THURSDAY DEC. 14/07
The first thing I saw when I stepped out of the motorhome this morning was 2 ambulances heading east on the road nearby & 1 ambulance heading west. The border patrol likely found another group of Mexicans & in the near freezing desert night air I'm not surprised some of them would need medical attention for exposure. It was a cold one last night!!
Nice relaxing desert walk this morning but we've noticed a difference in Checkers this year. She lags behind a lot of the time & isn't out front exploring along with Max like she was last year. Of course we haven't climbed some of the higher rock outcroppings like we did last year either. Guess we're all getting a wee bit older:((
Headed down to the Organ Pipe National Park hoping to do the long scenic drive around the perimeter of the park but found out some of the roads are closed. The whole road running along the Mexican border is no longer open to the public because of the worsening problem with Mexican drug runners. A young park ranger was shot & killed along that road awhile back by drug runners. It has become a huge problem for Organ Pipe National Park because the number of people moving through the back country (330,690 acres) now is having an adverse affect on the wildlife. Also, all the border patrol vehicles including helicopters in the area has really stressed some species like the pronghorn sheep & their numbers are dwindling. Decided to head back but some park staff told us about another scenic road over in the Ajo Mountain Range so we drove over there, parked the car at a picnic area & took a 2 mile hike into a canyon where a ranch used to be located years ago. Very peaceful as we followed a creek to a small brick roofless cabin. Sure makes you wonder what life was like a hundred years ago & how people coped with things. Don't know how they would have made a living. http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy
When we got back to the picnic area we were surprised to see a bunch of cars and a group of people gathered around a park ranger. The ranger was giving a talk on the area so we figured the group must have been organized at the park's visitor center earlier. We joined the group & listened & learned for about half an hour. Very interesting to have things about the flora & fauna explained plus the history of the area. The group moved on down the canyon towards the ranch but we were too tired by then so headed for home.
Soaked up some Arizona sun & I later took a long ride out in the desert on my bicycle. The desert floor is basically hard packed so it's fun to ride in & out of the cactus, mesquite trees, creosote bushes, & chain fruit chollas. It puts a challenge into the bicycle riding which makes it a lot more exciting. I was a pretty hotshot kid with a bicycle years ago but there seems to be an extra hundred pounds riding around on the bicycle with me now so my hot is kinda shot:((
Some family & friends have emailed us a few questions about some of the photos & blog postings I have been putting to-gether so I'll answer some of those questions here...............
-The camera I use is a Nikon D50 DSLR with an 18-55mm zoom lens plus a 55-200mm telephoto lens. The photo program I use is Google's Picasa. It's a simple & easy program to use & it's a free download.
-A polarizing filter for my lens would indeed help cut some of the haze in the those mountain shots but I just don't have one.
-Friend Bob in Kitchener asked about the Saguaro Cactus skeleton picture I posted a few days ago. Those ribs sticking out of the cactus are indeed, wood. And also Bob, I checked with U.S. Customs & they won't allow us to ship any large boxes of warm sunshine to Canada:((
-Norm in Florida wondered if we had seen any snakes. No, the snakes & scorpions are all asleep for the winter so are not a concern. I have seen 2 small gray lizards though.
-Coyotes are always a worry so we don't leave the dogs out by themselves. Not even in the campgrounds.
-Most other RV'ers we've met have been Canadians & most of them are from British Columbia or Alberta.
-Our internet & Star Choice television are working great now that we've got all the bugs ironed out.
-No, I don't know what gas mileage we are getting with the motorhome. I do not need to intentionally depress myself!! It's just one of those necessary evils & had it been a serious consideration we would right now be sitting at home looking out the window watching the horrible snow storms blow through the neighborhood. And we would for sure be..............depressed!!
No, we are not worried about the illegal Mexican immigrants moving through the area. For people who live here it is not an issue & for those who don't, it is.
Hope that clears up a few questions & thanks to everyone for asking:)))))