An Oil Change and a Walk in the Park

Friday February 21st 2020

Today was the warmest day of the week. The temperature crossed into the low seventies. The day began with a bright sunny sky, but as the day progressed the clouds moved in. Tomorrow is forecast to be one of those rare rainy days in the desert.

It is so much easier when the oil change comes to you.

I was up early this morning. The mobile lube service was scheduled for sometime during the morning to change the oil in my RV home. My understanding was that the technician would call me before he arrived, but around 10:30AM he knocked on my door. It took a little more than half an hour to complete the service. The engine in my RV home is now ready for my summer travels.

To the east this afternoon there was still blue sky.
From the west the clouds were moving in.

Later this afternoon I drove over to the Wetlands Park for a little exercise and to check for any changes at the park. I’d like to see some signs of Spring at the park before I leave the area. So far I don’t see any overt change. Last years tall grass and reeds are drying out and thinning, but new green growth hasn’t begun. The birds don’t seem to be as plentiful or as active. Some species may have moved on in their ever going migration. Other water birds seem to be staying closer to their mates. The nesting season may be right around the corner or already started. In which case the birds I’m not seeing may be back in the reeds sitting on nests. The time table for bird behavior in this area is a mystery to me. I still enjoyed a nice long walk in the park and took a few pictures.

The Growing Season is Returning

Thursday February 20th 2020

The signs of a new growing season are starting to appear on the plants in the RV park. The new growth is thanks in part to the days of bright sunshine with temperatures in the mid sixties that continued today. Today was another nice weather day.

I worked at little more on travel preparation tasks today. All of the stuff that migrated out of its storage place over the last four months without travel is starting to return to its proper place. I’m also replacing some old essentials with new equipment. Today I acquired a new 25 foot water hose to replace one that had a damaged threaded end. The thin brass gets bent very easily and everything I tried to fix it didn’t work. The new one has stainless steel connectors.

My grocery shopping trip to Walmart was only partially successful today. The plan was to buy enough food to last until I was in Arizona next week, but it wasn’t to be. For some reason the shelves were particularly sparsely stocked. The sizes and brands I want weren’t available. Rather than seek out alternatives, I’ll try again Sunday or Monday.

During my evening walk around the RV park, it occurred to me that I’ve seen just about every state and Canadian provence represented in the park during my four month stay. I don’t see that during my stays in Florida. Here I haven’t seen Hawaii, Rhode Island, the Carolinas or North Dakota. I think I’ve seen all of the other states. Manitoba and the Maritime provences are missing from Canada. Las Vegas is clearly a gathering point from all over. Some of the people come here to work, some to play and others just live.

One More Visit to the Cactus Garden

Wednesday February 19th 2020

After Tuesday’s blip in the good weather, it was back on track today. The temperature peaked in the mid sixties under a bright blue sky with only a gentle breeze. Overall it was another great day.

I spent the first half of the day doing some early preparation tasks for next weeks resumption of traveling. As I moved things from the floor or counter into the cabinets I found a lot of dust build up. This resulted in a transition into cleaning mode. It is amazing how much dust and dirt has accumulated since my last dedicated cleaning activity sometime in December. I try to wipe things up and clean as I go, but the desert wind seems to allow a thin layer of dust to enter my RV home and accumulate on everything.

This afternoon while I was out doing a few errands I got caught up in a traffic stoppage. I don’t know if was an accident or one of the traffic nightmares caused by all of the presidential candidates running around the valley. Lucky for me I was near the Ethel M Cactus garden. I made a detour into the parking lot and spent a few minutes wandering through the garden while the traffic cleared.

They haven’t wasted much time getting the Valentines decorations removed from the garden. The big standalone decorations have been removed and the lights have been partially removed from the cactus. It’s a lot of progress for less than four days. Some of the desert plants are starting to show some signs of spring brightness, but the more traditional cactus don’t seem to be ready for spring yet. Even so, I took a few pictures of the better specimens.

Another Slow Day with a Casino Visit

Tuesday February 18th 2020

The wind returned last night, but nowhere near as hard as last week. This morning it was calm again, but a weather change remained. Today was a little cloudier and almost ten degrees cooler. The temperature peaked in the low sixties.

Life at the RV park was back to a normal weekday routine today. Yesterday many of the working resident were around because of the holiday. The normal Monday rubbish pick up from the dumpsters didn’t happen. This morning the regular Tuesday propane deliveries toke place, but the dumpsters pickup may have to wait until later in the week.

Blossoms of the day

I’m almost at the end of my four month stay here. I know when to expect all of the regular activities in the park. There is a certain level of comfort in the familiarity of routine. My activities have also fallen into a routine. Today was Young at Heart (i.e. senior) day at Sam’s Town Casino. Most every week since I arrived in Las Vegas I’ve participated in the drawing without winning. Today was my last visit for this stay in Las Vegas. It was no different, I didn’t win anything.

Fountain show at Mystic Falls Park in the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino.

This Saturday is the Presidential primary caucus in Nevada. The democratic candidates have been all over the valley since they left New Hampshire last week. You need to be prepared to take a detour or otherwise change your destination to get out of their way all the time. I was thinking about going to the strip tomorrow, but they are having a debate at the Paris Casino Hotel tomorrow evening. The president and vice president are also going to be in town at the end of the week. Getting in some last minute touring is proving difficult.

Glued to the TV for the Daytona 500

Monday February 17th 2020

Today’s weather was another incremental improvement from the day before. The temperature broke through the seventy mark and the forecast late day wind never materialized. It was another very nice day.

I didn’t sleep well last night. It was probably caused by lack of activity yesterday and a warmer than usual night. For whatever reason, I didn’t fall asleep until after 4AM. I woke up after 10AM. It really got the day off to a slow start. It turned out to be a perfect day to watch the Daytona 500 on TV.

Yesterday’s rain delayed race restarted at 1PM Pacific Time. It ended shortly before 5PM. In between it was a pretty interesting race. It had a number of lead changes, a few accidents that slowed or stopped the race and then it had the big one. The big accident took half the field out of contention for the victory. The final dozen laps of the race took a very long time to complete. The race ended up having more laps than any other Daytona 500 as they attempted to finish the race under green flag racing conditions. The need to have a green flag finish came at a cost. On the final lap three drivers fighting for the victory mixed it up to the extent that Ryan Newman lost control of his car. It hit the outer safer barrier and went airborne over the track. As it came down upside down it was struck by another car. Newman was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Hopefully he will be alright. As I watched the accident, I didn’t think he could survive. In a way, you watch the race for the wrecks, but not for accidents that injure or kill people.

Tonight’s walk around the RV park showed a full house. I didn’t see any empty sites. As I’m trying to compose and post this blog entry I’m experiencing another indicator of the parks capacity. The internet access is very slow tonight. It only seems to slow down at busy times.

Florida Rain changes my plans in Las Vegas

Sunday February 16th 2020

The weather was a couple of degrees warmer than Saturday, but otherwise was very similar. There were high light clouds early that cleared toward the end of the day. The temperature peaked just below seventy. Tomorrow is forecast to reach seventy with a little more wind.

My day was structured around the Daytona 500. My plan was to watch the race before leaving the park for a few errands and a visit to the strip. It just wasn’t to be. First, the race was scheduled to start later than I thought. I expected it to start around 1PM eastern time which would be 10AM here. It was actually scheduled to start sometime after 3PM eastern time. The second wrinkle happened when mother nature got into the mix. The race start was delayed because of rain. Once it got started they only ran 20 laps before the rain stopped the race again. The broadcast team was optimistic for a quick restart for about the first hour of delay before they switched to a replay of last years race. I moved on to other TV programming checking back in every half hour or so. By the time I knew they had rescheduled the race for tomorrow, it was after 4PM. It turned into a day at home.

While the TV played in the background, I started to pick up a few around the rig in preparation of leaving here a week from Tuesday. One of the things I did was mount my print of the Great Blue Heron on a black mat frame. It still isn’t hung on the wall, but it is looking good.

My exercise today was restricted to walks around the RV park. I made another attempt at a picture of the sunset during my last walk of the day. The sun location still isn’t cooperating. The angle to the setting sun is not optimal.

Visiting the Birds

Saturday February 15th 2020

It was another great weather day even though there were more clouds in the sky than the last couple of days. A high thin layer of clouds kept the full sun from reaching the ground, but it was a few degrees warmer than yesterday.

After a couple of moderately active days, today was a slow day. I lingered over my breakfast coffee reading internet blither, real news, gossip news and miss leading headlined news all mixed together. Now that the football season is over, the TV programming is inconsistent. I can’t use the programming to keep track of time on weekend days. It was early afternoon before I came up for air from my reading.

For exercise I drove to the Clark County Wetlands Park for a mile or two hike. The park was very full today. Lots of families with young kids were using the trails. There were also several people walking dogs and riding bikes. Both of these activities are prohibited in large portions of the park, but no one seems to enforce the rules. My guess is most of the people have a different interpretation of the rules than I do. The long form list of rules says dogs on leach are allowed except where indicated. A similar rule applies to bike riding. On the opposite side of the path from the sign with the long form rules is a big graphic sign that says no dogs and no bike riding. It really is confusing. Most of the dogs aren’t a problem, but fast moving bicycles coming around the blind corners could easily take out a hiker or two.

The number of people in the park has an inverse relationship on the wildlife. Many of the animals stay in hiding with all the noisy people around. All I saw today were the more common water birds and a few skittish grouse.