Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lake Havasu State Park

Today was a free day so we decided to drive to Lake Havasu City and do laundry, see some friends and make some contacts at Lake Havasu State Park.  It looks like we will be there for sure in January and February.  They are busy with major improvements at the park and today we got to see how nice Windsor Beach 4 is coming along.  It is one of several beaches at the park which occupies many miles of lake shore right in Lake Havasu City.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

River Island State Park

Here we are relaxing in the shade of a Mesquite tree in a host site at River Island State Park. We are here temporarily until our official site at Buckskin Mountain State Park becomes available on Wednesday. Both of these are Arizona State Parks and are located only a mile apart right on the Colorado River.  River Island is a smaller park, but has some charm all of its own, and already we are enjoying identifying some new birds like the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

We have spent several nights at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, just north of the Phoenix area in order to visit my sister Kathy and her husband Gary who live in Sun City and Jeanette’s sister Patty and her husband Kordell who have a house in Surprise. We have been camped in the Roadrunner Campground where we have enjoyed good views of Lake Pleasant, but with daily temps reaching the 90 area we’ve discovered it’s best to get in our hiking early in the day. In the evenings we are also enjoying the sunsets and moon rises.

This is our last stay in our “visiting circuit” and tomorrow we will journey on to Buckskin Mountain State Park to begin our volunteer position.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Set Up at Wal-Mart

High winds kind of took the joy out of travel this morning, so after getting groceries and diesel at Safeway in Kingman we decided to stay put and selected the Wal-Mart parking lot for our overnight stay.  Tonight there are a half dozen other RVs park here also. Wal-Mart parking lots are well known in the RV world as a free place to park for the night.  They are free as long as you don’t go in the store.  The last time we spent the night at a Wal-Mart, I think it cost me seventy dollars in merchandise.  That being said, I think I will still venture into the store in the morning to treat my bride to breakfast at the Golden Arches.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Desert View RV Resort

Desert View RV Resort, just outside of Needles, is another favorite of ours and a standard stop on our route to and from Arizona.  Their service is superb; they escort to your site and then register you at your site.  Sort, of like a drive up window at a bank or fast food, except in reverse, they come to your window.  Jeanette didn’t even have to get out of the motor home! The park is very clean and well landscaped. This afternoon it’s 80 degrees with a nice breeze.  This will be our last stop in California, tomorrow we cross the Colorado River into Arizona.  At this point I think tomorrow’s stop may be in Wikieup, about half way between here and the Phoenix area.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orange Grove RV Park

It is 70 degrees this afternoon where we stopped for our overnight stay. The Orange Grove RV Park is one of our traditional stops on our way to Arizona.  Located just east of Bakersfield it’s a great stop before heading over the Tehachapi Pass.  Every site has an orange tree or two, and we always enjoy the fresh oranges.  This year however, we have come down earlier, and the oranges are not ripe yet, but we are still enjoying the warm temps and sunshine.  Tomorrow we climb over the Tehachapi and out across the Mojave Desert. I think we can stop worrying about rain. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rest and Recovery

We are currently resting and recovering in this shaded site at Merced River RV Resort after a couple of tumultuous days on the road. A heavy rain storm hit Chico Sunday night before we left on Monday morning for our visit with Rudy in Grass Valley.  During our visit with Rudy, Jeanette turned on the TV to see if we had reception, only to find out that we were under a tornado warning!  During the next hour or so the National Weather Service issued five separate tornado warnings.  Mixed with that were hard wind, rain, and hail, followed with lighting and thunder.  Watching the presidential debate was almost an impossibility because of the hail pounding on the roof, Buster barking at the thunder, and the TV reception failing.  Then this morning we had a complete circus trying to get out of Grass Valley with route confusion and brake lock-up on the towed car.  (I will spare you all the gruesome details)
Winter storms hitting the Sierras have caused us to alter our route from going over to Lake Tahoe and down Highway 395, to our old standard route in Central California. This was a disappointment for us but had a side benefit enabling us to have breakfast with friends in Sacramento.  Becky and Ron O’Leary are people we met on an RV site some years ago and have stayed in touch with common interests of blogs, birding, and Facebook.  Today was our first face to face meeting and a bright spot in our day.

I will also spare you the details of frustration of locating gas stations in ghetto areas, and out of order diesel pumps.  Just know that we are now safe and recovering.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rudy Thompson

We are camped tonight in the Nevada Country Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California in order to get in a visit with friend Rudy Thompson.  Rudy, who turns 100 years old this weekend, is shown with his smart phone, and Jeanette with her iPod, as they work on details of using Facebook.  Rudy and his late wife Sammie were longtime friends of Jeanette’s parents Jim & Jeanette Dye. At 100 years and still very active, living on his own, driving, and with a big social life Rudy is always an inspiration to visit. Oh, I should add, we spent a good amount of time this afternoon glued to the TV watching information on tornado activity in this immediate area!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stops Along the Way

Our migratory route south this year was developed to include a series of important stops.  The first day involved the stop at Collier Memorial State Park for the purpose of donating all of our Christmas lights and decorations for the park to be able to decorate for Christmas. Our second day’s stop was in Chico to spend time with Tony, Maggie and our youngest grandson, Bobby.  Shown here are Jeanette, her son Tony, and Tony’s son Bobby, three generations. We will spend more time with Bobby and family today.   
Tomorrow we move on to Grass Valley to get a visit in with friend Rudy Thompson who will be turning 100.

Friday, October 19, 2012

On The Road Again

I know this is a song you have heard from us before, and it is the reoccurring theme song in our lives.  Adventures are what keep us going, and hopefully they will hold off the inevitability of old age a little longer.
We left our home in Elkton this morning (thanks for breakfast Joan, and dinner Michael & Melissa!) and are headed for our winter’s destination of Arizona.  We took the scenic route up the North Umpqua where this photo was taken and enjoyed the changing fall colors.  Our lunch stop was at Diamond Lake where wind and rain were a little threatening, and from the weather forecast it looks like we are just ahead of the bad weather once again.

After a stop at Collier Memorial State Park where we got a change to streach our legs, this evening we are “parked”, which is an important distinction from “camping”, at the Midland Rest Area south of Klamath Falls.  In the morning we travel on to Red Bluff California where we are scheduled to rendezvous for a camping adventure at Sycamore Campground with Tony & Maggie and grandson Bobby Bear.   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Winter Migrants


This is a couple of Golden-crowned Sparrows that I was thrilled to see and photograph in Elkton this morning.  They have arrived for the winter after spending their summer up North in Canada or Alaska. They will help fill the void of other birds that were residents here this summer but already left for the winter like Swallows, Osprey, Turkey Vultures, and Rufus Hummingbirds.

On a personal note:  we will soon, in a matter of days, become winter migrants ourselves and head south for the winter.  Beginning in November we will be volunteering at Buckskin Mountain State Park.  This is an Arizona State Park that we have worked at in the past and we really enjoy its location right on the Colorado River on the California / Arizona border. We will be at Buckskin for November and December and then possibly at Lake Havasu State Park for January and February.

And on another personal note, I just noticed that this blog has now past 40,000 page views!     

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Feeding Killdeer

Killdeer are a common site along country roads where they have a great propensity to make their nests in the roadside gravel. I tend to think of them as birds of the dry land. When I have seen them along the river, it is usually on the rocks or the along the banks.  For the most part it is the Spotted Sandpiper, or the Least Sandpiper that I see wading in the shallow water of the Umpqua River looking for bugs, so it was a great surprise for me, and possible a first, to find this Killdeer wading and feeding directly in the water this morning.   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anna's Hummingbird

I spotted this female Anna’s Hummingbird during my bird walk this morning warming herself in the morning sun.  It’s been a number of months since I have been close enough to photograph a hummingbird, so it was one of the last birds I was thinking of seeing this morning, and it was one I needed because I didn’t already have a female Anna’s in Cascade Ramblings.  It’s strange how that happens, and it seems to be true in life, when you’re not looking for something and suddenly you find it and it’s just what you wanted.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Pair of Fishermen

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here.  My guess is that this Great Blue Heron is waiting for the human fisherman to catch a fish and put it in the bucket, at which time the heron will grab the fish from the bucket.  I took this photo this morning at a dock on Cooper Creek Reservoir before beginning our hike. Read about our hike here.