11 Feb 2018 Amazing Day……………
 |  Category: Travel & River House

Wind Caves…….

The skies have open in our part of the Great White North. While last year’s snowfall was way below normal this year is just the opposite. The biggest snow year we had experienced was 2006 when the season got started in Late October with a four foot dump. We are now above the 2006 total with over four feet of the white stuff on the ground. On Friday, while trying to plow out the road, another ten inches fell leaving my Kubota and Richard’s much larger tractor above their pay grade. Ed and Fred are trying to line up a road grader to, once again, make the road passable. To complicate the matter the temperature has plunged to fifteen below. Until Ed can get down and brush off our internet dish the cameras won’t work. It is never easy.

Meanwhile it remains beautiful here in the Desert just seventy miles from the Mexican border. Walla Walla is warming up nicely.

Sher was up at seven thirty. We talked and checked our e-mails. Judith was up at nine and we discussed the day. We packed lunches and made the wind caves our destination for the day. We have been to the wind caves before and swore to never navigate the miserable “road” into the wind caves again. We checked at the visitor’s center and “they” cautioned the road hadn’t been graded and a four wheel drive was mandatory to make the four mile trip.

The road isn’t a road it is a wash that runs up the middle of a canyon. The wind caves are a popular destination visited by 4 wheel drives, ATVs and motorcycles with the occasional hiker making the trek. The road is loosely packed sand with bowling ball sized boulders thrown in to make things exciting. I drove at about 10 MPH pulling over often for those who care left much less about life and limb.

When we got to the parking area below the wind caves there were a half dozen cars and an old guy with a white horse. Job one was eating lunch we were able to cross off our list while looking at the steep incline we were about to take. A tarp was spread between two cars and underneath was a Boy Scout group getting ready for a hike into and to spend the night at the wind caves. The group consisted of three or four adult men and a dozen teenage boys. They were laughing and have a good time and looked at us like we just landed from Mars. I’m sure they thought we were a hundred and would be involved in carry us out on stretchers before the end of the day. We smiled and started up the thirty degree incline.

On our previous trip I was so focused on seeing the wind caves I apparently failed to recognize the sheer beauty of this interesting place. Sher pointed out the amazing scenery with mouth agape. We spend over an hour climbing around and on the wind caves taking lots of pictures. Sher has an amazing eye for photography. Most of the pictures you’ll see this week are hers.

We were back at the RV at three thirty and I started immediately to make the chicken caccatore. This is a recipe that I have cooked for at least forty years maybe two or three times a year. Somewhere in this trailer is a recipe. We didn’t find it and guessed on the quantity of herbs and spices.

While the caccatore was cooking I logged on to APT and registered in the daily evening tournament which was a shootout. A shootout is where you play to win your table then all the winners move to a final table and you play down to the last man standing. I checked my table and saw several good players so realized it wasn’t going to be a cake walk. I won the table and went to the final table and sitting amongst the six players, and directly to my right, was APT’s all-time tournament chip leader. On the first play I got a deceptively good hand and eliminated a player doubling my stack. I was playing loose with the most chips and raising most pots. I limped in with K-5 off and everyone called. The flop came 5-J-5 giving me a very strong hand especially three handed. I was first to act and checked. Mr. Big put in a pot sized raise, after the flop, and I called. We did the same on the turn and then I decided to represent a bluff and go all in on the river. I did and he insta called. He had 5-4—a great hand. I had him out kicked and knocked him out in third. Winning first was pretty easy; I was on a roll, getting cards and had my only opponent outchipped 4-1. Poker.

Sunset at Anza Borrego State Park……….

We ate at six thirty and were off to the Campfire talk just before seven. We got to the campfire area and it was darker than the inside of a cow. It turns out they changed the location because of high winds. Unfortunately the sign they put up couldn’t be seen in the dark. We did go to the Visitor Center and the talk was in progress. It was about the history of big horn sheep and we missed the first twenty minutes. The sheep are on the rebound and could be off the watch list soon. Man is no longer their biggest predator. Mountain lions kill the big sheep and mortality in the lambs, is over fifty percent in the best of years, due to diseases transmitted by domestic livestock. It is never easy.

We were back at the RV at eight and watch the Olympics until we called it a day at ten.

Today we’ll start the day with sourdough pancakes then drive up to the open house and try not to buy that deer that is calling to me. When that is over we’ll drive over to Julian for apple pie then back to Anza Borrego State Park. For most visiting the Wright’s it isn’t a VACATION.

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