March 13, 2017 - Finney Lake CA

We camp for a few days on wildlife management agency land.  No fee and splendid isolation.  Perhaps too quiet.  We worry a bit about security and would hate to return and find the rig trashed.  On the other hand there is silence as the sun sets across the lake and blackbirds come to roost. 

An ugly California dairy is across lake and spreads its fragrance to us before dawn.  Ugh for that.  Here dairies are factory operations.  Crops are grown in fields and cut for direct feeding or stored fodder.  The cattle stay in the lot to reach through the bars for their meals.  Lots of blackbirds scavenge there too.
I popped a dental crown a couple of days ago and grumbled that it would cost $2C to have a dentist here remount it.  Then Anne remembered Los Algodones, a small town we had visited a decade ago that had 300 dentists.  There it cost $25.  We called and made the appointment but realized this morning we didn’t know what time it was there.  We had delightfully avoided the unnecessary nuisance of changing the clocks for daylight time and for crossing the time zone by moving from Arizona to California last Sunday.  How nice.
A phone call resolved the matter and we arrived on time, parked our car at the border parking lot and walked across.  Mexico continues to get by with the same high level of border security as always.  We walked through a turnstyle on the USA side and found ourselves walking down a dusty street in old Mexico.  Various folks accosted us in hopes of steering us to dentists, pharmacies, or optometrists.  We said, “no gracias” and continued along the street in the sun or on the sidewalks under roof where various wares were on sale. 
We worked our way to the clinic and found it modern.  The shop differed in subtle ways from one in the United States, but not in ways that mattered.  The business taken care of we stopped in a pharmacy where Anne found a bargain and then took lunch in the recommended Pueblo Viejo restaurant. 

Satiated we walked across the street and took a place in the long line of pedestrians returning to los Estados Unidos.  It was hot but the line kept moving.  Forty minutes later we were back at our car and zooming across the sand dunes of southwestern California to the town of El Centro where we picked up groceries, a bit of hardware, and gasoline.  We also mailed post cards. 

The day had become hot and our rig was much so.  I turned on the generator and we let the a.c. roar for two hours while we did chores and ate supper.  Then we turned it off as the sun set.  We walked to the lake side and saw a Green Heron, our 200th species of the year.  It was satisfying to have found that many by March and before reaching the Pacific coast.  A flock of White-faced Ibis fluttered past en-route to their roost.  All good.

Filled the gas tanks in Yuma before coming into California where everything is expensive.  On our last day at Gila Bend we hiked within the Sonoran Desert National Monument among the tree cactus and mesquite.  Many of the desert herbs and shrubs were in bloom putting on a glorious show.  A pair of Gilded Flicker emerged from a hole in one cactus.  One flew into a ocotillo shrub.  These spindly plants often have the appearance of brown sticks but are now green with leaves and sprouting pink blossoms at the ends.  We were delighted to see a bird we have found only once or twice before perching close in the verdant bush. 

Warmth increased while we were there to bring us the first hot weather we have felt this year.  I chuckle to write that knowing that home on the mountain a big snow storm is forming as I write these words.  February was unusually warm but now March is cold.  Glad we are in the southwest.


Wow!  Good deal and experience with the crown.

Neat your year list is growing so well.