Fulltime Roadrunners

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

Mexico and Yuma

October 28th, 2013

Today we drove into Mexico to replenish our meds supply.  We got at least a 3 months supply of 5 different meds plus a canister of Bailey’s truffles (filled with real Baileys) and a bottle of vanilla extract.  In my opinion, Mexican vanilla is the best!  All this only cost $130.  It would have been a lot less but my nasal spray cost $33 for two bottles.  It’s around $100 per bottle here in the states.

From Algadones, Mexico we headed into Yuma, only about 10 miles distance and did some Home Depot and Sam’s Club shopping.  On our way home we took a side tour and drove into Walter’s Camp which is on the river.  A lot of people stop there when they are canoeing the river.  Our campground is a stopover when they start north of here, then they go to Walter’s Camp and then down to Martinez Lake near Yuma.  Walter’s Camp is pretty expensive.  They charge $10 per launch plus $8 per person.  We charge $10/car for day use which includes the launch, parking the truck and boat trailer and all the people.  Walter’s charges $18/night for dry camping and that includes one vehicle, the RV and 3 people.  If a couple happens to have more than 1 child they pay $8 per person beyond that 1.  They also charge for the launch.  We charge $15/night for dry camping and that includes all the people, the RV, vehicle and the launch if they bring a boat.

I’m getting a bit concerned about our water supply here.  I don’t know if it’s the water we get from the county park or if we need to shock our fresh water tank again.  When I brush my teeth I rinse my mouth with water from the faucet.  It tastes a bit muddy.  Algae can make that taste, but we also have to consider it was just a couple of weeks ago the water from the park was running very muddy due to a broken pipe.  All the water we drink is filtered in our Big Berkey and tastes fantastic, but I make my ice with faucet water and have found any drink I ice gets a bit of a taste to it.  I’m going to start using filtered water for ice to fix that, but in the meantime we need to address the issue of “flavored water”.  I think we should shock the fresh water tank first and see if that helps, if not, then we need to find a new source of fresh water.

Like most of the rest of the West our weather is cooling way down.  Our highs will only get to the mid 70’s the next 3 days and the lows in the mid 40’s, then the temps will go back up to the 80’s and 50’s.  I’m going to take advantage of the cool temps tomorrow and roast a pork shoulder in the oven.  That will give us 2 dinners plus sandwiches (and probably a noodle dish or soup).  I also found a hamburger and cheese soup recipe I want to try, substituting buffalo for the hamburger.  That should go nicely with a fresh baked loaf of bread.  If the soup is any good, I’ll post the recipe in my list of recipes on the left of this page.

I got a new Warbler for my bird Life List yesterday.  The only picture I got that allowed me to positively identify it is this one.  It’s not real good but t shows the markings.
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When I posted this bird on eBirds as one of the birds I saw that day, I got a notice back saying they wanted more information because it was rare to see this bird at this time of year in our location.  One of the warblers that is very common year round all over the states is the Yellow-rumped Warbler.  You can see in this picture why he is called that.  Every morning I’ll see 5 or 6 of them hopping around the Cottonwoods out front catching the bugs.
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(some people back east call him the Butter Butt)

We still haven’t had any regular yard birds at my seed feeders.  The Grackles and Collared Dove cover the ground feeding on the seed I toss out under the feeder.  I hope the others show up sometime soon.  I miss all the activity at the feeders.

I wish all of you could be here right now.  It’s so peaceful.  No TV noise, my noisy parrots have been covered and put to bed, the sun is down, the light is fading, there’s just enough nip in the wind and sound of the wind in the leaves to make you feel that Fall is here.  I can already tell I’ll be closing the windows tonight at bedtime.  I love it.

We’re so happy out here I even took my favorite hummingbird photo and dressed it up to use on Facebook as my profile pic… to show how I feel.
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I’m thinking this is going to be a really slow week because of the cool temps.  I hope we can take a morning and drive the refuge loop then drive the backside of the refuge along the farmer fields where I hear the Sandhill Cranes every morning.  Maybe even walk the path to the water bird pond on the other side of the Cottonwood trees.

I know many of you think you’d be out in shorts and tanks and having a ball if the temps were in the 70’s… perfect day to play on the water.  It’s all relative.  Here most of the locals have put away their boats unless they are fisher persons and even a lot of those people have put the boat away because the water is “cold” and the fish aren’t biting.  It’s 71° outside right now and I’ve changed into sweat pants.  Sure hope I never have to go north in the winter anymore.

That’s all for now, hope to have things to talk about soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy.

Toodles!

 

Update

October 23rd, 2013

Not really a lot to share but didn’t want to wait so long between posts, so I’ll try to remember things that happened the last couple of days.

The folks that were here to stay 2 weeks went exploring and discovered this place the locals call The Hippy Hole.  It’s very sandy, right on the water with easy access to both a shallow pond (backwater) and the river.  They decided they would rather be there where it was easier to get to the fishing areas so they moved.  That was fine with me.  They had an annual pass they bought here in the summer so we didn’t lose any income and until today we had the place all to ourselves after they left.  Nice and quiet.

Today we had 3 vehicles come in camping, 4 guys and another to join them on Friday.  They will be here at least until Sunday.  They bought 2 annual passes for 4 vehicles.  Two of them are brothers living in the same household and the other two are father & son.  Each pass covers 2 vehicles as long as they are in the same household.  Nice older guys.  They are here for what my son calls a “mancation”… fishing, telling stories, drinking beer and just relaxing.

One of them brought a generator that is definitely NOT a Honda.  Luckily he only runs it when it’s needed to power his camper.

Yesterday I did a 2nd planting of Swiss Chard and Radishes.  I’m out of pots now so planting more turnips will have to wait until I can buy another big pot.  I can’t wait until I can have an in ground garden!

Temps are still being very kind.  Highs in the low 90’s, lows in the low to mid 50’s.  Sunday it’s supposed to dip below 90 for a few days.  Today was cloudy and the humidity climbed a bit, but not too bad, just enough to bring on a wet neck if I stayed outside very long.

No matter how hard I tried the other day I couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up early and took Willow for a walk.  I got a couple of good early morning pics.

This is the sunrise on the river through a Mesquite tree and Willow bushes.
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This is the morning light on the reeds reflecting on the lake.  A couple of water birds thrown in for effect.
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And here we have our sunset tonight.
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Tomorrow we have to go into Quartzsite to pick up some things from our storage shed, check our mail, and will stop in Blythe at Albertsons to pick up a couple of things.  Honeycrisp apples are on sale for 99­¢, so I’m gonna pick up a bunch.

Enough for tonight.  Will try to post again soon.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah!

 

Ten Days Already

October 19th, 2013

Time flies when you’re not busy!  Actually we both stayed relatively busy during the shutdown.  Thom doing little chores he’s been wanting to get done since we got here and me doing what I like best – walking, observing and taking photographs of the wildlife, both flora and fauna.

Remember… when I post a photo all you have to do to see it full size is click on it.  It will open in a new window.  To come back to the blog just close that window.

Our weather has turned absolutely perfect the last 2 weeks.  Highs in the mid to high 80’s and lows in the high 40’s to mid 50’s.  Long pants & light jacket in the mornings when we first get up and shorts ‘n tee shirt or tank top from about 10 a.m. until after sundown, then back to long pants ‘n tee shirt, maybe a light jacket and sit at the campfire just chilling.  Life is good!

Most of the people we dealt with during the shutdown were understanding in spite of being annoyed with the Gov’t, but we did run into a few Annoying, Self-centered, Spiteful, Hateful, Offensive, Loutish, Exasperating people who made us want to toss them in the river when it was full and running swift!  We had people talk to us as if we were the idiots in Congress who were responsible for the shutdown.  We had a little vandalism.  I had one guy come in, drive down the ramp, park right in the middle and proceed to use a seine net to catch some bait fish while a couple teens with him went wading.  I walked down the ramp and asked him to please move his truck up to the parking lot to park and do his fishing over on the beach in order to not block the ramp.  He told me I couldn’t talk to him because we were closed and he was a cop and he could do anything he wanted because he was a cop.  If he blocked the ramp in spite of it being near the end of the day and there was a boat out there that would want to load onto the trailer that was too bad, we were closed, they couldn’t use the ramp.  I didn’t argue with him just told him that since he was a cop he knew he was breaking the law by parking there.  Yes, I COULD talk to him to tell him the same thing I was telling everyone else who came in and YES! I could call the Law Enforcement if he didn’t move his truck to the parking lot.  I then told him that if he chose to continue to stay there illegally, there was a better spot about 50 yards down the way where he could get all the fingerling carp he wanted for bait, but I couldn’t tell him he could stay and I couldn’t tell him he had to leave.  He moved his truck and went to the other spot, got a bucketful of carp and left in a better mood. 

We reopened last Tuesday morning and have had a small trickle of guests since then.  We have one couple in here staying for 2 weeks.  They live in their 5th wheel full-time and have been hosting campgrounds in Utah the last few years.  They are really nice people and, of course, it’s fun to share experiences.  He loves to fish.  I’m hoping he catches something worth keeping so I can watch him filet the fish.  He basically fishes for catfish but wouldn’t throw a good sized bass back if he caught it.  Today I got a photo of a fish in the Colorado River right on the edge of one of our campsites.  It’s a Green Sunfish.
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In identifying this fish I read that they are a great fish for beginners because they will bite anything and hit hard.  A fun catch for kids.

The migrating water birds are coming in now.  I’ve managed to get decent pics of a Pied Billed Grebe and I think the ducks are a pair of Gadwalls (If anyone thinks I’m wrong about the Gadwalls, tell me)

Pied Billed Grebe

Gadwall Duck

We have lots of butterflies going through also.  The yellow sulphurs are here year round, but I managed to get a Queen Butterfly who is quite large but around here only lands at the top of the trees so it’s tough to get a photo of them.  This is the best I got of the Queen.  The 2nd one is the Sleepy Orange.
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My garden is doing pretty good.  I still have leaf miners on my one cucumber plant, but as soon as I see an infested leaf I break it off and throw it in the river.  The garden still has white flies but I read they are not really that harmful, just annoying.  I hope so because, so far, nothing I use is getting rid of them.  Every time I water a cloud of white swarms off the soil and plants. 

Pics of my garden… hopefully I’ll be harvesting Chard in a few weeks and everything else will continue to do well.  From back to front on the garden:

Armenian Cucumber in small pot on left, Sugar Snap Peas in other two small pots.
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Swiss Chard in left pic, Brussel Sprouts in right pic.
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Salad Turnips in half the pot, the other half planted 4 days ago, barely sprouting.
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Armenian Cucumbers in large pot.  Plants are already growing bigger than in the small pot.
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I hope we have better success this year than we did last year.  I do know it doesn’t get as cold here as it does in Quartzsite.  We’ll see.

We are in the slow time of the year for this campground.  About the only people we will see will be the fisher persons and hunters.  We’ve had some hunters in this weekend for a couple of nights and a guy in fishing the big Oxbow Lake (no outlet to the river, but great fishing).  Duck season opened a couple of days ago and Quail season opened this morning.  Guns going off all around us!

Next time we get into town I need to pick up the hunting and fishing regulations for both states.  Heck, if I can put my camera down long enough I may even start fishing, but not until Dec.  The AZ fishing licenses go from Dec. to Dec.

It looks like we’ve blown another 400 amp fuse.  It has to have something to do with the screwed up electric system on the big solar arrays and their big generator.  We have to replace that fuse on the inverter again soon.  The charger isn’t working so Thom has to hook our battery charger up to our battery system to charge them.

Enough for now.  I’ll try to get more posting done now that the shutdown is over and we may have something to talk about, like crazy campers, etc.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.

 

A Week’s Gone By

October 9th, 2013

And not a lot has happened, neither here nor in the Gov’t.  In spite of the shutdown and closure of all U.S. campgrounds and attractions we’ve had people in here every single day since the shutdown.  We don’t talk to them unless they approach us.  Then we tell them we are closed, they are subject to criminal citations if (big IF) a BLM Law Enforcement Officer comes in and see’s thy have ignored the notices, but we can’t tell them they can’t stay, nor can we tell them they can stay.

My back is still bothering me but since our friend Lee sent me a link to a site with exercises for back pain, and I’ve been doing a couple of them, my back is so much better.  I expect it to continue to get better and I can get back to planting my 2nd round of turnips and 1st round of radishes.  I also need to start wire brushing old paint off picnic tables and repainting them.  The weather has been gorgeous and will continue to be so through next Wednesday (below 90 every day).  This is a chore that needs to be done and fall and winter is the perfect time to do things like this out here.

Thom has been working on chores around here.  He cut down a dead Cottonwood tree in our yard and pulled the supporting stake out of the ground.  Another tree had been cut down before we got here, but not below the ground so Thom dug out around it a bit, then got a fire going around and on top of it and burned the stump out… worked great.
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Things finally cooled off enough for us to have a campfire.  This is a pic of our first campfire at Oxbow.

As I said, not a lot happening here, I’ve not a lot to say.  We still haven’t done a lot of exploring.  We have all this time off due to the shutdown and my back has made it so it had been hard to get into and out of the truck.  It’s better now so I’m ready to hop in the truck and drive to Cibola Lake to check out the water birds and drive along the back side of the Wildlife Refuge, etc.

Tomorrow we have to drive to Quartzsite to refill our propane tanks.  I hope we have time to visit our friends while there.

Time to say g’nite.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Tah.

 

Life at Oxbow

October 2nd, 2013

It’s only about an hour from bedtime, so I’ll start this tonight and finish tomorrow.

We’re doing pretty good now.  The weather has cooled down considerably so we aren’t fighting power issues.  Temps have been down in the low 90’s to low 100’s.  Very few days over 100°.  Lows have been anywhere from high 50’s to low 70’s.  It’s been absolutely gorgeous in the mornings here.  I’ve even had to put on a tee shirt instead of tank top in the mornings.  Today is the first time in 4 or 5 days that we’ve chosen to run the portable a/c. 

I’m not sure what I did, whether it was working on my garden or just a jerky twist or turn, but it feels like I’ve got a pinched nerve in my lower back.  It’s one of those where you feel just fine and then take a step in just the right way and your pain almost has you on your knees.  I’m working on keeping moving yet trying not to aggravate the issue.

The big talk of the day is, of course, the government shutdown.  Yep! It definitely affects us.  Our campground is closed completely, but we, personally, don’t enforce the closure, that’s up to the Rangers and Law Enforcement Officers, of which, there are a few still working.  We have barriers at all entrances to the campground areas with signs that explain the closure and notices of what could happen if they ignore the closure and proceed to use the facility anyway.  If anyone asks us about it we just tell them we aren’t working and if they choose to launch anyway they take the chance of being cited and fined for criminal activity.  If they choose to camp anyway we tell them we will notify our Law Enforcement Officers and they face the chance of being cited and fined.  We will be closed until the government is back in action.

Day 2, Oct. 2…  Already we are having angry people doing minor vandalism due to the shutdown.  Someone has come in here and torn down signs and tossed them on the ground, and thrown the barriers to the ground.  Of course, we can’t go pick them up and repost the signs… we’re not on duty.  All we can do is observe and behind the scenes report.  It does make us uncomfortable about being here alone, knowing there are angry, mean people out there.  Hopefully their actions today was just a spur of the moment anger at not being able to use the facilities for a planned trip and they’re not going to come back.  We’ll see what happens as time goes by.  Will keep you posted.

I’m not sure what I have in the way of photos I’ve not shared already other than the one I got of a Sandhill Crane flying overhead.  These guys constantly do their gurgle/squawk sound as they fly.
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The bunnies in the warren in that campsite have left the warren so we were able to open the campsite just in time for the shutdown.

We have a Cooper’s Hawk working the campground pretty hard so the dove, grackles and other birds are few and far between.  I see that hawk fly through the campground at least twice as day, usually 3 times.  He never stops long enough for me to get a photo though.

I’m done working on my garden for at least a week probably 2 weeks.  I want to stagger the plantings of my turnips and Chard.  I can’t wait for things to grow.  I already have Leaf Miners in my Cucumbers, and the white flies are thick out at the garden.  I  bought some “safe” spray today and will use it early tomorrow morning.  I’ve picked off the cuke leaves that had the borers (threw them in the river) and intend to hang fly strips tomorrow for the adult flies they came from to die on!  At least the borers seem to prefer the cukes and have stayed away from the sugar snap peas, chard and brussel sprouts.

Enough for now.  I intend to write again soon to keep ya’ll caught up on the hula-balloo of the shutdown.

Ya’ll stay healthy ‘n happy!

Toodles.