Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Yes, we finally made it across the border back into BC today.  We are not speed demons by any means taking seven days to cover 2520 kms (1575 miles) We averaged 360 kms  (225 miles) a day.  Our biggest day was 520 kms.  The slower pace was nice in that Aileen got to have her nap most afternoons and I found 38 geocaches near Mountain Home, ID and another two yesterday near Soap Lake.  We also got to walk around and explore some areas.  I had been thinking of spending two nights at Alamo but decided we'd best keep going.  Good thing as the Blue Mtns (Meacham Pass) had snow the night after we crossed.  We were fortunate in that there wasn't too much wind on I-84 this trip.  We did have some rain along the way and one day while Aileen was driving, we had a short spell of heavy sleet and hail. 
We are parked at friend's in Penticton, BC over Easter and will then move on up to Salmon Arm early next week.

Aileen, Mitzy and I went for a walk around Soap Lake, WA last night after supper.  It is one of those old towns that is hanging on.  There were many empty stores but also some very vibrant businesses still operating.

This large building is The Inn at Soap Lake.  The business is for sale as the owner is retiring and there was a sale pending sign, so it looks like it will remain in business.

The front door to the Inn

This was interesting.  Marinas Opera House.  The sign to the right of the doorway mentions Bonnie Guitar.  Well, I remembered that name from years ago and when I googled it, I was right.  Bonnie Guitar was one of the first female singer to have a hit on both the country and pop charts back in 1957 with "Dark Moon".   She was later credited with discovering The Fleetwoods and The Ventures.  Amazingly, she still performs with her band on Saturday nights in Soap Lake at the age of 92!

Live theater also seems to be doing well in Soap Lake

Highway 17 North in Soap Lake is called Daisy Street

Opposite the above photo is a tattoo parlour

I-84 and the railroad snake their way through the Eastern Oregon hills

Yesterday when we stopped for lunch just north of Moses Lake, this Western Meadowlark serenaded us,  This was taken through the window glass in the motor home.

Then he turned and asked how it was

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I had planned on getting to Nampa, Idaho this afternoon but when the campground that said they required reservations to get a cheaper rate didn't reply, I scratched them and decided to stay in a nice campground we had stayed at before in Mountain Home, Idaho.  Therefore, as today was to be a longer day but the change shortened it, I decided to do a bit of geocaching.  It was a good thing I had lots of time as my GPS decided to lock up on me and I had to to a master reset.  I did finally make it out on the geocaching route and picked up some.  There are many more on that string so some time I hope to get at them again.  I really like the cache trails along remote gravel roads away from people.
There are dark clouds rolling in from the west so hope that doesn't mean snow on the pass ahead of us.  We are hoping to get to near Pendleton, Oregon tomorrow.

What a difference the light makes!  This is the same image as my last one last night taken early this morning.  I did miss the pink alpen glow that Aileen saw earier when she was on her walk.  Taken with my Canon SX50 zoomed in.

Taken with my Canon 6D full size camera, early this morning

Rural Idaho on Hwy 93 south of Twin Falls

Buhl, small town Idaho

Outskirts of Buhl, ID

Highway 30 between Buhl and Bliss, Idaho

Along the Snake River there are many places where the water gushes out of the lava.  Just to the right of this is a power generating station utilizing some of this water flow. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016


After leaving North Ranch at Congress, AZ which is near Wickenburg, we moved on to Alamo, NV.   We were surprised at how many Turkey Vultures were in a tree across the road from our campsite. There must have been at least thirty.  We wondered if they, as a group, were migrating north or if there is that large a normal population in Alamo.  We have never seen more than a few in our other stops in Alamo.  Today, we moved on up to Wells, NV which was 464 kms from Alamo. We are taking it much slower this year and will probably cross the border on Wednesday or Thursday.  I, at least, am not looking forward to the cooler temperatures and am already missing my nightly visits to the hot tub.

Aren't I handsome?

Most of the vultures were busy preening

Aileen took this one through the windshield as we driving about 30 or more miles south of Wells, NV 
I took this one after supper from the RV park in Wells

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Yes, it is that time of year again.  The last ATV rides taken, the last card games played, the last potluck meals eaten and the last gathering of friends.  We headed out this morning and have made it to Congress, AZ where we are staying at North Ranch, an Escapees park, for one night.  We are planning to move up to Alamo, NV tomorrow and may stay two night there.   At this point, we are targeting getting across the border about March 25.  We will stay a few days in Penticton then move on to Salmon Arm to work on taxes and appointments for a couple weeks.

Nice little Hedgehog Cactus in full bloom

A wild Prickly Pear Cactus out in the desert

A Red-tailed Hawk sitting on her nest

A Red Staghorn Cholla Cactus

This owl was in the park next to ours

A Yellow Staghorn Cholla Cactus

In Florence Gardens, the park adjoining ours

We went to a small gathering of ATV friends last night and their dog Maggie just loves Aileen

This Scorpion was right in front of where Aileen was sitting.  This is taken with a special light for seeing them.

Shot under normal lighting

Dave fired up the gas fire pit that is filled with glass balls

I caught this image of an Angel dancing in the flames

Saturday, March 12, 2016


We have set our departure date for this coming Thursday, March 17th.  We'll see if we manage to stick to that.  There always seems to one more thing you want to do that sounds like fun.  I plan to ride Monday and Tuesday then put the RZR away for the summer.  I had some good rides this past week.  I led Blue's group, an offshoot of the regular club ride on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I was asked to lead a ride for Norm.  He had his brother and cousin visiting and wanted to show them some of our riding area.  I gave them the grand tour, as I like to call the route I have put together showcasing most of our most scenic areas.  Then on Friday I led our regular Friday group of neighbours.  The flowers are proving to be very elusive this spring.  With all the rain we had, there should eventually be a pretty good show but all that very cool weather we had for so long seems to have had a negative effect.  Perhaps the flowers will still make a good showing but we won't be here to see it.
We went to the pub down the highway last night with the Colorado group and Aileen's Sockeye Salad seems to have been safe.   Today Aileen is cooking three large racks of ribs and we are having lunch together with the Colorado crew plus another couple, cousins of one of the crew, from the Phoenix area.  We had a game of 2500 with them last night after supper and Aileen was the winner.

Click on the photo to enlarge
Staghorn Cholla

Notice all the pollen clinging to the bee in the Saguaro blossom

A Dove's nest next to the dog run Mitzy and I go to every morning

Hedgehog Cactus

A Crested Saguaro.  I may have found a so far undiscovered one.  At least nobody has ever mentioned it to me.

This lone Hedgehog Cactus was blooming at one of our higher elevation stops

Range Ratany (White Ratany online id)

I took this Ocotillo flower from the driver's seat in the RZR as we were dropping down a steep hill.  The background is the hillside on the other side of the valley.

Cream Cups

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Our time is rapidly winding sown here in Arizona.  In another week or so, we will begin our trek northward.  We hope to explore a bit of new country in the first few days then as we approach the cooler high country, we will pick up the pace and drive straight through.  We have had several card games with various friends.  I've been riding at least twice every week and Aileen at least once a week except she didn't go to Superior with us last week.  It was way too warm and she knew it would be very rough also.  She went today and will likely go again on Friday.

I call this one "Bird on a pole".  These crop duster pilots cut things pretty close.

This is the above plane, moments later

Mitzy and I walk out in the desert behind the park most mornings.  This is a Cactus Wren that posed for us.

Mitzy posing in the Greasewood that has really started to bloom in the last couple of days.

Also on our morning walk was this Black-chinned Hummingbird

Several mornings this Roadrunner has been teasing us.  He draws our attention by clucking like a chicken but he won't let us get much of a look at him.  I think he is laughing at us. Beep, Beep!

We see these Round-tailed Ground Squirrels often on our desert rides but they never stop for a photo.  I was very pleased to have this one let me take his portrait today.

We saw several hawks on our ride today including this Red-tailed one sitting on a nest.

We also spotted this Horned Owl on a nest.

Last Friday, I took our Caliente group over the mountain to Superior where we had lunch at Los Hermanos Restaurant.  Since I was leading, I was able to actually make a few brief photo stops at the more photogenic places.  I have always been back in the group and stopping disrupts the line and it is very difficult to catch up again.  It was 34 rough miles over the mountain trail and 43 miles back using a smoother but more round about return route.  It took us from 8:30 am til just after 5 pm to complete the ride.

My co-pilot, Richard, spotted this yucca in bloom.

Some Brittlebush was blooming giving some colour to the hillside.

There were some really nice clouds happening with a weather front moving in.