A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Tuesday, December 1, 2020

This is So Wrong!

 

Here is the amount charged for my visit to the emergency room at Palo Verde Hospital in Blythe, Ca. when things went haywire with me while in the desert last month.  I was in there for about three hours with only having a catheter and collection bag installed being the extent of services.  I have no problem with this.  I was in a bad way and will be forever grateful for them being there and nurse Adrianna saving my life.  I am not trying dramatic here.  I later asked nurse Michelle at Kaiser who was treating me “What did people do in the olden days when what happened to me did so with them before modern medical care?”  She simply said “They died.”  What a horribly painful death that would be.



Yesterday this came in the mail.  This doctor stepped into my cubicle after Adrianna began draining my tank.  He wasn’t in there more than a half a minute and said no more than a dozen or so words to me asking me if I drank beer?  “Say what?!”  He was just a hard of hearing doddering old man who shuffled along in the hallway generally being in the way of the personnel there trying to do their job caring for people.  $746 for doing nothing!


Maybe this is just a way to bill for services by staff and the name of the doctor on duty at the time is used and the other charge by the hospital is for the use of a bed, the room and equipment.  I don’t know how things work in the medical industry but I hope that is it and that useless old man isn’t receiving $746. 

My plan with Kaiser by the way is paying for all except $250.  I am glad to pay my share.



Sunday, November 29, 2020

Progress

 


Sinbad had a beautiful tail

Beans and I are just putting in the time to make sure everything is fine, and it is.  I am feeling better each day and seem to be getting my energy back.  I’m told taking antibiotics can knock the wind out of your sails.  I have just one more day to go taking them.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving. The Best Ever for Me!


Earlier this week the waters began to flow like in days of long ago.  I am not so proud to not tell you I cried.  They were tears of joy.  Soon after the fire went down to a smolder from the infection.  There were more tears.  Tears of immense relief.  I have had a urinary tract infection maybe twice in my life.  Neither were as horribly painful as this one.  And now finally, my fluid retention in the badder after voiding is less than 200 milliliters.  This is an acceptable level for men of my age.  I can now cease the self-catheterizations.  They were horrible in their own way but I have to say I so very much appreciated being able to catheterize myself in the wee morning hours a few nights back when I had another complete shut-down brought on by the infection.

It has been a month of misery since this ordeal began back in the desert on October 26.  
I am not rushing back.  I plan to give myself a couple of weeks and see how I do and that everything is functioning well before returning.

I just want to thank you all for your get well wishes and support.  
Happy Thanksgiving to my American followers and to the rest of you all over the world, Oh Happy Day!




 



Sunday, November 22, 2020

My Birthday Gift

An infection.  
Yep.  Happy Birthday to me.
It was a long night of burning with little to show for it.

I was told to come in an leave a urine sample.


Hmm...how many hands with pee on them touched this door?


That’s me on the left.
I was so happy that I could produce a sample.
The waterworks were close to a complete shut down again.


I returned an hour later to pick up a prescription of antibiotics.


And the hits just keep on coming.


 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

On Being Grateful




Today I turn 72 years of age.  
I have only been in a hospital once, for a hernia repair back when in my thirties.  Twelve years ago when a bout of the flu turned into pneumonia was the first time I ever went to an emergency room for care, twice (that was a life changing event!).  Neither of those events were the fault of my body letting me down and for that I am very grateful.  And so it wasn’t until in my eighth decade of life that I needed medical care and was placed on a prescription drug for the first time due to my body going haywire.  I can take some solace in that.  This current situation I can accept, if I have to, I guess.  It’s no picnic.  The things I am having to go through is giving me a good insight as to the tortures those poor souls had to endure during the Spanish Inquisition.  




 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A Plumbing Problem

I left a small clue as to what is going on with me in the Waiting Room post.  
If you missed it here it is again.


I had a complete shut down of the water works while in the desert.  That is why I drove myself to the emergency room in Blythe.  I had reached critical mass.  
I will spare the blog all the details of the drama and trauma I have had to put up with ever since and yet to experience.  You will be able to read all about it in the upcoming free eBook I am currently working on and hopefully be published after this is over.
All I can say now is this looks to be a long drawn out process in getting the waters to flow freely once again and it appears I will not be returning to the desert anytime soon.


 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Madness Round Two

The lunacy hoarding has officially begun here in Santa Rosa, CA.


The scene at Target.


What is it like where you live?



 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Stocking Up



 What you are looking at is a year’s supply of Beans food.  If I told you how much this cost you’d think I was crazy or I really love my cat.  There are also bags of kibble, it too grain free.
Nothing but the best for her.

On the medical front it is just a matter of waiting.  I go back on the 16th.  
Meanwhile I feel great and wouldn’t know anything is amiss if I didn’t know otherwise.


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Waiting Room

I arrived at my doctor appointment and was so happy to see this in the waiting room.  I so despise ever going to the doctor mainly because I do not want to be around all those sick and infected people.  I asked the receptionist “You remember when things were normal?”  She nodded.  “So back in normal times there would have been a lot of people in here?”  She smiled behind her mask and said there would be.


You know, if you just look hard enough you can find good aspects about this pandemic.



 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Voting and Normal


However this election turns out I so did not want to be where I am now.
I wish I was back in the safety of the desert in Arizona.


Will we ever see life normal again?


Monday, November 2, 2020

New Tail Lights

We made it back to the house in Santa Rosa, CA. Friday afternoon.  While I wait for the wheels of the medical industry grind ever so slowly onward I am doing a few projects.  You will recall Tracy and I driving together south to Quartzsite, AZ.  Following behind she noticed she couldn’t see my brake lights, especially if the sun was shining on them.  I had no idea.  “I can’t believe no one ever told you.”

These are replacement lights I installed several years ago when the original lights failed.  Some thing I picked up at Autozone or the like while on the road.  Well evidently they weren’t worth a toot. 


There are brake and turn lights lower and as you can see with Gracie back there they are partially hidden.


I had already ordered replacement lights through Amazon before the medical issue came upon me.  I waited until their Wednesday delivery before starting out on the long journey back to Northern California.
Now there are 11 LED brake light bulbs on each side and I added LED turn indicator lights which were not there before.  This took far too long to install (electrics not my strong point) but this is now much better.



 

Friday, October 30, 2020

In the ER

 

My view for nearly three hours


When I first arrived at the ER the ambulance was bringing in a white guy in a orange jump suit.  I didn’t think anything of it as I was in a bad way at the time.  In the waiting room I stood in the corner.  Four other people were in there.  A black woman with her older daughter came in after, both nice looking.  I caught from the admit nurse part of the conversation. The daughter had braces recently installed.  There was a sharp wire on the braces and they had come to the emergency room.  Good grief!  I was called in.  Laying on the bed in cubicle four I could hear conversations next to me.  Sounded like two law officers talking back and forth and thought maybe they had brought someone in?  Anyway later a black guy is wheeled in on a gurney, he too in a orange jumpsuit.  I see hand cuffs on his wrist and ankle.  “Oh my goodness these guys are prisoners!!”  My mind goes to movies I’ve seen where prisoners fake a illness so they get taken to the hospital where they escape and take hostages.  I want out of there anytime soon.  When I left three hours later no one was in the waiting room except a black guy who was still sitting in the corner playing on his cell phone.  He was one of the original four from the beginning. What, he just hangs out in a hospital ER waiting room to get out of the cold wind?
I spent the night in the hospital parking lot and slept well.



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Out of Order



I had a medical emergency Monday and drove to the nearest hospital in Blythe, California that evening.  This is not COVID related.  Let me tell you I am so glad I made that decision to seek help.  I am better now but don’t know what lies in store for me.  With that uncertainty I am worried about Beans so for her safety and care I have decided to make the drive back to Northern California where I know she will be comfortable and safe.  Just the three hours I was in the emergency room she was so happy to see me come back to the RV at 10:30 PM.  They know when things aren’t right.  

Normally I wouldn’t be posting about this but I felt a responsibility to my followers and it just wouldn’t be right to go silent on you.  So I guess the blog will be inactive for awhile.  I hope I can get back on track and not lose those of you who have followed along all these years.
Thank you for being there.
John and Beans



Monday, October 26, 2020

The Rodent Wars

I am sorry about yesterday’s post not having the words visible.  This is what happens when I don’t preview before publishing.  Blogger changed everything last month and I don’t like it.  It is really a clunky format and takes longer to create a post.  But that’s just me.  Maybe you folks who have a blog adapt to change better than I.  Anyway, I fixed Safeguarding Beans.

Our camp is about a hundred yards down the way from where we were at the beginning of the year when I was engaged in the mice and rat war.  The ground here is riddle with rodent holes.  Some places look like Swiss Cheese.  Where there are rodents there are snakes and I am extra cautious taking Beans out for it is still hot and the snakes have not gone into hibernation.   


Mice and rats fear snakes.  This got me to thinking, would placing the rubber snake I have on the dashboard be a deterrent in keeping the vermin out of the engine compartment?  The experiment is in process and I will report back on it in a few weeks.  


Beans after the BIG one.






 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Safeguarding Beans

 


 These are the ways I keep Beans safe.  Upper left is a 12 foot long nylon cord (a fish stringer I found) that I attach to the RV so she can lounge about outside at camp.  The upper right is a 23 foot long paracord.  We use that for hunting lizards and mice.  She drags it around while I follow along.  Being white it is easy to see in brush and easy for me to keep track of her.  In conditions like where we are now we use the fish stringer cord as stickers do not get caught up in it as they do with the white cord.  The lower left is a 27 foot long cord attached to a 5 pound lead weight.  This is used at camps in wide open places.  Yes, she is able to drag that thing.  She’s a strong cat.  The lower right retractable lead we use for walks in campgrounds, city parks, rest areas, Walmart parking lots and such.  When I went shopping for a harness for my first travel cat Sinbad, I didn’t like the vest type for cats. “Would I want to wear that?”  No!  I went over to the small dog section of Petco and bought the simple harness with a easy latch I can undo with one hand and slip off over her head.  I NEVER leave her unsupervised while outside.  
A coyote could snatch her up in seconds.  Birds of prey too.  We had a crow swoop down upon us just three weeks ago while in Tonapah.  That was a first.










Saturday, October 24, 2020

We Are Now COVID Protected in Quartzsite

Each of the four long term stay locations in Quartzsite has a check in station.  
This year they have been COVID proofed for our safety.


As you can see only two campers are allowed inside at a time.  Anyone else wanting to go in must stand outside.  There are no “Stand Here” markers in the desert dirt.  They trust us to know how far six feet is I assume.  Inside each station are two to four bookcases full of paperback books people leave and borrow during their stay.  This year the bookcases are sealed off in black plastic.  (No comment)


Out in front of each station is a picnic table.  People leave things they no longer have any use for but maybe someone else could use it.  Not anymore!!  
(I’m trying real hard to keep my sarcastic comments in check)
The only reason these hiking sticks and a very nice bicycle tire pump are on the table is because this station was closed at the time I went by on my bicycle.


I found the official notice on another table.


And then there was this, another first.  Conditions here are no different than any other year in the desert.  I don't know if I could start a wildfire here if my life depended on it.  Maybe its a COVID thing.  You know how a nice campfire can attract people to gather around and have a good time making new friends.  Also you are aware as to how the Wuhan virus can survive in a hot arid desert environment.  
(Okay, I failed in keeping my sarcasm under control.  Sorry)


 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Camp What?

 

We have a nice little spot that is well shaded from the afternoon sun.  Yes it may not look like much but shade is at a premium out here in the desert.  You take what you can get.


We are very close to Quarantine Camp from early this year.  This looks like it will be safe from anyone moving in close by.  We shall see.  Sweet Beans likes it here.


I have no name for this camp yet thus the title of the post.  
I bet a name will come to me after the election.







Thursday, October 22, 2020

No More Dumpster Diving

 


The second thing I noticed upon arriving after the lack of people is that all the standard lift and dump trash containers have been replaced with these large containers.  No more pillaging through the dumpsters for good reusable gear that people throw away.  Just in this one here I saw a backpack thrown inside.  I am not about to go climbing down into these things.  A good thing though is no more trash being scattered about by the winds when the truck comes to dump the old style dumpsters.

Oh all the treasures I will be missing out on.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

We Have Arrived

 

Quartzsite, Arizona

This is the main avenue in one of the four long term camp areas in Quartzsite.  Typically at this time there would be dozens of RVers visible in this scene.  In years past I would have already been here for a few weeks myself.  It is simply still too hot with temps still at the mid 90’s (35c).


Another factor too is those poor Canadians unable to cross the border. 
They would be here by now.


I just would like to reassure everyone that I am careful with the mask wearing situation.  When I write that I ripped off my bandana there are no other people around anywhere close.  While shopping if people are coming I slip the bandana back up.  I will be more conscientious about keeping it in place from now on especially since the “season” will soon be upon us all.  This dry desert environment is a big plus.

   


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Burger King vs Jack in the Box

 

Parker, Arizona

We stopped in Parker on our way to Quartzsite to pick up a few last items at Walmart.  When done I told Tracy I had to eat before we continued on down the road.  She needed to eat too.  It was hot and I really wanted a milkshake.  I told her I was going to stop at the Burger King a half mile down the road.  Tracy doesn’t eat crap food and would fix her on lunch.   “I’ll meet you there” she said.  

At Burger King the side doors were chained shut.  I could see someone waving me around front.  At the front a kid stuck his head bout the door and told me to go around to the drive-up window.  Good grief.  At the window (no cars in the drive thru) I told him I wanted a Whopper and a chocolate milkshake.  “We don’t have any milkshakes” he says.  “Man, I really wanted a milkshake.  That’s why I came here” I asked why they didn’t have any.  Evidently the trucks hadn’t delivered any product.  “I’ve had ten people leave today because of no milkshakes.” he said.  “Tell you what, I’ll give you two Whoppers for $5.” I can’t eat two of them!  Oh well, I could eat one later for dinner.  “Okay, go ahead.”  He rings it up.  "I only charged you $3.60.”  He had given me the old person’s discount.  Okay that made me feel better.

I ate my Whopper in Tracy’s RV.  She needed to fill up with gas so I said I would go on down to McDonalds and get my milkshake while she filled up.  I don’t care for McDonalds but I really wanted that milkshake to get me to Quartszite.  On the way I passed a Jack in the Box.  “This will do” and I swung in. The door to the dining area inside was open, unchained.  I walked in wearing my bandana.  Only the lady who walked in before me was inside.  Nether she nor the workers wore masks.  I ripped off my bandana and ordered my milkshake.  Two big burly guys walked in just then.  They looked at me and the woman, then the workers.  They ripped off their masks.  “This is a bunch of $#!+”                                                The worker handed me my milkshake and it was good.

Monday, October 19, 2020

London Bridge

Lake Havasu, Arizona

Another one of the good parts of traveling with someone is seeing something I would normally pass on by.  I stopped to see and walk across the London Bridge years ago so I would not have stopped this time except that Tracy wanted to see it and so we did.  I’m glad she wanted to stop.


As you can see there was like no one there and of those who were there very few were wearing masks.
Yep, it was a nice little tourist type break just like in years long gone by.



 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lone Tree Camp

Lake Havasu City, Arizona


We moved on the next day south a little over a hundred miles to our next camp.  It was warmer there by almost ten degrees at the mid-nineties.  Bad call on my part.  

Beans knows where to lay down to keep cool while inside. 




Saturday, October 17, 2020

Stocking Up

 

Twenty miles south of Las Vegas


It is nice to travel with someone new.  You learn things you didn't know before.  We both had the same things on our to-do lists.  Stock up on food and supplies for the impending apocalypse after the election was the main thing.  Tracy had found a WINCO store in Henderson south of Las Vegas.  I had never been to one before.  Inside I found it to be just like a Costco with loads of everything stacked on pallets the only difference was WINCO only dealt with foods.  This was great and with big savings.  Skirting around the edge of Las Vegas was even greater.  We then drove over to a Home Depot where for the first time I became a “spreader”.  I forgot my bandana.  I wasn't barred from entering by a gestapo security guard at the door.  No one cared.  I found a dumpster nearby where we each got rid of a weeks worth of trash (one of the real pleasures of nomad traveling) and I spied a water machine across the boulevard where we were able to fill our drinking water containers.  We both agreed “That all went well”.

Twenty miles south we found a nice place to camp over night.  At 2500 feet the temperature was ideal with a nice breeze and no bugs.  The evening was just as nice.


 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Time to Go

 

Lovell Canyon, Nevada


We have been here for ten days in absolutely ideal weather but the road calls and we must be moving on.  Also the weekend is here and the rabble from Las Vegas will be arriving.  Tracy had asked when I planned to leave and she too was going to leave the same day for the same destination.  So we will travel together.  I warned her that I drive 55 while knowing she usually drove 65.  She said she needs to learn to slow down so this will be something new for her.  I told her to feel free to move on if she couldn't stand the slow pace.  I would catch up to her eventually. 

Goodbye Lovell Canyon.  You have been a good place.  I just wish people respected you more.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Hike up the Hill

 

Lovell Canyon, Nevada

Ever since we arrived at this camp I had wanted to go to the top of the hill where you can see the dirt road crossing over.  I thought I would ride Gracie up and over but as you learned on the previous post I never took the motor bike down off the carrier.  So this day I decided I would just hike up there instead.
 

I passed by Tracys camp (the lady I met soon after arriving) and she was sitting outside sipping her morning smoothie.  I said good morning and asked if she would like to go on a hike.  She was all for that.  “I wanted to climb to the top of the hill.”  Her eyes got real big.  She thought I meant that tall cliff face.  “Oh no, the hill off to the right with the road” and I pointed it out to her.  She relaxed. Whew!
 “No those days of climbing mountains are long behind me.”


It was really nice to have someone along to walk and talk with while on a hike.  I cannot tell you when I last had that pleasure.  The view up top was wonderful.  The Little House on the Highway is sitting down there just off center to the right along the edge of the green and yellow vegetation.


Earlier that morning someone parked near us and a guy took off on a hike following the line of vegetation behind our camp.  I talked with him when he passed by camp eight hours later.  He had crossed over the low ridge line off in the far distance to the right then descended down the other side cutting cross country for Rainbow Mountain in Red Rock Canyon Park twelve miles away from where he began.  Twenty four miles round trip.  In his thirties I would guess and looked fresh as could be.  
Those were the days.