Monday, February 29, 2016

Site 5 and Monday

We're settled into our site for the next 13 days here at Usery Mountain Regional Park.   I'm happy.   Its a nice back in with an expansive 2nd cup and happy hour view of the verdant desert and Usery Mountain.    Sun in the morning, shade the rest of the day - perfect.

my windshield view
In case I forget where we are.....

Usery mountain from my window

Beluga nestled into the cactus

Yesterday Dave installed one of the two sun shades we just bought for Beluga.  We have one for the windshield and one for the side window, next to my computer so I can have the window open, enjoy the breeze and view but not have the sun beating in on me.  

Dave hanging the new Magna Shade

nice neat covering for my computer chair window

We're happy with the product and the protection it provides, especially in this record desert heat.   He may need help, someone with whose arms are longer than mine, to install the magnets and sunscreen on the windshield though.   We'll have to wait....

Today, Monday, I had Beluga to myself.   That doesn't mean that I napped and ate bon bons and read movie magazines.   I did a bit of cooking, campground reservations, tax info. compilation, bills and a few other jobs that ended up taking the entire day.    I was alone because Dave was in Goodyear getting a personal tour of an interesting company given by old time Rochester friend Dave G.

Aero Turbine is a company that works on all kinds of large aircraft, from passenger planes, to cargo and fire fighting jet aircraft.    They also maintain a huge storage area that currently houses 70 aircraft in various stages of service.  They perform flight checks on nearly new planes, turn passenger planes into cargo planes, painting and reconfiguring, stripping and crushing out of service planes, etc.    Planes and plane parts everywhere!

Needless to say, Dave had a very enjoyable time!  

sunset view from the couch!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Moving day

We left McDowell Mountain Park shortly before lunch and took the scenic route to our next stop at Usery Mountain Regional Park.

The route we chose took us north on route 87 to the Bush Highway and then past Saguaro Lake and along the lower Salt River to Usery Pass Road.   It probably was the longer way around, but certainly a more enjoyable drive than getting into frustrating traffic on 202.

I forgot how much we enjoy this part of the greater Phoenix area.   There are lots and lots of huge and fantastic Saguaros and plenty of water....always a draw to us.

Before we turned off route 87 onto the Bush Highway we passed this large, decorated Saguaro with a small and interesting little crest, high up.   I thought Pam would enjoy seeing it.

I  recently heard  there was a herd of wild horses that made their home along the Salt and Verde Rivers so my eyes were peeled for them as we drove along.

I was rewarded with a small group of 5 or 6 moving through the brush of a wash not far from the road.    Dave was kind enough to stop and turn around so I could get a good look at them.  

It looked like a family group of a few mares, one or two yearlings and a nice looking chestnut stallion keeping watch from the rear.

In addition to sighting the horses, I was also lucky enough to see three other crested Saguaros not far from the road.


 We have site #42 for just one night, then we move over to site #5 for a week or two (depending on the weather).
our sitting area

  I use 1-800-PETMEDS for any dog medication while we're on the road and there was a box waiting for us when we arrived.    We opened the packages and then put them on the table while we settled into our site.


Lewis remembers that they always include a large dog biscuit in their packages....he just sat and stared at it until we noticed and shared it with him and old Sasha girl.   What a good boy.

Usery sunset

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mr. David

Wish us luck.   We last dumped our tanks 5 days ago and we're in a site with no sewer hook up.   That isn't usually a problem but today I decided to see what would happen if I did a few loads of laundry.....will our grey water tank overflow before we leave McDowell Mountain Park tomorrow?    So far so good.

A few weeks ago I finally found the set of crisp white sheets I've been looking for.    We brought a couple sets from home that just don't cut it.   We've purchased a couple more this year and we both have HATED them.   Too soft, to slippery, the third ones are just right.  

The only thing that would make them perfect is if they could be line dried and have that wonderful fresh smell.   Actually, the only thing I really miss about having a sticks and bricks house is the ability to hang laundry out in the sun.

Mr. David's A-1 Fresh Laundry Results van was cruising the campground this morning and I was able to flag him down.   He felt sure he could give me the results I was looking for.

He simply strung a clothesline between Beluga's awning arms and - voila - freshly laundered sheets snapping the the Arizona breeze!    I just love Mr. David, there isn't anything he can't do!

I invited him to join me for second cup and perhaps come back later to find out for himself how wonderful it is to crawl into a bed made with sun dried sheets.

He accepted my invitation.     Nightie Night!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Sunday it was officially least for Dave spring had come officially....
For most of his life, the big sign that winter was done and spring had finally arrived was running of The Daytona 500.    We've never gone to the Florida track to watch but every year we sit in front of the television and enjoy the "opening day" of NASCAR racing.

That was after second cup on Sunday.    We left Sasha sleeping very soundly outside in the ex pen while we went inside to get ourselves settled in front of the tv.   No reason to disturb her beauty sleep.   She's been known to stay out there, on her own, for hours until she wakes, looks around and then announces, loudly, its time to come inside.      I keep watch on her through Beluga's open windows and Sunday was no different.    I could hear her snore....

One of the times I looked out I couldn't believe what I saw walking slowly and deliberately toward our sleeping black beauty.

sleeping beauty

A coyote was stalking her.   It was coming up from the natural space right off the back of our sitting area and it had its eyes locked on her sleeping form.   She, of course, was oblivious.   I flew over Dave to get to the door and by the time I was down Beluga's stairs, the coyote had turned tail and was running in the other direction.    She never woke up.    As a matter of fact she was a little put out that I woke her up and made her come inside.   No gratitude.      We watched the critter continue its hunt up and down the shrubby area, occasionally jumping high in the air and dropping down on some little creature....

Tuesday we took a little auto hike into the Ft. McDowell Yavapai reservation.  Every time we drive out of this park we pass by rows and rows of beautifully manicured, bright green, citrus trees and we were on a mission to get closer to them and see if there were any oranges for sale, or even better, if there was any orange blossom honey for sale.     No luck, we couldn't seem to find them once we left the park but we did follow a dirt road into the Ft. McDowell Tribal Farm.
We drove miles through acres of leafless groves of what we later found out were pecan trees, the Yavapai tend 1000 acres of pecans.  The very tops were just beginning to color and grow, spring is surely coming!   We never did find those citrus trees, but later learned that there are over 325 acres of them on this reservation.

rosy blush of new growth on the tops of these pecan trees

We ended up at the Verde River, at Needle Rock, and enjoyed a short walk along its banks.   So often our rides take us to some body of water or other....I wonder what that means.

We were happy to see how clear and deep and swiftly running this river was.

The trees along the shoreline were clearly taking advantage of the ample water supply and leafing out beautifully.

We walked along the racing current and discovered little coves where the water was still and birds flitted through the underbrush.  We enjoyed our stroll very much.

We got home an hour before we were to meet friends from our business days in Rochester.   Linda and Dave have lived in Scottsdale for almost 20 years now and we always make time for at least one visit each time we're here.    We drove around the McDowell Mountains and into north Scottsdale to join them for dinner at Isabella's Kitchen.   Great restaurant, great food and great friends.   A great evening.   We parted company with a promise to try and meet again in Denver this spring.   I took no pictures.

This morning we had a visitor.   Mr. David had called in help to replace Beluga's windshield and he arrived today right on time.   Since we have full glass coverage Mr. David decided to let the professionals handle the removal and replacement.

Sasha watched the process quietly, wagging her tail at the installer occasionally but guess where Lewis spent the morning.

In no time at all Chris had Beluga's new windshield in place.   I must say, he was a delightful guy.   Friendly, competent and efficient with a winning smile.   Thanks Chris!

After he drove away we took poor Lew out and played fetch with his "fish" for a while to reward him for his perseverance.   He greatly appreciated it.

Tomorrow he has a grooming appointment with Mr. David's A-1 Mobile Grooming and Hair Salon and then a veterinarian appointment for an annual vaccination.    Shhhh, don't tell him.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday and Good Bye for now

We had a quiet day today.   Ran a few errands in Fountain Hills and took a short walk in the park surrounding the "famous" fountain.

The fountain rises between 330 and 560 feet in the air from a lotus like flower in the middle of a 30 acre man made lake.

It has been operating every day, on the hour, since 1970.

We can even see it from our campground, almost 9 miles away.   It makes for some nice photo opportunities.

Later in the afternoon, Cindy P, Walter and Geneva (and the little dogs) came to our site for our last happy hour and dinner together here in Arizona.

Geneva and Luke

Their time in Arizona has absolutely flown by and they are leaving tomorrow to head back across the country and home.

the brothers Simon and Luke

enjoying AJ's strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert

almost full moon rising

Geneva demonstrates how to produce perfect post-dessert toasted marshmallows

                        Safe travel home, friends.....we'll miss you