Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Colorado River and The 24-hour Laundry

We recently spent some time in an RV park along the Colorado River near Parker, Arizona. Many RV sites are right on the river, and the beach is a great place to interact with the ever-present water birds and party boaters:

Sunsets were gorgeous on the river -- sometimes the sky would be blood red with streaks of gold, and at other times the blue of the sky reflected off the water:

Wild burros wandered in the surrounding mountains, and one day we came upon a herd that were grazing near the road:

The waters were filled with all sorts of waterfowl, mostly ducks and coots. Coots are odd ducks (not the last pun, so look out!). They are actually a part of the rail family, and they have white beaks, red eyes, and toes that are individually webbed instead of between-toe webs like ducks and geese:

And what do you call the place where a big flock of coots live? Why, Petticoot Junction in Cooterville, of course! (Excuse me while I "duck" to avoid thrown objects!)(I quack me up!)(I warned you!)

Coots are really dumb birds, as we found out when we were feeding bread to a flock of ducks and coots. I almost never feed wildlife, but these guys were obviously already well fed by humans and I succumbed.

The coots couldn't even catch a small piece of bread. They watched as the bread came towards them, landed on their forehead, and bounced off. As they tried to figure out where it went, it disappeared into the belly of a duck. The coots just looked perplexed and reproachful.

I guess that's why John decided to hold his "Lectures Most Fowl" when the coots were not around:

But now we come to the laundry. Plainly marked, this building housed a dozen or so washers and dryers, and was a pretty typical laundry facility. Inside there was a sign that said the building was locked promptly at ten, but there was a 24-hour laundry on the south side of the park, presumably for all your graveyard-shift laundry needs.

John and I had gone for walks in the park, and neither of us remembered seeing another laundry building. So one day we decided to find it. We were walking on the south side of the park, but the only building there was the showers/restrooms. As we walked from the men's side to the women's side, I did a double-take. For there it was, and we understood completely why it was open around the clock. It had no choice:

Complete with a bulletin board, a folding table, a wheeled cart, and a plastic bag filled with old magazines, the washers and dryers were totally outside. I'd really like to hear the explanation for why they ended up next to the women's restroom, wouldn't you?

Saturday, March 05, 2011