Day 161 – 2/7/21 Picacho State Park and Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch.

We had a really nice day checking our Picacho State Park, then Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, and then visiting Roger and Diane Schelk.

We all did our thing in the morning, but were still able to leave around 10 as I had hoped.  I was up by 7, then Carol at 8 and the girls at 9.  I had the TV sound on at 8 to see if I’d get things going, hahahaha, and soon after that Carol was up.  We took our time having breakfast and changing but around 9 I tried to speed things up.  Carol cut up some apples for the road, and we were out.  We had a little over an hour drive towards Tucson, we were basically going half way there to do what we wanted today.  It was an easy highway ride though, and the speed limit was 75 most of the way. 

We first went to Picacho State Park.  That’s a nice little park with the Picacho Peak right there.  Easy walks, open field and some trails led to the top of the mountain.  We just drove around to one end first, got out and took some pictures, and used the restrooms.  Then we went to the other end and walked their small nature trail, it was not even half a mile.  But we were able to get out and walk a bit, and take some nice pictures. 

From there, we went to the surprise place of the day.  The girls didn’t know what it was, and Carol didn’t know much about it either.  Before we got there, Bella said she was sad that on her birthday there was nothing special, so I said this was the special for her Bday.  hahahahah… so it was a surprise for them, but it was the special adventure for Bella’s birthday.  I know we had planned on doing something when we were in San Francisco, but they were closed due to covid and we ended up just doing whatever Bella wanted that day, which was nothing.  The next stop was less than 2 miles from the park, so we were there fast.

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch was the surprise place.  It’s a pretty cool place, and the girls and Carol loved it there.  You pay $13 or $15 bucks per person, depending if you want to feed stingrays or not, if so it’s 15.  You get cups of animal feed with different stuff inside for different animals.  They had ponies, donkeys, goats, ostrich, parakeets, lorikeets, bunnies, turtles, etc and stingrays.  Bella loves animals, so this was the perfect surprise birthday activity. hahahah….

I can’t even describe how happy Bella was feeding animals, petting all the different animals, they even had some deer.  There were pellets to feed larger animals, there was a stick with bird food for the parakeets, there was a container with “nectar” for the lorekeets, and some coins to get food for rabbits and ducks and chicken.  The girls had a lot of fun.  The Ostrichs are big, and crazy. hahahaha… they gun for the food that is put in these shoots, and they put their heads above the fence towards you to try to get it first.  It’s super funny, especially the few times we dumped a lot of food in one bin, and they all jammed into a small space and all you saw were these heads pecking in the bowl. hahahaha. 

Bella loved feeding the bunnies too, and loved the fact she could touch them. 

The part I thought was the coolest, and Carol and the girls loved it, was feeding the nectar to the lorikeets.  You’re supposed to just hold your arm out with the cup, with the cover on.  The bird then would fly and land on your arm, and open the container pulling the cover out with their beaks, and then would lick the nectar until it was gone.  That was super cool.  Some times, more than one bird would come, there was a time Bella had 7 birds on her arms, 3 on one side and 4 on the other.  They loved it so much they would trick the birds and put caps back on the containers so the birds would come and open them, only to find out the container was empty.  hahahah… we did end up buying 3 more containers and they did it quite a few more times.  Bia would get freaked out sometimes, but was loving it.  Again, that was super cool.

Then as we made our way out we saw a few more animals towards the last stop, which was the sting rays. 

They have these small stingrays that have no teeth, and the stinger was removed, so they were completely harmless.  You get some sliced calamari to put between your fingers, and then you put your hand in the water, about a 8-10 inches at least, and the rays come and suck the food right out of your hand.  You do feel their mouths sucking on your hand, and while they’re doing that, you can pet them.  That was pretty cool too.  It took Bella a long time to warm up to doing it, but eventually she did.  Bia tried, but really didn’t like it and would just give the rays the food without putting it in her hand. Hahahah. She was a bit grossed out.  Stingrays are slimy and I’m not sure Bia liked it too much.  That was the last thing to do, and we had been there for almost 3 hours, and we were hungry.

From there, I found a restaurant on the way to our next stop.  It was a nice restaurant in a retirement community.  Super well kept area, with a golf course right there, very pretty and big.  And the place was pretty empty, so it was just us and another table.  Prices were pretty cheap too, so that was great.  Kids were happy that they had Mac and Cheese. hahahaha…. 

We ended getting to Roger and Diane’s around 4:30.  Roger is Donny’s brother and they have been full time RVing for over 30 years.  They now live in a park model in an RV resort, but they started with a fifth wheel and moved on to a big motorhomes and had those for 15 years or so.  It was super nice to visit with them, hear about their stories, and talk about places and such.  They are both super nice and we had a great time with them.  The girls were awesome as well, they just played outside and even made some art and gave to Roger and Diane as gifts.  They made some butterfly things and Diane said she loves butterflies.  We stayed there for three hours, and could have talked for days. hahahah.  We learned it’s Roger’s birthday tomorrow, so Happy Birthday Roger!

Our drive back was fine, it was dark already, but no big deal.  We stopped at Ross to get an Amazon package at the Amazon Locker they have there.  And the water filter saga is finally over… hahahaha… Carol bought the first time and had it delivered there, when she picked it up the wrong package was in her locker, and it ended up being some shaggy shoes.  So, she did an Amazon return saying it was the wrong package.  She took the package to a close by Kohls store and we waited for a new shipment to arrive a few days later.  When it arrived, I saw the email saying it was left with a receptionist, which caught my attention since the Amazon locker actually just sends you a code to use to pick it up, so I opened the order to see where it went to. And surprise!  It went to Visalia, CA. hahahahah… that was one of our stops in the past.  Ooops.  Somehow when Carol did the return, the shipping address was there and she used it by accident.  So, I put in a brand new order for the filter while we sorted out the other one.  I called the campground in Visalia and told them to please hold the package and we’d find a way to get it picked up.  Carol then found a way to just return it and have Amazon (UPS) pick up, for a fee.  We paid the $10 fee, and that order is put to bed.  Today we got the filter, almost a week after the first one should have been here. hahahaha… first thing Carol did when we arrived was to change the filter. hahahaha..  no more beeping.

After we got back, the girls showered, Carol made Ramen for them, so they ate, and then went to bed.  It was a bit after 9, so a bit later than usual, so I hope they won’t be too tired tomorrow.  I checked a few tings online, planned some specific paths for the rest of the trip and will try to make more reservations tomorrow.  Then we went to bed.

It was a pretty cool day today at Picacho Park, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch and visiting Roger and Diane.

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