TOOK THIS PHOTO OF THE MOON MONDAY NIGHT AT 7:48 P.M. ARIZONA TIME….700mm TELESCOPE LENS AT 1/3200 OF A SEC SHUTTER SPEED. HAD HOPED TO CATCH A COUPLE SHOTS LATER OF THE LUNAR ECLIPSE, BUT…………………………….
At 1:45 a.m. this morning we were outside like many others, gazing up at the total lunar eclipse. From our vantage point here in southeastern Arizona the view was a bit disappointing because of a high thin cloud cover. Checked several more times during the night but the clouds remained. I had set up my Nikon D50 & 700mm telescope lens earlier in the evening in anticipation of some photos but it was not to be. The moon was just too hazy. We were able to see the dark orange color covering about 90% of the moon’s surface though. Oh well, maybe another time. The next lunar eclipse on the winter solstice date is over 400 years away so here’s hoping my camera batteries will hold up till then:))
SOLAR POWERED WINDMILL IN THE MIDDLEMARCH PASS
Monday morning we had planned to head for Wal-mart in Douglas. Wanted to stock up on groceries before the maddening hordes of Christmas shoppers swarmed in. Kelly opened the gate as I started up the Jeep to head for the opening. Our little Jeepers felt sluggish as I glanced down to see if I had left the emergency brake on. Kelly was decidedly pointing to the rear of the Jeep as I approached the gate. Awwww nuts, flat tire!!!! Well, no surprise after some of the rough roads we have been on lately. Jeanie & Ray from the ranch just had a flat on their Jeep a couple weeks ago too. Nail!!
I was encouraged that the tire was only flat on one side. Ya right!! Of course, being my usual realistic self, I figured I would never be able to get the nuts loosened because I knew the rims had been put on with a hammering ‘air gun’ a few short months ago.
Had to get out the Jeep manual to locate the jack which was tucked away in it’s proper place under the passenger seat. Looked very new so I suspect it had never been used. The tire iron looked a bit short so imagine my surprise when I reefed on the first wheel nut……& it turned. As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise.” With the successful turning of all the other wheel nuts I knew we had a good chance of getting the job done. It had been dozens & dozens of years since I had to change a tire manually but it all came back & soon I had the Jeep jacked up, flat tire off, spare tire on, Jeep back down & we were ready to go. Time elapsed….about 25 minutes. Not exactly a Nascar pit stop but at least the job was done. We were soon through the gate & off to Douglas. And, I must say, I was quite proud of myself. Not because I had successfully changed the tire but because I hadn’t lost my cool & got all mad about the flat tire in the first place. My patience remained in place & I managed to keep my cool as well. I like when that happens:)) And you know what……I may have even had a slight smile on my face heading for Douglas as well. Changing a flat tire might not be a big deal for most guys but it’s those little mechanical success’s that are always a super big deal for me:))
LUCKILY WE CHECKED EVERYTHING AFTER CHANGING THE TIRE OR I WOULD HAVE LOST THOSE 3 LUG NUTS SITTING ON THE BACK BUMPER & THE SPECIAL SECURITY LUG I HAD LEFT ON THE WHEEL ITSELF
AT LEAST I REMEMBERED TO BRING THE FLAT TIRE ALONG FOR REPAIR:))
Dropped Kelly off at Wal-mart’s front door & then headed to their service tire repair garage section for an hours worth of frustration. Let me just say they sometimes have a much different way of doing things here in the southwest. Totally everybody I encountered in the garage facility was Mexican & by the time I figured out how they do things & what they were saying I was almost ready to leave & head back to the States!! Anyway, let me just shorten this all by saying, from the time we got to Wal-mart to the time we finally left 3 hours later with tire repaired & a big load of groceries I had set a record. Never before in my entire life have I ever spent that much time as a consumer in a retail store. And no, that is one record I have no intentions of breaking!! And, by the way, I have no idea what flattened our tire. I just paid the $10 tire repair bill & got the heck out of the store. I had no patience left for somebody trying to explain the cause of a flat tire in broken English or total Spanish. As Forrest Gump might say, “Flat is as what flat was!!”
ABANDONED 1800’S MINE SHAFTS & A CURIOUS IRON PIPE STICKING OUT OF THE GROUND….MIDDLEMARCH ROAD NORTHEAST OF TOMBSTONE, AZ.
We were home mid afternoon Monday & my energy batteries were totally depleted from a poor Sunday night’s sleep. Rest of the day I just kind of Zombied around the rig wandering aimlessly like a thirst slaked man in a hot dry desert.
OH OH, DEAD END ROAD!! TIME TO GET OUT MY BACK UP LICENSE
OK, that now brings me up to date & I’m back on track for today’s current happenings. First, let me say that our weather here in southeastern Arizona remains totally fantabulous. We are so fortunate compared to many other parts of the country. Even our night’s have been remaining well above freezing. Most unusual for this elevation at this time of year in these parts.
Some commenters mentioned an interest in finding the Council Rocks area where we were Sunday. We did actually enter the coordinates into our Delorme GPS while standing at the marker with the intention of posting that info in the blog to make it easier for folks to find. Of course when I went to retrieve that info from the GPS for Mondays blog, the info was not there. So, I gassed up our Google Earth plane this morning & flew back over to the Council Rocks area, circled the area round & round until I pinpointed the position where the photo is of Kelly beside the marker recording the info into our GPS. Google Earth coordinates say….Latitude: 31'54'26.85”N & Longitude: 110'2'18.30”W. Elevation is 4,904 feet & I took the photo of Kelly at 3:14 in the afternoon. I think these coordinates should land anyone within about 50' of that marker. It was impossible for me to zoom into the totally exact marker spot. Now, having said all that, let me further confuse everyone by saying that 4 years ago when we had our Hughes net system & I would check our Datastorm position with Google Earth, it would always show our position about 15 miles away from where we actually were. Oh dear, we just have to get ourselves very much more smartened up with our Delorme GPS…..& fast!!
WE IMAGINED SMALL INDIAN CHILDREN OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO PLAYING AT COUNCIL ROCKS ON THIS ODD SHAPED ROCK PRETENDING THEY WERE ON HORSEBACK CHASING WILD BUFFALO
Also meant to mention in Sunday’s blog about the Dragoon Springs which the marker refers to. The Springs are north of this location & south of the town of Dragoon. We Jeeped into that location a couple weeks ago & also stopped at the old Butterfield Stage Lines depot ruins where the bodies of 4 Confederate soldiers are buried after being killed by Apache Indians. You can see my blog from that day here…… DRAGOON SPRINGS.
As you can tell from this picture, Santa came early to our house bringing Al a nice new vacuum cleaner. The cheap plastic wheels had worn out & fallen off our old one making it too hard to drag around anymore. Kelly & I took turns test driving the new sucker around the interior of the rig this morning. Neat-O.
KELLY HAS LOTS OF HELP CHECKING OUT THE NEW VAC:))
Noticed what appeared to be some Christmas decorations beginning to appear on our Agave & Yucca plants this afternoon. Could be a sign of things to come:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for pocket watches, decided to market compasses for the pioneers traveling west. It turned out that although their watches were of finest quality, their compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tates is lost!"
EMAIL THE BAYFIELD BUNCH:))
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