Friday, November 23, 2018

Settled In


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We’ve been back at Jojoba Hills for three weeks now, and although we’ve been busy there hasn’t been much going on that is blog worthy. We managed to get the car and Lazy Daze washed and polished, and cleaned the inside of both, which were filthy after being in blowing dust in Virgin and Yuma. We’ve also done some RV maintenance, like flushing the hot water heater and restringing a couple window blinds. We’ve also ordered a bunch of stuff from Amazon. It’s so nice to have a place to get things delivered, which is always a challenge on the road. We also got new batteries in the golf cart we acquired with the lot. Before we left for the summer it would barely get up a hill but we didn’t want to replace the batteries and then let it sit for 4 or 5 months. It’s now running great with the new batteries. We didn’t think we would make much use of a golf cart but it’s handy for running up to the laundry, showers, etc.

Jim has been working out at EOS Fitness in Temecula a few times a week since he doesn’t care for the exercise room here, which is small and lacking in equipment. It’s free for him with Silver Sneakers and is a beautiful, huge new gym. His knees are really bothering him playing pickleball so he’s laying off for a while. I’ve been playing quite a bit and feel like I’m finally getting a little better, but it’s fun no matter how badly I play. We are still playing ping pong 2-3 nights a week. It’s really popular, with usually at least 15-20 or more people showing up. They bought a new table recently which gives us four, so with playing doubles nobody has to wait very long between games.

Part of being a member here is that you are expected to volunteer, so I’m back working with the Landscape Committee and Jim is doing meter reading. We are both helping clean the fitness room once a month and Jim and another member replaced the TV in that room last week. You can get involved in as little or as much as you want and nobody really pressures you but it’s amazing what gets done around here with all the members helping to keep the place running and looking good. I’ve been doing Zumba once a week and decided to try the yoga class the other day. Not sure it’s my thing, but I may give it another shot before I give up.

One day we went on a group hike, which turned out to be only 5 of us. Did a trail we hadn’t hiked before near Julian, the Upper Santa Ysabel Creek trail. It was a good 7.5 mile loop with about 1,000’ of climbing, and would be more scenic with some rain to green things up a bit. After spending time in the red rocks of southern Utah last month, the scenery here is a little lacking in color.

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We saw neither one of these.

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But saw many of these.

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Jim, Nancy, Jean, and one of our bovine buddies.

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John, Jim, me and Nancy.

Jojoba hikers

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Saw a flock of wild turkeys as we were leaving. Hope they survived Thanksgiving.

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Our lot looked surprisingly good when we returned. Of course there is a timer on the sprinkler so the plants get watered, but other than the succulent garden it is mostly gravel, so there isn’t much that needs to be done. The leaves on our liquid amber tree were green when we got back, but their autumn colors have been coming out over the past couple weeks. We’re hoping when they fall off we will get a big windstorm that will blow them all to our neighbors. Just kidding Terry and LuAnn. Smile

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The oranges on Terry and LuAnn’s trees are actually turning orange.

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Ours are a different type, and are still very green although the same size. Fruit trees are no longer allowed to be planted in the park due to the fact that they require so much water.

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The weather has been great, mostly highs in the upper 60s and 70s with clear skies, but we woke up yesterday to light rain, which is very much needed here in southern California. We took a little hike on the trails behind the park late yesterday afternoon and as we were coming back I spotted what looked like a cat crossing the road in front of us. As we watched we realized it was a bobcat kitten, and soon 3 more kittens, then the mother, strolled across into a site.

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We only had our phones so the photos aren’t great, but it was fun watching them. Mom brought up the rear.

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They’ve been spotted wandering all over the park.

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That’s about all that’s going on in our world. We’ll be here for another month doing much of the same, so posts will likely be few and far between unless something exciting happens.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Stop in Boulder City On The Way to Yuma


After leaving Virgin, UT we spent a couple nights in Boulder City, NV to visit with John and Pam, whom many of you know from Oh, the Places they Go!. It was a fun visit, with lots of political talk between John and Jim, a great hike up nearby Black Mountain, a close encounter with bighorn sheep and dinner at the Boulder Dam Brewery. Oh, and their new house is lovely!

On the way up to Black Mountain, the one on the right, via the River Mountain Trail. Red Mountain is to the left.

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The trail was built by the CCC in the mid 1930s.

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There was a big group of people up by zipline platform on Red Mountain.

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Our destination.

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Looking down on the trail. The switchbacks are fairly gentle.

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Jim, Pam and John resting at the overlook after almost three miles and 1,200’ feet of climbing.

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We had a little incident at the top where we inadvertently got to test out our DeLorme InReach device. It was in Jim’s backpack and somehow the lock button got unlocked, so while he was leaning against the bench the SOS button was engaged. We heard it go off but in Jim’s panic to try and stop the SOS while not being able to see the print very well without his reading glasses, it was sent. The only good thing is we had phone signal so someone called a couple minutes later to verify whether it was a true emergency. At least we now know it actually does work if we ever need to use it. Jim was a bit embarrassed but I imagine they get quite a few false alarms.

Views of Boulder City and Lake Mead from Black Mountain. Vegas is also visible but it was too hazy for photos looking that direction.

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After the hike we stopped by Hemenway Park where the resident herd of handsome bighorn sheep were hanging around and grazing on the grass. You can see they are very accustomed to people.

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We didn’t realize that the males are so much darker than the females.

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The horns have such intricate detail.

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And I like their white butts.

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Since 2012 a large number of sheep from this River Mountains herd have died from a bacterial pneumonia infection but the numbers have been improving the past couple years so it may have run its course.

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On Monday we headed off to Yuma, AZ so I could have some dental work done in Los Algodones. Dr. Fonseca and two other dentists, including the one in CA I saw for the tooth infection in the spring, recommended replacing the crown next to the tooth I had to have pulled since it was chipped and has some gum recession. I was also ready for an implant but wanted to ask more questions and hadn’t decided where I wanted to have that done.

After many years of going to Mexico for dental work we have gotten accustomed to things being done a bit more casually, but I was surprised when we arrived at Dr. Fonseca’s office and her assistant informed us that she had surgery last week and would not be back for another week. You might have thought she would have called to let us know, but she said the oral surgeon who pulled my tooth back in April, Dr. Roy Castillo, would come over and do the crown if I wanted. Since I was there and I was happy with the extraction he did, I said that was fine. And since I was considering using him for the implant anyway I could get some answers about that, too. After looking at my x-ray he thought I needed a post put in by the endodontist since I had previous root canal done on that tooth. They called over and said I could be seen right then, so I was escorted a couple blocks away to the endodontist. After reviewing the x-ray he said there was not enough tooth left under the crown to support the post and they were afraid if they removed the old crown the tooth might break off. The consensus was just to leave it as is, and when and if it starts to bother me, which it is not (yet, anyway), I would just need to get the tooth pulled. Not what I wanted to hear but at least they were honest about it.

So it was back to Dr. Castillo to discuss the implant, and when he answered all my questions I asked when he could do it if I decided that’s what I wanted to do. He said he had time to do it right then, so I just told him to go ahead since I wanted to get this next step over with. Being my first implant I was apprehensive, but other than a feeling of pressure it was not the least bit painful. It’s been a little sore since the anesthetic wore off but that’s understandable considering the gum has been cut. Now it’s more waiting, four months until I can go back for the abutment and final crown. I will be glad when it’s all finished.

While in Yuma this time we stayed at Cocopah RV and Golf Resort on the west side. It’s a large, well-kept but older park with gravel lots, and being a bit early in the season it is still on Passport America. Well worth $20/night at the Passport rate. They have lots of activities, a pool, spa, fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts, clubhouse, golf course, restaurants, etc. I’m sure it’s crazy here once all the snowbirds arrive but it’s very quiet right now, and far enough from the interstate that it’s not annoying. Many of the Yuma RV parks are right on the highway, which always baffles us as to why anyone would spend months there. And their wifi worked great but it would probably be different if the park is full.

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Our view, which was nice until the wind picked up and the dust started blowing across the field.

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We could have left yesterday since I didn’t have to go back for the crown, but there were high wind warnings and lots of blowing dust so we hung around here so I could visit the Yuma School of Beauty, where I’ve been a couple times before, for a much needed haircut.  Being Halloween some of the students and staff were dressed in costumes. I am not sure what Ubando, the student who cut my hair, was supposed to be and I didn’t ask since I was more interested in what he was doing to my hair.

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It turned out he didn’t quite understand what his instructor was telling him about how to do my cut, so the instructor ended up doing it. I have had that happen before at beauty schools unless you get a student who is close to graduation, which is fine with me.

Today we’re making our way back to Jojoba Hills for a couple months. We’re looking forward to staying put for awhile.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Last Days in Virgin


Our two weeks here have passed quickly. On our last two days we biked part of the JEM trail, which we can access by riding from our site and going up nearby Sheep Bridge Rd.

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The section we rode is the easier lower portion that goes right along the edge of the Virgin River canyon, although there were quite a few rocky places where I had to walk the bike.

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The river had more water than we’ve seen, due to the two days of rain we had earlier in the week.

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Yesterday we took a nice easy four mile hike on some other nearby bike trails, including parts of  Dead Ringer, More Cowbell, and the JEM. If you make it up a gnarly section you get to ring the cowbell.

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The trail you see the biker on was a little too on the edge for my level of biking comfort.

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We were walking one mesa below Gooseberry Mesa, another great place to hike or bike. The possibilities are endless around here.

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Jim, Chris, Bobbie and Mark.

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Last evening everyone came over happy hour, along with our Airstream neighbors up the road, John and Charmaine. We met Charmaine four years ago while doing laundry at the Escapees park in Coarsegold, CA, and she recognized our Lazy Daze and came by the other day. It was nice getting to meet John, too. We had lots to talk about, as they are also into hiking and biking. It was a fun ending to our stay here in Virgin, but it’s time to move on.

And an update on our Japanese neighbors, shown here doing their morning calisthenics just outside of Chris’s door. (We have lots of windows, it’s hard not to look. Smile ) Turns out they are climbers, and yesterday attempted this climb up Moonlight Buttress in Zion. We’re impressed!

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Chris spoke with them this morning and said they made it halfway up, but are attempting it again on Monday. They have been gone most of the time and are very quiet while they are here, so it hasn’t been a problem with them being so close.

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Next stop, Boulder City, NV.