A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





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. 


Friday, November 16, 2018

Dutch Oven Oven


This past week has cooled down to the 70's.  The mornings are chilly and I finally had to dig out and hook up my propane heater.  The cooler weather makes me think of baking in the Dutch Oven. Cornbread, biscuits, brownies... Since I plan to be at this spot for a few months I put in the effort to build a rock "oven" to shelter the cast iron pot from the wind, if any, thus allowing the charcoal heat to do its job more efficiently.  Sitting inside is that is the porcelain covered tray from an old stove I found in the desert last year.  It really makes a difference having the charcoal sit in it rather on the bare ground and losing heat to the earth.


The days (and evenings) have been clear of clouds lately.  
One of the last good sunsets.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Someone's Trash, My Treasure


I saw this in the dumpster near camp.  A CB radio.  No, I didn't "dive" into the dumpster.  I'm not sure could climb back out.  I fished the radio out with my three-foot long grabber tongs.  Those tongs are good for relocating Sidewinder Rattlesnakes too.  I cleaned it up, hooked it up and it works.  I don't really want a CB radio as I wouldn't want to listen to all that racket.  But it might come in handy as a barter item or just be a nice guy and give it to someone.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Crystals


One day we went to Crystal Hill to search for...ready?...Crystals!

The turnoff to the site is seven miles down the highway from camp.  You then turn east onto a dirt road and drive in another six and half miles.  That part takes 45 minutes to drive.  It's slow going.
I had been there before a couple years back.  I hiked over to the base of the hill and walked the wash.  In no time at all I found the fourth stone in the top row.  "Wow! This is going to be easy!"  
I never saw another stone the entire day.

On this trip I found the other three in the top row and was pleased.  I then hiked over to an area where someone had been digging (you cannot dig or use any tools in looking for crystals on this public land, a Wildlife Reserve) which I remembered from the previous visit.  Sparkling in the sun was what looked like broken glass.  I sat down and discovered the true nature of these crystals (all of the rest below that top row).  I hadn't been looking for such small rocks before.  All those long slender pieces are clear.  The second row are somewhat milky clear.  I guess they need a few more million years to ripen.  The upper right rock was interesting in that the quartz piece is still embedded in the matrix.

I don't know what to do with them now that I have them.  



Friday, November 9, 2018

New Cactus


I've seen these cactus elsewhere but never here so I was surprised to find this specimen.
How did just this one cactus come to be here?
This is a very old cactus too.


Another first was finding fruit on the cactus. 
 I have never seen fruit on this species before.


Closer to home I discovered a horseshoe pit someone built.
Those pads to toss from are cement so they put some work into making this



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Not Fun


The string broke in these shades months ago.  I saved the job of repairing it until I was at our winter home in the desert of Arizona. 
 I've done it once before on a larger shade so I was familiar with the process.


The strings go from the top over to the side, down through the pleats of the shade, crosses over to the other side then down through the pleats of the lower shade, then back over to the first side and out the end caps.  Two sets of strings, two sets of tedious threading through tiny holes on my knees on hard ground.  An hour later and with sore knees, back and elbows...


 ...I got the shade repaired and back together.


Then it was a matter of getting the shade installed back into the RV, screwing it into the wood, overhead, lying on my back, working in cramped quarters.


I earned a beer on this job!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Errand Day


It was the first of the month and I thought about dumping and filling everything
 just to see how long I could go before needing something done.
Easier to keep track from the first.

First was to dump the waste tanks. I am very conservative on water usage so the grey water (washing and cleaning) wasn't even one quarter full since I last dumped at the Grand Canyon. I installed a composting toilet a couple years ago so there isn't any black water (sewage) to deal with anymore.
I could probably go several months before having to dump these tanks.
38 and 31 gallon capacity.
Free.


Next was to fill the water tank with fresh water.
This will last me well over a month.
I still had a quarter of a tank left over from the Grand Canyon.
34 gallon capacity.
Free.


Dump my trash.
Just a Walmart plastic bag every two or three days.
Even longer if I burn the paper products.
Free.


Then did a load of laundry.
$1.75 to wash, 50 cents to dry.


Next I filled my one gallon plastic jugs with clean filtered water.
I use this water for cooking, making coffee and tea.
I have eight containers which lasts close to two months.
I only needed to fill 6 jugs.
$1.80
I buy Crystal Geyser Spring water in one gallon jugs at the store for my straight drinking water.
I've found it tastes the best. Under a dollar at Walmart.


I forgot to get a picture of the guy filling the propane tank.
Even though it is a 14 gallon tank they are only filled to 80% capacity so that comes to 11.2 gallons.
This time I only needed 8.1 gallons. Cost varies but here it was $2.20 a gallon. 
Usage varies as the propane is used for cooking and running the refrigerator. 
 In warmer climates the refrigerator will run more. Colder weather, less. 
The propane isn't used for heating. 
I have a separate 5 gallon tank to run a portable heater in the winter. 


This will be the one item that I will probably have to refill first.
I average a little over a month on a propane fill-up.



Friday, November 2, 2018

Beans Goes Berserk


I had set the solar shower out on the rug and Beans thought it was great fun jumping onto.


She kept her claws in, so I let her have her fun.


So cute.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

Stinky Pete's


This junk shop has been in Quartzsite for years, "over twenty" so says the owner.
It sits on the main thoroughfare next to a market and if for not being in Quartzsite, 
any place else it would be an eyesore. 
We wandered in and got to talking with the owner who's name is not Pete.
I just assigned that name to him.   


He soon got off on a rant as to how the town officials and fire marshal were shutting him down "in six days" due to code violations among a long list of other infractions. 
He showed us the letter from the city.   


As he gradually worked himself up into a froth telling us how "they" didn't know the law and how he was going to file suit for millions of dollars, how he knew where the Lost Dutchman" lay hidden in the desert only a few feet under ground, how...I wandered off to take these photos.


The wind must have changed directions while I was away as Jo said the stench from him became unbearable.  "The smell was so repulsive I began to get nauseated."
She finally got away while Stinky was still carrying on
 "...and I don't think he even was aware I left." 


As I walked around all I could think of is how was he going to remove all of this junk?   I thought about a EVERYTHING MUST GO  sign but see he already had one out front...probably for those twenty years.


We plan to go back in a week and see how this issue develops.  All I could think of was bring in several large containers, a skip loader, scoop it all up and haul away to the local dump.
I suggested we situate ourselves across the boulevard as there could be gun fire.






Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sidewinder!



The camp host found this guy curled up beneath his trailer one morning. I got my grabber tongs so he could pick it up, put it in a bucket covered with an old piece of carpet then took him for a ride to his new home, a wash far away.

I am now doing daily under the Little House on the Highway morning checks
 making sure it is safe for Beans before she goes outside. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

More Neighborhood Rock Art


I found these across the highway in the other camping area during my morning walk.
The artist hasn't returned to their winter home as of yet.
No campers were around anywhere in sight.



A lot of time and effort were put in creating these.


Just the gathering of all the different colored rock alone would seem a monumental task.


Without a doubt, this was the most impressive piece





A sundial.
It was 10:21 when I took the picture.
My iPhone time must be off.


Now if I wanted to gather a bunch of black rock
I could replicate my shadow.


Too much work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Beans Likes it Here.


She likes lying in the shade


of the large mesquite tree near camp.


There are lizards here but they scurry off into the protection of the creosote bushes where she cannot get to them.  But it keeps her entertained along with bird watching the doves and quail.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Tornado!



Granted, it isn't up to Oklahoma/Kansas standards as far as tornadoes go but I'll take it.
I've always wanted to see a tornado in real life-from a safe distance-and now I can say I have.
Some may argue it is just a big dust devil but they don't get that tall and go from ground to cloud.
Its a tornado. Don't take that away from me.
It eventually fizzled out and came no closer than this. 



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Neighborhood Rock Art


I came across these only a couple hundred yards away for our home site.


Someone has some artistic talent.


They were done last year, or maybe longer, as no one is camped at the site yet.


In fact very few "snowbirds" as they are called are here
but that will change BIG TIME in the next couple of months.


Yep, you have a lot of free time here during the winter
so what else better to do but create some rock art.