Saturday, December 13, 2014

NICE RIDES, WELCOME RAIN, UNWELCOME COLD

I got to take the RZR out three days in a row this week.  The riding has been pretty nice all week due to the fact that the heavy rain last week knocked down the dust.   On Tuesday, Old Blue couldn’t get his ATV to start and neither could the rest of us who tried for half an hour.   I went home and got our RZR and lent Blue my old ATV so we could get out on our ride.   We had a couple’s ride on Wednesday with our neighbour’s and Mickey on her ACE.  Her John was volunteering at the ELKS so couldn’t make it.  Then on Thursday, I lent Blue my old machine again so he could ride.   Today, Blue had his brand new ATV delivered so that should take care of his breakdowns with his two old machines.   He was able to trade in the one that wouldn’t run, on the new one and he plans to sell the other old one asap.   Pretty bold step for an 85 year old guy?
We had our December ATV potluck this past Monday evening.  I didn’t ride that day as Aileen and I cooked a 20 pound turkey, a big pot of potatoes and lots of gravy.    Last Saturday, Aileen and I went with her friends from the celiac group down to Oracle then Tucson.   In Tucson we went to a totally gluten free bakery and restaurant for lunch.  They have a supper on Friday and Saturday nights so sometime we’ll have to try that as the menu looked interesting.

I have managed to come down with some type of bug that I presume is a cold which has really crimped my style.  Sore throat and general achiness plus a constant runny nose are the dominant characteristics.   I hope it disappears soon as we want to head over to the Quartzsite area by Wednesday.  We had showers overnight and heavier showers this morning which will take care of the dust again for a few days.
A long view down to the Gila River and the hills on the far side.  This image brings to mind Zane Grey's books and his rapt description of the desert.

A closer view down, looking across to the mouth of Walnut Canyon.  Apparently the best access is to come in from the highway on the far side of the mountains.  I hope to trailer our ATV over there one day this winter.

Afternoon light on South Butte.  I quickly stopped and grabbed a few shots here as the rest of the group continued speeding across the desert.  I'm sure most of the riders are so busy watching the trail and the rider in front, they miss seeing the beauty around them.

I captured this image of a White-Crowned Sparrow early one morning while walking Mitzy out behind the park.  The yellow glow is the first sun on the Creosote Bushes


We saw many of these purple Buckhorn Cholla cactus on our Thursday ride, the majority of the Buckhorn in this area are green.

Amazingly. after the cool weather we've had, we found this Buckhorn Cholla bursting forth with its beautiful colour on Thursday.