Friday, June 30, 2006

June 30 is the end of the fiscal year for the Visitor's Center, and I was assigned the task of inventory. I'd finished counting all the supplies that were downstairs last week; today I completed the count of stock in the gift shop itself.

Earl drove down to P Ranch to do some painting and had lunch at the Frenchglen Hotel.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

We drove out to the Kiger Mustang Viewing Area, hoping to see some horses. While we didn't see any horses, we did see several Pronghorn and some cows (which we were going to try and pass off as horses, but figured no one would believe us).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Today was David & Janet Free's last day of volunteer work here. We went down to the office about 3:00 PM to take part in the going away party that was being held for them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

When we had the oil changed in the Honda prior to leaving Quartzsite in April, we were told that the tires had wear on them and should be replaced in the near future. We didn't change them at that time, but we've been reluctant to take some of the drives around here that required miles and miles of travel on rough, gravel roads because of their condition. The tires have probably over 30,000 miles on them, about half of which have been racked up towing behind the Lazy Daze.

We finally decided that we should replace them, so Earl made an appointment with the Les Schwab's in Burns. Since we can't leave Maxx for too long (the steroid pills he's on make him drink copious amounts of water...and, of course, pee a lot, too), Earl went by himself, and stopped to do grocery shopping after the tires had been replaced.

Now we can take the trip down to the Kiger Mustang Viewing Area!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We decided to drive the Diamond Loop and the Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area today, first stopping at The Narrows to get gas for the Honda.

We had a BLM brochure with us that described all the stops along the Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area, but there are no signs at each must reset your Trip Odometer at each stop to determine where the next stop is. Well, we got lost about half way through.

Here's what Stop 7 has to say about getting to Stop 8: "Between Red Bomb Crater and East Twin Crater on West Dome, Stop Number 8, you will come upon several dead end roads. Keep right on the main, well-traveled road until you come to three roads branching off about 2.4 miles. Take the middle branch. You should be able to see two large craters in the side of West Dome. At about 2.6 miles, turn right on the short spur road to the first crater."

It was at this point that we got lost...we never could find the "several dead end roads" or the "three roads branching off." So we just gave up, and proceeded to complete the rest of the Diamond Loop Road, stopping at the Round Barn and at Diamond Hotel where we had lunch.

This morning when we got up, Maxx's tail was straight (Basenjis have tails which curl up over their back, uncurling only when asleep or at a full run) and remained that way the rest of the day. I thought that if his tail still remained straight tomorrow, we'd take him to the vet in Burns. However, after we returned from our trip, and he'd had his walk, he couldn't jump up on the couch. This was just before 4:00 PM, so I immediately called the vet and we were able to take Maxx right in.

The vet, a young woman, gave him an exam, they x-rayed his spine, and gave him a steroid shot, plus gave us some steroid pills. The x-rays showed no trauma to his spine, so apparently it's just a pinched nerve. Maxx will be on the steroid pills for 9 days: 2 pills twice a day for 3 days; 1 pill twice a day for 3 days; and then 1 pill once a day for 3 days.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Drove into Burns today to do grocery shopping.

Monday, June 19, 2006

There are several California Quail pairs that come around our RV to eat (we do throw out bird food, but there is a grass that's gone to seed which they eat, too). We've been wondering when they were going to show up with babies. Well, one pair finally did -- to the tune of about 15 of the little balls of fluff!

I've been trying to get pictures of them, but it's difficult to do since they move fast, and tend to stay hidden under bushes. Plus I'm taking pictures out the back window which has a dark coating on it.

I did get a couple of pictures today, though...not as good as I'd like, but maybe I'll get better ones in the future.

Had lunch at The Narrows.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

After dinner tonight, we decided to take a drive along Double O Road where we had been told there were American Avocets with chicks. On our way out of the RV park, we stopped to look at the Killdeer eggs in a nest they've built out in the road...on one side, but still in the road!

We only saw two baby American Avocets, but there is apparently an Avocet sitting on a nest (which we didn't see), so we'll have to go back soon. What did surprise us, though, was that the American Avocet does the "broken wing" trick to lure people/animals away from their nests -- the same as we've seen Killdeer do. We also saw some Willets and Long-Billed Curlews.

Once we finished there, we drove down Harney Lake Road to see if we could find the Golden Eagle's nest which we'd been told was there. We did find the nest a little over 2 miles west of SR-205. The huge nest was built on a ledge in a rock outcropping and there were 2 fledglings still in the nest.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The talk that Carla gave on the history of the Refuge was very interesting...she's very knowledgeable about the area and it's history. Most of the stuff she talked about, we already knew, but we did learn new information about the Refuge and how it is managed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We drove all the way back to the Refuge, stopping in Burns to put gas in the Lazy Daze and pick up some groceries we'd forgotten yesterday.

Originally, we were going to stop at Chickahominy Reservoir again, but we had to get back sooner because tomorrow Carla (the Refuge archaeologist) wanted to show us slides and talk about the history of the Refuge.

Miles driven: 159.2

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We drove the rest of the way into Bend, stopping first at Costco to shop.

By the time we were finished at Costco, it was lunch time, so we had lunch at Schlotzsky's and then picked up miscellaneous groceries at Safeway.

We then made our way to Sundance Meadows RV Park, one of our Coast to Coast parks ($8 per night). As we were checking in, the young lady behind the counter said it was a good thing we hadn't been there yesterday, as they'd had golf ball-sized hail! We did get rain this evening, but fortunately, no hail.

Miles driven: 106.8
GPS coordinates: not taken

Monday, June 12, 2006

After getting the laundry done this morning, we took off in the Lazy Daze headed to Bend for a Costco run.

We spent the night about half-way to Bend at one of our favorite campgrounds, Chickahominy Reservoir, a BLM campground which costs us $4 per night with our old geezer's card (Golden Age Passport). The reservoir was the highest we've ever seen it due to all the rain the Pacific Northwest has received this past winter...and there were more people staying here than before.

Miles driven: 60.8
GPS coordinates: not taken

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another weekend of work completed. Earl and I drove down to The Narrows for dinner after work to have fish & chips.

On the way back, we saw a small herd of Pronghorns with babies. Of course, we'd forgotten to take our binoculars with us, so we couldn't get a good look at them because they were quite a ways from the road. Hopefully, we'll get a better look at them before we leave.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We drove into Burns to do some shopping. We picked up oil and an air filter for our generator, filled up the Honda with gas, did grocery shopping, and then stopped at McDonalds on the way out of town to pick up lunch.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Today, it was the first graders turn to visit the Refuge. Earl and I held classes with groups of them teaching them about migration. Half the group played a migration game while the other half visited the museum. Then half-way through, we'd switch groups. While still not our favorite activity, the first graders were a lot better behaved and easier to work with than the third graders had been!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Today we drove down the Center Patrol Road again, starting where we'd left off the other day.

We saw lots of Bobolinks, and other birds (most of which we've seen before), including a Trumpeter Swan in one of the ponds.

Stopped at Frenchglen Hotel for lunch...vegetable beef soup with cornbread and dessert (I had Marionberry cobbler, Earl had chocolate cake -- both with ice cream).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Another weekend of work completed.

On the days we work, we set the alarm for 6:00 AM so that we can get up, get dressed, and have a leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast. One morning, I raised the blinds, and found a Bobcat out in back of the RV busily digging for rodents! Unfortunately, as I discovered afterwards, the setting on our camera had gotten changed, and I didn't get very good pictures of the Bobcat...most of them were too blurred to use.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Today, third graders from Burns visited the refuge, and we had to do a class with 4 different groups on classification. We also worked with them to make gelatin bird feeders. It certainly wasn't our favorite activity, but it's part of volunteering here.