Tuesday March 3, 2015

The adventure continues, go to the next web page Here

Friday February 27, 2015

Thinking about the turn for home!

Our stay here in Borrego Springs ends on Sunday morning and some preliminary packing has started. We will be in Yuma for 3 days then we will head to Maricopia Arizona.

We have been very fortunate this winter to meet with folks we met in Mexico over the years. Walt and Marlene Ridell droppped in to see us and we joined them for dinner earlier this week. They were staying in the state park campground and we enjoyed talking to them about Mexico.

Jim and Suzie Nelson are also in the area, they have a place near Phoenix and we will be stopping at a campsite nearby after Yuma, we look forward to visiting them. They still have their place near Aticama and they spend the winters there or in Arizona and their summers in Alaska.

We took the opportunity to have a meal at Ram's Hill with our next door neighbours Jim and Helene. Although we didn't meet them in Mexico they stayed at many places that we did down there and they also used our blog for guidance.

A couple of pictures from Ram's Hill:

This is the view from the restaurant terrace looking north east toward Font hill

Not a great picture (Al was pointing out into the sun) of Jim, Helene and Suzette:

Aniother view from the table:

We've really ejyoyed the stay here in Borrego Spring and having the kids and grand kids visit, we are sorry to leave!

Sunday February 22, 2015

More Can-Am challange stuff!

The golf tournement is officially over, we heard that the result was a tie (that sounds too politically correct!!).

A couple of pictures below were taken the first afternoon, must have been some sort of "monkey golf":

A golf ball made it close to our RV on Friday, but on the actual tourement yesterday we had a ball hit our sun shade (or awning), fortunately no damage was done. And Al thought that he was a "so-so" golfer!

Today we are enjoying some wind and overcast skies (and we understand that it's raining in LA for the Oscars), first time in a month the weather hasn't been perfect!

Friday February 20, 2015

The Family Visit (part 2!)

The visit continued this week, Cam Chantal and their family stayed for most of the week, departing yesterday for frigid Winnipeg where it was -35C when they arrived, fortunately the airport has electrical plugs for block heaters so their van started up.

We wanted to show Chantal's family the sculptures and it would not have been legal to take both families to see them at the same time in the truck so we did a bit of a re-run. However, in our viewing of these we have never been able to see all of them so some of the following sculptures are new to us as well:

This first picture depicts  labourers picking grapes

The scuplptures beside the grape pickers depict telephone linemen working on re-stringing wire:

A large grasshopper!

Chantal is getting eaten by a tarantula or scorpian!

Mother and baby camel:

A nice family shot!

I'm told these are Ocatillo Cactus plants, they are just starting to bloom:

We also took a run up the hill on Presidents day to see Julian and purchase a great tasting sour cream apple pie, Julian is known for its bakeries, they have about 5 bakeries in the village! Unfortunately Al didn't take pictures.

Yesterday was the start of the annual "grudge match" golf contest with Canada vs. the US, a parade ended at the ampitheater where teams were selected (and we suspect some refreshments were consumed!)

We will see which country wins the tournament this year!

Sunday February 15, 2015

The Family Visit (Part 1)!

It's been a long time since we've posted. A couple of reasons for this, but the main reason is the visit from our kids and grand kids.

A final update on Murdoch, he's completely recovered and back to his normal self. He's tried to injest various other "stuff" lately but we've mostly stopped him, he did chew off a plastic end piece from one of the grand kids bubble wands but that passed through thankfully! Maybe he does have a cast iron gut (except for tennis balls!).

Sam, Nicole and their family arrived a week ago and left yesterday (president Obama was in Palm Springs so they got to see Air Force 1 at the airport) and Cam, Chantal and their family arrived last Wednesday and are staying most of this coming week. It's been an ideal time for the visits as it's been very cold and snowy back home so the temps here are nice for them. We've been touring them around and showing them what the Borrego Springs area has to offer.

We took Nicole's family around to see the local sculptures that were commissioned by Dennis Avery who passed away recently and was an heir to the Avery Label family. See the web page at http://www.galletameadows.com/

The grand kids really enjoyed looking and running around them!

Carter wanted to go into this Jeep but the metal was a bit sharp

They really enjoyed the salt water pool, and even crowded into the "adults only" time so the geezers may have got a bit excited! Unfortunately our resort has a bit of a reputation for being "kids unfriendly", we hope that we never become that old.

We couldn't resist taking a couple of family shots on the morning that Nicole's family were leaving.

We are continuing the touring this week with Chantal's family, today it's off to Julian for some baked apple products and some cooler temps in the hills this afternoon.

Monday January 26, 2015

Update on Murdoch

Well, it's been a week since Murdoch went "under the knife"! He has been doing very well. He was sent home with antibiotics and pain medication on Tuesday. As of an hour ago he took the last pill of the course of antibiotics, and he hasn't needed pain meds for the past two days. He's still getting soft canned dog food with some kibble mixed in, and his treats are also soft for the present. We are doing multiple feedings, it will be difficult to bring him back to only two per day when he goes back on normal food.

We were asked by the vet to have him checked 3 or 4 days after the operation but we didn't see the need as he was doing well. His staples get removed in another week, the internal stitches are the dissolving type.

One sure sign that he is better is that this morning on his first walk with Suzette he didn't like the idea that she didn't take him towards the dog park (we've been walking him but have been avoiding any vigorous activities). He reacted by jumping on her and chewing on his leash, something that we thought that we had trained out of him. As a result, the can of "canine corrector" (a can of just air that makes a noise) has been brought out again and it's working. Yesterday he walked about 2 miles and that helped him (and us as well!).

He's been inside most of the day today, not due to his operation but because of the rain, an unusual event here. The rain has been heavy by local standards (6mm were forecast) but more seems to have fallen. It's much needed here as the drought is continuing.

Tuesday January 20, 2015

Murdoch is a (Very Expensive!) Vacuum Cleaner!

We had an interesting day yesterday! Murdoch went to the dog park yesterday morning and he chewed on then swallowed a whole tennis ball. Fortunately the ball was not chewed to pieces, just opened up.

We went to doctor Howard in Brawley who took X-rays, the ball could be seen (kind of pear shaped) in his stomach. Doctor Howard already had another dog scheduled for surgery so he referred us to a clinic in Indio, we made the trip and that's where he is right now.

In addition to the tennis ball, the X-ray showed a 3/4 inch diameter rock in his stomach. He was operated on yesterday afternoon, the vet called to let us know that he did well and we await the call to see if we get him back later today or (probably) tomorrow. A few days on wet dog food and an "Elizabethan" collar and he should be back to normal. His exterior stomach staples get taken out in a couple of weeks.

The fun with owning a dog that likes to eat everything!

Sunday January 18, 2015

"And the Earth Moved"

By coincidence we were catching a bit of Carol King and James Taylor last night on PBS and we heard her song "The earth moved under my feet". Well, it did for us just before 5:30 am here. As usual, Murdoch gets us up early and we were enjoying our first cup of coffee when the trailer started to move a bit, a little more than it does in heavier winds. There was no wind so we checked the Weather Underground website, yes it was an earthquake, actually two. The USGS site also calls it two but the time between the first larger (3.7) one and the second one (3.2) was very short.

The new software installed by our provider won't allow copy, paste and linking using Firefox so if you want to access the web sites click on the weather link to the right (done before the software was changed!), on that website below the earthquake info there is a link to the US Geological Survey website.

I think if we had been asleep we wouldn't have noticed the quakes, now we know what a 3.7 quake feels like!

Saturday January 17, 2015

Really Laid back!

Well, as you can tell, we are very relaxed and we haven't been posting. We are enjoying the mostly good weather here and the company of our neighbours.

One significant event that occured yesterday, Suzette saw it but Al was out shopping. One of the golfers here scored a hole-in-one on the fairway behind us, lots of celebrating and cheering!

We have made final arrangements for our kids and grandkids to join us here in February, we are looking forward to seeing them and showing them the area.

Meanwhile, Murdoch has really settled down and is becoming a great Golden. It helps that he hits the dog park here twice a day and gets well socialized (and worn out!) with the other dogs. The only thing we have to get him not to do is jumping up on people he greets, he's stopped doing that with us.

Like us, Murdoch is really laid back, especially after supper!

New Years Eve 2014

Yup, that's snow in the hills!

Well, the weather forecast was accurate, we got a fair amount of rain here at the resort overnight and Suzette took these pictures this mornning of the hills around us. Looks like the snow starts above about the thousand foot level:

The propane is being consumed (deliveries to refill the resort tank have occured a couple of times this week) and we are keeping warm. Have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday December 30, 2014

New Years is coming!

We look forward to a quiet New Years here at the resort, it's pretty much filled up but it remains quiet. The weather hasn't been fully cooperating, it's been cool and somewhat breezy, there is even a winter storm warning here for tonight in higher altitudes, snow is expected above 2,000 ft., we should only get rain here. It's been below freezing for a few past mornings so the campground hosts have been busy filling propane tanks (both the portable ones and the large permanent tanks on the diesel pushers). We have gone through 3 tanks this month already. Obviously swimming in the pool isn't suitable, Suzette isn't a happy camper.

Murdoch has been getting lots of exercise at the dog parks, once he gets back he is very mellow. This shot is taken behind the RV with Murdoch relaxing beside Suzette, there were better pictures but Al's finger got in the way of the lens on the smart phone!

All the best to our friends and family for the New Year!

Monday December 22, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas!

The resort is showing signs of preparing for Christmas, lots of folks have decorated their sites and even their golf carts, our neighbour has a neat inflateable Santa. Suzette grabbed a great shot:

Another campsite well decorated:

Murdoch has been very good lately (except for vacuuming up everything he finds on his walks, mostly grass!), yesterday he met Reagan again. He's saying let's play!!

Reagan says "I'm not sure":

Well, OK!

After all this activity Murdoch relaxes!:

Have a great Christmas everyone!

Wednesday December 17, 2014

More much needed rain!

It rained yesterday afternoon (light rain only) and overnight we got some heavier (by Borrego Springs standards!) rain. We could hear the raindrops on the roof and the rain was sustained, it was heavy enough that the facebook posting by the resort indicates that the golf course is closed today because of the rain. The rain has freshened everything up and the sun is back today burning off the water and the humidity. Some of the campground hosts are even using leaf blowers to move some of the water puddles!

These first two shots were taken last afternoon around sunset:

These two shots were taken on Murdoch's first walk this morning. He didn't miss a single water puddle!

Thursday December 11, 2014 and Tuesday December 16 (picture added at bottom)

Move Day!

Today we moved from our old site (818) to the new site backing out to the golf course. We were invited to "join the parade", two others (so far) also made the move. It's a bit easier to move a hundred yards or so than to a new campground, we moved our "stuff" over in the pickup followed by the RV. It was an easy no fuss move. Some initial pictures:

The view of the mountain from our patio:

Two Redwoods side-by-side!

The neighbours across the street from us (who had sites backing on the golf course) moved to the new sites as well

Ed and Karen, that's your site waiting for you!

The view from our rear view window of the golf course. That white stick is what we think is an "out of bounds" marker, hopefully we won't see errant golf balls!

We couldn't resist a shot of Murdoch, his favourite passtime of the day - eating! He's grown a lot in the last month.

Suzette took this picture of Murdoch relaxing on the sofa:

Sunday December 7, 2014

Site pictures for an RV.net reader

These photos are for a gentleman who wanted info about the new sites here:

Friday December 5, 2014

Too Much Spare Time on our Hands!

Apologies for the change in formatting, our hosting service changed the program and made it more complex (and there is no spell check), Arragh!!!

We are well settled in here and we are enjoying the resort and Borrego Springs (although Suzette would enjoy more sun time at the pool as it rained here for a couple of days).  We learned that we got one of the new campsites adjcent to the golf course (thanks Karen for letting us know!). We will move over on Monday at a slow pace as no one is scheduled for our existing site.

The only item (so far!) that we forgot to bring with us was the food for the hummingbirds, so we went into town and bought some when we were shopping yesterday, we did bring the feeders!.

This time period is what seems to be "peak hummer" season, the little guys are all around, fighting and competing for food and insects.

The feeders were put out yesterday and it didn't take long for the hummers to find them. Al got out the Nikon for the first time this trip and with the telephoto lens got a few initial shots.

This first shot was taken with the smart phone, one of the feeders is hung on the awning rail:

These guys are green:

The new phase construction is almost completed, the 3 new cabins are being placed and leveled, ready for occupancy.

Tuesday December 2, 2014

Parked in the Desert for the Winter!

We arrived here in Borrego Springs yesterday, with the time change to Pacific time we arrived around 11 in the morning. We had to wait a few minutes until our site was ready for us, it gave Murdoch a first opportunity to use one of the dog parks. He met a 9 month old Lab who gave him a good run!

We weren't sure whether the new sites that we are on a list for were finished (they aren't). we got placed in the site that we reserved last spring (site 818) which is a great site. If we don't get a new site adjacent to the golf course we will be happy where we are. Some pictures of the site:

There is a tree just off the patio which gives us some natural shade in the afternoon:

We already had our first barbie here for supper yesterday!


These are pictures of what Al thinks are the the two new sites that Ed and Karen and we are on the list for (thanks Ed!). No site numbers are on the pedestals yet:


Although the shrubs and trees are small, there actually some oranges on one of the trees already! The construction is actually continuing on another phase of sites south of these ones, services are in the ground already.


The crews are spreading the gravel on the sites and leveling, looks like the next stage will be to have the inspections to approve them, then they will be available for occupancy.


One other new "addition", these are cabins that can be rented, according to the camp host they run about $200 per night and they have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a loft on the second floor for the kids:



We are looking forward to a great 3 month stay here in Borrego Springs!


Thursday November 27, 2014 (US Thanksgiving)

Yuma Arizona

We arrived here at Fortuna de Oro RV resort yesterday after the drive from Picacho. We are in the "dogs allowed" section of the park, close to the dog park. Murdoch has met a number of playful dogs and is getting his exercise.

The sites are a little on the small size for today's modern rigs with slides but it isn't a bad stop for a few days:



The temperature is warming up nicely, it's 27C outside right now and warmer in the RV as our (small) turkey is cooking in the oven. The neighbours are friendly and there are lots of interesting cooking smells around. We are ensconced with a number of fellow Canadians, Shaw Direct TV dishes are all around. Life is good!



Tuesday November 25, 2014

Picacho Peak State Park

We arrived here this morning after the short run from the Tucson KOA. It's a bit of a long run to Yuma for Murdoch so 50 miles or so less mileage tomorrow will give him a break and a taste of the desert.


A couple of pictures of the campsite (C-15, the first time we have been in the "C" loop), it's a nice one:

Yesterday in the KOA Barb and Glen dropped by to see us, we knew that they were in Yuma and we had hoped to see them there but they are heading for Mexico and they took an hour or two to see us before they hit the border crossing at Nogalis. Rachael, their 11 year old Golden was introduced to Murdoch and we renewed acquaintances as we haven't seen them since 2010 in Mexico. They are great folks!

Rachael is showing a little white but is spry for her age:

Trying to get the dogs to pose for a picture is a bit like herding cats!

Ah, that's better!


At least the owners were almost posed!

We wish the Browns a good winter in Mexico. Tomorrow we head to Yuma and look forward to meeting Leo and Lynn who are also heading south of the border in December!

By the way, this post is being done from the smart phone via the mobile hotspot, it's the first time we've had 3G service from T-mobile when we've needed it!

Monday November 24, 2014

Remembering Donald

Our neighbour and friend Donald McConnachie passed away earlier this month. Don had been in poor health but his passing was still a shock to us, our condolences go out to his wife Cally and their extended families.


A memorial service will be held this coming Thursday, unfortunately we can't be back home to attend but we will be thinking of Don and Cally at that time.

Our neighbourhood is quite close knit and we have gotten together on a few occasions, below are a couple of pictures taken during those times:


Don (on the left) and Cally:





Sunday November 23, 2014

Tucson Arizona

We arrived here on Friday after staying a night at Dreamcatcher RV park in Deming NM, we decided to move quickly to Tucson where it's warmer. We actually got some 20's C temperatures and the barbie is out again. We plan to stay tonight and tomorrow night, then head to Picacho for a night, then we will spend the rest of the month in Yuma before heading for Borrego Springs on December 1. It's nice to spend a few days in each spot, it cuts down on the driving and gives Murdoch a bit of a break.


Murdoch is getting plenty of exercise here, he gets at least 3 laps of the large campground daily and he also visits the dog park. As a result he's starting to sleep in (at least to 6 AM!) which is good for us.


We are doing some shopping here and we enjoy the on-site restaurant. The KOA are putting some $$ into the campground, there are now some upscale camping cabins built and the campground is busier (we couldn't get a premium site probably because our stay is over the weekend). It's a nice stop over.

The "non-premium" sites are OK but we miss the grass on the premium ones:


Tuesday November 18, 2014

Carlsbad New Mexico

We arrived at the KOA here yesterday and plan to spend a couple more nights here to take a break from the driving.

Yesterday we spent the night in Monahans Sandhills state park after staying in Ranger Texas for a night. At Monahans we met up with Gary and Gillian who graciously stayed an additional night at Monahans so we could see them again, and we really enjoyed seeing them!. The weather continues to be abnormally cold with snow!!


The picture below shows snow on the top of the sand hills, it's the first time we've seen snow here:


Gary and Gillian's Titanium with the snow on the hills behind:

One of the reasons we are staying here is that we made another time zone change (to mountain time from central time) so now Murdoch has had 3 time changes (including the change to standard time after Halloween) in the past 2 weeks or so. His personal clock has moved about a half hour or so, that means that this morning he woke up (and woke us up!) at 4 am local time. We are hoping that he adjusts to the new time as we are having to retire VERY early so that we too get enough sleep. he enjoys a couple or three hours activity then takes another nap (see picture below). Unfortunately, once we are up, that's it for us.

Murdoch has some unusual sleeping habits, this is his morning nap!


Friday November 14, 2014

First Trail with Murdoch!

Today we stocked up on food in Pittsburg and we filled a couple of propane cylinders so we are ready for some more cold weather, it was -7.6C here this morning, cooler than back home. We took Murdoch on his first park trail, one we took Kasey on a couple of times. He really enjoyed it, he "went nuts" a couple of times and did a couple of frantic runs in circles (we let him run loose) so as this is being written he's horizontal (read sound asleep!) in the camper.


A couple of pictures:


The trout pond:

One of Murdoch's quieter moments on the trail!

We planned to cross Dallas-Fort Worth on a weekend, we make the trek to Ranger Texas tomorrow.

Thursday November 13, 2014

OK, where has the heat gone (and what about this global warming stuff)??

We are in Lake Bob Sandlin state park in east Texas, we spent last night in Arkadelphia Campground and RV Park (link) . It's what Al would call a "beer drinking campground", but for one night with pull throughs and full services it was OK. It was close to I-30 and it meant that we didn't trek up to DeGray Lake.

It's been very cold, below freezing last night and colder than back home. Overnight we got some ice pellets, gives an idea just how cool it was. We've gone through a 30 lb. propane cylinder in just a week, we have to get the cylinder filled here tomorrow. Last night and again tonight we will use water from our internal tank as the hose and water tap will freeze otherwise.

Murdoch is doing very well in the truck now, no drooling with mostly sleeping during the runs between stops.

We are hoping for warmer weather as we transit Texas.


Monday November 10, 2014

Village Creek State Park - Wynne Arkansas

We arrived here yesterday after a relatively short run from Natchez Trace state park in Tennessee where we stayed one night. Both here and at Natchez Trace there is no T-mobile cell (and thus cell based internet) service, Al erected the satellite internet dish to get on-line here (he was too lazy to erect the dish in Natchez!). A comment for Gillian who is looking for providers here in the US, we have been a little disappointed so far with T-mobile who we are signed up with through Roam Mobility, the service has been slow on the data side, the phone shows "edge" which I believe is 2G or less in speed even in some populated areas such as Bowling Green and Monroe Michigan where 3G or 4G should be available. Not sure if it's T-mobile or the speed that T-mobile gives Roam customers, it will be checked out. As a comparison, our cheapie TracFone (phone only, no data) has been active (only one or two bars signal strength) in both locations

We are enjoying some warm weather (at least by Canadian standards, it's 20C (68F)) and we are BBQing two days in a row!


A couple of pictures:

Murdoch is chewing on something, it may be an acorn, he seems to like crunching and swallowing them, we are hoping that they "pass through" OK

The barbie set up and ready for action!

The fall colours are maxed out here:

The camper with some trees in the foreground:

Murdoch's gums have been bleeding on and off for a few days and he has been agressively chewing at stuff. Suzette found this tooth (actually quite small, about the size of a small pea) on the carpet while she was vacuuming, he has probably lost other "baby" teeth but they probably have been swallowed. What does a dog get as a prize for a tooth?

We are here for another day, we head west on Wednesday.

Friday November 7, 2014

Bowling Green Kentucky

We arrived at the KOA here yesterday after spending the night in Columbus Indiana at Woods N Waters campground. We lucked out with the furnace repair, we asked about mobile RV repair services when we checked in. It turned out that Mark's Mobile RV repair was coming to the park, we called and they arrived about an hour later. Mark quickly diagnosed the problem as a defective main board, he tried one that he had in the truck (no good) so he drove back to the shop to get a new board, the furnace was up and running about 2 hours later. We were lighter by about $375 US, but you can't live without a furnace in near freezing weather! Mark diagnosed the problem correctly, using a meter and some jumpers to determine that the board was bad, not the fan or sensors, good work!

Murdoch continues to do well with traveling in the truck, we have backed off completely on the Gravol and his drooling is almost completely stopped.

He has been getting lots of exercise at the campgrounds, here he has circled the ground twice or three times each day and has spent time in the dog park.

We have stocked up on groceries and we made the required stop at Camping World for some RV stuff, tomorrow we are off to Natchez Trace.


A couple of pictures of Murdoch on one of his walks here. It's still jacket weather here unfortunately!



Tuesday November 4, 2014

Back on the road!

We left yesterday and we stopped at Harbortown RV resort in Monroe as usual. We were apprehensive about Murdoch as he has been nervous in the truck at home. A combination of Gravol, his Thunder shirt and some spray to calm him worked well. We stopped a rest stop on the 401 to give him a break and things worked well, virtually no drooling. He enjoyed the resort as the following pictures show!


Lots of new smells!

We introduced Murdoch to trains, the track is adjacent to the resort:

Today we are in the Fort Wayne South KOA, it's a better stop than Fireside where we normally stop (no mud!!) and it's about 50 miles further south down the highway, it will make the next segment a little shorter.

Good news and bad news on the trip so far. The good news is that the SIM card from Roam Mobility for US phone and data on the smart phone works well, it was installed and configured easily and it works well.

The bad news is that the furnace in the RV seems to have packed it in. It has refused to run today after running for a short time when we arrived here. Al has an E-mail into our dealer for some troubleshooting ideas, the ones he tried weren't successful. With the fireplace and an electric heater we should be OK, the problem will be if we get some below freezing temperatures, it's hard to keep the pipes in the basement warm without the furnace.

Saturday October 25, 2014

2014-15 Winter trip South

We are preparing for the annual trek south, the weather is getting cooler (and the roads folks have already spread salt brine solution on some local highways), so it's time to leave! We are also getting Murdoch ready for his first long trip, hopefully his anxiety level will decrease as the trip progresses!


Stay tuned for more postings!