Blog

January 31st, 2023

Sunrise view from our site

Well I figured it was about time to get back to writing, I have not hardly written anything since Mexico, and things are still happening for the Buchanan’s.

Our first walk through the Arboretum

So to ease back into the groove, I thought I would just write a brief summary of all our activities from our January at Boyce Thompson. I just have to touch on this January’s weather, which has been unusual by Arizona standards, from our years in the desert we have grown to love the sunny days with cool nights. The poor weather girl from the local NBC station has totally exhausted all of her descriptions for this unprecedented weather. It has been colder and wetter than any January going back more than two decades, in actual fact pretty much since the start of the Arizona drought over twenty years ago. So let’s just say that Januarys weather has been quite a chance from what we experienced in Mexico November and December.

Our view of Picket Post Mountain & some low clouds

Other than the weather what have we been up to?

Blooms on the Cardón Cactus

Well to be real honest not very damn much, we have walked the arboretum a number of times but not nearly as much as normal, we have both had colds and I’m not sure that we are not still having some after COVID symptoms, or it could be just a needed rest after just over three months of vacation. We have a different site at the arboretum this year, it is probably the nicest site available, we still have the view of the Picket Post Mountains, the amazing sunsets, and I’m sure the sun rise’s will be as spectacular as ever once the weather gets back to normal.

Queen Creek after the storms

The arboretum has undergone multiple changes over the summer, the admissions booth has changed a lot, with the addition of blinds to control the glare of the sun. The phone is in the booth now which is definitely not a good thing, but because the gift shop has undergone some major changes it had to move from the gift shop to admissions for now. We have had a few days of internet issues, but because of the cold wet weather, the crowds have been down as well.

Preparing for another dinner in the Clam

We have enjoyed being back with Tom & Kathleen, for some happy hours as well as a few meals in the shelter of the Clam™. I have been trained to work in the store, so I can fill in when needed. Lynnea seems truly glad to have us back, and we have been shifted onto the highest traffic days (the weekends), which is great because the days pass by quickly when we are busy. Tom and I just bartended our first concert of the year on last Sunday, and while a reasonably good crowd the music was not my taste, the majority of the people seemed to enjoy it, and the band was still playing as we shut down the bar.

Bartender view of the concert

I would be amiss without mentioning that the Arboretum which is now 99 years old and will be celebrating its centennial next year, which is an amazing feat, for a research facility that has turned into an amazing destination. The arboretum is a not for profit organization which receives no direct support from either the State or Federal governments, and totally survives on daily admissions, yearly memberships, and donations and fund raisers such as the concerts in the park.

View of a reverse sunset from our site

The cold weather has done much damage to many of the most tender vegetation in the park, the staff has covered as many plants as possible but when spread over 135 acres, it is just impossible to protect everything. But despite all of the cold night there are still many plants that are starting to bloom as the desert moves into springtime.

Our “Maple Wi-Fi” has not been working the best here in the Superior Arizona area, at least not nearly as well as the “Nomad Internet” system from last year. The difference is the cellular towers our Nomad service was T-Mobile and the Maple uses AT&T. And I think that Verizon has the strongest signal in the area, but we has been able to stream at most times of the day, with early evening being the worst times for streaming video.

Our patio area

With January coming to a close, the weather seems to be changing, and we are looking forward to happy hours, and adventures to come as the daylight hours start to increase and the Arizona sunshine starts to bring some real warmth. We are getting some use of our sun screen on our patio

Sunset

That’s all folks!

The End

Be well, stay strong, and travel if you can!

Blog 471

Day 1946

January 12th, 2023

Caution! Unedited rambling thoughts of a Curmudgeon!

And I have just not felt the urge to settle into blogging yet this year, and that is kind of unusual for me because I usually have a lot to say, and I do like the process of putting our travels and experiences down in print, if for no other reason just for a record for ourselves.

Our adventures of traveling south through the Western States and into the Baja of Mexico, have taken a toll on us, and since our return to Arizona we have been playing catch up on so many different things, but the first has been our rest, we are both still suffering the effects of getting Covid. We are both tired, and we still have a lingering dry cough, so we seem to have been a little slow getting back into the grove, of our volunteer shifts at the arboretum.

There have been lots of changes made at the Arboretum over last summer, and most of them seem to be for the better, although there seems to be bit of a problem getting the finishing touches on many of the projects.

I have a lot of items that I need to get fixed on the coach, items that I couldn’t seem to find in British Columbia, and were impossible to get done while we were traveling. Things like getting the lights on the coach, we keep saying we don’t drive at night, but we had two occasions last fall that found us driving in the dark and the headlamps on the coach are terrible. We lost the instrument lights last fall, so we need a new headlamp switch, the power mirror switch fell apart, and just a whole list of little annoying little things.

We have been trying to catch up on YouTube videos, after not having good enough internet while being in Mexico, and I have been reading the “Alex Cross” series of books by “James Peterson”, I think I’m on book 22 of a 30 book series. The new glasses that I got last summer have made reading a pleasure again, now if some one could just invent self cleaning glasses, I would be in great shape with my eyes. Of course Miss Laurie thinks I’m almost deaf, of course I have had tinnitus for years, which sometimes makes it hard to hear some things clearly. We have talked about getting hearing aids, but I know so many people that have them that never wear them, it just always seemed like a poor investment, but now that they can be purchased over the counter, the price has come down 75 – 80%, so maybe I will look into them.

I always have enjoyed just watching people do their job, no matter what it was, and we went to a ‘Waffle House” this morning for breakfast with the Anderson’s. And it has been years since I have been to a “Waffle House”, I’m thinking it could be thirty years or so, but the building and lay out are the same today as they were thirty years ago. And the whole food ordering and delivery process for the food was just the same, quick, efficient, there are no frills, just simple food, prepared just how you ordered it and delivered just as soon as it is plated.

After breakfast we went to the Walmart in Apache Junction, we needed a number of things, like eggs which are hard to locate and too damn expensive, but it will always be something. But getting back on track we needed to exchange a couple of “Soda stream” cartridges, and that process at Walmart takes place at the customer service counter, and that can be a very entertaining place to be, whether observing the staff or the customer, but this morning it was almost without much pain. But it did cause me to make a trip back out to our vehicle to drop off the new cartridges, and there is a young lady with a long handled dust pan and a short handled broom. Now I was assuming her task was to sweep up the litter that so many people leave behind, not a difficult task, but I’m sure it is a full time job at this store. So I just observed her for a while, as she would sweep up one piece of trash but leave three others as she wandered the parking lot, and of course the question that I had was determined which piece of trash got swept and what ones got left behind?

Now I know there was no real answer to that rhetorical question, but it it’s like watching staff members at the gardens here walk or drive by something that obviously need to be picked up or done but nobody will just do the right thing. It can be a piece of trash or a bin full of material for the compost pile, people just don’t seem to see the obvious.

And then after we had done our shopping, there was not one single check out open this morning at Walmart this morning, so I was forced into an unwilling volunteer task of packing the groceries, as Miss Laurie volunteered to play the role of a cashier. And the price of groceries has got almost a little crazy, and now with all this volunteer help, I’m thinking it should be getting cheaper!

Now in an effort of full disclosure, I couldn’t seem to sleep tonight so I got back up at 11 pm and decided to just write down a few of the things that was running through my mind while I should have been sleeping, so it’s now well into the next morning and I think that I may be able to fall asleep now as I’m finally starting to yawn…

Goodnight all

Blog 470

Day 1927