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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Sunday afternoon drive

Back before 1956, when my Dad died, I remember him taking us on Sunday afternoon drives to get out of the city of Chicago.  That was before those suburbs like Rolling Meadows even existed.  We’d drive out to see the farm fields, and occasionally end up at Russell’s for a BBQ pulled pork sandwich.  My brother Kurt, aka Nurse Ratchet, and I were small enough that we’d split a sandwich and fries.  I can still conjure up the taste of that pork in my mind. 

Anyway, seeing as my work week starts tomorrow, I thought I’d take Emma on a ‘Sunday afternoon drive’ on Saturday.  I’m just about out of those ‘bargain’ shriveled oranges that I bought a month ago, and the Gila woodpecker screams at me each morning for his orange halves stuck on the mesquite tree. 

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After picking up a month’s supply of ‘bird’ oranges for four bucks, I decided to take a side road south of the Imperial Dam LTVA area to Mittry Lake.  I hadn’t been there before, and wanted to check it out.

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With no wind today, the lake was as smooth as glass and would have been perfect for kayaking.  Only problem is I don’t have a kayak.  Thinking smile  I also noticed that the shoreline was becoming choked with phragmites, an invasive species.  That’s the tall stuff with the puffs on top.  It’s a problem along many waterways in the south.

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The boondock camping places here have a ten day limit per calendar year.  Most spots today seemed to be taken by weekend campers.

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I did find one empty spot though with a wonderful view.  If I were a boondocker, I’d like this one.  See that white dot at the top right?  It’s the radar blimp put up by the Army on the Yuma Proving Grounds.  I can see that blimp from the refuge.  And that bump in the mountains on the far right is Castle Dome.  I can see that from my rig also, and it’s about twenty miles away as the crow flies from this spot.  You sure can see a long way here in the desert.

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Some of you may remember this pic I took from the VC on Christmas Eve of the fire south of us near Mittry Lake.

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Well, I saw the burnt results of that fire today.  In areas with water, the green is quickly coming back.  Fire is a natural occurrence, and Mother Nature knows how to deal with it.  Not sure this fire started naturally, but things will grow back.  There’s that seed bank buried underneath you know.

It was a great day for a drive.  Tomorrow it’s back to work in the VC.  Thankfully, I have all seats reserved for the bird tour.  It’s the highlight of my week.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

25 comments:

  1. Ha. I laughed about Nurse Ratchet. I had a couple of those on a recent hospital stay. They were my motivation to get outta there ASAP.

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  2. Some of our bloggers from the BloggerFest are at Mittry Lake - Kim, and Gayle and Jim. Jeanne and I are heading down there tomorrow. I haven't been before, so I'm looking forward to seeing it, and camping by water again.

    I remember that fire - I was at Imperial Dam LTVA at the time, and drove past the damage on my way out, past the military area on the way to 95. I'll be next year it will be pretty again. :)

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  3. "Sunday Afternoon Drives" -- now that is an experience that resonates. When my mom died in 2000 it was my dad, and Peggy and Myself in town and we got into a habit of taking a day long ride with dad most weekends for the next 6 years. We covered delightful parts of WI, IL, IA and MN during those years and I heard family stories that had never come out in all my years and we three had a time of bonding in a completely different way. Thanks for a reminder of a really good time in life.

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  4. I remember Sunday afternoon drives very well as a small boy. It was always such a special occasion back in those days. And some Sundays we even used to go to a restaurant. Wow, was that ever a special happening. I always find going for a drive like you did today to be very therapeutic.........

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  5. There is going to be one pissed off bird when you leave and there are no more oranges!

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  6. We did Sunday afternoon rides too. I remember standing up in the car when they played the National Anthem for the baseball game

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  7. My family didn't have a car when I was growing up so I really enjoyed those drives my (then) husband and I took the kids on when they were little. One memorable drive was down to see the New River Bridge being built in WVA. Glad you got out for the day... and wish I were on your birding tour this morning.

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  8. I wasn't a fan of Dad's Sunday afternoon drives--it usually involved going to an elderly relatives' home for a visit and we three kids had to sit still and behave!

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  9. I wonder if modern families go for drives like we did. Now most cars have DVD players in the back seats and the kids watch movies. I loved the drives because we usually got an ice cream cone somewhere along the way. My best mermories of my Dad are when he wad driving.

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  10. Oh yes, Dad always headed in one direction. The Pine barrens in south Jersey. What we called the deer woods. We are loving the oranges here in the Rio grande valley. 7.50 for 25 lbs.

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  11. Oh yes, Dad always headed in one direction. The Pine barrens in south Jersey. What we called the deer woods. We are loving the oranges here in the Rio grande valley. 7.50 for 25 lbs.

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  12. I remember those Sunday drives too - we loved them and always looked forward to seeing where we'd end up.

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  13. Wish you would have stopped by to visit! A bunch of us are camped up on the hill, not right on the lake. We were just talking about you last night as we were trying to identify a bird!

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  14. a good drive rejuvenates the soul. . .good for you!

    Your story about the oranges reminds me that I need to get my feeder out. . .

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  15. I wonder if it was a '50's sort of thing ... those Sunday drives with Dad. He loved them as much as the kids did.

    Wish I was there to be included on your bird tour! :- )

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  16. We always ended up at my Grandparents or an Uncle and Aunts EVERY Sunday, it would have been nice to stay home some Sundays. Yopu took some nice photos:)

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  17. Isn't Mother Nature absolutely amazing. If only we could regenerate that way.

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  18. I'm glad you are remembering the important things in life, lie the month's supply of oranges!

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  19. I too remember Sunday drives. They were fun until we started going to my grandfather's house every Sunday to clean his house and cook his dinner. Boy how boring. My version of Kurt was about 2 to my 9 and of no interest to me at all. Glad your rides then and now turned out better than mine. Your pictures of the lake views are gorgeous. So glad your idiot of a boss still keeps the bird tours. Everyone needs something to look forward to each week or preferably each day if they can manage it. Tough luck for next year's birders at Imperial. They can thank his highness..

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  20. We, as a family had Sunday drives too!!! Didn't think about it at the time, but can't imagine why Dad wanted to drive as he drove log truck all week long, then on Sunday would turn around and drive some more?? Does not sound relaxing to me, BUT we had a great time and always saw lots of the countryside where we lived. Still go for those Sunday afternoon drives :)

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  21. That looks like a fine drive. Enjoy your bird walk tomorrow. Word must be getting out if you've got a full group!!

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  22. Better get those oranges PDQ. Your MH is a pretty easy target to be bird bombed! :cO

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  23. nice day for a sunday drive on a Saturday! Mitttry Lake looks like a good place..I read where one blogger found a big hairy spider there, though..it was early in the season, though!

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  24. Fire is a way of renewal in Nature...as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, so does new growth..Thanks for the road trip!

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