Friday March 3, 2023
We are on the road to head home! We left Borrego Springs on March first and stayed in our normal “Dump RV park” in Yuma for a night, we then moved to the Lazy Days KOA here in Tucson yesterday. In Yuma we decided to stay in the full service parking lot as it's easier to park than in the 1950's RV sites where it's hard to back in and you are looking out your back window at your neighbour's window.
We moved to Tucson yesterday, they got multiple inches of snow overnight but it was all melted by the time we got here. We got an OK site, see picture below, the solar array is behind us with RVs under to provide shade.
Sorry for the short update, the software is not working well!
Friday February 24, 2023 - Strange weather!
We have had a few days of "interesting" weather! Three days ago or so the weather forcaset called for rain and high winds, the forecast turned out to be correct. We got heavy wind and the power went off overnight, there were about 30 power poles in the area that were blown over and the power was down for about 15-16 hours, hard to determine exactly how long since it died overnight. We ran the generator after we got up so we could brew morning coffee (can't live without that!) and we ran the genny off and on for the rest of the day. The power came back on around 5 pm but the power failure caused our internet service to be down for an additional 24 hours or so. We tried streaming TV through our AT&T smart phone but everyone else was also doing that so lots of pauses, not worth watching. Yesterday afternoon the internet service came back on so we are back to normal. We didn't sustain any damage except our BBQ blew over and the cover cracked, great excuse to buy another one, this one was well over 13 year old and survived our trips to Mexico!
Talking to the locals, they say it was the worst storm they have seen here, lots of roof damage and we lost a number of trees here in the RV park. The picture below shows a tree 2 sites down from us that blew over, the roots are close to the ground because of irrigation so blow overs are easier.
This morning the sun has returned but it's a bit cool, the snow is lower on the nearby hills than usual and chains are required if people travel up the hill to Julian. A couple of pictures taken this morning:
This second picture is a bit unclear as the clouds shield the snow at the lower level
Sunday February 19, 2023 - US Canada Golf Tournament
This weekend marks the annual golf tournament between the US and Canadian golfers here at the resort. I was talking to the office personnel who indicated that there was a small shortage of Canadian golfers, so a couple of Americans "changed nationality" so that there were equal participants from both countries. The event lasts 3 or 4 days starting with a golf cart parade and golf rounds and finishes with a dinner party today where the country winner is announced.
There are other "events" as part of the tournament, the picture below shows one, all the golfers seem to drive balls down the fairways, not sure who wins this event!
Thursday February 16, 2023 - No Super Bloom!
The State Park officials indicate that in their opinion there will be no super bloom this year like the 2019 one. This will probably be OK for the locals who don't want the place to be overtaken with folks wanting to see the blooms. There are some tour buses coming in, however, and some locals are even unhappy about this.
We do have some interesting blooms however. The first picture below is a cactus in our neighbour's RV site, you can't quite see the bloom, but the close up on the second picture clearly show it.
Thursday February 9, 2023 - Bloomagedden Again?
The weather and temperatures continue to improve, we are enjoying the stay.
We do a daily "desert walk", actually a walk on the outside of the golf course that surrounds the RV park. Al took a picture of the blooms starting up a few weeks ago following the rain we got (probably over an inch since we arrived) and that brings the desert blooms on.
A couple of years ago the locals posted about what they called Bloomagedden, it was a bloom year in the desert probably the same as what will happen here this winter. The newspapers in San Diego and San Francisco report the blooms are out here and Borrego Springs is inundated with folks coming to see the blooms. They reported that at the last big bloom the village restaurants all ran out of food, the only public washroom at Christmas Circle was overwhelmed, grocery stores ran out of food and beer and liquor were nowhere to be found! Maybe this time Borrego Springs will be ready for the invasion!
A picture taken this week showing how much the bloom has grown compared to the before shot further down the blog.
Sunday February 5, 2023 - Winter Crocs to Summer Crocs!
It's warmed up here, we are getting almost mid 20's C temps during the day, Al retired his winter fur lined crocs for the normal summer ones. The furnace in the RV is hardly running overnight these last few nights. we are relaxing and enjoying our stay although not too many days left, we leave here on March first.
We had a nice full moon last night, a shot of it is below.
Thursday January 19, 2023 - "First Frost!"
This morning the temperature dropped to freezing, about the same temperature as back at our home! We noticed that the golf course people weren't out cutting the fairways when they normally wake us up at 6:15 am and we wondered why. It became clear when Al took Murdoch on his first business walk and he noticed frost on the truck windshield and he looked at the golf fairway and then he took the picture below.
This isn't our first frost on this trip as we hit frost on our way down from home, that's why first frost is in quotes.
Monday January 16, 2023 - Rain, Rain!
Today represents the halfway mark on the stay here at Borrego Springs. WE have had another 2-3 days of rain here, a local with a rain gauge indicates that we received about an inch total. This afternoon is sunny but a bit windy, which Murdoch doesn't like, but we took our regular "desert walk". It really isn't in the desert but is around the fairways of the RV park. A couple of pictures of the greening as a result of the rain:
The fairway is irrigated but the sides are not, as a result of the rain the sides are almost as green. Our RV faces this fairway in the distance to the top left.
Another picture looking in the opposite direction:
On the "desert" side a bush is out in bloom:
Saturday January 14, 2023 - Red Sky Morning - Sailors Warning!
We are expecting a couple of days of rain, no worries here compared to the coastal areas of California. Sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong but this morning the forecast may be correct. Al took out Murdoch for his first "business walk" just after six AM and he took the picture below. A half hour so later after Murdoch's breakfast we went out again for his second walk, the sky was black with clouds coming from the south. No rain yet but it is forecast for this afternoon.
We should get about a half inch total over the next few days.
Tuesday January 10, 2023 - In an Earthquake Zone!
Not a problem, but interesting! we are located about 40 miles west of the Salton Sea where the San Andreas fault goes through on it's way north west to the coast in California. The USGS has a smart phone app that reports quakes, you can select the quakes in your area, it's quite accurate.
Yesterday morning we felt a shake when we were enjoying our first cup of coffee. The RV moves a bit when we walk around or Murdoch does some heavy scratching as it is leveled by 6 hydraulic jacks, the wheels are on the ground but the jacks make the RV a bit flexible. We weren't moving around so the shake was felt. Later in the morning we heard a bit of a bang, no shakes when we were sitting outside, that turned out to be the second shake. In some ways we are fortunate to be in an RV, it could tolerate a big quake, some people say the RV's go down the road tolerating earthquakes, especially when hitting bad potholes!.
The screenshot of the quakes yesterday is below.
Monday January 9, 2023 - Robins
One thing that we and our friends have noticed this winter is the number of Robins that are hanging around in the area. We have never seen them here before during the winter but this year there are a number of them, looking for bugs and worms. The pickings aren't great, we haven't seen worms on the roads after our rain storms, something that we see back home. We saw a robin picking at the sand around our neighbour's patio looking for bugs to eat. Al took a picture, not very clear because of the cropping, but it is truly a robin.
Friday January 6, 2023 - Rainbow Time!
Well the rain has seemed to come to an end and the campsite is drying out. One thing around here is that we get some nice rainbows, like the one below:
After the rain stopped we took Murdoch on his desert walk and looked at the blooms again, some initial ones coming up:
Wednesday January 4, 2023 - Still raining!
After I posted the picture yesterday I took another one in the afternoon, the rain came back and it rained overnight again, the longest period of rain we've seen since we have been here in Borrego Springs. The rain in California is continuing and we expect it here for another day or two.
Between rain showers we took Murdoch on his desert walk and we saw the first of many blooms that we expect to see as a result of the rain we are getting:
Tuesday January 3, 2023 - Rain Rain Go Away!
Happy New Year to everyone! A quiet New Year so far for us. As seen on the news, California has had a lot of rain in the past few days. Borrego Springs didn't get hit hard but we have had days and nights of rain, some of it heavy by local standards. A local posted on Facebook that we got over a half inch, considerable considering that annually they only get about 3 inches or so. Today it's clearer but there still is a small probability of rain for the next few days. Al took a picture of the clouds over the hill to the west, not rain clouds but trying to be!
Saturday December 31, 2022 - All shook up!
Our first earthquake since we arrived, it was a 4.2 with an after shock about 4:15 am this morning. Anything above about 2.5 you can feel. This one shook the trailer and woke Al and Murdoch up. Lots of comments on the local Facebook group, looks like it was close to Borrego Springs but it was felt all the way down into Mexico.
Everyone have a Happy New Year!
Monday December 26, 2022 - A Quiet Christmas!
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were quiet here in the park, there were some carol singers walking through the park on Christmas eve,but no noise or partying.
It's got warmer over the past couple of days, Al has retired his fake fur lined winter crocs for his summer ones to keep his feet cool. All in all good times down here!
Friday December 23, 2022 - Almost Ready for Christmas!
We went shopping locally yesterday for groceries for Christmas and to get some "Christmas gifts" for ourselves. Local grocery shopping here is challenging as you have to watch "best befores" and the selection isn't as good as in Brawley but we are lazy and the 80 km. or so round trip takes a while. We did OK, we have food for a while, Brawley will be attempted next week.
We got some new clothes for ourselves as Christmas gifts and we are ready to celebrate! The weather has gotten warmer, over 23C expected today and over Christmas, Suzette is enjoying some pool and hot tub time!
We "stole" this Christmas greeting from our friend Ozzie's card, enjoy!
Friday December 16, 2022 - Enjoying the stay in spite of cool weather!
We continue to settle and get a few things done. We shopped in Brawley for the first time this trip, local shopping is OK but the Vons and Wal-Mart there have better selection (and probably lower prices). Al was able to get a new AT&T SIM card and we have phone service. Al sent an email to friends giving the new phone number, if he missed anyone email us (email@example.com) and ask for the number.
Some unhappy news, Suzette let Al know that this winter is our last trip with the RV and the last winter here in California. We will see what happens in the spring when we get home.
The weather here has been a bit cooler than we are used to, near freezing weather in the mornings and 16C or so during the days, but not bad compared to the snow back home though.
A picture from our vacant campsite next door with the hills in the distance:
Monday December 12, 2022 - Almost technically Challenged!
An interesting few days since the last post! We have been using up lots of wifi data on the AT&T phone which was being used to surf the net and post this blog.
Al decided to bump up the plan to get more data, he did last Thursday after posting the blog and since then the AT&T has been "temporarily unavailable". AT&T suggests calling but how can you call if the service is unavailable? Looks like we may have to get another AT&T SIM card (and probably a new phone number).
The good news is that we signed up again for Zito internet service and Roberto, the local sales/tekkie arrived this morning and installed the equipment and we are up and running with high speed internet with unlimited data. Al was looking for a Canadian streaming service, found River TV and we just watched some stuff including last evenings CBC National news, it was great to see our TV again after having lost Shaw sat TV. We have firmly decided to dump Shaw, get Starlink RV service for internet and stream what we want to see on TV. Shaw is on vacation pause until we get back and then we will make the changes.
A couple of pictures taken over the past day or two.
Rain was forecast for yesterday here, they were calling for about 6 MM but all we got was a few sprinkles that evaporated after the rain hit the ground:
Heavy clouds to our north-east:
Rain coming over the hill from San Diego:
Murdoch enjoying the heat from the fireplace:
And, a shot for our friend Cathy who likes citrus fruits, there are Lemon and orange trees all over the campground, enough fruit so that the camp hosts pick up any that falls on the ground and gives it out to anyone wanting some! I think these are lemons.
Thursday December 8, 2022 - Beautiful Moon Set!
A beautiful clear morning this morning (but cool, +3C, almost the same temperature as back home!) when Al took Murdoch out around 6:15 to do his business. Al caught a shot of the full moon setting behind the hills. It's been a time of interesting celestial activities, yesterday at 6:30 pm the full moon moved to cover Mars. Not as dramatic a shot as the moon this morning.
We are almost completely relaxed and the RV stuff is set up for the 3 month stay. We will relax for a few more days before some more RV fixes will be worked on.
We had a great dinner with Lucy's moms Mary and Linda a couple of days ago, we were joined by Paul and his wife Pat, fellow RVers. Interesting how Lucy plays with their new rescue cat!
Monday December 5, 2022 - Dog Park Pictures!
Murdoch has been at the dog park each day since we arrived to see his girl friend Lucy. It's a standard 11 am time each morning, Lucy has 2 parents, Mary and Linda. Mary has been in San Diego over the weekend so Linda has brought Lucy over, we met Mary today and hugged her for the first time in 2 years! Murdoch also remembered Mary today.
A couple of pictures taken earlier, the dogs are hard to catch as hey run very fast, but they also rest more as both are getting older.
This first picture shows Linda, Carlee and Lucy:
The second picture shows the three ladies and Murdoch moving around:
Still a bit cool here when the wind blows.
Sunday December 4,2002 - Settling in!
We are getting more comfortable, most of the stuff we want to set up has been has been done and we are enjoying the warm weather and the place. We had our first BBQ yesterday, enjoyed it.
We set up a couple of our Christmas items including lights that shine on the trees, a picture:
Last evening we had a nice sunset, a couple of pictures:
Friday December 2, 2002 - In Borrego Springs California!
We arrived here yesterday after a relatively short run from Yuma. We set up the RV and are continuing to set up today, the BBQ and other stuff came out this morning. We look forward to 3 months of warm weather and meeting all our friends here.
A picture of our campsite that backs out onto the golf course:
We look forward to some relaxation after the trip down, still some items to look at, the truck has a "check engine" light on, came on when leaving Yuma, a code checker will be used to see what the code is, nearest Ford dealer is in Palm Springs or Yuma.
Wednesday November 30, 2022 - Finally in Yuma!
We arrived in Yua early this afternoon and parked the RV. This place (Fortuna de Oro) is a bit of a dump for us but it's packed with US and Canadian folks who are mostly seasonals. We are glad we are here only for a night and the park is busier than we have seen it before.
Our RV is getting older (and so is Al!), the time in Eloy was spent trying to fix the poop tank leak problem, a temp work around was done and nothing is leaking. This is just one of a few problems with the RV, our Shaw Direct sat TV dish isn't working, it will be worked on in Borrego Springs. The bedroom slide isn't closing completely, no problem as it's closed enough to prevent rain coming in when it rains. Also, some cracks (cosmetic) are showing up on the exterior and the "pleather" recliners are peeling. Maybe it's time to trade for another RV.
Monday November 28, 2022 - Still in Eloy!
We should have left this morning for Yuma but Al is enjoying some RV maintenance (NOT!). The output from the black tank popped (for you non RVers the black tank is the poop tank, it filled the underbelly with poop and pee. Al is working on it, partially fixed today but we are staying here tonight and tomorrow night to make sure we can go to yuma without anny more issues, tough when you can't flush the toilet!
Sunday November 27, 2022 - Caring for Doggies!
We are Impressed with this campground! Yesterday we arrived before noon and they told us that they had not finished cleaning up the sites so we had to wait a few minutes to get to our reserved site. This morning we saw why, the sites that were occupied yesterday and where the folks left this morning were individually looked at including cleaning the fire pits and blowing the dust out of them, The gravel in each site was raked but pulling a rake behind the golf cart, very impressive!
More pictures of the site next to us with a complete area for a dog, including sun shade and poop bag dispenser and waste bin for the poop.
Saturday November 26, 2002 - A New RV Park for us!
We are in the KOA just north of Picacho Peak (Eloy AZ). We are staying here for 2 nights. We Normally stop at the Gila Bend KOA, but it isn't a KOA anymore and Al didn't learn this until after the reservation was made here. It's a nice park here, we got a patio site, only bad news is that we still don't have Canadian sat TV, looks like a tree is in the way (or our dish has gone bad).
A couple of pictures:
The site next to us has a mini dog park in it, (at extra cost!), Murdoch probably wouldn't like to be corralled!
Friday November 25, 2002 - A good Thanksgiving!
We had a good American Thanksgiving yesterday, we cooked the turkey (we thought we had bought a small Butterball turkey, but it was a turkey breast, not a complete bird), it was so-so but we still enjoyed it.
The park filled up a bit and some have left today, the others are Black Friday shopping.
A picture of the dinner preps, the turkey breast is in the over and the sides are ready to be cooked once the turkey comes close to temp.
Wednesday November 23, 2022 - Tombstone Arizona
We talked to our neighbour and a very nice park attendant here about visiting Tombstone to see some of the historic sites there.
Our neighbour suggested that the place is dog friendly as he took his dog there earlier in the week (it was dog friendly) so we took Murdoch, which was a giant mistake. Murdoch isn't used to lots of other people around and he jumped up on some and generally was being a bit of a pain.
As a result we cut the visit a bit shorter than we wanted but we did see a few things.
As a comment, it's a bit of a tourist trap with lots of nicknack shops and restaurants and it appears to be a bit run down except for the historic stuff.
Some pictures of the historic court house (no dogs allowed), Suzette went in while Al wrangled Murdoch outside:
They re-inact the shootout at the O.K. Corral a number of times each day, not sure if the Corral is the current site of the dirt road that is closed off in town or not, too lazy to check! Some pictures of the preps, it was a few minutes before the show, but we didn't want to stay because Murdoch doesn't like fireworks or gun noise.
A couple more historic pictures
Not a bad place and if we didn't have Murdoch with us we would have seen more history (but we still love Murdoch!)
November 22, 2022 - Another Picture
Just a brief posting to see if I have the picture size correct, the ones below are too large for the screen size!
November 21, 2022 - Feels like home here!
Well, not that we like the temperatures to be like home, it was -2C when we got up and the picture below shows frost on our neighbour's vehicle. Also my (and Murdoch's) breath could be seen on his first early walk. Good news is that it's 15C at noon and the temp is going up.
Over the past day or so some additional picture were taken of the hills around Benson, taken from the campground, it's s nice area.
We have done a couple of grocery shopping trips to get ready for the American Thanksgiving, got a small turkey and other fixings!
November 20, 2022 - In Benson Arizona!
We haven't posted until now as we have been doing one or two night stops on our way south. We are here at the KOA for another 5 nights as we couldn't get into the Tucson KOA, as it is full (it's the US Thanksgiving week). This coming Saturday we will move to the Picacho Arizona area KOA and then head towards Yuma. We couldn't get a site before our December first reservation in Borrego Springs. The KOA park here isn't great but it is an OK stop, all services, but we can't get our Canadian satellite TV for some reason (maybe the hills around us). The picture below shows our site, we are close to our neighbour, who has "yapper" dog.
Al is re-learning how to post in our our blog (with a few bad words that Murdoch doesn't like!), it will get better as we move west.
October 2022 - Getting ready!
We are getting the Redwood RV ready, lots of packing since it hasn't been on the road much in the last two years because of COVID! We plan to depart on Halloween day. The weather this fall has been warmer, no need to winterize the RV and only one night where the furnace was needed to keep the water lines above freezing.
An interesting (not real!) picture of Murdoch from Murdoch Mysteries with our dog Murdoch and Suzette. Our Murdoch just got his international vet certificate today so he can enter the US.