A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Saturday, October 19, 2019

We Have a Winner


Quartzite, Arizona

Of all the rock art I have seen out here over the years none of them have been this elaborate.
This is the entire U.S. and the Canadian Provinces.


I cannot begin to imagine the time and effort that went into this creation.


The scale and placement of the states are very well done.
The white rocks make up the Great Lakes and Canada.


Here I am standing in the Pacific Ocean looking east.


Well done.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Happy Hour


Quartzite, Arizona

I wonder what it is these folks like to do?


Aww...sweet.


Found during that evening walk with Beans.
See her?



I didn't come across any more rock art on my walk that day so here's a picture of my sweet Beans.



Thursday, October 17, 2019

Gracie


Quartzite, Arizona

Long time followers will be familiar with these rock art figures as I've shown them in the past.


Yep, you have a lot of time to kill out here.


This will be very heart-wrenching for these folks to see when they return.  
The plastic flowers are still there from early this year.
They will be pleased to see that Gracie's grave is just like they left it.


They did a very good job in this burial for I've seen too many times where someone had buried their pet only to have it dug up by coyotes later.  I just came across one back at the Vulture Mine Road camp.  It was a large black dog wrapped in a quilt and obviously buried too shallow.  I spared you the sight by not taking a picture and putting it on the blog.  The body needs to be buried deep with a lot of rocks on top.  I had read that when the immigrants were coming out west in the pioneer days they came across burials from previous wagon trains that had been dug up.  They then began burying those who died on the journey on the trail itself so that when the wagons passed over the grave it compacted the earth even more, protecting the dead from becoming scavenger food. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Waiting for Their Return


Quartzite, Arizona

People have been coming here for years, 
many of them returning to the very same spots they left behind in early spring.


There is an unwritten code of etiquette here in the desert.  People generally do not move in and squat on what appears as "developed" land.  They know the same people will be returning along with the friends they've made from years past.  The desert is huge.  There are lots of open space to camp.


There are hundreds of these "developed" sites waiting for their residents to return.  It must be a pretty nice feeling to return "home" seeing the little spot you made for your carpet and shade cloth still there just as you left it five or six months ago.



Tuesday, October 15, 2019

This is Alright!


Quartzite, Arizona

No tourists, no cactus and lots of lizards to chase.
I'm likin' this. 
You did good Dad!



Monday, October 14, 2019

Temporary Winter Residence


Quartzite, Arizona

It wasn't my plan to arrive here this early but like last year the cold weather up north pushed us here.  This year we arrived one day earlier than last year.  I'll blame that on the flies.

Here we can stay where there is water, trash dumpsters and sewage disposal from Sept. 15 through to April 15 all for only $180.  There are free places on BLM land also but you are limited to a 14-day stay and then must move on to somewhere else at least 25 miles distant.  That is what I used to do years past.  Last year was the first time I paid the $180 and it was nice not having to move all the time.  So I plan to do that from now on.  That's like $26 a month rent with free utilities.  Pretty nice.

Upon arrival I found this notice.  So I couldn't buy my sticker but could still stay.  


I decided to stay at the southern location for I needed to fill up the water tank there. It is the only one with water.  Rather than move to our permanent home elsewhere only to have to break camp and bring the RV in to get my sticker, I'll just stay put and when I get the sticker move on to our permanent location north of here.


This will be full of snowbirds in a few weeks.


Right now it is to our liking.  
Beans is happy.



Sunday, October 13, 2019

Vicksburg


We drove west to a place we've been before only to find those pesky tiny biting black bugs were there also. Not only them but regular flies were in abundance too.  What's going on?  It was hot and we were confined indoors for the remainder of the day.  The next morning we moved a few hundred yards down the dirt road and amazingly there were a lot fewer pests.  We stayed there, endured another toasty day then left the following morning for our winter home thirty some odd miles away.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Enough is Enough


Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona

After a week Beans had had enough of not being able to chase lizards off road.



And I had had enough of those annoying black bugs (too small to photograph) so we moved on.



Friday, October 11, 2019

Memorial


Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona

Coming back from a hike I walked along the highway and came across this.  My first thought seeing "Chief" was that he was a Native American from this area.  Then the F and D and the flames Oh, he must have been with the fire department.  I looked him up back at camp.


He was a fire chief and he died riding his Harley on this road.  Well its not like there's a shortage of warning signs along this stretch of twisty road (there's a lot more on around the bend) and the speed limit is down all the way to 20 mph through here; it's that dangerous. 
 It doesn't take much imagination as to what ol' Bill did wrong that day.



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Guzzler


Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona

That's the name I know these by.  This is a large cement catchment for rain water.


 It funnels down to the corner and into an underground basin away from the hot desert sun.


Desert animals can access the water by climbing down the ramp.


This one was fenced off to keep roaming range cattle from fouling up the system.
I wondered how the deer can get to the water.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Our Neighbors


Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona

I've only ever seen one in all my times in the desert.  That was a long time ago.
I'd like to see one again.


Seen enough of these guys over the years.  
As long as I see them before they see me, all's good.


I've seen a few of these but not in several years.
I'm ready for another sighting.


Otherwise, these little guys are our only visitors.



Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Injuries


Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona

The not-so-good thing about this location is all the cholla cactus.  This is where Beans first learned about cholla two years ago.  She had only been with me on the road for a few months and this was her first experience in the desert.  She got some stickers in her paw and it didn't go too well.  Now she knows whatever I do for her is for her well being and is much more tolerant of me getting stickers out.  We stay on the road for the most part for our walks and she's real good about that as if she really understands what going off into the brush will do.
  

The other thing about this location is the cell service comes and goes and is very weak.
But this time there is a third and much bigger issue.  Recent rains just before we arrived produced a bumper crop of those tiny annoying little black flies that bite leaving an itchy red spot.  
These flies are no bigger than the tip of a pin.

On a similar topic, my injury on the bike four and one half weeks ago is now healed with the last of the scab falling away.  It took that long.  I can't tell yet if there will be a scar as the fresh new meat is still pink.  Anyway I got off pretty well.  A friend recommended that I get some of this stuff.
Hope I never need it but there's some in my kit on the bike now.



Monday, October 7, 2019

Our New Residence


Vulture Mine Road
Wickenburg, Arizona

Beans and I were here two years ago. 
 It is a nice place to call home.


Morning in the desert.


There's only two things though that would make it even better.
Next post tomorrow.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Petco and Taco Bell


Phoenix, Arizona

In big towns I make a stop at Petco to buy quality food for Beans, otherwise I am stuck with buying junk food such as Friskies.  The good stuff I buy is grain free Merrick  (I used to get it for Sinbad too) but it seems Petco isn't carrying the variety of flavors as before.  I asked about this while at the Petco in Idaho.  The lady said they may be phasing it out and suggested Tiki Cat.  Her cats love it she told me.  So I thought I'd give it a try here in Phoenix.  Changing food for a cat is always a crap shoot.  Will they like it or not?  So I bought one each of what I thought she'd like in small 2.8 ounce cans.  Now I need to tell you this store had two what looked like pit bull "pups" penned up near the registers hoping someone would adopt them.  These two mutts were constantly barking an ear piercing bark.  It was painful and there was no escaping it anywhere in the store.  I held my hands over my ears while paying for the Tiki Cat at the register.  I might add the employees were NOT happy about the commotion either.  Back in the peace and quiet of the RV I realized I didn't have a lid to place on these smaller style cans.  I'd have to go back into the store.  I finally found the lids, grabbed one and with my ears ringing returned to the register.  I was stunned to see I was being charged $3.25 for this tiny piece of plastic!  I just wanted out of there away from that infernal barking.  
I paid for the lid and ran out the store.


That was the beginning of the shopping day in Phoenix.  There are about six Walmarts in the Phoenix area, none of which allow overnight parking due to a city ordinance.  Thank you Phoenix for being so welcoming to travelers.  I drove to nearby Buckeye and stayed at the Walmart Camper Village there.  By now I was HOT, TIRED and THIRSTY.  A lemonade sounded good.  Next to us was a Taco Bell.  I don't eat their food but a drink is a drink.  I went inside and told the kid I just wanted a medium size drink.  He set the cup on the counter and said with a smile "Take it". 
 "Really?! Wow, thank you!"


The kind gesture on the part of this kid made me feel better about buying that cat food can lid.
Oh, and does Beans like Tiki Cat?  She LOVES it!
Two wins for the day!



Saturday, October 5, 2019

Stocking up For Winter


Phoenix, Arizona

I was not looking forward to this day.  I had to plan and think ahead for those staples that I would not be able to buy in the small town of Quartzite while we wintered there onto next March/April.
Well okay, that wasn't so bad as it was kind of a challenge to plan ahead.
The bad part was doing this shopping in Phoenix. 
I would NOT want to live in Phoenix.
Lunch time I saw a Smashburger place.  I had read that they were one of the best for hamburgers from various public surveys.  I'd give it a try.


The surveys were right!  Excellent hamburger.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Lost Dog


Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona

There were dozens of these posted all around the area.
Sad for I don't think Buddy had much of a chance lasting more than a few days in this environment.

I recently read about a couple who lost their border collie.  They never gave up searching, even so much as the woman quit her job with the Postal Service so she could continue looking.  Fifty-seven days later they found their dog, alive.  Although this occurred in the forests of Montana and the dog had a better chance for survival there. 



Thursday, October 3, 2019

Late Night Action


Agua Fria National Monument

We stayed at the entrance to the monument for two nights. 
 Too muddy to go in further although I did take Gracie in for a little exploring.
The second evening all kinds of ruckus broke out behind us while I was trying to read.
The Border Patrol and Arizona Highway Patrol had pulled this big rig truck hauling hay off the Interstate using all the lights and sirens they possessed.
What are they looking for flashing their flashlights all about?  Marijuana?  Illegal migrants?


Then the fire department arrived on the scene.


The exhaust from the diesel truck had caught the hay on fire!
I thought that was hilarious.
I went back to my book.



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rain and Mud


South of Flagstaff, Arizona

First camp we got hit with a rainstorm in the middle of the night.
The next day was searching for a better place with no luck and no fun.

Well here's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Dad!



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

And So it Begins


Flagstaff, Arizona

We left the Grand Canyon heading south to get a few supplies and propane.
Went into Walmart and was greeted with this.
It was the last week of September.


Really, this needs government regulation.