Sunday, November 3, 2019

AZ ROAD TRIP

We're pretty much back in the groove here in Arizona and the weather has been very nice.  Yesterday was up to about 86F but it cooled off nicely at night.  We've had lots of wind so that keeps the temperature more moderate too.   Our humidity is reading 1% so yes, it is a dry heat.
On Friday we took a road trip with Richard and Judy,  We went south from Casa Grande on AZ 15 then took 34, 7 and 86 over to Why, AZ then up through Ajo to Gila Bend and back on I-8.  Much of the route as through the Tohono O'odham Indian Nation.  Miles of flat desert interspersed with rugged little mountains and the odd little village.  We had a gorgeous blue sky day for it.  Our route took us 468 kms which is about 293 miles.
The highlight for us was seeing the wild burros as we hadn't realized they were out there.  We saw a total of 21 of them at various times during the afternoon.  We found a quiet spot off the road to have our lunch.  We did get reprimanded at the Border Patrol checkpoint for not having our passports.  Apparently when you're that close to the Mexican border, you are supposed to have your passports with you at all times.
I haven't had the RZR out yet but am planning to ride tomorrow.  We have been enjoying riding our bikes but the wind makes it difficult in one direction.

Female Northern Cardinal in our park

Cactus flower taken during our evening walk


Abandoned church along AZ 34

Wild Burros along AZ 34




Notice the extra ear?

Church in Ajo, AZ

Dove behind our park

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BACK IN OUR WINTER ABODE

We arrived back in our park in Florence, AZ on Monday after 2618 kms from Penticton, BC.  This was probably our windiest trip south and we just kept ahead of deteriorating weather.  A lady from Kelowna whose blog I follow was a couple days behind us and had snow and very cold temperatures following the same route as us.  It was good to see that we were justified in speeding up our trip.
The weather here is on the cool side for this time of year but it was nice for getting setup and unpacked.  24C Monday and 22C yesterday for highs and only about 2C this morning.  Now the wind is blowing and is forecast for the next couple of days making it that much cooler.  However, no snow here!
It was a pleasant surprise to have the RZR start right up after I removed the cover.  The park is still pretty quiet but more and more people are arriving daily.  Lots to do to get ourselves back in the swing of things here.  The desert is really suffering from lack of rain in this area.  I walked out behind the park this morning and everything is dried out and bleak looking.  I haven't been out with the RZR to see what its like further east.

Highway 318 goes through this gorge north of Hiko, NV and I've always intended to stop but either we are in a hurry or the light isn't right so this time I took the opportunity.


This mallard was in Penticton Creek and I have taken it from a video I shot.  When it is difficult to get a sharp photo of a moving target under low light conditions, I have found that selecting a frame from a video works quite well at times.

Friday, October 25, 2019

WE SPED UP OUR PLANS

I had a leisurely planned route south this time but when I checked ahead on the weather, I noticed the bottom was going to fall out of the thermometer tomorrow so we made a change.  We combined three days driving into two, so tonight we are in Wells, Nevada.  Tomorrow we will drop way down in elevation to Alamo, Las Vegas and then southern AZ the next day so we will be one small jump ahead of it.  The forecast is for moderating temperatures in southern AZ as well but still nice.


The Okanogan River at Omak, WA yesterday morning.  Taken a few minutes apart with the iPhone as we were packing up to leave.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

SOUTH OF THE BORDER, AZ BOUND

We pulled out of Karen's yard in Penticton this morning and started our trek south to the valley of the sun.  Today was a short drive as we needed to fill up with propane before hooking the car on.  We had intended dumping the tanks but Canadian Tire had closed the dump already for the winter.  So, the contents got well shaken up and we dumped at the RV Park this afternoon.
We are in Omak, WA at the the stampede grounds campsite.  Nice and quiet but not far off the highway.  We unhooked the car and went up to Safeway to stock up on all those things we weren't allowed to bring across the border, mainly meat and veggies.
Tomorrow should be a bigger day as we hope to get to Pendleton, OR.  Beautiful sunny day today and we hope it continues.  When I checked forecasts along our route a couple of days ago, there was a major weather change happening throughout the west over the weekend.  Some places it was a substantial temperature drop and others it was combined with precipitation which in those locals would translate to snow.  We will be monitoring that as we go.

These photos were taken with my phone yesterday when I walked to Canadian Tire for a couple of things.  I had noticed the nice colour when driving by another day, but it is in a construction zone so no stopping permitted.






This old school is a well known landmark in Penticton, just a couple of blocks from Karen's.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

GONE TO THE PHOTOGRAPHIC DARK SIDE!

Yes, some of my purist photographer friends may frown on it, but I have decided to embrace the new iPhone 11 I just bought and see what I can come up with photographically.  So far, I am beyond impressed as far as scenics go.    When it comes to using telephoto, not at all.  My back is allowing me to get out and walk again so yesterday and this morning I walked up to and along the Penticton Creek trail to enjoy the fall colour.  Aileen is getting out walking a bit as well so guess things are improving for both of us.

One of several visitors around the motor home here in town

California Quail

Southwest of Penticton, where we went for a short drive the other day.

Red tree reflection in Penticton Creek



Another red tree reflecting


Clark's Nutcracker

Black-billed Magpie

The above photos were taken with my Canon SX60

The photos below are from my iPhone 11 and are all along Penticton Creek




That's me in there



Saturday, October 12, 2019

UPDATE

We've had a busy couple of days.  Since Aileen wasn't getting better, I made an appointment with our doctor in Salmon Arm Wednesday afternoon.  Since we had planned on driving up to there to have supper with Bev and Kev on Thursday, we just went a day early.  After having a chest x-ray Thursday morning, it was confirmed that she has pneumonia.
We enjoyed an early Thanksgiving supper with Bev & Kev plus friends Randy,  Casey and Mona & Jerry.  Bev prepared a fabulous meal for all of us all on her own.  Since Bev was flying back north today, we stayed over another night and dropped her at the Kelowna airport at 9 am this morning on our way back to Penticton.
It took a long while to  warm up the motor home after sitting here for several days with no heat.  We both thought it was nice to be home again.  One gets spoiled traveling with their own bed all the time and it takes some getting used to being in someone else's space.
My back is taking its time getting better.  Between it and Aileen's issue, we don't have a set date for heading south yet, but it won't be as early as planned.  We'll just see how things go the next few days, I guess.

Aileen and I went to The Cellar in Penticton for our 52nd anniversary.  Our waitress took the photo with my new phone.

When I was geocaching along the KVR trail the other day, I climbed up above here for a cache.  I had left my camera down with my bike so I used my new iPhone to take these two images.


This male red-shafted Flicker was working on that walnut and I shot the photo through the motor home windshield with my Canon SX60

Saturday, October 5, 2019

HUNKERED DOWN

We're a pair of wrecks right now, hunkered down waiting for things to get better.  Aileen picked up a nasty cold which has thrown her for a loop.  I was geocaching on my bike along the Kettle Valley Railway trail on Tuesday which was a gorgeous day.  I was having a great day until I went to step down from a large rock to a fairly large rock and the lower rock dislodged taking the top rock with it.  My feet went out from under me very quickly and I landed flat on my back on the upper rock.  Fortunately it was a flat surface but it still hurt.  Then I had to hop on my bike and ride about 2 kms back to the car. Pretty sure nothing broken but some nice bruising is showing up and still painful when twisting.  I had some scrapes on my arms and legs also but they were nothing much.
The motor home goes in for a service on Monday and later in the week we are taking the car up to Salmon Arm for a day or two to have an early Thanksgiving with Bev and Kevin. 
Somewhere about October 15 we will cross the border and head south.

These first three are up on the Anarchist Mtn. section of Hwy 3 where it was snowing on my way home from Spokane last Saturday



Skaha Lake just up the KVR trail from Okanagan Falls

A Merlin, I believe.

There were lots of cyclists and walkers along the KVR trail 

A Flicker with a walnut through the motor home window