Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIN Thanksgiving 2016

November 21, 2016.
I moved to Slab City today because tomorrow morning, at 8:00 AM, I have an appointment with Solar Mike. He is going to install one more solar panel on top of the motorhome.
I have always done the work myself but I do not feel anymore like climbing on the roof and working there.
I am parked near the LOW’s compound. The area is still clean. While walking around I came near the water tanks. Some people put graffiti over the wonderful pictures.

The pet cemetery is getting larger.

At Slab City one can see all kinds of motorhomes. There are expensive ones, with a lot of solar panels and large water storage tanks. .

There are also motorhomes which cannot go anywhere. They are falling apart.

At Geezer Gulch the area is well taken care off.

Somebody collected leaves from palm trees and built a structure.

November 22, 2016.
I got another solar panel and a new 30 Amp. controller. It took three hours because the new panel was not connected correctly. It took Mike and his two helpers 45minutes to find the problem.

Mike has several small solar powered vehicles on his property. Actually it is not his property. It is government land.
I left Slab City at 11:00 AM and arrived in Borrego Springs at 2:00 PM.
Peg Leg Smith Monument is getting crowded. We will be more than 100 rigs.
The group went yesterday to see the metal statues near Borrego Springs and today they went to Julian for apple pie.

I set up the motorhome and then went to the library. I could not get on the Internet because my computer still wants to go the internet provider at the Fountain of Youth. A young lady at the library tried to help me. She finally called for help at the main library in San Diego. They were supposed to call back. I had to leave and will go back tomorrow.
At the 4:00 PM meeting we signed up for job assignments and for side dishes for the Thanksgiving meal and leftovers on Friday.

November 23, 2016.
Early in the morning I walked up my favorite hill at Peg Leg Smith’s Monument. In the distance Borrego Springs is nestled against the mountains. I love this picture.

At 9:30 AM we left for hiking a slot canyon. We did not know that there was a trailhead with easy access to the canyon and did it the hard way. We were partially sliding down.

In the canyon were some tight spots.
There were also some photo opportunities.

We walked under a high arch.

At the end of the canyon was an open area.

There some of us climbed up a hill. The hike was between two and three miles long.

We came out of the canyon the same way we came in, climbing up.

After this adventure I went to the library. Just like yesterday I could not get on the Internet.
At the Christmas Circle I was able to do my computer work. I had a problem seeing the screen while sitting outside, so I sat in the car.  
At 5:00 PM we had Karaoke in the meeting area. When the WINs hear music their feet move and they have to dance. Dancing in the desert works. Nobody has fallen so far.

There was of course a lot of singing.

At the same time non dancers were at the campfire.

November 24, 2016.
We could not have asked for better weather. It was a perfect day, there was no wind and the temperature was just right.
The members were setting up their tables at 12:30 PM.

The turkeys were cooked by Vons and carved yesterday. With the meat came containers of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and bean casserole.

Members took those items to their motorhomes and trailers and put them in their refrigerators.

This morning everything was heated up and at 12:45 brought to the tables.

We also signed up for side dishes and salads and dessert. Those items were also brought to the tables. I had signed up for a broccoli salad.

The serving tables are almost ready. The food servers are in place.

Hungry people are waiting for their table to be called.

The serving begins.

Now we can eat.

Seventy people were fed. We had expected more but some of the members got spoiled at the Fountain of Youth Resort and Spa and stayed there.

After dinner I walked up the hill and took a picture of Peg Leg Smith’s Monument and our homes.
In the evening I watched a movie. It was called Juno and I found the DVD at the free table. After the film I did some reading. The book is called:”A Walk across America”. It also came from the free table and will go back there with the DVD when I am done.

November 25, 2016.
This was another gorgeous day,
At 7:00 AM we hiked up to the fifty foot snake. The snake has now company. Somebody added smaller snakes and a flower.

There is also a Peace and Love display.

On the way back we saw our motorhomes with the mountains as a background.

At 10:00 PM we left for Split Mountain. We never made it to the mountain but saw interesting rock formation on the way. The layers of the rocks are in a very unusual shape.

We stopped at the trailhead for the Wind Caves and walked the one mile to the caves. It was going up on a very uneven trail, but we made it.

At 3:30 PM we had another turkey meal. It was just as good as yesterdays dinner. What was left over was given to the eight turkey soup makers.

November 26, 2016.
The weather forecast was wind and rain. We had wind off and on all day.
I tried again, at the library, to do my computer work and gave up after a while. In the past years I never had a problem at this library.
At the Christmas Circle it was cold and windy. Sitting outside was no fun. I wore a jacket. The temperature had dropped a lot during the night. I changed from summer pajamas to winter pajamas, and wore blue jeans instead of shorts today.
My next stop was the State Park Visitor Center. They have wonderful inside displays.

From the Visitor Center one can see Borrego Springs in the distance.

The campground is a half a mile away.

At 3:30 PM we had thirteen different soups.
Because of the wind we had to put the tables and chairs on the ground.

For dinner time we set them up again, but without table cloths.

The happy servers were waiting to feed us.

What a difference from the last two days. Today some people wore heavy coats. The soups were very good, with a lot of turkey in them.

I did not go on a hike today, just did my morning walk. I took it easy, working on little jobs around the motorhome, and taking a nap.
It started to rain at 6:00 PM. Some of the group went dancing at the American Legion. In this weather I did not feel like leaving the nice, warm motorhome.

November 27, 2016.
The weather was again lousy. Elaine andI drove to Santa Ysabel and visited the Mission church.

I would have liked to go through the graveyard again but it was cold and wet.
Our next stop was Dudley’s bakery. We both bought bread and I bought bear claws and an Almond Coffee Ring Cake.
On the way home we went through Julian, we did not stop, just went through. The place was full of tourists even with the terrible weather.
The group had gone to Julian on Monday. I had an appointment with Solar Mike on Tuesday and missed that trip. They had better weather than what we had today.
When we got back to Peg Leg Smith’s Monument we joined the Ice cream social. There was plenty of ice cream, several flavors.

The cold weather did not stop us from enjoying this delicious, creamy stuff.
At 3:45 PM we left for Fonts Point. It was windy there and we did not stay long.

The Badlands below Fonts Point are a wonderful sight.

A Japanese couple were serious photographers, they had tripods and took many pictures.

This was our last official day of the Thanksgiving outing. Tomorrow morning most of the WINs head for Indio. I will stay for a few days.

November 28, 2016.

All but twenty of the group are gone now. It was windy again today. Most of the WINs are waiting for the wind to die down before they go on the road.
There was not much one could do today.
I had breakfast with Ron at Kendall’s this morning. He is planning to move to Wisconsin. The group of friends in the San Diego area is getting smaller.

November 29, 2016.
The weather is back to normal again. We had blue skies and very little wind today. The temperature during the day was about 70 degrees F. When I woke up it was 45 degrees F. in the motorhome.
Early this morning the red sun illuminated the mountains.

There are only seven WINs left at Peg Leg Smith’s Monument. After my morning walk I drove to Warner Springs and visited Arlette and Guenter. They lived in the same neighborhood when I lived in San Diego.
It is always fun to see them. We had great Oktoberfests with our common friends Bert and Emmi.
After this visit I drove to the Warner Springs glider port and signed up for a flight in a glider. I always wanted to experience that. I can scratch it now off my bucket list.
I had a young pilot.

After he checked out the glider we pushed it to the runway where it was hooked up to an airplane which looked like a crop duster.
Then we were pulled in the air. It was windy in Warner Springs and it was choppy as long as we were attached to the plane. The GoPro camera was making a video which was part of the price.

We flew over a golf course and along the valley. The only noise was created by the wind.

My next stop was Eagle Rock. Afternoon is not a good time for taking pictures. The sun is in back of the rock then.
I usually do not climb fences when a sign says: “No Trespassing”. But the group did it a few days ago and I wanted to see the rock. The rock looks like an eagle on the ground with its wings spread out.

On the way home I stopped at an overlook and took a picture of Borrego Springs and the valley.

This was another interesting, fun day.

November 30, 2016.
I woke up this morning and tried to turn on the catalytic heater. The auxiliary propane tank was empty and I had to go outside and remove the tank and turn on the regular propane tank.
I felt like going back to the warm bed, but I was dressed already. I had both, the catalytic heater and the furnace going to warm up the motorhome.
It was an easy day today. The weather was perfect  and I did some computer work at the Christmas Circle. At noon I met Les at a small restaurant. He treated me because I had driven him and his friend to the dry lake. From there they did an eight hour hike up and down the mountain.
Near the restaurant are three mosaic pictures pertaining to this area.

I did some cooking and made a big bowl of mixed salad. It will last for the next few days.
In the evening I went to the campfire for a short time. We are now only five WINs at Peg Leg Smith.

December 1, 2016.
We had a fantastic sunrise this morning. Dan’s motorhome was surrounded by red clouds.

My motorhome was facing the other direction.

At 8:00 AM I went to Ron’s house and from there we went to his ten acre property outside Borrego Springs.  His motorhome is there and some of his toys.

We spent the morning there and then went to town to have lunch at CarLees restaurant.
This was a relaxing day.

December 2, 2016.
Early in the morning I hiked up the mountain. There are only four WINs left. The regular snowbirds are coming now. Yesterday arrived two motorhomes. Four motorhomes were here already.

At 9:00 AM I went to the Farmer’s Market at the Christmas Circle.

I bought a loaf of bread from the Austrian bakery. The lady is here every Friday.
I also bought a large bag of oranges. 
Next to the park was a young man from Austria. He is renting this small camping van and is traveling a month in the U.S.

The Main Street in Borrego Springs has a few businesses and a few restaurants.

December 3, 2016.
Les and I went to town for a chili cook-off. They had a variety of chili. The one I chose was very good.
We came early and later sat with a couple from Poway, a town near San Diego. The man was from California and the lady from Japan. We had a wonderful conversation.

This is my last day at Peg Leg Smith’s Monument. Tomorrow morning I will be heading for the coast.
I said goodbye to the regulars, including Mike.

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