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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: US
Current location: Baja Arizona
Member since: Fri Feb 27, 2004, 02:17 PM
Number of posts: 41,610

About Me

because I LIKE the principle of transparency: last check revealed 17 full- and 20 PM-ignoring me. 6 posts hidden so far since the switch to DU3

Journal Archives

what is pink and black and LOVES eggs?

I live in the middle of nowhere in a very old house. the doors and windows are "leaky" even when closed, but this time of year the house is basically just shade in the day - it is pretty open, even though there are screens.

there have been all manner of venomous critters in this house at one time or another, in fact I got it good by a scorpion Wednesday night. there have been toads and centipedes and even two or three rattlesnakes, lots of blood sucking things like mosquitos and cone-nose kissing bugs. but tonight we had/have a real beauty.

tonight was the first time in my entire life that a Gila Monster, was not only in the yard, but it even decided to come on into the living room for a visit.

so I decided to feed it some dinner and will relocate in the morning or tomorrow evening.

Dangerous Mexico part 1

It was 10 at night in the border town of Agua Prieta and I had just handed my car keys to some guy and his buddy. Nothing to do but trust the universe at this point. I did ask his name with the vague thought if I never saw him again at least I might have a clue for an investigator. He said it was Guadalupe Lucero and to trust him all would be fine, but I promptly forgot the Lucero. The "sub-journey" that had begun 4 hours earlier had been a little stressful.

My friend and I were on our way back to the ranch after a week in the Casas Grandes, Chihuahua area. We had left town around 4 and moseyed up to Janos, stopping for Queso Mennonito. At Janos we made the left hand turn onto Highway 2 and headed west across the flat plains towards the upper end of the Sierra Occidental and the San Luis Pass where the road crosses from Chihuahua to Sonora. It is a short but steep and curvy climb and can be as thrilling as any roller-coaster with the many large trucks and lack of any shoulder. It also seems to be edging into some kind of a travel nemesis of mine, as I broke down there about 10 years ago as well. That time was with two vans full of 13 Germans and all our luggage.

I only hit one bump or pothole pretty bad, but it didn't seem to affect the steering or anything other than to jolt us old gals a bit. This is the worst I have seen the road since the first trip some 19 years ago. It was bad then, but has been in pretty good shape in all of the subsequent trips.

As is our habit, we pulled off to the little rest area at the summit with its strange picnic table, bbq grill, and shrine. The air was extremely humid from the remnants of a tropical storm that had dumped large amounts of rain from Phoenix to down past Casas Grandes and all in between. That made the mandatory sunset photos a little dull but it is still an exhilarating spot to look at the trucks going up and down that 1000 foot drop to the plain of El Valle below. There were some businessmen also taking photos and back up the hill we noticed a military vehicle and a small group of soldiers half lurking in the bushes. We didn't plan to stay long as the view was hazy and we were looking forward to possibly making it to AP before dark. And of course our favorite spot to eat there, Ristorante Herradura. Plus I did need to get the car back across the border before midnight. You get charged a $400 deposit now and you can't be late!

Would you buy cheese from this place? If you tasted it you would!

Honey too!

Hazy view into Sonora from the San Luis Pass at the border between Chihuahua and Sonora.

Fellow travelers stopping for cigars and photos.

Big truck coming through the cut.

Military guys hanging out in the bushes.

hey Loungers, can I ask (yet another) favor?

I posted the link earlier but I don't think anybody saw it ( http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=608194 )

Could a few of you sign the guestbook? http://www.legacy.com/EnhancedObit/EnhancedObit.aspx?PersonId=170713443

Thanks in advance

Wait Wut has created PERFECTION

Mamakitty, 1999 - 4/7/2014

Picacho Peak (Pic heavy)


I picked up MFM's ashes on Saturday and decided to drive out to Picacho to have a look around. Took a few pix. (light wasn't the best, sorry)

check out the saguaros way up there on the rock edge

old memorial for the Civil War "battle"

nice spot for a picnic/bbq/reunion

a young saguaro that might make a living "marker"

and finally, a now-defunct business nearby (there is an adult store across the way as well ) with the perfect signage

moonrise over the Dragoons

was supposed to go visit friends this weekend but June is not a good time to travel. watching pipelines and the water situation is too critical until we get some real rain. so I went to check waters and fence along the rail road yesterday evening. caught a glimpse of the moon coming up and stayed to take a few more. not too bad for a cheapo discount snapshot camera.

two close-ups

the man who planted trees

Guerrero Negro... (dial up warning)

...is a company town just below the border between Baja Californi Norte and Baja California Sur. The company is Exportadora de Sal, the largest salt production facility in the world - your table salt most likely originated there. They have 60 square miles of salt evaporating ponds. It is also the location of a major grey whale birthing and breeding lagoon.

A fair sized tourist industry has sprung up since the 1970s. During the season, for about US$50 you can go out on a panga for a couple of hours and get up close with these animals. (there are several other bays/lagoons in southern Baja that also have whales and similar excursions are possible). At Ojo de Liebre (aka Scammon's Lagoon) the area has fairly recently been made Biosphere Reserve, and that combined with the salt company controlling much of the access has made the situation more regulated, which is probably better for the whales. (and the local ejido that runs the boats)

to the whales (evaporating pond)


at the new whale watching facility

mandatory mounted skeleton

At any rate, whether you drive out to the whale watching point or take a tour from town, the experience is really special, if a bit regimented. As you cross the salt flats and the water comes into view you start to get all excited because you can see them spouting out there! LOTS of them!

Ticket price includes a mandatory flotation vest and out to the dock you go.

Where you board your panga, usually with a few other passengers if you are a small party. We numbered 6 plus the pangero.

off we go!

first encounter, a mother and a calf

a nostril shot

hi! a flipper

next we cruised a little ways over to see what was going on here

it seemed to be 3 males and one female having quite a time

this allowed a couple of head shots

maybe even the coveted eye (I can't tell, dammit)

under the boat

for a little scritch from the pangero

It was a magnificent experience. Thanks for looking!

a final perfect tail shot

the old windmill part 1 and 2 NOW with ***PART 3*** !!!

that is my artsy intro picture

When I was a kid, the ranch water supply consisted of several dirt stock ponds that would hold water most of the year, and two hand-dug wells about 20 to 25 feet deep. The one up the road had a gas motor attached by a belt to a lightweight pump jack. the water in it has sulfur bacteria or some kind of problem that makes the water taste like shit although it is ok for livestock or bathing (and I suppose one might eventually get used to it but...bleh. It never got used much other than in the summer to water the old apricot tree and supplement the water storage for the corrals. Grampa would fill the gas tank and start it up once a day and that was about all it produces - 4 or 5 hours of pumping. (no idea of rates anymore)

The main "house well" was down below the pecan trees. It is a concrete lined box about 6 foot sqquare. There was always a windmill over it but I have no memory of it pumping. The tower seemed to exist to temp kids into scaring their Grandmother to death. We weren't allowed to climb on it. You can imagine the reality.

It had a much heavier pump jack that also ran by belt only off an electric motor in my life time. It was covered with old bridge ties and was not the most "sanitary" situation in the world. It was my job until too recently to climb down inside to recover various deceased wildlife. Sometimes not deceased. Ever try to fish an angry racer out of a well with a stick?

This well supplied the house and the corrals both up until just a few years ago. OK more like 10, I am getting old. The southwest entered what was predicted to be a 20 year drought about 24 years ago. The well hung in for about half of that. We eventually dropped a little submersible in there and sealed the top up with concrete. About 5 years ago we had a collapse and the bottom filled in about 6 to 8 feet with soil and rock from the sides down low (that were not cased with concrete - and I always thought it was solid rock when I was hanging off that damn ladder) and buried the pump.

That was also about to where the water level had dropped, so without somebody going down in there to clean it out we were done with it. Because of the way it had caved I had extreme safety concerns - and if you know me and the sort of normal risks we live with you will read that as I was majorly askeered of going down there, or letting anybody else do it.

Jump ahead a few years and the talk of getting it cleaned out picks up - knock the concrete off the top and start watching it. It will show a little water through the year, if we could do something - clean it out someway, maybe we could at least use it for house water again - it was good tasting water (when there wasn't dead squirrels in it). The thought was to maybe drop a 20 foot length of 4 foot diameter culvert pipe down there and then start shoveling and pulling it out with a bucket like the bad old days. And there it sat - on the back, back back burner.

THEN...a couple of weeks ago...the livestock storage tank drained out one night. The husband went down to see if the cattle had broken a float or some pipe had finally rotted through. He couldn't find any mud or overflowing troughs and was standing around scratching his head when he thought he heard water running. Over by the old well.

too be continued...
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