Tuesday, November 20, 2018


    We are pretty well settled in again.  Lots of people aren't here yet but they keep trickling every day.  At least 85 properties have sold since the beginning of the year so the pace has picked up.  Rentals are even tighter this year.  If this keeps up, perhaps the prices will start to climb.  We have new neighbours next door who arrived yesterday and the lot next to them also has new people.  That's the thing with a place like this with an abundance of seniors, lots of turnover.
I've been riding at least twice a week and Aileen has been out three times already.  We went out with friends Richard and Judy today and amazingly, we only saw one dirt bike the whole time we were off road.  We won't try riding the rest of the week as it is Thanksgiving Week and the wild ones from the city will be invading.  Many of them ride very fast and it usually gets very crowded.

For a little while when we first arrived, one area on the way to Box Canyon was nicely carpeted with flowers.

This is a closeup of the above and I think they are called California Goldfields

Some fruit on this tiny Hedgehog Cactus out in the desert

This is a domesticated cactus in a yard in Florence Gardens.  I used the flash on my little camera just as it was getting dark.

When we first moved down here in November 2008, there was a huge development that had gone broke before building any houses.  All the infrastructure was in place and there it sat ever since.  We were surprised to see many new homes in various stages of construction when we came back this year.  There are new developments every where we go this year between here and Phoenix.

Last Monday we hosted a party for some of the neighbours.  We celebrated Marie's 80th birthday at the same time and everyone seemed to have a great time.  We served a totally gluten free meal.

I have seen the sheep a few times already.  There was a nice big ram in this shot and the ones below were mooning us.

This is an Ocotillo bloom and that's an Ocotillo bush in the background.

A Harris' Hawk

I went out in the desert behind the park one evening to catch the sunset

A cow and her calf

More desert cows

Red-tailed Hawk

I thought this decaying Saguaro's droopy arms looked like a pair of legs hanging there

This cow came and joined us at lunch out in the desert yesterday.  She was quite vocal announcing her presence.

We checked out the bee hive in a cut bank this afternoon

Another desert cow

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


We made it to our winter abode on my birthday, Sunday.  We are still working at this and that getting things the way we like.  We went to a party celebrating an ATV friend’s 80th birthday on Monday.  Yesterday was a grocery run over to Queen Creek.   Our wandering route that led us through Grand Junction, CO and finally here was 3233 kms which is about 2021 miles.  There were eight days of driving (seven nights on the road) and twelve nights spent in the Grand Junction area.
Our excitement today was restringing two of our day/night blinds.  This is the way to see how sloppy the workers were at the factory, and they really were!.   I plan to go ATV riding tomorrow with the club and Friday with Aileen and a couple of friends.  Pure sunshine in the forecast for the next week with temperatures of 80 dropping to mid 70s (maybe).   They keep promising that but every day has stayed pretty much at 80.

When enlarged, can you see the smiling face?

This was taken at almost dark near Snowflake, AZ where we spent our last night on the road.  I set my camera on the ground and used the self timer to take the one second exposure.

Near Snowflake, AZ

The cactus flowers were taken on my walk yesterday morning in Florence Gardens.  These only flower at night and fade shortly after sunrise.  I believe they are a Central or South American native that are very popular as a garden staple.

Curved-bill Thrasher in Caliente

Stopped on the way for groceries yesterday.  The cotton is late this year with harvesting barely started.  Not all the boles are open.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


We left Jim and Judy's in Clifton CO about 9:45 yesterday.  We decided to take a different route this time on our way to Florence, AZ.  It is supposedly just 6.5 miles further than going through Moab but it is way longer time wise.  It is twisty, bumpy in spots and incredibly scenic.  There was very little traffic until we got onto CO Hwy 491 just before Cortez.  The canyon part on Hwy 141 is like being in a national park but without the crowds.
We spent last night at the Ute Mtn Casino RV Park and the place is nearly deserted.  The casino was doing a roaring business but there is only a half dozen RVs here.  It was nice to have the electric heater going overnight.  We were awakened several times overnight by the howling winds.  Still blowing this morning and it seems like it may be behind us on our drive to start.  We are planning on staying at Snowflake, AZ tonight and then a shorter drive on to Florence tomorrow.  Yesterday's drive was 340 kms (212 miles) and today we're looking at about 249 miles but should be way faster roads.  Then it will be about 161 miles tomorrow.

Our first rest stop

Second stop, this one for photos

Opposite direction from the above

Flume stop of interest, enlarging by clicking on the image will show you the flume hanging on the canyon wall.  You may also spot our motor home in the top right.

Aileen under the massive cliffs

This round rock looks like The Coliseum  

Dolores River

Closeup shows how the flume was attached.  The flume was put in to run water to a gold mining project in the late 1800's and several workers fell to their death during construction.  Since this area just had flour gold, using water pressure was unsuccessful and the operation went broke.

The highway is visible in the upper left

Still some nice fall colour showing in spots

Ute Mtn Casino hotel

Some artistic licence used here.  I blended three images in Photomatix Essentials then used the painterly 2 filter.  I liked how it brought out the warm southwestern colours.

Same thing here except I used the painterly 4 filter

Other than the two filtered images above, the rest of the night shots were taken with my Canon 6D full frame camera on a tripod and are just cleaned up in post processing.