Heading for the Sonoran Desert

Just as UW Climate Scientist Cliff Mass predicted the first atmospheric river of winter to arrive, on November 10th we headed for the sun of the SW desert. Tucson here we come. Our first stop on the way South is always to see my brother Dennis, his wife Carol, and all the kids in the blended family.

It was raining outside for the days we stayed, but my brother and my nephew Bren did me a solid by firing up the welder and forge so they could craft a branding iron for our new property in Idaho. Can’t raise no beef with no brand. Dennis welded steel rod into the legal size for the E/S brand and Bren did the rest. He hammered the shaft out, then tapered and curved back the end of the rod to form the handle. Then he heated the middle of the shaft and spun it to create a grip mid-shaft. It’s sweet.

Bren at his forge

Saturday there was a break between the rainstorms, so we grabbed the puppies and began our Harvest Host based trip South. I know we’ve mentioned it before, but Harvest Host is program for RV travelers to stay a night for free at a winery, brewery, farm or other site. They know you’ll come in to taste the wine, beer or other product they have. We use it a lot when we’re trying to cover ground in a series of one-night stops. We lucked out with this trip because once we left Dennis’ house near Astoria we were able to stay about one day ahead of all the storms. We never saw rain on the way South.

Before we knew it, we were crossing the Colorado River.

But before we headed for Tucson, we decided to take a detour to some places we had never been before, and one that we had visited before…and wanted to go back.

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