“Spring” Time at Christmas in the Desert?? – December 20, 2016 to December 31, 2016

Twas the season to be jolly that has just passed and I must say we’ve had a blast. Fortunately that’s about the extent of my poetic contribution for this post. I know you’d all like to hear more however to all of you I will not bore, except to say a Happy New Year and don’t be sore. Well who says anything the Captain says has to make sense??

It has been a fun filled time for DD and the Captain despite having an unprecedented 3 rainfalls in the past 11 days. And speaking of water we also had our water heater spring a leak, a storage compartment door spring a leak and trailer springs that need to be replaced. Welcome to “spring” time in the desert.

And speaking of spring DD in her ongoing quest for musical improvement and accomplishment ditched her old (1 year) tenor ukulele and decided to spring for a new Baritone.  The downside to this move is that the Captain now has to listen to DD relearn all the same songs on the new Uke as the chording is now like a guitar as opposed to a ukulele.  Have a listen as Stompin Tom sings his Uke lament.

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DD’s with her new Lute

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Fish Fry

Steve and Madelyn hosted another one of their renowned fish fry’s the week before Christmas. Everyone except for the Captain seemed to enjoy the fishy tasting morsels. I am endeavouring to have any future fry up held on a Friday so it will be easier to reference as a FFF (Fish Fry Friday).

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a fish cake perhaps?

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chowing down

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and the band plays on

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AA and CC share a ????

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Andre, Danielle and AA

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another strike agianst selfies

Godparents to Gypsy

Lucky Lonesome Larry and Busty Barb the Believer, even at their respective advanced ages, have become new parents. The new addition to the family, a now 9 week old Springer Spaniel, appropriately named Gypsy (given their nomadic lifestyle) arrived at the motor home just before Christmas. DD and CC have been anointed as the puppies “godparents” and as such CC has christened her as Gorgeous Gypsy (GG). GG has requested that DD and the Captain get their act together and provide a canine playmate for GG. We are working on it, but due to the high standard set by our Kaseypoo the number of suitable puppies is by our definition limited but you never know.

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a hard act to follow

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REALLY!!!!! BBB

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the Godparents

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GG scared of her own shadow

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GG exploring the outdoors

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hope GG isn’t a bird dog

Parade of Lights

Given the number of folks involved with the Parade of Lights who didn’t return to the desert this year, we had expected that the annual Parade of Lights might not shine as brightly or perhaps not at all. Much to our and everyone else’s delight on the evening of December 21st the 2016 edition of the Parade of Lights rolled down our street to much cheering and celebration.  This year’s Parade included 9 or 10 decorated “floats” as it made its inaugural run throughout the LTVA. These folks really deserve recognition and our thanks for stepping up to fill the void. And as I love segues the foregoing allows me in my own refutable way to make a connection of this celebration to the passing of our beloved Canadian Leonard Cohen in 2016. The following lines from the Leonard Cohen song “Anthem “ seem appropriate to even this seemingly simple endeavour.

Ring the bells that can still ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

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Parade of Lights on Music Row

Video of Parade of Lights by Sue McKeown (start of parade)

Video of Parade of Lights by DD (coming down Music Row)

Christmas Day 2016

Debbie Dewdrops, in particular, and perhaps less so the Captain are creatures of habit. So first on our agenda for Christmas Day was our annual hike up Telegraph Pass. This year we coerced our erstwhile travelling companions LLL and BBB to join us on the hike with guide dog GG leading the way?  Despite GG’s protestations she ended up being carried for most of the 5 mile, 1500 foot elevation hike up the mountain. We’ll expect better of her next year.

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GG leads LLL and the Captain up the trail

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time to rest at the top

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why is LLL smirking??

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the Godparents again

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heading down the hill

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Following the hike we all headed over to Lins Asian Buffet for a not so traditional Christmas Dinner. Later in the afternoon neighbours and friends arrived at our camp site to enjoy snacks/drinks around the bonfire. Usually we host this event  on Christmas Eve however this year 25+ mph hour winds and cool temperatures on the 24th necessitated rescheduling.

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CC, RRR, AA, Danielle, Andre and LLL at Lins

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no vanity at the bonfires

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the new parents with their hot water bottles and GG

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Weekly Group Hikes

Word must have gotten out that the hike on December 22, 2016 would challenge all but the hardiest of hikers as only 4 took up the challenge of the Painted Rock hike. More likely the inclement weather was to blame or at least that was the excuse given by Debbie Dewdrops.  DD’s absence (official hike photographer ) means there is no photographic evidence of the splendour enjoyed by the Fantastic Four (Steverino, Bill, Pat and the Captain). Regardless the 6+ mile hike rewarded the hikers with some great scenery and challenges.

DD managed to struggle out of bed to join the Fish Camp hike on December 29, 2016. We were joined by a couple more hikers (John and Jean) for this 4.5 mile trek.  With DD back in the fold we have photographic evidence of the outing.

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morning of the hike

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the Colorado River

 

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Steverino, Pat, CC, Bill, John and Jean

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hawk landing on the rock

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another DD shadow Art Deco photo

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the rock face or face in the rocks

 

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Backcountry Biking

The Biking Banditos (Steverino and the Captain) made runs on two consecutive Tuesday mornings into the backcountry. On December 13, 2016 we cranked over 18 miles searching for a new and exciting route for a future Thursday morning hike to the Little Grand Canyon. While not successful in this venture we did enjoy a challenging ride in very windy conditions.

Our ride on December 20, 2016 was less challenging but still took us through over 12 miles of off-roading  in the canyons west of Ferguson Road. If Steverino or the Captain ever get their act together one of will remember to bring a camera along for verification for the unbelievers out there.

By stubbs99

Come Sail Away – December 6, 2016 to December 19, 2016

Well all good things come to an end and so it is with the delightful weather we’ve had to date. Mind you things are still sunny and reasonably warm here in the desert but the high winds from last year have returned with a vengeance. Anything not tied down will “sail away” in the “4 strong winds”. The foregoing 2 links are required under NAFTA to allow equal billing to an American and a Canadian song.  For future reference if NAFTA is torn up only Canadian songs will be permitted in this Blog to meet Canadian content requirements under the CRTC.

And speaking of wind, Pat and Bill Koss our friends from Campbell River BC blew into the desert on the polar vortex this past week after taking a year off to stay home and look after some family issues. Bill and Pat are avid hikers and have already put a lot of miles on their boots. CC and DD stayed in Bill and Pat’s trailer for a few days 2 years ago in Campbell River while we were homeless on the Island. I’m not sure if it was something we did or left behind but shortly after we left Bill and Pat got rid of the trailer and purchased a 36 foot diesel pusher. Coincidence hmmmm???

Razor Ride with Lucky Lonesome Larry

LLL presented CC with a lovely pink trimmed helmet (BBBs) to wear on one of the weekly razor rides (December 7, 2016).  Although CC donned the pinkish hued headgear he absolutely refused to scream like a girly when LLL hurled the Razor up and over the sheer cliffs and precipices that dotted the landscape.  Really folks,  it was actually a fairly tame ride, however, had Debbie Dewdrops been in the passenger seat LLL would have been forced to engage the ejection seat on several occasions.

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LLL and CC ready to roll

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the Lion’s Head Rock

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LLL trying to sneak up on the Lion

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Weekly Group Hikes

Our hike on December 8, 2016 combined part of an old hike with the addition of a new section that took us down through a previously unexplored slot canyon. This new hike covered over 6.5 miles and clocked just over 3 ½ hours.

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start of one of the slot canyons

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Steverino ready to lead the group into the canyon

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the “general” scouts out the trail

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shelter from the sun??

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into the new slot canyon hike

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DD’s Art deco photo of the week

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DD on the rocks

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hey where are going??

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The next weekly hike was more modest adventure that ticked off 4.5 miles on the odometer around the reservoir. Though this was a shorter less challenging hike the number of hikers ballooned to close to a dirty dozen (11) with several newbies and some returning veterans. (Pat and Bill and Marsha and Dennis and Bill and Sue).

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10 plus DD makes 11

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a great camp spot on the north shore

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part of the Colorado River

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a new friend for BBB

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Video of the Tarantula

Meanwhile CC and DD continue with their weekly Sunday hike, December 18, 2016 (7.1 miles) around the reservoir with whoever is available to join us. This past Friday, December 16, 2016 CC prepared for the Sunday hike by taking an early (6:00 am) jog around the lake. This was the longest run that the Captain has done in several years and despite one trip in the dark managed to get it done in a respectable 78 minutes. The only other being on the trail that morning was a lone coyote on his way home from a night of hunting.

The Supermoon Hike

LLL and the Captain ventured out on their second annual full moon walk on December 13, 2016. I was going to call this trek our moonlight walk but LLL invoked his veto. Gee I wonder why??? Regardless we headed out under the light of the full super moon at about 9:30 pm and covered 5 1/5 miles before retuning at midnight.  While out hiking we were treated to a light show in the form of a wonderful meteor shower. On this year’s hike we didn’t come across any wildlife with the exception of our neighbour’s dog who announced our return to anyone who may have been still up and about. No verification of this hike is available as once again when LLL and CC head out somewhere they inevitably never remember to take a camera.

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our own full moon God keeping an eye out for

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sunset and

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moonrise

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Meanwhile DD and BBB stayed home with popcorn and a movie that according to their review was less than a bundle of Joy.

Biking the Badlands with Steverino

CC and Steverino have made Tuesday mornings the allotted time for mountain biking. On December 6, 2016 the bikers rode 8 miles of single-track around in the LTVA. The ride and spills (only a couple) took over 2 ½ hours which is a good indicator of the difficulty of the less than hospitable terrain.

On December 13, 2016 the boys (everything is relative here) rode some old jeep tracks up to a telecommunications tower on a ridge above the LTVA. This jaunt encompassed several dead end trails (CC was supposed to be navigating) and took us 4 hours to cover the 16 miles we travelled.  In many places the trail was too rough to ride and hiking the bikes was necessary.

Desert Dominos Debacle (update)

Preying on the fatigue of the boys from their many energy draining desert adventures the girls (stay at home movie watchers) have taken advantage and now enjoy (sic) a very tiny lead of 5 to 4. Their “aren’t we marvellous” gloating will soon come back to bite them badly.

Christmas Cantata

Debbie Dewdrops and the renowned Desert Pickers put on another virtuoso musical performance at the annual Christmas Cantata. The two performances were played before full houses on December 16, 2016 and December 17, 2016 at the church at the Christian Service Center.

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the Desert Pickers

Video of the Desert Pickers

Somerton Tamale Festival

Earlier on the day on December 17, 2016 there was reunion of sorts as the MMM gang loaded themselves into the Captain’s truck and headed out on a road trip. On this trip we headed south to the Somerton Tamale Festival. This annual event has more tamales and more types of tamales available in any one place at one time than one would expect or probably want than anywhere else in the world. CC not being a tamale fan finds the whole thing a bit corny to see vendors hawking the likes of chocolate and strawberry fare. Please try to identify the 2 bad puns in the forgoing sentence. For BBB I have put them in italics.

Before arriving at the festival we made a pit stop at the Cocopah Casino and true to the recent addition of an L to his LL Lucky Lonesome Larry (LLL) was the only one to beat the house to the tune of $125.00. Much to her chagrin DD was once again shut out.

Health Updates

For anyone who is still awake and reading this Post (and is interested) I am able to report that Dashing Dave has managed to hang in there after another surgery and we wish him well and a full recovery.

The Aud  One (mother of CC) is also making progress and wearing out a path around the house as she becomes more mobile.  The Coach also looks forward to the day he is relieved of some of his manservant duties.

By stubbs99

Watching the Grass ??? Grow – November 18, 2016 to December 5, 2016

One way to describe our first month back in the desert this season would be the old adage of “sitting around watching the grass grow”. Now not to be too picky, as adages aren’t meant to be taken literally, there isn’t any grass growing here, but I think you get the picture. Despite finding lots to do, the annual routine of things has made it problematic for your beloved CC to manufacture novel ways of presenting repeat activities in a manner guaranteed to tickle your tootsies. However, the Captain will endeavor to find some way to pervert or twist reality to keep folks from believing they are simply watching the grass grow.

But first the weather report which I include primarily to antagonize my northern readers who no doubt are now preparing their dog sleds for winter travel and making sure the old igloo is sealed up against the cold.  For the most part our weather has been mostly sunny and warm but let me tell you that we have had a few days of high winds and even had a couple of rain (2 minute sprinkles) showers that have really put a huge dent in our outdoor activities, so to our friends and family up north we DO feel your pain. As an example the wind was so strong one day it blew over our sun shade. How’s that for things being tough!!

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after the storm

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a trio of DDs Art Deco photos

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Normally after the US Thanksgiving (November 24, 2016) there is an influx of new arrivals at the LTVA and though there have been a few new arrivals, the number of boondockers seems considerably lower than at this time last year. Perhaps the sagging Canadian Loonie has kept more Canucks at home and sadly some of the long timers are no longer with us or are no longer able to travel. And speaking of Thanksgiving (a lovely segue I must say) for the 2nd straight year we have accompanied LLL and BBB to the US Thanksgiving Pot Luck Dinner at the LTVA Ramada. Eschewing the turkey,  CC managed to be first in line at the desert table and made off with a plethora of pumpkin pies. And for the 2nd straight year we failed to win the 50/50 draw which I have heard from a number of people, but I don’t know for sure, but it’s probably true that the draw was rigged (really just joking friends, but).

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Thanksgiving Dinner at the Ramada

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some of the crowd of 90+

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left to right – Greg, BBB, Kathy, LLL and CC

Elephant Rock Hike

As Thanksgiving is on a Thursday , the regular group hike was cancelled so the only hike in the past 2 weeks was this past Thursday (December 1, 2016) where our esteemed leader Steverino forged a path to the secret location of the White Elephant Rock. Now even though this hike is known as the White Elephant Hike the real attraction, of which most hikers will not openly admit, is the world’s infamous ED rock. Please see photos below if you don’t believe me.

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heading down to the wash

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LL seems happy about something

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this why I normally don’t post selfies

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starting down the wash

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BBB at the slot canyon

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DD trying to tune in

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the Saint Bernard head rock

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the White Elephant

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LLL and CC getting down

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the ED Rock “stands” alone

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CC rises to the occassion

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just what is he doing????

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LLL watches over the hikers

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view of hills above the wash

Avoiding the Moss

In another feeble attempt at being clever I have called this section “Avoiding the Moss” which brings to mind (well my mind anyway) another well known adage, that being “a rolling stone gathers no moss” in which I have included some of our other activities that hopefully are keeping the moss off.  So another segue falls neatly in place as Steverino and the Captain did a bit of single track mountain biking (wheels, rolling, get it BBB) at Sugarloaf Mountain.

Not to forget about DD, as she continues on with her Yoga classes. It is not clear to me however how much yoga-ing goes on as she takes a mat and blanket with her when she heads down the road and out of sight for these exercise classes. I have dutifully done regular inspections and can report that there is no evidence of moss growing on her backside however I did discover upon her return from the outhouse one morning that she had acquired a hereto before unseen long white tail. Any reader who is unable to decipher this reference please contact our friend Dashing Dave which brings me to another fine Segue. Dashing Dave is scheduled for another heart operation tomorrow (December 6, 2016) and our thoughts and prayers are with him and Jezebel Jeannine.

We also seem to have decided that Sunday mornings are best for doing our around the reservoir hikes (7+ miles) and on our most recent loop around the lake we coerced LLL and BBB into joining us. We did have to adjust our start time to an hour later than normal to accommodate LLL’s fear of getting out of bed too early in the morning.

The 2016/2017 Desert Dominoes Debacle

And now for the news that everyone really wants to hear and has had to endure the foregoing diatribe to get to, I present the preliminary results of the 2nd Annual DDD. You will recall that last year’s event was handily won by the Boys (LLL and CC) and we have no reason to believe this year’s result will be any different. (proofreader’s note: will leave the above in, but there does seem to be a stretching of truth)

Had this series been a best of seven event the Boys would have already claimed the Cup but as it isn’t the Boys can still claim an early but close lead with a 4 – 3 advantage despite spotting the Girls (DD and BBB) a 2- 0 early lead. Stay tuned for updates in my next Blog post.

 

 

 

By stubbs99