Saturday, February 28, 2009
We sat out on the deck between the trailers, enjoying the 87 degree temperature and sunshine while I was able to review all of the notes I have taken during the last week with our construction foreman and the fellows who will be crew leaders. We're going to have to be sure everyone has hats and sunblock!
After the cooks returned with the van from their food stocking expedition, we loaded up most of the new crew and took them out to see the three current project sites as well as the new one that hasn't yet been started. We didn't keep exact track, but Forry drove over 45 miles just getting to all four sites -- none of them are close!
Auntie Violet will finally get to travel to the Dulzura site tomorrow. The fellows moved one of the trailers to the side so that there will be room for her! It will be nice to no longer be driving back and forth.
Friday, February 27, 2009
This little orange tree sits right in the middle of the drive entering the MDS site. It's just loaded with blossoms. You can smell it throughout the whole camp! There have been 4-5 little hummingbirds buzzing around it most of the day. We think they are black-chinned hummingbirds... You can occasionally get a glimpse of their purple throats as they flit by.
We sat and watched them this noon while sitting out on the deck waiting for Forry and Kerry to bring back the pizza that is the closing tradition for this MDS crew.
This afternoon we went to the San Diego airport with one of the fellows to pick up our cooks for the next two weeks who came in from Phileadelphia. The couple has cooked for many camps. We took them out to dinner with us at the little diner a couple of miles down the road from us and had an enjoyable visit.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We went to San Diego today for a Costco run, but first had to swing by the MDS site to pick up my iPhone that I had left in the office yesterday. I decided that I had to start driving in this mountainous country, even though I'd just as soon let Forry do the driving. If he's going to be making the runs for building supplies and airport pickups, that means that I'll have to be on my own checking on sites, going to meetings, etc. So, I drove the stretch from Diamond Jack's to the MDS site. It's only about seven miles as the crow flies, but it's a s-l-o-w fifteen miles by road and takes at least a half hour. The road is VERY curvy with lots of up and down.
We were going to take a new back-country route by Otay Lake to San Diego, so Forry wanted to drive that stretch. We had hoped to see lots of birds at the lake, but saw lots of fishermen instead. Once you pass the lake, you are out of the country and into populated areas with housing subdivisions and strip malls. We were thankful to have Sally, the GPS unit, with us. She took us right to the store. We had only a few things to pick up. It seemed funny not to stock up on fruits and vegetables like I usually do, but we will be eating at the MDS site for the next two months so didn't need to.
We have a group of 16 short term volunteers coming in this weekend by train. We don't have enough vehicles at the project site to pick them all up (they are Old Order and do not drive) and then to ferry them to work sites during the week. We drove over to the airport to check on renting a large (12 passenger) van, but couldn't get any answers from folks there. So, I've spent a good share of the evening on the computer checking out rental places. It seems there are not very many available. We may just end up renting a 7 passenger minivan and using the 10 passenger one at the project site. They may end up holding their luggage in their laps!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Theses are some of the RVs being used for housing by the long-termers. We will probably move out and store the one that is second from the right and put Auntie Violet in its place (we're only permitted for six living units on site).
This is the office trailer.
On the way back to Diamond Jack this evening we once again passed through the Border Patrol checkpoint: The first pictures are of the lot that is FULL of green and white Border Patrol vehicles.
The next pictures are the "line-up" as you approach the checkpoint.
Monday, February 23, 2009
We looked over the site. It looks a whole lot different than it did when we dropped off the Hitchhiker RV in December. They have built decks between the bunk house trailer, shower trailer and the kitchen trailer. Jo has also planted flowers and three palms.
We got addresses from Jo and sent to take a look at each of the three houses that they have started. The first was getting its second layer of mud on the drywall, the next was awaiting solar panels (they will not be on the electical grid) and installers for the sprinklers before they can move on to insulation and drywall. At the third house, the crew was hauling the roof trusses up onto the framed house.
We saw a femaile black chinned hummingbird today at the MDS site and a Cassin's kingbird along with all of the other ones we've been seeing.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
We cut off of Interstate 8 at the Japatul Exit, turned left at the stop sign; drove 5 1/2 miles on Lyons Valley Road; turned left and drove 7 1/2 miles on Skyline Truck Trail; turned right and drove 4.7 miles to Lawson Valley Road; went 2/10 of a mile and turned hard left back on to Lyons Valley Road; drove 9/10 of a mile to the sign for Diamond Jack's RV Ranch. The direct route down Lyons Valley Road has too many switchbacks to navigate with a 37 foot rig (plus the toad), so they sent us around the back way.
It is so quiet here! After the continuous sounds of trains every thirty minutes plus the noise of the switching as well as the sound of the freeway and of sirens, it's quite a change. This is the closest place we could find to the Dulzura MDS Project Site. We'll stay here this week and commute back and forth.
There is a family of acorn woodpeckers (a new life bird for Forry!) living in the trees here. There are six palm trees in the center area that they are busily rapping away at to find insects. I also watched one retrieve an acorn from a hole in the trunk of a palm.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The next picture is of a cactus related to the prickly pear -- but with different shaped leaves. I've not seen this variety anywhere else.
We saw this little guy along the road. I got a picture with my camera, but he's just a speck in the picture. This one is from Forry's camera -- he didn't have his big lens, but he got a pretty good shot of the road runner anyway.
Tomorrow we'll pack up and move on -- one more stop before we get to Dulzura!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
There's too much installing of stuff to do, so this is just going to be a short note.
Wish me luck!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
We had a busy morning -- Forry installed the two new fire alarms we had gotten yesterday and I put up the new sun screens. The screens are attached with pins into suction cups. All of them had to be shortened after I got them hung. The mesh doesn't ravel, so it was just a matter of cutting them off to the right length. It was a warm morning and it was very dramatic to feel the difference after the shades were hung.
Friday, February 13, 2009
We paid a visit to Mac the Fire Guy before we left and ordered a fire extinquisher for the engine compartment (90% of motor home fires start there) along with one more small foam extinquisher for the toad. We also bought two smoke alarms as the only one that came with the coach is only an ionization detector. The ones we bought are dual sensors that have photoeclectric sensors as well as the ionization ones. This way we will have one in the bedroom as while as in the front of the coach.
We only travled eleven miles down the road to Indian Skies RV Resort in Coolidge. The Casa Grande Ruins are just outside the town and we do want to visit there while we are in the area. It looks like a pretty nice place. Just across the "street" from us is a couple from New Mexico who have a 2 year old mastiff named Patti. I, of course, headed over there with my picture of Deacon to get acquantied with her. She's pretty much full grown but only weighs 130 pounds -- he siad her daddy was over 230! I'll get a pictue of her tomorrow to share with Deacon.
We went into town to Safeway to restock our rather depleted larder. Stopped at a Mexican-American cafe for dinner. The fellow who started it many years ago was a Mexican according to the menu. He is long departed, but it said they were still using his grandmother's recipes. Well, I suppose we should have figured when the name said it was Mexican-American...
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Forry and I both went to a session on RV Solar Shades. Tha's something we've been looking at for a long time, but were hesitent both about putting snaps through the coach skin and about having to climb up on a ladder every time to put them on. We've ended up getting ones that go on the inside of the windows, fastened with suction cups ("American made"). We got one large one for the front windshield and ones for each of the windows on the pilot and co-pilot side.
This is my FAVORITE picture of all -- that's the Cactus Queen winner posing with Forry!