beluga

beluga

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tuesday

Tuesday was Jodee and Bill's last day here.    They asked us if we wanted to take the Jeeps out and have a little fun; yes said we!

Jodee and Bill lead the way past one of the huge Power Parasol's here at
the KOA/Lazydays.

Jodee had a plan, so we simply followed their mango tango jeep through the campground and east to Redington Road.


The pavement ended and the road became a wide rutted dirt road as we climbed through a virtual forest of Saguaro.


We stopped along the way for photographs and to scan the near hillsides and distant mountains.    Its fun to look for the elusive crested Saguaro (and we have to report them to Pam), waterfalls, assorted animals and desert life in general.

Bill and I demonstrate correct binocular stance


don't count his old guy out - bullet ridden, head blown off
he still continues to grow

But its also fun to notice what is right underfoot.


these tiny cacti looked as if they were covered in lace






The cloud formations were fantastic and they only enhanced the expansive views.







I knew there were a number of natural "tanks" or water holes along this route.



We decided to head for one named Josephine Tank (in honor of our leader, Jodee) for lunch.   You know how I  like to have lunch by the water.


Best laid plans.....It turned out that Josephine Tank was a hike-in only trail so Bill suggested we backtrack a bit and try and find Race Track Tank.


The heretofore beautiful clouds were beginning to join up and darken but we were sure our trusty Jeeps could get us where we wanted to go.


 After turning off Redington Road onto a spur the track became more eroded and difficult so we decided to stop for lunch and then decide whether it was wise to continue to on to find the Tank.


We set up our gourmet repast on a large rock in the middle of a low running stream and enjoyed sandwiches and conversation to the sound of a tiny nearby waterfall.

formal family portrait


It was decided to finish our drive to Race Track Tank, we knew we were close.

should we or shouldn't we?

we'll stay on this side


Bill and Dave walked and talked.    Jodee, Tessa and I explored the shoreline a bit and took some pictures.

stealth is necessary when photographing the shy Jeep in their natural habitat


Race Track Tank

We soon realized that the spots appearing on the water were not fish hits or bugs but were, indeed, raindrops.    The weather had finally caught up with us.    It rained lightly on our way home.  

 We're so glad we shared this great day with our friends.


 

Monday, February 13, 2017

this and that

I've been a bit under the weather since we arrived in Tucson so we haven't done anything very exciting.

Dave has used this down time to take care of a few jobs around Beluga and I've done nothing more than read under the lemon tree and socialize a bit with friends in the campground.

Finches and Mockingbirds take turn serenading me from on high

buds have begun to open and the bees are busy

Lewis helps Dave work on Beluga's furnace

I help Dave work on the furnace

low tech diagnostics are sometimes the best
I won't show you a picture of Dave cleaning the shower drain, it wasn't pretty.




Happy hour at Pam and John's site on a warm evening

Tessa works Gramma Pamma
(shhhh. don't tell Lewis)

a much cooler happy hour at Jodee and Bill's with Gay and Joe,
Jodee served Boudin Balls from Louisiana!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

lack of pictures

We spent a bit of time with Gay and Joe (good-times-rollin.blogspot.com) and their cute tan clan this morning.    It was good catching up, the last time we saw them was April in Moab, Utah.     Lewis enjoyed the visit also, he fancies these two, even crawled halfway up on Gay's lap to give her a little kiss.   The tan clan was gracious and tolerated his presence in their yard.  Well, Jack may have lifted his tiny lip when Lewis got too close to Joe, but...         I took no pictures.

Mr. David's A-1 Dependable Electrics Agency sent one of their top techs to Beluga and he arrived just after we got back from Gay and Joe's site.    We called him from Naco to explain a problem with a cell in one of the four house batteries.   It seemed to be boiling the water out.  We knew he would be able to help.   Since they were almost 6 years old Mr. David's man suggested buying new ones when we arrived in Tucson.   He spent most of the day removing the old batteries, cleaning all the cables and connections, taking the old batteries to recycle and installing 4 brand new ones.  I don't know what we'd do without the Mr. David's family of companies!    I took no pictures.

Not to cast aspersions, but he seemed to have some trouble keeping himself on task because of the numerous and impressive formation flyovers from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base going on overhead.   Did I say they were loud?   He may or may not have cracked his head on Beluga's compartment door.    I took no pictures.

Pam and John came over briefly and we picked oranges off our neighbor's tree.  I took no pictures.

The only pictures I do have are of the lovely lemon tree right outside our bedroom window.


It is chock full of plump, fragrant lemons, a few pretty pink blossoms getting ready to open and provides us some much appreciated shade.    Since we arrived in Tucson the temps have been above average for this time of year, in the mid 80s.   Don't cry for me!    This sweet tree is perfect to sit under for second cup and happy hour.  

And....it attracts lots of finches and mockingbirds.   This morning we woke to the sound of the mockingbird's complicated and beautiful song.  Nice.




I'll try to do better with pictures in the future.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Naco to Tucson

Tuesday, our last day in Naco,  slipped by pretty much as all the other ones have.   Golf in the afternoon and dinner out.

This day, however, we broke our own records by having breakfast (is it still breakfast if we all eat breakfast food at lunchtime?) at the Bisbee Breakfast Club, golf, and then dinner at Bisbee's own Screaming Banshee Pizza.

Jodee and Bill came down from Tombstone, where they were visiting old friends.  We all met at the Bisbee Breakfast Club and shared a yummy meal before taking a few minutes for a photo op at "the wall" and comparing the merits of each other's Jeeps......

a happy and full crew if I ever saw one

don't feel bad for little Tessa, Gramma Pamma didn't forget her.

construction materials waiting to be used

Check Jodee and Bill's blog or Pam and John's blog if you want to see people posing in front of the wall.   I was taking the photos,  but with their cameras and didn't manage to get one for myself!


Three Jeep toads 

Afterward, Pam and I accompanied the guys on the front 9 but left the course there to take care of some pressing domestic duties.   We felt confident that Dave and John could finish the round on their own.

Screaming Banshee Pizza was the last restaurant on our list and, since we were leaving in the morning, we couldn't miss it.     It is a funky sort of place serving wood fired pizzas and pastas to locals and tourists.   The walls are lined with unusual art work, all for sale.     Last year Dave sat under a dour portrait with bleeding eyes and this year we found ourselves seated under a timely painting.


This morning we left Naco and drove less than 100 miles north to our next stop, Tucson, Arizona.    We'll be here for the rest of February.   It seems to be a winter magnet for RV friends as Jodee and Bill, Gay and Joe, Pam and John, Hans and Lisa, MonaLiza and Steve, Paul and Marsha and I think Rick and JoAnn will all be here this month!    I know we'll all be happy campers!







Saturday, February 4, 2017

Naco

We arrived in Naco, Arizona on Tuesday afternoon.    Pam and John were already here and had saved us a spot next to them at Turquoise Valley Golf and RV.    Its the oldest continuously operating golf course in Arizona, over 100 years old.    It sits on the Mexican border.   At night we see the lights on "the wall", a border patrol blimp patrols the skies overhead.

Discovery times two

We haven't seen them in almost a year and we had a lot to talk about!   Pam made us a delicious dinner and we shared some Julian pie with them as we caught up.

We've been playing golf every day since we arrived.   The desert weather has been cold in the mornings so we walk across the street after lunch and enjoy 9 or 18 holes before the sun drops and the chill returns.   The course is a fairly challenging one, over a deep ravine - twice - and through a scrub desert with one very long (700+ yard par 6) hole.    Lots of birds everywhere.   Northern Shovelers in the pond, cactus wrens, flycatchers, sparrows, finches, mockingbirds and thrashers, grackles on the power lines pinging and screeching down at us, vermillion flycatchers chasing their lunch, egrets, tohees, a solitary kestral, and even a large green parrot in the bare tree behind Beluga.








a rare picture of the four of us!

scenery on the back 9
In the evening we drive into the nearby town of Bisbee for dinner at one of it's many restaurants.   Hey Steve and MonaLiza, I had Klinker Brick last night!

 Life is good!

Lewis enjoys his time here also.   His Gramma Pamma and that man of Gramma Pamma are right out side Beluga's window and he knows it.

they're up, they're up, can I go over, can I, can I?

He watches until their door opens - to him that means they're open for business.  He gets to race over and play ball with John and gets all the treats he can eat from Gramma Pamma, and also get plenty of pets and affection.    What more could a guy ask for?


he comes home exhausted



Monday, January 30, 2017

Ajo

The strong winds died down a bit on Saturday morning so we left El Centro and headed east and south to our next stop in Ajo, Arizona.    This small town is smack in the middle of nowhere and doesn't have much to offer nowadays unless its a quick stop on your way into Mexico.    It once was a thriving mining community with a lovely little downtown area.    My camera died as I was taking pictures of the central square so I only have a few shots of the two white churches flanking it.  The square and churches reminded us very much of a Mexican town.




I loved the local references on this stained glass window
the Ajo Lilly, mountains and Saguaro

The town is a mix of small neatly kept homes, abandoned shacks and quirky, one of a kind places.  



Just down the street from our campground, Shadow Ridge, is a very old house trailer painted in a bright rainbow of colors.   It is neat and clean with interesting sculptures in its yard.   Next to it is a home that is falling down, literally.

 Lots of border patrol presence here as it is so close to Mexico. Our campground has two full rows of trailer/manufactured type homes owned by "the government" to house the increasing number of border patrol employees.


People are extremely pleasant and friendly both in the campground and in the town.   There is one small grocery store and its aisles go from groceries to plumbing and building supplies and back again with no obvious rhyme or reason.

In the morning and evening a troop of Javelina roam the campground looking for whatever they look for, food probably.   The manager warned me not to leave any plants outside or they would be gone by the morning.   Early last evening I spotted them poking around the row of motorhomes in front of us but by the time I got the camera out they had moved on.

The tailings and huge pit of the New Cornelia Copper Mine dominate the town.  Its closing in 1983 was a major catastrophe for the town, it was the only employer.

We drove up to the mine pit overlook this afternoon and met an old timer (86 years old) and former mine employee who runs the tiny mining museum there.

the blue/green water is a spring seeping through the pit's walls

He was full of stories and was happy to share his information and feelings.   He feels the mine can be reopened again in the near future, with this new president.
The ore is still in the ground, waiting to be uncovered.  


Inside the museum he showed us pictures of what the land looked like before the open pit began.  The three mountains peaks in the photo above stood where the gaping 1 1/2 mile wide, 1200 feet deep hole now waits.     This area has been mined since the 1500's he says, Indians worked surface veins of copper for dyes they contained and the Spanish began to dig shafts for gold and silver in the 1700s.

This next photo is just for Pam.....what do you think about this crested Pam, have you seen it anywhere?



He showed us other things that have come from this mine, other rocks and minerals and....a number of varieties of turquoise, one in particular was of interest to us.    He says there is no more available anywhere, but now I'm on the lookout.      Our first company was named Papago Plastics!


After the museum we took a scenic loop road, a dirt road really, through the beautiful green desert and back into Ajo past the colorful mine tailings.





One area of Saguaro's seemed to be particularly fertile!   I don't think I've ever noticed such prolific growth.  




Yesterday we drove south, through the even tinier (is that a word?) town of Why and into the Organ Pipe National Monument.   The town is at a Y in the road, hence the name.......

 Pam told us to make sure we got the "not so Junior ranger" booklet so we could find all the crested cactus along the main drive.    We saw at least 5 on the way to the Visitor's Center and then, with the help of the booklet, saw many more we would have surely missed.  



If you're not interested in seeing any more cactus, now would be a good time to stop reading.



the rare crested shadow




the crest on this Organ Pipe cactus is so beautiful




Enough cresteds for now.

At the visitor's center we were given another booklet that would tell us about the landscape through which we would drive.   The types of plants we would see, the types of animals we may see, the reasons why things grow where they grow and a bit of the history of the Sonoran desert and this park were in the little guide.   Lots of information.  I tried to keep track of each point and read about what we were seeing, but eventually gave up and just enjoyed the views.    I read it later, at home.



Arch 1 and 2

Organ Pipe and Saguaro

Organ Pipe cactus march up the sunny south slope




this huge Organ Pipe not only looked like it was a live creature swaying in the stiff wind,
it sounded like one.   wind whistling through its spines made an eerie rustling noise. 



colorful mosaic sign welcoming us to Ajo
We're off to Naco in the morning.    Pam and John are there already, waiting for a week of golf!