Week nineteen @ BTA

Sunday March 27th 2022

Sunday morning at six o’clock, and Mr. Sam meets me in the hallway, and he is trying to explain with some urgency the need for his morning treats, but it is my Friday Morning and I was more interested in a cup of coffee for me, but Sam got his treats and I got my coffee so all ended well. Miss Laurie was up by six thirty, and we watched Willie Geist, while consuming a bowl of cereal, before heading to the admissions booth. It is a overcast morning, which means it will be warmer than usual first thing, as the clouds trap in the warmth, but we do have rain and some wind in todays forecast.

The morning consisted of broken cloud cover with sunny interval’s, but that deteriorated as the day progressed, it was not as busy as we had hoped but we managed to keep our selves entertained watching the cardinals most of the morning. The afternoon dragged on and I headed to the coach at about three o’clock, leaving Laurie to complete our shift. I was hoping to see the end of the golf tournament, but with the time change on the east coast it was over by the time I got to watch.

We had planned a couple of adult beverages with the Andersons, this afternoon, but the weather was not co-operating with a strong west wind and some dark rain clouds heading our way, so we moved into the staff lunch room, which is in the laundry trailer. Miss Laurie made some chicken taco soup in the slow cooker today, it had been on all day so she brought some soup over for everyone to enjoy for dinner as no one was going to be barbecuing in the rain tonight.

Again let’s just touch on the rain in the desert issue, so far central Arizona has received less than half an inch of rain this year, so it still leaves most of Arizona in a very serious drought condition, and the State has been in that drought condition for twenty two years now. So we are by no means upset by the little sprinkle of rain we are getting this afternoon.

So today is the first day of spring and I have been seen lots of photos from family and friends back in Ontario, as spring flowers push through the soil to burst into flower to add some cheerful happy colour to the normally dreary, muddy spring.

Here in the desert we have had blooms for months now, many of which I have featured in this blog, but now it is officially spring in the desert. As we get different spring signs here in Arizona, the photo was taken by Tom Anderson at the entrance to the Wallace Garden, less than two hundred yards from our coach.

This is one of Arizona’s famous diamondback rattle snakes!

We got to the coach by seven o’clock in time to watch 60 minutes, then American Idol, as well as a couple of YouTube videos before turning in for a well deserved rest around nine thirty.

Monday morning and I was up too early, so I gave Mr. Sam his treats and after completing the Wordle of the day I went back to bed. And didn’t get up till after sunrise, then I grabbed a quick cup of coffee before we headed to the arboretum for a walk, it had been almost a week since my last walk, so lots of things have changed

After we returned to the coach for some breakfast and I have discovered an issue with the program that is the backbone of this blog, which in simple terms is pretty darn important to making this blog happen in a timely manner, this may or may not be the end result, let’s for now, just call it a work in progress.

Next on my agenda is the skylight, let me just say I’m tired of this particular repair, it has been a very long dragged out process, but today the new one is going into place. I’m not real happy with the new dual-pane skylight, it is not nearly as rigid as the original replacement, but seems to be very close to the original dual-pane that was cracked and leaking, I don’t like the position on the screw holes or the quantity of attaching holes available. It will be ok but will take some time to get it sealed properly on the butyl tape, but with some 90°F (32°C) days coming this week I will get it pulled into place and sealed properly.

After lunch, it was back to the battle of the blog program, and it is a battle I will come out on top of, but it may take a while, let me say that I’m still very happy with the program provider, I guess the issue is that because of the quantity of blogs that we have, I’m trying to get the program to do more than it was designed to do, and I may need to design my own blog site to work for me, and if so that will take a lot of my spare time.

We took another walk into the arboretum after closing this afternoon, after it closed with Tom & Kathleen, to see all the Yuccas that are in bloom, we also took a cold beverage and hiked to a high outlook to just sit and admire how beautiful this arboretum is, and as many growing pains as it may be having it is still beautiful and looks great to the visitors, and visitors stop at the admissions booth and tell us how amazing it was or they even upgrade their admissions ticket to a membership, to return again soon.

Dinner was some of the left over chicken taco soup with tortita chips, always a great dish because it eats more like stew than soup, we were too late for the world news but just in time for American Idol, and a couple more YouTube videos before crashing at near ten o’clock.

Tuesday morning and I slept in till six thirty, it was actually light when I woke, and Mr. Sam had already got his morning treats from Miss Laurie but now he wanted my spot on the big bed, the coffee was perking and I added a touch of the Irish nectar to my cup and sat down to access the start of of my Tuesday, I’m still working on the blog page, and I’m also adding constantly to try to keep up and avoid those marathon editing nights. Miss Laurie broke into her Cinnabon (the in case of emergency) stash a true sign that we will be getting back on the road soon.

After breakfast we decided to head over to the arboretum again, to walk some of the trails that we have not been on for a while, I also decided to wear my new hiking boots, fresh from Amazon a new pair of Sketcher hiking boots to fit my wide feet, and after what I would suspect to be 3 miles (5 kilometers) all is well, the odd little pinch of a new shoe but no hot spots or blisters, all good for new shoes.

So some might wonder why return day after day to the same place, well the reality is that it changes day to day, we have plants blooming that only bloom every so many years, so to see them change every day is an amazing thing. And almost every day we see a new migratory bird species, and the geckos are out of hibernation now and they are always entertaining as they fight for dominance of a sunning spot. Below are a few of todays photos, hope you enjoy.

A couple of barbecued hot dogs for lunch, then catch up on the blog while enjoying a cold adult beverage on the patio, the wind is a little gusty today so trying to stay under the awning, which we only have out around five feet to avoid wind damage, and it is proving a challenge. I spent most of the afternoon learning what is available in this weeks blog program, and while still not perfect seems to allow me to control much more than the last program did.

This afternoon’s distraction was Johnny & Milla packing up, they apparently have some family issues and have to leave early. And in the world of work-campers this seems to always be an issue, I guess it is not a lot different than regular staff issues, but we have learnt quickly that the reference from your previous position determines how quickly you get your next position. And it doesn’t take much for the prized positions to be out of reach, not fulfilling your contractual commitment is a big one, but I guess I’m just old school that way, “your only as good as your word” so if I commit to something, you can be sure that I will fulfill my commitment.

Speaking of commitments, apparently it’s happy hour at the Andersons and I’m apparently now late, so I pack up the laptop and grab a cold beverage and trek the twenty yards to Tom & Kathleen’s coach to discuss everything that is in need of discussion. Today’s topics varied from the health and safety meeting, which is usually a place for some epic stupid comments to surface, Kathleen is on the committee representing the volunteers, but just like most organizations they can get locked up by items that are likely never to happen. Or fall into the rabbit hole I like to refer to as the “what if” to often simple regular issues never get addressed because someone feel into the “what if” hole from which there is no return.

Oh something amazing happened today, remember last weeks sad credit card story, apparently I must have touched a nerve with my American Express customer service story as I received my new credit card this afternoon by courier. Let’s just leave this by saying, it was a shame that it took a colossal failure before they did the right thing.

Tacos for dinner tonight, followed by lots of YouTube videos, we are still not completely caught up, but we are a lot closer, as spring travel is starting for a number of the channels that we follow. We turned in at about ten o’clock, the overnight temperatures are climbing, but no windows open overnight yet.

Wednesday morning and I’m up at five thirty, Mr. Sam was still asleep in his bed on the dash, but it wasn’t long before he was looking for his treats, and as I settle into my chair I was honored with some lap time from the kitty. And it is right about now that I realize that I never completed yesterday’s Wordle breaking my 24 day streak, which is why my last streak got broke, so now you see what happens when I sleep in and don’t get my lap time with our kitty. It is quite windy again this morning, so I’m thinking it may not be a good day to be on the coach roof.

Ray & Karen are coming to visit again today, we were going to install the second SoftStart on the second air conditioner, as it is something that Ray is looking at possibly installing on his fifth wheel, but this may not be a good day to open up an air conditioner on the roof. But because the of the gusty winds today I decided today was not a good roof day, so we just enjoyed a day of conversation followed by a walk through the Arboretum below are a few photos of the park.

A creature called the Gila Monster, also a sign of spring in the southwestern desert, the photo was taken by Miss Laurie with her iPhone.

Wikipedia: The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum, /ˈhiːlə/HEE-lə) is a species of venomouslizard native to the Southwestern United States and the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. A heavy, typically slow-moving lizard, up to 60 cm (2.0 ft) long, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States. Its venomous close relatives, the four beaded lizards (all former subspecies of Heloderma horridum) inhabit Mexico and Guatemala.[3][4] The Gila monster is sluggish in nature, so not generally dangerous and very rarely a real threat to humans. Yet, its exaggeratedly fearsome reputation has led to it sometimes being killed, in spite of being protected by state law in Arizona.

We went for dinner at the Silver King Smokehouse & Saloon, we headed there at around 4:30 to join Tom & Kathleen who went to get a table. Only to discover that a number of items were already sold out, so no brisket for Brian today. But we made the best of it with pork butt, smoked wings, loaded fries, and a wedge salad, and we brought home enough leftovers to make another dinner of pulled pork. Ray & Karen dropped us off at the gate of the arboretum before heading back to their park in Gold Canyon.

We were back at the coach in time to see the end of the news, before watching some more episodes of “This is Us”, we turned in early as we have a big day planned for tomorrow.

Thursday morning and I rolled out of bed at five thirty, Mr. Sam who is always glad to get his morning treats repaid me with that very valuable lap time. The Wordle, some email, and then to work on the blog, every day as I sit to review the previous day I realize just how lucky we are to live this lifestyle, and have such great friends. Breakfast today was a grilled cheese omelet, I remember the grilled cheese omelet being mentioned in conversation yesterday.

Today is a kayaking day, we are headed back to the Salt River, for another journey down the river, we are meeting Ray & Karen this morning, as this is the two vehicle adventure that had so much wildlife last time. This will be our last kayaking adventure with the Savino’s as they are heading out for their summer adventures the first of April.

The plan was to launch in the Salt River further upstream than the previous trip, our thought was that the current had been so much stronger the last trip that it should lengthen our journey. Well we totally succeeded in lengthening our adventure, and we took it from a journey to an endurance test, so let me explain. We packed up and headed out to meet the Savino’s in Gold Canyon at ten, the we drove to the new launch site, it was here that I realized that I had picked up the wrong set of keys to unlock our kayaks … looking back this was sign #2 that this was not a good idea, the #1 sign was our launch area, we had never launched here before and while there was current it didn’t seem as strong as the week before.

After some debate as to calling the adventure off, we decided that I would drive back to the coach and get the correct keys, so back to the coach I went, I returned around 12:30, we quickly carried the kayaks to the launch site, then Ray and I staged my truck at the exit point before returning to launch and start this adventure. So by the time we hit the water it was just after one o’clock, and that is when the adventure took a turn for the worst. We had not ventured far when we found ourselves walking in the river, dragging the kayaks, not what we had hoped or expected but some of the joys of the adventure.

At this point we seemed to gain an audience, there had to be fifty wild horses on the shore and at least a dozen people on the other shore with cameras, now we are back in deeper water but our path is blocked by the horses, but at least everyone is enjoying the horses for the time being, because the adventure just went downhill from there. We were in and out of the kayaks at least a dozen times before we made it to the previous weeks entry point. We now know that it is at this point that the Salt and the Verde rivers meet, and it was obvious the Verda river that had been supplying the big current the week before. So at least from here to the exit point there was good water, of course it was late afternoon so there was also some wind now as we paddled across open water to our exit point.

After we got out of the water and got our equipment packed up we went back to the entry point to get the other truck, and it’s now we are after five o’clock, we had planned on shopping for this week’s supplies but a cocktail and some dinner were now more important than supplies. So dinner at Red White and Brew was decided on so we ventured there to wait for a table, dinner was very good, but we all exhausted. We stopped at Bashas’ to pick up a few items to tide us over than headed for the coach, a shower and crawl into bed was all that was on my agenda tonight.

Friday morning just before six o’clock when I rolled out of bed, and I must admit I felt better that I expected, my shoulders were the most tender, with my calves being a close second. Let’s just say I’m glad to have a sit down job for the today, the temperatures are well above normal for March with today forecast to be above 90°F (30°C), so windows closed and the air conditioner turned on for Mr. Sam in the coach today as we head off to the admissions booth.

The entrance to the Arboretum

It was a slow day at the Arboretum today, just under six hundred visitors today, there was a wedding in the afternoon, a couple of school bus loads of students, but generally just an average day with lots of first time visitors, many of which are now members.

Saturday morning and I woke too early, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how I hadn’t done any thing on the blog since early Thursday morning. So I had to get up and start trying to piece the last couple of days together. A bowl of cereal, a vitamin, and a cup of coffee with a touch of Irish cream and we are headed off to the admissions booth.

Crazy busy at eight o’clock and by a quarter after eight I had checked in over fifty visitors, it appears that everyone is trying to beat the heat, as the forecast high for today is 94°F (31°C) which is well over the the normal temperatures for March in Arizona. As the day rolled along our day turned in to a regular day, but we had a strange encounter with one of the other volunteers, I guess strange and inappropriate would be the best description. First and foremost, we have one supervisor, and we do as we are asked, when we are asked, we volunteer for extra shifts when the center is short staffed, so it was very awkward when someone with no interest in the admissions booth stopped to explain how we should be doing our job. But it happened, and in retrospect I most likely should have told that person to just to move on and have the preverbal nice day, but I just listened as the suggestions rolled in, and what little respect I had for that individual disappeared in the verbal diarrhea.

Our day ended with our usual balanced tills, so I guess what we do is working, I watched a little golf, the world news, Miss Laurie made pizza for dinner, and we are settled in watching more episodes of “This is Us” as I plug away at this blog before turning in at the end of our hump day.

Be well, stay strong, & live your best life

Blog 410

Day 1636

2 thoughts on “Week nineteen @ BTA

  1. Your 2nd canoe trip sounded quite challenging- don’t know where you get your energy from.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.
    And yes there appears to be stupid people everywhere and most if not all should mind their own business.
    Take care and have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s