Fulltime Roadrunners

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

Being Spoiled

April 26th, 2012

Living with full hook-ups is spoiling me rotten.  I can leave the water running when I wash my hands, I can make sure the dishes are really rinsed well so Thom and I don’t have tummy issues.  I can even take a shower leaving the water running until the 10 gal hot water tank is empty.  I haven’t done that yet and probably won’t, but I can if I want!  AND… the water is heated by electricity which is included in our free hook-ups here.  We are still being conservative with our use of their water and electricity, but it’s nice to know we have it if we need it.

Our next door neighbor is here on a monthly basis and it looks like electricity is included in his monthly rate.  The meter on his elec box doesn’t move at all, but his A/C runs constantly.  He leaves most of his windows open in 90F weather with the A/C running.  I keep forgetting to mention this to Mark or Janie and I’m sure they’d like to know.

Thom worked 2 hours yesterday and was on call, w/o pay, today.  If they’d called him in, it would have been with pay.  I was off both days.  Tomorrow thru Sunday Thom works 9 - 3 and I work 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.  I was getting pretty good on the job, but I’m afraid two days off may have set me back a day.

The other day I bought potting soil and Hakurei Turnip seeds, so I hope I can get my indoor stuff done early enuff tomorrow to get some turnips planted so we have a harvest before we leave here.  I don’t have the critters to contend with here.  I can’t wait for Thom to get my bird feeder set up.  We can’t poke holes in the ground AT ALL here, so we bought a hanger we can strap to the tree.  I’m ready to see some birds instead of just hearing them.  I hear a Robin, I hear a Goldfinch, I hear a Kingbird, I hear a Raven, but I’ve only seen a Raven fly by, a Kingbird in another yard and a Lesser Goldfinch in my tree - once.

Janie, my boss, was curious about my wire sculpted trees so I took the two I had in to the office.  She wanted to display and sell anything I have in the way of crafts, so I have a shelf in our convenience store with my two trees, 7 of my wire wrapped pendants, 1 wire wrapped cross, and 5 of my beaded birds.  I’m enthused.  We’ll see if they sell.  This weekend is a big car show in town and our campground has all these people here, or coming here, just wanting to spend money, I hope they want to spend money on my stuff!

Thom spent most of today online trying to get an idea if we’ll be able to afford a new truck that can pull our cargo trailer without dying.  When we bought the Ranger, they said it could tow 7000.  The book says it can tow 7000, but today a dealer in Grand Junction, Colorado told Thom it being a 4 cyl., it’ll only tow 3500.  I guess the book is for 6 cyl.  Anyway,  we’ll keep you posted on this one too.  Thom called the sales rep in Sandy, UT who sold us two of our vehicles and he is looking for a used pickup, or a new one if it’s a better deal, he’ll call us if he finds anything.

Time to say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy.

Tah!

Still Training

April 24th, 2012

We’re both doing pretty good.  Thom pretty much has his work in hand, but I’m still learning and still need to be watched to make sure I don’t double occupy a site or lose money.  I’m hoping that a couple more days and I can do most of it on my own.  I’m sure Janie and Mark are getting quite tired having to be here all day every day to supervise the newbies.

Today we had reservations for a group called the Red Rock Rovers.  They are having a rally today thru Sat.  There is also a car show this weekend so the whole town is booked solid for the weekend starting Thursday.  I have tomorrow and Thursday off and Thom works 2 hours tomorrow cleaning bathrooms and is on call all day Thursday to escort campers to their sites.  Then Friday we work our regular schedule - Fri, Sat, Sun.  It’s been mentioned that until they get new workampers, they’ll want Thom to do 2 hours every day to clean bathrooms.  We’ll see what happens.  Thom and I may go to working 4 days until new workampers come on.  As I said, we’ll see what happens.

I’m anxious to get to town and buy some potting soil so I can get some turnips started, and some flowers in pots around the yard.

Our friends who camp with us in Quartzsite know how much I am tied to the dancing and singing reality shows on TV.  Get this!  I’ve been without TV since we left La Posa South.  It hasn’t been too painful.  We don’t know what the Geek Squad did to our TV, but we can’t get our cable to work, so we can’t take advantage of the free cable TV and suspend our Dish TV while here.  The Dish TV tech will be here tomorrow morning to set us up and I’ll be able to watch my American Idol and Thom can tape the shows he wants to watch.

Okay, I’m bushed and ready to call it a night.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

First Day

April 22nd, 2012

Our first day on the job and we’re glad we’re here.  The only reason we wouldn’t come back next year is the drive here is hard on both our trucks and Sedona, AZ is a lot (lot, lot) closer (less gas) than Moab, UT.

Thom started today at 9:00 and spent most of the day mowing lawns, with a couple of hours cleaning the restrooms and guiding new campers to their sites and helping them park.  He’s quite tired tonight.  I went to work at 3:00 p.m. and met Janie for the first time (I called her Jackie in my last post… sincere apologies).  She is very personable and likeable, and she certainly knows what she’s doing, and to top it off, she’s good at training.  It definitely is going to take me a few days to get the hang of things, but I think I’ll do okay.  It’s a whole new world for me.  I’ve never taken reservations before, and there’s an awful lot to remember to inform our campers of as they check in.

I’ve told ya’ll that one workamper couple left and and now the only other workamper (single) got word today there was an accident in his family and he has to go home to Dallas, TX.  He hopes to come back, and if at all possible, he will.  In the meantime that leaves just Thom and I.  Thom will take the brunt of the extra load.  We have a big car show in town this weekend and the campers will start arriving Thursday.  Thom will need to be here to guide them in and park them so that’s one extra day he’ll be working at least.  From what I think Janie said, she is trying to spare me enduring the big rush, so I will have the day off.

One good thing about our schedule is we aren’t in each others pockets all the time.  As a matter of fact, I’m home until 3:00 and he works until 3:00 right now.  I’m on my way to the office while he’s on his last chore.  We spent a couple of hours this morning together, then were apart until 8:00 tonight when we closed the office.  Later, after we learn our jobs, if the world gets perfect again, we’ll have from noon to 3:00 not working and 3:00 to 6:00 together in the office working, then he goes home and I work another 2 or 3 hours.

It’s an interesting and fun job, and I’m sure I’ve bored you to tears by now.  Sorry.  I’m just lovin’ life and want to share.

I forgot to mention we got a phone call from Quartzsite the day we arrived here.  It was the manager of the storage units we use.  They had a fire there and called to inform us they had to cut our lock, open up our unit and check for fire damage.  Apparently the unit 2 doors down from us caught fire. They told us there was no damage.  Larry and Phyllis (the darlings) drove over there to check it out and said things look okay.  They bought a new lock for the unit and we’ll get keys from them when we get back there in Oct.

I’ve gone on and on again.  At least I’m blogging more than every 5 to 7 days now.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

Quick Update

April 21st, 2012

Mark, our boss, stopped by late this afternoon (around 5 p.m.) with a temporary training schedule and our regular schedule for the rest of the season.  For training we will work tomorrow thru Tuesday, then next Sat thru Mon, then we go to our regular schedule of Fri thru Sun.  Scott and Mari… take note… we work weekends.  Sorry.  While you’re here Thom will work from 9 to 12, then 3 to 6 and I’ll work 3 to 9.  We have Monday off.  Sorry.  This is all because the other workampers quit.

Today, we got the trikes off the rack on the Dodge and they are in our front yard ready to be utilized.  We went shopping in the local grocery store.  It is a Kroger store so the prices are fairly decent.  Luckily they have their weekly ads online(the City Market) so I can see what we want before going there.  We learned we need to plan our shopping trips in the middle of the week because during the weekends the tourists are everywhere!

Tomorrow we start work.  We’re starting on an odd schedule because of the couple who quit because they didn’t like the hours.  It’s a good thing we’re easy and are willing to do what needs to be done to get things done.

By the way… in Q we were at an elevation of about 1000′.  Last summer we were at an elevation of sea level or maybe up to 100′.  Here we are at an elevation of 4200′ and I feel it a bit.  I am able to get around okay,  I just have to remember to breath a bit deeper, but it will take me a couple more days to get to the point where I can walk uphill and not huff and puff.  I’m making it a point to walk briskly everywhere I go in the park.  In the past, it has taken about 10 days for me to get acclimated to the elevation.  I’m not sure why the elevation gets to me so easily, but I’ve learned to live with it.

I think Mark and Jackie are going to be good to work for.  Mark doesn’t take any guff, but he’s open minded and not really demanding.  Jackie is going to train me.  She has the office procedure down pat and knows exactly what I need to know.  The next few days will be interesting.

It’s now time for me to say g’nite. I plan on calling my son tomorrow and catching up, meant to do that tonight, but time flew…

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

We Have Arrived

April 20th, 2012

…in other words… “Honey, We’re Home”.

Today was a really short day, only had to drive about 65 miles.  We arrived at the Spanish Trail RV Park  around 10 a.m.  We had lots of time to unload the Cargo Trailer and get a lot done.  The freezer is under the hitch on the 5th wheel, behind the skirting we have around the hitch (moving that freezer about broke my back).  Thom got a lot accomplished today, I’m really impressed.

When we arrived we met our boss, Mark, the owner of the park; and the manager of the park, Leslie.  Both seem quite nice.  Mark is a bit frazzled at the moment.  He had a workamper couple quit because they didn’t want to work evening shift… even though they were told from the beginning that was their shift.  This is the reason he asked us to arrive ASAP.  We have tomorrow to get more done in the way of setting up and shopping as needed, then Sunday we start work.  Mark will stop by tomorrow to talk to us and let us know what’s expected.  We’re both ready to start work.

Living here, we are back to having to keep Willow on a leash at all times (out in Quartzsite, she almost never was on leash, she behaves very well).  The pet area is way at the end of our row and so far Willow hasn’t made it all the way to the pet area before having to stop and do her thing.  It’s close quarters here, but we have a couple of lovely views and only 1 neighbor.  We hope we can make 5 months.  I’m sure there will be time I vent on this blog… just bear with me.

Today while driving here, I got a phone call from the gal in Sedona, AZ who works for the Forest Service managing the volunteers in the Red Rock Country in Sedona.  We pretty much have a job there so long as I start “bugging” her in Feb. or March.  It will be so nice to not have to drive more than a couple hundred miles between our winter and summer places.  This job is visiting 3 or 4 day use areas and sharing information about the Red Rock Country 4 days a week.  They provide a Forest Service vehicle and pay a daily stipend (stipends are NOT taxable).  Hopefully, my son, Mike, and family can  come visit us while we are in Sedona, because we won’t be able to get up to Northern Utah to see them.

By the way,  I never (almost) use my cell phone while driving, but I recognized the call as coming from Angie and we really, really want that job next summer, so I answered it.

The town of Moab is a diner’s Mecca so we’re really going to have to restrain ourselves.  I need to get my BBQ set up as soon as possible and start cooking.  The temps here the next week will be in the 80’s… perfect BBQ weather!

It’ll probably be a few days before I post again.  I have a feeling we’re going to be busy getting settled and in the groove.

Here’s a photo of our site here, our summer home.

Almost Home…

April 19th, 2012

…for the summer.

We left Quartzsite yesterday morning around 8 a.m. and made it all the way to Mesquite, NV around 2:30 p.m.  A hard 6 hour day.  We left Mesquite this morning around 8:15 and arrived at a wide spot in the road about 80 miles from our home for the summer in Moab, UT around 3:40 p.m.  We went fewer miles and it took us longer.  The roads through Utah are all up and down and our little Ford Ranger just doesn’t have the power to pull our new trailer efficiently.  I doubt it got mileage any better than the dodge pulling our big ol’ 5th wheel.  We’re going to have to figure something out, because running the Ranger at a near constant 3000 rpm when pulling the cargo trailer is going to beat it to death!  The roads from Quartzsite to Mesquite were hilly, but not as many long steep grades as Utah has.  We definitely want to find a different way to go home because I-70 in Utah has 6 mile long 6% grades and going up those babies is hard on the Dodge.  Thom can’t keep the speed up, so the truck overheats and and we have to stop and let it cool down.  Thank heavens for the extra gauges he had installed way back when!

Barring any unforeseen happenings, we should be in our new spot by noon tomorrow.  I’m excited.  Can’t wait to get settled and learn the new job and start exploring more of this beautiful country.

Here’s a shot of the view across the street from where we are parked.

After looking at this pic you can see why we are anxious to start exploring.  We’ve been here before, but only for a few days at a time so didn’t get to see all we wanted.

I’ll keep ya’ll up to date and share as much of this wonderful country as possible.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy.

Toodles.

Movin’ On

April 17th, 2012

Yesterday we left our “home” in the La Posa South BLM Long Term Visitor Area and moved to the Hi Jolly short term visitor area.  Both are in Quartzsite, AZ about 7 miles apart.  Our time in the Long Term area expired on April 15th, so we had to get out of there, but we hadn’t finished our last minute business yet, so we had to move to another place in the area.

We are changing our place of residence to Arizona, so today we went into Parker and got our AZ driver’s licenses.  Eye test, $10 and we’re good.  We’re registered to vote and have opted for early voting which means our ballots are mailed to us, so we can “absentee” vote.

I talked to our new boss, Mark, this morning and they would like us to show up as soon as we can, whenever we can.  That means we don’t have to waste time here and there waiting for the 27th of April.  We are leaving here tomorrow morning and going as far as I feel comfortable with, hopefully Mesquite, NV, it depends on the winds.  Friday we’ll go another third of the way, then arrive in Moab Saturday morning or afternoon.

We said our goodbyes to Lee and Ilse and Larry and Phyllis today.  Sure gonna miss those guys, but we’ll be back next October and see them all again.  We hope!

Here’s our site at Hi Jolly.

Not too bad for a quick stopover site.

Our first night here we had baby bunnies, adult bunnies, quail, dove, cactus wren, finches, and sparrows… plus a lizard or two.  Thankfully no snakes.  It’s a little buggier here and a bit trashier here, but it’s understandable.  The people stay here because it’s free.  They only have to “dispose” of wastes, which means dig a hole and bury your excrement.  Many people just throw dirt over it, if even that.  There is no trash cans in the camping area, so a lot of people just toss their beer cans and plastic utensils.

Okay… it’s time to say g’nite and for me to get the kitchen ready for moving.  I’ll keep ya’ll up to date.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

Weather Delay

April 14th, 2012

It has been windy enough the last 3 days that I’ve not been able to get online long enough to post an update.

We’re still trucking along getting ourselves ready to move on.  It’s been so nice not having to stress ourselves or work nearly beyond our capabilities to be ready to leave on time.  We only have one more trip to the storage shed to make.  The cargo trailer is nearly loaded.  I’ve only got a few more things to find a “home” for in the trailer.  I’m really appreciative of the new trailer because it’s easy to find a spot for things I don’t have a place for in the trailer.

There are hardly any campers out here at all now.  Standing in front of our trailer, doing a 180 degree turn… as far as I can see (which is far, I’ve had cataract surgery), I only see 4 other rigs.  I think because of that lack of humans, we’re getting some pretty fun visitors out here.  Lots of birds, lots of bunnies and two days ago, on the 12th we had 4 Mule Deer visit our “watering hole”.  There were two adults and two youngun’s.  It’s rare to see deer out here so we consider ourselves extremely lucky they came here.  Water has been scarce this winter so these guys are particularly skinny looking.  Here’s a shot of the 4 of them getting a drink, and following that shot is one of the two little ones, twins possibly.

Today we took the honey wagon to the storage shed for the summer.  It’s smaller than the other one, so it was easier to get into the shed, and left more room for other things.  Nice!

After we dropped the honey wagon, we went out to see Lee and Ilse.  We came home with 3 cabbages and 1 head of romaine lettuce straight out of the garden. there’s nothing better than fresh from the garden produce!  Tomorrow I’m going to whip up a large cole slaw so we have it for a few days to munch on.  Ilse also gave us a couple of samples of dishes from her home country of Germany.  One of them is cabbage cooked with applesauce, sugar, vinegar, and I’m sure she said other things, but I forget.  I don’t like sauerkraut, but even though this kind of resembles it, there is a nice taste to it.  The other item is a prune cake.  It is a yeast batter with fresh sliced prunes on it, sprinkled with streusel and baked.  I’m anxious to taste it, but am still full from dinner.

When we leave here, we are only going as far as Hi Jolly short term area about 6 miles north of here.  In checking into Medicare (Thom enrolls in 2 months), we’ve learned that people who have a legal residence like ours, where we never live and never stay, are having their medicare insurance cancelled.  We’ve been advised to change our legal resident to AZ since that’s where we live 6 months of the year or longer.  This is why we are staying in AZ a couple of days longer.  We will be getting AZ driver’s licenses on Monday or Tuesday and then head out for Utah.  We have until 4/27 to get to Moab, so there’s no hurry.   The thing that will be driving me to head out is the temps are getting back up to the 90’s next week.

By the way, we did get a bit of rain last night.  Every little bit helps even though it wasn’t near enough to get the desert healthy and hearty again.

Time to say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

New News

April 9th, 2012

We got a phone call this afternoon from the workamper coordinator in the Red Rock Country area of the Coconino Nat’l Forest in Arizona.  She was offering us a job for the summer in Sedona, AZ.  I wanted this job so bad I called our new boss in Moab, UT to make sure they really wanted/needed us for the summer.  They do.  We’ve put our bid in for the job in Sedona, AZ for next summer.

Our boss in Moab has told us he would like us to arrive on the 27th of April, to start work on the 30th.  Our days of work will be Monday thru Wednesday.  This makes me quite happy, as I can go to the farmer’s market on the weekends.

I’m so glad to have firm dates now.  Too bad we couldn’t take the job in Sedona.

It was a hot day today… 97F outside and 94F inside the RV.  Running the oscillating fan really helped keep it livable.  I’m  surprised we’ve done so well without needing to get the portable A/C running.

Time to say g’nite, nearly bedtime (10 p.m.).

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

Update

April 8th, 2012

I’ve got a couple of photos to share so I thought I’d give a quick update to go with them.  As a matter of fact, one of the photos is part of the update.

Temps are in the 90’s for a few days starting today.  This morning we got the trikes hoisted to the rack on the Dodge pickup.  As usual, Thom did most of the work and I helped when needed.  He put our Spitzlift on the rack in the attachment we had custom built and we rigged the trikes with straps and lifted them with the hoist.  I only had to put the hooks in the straps and guide the trikes on their way up.  Thom did all the heavy work.  Here’s a shot of them on the truck, with the hoist still there, before they got covered with the tarp and cargo net.

It all worked well, but Thom is still talking about making a box to put them in next year.  I only worked until about 11 a.m. when the temps got up to high 80’s.  I tried to get Thom to stop too, but he continued on until after 1 p.m. when the temps were in the low 90’s.  He admits now he did too much in the heat of the day.

This afternoon we drove into Blythe so I could buy a new “boom box”, and on the way we stopped  so I could get a couple of photos of the Blue Palo Verde in full bloom.  This is one of the particularly pretty ones.

Tomorrow I’m going to continue with being sane and not working outside when the temps get up there, and I’m going to try to do better at getting Thom to stop before it gets too hot.  We still have 8 days before we should be out of here.

I saw a Roadrunner under my Ironwood tree this morning.  It appeared to be wanting a drink of water, but he must have seen a flash of my movement thru the window because he took off before I could grab my camera or he could get a drink.  Oh well, maybe it’ll be back in the next 8 days and I’ll get a shot.

By the way, my back is a lot better, I’ve been pretty successful at babying it the last two days.  The only think I lifted yesterday was a 6 gal bucketful of water to dump down the toilet while dumping the black tank.  No real lifting today at all.  I’m still being careful, but am confident I can help Thom lift and carry again, as long as I’m careful.

Now it’s time to say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles!

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