A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Friday, January 18, 2019

A Frightening Incident


I was sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying a beverage with my camp mate Jo. As I took a drink a chunk of something poured into my mouth. What the...?  I spit it out into my hand.  It was a BEE that had crawled into the can!  My mind immediately went back two months ago when a bee had stung my hand at the abandoned mine and how painful and discomforting for days afterwards that was, unlike any other bee sting I had ever had.  Needless to say I was traumatized thinking of what if that bee had stung my tongue or anywhere inside my mouth.  I believe the only thing that prevented my being stung was that it was beer I was drinking and the bee, although still alive was thoroughly inebriated. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The RV Inspector


 Beans loves to go check inside my friend Jo's little trailer.
  Just to see if anything is new or different I guess.
Just doing what cats do.


.

Some friends stopped by the other day and one was in a new van.
"Meow, meow!"  She wanted out and made a beeline over to the van to inspect.




Monday, January 14, 2019

The Lady at the Water Fill-up



I went by to fill up on water and a lady pulled in on the other side of me.  She was in a small SUV type of car.  She may have been in her forties, hard to say as she was all bundled up against the cold.  She was heavy-set wearing a heavy coat yet bare foot except for flip-flops.  Too cold for me to not have anything on my feet! She was filling a five-gallon bucket with water to do her laundry in.  We got to talking.

I learned she had been bedridden for three years, with little or no use of her arms and legs following a traffic accident.  She said "I used to exercise, do zumba (sp?) and run 5k runs.  You wouldn't know that to look at me now."  She would tell her daughters "If I ever get out of this bed, I am making a big life change."

Her prospects never looked too good until she stopped taking the medication the doctors had put her on.  Gradually she recovered, became mobile and left that prison in a bed life.  She told me she would watch YouTube videos while incapacitated and learned of this life on the road.  She packed what she needed in her car and this was the first time she had ever been down here in the desert.  She was living out of a tent and so very happy.  "I walked five miles yesterday!"

I have heard similar stories about the determental effects of prescribed medications.  Someone once told me they didn't trust doctors.  "They don't know anything.  They don't care.  They cause more trouble than they cure.  They charge the earth and if you don't get better they blame you for it.  After  they blind you or cripple you, so that you've got no choice but to sue them, where do you have to go? To a lawyer!  And that's worse!"

The lady hefted the five-gallon bucket full of water into her car (remember, less than a year ago she couldn't even lift her leg or arm) and we exchanged good-byes.  I wished her the best.  She left me inspired for the rest of the day.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Big Tent


During the month of January this big tent gets erected nearby.  As I mentioned in the previous RV Show post, I am usually some miles away when the "circus comes to town".  Its not really a circus but I call it that. So this is the first time I have actually got to see the Big Tent.  In a couple of weeks in January the tent will be filled with vendors hawking RV gadgets, places to go and a week called the Job Fair where you can apply for seasonal jobs ranging anywhere from camp hosting to working at Amazon outlet centers.  Some people need income to live this on-the-road lifestyle.  Fortunately I have my pension.  I don't want to work.  When the tent is open I will try to brave the crowds and get a picture or two for the blog here.  Wish me luck.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Million Dollar RV


That's just my guess as to what these people have invested in this behemoth. 
They pulled in where we are camped.
You can see our home in the distance between the bus and trailer.
Fortunately they left soon after.



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Big RV Show


The month of January there is a big RV show in Quartzsite, Arizona.  Usually I am not near any of this but this year I am.  I'm curious by nature.  There are three big dealers here who have driven in hundreds of RVs from Yuma, Phoenix and wherever else for this show.


I talked with two of the dealers salesman, curious as to how many units they sell making the effort of driving all these RVs here in the first place worthwhile.  One told me they sell about 180 units and take in 80 in trade-ins and have 40 salesman on the grounds.  The other place said they sell "around 200 with 70% of that figure trade-ins".


I had no idea.  Evidently people come in from miles around as the best deals can be had during this show.  You can see the prices on some of those big RVs above, well this little four-wheel drive van alone is $112,543.
   

There is not much room inside.  I looked at trailers, fifth-wheels, small RVs and monster RVs.
I grew to appreciate and love what I have all that much more.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunbathing



We had a couple nights this past week where the temperature fell to 28 degrees (-2.2C).  One of those nights was the first time Beans ever got under the covers with me.  Sinbad used to do that all the time.  I always worried about him smothering.  Usually Beans sleeps on top of my feet or legs.  I can't imagine how sleeping on my bony legs can be comfortable.  It isn't too much for me.  But she does put out some warmth.  I'll take that.  She's a big cat.  Bigger than Sinbad and probably weighs half again as much as did Sinbad.  I wish there was some way I could weigh her.  I thought of those scales in the grocery store in the fruit and vegetable section.  I don't think Beans would tolerate going into the grocery store.  The people probably would like it either.  "Don't mind me.  I'm just weighing my cat."

Friday, January 4, 2019

Government Shut Down #2


Notice anything peculiar?


This is the only big container for trash and it is located south of us (three miles) at La Posa South.  There are six or seven regular dumpsters behind this big container and they were not over flowing although I have seen it that way once before.  The trash trucks still do their rounds on a regular basis despite the shut down.  The people here are real good about keeping our public lands clean.  You may have read a recent news item about how our National Parks are suffering with trash and human waste matter being left along park roadways, that's if you believe what the news media spits out these days.  Really, I cannot imagine people pulling off to the side of the road in the parks going poop and leaving it and toilet paper behind.  Maybe tossing a beer can or water bottle out but the other?


There is a regular dump station for RVs to dump their waste tanks at La Posa South.  Some RVers have what is referred to as a blue boy.  They are 10 or 15 gallon plastic containers with small wheels on them.  You hook your waste RV hose to it and when full tow the container behind your car or truck to the blue boy dump.  This method prevents you from having to break camp and drive your RV or tow the trailer to the regular dump station. The BLM provides a water tank (below) for you to rinse out your hose with after dumping your blue boy.  I don't have to use any of these facilities but go along with my camp mate when she does.  The time before I noticed this tank of fresh water half full.  I was curious if it was empty due to the shut down and not being refilled.  I couldn't see a water line.  I thumped on the tank and it sounded full.  Hmm...maybe they are filling it.  When talking with the guy who was using it while we waited our turn I learned the tank was frozen solid!  Yep, that is how cold it has been the last couple of nights.  It is warming back up to normal now.



Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Government Shut-down


How it is dealt with out here in the desert on BLM land.


Happy New Year everyone from Beans and I.


Friday, December 28, 2018

A Special Christmas Moment



Christmas Eve Day

I was standing outside reading the bulletin board ads at one of only two small grocery stores in Quartzsite.  The bulletin board is on the other side of the FRESH MEAT sign.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman walk up to the lady sitting in her roll-around chair and slip her a few dollars.  The lady in red said "I'm not begging."  The woman told her "You keep it. Merry Christmas" and she walked away.  I talked with the lady in red.  She told me she had been having trouble with people stealing from her (I didn't inquire as to details on that) and couldn't believe someone just gave her a few dollars.  I told her how that act of kindness on the part of the mystery woman and my being witness to it just made my day.  The lady in red moved real slow, had difficulty in doing most everything and was attempting to make arrangements for a ride to her doctor.  I wished her well and couldn't get the lady in red out from my mind for several hours afterwards.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Neighborhood Christmas Lights


Some of the Christmas light decorations in our camp neighborhood.




These lights were moving about on the wall of the camper.
A nice effect. 


Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas


Our "tree" of lights.
Merry Christmas everyone
From Beans and I.


It looks better in the dark than this photo shows.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Our Christmas Bush


You make the best with what you have.
The two solar lights keeps it lit up all night,
not that anyone is near enough to us to see it.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Good Questions


A commentor on the previous post had several good questions.


Do you see any wildlife, like rabbits or foxes?


  Yes, there are jack rabbits for the most part as far as rabbits go.  Desert foxes are here but rarely seen.  Coyote are more likely to be seen and especially heard at night.  They prowl camps for pet food  (or any other tasty tidbits) left out.  Not a good idea to let your pet out in the evening or it may end up being coyote food.  Mice and kangaroo rats live here but have retreated to their burrows since it got cooler.  The colder daytime temperatures have forced the reptiles (rattlesnakes) into hibernation.  
Not many trees around so perhaps not many birds? 

  Mesquite and palo verde trees are the only trees in the area.  There are a lot of dove who come by each evening to roost in the large mesquite near camp at night.  Where there are dove there are hawks.  Also quail are around plus the common sparrows, crows and ravens.

How often does it rain during the winter months? 

  Rain occurs a few times each month throughout the winter.  It never amounts to much, enough to be concerned about flash flooding.  Enough though to give the Little House on the Highway a good rinse.

And how cold does it get at night? 

  It gets down into the 40's (6-7C) at night for the most part.  Occasionally lower but never freezing. A look at the forecast shows 72F (22C) six days before Christmas!  That's why people come here in the winter.

Any gas stations nearby? 

  There are two large trucks stops (Loves and Pilot) at the west end of town off Interstate 10 which bisects the town.  In town there are three more gas stations.

Lastly there was the observation from another comment that there were too many RVs.  I agree.  But there is a lot of distance between them which isn't that noticeable in the photos.  The neighbors are nice, friendly and entertaining to watch.  But this could all change in the next month as more people arrive.  We talk about it often as to how long we can stay here before having to move out to a more remote location. As it stands now the most annoying thing is the noise from the nearby Interstate three quarters of a mile north.  The noise isn't so bad if the wind is out from the south.  At any rate, staying here in the long term visitor area was to be a test for me this year, to see if I could deal with it.  So far it's been fine.  

Our neighbor came by yesterday and treated us to bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches (photo above). So you can see there are benefits of what appears "too many Rvs".


Monday, December 10, 2018

Home is Where You Park It


This is where we are in the Long Term Visitor Area, one of four in the area.  The Little House on the Highway is in the center of the photo.  We are looking west here with the California border about 25 miles beyond those mountains in the distance.  In the past I have always bounced around among the few free 14-day stay places in the area.  Here I can stay all the way through to mid-April and don't have to move but I had to pay a fee for that privilege. I do get free water and free trash dump.  This year I thought I would give this a try and see how it worked out.  See if I could stay in one spot for months without going bonkers. So far, two months into the experiment, all has been fine.  I am camping with a friend I made from last year who is from New York. This has helped with the "bonkers" threat. She has that white van to the left which she pulls a little trailer. She volunteered to work two days a week checking people in and thus didn't have to pay to stay.  I don't want to work!


Looking south.  
To the far left is the kiosk building where Jodie works.  Walking distance from our camp. If they get ten payees a day, that is a busy day.  Most people just stop by to inquire about staying here or where the free places are.  It will get busy with more people showing up after Christmas. 
Yuma, Arizona is 84 miles south and beyond that, Mexico.


Looking north.  
Just beyond the line of RVs in the distance is the boundary of the LTVA camp area.  There is a dry river bed on the other side of the trees then the town of Quartzsite.  It is just a mile walk for me to town to buy milk or other groceries. This is a benefit for my staying at the LTVA as I don't have to break camp and drive into town anymore for supplies.  Food prices are a bit higher at the two little markets (the price you pay for living in paradise) plus there are two Dollar Stores.  There are all the fast food places to be had located in town among other touristy stores.  Quartzsite is basically a big rest stop as it is the only town of size (pop. 3677) between the California border at the Colorado River and the metropolis town of Phoenix, Arizona a distance of 124 miles. 


To the east behind where I was standing for these pictures is Highway 95 to Yuma and then one of the other LTVA areas.  Beyond that, nothing except a hundred miles of desert wasteland to Phoenix.






Friday, December 7, 2018

Indian Petroglyphs


I got a tip on some glyphs and went to search for them down off Yuma Road on BLM trail 139.  
I was surprised I found them.


They were on the rocks lining a dry wash.  By the image in the center it leads me to believe water flowed through here more regularly long ago than it does today.


What would the cross or dividing the rock into quarters mean?


I looked at this for a long time and still cannot imagine what it was supposed to represent.


 I may go back with my better camera and try to climb up closer.  


I said "may".  Don't count on me climbing up.
I might have second thoughts once I start climbing.




Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Eight Dollar Burger


This was the cholesterol cheeseburger (no extra charge for the cheese) with fresh grilled onions on it.  The fries seemed fresh cut also.  The juices were dripping constantly from it.  
What a wonderful tasty mess it was. I chose a lemonade to go with it.



Monday, December 3, 2018

Signs on the Dirt Road


A few of the signs along one of my daily walking routes. 
These were put up by the winter campers when they arrived at their yearly spots.


 All the snakes are hibernating now.  
I haven't seen one in several weeks.


I think the guy down this side road got tired of people driving down past his camp only to have to turn back around a leave the way they came in when they couldn't go any further.



Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Whole Week?!!!


A week has passed since I last posted on the blog.  It is just nothing blog-worthy has shown up in the past few days.  We both are doing fine and enjoying this fine 70 degree weather here, but that is about to change soon.  Beans as you can see likes to sunbathe in the window.  In fact she doesn't show much interest in going outside as usual.  Just enjoying life in the sun.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Rusty Stagecoach


 This is at a iron works art shop along the main street in town.


This was the most impressive piece of work and fortunately was right along the street.


I am guessing all that texture to the flat sheets of metal was done with a ball-peen hammer
and would have taken a very long time to do.



If that piece is too large for your front yard you could buy this scaled down version for only $2200.
Now we wonder what the price is on the full-sized piece.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Memorial


Found at a vacant campsite out in the desert while hiking.
I wondered about the story behind it.


Monday, November 19, 2018

Mine Exploring Disaster


One day I went on a hike to explore an abandoned mining operation.


There wasn't all that much interesting to see. 
I was hoping to find a date somewhere but didn't.


After this photo I climbed up on the ledge to the left. Beneath that square wood structure was a shallow hole into the solid rock wall. I stepped in to investigate and discovered a herd of bees. I backed out of there real quick. As I paused to get a picture of the hole so as to tell the story of the bees, one was very aggressive and stung my left hand. I never got the picture. 
Yeah, it hurt.


The pain went away after 15 minutes or so and for the rest of the day it was only sore to the touch. No swelling, discoloration, not even a bump.  All that changed 36 hours later. My hand was now swollen. The itch was maddening. If I rubbed or gently scratched, instant fire!  I tried everything to relieve the itch.  I'd much rather have that initial pain back.  It was just a matter of waiting out the next three days for the ordeal to be over. This experience really gave me some insight as to how people die from multiple bee stings.  I am grateful I only got one.  I remember having been stung by bees in the past,even a yellow jacket one time; this one beats all.  

It wasn't those Africanized Honey Bees (Killer Bees) as the stinger wasn't left behind in my hand and the entire swarm didn't come after me as Killer Bees do.  Honey bees are the only ones with a barbed stinger that is left behind when stung. The bee dies afterwards.  
Nope, this guy stung me and moved on.