Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back to Pancho Villa State Park

February 8 - 13, 2007

It’s a good thing I arrived when I did – on Thursday afternoon because by Friday afternoon the park was completely full.

After I settled in I walked up to the Ranger office to let Ranger Brian know that I was here for five days and available for any projects he might want done. His eyes lit up and he grinned as he said, “The weeds are growing again.” So I collected a hoe and a rake and have been working in some areas that will be used for upcoming Camp Furlong Days. This popular event will be the second weekend in March. A bunch of activities are scheduled, entertainment, vendor booths, etc. A large group of horses/riders – the Cablagata – will arrive from Mexico. There are lots of projects to be completed for this event including building some temporary corrals. I’m sorry I’ll miss this – maybe next year I can be here to help.

I had forgotten that the Pink Store’s annual Mardi Gras party was Friday night. Also I had forgotten that the Border Cities Winnebago/Itasca Club (of which I am a member) had planned their February outing here. And to add to the number of RVs, the Silver City Traveling Elks are here.

I rode to Palomas for the Pink Store shindig with other volunteers. By the time they started serving dinner – free, including drinks – the place was packed. Some of us chose to sit outside in the patio – it was calmer here and easier to have conversations. I met some interesting people, mingled with other campers, along with Deming, Columbus and Palomas residents.

When I arrived, Mr. Miserable, a park regular who is extremely grumpy, was in #47 that is my usual parking site. I didn’t care and quickly settled into #41 across the inner road. But evidently Cat was puzzled. Each time I let her out to explore, I soon found her sitting under his motorhome. And she wasn’t too eager to come back to our rolling home.

Once my bird feeders were up – whole sunflower seeds in one and thistle seeds in another – the bird population discovered them. I haven’t spent much time bird-watching, but have had two interesting birds at the window feeder. One is a house finch that is missing most of its upper beak part. The poor bird has trouble eating. To begin with, she has a hard time picking up a sunflower seed. Then she has difficulty cracking the shell. She works at it, but then often drops it to try another; or perhaps the seed simply falls off her lower beak.

The other unusual bird looks like a house finch, but a few feathers on her “forehead” stick up crew-cut style. I can’t figure this out, and she doesn’t stay very long at the feeder.

I worked on food columns – and Google search is my best friend. And it was a good laugh. One of my columns will be on balsamic vinegar. I had read that Paul Bertolli, the winemaker, started an experimental balsamic-making project in 1999. I wanted updated information so I Googled “Bertolli + balsamic vinegar”. At the top of the results page Google asked, “Did you mean broccoli + balsamic vinegar?”

My current book reading is American Caesar, a biography of Douglas MacArthur. Its copyright is 1978 and was written by William Manchester. The paperback book has nearly 1,000 yellowed pages.

Winter returned on my last day (Tuesday) at Pancho Villa. Scattered cold rain alternated with sunny skies. I joined the LoW RV group at the Pink Store for lunch. Afterward I stopped at Super Memo (grocery store). They have a tortilla-making section and I bought 16 still-warm corn tortillas for 35 cents!

I’m leaving tomorrow (Wednesday) morning; first into Deming for some grocery shopping and then west to Willcox, Arizona. It will be a 140-mile drive. I’ll be parking at the RV area at the Willcox Elks Lodge for two nights. This gives me a day or so to explore this historic town.