A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Thursday, October 22, 2020

No More Dumpster Diving

 


The second thing I noticed upon arriving after the lack of people is that all the standard lift and dump trash containers have been replaced with these large containers.  No more pillaging through the dumpsters for good reusable gear that people throw away.  Just in this one here I saw a backpack thrown inside.  I am not about to go climbing down into these things.  A good thing though is no more trash being scattered about by the winds when the truck comes to dump the old style dumpsters.

Oh all the treasures I will be missing out on.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

We Have Arrived

 

Quartzsite, Arizona

This is the main avenue in one of the four long term camp areas in Quartzsite.  Typically at this time there would be dozens of RVers visible in this scene.  In years past I would have already been here for a few weeks myself.  It is simply still too hot with temps still at the mid 90’s (35c).


Another factor too is those poor Canadians unable to cross the border. 
They would be here by now.


I just would like to reassure everyone that I am careful with the mask wearing situation.  When I write that I ripped off my bandana there are no other people around anywhere close.  While shopping if people are coming I slip the bandana back up.  I will be more conscientious about keeping it in place from now on especially since the “season” will soon be upon us all.  This dry desert environment is a big plus.

   


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Burger King vs Jack in the Box

 

Parker, Arizona

We stopped in Parker on our way to Quartzsite to pick up a few last items at Walmart.  When done I told Tracy I had to eat before we continued on down the road.  She needed to eat too.  It was hot and I really wanted a milkshake.  I told her I was going to stop at the Burger King a half mile down the road.  Tracy doesn’t eat crap food and would fix her on lunch.   “I’ll meet you there” she said.  

At Burger King the side doors were chained shut.  I could see someone waving me around front.  At the front a kid stuck his head bout the door and told me to go around to the drive-up window.  Good grief.  At the window (no cars in the drive thru) I told him I wanted a Whopper and a chocolate milkshake.  “We don’t have any milkshakes” he says.  “Man, I really wanted a milkshake.  That’s why I came here” I asked why they didn’t have any.  Evidently the trucks hadn’t delivered any product.  “I’ve had ten people leave today because of no milkshakes.” he said.  “Tell you what, I’ll give you two Whoppers for $5.” I can’t eat two of them!  Oh well, I could eat one later for dinner.  “Okay, go ahead.”  He rings it up.  "I only charged you $3.60.”  He had given me the old person’s discount.  Okay that made me feel better.

I ate my Whopper in Tracy’s RV.  She needed to fill up with gas so I said I would go on down to McDonalds and get my milkshake while she filled up.  I don’t care for McDonalds but I really wanted that milkshake to get me to Quartszite.  On the way I passed a Jack in the Box.  “This will do” and I swung in. The door to the dining area inside was open, unchained.  I walked in wearing my bandana.  Only the lady who walked in before me was inside.  Nether she nor the workers wore masks.  I ripped off my bandana and ordered my milkshake.  Two big burly guys walked in just then.  They looked at me and the woman, then the workers.  They ripped off their masks.  “This is a bunch of $#!+”                                                The worker handed me my milkshake and it was good.

Monday, October 19, 2020

London Bridge

Lake Havasu, Arizona

Another one of the good parts of traveling with someone is seeing something I would normally pass on by.  I stopped to see and walk across the London Bridge years ago so I would not have stopped this time except that Tracy wanted to see it and so we did.  I’m glad she wanted to stop.


As you can see there was like no one there and of those who were there very few were wearing masks.
Yep, it was a nice little tourist type break just like in years long gone by.



 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lone Tree Camp

Lake Havasu City, Arizona


We moved on the next day south a little over a hundred miles to our next camp.  It was warmer there by almost ten degrees at the mid-nineties.  Bad call on my part.  

Beans knows where to lay down to keep cool while inside. 




Saturday, October 17, 2020

Stocking Up

 

Twenty miles south of Las Vegas


It is nice to travel with someone new.  You learn things you didn't know before.  We both had the same things on our to-do lists.  Stock up on food and supplies for the impending apocalypse after the election was the main thing.  Tracy had found a WINCO store in Henderson south of Las Vegas.  I had never been to one before.  Inside I found it to be just like a Costco with loads of everything stacked on pallets the only difference was WINCO only dealt with foods.  This was great and with big savings.  Skirting around the edge of Las Vegas was even greater.  We then drove over to a Home Depot where for the first time I became a “spreader”.  I forgot my bandana.  I wasn't barred from entering by a gestapo security guard at the door.  No one cared.  I found a dumpster nearby where we each got rid of a weeks worth of trash (one of the real pleasures of nomad traveling) and I spied a water machine across the boulevard where we were able to fill our drinking water containers.  We both agreed “That all went well”.

Twenty miles south we found a nice place to camp over night.  At 2500 feet the temperature was ideal with a nice breeze and no bugs.  The evening was just as nice.


 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Time to Go

 

Lovell Canyon, Nevada


We have been here for ten days in absolutely ideal weather but the road calls and we must be moving on.  Also the weekend is here and the rabble from Las Vegas will be arriving.  Tracy had asked when I planned to leave and she too was going to leave the same day for the same destination.  So we will travel together.  I warned her that I drive 55 while knowing she usually drove 65.  She said she needs to learn to slow down so this will be something new for her.  I told her to feel free to move on if she couldn't stand the slow pace.  I would catch up to her eventually. 

Goodbye Lovell Canyon.  You have been a good place.  I just wish people respected you more.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Hike up the Hill

 

Lovell Canyon, Nevada

Ever since we arrived at this camp I had wanted to go to the top of the hill where you can see the dirt road crossing over.  I thought I would ride Gracie up and over but as you learned on the previous post I never took the motor bike down off the carrier.  So this day I decided I would just hike up there instead.
 

I passed by Tracys camp (the lady I met soon after arriving) and she was sitting outside sipping her morning smoothie.  I said good morning and asked if she would like to go on a hike.  She was all for that.  “I wanted to climb to the top of the hill.”  Her eyes got real big.  She thought I meant that tall cliff face.  “Oh no, the hill off to the right with the road” and I pointed it out to her.  She relaxed. Whew!
 “No those days of climbing mountains are long behind me.”


It was really nice to have someone along to walk and talk with while on a hike.  I cannot tell you when I last had that pleasure.  The view up top was wonderful.  The Little House on the Highway is sitting down there just off center to the right along the edge of the green and yellow vegetation.


Earlier that morning someone parked near us and a guy took off on a hike following the line of vegetation behind our camp.  I talked with him when he passed by camp eight hours later.  He had crossed over the low ridge line off in the far distance to the right then descended down the other side cutting cross country for Rainbow Mountain in Red Rock Canyon Park twelve miles away from where he began.  Twenty four miles round trip.  In his thirties I would guess and looked fresh as could be.  
Those were the days.

 


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Exploring Canceled

 

Lovell Canyon, Nevada


When we first arrived here I saw a lot of opportunities for riding Gracie around exploring here and there.  Well here it is a week later and the Honda Trail 90 still sits in its carrier on the back of the Little House on the Highway.  After that day when I saw all the trash and poop scattered about I just lost any incentive to ride around exploring thinking that I will being seeing more of what I don't want to see.  So I just take Beans out for walks and stand around while she hunts for lizards.
I am planning on moving on this Friday before the weekend warriors arrive from Las Vegas.
The temperatures have cooled down some in Arizona.





Tuesday, October 13, 2020

U.S. Border Closed

 


The above photo has no direct connection to todays post but I needed something to lead in with.

My new friend invited me over to her camper the next day for a visit.  She asked if I played cards and I said I never have the opportunity to do so.  “You can teach me a game.”   She offered up gin rummy.  “Yeah, I have always wanted to learn how to play that.”  Ooo boy!  What a complicated game.  Too much for me.  

In the course of our conversation when I wasn't struggling keeping track of all the cards on the table she mentioned to me how the US/Canada border was closed.  Being as I rarely follow the news I had no idea.  Seems this went into effect mid-September.  A very large percentage of the people wintering in Quartzsite are from Canada.  They come and stay all winter for the nice weather.  This happens all over Arizona, Texas and to a very large part in Florida.  I felt so bad for these poor people who cannot make their yearly pilgrimage south.  They spend a lot of money while being here and the little town of Quartzsite is going to feel it.  Even worse so are the Mexican border towns where snowbirds go to get their eyeglasses, dental work and medical prescriptions filled at substantial savings.  The town of Algadonas over the border from Yuma, Arizona is one of these towns.  No one, Americans included, will be able to walk across the border from some real Mexican food and a cervaza this year.  Every vendor, restaurant, optometrist, dental office and prescription outlet may just as well close down for the winter.  They are really going to suffer.

Monday, October 12, 2020

We Have a Visitor

 


A lady came by to visit us.  She said “hello” and stuck out her hand to shake.  My first thought was shes not COVID crazy and we shook hands.  I remarked to her how that was the first human physical contact I have had since back in March when my camp neighbor shook my hand.  I offered her a chair and we sat and visited for an hour or more.  She told me how she was camped where we are when she first arrived then moved over to the other side of the road for the shade.  I got to talking to her about all the trash and such I saw over there.  She said she had cleaned up our spot when she first arrived and had filled a large Hefty trash bag.  I was stunned for I had filled a small plastic grocery bag which I thought was a lot.  She was 60 and had been traveling alone now for eight months, throughly loving her new life.  She too was heading for Quartzsite which would be the first time for her and so I shared with her some useful information.  As she was getting ready to leave she said “Let me give you a hug” and we did.  I said I hadn't hugged anyone in over a year due to this damn pandemic thing.  She said likewise clutching her heart saying “I feel emotional”.  I felt it too.  We humans need physical contact to be human.  Self-isolation, hunkering down all alone for months is not healthy for mind or spirit.  That was the first real social sit and visit I had had for nearly a year, and it was nice.  Beans too was happy to have a visitor.  Its been far too long.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Lovely Campground

 Lovell Canyon, Nevada

The next morning I collected a small bag full of trash scattered around camp.  Remember that for the post tomorrow.  After breakfast I walked across the road to walk around the campground area I had decided not to drive into.  This trailer was the first camper I came upon.  I later learned she is school teacher in Las Vegas.  She camps all around the nearby area for the school year for she is limited to 14 days at any one spot then come summer she travels around the country.   

As I wandered around the camp area I was appalled at all the trash strewn about.  I  have been in trashed areas before and this was not the worst I have seen but there was also toilet paper and mounds of crap, and I am meaning human shit,  all around and for that this was the absolute worse I have ever seen.  I didn't take pictures.  You don't want to see that.  In one instance the subhumans had brought a five gallon bucket to crap in and it had eventually broke so they just left it half full of toilet paper and crap.


This here though just boggled my mind.  The bag was full of like new dishes and pans.  “Hey lets go camping this weekend.  We can stop at Walmart and get some pots and pans and such then just leave it all there when we are done.”  


I so despised humanity for the remainder of the day.  This is what you get when you camp near a large city.  The locals for the most part are the problem and Las Vegas being the hellhole that it is just breeds an even lower level of idiots.  The campground is just as the title states with nice little secluded campsites nestled in among the junipers but people are ruining it and I would not be surprised if someday it is closed.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Lovell Canyon

 

The next morning we continued on south taking a turn towards Pahrump, Nevada.  This route we would avoid most of Las Vegas later on as we make our way to Arizona.  I topped off the fuel tank in town thus avoiding having to get fuel in Las Vegas. The grocery store was nearby and I picked up a few items and then had lunch at the next door Dairy Queen.  I only did it for I saw they made Orange Julius drinks and it has been years since I last had one.  It was so-so.  They used to be much better.  On to our next camp.  Three miles off the main highway on a paved road brought us to the camp area.  I parked and got out to walk the dirt road down and check out the camping prospects.  It was a rough road and I wasn't up for the adventure so I decided where I was parked was good enough.  Later it seemed the best choice.  Being at 5000 feet (1524 meters) the air was cool, a nice breeze blew up the canyon and there was a wonderful view.  In the camp area there was no view except juniper trees and no real breeze.  This may be it for awhile for Arizona is still way too hot for the next couple of weeks.



  

Friday, October 9, 2020

Traveling South

 


We returned to the Goldfield Visitor Center for the night then moved on out in the morning southward on a pleasant two hour drive to Beatty, Nevada.  The camping opportunity there was bleak and desolate as pretty much was the town.  I loaded up on ten dollars worth of quarters at the car wash (a sure thing over a slot machine), ate lunch in about the only shady spot I could find and then put Beatty in the rear view mirror.  A half hour later we were at the Amargosa Valley Rest area, a very nice spot where we stayed before three years ago when Beans had been on the road for a few weeks in 2017.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

International Car Forest


Goldfield, Nevada

We left Tonopah and headed back south through Goldfield to see this.  It stood at the south edge of town.  I had to pass by a traffic accident on the highway to get there.  I'll spare you the details of what I wished I had not seen.  With that image in my mind I was in a somber mood when we arrived.




That mood soon turned foul upon seeing all the graffiti on the cars.  At one time they were not all marked up.  Although the owner encouraged true artists to create inspiring images, taggers were not welcomed.  I'll refrain from expressing my opinion as to what should be done to taggers.


I did like the school buses.



There was a high number of paint vandalism from 2020 apparent.




The International Car Forest along with the famed Cadillac Ranch of Texas isn't really worth going to see.  The true impressive car art structure is Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, a to scale recreation of Stonehenge in England done with automobiles.


The oldest car body there.


And then there was this, a Honda 90 street version of Gracie.


I waited there on top of the hill for the emergency crews to leave the scene down below before moving on to our over night spot.  I didn't want to drive by that incident again.  The guy could have died from old age before the ambulance finally drove away so maybe it wasn't that critical or on the other hand maybe he was beyond the point of any urgency.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

One Positive For the Pandemic


The next day I walked a half mile down the road to the Tonopah Station Casino.  Debby said all the way in the back were washing machines and dryers.  I put on my bandana and walked inside.



Yep, there they were.  This will do.  
I would come back tomorrow and do the small load I had which I could carry in my backpack.



I walked back through and removed my bandana just before exiting the casino.  That's when it hit me.  Casino cigarette smoke!!  I hadn't smelled it with the bandana on.
See, there is a good thing about the pandemic and mask wearing.
Not one of the half dozen slot machine players inside wore a mask
but they were very well social-distanced.


 In the parking lot I saw this RV.
Very well done paint job dude.



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Are You Kidding Me?!


The next day I went for a walk back down to the highway, stopped and looked across the road.
See it off to the left?
I had passed this Texaco station on the south edge of town three times and never saw the huge propane tank with the words Propane Sold Here!!  That tank could have been the size of the Hindenburg and I probably wouldn't have noticed.  Now if they had a small sandwich board sign out front like most every other place that sells propane in the country has, THAT I would have seen.
Oh this irked me all day after all that indecision I went through the past week. 


 I continued on my morning walk the opposite direction stopping to visit with Debby in an old RV.  She too was waiting around for temperatures to get cooler further south.  She told me about a laundromat in town.  Well I could use that.  She had run out of propane and had been buying ice.  I told her about the propane I discovered.  So she hadn't seen it either.  Did I feel better?
Not really.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Saved!!


Tonopah, Nevada

Another issue while staying at Gemfield was the weather south of us all the way into Arizona looked to be in the mid-nineties all the way into the hundreds for the next week or even two weeks.  Normally we would be in Quartzsite, Arizona by now.  Propane was getting low.  I had maybe a week to ten days left.  The nearest propane station I could find online was a Shell station in Pahrump, Nevada 130 miles to the south, and it was hot there.  What to do?  Out of desperation I called a propane dealer in Tonopah I had seen as we drove through.  I thought they were just a supplier to homes out in the desert.  The nice lady informed me that they could fill an RV tank.  We were saved!  I drove the twenty-five miles back up north to Tonopah and filled the tank.  Now we could stay put for as long as needed until the temperatures simmered down some.

I planned on driving back to the Goldfeld area but decided to check out this side road off the highway on the south edge of town.  I could see people camping off in the distance.


After a mile the road became narrow and stretched off in the distance across the desert.
I could see no one out there nor anyplace to turn around.
I backed up a quarter of a mile and stopped here for lunch.
I am real good at backing up.  I have lots of practice.
Those behind us are from Alaska.


This spot was level, quiet and had cell towers on the mountain top nearby.
Beans and I decided to call this home.



Sunday, October 4, 2020

Over Priced


Seen in Tonopah, Nevada

If it had a motor and transmission well then maybe a good project, but it didn't.


 Hey Dad, are you going to tell them what you discovered?


Yeah Beans, Tuesday
Ha, ha!


Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Living Ghost Town


Goldfield, Nevada

After leaving Gemfield we drove several miles south on Highway 95 that passes through Goldfield.  There we stayed the night at their new visitor center.
Interesting to read.


Goldfield has just about nothing. 
No gas station, so grocery store, no McDonalds or Starbucks.
Across from the visitor center was this, someone's home.


If there are no services at all in town then it comes as no surprise there wouldn't be a hardware store or anything that like a home improvement center.  You just make do with what you can come up with.


And then there were the loose women of Goldfield.


Yep.  If you were on the run or hiding out from whatever, Goldfield is the place to go.



Friday, October 2, 2020

Gemfield


Goldfield, Nevada


Gemfield is a privately leased mining area of gemstones on BLM land up in the mountains outside of Goldfield.  You could collect rocks and pay a dollar a pound for them, all on the honor system leaving money in the metal box.  They had an old set of bathroom scales to weigh your collection.  It was extremely isolated.  No one around for miles.  Very quiet.  The only bad thing was I didn't feel comfortable riding Gracie around the area all alone in such a remote place thinking what if an accident happened.  I decided to remove the temptation and leave the next day.


That next morning I cleaned up the weigh station area, went over the faded lettering on the sign with a felt tip pen and rehung the sign (a metal shelf) which I found lying in the dirt behind the Joshua Tree.  Yeah, I enjoy doing that sort of thing when no one else is around.


There was another thing too about being here.  I had come down a rocky slope on the three and half mile long dirt road to get back in here.  I agonized over about climbing that slope when we would leave.  That doesn't promote good night's sleep.  The Little House on the Highway got us up and out of there okay.  Not one of my smartest moves.