Fulltime Roadrunners

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

We’re Getting There

September 23rd, 2013

Our Dish TV is setup and running, and as of Saturday night we’ve had internet.  We went the route of Dish TV internet instead of Verizon internet.  It is less expensive ($20/mo. less than both Verizon and Motosat) and they’ll send out a tech to fix it if we have issues.  We have our cell signal booster on order.  It should arrive anytime from tomorrow to Friday.  We’re hoping for tomorrow or Wed. so Stan can pick it up and bring it out when he comes on Thursday.  We have to go back to Blythe tomorrow so if it arrives tomorrow we can go to Quartzsite and pick it up then we can have it ready for Stan to install the antenna when he comes over for his regular Oxbow run.

Our weather has turned absolutely beautiful yesterday and today.  It’s supposed to be like this for at least a week.  Temps below 100, humidity below 40% and low temps in the low to mid 60’s.  I had to put my short sleeve shirt on over my tank top this morning to take Willow out around 6:30.  It was only 64°.

We had a heck of a time getting our Dish Tech out here to set up the internet.  It was Saturday so we couldn’t leave the campground to get good solid phone signal.  Luckily James, our 1st Dish Tech gave us his cell phone number so I was able to call him and ask him to call the internet tech about our phone situation ask him to leave a message if I didn’t answer my phone when he called to tell us when and where to meet him to bring him in to the campground.  Our appointment was supposed to be between 8 a.m. and noon, but we kept getting text messages from Dish changing the times to later.  I call the place where we get our best cell signal the “phone booth”.  I had to walk out to the phone booth to check for messages quite often that day.  Luckily the temps only climbed to about 109° so it wasn’t too bad sitting in the shade waiting.  The tech didn’t get here until about 4:30 p.m.  I got lucky while sitting outside and had a couple of kayakers pull out of the river at our beach and we sat and talked for about an hour ‘n a half until James called me telling me to have Thom meet the tech down the road a ways.

It was a hassle for the Tech to do the job because he needed the phone to communicate with his support.  I couldn’t figure out why he was going outside so much when he’d finished the dish setup.  I discovered he was trying to call his support but kept dropping the call in the middle.  I showed him where the phone booth was and everything went smoothly the rest of the job.  It took almost 4 hours.

Yesterday morning we drove to Cibola to have breakfast at the little place there.  We’d heard the breakfast burrito and the biscuits ‘n gravy were very good.  Thom loved the burrito, I didn’t care a lot for the gravy on the biscuits.  It was very sweet and had lots of ham with just a little sausage.  We were there a little early before they opened so we decided to drive through the refuge only a couple miles away and see what wildlife I might get pics of.  I finally got lucky and got some pics of the resident Burrowing Owls.

I think this one is a youngun’.  It was out by the one at the nest until we got close, then it flew to behind the nest.

On the very last leg of the trip around the refuge we spotted a family of Mule Deer in the grass field.  There was a 2-pt buck, doe and 3 fawn, still spotted.  You can just see the fawn’s head behind the buck, it was the runt of the three.  When they spotted our truck they bolted for cover across the road and the runt didn’t get across the road with the rest of the family so it turned around went back into the tall grass and instantly laid down to hide.  I hope momma went back to find it!

Here’s the runt heading back to the tall grass.

When you click on these pics they will open full size in a new window.  Just close that window to come back to the blog.

We’re getting lots of action at our two hummingbird feeders here, but I’ve only had 1 bird at the seed feeders since I hung them 2 weeks ago.  That bird was female Lesser Goldfinch.  I get lots of dove and Grackles under the feeders, and a couple of Cottontail under the feeders, but no finch or sparrows, Junco, or other seed eaters.  Hopefully they’ll come.  There are tons of lizards here, from tiny babies to very large adults.  We’ve seen two snakes, a harmless California King Snake 5.5’ long, and a 3.5’ Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Calif. King Snake0905califking

We have mice out here.  We had to buy new mice traps and it took 3 different kinds before we found one that would actually work.  We’ve caught 3 mice in the last 4 days in the compartment.  I’m hoping the snakes stay out for several more weeks and we catch fewer mice as time goes by.

I’ve rambled enough for today.  We’ll keep ya’ll posted.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!


One Step Forward…

September 19th, 2013

Yesterday was the 2 steps back. Today was the step forward and we’re hoping tomorrow isn’t going to be the two steps back.  Stan was out yesterday to try to mount our booster antenna for cell service.  He spent the whole day trying to make it work, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to it’s stated abilities.  This one is going to be returned tomorrow and today we ordered the booster we should have gone for in the first place.  It will be here sometime between the 24th and 26th.  Again, Stan will do the roof climbing to help us get it installed.

The Dish TV tech came out today and mounted our satellite dish on the roof of the RV cover.  We now have TV!  I like our way of life, but don’t like being so totally off the grid.  I need either TV and telephone, or internet.  Telephone with internet would be a very welcome bonus.  We watched news today for the first time since Sept. 2nd.  We did have news on the internet until the 6th, but nothing since then until today.

The guy who came out to install the satellite is the same one we had in Quartzsite when we first got there last Sept.  He told us how we could get around having a real street address to have the Dish internet installed out here.  We are going to revisit that possibility. 

Sooo… we make one more trip into Blythe tomorrow to return the lousy booster, buy a few groceries, check on our generators at Ace Hardware.  At this point we have spent at least 2 months worth of reimbursement we get from BLM for being here.  Sure hope we get to stay a couple of years so we can cut down on costs and start to catch up!

I’m really wanting to sort through things we have stacked in our RV, our compartments, storage shed, and cargo trailer.  It just takes time.  Unfortunately, right now we are so busy trying to work things out so we can make things work and on top of that, the temps are too hot to be working out in the cargo trailer and compartments.  It’s even too hot and sweaty in the RV after about 11 a.m.  Temps are cooling down to around 104° for the next 8 days, so maybe we can get more done.

I have cucumber plants sprouted in my little drink cups.  I think I need to find a way to cover them so the birds don’t get those tender sprouts.  Right now they are on a table about 3 feet off the ground so the ground critters can’t get them.

Gonna say g’nite for now and go chill a bit before bed.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!


PS.  Ordered Dish internet today.  Will be installed on Saturday.

Written Sept. 15, Posted Whenever

September 15th, 2013

We’re still getting by, but it’s not very comfortable for us.  The power situation is making life difficult. 

Let me see if I can explain.  There are two solar arrays with 42 batteries and when more power is being drawn than the batteries can handle there is a large propane generator that is supposed to kick on automatically as needed and turn off when no longer needed.  The automatic on worked one night only.  The solar arrays should be enough to power several RV’s, but aren’t enough to power even 1 RV.  We don’t know what is wrong.  So, we run the propane generator 1.5 hrs. in the morning and 1.5 hrs. in the evening.  The big generator seems to power the batteries but in the process pulls the power in our system down.  We barely get 114 watts when it’s running.  We get 120 when we run off their batteries and we get more than 120 on our own big generator.  During the day while the solar is working, we don’t use their power at all, but run on our 12 volt system and we run the little portable a/c with the Honda 2000.  This is so the solar can fully charge the batteries.  In the evening we run our big diesel generator so we can get the bedroom a/c running long enough to cool the bedroom down from over 90° to a comfortable sleeping temp.  We plug back into their batteries just before we go to bed and leave the bedroom a/c on so we can get a fair night’s sleep.

We’ve been having quite hot weather since we arrived here so we’ve been burning a lot of fuel to try to stay relatively cool.  Today the temp got up to 113° and we were only using our little portable a/c to try to stay cool, so we sweated through a few hours of 90° and 37% humidity inside.  I can’t wait to get internet again so I can go online and order a dehumidifier for the house.  The lowest humidity we’ve had inside since arriving here was 32%.  It’s always up to 50% or more in the mornings.

Thom is getting into a nice routine on campground chores mornings and evenings.  He cleans the bathrooms mornings and checks them in the afternoon.  He checks the camping areas for new arrivals and to pick up any trash that’s been left behind.  I check permits for people coming in the main area around our RV, and walk around picking up trash left around.  People are really quite good about cleaning up after themselves but sometimes they get a bit sloppy if they’ve been drinking.  

We’re still waiting for the weather to cool down.  I know that when it’s cooler we will be able to get settled faster, get into a routine for things like shopping, laundry, dumping tanks, getting fresh water, etc. 

Today I planted a few seeds.  I used 12 oz. paper glasses and planted two seeds each in each glass.  I did two glasses of Swiss Chard, 2 of Armenian Cucumbers, two of Brussel Sprouts and 1 of Sugar Snap Peas.  I plan on doing another one of the peas tomorrow.  We’re going to use our garden cage and grow in containers this year until we get nicely settled and then we’ll do a fenced raised garden.  We have quite a few cottontail rabbits in here so the garden definitely has to be fenced.  Will keep ya’ll posted on how the garden grows.

Here is a photo of one of the views from our campground.  This is called the Oxbow Bridge.  It crosses the Colorado River and is the way we go to get to our mailbox in Cibola and the wildlife refuge.

This is the view of a sunrise through my window.

As the snowbirds who’ve been to the Sonoran Desert know, a lot of cotton is grown by farmers down here.  Many of us have stopped to take a pic of the fields of cotton near ready to be picked, but how many of us have stopped to look at the individual plant and flowers.  We had to stop last week on our way home so I could maintain phone signal and we happened to stop right by a cotton field in bloom.  The flowers are quite lovely.

The mosquitoes have gotten thick lately.  My home remedy for mosquito repellant works as long as I get every tiny speck of exposed skin covered AND spray myself every single time before I go out.  Many days I go out every 10 to 15 minutes to deal with guests and don’t have time to spray every time.  Tomorrow when we go to Blythe to find out what’s happening with our Honda generator, I’m going to see if I can find that Eco repellant I had many years ago when I worked in the Ogden Canyon in Utah.  It worked quite well and didn’t stink.  I think I got it at Walmart back then so maybe I can find it at KMart in Blythe.  If I can’t find it maybe I can find something as good.  I gotta do something, I’m being chewed on constantly and though they say there have been no reports of west nile in our area, it has been reported in other areas of AZ so I need to be more careful.

I’ve rambled enough.  The diesel generator is going, the bedroom a/c is going, the indoor temp has cooled off to 84° and the humidity is all the way down to 43%.  I’m going to grab a few sprigs of broccoli to dip in ranch dressing and munch while I play a silly game on my Kindle Fire.  LIG

In the meantime, ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!