January’s Windshield View 2022

January 2022

This photo was taken from the side window of the coach looking east as the sun rose on a January morning

January 2022 finds us enjoying sunny Arizona, while giving back. We are volunteering at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior Arizona, the arboretum is a 501c3 non profit, and is now trying to find it’s own way again after operating under Arizona State Park and the University of Arizona umbrellas for a number of decades, which maybe have provided some benefit to the arboretum at times the relationship also appears to have been more of an anchor to the the arboretums continuing progress. There is a board of directors here at the arboretum that seem to be following most of the founder (William Boyce Thompson) ideals, which were research and the integration of arid plant life from around the globe to see if it could help stop erosion as well as the normal damage done during the mining process. And while much of the research failed to accomplish the original task, much was put to good use protecting some natural species from common diseases such as root rot, very common issue in Texas.

And while this ninety-eight year old arboretum is presently suffering some growing pains, we are happy to be able to help out and do our part do promote this amazing piece of paradise. We have been calling this arboretum “Arizona’s best kept secret,” and as people discover the park, they leave amazed by its natural beauty. And as a reward for donating out time, we get to stay onsite, and are allowed to enjoy the park daily,

We are also happy to be in an area with so much to do, we have friends only half an hour away, we are close enough to almost every possible shopping required, minuets from water and kayaking, mountains in every direction, a photographers paradise, excellent bird watching throughout the canyon, hiking of all levels of difficulty, multiple restaurants within a few miles, it has been an excellent choice for us.

As I look back on the past year, the pandemic is still not under control, and as the death toll continues to rise both sides of the border, it becomes very apparent to most of us that the “right to choose” has came at a very steep price for some people, and while some might feel bad, I just remember they had a choice as was their right, and because they didn’t know what was in the vaccine, no different that we don’t know what is in KFC’s secret receipt, the real difference is while too much KFC might kill you, just two little vaccine shots could have saved their lives … sad to say the least.

On a lighter note I’m going to add a few of our favorite photos from our January at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Arizona. Most of these photos were taken by Miss Laurie ♥️📸♥️😀

January 2021’s “windshield view” was photo was snapped on January 18th @ 10:18 am and with the coach facing west on our new site for the 2021 season @ Lake Huron Resort just outside of Goderich Ontario, while it does not show much of the amazing view that we normally are blessed with, it did pick up the true view of a beautiful snowy January morning. Lets just face the reality of the day and say it has been one hell of a year, so much has happened, and on the flip side of that coin there is so much that just has not happened.

January 2021 found us still in Canada unable to get across the American border because of the Corona Virus lockdown. It should have seen us back in the Arizona dessert, our plan was to get an LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) pass for the winter which would have cost us $US180 to use the BLM land till the 15th of April it is a six month permit that ends in April, there are a number of different areas, four in total in the Quartzsite area that you can chose between, it allows use of the dump station, the fresh water supply and the garbage bins for the full six month. We had hoped to attend the Beaver Rally, the Big Tent, play a little golf in Blyth California, Explore some of the wildlife preserves along the Colorado river, and prepare for our Mexican Baja caravan in February. But this Pandemic has changed our world as it has for so many.

So what have we been up to this month? Well Miss Laurie has a full time job at the blue sign store, she says its her way of paying back for the use of those overnight stops when we are traveling. I on the other hand have taken on the task of a full time snow shoveller, like seriously enough with the damn snow already! I have also been working at learning how to operate our new drone, as well as the action video camera, proving again you can teach an old dog new tricks. and while the results seem to be improving, it brought on a whole new group of problems such as editing the video clips and then finding a way for people to actually view them, so we have launched a YouTube channel which at the time of putting this blog together has a whole two subscribers, and I know one is Miss Laurie…lol. But I have been playing at it and have four videos up, a couple of drone shots, one dashcam of a wrong turn in Newfoundland in the summer of 2018 and a fun video of snow removal this year.

I have been reading, most likely too much, we have been working our way through lots of shows on Amazon Video, and Apple TV, along with lots of National Geographic and History channel to compliment HGTV and the Food channel. Hiking, kayaking, and bird watching not so much this year. Although we are making use of the full size oven at the house, and as Goderich has pretty much shut down for the winter, and the province is under a stay “at home” order with covid cases reaching stupid heights because so many people didn’t adhere to the recommendations when asked. This will be a January for the books if we survive it!

This could explain some of my problem in getting my blogs out in a timely manner, Mr. Sam feels he has to be the center of attention every time I sit down at the computer, half the time sitting on the keyboard, and always blocking my view and mobility … just saying.

January 2020 again found us in the Arizona desert in the Quartzsite area, after our week @ the Lake Havasu Balloon festival we went to our first rally for our Beaver coach, we moved around the area a lot more spending time at four different BLM (bureau of Land Management) boon-docking areas. Our coach was now equipped with 600 amp hours of lithium battery power and over 1.2 kilowatts of solar panels, and a 3000 watt pure sine invertor, a drastic change from our first venture into the desert two years earlier. Now it would take at least two cloudy days in a row to tempt me to fire up the generator, we now had power all night long and in many cases would have been up and had breakfast before the solar panels had even started to pull in any power. So our artinery for January was, time in Yuma AZ, the balloon festival in Lake Havasu AZ, the Beaver Rally in Roadrunner BLM, the big tent RV show in La Posa West BLM, and side trip to Joshua Tree national monument in California.

January 2019 had us settled into Oak Grove RV Park in LaBelle FL for a four month stay, full hook ups, lots of park amenities and activities. Our second winter in the warmth that the southern United States offers a huge snowbird population from the northern states as well as Canadians. to say it was a little different that Arizona would be an understatement. Truly different in so many ways besides the obvious, Arizona mid January temperature in Quartzsite average daily high 19ºC (66ºF) low of 4ºC (40ºF) and days of rain only 1, while LaBelle average daily high 24ºC (75°F) low of 10ºC (50ºF) with days of rain 3. What it doesn’t tell about is the high humidity, and the never ending insects that Florida offers, the air conditioner usage is huge in Florida compared to Arizona in January and not because of the heat, just because of the humidity. Laundry was a daily event in Florida while every couple of weeks in the desert. And the traffic was ok in January but got crazier as the time went on. Miss Laurie loves the beaches of Florida and we will return but it won’t be a go to area because of pricing and the crowds.

January 2018 found us in the Arizona desert at the big Q (Quartzsite), our first trip to the desert, our first trip west, our first winter away from Canada and our first time boon-docking. And we really didn’t know sh!t about anything, we were so green it was truly scary. We (I) did not understand our coach, our power usage, our battery capabilities, our generator none of that, we were just out in the desert struggling through every night to try to make it to the morning generator time (7:00 am) after running the generator till quiet time the night before (10:00 pm). In fact looking back we most likely never had our house batteries fully charged more that a half a dozen times in those first nine months of owning the coach. But we persevered and I can tell you I learned a lot about a lot of different things in that first month of boon-docking, a few were expensive lessons but they all made us stronger and wiser (I think).

As always, stay safe, be well, protect yourself!

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