Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Sorry we've been gone so long! Same old, same old.

When we were out in the desert a few days ago, we ran across this fine rattlesnake. Almost literally! He was sunning himself right in the middle of the road. Big one too. Probably close to four feet long with lots of rattles.

We were all standing about four feet away from him when Bill kicked some dust at him and he just crawled off the road into the grass and finally into the bushes. The poor old guy wasn't the least bit interested in us. But he sure blends in well with the terrain.

Yesterday, we were back out at our digging spot where I had the rare and wonderful experience of digging up some snake eggs. They were buried about eight inches under the surface of the wash in the moist, cool dirt. There were probably about a dozen little rubbery, white eggs about the size of tictacs. We (Doug) brought them home to try to identify them but no luck.

On our way home we discovered the Octave Cemetery. This dates back to around 1863 with about 100 graves inside the fenced area and at least that many outside.

We wandered around for a few minutes and were saddened by the dilapidated, overgrown state of the cemetery. There were a few crosses still standing, but most have either fallen apart or have disappeared.

After that stop, we stopped again to look at some petroglyphs. Unfortunately, we didn't get pictures of the drawings themselves. We were exhausted from our long day digging and the climb was more than we wanted to tackle.

So ends another busy week doing not a lot. There's a nasty storm heading our way tomorrow, so we'll be inside I'm sure.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mish Mash

Today is a mishmash of blog stuff. First, on our last trip to the desert, we spotted this handsome creature.

He's one of the biggest lizards that we have seen with gorgeous blue legs and a black collar. He even sat still while Doug snapped some pictures.

Next in the mishmash is a picture of my latest bead creation. It's a patriotic, waving flag bracelet made with little tiny beads.

And finally in the mishmash is our neighbor. The wind was blowing crazily so he decided to fly his kite.

Here it is in the sky. But the wind got the better of him and it finally took a nose dive. Literally.

Still, it was a fun way to spend part of an afternoon. See.......we don't play in the dirt all the time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Checking In

Not a lot going on around here. Doug is still moving dirt through the equipment and I have started a new bead project. Still lots of visiting happening and today the park filled up. There's a wood-carvers convention at the activity center and every site is taken. They'll leave in a week and then there is a bead-week convention. So I expect the park will stay full for a couple weeks.

The desert is beginning to bloom with all of the rain we have had in the last few weeks. We're going back to dig dirt tomorrow and I will try to get some pictures of all of the pretties.

Thanks for hanging in here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Desert Day

We spent the afternoon in the desert wash digging for gold. The place we like is about 20 miles from home and we drive a dirty, rutty, rocky road most of the way.

Once we get to our spot, we drive down a steep path in four wheel drive very slowly to the wash. This picture doesn't begin to show how crazy the path is, but you can get the idea.

We picked up a gold detector at a yard sale last weekend and had to try it out. Here, Bill is showing us how to use it. Unfortunately he didn't show us how to find gold nuggets! But Doug found a scorpion when he was flipping rocks. It was a little tiny one and was killed quickly.

We spent several hours and got a little sunburned for our efforts. Next time we'll wear our hats and long sleeve shirts.

After we are done digging in a spot, we place a marker with our name and the date. Theoretically, no one else is supposed to dig within a shovel length of our marker for two weeks. We are usually back within 3 or 4 days and we have never seen anyone else in this section of the wash.

Our days just seem to blend into one another here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Smiles on Our Faces

The sun is shining and the sky is blue, blue, blue! What a lucky life we live. This morning I was pinching myself to remind me that this is what I dreamed about for years. Our time is our own, we are meeting new people, we move when and where we choose and it's easy to smile with such a sense of contentment.

Our place is still the center of entertainment. Yesterday Doug set a new record. He was outside 4 minutes before someone came to visit. He loves it! And sometimes he gets some work done too.
There are so many nice people here that are constantly helping and doing favors for each other.

I'm still beading, baking and digging dirt with Doug. What a great time we are having!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Day!

Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu
Happy Birthday dear Mom Bev
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu!!!!

Hope your day is joyful. We're sending you tons of love and a little sunshine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Practical Joker

When boredom sets in, the imagination goes crazy. After 3 days cooped up in the coach during the torrential rains, Doug needed an outlet for his sense of humor.

So when the rains abated for a few minutes, he darted behind the coaches and with great stealth crept across the street with a recent acquisition.

He and Frank found a well used life jacket alongside the road on their way to the store. Being men, they couldn't resist and picked it up with ulterior motives in mind.

Still hidden behind Bill's truck, Doug carefully attached the orange life jacket to Bill's sluice.

With all the rain, we were trying to keep the sluice afloat and from washing away in the next downpour.

Chuckling all the way home, we waited and watched to see if Bill would notice it.

Nope, it wasn't until this morning that he finally saw it. Meanwhile, we were rolling on the floor laughing at his expression. Somehow, he figured out instantly who had done it. He headed directly for our door with the life jacket around his neck, making swimming motions.

It's hard to deny it when we can't keep a straight face.

Hooray!!! Today the sun is shining! We're still bundled up in shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and hats but at least we can be outside.

Monday, March 08, 2010

So Many Raindrops

We've spent the last couple of days inside the coach, thanks to the nasty weather. Rain, lightning and even some hail pounded us for 24 hours straight. And to top it off, one corner of the slide decided to leak. The electric heater is directed at the wet carpet and the magazines are spread all over the couch to dry. Yuck, if we wanted this, we could have stayed in the great Northwest!

Hopefully things will start to improve now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Desert Days

You'll never guess what we did today!

We went out into the desert and played in the dirt! Actually, we followed Bill and Wanda out into Miners Creek and helped setup and run their drywasher.

The day was perfect. 70 degrees and soooooo pleasant. We took turns shoveling dirt and running the drywasher for a couple of hours. Mostly, Wanda and I visited while we watched the guys get dirty.

The result was a very small amount of gold. Guess we'll try somewhere else tomorrow.

As we were leaving, we ran across this grave of a gold mine claim jumper. Pretty hilarious! Take a close look at his glove sticking out of the sand. Someone had a good sense of humor and a lot of time on their hands.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

North Ranch Mining Operation

Here's what goes on in our site every day that the sun shines.

These are a few of the guys that gather to help Doug with his dirt. Today's visitors are Frank, Fred, another neighbor & Doug. Missing from the picture are Bill, the Canadian neighbors, Gene and innumerable passers-by that just have to know what is going on.

I keep the coffee brewing and the guys have their own cups. I'm afraid if I start baking and serving cookies with the coffee that Doug will never get any work done.

Still, they laugh and tell tall stories and solve the world's problems. What more could we ask for on a lovely Arizona day.