Monday, February 21, 2011


The first day we were at Quartzsite, Arizona, I broke a tooth.  Split in half and causing pain, I needed some relief.  We asked for recommendations from our Boomer friends and settled on Dr. Jerry.  I made an appointment as soon as possible and on my first visit, he pulled the broken tooth and set me up for replacing it with a bridge.  Today, after another night in the Quechan Casino parking lot, I walked to the border and crossed into Mexico.  These are some pictures of the day. 
IMG_6691  IMG_6692 Sunrise as I am leaving the motor home for my mile and a half walk.
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Los Algodones is not a big city.  It’s mostly medically oriented businesses catering to snow birds from the north.  Dr. Jerry’s office is not hard to find even though there are hundreds of dentist offices to choose from.
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After the prep for my bridge, he released me for an hour and a half while he made my temporary.  I found this plaza area and cased a few restaurants for future possibilities when we return for my finished product on Thursday.
Getting back across the border requires standing in line.  Today it took my 40 minutes, but the wait can be as long as two hours depending on the time of day. IMG_6704

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Sunrise was beautiful this morning.  Each day is different and clouds make a variety of colors and shadows on the mountains around us.

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This morning started out with beautiful blue sky.  We’ll be leaving soon and I climbed the mountain to get some more pictures of our home site for the last month.
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as you can see, the birds are still with us.  This shot was taken through the screen on our window.
By mid afternoon the clouds started to roll in and it began to rain.IMG_6666
Marlene got back to work preparing her lesson plans for the upcoming garden classes she will be teaching and I sat down to finish another book.  I’ve done more reading on this trip than any other.  I’ve finished 4 novels, the Multnomah County Library “Everybody Reads” novel, “The Other Wes Moore”, the story of the lives of two black men, both named Wes Moore and three David Guterson novels.  His first book was “Snow Falling on Cedars”.  I read that some years ago when it first came out.  Marlene gave me his latest book “The Other” for Christmas and when I finished it I checked out two others of his and read them both.  “East of the Mountains” and “Our Lady of the Forest”  were both good books.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011


Here are just a few random shots around Borrego Springs and near our motor home.


This is “down town” Borrego Springs.  Here’s Marlene using the wireless connection at Calicos, the local coffee shop and meeting place. IMG_6622

Her leg is beginning to heal from the Chollo cactus attack.IMG_6629


Here’s another shot of our hidden desert home.  Marlene used the crock pot to make spicy beans one day.  We get enough solar power to keep us going without a generator.IMG_6627 

IMG_6635I played a round of golf at a be autiful course called Montesoro, here in Borrego, about 10 minutes drive from our house.  A tough course!!

Here’s a couple of shots of mountains around us that I took in the morning when the sun was coming up and when the clouds made interesting patterns.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011


Come with us on a day hike.  Our original plan was to take a nice long hike with our friends, Jim and Lynn.  We figured maybe 4 to 5 hours at most with a picnic lunch somewhere on the trail.  Saturday morning Jim called to say that Lynn didn’t feel well and wouldn’t be joining us, but the three of us went ahead with our plan. 
This is what Coyote Mountain looks like out our window.  Our “walk” starts from the left side of the nearest ridge across the desert, proceeds to the peak in the center and then descends to the right back to the desert floor.  The starting elevation is roughly 600 feet above sea level.  The top of the peak is 3192 feet.  By the map, our trail scales out at 10 miles.  By Jim’s GPS we walked more than 13 miles.
IMG_6617 We left a car at the south end near our old earth oven on Rock House Road.  Then we drove to the north end, left the second car at the head of Alcoholic Pass Trail, and started climbing.  IMG_6581 The first part of the trail is moderately steep, but well defined.  It climbs through a beautiful cactus garden.  At the top of the pass, we left the trail and picked our way across the desert heading for the mountain, 5 miles away.  Funny how things seem so close, but are really a long way away. IMG_6586  Hiking cross country in the desert is not without it’s hazards.  One of which is avoiding cholla cactus.  Marlene got too close to one of them and it jumped out and grabbed her.
IMG_6587  Fortunately I was carrying my Leatherman tool and I used it to pull out the 20 or so imbedded spines.  She was pretty stoic throughout the ordeal and was left with the look of someone who has had several injections at the same time in one spot.  We headed out again and stopped an hour later for lunch on a bench overlooking Borrego Valley.
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Lunch time was decision time.  The climb ahead would be steep and rugged.  The walk back to our car would be long and rugged.  We decided to go to the top. IMG_6599  IMG_6600
Partway up the steep pitch, we climbed above two Bighorn Sheep who wondered who was disturbing their afternoon nap.
IMG_6601 Notice the slope we were climbing!  We still had a ways to go. IMG_6603
Six hours after leaving the car, we finally made it to the top.  Jim reached it first found the log book, and beckoned us on. IMG_6607 IMG_6606
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From the top we could see the Salton Sea as well as Borrego Valley and the dry Clark Lake bed.
Now came the hard part.  IMG_6614 IMG_6612  Three and a half hours of treacherous down hill and then an hour down a dusty road back to our car.  We didn’t stop to take pictures of the descent because we were worried about getting down before it got dark.  As it was, we reached the bottom of the dry lake just as it got too dark to see.  Fortunately the half full moon gave us enough light to see the road and we hiked the last three miles without a problem.  We arrived back at our motor home at 7:45 PM, eleven hours from the time we had departed.  What a day!

Friday, February 4, 2011


This is a 2 1/4 mile hike and scramble following a trail starting at the edge of Borrego Springs and leading to Maidenhair Falls.  In the early part you gradually climb the desert floor leading to a boulder filled canyon.IMG_6520IMG_6523IMG_6522
The trail steepens as it takes us through blossoming desert.
Now the scrambling starts.  The trail gets harder to see and sometimes we end up following muddy footprints over large granite boulders.IMG_6528IMG_6530
Finally a trickle of water begins to show up between some boulders and then it disappears again.
Now the water is running continually and the next thing you know we find ice.  Yes ice!  Just below a small water fall the spray has frozen on the grass along the stream.  It was 28 degrees last night on the desert where we are parked.  Just  a little further on and we come to another small water fall and we wonder if this is the end of the trail, but no, we find another place to scramble up and there is another flat area that leads us to our destination, Maidenhair Falls, named because of the ferns that grow on the wall beside the falls.  We have our lunch in a sunny spot and head back down.
Going down is faster, but not necessarily easier.  Lots of places we had to slide.  I think what made it faster was that the trail was easier to spot from the top looking down.