Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!

To all our friends old and new, Chris and I would like to wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas. We hope the season brings you great joy.

We are currently hanging out at one of our favorite locations; Mittry Lake Wildlife Area just north of Yuma, Arizona.

We are actually just outside the actual wildlife area which is managed by Arizona Game and Fish. They have a camping area down near the lake but restrict the length of stay there to 10 days/ calendar year. We are actually up by one of the irrigation canals a couple hundred yards from the lake and about 40 feet higher up. This area is managed by the federal Bureau of Reclamation and apparently doesn't have any set restriction on length of stay. At least no-one seems to bother us up here and others have stayed here for several months.
It seems this is also one location where we tend to meet and make new friends. Our first time here, we met up with a group of folks who we now hang out with regularly and introduced us to the Escapees organization. Last year was a few more people who, while we haven't seen them since, we keep in touch via Facebook. This year, we met a young couple with 2 adorable kids. They hit the road full time about 2 years ago in a converted tour bus. I have enjoyed comparing notes with Eric on RV systems and solar. They have a to-die-for solar system with a huge Lithium battery bank.
We have had a bit of change in the weather again.  Sunday morning I caught this stunning sunrise.

Later in the day though, the clouds built further and Monday we had a few showers. Today, other than a brief light shower first thing, turned into a really nice day.
As I mentioned a while back, I had twisted my right knee somehow and it has been taking its sweet time healing. While it isn't quite 100% yet, I think it is well enough that I can get back to doing some of the things I have been missing. So today I though it would be a good day to go on a hike.
On one of the hills nearby is a big microwave reflector. I have wanted to get up to it every time we have been here. Today was the day.

This is what it looks like from where we are camped. Straight line distance it is only a little more than a half mile away and about 300 ft higher but to get to it is quite a round about route and in a couple of places some serious climbing. The views from up here are quite spectacular and made it a worthwhile endeavor.

This is the view of Mittry Lake from the top of the hill.

This is the old Laguna Dam built between 1902 and 1905.

Looking back toward our camp at the maximum my iPhone would zoom. Our rig is on the left in this shot in behind the 2 buses. At the top centre, you can see where the irrigation canal comes out of the first of two tunnels.

Just a small part of the vegetable fields in the Yuma area. They grow all sorts of vegetables here; broccoli, cauliflower, multiple types of lettuce, onions and even cotton. There are always many fields being harvested.

Oh, and of course, this is what the back side of the reflector looks like from close up. The front was covered in graffiti so I didn't want to put that up.
Tomorrow is Christmas day and we are expecting a bunch here for our Christmas dinner pot luck in the afternoon. We aren't sure exactly how many but probably 15 to 20 or so. Some are already here camping out with us and a few will be making the trip from the Escapees park in Yuma for the day. Regardless, it should be fun.
Those of you that get this blog via email will likely see it tomorrow, so we wish you all the best for Christmas.
I have also made another small change if you want to read this on-line. The old web address of http://robandchristravels.blogspot.com has been changed to a much shorter and more personalized version. It is https://rctravels.rmcd.ca. Give it a try.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Thanksgiving, Imperial Dam and a catchup

Well, it has been a while since my last entry although I haven't had a lot to relate.
We were just going into Thanksgiving down here and the weather had just started to change; and change it did! We went from clear, sunny days with temperatures in the high 20's and low 30's to cool, cloudy, windy and rain! We had been hoping for nice weather for Thanksgiving but alas it was not to be. Our group was 12 for turkey day and about 2PM it started to rain, so we all gathered in our rig as we had the most room. It was a bit crowded but we made do.

We had a good spread and this year several decided the theme would be deserts. We had pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie and pecan pie!

A bit before dinner, one of the guys found this little guy just hoofing it down the trail. He brought it to camp but several others ruled out asking it to stay. This is a desert tarantula. They are basically harmless unless provoked or threatened and even then their bite is only about the same as a bee sting.
On Friday Chris and I made a shopping trip into Indio to take in some Black Friday sales. Other than a few clothes, we didn't really buy much.
Saturday, we decided to pull up stakes and head over to Quartzsite for a couple of days. I had ordered a part for the trailer and had it shipped to a business there that acts as a mail and parcel drop for the visitors. They were closed until Monday so we parked in our usual spot at La Posa south. Chris went into town on Sunday and did some laundry and I pretty much just hung around camp.
Monday morning we packed up once again and headed into town to pick up the parcel then carried on south to the Imperial Dam LTVA. We have stayed here several times in the past and enjoy the location.
Friday, we headed into Yuma and met up with friends, Lyle and Barb Linney. We hadn't seen them since summer when we spent a bit of time back in Kamloops.
The weather had been slowly improving and had become quite pleasant again but yesterday, once again, the clouds rolled back in and by mid afternoon it had started to rain. It rained off and on through most of the afternoon and evening.
This morning, although cloudy, at least it hasn't rained. Tomorrow though is supposed to go back to sunny and warm; hope so.
We are staying here for a few more days, then moving over to Mittry Lake for the stretch through Christmas.

Oh, one other thing. A few entries back, I mentioned we had made a detour over to Okotoks, Alberta on our way south. The reason for that was for an interview for a possible job next year as camp hosts at the Okotoks Lions campground. We had heard about this place last year from a couple we spent some time with down here. They had been summer camp hosts there for several years but had decided to go on and do some other traveling. That left a potential vacancy at the park. They gave us the contact info for the park manager and we sent off an inquiry. She did get back to us but didn't have any openings for last season and honestly I had almost forgotten about it until I got a phone call late last summer. They had an opening for the 2020 season and wanted to know if we were still interested and if so, could we come by for an interview. We did that right after Canadian Thanksgiving and I guess we did OK as a few weeks ago we got word that we have the position! Their season is from May 1 through Sept 30 and we will have to be there around mid April. It should be interesting. Stay tuned.