Friday, March 8, 2013


Well, once again the blog has suffered because I have been too busy to get to it.  I don’t know how these other people can manage to post every day.   There are just too many other things that seem more interesting or important.  You know, things like ATVing, geocaching, games, laundry, parties, drives, walks, reading, pool, hot tub – the list goes forever.  And we’ve been enjoying some gorgeous weather lately.  I knew there was some inside weather about to happen today so I have been intending to catch up several things when today arrived.  Doing good so far.  Got the bank book up to date, did some printing for Aileen, cleaned up my work area, paid our yearly park assessment etc.
Last Wednesday, the 27th of February, we decided to go on a road trip south of Tucson.  We went through Coolidge then down to I-10 and past Tucson to Houghten Rd.   We followed it down to Saqurita  then east to #83 which we drove down to Sonoita.  My destination was Sierra Vista but I wanted to follow less travelled roads to get there so I selected a circle route that looked perfect. Not!!!  I noticed we would go through a settlement called Fort Huachuca but didn’t pay much attention to it as we don’t usually stop at historic sites.  Well, it turns out not only is it a historic fort but it is also a very active one.  Bottom line was that when we got to the west gate, we were denied access because we were foreigners.   So, we had to turn around and drive many miles back and take a different route to get to Sierra Vista.  We’d noticed a primitive road a few miles back that pointed to Nogales, Patagonia and a few others so after consulting our trusty Arizona atlas, decided to go to Patagonia.  One of the best things about our plans is that they are usually just something to get us started and they can be radically changed along the way.  So instead of going east, we went west and saw some interesting country.  We really like driving these little used roads and not having to be constantly watching for traffic.  We saw lots of hawks, some of them very close to the car.  Aileen spotted the closest one and I managed to get one shot through the sunroof as he flew.  The other thing we saw lots of was Border Patrol agents.  This trip none of them bothered us.  In the past they have stopped us or sent us on our way when stopped. 
I have led all the Tuesday rides since returning from Quartzsite as the other leader has been in Hawaii.  I went on one Thursday ride as they were going somewhere I hadn’t been.  I managed to keep out of the dust although there wasn’t much from the storm dampening things down.   I did get out twice on my ATV to do some geocaching.  I did a couple short runs in the car geocaching too.  I lent my ATV to an 83 year old friend whose son was visiting so they could go putter around in the desert behind the park.  Last Tuesday, I was able to borrow a machine from another 83 year old friend Blue, for our friend Ernie from Grand Junction, CO.  Ernie had ridden lots in Colorado but never here and seemed to really enjoy the trip I took him and the group on this past Tuesday.  I understand he was a little tired and sore for a couple days though.  He is 77 but very fit.  He had no problems wherever I took him.
We went to Doug and Corrine Johnson’s 65th anniversary party Monday and what a blast.  There was lots of food and drink and a hilarious skit to top off the evening.  The actual date isn’t until July 22 but they wanted to celebrate with their winter friends.  We all helped dismantle the seating before we came home.  Yesterday we went to neighbours, Daryl and Bonnie who with Sylvan and Rita put on a fish fry.  Boy was the fish good!!!  The other guests all brought a dish so we had a great feast.   Next Monday is a party for two of the old guys on the street, Bud and Jim who both turn 85.  At least two other guys in the same block are older, one being 89 and he is still doing great.  He just bought a new Equinox and is ready to drive home to Spokane, Washington when it is time.  I don’t know if it is being here that helps people stay younger longer or it is the type of people who move here.  The majority of the people in this park do seem to keep very active and mentally sharp.
Mitzy had a down spell recently.   We’d given her  a little bit of canned salmon a person from Alaska had given us in appreciation of the ATV ride I’d led showing them some of the highlights of our riding area.   Mitzy was having difficulty at both ends and we finally ended up fixing it with Kaopectate.  She has recovered from that but today is traumatized by a bit of thunder that came with the storm.  I had to drive her out to the desert with the car twice today as the route we normally take was under water.  Neighbour Daryl had ¾ inch of rain in his gauge when I checked a little while ago and we’ve had a couple more showers since with more black looking sky approaching.  The desert will appreciate the moisture and hopefully it will promote more flowers to come out before we leave.  It is getting pretty out there already with quite a few different flowers blooming.  The poppies are the most spectacular.
When we were over in Quartzsite, Aileen had mentioned to Jerry and Donna she’d like to see what it was like to ride in a RZR side by side ATV and they offered to lend us their machine to try some after we got back to Florence.  This Wednesday we took them up on the offer.  We took a lunch and went out through Box Canyon and over the Little Spline.  Aileen wanted shade for lunch so I took us up the Martinez Rd a short distance.   While there, another RZR came along and he started chatting with us.  He had a border collie/Australian collie cross and Mitzy got along fine with him.   It turns out the guy full times in a 31’ Class C.  He has a 16 foot trailer and puts the RZR on crossways at the front and his Tracker behind.   He has kids and grandkids in Nanaimo along with his ex-wife.  He recently spent quite a bit of time working in Kelowna.    He mainly boondocks all year and mostly in forestry campsites when up north in BC and AB.

The back side of the ridge I had poppy pictures earlier 

Poppies are pretty this year

Aileen spotted this Ocotillo flower, the first I've seen this year.  They are really late as I've seen them November through February in past years

Aileen and Mitzy in the borrowed Polaris RZR