Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ye Ol' Campground.... Jan 13, 2015

Hello from [now] warmer Arizona!  That cold snap that hit the west coast and came on into Arizona has passed us now.  We're into the more "normal" temps...which are pretty much perfect!  Sunny and 70's most days.  Let's see....that's good for golf, hiking, biking, walking, visiting neighbors, saving on propane for heat, solar power...well, lots of things!  We did have a downpour for quite awhile the other day.  It filled most of the cups on the desert golf course up with water.  Yesterday when anyone made a birdie, it was "KERPLOP"!   This morning, it was just "UGH" as they are now filled with goopy mud!  But, it dries out quickly here!

So, what's been going on?  The night of January 5th, was the full moon [hot]dog burn.  Normally it's quite close to the campgrounds, but this month we went west a good 45 minutes to an area known as The Valley of the Names.  (It is only accessible by 4WD.  Thanks to Brad and Karen for driving!) It's a pretty unique spot on the earth.  For over 60 years people have been bringing rocks (yes, you have to bring your own rocks!) to this desert acreage in order to spell out their names, those of departed friends, and messages...an open desert time capsule, of sorts.  It is many acres in size.  No one has disturbed these stone inscriptions for all these years. It would be best viewed from a low flying plane, but here are a few examples of what I'm describing:

For us, this was the "Memorial Dog Burn", which takes place every January.
 With a little wine toast, we paid tribute to a fellow RVer, "Bullshipper", (and others who have departed) who was a friend of many folks who winter here at the BLM.  
A very thoughtful remembrance...

Then...on to the dog burn!

As you can see, it was a virtual inferno!  
But the warmth was welcomed as it was a bit blustery that night.

 Inventive souls come up with barriers (an auto sun screen!) 
to "beat the heat" in order to roast their dogs to perfection.
A good time for everyone!

One morning while we were congregating at the edge of the golf course, getting ready to start the round, there were two burros....an adult and a youngster....right next to the camper of a fellow golfer who parks on the edge of the course.  They sometimes wander among the RVs.  I very, very rarely have my cell phone with me for golf, but luckily, I did that day.  (Always have a camera with you!) The start of the golf game was put on hold until I ran over to get some up close and personal shots.  I wasn't going to make any sudden moves, but in a couple of minutes they came over to me and allowed petting. I probably could have stayed there with them for hours. They were very sweet and docile.....but, they don't like dogs!  Probably from fending off coyotes (and maybe loose dogs) in their natural habitat.  

Believe it or not, you're looking at our golf course where the bushes start...

Who could resist those big, brown eyes??  

Of course, we continue to be blessed with beautiful sunrises...

Here's a little story:

Last week sometime, I drove over into the Mittry Lake area, which was on my way back from errands in Yuma.  It's a bumpy, dirt road...surprise!  LOL!   One objective was to check out the possibility of hanging out there for a few days for a change of scenery and the other objective was to take a few photos of the arson fire remains.  There were many, many charred areas.  

I turned around to come back and in a couple of minutes, I habitually looked in my side view mirror eventho' it is fairly desolate around there...no cars/trucks/RVs at all coming or going.  I saw something flapping around at the back of the RV.  I thought it must be something I had on the cargo carrier (although I couldn't imagine what it would be) had come loose.  I stopped, got out and walked toward the back.  

OMG!  One of the two holding straps for the grey water tank had broken.  That end of the tank was now about 2 inches from the ground (normally about 8-9".)  Hmmmm....what to do????  I didn't dare drive any further.  The whole tank could have very easily come off.  I got under the RV and tried to lift the tank up (not that it would have done any good).  Too heavy.  Well, dummy, it was full of water! (My next stop was going to be the dump station).  I slowly pulled over just a little and had no choice but to empty the soap water right on the ground.  (NOT allowed!).  But there really wasn't anything else I could do.  That made the plastic tank quite light.  Now what??  I had some bungee cords so I wrapped those around the tank to hold it up.  But they are "elastic"...not too practical on a bumpy road.  I was still lamenting about what to do when VOILA! A truck came by out of no where!

An older Mexican man stopped and, in broken English, asked if I needed help.  YES!  He surveyed the problem and guess what?  Right on his belt, he had a big role of wire!  I figured out he is a concrete worker and uses rebar and wire a lot on his job.  What luck!  He got under the RV and wrapped the wire around the tank several times.  Perfect!  Ascension saved the day!  We gave each other a big hug and went our opposite ways.  I still have to fix it some way, but the wire will hold for a little while.  It was my lucky day!  

You all may wonder how things work when someone has a true medical emergency out here....one that surpasses calling the paramedics at the Proving Ground Base like I did that night.  Well, on Sunday afternoon, there was one such emergency.  It wasn't too far from where I am parked, but far enough that I don't know the details.  An official SUV, two ambulances and a firetruck responded from Yuma.  From my vantage point and from the time lapse of activity, it must have been something that needed "medical attention", but it wasn't an emergency that had everyone scrambling around and the ambulance racing out of here at top speed and flashing lights, although they did transport the person into Yuma.  Since there hasn't been any talk about it that I've heard, I'm hoping that means the person is basically okay and just needed assistance of some sort that only a medical facility could provide.

This brings us to today.  It started with a few holes of golf, then off to the campground auction.  The auction items are donated by fellow RVers and the proceeds benefit the BLM library (The Liberry) and the new Senator Wash newsletter (which is quite extensive, I might add!)  A lot of work goes into these BLM community activities...all voluntary of course.  As is usually the case in most communities of any kind, a handful of folks do the bulk of the organization, etc.  One of those big contributors was our auctioneer, "Slobberjaws".  He is helpfully involved in just about everything around here, including the emergency response team.

There were all kinds of items in the auction, from pies and pastries, to model cars and trucks (which brought quite a few dollars!) to champagne cork trivets...

....to more practical RV and camping supplies such as a heater, a screen room, propane connectors, etc. I picked up an Olympus digital camera just one model different than my current one.  There is something wrong with the download feature on mine that would be too costly to get repaired, plus, if you recall, the batteries are held in with duct tape! My current lenses fit this new body, so it all worked out...and for a good price, too!  I cannot be without a fully functional camera and/or back up camera.  

And, of course....food was served!

I'm working on a "project" that I need to finish before I leave here in April.  I'll give you some sneak previews in my next post.  For the longest time out here it was too hot to work on it!

I will leave you with a few new sunset photos....  
Have a good week and stay warm in those colder climates!

Au revoir!


  1. Oh wow, so much news! Awwww, the burros....so sweet to see! Good luck on the water tank temp repair by a passerby! People are generally helpful when they can be, which is a great lesson to learn.
    Love the burn pics....like fire photos! I'm curious about the "project"....and April will be here before you know it!
    Thanks for never-ending sunsets, so beautiful! And the "new" camera that was available at the interesting auction! No, cannot be without a good camera....EVER! We're still enjoying your winter from afar!

  2. Hey, it's going to be in the 40's here over the weekend (unless they change that...)! Love the burro pictures! At least they are friendly!

    Glad there are so many "neighborhood" things that go on where you are! It really does sound like a community like any other! And people are what they are...usually good, sometimes a little odd and always just who they are. Glad you are finding nice ones to hang out with!

    Have fun golfing, hiking and picture taking. Anxious to see your project...

  3. Great post, Tiff! One thing that should be in every RV are ratchet straps of various sizes. They're far more versatile than wire or bungees, and with a strap, you could have winched the tank up tight. Still, wire and bungees should be on board, too, as they all have a purpose, sooner or later. Love your photos! Can hardly wait until we can see some sunsets again!

    1. Hey John -- I actually had a great, heavy duty ratchet strap with me....but it was wound so tightly neither me nor Ascension could get it unwound! But, I had others back at the site, so that's the route I took! Safe travels!