Saturday, November 26, 2011

Organ Pipe Thanksgiving

Although it felt odd to be out of Albuquerque for Thanksgiving we did have a nice day with our neighbors and fellow volunteers. Ten of us had dinner together in the community building. We had turkey with a lot of trimmings since everyone brought a dish. Dinner and conversation lasted for 2 1/2 hours, so we learned many things about each others lives and RV experiences. Here are a few of the happy diners.
This past week we were off Sunday - Thursday and we have been busy. On Sunday we went on a hike with a fellow volunteer to Victoria Mine. Sherry has been here for a couple of months and is a wealth of knowledge. Victoria Mine was one of  the few mines that actually made money for its owners, silver and gold were mined. The mine was active from the1880's through the 1930's. The pictures are Sherri and Sherry in an old residence and Sherri in front of an Ocotillo.

Tuesday morning we stopped off at the Visitor Center before heading out to Ajo for grocery shopping and a haircut. At the visitor center we met volunteers from the past. Two couples who volunteered in ORPI starting 11 years ago. After a few years of volunteering they liked the area so much that both couples have purchased homes in Ajo and now live in Ajo six months out of the year. They were heading up to Alamo Canyon which is 10 miles north of the visitor center so we tagged along for a short hike and they too like Sherry are a wealth of knowledge. Alamo Canyon was used by ranchers to graze and coral their cattle well into the 1950's. It is a beautiful canyon with a wide arroyo running through the canyon. As we were hiking a border patrol helicopter came by to check us out. I guess we were okay and after flying overhead the agents headed to the hills. It was an interesting experience.

I'm sure we will be seeing these folks often this winter and spring.
We had a nice lunch in Ajo and got our chores done. Yesterday, Friday, it was back to work. It is still slow in the park but that is giving us time to explore and get ready for the busy season starting in January. We do have two weeks of classroom training staring December 19th.
I'll finish with three pictures from near the VIP housing. Ryder and I are usually out walking as the sun is coming up.
The housing area for VIPS and NPS from the hills above.
And last is a nice shot of Organ Pipe Cactus and Ocotillo.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Arrived at ORPI

We have arrived and are set up at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI). We stayed in Albuquerque for 16 days and did many necessary and fun things. The 5er needed some maintenance which is always fun when it is your home and you have to take it in for repairs, but we now have new tires and a straight frame.
Amy visited for a few days over our first weekend in town and on our second weekend we had a Thanksgiving Dinner with Sherri's family. We also celebrated Erin's 11th birthday.


After not playing golf for 5 1/2 months I was able to enjoy three rounds at three of my favorite Albuquerque courses. After not playing for so long I was pretty rusty, but it was great to get out with my friends.
From Albuquerque we stopped for a night in Las Cruces to visit Amy and Jake. We had a nice dinner with Amy, unfortunately Jake had school that night. Mom (Sherri) feels much better now that she knows where Amy lives and goes to school. It was on to Phoenix for three days to see my sister. It had been several years since we had seen each other and it was great to see her new home and catch up on life. We went out to eat, took in a Sunday service at her church and had Susan over for dinner in the RV. I'm not sure she sees why we have chosen to be full-time RVers.
We arrived at Organ Pipe on Monday 11/14 and are settling in, starting our new "jobs" and adjusting to our new surroundings. The pictures below are: The city of Sonoyta five miles south, in Mexico, from the ridge above our RV park. Our site in the VIP RV park which includes a community building and 12 sites that are very spacious. The bottom picture is our first sunset.

On Tuesday, our first day, we took a NPS pickup out on the 21 mile Ajo Mountain Drive with another newbie couple. I will finish this blog with a couple photos from the drive. I'm sure that we will post many more photos from this spectacular loop.