Saturday, February 18, 2017

Desert Entertainment

It’s been a busy few weeks out here in the desert!  We’ve enjoyed the company of fellow RVers on several occasions, from attending more happy hours to hosting a luncheon at our desert abode with co-workers from Crazy Horse Memorial.

The desert is starting to bloom!  And it never fails to provide us with a glorious sunrise or awe-inspiring sunset.

Say hello to my little friend!

I had a pleasant Valentine’s Day!  My parents presented me with a tray of all my favorite cheeses!   This should satisfy my needs for at least a month.  We shared a delectable dinner at home, ribeye steaks grilled to perfection!  Dad got the diamond reset in Mom’s engagement ring, which fell out while she was cleaning the rig one day in December.  (Good thing it didn’t fall out while working at Amazon—with all the territory walked in a day there, it would be impossible to locate).  Mom was a real big time spender:  her present to Dad was emptying the crapper for him!

Twinkle toes is back!  Yes, I started to attend dance classes again with my parents.  Since we show up so late in the season and never use what we learn, we went back to the beginner class.  We are doing so well, our dance instructors encouraged us to try the intermediate class.   Needless to say, not such a good idea.  We are quite inept at this higher level, especially since the class started way back in November.   But at least we are picking up a few new moves here and there to use at March Madness Dance Day at the QIA!

Speaking of dancing, it seems the Naturalists had several dance parties recently.  I could hear the famous tunes of Chubby Checker and Big Joe Turner emanating from their clothing optional camp area.  I can only imagine how much was twisting, shaking, rattling, and rolling over there!  I was ready to join in the fun, but once again my parents stymied me from expanding my life experiences.  I really need to emancipate myself!

Last week we visited Cibola Wildlife Refuge.  What a cool place!  Created to mitigate the impact Colorado River channelization and dam construction had on wildlife, it provides natural habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl like sandhill cranes, snow geese, and those ever pesky Canadian geese (I swear, there were more Canadian geese in New Jersey than in all of Canada!).   To protect the wildlife from getting spooked, most of the area can only be viewed by auto.  Being in Big Boomer gave us a height advantage over regular cars, so we were able to look over the fields rather than through them.  Unfortunately, spotting wildlife through acres and acres of land expanding for miles and miles off the road is like finding Hidden Pictures in Highlights Magazine!  But with perseverance and my trusty binoculars, I saw several fine specimens, although my photos don’t do them justice.  We did walk the 1-mile nature trail, but didn’t see any bobcat, snakes, or coyote.  There were mule deer tracks alongside the road, but no sign of them out playing in the fields.  We were rewarded by seeing not one, but two burrowing owls when we returned to the auto tour!  We must have spent an hour watching them!  Of course, my photos are pathetic.  I’ve come to realize that the best snapshots are the ones in my mind that I tuck away as fond memories.  There are other areas of the Refuge to visit along Levee Road, too (Cibola Lake, Three Fingers Lake, etc).  We visited a small portion of them but decided to forego traveling too far--we didn’t want to push our luck and bend another tie-rod on the rough, unpaved road.  We did get to watch a hawk capture his lunch and start to eat it, but he got perturbed at us disturbing his meal and took off.  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Cibola Wildlife Refuge and will return again next January, which is the peak period for migratory bird visits.

Sandcranes in the foreground

Bombs away!  Canadian geese in flight!

A very bad photo of one of the two burrowing owls!

A very blurry pic of a hawk eating his lunch.

It hasn’t been all fun and games in our lives, though…

…Our Splendide washer/dryer unit underwent another emergency surgical procedure.  Yes, good old Dr. Dad had to replace the drum boot and rebuild the counterbalance weight.

…We incurred a $200 increase in our motorcycle insurance and insurance premiums for the RV/truck skyrocketed by $1,000, so we decided we needed to explore new options.  Our agent said that our motorcycle insurance increased because we had a $60 claim for a windshield chip on our truck.  What does one have to do with the other, I ask you!   As for the truck/RV, supposedly the company put through a major increase across the board.  Ironically, that was what we were told the year before.  In two years, our premium increased 75%!  That's with no claims, excellent credit scores, excellent driving records, and discounts for renewal and prompt payment (would hate to see what the premium would have been if we didn't fit into these categories)!  And in Texas, no insurance company will offer agreed value on our custom-built truck.  So we pray we never get into a disastrous accident since they will never pay out enough money for us to build another Big Boomer.  Anyway we have changed insurance agents and carriers and are now paying less than we did 2 years ago for the same coverage on both the motorcycles and truck.  At least that puts some extra cheese money in the budget!

…Last night’s heavy wind, with gusts at 50 mph, proved too forceful for our wind turbine—it lost one of its propellers.

…We waited a week to get the parts that were supposed to be in the next day for the RV leaf spring fix.  We ordered them (and paid for them in full as required) on a Monday, were told they should be in the next day, and were informed we would get called when they arrived.   Dad phoned on Tuesday afternoon and was told the parts weren’t in, they should be in on Friday.  When we didn’t get a call by Friday at noon, Dad phoned.  Nobody working that day had a clue what he was talking about, but would check with the owner.  Since we heard nothing back, we showed up in person first thing Tuesday morning of the following week. Lo and behold, the parts had been in for days on end!  Where was our phone call?  Yeesh, you just can’t get good help these days.  Anyway, Dad spent about 8 hours over a 2-day period working on the leaf springs.  I don’t know all the technical garble-gook, so he will probably tell you about it himself.  The good news is, the task is completed and hopefully we don’t have a recurring problem.

Well, I’ve rambled long enough.  My tummy says it is time for a snack.  Talk to you soon!


  1. We too are fans of Cibola and enjoyed our visit there last year. We were nervous about our insurance bill after hearing about your increase only to discover ours went down $100 from last year. Do you think the fact that we are registered in SD is the difference?

    Great job on the leaf springs, that could not have been easy!

    1. Yeah probably SD made the difference for sure. We will be posting about the leaf spring install shortly with detailed pics.