Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seven weeks down; one more to go

What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. – George Leigh Mallory

My Adventure at Navajo Lake State Park is nearly over. One week from today I’ll stow items, unhook, dump tanks and drive to Rio Rancho. If this last week holds true to form, there won’t be a dull moment.

Here are highlights from this past week (remember you can double-click on photos to enlarge them)

The wild critters continue their antics

SKUNKS: Two women came with two large, barky dogs to camp in a tent. The dogs continued to be a nuisance and the women repeatedly said “they will settle down soon.” I told them about the raccoons, skunks and feral cats, advising them to put the dogs in their SUV or in their tent at night. The barking of dogs woke me and other campers sometime before midnight. In the morning on my morning rounds the odor of mad skunks was strong enough to make my eyes water. Here’s what I found out from one of the women. They did put the dogs in their tent (must have been crowded in there). When the skunks showed up, the dogs burst out of the tent to attack – and the skunks wasted no time spraying the dogs. Then the dogs ran back into the tent to share the brunt of the skunk odor with their owners! They packed up and left shortly after that.

RACCOONS: I was awakened about 1 a.m. by noises. Upon investigating from the safety of my motorhome, I saw four raccoons in the cargo portion of the gator trying to get into one of those ‘Costco-size’ containers of dry roasted peanuts. I watched with amazement as they tried – and failed. I did get a photo to share with you. On other nights, several campers thought their food was safe in coolers – bad assumption. Those crafty critters cleaned them out.

Food Fairy

Just as the groceries that Hilda and Jesse brought from Albuquerque, a camp neighbor who was leaving after a weekend here brought a bunch of her “extra” food to me! I called her my Food Fairy.

Splash for Trash

Teams of divers arrived on Saturday to clean up portions of the lake bottom and shore. When the day was over, they had gathered about 300 pounds of trash. They picked up cans, bottles, used diapers, odds and ends and even a swamp cooler (the large whitish item on the left of this picture). This photo shows just a portion of the trash. These divers were coordinated by a Dive Shop in Durango, Colorado.

Bass Championship Tourney

Fifteen teams (two per team) of bass fishermen from the Four Corners Team Bass Association qualified to participate in their weekend championship tournament. I was their for Saturday afternoon’s weigh-in, Sunday morning’s launch and Sunday afternoon’s weigh-in. It was fun meeting team members (all men except one female) and learning about bass fishing. One team also had a dog (see group photo). Of course I had camera in hand and took more than 100 photos and put them on a disk for them. Each day each team could bring in up to five bass (they had to be alive and were returned to the lake following the weighing) and vie for the largest bass and largest total catch. The fourth picture shows a bass receiving ‘first aid’ – something to do about being caught at a deep depth. I didn’t stay for the awards ceremony; I hustled back to Jeremiah to be ready to go to the local harvest festival.

San Juan Winery’s Harvest Festival

I had heard that the San Juan Winery’s wines were quite tasty but had never stopped to check them out. This was my chance! Rangers Shawna and Carol B invited me to go to the harvest festival with them. The winery is located along the San Juan River among towering Cottonwood Trees. The wines were delicious, the booths had a huge variety of crafty things and it was a great people-watching place. And surprisingly I met a couple - Loraine and Don Martin - from Prescott! I was interested in the nicely decorated porta-potty/wash stand that was provided (see photo).

Books I’ve Read

So far on my Great Summer Adventure I’ve read a dozen books! The most recent ones were A Walk in the Woods – rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson and Commodore Hornblower, by C. S. Forester – copyright 1945.

This coming weekend

Friend Selma is coming for a visit this weekend. She and her friend Tom will pitch a tent and in between my park responsibilities we’ll have a nice visit.

Oct. 5 to 11

While in Rio Rancho, Jeremiah will be parked at Jesse’s campground while I take care of some motorhome maintenance, shopping and visiting with family and friends.

I end this with some words of wisdom from this morning’s devotion. Think about this.

When someone speaks harshly about or to you, hurting your feelings, just move your sails out of their wind.