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Bonita Ranch Weekend Motorhome Outing

September 28th, 2017

          At least five doggy companions together with nearly two dozen GOPS members (including 7 mobile bedrooms) met for a weekend of camping at Bonita Ranch in San Bernardino county. The local GOPS club (Great Outdoors Palm Springs chapter) sponsored the three day-two night outing that occurred September 22-24. GOPS members, along with their RV motor homes or tents, regularly participate in these planned outings offering opportunities to visit different areas to hike, explore, and learn while enjoying time in an outdoor environment.

          Bonita Ranch is located along Lytle Creek west of Interstate 15’s Cajon Pass in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Bonita Ranch campground is a short, but somewhat energetic hike, from the spectacular Bonita Falls waterfall.  The campground is open year round and includes hook-up sites for motor homes and tent camping facilities (water/electricity/showers).

          Our Friday afternoon arrival schedule included setting up camp, a Tea Time meet and greet, and evening campfire activities. We were located in the vicinity of other groups, including a Christian Fellowship gathering, whose singing appeared to play a significant role in their daytime activities. All camping groups respected each other and mostly observed the 10 pm to 8 am quiet time. 

          Saturday’s schedule started with morning coffee and pastries, followed by a round trip hike up a dry creek bed to Bonita Falls. The view of the Falls was quite lovely but with one rather noteworthy exception. The entire trail along the creek bed and the climb up under the trees was plastered with graffiti of all colors, designs and shapes. It seemed like almost every large rock had been defaced with graffiti. When we reached the Falls that area too had been trashed with graffiti. It was a somewhat saddening experience that leaves you wondering why do some care so little for nature’s beautiful offerings? The hiking route and Falls may be viewed at http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/california-bonita-falls.html

          Saturday afternoon a smaller group caravanned to the Mormon Rocks Interpretive Trail in the Cucamonga Wilderness, 1 mile west of Interstate 15. The trail is a short loop that offers scenic views of the unique sandstone rocks in which it is located. The trail area and rocks may be viewed at http://digital-desert.com/mormon-rocks/.

          Continuing our Saturday afternoon caravan we drove the Angeles Crest Hwy (State Route 2) up to 7,000+ ft elevation Table Mountain to view the area planned for October GOPS camping activities. Resuming our caravan loop we took the Lone Pine Canyon Road (a 10% downhill grade) back to State Route 138 and return to the Lytle Creek area.

          Saturday evening’s events started with members grilling their entrees over a large Barbecue Pit and sharing potluck side dishes. Afterwards, another evening of campfire activities occurred.

          Sunday morning was set aside for individual member activities. Again coffee and pastries were waiting for early risers. Campground reservations were set to expire with a noon check-out time so most devoted their morning time to breaking camp and returning home. My little doggy, Tessa, accompanied me on the trip and appeared to enjoy the weekend immensely. She received lots of attention and did her best to meet and greet everyone. She didn’t notice the rather large black Tarantula that passed through our camp. I did manage a photo of it but made no attempt at contact before Mr or Ms Tarantula continued on its way.

          Scott Connelly, the outing leader, planned the event, designed the schedule, and led both the hikes and caravan trips. It was a well-organized activity and our GOPS chapter is fortunate in having him as our Vice President of Outings. For more about GOPS visit https://greatoutdoorspalmsprings.wildapricot.org/.

Bond & Contessa Le Rouge (aka Tessa)

Bond Shands
September 26, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Shoes With Lifetime Warranties

September 19th, 2017

          Why do shoes wear out? So many products come with lifetime warranties, why don’t they produce shoes that carry lifetime warranties? Surely this is a subject that needs the attention of a Congressional Committee. No shoe manufacturer appears to be offering products with lifetime warranties. Should we assume shoe manufacturer collusion is the reason? After all, shoe products aren’t cheap, and these businesses make lots of money from shoe replacements.

          My favorite pair of New Balance walking shoes is showing signs of wear. In fact, they may not last through the upcoming winter season. I can’t understand why they appear to be falling apart. I’m certain they’re less than five years old and don’t believe I’ve put more than 1,500-2,000 miles on them in each year. Why are they showing signs of age?

          There’s more than two dozen pairs of boots and shoes in my closet. And I wear some of them. But my daily walking shoes, the ones I start out wearing each morning, are my white New Balance walking shoes. At least they were white when new. This is not a the way I had planned on spending my Golden Years. Breaking in another pair of decent walking shoes is not only a painful prospect, it’ll hurt the checkbook, as well. I’ll bet such problems were never faced in years past when civilized society included cobblers who repaired shoes.

          Look at the photos. These shoes should have lasted another five years. Why are they falling apart? Our nation needs a citizen shoe lobby to force Congress to fix this problem. Where is the leadership we so desperately need to organize and lead this cause?

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Bond Shands
September 19, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Tessa & Our Thin Blue Line Flag

September 12th, 2017

           The following post was made on the Palm Springs Police Officers’ Association Facebook page a few days ago.

“In honor of our heroes; Officer Gil Vega and Officer Lesley Zerebny we are asking residents of the Coachella Valley to display a Thin Blue Line Flag on their home and or business until October 8, 2017. We will have 3 x 5 flags for sale at the Police Station for only $10. Thank you for the love you have shown our Officers.”

          After reporting difficulties in obtaining a flag, Officer Joe Cook,  PSPOA president, delivered one to my residence. He mounted it on my pole, asked for permission to take a photo, and thanked me for the donation and my support.

          Later I took several photos of the Thin Blue Line Flag with Tessa seated  (in the shade) at the bottom.


 

           Officer Cook said he would be willing to deliver flags to any who are unable to pick one up from the Police Department lobby window. His email address is: j.Cook@palmspringspoa.com. If more information is needed, I have his card and may be able to respond using that source. View the original PSPOA Facebook post at: https://www.facebook.com/PSPOA/videos/1565250090205336/

Meaning of the Thin Blue Line Flag

The Blue represents the officer and the courage they find deep inside when faced with insurmountable odds. The Black background was designed as a constant reminder of our fallen brother and sister officers.

Bond Shands
September 12, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Tessa’s Changing Hair Color

September 12th, 2017

          Tessa’s registered AKC name is Contessa Le Rouge. She was sired November 28, 2015, by Lepeteet’s Tsai Radient Red and her Dam’s registered name is Vanilla Chip. 

           Tessa’s a Red Toy Poodle whose hair color is definitely taking on a lighter hue. It may be that her mother’s name is a clue to the source of the lighter hair color that’s slowly becoming evident.

           The six photos were taken in the months of January and August, 2016; December 2016 and March 2017; and August and September 2017. The last photo in the series reflects her appearance following today’s earlier visit to the doggy beautification salon (sometimes referred to in less couth circles as the local Bath & Brush).

Bond Shands
September 12, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Tessa and Spike

September 4th, 2017

          Early Monday morning (5:30 am) in our Silent Valley Club campsite, Tessa and I were about to set out on our morning walk. Suddenly we were surprised by a cute little Yorkie puppy dog wandering into our campsite. It had a collar with small Skull & Crossbones designs on it, but no identification tag. I attached him to our RV with an extra dog leash, for there appeared to be no owner present in the vicinity. Tessa and I then proceeded on our walk with a stop at the Ranger Station to report our newfound friend  as a Lost Dog.

          Upon returning from our walk the new friend wanted to play but Tessa was totally not interested. The way she seemed to ignore him was almost comical. Failing to get Tessa to play he then badgered me into playing with him. He turned down offers of water and food, though Tessa quickly gobbled the food he didn’t touch. I  alerted several passing walkers to  news we had found a lost dog and asked that they share the information with others they may encounter.

          Around 8 am I happened to glance out the RV side window and noticed several people wandering rather aimlessly nearby. I exited the RV and asked if they were looking for something. They responded their little Yorkshire Terrier dog was missing. I said the dog was safe with us, retrieved him from the RV and handed him over to his owners. When asked, they said his name was Spike.

          We enjoyed our time with Spike, though I suspect Tessa was not quite ready to share with another doggy. He was quite friendly, cute and loveable. If the owners had not been found I planned to take him home to Palm Springs with us and have him checked for a possible microchip. That, of course, proved to be a step not needed.

          Was happy to have found Spike’s owners. It turned out they were camping in a tent not far away and he had simply wandered away. Our nighttime RV lighting system may have been what attracted Spike to our campsite.

Bond Shands
September 4, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands