stillhowlyn's travels 2010 travel blog

Wildflowers along Henderson Canyon!

Out for a hike!

Lupin!

Our full moon rising!

Flowers displayed at Farmer's Market!

The best strawberries!

At the State Park!

Budding cholla!

Flaming ocotillo!

Nursery near Seley Red's!

Desert lilies pop up in sand & rock!

Just out for a drive, with the tripod!

Nice spot, not us!

A hike at Culp Valley!

Another "species" of cholla with pink blossoms!

Prickly Pear!

Barrels!

Ocotillos in Glorietta Canyon!

Many colors of Glorieta Canyon!

Growing out of a rock!

 

I have no shame!

That's more like it!

Oops..How did Carrie Fisher get in there?


To date, we have been here in our desert sanctuary almost 3 weeks, living off the bountiful energy of the sun, and often thinking we should have a wind generator as well as solar panels, as the gusts can be mighty and carry a sandy punch! We were even treated to a major 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Easter Sunday which had us rocking and rolling with aftershocks thrown in for further entertainment!

The days are filled (or not) by our usual modi operandorum! Howard resumes his "training" for the San Francisco Bay to Breakers 12K foot race which takes place on May 16th, running for 90 minutes or so through our desert environment. I manage a few miles of walking if I can get an early enough start before it gets too warm, but otherwise I am a "wuss" in the heat.

The jeep gets a good workout, though! We never tire of exploring Rockhouse Canyon, Coyote Canyon, Culp Valley and Glorietta Canyon; hiking and looking for wildflowers, cactus blooming and ocotillo flaming like red Christmas lights in the sun. On a particularly hot, windy day we just headed to higher altitudes and had a picnic at a county park near Julian. Another full day was spent (read..spend!) shopping for necessities at Costco. The Farmer's market in Borrego Springs is on Friday mornings, and there is at least one visit to Seley Red's citrus groves and stand for their $3.50 bag of grapefruit purchased "on the honor system". The state park now charges $8 (instead of $5) for "day use", water and dump facilities, so we park, have lunch and spend several hours enjoying hikes and photo ops.

Our late arrival put us on the "downhill" side of the flower season and was predominately yellow with less purple than normal. Each day as one fades, another pops out of this rocky, sandy, dry and hot ground. The desert lilies are so fragile looking but must have a hearty constitution. The blooming ocotillos present a canvas of red brush strokes on long, green branches. Yellow daisies, deep pink prickly pear blossoms, pink and yellow cholla, and yellow barrel cactus, framed by steep, rugged mountains and blue or clouded skies, with a beautiful full moon thrown in, make for hours and hundreds of photos! Many of you have been the recipients of mucho Picasa Web Album notifications as I attempt to organize the most recent from Mexico and Copper Canyon.

There is always the "to do list"! The cable connecting the electrical between RV and jeep continued to have Howard baffled, as he traced and tested all the wires to turn signals, lights, and brakes while I sat at the wheel following his commands. Then the "aha" moment came when he took a plug apart and discovered wires had been crossed and colors did not match up. A few minutes later, after going through the series of signals for hopefully a final time, a resounding "yessss" echoed off the nearby hills. Problem solved!

Leaky bathroom and kitchen faucets get new washers as we can't have the water pump running and depleting precious water supply. A basement door hinge (piano?) that takes a lot of weight from the strut holding the door open had started breaking apart from the motorhome frame and got relocated to more solid holding. The compartment door now closes flush and locks without effort.

We have a huge storage cabinet, 6'x 2'x 2', above our bed that, over the years, has accumulated a lot of stuff; mainly bedding but also winter/rain gear, back packs & travel bags, many photo albums starting 15 years ago, the food saver (sucky machine), iron, beverage glasses, blood pressure gauge, heating pads, candles....well, you get the picture! Now it has "proper" shelving courtesy of a trip to Home Depot in Indio, which allows us to store even more stuff, more efficiently!

Then there are the books that need our attention, further enhanced by a visit from Sandy bearing volumes of intellectual and historical reading material, though I don't mind one more John Irving, Until I Find You, after reading The Cider House Rules. Howard is absolutely absorbed by his second reading of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, currently on page 892 out of a whopping 1168! This is one book that needs to be re-read every 10-20 years and is surely a classic.

Most of our neighbors have left and we expect to join in the northern migration as soon as we get a "weather window", as in rain and cold ceases to be an issue in the Bay Area. We have baby Liliana and 3 year old Christina to spoil and two very smart teenagers and a precious puppy, Annie, awaiting some attention. Noelle graduates 8th grade with honors the end of May as Daniel did a year ago. We have a lot of family time to catch up on and a great summer to look forward to, most likely putting a few more miles on this diesel pusher, which is still an infant at only 115,000!



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