Thursday, June 07, 2012

What a great week! Photos, too

Nature gives to every time and season some beauty of its own. – Charles Dickens

We’ve had wonderful clouds these past few weeks.

Albuquerque friend Hilda Ripley arrived on Sunday for a visit. She brought me some groceries and also took me into Santa Rosa to do Laundromat and afterwards we had lunch. While she we here, we walked the lake’s shoreline trails and she helped me in some campsite cleanup. It was a sweet time
Along the lake trail we saw this structure (see photo), then after a stop at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, we learned it is one of two “wind warning” devices. 

The Pecos River was dammed; forming Santa Rosa Lake primarily for down-stream irrigation, flood control and sediment retention. The water goes to the Carlsbad Irrigation District and to Texas. And according to the park supervisor, the lake will probably be drained around July 4. The users have “called for” more water than is currently in the lake.

-- A denture case – no dentures inside
-- Fish hook – no line attached
-- Two dimes and a nickel – that brings my found money up to $1.30. I’m getting closer to having enough for a DQ ice cream cone.
-- And more of all I’ve reported in the past.

PEOPLE – It takes all kinds
Thank goodness for park maps. Two Korean couples arrived in a rented van/camper and through some seriously broken English, hand motions and the park map, they settled into a campsite. They were so gracious and appreciative. Later, seeing part of a newspaper on its way to the next county, I chased it down. It was from the Korean Philadelphia Times, so I knew where to return it, thinking perhaps they wanted it. The folks were extremely apologetic. The next day I fished another piece of the newsletter from under a bush. There were a few English words in an ad about businesses for sale. A produce business in center city was for sale for $700,000 and a Laundromat in North Philadelphia for $180,000.

Wendy and her two adopted Haitian daughters were my delight one morning. Berlande and Kenia (ages 7 and 6) both curtsied when they told me their names. They are on a trip throughout the Southwest, camping in a tent. Next stop will be the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Other stops will be at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and then as many Utah National parks as they have time for.

Gone Postal says their card. The folks are Linda and Larry Collinson who have retired from the post office after 19 and 21 years there. Now they live in Florida and travel in an RV. She’s the sharp-eyed person who spotted the Red Racer up in a Russian Olive tree at the host campsite. While we were watching, the snake made its way down the tree and slithered into a hole beneath the rock water pond. Must be a nice cool place to live on
toasty summer days.

What’s for dinner? I was just wondering what to fix when a camper walked up with a plateful of Korean short ribs and thinly sliced beef! “My wife made way too much, he explained as he handed me the plate. Wow! I rounded out my dinner with some steamed rice, peas and a can of V-8! And there is plenty left over for at least three more meals.

A Western Diamondback Rattle Snake was making its way across the park road as I set out to check campsites. He was about four feet long and looked well fed. As he disappeared into a hole underneath a bush, I alerted two families camped near by to be alert and to keep their children in the campsite.
At first Hilda and I thought the horned toad in the road was dead; its head looked bloody and it was not moving. Using my pick-up stick I got him in my bucket to put the toad into the trash. Then the toad moved a bit and then a bit more. I decided that maybe it was just dazed so instead of the trash can, I put the toad off to the side under some trees, hoping it was OK. The next morning there was no sign of the toad so either he moved on his own or someone had toad for dinner. 

This is the fifth campground where I have volunteered (three in New Mexico and two in the Phoenix area). Santa Rosa is the first one that gets quite a few over-nighters – folks just getting off the road for the night and then leaving in the morning. The other four parks were not on a main highway; they were destination parks. SRLSP is mainly a destination for weekenders; primarily boaters and fishermen. However with the lake level being so low, this park probably has not had the usual number of boaters.

My park “work” gets done in the early mornings and evenings. During the middle of the day, I have time for my projects and for reading. I finished Clive Cussler’s Navigator and have started Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers. While Cussler’s books are fiction, Kurson’s book is true adventure of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II. They found a wrecked German U-Boat off the coast of New Jersey – a submarine that no one knew was there.

In the book Shadow Divers, there is information about deep sea diving and the risks. One statement about the danger of the sport had this to say:
“…nature, biology, equipment, instinct and object conspire…to so completely attack a man’s mind and disassemble his spirit. Many dead divers have been found inside shipwrecks with more than enough air remaining [in their tanks] to have made it to the surface. It is not that they chose to die, but rather they could no longer figure out how to live.”

Each day I know I’m blessed to be alive!