Rain!

Wednesday evening it started raining and it continued until this morning, which is very unusual for Yuma, Arizona.

In the six years that we have been coming here we have never seen rain like this. The odd time we have had rain it was a few drops and that was it, if you blinked you would have missed it.

I did think my Poinsettia looked very pretty with raindrops on it’s leaves … yes folks back home it is warm enough to leave our poinsettias outside at Christmas 🙂

So I wasn’t thrilled when I woke up this morning and it was still raining but I donned my raincoat and flip flops and headed out for my walk. Yup I went in my flip flops but it didn’t take long to realize I might have to adjust my route as I was hitting some major puddles!

Hmm I can’t walk through that!

After a half hour, in heavy rain, I finally acknowledged defeat and stopped by home to put on my boots … my wet feet were sliding out of my flip flops 😦 My hour long walk took an hour and fifteen minutes today due to dodging puddles, stopping to put on my boots, and taking pictures, but my very wet self finally arrived back at Maxx … and guess what??? The rain stopped and that was it for the day, I would have preferred it stopped before my walk!

There are new water hazards on the golf coarse.

I checked our weather station when I got home to see how much rain we had but before I tell you I thought I would give you a history lesson on rain in Yuma …

  • In the past thirty years it has rained eight out of thirty times on December 7th.
  • The average rainfall for December 7th is 1mm/.03in.
  • The record rainfall was 8mm/.32in in 1997.
  • The record high was 26C/80F in 2012
  • The record low was 2C/35F in 2011.

And new lakes

Of course I’m not the person that makes the official declaration but from what our little weather station is telling me, we hit a new record today …

  • Since the rain started on Wednesday we have had 21.1mm/.83 in.
  • In the last 24 hours we have had 18.5mm/.73 inches which I think really beats the previous records of 8mm/.32in in 1997!
  • The highest temp we reached so far today is 17C/63F but it will probably go up a few more degrees.
  • The lowest temperature I noticed today was 11C/52F when I went out for my walk just before 6:00 a.m.

It figures that it would stop raining as soon as I get home!

Now the lack of rain and the abundance of sun is the main reason we spend so much time in Yuma, Arizona during the winter. On average Yuma gets a total of 76mm/3in of rain per year. The US average is 990mm/39in … yup that makes Yuma a pretty dry place 🙂

Five hours later the puddles are disappearing quickly!

And to put that in context for those of my readers that live in British Columbia, Vancouver receives an average of 990mm/39in per year … and sis-in-law, Abbotsford tops out at an average of 1538mm/61in! I couldn’t find any rain information for our home town of Kelowna, I guess that means we don’t get that much rain … nope that’s not true, but we don’t get nearly as much as coast of BC does.



Of course all of the above information comes from the internet so who knows if its true or not but it all sounds reasonable to me, but what I can attest to is our personal weather station said we received 21.1mm/.83in, and that’s a lot of rain for Yuma!

And we are back to the beautiful sunny weather we are accustom to 🙂

And who knew you could write a blog this long about rain … thanks for following along 🙂

Until next time …

Napa, California

We had a beautiful drive from the Redwoods to Napa, California on Saturday. We did get some thick fog first thing but it burned off by noon and the temperatures kept getting warmer.

The temperature was 80F, 27C, when we arrived in Napa and we were both quick to change into shorts and t-shirts, and it looks like this weather will hold out for our time here.

We are set up at Skyline Wilderness Campground right in Napa. We have stayed here before and are very pleased with it and especially the price, $30.00 a night with our Good Sam discount for electric and water. It takes a little over an hour to drive right down to Fisherman’s Warf from the campsite so it is the perfect location and we can avoid spending a fortune for an RV Park right in San Francisco.

Our view as we sit outside 🙂

 

Our first few days were spent doing chores and errands but now that the weekend tourists have gone home we are heading into San Francisco today.

Until next time …

Off to Newport, Oregon

And guess what … there was no fog! Lot’s of dark, and some low, clouds but no fog. Most of our drive was good but a half hour out of Newport, Oregon the rain started and by the time we got to the RV Park it was really coming down which made for a couple of drenched people doing our set-up 😦
This is our third attempt travelling down the Oregon coast, and one coming up the coast, in hopes of hitting nice weather but I just don’t think that is something that happens in the fall or spring.
I’m about ready to give up. It is a nice drive and we know we are safe from snow but it’s not a cheap trip. RV parks are expensive and we use more fuel climbing hills and fighting winds.Don’t get me wrong it is well worth the trip and the views are beautiful! If you do it, make the trip south rather than north, the road winds its way along the coast but we have never had a problem towing a thirty-five foot fifth wheel. All the viewpoints are accessible heading south only and travelling north the road is narrow because there are rock cliffs along many portions of the highway in California and southern Oregon. Also if you are big rig continue on Highway 101 in California; do not take Highway 1 along the California coast, it is not meant for big rigs!We will carry on down the coast and who knows maybe the sun will appear but even if it doesn’t, it is still a nice drive and way better than travelling I-5 🙂

There were a lot of boats in Tilamook Bay which is a popular fishing area for Dungeness Crab, Shiner Perch, Kelp Greenling, Coho and Chinook Salmon, Cockle, and Black Rockfish.

To add to the bad weather we were very disappointed in the Port of Newport RV Park! We have always stayed here because the location is great and we enjoy the views over the harbor. The price use to be $37.80 per night with full hook-ups and our Good Sam discount, which was pricey but not a lot more than the state park nearby, and we had full hook-ups plus a laundry room … and it was an easy walk to Rogue Brewing 🙂 They have now raised their prices to $50.09 with the Good Sam discount, that’s a $12.29 per night increase and it is just not worth that! So this will be our last stay. If we come back to Newport again we will stay at South Beach State Park, which is $31.00 for a site with electricity. We would have gone there but we really wanted to flush out our tanks so we needed full hook-up, and maybe we wanted one last walk over to Rogue Brewery.

Hubby had the Pumpkin Patch Ale on the right and I had the Gose and both were very good. The Gose uses sea salt that the brewing crew hand harvested from Yaquina Bay outside the brewery … I thought that was pretty cool!

After our visit to Rogue we had to go and fuel up the truck so we thought a visit to the Taphouse was also in order 🙂

I had the Cali Creamin Nitro from Mother Earth Brewery (on the left) and it was really good, hubby had the Wokau Blackberry Wheat from Wolf Tree and he enjoyed it as well.

Until next time …

Fort Stevens State Park

I could start this blog with another rant about the fog, but I won’t make you suffer through that … but we did wake up to fog once again and this time it stayed all day … such is life on the Oregon coast … okay I did rant!
We have really enjoyed our time at Fort Stevens State Park in Astoria, Oregon. Fort Stevens was an American military facility that guarded the mouth of the Columbia River from the Civil War through World War II. It was named after Issac Stevens, a slain Civil War general and former Washington Territory governor and was an active fort from 1863 to 1947.

Coffenbury Lake a picnic and swim area within the park … just in case you don’t want to swim in the ocean ☺

Sunday night we took a walk along the ocean during low tide. And yesterday morning we took a walk during high tide, the weather was not nearly as nice but still reasonably warm. In 1906 the sailing ship Peter Iredale ran aground on Clatsop Spit and the crew took refuge at Fort Stevens. Part of the wreck still lies on the beach today.

Low tide

High tide

On June 21, 1942 a Japanese submarine surfaced off Fort Stevens and fired seventeen shells, making Fort Stevens the only military installation in the continental United States to come under enemy fire during World War II.

Since there were no submarines to take pictures of, you will have to make do with a picture of a very big freighter near the mouth of the Columbia River. I’m sure you can use your imagination to pretend this ship is a sub 🙂

Between 1885 and 1895 long, rocky jetties were built to protect the mouth of the Columbia River. The jetties narrowed the current to help flush out sediment and keep beach sand from clogging the river mouth.

Today it makes a great place to fish during high tide but this fisherman was getting wet from the waves!

Apparently it is also a great place to surf!

Off the south jetty is a walkway to Trestle Bay where there is a wildlife bunker set up.We didn’t see any wildlife at the bunker but there was a lot to see through out the park!

We saw lots of Elk but usually I didn’t have the camera handy, but this guy was very cooperative. He had a friend with him but his friend was being rude and wouldn’t look up so I’m not going to share his picture ☺

Until next time …

More Amazing Views :-)

It was good news when we woke up yesterday morning and we hadn’t floated away in the Walmart parking lot … that was some rainstorm we had, but by morning the skies had cleared.

Our normal travel day’s range in the area of three to three and a half hours, but lately we having been putting in much longer days. If we were heading south down the Oregon coast we would definitely plan to drive no more than three hours to our next destination because there are so many pullouts to stop and admire the views along the way.

We were happy to be using the bridge to cross Coos Bay. The last time we came this way the bridge was closed and we had to drive through narrow, twisty, residential roads around the bay … it was not a fun trip!

The first hour of our day was through tree lined highway.

On this trip, where we are heading north, we are treated to amazing views but there are only a few pullouts that you can access from the northbound lane and most of those have not been big enough for us.

And then the sun started to peak through the clouds and the ocean appeared!

And the rest of our two and a quarter hour drive was completed with ocean views.

The other reason we have pulled some longer travel days was to gain a few extra days to spend in state parks along the coast, and the first one was to be our stop for last night and tonight.  When we pulled into South Beach State Park there was only one section open for first come first serve and those sites were all to small for us so we went on to plan B. Instead of the state park we are spending a few days back at the Port of Newport Marina, a favorite of ours 🙂

From now on our travel days will only be a few hours and hopefully the weather cooperates and we can enjoy the extra time at our destinations.

And the weather did cooperate last night when we enjoyed a nice walk along the beach watching the sunset.  Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera but I got some okay pictures with my cell phone.

Until next time …

A Cleaning Day :-)

One of the reasons we wanted to spend a few days at Caliente Springs RV Resort in Desert Hot Springs is because of the water. Both Maxx and the truck desperately needed a bath and unlike the water in Yuma, which is very high in salt content and leaves spots, the water here is soft and doesn’t leave spots. So yesterday while I went up and did laundry, hubby washed Maxx and the truck, now they both sparkle 🙂 We are pretty sure the sparkle won’t last long once we hit the road but at least we feel better knowing they were clean.

I enjoyed sitting by the lagoon reading my book in between laundry loads.

The pools and hot tubs at Caliente Springs are filled with natural hot mineral water that continually flows into them. The snow from Mt. San Gorgonia melts and seeps into the ground. It then flows by underground rivers and makes its way to heated fault zones where it warms and mineralizes over years. The water is then pumped to the surface to naturally heat the pools and hot tubs and is eventually returned to the ground to replenish the aquifer. Many people stay here for the winter because they believe these are healing waters. I’m not sure I believe that but I do enjoy soaking in the warm water.

The wind we had on Saturday died down on Sunday so we were able to walk up to the hot tub last night and not feel like we were going to be blown away!

Until next time …

Life At Cocopah RV And Golf Resort

Although I have posted pictures of our site and the pool at Cocopah RV and Golf Resort I realized I have never posted pictures of the other common areas in our winter home.

So here is what life is like when we are at our winter home. 🙂

Some days start off with a morning walk and watching the sunrise by the pond at the main office.

 Other days start off with a morning walk and watching the sunrise over the lettuce fields.

My daily walk always includes a visit with Eddy the Egret … now I have no idea if other people call him Eddy but that’s what I call him when I say good morning to him.

Through out the day hubby will often join me for a walk and one day I took my camera along.

We are very close to the pool, laundry room, and cantina, so that is were we will begin our tour.

Hopefully this picture give you an idea of how close we are to everything!

Every second week we do laundry in the main laundry area, there is also another laundry area in the pet section of the park.

The Laundry Room is on the left of this building.

The laundry room also has a nice outside area for hanging clothes … I hope these clothes are okay with being in my blog!

Many people will sit outside in this seating area while waiting for the laundry to finish or they will sit by the pool which is just across the way.

The laundry room is across from the Cantina so laundry day always includes a visit to the Cantina for a pitcher of beer. On laundry day we sit inside the Cantina at the bar and have fun conversation with whoever is around. 😀

On Friday night we always attend the Egg Game, which is very popular in the park. It is held in the Cantina and we always sit outside for that.

On Friday nights this place is packed! We have to get here early to get a seat. I try to avoid posting pictures of people without their permission but this group was very happy to be included in my blog ☺

Across from the main entrance of the Cantina is the back of the ballroom, meeting rooms, and the library, which has a large selection of great books!

Along with a good selection of books there is also a large puzzle table.

Continuing on we pass the tennis and pickle ball courts.

To the left of the courts is the Activity Center where we can sign up for a multitude of events such as dances, live music, the Horse Races, etc.

 On the right of the Activity Center and beside the pickle ball courts is the Fitness Centre.

As we continue on past the Activity Center we come up to the main resort office building. To the left on the picture below is the door to the mailboxes, the area to the right of the building is the back of the post office. The main door is in front and we can buy stamps, mail letters, and pick up parcels there.

The mailbox area has over 800 boxes so I have put a flip flop sticker on our box so that we can find it easier … because of course … Life Is Better In Flip Flops 🙂

The front of the above building is the main office, which handles registration, has a small store, and answers all kinds of questions.

This is Eddie’s pond but he was camera shy and flew out of the picture.

Now we turn back toward our site and we pass the restaurant.

We often make a small side trip down to the river and on our way we pass the picnic area where we usually have at least one of our block parties. I think our February block party will be held here this year. A block party is a potluck for all the people on our street and the street behind us … there were around eighty people at our January party.

The area along the Colorado River is often referred to as the beach, but I have never seen anyone use this area as a beach … but it is still pretty to come down and see the water 🙂

 As we near the turn to our street we walk by the horseshoe pitch, there is also a large shuffleboard court but I forgot to get a picture of that.

And that is life at Cocopah. We really enjoy our time here but I have to say I am looking forward to heading home and seeing our family and friends!

Until next time …

Woo Hoo We Bought A Race Horse :-)

And when I phoned our daughter to tell her we were now horse owners her comment was “I feel my inheritance running down the track away from me!”  And my thought was “Oh honey, you think you are still going to get an inheritance!” but I didn’t tell her that. 🙂

But before I get to how we managed to become horse owners I will start with last night’s activities at the horse races.

Once again we enjoyed an evening at the Horse Races held in the ballroom of our RV Park. Are any of you thinking these are real horses? If you are, give your head a shake and laugh at yourself because of course you can’t have real horses in the ballroom 😀

The room is set up with tables that seat about sixteen. If you have a group of sixteen you can sign up for a table, but if you are like us and you enjoy sitting with new people … hmm don’t know sixteen people who want to go to the horse races … you can sign up for a table in the Activity office before the event. We had a great table and met some fun new people.

Each table brings an item for dinner that will feed eight and the food was great, I brought a cheesecake which I haven’t made since we sold our house … hubby was a happy camper! Once everyone has eaten the tables are opened up for grazing. Grazing allows you to check out all the food tables in the ballroom and try out different items. Hubby and I were both full after eating our first plate so we didn’t participate in the grazing, but a lot of people did and there were some appetizing dishes.

After dinner the six horses and their jockey’s were introduced and the betting windows were opened for the first race.

Bronco Denver, Riding Giddy Up Go. We didn’t bet on him, although he had some great odds on the last race … but he didn’t win.

Godiva, riding Chocolot, we also we didn’t bet on her, but she will come into play later!

Joplin Janice riding Stoned Pony

The minimum bet is $1.00 but you can bet more. Hubby and I bet on Nurse Give Shot riding Bend Over because we knew her.

Ronald Rump riding Twit-Her because how could we not!

And Stewart Rod riding Maggie May, again was there any question!

This year we bet the same horses in all three races.

Once the bets were closed the horses lined up on stage and the race began.

One of the event organizers roles a dice and the horse that corresponds to the number on the dice moves forward one spot. The dice continue to roll until one of the horses reaches the finish line. Part way through the race the odds are announced, and no I don’t have any idea how they come up with the odds.

There are three races and it is very entertaining with everyone cheering on their horses. We didn’t win anything on the first race, but we won $12.00 on the second race and $20.00 on the third race. At that point with our other bets we were up $21.00.

Now here is where the horse ownership comes in … remember Godiva?

Well at the end of the third race the horses are put up for action and the highest bid wins that horse and will race it in the February horse races. We happen to be at the right table at the right time and were asked if we wanted to contribute $20.00 to bid on a horse for the February Owners race … heck yes we did! And our group was lucky enough to purchase Godiva riding Chocolat 🙂 😀

So on February 12th we will don our fanciest hats, because hats are big at horse races and there is a prize for the best one, cheer on Godiva and hopefully win a lot more money!

If you didn’t read the comments on yesterday’s blog you really have to go back and read Janina’s comment. Janina is from Australia and she had a lot of fun with my typo in the title of yesterday’s blog, which as originally published said “Why I Bog, Should I Change?”. I am still laughing at what she said, and so glad I made the typo!

Until next time …

Life At Cocopah

We have been here for a week and it has been busy, but fun busy 🙂

My planters are planted.

One of two planters on either side of our patio, they both look the same.

Our shed plan has been laid out, the request form to build it has been submitted, and we have spent a few days pricing supplies at different stores. Hopefully we get the approval soon and can start building.

There have been more than a few happy hours with friends which is always fun. The only not so fun thing this week is our darn colds that have come back with a vengeance! Hopefully they will be gone by tomorrow because we have to be healthy for the egg game on Friday.

We have two bougainvillea pots, one on either side of the golf ball screen.

Until next time …

A Late Start But On To New Roads!

We had planned for a little later start yesterday as hubby was helping out installing a new garage door on the shop at the farm but it ended up being much later than planned. The garage door was at the point that they no longer needed extra muscle so hubby jumped into the truck to hook up Maxx but it wouldn’t start 😦  After a little trouble shooting he finally decided the problem was corrosion on the starter connection. Well that was good news, he could easily fix that problem but in order to do so he wanted to get the truck into the shop so that he could jack it up and get underneath and that meant he had to help finish up the garage door. Once he had the truck up on the jack it was an easy fix and the truck started like a charm … let’s hope that really was the problem.

So after a quick supper, which is better known as lunch, we got on the road. We now feel like we are really starting our trip across Canada because we are on new, to us, roads. We arrived in Russell, Manitoba around 5:00 p.m. last night. Russell has a population of 1,611 and is mainly a grain and cattle farming area.  We rode our bikes through town and were totally impressed with how tidy and pretty it was.  Most of the houses are heritage homes and beautifully maintained and all of the residential streets are lined on either side with huge Dutch Elm trees.  I can just imagine how pretty this town is in the fall!

I only had my cell phone with me so this is not the best picture.

The town very thoughtfully provides RV sites at Russell Peace Park in the centre of town.

The park has nine sites, all with power, and it’s totally free! They do ask for a donation and we were happy to give it as the park is very nice and we enjoyed a quiet night.

Until next time …