Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WIN Thanksgiving 2013

This was a Traveling Day. I left Wickenburg at 7:15 AM and arrived at a wet Peg Leg Smith’s Monument at 2:00 PM. It was actually 1:00 PM Borrego Spring time. In Wickenburg it had rained all night and it rained while I hooked up the car and while I was driving.
At Chiriaco Summit I had a date shake and rested for a while. In Quartzsite I filled up the gasoline tank in the motorhome. I will not see $ 3.13 for a gallon of gas in a while. I wonder how much it is on the California coast.
Sharon, Dick and Jeanne greeted me. The host sites are all set up. A few of the WINs are here already. Martha, the woman from Austria is here again. There is also a couple from Germany here. Marita and Uwe have a converted Toyota Land Cruiser motorhome. They had planned to stay only one night, but after talking to Les decided to stay longer and see some of the sights around Borrego Springs. They are impressed by the metal statues around Borrego Springs.

On my morning walk I went up my favorite hill. The sun was still red and so were the mountains. 

At 9:00 AM I was at the library doing my computer work. I picked up a DVD to watch in the evening. When I returned to the motorhome I told my neighbor, she is a prospective WIN, that I have the DVD, “The Help”. She told me that she read the book and would like to see the movie too.
From the library I went to Ron’s house. He was not home so I drove to his ranch. He was not there either. Back at the motorhome I was told that Ron was looking for me. I should have called him earlier and found out where he was.
After the 4:00 PM circle meeting we watched the film. As soon as the film started I knew that I saw it last year when I was in Borrego Spring. Since I had a guest I had to watch it again. Our Thanksgiving outing starts tomorrow, but everybody came for an impromptu meeting. Peg Leg Smith’s Monument is slowly filling up with WINs and their homes on wheels.

The rain is gone and this was a beautiful day.

I hiked up the hills to the east of our camping area. At 6:30 AM I was on top enjoying the view of the sun lighting up the mountains across the valley with a reddish shimmer. Below, around the motorhomes, it was still all quiet. I saw Diane leaving for the breakfast at the nearby school. They are raising money for the Borrego Springs High School.

After Hugs and Mugs I left for Dudley’s Bakery in Santa Ysabel. I was hungry for a bear claw. They have the best. I also bought a loaf of Date Nut Raisin Bread. For me it is not bread; I use it more like cake.
On the way home I stopped at Doug and Sarah’s house in Julian. To my surprise they had come up from their house in San Diego. Usually I talk to Sarah’s mother who lives in the house. Doug had his arm in a sling. He had fallen and cannot use his arm for a few weeks. Julian was crowded with weekend tourists and I did not stop there.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting the outing started officially. Sharon and Jeanne are the hosts. Nobody volunteered for arranging the hikes. At 5:00 PM Diane knocked on my door and told me that Barb is organizing a hike up Palm Canyon. The group leaves tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM.
I started the camp fire at 5:30 PM. Daniel has a whole pick-up truck full of wood. We had a lively group around the fire. Donna Lee was present.

Ten of us hiked up Palm Canyon today. A recent flood had changed the trail and we had to climb over more boulders than before.

When we came near the oasis there was water in the creek.

A group of young women, in orange suits, passed us. When we came back to the parking lot we saw the truck from the California Department of Corrections.

We ate our lunch at the oasis.

Carolyn and Peter were sitting on a big boulder next to the creek.

The weather was perfect. It was not too hot. In the night it gets cold. This morning it was 48 degrees F. in the motorhome.

On our morning walk, Richard, Judy, Nancy and I walked up the hill to see the snake. 

Somebody, or a group of people built a stone snake. They used different colored stones for the eyes and rattle, and along the body.
After the walk I went to the post office to get my mail. From there I walked to the library. My last stop was Center Market where I bought broccoli for the salad I will be making for the Thanksgiving feast. In the afternoon I walked across the highway to visit the campers from the San Diego area. They come here every Thanksgiving just like the WINs.
The WINs went up to Julian for apple pie and ice cream today. The women probably went through every knick knack store.

We are now 70 WINs waiting to eat turkey. A few more are on the way. Not everybody gets up early and attends Hugs and Mugs.

After Hugs and Mugs we went up to the snake again. It is about a one hour hike. Today Diane, Judy, George, Maynard, Rick and I went.

When we came down from the hill most of us went to the Christmas Circle to the Farmers Market. I bought a big bag of oranges, a loaf of bread from the Austrian bakery, and a large jar of honey. The honey is almost solid, just the way I like it. At 2:30 PM Sharon and Jeanne came back from Brawley where they had bought 12 turkeys, with mash potatoes, dressing and gravy. They also bought two hams.
Five of us started carving the birds while helpers put the meat in trays and other people took them to their refrigerators. The bones and other parts went into big pots for making turkey stock for Saturday’s soup.

In the evening I had again a good campfire going.

More people wanted to see the snake, so this morning we went up again. Bryan had his bird with him.

WINs were setting up their tables. Some used real china. The decorations were from nothing to elaborate. 

I have a good spot for parking my motorhome. It is near the meeting area and the camp fire place.

We filled up Peg Leg’s Monument with our rigs.

There were some pre dinner meetings going on. 

The food line is getting ready for serving the meal. 

The pies are being cut.

Hungry WINs are waiting. 

Turkey, Stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes are ready. 

So is the dessert.

Our table was called to be served first. 

It was a pleasure to eat under blue skies and perfect temperature. 

Ron and George had their own table. 

Some people joined their tables. 

Martha, the lady from Austria, was invited by Nikki to partake in the celebration. In Austria, like Germany, Thanksgiving is more a church affair. Marta took a lot of pictures. 

At 7:30 AM we went again up the hill to the snake. This time I was leading a larger group.

The clouds came in and I was worried that we had to eat the leftover turkey dinner in our motorhomes. We took pictures at the snake. 

On the way back, through the canyon, I had to slow down because we were not together anymore. Since I am with the group I can walk a lot faster and going up hills does not bother me anymore. 

When we came out of the canyon we could see the camping area of the Boondockers, a chapter of the Escapees. Some WINs belong to this group and are staying there. 

Everybody made it back safe and in time for Hugs and Mugs. 

After Hugs and Mugs I drove into Borrego Springs and had the auxiliary propane tank filled and went to the library.
At 1:00 PM we gathered for turkey leftovers. I had made a broccoli salad and there was not much left after we were done eating.  We were only five people at the camp fire. Some of the group went for dancing at the American Legion.

I walked alone this morning to my favorite place on the hill. When I came back to the camping area the group left for the 7:30 AM walk. After Hugs and Mugs Ted lead a four wheel drive into the desert. I stayed behind, drove into town to buy more broccoli for Tuesday’s Christmas Party in Poway, and went to the library.
At 1:00 PM we had five or six different turkey soups.

Every soup was different. There was a split pea soup, and noodle and rice soups.

Donna Lee and her helpers had the biggest pot. She was worried that there would be too much left over. All pots were empty when we were done. There were also several pumpkin pies and other desserts and buns.

It was another beautiful day in the desert and the sunset was magnificent. 

I had announced at the 4:00 PM circle meeting that tonight would be the last I would start a fire. The result was that many people came to the fire and the ring of people was larger than usual. Fortunately it was not so cold.

This was our last day at Peg Leg Smith’s Monument. The group is heading for El Centro. I will go to the coast.
In the morning I went to Palm Canyon Resort. A few years ago I spent some time there with the Convair Camping Club. Our host complained that the resort gave her the run around. Evidently other people and clubs had the same experience. The resort went into receivership and now it has new owners. The place was totally redone. The buildings have all different colors and the place looks like a little western village.

They also have trailers for rent. The come with BBQ’s and a little covered patio. 

I took a picture of the ruts I made with the motorhome. I never saw such a soft ground at Peg leg Smith before.

At 2:00 PM we had an Ice Cream Social. There was plenty of calorie free ice cream. I wish it was calorie free. 

This was a wonderful Thanksgiving. The weather was fantastic and there was no wind. We also have two volunteers to be hosts for next year. Jeanne and Rick, a new member, will make it happen.   

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