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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cibola NWR: The Birds Are Gone and So Are We

Rick Morgan

Cibola NWR had grown silent and the skies were no longer filled with large resident flocks of Sand Hill Cranes, Snow Geese, and Ducks. The winged migration north had begun.



It was time for us to say goodbye to our fellow volunteers Joe and Murlene, Ron and Judy, and Pauline and Bob and embark on our own northern migration via southern Arizona and New Mexico.



We never got lonely as we had a lot of RVing friends stop in for a visit. Fellow camp hosts from Glacier Sam and Alida Menefee spent a couple of days with us before heading to Lake Havasu. 


The Wheelingit crew of Nina, Paul, Polly, Taggart and Rand and Cherie, Chris and KiKi from Technomadia spent several days camping on the BLM land directly across from the refuge. The blind chair test was the best! Here is the link to Nina’s post on Cibola and here is the link to Technomadia’s post



Terry and LuAnn from Paint Your Landscape spent their first night in their new Artic Cat – also on the BLM land. Here is the link to LuAnn’s post on Cibola.  And… here are links to our previous two posts on Cibola 1 and 2. Ha! I seriously doubt that so much has ever been written about Cibola.


JoAnne’s volunteer duties included manning the visitor center, answering visitor questions, explaining the best way to see the refuge, stocking kiosks throughout the refuge with brochures, and along with the other volunteers serving as the “public face” of the refuge.



I spent most of my volunteer hours helping Joe with a myriad of maintenance projects including building a shelter, putting up fencing, replacing the deck on a large trailer, replacing or repairing the perches used by the Burrowing Owls, and building new signs to be used for plant identification. 


JoAnne and I also cleaned and resealed the large informational signs along the nature trail. One of the more fun projects JoAnne and I did was the redesign of two of the large dioramas in the visitor center.

Before

After
Most mornings we woke up to beautiful sunrises and ended the day with spectacular sunsets.  



We used our free time exploring, hiking and birding on the refuge and the surrounding Trigo Mountains... All in all a pretty wonderful way to spend a couple of months.

Desert Bathroom
Old Mine in Trigo Mountains
On our days off we took trips to the annual Quartzite RV show, the Blythe Intaglios, Parker Dam, Imperial Sand Dunes, Imperial NWR, Kofa NWR, Yuma and Los Algodones, Mexico ...

Quartzite

Blythe Intaglios

Sand Dunes
Parker Dam
and along the way celebrated our anniversary.



In Los Algodones, I had some dental work done. Here is that story. A couple of years ago, I had a root canal done in Boulder, CO that was never quite right and I had a constant low tooth ache. So, while having a routine cleaning done by Dr. Eva Urena I asked her about it. She referred me to Dr. Hernandez an endodontist. After conferring with him it was determined that the original root canal had missed one of the roots he also found that some packing had been left in the tooth. 

Entrance to Dr. Eva's Office
Dr. Hernandez office
Bottom line… Dr. Hernandez redid the root canal and Dr. Urena put on a new crown – all for about 1/3rd of what it would have cost in the US and no more ache. I can't tell you how impressed I was with, and both dentists including the overall experience.

At the end our stay we “hooked up” with friends and fellow RVers Hal and Lois Leslie and took trips to Castle Dome Ghost Town and Museum and the History of the World in Granit site just west of Yuma and another visit to Los Algodones...






Hal signing "Veterans Wall"




and of course the Lettuce Festival...


and JoAnne's birthday.


So we come to an end…Cibola was the last of our volunteering. Over the past 6 years we have volunteered at Ridgway State Park in Co, Galveston Island State Park in Texas, spent 3 years volunteering at Glacier National Park and the past January and February at Cibola. We have enjoyed each experience and have learned a ton. The best part has been all the great people we have met and the many good friends we have made. We feel very privileged to have been offered so many great opportunities to “give back”. Yet, it is time pack away our volunteer badges.



Yes, it will feel strange next summer and fall not to be heading off to Glacier National Park but we are excited about the new adventures that we know lie ahead.