Week eleven @ BTA

Sunday January 30th 2022

Sunday morning at around 9:30 and I’m back from my walk through the Arboretum, I had walked over to the Visitors Centre with Miss Laurie as she was helping out in the store this morning, and I think we need to start walking in the park a little more often, and at that time of the day it is so serine and there is so much more wildlife around. Here are a few photos of this Sunday mornings walk in the arboretum.

As you can see being the first human on the arboretum trail in the morning has some advantages, because no one has had a chance to disturb the residents of the park, and some of the views at sunrise are stunning to say the least.

I had seen some recently chewed cactus and was thinking that a javelina might be close by, and as I cautiously made my way up the trail I found a little bobcat watching me as I strolled by, but luckily I was able to pick out that very well camouflaged kitty.

As the NFL football playoffs are underway I’m hoping to watch the Bill’s take on the Chiefs this afternoon after the Rams hopefully beat out the Buccaneers. But with NFL football you never know what will happen as this year even the Bengals are still playing football this late in January, and who would have foreseen that?

Miss Laurie thought we should go for a hike today after she was done work, she was looking to explore Arnett Canyon, which is located just one ridge over, but she wanted to try to get there from the arboretum, let’s just say it was well and good, but a somewhat strenuous hike for this old fart, three hours later we made it back to the coach.

Sundays little hike

We seemed to spend a lot of time on the hike back, walking up the Queen Creek, as Miss Laurie found a couple of pieces of River glass, which is very similar to Beach glass but apparently different.

Miss Laurie’sRiver Glass Collection

On the good side of today’s football game outcomes, both Brady and Rogers are on the playoff sidelines, so I’m thinking this could be absolutely any teams Super Bowl to win this year, from here in, I’m cheering for the underdog. We spent a couple of hours at Tom & Kathleen’s site having a couple of adult beverages and some snacks, it was another sunny day but the temperatures drop off quick, so as the sunset we headed to the coach to watch, the Bills take on the Chiefs, and get some dinner.

Ok now let’s have a moment of silence for the failure of the The Bills, this was a great season, lost by an overtime coin flip, as some might say. But the reality is that Buffalo lost the game in the last 13 seconds of regular time, maybe difficult for fans to hear but true. But what a game to watch, certainly one of the best NFL games that I have watched in many years, so once again congratulations Buffalo on a great year!

Monday, we started this morning with a walk in the arboretum, before the gates opened, and while we didn’t see as much wildlife today, the sunrise was beautiful, and the arboretum was quiet until the people landed, but Miss Laurie had a cardinal and a rabbit pose for photos. One of the things we hear a lot from visitors is “I didn’t see or hear any birds” and after sitting while a couple of groups walked by, I can explain why, your all too darn noisy, and the other issue is the quantity of dogs. I’m not a dog lover or hater, but well behaved dogs seem to be few and far between. I don’t blame the dog, I blame the dog owner, please just teach your dog, to sit, to heel, and then control your dog as you enjoy the arboretum. We watch a steady stream of dogs dragging their owners around the arboretum, just like we do at most campgrounds, Miss Laurie would tell you there are no bad dogs, but there’s lots of bad dog owners!

This afternoon we are going to kayak the lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest with Ray & Karen, this is a down river adventure, about 4.5 miles (7 kilometers), but there needs to be a certain water level to make this trek possible. It also requires two vehicles, one at the exit point and one at the entrance point. The entry and exit point from the river are also very important, being not too steep, not too many rocks, not too much mud, and of course not too far to carry the kayaks in or out, this adventure was quite acceptable. There was a little fast moving water, with lots of gentle floating, with a little bit of paddling at the exit point, part of the lure to this area is the opportunity to see the wild horses which frequent the area, and are often seen near the river. And today was no exception, ahead of us eleven horses came out to the river, but before we could get near enough to them for good pictures something spooked them and they ran off before we could get any real good photos.

We made it back to the arboretum before the gate was locked, and settled in for some dinner, and to catch up on some YouTube videos, the “Big Tent” is up in Quartzsite and the “Tampa RV Show” are both happening this month so lots of YouTubers are getting their content from the shows, some good, some not so much. I have been to both events and neither one was what I had hoped it would be. They both bill themselves as RV shows, but there is a lot of crap at both of them, I have purchased items at both, there are deals to be had, but you have to to your homework and know both your prices and the exact product your purchasing, and in some cases it’s just easier to buy it at the show and carry it out rather than having it shipped, because of weight, size, or simply fear of it being damaged. But the shows are as different as night and day, Tampa midpoint on the gulf coast of Florida in a metro area held at the State fairgrounds, Quartzsite in the Arizona desert, in a tiny town on Interstate 10, it is held in a tent larger than two football fields. Quartzsite offers free parking and you can park within a hundred feet of the tent, while the Tampa show was $20 to park and you better have your comfortable walking shoes with you.

People have asked who we watch on YouTube? And the answer is not nearly as many people as we once did. We started watching when we were deciding to make this lifestyle change, so any one that was full-timing was of interest to us, and there seemed like a long list at the time, but as time has moved along we now realize how many full-timers there are out here, and a number of the people we were watching has changed, for a number of reasons. Here is a list (in no particular order) of YouTubers that we originally started watching, the list is much shorter today, but each one of these served a purpose at some point in our journey.

  • Nomadic Fanatic
  • The Motorhome Experiment
  • KYD (Keep Your Daydream)
  • Gone with the Wynn’s
  • Less Junk More Journey
  • Love your RV
  • RVer TV
  • RV Love
  • CheapRVliving
  • Outliers Overlander
  • We’re the Russos
  • Camping With The Kelly’s
  • Rufus and Dufus
  • Drivin’ and Vivin’
  • Long Long Honeymoon
  • Morton’s on the move
  • Paddy Wagon
  • RV Geeks
  • The Deprey’s
  • Tiny Home Tours

Many have had channel name changes, a few have passed away, some have just quit producing content, and a few have taken their channel off into directions that we have little or no interest in. Many YouTuber’s are making a living producing content, they are paid by how many subscribers, how many views a video gets, how long viewers watch the video, how many ads their viewers watch, as well as many have Patreon or Membership accounts, where viewers donate set amount of money each month to help support the YouTuber, and in return they may receive some extra or some early content, or special YouTube live events, or maybe even actual met and greet events. Some of the YouTube channels we watch have around a half a million subscribers, but it seems that once they reach over a hundred thousand subscribers they seem to fall into a different return rate on their content. As many YouTubers are making a very nice living from their channels. So I totally understand them changing their channels to best capitalize their channel viewers, and if that direction is not of interest to me than I unsubscribe and move on.

Tuesday, and it is brrrr out this morning it is darn chilly, 39°F (4°C), the price we pay for those big blue skies with warm sunshine. The cute part of this story is as Laurie gets up a 7am, and the first word were “we aren’t walking this morning, it’s too cold for that”, and maybe she was right, because until that sun pops up it is cold, so no early walk through the arboretum today.

We are still looking for a work-camping position on Vancouver Island for the summer, and we sent out another resume this morning. I will get into more details as the process unfolds but, some of the responses we get could best be described as weird, but we received a phone message from one yesterday while we were kayaking that we are going to call them back this morning. Today I’m working on video taken on the Salt River kayaking adventure from yesterday, these projects take a lot of time to edit, GoPro, Drone, and iPhone video plus photos and a map, an intro and an ending and a little voice over, so far I’m still getting everything gathered up, next is the editing.

My editing studio … nice eh!

My editing got cut short, as we have some visitors stopping by for a cold beverage, we spend a lot of time outside of the coach, so many people just stop by, its great but it makes working on videos or writing blogs a little difficult, at least that’s my excuse. After our visitors left the decision was make to go to Porters for a beverage or two, this is a bar and grill in Superior just three miles up the road. There was a live music, the beer was cold, we ordered some snacks, actually an order of nachos that were excellent, and made for a good appetizer, we got back to the arboretum after the gate was locked, Miss Laurie made dinner and we settled in for the night with some television before turning in.

Wednesday, 1:15 this morning the smoke detector / carbon monoxide sensor decided to go into alarm mode … it is located in the ceiling over my side of the bed. Let’s just say it is one hell of a wake up call, and from a dead sleep to fully awake enough to remember how to silence it seemed like hours … and then to try to get back to sleep after walking the coach to check all the controls to confirm it was just a false alarm … let’s just say it wasn’t my most restful night.

Ok it’s now 5:50, and I’m up again, no the alarm never triggered again, this was more of a nature call, and now I’m watching Mars rise on the eastern horizon, it has been popping up ahead of the sun for the last few days, gaining a few moments each day, it shows up as a bright star and with one of my iPad apps I have I’m able to identify planets, constellations, and most satellites even the space station.

Another cold morning 39°F (4°C) morning and again Miss Laurie declined a walk in the arboretum, the final kicker was there is a little wind this morning. But I decided to pull on a sweatshirt and take in the morning walk around the main arboretum trail with a walk through the Wallace garden before making it back to the coach a little more than an hour later.

Lots of birds this morning and I didn’t see another soul out there, a quiet walk but the views were outstanding with the sun rising to highlight the peaks of the Magna ridge, as just one of the amazing features of the arboretum, as I crossed the Benson bridge I heard the windmill turning, located by the Australian drovers display, partially blocked by trees, I was unable to get a video of it turning.

Today we are meeting up with Ray & Karen, for a little shopping adventure, on todays list of stores is the “Pork Shop”, Costco, Trader Joes, and Total Wine, throw in a little lunch at a Mexican restaurant and all of a sudden the days gone. So let’s talk about the ”Pork Shop” just a little shop on the outskirts of town, but what it lacked in size, it made up for with choice and variety, I will let you know on the flavour a little latter, but I’m thinking this may become a new regular stop.

My Taco plate for lunch

A quick stop for a couple of beverages with Ray & Karen in Gold Canyon before returning to the arboretum just at dusk, a little dinner, and some television before turning in for the night, seems like it has been a long day, and we found out today that our shifts have changed, so no work tomorrow!

Thursday, morning after an uneventful evening, at least no alarms, but we woke this morning to a chilly 36°F (2°C) under clear skies, Mars is well above the the skyline and we are still almost an hour until sunrise. Normally we would be preparing to go to work today, but they have changed our work schedule, so this week we start Friday at 8am till 4pm, then Saturday 8am till 4pm and finish with Sunday 8am till noon.

We are here to volunteer, and will work whenever and wherever we are needed, we do what we are asked to do, and if we don’t think we are busy enough, we will look for things that need to be done, or ways to make the visitors experience the best it can be. So I guess we are being shuffled to cover some different times, and working the weekends is ok with us, we would rather explore and shop during the week, when crowds are lighter. Although this will mess with my scheduled publication time, so no more Sunday morning last minute cramming, and that’s likely a good thing, but it could mean a few late Saturday evenings.

Another solo walk through the arboretum this morning, I think we need another few degrees before Miss Laurie will again join me. Rabbits and birds everywhere this morning, but I walked the whole main arboretum trail this morning and only seen a few staffers starting their days, only a few photos this morning, mostly of the early morning sunshine painting the ridge and surrounding mountains.

Take only pictures, leave only footprints. That little quote says it all, I tried to research the originator of the quote, and it may have came from a number of sources, or a combination of quotes pieced together, either way it is a quote we try to live by, and have taken hundreds of photos to enjoy as time passes, we try to show some of the best or most interesting but sometimes the simplest accidents are the best.

I know the cold weather is gripping the east coast of the continent, and to be honest I occasionally post a photo to emphasize the weather of the desert, but because of the recent rain, and the warm weather, we are truly seeing spring in the desert, the photos below are a few of those photos

With this unexpected day off, I’m going to try to work on a few videos, as well as sorting through thousands of photos as I try to improve my editing skills, I’m working to get to a place where we can view different photo or video selections on a television. So I start by gathering all the photos and videos in one file then I find it easier to rename each video or picture, then it is easier to keep everything in the right order. Now the difficult part is taking the videos and trimming them to all fit into thirty minutes or less, then add enough information that anyone watching gets enough commentary to appreciate the views.

I believe that an upgraded editing program would help a lot, but I don’t want to spend a fortune either, but right now I’m thinking that a twenty minute video has between ten and twenty hours of work involved to produce. I know that there are some YouTubers that do a lot of one take videos but they are difficult as well if you are doing on the fly commentary, one slip up and it’s all ruined. The next problem is where to do the editing and then the final step is the voice over or music to make it complete … stay tuned.

I also cooked up some of the sausage we picked up at the port shop, these breakfast sausages were “Maple, Apple, Pecan” pork sausages, and were very good, we also cooked up some dinner sausage for dinner, I didn’t snap a picture but we are very impressed with the flavours.

Friday, morning which is now our Monday morning, and it is another sunny morning in Arizona, we have a wind advisory and are only expecting temperatures in the low 60’s (teens) but if it’s sunny it’s all good. Miss Laurie is helping out in the store first thing this morning and I’m manning the admissions booth.

On these early morning starts, we normally only have a bowl of cereal, a cup of coffee maybe with a little blessing, and of course a few (old fart) vitamins to try to keep us healthy. Today we have two bus loads of students at the arboretum, these were high school student and some of the best behaved students we have ever seen. No screaming, or shouting, just ninety well mannered young people, a rare commodity in this world today.

Today was a slower day, possibly because of the wind, but admissions were down today, and when your not busy it can make the days drag on a bit, so I watered the sale plants in the morning, then Laurie weeded the sale plants, then later in the afternoon when the volunteers in the store went home, Miss Laurie helped Chris in the store, until our shift ended at four o’clock. There was a little excitement later as there was a vehicle left in the parking lot, so the staff suspected that someone was in the arboretum after closing time, the staff had been through the park and couldn’t find them. Which most likely means they were not on the trails, there are close to 5 miles (8 kilometres) of trails in the arboretum, there are also paths and roads for staff use, so I suspect they were somewhere that they shouldn’t have been.

After an eight hour day there was not a lot happening in our world, I watched some golf, some dinner, the news, shark tank, some 20/20 then off to bed with the wind now gusting strong enough to rock the coach a little.

Saturday, morning and it’s a much warmer start to the day, with temperatures near 50°F (10°C), at six o’clock, a little morning television, some breakfast, a coffee and off to work, with the hope for a busier day than yesterday. The weather forecast is showing nothing but sunshine for the day, and there should be some cleanup after the winds yesterday.

This was our view from the admissions booth this morning, and this amazing view changes all day long as the rising sun highlights different rock formations, this view alone is almost worth the price of admission. Miss Laurie swept up a little and helped in the store moving merchandise onto racks and assisting until more staff got here and I worked admissions. Then Miss Laurie took over admissions while I watered all the sale plants, then I handed out maps while playing tour director.

Then I turn around and look back through the visitor center and someone has left their service cart right in the middle of the walkway. And as much as we may not have any guests right now and then, the gates are open and that does not look good or leave a goo first impression as some one has to squeeze by to enter … things that make me shake my head.

The arboretum was busy today, by noon we had doubled yesterday’s admissions, the days just are so much better when we are busy. And today we processed over 800 visitors, so not a lot of down time today, after our shift a beverage with Tom & Kathleen, some leftovers for dinner and a couple of movies from Prime and Miss Laurie is off to bed.

I on the other hand am trying to finish this blog for its scheduled publication time, and I most likely have an hour or so to finish then if I’m not falling asleep a quick proof read to make sure it flows reasonably well. Because I’m adding to the blog continually it can some times gaps that need to be filled or occasionally some duplication that needs to be trimmed.

Sunday, well if everything happed to plan this blog published at one o’clock mountain time this morning, before I have even dragged my sorry butt out of bed, have a great day and Go Bengals Go, and those are words that I never expected to ever say!

Take only Pictures, Leave only Footprints – Good words to live by I think!

Day 1580

Blog 402

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