Friday, February 12, 2010

OUR THOUGHTS TURN TO THE TRIP NORTH

The square coke ovens (they actually made charcoal, not coke)

Looking into an abandoned mine tunnel

Jim taking a picture further in

Dale shining his light over a small cave in

Looking out from back in the mine. The dark circle in these flash pictures is caused by the large lens blocking part of the pop up flash when using the widest angle of the lens

Looking out from just inside

Price Rd cottonwoods shot on Christmas Eve

Just seven weeks later, the Fall colour has gone to be replaced with new green leaves. Jim J on his ATV

The good news is that the weather is finally going to warm up into the mid to high 70sF. The bad news is we only have just over two weeks to enjoy it before we must head north and back to late winter weather (we hope it isn’t real winter weather!). The next couple weeks will be taken up with deciding what we can leave and what we must take with us. Space and weight are both issues we have to take into account in the decision. While whether we need it or not is crucial, another factor is how the item would stand up to the extreme heat if left. If it could explode, melt or warp, then it either comes with us or is disposed of. I’m sure it will be a challenge getting everything in the truck and trailer. Of course, we have complicated things by having the ATV to carry as it uses up much of the truck’s cargo capacity. Another challenge is coming up with a route home that is reasonable direct but snow free. I have been looking at that and checking weather along the way trying to get a feel for it.

We had rain on Wednesday and yesterday the ATV ride started out cloudy and cool but the weather did improve as the day progressed. We continue to get large groups ATVing. We seem to be mostly in the high 20’s and other than stretching out over longer distances, the large number doesn’t cause any issues except perhaps our rest stops are longer to allow more visiting. Many of these people have ridden together for years and are also friends and neighbours. We had seven ladies with us yesterday.

Mitzy had her hair cut this morning and she was certainly needing it. The groomer gets so busy this time of year with all the snowdogs that are here with the snowbirds from colder climes. She was getting very shaggy and the timing is good since tomorrow is to be the first warm day at 75F.

Friends Ken and Marie are coming for supper tonight and perhaps a game of Mexican Train. There are a couple restaurants we want to visit over the next two weeks and we’ll try to get together with other friends before departure day as well.

On Tuesday we went to the Canadian Snowbirds Convention. We easily found the Mesa Convention Center and the Snowbird’s do. There weren’t many displays but we did get to listen to Walter Ostanek and his accordion. We heard just a little of Ronnie Prophet. There were lots of people there and I was surprised that I didn’t recognize anyone. Aileen went to Casa Grande with Marie on Wednesday. They made it a day and had lunch at a popular restaurant called Mimi’s. If you don’t get there early, be prepared for a very long wait.

Mitzy and I are still doing our walks in the desert most mornings. After our walk, we went to Coolidge on Wednesday to pay for our electricity as we had just received the bill. It seems we were on the list about to be cut off! We’ve talked to several people who also missed getting a bill and one of the neighbours, in fact, had their service cut off the other day. They hadn’t received their bill either. I wanted to set up direct debit with them but they (the San Carlos Indian Band, under the Bureau of Indian Affairs) claim they can’t do it. It would certainly make life easier for most of us. I will have to give them a cheque before leaving to cover the minimum payment over the summer.