A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Tough Women

This lady is from Nevada and in her 40’s I’d guess.  This all she has except for her little red car which is too small to sleep in.  This tent is too short to stand up in.  It gets down to the mid-thirties (1.7 C) every night.  I am cold every morning in my RV and run my heater for an hour or so.
 She is here for the entire winter.  How does she do it?


This woman is from Maine and probably the same age as the lady above.  Only she has her daughter with here, I’d guess 11 or 12 years old.  They have a larger car, an SUV and she told me they sleep in it when it is cold like it is.  They have been living like this for five years.


 Last year I met a lady from Georgia and this is all she had, a Nissan Cube.  No tent.  No shade.  Just a camp chair.  She had her little dog and a ginger cat with her.  Last winter we stayed in Quartzsite until the end of April when it got too hot and we finally moved on.  I had to drive down and see if she was still camped.  Yep, out in the desert all by herself and it had been in the 90’s (32.2 C) most of the month.
I wondered how she could do it being so hot as it was.


There are many more like that (men too) out here living with very little shelter which is especially noticeable with all the big RV’s all around them.  Think how tough the pioneer women were to follow their crazy husbands on a six month long journey westward into the unknown relying on rumors and poor advice as to the route to travel to some destination that rarely lived up to what they had been told.



Monday, January 11, 2021

The Not-So-Really-Big RV Show

Quartzsite is the place to come in January to get really good deals on new and used RV’s,
that’s if you believe the dealer’s hype.


 Above and this photo is the show ground for RV Country sales.  
They drive these units in from wherever just for the month of January. 


The other big dealer is La Mesa RV.  This is their lot.  Empty.  
They didn’t bother bringing any units in this year, probably due to COVID.


That can be a good thing for the other dealers.  Less competition.  More sales?
This is a used unit.  I wonder what they traded it in for as it appears to have had custom graphics  
applied and this style or model is a relative new type of RV.
Oregon plates.


Friday, January 8, 2021

The Big Tent is Up


In spite of the pandemic and Arizona competing for the most new COVID-19 cases per day,
 the show must go on.  As I had read somewhere awhile back they have decided to widen the aisles and have one-way traffic flow.  That should make everyone safe.  


The one and only time I went in the tent was back in 2019.  Well make that two times I went in.  The first time it was so packed we were shuffling along at cat speed and I just wanted to get of there, and in doing so I forgot to take any pictures.  So I went back a couple days later for you folks and the blog photo.  Fortunately that day wasn’t like being in a cattle chute at the Chicago stockyards.

In this photo from 2019 you can clearly see how widening the aisle and having everyone walk the same direction will solve any problem of an infected one spewing COVID cooties on others.
Trust me, my first visit was so packed I couldn’t see any vendor on either side.  I was hemmed in tightly stuck behind an old lady with a walker.  I was pushed along for a quarter of the way through before a hole opened up and I made a dash for a side exit.

Never again.





 


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

We Are in First Place!

I picked up this paper while in town yesterday.  The Coronavirus article reported that on Monday, Jan. 4, Arizona jumped to the worst in the world in 7-day average for new virus cases, normalized by population. It was around a year ago I posted on the blog how where we were in La Paz county had the fewest reported cases and deaths of anywhere.  “It is all desert.  No one is here.  Safest place to be.”  Hmm...  
The town of Quartzsite has no mandated mask wearing policy except on town properties such as the library and community center which are both closed.  Otherwise business is as usual.  Seems the Senior Center hosted a Christmas Day Dinner followed by a Saturday night Bingo and multiple positive cases resulted from this little soiree.  Those old people!  What can we do with them?


 I made my way down to Family Dollar for a few items.  Always an adventure.  See the dark haired lady at the far end of the checkout?  She was coughing and hacking the entire time there.  She probably had a cold or maybe the flu (what I fear more contracting than the coronavirus).  Maybe she was just a smoker.  Let’s hope.  At least she had a mask on.  At least I was twenty feet away from her.  I saw a sweet looking old couple in there shopping with me.  They were hi risk and not wearing masks.  To wear or not to wear, that is your choice here in Quartzsite.  But you really need to exercise caution and be careful in places like Family Dollar with all the coughers and hackers and Bingo night at the Senior Center and those irresponsible gambling old farts. 


Oh yeah, another article in the paper reported that La Paz County Health Services had on hand 400 vaccines.  Remember now, we’re in first place in the world.    




Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Propane For the Heater

There are several places in town to buy propane.  I like to go to Patties RV Park for it has easy access and I can pay right there at the fill station.  At the Union service station I have to go inside and stand in line waiting on people buying gas, snacks, beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets.
Prices are about the same at all locations, $2.30 a gallon.


 This little one gallon tank I bought last year replacing the standard large five gallon tanks typically you have with your bar-b-que.  This I can carry on the bike.  The large one I could not.


The tank goes in the back hanging off the ladder.
The line goes inside through a hole I cut in the back.


It then comes out from under the bed and hooks up to the Mr. Heater.  That is all the tank is used for.  Now you are probably wondering “Doesn’t the RV have a heater?”  Yes it does but it is very inefficient.  Mainly it is the fan that blows the air in through all the ducts.  It uses a lot of energy and runs down the battery.  I suspect the heater part uses more propane also.  This little heater warms things up fast and that is just using the low setting.


The little green propane bottles will connect to this heater also and if I run out from the one gallon tank I can screw one of them on.  The one gallon tank lasts about two weeks and that was using the heater a lot when we first returned since it was cold.  





Sunday, January 3, 2021

Beans Here



The days are beginning to warm up some.  I heard lizards today in the brush for the first time since we returned.  Yippee!  It will be in the 70’s (21.1 C) everyday in a week or so.  I am so excited.  After today’s hunt I had to get up in my loft and relax some.  I think I might be out of shape.
Another plus with the warm weather is that Dad doesn’t whine as much.
Really, he needs to get a grip when it gets a little bit cold.


 

 

 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Kitchen Gadget Vendor

This guy is here in Quartzsite on vendor’s row every year.  If he doesn’t have what you need in the line of kitchen items then you don’t need it.  I was hoping he had a taco holder, a rack to hold the tortillas in place while you fill them up.  Well he did but it was metal and I don’t need a fireworks show when I put my filled tacos into the microwave to melt the cheese. 


 I did get this pan scraper made of hard plastic.  It works great in cleaning my cast iron skillet.
The curved corners fit perfectly the curve of the skillet bottom.


I looked online for a taco holder but they come in packs of more than one. 
I may end up making something.



Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year Everyone

Beans and I are looking forward to a much better year this time around.
We have plans and will continue on in our travels as before, not like in 2020.
No hunkering down in one place all summer this time.
No visits to repair shops or hospital emergency rooms either.
No siree Bob!
2021 will be great.

We hope all of you have a great 2021.



 


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

And So 2020 Comes to an End...Finally!


To a greater or lesser degree this pretty much is how this year has been for me, well everyone. 


Perhaps the phrase hindsight is 2020 was some kind of message 
from a future time traveler that we all misunderstood.

I think it is only fitting that we end this year with one of the strangest news stories currently going on.
The Girl Scouts are suing the Boy Scouts 
and the Boy Scouts are accusing the Girl Scouts of starting a war.
Who would ever have imagined?
Pretty well sums the craziness of 2020.

Be safe on this New Year’s Eve.  Beans and I will be.




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Face Mask Signs

I had to make a run into town on the motorbike to fill my water bottles.  I get water from these machines for my drinking water only.  The small grocery store I planned to go to with two machines out front had some people milling around and being I avoid people if at all possible I went next door to Family Dollar.


While there I remembered to check the door for a face mask sign in regards to yesterday’s post.  Yes there was one.  Like one commenter remarked in yesterday’s post, some people leave these signs to interpretation.  Mask Required to Enter.  Once they enter through the doors the requirement has been met and they remove their mask.  In regards to the Family Dollar sign “Yep, got my face covering right here in my purse” or pocket as the case may be.  


 






Monday, December 28, 2020

COVID-19 Where We Are

 

Quartzsite is in La Paz county Arizona.  La Paz county has 1341 reported cases of the coronavirus with a total of 33 deaths.  This among other reasons is why I like where I am for this winter.

Here’s my story from yesterday’s shopping trip into town.  I am in Family Dollar with my bandana well in place. There is about one out of four shoppers not wearing a mask.  It made me wonder was there a sign on the door ‘Mask Required’?  I forgot to look but will next time I go.  Every place has a sign so there must be.  Family Dollar just doesn’t have the enforcers as does say a Walmart.  So one of the spreaders is this overweight white trash woman in her late 30’s or 40’s covered in tattoos all over her exposed arms and chest. She is wearing a stretched out black tank top so I see more than I ever wanted to see.  About the third encounter with her going up and down the aisles she coughs, snorts and sniffles then remarks to her friend “I think I might have the flu.”  I am more concerned about catching someone’s cold or flu bug than the coronavirus. I don’t mind wearing my bandana for that reason.  They walk among us.

Outside on the bulletin board I saw this, the second thing I wish I hadn’t seen.


I then rode over to the expired food tent and bought two cans of chili and beans for a dollar each for after all it was a chili and bean day, cold and overcast.  I saw this at the check out.  I hoped she wouldn’t offer me a bag only having spent two dollars on two cans of beans since I had just bought a bag of oranges the day before.  She asked.


I went home before I saw something else I didn’t want to see.



Sunday, December 27, 2020

Making Money, or Trying To

 

This gentleman is like many who come to Quartzsite each year.  They rent a space and set up shop selling whatever they have to sell.  His patch of desert dirt is close to a main intersection of traffic as far as Quartzsite goes.  He paid $2000 for this spot which is good for the entire season of Sept. 15 through April 15.  If you look at it as rent, well $2000 for seven months is a good deal.  He has electrical hook-ups with that price.  He was screwing down his display cases to the table when I was there browsing through his junk merchandise.  He told me that last year someone walked off with an entire display case.  I said that I couldn’t imagine someone bold enough to do that in broad daylight but he said they came in at night.  Well I wouldn’t mess with him day or night for he was packing a gun on his hip.


 Now this woman has a great idea for making some money.  Bless her heart for I don’t even like to shop for myself.  And then to consider giving her a list of things to pick up for me at Walmart, geez I have a hard enough time deciding what to get when I am there how on earth can I tell someone else?


And then there are the RV dealers.  This is a 2007 Winnebago View.  My View is a 2006.  I bought mine used (one year old) in 2007 for the same price they were asking for this THIRTEEN YEARS LATER!!
Anyone that pays that amount today is a fool.






Saturday, December 26, 2020

Beans’ Christmas Present


I have been looking for some bells for a long time 
and finally found exactly want I wanted, in a fishing tackle box at a roadside yard sale.  


I put them on the end of the long cords I attach to her harness.  Now when she wants to take off after a lizard, bird or chipmunk I can let go of the cord and not worry so much about loosing track where she is if I loose sight of her.  She never goes far for her prey doesn’t either.  


The white cord is sixteen feet so long and we use that in the forests where it shows up well against the ground.  The blue cord is a fish stringer I found long ago.  It is braided nylon cord, about ten feet long and doesn’t collect stickers or thorns so is it used in the desert.  Beans pays the bell no mind as it tinkles along behind her as she hunts.  No, I wouldn’t just put a bell on her harness.  Would you want that noise around your neck so close to your supersensitive ears?



Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Cornbread

We woke to a beautiful Christmas morning with clear skies and glorious sunshine.
I went for a nice two mile stroll and since the wind was only a slight breeze I thought
ah...a good day break out the Dutch Oven.
The shiny thing is part of someone’s homemade solar oven I found in the dumpster last winter.
I use it as a wind break to keep the heat contained.


Done


Yes, it is good.








 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas Everyone

About the only Christmasy thing I have seen out here
but surely there must be more I just haven’t found.


Just had to include this




 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

What I Am Reading

It is not uncommon for me to have three books going at once: the kindle app on my iPad, the kindle itself and a hardcopy book.  I picked this up at a used paperback book store near the house while I was incapacitated the last two months.  It is a big book as you can see and would keep me entertained for a long time I thought.  Well unlike other Stephen King books I have read this one took me awhile to really get into, like page 481 of 1131.  Also, when I began the book I discovered page 25/26 had been ripped out!  Boy was I miffed!  Who rips out a page from a book?  


I have been working on finishing up this year’s eBook too and hopefully will have it published some time next month.  So there is always something to do with reading or writing (no arithmetic). 
I am never bored.

Here is my view while lying in bed reading.  
She got all excited as a roadrunner passed through camp that morning.  
Still, there are no lizards.




Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Poor Beans

 


We have not seen a single lizard since our return to the same camp that was littered with the little rascals when we left two months ago.  She is beginning to lose interest in even going outside anymore.  Maybe just a roll in the dirt, a look around, then wants back in.

Otherwise it is nice here.  I sat out in the warm sunshine soaking in the sun, got a bit sleepy, came back in and took an hour nap.  It’s a rough life.

I did see the the Jupiter/Saturn alignment.  I think the excitement of seeing that the evening before wore me out.  Did you get to see it?








Monday, December 21, 2020

Gracie Lives

 


I finally got around to taking Gracie off the carrier in back where she has sat for two months ever since I made that hasty exit back in October.  The battery was still up and she fired on the second or third kick.  What a great little motorbike.  All I had to do was put some air to the tires which I added too much.  Makes for a lumpy bumpy ride.  I let some out and it was much better.
It was a nice sunny day at 72 degrees (22.2 C).




Sunday, December 20, 2020

New COVID Prevention Measures

This went into effect while we were away.


Now we stand outside to buy our permits.
The little metal shelf is new.


Ya still gotta wear a mask though.


No comment from yours truly.







 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

It Is So Nice...

...to have nothing else to do but take a long walk surrounded by the quiet of nature.


Even better is to be able to do so. 
 It has been two months since I last had that pleasure.

Hey!  You woke me up!  Can you try to be quieter when you come inside?


It is so nice to be missed while away.

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Settling In to Desert Life

 

While we were away they built a ramp alongside the new trash dumpsters. That was nice of them.  This will make it easier for me to see what kind of treasures lie within.


Meanwhile back at camp Beans is enjoying the warm desert sun.  Even so, it is just sixty degrees outside as a cold wind is blowing down from the north.  It will warm up this weekend into the seventies.



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Well, I Didn’t Expect That!

 


I thought I would be all excited when we reached the outskirts of Quartzsite Thursday morning.  Instead all the terrible memories of that day and night of October 26 came rushing back.  The driving around town looking for a doctor, clinic, drug store, anything to treat the pain and agony I was in.  I sure hope every time I come here that doesn’t happen. 

By this time the RV dealers would have brought in hundreds of brand new RV’s and coaches for the big RV show in January.  The lots were empty.  Another victim of COVID-19.

Then as I drove in to the camp areas I saw little change as to the population from how it was two months ago.  There is hardly anyone here in comparison to normal years.  Talking to a guy at the water fill up station he brought up the fact about the Canadians being unable to cross the border this year.  Hard to believe them not being here would make it that noticable.  I don’t know what percentage of the winter population here is made up of Canadians.   

Finally the camp spot we vacated on that fateful day was empty and waiting for us.  I pulled in and Beans was all excited seeing her lizard tree.  That is it in front of the RV.  I wasn’t too sure about staying because of what happened while here.  I left, drove around some then came back.  
I need to overcome my nightmare thoughts.








Wednesday, December 16, 2020

We Almost Made It

We woke up to these temperatures.  I could have died!
I wasted no time getting on the road and running the heater.


 It was a long day with a few construction delays but we finally made it out of California, across the Colorado River and into Arizona at Parker.  I ate a early dinner then did an extensive shop at Walmart.  Next was to fill the propane tank and then fill up The Little House on the Highway.  By then it was almost dark.  Quartzsite is about 25 or so miles south but I was tired (Walmart will do that to you) and going any further can wait another day.  Besides, it is a narrow two lane highway scary enough in the daylight and I don’t need that kind of excitement just now anyway.  I have had enough adventure for awhile.  When we arrive I will fill up with water, select a place to call “home” and we shall be set until next year.  
Tonight we sleep behind a Safeway store across from Walmart.