Saturday, January 25, 2014

Close encounters.....

We've had some close encounters of the human, creature, and canine variety.  After posting the dragon/serpent photo on Facebook, friends Beth and Chris from Yuma, were intrigued enough to leave the comfort of their winter casita, pack up Pugsley the 40' Beaver, hook up Annie the CRV, and venture out into the unknown.

Lots of room for everybody

I had promised dinner in return for their efforts and made coq au vin, a recipe we've tried before from our Food of France cookbook.  It looks like this but did not taste as good as before.  I must have done something wrong because it never really cooked down to a nice thick chicken stew.  Oh well, next time we'll let Howard do his always good rack of lamb.

Pearl onions, mushrooms, & bacon are added to chicken that's been marinating in red wine & herbs

We spent most of the next day seeing the sights around Borrego Springs, with special emphasis on the Creatures (which you've seen here before) adorning thousands of acres of land owned by philanthropist, Dennis Avery. Somehow I had missed the obvious because it took Beth, the super-sleuth (historian, genealogist, fraud-investigator), to point out the Avery label empire connection.  Here is the story in her own words.  

They drove all this way for Beth's new Facebook profile pic!

Posing with the God Bird nest, aka Giant Condor

Beth & Lynda by the scorpion
Howard's captivated!

The 50 cent tour also included the Anza Borrego Desert State Park's very cool visitors' center. The rangers are engaging and informative, the exhibits representative of the diversity of both flora, fauna, and geology.  We arrived just in time for a terrific movie, A Year in the Desert, with fantastic videography and narration of the four seasons unfolding.  By now we're famished, and enjoyed a great lunch at the Krazy Coyote Saloon & Grille, sitting out by the pool on a beautiful afternoon.

One of the very life-like exhibits featuring the Bighorn sheep
I'm no longer surprised at the limits to which Beth goes for a photo op!

We knew friends Tom and Carolyn, part of our large Medford family, were camped at the State Park campground with their 4 Corgis.  Having just entered a new phase of their life, semi-retirement, accelerated in large part by a very serious health scare after having routine gall bladder surgery, these super techno-savvy folks now combine travel with managing their businesses and web hosting from the comfort of their RV.  They also breed and show Cardigans (link to Carolyn's blog).  We were so excited they brought the kids for a visit, along with a fine bottle of Oregon Syrah.

Tom, Carolyn & the Corgis

Wild dogs in the desert

That's 14 yr. old Alice leading the pack!

I will leave you with some words of wisdom posted to my Facebook Timeline by my 18 year old granddaughter.  You've got to love her world view!  

Grandma, I think you and Grandpa should get out of your comfort zone traveling the Americas, and visit countries in Europe or Africa....Feeling hopeful~~

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