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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Imperial NWR, here I come!

When I left the Casa Grande RV Resort on Tuesday morning, I expected to have an uneventful 200 mile drive to my next assignment at Imperial NWR.  It didn’t quite turn out that way, but it wasn’t too traumatic either.

I had a couple of firsts for me along the way.  First of all, after gassing up in Dateland, AZ, at the easiest in and out I’ve ever had with the rig, I hopped back on I-8.  A short time later, an alarm started going off.  I’m familiar with the dinging if the levelers don’t come all the way up, but this was a new sound.  I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  There was nothing flashing on the dashboard, so I was stumped.

As soon as I could, I exited the interstate and stopped.  By then, I had figured out that the warning sound was coming from my US Gear braking system.  Sure enough, after I put on the emergency blinkers I got out of the rig to check things out on the car and the break away line had become detached.  I reconnected it, but it took quite some time for the alarm to stop.  In the meantime, my mind was racing thinking about all the possible consequences. 

This particular exit didn’t have an easy back on to the interstate, so I had to drive down a skinny road another 15 miles before I could get back on I-8.  By this time, the temps had risen quite a bit, and as I mentioned before my cockpit AC is not working.  So for the first time ever, I revved up the generator so the ‘house’ AC would turn on to try to keep the temps below 90 in the rig as I drove down the road.  I know lots of other people use this method, but I was nervous about doing this.  As it turned out, it worked like a charm.

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The rest of the journey went smoothly until I reached the unpaved three mile entrance road to the refuge.  Holy Buckets!  I’ve never driven the rig on such an awful washboard road.  Top speed was 5 mph, and I thought I’d lose all my teeth in the process and I don’t wear dentures! Disappointed smile  I was more than thankful to finally arrive and have my friend Linda lead me to the RV sites.  I’m really liking my site with the mountains out my kitchen table window, but it sure has been hot.  Triple digit temps yesterday, and close to that today.

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With those high temps, it’s taken me a few days to set everything up for my extended stay here.  I don’t function well in triple or single digits.  Yeah, it’s a dry heat, but give me a break.  It’s still awfully hot.

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The best time to work of course is in the early morning, so it was almost noon before I could do any exploring today.  I decided to take Red Cloud Mine Road to see the four view points of the Colorado River.

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This road would have been a piece of cake for a jeep or truck, but it was slow going with my little Focus.

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The desert scenery is pretty stark here until you take one of the side roads to the view points.  What a difference the water makes.

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I ended up driving to three of the view points.  The last one had a big warning sign that said the road was not maintained, so I skipped that one for now.

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Not too many avian migrants have arrived yet for the winter, so all I saw were some distant ducks on the water and five white-faced ibis moving about the marshlands.

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Not sure if this is considered an arch or a bridge, but it will give you an idea of the terrain on the refuge away from the river.

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My favorite view of the day was as I approached the Painted Desert Trail on the refuge.  If it hadn’t been high noon, I’m sure the different colors would have been even more evident.  There is a hiking trail through this area that is a little less than 1.5 miles long.  By the time Emma and I got there, the temps were already in the mid 90’s, so we’ll do this trail when it’s a little cooler.

I’ve just about got everything set up for my stay here, and I’ve got another week or so to relax and get acquainted with the area before the orientation training begins.  The rest of the winter volunteers will be arriving next week.  Temps are forecasted to drop by about ten degrees next week, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. Judy, I hate that you are having to survive that heat! Stay inside as much as you can in the middle of the day!

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  2. Looks like you have a little piece of heaven there. Glad you are happy and enjoying your new "home" spot.

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  3. Oh no, not another story about brakes :-)

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  4. The views of the Painted Desert are beautiful. However, triple digit temperatures can be rough. Glad you arrived safe and sound with only a few loose teeth. Enjoy your new home. Looking forward to reading about all your adventures.

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  5. I know a lot of folks think that is some really barren land out there but I think it is so beautiful. But I will agree those triple digit numbers aren't my favorite either. It does appear that you should be cooling down in the next week which is a good thing. I'll be interested in your impressions of that area when it does cool down.

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  6. interesting area. Hope the temps go down soon. It was 31* here in the Georga Mountains this morning.

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  7. So looking forward to hearing more about your volunteer work at the refuge (and photos)! I think if I ever get to the point of being able to retire I would definitely like to try some volunteer work like this.

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  8. Glad to hear you were able to find out what the problem was and fix it. Good for you! This looks like a wonderful refuge. Your header picture is terrific. Great that there is water there too. The desert is beautiful but it's nice, at least for me, to be able to have a water fix. Glad you have a week to check the place out and get the temps to drop off some. Triple digits in late October, WOW!

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  9. Not a bit of grass for Emma...it looks barren to me...I hope it cools down a little:)

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  10. We've been in Yuma for a week now, and I agree it is too hot. Everyone keeps telling us how unusually humid it is too. Dew points have been in the 50s and 60s, and that is way too humid in this heat. We're looking forward and cooler temps and drier air. Maybe we'll have a chance to check out the refuge you are at. Stay cool.

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  11. glad you tried the generator trick and found it to your liking. . .now you know!

    Looking forward to your tales about the desert. . .

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  12. Glad you found out that generators don't bite if you use them. Actually, it's a good way to exercise your generator, they love to run and deteriorate if they don't get used. Then when you really need them, they'll leave you hang.

    Hope we can visit with you this winter. I still owe you a wash (if you have any water in the desert there). ;c)

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  13. Glad you made it safely, and I understand about driving your rig over that entrance road. It sounds like what I had at Lassen. I'm looking forward to your impressions of volunteering in the desert as opposed to the lush landscape where you usually work.

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  14. The choice between bridge and arch is somewhat arbitrary. The Natural Arch and Bridge Society identifies a bridge as a subtype of arch that is primarily water-formed.

    That has always been my understanding of the difference also, an arch is formed my wind erosion and a bridge by water. What you pictured would be an arch for me.

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  15. Triple digit temps are hot no matter where you happen to be. Glad you made it safely with no serious issues.

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  16. Sounds like you got the brake problem addressed..I would not have had a clue...I, for one, LOVE those deserts...and all the different cacti..AND those fabulous sunsets!!

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  17. I'm glad your warning signal was for a minor occurrence. When the temps go down, I think you will love your time in the desert. I am soooo looking forward to getting in the desert southwest!

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  18. I loved the Painted Desert trail when we visited last year...brings back nice memories! Beautiful pictures of the Colorado,

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  19. With our last rig, we regularly ran the generator underway to ensure we did the minimum 2 hours a month under load to keep the genset working well.

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  20. We almost always run with the generator in warm weather. 10 degrees will make a world of difference. In that "dry-heat" the difference between 90 and 100 is huuuuge. The desert is famous for those washboard roads - a little rain on that hard caliche and that is the result. Glad you are safely parked and I am so looking forward to some pics of desert birds ( all the ones I never bothered to notice growing up out there :)).

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  21. My daughter refers to desert like this as "White hot nothing, mother, white hot nothing!! Are you crazy?!?!" She doesn't "get" the desert thing. I must say, as much as I love the desert, those triple digits are awful. Now I have to google earth your refuge to see just where it is located.

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  22. Glad you're settling in your new home base. Looks like lots of stuff to get acquainted with there. I think you're going to love this assignment. So will we as you know we come along with you no matter where you go! :)

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  23. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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