Thursday, March 31, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 162

 Thursday, March 31, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 5

A little rain overnight, but clear most of the morning and afternoon. As usual, most of the RVs in the park (there were 5 other than me by late last night) had packed up & left. The Lance trailer next door is the only one other than me that is here for a bit. A couple of RVs pulled in during the day, but the place is still pretty empty.

Early afternoon I changed the sheets on the bed & headed to Forrest City to do laundry. While there is a Super Suds laundromat in Wynne, it had horrible reviews. I didn't seem to mind it during my 2016 stop, but maybe it has gone down hill since. In any case, it is only a couple of miles further to Forrest City so I went to the Forrest City Coin Laundromat. Lots of machines, both top and front loaders, and plenty of dryers. While they have a number of folding tables, there are no carts to move your damp clothes from the washers to the dryers. In any case, the place was clean, and cheap - a triple load commercial front loader was $3.00 per load. Double load front loaders in Quartzsite was $4.50. Dryers were $.25 per 10 minutes.

On the way back I stopper for gas - $3.79 per gallon was the best price in town - the rest of the stations were $3.89 - $3.95. 

Back at the trailer I put the laundry away, then went for a walk around the loops before the predicted rain started. Looks like light but steady rain for about an hour. 

I hope I'll be able to post this - while my Verizon Jetpack is showing one bar of 4G LTE service, I can't connect to the internet. 

Verizon came back around 4:45.

Dinner was a salad.

Until Next Time - 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 161

 Wednesday, March 30, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 4

Another very warm night. The low overnight was 69°F, and inside the trailer it only got down to 71°F. Very quiet here - I am the only one left in this campground loop. It might get interesting - predictions are for severe thunderstorms, possible tornados, etc until 7:00 this evening. At least the bathrooms (storm shelters) are close...

Around 2:00 I got a neighbor - a single axle Lance. Unfortunately, as he started to set up the skies opened up. While a trailer is much better than a tent, it is still a pain to set up in the rain. According to my radar app, it looks like the rain will be heavy for an hour or so. We are also getting the first thunder & lightning, although the wind is still fairly light. The main front went through around 3:00 with heavy rain, but little wind. There are tornado warnings south & east of us, but so far we are just getting rain & lightning. It even slowed down enough that my new neighbor got out of the trailer and cranked down his stabilizers.

Around 4:30 a larger tow behind trailer pulled in. Tried a couple of sites, then left, probably to register. They are setting up in one of the larger sites on the other side of the loop. Of course, because they are setting up, the rain started up again in earnest. Behind the front the temperature cooled down from the mid 70's to 58°F, and dropping. While not all that cold, with the damp it felt cold enough that I fired up the electric heater on low.

Dinner was a Saffron Road Lamb Saag with Basmati Rice. The first time I've had this one of their meals. OK, but I'll stick with the Chicken Biryani.

Until Next Time - 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 160

 Tuesday, March 29, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 3

A warm night - 50°F at 7:00AM. While a number of RVs & a few tent campers showed up late yesterday, by my 8:30 walk this morning, most were gone. This seems to be a popular park for one night stop overs. There are now 2 RVs other than mine in the park. A dreary, but warm day. Heavy clouds, but no wind - it is 60°F outside at 11:00AM.

I stopped by the park office to recheck in since their computers were down on Sunday. The new price for the 8 days, which includes a senior discount, different charges for weekdays from weekends, taxes, etc is $179.56, or $22.45 per night.

After that I headed to Walmart to see if they had the raw version of Barber Foods frozen chicken meals. They did, so I picked up a couple of the Cordon Bleu & Cheese & Broccoli meals. I also grabbed a couple of the Chocolate Mousse desserts.

On the way back I stopped at Red River Ford to schedule an oil change & have them look at the truck's charge line. They said how about now? So, I headed for the customer waiting room. They discovered the truck needed rear brakes, so that was on top of the oil change. They couldn't find anything wrong with the trailer charge line. I may have to do some digging on my own of both the trailer & truck to figure out the problem. The "intelligent" charging systems in new cars & trucks can make troubleshooting difficult. You don't know if there is a wiring problem or just the computer shutting things off.

Still a dreary looking day, although the temperature got up to 75°F. I decided it would be a good time for a shower. The bathrooms were still quite cold, but I didn't think they were going to get any warmer. The report - Very large drying area (the entire bathroom) but no hooks. A bench in the drying area. A small soap dish in the shower, but no other place for shampoo, etc. There was a shower curtain, but the high pressure showerhead is pointed at it and water immediately runs out underneath, covering 90% of the bathroom floor. They have embedded decorative pebbles around the shower & drying area drains. There are tough on bare feet. Plenty of hot water, although if you turn it down anything from full hot, it immediately gets cold. Overall, no better than a C-.

The wind has picked up. Even though it is warm enough, sitting outside is difficult - if you get up your chair blows over, and small branches and round spiky things are bouncing off the roof. I gave up and headed inside around 4:30. 

I may not be posting tonight - Still no AT&T, and Verizon seems to have also dropped any internet connection. I'll keep trying...

Dinner was a Johnsonville Beddar Cheddar Smoked Sausage & the rest of the Brown Sugar Hickory Bush Beans.

Until Next Time - 

Monday, March 28, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 159

 Monday , March 28, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 2 - . 0 Miles, 6,348.1 Miles for the Trip

Site 40 With Lots of Steps

The bike riders were up and at 'em nice and early; there was only one left when I went for my morning walk around 8:45. The excitement for the morning was watching a pair of DOT vehicles that went through the campground road & patched the potholes. Good to see - there was one that was about 2' across & 6" deep.

Still a bit cool at 52°F at 11:30AM. The predictions are for cloudy but warmer days for the start of the week with rain on Wednesday.

One of my comments from the last time I was here was the heated bathrooms - While there are still registers in the wall, not much is coming out of them. The fan starts with the lights when you enter, but the heat doesn't, and the rooms hold the nighttime cold really well. I'll wait for warmer weather before heading for a shower.

I looked up one of the public radio stations that I had problems understanding the format - yesterday afternoon they read "Dear Miss Manners" for three straight hours. Turns out WYPL, 89.3 is a station run by the Memphis Public Libraries that reads books, newspapers & magazines as a public service. While I have listened to stations that did a half hour of this type of programing, and remember when New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia read the Sunday morning comics on the air (well, remember isn't quite right since he stopped when I was a 1 year old), this the first station I've run into that does it all the time.

I took a couple of photos during my walk around to check out the usability of the sites. Site 40 has the most steps up to the tent platform, table and fire ring. On site 38 you get a free charcoal grill, but no steps to the picnic table!

I drove up the hill to the "B" section of the campground, and it is much nicer. Not only that, but my AT&T phone started to show a signal. All the sites but one either had a RV on them or reserved tags. If I make reservations early enough the next time I plan to stop here, I'll try for "B".

Dinner was a salad.

Until Next Time - 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 158

 Sunday , March 27, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR - 126.7 Miles, 6,348.1 Miles for the Trip

Low Resolution Site 39

I took my time packing up & getting out of Toad Suck since I only had to drive a bit over 120 miles. Most of the drive was on US 64 & US 67, roads that switched between 2 & 4 lanes, going through many small towns. 

I'm in site 39, a back in on mixed asphalt & gravel that just fits the trailer. I had to park on the very edge of the site to be within 3" of the driver's side lift & 5" of tongue lift to level the trailer. The water is on the passenger side of the trailer with the water line running across the steps that go up to my picnic table. A water & electric site for $25.65 per night, although that is currently a guess since their computers are down & they can't determine if the price included any discounts. I'm here for 8 nights. 

This is another campground that I need to add to my list. Some of the sites have as many as 14 steps to get to your picnic table. Some are far from level.

No AT&T coverage and a very slow, but usable Verizon coverage. We will see how well internet radio works tonight when I attempt to listen to Hearts of Space on WXXI in Rochester, NY. By usable, an example is today's large version of the campground photo, a 385Kb jpg, it took over 2 minutes to upload to my site. I had to use the low resolution version of my site photo here at Blogger because the high resolution version would not load. I did find WKNO 91.1 FM that is an NPR station (NPR for the Mid South) that I couldn't connect to the last time I was here, so I will be able to get my NPR fix.

By the way, if you go exploring on my site, you may run into some problems with some of the secure pages. As I mentioned a couple days ago, had some older pages that were unsecured, some with one SSL certificate, and others with a newer SLL certificate. The folks that maintain my website got rid of the old SLL certificate, but now some people are reporting that some pages now show a invalid certificate. Until I get home & will have a fast enough connection to reload the entire site, I don't think I can fix the problem. If you want to see a page with an invalid certificate you will need to accept the page anyway, or remove the "s" from the https part of the URL and connect to the unsecure version of the page. Aren't computers wonderful!

Around 4:00 I went for a walk around the figure 8 loop of the campground. Many available sites, with a few that have reservation tags. Right now there are only 3 other RVs in the campground other than me. Since I'm here for a week, I set up the hummingbird feeder. I think it may still be too cold for them, but we will see.

Dinner was a grilled cheese & peanut butter sandwich & Bush Brown Sugar & Hickory beans. A little after dinner a large group of bicyclists arrived and filled half the lower loop of the campground. They are from all over the Midwest & northern Arkansas.

Until Next Time - 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 157

 Saturday , March 26, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 7

Around 46°F for my morning walk. The campground is almost full - I saw 5 empty sites doing all 4 loops. At least 2 of the sites were filled later this morning. While it warmed up to 62°F by 2:00, there was little sun and a breeze, so it still felt a bit cool sitting outside. I did it anyway for much of the afternoon, reading the second book, The Final Trade in Joe Hart's series. Just interesting enough to keep me reading, but I've read better "end of society" books. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is by far my favorite. Most of McCarthy's books can be incredibly depressing, but wonderfully written.

Dinner was a salad. By the way, unless you like really spicy food, stay away from P. F. Chang's Chicken Pad Thai bowl. My mouth burned for much of the evening, although I admit I liked it. Not sure I'd get another one.

Friday, March 25, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 156

 Friday , March 25, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 6

Not too bad at 50°F for my morning walk. After breakfast I did my usual reading, then headed out to Handsome John's Barber Shop for a haircut. Unfortunately, he was by himself & booked for the day. Found Pam's Barber Shop a short drive away (although my GPS routed me to a dead end of Deer street where I could see the barber shop, but across the railroad tracks. Found my way to the barber shop & got a walk in haircut.

On the way back I drove by a different Krogers, decided to check it they had their Private Selection Sumatran Manhandling brand coffee, and not only did they have it, it was available as whole bean. 

Back at the campground I headed to the showers to wash of the itchy cuttings from the haircut. I decided to visit the bathroom building in the A loop to see it it was any different from the one in the C loop. Yes, there is a difference - with the handle turned all the way to hot, the water was only lukewarm. In any case, my neck no longer itches. I have new neighbors on both sides.

At 1:30 the outside temperature was up to 58°F, so I ventured outside in the sun to read. Current book is Joe Hart's The Last Girl. 

I chatted with my right side neighbors - they took a year off from work to travel around the country, hoping to visit every state. They spent part of the winter in Quartzsite.

Dinner was a P. F. Chang's Chicken Pad Thai bowl. Definitely a "hot" meal!

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 155

 Thursday , March 24, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 5

After my morning walk I read for a bit, then made a run to a different Krogers & Walmart. Still was not able to find Barber frozen chicken meals or Turkey Bubba Burgers, but I did find some of the frozen meals I like.

My neighbors on the left packed up & left so maybe the foot traffic through my site will slow down. 

There is some kind of flowering tree blooming all over the campground. It doesn't look like a cherry tree, but lots of white flowers. I also took a photo of the dam & the bridge to Conway. I added a photo from my March 2019 visit. Lots of rain & flooded roads in the area at that time with far more water running through the gates on the dam. A few months later in May, the entire park was flooded. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The Toad Suck Dam

Dinner was a Butterball Turkey burger, the rest of the asparagus & some snap peas. While I tried an alternate to Bubba Burger Turkey hamburgers in the past & didn't like them, the Butterball brand was pretty good.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 154

 Wednesday , March 23, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 4 

Reminder to one's self - don't reserve a site between two trailers that are either friends or extended families. My site seems to be part of the path between trailers. I even had one guy stop to tie his shoes on the seats of my picnic table. Of course it is hard to tell there is going to be a problem ahead of time.

It was cool at 45°F for my walk this morning, and didn't get a lot warmer throughout the day; 51°F at 4:00. During my walk I took a pad & made notes on the slope of the sites in the 4 loops in the campground. All of D loop is flat enough, but a long way from the two bathroom buildings in the park. Most of A loop is steeply sloped although a few sites would be usable with lots of blocks to increase the tongue distance. B & C loops are mixed - the sites on the river side are mostly sloped while those on the inland side are OK.

I spent most of the rest of the day in the trailer reading & listening to the Supreme Court hearings. Those senators on both sides of the aisle do love to hear themselves talk!

Dinner was a Saffron Road Chicken Biryani & Basmati Rice Bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 153

 Tuesday , March 22, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 3

Lots of rain. It started around dinner time last night, and hasn't stopped yet (as of noon). Ranges from heavy thunderstorms (but so far no hail) to light steady rain. 

Sometime over night my power went out. A park ranger was cleaning out the gutters in the site next to me & I asked if the entire park was out - nope. The 30 amp breaker felt "funny", and playing with it sometimes gave me power for a couple of minutes. The ranger called the park electrician & he replaced the breaker. So far, all is back to normal.

With the rain, I skipped my morning walk and spent most of it inside reading. The rain stopped around 2:00. Still heavy clouds & 56°F outside. The 2" deep lake in front of my door has drained although the drainage ditch behind the table area is running strong. My neighbor had to pull a couple of the decorative cement blocks to get his patio to drain.

I discovered I was out of hamburger rolls, so made a quick run to the Toad Suck Quik Stop just outside the park. They had Toad Suck "T" shirts, and because of the name, I was "forced" to buy one. How many can say they have been to Toad Suck?

Dinner was a grilled cheeseburger, asparagus & snap peas. While the rain had stopped earlier, as I set up the grill it started to mist, and as I shut it down after finishing the cheeseburger, it started a light rain. I ended up steaming the asparagus & snap peas inside the trailer - steamed up all the windows...

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, March 21, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 152

 Monday , March 21, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR, Day 2

A fairly warm night - 50°F at 7:00AM. I went for a walk around the campground before breakfast, managing to put in one mile even though I left out one of the loops. This is another campground where I need to take a notebook & walk around to determine which sites are actually usable. There are a few that are much closer to the bathrooms & showers that are so sloped that they are unusable, even for a trailer, but some would work fine. 

I did a speed check on AT&T & Verizon when I arrived yesterday - AT&T 13.4Mbps down & 9.6Mbps up without the external MIMO antennas, 41.6Mbps down &19Mbps up with the external antennas. Verizon showed 56.4Mbps down & 16.6Mbps up without the external MIMO antennas, and 63.6Mbps down & 18.7Mbps up with. As usual, real world results favor AT&T even though they show up slower during a speed test. Using Verizon this morning was slow enough to be barely usable; AT&T worked fine.

Around 2:00 I headed for the showers. A bit too far to walk, so I drove & parked at the bathrooms. Typical COE bathrooms - 4 individual rooms in a building, each with a sink, toilet & shower. Large enough that even without a shower curtain, the main area floor stays dry. High pressure shower head with adjustable temperature control. A small soap dish and fold down seats, one in the main area & one in the shower. The shower has two nozzles, high & low with a lever to switch between them. No hooks or shelves other than the fold down seats, but the wall next to the shower is flat enough on top to put your shampoo & soap box. Plenty of hot water, although somewhat soft - lots of rinsing time. The room was heated. Overall, a B-.

I had a problem with my website this afternoon - all the secure (https) links went dead. Since my site was created before secure sites (SSL) were available, I have a mix of secure & unsecured links. I wish there was some simple way to change all the unsecured internal links to secure since I'm paying for a secure site, but so far I haven't found it. In any case, a phone call to my ISP technical support at IONOS seems to have fixed the issue. Let me know if you are experiencing problems...

Very windy & heavy clouds. My weather app says it is raining, but it is not, at least so far. I tried sitting outside, but the wind & lack of sun drove me inside.

That was about it for the day. I gave up on listening to Samantha Shannon's The Mask Falling; I just couldn't get into to story. I started listening to Quantum of Nightmares by Charles Stross during my morning walk and am enjoying it. Current Kindle book is Mount Fitz Roy (the second Sun Symbol series book) by Scott Sigler. I enjoyed the first in the series.

Dinner was going to be a Beyond Meat Cheeseburger & asparagus, but my weather app says we will have heavy rain starting in 8 minutes, and this time I think it is correct. I can hear the thunder getting closer, and it is getting dark a bit too early.

The rain started on schedule, so dinner was an Innovasian Orange Chicken bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 151

 Sunday , March 20, Toad Suck COE Campground, Conway, AR - 100.5 Miles, 6,221.4 Miles for the Trip

Not as cold as yesterday morning, although since I was moving, I didn't do my before breakfast walk. I only had 100 miles to drive today, so I hung around the trailer until almost 11:00. I took US 64 for most of the trip rather than I40, which runs parallel to it. 

I set up in site D8, a water & electric site with a picnic table, fire ring & grill for $8.00 per night with the Senior 1/2 price card in what used to be the first come section; now the entire campground is reservable. A fairly level site (1/2" on one side and 1 1/2" on the tongue. 

Site D8, Toad Suck COE Campground

After setting up I headed to Best Buy for a portable USB drive. I decided to try a SSD for my Time Machine Backup & bought a 2 TB version from Western Digital. I also decided to do alternate drives for backup, so I also picked up a 2TB standard disk drive. The solid state drive isn't all that much faster - 1.5 hours to back up around a terabyte of data vs 4 hours predicted for the magnetic disk drive.

After that it was off to the Coin Laundromat. It appears there are 3 of them in Conway, and my notes from last time I was here said it was clean with lots of machines. The lots of machines holds true for the one I stopped at, but clean didn't. Lots of trash on the floor. Since it was a Sunday, there was no attendant - that may have been the problem. In any case, my laundry is done. 

On the way back to the campground I stopped at Krogers to get a Private Selection Thin Crust Grilled Mushroom & Truffle Oil Pizza. I had one the last time I was here and it was the best frozen pizza I've ever had. Unfortunately, non of the Krogers in Conway carry them. They also didn't have the Kroger brand Private Select Sumatra coffee. I didn't see any of the Kroger Private Select brand of anything in the store. I wonder if they have done away with them. I picked up the rest of the stuff on my shopping list, including a rising crust chicken pizza which was OK, but not as good as the one I was looking for.

By the time I got back to the campground it was time to put the laundry away & eat.

Dinner was a Kroger Self Rising White Chicken Pizza.

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 150

 Saturday , March 19, Aux Arc Park, COE, Ozark, AR, Day 2

It was 38°F when I went for my walk at 8:30AM. I exaggerated the length of the park yesterday - it is only .66 miles , not a mile to the bathroom near the entrance to the park. Still, the morning walk from end to end & back to the trailer was 1.36 miles. 

After breakfast I read forums & journals on the laptop for a bit, then headed to Walmart to pick up some batteries for my TireMinder - 2 of them were showing low battery indications. They take a CR1632, which, unfortunately, Walmart didn't have. The Ozark Walmart is not a Super Walmart, and has limited stock. They did have a 4TB USB drive, and since my Time Machine back up drive seems to have bitten the dust, I needed a replacement. They had one, but when I got back to the trailer to format it, it wouldn't. Back to Walmart, and, since it was the only one in stock, no replacement. At least I got my money back.

Back at the trailer I sat outside and read for most of the afternoon and had a nice chat with my neighbor. It is up to 65°F at 2:30. 

Dinner was an evol Butternut Squash & Sage Ravioli Bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, March 18, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 149

 Friday , March 18, Aux Arc Park, COE, Ozark, AR - 291.3 Miles, 6,120.9 Miles for the Trip

Site B3

After dinner last night I sat outside enjoying the 71°F cloudy evening. Then we got rain, light to heavy, thunder & lightning, even some hail, but no damaging wind. For a short time large hail that sounded like rocks bouncing off the trailer, but no apparent damage.

I got an early start (for me) and pulled out of the park at 9:00. Most of the trip was on US 70 & US 69, both mostly 4 lane roads with 70MPH speed limits, slowing down when they went through towns, and 60MPH on the 2 lane sections. There were passing sections on much of the 2 lane parts of US 70. I had a guy in front of me that suffered from narrow lane itis (I'm fairly sure I invented the term). He would slow down well below the speed limit in all the two lane sections, then speed up above it when ever a passing lane appeared. The last hour or so was on I 40. Very heavy traffic going west, but not too bad on my side of the road. Cold. It was 46°F when I packed up the trailer and it never got any warmer the entire trip. Mist and light drizzle most of the drive.

I'm in B3, a back in site on the River/Lake (it is the Arkansas river but this section is called Ozark Lake above the dam & Lake Dardanelle below it). The campground is above the dam. Water & electric on pavement with a gravel tent pad, picnic table, fire ring & a small table for a grill. $9.00 per night with the Senior 1/2 price Pass. The 30 amp receptacle is falling apart, but works. 

I walked to the bathroom building at this end of the string of campsites (there is another one about a mile towards the entrance). Individual rooms, but designated men & women, each with a sink, toilet & shower. They are heated.

As I mentioned, it is still only 46°F outside. With the heavy clouds, it feels even colder. Not a good afternoon to sit outside. My weather app says it will be 69°F tomorrow & sunny, but I'm suspicious - it said it was going to hit 59°F here today. 

Dinner was a Turkey pot pie.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 148

 Thursday, March 17, Lake Murray State Park, Buzzards Roost Campground, Ardmore, OK, Day 3

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Another quiet morning with a 56°F temperature at 7:00AM. After my morning walk I read forums & journals on the laptop, then moved outside to read on the Kindle. A couple of trailers left, almost immediately followed by a couple new ones moving in. The campground is almost full.

Very windy with scattered clouds all afternoon. Every time I got up from my chair it blew over. Around 2:45 I headed for the showers. Individual rooms, with a fairly large shower & drying area. A soap dish in the shower, no bench or table in the drying area. 2 hooks in the drying area. There is a shower curtain and the showerhead is perpendicular to the curtain. High volume, standard pressure with a non adjustable push button - 45 second run of lukewarm water. No lip between the shower & the drying area, but enough slope and drainage that the drying area (at least the half towards the door) stays dry. Overall, a B. All it really needs is a bench so you don't need to put your shaving bag on the floor, and another 10°F of water temperature.

I went to the restaurant for an early dinner. I ordered the catfish and it was excellent. Overall, I recommend the place. I believe from their descriptions on line they are a chain. This one is called Swadley's Foggy Bottom Kitchen. Fast service, a couple of apple fritters as a free appetizer, and a large filled to go sweet tea that I didn't ask for was delivered with my check. They even got the bill correct this time. 

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 147

 Wednesday, March 16, Lake Murray State Park, Buzzards Roost Campground, Ardmore, OK, Day 2

A quiet night and morning, in fact, the entire day. I made a walk around the campground before breakfast including going down to the lake at the marina & boat launch. More tent sites on the point.

After breakfast I sat outside and read. Current book is Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. Definitely a throwback to the 60's. Other than a few breaks to take short walks just to get out of the chair, I spent the afternoon with the chair parked in the shade. 81°F at 5:30.

Dinner was the last of my turkey Bubba burgers (at least until I find more) and a salad.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 146

 Tuesday, March 15, Lake Murray State Park, Buzzards Roost Campground, Ardmore, OK - 200 Miles, 5829.6 Miles for the Trip

A Downy Woodpecker

A relaxing drive on Texas state & farm roads, with one mile on I35. I heard on NPR this morning that Oklahoma had the cheapest gas in the country, so I drove past a Texas station selling it for $3.89. I hit OK & it was back up to $4.00. Luckily, a bit further down the road I found it for $3.79 & filled the tank. Of course, I managed to pull a Guido, and drove by a station at the entrance to the state park that was selling it for $3.69. I shouldn't whine - it is $4.55 at home in upstate NY.

I'm in Buzzards Roost Campground, site 16 (there are 8 campgrounds in the park), a back in concrete slab that has a steep entryway, but close to level once you get in. I needed 1/2" on one side & about the same on the tongue. Full hookup site for $41.33 per night - OK isn't cheap, and the price has gone up since my last visit in 2019 - the site next door was $28.00 per night! I'm here for 3 nights.

I did a quick check of internet speeds - AT&T is 38.9Mbps down & 4.3Mbps up, Verizon is 2.2Mbps down & 9.4Mbps up.

After setting up I went for a walk around the loop. The bathrooms are on the road above the one I'm on. A long walk unless you cut through the tenting area. Individual rooms for showers & toilets. 

They have a restaurant at the lodge. It is normally closed Sunday through Tuesday, but since we are currently experiencing Spring Break, they have opened it on Tuesdays. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside. A bunch of neat looking trees behind my site.

While I was sitting outside a Downey woodpecker (according to Photo Sleuth, although it was larger than the ones at home in Oswego - it was the size of one of our Hairy woodpeckers) banged away at a nearby tree. I took a couple of photos, as well as one of a couple of crows. Photos as well as today's site photo are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

So, I decided to head to the restaurant for dinner. I ordered one of my usuals - Chicken Fried Steak. Huge piece of steak, a bit salty for my taste, but a great meal. When the waitress brought the check it had the wrong ticket to sign - it was a different order & $10.00 less than my dinner. I pointed it out & my waitress & someone else banged away at the check out terminal for 5 minutes before she came back and asked me to sign the cheaper ticket. I guess they couldn't find a way to cancel the first charge slip. In any case, my $22.00 dinner was only $13.44. I did leave a big tip!

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, March 14, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 145

 Monday, March 14, Fort Griffin State Historic Site, Albany, TX, Day 2

A warm night with the low around 50°F most of it & 47°F at 7:00AM. I walked around the campground loop before breakfast, then read forums & journals.

I did a Speedtest on AT&T - 9.4Mbps down & 2.9Mbps up. I tried Verizon, and no connection, Jetpack or phone. The last time I was here I had a Verizon phone connection, but no data. They showed a 3G connection, and since Verizon dropped 3G in late February, that might be why there is no coverage. In any case, I was able to use AT&T to listen to internet radio & post yesterday & today's journals.

It was up to 68°F by noon with light to medium wind, so I spent some time sitting outside reading. Eventually, as the wind picked up to gusts strong enough to rock my chair & the clouds moved in, I headed into the trailer.

Dinner was a Healthy Choice Sweet Sesame Steamer.

Until Tomorrow - 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 144

 Sunday, March 13, Fort Griffin State Historic Site, Albany, TX - 260.6 Miles, 5,629.6 Miles for the Trip

Site 2

Another cool morning, although only down to 30°F and nothing froze other than my fingers getting the trailer ready to leave. I stopped at the Odessa Walmart to replace one of thee baby locks I use to keep a set of cabinet doors closed while driving - the washboard road I drove on by mistake broke the plastic lock I had on the doors. They come in pairs, but of course I left the second one at home, so now I have 2 spares. I also picked up some frozen meals and finally found a Marie Callender's large pot pie. Turkey rather than my favorite chicken with mushrooms, but at least I found one.

I hit Fort Griffin around 2:30. The campground is first come, but you need to check in at the park visitor center. I went to the visitor center before I hit the campground, so the attendant picked a site that he was fairly sure would be empty. He said if there was someone it the site, just pick another one & they would straighten out the paperwork. Nobody in site 2, which is a level site on gravel, water & electric for $15.00 per night. While labeled as a state park, I don't think it is part of the Texas State Park system - different reservation process & no daily per person charge. Reservations by phone, not the Texas State Park reservation system. When you reserve, they guarantee a space, but not a specific one. Different prices for tent, electric & water & full hookup sites.

After setting up, I headed for the campground shower. I rate the shower an "A". 2 hooks well out of the shower spray, a bench, standard showerhead with plenty of hot water, shower curtain & a good sized dressing area. All I could ask for is to have the showerhead 6" higher, and the building a bit warmer - the block construction holds in last night's cold even with an outside temperature of 71°F.

Afte my shower I made my usual Sunday phone calls - both my son Kyle & Anne & Guido went from green lawn to 6" of snow yesterday. I read that Tennessee got 6" - 8" of snow from the same storm - sure hope all that is gone by the time I hit the state.

Dinner was a turkey sandwich & a salad.

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 143

 Saturday, March 12, Monahans Sandhills State Park, Monahans, TX , Day 2

I may have discovered a low temperature limit of my Escape 21C. While I have survived low 20's after a 60°F day, yesterday's high was only 41°F and last night it hit 32°F by midnight, and 20°F at 7:00AM. Tried to flush the toilet at 7:00 & the pump kept running. The toilet flushed because the accumulator still had enough pressure, but nothing coming out of the fresh water tank. I shut off the pump & went back to bed. Around 10:00 the outside thermometer showed 34°F with the sun shining on the back of the trailer and the water system started to work normally.

The empty sites next to me filled up around 6:00PM, but everyone was gone by 10:30AM. Lots of kids getting a last minute slide in 25°F temperatures before they left. There are still 3 other RVs in the loop besides me, two that arrived this morning. The park is not a bad stop over when traveling on I20. Far enough off the interstate to limit road noise (although I heard a distant train & horn this morning) and inexpensive for a Texas state park. If you have a crowd, the $4.00 per person daily fee can add up, but for a couple it isn't bad. You do have to cross the railroad tracks to get into the park - it might be a long wait for one of those mile long trains that frequent the line.

With all the excitement of no water, and 20°F temperature, I didn't do my usual pre breakfast walk; I waited until lunch time. I did some reading - currently I'm on the third book of T. R. Ragan's Jesse Cole series - Deranged. Each one of the series is a little better than the previous one.

It warmed up to 60°F by late afternoon, with lots of folks sliding on the sandhills. While most of the RV sites are empty, the picnic parking area is completely filled with cars. Quite windy - as disks go down the hill sometimes a plume of flying sand streams out behind.

Dinner was a Saffron Road Chicken Biryani bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, March 11, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 142

 Friday, March 11, Monahans Sandhills State Park, Monahans, TX - 207.1 Miles, 5,369 Miles for the Trip

Sand Sliding

I can't leave the Oasis without a photo of one of the unique RVs parked in the place. An interesting generator. Photo as well as today's site photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

It was also an interesting trip to Monahans Sandhills State Park. Either the coordinates I found for it were wrong, or I made a typo, but what should have been a 135 mile trip with 2 miles of it within I20 turned into a 207 mile trip including a very washboarded dirt road. In any case, I'm here.

I managed to choose the coldest & windiest days over the last two & next two weeks to visit, but the entire area is suffering from a passing cold front. It will be in the 70's the day after I leave here, and was 72°F here yesterday. The prediction for Van Horn was 40°F this morning - it was 22°F. Of course, with a 40°F prediction, I left my water hose connected overnight. It crinkled a lot when I rolled it up, but at least I was able to shut off the water faucet. 

On a previous trip that had the same problem I was able to remove my hose, but could not close the faucet. I worried what would happen as the day warmed and the plug of ice melted, but no problem - while disconnecting my electric connection the plugged faucet melted and sprayed me with ice water. 

I'm in site 6, a water & electric site (I won't be using the water) for $19.00 per night ($15.00 for the site and the Texas park per person per day fee which is $4.00 here). The site is just big enough for the 21 with the truck connected, but sloped enough that I had to disconnect to level the trailer. About an inch side to side & a 3" drop for the front. A back in site on pavement. Many of the other sites in the campground are pull through, but they were already reserved when I called in December. The park has a sign up that says they are full, although there are lots of empty sites as of 5:00.

As you can see from the photos, the name of the park is appropriate. My picnic table is buried in the sand, as is my grill. There is a shade shelter, but even in the bright sunshine, at 40°F for the high & 20°F predicted for tonight, I don't plan to spend too much time outside.

There are folks sliding on the sand hills behind my site. The park rents disks to slide on & many come to the park for a day of sliding. While I find it too cold to spend much time outside, I guess if it was snow, the temperature would be perfect. Everyone is dressed for a day on the slopes; it is just sand instead of snow.

By the time I got here, registered and set up in the wind, it was already 4:50, so I didn't do much else for the afternoon. 

Dinner was an evol Portabella & Goat Cheese Ravioli Bowl.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 141

 Thursday, March 10, Oasis RV Park, Van Horn, TX - 250.3 Miles, 5,161.9 Miles for the Trip

Site 18, The Oasis RV Park

An uneventful drive south & east on I10, with a bit of stop & go on the south side of El Paso. I went through a time zone change to Central Time just before hitting Van Horn, so it is later than I feel. 

I arrived at the Oasis RV Park around 3:00CST. The Oasis is an interesting place. Fairly run down, stuck between a railroad track & I10 so it won't be quiet, the laundromat is on one side of the covered pool, a single room bathroom with very dark shower, a small, but usable picnic table, and flat enough so it is not necessary to unhook. A full hookup site for $27.00 with Good Sam discount. I'm in site 18. All in all, a good one night stop that I've made many times before. I did stay at another Van Horn RV park the last time through in 2019, but it wasn't any better & cost about the same.

I finished listening to James Lee Burke's The House of the Rising Sun on the way to Van Horn, and started Raymond E. Feist's Silverthorn. I had mentioned that I had a hard time getting into Burke's book, but it grows on you as you listen; Burke is a great storyteller. One of the things that makes it is the excellent narration by Will Patton. On the Kindle I'm reading Her Last Day by T. R. Ragan. I liked one of her other books, but not so sure of this one. It is the first of a series, so if I like it there are more to come.

I started using Verizon, but it was pretty slow. Switched to AT&T and Speakeasy showed 41Mbps down & 25.4Mbps up so I stayed with AT&T. 

As I usually do, I headed across I10 Business to Chuy's Mexican Restaurant for a Chicken Enchilada dinner. 

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 140

 Wednesday, March 8, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood, NM, Day 3

One "interesting" problem with site 4 - the main trail through the campground goes through the site. The path is on the north side of the site, but depending on which side of a large bush hikers choose, they may be within 2' of the back window of the trailer. A bit of a surprise the first time one came by that way.

While it isn't specific to site 4, a neighbor in site 3, while hidden behind some rocks, loves to run a loud generator, and for some reason, sets off his car alarm every 15 minutes. Far away enough to be just annoying rather than a serious problem.

Warmer for the morning walk. The predicted wind has not started yet, so I sat outside and read after breakfast. 

By the way, the cell connections here at City of Rocks is quite variable. I don't see any bars or cell service on my AT&T iPhone 13, and an unusable connection with the AT&T cell modem. Verizon showed 32Mbps down & 2.4Mbps up when I first started using it, but it comes & goes. This morning it was well under 1Mbps down, and now, at noon, a barely usable 4.5Mbps down & 0Mbps up, and at 2:00 10.5Mbps down and .1Mbps up. I hope this will post.

The wind did pick up. While not steady, the gusts were strong enough to chase me inside.

Dinner was A turkey sandwich, some snap peas, and the rest of the Bush baked beans.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 139

 Tuesday, March 8, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood, NM, Day 2

Star Circle

While a cold night, I bundled up & went out for a few star photos. A few lights from other campers as well as a quarter moon made for some problems, but I did get something:

The "Star Circle" was a 1 hour, 10 minute exposure at f/5.6 & ISO 200. The rest of the nighttime images were 20 second exposures @ f/4.5 & ISO of 2500. To fill out the table I added a couple of photos of the rocks around my trailer I took this afternoon.  Other images at today's LakeshoreImages page.

A cold morning walk. My neighbor said his thermometer showed 23°F; my outside thermometer stuffed in the ladder storage box showed a low of 32°F. In either case, a cold walk. The wind that died down yesterday was back during the morning, but has stopped now (around 11:30). We have predictions for high winds tomorrow & Thursday.

After breakfast I changed the sheets, read for a bit then headed to Deming to do laundry. 

Dinner was a Lean Cuisine Mushroom & Spinach Pizza cooked in the microwave. Better than I expected for pizza from a microwave.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, March 7, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 138

 Monday, March 7, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood, NM - 145.8 Miles, 4,911.6 Miles for the Trip

Site 4 Cygnus

A long post today.

I had an interesting experience this morning, and I do mean morning. Friends Anne & Guido are planning to go with me to the Algonac rally at Algonac State Park, MI in early September, then the Niagara Wine Escape in Niagara Falls, Ontario the following week. They don't allow reservations until exactly 6 months before your first night. Reservations can be made starting at 6:00AM Mountain Standard Time. Since we wanted to start on Wednesday, the 7th, this morning was the day. Of course we wanted sites next to each other so I thought it would be easier for me to make both reservations (although come to thing of it, it would have been at a more reasonable time to have done it in Eastern Standard time).

Anyhow, I logged in (I already have an account with MI parks) and at 6:01 reserved the first site, and 6:03 added the second to my cart. Went through the 4 page registration process, and when I entered my credit card it rejected it. Same with my back up credit card. So, I called their 800 number, listened to a couple of minutes of information I already read on the webpage, and finally talked with a nice registration person. Unfortunately, the sites were locked because I had tried to reserve them. It took a couple of tries on my part to release them so I could reserve them over the phone. Of course, all that time I was worried that someone would grab one of the sites. To make me even more nervous, I wanted sites 130 & 128, and when they finally became available, site 132 was gone, along with many of the other sites in the upper loop. 

On the third connection to a reservation person I managed to get the sites. So, it looks like we will be spending a week at the Algonac rally! I sure hope we can easily go through Canada by then. It saves 2 days of travel to cross at Niagara Falls & Sarnia rather than around the bottom of the lakes & through Detroit.

Back to this trip. I did get a chance to use one of the telescopes owned by the owner/manager of the RV park, but not looking at what I expected. He had a solar filter on a small telescope & we watched some solar flares on the sun. 

I stopped at the Valley Fuel Center in Animas on the way out of the RV park to get a few gallons @ $4.49 per gallon. On the way to the park I saw a truck stop that had a sign for $3.89, and I was hoping the price would be the same on the way out. It was, so I filled up with what may have been the least expensive gas in New Mexico. Even the I10 truck stops such as Pilot & Loves were advertising $4.39 - $4.49, and the stations in Deming were posting $4.09 cash sales.

An uninteresting drive on I10 other than I crossed the Continental Divide (at 4585' so it hardly counts). I stopped at the Deming Walmart and filled the freezer as well as the refrigerator, including a couple of their wonderful Chocolate Mousses (or is it Mice; I don't thing so). I do wish they made them in Oswego).

I arrived at City of Rocks around 2:00, and set up in a new site for me, Site 4 Cygnus. Most of their sites are named after constellations. While once you get into the back portion of the site it is fairly level (I had to raise one side by 2 1/2"), it was one of the rare times I needed 4 wheel drive to get the trailer there. A drainage trough goes through the front of the site and the loose gravel on bedrock gave me no traction to get the trailer through it. A pretty site among the rocks. I prefer either site 1 or 2, but they were already booked (by 2 Escape 19's whose owners I've met before).

After setting up and saying hello to my neighbors, I headed to the showers. I remember from the previous trip that they shut down the bathrooms at night to save water. Evidently, that is no longer a problem; they are open at night. I hit the shower at 3:30. The report - Very soft water; you will spend more time rinsing than you do washing. No bench or shelf in the drying area, but a floor mat with drainage, so it stays fairly dry. A shower curtain that reaches the floor, and a lip on the front of the shower so that helps keep it dry. 5 hooks in the drying area, 4 of which flip down if you put too much weight on them. A small shelf in the shower for soap & your shampoo. High pressure, low volume showerhead. I'll never admit that I removed it and replaced it with my carry showerhead. My rule is if I can take a shorter shower with my showerhead & I don't need a wrench to remove the original (a sign that others are also doing it; usual a host) I'll use mine. Mine is still low volume, but heavier streams so the water rinses better and stays warmer. The first push of the button gives you 40 seconds or so of nice hot water. The second one is a little cooler, and the rest barely warm. You need 4-5 pushes to rinse in the soft water. Overall, a C+ rating.

I'll save the internet speed ratings until tomorrow since this page is getting a bit long.

Dinner was a couple of Johnsonville Beddar Cheddar Smoked Sausages & some Bush Brown Sugar Hickory Beans, with half a chocolate mousse for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 6, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 137

 Sunday, March 6, Smuggler's Roost RV Park, Animas, NM, Day 3

The wind just doesn't stop. I know March winds bring April showers and all that, but this is getting to be a bit much. I tried to go for a walk this morning (at 45°F) and the wind blew off my hat. I chased it down & headed back to the trailer. Every time the wind seems to let up & I think about going for a walk, it starts back up again. 

After breakfast I read my usual forums & journals, then started book 2 of Robert Westbrook's Howard Moon Deer series, Warrior Circle. I liked book one enough that I bought #2 - there are eight books in the series. It is only 50°F at 12:00 and the wind is still shaking the trailer. Sooner or later I'm going to have to go out and disconnect the water hose. Predictions are for 25°F by morning & I don't want to try to roll up a frozen hose when I head out in the morning.

Since there was a temporary lull in the wind I walked to the end of the RV park & back. Hard to know what to make of the place - I'd love to know the history. There are over 400 electrical pedestals, a few in this row with water, and posts that look like they could be cable TV with wires hanging out of them, and some with sewer connections. Most of the rows of electrical pedestals are overgrown with grass, and junk in the rows. As I mentioned the other day, the row I'm in is the only one that looks like it is used. The AllStays app lists "432 50 amp sites, full hookups, tables, grill, toilets, showers, and laundry." In reality, there are probable 20 usable sites, 1/2 of which look to have permanent residents, and not a bathroom or laundry in sight (or, for that matter, in town unless there is one in the pizza stand). While the price is right at $15.00 per night, I sure can't recommend it.

Dinner is the last of my oven baked Barber Foods chicken meal, this one a Chicken Cordon Bleu along with mashed potatoes. I've be able to find the microwave versions out here in the southwest, but they end up mushy. I hope to be able to find the oven versions soon. 

Until Tomorrow - 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 136

 Saturday, March 5, Smuggler's Roost RV Park, Animas, NM, Day 2

The Main Parking Strip

The warm nights are gone, although hopefully not forever. 34°F at 7:00AM. The wind mostly died down. While no longer shaking the trailer, it is still windy enough to hear it blowing across the vent.

After breakfast I went for a walk around the campground. It was up to 57°F by 11:00. It looks like the place was planned for a much larger crowd - over 300 sites, but only the row I'm in appears to be used, and many of the pedestals are of questionable connectability.

By late afternoon, the trailer warmed up enough to be comfortable, but the wind is back to shaking it. At least the dust & tumbleweeds are not flying by, maybe because they were already blown away yesterday. Looks like another day of not grilling outside!

I spent most of the afternoon sitting inside reading. I'm still listening to James Lee Burke's House of the Rising Sun & while he is one of my favorite authors, I just can't get into this one. I am reading a new author - Ghost Dancer by Robert Westbrook. I'm half way through the book & still not sure whether I like it or not. It might be one of those that requires you to read the entire thing before appreciating it.

Around 5:00 a truck camper moved in next to me.

Dinner was a sandwich and baked beans.

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, March 4, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 135

Friday, March 4, Smuggler's Roost RV Park, Animas, NM - 188.8 Miles, 4,765.8 Miles for the Trip

Site ?

Another warm night. An annoying neighbor left their porch light on all night just outside the bed window, washing out my view of the stars. 

After breakfast I packed up the trailer & left the park around 10:00. There were high wind predictions on a couple of the weather pages, but no warnings. I don't understand the warnings - while gusts of 45MPH were listed on the weather predictions, in Quartzsite I got warnings for winds that speed - none here in Tucson. Not too bad leaving Tucson, but the wing got worse as the drive to New Mexico went on. One section of I 10 in eastern AZ was bad enough with blowing sand to put lots of vehicles on the side of the road, and those of us that kept going were doing 20MPH. Not a "White out", but limited visibility, at least for doing the 75MPH limit. The low visibility section was only about a mile long before it cleared.

Smuggler's Roost is a new location for me. I usually try for Sunny Flats Forest Service campground in this area - it is about 20 miles away. So, I decided to try something different. I should have realized that it might be really different since they only charged $15.00 ($16.38 with fees & taxes) for a full hookup site. The RV Park is full hookup (50 amp only, so bring an adapter) strip of dirt with tight spots and no trees (or any shrubbery). No bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, etc. It & most of the RVs here look beat. It is level enough that I didn't need to unhook the truck or level the trailer. I did put down the stabilizers to ease (but not eliminate) the rocking in the wind. If the wind dies down I'll add a site photo. As to the town of Animas, it is a town of 237, and as far as I can see, one gas station & a pizza & wings place, and a closed grocery store - Bootheel's.

The RV park owner has a telescope set up for viewing - a bit too windy for tonight, but maybe over the weekend. Currently (at 3:00) the wind is even stronger than it was on the drive. While I didn't set up my weather station, I'd say the gusts are well over 50MPH. Until the gusts dropped for a bit, I couldn't open the truck door to get out & set up the trailer. At least it is coming from the direction that pushed the trailer door closed rather than blowing it off the hinges. I did jump out into the wind to copy down today's mileage & take a site photo around 5:00:

They have WiFi, but I haven't asked for it - AT&T is 37.2Mbps down & 6.5Mbps up; Verizon 2Mbps down & 1.5Mbps up. I had little problems Facetiming Anne Healy to wish her a happy birthday.

Dinner could have been the second Chicken Teriyaki Shish Kabob from the package I opened yesterday, but the relatively light winds kept blowing out the grill flame when set on low when I cooked it last night; today it would blow the grill off the table (if there was a table).

Dinner was a microwaved Saffron Road Chicken Biryani with Basmati Rice bowl.

Until Tomorrow -  

Thursday, March 3, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 134

 Thursday, March 3, Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, AZ, Day 4

Great Horned Owl

Another warm night. I was up a little early (for me) and headed to the Arizona Desert Museum around 8:45. $22.95 with a $2.00 senior discount. I wandered through a couple of exhibits, then headed to the 10:00AM Raptor program. A large crowd, but they have a number of "handlers" that get the birds to land near all the parts of the crowd. It is pretty impressive to see the birds fly 6" over the heads of the crowd. The had 3 species - a Great Horned Owl, a Crested Caracara, and a bunch of Harris's Hawks. Lots of photos, although I had the camera set on program, and it selected a shutter speed too slow for good in flight images. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I can't name the hummingbirds, because my iBirds Photo Sleuth seems to think all of them are Costa's Hummingbirds, and I know some are not. I'll just call them hummingbirds.

I got back to the trailer around 2:00. Highly recommend a visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Lots to see and many (over 500) docents spread around the 21 acres & 2 miles of walking paths.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading or listening to an audio book. I took down the hummingbird feeder so I could clean it up before putting it away for tomorrow's travel. About 1/2 hour later, my hummingbird showed up and was annoyed! Flew around buzzing me for a minute or so before leaving.

Dinner was a grilled Chicken Teriyaki Shish Kabob.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 133

 Wednesday, March 2, Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, AZ, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 4,577 Miles for the Trip


A warm night, although the furnace did come on around 6:00AM. Now that I have an electric hookup, I put the Micro-Air Easy Touch thermostat back in, was able to update the software, and am running it even though I have an electric heater to see if it quits in the middle of the night as it was doing before I pulled it. So far, so good - 2 nights without quiting. It certainly won't get a workout today. At 2:30 it is 80°F outside & 84°F in the trailer. I'm tempted to fire up the AC, but since I'm heading to another campsite for dinner, I'll just sit outside & read.

I've been using AT&T since I have the MIMO antennas connected to the AT&T cell modem, and checked the speed - 56.6Mbps down & 19Mbps up. Since it is unlimited, I won't be using Verizon, but did check it for speed - 34.4Mbps down and 23.8Mbps up. By the way, with the modem alone (no outside MIMO antennas, AT&T provided 8.9Mbps down & 14.7Mbps up. Shows how useful a pair of high gain outside antennas can be!

At 4:00 I grabbed dinnerware, my backpack chair and headed to the A section & some friends with Escape 19's. We chatted for a bit, then had a wonderful grilled chicken dinner.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 132

 Tuesday, March 1, Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, AZ, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 4,577 Miles for the Trip

Costa's Hummingbird

A warm 52°F for my morning walk. After that I ate a gift grapefruit for breakfast, read my usual forums & journals, then went for another short walk. I put the 70 - 200mm lens on the D850, and sat outside waiting for a hummingbird. A bunch of bees as well as a Verdin stopped by the feeder for a drink, and later a chipmunk ran around the area. Finally, a hummingbird showed up, although it never got in a good position for a photo.

A bit later the hummingbird came back and spent more time posing. According to iBird's Photo Sleuth, it is a Costa's Hummingbird.  All photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Not much else for the day. 

Dinner was a grilled chicken leg quarter, a baked potato & snap peas.

Until Tomorrow -