It is Saturday night, February 17. Today was sunny with temperatures in the mid 60’s but I cannot say the same for the weather the last couple of days. Friday morning at about 6:20 a.m. a fierce wind came in and stayed for the whole day. Even though it was my day off I usually wake up much earlier than Jane and made a walk around the campsites to make sure no one was blowing away. One of our reservations had come in the night before after dark and we left them in their “reserved” site even though they had a tent and small teardrop trailer and would probably want to move into a “no generator” (quiet) site in the morning. Oops! Fortunately the tent did not blow away but I sure was worried about them.
Backing up to Wednesday, Jane went shopping with a friend in Alpine so I watched her dog Spanky. Zuni thinks Spanky is the greatest play toy I could have brought her. Here they are relaxing after chasing around all morning:
I also went for a short ride over to the group camp area to post some reservations and found this great scat on the road by the dump station. How appropriate, huh? I cannot find anyone who knows their scat well, but I think it is from a large coyote. It is not segmented like a big cat’s would normally be, but is full of hair – or hare? (ha! ha!) I remain ever hopeful of seeing a mountain lion and bobcat while I am here!
My last full day of work was Thursday and it was somewhat interesting. I was making a mid-day round when I saw a couple with the door propped open to one of the dishwashing stations. They told me they were not going in because of the big spider inside. I took a look and decided that I had better move him because we were sure to get lots more campers coming in during the afternoon and I did not want anyone else to squash him. He is now living safely in the woods!
After I relocated the spider, I continued on my round and took this photo of mother cardinal following me around:
The next big excitement was when I was making another round at 6:30 p.m. and smelled what I thought was diesel fuel coming from the bottom of one of the rigs. I placed my spider rescue container under the rig to catch the drips, got some absorbent pads from the gas station, called dispatch to report the leak and left a note for the owners to see me upon their return to camp.
About the time the owners returned, law enforcement also arrived. The owner got under his rig and quickly realized what was happening – he had overfilled his gas tank and the warm gas had started pressuring out the overflow tube. He did not tell us that first though! Instead he came up from under the vehicle and said to us all, “I found the problem. Watch this!” and popped the lid off the tank. The overfilled tank promptly spewed about a half gallon of gas all over the area before the rocket scientist screwed cap back on! The police officer could not believe the man did that and was upset at the possibility of having to fight a campground fire! (The photo was taken BEFORE he spewed the gasoline all over creation.)
As I said earlier, a big wind blew in Friday morning. After making sure that no one had blown away in the early morning hours, I drove up to Dugout Wells to attend a volunteer potluck brunch. On the way there I took a photo of the clouds laying up on the Chisos Basin. Then, the wonderful food and group of (freezing) volunteers enjoying the meal. The temperature was about 40 that morning after the sun warmed things up a little!
By the way, the food was awesome – egg casserole, stewed greens with lots of hot spices, grits, blueberry muffins, fruits galore, cheesy potatoes with jalapeno, bacon (extra crispy!), pineapple casserole, and cheesy jalapeno beer bread that I made! I am definitely getting my fill of jalapenos!
After brunch I drove to Fort Stockton (160 miles from Rio Grande Village where I live). I had ordered some site-to-store items from Walmart and wanted to pick them up as well as get a haircut and find a better water filter for my RV. The trip there was uneventful, but I took a picture of a red tail hawk that was trying to catch some sunshine on this cold day and a tree cholla that was in bloom closer to Fort Stockton. The hawk looked so peaceful when I first spotted him, but another approaching car put him on alert.
The Fort Stockton Walmart was the worst I have ever been at – practically no selection of anything worthwhile AND someone stole the surge protector I had ordered from the receiving area. None of the hair salons could take me as they all were filled with appointments. The water filter I had intended to get was over $70 at the Ace hardware (normally about $40 elsewhere!). So, the day was a bust and I got home at 9:30 p.m. – 2-1/2 hour trip home AND the wind was still honking here at home! The only good thing was it was about 11 degrees warmer here than up at Fort Stockton.
Today was a new day! Our river patrol volunteers, John and Elaine, took a bunch of us from Gravel Pit to the take out here at Rio Grande Village – a 5-mile sunny canoe trip down the river with a stop-over for lunch at the Hot Springs! Here are some of the pictures from today. The mural photos were shot through the steel mesh which protects the building doorways and windows at the Hot Springs “motel” from the old days.
Tonight after the river trip I did 4 loads of wash and am contemplating tomorrow’s adventure! Good night all!