Thursday, February 24, 2011




The BLM lands on Ogilbe Road west of Yuma are on the flight line of heavy military helicopters flying out of the Marine base in Yuma to their live fire range in the Chocolate Mountains east of Niland California.  I have seen that live fire in the night while we stayed a few days at Slab City a few years ago.  We didn’t let the helicopter noise bother us Wednesday night.  I always think they are really neat & run out the door to watch them flying low in the darkened night.



Decision was made early this morning to head for Borrego Springs so we were up & ready to rumble by 7:45.  We had heard a nasty storm is headed for Borrego on the week-end & we certainly did not want to miss that, eh.  Well, we were ready to go but of course our slide wasn’t.  Wouldn’t retract again so we had to go through our usual scenario of Voodoo charms trying to coax it to move.  Tried the emergency brake…nope.  Moved the rig forward & back…nope.  Swore a lot, wiggled the control panel, took my socks off, turned around twice, stamped the floor with my right foot 3 times & crossed my liver…nope.  I was just pulling a couple of wood blocks out of a bin to put under the hydraulic jacks to level the coach when the living room slide began to go in.  Kelly had decided to try screwing the control panel back in place, tried the switch & it worked.  Minutes later at 8:10 a.m. we were heading north up Ogilbe with the hammer down heading for Borrego Springs.


DSC_0025  DSC_0031

DSC_0029  DSC_0036 DSC_0030-1


Two hours later after a half hour stop at the big Arco station west of the Salton Sea to empty tanks, & take on propane & water, we rolled into the Clark Dry Lake Bed area about 6 miles east of Borrego Springs.  Thanks to a tip from JEAN & SKIP we knew that one of our favorite spots was vacant & it was the same place we stayed 2 years ago while here.  A few years ago another RV couple built an earth oven at this site & it has become a favorite spot for RV’ers.  We were happy to find the Oven in great shape today.  In fact it seems in better shape now than it was 2 years ago so I’m thinking folks have been looking after it.



Of course the winds picked up minutes after our arrival & while setting up the tripod for the satellite dish we noticed it was broke & totally askew.  One of the legs has partially sheared off & looks unfixable.  That would explain why the big record wind gusts in Cochise County last Saturday totally slam dunked our tripod.  The ‘Claw’ held but it was the tripod leg that broke.   Only thing I could do was set it up as best I could, tie the tripod to the rig with a rope, anchor it to the Claw, hang a heavy jug of water on the bottom & cross my fingers hoping for the best.  With only a month to go before heading home we’ll try to hold the broken tripod together until we get back to Canada.

DSC_0065 DSC_0009


Anyway, it’s great to be back in Borrego Springs….our California home away from home.  This will be our 4th year here & we certainly have created a lot of great memories in Borrego Springs.  Just type ‘Borrego Springs’ into our search box at the top of the right hand column & you will find lots of my blogs about Borrego & how great this place really is.  Tomorrow we will begin creating some new memories here:))


Thanks to Jim over at JIM'S RETIREMENT ADVENTURES I am able to make a correction to Wednesday night’s blog.  Jim says in a comment, “Al, Just a minor terminology correction, "Hang Gliders" are non-powered and rely on natural lift to fly. Those powered wings with an engine & propeller you see out there in the desert are called "Ultralights".  Thanks Jim, much appreciated.  If you click on Jim’s blog you will see he knows what he is talking about.


And, to answer a comment from a blogger in Tombstone about trees.  On the floor of the Sulphur Springs Valley there are not many naturally grown trees of any size.  Some folks may have pines trees etc but those are not natural to the valley & have to be maintained with a lot of watering.   Naturally growing trees begin with altitude & green forests are generally not far from the valley floor when approaching the mountains.  Here on the desert floor west of Yuma where we are we have naturally growing larger trees such as Palo Verde, etc.  Shrubs like the Creosote Bush, the Bitter Bush & others are more in abundance & give the desert a greener look at this time of year.  Back home in Ontario we basically live in a Pine forest that is surrounded by other hardwood forests so we do appreciate our trees.  At the Flying W Ranch there was one large Cottonwood tree that the previous 2 ranch owners kept watered with an underground drain pipe from the washing machine.  Had they not done that, the tree would not have survived.  

 DSC_0002 DSC_0001



Since leaving on our trip last November we have not been able to access our favorite email program which of course has always been Microsoft’s Outlook Express.  Our internet provider company changed hands this past summer & that changed our access.  All our address books & files are in Outlook so we have been scrambling with Hotmail & Gmail for the past 3 months.  Neither one of the those programs are to my liking & don’t even mention Microsoft’s new ‘Live Mail’ or I will throw something at you.  Long story short is that I am in a stumbling state of confusion here with my my email address’s & correspondence.  Am asking all the folks emailing in to use our ‘Stargeezer’ Gmail address found at the bottom of the blog.  If you have emailed me with a question or comment & I haven’t got back to you, please email me again at the Stargeezer address.  I need all the help I can get at getting myself reorganized here.  Bothers me to think I haven’t returned someone’s email when they have taken the time to email us.


In the morning I will be up on the roof cleaning up our solar panels before angling them to the southern sky.  We will be powering ourselves up with the rays of the sun for the next little while.  And did our slide deploy when we got to our Borrego site today?  Well, yes it did, making it clear there is absolutely no method to this ongoing slide madness at all………


GROANER’S CORNER:((  Three cowboys were hanging out in the bunkhouse. "I know that smart aleck Tex," said the first. "He's going to start bragging about that new foreign car he bought as soon as he gets back."
"Not Tex," the second cowboy replied. "He'll always be just a good ol' boy. When he walks in, I'm sure all he'll say is hello."
"I know Tex better than either of you," said the third. "He's so smart, he'll figure out a way to do both. Here he comes now." Tex swung open the bunkhouse door and shouted, "Audi, partners!"

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. Enjoy our favorite spot for us! Will look forward to reading about your adventures in Borrego Springs!

  2. Can't wait to see the loaf of fresh bread YOU bake in that oven! :)

  3. Welcome to California!!

    Sure sounds like your slide problem is located in that switch that Kelly's been playing with.

    Who doesn't like Gmail?? It's a great email program. You can even import your Stargeezer email right into it!

  4. Really loved that spot when we were there last month, Al and Kelly!

    In fact, I'm betting Fillmore, Ditka and Sox marked enough bushes around there to keep your bunch of furkids busy remarking for awhile!

    It looks like someone has done some fixes on the oven door area since we were there. Have you ever actually cooked in it. We'd love to try one once but understand it really takes some practice.

  5. Thanks much for explaining about the difference in having trees in the area. I would love to have a cottonwood
    . I'm learning alot from your blogs. Keep it up.

  6. Hi Al: Intermitten problems with a RV aren't they wonderful.

    John Rosasco

  7. I know how good it feels to come back to a place you have enjoyed before, Kinda like being back "HOME". It looks like a neat place. We will make a quick overnighter stop at MM99 south of Qz on our way to Yuma on the 6TH. Like you we'll try to find a spot way off from anybody for a nice peaceful evening....Hope the weaather is good.
    I too believe you need a new slide out switch.....Enjoy my friend, I'll be right here in my recliner watchin you!

  8. Al when I saw the title of your post, I knew right where you were. Glad you made it there safely, enjoy your time at the “Oven”.


  9. A great spot for the last leg of your trip...Solar panels seem to be a "must have" when boondocking.
    Wonder if you could use that oven to smoke a brisket??HMMMM..a little Mesquite, fruit or nut wood, some Texas BBQ rub, and it would be worth a try!..jus sayin'

  10. Ah, the oven! Odel and I helped Richard Dopp build that oven (; glad to read that it is better than ever. My favorite memory of the experience? Draining gray water from our tanks to use to make the mud - a great recycle. :) After that experience, we went on to build the big oven at Paws and Hooves - a week long project. It is a fun, fun thing to do.

  11. What is that red spot on your roof? Was is left by the alien that came one night?


  12. It sounds like Terri may be the person to operate the slide. Apparently you are jinxed. Enjoy reading your blog and wish we were out there on the open road. I married a Canadian,we are in Oklahoma where the winters are not quite so cold as Alberta but as we get older want to seek a warmer climate in the winter. You know "Old bones". Stay safe you two.

  13. To add to the aviation terminology confusion, hang gliders are ultralights, also. In the US there are two categories of ULs, powered and unpowered. Hang gliders fall into the unpowered group. What you had at Anza-Borrego, last year, is a powered parachute which is a powered ultralight.

    BTW, we were there that day. We were parked about 3/4 mile closer to the lake bed.