Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A little drive in the country

When I drive to a new location, I usually like to arrive with a nearly full tank of gas in the motorhome.  I tried to do that as I moved here on Monday, but I just didn’t find any gas stations where I could easily get in and out with the rig and toad.  :(  So, on this morning’s agenda was the task of finding the nearest gas station so when I leave next week I can fill up.  The tank is nearing 1/4, which is way below where I like it to be.

Emma and I headed out through the booming community (not) of Marsing, ID, to find the junction with US 95.  I figured that this is the way I could leave next week, and take 95 north to US 20 instead of backtracking to I 84 to 20.  I’m glad I did.  First, there is a brand new, very large gas station at the intersection.  I should have no problems at all filling up.  Right after the intersection is some road construction, so I decided to check that out as well.  It was not good.  It was bad enough driving through it with the little car, but I don’t think I’ll be taking the motorhome through that mess!
IMG_3852While I was waiting for my lane of traffic to be able to maneuver through the torn up road, I snapped this pic of the surrounding countryside.  I’ve never seen so much hay in my life as I have in Idaho.

Since I won’t be taking this route later, I thought we’d make a big loop up to Fruitland and then head back around to Marsing.  As I headed north, I came upon an area with a crop that I had never seen before.  See if you can guess what this is growing here.
IMG_3855Those are all vines crawling up the wires.  To give you some perspective, the posts are telephone poles, so I’d guess these vines were close to twenty feet tall!  They also appeared to have tan colored fruits of some sort.  They definitely weren’t grapes.  I would have liked to get closer, but all fields are surrounded by deep irrigation ditches, and I could just picture myself tumbling into one as I tried to jump across.  :)  I’m just not as agile as I used to be.
IMG_3859There were acres upon acres of these towering plants growing neatly up the wire grids.  This one really had me stumped!  Of course, no person was to be found that I could ask what they were.  I also can’t imagine that much of anything would grow here without the irrigation ditches.  The Snake and Boise Rivers are certainly the life blood of the agricultural industry in this arid region.

As I drove along, I came upon a food processing plant, and turned in.  I got out and asked the security guard at the gate what these huge plants were.  Have you guessed?  They’re hops…  I said, “like for making beer?”, and she said, “that’s right.”  Well, I’m glad I stopped and got that mystery solved.  I never would have guessed hops.

On our return trip, I saw a brown sign that said Deer Flat Visitor’s Center 3.5 miles, so I turned down the road to see what it was.
IMG_3861It turned out to be Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.  I hadn’t known there was a NWR within ten miles of where I was camped.  It was high noon when we got there, and my stomach was growling, so I only stopped briefly at the visitor’s center to get my NWR Passport Book stamped.  The temperature was getting close to 90, so I couldn’t leave Emma in the car for more than a minute.  I’ll definitely be returning here to take the 30 mile auto tour around the refuge, but I think I’ll do it early in the morning for a better chance at seeing some wildlife.  That’s also a better time of the day for photography than the middle of the day.  So, stay tuned…

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy

P.S. The awning actually went out this afternoon, and so far, hasn’t retracted ten times.  :)
(Ha! Just as I typed this, it retracted on it’s own, and now it won’t go back out again    Rats!!)


  1. I thought it might be hops. There is hops growing not far from Vancouver, BC. We see that when we drive by to visit our daughter. Good thing you stopped though so now we know for sure ☺

  2. I sure wish we were closer..Dennis A.K.A. McGuyver could help you with the awning.... Sounds to me like something isn't hooking fully..(like I should KNOW!!!)...The wildlife refuge would be on my list too!!!

  3. Your tour today was fascinating. I would have guessed beans, not hops. Good to know.

    To me, hay fields, especially ones that have been cut and raked, are a comforting sign-- preparation for winter, and all that. Now to get it all baled before it rains!

  4. I would have guessed kiwis. Boy, would I have been way off. Loved your pictures. Stay safe

  5. I was going to write you and tell you they are hops. I've seen them growing all over Germany.

    There is road construction everywhere. It must be part of the stimulus package, and I hope lots of people are working that might not be if it wasn't for the funds made available for roads improvements. Some of the roads have been neglected for far too long.

  6. Hops? Who knew? Thanks for that info. Now if we ever see a crop like that growing we will not have to wonder about it.

    Beautiful hayfield photo, Judy.

  7. HOPS, my mother used to pick hops in Canby Oregon during the war years (early 40's) i would think they use machines now..love, love, yr pictures.. can't wait to see what wildlife you see. I am stopping by some fossil beds on hwy 30 to get my book stamped, did not know NWR is in there too! will have to read it better :)

  8. HAY!!..Great pictures today..looks like some autostitching going on!!..good job!!I had no idea was the tall tall plants were..but I am a city girl..and not a beer drinker!!

  9. I would have never guessed hops!! Now I will know if I ever see plants growing like that.

    Glad you found the NWR...can't wait to hear all about it and see the pics. :-)

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  10. I never would have guessed HOPS! I hope someday we drive past some and Robert won't know what they are but thanks to YOU, I WILL! K

  11. I guess I was raised on the wrong kind of farm, because I had no idea what those were.

    sounds like the awning might just be a minor adjustment.

    Good pictures today? I hope good is not an over used word :)

  12. First of al I want to say that I absolutely love the new blog picture. I really want to go there.

    That is very interesting about the hops. I learn something everyday!

    Stay Safe

  13. Those are some huge fields of hops, we have hops growing up onto our deck--they do grow quickly! Good luck with the awning--our awning on the new motorhome has a mind of its own, too!

  14. Gremlins in your awning still, eh? That PS on your post - although I'm sorry it is happening - almost makes me envision little gerbils on wheels saying "Okay, guys, she thinks it's fixed. Everybody run NOW!" At least if you need liquid refreshment from that frustration, there's plenty of ingredients around, eh? Totally impressive crops and I never would have guessed hops!

  15. I have had a couple of cans of High Life in my life, but I have never seen hops grown before, Thanks for enlightening me. Tonight I will have a finer appreciation of a cold one. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.