Back in the RV Port

Back in the RV Port

After fetching the Thor Palazzo from the RV Dealer last week where warranty work had been accomplished (for the most part), we parked the big rig on the lot across the road from our house. This is because we can’t take the RV up the drive west of the house due to the road being washed out from summer monsoons.*

If the RV is parked across the road, that makes for some inconveniences:

  • No hookup access (sewer, electric, water)
  • Hundreds of feet away from the house for restocking and supply purposes
  • minimal security

Because we would really like to have the RV back up here with us, Damsel and I worked together to back the big guy up the east driveway and into its normal spot behind the garage. There were some challenges involved since the east driveway is steeper, we’re going in reverse and the existing structures (house, garage, retaining wall) are in fairly close proximity.

Working with Damsel, we made a couple of iterations at backing up the drive, once or twice making us both nervous, but we finally got the right combination of angles and distances such that the RV is now back where we can have access to the items listed above and with better security since we can see and hear better where it is now parked.

*We plan on fixing the washed out road over the winter months.

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Headed Home After Warranty Work

Headed Home

During our August/September road trip we noticed a few things needed to be fixed, all of which were covered by the warranty. They were mostly minor squawks, but there were some parts they needed to order, so the coach stayed at the dealer for the better part of a month.

Damsel took this photo of the RV headed north on Loop 303 on our way from the dealer in Avondale to our home in Wickenburg. I believe we were going through Litchfield Park at the time of the photo.

The RV is currently parked across the road since we still have not had a contractor come out to level the approach to the RV Drive where the monsoons washed out a lot of sand and gravel. We have to do this so the undercarriage of the RV won’t drag on the ground causing who knows what kind of damage.

There is also a possibility that I can back the RV up the main driveway by the garage in the reverse of when we take it down that way when we are headed out. It will be a team effort for me to back up the driveway while Damsel guides me from outside. We have a couple of little Uniden FRS/GMRS Radios to communicate while we’re doing that.

We will decide when and if we need to do the latter if the cost of fixing the road is such that it may take us some time to save up for it.

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More Queen Cactus Fruit

Queen Cactus Fruit

I posted a photo of this peniocereus greggii cactus fruit in a comment to a post I made late in September. This is the current appearance of the cactus fruit ripening on the queen cactus adjacent to the east part of the lot by our driveway.

This one, unlike the ones I posted about then, has not been hollowed out by birds or other critters yet. It looks to me like it is turning red like the other ones. I’ll keep an eye on it and post more when there is a change in appearance.

Encyclopedia of Life has these details about propagation of the Queen Cactus:

Peniocereus greggii blooms for 4 to 12 nights each season, with most flowers opening synchronously at dusk and closing at dawn (Raguso et al. 2003). This species is also known to self-incompatible, so pollination by an insect, usually a hawk moth or honeybee, is required for successful fruit maturation (Raguso et al. 2003). Fruits are red, fleshy and ripe during the fall migration season and are dispersed by birds (Suzan et al. 1994).

Update 10/12/2017: The fruit is now ripe and the birds have begun to peck out the pulp. Click on the image to enlarge.

ripe

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Eight Years

Eight YearsEight years ago today was the first day of retirement for me. Almost immediately, Damsel and I set out to begin looking at places where we could relocate outside of Kalifornistan. Within a week we were in Southern Arizona on a combination of vacationing and looking at potential places to eventually live.

That first trip wasn’t very fruitful other than us having vacation fun in places like Pima Air Museum Tombstone, Mission San Xavier del Bac and Saguaro National Park. Arizona is a very scenic and interesting place.

We took a couple of other trips in the early part of 2010 with more serious focus on relocation. We finally decided on Wickenburg after some research and having visited here several times. We made a deal for some property and after some delay in getting financing, construction on the house began late summer of that year.

It’s coming up on seven years that we have been happily relocated to our retirement home. With continued good health and our nest egg holding out, we expect to have many more blissful years of retirement here and on the road.

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Queen Cactus Fruit

Cactus Fruit

When Damsel and I were walking our dogs after breakfast this morning, we saw something up on the neighboring hill we could not readily identify. There were three bright red objects up among the natural vegetation on the hill. We conjectured that it might be cardinals perched up there, but at that distance it was difficult to verify. Moreover, the red objects did not move and our observation of cardinals is that they do not stay in one place for very long.

We finished the dog walking and I returned to the road where we see the red objects with my 300mm long lens and Canon SL1 camera. I took a couple of photos and went back into the office to download them to see what it could be so bright red up there. When I zoomed in, albeit low resolution, I could see that these red objects were ripe fruit growing on a Peniocereus greggii (Queen of the Night) cactus. We had no notion that they could be this bright red.

Although the area where the cactus was growing is in a marginally accessible area in the wild desert just west of our house, I ventured up there to try and get some closer photos of the cactus fruit. As you can see, I was able to get close enough to get he photo above. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Twelve

TwelveToday not only marks the Autumnal Equinox, but an even dozen years that this humble blogger has been posting here. We are still at the status quo from last year when I posted that we were not as dynamically involved in political commenting then and still are today. The only difference is that at this time last year we thought that Donald Trump might be defeated in the POTUS contest, which, thankfully, is contrary to what actually finished with the result of Felonia Pantsuit’s loss.

Life has been good for us over the past year, with our acquisition of a new motorhome, the birth of a second great grandchild and our ability to drive the former vehicle to meet the latter little person. Later this year, we expect to be able to visit with yet another great grandchild after his birth in November.

We will continue to periodically post here on personal events with maybe a little mix of our favorite hot political buttons like fake climate change and what the gutless RINO’s are up to. It is sure to be another interesting year.

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Alex Turns Three

Alex and his new cameraAlex, our eldest great grandchild (we have two total with another expected in November), was celebrating his third birthday today. Last May, when we were visiting the grandkids in Northern California, I let little Alex “borrow” my little pocket sized Canon A710IS. At 2½ years old, he managed to take a few good photos among the messed-up ones you might expect from a kid that age.

So, for his birthday today, we sent him a Kid Zoom Camera designed for kids 3 to 8 years old. The photo above shows him with his new camera just after opening it.

We will likely return to Northern California later this year to celebrate the arrival of Alex’s little brother. We shall see what progress Alex has made with being an expert photobug at that time.

Photo via FecesBook™ posted by my eldest granddaughter. Click on the image to enlarge.

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