Saturday, March 31, 2007

Judy returns

An early start from Denver this morning and she was here in Santa Fe by 2:30. Nice she could be there with the kids and the baby. Nice to have her back here with me.

All the family in Colorado is doing fine. Taylor is almost 14 and is interested in boys. She went on her first date, a double date to the movies, with mom chaperoning. Tony is almost 10. They won their first soccer game of the year four-zip. Teigan is five and believes in capital punishment (if you cross her)(she also believes in pre-emptive strikes). Alex is three. He went on a trip to Estes Park with Becky, Brian and family while Matt and Kari went to the hospital to have the new baby. Alex wants to teach the new baby how to tackle. Conner is two and starting to really express himself. The new baby makes six. That’s a lot of kids; a joyful noise.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Santa fe

House finches, canyon towhees, robins, say’s phoebes. Curve-billed thrashers in song. Ravens soaring. Mountain bluebirds.

And several scaled quail sightings.

Found a high point in a canyon with white-throated swifts. A flock of american avocets at a pond's edge.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Along the way

The long-billed curlew.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

So here I am

So here I am. Alone in Santa Fe, with no navigator. Missing not just Judy the navigator, but the navigator in the dashboard of the jeep as well. No little map to watch on the screen to see where I am and figure out how to get to where I want to go.

Have you driven in Santa Fe? The whole old section is a series of donkey cart paths now paved. They twist and turn in all directions. You have to look at the street signs on both sides of the street at any intersection. The street names are probably different, for no apparent reason, depending on which way you turn. Most streets only go a block or two before the name changes, or the street ends entirely. Most streets start and stop. Some never stop, they just circle endlessly. Paseo de Peralta. No you don’t turn on it the first time you pass it. Keep driving and turn right when you get to it again!

Know what else? Know that rule about odd numbered addresses and even numbered addresses on opposite sides of the street? Forget that rule in Santa Fe. They just put numbers anywhere they want. I found the block for my client; my client with an even numbered address. The first address on that block I saw was even, so I made several passes in the car, trying to locate the exact address. Didn’t happen. Not till I noticed an address on the other side of the street that was even as well. All addresses on that street are even! I found a place to park and located the address on foot.

I like Santa Fe.

Monday, March 26, 2007


A good baby day. Our newest grandbaby born a little early, but fine, healthy, and happy.

I got the cell phone picture when he was thirty minutes old. I got the webcam look tonight. I get to see him in person in two weeks.

Name to follow.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Judy left

That’s an odd thing. We haven’t been apart for more than a few hours in years. She left this morning to drive to Denver in the Jeep. Matt and Kari’s baby is due Monday. Don’t want to miss that. I’ve still got two weeks of work remaining here in Santa Fe.

We got a rental car for me to drive while she’s gone. Couldn’t get the Nissan I wanted, so they had to upgrade me to a Caddy. Nice car.

Along the way

Sometimes the surf is filled with eared grebes.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Life on the road

It might be almost fixed.

Three days of rain. It got damp inside on the last day. Not squishy splashy wet carpet like before, but wet enough to pull the slide in and make sure we get it dried out completely.

It still seems like it’s getting wet first on the wall next to Judy, but beyond that, we don’t have a clue. We’ve exhausted our sleuthing skills. We have a new plan, however. In June we’re going to a conference in Phoenix. We’re going to move out of the motorhome and into the conference hotel for a few days anyway. We’ll go early and turn the motorhome over to the RV shop in Mesa that did such a good job on the bodywork last fall. They can pull any extraneous stuff out of the bedroom, like the bed, and park the rig inside a giant sprayer that’s bigger than the motorhome. The sprayer can move forward and back on the outside, while they watch for leaks on the inside. That should do it.

Four slides. Four edges that move in and out on each. I’m surprised all those edges seal as well as they do during downpours.

Along the way

Sometimes the sky is filled with ducks.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Along the way

Gulls, skimmers, terns, all resting.

Some skimmers know how to rest better than others…

Santa fe

Three days of rain. Light rain. Heavy rain. Thunder and lightning. Pounding hail. Still dry inside. It might be fixed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Life on the road

Our bedroom slide leaked once while we were in Port Aransas. It was only once, and we attributed it to the intensity of the storm. It blew hard from every direction. It didn’t leak again while we were there. Then, while we were in Houston, it rained hard again, and the slide leaked again. This time it was from heavy rain that came straight down. The next day, we had the RV repair guy there. He looked at the bedroom slide, figured there must be a window leak, and ran a bead of silicone caulk around the outside of each bedroom window.

That night, it was going to rain hard again, so we pulled the slide in and slept that way all night. It seemed to have leaked again that night, with the slide in, but we couldn’t tell for sure. The floor was still squishy from the night before.

Now we’re back in the high country. The inside is perfectly dry. We don’t know if the leak is fixed or not. All the seals around the slide look perfect. We did some testing. We sprayed one side of the slide with the hose. Wet it down thoroughly. Waited a half hour. Still dry inside. Sprayed two more sides of the slide. Waited. Nothing. Sprayed the top; above and below the slide awning. Waited. Nothing. Did it all again. Soaked the top, sides, seals, and windows. Not a drop. It might be fixed. Or the leak might have come from somewhere on the roof and channeled down to that spot. Sprayed the whole rear of the roof for ten minutes. Nothing.

It might be fixed.

We’ll find out next time it rains. A light rain might tell. It will take a real downpour to be sure. Got a light rain this afternoon. Nothing yet.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Santa Fe Skies

Again, West on Interstate 10. From Van Horn, back to the Mountain Time Zone, along the Rio Grande, and ultimately out of Texas altogether. We weren’t anxious to leave, but time to move on. Out of Texas into New Mexico. North on Interstate 25 at Las Cruces and up the Rio Grande to the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge last night. A quick look at the birds and off again this morning for Santa Fe. Problem is; we only got to drive 140 miles.

We’ve got the driving rhythm going. 140 miles from San Antonio New Mexico to Santa Fe on good road is way too soon to stop. This trip, from Port Aransas to Montgomery to Lumberton to Santa Fe: fifteen hundred miles altogether. Now it’s hard to stop; but we’re in Santa Fe and we’re going to be here for the next three weeks.

Santa Fe Skies RV Park. Aptly named.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Van horn

West on Interstate 10. Kerrville to Junction, to Sonora, to Ozona, to Fort Stockton, to Van Horn. It’s empty out here in West Texas. Ozona Texas. Crockett County. In a county of 3,215 square miles, Ozona is the only city.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Buckhorn RV Resort. Set the trash bag out in the morning, they pick it up. Need fuel? They tanked us up right at the site. They fed us dinner tonight. Buckhorn RV Resort.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Life on the road. Again, we find ourselves traveling to a place that will suit the person providing the repair. Between Montgomery and Lumberton we discovered the brake lights weren’t working. That’s worth a visit from an RV repair guy. In the meantime, I hit the emergency blinkers every time I apply the brakes so the people behind us will know something is going on when we’re stopping. Judy called around and found a mobile RV repair guy who directed us to a park on the east side of Houston. Rolled in about lunch. Rusty showed up about two. Wow, was he good. Fixed the brake lights; replaced a relay. Asked if we had something harder. Fixed a heater vent. Fixed a bedroom slide leak. Fixed the brake pedal cruise control disengage. Fixed the “step-out” light on the dash board. Asked again if we had something harder. Told us how to fix three other things he knew how to fix but couldn’t without the Beaver Coach specific parts.

We keep a list of things that need attention. Imagine subjecting your house to a constant magnitude six earthquake. There is always something on the list. Part of life on the road. Less things on the list now, thanks to Rusty.

That was yesterday. Lots of rain and mud. We made good use of the mud boots we bought in Corpus Christi this year. After a very stormy night in Houston we moved west. A two big-city day. We’re very careful with big city driving. Hard to change lanes in heavy traffic when you’re this long. We went through Houston after rush hour without incident and made it through San Antonio before rush hour. A good day. The sun came out west of San Antonio. We stopped in Kerrville. Buckhorn RV Resort.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


A walk on a trail in the Big Thicket. Southeast Texas. Piney woods. Village Creek State Park. A mile in, just past the cypress swamp, the Texas State Champion River Birch tree. Height 90 feet. Crown spread 60 feet. Trunk circumference 108”. A mighty Birch.

In 2005, Hurricane Rita came ashore at Beaumont, a few miles south. In the midst of the hurricane, three tornadoes touched down in the park. The storm created clearings. The sun shines on ground now where it never penetrated before. The Texas State Champion River Birch tree looks impressive, lying on its side like that.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007


We left Port Aransas. Drove to Montgomery Texas, north of Houston. Stayed at an RV Park convenient for the MotoSat satellite dish repair guy so we could get a connection fixed. As a bonus, brother David timed his trip through Texas to coincide with our path, so we got an all-day visit with him as well. This morning, David headed off toward Louisiana on his way to North Carolina. We drove through Conroe, Cut and Shoot, Cleveland, and Sour Lake on our way to Lumberton. We’re at Village Creek State Park. Cypress swamps. Tupelo Gum. Loblolly Pine.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Port a

We got a new bird without leaving the coach! The black crested tufted titmouse used to be just one form of the tufted titmouse, but they separated it. Since we have both the black crested and the plain… add one bird.

The migration is just starting. We went to Pollywog Ponds and got purple martins. Not a new bird, but a fun one for us to get. A couple days ago, we went to Paradise Pond and got a yellow throated warbler. New bird!

Time to leave.

Monday, March 5, 2007


An easier owl to locate in the picture. We got the barred owl in broad daylight over the weekend.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Aransas pass marina

What happens if you don't take your boat out often enough....

Saturday, March 3, 2007


We have it on good authority that winter continues, even though we're on the beach. Here is a sequence , compliments of our friend Rock, showing the lake effect snow swallowing Buffalo. The last picture shows the result on the ground.