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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just Checking In… With A Bit Of Rambling.

Its been two weeks since my last post as I’ve settled into a routine much like when I’m at home.And really that is my comfort zone.As I’ve said all along since starting to blog two years ago,that when I’m travelling and have something to blog about,then I’ll put in an entry.

Now technically you could say that I am travelling….Well sort of, so when I get off my butt here and do something that I might think interesting,then I’ll make an entry.Many bloggers are happy telling of what they do all day including what they had for breakfast,every day…That's really not my style,although I am guilty of just that in the past,and will probably slip up and do it in the future.

My daily routine for the past 2 weeks is just relaxing and catching up with all the DVR recordings from my satellite TV that have been building up over the past 2 months,besides some days have been so hot that sitting inside with the air conditioner on and watching TV has been the norm.

The rest of the time has been spent driving around and getting used to the general area and finding the shopping/service spots that are close and easy to get to,for example the closest Super Wal-Mart is 9 minutes away and the closest H.E.B. Supermarket is 6 minutes,so things are (driving) close.(The H.E.B. has my favourite Mexican fruit yogurt,”Lala” peach with big chunks of fresh peaches.) And in between all of this are many Laundromat choices,big bright and almost empty,in fact the other day I was the last one leaving at 1030am,a far cry from my Yuma experiences where the Laundromats seemed to be a rat race by that hour.(Or do I need to check my armpits?)

And another nice thing is that the park is located on the outskirts of the city,where it is quiet enough that I hear the coyotes and roosters,even heard a donkey bray one morning,made me miss old Mexico.So the point of my rambling is that getting on the 83 Expressway,which is down the road a few blocks,gets me across several of the valleys cities,really fast or just as quickly to local spots.

Last January when I was here for 10 days,the local driving terrified me as I couldn't figure out all the one way frontage roads running beside an elevated expressway,then getting mixed up with the difference between U turn and left turn lanes as they passed under the expressway overpasses.This got me in big trouble back then when I found myself facing down on coming traffic going the wrong way after coming out of a gas station.So this time I was determined to figure it all out…And have… Now I love it.

On the nicer days I get out and do a little birding in our little parks own preserve.Still enjoying the Green Jays and Cardinals.

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And even some of the visitors come right into my site beside the trailer,like the Pyrrhuloxia  below.

The Northern Mockingbird(on Right) acts like part of a street gang,chasing all the others away,but sure makes up for it with their beautiful singing.It seems every afternoon on nice days,one will be up above my trailer singing away for the longest time.I would like to record it but there’s too much traffic noise here.

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Last week I was treated to a 2 day visit from a fellow blogger who is on my side bar under the handle of (Croft’s Mexico).I’ve been following his blog for many years,so when he put a message in my comments section that he wanted to drop in and meet me,as they were passing through,I was thrilled as I had wanted to meet them.

Norma and Croft from Vancouver Island.


They are great people….We couldn't even find anything to argue about and that’s one of my strong points….I love arguing,It seemed that we just agreed on every topic whether it be politics or Mexico travel.We had happy hours and morning coffee visits and I really enjoyed having someone to talk to for a change,since I tend to be a bit of a loner.Even though we do have a park full of friendly people,I do stick to myself,its the old boondocker in me.Having Norma and Croft visit was more like old friend's because after reading his blog over the years,I felt like I knew them well……..Its a blogger thing I guess.

They had a bit of a sugar ant problem for the 2 days that they were here,as did I upon arriving, but after 2 weeks I had all my ants trained to leave me alone and go invade someone else…..That being said,I sent about 50 of them off to visit Norma and Croft and they hitched a ride with them to Brownsville,leaving me less to contend with.SmileSorry about that Norma.

Here they are heading out for Brownsville.Hope to meet up again soon.

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So its back to my usual daily routine of my morning exercise jog/walks and 3 times weekly weight workouts with my fancy Ironmaster (quick change) dumbbells.I love these,so easy to travel with. They are shaped for travel with the square plates.My tail gate makes a good table for setting up.


One last thing I wanted to mention was that I picked this area instead of Arizona because of it’s more tropical,less desert, climate, as its on an east/west line with Miami Florida with much the same climate,in fact just down a few sites from me, I found growing, a fairly healthy looking bunch of banana’s up against the side of a 5th wheel.I’ve never seen them growing this healthy this far north,usually in Mexico you would travel almost to Mazatlan to see them,much further south….Although is it really that much further south,I believe we are also on an east/west line with Los Mochis Mexico.And I’ve never been to Florida,so maybe they grow all over,in that State…….There I go rambling again.


They even call the highway 83 through the valley as the “Texas Tropical Trail”.

I have 2 weather gadgets on my desktop,one for Yuma and one for Mission/McAllen and am able to compare temperatures every morning when I boot up,and so far this area has been much warmer,especially the overnights,some by more than 20 degrees f.(Coastal climate vs.desert.) I guess.

This was one of the reasons for picking this spot along with getting away from trailer rocking desert winds and DUST!……..Just a nice change and a new experience for the old guy.

On a final note I’m not knocking Yuma or Arizona as a whole…I love the place….just wanted to experience something different……And I also love comparative statistics as you have probably guessed by now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

AmeriCana RV Park…My New Home For The Next Month Or So.

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Above are my new digs.All set up and ready to kick back after over 3500 miles of travel covering a 6 week period.

I left Falcon Lake last Monday morning and an hour later arrived here and set up in my pre-selected site in uncomfortable heat.For the past week now the temperature has been hovering at the 90/33c degree mark with night time lows around 75/25c and a humidity of above 80%……..On top of all of this I’ve been suffering with what they call the “Texas Crud”for the past 5 days.Crud is crud whatever you call it and it pains me for I cannot remember the last time I was sick or even had a cold.But they say its hard to avoid as a first timer here.

The moist air just keeps pumping off the Gulf of Mexico a few miles away,and the forecast is for a high around 60/17c by Friday when all the cold air from the north arrives.

When I came down a week earlier to scout the parks,the only choices I had in this park for long term were spots in the back(below) The areas along the fence on the grass were ok,quite large, but not really defined,as were the gravel spots here in the foreground.When I went back to the office to asked,she suggested if I didn't care about traffic noise,there was a large site with a seldom used site next to it if I wanted some privacy, for $399. per month including electricity cost.So I took it,paid my deposit and headed back to Falcon Lake.


Some other views taken along the 4 park roads.There are some park models.

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The sites are nicely spaced in this older park,and with plenty of length.Everything from shaded to semi-shaded to open sites in all budget ranges.And for the birder,the huge “World Birding Centre”park is just 5 minutes down this road.In fact they call this park “The Birding Centre RV Resort.”


A small salt water swimming pool and the washroom/mail/laundry room.Behind this shot is the clubhouse.

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And in the back corner of this 154 space park,for the birder, is a 2.5 acre wooded bird refuge with bird houses and feeding stations set up at intervals.They have a population of wild parrots that seem to grow every year.

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I stopped and sat in one of the chairs for a few minutes and was able to get a poor shot of one of my favourites here…The Green Jay,with its distinctive blue and black head,and golden tail feathers,a delight to watch in flight also.To the right a better shot taken last January when I was here for 10 days.

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Unfortunately I mistakenly had my camera set on portrait for all of todays shots,so my scenes are hazy.

Here is another site nearby that is open until mid January that I could have taken.

But I didn't want to give up my orange tree.I hope they are worth it.

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So as you can see by the photos that there are many open sites at this time but they are spoken for and this quiet, older park will become a hive of activity very soon.There are many parks here on Benson Palm Drive on the outskirts of Mission Texas,some are luxurious,and some have seen better days and just like Goldilocks and the 3 bears,some are just right.

Now I must go out and do battle with my sugar ants………Hey! It aint perfect but I’m getting to be an old hand at battling ants.About 50 to 75 got into the trailer Tuesday while I was out shopping, but I beat them back and sealed their entry point and am now feeding them the good stuff outside….You know the stuff that locks their jaw….Heh heh!

Oh! And I don't have to go far for a propane refill.Funny thing,all the way down the valley I was searching for a propane refill place and found nothing until I arrived here.

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I think I’m going to like being a “Winter Texan”….Its a nice change of scene.Have to see if the wind ever stops blowing though…..Its not as bad as the desert winds…..Yet…And makes the heat bearable.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers.

And again,all bad grammar is intentional.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Enjoying Some Down Time At Falcon State Park.

The weather’s great and the park is almost empty,and its a weekend…go figure.31 sites and only 6 of us…Cant even see my neighbour….50 amp electric and water…$16.00


After one day over in the horrible full hook-up burr infested area,they made us all move over to the electric and water area,which is were I wanted to be in the first place.Nice paved semi-circles.This is because the construction crew had finished this area and wanted to start on the other.

When I was setting up in this new spot,I was busy brushing a couple of hundred burrs out of the truck and I look over into my site about 30 feet away and low and behold I got to see my first Armadillo.

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Unfortunately he didn't want to face me and just ambled off.I yelled at him not to walk away when I’m talking to him…..But he didn't care.Flirt maleI’ve been hoping to see one on my 2 previous visits to Texas and was told that probably the chances were slim, so I consider myself lucky.

As I said before this is a birding paradise with all the thick foliage and lots of water with a 50 mile long and 5 mile wide lake out front.You have quite a nice selection like the Curved Billed Thrasher below.

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And the place is crawling with Pyrrhuloxia like this sunrise shot yesterday,along with this second shot of one of a pair of them feeding in the grass a few feet from my trailer yesterday afternoon.I’m wondering if they are eating burrs…..Ouch!

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And we cant forget one of the hundreds of Northern Mockingbirds here.They are so territorial,chasing all the others away…..But I could listen to them all day when they get warbling.


On my morning walks I see dozens of small rabbits and many deer like these two yesterday checking me out.


Haven't seen any Javelina’s since the first evening at the other site when a family of 9 came by and did some feeding on my burr infested lawn…..The little ones are cute…I didn't take any pic’s……I’m all Javelina’d out since Fort Davis St.Pk.

And here in the campsite I have a regular buddy who I named Rodger the Road Runner.He sticks around all the time so I guess this is his personal stomping ground.When I’m sitting outside he will walk to within about 5 feet of me.He got some wiener bits last night.

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Yesterday when I was doing my breakfast dishes I heard a lot of chatter coming from the bushes outside my door that sounded like chickadees,and when I looked I saw that they were Tufted titmice,which are only in this area and eastward I believe.No chance for a photo this time.Too fast for me.

This lake is a very popular bass fishing lake and yesterday morning by 7 the big parking lot down by the boat launch already had 2 dozen trucks and boat trailers.


Its a huge parking lot so I’d assume it gets very busy.I also noticed that 6 of the truck/trailer combo were from Mexico,so either they don't have any good launching facilities on that side of the dam,or things are just too hot with the cartels roaming around,so they fish this half of the lake.

I also discovered a nice Butterfly garden by the clubhouse here, with some interesting local plant life.

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The place was full of butterflies.Mostly Monarch but a few others too.


Some of the plant life that I found interesting was this Mexican Olive,explained below.

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And another plant which seems to grow in abundance here in this thorny thicket country, is the….

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With a few remaining flowers that look like this…


So!..Today is my last day here….On Thursday last, I drove into Mission about 50 miles down the valley and checked out a few RV parks that I could call home until after the holidays.It was a nice little daytrip with a Burger King stop included.And I took my first choice among my on line researches for a park.I had a choice of about 8 sites in this park that were still available into January and took a site close to the road but BIG with no close neighbours,and my own orange tree….full and ready for picking….And the owner says,enjoy them…They are yours to eat…Until next time.