A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Sunday, December 8, 2019

What a Difference Six Inches Makes!


Quartzsite, Arizona

My old sleeping bag (I'm not saying how old or you'll lose respect of me) started following apart.  Time to get a new sleeping bag.  The one I selected on Amazon just happened to be six inches wider and three inches longer than my old bag.  This wasn't something I was searching for but I'd take it.  That first night was a revelation.  


Beans the Bed Hog wasn't crowding me anymore!  I had room for my feet now!
Plus the new bag was so soft, comfortable and toasty warm.


It even has a Velcro closure pouch for your phone.  Really?
People sleep with their phones?


"Yawn"


Friday, December 6, 2019

Delicate Arch


NOT Quartzite, Arizona

Arches National Park, Utah


You may have read in the news where two people died last week and a third seriously injured when they slipped and fell into the sandstone bowl beneath Delicate Arch.  I am really surprised more people aren't injured or die from falling here.  I did this hike a few years ago and unfortunately cannot find my pictures from that day.  I had to take this one from the internet.  After several miles of hiking I remember walking out from behind some rocks and presented with this view.  When I emerged from the rocks I then felt the full force of the fierce wind blowing that day.  I watched as people walked around the rim of the bowl so that they could stand beneath the arch and take a picture of themselves. Nope, no way. It ain't happening and I stayed put.  A lady was standing near me not venturing any further.  Smart woman.  A sudden gust of wind blew across the bowl (we heard it coming) we both hit the deck to keep from getting blown over.  

  
I couldn't find a photo showing the bottom of the bowl but this is pretty close to it as it flattens out. I thought If I drop my water bottle it's staying down there with the other water bottles and few hats.  
I suppose it is possible someway to get down there...somehow.  Thank goodness there wasn't this many people there when I did the hike.

They said that day of the tragedy the rock was wet and slippery.  Add some wind and it's not good. 




Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Cold Mornings


Quartzite, Arizona

The mornings are quite cold but they could be worse and may be so come January.


One morning Beans discovered the warmth that could be had in bed with me.
This is a first for her, to snuggle in the sleeping bag.
Sinbad would do this all the time sometimes burrowing down to me feet.
I always worried about him smothering down there and would make him come up higher.


Beans likes the heater too.
"Be careful and don't singe your whiskers."
Sinbad would get too close and I'd have to warn him all the time.


In the afternoon the sun hits the front and some good warm sunbathing is called for.




Monday, December 2, 2019

Lightning Strike!


Quartzite, Arizona

You may have read about all the nasty weather going on over the Thanksgiving period.  Northern Arizona received so much snow that the Interstate was shut down east and west of Flagstaff.  We missed all the action only getting some high winds and a bit of rain.  The phone kept going off warning of flash floods in our area.  The numerous loud blarings from three different weather apps would scare the bejesus out of me.  I eventually turned the phone off and went to sleep.  I awoke the next morning finding we were still here.  Amid all of this was one really close lightening strike (that didn't scare me) and my lightening app showed it was less than two miles south of us. The red dot.


I got the idea of taking a couple of screenshots of the location and try to find where the lightening hit.

A zoomed in second shot. 
When a nice day arrived I went off on my motorbike in search for it.  Bouncing back and forth viewing these screen shots and then my map GPS on the phone I was able to find the spot.  
Not as easy as I imagined it to be I might add.  


Here Gracie is parked on the spot.  I found nothing.  I walked all around.  Nothing.  I rode Gracie around in ever widening circles.  Nothing.  I had looked online for images as to what to look for too.  A blown out hole, disturbed earth radiating out in all directions...nothing.  I thought maybe I'd see a saguaro cactus blown to smithereens.  None.  I was really disappointed.   


Maybe the app doesn't actually pinpoint THE spot.  I don't know.
Someday I will find a lightening strike.  I'm not giving up.



Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Diamond Back Lizard?


Quartzite, Arizona

I first thought this was a snake, diamond back rattlesnake, but then found the legs.  


I think a snake would have been better.


Nearby was a small maze. 
I wonder how they get it so exact.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Being Thankful


Quartzite, Arizona


Happy Thanksgiving to all our American followers and Happy Day to all our foreign followers.
Beans and I are thankful we get to live the life we do on the road and free.
We're also thankful we are where we are right now 
and not elsewhere in the country freezing and snowbound.
Thank you all for following along with us on our journey.
Enjoy your day however you choose to enjoy it.

  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

S K P (escapee)


Quartzite, Arizona

It is safe enough (during the day) to let Beans roam around outside on her long lead unsupervised.  One afternoon I was inside making a sandwich while she was inspecting her rodent holes.  Eventually she came knocking on the screen door wanting in.  "Hold on, I'm coming."  I opened the screen door and in she came...minus her harness.


She had gotten hung up around the front wheel and slipped out of her harness.  
With her newfound freedom she didn't wander off but came to the door instead.  
"Dad, let me in."
She's such a good cat.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Global Cooling


Quartzite, Arizona


Early this past week it was in the mid 80's and I was running around in short pants.  Then the weather forecast called for rain off and on for two days mid week.  The temperatures dropped to the mid 60's with no sign of it ever getting any warmer than that in the future.  Daily winds of varying velocities makes it seem much colder.  I don't like it.  Those from the upper northern states and Canada are still going about their business wearing shorts and t-shirts. Show-offs!  When I saw more rain forecasted for Thanksgiving day and the high temperatures dropping to the low 50's from then on, I gave up. 
 I finally dug out all my cold weather gear (flannel lined jeans, sweatshirts, long underwear, gloves of all types of material and thickness, knit caps, etc.) then packed all my regular clothing away until sometime next year if I survive this winter that is.  I didn't sign on for this!
Yes, I know it is worse everywhere else in the nation and I try to keep that in mind.




Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Just Give it More Gas


Quartzite, Arizona

I had to go into town to fill up the propane tank in the RV.  While waiting for the guy to come out and pump the propane I watched this guy in a big Class A RV (the black and white RV to the right at the gas pumps) pull away from in front of the Jeep parked at the left.  I immediately saw some damage to his RV then noticed how he was pulling forward, backing up, pulling forward again...Well this will be interesting to watch as he doesn't seem too good at driving that beast.


The propane kid came and I pointed out the damage on the RV and how he seemed to have trouble pulling in.  The kid tells me "He just did that. He turned in up against one of the red pipe barriers (situated at each end of the gas fill-up island) and I heard this crunching sound.  I looked up and the guy just stepped on the gas and continued forward ripping off the compartment doors. You can still see the insulation foam lying on the ground."  
I couldn't believe this and told the kid how I wished I had come here first. "I missed the whole thing!"


I guess he still had the Jeep hooked up in back, pulled on out, went over and unhooked the Jeep, removed the dangling doors, threw on some white tape on the remaining door to hold it in place then proceeded to get his fuel, which is when I arrived.


Now get this: The kid tells me they had just bought the RV.
Yep, people like this are driving these monsters everywhere Beans and I go.
It's a dangerous life we live out here on the road.





Monday, November 18, 2019

An Altogether Different Style of Desert Art


Quartzite, Arizona

This is impressive.  
If I had a drone a view from directly above would be great.


Compared to the previous post
this is much more what Kokopelli looks like in souvenir shops.


I didn't walk the maze.
I could already see where it was taking me.



Saturday, November 16, 2019

Kokopelli


Quartzite, Arizona

I don't understand why this image is so popular in southwestern art.
Nevertheless the next post will have a very good rendition of this figure.



Friday, November 15, 2019

Home


Quartzite, Arizona

One of many of our sunsets at camp.


Beans likes to go outside each late afternoon to just hang out in our front yard. 
 She'll spend a couple hours out there just watching, looking around. 
One very happy cat.
 

That is a five pound lead weight her cord is attached to.  Also there is about a pound or more of heavy chain.  Still, she is able to drag it about (strong cat) hence the big rock in the foreground which I'll place on the chain.  But for the most part she's just content to lie there.




Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Peace Elevated


Quartzite, Arizona

This was unique in how it was three dimensional.  It's a bit hard to see but each section is paved with a different type and color of rock.  Where they found it I don't know.  They must have hauled it in from some washes elsewhere.


Monday, November 11, 2019

The Serpent


Quartzite, Arizona

This is near our new homesite.


I first thought it was just a rock wall but then realized it was a snake.


That is a lot of rock moved and used to create this. 
 One of the more art impressive pieces I have found.




Friday, November 8, 2019

HELP!


Quartzite, Arizona

While we were out of service we moved a mile further down the road.
Generators and barking dogs were the issue  It was okay as I needed a change of scenery.  
This is a nice spot and someone had done some attractive landscaping.


Beans is very happy here.


Here's the 'HELP" part.  
This rock art is here and I set about restoring it but for the life of me I cannot figure out what it was supposed to be.  It looks better now as I cleared out the weeds that had grown in over the last couple of years (I found receipts in the fire ring that dated it to 2017).  I also put back some of the rock that had gotten scattered about.  I first thought it was a bird, then a Viking sail boat, then a flying dragon but I just don't know.  You have any idea?


I thought the black rock was a stick man but what would be the "hands" are not connected to the "body".  The lower part or "legs" are connected.  


The portion to the right is something altogether different.  The tips of the three extensions have black rock and the base where it connects to the "body" is of green rock, the only green rock on the figure.  The artist was trying to distinguish something here by using green rock.


Once I got into restoring it I can better understand how people get wrapped up in making rock art out here in the desert.  It's peaceful, meditative and fun.






Monday, November 4, 2019

Out of Order


I ran out of data and the Internet is running at slower than dial-up speed if you can imagine that.  So I cannot do any posting until later this week when AT&T gives me my new allotment.  Can't figure out how I burned through all that data as I did.  Something to contemplate.  Be back in several days. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Easy to Move


Quartzite, Arizona

Our spot before was back to the left at the edge of the photo.  When the music started I walked ahead and this spot seemed far enough away.  I walked back, put the table, and chair inside, removed the step support tossing it inside too and made sure the motorcycle straps were okay in the back.  I have a shade cloth on the other side.  It was no problem to pull the two stakes out of the ground and leave the cloth hanging from the RV.  I drove slowly forward the few hundred yards and parked.  Then I walked back to get Gracie and rode her to the RV.  Table, chairs, step support and welcome mat in place I drove the two stakes into the ground on the other side and stretched the shade cloth out.
All done in 15 to 20 minutes having a simple camp set-up.
If you don't like your neighbors you just turn the key and move.  Easy peasy. 



Thursday, October 31, 2019

Not-So-New Neighbors


Quartzite, Arizona

These folks moved in several days after we arrived.  They are from Idaho.  Everything they have looks brand new.  I see them pulling things out from boxes and unwrapping them.  Sometimes they are gone for the day and return later with more new items.  I suspect the trailer is new also.  I watch them stumble along trying to do everything.  Hooking up the new sewer hose to the new portable holding tank is really a spectacle to watch.  I guess the first time there was a back splash of sewage that drenched the guy's clothing and he some got onto his face and eyes.  I missed that but I certainly heard it.  See, that is where the problem lies with these people.  The woman is crazy.  She yells, screams and curses at her poor brow-beaten husband all the time.  He's meek as a mouse and takes all the abuse without a word.  She'll yell "you stupid moron, you idiot" and so on with every other word a foul curse word which I'll leave to your imagination.  Sometimes she lets loose on their little dog as if it has any idea what she's ranting about.  I'll add that she's probably the ugliest woman I have seen in a very long time too.


So when Mr. Minnesota (previous post) caused me to move, I was ready anyway for I had grown tired of listening to this crazy woman.  Thank you Mr. Musicman.




Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Neighbors


Quartzite, Arizona

One day this big rig moved in across the way from us, not as close as this first photo appears. I watched as he set up camp which took all of the next day and then some.  They were from Minnesota.  I couldn't believe all the crap I saw him unload out from the back end of his six-wheeled trailer: one full sized Harley Davidson motorcycle, a smaller dirt bike, a small ATV and then a BIG ATV, plus two bicycles. There is the SUV car also which his wife drove separately.  In addition to those two shade structures are chairs, two tables, a big master chef barbecue and untold number of storage boxes no doubt filled with more crap.


Everything was fine and entertaining to watch until he started up his music.  I don't want to hear that!
Enjoy the sounds of Nature people!
I decided to move.  It was okay as you will see in the next post.



Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Whole Lot of Nothing Going On


Quartzite, Arizona

Here we are two and a half weeks later and they still do not have the stickers for the 2020 season to sell in order to live here up to April.  Everyone (there's not that many yet) is staying for free and able to use the trash, water and dumping facilities.  Beans and I are still at the same spot.  
No one has moved in near us and it is pretty peaceful and quiet overall.


Beans was finally able to get her first lizard of the season a couple days ago.
It eventually got away.


Lizard hunting is tough work.



Friday, October 25, 2019

Stinky Pete's Today


Quartzite, Arizona

So just to remind you, this was Stinky Pete's Emporium and Gift Shop early this year.
After 20 years of service to the community the town of Quartzite condemned the place.  
I can't imagine why.
When we left Quartzite in March the place had been pretty much scraped away clean.
So I was excited to return this year and see what new was on this prime piece of real estate.


NOTHING!
Was I disappointed?
You bet!
I was hoping for a Dollar Tree, Petco or maybe even a Walmart.


They could at least allow us to use the space to park in for the cramped grocery store next door.
But noooo...that would make some sort of sense, so let's block it off.


I'll do some investigating over the winter 
and see if I can come up some good rumors as to what will be done Stinky Pete's lot.


Just being silly on what I was hoping for. 
The reality is that there isn't much that could survive in this town for the entire year.