Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Neighbor, Century Plant and New Kayak

We returned to Benson on Tuesday to a couple of surprises. First, the RV lot next to us no longer has the 5th wheel that sat there for many years, since before we bought our lot in 2008. The rose garden and concrete bench have also been removed from the front to allow the trailer to be removed, and the bricks from the retaining wall are stacked against the fence on the right.

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The man who lived there, Kenneth (Dutch) Van Wyk, passed away suddenly in January while we were in Quartzsite. I spoke with his son upon our return in early February, and he said his sisters and he had plans to sell both the lot and the 5th wheel. It seems that both sales have now been accomplished, with another neighbor in the homeowners’ section of the resort buying the lot. It will be interesting to see whether he develops the lot, rents it or perhaps even re-sells it. Our view (see our motorhome on the right) is now changed with no RV on the lot.

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Our second surprise is the Agave (aka Century Plant) in our front yard is working on a fast-growing, tall stalk. We were only gone 2 1/2 weeks, and there was no stalk when we left. The stalk will eventually flower at the top, then the entire plant will die. This picture was taken two days ago.

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Here’s today’s pic, with the stalk about a foot taller.

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When the plant dies, we will be far away on our travels to the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada. So we’ll hire a maintenance person in the park to haul away the carcass.

Three packages were delivered by UPS while we attended the final Escapees RV Club area luncheon of the season yesterday.

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Don carefully cut the box open with a short knife, aware of the warning!

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We assembled all the parts on the patio.

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Then we laid out a tarp to inflate the boat.

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Don started using the manual pump with his hand to inflate one side.

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Then he decided it was easier to use his foot. (We also bought the electric pump that will make this job *much* easier.)

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We decided last summer to buy the Sea Eagle inflatable boat for two people, because that will allow me to take pictures while Don does most of the paddling, and I won’t have to struggle to keep up with him. We purchased from Tim & Crystal Ryerson at Inflatable Boats 4 Less, based on Nick Russell’s recommendation. Tim spent a lot of time with Don by phone to discuss our boating style and the various options they offer. We chose the Sea Eagle FastTrack 385, and got a great price! Crystal arranged for a delay in the delivery to arrive after we returned to Benson, while booking the sale before the end of March to take advantage of the sale price. We can whole-heartedly recommend these folks for their good business practices.

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Now that we know how to put it together, we need to find the time and a day of nice weather to put it in the water, probably in nearby Lake Patagonia.

Another benefit of the inflatable boat is that it will fit in the back of our car, so we won’t have the wind resistance of the two boats on the roof, which seems to affect the fuel mileage of both the car and the motorhome. However, we no longer have help finding our car in parking lots the way the blue kayaks did!

Does anyone want to buy two used kayaks?

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