Thursday, March 28, 2013


Sunday, we went to Borrego Springs for a few groceries.  Then we were distracted by places we had not been.  

We stopped at the Anza Borrego Desert Nature Center.  That is a neat place to spend a lot more time than we had.  We closed the store!

The decision was made by a unanimous vote that we were way too hungry to go home and cook. 

We chose Carmelita’s Mexican Grill and Cantina for a first time visit.  We were not disappointed.  The wait staff is friendly and eager to please.  The food is excellent.  Carmelita's seems to be the place where the locals come to eat since we heard the I'll have my regular more than one time.  

IMG_1513[1]John had the delicious (I know ....  because I swiped a couple of bites) Shrimp Chiveche.  The portion is much larger than it looks in my photo.  If I were to get much closer, John probably would have given me a hammer lock for stealing his food!

I indulged in a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.  Oh, Yum! Yep, one shrimp disappeared before I took the photo. 

I really enjoy Mexican Shrimp Cocktails.  They are a complete meal, just like the Chiveche.  

We left Carmelita’s fully overly satisfied and quite full.

Kurt and Mary's
Returning home to our Tiffin Allegro Bus, we found two Airstreams parked within shouting distance. Oliver and Olivia just had to welcome them to the neighborhood.  

Ryan and Leigh's
We learned that one more Airstream was due to arrive in another day.  Mary and Kurt, Leigh and Ryan greeted us along with Curtis, the thirteen year old wonder dog.  

Kurt, Leigh and Ryan all work  from their respective Airstreams.  Mary is homeschooling their twelve year old daughter, Kathryn.    

IMG_1517[1]Rich, Eleanor and Emma who turns out to be best Airstream buds with Kathryn.  
Rich is the editor of Airstream Life. 

It was refreshing  to hear teen age giggles out in the desert as the girls explored. 

Yesterday, Kyle, Mary, Kathryn, Rich, Eleanor and Emma left for Anza Borrego State Park for the weekend.  They had paid for reservations and did not want to waste their money.  They had no idea how nice boondocking could be. 

Hopefully, we will see them on the road.  Leigh, Ryan and Curtis are still behind us.  It was fun to meet new people, once more.

Oliver and Curtis Playing Ball
Our two wee ones had a ball playing with their new gentle giant friend, Curtis. 

It appears  that Oliver is having a bad hair day!  Oh that wind. What's a macho, macho man to do?   

Oliver & Olivia

All dog photos were taken by Leigh with her wonderful camera.  (Hint, hint, Santa!)

That’s my story and I am sticking to it! Thanks for stopping by. 

God bless you all! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


You know, it does make for a brighter sunny day when the windows of the motorhome are clean.   

Desert dust permanently stuck to every window, and more dust, road kill bugs, window streaks from rain on the roof all make for a dirty, ugly exterior windshield.  

Let’s not forget Oliver and Olivia’s noses pressed against the inside windows they can reach. 

They attack each window with gusto from the back of one of the sofas or the chairs.    

Yesterday, It was time to wash the dirty windows.

I have a simple recipe for a great window cleaner.  No more Windex etc. for me!  I use three simple ingredients:  one glug of rubbing alcohol,  one glug vinegar and approximately a gallon of water.  That combination gives me the best streak and film free sparkling windows.

Cleaning windows, walking in the desert and writing the blog consumed the majority of yesterday.

While taking care of the exterior windows, I notice that the win is getting stronger.  The wind increased throughout the late afternoon and into the night resulting in a restless sleep for both John and I. Checking Weather Bug I see no wind advisories are being posted.  They need to come to the desert!

Well now, didn’t that all make for an exciting blog today…………  Thanks for stopping by.

God bless!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Saturday found us Southbound on CA 86 to Westmorland, CA.  We were en route to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.


All I could hear in my head was Sonny & Cher's "I've Got You Babe"  It is really hard to think of this man as 1.) a politician and, 2)  as being concerned about wild life.  That is other than Cher.

At the Visitor’s Center, we visited with the volunteers.  During the winter they are here at the Salton Sea and their summers are spent volunteering at Yosimete National Park. 

IMG_1431[1]As soon as we left the V.C, The first treat was to find a Barn Owl high up in a Palm Tree.  He was too busy taking his siesta to bother with us.   

The walk, at first, was a disappointment.  Many of the Corkscrew Mesquite trees had died from a mysterious disease.  They were being cut down and left in plies to be picked up at a later time.   

Later, we came upon an informational sign saying that the dead trees were being replaced by the hardier Honey Mesquite.  Those looked like our Honey Locust back in Indiana. 


Further along the path, we found this beautiful .......... 

White Heron or Great Egret.  

Help! Judy, Help!

Soon we arrived at an area where there was a fresh water pond. Water was pumped to this pond with the intent of providing migrating birds a safe haven for rest and reproduction without the fear of preditors such as skunks, raccoons, and coyotes.   It was a coconophy of bird sounds.Everyone was singing their own song…kinda like marching to your own drum. 

IMG_1445[1]I believe I have found an American Avocet.

Hey Judy, this is fun!  

I have enlarged this photo in order to see the different birds. it is fuzzy.  Will someone tell Santa that I want a nice camera for Christmas or Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or maybe even Forth of July?  

“The Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR is geographically located within the southwestern edge of the Colorado zone of the Sonoran Desert biome. This location, coupled with an elevation of 227 feet below sea level, results in extremely low annual precipitation and extremely high day time temperatures. 

Bird Collage.  (USFWS)
Despite the harsh environmental conditions, theSalton Sea supports one of the most diverse avian compositions in the United States as well as a host of endangered and other wildlife species.

Habitat diversity on Refuge lands provides for the needs of resident wildlife species as well as numerous seasonal residents and migrants of the Pacific Flyway. Over 400 bird species have been recorded at the Refuge and at least 93 species have nested on the Refuge. In addition, 41 species of mammals, 18 species of reptiles, 4 species of amphibians and 15 species of fish have been identified in the area.”

There is concern that the Salton Sea’s concentration of salinity is increasing from it’s already high of being twenty-five percent saltier than the Pacific Ocean.  

If the salinity increases the fish and birds that can withstand this high level will be unable to survive in a higher level of salt.


Northern Shovler? Cinnamon Teal?    ?             ?


Blue Heron  
IMG_1490[1]  IMG_1468[1] 


The one mile walk to this hill ended here

On our way back to the Visitor's Center, we discovered new sights that we had missed by looking in only one direction.  


This Desert Cottontail is not doing chin ups, he is eating his dinner.
 He takes a breather before going for more.                          


The Gambriel Quail  is playing hide and seek. 



Thanks for stopping by 

God bless you all!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Poor Willie Shakespeare, I am messing with his words. 

The last few days have been quiet and restful.  At least we are trying to rest.  Nightly winds with gusts up to fifty miles per hour whistle through the brush and around the corners of the motorhome making a peaceful night’s sleep impossible.

Thankfully, the motorhome does not rock in the winds as we have heard reports from others.  We wonder if Tiffin has a magic anti rocking formula?  If so, we approve!

Saturday brought the death of my Motorola Droid Razor.  I called Verizon and soon as I could report the problem they said that they would send a replacement overnight.  I had to remind the service technician that overnight would mean Sunday.                                             

Yesterday, Monday, was the newly designated day.  It arrived, just a promised.  I was without a working phone and Hotspot for a day and a half.  I was lost without my link to civilization.  Now, we are rolling once more.  Thank you Verizon!

As I was reading blogs Saturday, I found a one that was new to me.   Dave and Maxine (Max) had Borrego Springs in their title.  That was a “must read.”   

Clark Dry Lake area is their location!  Also our location. I  looked at the photos on their blog, went outside with binoculars and tried to get a fix on their general area. I  Could not find their exact location, but had formed an estimate of where they were. 

 On our way to the Springs we went in their direction and easily found them by what I described to John as the “smile” on the front of their Mobile Suites fifth wheel, their white truck and their beautiful bright red Goldwing motorcycle.  That was easy enough. 

Approaching their site, we saw that not only was it their site, but also they were sitting outside. How convenient is that?  

We stopped and talked a bit, then continued our trip to town.  What a nice couple. To top it off, they also are from Indiana.  Small world. Check out their blog at        
IMG_1405[2]Yesterday was semi active day if you can call two visits to the Post Office, a visit to the Anza Borrego State Park visitor’s Center, a stop at the Market and lunch out active.  There were very few flowers in bloom.  The
IMG_1406[2]drought is really bad in the desert.  

Thank goodness the seeds lie dormant over the years until there is enough rain to promote growth and bloom.  Maybe we will see a colorful desert next year.  

While at the V.C. We met a new little friend.   He was accustomed to people and dared to come closer than most.   


I sat quietly on the bench and watched him rush from one spot to another searching for morsels to eat.


Finding a seed, he stretched out to eat and enjoy his find.

John remarked that he lays like Olivia on our ceramic floor in the motorhome.  That bench must have been cool.  

Our plan for the rest of the day was to visit the shops in town.  But the shops are closed on Mondays. That was a good excuse to head toward our favorite Mexican Restaurant.  

IMG_1419[1]We were fortunate to meet three travelers.  They are from Italy enjoying a week in the States.    

The two on the right are in research, trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.  The one on the left, moved from Italy to France with her husband to France where he is a surgeon.  Three nice ladies. 

We headed for our home at Clark Dry Lake and another windy night of broken sleep. 

On another subject, many of you will remember when we were in the first stages of fulltiming, we stayed at Brown County State Park just south of Indiana We needed to be close to Indianapolis for John’s physical therapy and follow up appointments with the doctors.

While we were there a family camped next to us and we met Amanda who had just finished her Chemotherapy for Brain Cancer and was in the process of gaining strength.  I requested prayer for Amanda’s recovery and, of course, you joined us. 

Amanda was able to start school in the fall!  She is an A+ student, active in extra curricular activities.  One being the musical THE MUSIC MAN.  The results of your prayers is below, in costume.  And look at the smile on her face!  God is so good!  Please continue to remember Amanda in the days, weeks and months to come.  We want her to continue to gain strength, remain cancer free and stay healthy!  


            THE END

Until next time God Bless! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Oh, my!!!! This has been such a strange week! 

brought our 4.7 earthquake, unseasonable heat.  We have been running from the heat all week in one way or another.

We decided to drive to Coachella to have some of John’s prescriptions filled.  We put the top down on the Miata and drove with the wind in our hair.  That’s a long stretch for John’s hair since I gave him a Buzz cut while he was still in Critical Care and he has kept it since! 

The first Walgreen's, in Coachella, CA, did not have everything John needed.  We were off to the second about a mile away. in Indio.  Eventually, we were heading back on 111 to 86 with the thought we would stop at the Salton Sea and see what bloggers are talking about. 

By the time we arrived in Salton City, our minds had shifted gears.  We were hot and had consumed all our water. We stopped in the Arco Station to buy cold drinks.  On our way to the counter to get our ice cold beverages, we detoured to the cooler where beer and wine was being stored.  We did not go in for either beer or wine, but to cool off a bit.  THAT was a great decision.  I wondered if someone was going to chase us out, but they were too busy with a tour bus crowd. 

After spending a few minutes in the cooler, we proceeded to get our cold drinks and were back on the road, heading back to Clark Dry Lake area, totally refreshed.

Not long after we turned onto S22 toward Borrego Springs, we made an impromptu decision, a detour.  There were some canyons of the Santa Rosa Mountains that we could see from the road.  We wanted to see them up close.  Especially since two motorhomes were parked at the top and overlooking the canyons.  What a view they must have had.
Add caption

The Santa Rosa Mountains end close to the Salton Sea, therefore the canyons are deep but very narrow, resulting in the poor photos. 

IMG_1340[1]This last photo is taken of a wash with what looks to be some kind of shelter built into the mountain. Interesting.  We wish we knew when and who built it or if anyone built it.  We left with more questions than answers and with our still cold drinks. 
IMG_1335[1]We stayed home.  The temperature was hovering around ninety-five degrees.  Neither John no I had any desire to do much more than take Oliver and Olivia out and come right back in. 

Tuesday’s heat affected us more than I thought.  I woke up still very tired.  Exhausted might be a better term.  After I was up for about five hours, I went back to bed and slept like a log.  When I awoke, I felt like I was coming out of anesthesia.  It took me about an hour to fully wake up.  

We were eager to get out and explore again even though the temperature was predicted to reach ninety-seven.  It reached ninety-nine!  But who is counting, right?

Al of the Bayfield Bunch has replied to someone’s blog, telling them where to find desert flowers in bloom. After a stop at Seley’s Borrego orange, lemon and grapefruit grove for a couple of three dollar bags, we were off to find the flowers.  

IMG_1346[1]IMG_1345[2]Of course, with the low clearance of the Miata, the heat, and John’s lack of stamina, we did not venture as far as we would have liked.  Yep, Al, it takes a four wheel drive! But I did manage two flower photos.  What I need is a camera like Al’s to get some good pictures of these flowers.

After we abandoned our search of flowers, we just drove.  When we could come to an intersection, I woulds say “right, left or straight,” John would choose and off we went.  This is a throw back of our adventures before motorhome days.  

IMG_1369[1]Suddenly, we found ourselves at the Galleta Meadows Estates owned by the Avery family of the Avery label company.  What a lucky turn the last one turned out to be.  We had wanted to see the metal sculptures.  In 2011, when we were in Borrego Springs for a short time we saw only one of the metal sculptures.

Dennis Avery was quite a man.  A quote on the Galleta Meadows website shares his philosophy “Blessings are meant to be shared.”  And shared he did.  The purpose of Avery commissioning sculptor Ricardo A Breceda was to motivate learning.   These prehistoric animal depicted in sculptures  take us back three million years when these animals lived in the Borrego Springs area.  

IMG_1352[1]Breceda's work is breathtaking! The attention to detail as shown  in these photos is astounding.  Each eyelash, fold of skin, muscle was individually created.  The tongue is anatomically correct. Research, patience, creativity, huge, tenacity are a few of the words that came to mind as we roamed for one piece of artwork to another. 

I shudder to think that schools are removing art from their curriculum's due to lack of funding.  The arts make an education well rounded.  What would have happened if this talented artist were not encouraged by his art teacher at school?
Below are more of Breceda’s work at the generosity of Dennis Avery.
IMG_1355[1]IMG_1348[1]                            IMG_1349[1]    IMG_1351[1]IMG_1354[1]        IMG_1368[1]     


IMG_1382[1]We then went to the Visitor’s Center.  It was a disappointment to find that their projector was out of order and we could not see the presentations. One Barrel Cactus was in bloom.  The volunteers said that there are hardly any desert flowers this year due to the lack of rain.  Maybe next year. 

found us back at the motorhome to recoup from Thursday.  Do you see a pattern emerging here?  Once again, the temperatures were right up there at one hundred degrees.  The air conditioning in the motorhome is a life saver!  Many have left Clark Dry Lake area, but we are still here cool, calm and collected as the saying goes! 


IMG_1394[1]A sunrise to behold and the sun just hitting the mountains in the west.  It is still terribly hot. 
IMG_1400[1]Last  night we were rocked by the winds.  It is hot 

again and the air conditioning here in the Tiffin just keeps working! 

Tonight brings more wind.  It has started already at seven o’clock.  Gusts up to 50 mph again.  Another night of not sleeping well.

Tomorrow?  More searching for metal sculptures in……… drum roll please!!!!  Eight-five degree weather!  Whooppeeee!  We can live with that….easily.

How do the animals like the hot, hot weather?  Well, this is Oliver, Olivia and Noah.  The two O’s just came in from a walk with John.  They love the tile floors.  But so do I.  Just not for the same reason.  It’s a tough, rough world when you are a spoiled member of our family!

Oliver, in the middle, is telling you……THE END!   Olivia and Noah, oblivious!

Until next time….God Bless