Tag Archive: Water


The desert begins before you leave Grand Junction Colorado and Fruita and then it continues. Restful break in Green River State Park. The Park is along the Colorado River and enclosed by a golf course. The Rangers hiding out in the air-cooled kiosk gave me a map and directions to a swimming beach for the dogs, turned out however after doing my hiding from the heat and daily thunder storm, then walking all over the State Park, sticking our feet and up to our tails in the water, this mamma, that’s me, didn’t want to drive any more that day so we played BALL on the nice green grass at our over-sized site.

Waiting until it gets cool enough to go out and play.

Coffee shop in Green River, Utah; somewhat amazed to find this. Coffee wasn’t really all that drinkable but they tried and the place was cute.

Driving

Speed limit in Utah is 80 mph, for me it’s about 60 to 65. It’s still very windy.

Climbing plenty of hills. Still early enough not to need the air conditioner. RV is driving great. Yesterday’s drive was tougher with stronger winds, higher passes to cross and scorching heat.

After the flatlands turns scenic. Yep, that’s another car.

More traffic! Don’t expect services or gas stations or repair shops. Keep your gas tank filled and your vehicle in good running order. Bring your own snacks and refreshments.

Civilization. I didn’t need gas but was a gas station here. Gathering of trucks and plenty of trash even though they’d  positioned trash cans as drive by…  I used those, just drive close, unroll the window and plunk.

Found a dog park in Hurricane Utah. Can you tell it’s hot. I’d already checked in and secured a full service site at Sand Hollow State Park. I’d been sent there from Quail Creek State Park, all the electric was taken.  Next time will try Snow Canyon State Park, petrified sand dunes, wow.   At first I wasn’t pleased with Sand Hollow, the powered sites are up on the hill, my spot way up at the top, the roads are all black asphalt.  That darn heat colored my perceptions, feels like it’s 120 but it’s not that hot. Later when I returned from St George I fell in love with this Park even though it another reservoir. Dogs got to swimming twice 🙂  If I stayed would have rented a boat and just floated.

Day and evening use park above St George, Utah. Would be totally fun to hike and explore but just letting the windows down am blasted with what felt like the insides of force blowing glass kiln. Windy, humid and hot red! Probably somewhere around 103 or 104 but felt hotter, maybe it was.

St. George, Utah, is nation’s fastest-growing metro area.

The ground was too hot for my dogs to walk so I could only take a quick look.
Red Hills Desert Garden.  Check the link (Find Plants) for the plant species that grow here.  Free Admission.

Pioneer Park

What brings people to St George?

Back at the reservoir.  The Park is large enough that even with lots of activity and families there are quiet areas, at least right now.

Taking the Park road to the other side.

Our first swimming spot. Warm, blue waters and red sandstone. Primitive camping to full hookups, swimming, boating, fishing, ATVs, red dunes. 20,000-acre park, mostly on USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There’s a store / restaurant  with ATV’s, UTV’s, kayaks, paddle boards for rent. I had a breakfast burrito there. Nice chat with the woman in charge, she had to met the dogs of course and of course, she hopes to retire soon too and really liked my little camper van.

Back on “my’ side of the Park. Some hiking trails, boat launching and easy access for the dogs to swim. This was late in the day and everything was closed, when I returned in the morning it was bustling. Come July and August this place gets mobbed.

View out my bedroom window.

My dinner table for the night. No campfires.

Diner courtesy of Redmond Farms, Organic Farm to Table store in St George.

On the top of the hill at the park, one can see new housing developments everywhere.

America’s Fastest-Growing Urban Area Has a Water Problem
JAKE BULLINGER MAY 18, 2018
As St. George, Utah grows, it will have to cut down on its high water consumption or pay handsomely for it—or both.

When Latter-day Saint migrants arrived in Utah in 1847, a verse in Isaiah served as consolation to them in the dessicated landscape: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”

Lately, the desert has blossomed nowhere more than the St. George area, in the state’s southern reaches. The city is a picturesque outpost, with red-rock desert framing bright green lawns and golf courses, all built around the stark white Mormon temple in the center of town.

Brigham Young’s adherents came here to grow crops, primarily cotton—hence its reputation as Utah’s Dixie. Today, that ceaseless sunshine is luring so many tourists, retirees, and students that St. George has become the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country. According to Census Bureau data released in March, the metro, home to 165,000 people, grew 4 percent between 2016 and 2017.

“Six million people visit the area every year. As people visit here, some of them decide to stay,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said. The area remains a retirement community, “but we also have 33,000 students K through 12, and we have a fast-growing university [Dixie State University].” Healthcare is a booming industry, and, like many growing cities, St. George has a section of town earmarked for tech companies. Mixed-use developments are popping up downtown. The growth likely won’t slow any time soon: State demographers believe the area will surpass 500,000 residents by 2065.

As is the case with other growing desert burgs, St. George grapples with water-supply issues. But the challenge here is unique. Remarkably cheap rates mean that residents of an area with only eight inches of annual rainfall are using tremendous amounts of water. An average St. George resident uses more than twice as much water as the average citizen of Los Angeles.

Political leaders at the state and local level view this primarily as a supply issue. Their preferred solution is a gargantuan $1.4 billion pipeline that would connect the region with Lake Powell, a reservoir along the Colorado River. With the aid of pumping stations, the pipeline would shuttle water over 140 miles and 2,000 feet of elevation gain. The goal is to store 86,000 acre-feet a year in nearby reservoirs and aquifers—more than enough, officials say, to meet the demand of the growing population and decrease reliance on the dwindling Virgin River, currently Washington County’s primary water source.

“We certainly are committed to conservation, but we don’t think that gets you there alone, especially with the organic growth and the tremendous in-migration that’s occurring in the Southwest,” said Ronald Thompson, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District, the wholesaler that supplies water to St. George and other cities in the county.

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View from my camping spot.

View from my camping spot. Umatilla, OR

I’d parked, not where the camp host had suggested, in the back with the nice grassy area and shade tree but right on front of the small cliff overlooking the harbor on a pad of white rock, these sites were around $20 – $25 for power, water, wi-fi, bath/shower…  lots of hot water.

Walked the waterfront, grass, trees, beaches for swimming, little harbor, lots of happy dogs, made dinner then noticed that I hadn’t talked to any campers and I wondered why. I was keeping to myself, so I walked over to my neighbors asking if I could pet their Keeshonds.  Serendipity? They’d camped at Black  Island same as me…  we talked about the campground, the strange rain and how nice and quiet it’d been. They’d taken the sunset cruise and spent a bit longer than I had.  Their rig had crept upwards in size of their RV to over 30 feet to accommodate their dogs. I can understand the wish to get bigger; but all I want is better insulation to keep my dogs comfortable, my own useable shower and solar for extended boondocking, I’m happy in my little space.

They lived in the Dalles and loved it! I was envious.

We couldn’t have a conversation without talking about water. They  begged me to move out of Southern California, I wasn’t crazy was I! Anything would be more affordable, but I don’t think it will be possible to escape impact of our changing climate. I read this morning how Canada is worried about water.

This year, the Rocky Mountain snowpacks, which usually melt slowly, releasing water well into the summer, have had “a dramatic decline.” This past winter, those snowpacks were as low as 25 per cent of normal measurements, and they vanished quickly in the spring.

“All our stations are free of snow now, which is the earliest we’ve seen it,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “Not only was the maximum of snow water available quite low, but the snow melted much earlier – about a month to a month and a half earlier than what we would expect.”

He said the conditions are “eerily like” what he has projected will occur if a global warming of two degrees occurs, which climate-change scenarios consider likely.

“The relatively warm winter and spring in B.C. and Alberta this year has shown … what a future winter will look like,” Dr. Pomeroy said.

(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/signs-of-drought-appear-to-be-in-western-canada-for-the-long-term/article24954511/)

Yeah!  Friendly and Thoughtful!

Friendly and Thoughtful! Thank you Oregon.

With an unstable climate there will be lots of surprises, the process of our planet are interlinked, our food bill will keep rising, troulbe will be the norm. Drought also means a lower snow pack, greater avalanche risk, an increased fire season, hungry wildlife, stressed and dying vegetation, more heat, less fog, shrinking waterways and increased susceptibility to flash floods.

 

Pendleton, OR

Pendleton, OR From 1868. Lots more to do here than I took time for.

Resisting the urge to go West I headed South and visited Pendleton.  I missed the factory tour by 15 min, darn. Wasn’t going to wait for the next one. Items in the store were expensive, even the sale items.

Pendleton Woolen Milll

 

Colorful ...  in the Sale Room.

Colorful … in the Sale Room.

Pendleton, Oregon

Yeah! I’m in Placerville at Lee and Craig’s! The dogs are loving it. Early morning was heralded by wild barking, there were my three Lagotto doing super fast zommies  and ‘squishies’ (I just made that up for the way the dogs wiggle themselves into anything wet) in the grass drenched from the sprinklers… to SO CAL folks, remember those things, sprinklers and green lawns? They still have them here. Mason has the biggest happiest grin on his face, chasing and exploring and snuggling in laps. I love seeing them so happy. Not sure Zak is not entirely pleased with his houseguests, a few snarls here and there, sure can’t blame him will all the energy running around. Be we do thank him and Tobey.

Dogs Running in Grass!

Dogs Running in Grass!

Before I tell you abut the drive up I have to tell you that the L.T. is back to that old, running too hot syndrome. You know that issue, I’ve had fixed 2, 3, 4 times already. And why my Ford died too….overheating….

Going up the Cuesta Grade  on Hwy 101 it happened. I could not believe it!!! I looked and looked but there it was the heat indicator rising way too much , I was driving slow and easy. For those that don’t know I’ve already replaced radiator, water pump, thermostat at least 3 times, temperature sensor, hoses, fan clutch pulley ….. and did you guess it? These are the symptoms, runs too hot when going up a steep hill, cools when downshifting into a lower gear and instantly (almost instantly) drops back to normal temp just after the crest of the hill starting down. No radiator fluid is lost. Yes, It’s the fan clutch itself!

Pups in the RV

Pups in the RV

I was lucky to find a shop open on a Saturday here in Placerville, and on Mother’s Day weekend … Happy Mother’s Day Mom! … Dave’s Master Automotive    I see they’re also on Facebook. Dave greeted me and has been very helpful getting to the root of the trouble, he’s doing everything he can to get me back on the road as soon as possible. I will be delayed a little because the part has to come from the warehouse. Dave says he will start getting the old one out bright and early Monday morn so that when it arrives he can just pop it in. Total price including labor and tax for fan clutch and thermostat will be $361.99.

Other than the heat of my engine and the pups wanting to stop at every Rest Stop and Park they could see, the drive was marked by it’s dryness. Southern California didn’t get a Spring this year, it seems more like late July. Here’s what I saw on the signs staked in  farmer’s fields for us motorists to read along Hwy 5.

I started noticing these after passing the Harris Ranch and Feedlot in Colinga … the cattle seemed a little less crammed as in past times.  I could almost fantasize they had just a tad bit of enjoyment of life before their slaughter…. what else could I do, I couldn’t take them with me.

Near Harris Ranch off I-5

Near Harris Ranch off I-5

Congress Created Dust Bowl …. I looked and looked but could see no dust just orange and purple hills… orangey scrub with occasional bouts of lime mustard and dark green plants. The crops were a bright green.

Stop Politician Created Water Shortage …. Hmmm everything but the crops looked really dry, so politicians are in charge of rain, snow and moisture now? Okay doky

No Water, No Jobs = Higher Food Prices   That almost make sense, but if there’s no jobs to grow the food, shouldn’t it be the no water and no jobs equal no food!

No Water = Higher Food Costs

Set the Delta Pumps Working. Join the Fight….   Was this about the environmental issues back in ’07, probably not. There’s an article in the LA Times about the over pumping for the Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis…. This then is what these signs are about, not the drought per se but about the wells causing the land to subside, irrigation canals to crack, roads to buckle and more importantly the aquifers to shrink which is exactly about the drought and BIGGER PICTURE…  the climate is changing like it or not.

I want to point out right here an odd thing I discovered at the rest stop just before the Harris Ranch as I was heading North. The toilets. There are a lot of toilets in heavy use at the rest stop. We all agree it’s dry, there’s a lack of water from the sky…. Right? Everyone can see that for themselves? So why then given all the pumping of the ground water and the dried out conditions of the flora and the thirsty creatures are the toilets swishing one might presume nonstop, willy-nilly?I didn’t want to stay that long. In the time it took for me to use one of those toilets, the tank flushed itself over 4 times and I could hear the other toilets going as well. I even thought it was one of those candid camera things … toilets out of control! But I stray… How can it be possible that anyone cannot notice their environment?  You can read the Times article, right here http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-groundwater-20150318-story.html#page=1   I’m not going to give a lecture on water tables but you should know how they work.

I did have a few moments of wondering what if, as I passed Modesto. What if I had accepted the job at the Council of Governments and been part of the failing effort to clean up the Central Valley… one of those homes would be mine, my life would have gone in different ways… would my friends still have died, would I have my dogs, would I still be alone? Would I have still been there, fighting… err I mean working for cleaner air, water, pollution control…ad nauseam

I’m very short of sleep from fussing with my overheating LT… at least it was not leaking nor short of water itself. So more later on the state of water. For the rest of today I’m relaxing, enjoying my friends and watching my dogs play. I wish very much I could read one of those books I’d been saving for my trip but I left them all at home! Anyone suggest a good read? I have my kindle with.

This turned out to be a favored camping spot: River Reflections RV Park … could’ve, should’ve spent another night there but with the rain I went exploring as you already heard…. Oh yay yay Great camping spot with a view of the Feather River. Had our section to ourselves, peaceful and serene.

The Park had some sticky seed pods in the grass, Mason was suspicious, when something funny gets in his paws he gives me this look, like, you gotta be kidding, what, walk on the stuff, no way! But he’s little I can pick him up. I gave him a nice foot massage and all was forgiven.

On our last walk of the day we sat at the bottom of the boat loading ramp watching the birds.

On our last walk of the day we sat at the bottom of the boat loading ramp watching the birds.

night

Rain Outside Our Window

Rain Outside Our Window

Oh yeh….. and the dam – I would have liked a tour but I wasn’t finding anything that day. Maybe it was down the way too small and steep looking dirt / gravely and wet road that I didn’t dare take the LT on or maybe further up the hill or maybe on the other side… I was driving in loops and circles.

Oroville Dam from the road

Oroville Dam from the road