to post this right now so I don’t loose my ability to do so.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Water’s Warmer and River’s Higher

February 20th, 2016

Life out here on the River is near perfect.  The water is getting a wee bit warmer (still wouldn’t spend much time swimming  in it though), and for whatever reason the Bureau of Reclamation is releasing large amounts of water for long periods of time bringing the water level up nicely.  Our river’s surface elevation yesterday and today has been a consistent 220’.  Unfortunately when Parker releases water it releases it from the bottom of the reservoir, thus it’s quite cool.  Of course, when they do this in the heat of summer, the cool is quite welcome.

While checking the website for the river levels today I found the part of the website that shows predicted releases for the next 3 days.  Now I’ll be able to post a blog every Thursday to share what the water levels might be on the river Friday thru Sunday.  Those of you who bring a boat out here will be able to tell if it’s likely that the launching and navigating the river will be easy or difficult.  Of course, I also plan on posting the predicted weather/temps.  So…. every Thursday look for something telling what the river condition will be Fri. through Sun.

I’ll try to put this at the beginning of the blog so if you don’t want to read “stuff” you won’t have to wade through it.

Talking about upcoming events, this one is well worth marking on your calendar:

Float for MS
August 13th
There will be online registration this year.  The float includes a Barbecue and more.
I’ll share the particulars as the info comes to me.

I understand last years event was hugely successful and a blast.  I’ll try to get a copy of their flyer when they come out and share it here.

We’ve been busy getting a garden, of sorts, going.  Thom doing the heavy work…… lifting big pots and shoveling dirt…. and me doing the mixing soil and planning and planting.  We now have Swiss Chard, Sugar Snap Peas, long radishes (icicle and red), red beets, Armenian Cucumbers, Green Onions and Salad Turnips going.  From seeded, to sprouted to established plants.  We also have 3 tomatoes we inherited from our favorite Quartzsite friends.  Lee, they’ve been feed and watered and appear to be thriving.  Thank you!

Our yard is still being visited by the beautiful Spotted Towhee.  It makes me smile every time he hops into the yard.

Going back through some of the photos I’ve taken this year so far, I found this one of our Oxbow Lake.  Really makes me wish we had a boat we could go exploring and fishing in.

….and check out this sunrise two days ago.

0218b

…. and sunset the end of last month.

0119f

Some of the reasons I love living here.

Time to say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

It’s Beginning

February 9th, 2016

The “season” is nearly upon us. The high temps for the next 8 days will be in the low 80°s and ya’ll know what that means!  The water in the river and backwaters is getting warmer making the fish come out of their deep funk and start biting again.  The Largemouth  and Striped Bass are biting on jigs, yellow and orange lures, chatter baits and worms (according to recent guests in the campground).  One of the folks out here said he was using small Bluegill he caught as bait for the catfish and he was catching Bass with them (largemouth). 

We have Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Striped Bass, Crappie, Blue Gill, Tilapia, Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish (the big guys) in the Lake, our little lagoon and the River. 

Here’s a couple of pics of catches the last couple of years.

Channel Catfish                                22” 5 lb. Largemouth Bass

chanlcats-0328 

2 15lb and 1 17lb Flathead Catfish

flthdcats-0330

57 lb Flathead Catfish

flthd7-0331

We are nearing the end of snowbird season for the Canadians now.  We didn’t get as many as in the past, but they have to pay $1.20 Canadian for every $1 American so it’s more costly for them to come down.  Most of them are starting their slow journey home.  We’ll miss them, they’re a fun bunch.  Of course, we still have many U.S. full-time RVers who stay in the area until it’s too hot for them.

Yesterday the host site’s power went out.  It seems one of the two inverters has quit.  The maintenance man (jack of all trades and busy as all get out) spent most of the day here getting it working with at least the remaining inverter.  We really need to be careful with our power usage now and if we need A/C we’ll have to make do with our small portable unit and the 2000 Honda generator….. at least until the system is fixed.

The water level of the river is continuing to get better and more consistent.  It’s measured by the flow of cubic feet per second (cfs). As the flow increases the surface elevation of the river increases.  The higher the elevation, the easier to launch your boat and navigate the river without running onto a sandbar.  A surface elevation of 219’ is pretty good, 220’ is great and 218’ is doable.

I go to this website to track the flow and elevation of the river here at the campground.  There are measuring stations along the river that record and transmit the info on an hourly basis to:

Bureau of Reclamation Lower Colorado River Daily Report

I check the “release” at Parker Dam, & note the time when the release has been increased.  After noting for several months I learned that the release from Parker Dam reaches our campground (which is on the report as Oxbow Bridge) in 26 to 28 hours.  So if they start releasing more water at the dam I know it will show up here the next day at the same time plus 2 to 4 hours.  I post this info on a white board along with weather and display it on a bulletin board at the road to the boat ramp.  That way our launchers will know what the current level is and if it will be rising or lowering.

There are still birds at the

 Cibola Wildlife Refuge

…but they will be leaving soon so if you want to enjoy them, get out there soon.

Here’s a few shots of what you might see December through February.

Mule Deer

Burrowing Owl

Sandhill Crane

Canada and Snow Geese

On the home front – Not much going on.  I’m still trying to grow a garden. In the process there is a major battle between me and the mice.  So far they’re still winning.  Even with 1/4” wire mesh circling the pot from the inside, the mice are still getting in.  Overnight my watermelon radishes went from beautiful green sprouts just putting on their secondary leaves to bare dirt.  They were totally devoured.  I don’t plan on giving up until it just gets to hot to grow anything!

Enuff for now.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

Toodles.

Per Request

January 29th, 2016

We seem to have many people trying to find our campground.  They’ve heard of it from friends or acquaintances and want to check it out.  We got a phone call today from one gentleman we met at the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area in Quartzsite AZ way back in 2008 today.  He wanted to know how to get here and what the coordinates are.  Thom said to go ahead and post the coordinates on this blog…..  if someone wants to do us harm, their GPS will have them wandering around the farm lands in the area so much they will die of old age before they find the campground. 

So, here ya go:

BLM Oxbow Campground, Cibola, AZ, near Palo Verde, CA.
33°23’15/6”M  114°42’43.53”W

For those of you who intend no harm to us…. Directions found on the BLM Oxbow Campground Site:

From I-10: Exit at Neighbors Blvd. /CA-78 in Blythe, California, heading south on Highway 78. From I-8: Exit north on Ogilby Rd. Turn right on Highway 78 heading north. The site is approximately 3 miles south of Palo Verde, California, at Colorado River mile 100. Turn east onto gravel road at sign marked “Colorado River.” Oxbow is ¾ mile east of Highway 78.

Link to that Site:

http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/recreation/camping/dev_camps/oxbow.html

With all that, this might help a bit as well.  The sign at the intersection of Hwy 78 and gravel road says Colorado River on green sign, Cibola Wildlife Refuge on brown sign and drawing of boat on ramp on green sign.  Here is a Google Earth pic of the area I did today. Click on the pic to enlarge it.

googleearthphoto

 

The BLM has done some great stuff out here making the campground better.  Our boat ramp has been extended 12’ to make it easier to launch your boat without running off the end of the ramp.  There is access to the Colorado River from the lagoon you launch in.  We’ve had crews out here cutting down weeds, ‘n reeds, opening up the view and giving better access to the water and beach.  They’ve trimmed the trees to make parking RVs much easier and giving more room for setup.  Here are a couple of photos.

 

 

We’ve been living here at the campground for almost 2 1/2 years (1 month short) and still love it.  Ultimately we want to live full time in Quartzsite, but I’m not in a hurry. 

I hope to get get back to blogging again a bit more regularly. If for no other reason than to keep our regular guests aware of what’s happening out here on the river and in the campground…. fishing reports, weather expectations, etc..

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy.

Toodles.

Ten Day Schedule?

August 6th, 2015

viewimage_thumb3_thumb1

 

It looks like I’m unintentionally on a 10 day blogging schedule. There are so many little things that are taking my time away from both my beading and my blogging.

A quick note for those I’ve given the Bureau of Reclamation hourly water level website address to, I’m pretty sure I’ve figured it out.  When Parker starts releasing larger amounts it takes approximately 26 to 28 hours for it to reach Oxbow Bridge.

With having 3 generators now it’s take a lot more of Thom’s time. We run the diesel 20K genny from 6 or 7 p.m. to 6 or 7 a.m. the next morning. Then we turn it off and plug in to the battery power. When it’s not too hot we just run the fans and the portable A/C, giving the sun time to reach to solar panels to start charging the battery bank. Usually around 10 a.m. we usually have to get the propane genny running for 1.5 hours to supplement the battery bank, especially if we had to get the big A/C running early.  Around noon we get the gas 13.5K genny going and run it until 6 or 7 p.m. starting the cycle all over again. Thom has to fuel the 13.5K every day and the diesel genny every few days. I only have to guide him backing the truck to the generators so he can reach the fuel tanks. In the process of doing all this Thom has to move the power cords from one to another, to the power stand and back (the plug is trying to fall apart from being pushed pulled and pried).  Of course the county just has to call him for jury duty when the temps will be above 110°(114 today and tomorrow)

Since Thom has to leave by 6 a.m. tomorrow to check in for jury duty at 8. He’s been making sure I know how to start the two new gennys and which plugs to move where so I can switch from the 13.5K  to the diesel when 13.5  runs out of gas.

We try to give our supervisor plenty of notice when we need fuel for the jump tanks.  Then I find myself worrying about getting that fuel before we run out. To top it off, our supervisor is in California fighting a fire (actually he’s an investigator) and will be gone for two weeks. We will definitely need more fuel a time or two during that time so we have to call his supervisor and trust him to fit us into his super tight schedule. Even if he just has to take the time to find someone to come help us out, that’s an added pressure on him.

Thom also goes in to Quartzsite on Thursday to a cardiologist (I’m going with him) for both an echo and electro cardiogram. The beta blocker, very low dose, seems to be helping slow down those cluster beats.

My Dish Satellite Internet is down right now (went out Tuesday at around 3:30 p.m.). Dish says it’s a gateway issue and usually these issues are resolved within 2 hours… it’s after 6 p.m. now so maybe it’ll be back soon.  Will post as soon as it’s back up.

We had a very exciting moth (for me) out here and Thom happened to be outside when it landed on one of the Mesquite trees one evening. This is called a Black Witch. It’s wingspan is anywhere from 4” to 7”, this one had a span of 6.5” - 7” and I think is beautiful. They eat tree sap and love the Mesquite sap due to it’s sweetness. That’s probably why it landed on the Velvet Mesquite which has a thinner bark and is easier to penetrate. This is a male, the female has a cream colored bar in the middle of its wing.

blkwitchmth-0731

Earlier that morning I had a new favorite dragonfly fly right in front of my face and land on a rock in front of me. This is the male White-belted Ringtail Dragonfly. I just think he’s so pretty.

whtbltdrngtl7-0731whtbltdrngtlclose-0711

We also have a new critter in our pond. Last year we had a big adult beaver, this year we have a juvenile beaver. I thought it was a muskrat. Both the beaver and muskrat have the rodent face and this juvenile was only about 18” long in the body.

bvrjuv-0727 

I have to say I’m quite glad we only have about 1-1/2 months left of summer. It would be easier to deal with if we didn’t have fids (furry ‘n feathered kids), but we do, so we have to take extra precautions and consider them every time we leave the house for more than a couple of hours.

If you’re thinking about selling the stick house, buying and living in an RV and doing a lot of that off the grid, I’d recommend you think long and hard about doing so with fids.

On a happy note, we had, for the first time, an American Kestrel in the campground.  It was in here trying to catch one of the many fledgling White-winged Doves that come in here to feed. I managed to get a couple of decent shots of him… it is a male.

kestralml-20803

Hopefully, the next time I post to the blog I’ll have more positive thoughts….. like I won the lottery, or something. Yeah, I realize I gotta play it to win it.

Ya’ll stay healthy and happy!

8/08/15  Got internet back yesterday morning, finally publishing this post to the blog. More to come soon.

Toodles.

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