Thursday, February 23, 2023

We Are Soon To Start On the Last Month

 February 23! The day before the Russians attacked a peaceful neighbouring country.

1 year of war in Europe! I wouldn't have guessed it just 2 months prior to February 24 2022. And it's far from being over. This makes me sad, very sad.

For us here in the California desert it's time to take a look back. We arrived here from Texas on November 27. Thus we have soon been here 3 months. We met very nice neighbour campers, and got new friends which will make a difference for the time when we decide to come back here.

Sure, the weather hasn't been much to write home about. It's been cooler than normal but most days were still sunny. And we are thankful that we could, and still can, enjoy the sunny weather. 

One very special event put its mark on this winter. Our neighbour James had taken in a dog which occurred to wander around the camp for days. One could actually say the dog chose him, and in hindsight one must also say that the dog chose wisely. James lives alone and I am sure he was grateful for the unexpected company he found with the dog. He named the dog "Bella". She might be a heeler mix or something, but Bella is extremely friendly to everyone. 

One morning I met James at the dumpster. He seemed to be in a hurry, or was it that he was excited? I really don't know, but something was off. He then told me that Bella had come down with 8 puppies that night. James, hadn't had any idea about that Bella was pregnant. That morning he was on his way to town to find puppy milk powder, cause it seemed that Bella wasn't feeding their kiddos. This later proved to be false. It just took a while until she had her milk ready. Bella proved to be an excellent mother for her children. 

And all 8 or them started growing. Within 2 weeks they were crawling around and had their eyes open. 

But for James this meant a marked change of life in his trailer. Nights turned to days and finding sleep became a challenge.

After 5 weeks James was exhausted. But help was on the way. The dog story had spread around camp like a wildfire. People showed up at James's trailer offering to help with guarding the puppies, while James could find sleep. One neighbour even set up an outside fenced area where all puppies found a playground during sunny days. Bella had started to feed less to her puppies and the little rascals had started to take puppy chow. But now it was time to find people who would adopt the puppies. 


Today, 6 of the 8 have found their-forever home. 2 have gone to a foster organisation.

A lucky end to an unusual event, I'd say.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Big Carrot Festival

Yes, I have been reporting about the Carrot Festival before, the latest being last year's 75th Festival, but of course, we have to go there again year after year admiring the floats going by. In case you haven't read about this before, the Holtville Carrot Festival marks the harvest of various vegetables in the Imperial Valley, and right now tons and tons of carrots are being harvested.

The festival stretches of several days, and unlike the Wine Queen in certain areas of Germany, the community elects a Carrot Queen every year. 

February 11 was the day when the big parade was moving down Main Street, towns people had met up by the hundreds along the parade route. It was a sunny day (like most days) but a cold wind was keeping the temperature down.

Only minutes left until the parade and excitement is building
Presenting the valley's products

Mexican Mariachi dancers

Representing modern-day farming some huge tractors were part of the parade

No parade without the old classics
And of course the Vaqueros showed up

Never to be missed the elegant town ladies

After the parade we returned to camp as Dixie had been waiting in the trailer. But the day was far from being over. From 2pm a party would start at the Silverado Ranch with Enrique and Elvira as hosts.

I have mentioned the ranch earlier and here we met again with friends dancing and enjoying the afternoon.

On the way back home, we stopped at the Holtville Fair where young folks were dominating the scene. 

This one was for the small children
The closest one could get to flying

Some blood-stopping machines had been set up swirling and catapulting people into mind-boggling heights. I very well understand that we didn't see older folks like us, participating in those games. Nevertheless people around us seemed to have tons of fun.

Readers who have been following this blog know that we are waiting for a replacement of trailer axles, and today we received the glad message that the axles had arrived. Next Monday we are going to Yuma,AZ to get the replacement done.

This whole thing has been weighing on my mind since the middle of December. We are sure looking forward to this as we have been very reluctant to move our trailer around. Already 10 days ago we had gotten 4 new tires.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Pioneer's History

We have visited the Pioneer Museum with various friends before, so after meeting our new camper neighbours Ron and Darlene, we invited them to come and see this great collection of historic artifacts with us. And let me hurry and say that in this great place one will always discover new things again.
The museum is located on Aten Rd between the town of Holtville and the City of El Centro. A nice volunteer lady greeted us at the entrance and gave good advice where we could start our walk and where to turn to later. Besides of indoor displays, the outside shows a variety of old farm, implement machines and even a work train can be seen.
Mountain Lion (Wild Life Display)

Below: The many fields of the Imperial Valley

 We took the slowest elevator in the Imperial Valley and rode to the upper floor.

This guy was NOT very talkative and when I showed him my cell phone he didn't understand..
One of the displays shows a Model T FORD on the old plank road leading through the Imperial Sand Dunes.

   Painting below shows the plank Rd through the dunes

This odd-looking metal thing is actually a pantry as was used on the traveling chuck wagons.

The outside area shows a variety of very heavy crude machinery used for cultivating the land in the valley.

Even an old school building has been set up outside

The M-60 tank is a memorial of the Vietnam War

The Pioneer Museum, entirely paid for by Valley citizens who have dug deep into their pockets to keep history alive for future generations, is one of its kind in the country. 

The museum houses galleries honoring the different ethnic communities and their history of settlement in the Imperial Valley. It also has a place of honor for all the local young men and women who have served in this country's armed forces from the Civil War to present day. The Veterans' Gallery includes artifacts and uniforms from the different wars and a memorial outside to honor those who paid with their lives.
The Swiss people played an important role during first settlements in the valley, below we look at some big cow bells.

In the Ethnic section of the museum

Dolls in traditional costumes made of paper mache

Among the ethnic galleries at the museum you will find the Korean Gallery with its "Turtle Ship" made by Admiral Lee Soon Shim in 1592 and the Swiss Gallery with its musical instruments played by Swiss immigrants at their local gatherings and parties. Other galleries in the museum depict the everyday life of early immigrants from around the world and their unique contributions to this harsh and beautiful land.
                    Above: Mexican displays

             French display in the Ethnic hall

The museum also houses a well preserved history of the Valley's advances in agriculture and technology showing the progress in seed genetics, entomology, animal husbandry and farming equipment. The most important factor in the permanent settlement here came with the building of one of the most impressive irrigation systems anywhere in the world. Without water this land would again become a desert.
Vegetable sales signs and sales
booth (left)

Pioneers' Museum is a place where you can come and learn what it took to make this valley to what it is known for today.