A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Back Home...Our Winter Home

Quartzsite, Arizona

I wasn't planning to arrive here until the first of November but global warming just didn't seem to be happening around where we were.  The weather showed it to be in the mid-eighties in Quartzsite and here we are three weeks early and it is nice. I met up with a friend from last year. She has volunteered to work in the kiosk for two days a week registering in snowbirds (travelers escaping the cold from up north and Canada) at the Long Term Visitor Area here in the desert.  In doing so she gets to stay for free. Those who want to stay long term (Sept. 15 through April 15) pay $180. With that you get trash disposal, use of dump station for waste water and a fresh water fill source. So it is a pretty good deal costing as low as 86 cents a day to camp.  This is the first time I've opted to pay the long term fee.  In the past I have always stayed at the 14-day limit areas around the LTVA areas.  They are free but you have to move all the time.  So I am trying this out and see if I can stay put for months without going bonkers.

Being that Beans and I will not be traveling and getting into mischief much during the winter there will not be the daily posting to the blog as I have been doing this past year.  It just won't be that much to blog about here that I haven't already shown in years past.  I'll do my best to get something of interest every few days hopefully. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Abandoned KOA Campground

This is located right off Interstate 40 on old Route 66 between Winslow and Flagstaff, Arizona.

I found this site fascinating.

A lot of paint and effort is involved here.

Amazing that no one has burned it down.

Out here were the camp sites and the electrical hook-up poles still stand.

The campground and other features still exist at the site called Two Guns.
Two Guns has an interesting history and you can read about it here.

People like me will over night here but we had miles to go 
so I'll save that experience for the next time we pass through here.

Friday, October 12, 2018

McHood Park

This was a nice free campground just south of the town of Winslow, Arizona.  It used to be run by the county and then the city of Winslow took it over when the county gave up on it.

Talking with camp host Larry, he felt they would start charging fees next year.

Most people were attracted to the water-side camp sites
down below from where Beans and I were.

I had planned on staying a week or so, in-spite of the noise being made by the dredging equipment on the boat.  But when a cold front moved in and it dropped down in the 40's and 50's and I had to break out the heater and I see the weather is thirty degrees warmer on the western side of the state, we left.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


That evening there was a whopper of a storm south of us.  It was a constant barrage of lightning flashes for awhile there, very entertaining.  We only got a smattering of rain and a few gusty winds.
I drove on down to the river for breakfast before heading back south.  This is where the Paria River meets the Colorado River.  The Paria is all that brown muddy water.  The Colorado is clear due to the dam not far north of this point.
Notice the heron. 

This is the first rapid that boaters encounter once they put in at Lees Ferry.
They refer to it as a "riffle" rather than a rapid.

Soon after we got onto Highway 89 south there was a warning sign.  The storm had flash-flooded away a portion of the highway right where we were going to turn off to go back to the Grand Canyon.  All north and south bound traffic was to take Highway 160 east...a 190 mile long detour to or from Flagstaff.
Well Beans, I guess we aren't going to the Grand Canyon after all.

This would prove to be a scenic drive through Navajo/Hope reservation land, only it didn't turn out to be quite that pleasant.  People were pissed about this detour and were driving with rage.  A two lane desert highway, no shoulder, and they are crossing over double yellow lines passing one another.  Same with those going north that had to drive an extra 58 miles east from Flagstaff before even starting north.  It was insanity.  The worse of the careless drivers taking unnecessary unsafe chances....California plates.
We stopped at noon for a night at the Hopi Cultural Center in Second Mesa.  I had had enough of this madness for one day and seen too many close calls for comfort.
It would be truly a miracle if no head-on occurred that day.

Two hours later after writing up the above three police cars sirens wailing sped by heading west.  Thirty minutes later an ambulance with its siren screaming came back in from the west.  I can only hope the idiot just took himself out and no innocents were involved.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lees Ferry Crossing

Yes, this is one of those places on the highway I just want to get through as fast as I can before something slides down on top of us.

On the way to our campground were these rock formations.

It is difficult to judge the size of this but just figure almost twice as large
as the Little House on the Highway in the distance.

This one?  Well over twice the size.

Our camp with a small bit of the vast Vermilion Cliffs in the background.

I planned on going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, that is until I did a weather check.  Daytime temperatures were in the 50's due to the high altitude of 9000 plus feet. 
Guess we'll go back to the South Rim Beans.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Marble Canyon

This is the newer Navajo Bridge built to handle today's larger trucks and volume of traffic.

The original Navajo Bridge is now just for pedestrians only. 

The bridge south of Page is the only way you can drive across the Colorado River gorge
 (get from the south side to the north side) unless you drive
 326 miles over to the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas and cross there. 

Good idea.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lost Cat...not Beans

Our situation became desperate. We were down to the last can of cat food!  So we had to say good-bye to the Grand Canyon and do some shopping.  We went north to Page, Arizona where the Glen Canyon Dam is that forms huge Lake Powell.  We stayed at the Walmart on the outskirts of town.  There were at least twenty other RV's that stayed that night.  That is probably the most I have ever seen at a Walmart parking lot.  The next morning I went back into the store to fill water jugs at the water machine.  When I returned to the motor home two women were standing outside. One said "Here he comes."  The other lady walked over to me holding this adorable tuxedo kitten.  I soon learned that she had found it wandering around in the parking lot and both women knew I had a cat and thought it was Beans who had got out.  This is something I had hoped to have happened to me that first trip road trip after Sinbad passed away - find a cat somewhere on the road as if it was meant to be.  But as you know, that didn't happen.  This kitty was about a year old and the woman said it was a female.  She couldn't keep it as she was visiting from Australia.  The other lady could take it for she was already traveling with two cats.  You can imagine how hard it was for me to not take it.  The Australian lady in the photo said she would take it to the shelter in town.  I hope someone adopts "Page" (see, I've already given her a name) and gives her a good home.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Grand Canyon 5

Beans enjoyed her time at the Grand Canyon

even though the lizard hunting was poor.  Too high for lizards at 7500'.

The full moon occurred while we were there and the evenings were nearly like daylight. I got up around midnight to try for a photo.  While standing outside I could hear this unearthly crying sound coming from the forest.  It was hauntingly beautiful much like the sound of whale song in the ocean.  I had an idea that it may be elk, did some research and discovered that elk calves would make this call in trying to keep in touch with their mothers.  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Grand Canyon 4

I figured there had to be a better way to enjoy the Canyon.  I looked at a satellite image and reasoned if I hike two miles or so directly north through the forest I would eventually come to the edge of the Canyon. The next morning armed with my compass, GPS device and iPhone for that image I took off.

My only concern was maybe a mountain lion for there were a fair number of bleached bones lying about.  Probably from one of these elk, an unlucky one.

Finally, the Canyon came into view.

I moved along the rim for a better view.

 Here I really wanted to walk (or crawl most likely) out onto this point but couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was just too unnerving for me at this stage in my life.  Years ago, yes.

I moved on along the rim and looked back at that point and saw how undercut the cliff face was.  And I was considering going out there?!  I couldn't get a picture of the full undercut as I was no way going any further out just for a picture for you. You'll have to take my word for it.  There was nothing underneath way back to the left corner of the photo and beyond.

Here are some other enticing vantage points for the young and foolish and stupid.

Now imagine going out onto this point not knowing what it looked like from a side view?
"Ah. I'll just step across this gap and be right there at the edge."

I sat here at this spot for a long time enjoying the Grand Canyon all alone to myself.
Before I left to return to camp, I stacked a few rocks to mark my spot.
I hope to return to the Grand Canyon next year and will go out again to 
My Viewpoint and see if my rock cairn still stands.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Grand Canyon 3

Then one morning we left to see some of the views further on down the road.

He and his harem were at the laundromat. I needed to do laundry and thought I may as well do it here in this beautiful setting than some mini-mall in a city.

At popular Mather Point way off to the left I see this.
Nope, not for me to being doing.

The crowds were thick. People were lining up for their turn to have their picture taken standing on this rock. The line was thirty deep.  Really?

Scores of people had their selfie-sticks but this lady had the longest one.
Sometimes she'd stand for nearly a minute photographing herself.
I figured she was taking video.  With a series of those videos stitched together the final video just had to be one of the most riveting videos to be seen on YouTube.

I had to leave. 
Walking back to the Little House on the Highway here is just one line of RVs parked.
Half of them are rentals.  I counted.  The RV rental industry must be highly successful.
If you are curious, search online as to what the rates are to rent an RV.
It's staggering, and people pay it!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Grand Canyon 2

Driving along the road in the Canyon park there is a turnoff to the Grandview lookout tower.
In a half a mile you exit the park boundary and are then in the Kaibab National Forest which means


The next day I took the short one mile walk to the tower
and decided to climb up. Why not?

Well for one reason you are at 7500 feet in elevation so it isn't all that simple.
Slow and easy does it.

Then once finally at the top you discover the trapdoor into the lookout is locked!
A cruel joke by the Forest Service.

Still it is a Grand View to be had standing under the floor.

(click to enlarge)