As of this Sunday, May 12th, we have been here 3 weeks in AZ
It has been a very interesting experience and time has been flying much faster then expected.
We knew that is was a birder destination, but boy it is huge here. It is a totally different world. The majority of them are very friendly and very happy to share their knowledge. Some are total tunnel vision, with one focus only……I don’t know how to describe it, but it is sometimes funny to see. We’ve had people waiting at the gate long before 6:30…..lol It has slowed down some, but you still get them.
So far, out of all the states, we’ve encounter more coming from Oregon and the Pacific NW in general. It is great to talk to fellow Oregonians….grin For out of country, lots of people from the UK. Those are some of the most fun of the birders, love UK humor. Some joke about how all their birds are so boring, so that is why they come to the states.
Right now, my favorite group of birders came from Belgium. There was four gentlemen and they had never seen humming birds before, they were so delighted and had so much enjoyment. We have three feeders for them at the visitor’s center and that day we had like 20-30 humming birds, they spent hours there before even hitting the trails. When ToRn put the spotter on one of our grey hawks, they about ran to the spotter…grin
We are learning but there is so much. Don’t know if we’ve ever be as good as some of them, but we catching on to some of the birds. ToRn is doing much better then me on that, but he is much more observant and quicker on seeing them. We’ve always been interested in all sorts of wildlife and I’ve enjoyed birds, just never to the extent of serious birders.
When we’ve ID birds, we normally went by the first thing we noticed….colors and markings. Well, we’ve learned you just can’t go by that or even start with that. You have to go by shape of tail, wings, beaks, body and talons…all that, then the markings. Markings may change based on age…juvenile and adult and, of course, male and female.
For example the Summer Tanager male is beautiful bright red, while the female is a pretty bright yellow. Now I’m use to the females usually being darker, more brown or grey from the normally more colorful males, but never such an opposite bright color as the male and female Summer Tanager.
We are the type that notice the more colorful birds, humming birds and raptors. We just love hawks, eagles, falcons, owls….those are so cool to us. The Grey Hawks are here very frequently. I got to see one at 5:30am with a nice size lizard in it’s talons. ToRn saw one warn a Red Tail off the other day…..lol
I do love looking out the bedroom window in the morning and seeing a male and female Northern Cardinal. The female is much prettier then we thought she would be. Just love watching her. Then watching the male Vermillion Flycatcher bounce from piece of grass to piece of grass.
Of the humming birds, we’ve seen the Anna (had a family of them in Oregon at our place), Broad-Billed, Violet Crown, Black Chinned and Broad Tail. The Gila Woodpecker is noisy as heck….lol Also have seen the Ladder Back and Acorn Woodpecker. Even got to see an owl the other day, I’ve never seen one in wild before. The Great Blue Heron is really cool to see fly, reminds me of those big clumsy looking sea planes that once they take off, they are so graceful. That is just some of the birds we’ve seen. I know we’ve seen a lot more and I know ToRn probably could ID more, but those are just the ones that I could ID.
At 4000 ft and a creek that has continuous water, there is a lot of wild life here. We run into javelina all the time, even hear them outside of our RV forging a couple of nights. We see white tail deer all the time. The ones here have bigger ears then the ones farther north. Almost like mules. Saw coyotes the other night at sundown, I’ve never seen any with those markings. They had dark grey/black markings and didn’t look as skinny as the ones I’m use to seeing in the Midwest. Unfortunately we haven’t seen the bobcat yet, others have, but not us. =( I so want to see it. And the mountain lion hasn’t been seen since last Nov. That would be TOTALLY cool and out of this world…..grin
ToRn posted this on his facebook the Friday night, it happened about 9:30 pm, and tells what happen the best :
Well that was different.
Wife went to the office to reboot the modem, and as usual Drew cried for mommy over and over. Pauline returns after a few minutes and as normal I mimic Drew’s “mommy cries” for her in the same pitch and frequency as Drew. And as normal we both laugh.
Unlike normal was the coyote crying in a loud response about 30′ from us. Over and over.
That took us by much surprise.
This post got longer then I expected….lol Hubby is working on the pictures, he has a much better eye and unlike me, won’t post them all….only the best. Once he goes through those, he’ll be posting them I’ll close for now and go talk about the town here in my next post.
I don’t know if it a change in the water or the climate, but my hair feels funky and is reacting weird. It is a cross to feeling straw like dry or greasy. I haven’t determined which and I haven’t change my routine (I do the no “poo” method, as in I use no shampoo, I use baking soda/vingar). Been keeping it in a ponytail, seems to be most simplest. Debating on seeing about doing my favorite purple/red coloring, since I can’t seem to do anything with my hair and ask them what they think. Not sure….
One lesson learned from boon docking, that using the shower is a waste…..you waste water just trying to get the right temperature balance (VERY inconsistent unless running nonstop). The most refreshing way I’ve found so far to get clean, was to do dish pane of warm water and a half gallon of warm water. I’d use the dish pane of water to use the wash cloth and soap, then use that water as a partial rinse. After using my baking soda/water mix on my hair, I used the half gallon to rinse my hair the rest of myself. It was the best I had felt since having hookups with a steady supply of water.
We aren’t dealing with as many flies here as we did in the NW. But we are dealing with ants. Right now it is the little ants. Been trying to find ways to deal with them and not to harm our kitties. In the process of researching ways to prevent a rodent issue, since we don’t have them and now are living in an area that has them, I was reading how rodents don’t like strong smells of peppermint/spearmint or moth balls….and that the mint smells can fool ants on the trail of food smells. Well, between the two….we are trying the mint….smells better, but we did pick up some ant traps.
The ants discovered the cat dish today….not good. We’ve put borax out around the rig, but that not something you want all over inside. Just messy. I still need to do some more research. But I’m not going to let them overwhelm us.
We still need to put up our hook and loop (velco) so we can put up our 20+ pounds of souvenir magnetics. That would really make it feel more like home. We’ve been collecting them from all the places we’ve been over the years. We can’t put them on the ‘fridge, because it isn’t magnet. Which would’ve been way too helpful….rolling eyes.
Still need to figure out our spices. All our spice jars are glass, way too much weight and they don’t seal worth a damn. I think we found a solution. I found some plastic spice jars on amazon. Trying to decide how many of what size. The more of the smaller ones the better, but I don’t want to waste our spices and we need some of the 4 inch high ones…thinking of just 10 of them should do. We have like 30 spice jars, so I think that would work if the rest are the 2 inch ones. Mulling it over to figure out what is best.
Been a long time since we’ve use clumping litter. That is another experiment in process. We started out with the “World’s Best Litter”, that seemed to do good, then started smelling it. I decided to mix that litter with Tidy Cat…..then later discovered that I was not getting it clean underneath the sifting part of the litter box. By that time, I threw it all out and started fresh.
Right now I’m mixing Tidy Cat regular clumping and Tidy Cat Pure Nature (cedar, corn and pine). Not too please with that mix. The Tide Cat regular clumping doesn’t clump as good as “World’s Best Litter” and neither does the Pure Nature. And to top it off, the Pure Nature tracks all over the place and their fur.
Next time we are at the pet store, I’m picking up the “World’s Best” for the better clumping and Tidy Cat Clumping for the smells. But I think since I know what spot I was missing when cleaning, I really shouldn’t have to worry about it this time. I have another week or so before I can do that, need to use what I have.
Gunsite Wash BLM is dispersed camping, right outside of Organ Pipe Cactus Nat’l Monument. We got there Apr 18th, after the snowbird season is over. We were only going to stay one night…but ended up staying three, with no regrets. =)
We didn’t realize 85 was so noisy with the weekend. But then I didn’t know that it was a main road for a border crossing. It goes right through the Monument. We wanted to stop at the border town of Lukeville, AZ but right at the sign that says border crossing 1 mile, the line started no the road. We didn’t want to cross, just stop at the town, didn’t feel like waiting in line just for that.
The BLM was pretty private. But totally loved that when we got here, only 3 other sets of RVs including the camp host on about a 1000 acre of land. Lots of different places to set up. We parked outside of it, unhooked and then scouted out the some of the spots. A full timer, Everett, that has been doing this 8yrs greeted us and gave us some local background of the area and suggestions for the best sites. Very friendly and helpful.
Heard and seen all sorts of birds and heard free roaming cattle. Even heard a few military “birds” doing night maneuvers.
Learned quickly not to leave our Jeep windows open over night….bird poo…..lol We did have the tops on, so it could’ve been worst…grin
We would camp here again, even with border patrol check point lit up like crazy at night down the road…lol
HOLY COW….we aren’t in Oregon anymore. We drove through the SW back in ’07, but the border patrol is huge in comparison of then. They are every where….it is crazy. I know that we are much closer to the Mexican border then in the past, but they have increased their presence ten fold.
Organ Pipe Cactus Nat’l Monument was stunning. We have never seen anything like it. Just a forest of Pipe Cactus and we did get to see some beautiful blooms. I’ll never look at supposedly “dead” bushes, trees or cactus again. Just with a little bit of rain they really pop. It is something that you have to see.
We did the Ajo Mountain Drive, it was not what you call an easy drive, road wise….but so worth it and beautiful, especially just before sundown.
We did check out their Twin Peaks Campground that allowed RVs. With it being April, the campground was fairly empty and it has some sites that could accommodate RVs up to 40ft. It is a pretty nice set up the way they have it. We personally prefer the BLM, but have no issue with recommending this campground.
It has been visual adjustment for us. Starting in California…which was gradual to the desert….it was so strange for us. Here in AZ, we are at 4000 ft, so it more of a high plain desert, but less stark then at Joshua Tree or at Organ Pipe Cactus Nat’l Monument.
Current Mood: Beautiful Day
Trying to play catch up with our posts and where we have been. I’ll be breaking mine up so it is not one huge post. =)
Never really posted that much on Quartzsite, AZ. We were there from Apr 16-18th. Learned real quick that nearly 90% of the seasonal business is closed by April 15th….lol That was interesting. We did find an all year RV resort of 88 Shades
We stopped at T Rocks, which was really cool. I’ve never seen so many different kinds of rocks and minerals before. Loved all the different colors. If we didn’t RV, I would so get some for a garden or just have around the house. If you never been a rock hound, you have to stop here and see all the beauty that is in them.
We went to the Yacht Club, just because whoever heard of a yacht club in the middle of the desert?!? lol The food was reasonable priced and tasty. I really enjoyed the fish, the bartender was nice. There was only one issue, the “town drunk”….ggrrr…hubby had red flags going off about him. He just would not leave us alone due to us being the only ones in there that wasn’t local. Totally ruined it for us. If he wasn’t there, we would recommend it.
Now the place you HAVE to stop at is the Reader’s Oasis Books ran by Paul “Sweet Pie” Winer ….the Naked Book Guy…lol. Loads of different used books and even some old vinyl. He has a baby grand buried under some books that he will be more then happy to play you one of his original bluesy songs and will entertain you with all sorts of stories from his touring days. We throughly enjoyed stopping in there and getting a earful from him.
Not sure If we would do any length of time in winter at Quartzsite…we aren’t much into crowds. But we would like to see what it is like when it is in season and just to experience it.
Current Mood: Beautiful Day
Just a quick happy post.
FINALLY got our order of rv supplies….which has a hassle in itself since they do not ship to a PO Box….ggeezzz
Other then the shipping issues, so happy to get it. We finally got a water regulator so no more having to fill up our fresh tank and use our water pump while hooked up. That is a HUGE plus, when you are not boon docking, the water pump noise can drive you batty….lol Plus it helps you save life on your pump.
We got our sewer hose support and wheel covers to protect in the hot sun while we sit here for the next few months. Feel like we are getting ourselves better set up.
Little things like that makes my day…..grin
It has been a rough day overall. The kind that you have being dreading that was going to happen, did. So close to our destination and then what sounded like an explosion….we had a blow out.
An inside tire on a Sunday…..blah….what the heck is AAA for if there isn’t anyone around to help? So many calls, none of it helped. But at least we are here and are safe. Going to have to deal with it first thing tomorrow.
Buying used and such, you expect things to happen….but is it too much to ask to at least spread it out some?
A 6 hr 39 min trip according to google, we added about 90 more minutes to our estimate because it is an RV with a tow and going over mountains….yeah, you can’t go as fast as other vehicles. With the blow out we got here about 4:48 after hitting the road at 05:45 this morning.
We are suppose to do another 6hr 38min day when we leave here in a few days….I don’t think so. That is way too much especially with going through high population areas. I’m going to divide that up. I’ll be looking into that once I finish this up.
We are here at the very small RV park of the Castle Air Museum, in Atwater, CA. That was created on the Air Force Base that was closed in the ’90s.
I’ll save my first impressions and comments about the RV park part for when we take pictures and post about it.
For the overall feel, if you ever lived on a military post/base….no matter which branch….this still feels like a military post to me. There is obvious stuff like the fuselages they have in a field or the old ordnance they have for collecting dump fees….which bring back MAJOR flashbacks for me, since I grew up on an ordnance post. But even without all that, it still smells/feels like the military to me. I don’t know how to explain it….maybe it is just the Army brat in me that misses it so much.
One of the few positives today, really got to see the beautiful hills coming out of Oregon and a good view of Mt Shasta coming into California. =)
Current Mood: Accomplished & Tired
ToRn took Ackbar back to Roy Robinson RV for finishing off the furnace Thrusday. They didn’t take long at all, helped that the furnace was already apart….lol But they were nice and very helpful. If you are around Marysville, WA and need RV help, we would send you them.
ToRn got Ackbar parked much easier than the first time, practice helps…like he says, only way to learn.
Our living/workspace is temporarily set up. We wanted to see how it looked and how it see if we needed to make adjustments before securing it. Need to take the tops off to seal the pine wood and secure everything down. It has felt nice to have a somewhat normal workspace again. Especially since today was an intense work day and having my workspace set up was a huge help.
Once we get it all secured, we can start putting everything in it’s place and empty some of our cabinets of the office stuff and books….kind of a mess in them. =) Once we get the office/book stuff out of the cabinets, we can then start going through all the stuff we put into friend’s office/garage. Looks like we have more things to donate, that is for sure.
Felt good to start getting somewhere on it. =)
ToRn started to attack the kitchen cabinets….wow, we have to donate a lot of our rubbermaid stuff. I kept like one of each size and rest is going to be donated. We still need to refigure out the pots & pans.
Went to the Safeway here in Everett….wow….totally miss our Troutdale, OR Albertson’s. It is an older store, so small and it was very busy and all the customers were so aggressive. No excuse me, pleases, or thank yous….and wow, so many of stank of cigarette smoke….yuck. The employees were nice and friendly, but I can tell we weren’t in OR anymore. We really got use to how laid-back and friendly OR is, overall.
Last few hours I’ve been trying to figure out our lighting solution. Very good news is that we don’t have to replace all our fixtures like we thought we would to get LEDs. I found LED replacements for bulbs 1076, 1141, JC-10 Clear and I THINK fluorescent F8T5 (although I don’t have a clue on the wire in?) . For all but the fluorescent, the cost of the bulbs is about what we were thinking for a whole new fixture and we don’t have to wire anything, big plus!
Just need to figure out what we need, who is cheaper, and budgeting. Don’t want to spend a lot at once. So need to figure out which ones are priorities. All the incandescent are probably going to go first. They take the most energy and are yellow….blah. We really like our sunlight light. =)
The only issue that I’m having is, is I can’t find something for over the bathroom sink….the vanity bulbs. I found vanity LED bulbs, but they don’t say if they are the replacement ones for the ones we have. In the owner’s manual they have Cosmetic Light - 9-019C I googled that, I wasn’t even able to find those….and I really want to replace those. But I’m too tired to keep looking right now…..lol
Here is hoping that we get a lot accomplished tomorrow and Sunday. Would totally love to have our workspace done. =)
We had a perfect storm today…..I had a work emergency that I had to attend to….on top of everything with Ackbar….so I’m totally wiped out. Obviously I’m not going to get into the work stuff….but I sure can get into the Ackbar stuff…..just a bit of sharing to get it off my chest.
We had simple plans today for Ackbar, the stressful removal out of the tight parking spot, then top off our propane and head down the I5 to the rest stop at mile marker 207 to dump our tanks, then parking back into the tight stop (it would be perfect if we were just a few feet shorter and the width of a class C not an A….lol)
Well…..yesterday, after using our furnace since last Wednesday, it started blowing black soot and inside Ackbar, it smelled like car exhaust…yuck! We can’t have that….not good. We took Ackbar to American Distributing in Marysville, WA to top off our propane and talk to them since they do work on furnaces and was hoping they worked on rv furnaces…..nope, no luck in that.
BUT they did recommend a place that we knew since we looked at a bus there over a year ago. Not that far from us at all….Roy Robinson RV I was afraid we would have to go 30 miles more north to Camping World….so did not want to do that.
Before we headed to Roy Robinson, we went up to the rest stop and dumped our tanks.
Unfortunate, our black water is not saying empty…..we don’t think we used enough water and chemicals so everything hasn’t broken down like it should. And maybe the sensor is blocked. Because hubby flushed the system a lot….so we are going make sure we use enough water and chemicals, get more broken down and see how it goes for our next dump. But we were very pleased not to have pay for dumping….we were thinking of having someone come out to dump us….but that is pricey.
After the rest stop, we headed down to Roy Robinson. We were lucky the guy that they gave us to help worked on Admirals for 15yrs and said we have a good rig and that our engine looked good and clean, because they sometimes get infested with rats and mice nest.
Now at first they said if they couldn’t remove the exhaust pipe then we would need a new furnace….which is like $755 just for the part. They did get it out and discovered we need a burner. That part is like only 27-35…much better…even through you know how labor is…icks They charge $117/hr…but that is tech work. They did say other then the burner, it looks in good condition.
They did discover that whoever worked on it before, they didn’t put all the screws back in…which meant it wasn’t sealed and the exhaust would leak in…..not helpful at all.
They got the part ordered and ToRn will be taking Ackbar back tomorrow to get it done. Right now, the total damage is running about $350. We should be getting some reimbursed from our dealer since it under inhouse warranty, the issue is that we are in Everett, WA and they are in McMinnville, OR…..so they don’t cover it all due to cost differences.
So…it was totally stressful, spending money we didn’t want to spend….but it could’ve been much worst, so content with that.
Tonight we got Ackbar parked out in front, we have no heat other then our Buddy Heater….but for tonight, it’ll do. We are just going to be sleeping in there with lots of blankets and cats……..going to be in the high 30s/low 40s
Cats sure didn’t enjoy today but they are recovering better then before. We really need to make sure we bag them once before we pull in the slide outs, because it frees up a big space behind the bed that the cats get into. That they can NOT be in to put the slide out back out…..not safe at all. Took a bit to get Sakura out.
Learned that we have got to WALK around the rig a few times to make sure we get everything before moving….icks I know everyone forgets things and it part of the learning…but I really don’t want an expensive mistake.
So happy that we have our great friends to help give us different perspectives and insights…..great food and company. Helps with the stress….no way for us to fully ever thank them enough.
I’m exhausted…heading to our cold bed soon. =)
We are here in Everett, WA….living in our home on wheels in our friend’s RV lot in their alley way. Which was a very tight fit….doesn’t help that Ackbar is low and we had to worry about bottoming out trying to get into the alley. It was not an easy park job at all….icks….but ToRn got it with our friend’s help.
Everything is all over the place, we are slowly getting things situated….just not fast enough for me. We had to pretty much unload stuff into their garage so we can do the office area and bring it back in next week.
We couldn’t put the cat litter where we wanted due to a support beam. Then things don’t come apart as easy as we thought. So just going to get office set up, put things away there and move on from that. We’ll worry about painting and such next year.
Hubby took a chill out day today after a very stressful day yesterday. Me, I want to get things done, just don’t know where to start and it is stressing me out. Then trying to get work done on top of it….icks….
I keep telling myself we got time, that is why we are here….have time and space to get set up. But until everything is in it’s place….ggrrr Right now it feels as if we are fighting Ackbar…everything is so small, that things don’t seem to fit…..
I’m stressing the holding tanks…we were at 1/3 when we got here and now 2/3rds??? How the hell did we do 14gals of each of the tanks….since Wed when we haven’t even taken showers in it yet? Do have to be fair, it has been at 1/3 since we got it in Dec and it may have been half way between 1/3 and 2/3….so we may have had only 7 gals. But how the hell we did 7 gals?? Haven’t it used it that much.
Don’t want to have to move it to find a dump station and then repark….did find a service that will come out and dump for us. So going to have that done this Thurs…that is going to make me feel better, so we are starting fresh and now we can figure out how long it’ll last.
We got a WiFiRanger Mobile, seems to catch other networks, but we can’t always able stay on. Our own 2 networks of AT&T & Millenicom….even our friends….and they are less then a 100yds away. So another new frustration, that we knew we were going to deal with that….but with everything else…not helpful.
So when I have issues, I head down to our friend’s house and steal their internet for work. =)
Our friends have been so, so helpful. We are trying to visit without imposing on them. You know what they say about fish and visitors after 3 days……so hopefully with having our own home, that won’t happen. =)
Right now watching a Ron White, getting some needed laughter….
In just over 4days, we’ll be living in Ackbar…..wow…..our stuff is so disorganized and everywhere. The leave date is the 20th.
We moved our “office” to downstairs on folding tables. Hubby tore our old desks apart for trash. What we can’t get rid of over the next 2 trash days, will be going with us to our friends for a burn pile. They are old and particle wood….so not worth keeping.
I got our utilities ordered for disconnect online and been trying to do change of addresses.
Got our WiFi ranger and Millenicom today. Got the WiFi antenna last month and had the rv dealer put it up on our batwing.
So much to do this weekend, need to get our stuff over to Ackbar, clean the house to be ready to turned over to the landlord….right now, things going into the Ackbar, it is a mess. It is so disorganized. I’ve been trying to organize it as we go, but until we are living in it….debating on going over there tomorrow or Sunday and to attack it a little bit, since hubby took a load over there today. Depends on how much we need to do here
We will be heading to our friend’s in Everett, WA for 2-3 weeks. We are going to be parking it there while we put in our desk set up with the things we got from HomeDepot and Ikea in the long front slide out. And getting all our stuff set up.
We are taking so much, figured what doesn’t work, because we won’t know until we are living in it, we can always donate.
From HomeDepot we got our new flooring since we had the carpet tore out of the slide out…..so that is the 1st project.
Then on to the desk…..
From Ikea we got 2 of these : http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40162496/#/60104325
And 2 of these : http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10192824/
They are going to be under 3 of these, that the slide out fits exactly with 1/8 inch of room left, if our figures are correct : http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40136558/
I’m actually writing this hoping that it’ll help me organize my thoughts….not sure it is working….lol So I’ll think I’ll call it a night.