Leaving Tucson

So it’s about time we leave Tucson… There are a few maintenance tasks that I thought I’d have plenty of time to do, with so much time in one place. Then I realized we only have a bit over a week left, and I haven’t done them! So I worked hard our last few days in Tucson.

I replaced a few drawer slides a while ago, with nifty self closing jobs. They feel good when opening or closing – but would they stay closed while driving? We did one trip, and the few upgraded drawers behaved well. So now I had to do the rest of the 17 drawers. Who knew we had that many drawers!? Some were tougher replacements than others, but they all seem to be working beautifully now.

A long time ago I built some shelves over slide out trays in our basement. On a tray in the storage area, you can’t stack anything above the level of the frame rails that run down the center of the coach, or the tray won’t slide out the other side. So the top foot or more is wasted. (Can’t have a cubic inch not stuffed!) I wanted the shelves to look nice, and not show rough plywood or even painted wood, so I made them out of white prefab shelving. I thought they looked fine, and they worked well… until they didn’t. The shelving was designed to be supported every 16 inches or so, and I needed them unsupported for 48 inches. They started to sag. Badly enough that things would get caught under them when the tray was slid out.

So I replaced them all with 3/4 inch plywood shelves, and covered them with carpet to match the rest of the basement. I’d forgotten how much work it was! But they look great (way better than the white shelves did) and work well. At least for now! Hopefully they won’t sag with time! Below are pictures of the upgrade.

I have enjoyed the woodcarving club while staying at our park in Tucson. I want to have some projects to work on when elsewhere, so I looked for some carving patterns and cut some out while I have access to the shop here. I’m being very brave in showing what my next project is. So don’t laugh too hard if it doesn’t look anything like this pattern!

RCW Railroad

I’ve been wanting to take some pictures of the fantastic model railroad here in the park. The railroad club has done an amazing amount of work to create a very nice layout. I finally put together a little video of the railroad…

The hardest part of leaving is parting from good friends! There are so many here! I have pictures of only a few, but here they are:

Sunset on our last evening…

Rodeo, New Mexico

We headed back to Rodeo for more dark sky photography, and a date with a birding guide to show us more of the species available in this area.

Spring is definitely springing, and quite a bit more color evident than when we were here last month.

Cave Creek Ranch has lots of hummingbird feeders out, and we got to see several hummers. Most of these below are Rivoli’s Hummingbirds. Notice one little guy with his tongue sticking out!

With James, our great bird guide, we hit many diverse habitats. Ring-necked ducks are strangely named, because the ring on their necks is almost impossible to see, where the ring on their bills is very pronounced. [James says this is partly due to “Shotgun” identification. In the 1800’s, folks would shoot the birds, then when holding them, they’d describe and identify them. When holding a dead Ring-neck, you could actually see the neck ring. Thankfully, we now have good binoculars so we don’t have to shoot them.]

The town of Portal, Arizona is just across the border from where we camped. The post office is picturesque, nestled under a beautiful Arizona Sycamore.

Scott’s Orioles and Hooded Orioles can seem similar at first, even though they are quite different. Both are strikingly pretty birds!

Broad-billed Hummer with his mouth open!

Sunset from our camp in Rodeo…

I am a very newbie astrophotographer… and the few days we had during new moon at Rodeo did more to teach me what NOT to do than yield fantastic photos. I did get one I’m somewhat pleased with… This is the Milky Way, shot after 2am on a moonless night in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico.

One comment

  1. Hi Bruce and Cheryll
    Just read your great blog once more … thanks for that !
    Little space for the Astrophotography part of the trip I understand it being frustrating ( that never ends !) but infinity rewarding too as you make progress . I wish I had had more time to help!! Sorry about that . We loved our time under the canopy of the universe with you and look forward to more down the road .
    Hugs to you both Chuck n Christina

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