The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 81

There are 4 or 5 five of these little transit vans at this gathering.
It hardly needs to be said that there is very little living space inside
these vans but people manage.

This guy really made use of every bit of space available.
The two plastic containers is his water filtering drip system he devised.

 This lady was the complete opposite of the previous guy.

She may be just beginning her life as a nomad and hasn't quite got things figured out yet.

There was another little van like these all painted pink.  
The young lady was very petite but even she admitted she wish she had just a little bit more space.
I'd have to agree.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 79

A nearly perfect cube boulder I came across on yesterday's hike.
Yeah, I am easily impressed by the most insignificant of things.

I also came across this U.S Geological Survey marker out in the middle of the desert.  I see these things frequently but this one I think is one of the oldest dated 1915.  Just think, the Great War was raging on in Europe when this was pounded into the ground.

Sunset two nights ago.  

Moonrise last night which is must more impressive to see live.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 78

I met this cute little guy close to camp today.

He had a front door and back door to his little burrow 
and kept checking each to see if I was still there.

He eventually came out after realizing I wasn't any threat.

"Well, I'm not so sure about that."

Finally he ignored me and went about his business of rooting up some new shoots that sprang up near his home and I just sat there enjoying watching him. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 77

They say you can never have too much solar power.
She has two more large solar panels on the roof all 
of which to keep ten deep cycle batteries on board fully charged.
These are flexible panels and she can extend the bottom outwards
to catch the sunlight at the right angle.

I like her security system on the door.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day 75

I am at this gathering called Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. It is a get-together of people who like the nomadic lifestyle traveling the roads living out of their tent, car, van, trailer or small RV.  I was aware of it for some time but really had no thought of going until just a few weeks ago.  Since I would be in the area of where it was I figured "why not?"  I had to push myself to do this.  They will have some talks about various aspects of living a simplistic life on the road and one I am particularly interested in will be about solar power.  Anyway I was able to get a nice spot on the outer limits away from all the hub-bub and feel okay.  I am intrigued with those living out of their cars and vans and doing so in a minimalist way.   Even more than that is there are a surprising number of women choosing this lifestyle on their own and not allowing themselves to be intimidated by venturing out by themselves. Pretty neat I say.  It is a ten day long event.   

Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 74

This morning's sunrise.

My time at this location has expired and I have to move to a new area.
I think I will have cell reception there.  
If not then there will be no blog entries for awhile but I remain confident.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 72

This is sometimes referred to as Desert Pavement.  
The small rocks are embedded in the dirt and pretty much stay in place
making for a fairly flat and smooth surface.

It is nice to camp on as there's virtually no dust and you're not tracking dirt inside.

Last night I learned another nice feature of desert pavement while cooking my dinner outside.

When you pan slips off your camp stove and the chicken hits the ground its no problem since there's no dirt.  Yep, last night's dinner was fortified with extra minerals.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Day 71

Who needs TV out here when you can people watch.  These are my neighbors and they provide hours of entertainment.  One guy in the white van is from New York.  One guy and his HUGE dog in the car to the right is from Wyoming.  On the side of the car in faded letters it reads Medical Taxi with a phone number to call.  Then the car to the left is a man and woman from I don't know where.  There are no license plates and the car looks like they drove it out from a junk yard.  Pieces and parts are hanging off of it everywhere with the rocker panel on the passenger side nearly dragging the ground.

They come and go constantly.  I think it is to buy some fast food to eat (I never see them cook), go to the bathroom (or maybe not) or to go get more cigarettes and booze.  Most everyone has a cigarette going especially Mr. Wyoming  who has one after another continually.  As with the cigarettes most always there is can of Budweiser in their hands.

Yesterday sitting around the campfire (that's all they do when not going into town) a big bottle of Smirnoff Vodka was uncorked.  One of those glass jugs with a handle.  What is that a gallon?  They nearly polished that off by the end of the day.  Mr. New York was staggering around so much I just knew he'd wind up falling into the fire.  He didn't.  But he did walk away, not far enough in my opinion, to puke.  He came back and washed it down with more vodka and passed the bottle around.

There are two tents up. Mr. New York sleeps in his van.  This morning after a cold wind blew all night they were up and about to start things off again.  Cigarettes were going, a couple Budweisers were opened and there was about two inches of Vodka left to go in the large glass jug.  It was empty before I had poured milk my Shredded Wheat.

I write this in not making fun of them.  I feel bad for them and their quality of life.  Yet they are enjoying themselves in their own way.  They talk, laugh and get along.  At one point the couple were on the phone and evidently the guy got some bad news.  I watched him walk away to by alone with his tears.  I felt bad for him but whatever it was the bottle of vodka was waiting for him when he returned to the fire. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Day 70

There is a small mountain (or a big hill) nearby and yesterday I thought I would climb to the top today for a great view.  Today arrived and "What was I thinking? I'll just hike around it instead". Well that proved not feasible as it was a bigger mountain/hill than I thought.  I wound up exploring the canyons instead and found some nice cacti to photograph.

Even in January in the desert someone feels like blooming a flower.

Dead saguaro.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 69

"I think I will choose this spot to grow."
I am sure he has a nice view but I didn't climb up there to verify that.
Still, I just stood there wondering how and why?

This was such a nice view, a broad flat valley dotted with cholla but the photo doesn't really show it.
Then my camera battery died.  So I put in my spare.  It was dead also.

Someone should invent a wind-up digital camera.  You crank the lever like we did with our old Kodak Brownie cameras and that would generate enough charge for one picture.  Then you ratchet the lever again for your next picture.  No batteries needed unless you used the flash, just like the old days.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 68

Abandoned mine!  These are always fun to find.

This one was disappointing in that it was only a few feet deep.  I have come across mine shafts large enough a car would fit.  Some have gone straight down and all you can see is darkness.  I've tossed rocks into them and it is a few seconds before you hear the rock hit anything only to keep on going bouncing off the sides.  Very scary.

Continuing on there was this sign.

Nearby the claim marker.  
Some I have seen is just a stick in the ground or iron pipe.  Even just a stack of rocks.

Usually there is a container with a copy of the mining claim.  This one was in a plastic box of chewing tobacco.  Some I have found were in a jar with the screw-on lid nailed to the post.  Also the film containers for 35mm film when they were metal instead of the later snap lid plastic.

 This was the claim inside of this particular mine, dated back in 2-22-2010.  What have they been doing for the past 6 years?  And what on earth would they be digging for here?  Usually gold is found as veins within quartz and there is enough quartz around here to keep everyone digging for a long time.  Colusa,Ca. is in northern California, a long way from here.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 67

One day while hiking I found a deer antler in a wash.  "Now how did that get here?"
The next day I found out while standing on a hill looking down.

I was very surprised (as were they) for I have not seen any signs of deer at any of the places I have been.  No tracks, no poop.

There were 8 deer all total in this group.  
Unfortunately I did not get the big 4 pointer buck in any of the pictures.
He was behind his harem all the time.

I was happy enough with the pictures I did get for they were far away and I had the camera zoomed all the way in.  Plus the glare off the LCD screen was so bad I couldn't see what I was getting.  
I was just clickin' and hopin'. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day 66

A stone homestead.  
I was impressed with the attention given to the placement of rocks selecting various colors and too the use of quartz to outline the door and edges.

Pretty neat.  

The inside was smooth plaster.

 Here you can see how thick the interior wall was and the use of tin cans to create a dead air space and provide insulation from the heat of summer and cold of winter.  You need that in the desert.

I couldn't figure out why the long pipe that ran the length of the room
 and extended this far to the outside.

This appeared to be just a single large room. A storage area?  
Maybe this was a trading post long ago.

Seen from a distance.  
It is perched on top of some low hills and had a grand view of the valley.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 65

What a great day it was for the last day of 2016!
If it weren't for the setting you'd think this was taken at a rest home.
Geeze Louise, I hope it never comes to that!

Standing on top of the world looking forward to 2017.  I hope it will be better than 2016 was.
May 2017 will be good for all of you.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Day 64

Looks like snow.  Well it did when I was standing there.  Unfortunately the sun was hidden by clouds so the brilliant white of the rock isn't as noticeable in the photo.  This is quartz rock and this area for hundreds of square miles is abundant with quartz.  So much so the nearby town is named Quartzite.  

The sun barely peeked through to show the color of these hills. 
 It reminded me on the Painted Desert.