A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Just Little Old Me

Quartzsite, Arizona

I hardly ever have any pictures of myself on the blog.  
Poor Beans just can't hold the camera and push the button at the same time.  

I went to visit some friends who rolled through Quartzsite and got my picture taken during the visit.  

Thank you Bonnie for lunch and the photos.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

One of a Kind

Quartzsite, Arizona

Not really something to have if you wanted to keep a low profile and get lost in the crowd.

Got to hand it to the builder though as he had a vision and imagination.

As you can see by this photo he just barely pulled off the road.
Probably was coming into Quartzsite on a wing and and prayer and it died right there
five miles away from town.

A nice view of the stars at night while lying in bed.  
During the day the sun must really beat in there though.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Its Okay

Its okay that we got ran off from our old campsite.  I was going to have to take the Little House on the Highway into town for propane anyway.  I was trying to get it down close to "empty" just to see how many days it lasted since it was last filled up.  Well, it took 11.2 gallons and that is the capacity of the tank so it was a good thing I didn't try to press it an extra day or two.  "Thank you rude California camper."  Afterward I stopped at Family Dollar and the little in town grocery store Roadrunner to stock up on supplies.  I couldn't believe my good fortune as there were no lines at the check out for either.  Family Dollar always has a line.  So to celebrate my good fortune I treated myself to a fast food meal.  I go to Burger King most of the time.  You complete their customer survey and get rewarded a "Free" Whopper burger, only its not so "free".  You still have to buy the meal which includes a small drink and small fries.  So it costs $3.86 vs. the $6.39 regular price.  
Hey, its a $2.53 savings.  Oh and there I finally had to stand in a short line.

At our new camp spot I immediately found the crystal on the right.  It is about the size of a large table grape.  The next day Beans led me to the slender crystal,on the left just over an inch long. 
I'll be looking for more, you can count on that.  The best time is around three in the afternoon as the sun is low and the shine from the crystals stands out among all the small pebble rock.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

We Got Ran Off

Quartzsite, Arizona

Some people from California moved in somewhat near us late last week.  They had a generator.  It wasn't a loud obnoxious one but it was there and was annoying.  I'd wake up in the morning to this incessant humming noise.  Went to bed at night same way.  But when they drove off the second day and left the damn thing going, that was it.  Enough!  I packed up and this time moved over to Tyson Wash across the highway about three miles distant.  The funny thing was that for the four months at the original camp area I had grown accustom to the constant distant noise of camper traffic going back and forth on the gravel road for the water, trash and dump area.  Here at our new spot it is so quiet, I had forgotten how quiet it can and should be.  My only two visible neighbors have solar panels on their roofs.  Always a good sign. 

I liked where we were before and probably would stay there again next year.  Only now in January the Big Tent and RV show is going on in town and lots of people are rolling in.  Best to move out across the highway before Christmas in the future.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Someone's Trash is...

...not necessarily my treasure but I sure can put it to good use.

I can't believe someone through this short hose away.  
The only thing not right is the nozzle is a bit tweaked but is still round.  

As you can see this works great for filling water bottles without having to remove them from the bike, hold up to the faucet and having water spray out all over me when I'm not paying attention which happens a lot.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Not a Project - Carpet Squares

Quartzsite, Arizona

One of the vendors here...

...has these pallets stacked with carpet squares.

The ground at camp is nicely paved with small rock.  No dirt or stickers so I never rolled out my rug.  Yet early on when it was WARM I'd sit outside and would kick off my flip flops.  I thought back to those carpets squares.  One would be nice to set my feet on.  I went and bought one.  Then the weather turned cold and never really got to use it.  Oh, I will for sure later on this year.
Remember what the table looks like.

Then one day I was cleaning and organizing the side storage compartment.  Hmm...those carpet squares might work in here.  It proved to be a perfect fit.  I went back and bought four more.
I like this.

On another day it was supposed to have showers that evening and I put everything away.  The next morning as I was setting things back out I set the carpet square for in front of the chair on the table to wait for the ground to dry.  Well look at that.  The carpet square is the exact size of the table top.  One would be nice to have there all the time.  I went back and bought another square.  This will be a lot better to sit my cup of tea on, my book, work on a little project, whatever.  
Beans thinks it is for her to sit on.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Project Four

Quartzsite, Arizona

This is my little outdoor stove.  I would use it more often except the wind is bothersome with the heat.  Same too when I use the Dutch Oven.  I have a little windscreen for backpacking I use sometimes.  I was going to set it up for a photo but you think I could find it?  Grrr...  Anyway, I saw on a video a guy set up a large three panel wind shield for his stove and he got it right here in Quartzsite...somewhere, he didn't say where.  I searched the vendors here.  Nothing.  I got online and none could be had.  What to do?  Well, I'll just make my own!  I saw some online that were similar for around $30 but they were multi-fold up panels. I wanted a more ridged three panel arrangement.  I planned to go to the hardware store and see if they had some aluminum around 18x12 which would fit the table nicely.

One day I was walking through a vendor's tent that sells mostly kitchen and cooking items.  I saw this stack of cookie sheets.  Hmm...that just might work.  They were priced $4 each.  I asked the guy if he'd take $10 for three.  "Sure. I was watching you over there.  Figured you were coming up with some use for them besides cooking cookies."  I told him what my idea was.  Hey, its fun to haggle.  

Back at camp I learned why there was a stack of them and only $4 each.  You need a blow torch to remove those stickers.  Not kidding.  I soaked them in water, gasoline, carburetor cleaner, some cleaning stuff I have that will remove everything imaginable.  The stickers are still stuck on there.  And I thought cutting through that shackle on the lock was hard!
I may get some WD-40 or just maybe forget it.  They will still deflect wind with stickers left on.
I can just imagine all the pissed off housewives sending e-mails to the EKCO company.

Yes, this will work out nicely.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Project Three - Things People Throw Away

Quartzsite, Arizona

One day when I walked to the dumpsters to get rid of our trash I found this thrown in there.  I have two of those locks and thought if lucky one of the keys might open the lock.  No such luck.  I would really like to have the cable though.  How hard can it be to cut through that shackle?  
Well I was to learn VERY HARD!  

A hack saw didn't even make a mark.  I got out my saber saw fitted with a metal cutting blade.  Ha!  Barely a scratch.  I Googled it.  Cutting torch.  Nope, don't have that.  Angle grinder.  Nope, have one back at the house though.  Dremel Tool with cut-off disc.  Yeah!  That I have.  I wish I had looked to see how long I worked on this until I finally got frustrated and quit.  It was making headway but was agonizingly slow.  The next morning I went at it again.  You cannot imagine the pleasure I felt when the shackle feel apart.  Yet I couldn't twist it enough to slip the cable out.  
I'd have to finish the second cut.

Instead I tried gripping it with pliers and working it back and forth it finally snapped away. 
Was it worth it?  Yes as I can use that cable and besides, what else to do I have to do?

Would I do it again?
Not likely.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunset Sunday

Quartzsite, Arizona

I couldn't decide so just went ahead with all three images.


I wrenched my back late last week.  Don't know how, just a twist and 'OH!".  So I was pretty useless for the rest of the day.  The next day I was better but could tell it was still there if I made a wrong move.  Then Saturday arrived.  I beautiful warm day.  I could go without shoes and socks and shirt.  I sat outside for some solar therapy letting the sun heal my back.  Then I found a crystal right in front of the Little House on the Highway.  It was a very good day.

Sometimes its nice to just sit and do nothing for a couple of days.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Project Two

Quartzsite, Arizona

This project I had been thinking about for a long time.  I decided during my stay in Quartzsite this year I would do it.  This is a five gallon twenty pound propane tank like you have on your bar-b-que outside.  I lug it around all year long, taking up storage space, all for only one purpose...

...to run the heater inside the RV.

My plan was to do away with the tank and use the propane from the RV.  There is a connection that can be bought to hook up tanks to the main RV tank.  I thought it was something that screwed in to the filler port (on the left) but eventually learned that it was to be installed within the piping to the right. Well I didn't want to mess with all that (I don't like to do plumbing) and some reviews people said they encountered leaks which had to be corrected.  I don't need issues to deal with.

Later I got the bright idea to buy a valve, remove the burner for the hot water tank (I never used it but one time - a waste of fuel) and connect it all there running the hose inside along the hot water tank.  With that completed now all I wanted to do was run that five gallon tank empty, hook up to my new system and I was good to go.  Finally one morning the heater sputtered and the fire went off.  Good.  The tank is empty.  I hooked the heater to my new line, opened the valve and turned on the heater.  It lit and then soon sputtered out and died.  "What the heck?"  I tried again.  Same thing.  "Well horsefeathers! That's just great.  Something is wrong with the heater.  It probably didn't even run out of propane."  I started looking online at new heaters, maybe one of those fancy catalytic heaters.  Research showed they had to be really clean all the time or would not work.  Well being out in the dusty conditions as I am not to mention cat fur floating about, this would not do.  It was back to buying a new Mr. Heater.  Just before I was about to place my order I learned that the heaters run off high pressure propane.  They won't run on low pressure.  The RV lines have pressure regulators in them (the round thingy in the upper right corner).  Huh!  I screwed on one of my green Coleman propane canisters to the heater and it fired right up working like a champ.  Yippee!  
I didn't have to buy a new heater. 

I still wanted to get rid of that five gallon tank though.  What to do?  Get a smaller tank!  Back online I bought a one gallon five pound tank seen here on the right.  Isn't it cute?  How long will one gallon last you ask?  Well I'm finding out now.  I had them put one gallon into the big tank to hold me over until the little guy arrived.  So far it's been two and a half weeks running the heater in the mornings.  Another good thing about the little guy is that I can carry him on Gracie to get filled up.  I couldn't do that with big boy.  I'm giving the big tank to a lady down the road from us.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Lunch at Randy's

Quartzsite, Arizona

I ordered some more food for Beans last week and it was scheduled to arrive at the package drop off point in town on Monday.  Packages from Amazon comes by UPS and is usually at the drop off site before 11am.  I've been using Chewys.com the last couple time for Beans food.  I save a few bucks and haven't run across an Out of Stock notice yet as I have with Amazon.  Only thing is they ship by FedEx and the driver doesn't show until between noon and one.  I went to the grocery store for some human food first.  No FedEx yet.  It was now noon so I decided to get some lunch to kill time.
A good time to visit Randy's for the first time this season.

For $8 this is what you get including the drink that didn't make it into the photo.  Real meat (not fast food meat), fresh grilled onions and real potato fries.  After 4pm the price drops to one dollar for the cheeseburger.  He wants to clear out the meat so it doesn't set overnight and can start fresh the next day.  I can't remember but the fries and drink are extra after 4 I think. Still its under a five dollar bill.
Let me tell you, these are real good hamburgers and you wind up with a mess in your hands for the final few bites.

And look at this wonderful outdoor dining seating you get!
My back pack is full of human food.  I needed to save room for the box of Beans food.  Finally the FedEx guy delivered the package and I went to pick it up.  The box proved to be bigger than my carry crate on the back of Gracie and I had to bungee it down sitting on top.
I made it back to camp just fine.

And someone really missed me too.  She went ballistic when I returned.
Gee Dad, I thought you were never coming back!  Thanks for the box."

Beans and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Project One

Quartzsite, Arizona

It is so ding dang cold outside that Beans and I are confined indoors most of the time.  As I write this the wind is blowing twenty miles per hour.  Who wants to be out in that?  Yesterday was cloudy and cold.  The day before, raining.  Anyway, this gives me a lot of time to think which leads on to a project.  This post will be the first of a couple project posts

This is a motion detector security light I bought here in Quartzsite three years ago.  It has a small solar panel that charges two small batteries which powers the light during the night.  It worked great for a year then the motion detector quit detecting motion.  I took the light down and have been carrying it around ever since.  Being cooped up inside I got to thinking.  The solar panel brought in 13 volts.  The batteries put out 7.8 volts.  I took the light apart and hooked up a 9 volt battery.  What could 1.2 extra volts do?  Nothing.  It didn't catch fire or blow up.  (I knew it wouldn't)  I reinstalled the light high along the roof line pointing to the rear and ran wire down along the ladder and inside the RV.  With the solar panel no wiring was needed but I couldn't use the solar part anymore nor the batteries as I needed to be able to switch on the light manually.

To do that I picked up a small transistor radio at the local Animal Shelter Thrift Shop for $3.  I took the radio apart and figured where to connect the wires inside.  Turning on the radio makes the light go on.  The radio is mounted next to my head at the bed.  Now if I hear anything outside, I can flick on the radio and see what is going on.  This will be especially nice when over-nighting at places like Walmart parking lots.  You may wonder "Why not just get a new security light?"  That'd be too easy.  Where's the fun in that?  Besides, that Chinese junk doesn't last long.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Never Fails

Lay something new or different out
"I need to sit on it".

Then there is when I am reading a book.
"Really Beans?"

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas

Beans and I wish you all a very nice Christmas.

Poor Beans, she'll never be able to experience such joy at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Meet Jasper

Quartzsite, Arizona

One day as I was riding around on Gracie I came upon a woman supervising her cat who was wandering around sniffing everything.  I stopped, got off Gracie and approached them as both who understandably were a bit guarded. I introduced myself adding "I'm a cat guy.  I just had to stop and see your kitty."  The lady relaxed and the cat wandered away.  I then saw another cat and she informed me there was a third one around somewhere.  The other two cats weren't interested in me, but Jasper was and cautiously approached me, checked me out and then turned away and continued his exploring.
She then told me about Jasper.

Be forewarned...this is very BAD!

In his first year of his life he was raised to be "bait" for pit bull training.  People (I shouldn't call them people for they a below such) take young cats and throw them to pit bull dogs where they are savagely torn to bits as a training tool.  I never heard of such and thing and wish I never had. Oh what I would give to just have a few minutes with this type of individual in a world without consequences.  Jasper was lucky in the fact that he escaped this horrific fate.  He was eventually rescued and the lady adopted him.  She already had the other two cats Sasha and I don't remember the name of the other.  When Jasper was introduced to the family he was extremely aggressive to the other cats and his new Mom.  There was hissing, scratching, biting and blood.  You can't blame him one bit.  People, including her vet said he was hopeless but she didn't give up on him.  
Today Jasper is six years old and he is a cuddlier and a lover.

Jasper walked back to me and allowed me to pet him, then wandered off again.  The woman was surprised he did this  As we talked Jasper came back a third time and gave me a couple head butts on the leg then rubbed up against me.  She was astonished at this behavior from him.  
What can I say?  Cats like me.

The woman, I think her name was Alicia, was very concerned about coyotes for she could hear them at times.  I tried to reassure her that there wasn't any need to be concerned for she was out there watching over her cats and the coyotes never come around during the daytime with so many people about.  Nighttime yes for people leave food for their pets outside or even people food at times.  As I rode away I thought about the fact that rattlesnakes would be a bigger concern than coyotes.  I wished I had told her this.  It is winter and very cold so all the snakes are hibernating now so there is no need to worry.  If she is reading this and ever plans to come back to the desert areas (she was from the midwest) just be more watchful for snakes in the warmer months than coyotes.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dreaming of Chasing Lizards

Frigid Quartzsite, Arizona

Seventy-one degrees one day then overnight it drops to the high fifties with lows at night in the mid-thirties.  The winds makes it seem all the colder.  We're both taking shelter inside all day.  At least there are sunny skies and no rain.  We have that to be thankful for. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Late Bloomer

Quartzsite, Arizona

One day during my wanderings I came across this lone ocotillo with blooms.  
All the other ocotillo I've seen have long since lost their blossoms.

Hummingbirds and ants pollinate the flowers.

Reminds me of candy corn I used to eat as a child, a popular candy around Halloween time.