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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A day that went from stones to diamonds

I had an agenda today.  I left the rig at 8:00 to drive about 30 some miles to pick up Kevin and Ruth in the Imperial Dam LTVA BLM (Long Term Visitors Area  in the Bureau of Land Management).  I had reserved two spots for them on the 10:00 am guided hike of the Painted Desert Trail on the refuge.  Well, I got about five miles down the road when the low tire pressure light came on in the car.  Ugh!

The last time this had happened, a bolt had punctured one of the tires.  I could drive five miles back to the refuge, or try to limp my way 35 miles to Yuma.  I decided to go back to the refuge.  Not a good way to start the day.  Kevin and Ruth were to meet me at the Christian Center after riding their bikes two miles from their rig.  Uf-dah!  They have no phone, and my AT&T phone doesn’t work here anyway.

A couple of the guy volunteers helped me pump up the pressure on all the tires, and it turned out that was all that was needed.  No flat tire, but it put me an hour behind time.  Luckily, Kevin and Ruth were still waiting when I finally arrived, and we were off for a day on the refuge.

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I headed straight for the Painted Desert Trail, and they were able to catch up with the hiking tour.  I chose not to go since I wasn’t sure I could keep up with them.  That’s Kevin in the lead, and Ruth behind him as the group came out at the end of the hike.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading out to ‘do’ the overlooks.

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Weather wise, it was a glorious sunny day.  Lots of ducks and geese on the lakes and ponds.  I brought the scope along so we could get some closer views from above.  Lots of chit-chatting going along as well.

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Had to have the blog photo as well with the lake, mountains, and painted desert in the background.  Before you know it, the afternoon had marched on, and we headed back to the VC.

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On the way back we found a couple of Harris’s Antelope Squirrels running in and out of a dead tree.  First time I’ve seen this critter.  Cute little things.  They’re one of the few desert animals that is very active during the heat of the day.  When they get overheated, they just lay spread eagled on the ground in the shade to lower their body temperature. 

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While they went through the VC, I went back to the rig to let Emma out for a bit.  Digger, one of the desert tortoises, came out of his six week hibernation(?) in his burrow today.  That was an occasion to finally see him again.  Then it was time to take Kevin and Ruth back to the LTVA since I don’t drive after dark.  We had to drive through the Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG), and the Army was training their paratroopers.

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Finally got to see ‘our’ boys dropping out of the sky.  My oldest son, Daniel, was in the 82nd Airborne, and I could never imagine jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  The YPG is all about the sounds of Freedom, but this was a very silent tribute to those that defend us.  Wish I could have thanked them all for their service.

So even though the day started on a sour note, it turned out to be one of those diamond days… a great time with friends and America’s finest.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. Nice to have a day that begins wrong, end up all right! Doncha love watching the chutes dropping out of the sky? So cool to see.

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  2. Thank you so much for picking us up and dropping us off and showing us the Imperial Wildlife Refuge. We really enjoyed our day with you and just spending some quality time with someone who knows their "stuff"! We had a great day. :-)

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  3. Great ending to a good day. Loved seeing the paratroopers after you told us about them as we passed that big empty patch of dirt when we were there. It is a kick to see places that are now a bit familiar after visiting last month. Time does fly by it seems. Wind and rain here finally, you are glad to be NOT at Harris Beach tonight, I guarantee it.

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  4. Diamonds are stones. When it was in the dirt, untouched, it was a rock. The moment it gets picked up it is a stone.

    I have been looking at some RVs for fulltime living. If you are agreeable, I really would like to know: if you were just starting out, what would want different? How in the world did you manage getting up those stairs when recovering from your knee (?) last year? When you go see your grandchildren, how do you store your unit? Are the slides great, or a hassle?

    Looking forward to your thoughts. Feel free to pm me if you don't feel comfortable with making it public. I would truly appreciate your opinion.

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  5. We use to go to the YPG just to sit and watch the Golden Knights Practice jumping. Joe was in the 82nd Airborne div when he was in the Army. Glad your day ended like Diamonds.

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  6. Maybe Digger is the Yuma version of Punxsutawney Phil?

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  7. You are certainly the gracious hostess to provide round trip transportation for Kevin and Ruth. That's a great picture of them. Love the little squirrel as well. And your header picture is simply stunning. Glad your problem was so easily fixable. Wish our current ones were.

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  8. Judy, you captured a great photo of Kevin and Ruth! what a fine hostess you are!

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  9. You could come to Eloy and do the Skydive in the tube to skydive without jumping out of the plane. I did it and that's as close as I want to come to skydiving.

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  10. Those paratroopers are probably using the Military Free Fall Advanced Ram-Air Parachute System, or RA-1. This is a parachute that was being tested in late 2013 and has most likely been put into service to replace the MC-4 that was used by Special Forces. The troops that you took pictures off are therefore most likely Special Forces.

    The common everyday airborne trooper is still using a non-stearable round parachute the T-11.

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  11. A wonderful day, full of ups and downs, but mostly ups. The squirrel is really interesting, especially the idea that it lies on the ground in the shade to cool down! I wish I'd seen digger!

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  12. One of my brothers was in the 82nd Airborne (and jumped in Vietnam). I'm so glad for you that all your tire needed was air. I just hate it when a tire goes flat!

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    1. I was in Dominican Republic in support of 82nd Airborne troops that also jumped there but they were all training jumps. I assume that your brother did training jumps in Vietnam also. The only combat mass jumps were done on 22 Feb 1967 by units of the 173 Airborne, 2 Apr 1967 by A-503 and A-344, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 5 Oct 1967 by B Company, II CTZ MIKE Force Battalion; Pathfinder Detachment. There were small Special Operation Group jumps after those dates mostly as interdiction efforts against the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

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  13. It could not have been a better day, could it! Welllll, except for the tires. Just another episode of deflategate. You and the New England Patriots.

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  14. What fine day you had with Kevin and Ruth so nice of you to pick them up.

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  15. we saw paratroopers using the same chutes today in California. . .perhaps it was "jump out of a perfectly good plane" training day. . .Dave used those words to our 82nd AB son as well. . .great minds think alike. . .LOL!

    A beautiful day with friends. . .can't be beat!

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  16. Great to see the paratroopers! Those are some cute squirrels.

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  17. What a great description of starting out slow but finishing strong!!

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  18. What a wonderful ending to a rough start. We owe those troops a lot. But your right about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.

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  19. Hi Judy, you sure have a great, and popular blog. Hope we can stop by the refuge when we eventually leave Anza Borrego.

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  20. Hi Judy, you sure have a great, and popular blog. Hope we can stop by the refuge when we eventually leave Anza Borrego.

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  21. Glad you had a super day with K & R. Interesting you got to see some different "birds" flying down from the sky for a change! ;c)

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  22. Nice post.Thank you for sharing this in Your blog.

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