Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Our New Home at Senator Wash

Yes, a new move for us.  We arrived at Ogilby Road in California – a place that we’ve stayed at for the last several winters – where we found a spot to park for about 10 days.  But those plans changed rather suddenly for us.  Winters of parking on BLM land for more than 2 weeks - and pretty much anywhere you could park comfortably without any hassle from the Rangers - are now a thing of the past.
We had to leave our little friends at Ogilby.
It all started on a Friday evening around 5:30p as the sun was pretty much ready to call it a day.  With the sky starting to take on some pretty amazing color Jeff happened to notice a BLM vehicle parked in back of the coach for a few minutes with no one really making an effort to approach our door.   We thought it pretty odd.  Jeff was preparing to go outside and chat with the ranger who we expected had come to chat with us. 

To make a long story short, and we weren’t the only ones at Ogilby Road that were getting this house call either, is that the BLM is enforcing their  14-day camping limit and making sure that people are camping the specified 300 ft. from one of their marked roads.  And these roads are where?  We know of a few of them, but that’s about it.  Oh, we get it now.  The key word is “a few”.   We believe, along with others that boondock, that BLM’s goal is to pretty much to eliminate campers from these areas.  The reason we were given by the ranger that evening was because of the “endangered” Desert Tortoise.  Never seen one out here at all in the three years that we've been hiking at Ogilby Road!  And, someone told us that the Desert Tortoise is in hibernation until Feb-Mar.   We think it’s pretty sad because the snowbirds that come to camp on their lands are doing just that and not damaging the lands as far as we can tell.

You can bet we weren’t going to pick up immediately and move as night time was quickly upon us.  For us where we were parked we needed to move back about 100-150 ft. which brought us closer to the main road - and more noise.  We did comply with this on the next morning though, but both of us decided that this wasn’t going to work for us.    So, on the following day we took a jeep ride to check out a new place for us to park.

The ride to Senator Wash Reservoir which is part of the Imperial Dam Recreation Area and still in Winterhaven, California did prove to be a good place to move to.  It was about 53 miles from our location at Ogilby Road.  You'll notice from the map above that this area is quite developed for people looking to live in the desert during the winter.   It is quite a community of people.
As we were already registered at the Christian Service Center (CSC) to use their mail service we just needed to find a spot that was to our liking.  We had heard about the CSC from a couple we met at the Donkey Rescue Shelter in Benson, Arizona last winter.   Click here to read more about the Senator Wash

Senator Wash has all of the conveniences that us “off the grid” people are most happy with!  Our new spot is located at the rock garden site on Quail Hill.  There are other spots that overlook the Imperial Dam but are already taken by some of the returning snowbirds, some of which are working on their 23 year here.  We guess that tells a lot about the area and for the price of a season sticker – if you want to stay the Sept.15 – April 15 period – a mere $180.  Even for the 4 months that we will be here, we have available to us facilities for water, dump and trash – and neighbors within distance – to make it feel safe.  As us boondockers would say, what more could you want for about $22.50/month.

Water flowing from the Colorado River to the
irrigation canal

North of the Imperial Dam

Closer to the dam

Irrigation canal flowing south to the farmers
Being on the northeast side of Yuma, but still in California, has given us an opportunity to investigate places that we haven’t seen as Ogilby Road was to the west of Yuma.

For this update, that would include the following ~

Tiny Church ~ Pause, Rest, Worship
This diminutive chapel was built in 1995 by farmer Loren Pratt on the edge of his fields along the road, in honor of his deceased wife Lois.  It measures 8 ft. x 12 ft. inside.  A sign on the dirt road that leads to the church reads: "Stop, Rest, Worship."  In September 2011, a freak micro burst storm flung it 60 ft., crushing the steeple and losing a wall.  The Pratt family have since reconstructed to the same dimensions -- with six tiny pews seating twelve worshippers.

Christmas Concert ~ Christian Service Center Church
The afternoon concert was filled with the sounds of Christmas as the choir and congregation sang their hearts out.  The story of Christmas and the birth of the Baby Jesus seemed to bring the biggest of smiles by everyone.  What a fun afternoon.

Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade
We watched a light show parade bring in the holiday spirit in the Historic North End of Yuma on Dec 10.  What a crowd they had.  It was so much fun to watch all of the little children there, but we knew that we had to leave early or else be trapped in the city forever with all of the people that were there.   Traffic was a bear! 


Getting the coach settled in on this spot at Quail Hill has so far been pretty amazing.  We want to improve on the rock garden and have already started, but there is much more creatively that we have planned.  You know how we love our rocks! 
We try to fly our flag every day, wind permitting

A work of art in progress, hard on the back!!

This is our patio area!
Sugar water for the honey bees was really appreciated
Kay was hanging out the window for this pic!
Another great sunset . . .
. . . the colors reflected onto the coach.
As we move into our 5th winter of retirement on the road, we find that it’s not necessary to go somewhere in the Jeep every day.  We are enjoying each day that we have together, grateful for the opportunity to live this lifestyle.  We are truly blessed and we hope you are too and send best wishes to family and friends for the best ever 2017.

Hugs to all ~ 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Unique Nativity Sets

We came across this unique display in Yuma at the First United Methodist Church.  Over 300 nativity sets from around the world were on display on this 11th Annual Journey to Bethlehem for this community.

But first just a little history on this first ~   

St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, central Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving.

By the end of the 19th century many versions of nativity sets of various sizes and materials were found made of terracotta, stone, paper, wood, wax and ivory, often with a backdrop setting in the stable.

Kay took over 60 pictures of those that caught her eye, and we know that we can’t show you all of them, but we're sure that you'll enjoy those that we showcased below.

The season is upon us!

Painted Rocks


Very cute!

Boyd's Bears

Almost oriental in the faces

This gourd is hollowed out for the Holy Family scene

It looks almost like a "nesting" Nativity Set.

A simple clay set for us to use our imagination....
and smile!

Native American theme

Tea Cup Nativity Set


A very colorful piece made from glass.

Painting on wood.

Fabric made Nativity Set.

From Mexico, made from stamped metal and painted

Isn't this Gourd beautiful?

From South America

Made in Alaska:  Ivory figurines with Baby Jesus swaddled in a
piece of Polar Bear fur, sitting on top of a whale spine.

The Holy Family made from rocks

Individual pieces of carved wood figures

Metal engraved

Carved into a piece of wood

Our beloved Peanuts characters

Bethlehem Olive Wood