Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leaving Choke Canyon

Morty has had a five day rest at Choke Canyon while we absorbed all the wildlife and legends. Now it is time to move a little closer to home. A ranger mentioned a little boat tour that operates near Goose Island, so we might be giving that a try. Meanwhile, here are a few parting shots:

The big bird is the Crested Caracara or the Mexican Eagle. On our bird walk, we saw a colony of about twenty all agitated about something.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Choke Canyon Great Day for Camera Duel Nikon D90 vs Canon s90

Friday we just enjoyed the weather and the wildlife of Choke Canyon. Did a little bike-photography with both the Canon S90 and the Nikon D90 70-300. The S90 is great to always have with you for the unexpected or the wide-angle scene, except when it is wildlife, then there is no substitute for the power of the big telephoto on the D90. This is proven on today's shots of the turkeys and buck deer -- both are on the D90 and are far superior to previous efforts on the S90.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Strange Birds at Choke Canyon, TX

I revisited the little woodpecker that watched us so closely yesterday. He was just as attentive today, following me from tree to tree, even sitting on the handlebars of my bike. Little Golden Fronted Woodpecker, you are a piece of work!

I was informed by a birder from Austin, that the Yellow Warbler, is really a Yellow Rumped Warbler.

The large yellow-black bird seems to be an Audubon's Oriole -- seen only in the Rio Grande valley.

The turkeys are cute, especially when the male is strutting his stuff.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Northern Jacana at Choke Canyon, TX

Our third day at Choke Canyon was supposed to be devoted to a ranger-led bird walk. But when we arrived at 75 Acre Lake, there was no such group to be found. Instead we linked up with a couple of serious bird photographers and they clued us in to a very rare  bird they were focusing on. It was the Northern Jacana, rarely found in the US.  They were devoting about $30,000 in equipment to capturing an image of the rare bird. I thought we could do the same at about the 3% level. So here are our photos:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Birding at Choke Canyon

Our second day at Choke Canyon dawned clear and bright, without a care in the world -- other than some cool temperatures. I put some birdseed out on the bar-b-que and the cardinals, red-wings, and assorted others including the rare Green Jay were unanimous in their approval.

We hiked about three miles to 75 Acre Lake and back on the bird trails. At one point we were closely watched by a Golden Fronted Woodpecker, who must have been on guard duty. We had a late lunch and sat in the recliners, and watched another batch of hungry birds devour our contributions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birding Choke Canyon St Pk, TX

We were snowed upon while breakfasting this morning -- just three miles North of the Rio Grande. Tucson is slated for 30 degrees tonight. This was all the incentive we needed to have Morty roll another couple of hundred miles East and South. We are now back in Choke Canyon where the birds flock in abundance.

The little bird sanctuary in the park has been made more isolated with additional fencing, but the cold seems to have stemmed the flow of most birds. Still am able to get a couple of decent shots -- these the first with the D90 and 70-300mm lens in a long while. It looks like the birds are Yellow Warbler, Redwing Blackbirds, and Northern Mockingbird. Weather wise, we can see the clearing in the West and we are hoping this bodes well for tomorrow. Traveling the farm roads of South Texas again coated poor Morty in a thick layer of red mud, but we were able to wash most of it off upon arrival. Now we must stay warm until tomorrow when hopefully, the Sun will warm us all up again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hiking Seminole Canyon State Park, Texas

Morty got to rest today, while the people did the hard work -- hiking the three mile trail to where the canyon joins the Rio Grande and the return. Lynne calls it a quarter-marathon. We had perfect conditions, 70s and sunny with just a little breeze. Weather was again a consideration, since the morning reports had winter storm warnings for this area over night, including freezing temps and snow.

By the time we made it back, however, the warnings had been retracted, and it seems that we are just in for rain and 40s. We're wondering if we will be able to hold out until Wednesday when the guided tours to the pictographs are conducted. Looks like Tuesday could have Morty plunging yet further South -- if the people are not too stiff to get out of bed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seminole Canyon St Pk, TX

The weather in New Mexico and nearby areas in Texas was about to turn cold again, so Morty rolled another big day -- about 440 miles big -- back to Seminole Canyon on the Rio Grande. And just like it is supposed to turn out, it is gloriously warm as the Sun fixes to do some setting in the West, right out our front porch.

This time, the park seems just about full with other warmth seeking RVers.  One reason we returned was that when we stopped here on the way out, we were again eluding the cold, and had to leave after just one night when there were lots of canyons and rivers to be explored. Tomorrow promises to be warm enough to revisit that missed opportunity. The temperature is dropping rapidly in the dark though, as I go outside periodically to reestablish the elusive WiFi signal.

WiFi is all we have here. No TV or Cell service. The restrooms are very nice though, with ample soap in the washrooms. We arrived after the rangers closed shop for the day at 5PM. Though, since we had called ahead, they had a space with our name on it waiting for us. Texas Rangers are the best.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hacienda RV Park, Las Cruces, NM

The continental breakfasts are pretty special at this campground -- not in that they exist at all, but that alone would make them completely unique. No, what is special is that the offerings are wide ranging and change daily. Yesterday's choice of three cereals was supplemented with two new choices today in addition to yesterday's raisin bran. Today we also had a yogurt selection. Both days there were bagels and muffins and proper toasters with a host of toppings available.

Lynne suggested that today may be our last warm day for a while, so we are going to spend a third day here at Hacienda. Then we will be heading South into Texas following the warmer temperatures.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mesilla, NM

Lynne spied some local salsa in the gift shop area of our RV park. That required me to get out the bike and reconnoiter some suitable chips from the local mercados. That trip took me into the historical town of Mesilla, where the Gadsden Purchase was completed.

I also went past a very interesting looking building which turned out to be an art gallery. This is no ordinary store-front art shop, but a first-rate museum and instructional center -- the Preston Contemporary Art Center. What I found was culture and history on a par with what I expected in Santa Fe or Sedona -- without the cold!

On Friday, we stay over to visit the craft show in Old Mesilla about a mile away from our site. We bike over and walk the square, stopping at every table and store. Indian-style artifacts are in abundance, along with a very aged ambiance. We stop for lunch and split a green chile platter of taco, enchilada, and tamale. Later that evening, the campground puts on a margarita happy hour that totally killed what little appetite remained for dinner.

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Morty turned in a 228 mile day today because Deming, NM was a little too close and Las Cruces was a little more than just right. But we are glad to be here. "Here" is the "gold standard" of RV parks -- Hacienda RV & Rally Resort. We picked this one from the AAA Campbook, even though it was a little more expensive than the competition -- it did mention a continental breakfast -- something we haven't experienced before in our Morty World.

We check in and a trio of blondes whisks us through the paper work, and we get warm cookies. We are issued hotel-style card keys for the facilities. Then two of them hop into a golf cart and guide us to our site, including the backing in and hooking up -- something else entirely new.  We look at the cable TV line-up and see that they have an incredible 120 channels. We check the WiFi and find that it works perfectly and is fast too. We walk back to the office and take seats in the guest lobby to peruse some of the local color brochures. I try the hot-tub and find it clean, hot and big. We peek into the showers and find an array of home-style individual shower rooms with marble and pewter sinks and hair dryers. The restrooms have soap and paper towels. This they are doing for $40 per night. Far, far beyond the realm of any prior RV experience. Just to prove that I haven't completely lost my sensibilities over this place, I must point out that their sign on the building, is a temporary canvas affair that is totally out of place, and the I-10 freeway is close enough to be seen and heard. If you are here in the Summer, the daily rate drops to $30.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Benson, Arizona

Morty is back in Benson, so to speak, because this is the town of the Kartchner Caverns State Park which was his first Arizona stop heading West. This time we picked a campground out of the AAA book which has a heated pool. We found Butterfield RV Resort right near the heart of town. There is a lot to like about this campground, named after the early Wild West stage line.

For starters, it has its own astronomical observatory seating 15 people and putting on a couple of shows every evening. It houses a 16 inch telescope with a GPS star-finder. We looked at star clusters, the Andromeda Galaxy, Mars, Orien's Betelgeuse, Rigel, and the Great Mollecular Cloud  -- quite a show! Another nice activity is Tuesdays' Texas Hold 'em tournament. A complete newbie, I entered the poker tournament, and lasted for over two hours, which was longer than several experienced guys at my table. I even won the first hand, with "pocket pair of fives."

The next day, I bike out of town to explore and find the signs to the airport. First one leads down slope one mile and turn left. Second one is three miles straight ahead up the mountain. I only go a little over two before I start worrying about being too far out in case of a blow-out or other failure. Consequence is no airport photos, but a couple of desert views.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

North to Sedona?

Morty's quandary of the day is whether to head North and up to Sedona. The art and atmosphere are alluring, but the temperature reports are too low or variable to be trusted. Some say the lows are in the 40s others say that they are in the teens.

The problem seems to be Flagstaff -- once we make it far enough North to Sedona, the path to the East takes us further North through Flagstaff, where the current temperature is in the 20s -- too cold for snowbirds, even if just passing through.

Temps in the 40s this morning are cool enough. We will stay on I-10 and head towards Benson to the South and East.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Casa Grande, Arizona

Morty rolled East across I-8 to where it meets I-10 and Casa Grande, between Phoenix and Tulsa. We picked up a chamber of commerce glossy book at check-in. This is one very nice community, it is on my list for some in-depth exploration someday -- not too much city, nor too much desert.

We are at the Campground Buena Tierra right in the V of the two interstates. This is a family-run campground in the desert environment, with great modern facilites, and lots of site room.

Morty's mirrors have loosened and need some large socket wrenches to tighten down. When we are at interstate speeds, they seem to need adjusting every five to ten minutes. I approached a neighbor enjoying happy hour to ask about borrowing a wrench. He was kind enough to look but in the process knocked over and broke his full wine glass -- how awkward.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yuma, Arizona

Marking our one-month milestone, we are by most measures, due to be turning around. It seems like the weather at Yosemite, is just a little too nasty for this trip. After three days relaxing in the California desert, Morty was feeling the need to roll out some east-bound miles. We checked and rechecked the AAA book listings for openings on Sunday in El Centro or Winterhaven, but none were to be had. So we started looking in Arizona, and found a modern, clean and mostly paved park called Las Quintas Oasis RV Resort. Here the discounted rate of $36 per night gets full hook-ups, including cable TV, WiFi, heated swimming and spa pools.

From Casa Grande, AZ

Little Morty is in a pull-through site that is big enough to hold five more motor homes of his  size -- pretty amazing to realize again how much stuff some folks consider essential for their road-time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Palm Canyon Trail Hike

We are still at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, since all our next options are full for the weekend. This morning we hiked the Palm Canyon Trail in search of the elusive Big Horn Sheep -- we and a couple of hundred other week-end Rvers. The Big Horn were alegedly spotted on the trail at the exact time we were also on the trail -- but it must have been a different part, but the trail is only a mile and a half long, but a lot of it up. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

I was surprised at how dehydrated I was when we got back. I figured the warnings for a gallon of water a person were a little over the top for the winter, so went in with just a drink at the entrance and exit. Heed the warnings!

We checked a couple of triple-A campgrounds heading east, but they were full for the weekend. So we will hold over here another night. This is only $23 per night, but we have to run the generator to cook or surf beyond the MacBook internal battery capability. The twenty-five cent showers work fine, especially when you shower with a friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Desert Boondocking

Welcome to California desert spring camping -- where all the folks come to enjoy the early desert wildflowers! The desert is more beautiful than I ever imagined, and lots of other campers are thinking that too. For the first time in longer than I can remember, Morty is being squeezed out of a site by prior reservations and the entire hook-up area is full at Anza-Borrego. That means we will have to move to a dry camping, no-hook-ups area, or as RVers say, boondocking. So we topped off our water tank to just over two-thirds full, checked the generator for oil, and will move at check-out time of noon.

Speaking of the generator, we got a phone call from Marvin who sold Morty to us. He had found a DVD describing the care and maintenance of the generator and wanted to give it to us. Boy, was he surprised when we told him we were talking from the middle of the California desert, sitting in the our RV. He thought it sounded like we were right next-door.  He was also curious about whether we had been to Alamogordo, New Mexico where he served in the Air Force in 1948! So we told him how to find our blog to see how his old RV was making out as the new Mortimer Turtle.

Some of these pictures show the first time use of the close-up function of the Canon S90 -- pretty good for just walking and biking around. By the way, the boondocking area still has restrooms and showers and I'm hoping that it is WiFi range.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA

Today Morty is in Anza-Borrego State Park for a little more desert exploration. On the way we passed the Salton Sea which was formed in the early 1900's when the Colorodo River was diverted for several years. The temperature was rising into the 70s and there was mist rising from the low sea which obscured the bases of the mountains in the distance -- very beautiful. When we turned off the highway we still had over twenty miles to drive through some spectacular desert. We stopped at the Visitor Center of the Park to see what we should be looking for -- pictures follow.

As a desert park, this one is very enjoyable. We have full hook-ups, at least for one night. The WiFi is free to AT&T Uverse subscribers -- lucky to have remembered to bring my account name and password and lucky to have a site close enough to the ranger station to have a good signal. With all the free WiFi, we are running the Sling-Box to catch up on all our cable and late-night shows -- it's still a little fantastic to think that we are instantly controlling our cable box at home in frigid snowy Ohio and watching the output in sunny desert-dry California. The plumbing is very new and nice, but no soap in the restrooms, and the showers not too surprisingly are twenty-five cents for two minutes. The sites are large, level and the neighbors quiet. The rate is $35 and there is a $2 senior discount.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cathedral City, California

Today's trip was far shorter than normal: about five miles, most of which was heading west to cross I-10 and then coming back to meet an old school mate from high school and college who now lives in Fairbanks. The drive was highlighted by last night's new snow on the mountains and a crisp clear desert's winter day. The wind farm was an amazing sight, especially how close to the road they were sited. They all seem to rotate in the same direction. I would have thought that alternating the direction of turning would have increased efficiency like in a turbine.

The Alaskan spends February in the Palm Springs' Cathedral City suburb. When we met at an impromptu reunion in September, we said we would try to make the connection again in February, and so we did. We drove to Mimi's Cafe for lunch. Lynne and I both had the $10 two-course lunch which was wonderful. She had the spinach dip appetizer and salmon hibachi. I had the zucchini spears starter and shrimp po' boy wrap which was outstanding -- highly recommended.

Along about three, we said our goodbyes and headed for the closest AAA campground: Outdoor Resorts - Palm Springs. Imagine our surprise when the lady at the desk quoted us a price of $76 per night. She asked if we wanted the list of other RV parks, but I declined -- I had to see what made a campsite so valuable. A few items of note: thick lush grass everywhere you don't drive, everywhere you do drive is paved with concrete or asphalt,  upper-class clientele who invite you to their wine and pizza party as soon as you back in, huge pool and whirlpool, tennis courts which are reserved in advance, no working cable TV, ridiculously early check-out of 11AM, perfectly manicured grounds with lights wrapped around every tree trunk. A very skewed value proposition which undoubtedly works well to keep out the riff-raff -- just sayin'.

Desert Hot Springs, California

Morty selected Twenty-nine Palms as our next destination. As we arrived though, we thought we better drive on by for a little reconnaissance since it didn't look like a lot to see or do. It later turned out that a Winter Storm Advisory was in the offing. After a bite of lunch, we elected to drive an hour more to Desert Hot Springs at a lower elevation, and of course, hot springs feeding the swimming pools. The photos are of the drive. Lynne took most of them with the Canon S90. We had a short drive on I-40 and a longer leg on Route 66. We came to Amboy which had a Post Office and a gas station and otherwise was desert. Lynne almost didn't believe it was operational but figured the pick-up time on the mail box out front never lies.

We picked Sky Valley Resort from the AAA Campbook. This resort is mostly park model trailers permantly moored. We are between two such units, and only passed a few mobile units in going to and from the pool and clubhouse area. The pools are very impressive. I got my half mile in during a light rain in one, and soaked in a whirlpool. There are about seven swimming and whirlpools in the clubhouse area closest to us. Each has a thermometer in the deck showing the water temperature. The water comes out of the ground at 115 degrees and the pools I sampled range from about 85 to 100. The showers are in the pool area and have lockers and soap everywhere. Some of the showers are even mineral water. Our first time discount was 20% so we are paying $30 per night. The WiFi is great, but the Sprint is on roam and only in the clubhouse.

Tomorrow, we are crossing the highway to meet a high school friend who spends February here every year getting away from Alaska.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Needles, California

Today, Morty and Ms Garmina did not get their acts together. It started with reading another blog that mentioned a Wal-Mart near our next destination, Parker, AZ. We needed to do some grocery shopping, so I figured that all I had to do was enter Parker as our destination, and the closest Wal-Mart as a way point. That however, took us to Needles, California, some 60 more miles North, where we still didn't find the Wal-Mart.  Not a very happy driving day. So we shopped at a local chain Basha, and then picked the Needles Marina Park to camp for the night. The Basha was successful in that it had everything on our list at reasonable prices, and something that has consistently been out of stock at all the Wal-Marts we have been to lately: red wine in a box.

At the marina we found a nice heated pool that would allow me to swim my half-mile. Also got in a little neighborhood bike riding along the residential communities that line the Colorado River.  The other amenities were fine too, but the price was $31 after the AAA discount.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Quartzsite Stones

A beautiful day after Saturday's rains. I biked over to the stone flea-markets to see what was available. Post-show prices were very aggressive. Lynne got a turquoise necklace and I splurged a dollar on a one pound piece of petrified wood from Brazil.

We helped ourselves to the free grapefruit at the park office - surprisingly tasty. Also some interesting pictures.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Desert blooms: Spring
North’s distant snow memory
Rain darts in then out

Snows blow and cold spreads
Turtle scans -- warmth, moves west
Winter rains: deserts green.

Skies of gray: warmth eludes
Tortoise stretches a deep hue
Showers drift in: no, out

Sun-sitting in Arizona
Work puzzle words or numbers
Turtle people doze

Sun emerges: the victor
Snows of winter now evaded
Rains soak the turtle

Sweater snuggler sniffles
Warmth ignored -- Desert plants
Sah-Wah-ro intrigue

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quartzsite, AZ

Quartzsite has no state parks, so we are at 88 Shades, a commercial park selected from the AAA campground guide -- click the link for another view. The park is still recuperating from the Quartzsite Annual RV Show that runs the last couple of weeks of January.

There are mostly permanent residents here now, along with a few travelers like us. One characteristic of the permanently moored RVs are the swamp coolers -- simple air conditioners that work by just water evaporation. There are still a passel of RV dealers and support operations here, and a few gas stations, restaurants, and RV parks, so the rates are very reasonable: $25 per night. The amenities are a little wear-worn, but otherwise fully acceptable.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Reds Fantasy Camp, Goodyear AZ

Morty stopped at the ballpark before leaving Goodyear. The ballpark is adjacent the Goodyear Airport, where you can see many airliners, apparently in parked in "mothballs." There are two team facilities there, one for the Cincinnati Reds, the other for the Cleveland Indians. This was the week of the Reds fantasy camp -- the Indians version was held last week.

We saw a series of three games. The teams were the Players made up of  Reds fans and the Pros made up of retired Reds players. The games were only three innings long, and the Pros were limited to two runs per inning. Still the Pros easily won all their games because they can still hit the ball, ending all but one of their innings by scoring two runs instead of getting three outs. There were very few fans, almost none but family members of the Players. They were throwing foul balls hit into the stands back on the field. There were a couple of exceptions, and I was one of them -- the others probably have shelves full of baseball souvenirs.

At the team store, Lynne found a spring training cap that she liked, and so did I -- so we blew $52 on two caps. But there were a couple of guys ahead of us who where buying for the whole family: six $150 jersies in one hand, and a slew of batting helmets in another -- maybe a little guilt-relief from spending the really big bucks on attending the fantasy camp for the week.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Goodyear, Arizona

Morty took us to the Spring training home of the Cleveland Indians today. There are no state parks in the area so we checked into Destiny RV park. We have a nice site right next to the pool and the laundry. Both of which became the priorities for the afternoon. The tariff is $39 so that is quite a bit higher than we've been used to.

Since the Spring game schedule for the Tribe is not until March, I doubt that there is much to see in the way of training activities. The laundry was getting to be a priority since we have done none since departing three weeks ago. Lynne had five loads, all of which could be handled simultaneously in the huge 30 machine operation.

We are again under the flight path of Air Force fighters departing from Luke AFB. During the day, they are launching about every twenty minutes in flights of two to four planes. More A-10s are also flying overhead. Pretty exciting to watch -- it never gets old.

Didn't bother with pictures yet -- one RV ghetto looks pretty much like any other.The good news is that our rain avoidance travel plan worked again. We had just a few drops before departing Pichaco and none since. In fact since we have been here in Goodyear, it has been mostly sunny with temps in the mid 60s.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona

As we read about today's destination with its glove-and-cable aids for hiking ascents, we wondered if it would be a bit too much after the last two days of climbing and hiking. We almost passed it by for a commercial park in Goodyear where we might be able to watch the Cleveland Indians in training. But we were again rewarded with a most memorable camping experience. The first thing you notice at Picacho are the Saguaro [say saw-WAH-ro if you are adhering to proper Spanish] Cacti -- especially for me, my first time seeing them in their natural setting. As to the hiking, we opted for the half-mile nature walk, at the park entrance, a mile and a half from our site. Even this abbreviated adventure had plenty of hills and steps to keep the heart pumping.

One of the memorable sights between Tucson and Phoenix was an airliner storage facility / graveyard. I couldn't identify any specific planes or carriers because of the distance, but it was sad to see so many once-proud birds sitting in the desert with their colorful tails still tall in the sky. This morning before leaving we were lolling in the sun and watching pairs of A-10 Warthog Tank Killers climbing to altitude heading East right over us -- another pretty amazing sight.

The forecasts for here indicate about an inch of rain tonight and Wednesday, but it really doesn't  look like the sky can cash those checks that the forecasters are writing -- at least that's our hope. The gathering clouds did help provide another spectacular sunset.

The facilities here are a perfect score: great modern plumbing, huge showers, great sites with magnificent views, good roads, great trails, friendly people, since it is all desert there are no water hook-ups. Rates are $15 or $20 for electricity. No TV. Above average cell phone tethering. You can hear the trains running along I-10 and their whistles. Budgeteers will close this park in June -- what a shame!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona

Today, Morty headed into Arizona after crossing New Mexico the short way. He started out the day with a quarter tank of gas so we were pretty keen on finding some before getting back on I-10. All through Silver City gas prices were running $2.90 so we kept on driving. We crossed the Continental Divide and that involved some long but gradual up and downhill runs. We finally got to Lordsburg, where a fill-up was imperative. Again, we drove past the entrance ramp and found the best price of the last week: $2.43 at Diamond Shamrock. On Morty’s 28-gallon purchase we saved enough for lunch and apple pie at McDonalds.

Our first state park in Arizona is Kartchner Caverns. I thought for a minute we were magically transported to Disneyworld. There are electric double doors opening into the “Discovery Center.”  Greeters behind the massive stone counter sell campsites for $22 per night and cave tours in the $25-$40/person range. You ride a tram into the cave. Cameras are not allowed. It is extremely humid. So we opted for the free open-air hike over the foothills that surround the hill that contains the caverns. The two-mile hike had some pretty good rock climbs of its own. We felt a little rushed since we didn’t start out until a little before four and the Sun would be dipping behind the mountains right around five-thirty. About a half-mile from the end we had to ford a running stream, pretty unexpected since all the other streambeds were bone dry. I was glad to have been wearing my sandals. Lynne was not so glad to have submerged one of her running shoes. It was another really good workout for a travel day.

We took some pictures in the botanical garden for keeping straight the names of the various desert plants we have been encountering. The campground is first-rate:  wide spacious sites, modern plumbing except for no soap in the restrooms, paved roads and sites, electric and water, cell phone coverage for computer tethering,

It will be a challenge to visit as many Arizona state parks as we wanted -- the budgeteers are closing 17 and keeping only 9 open.