A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day 34

I didn't go anywhere or do anything interesting.  Just a real nice day to spend at camp.
So here's a picture of sunlight rays coming through the clouds last week.

 Here is sunlight playing on the distant mountains.

And here's the latest pen and ink drawing.
I really thought I would have a lot of time to draw while out here 
but this took the entire month to do.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 33

Dragons in the desert.  
This is just one of over 100 metal sculptures by artist Ricardo Breceda that are on display near the small town of Borrego Springs. 

You can see more of his art by clicking here.  Very nice photography too.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 32

The wind was at it again today.  I drove 8 miles to Coachwhip Canyon thinking I might get some shelter from the wind in the small canyons there.  It is a place I've been to many times when I had a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  Now with the Little House on the Highway I have to park at the mouth of the Canyon and walk in.  I don't need the adventure of getting stuck.

Oh to have that youthful exuberance once again for I would have scrambled up this to the top.

There are lots of little alcoves carved into the rock by the flood waters.  This one had what looked like an Indian cliff dwelling in it.  In reality the hole is only a couple feet tall and deep.

Eventually I reached the end of the narrow canyon I was in.  
I searched deep and found just a little bit of that youthful exuberance still within me.  
"I can do this."

As I was climbing up, all alone, no one knowing where I am, just once slip away from disaster, yes I was thinking to myself  "Fool, you have no business doing this." 
I made it to the top where I could look down into the neighboring canyon.

This overlook is just as small section of Coachwhip Canyon and you can imagine all the numerous canyons and ravines there are here to explore.

My youthful exuberance reserve was used up, spent, gone, bone dry empty.  
Time for this old man to find a way down without tumbling ass-end over teakettle.

Believe me, going down is scarier than going up.  And you have to keep in mind not to go down something that you cannot go back up if you have to because you come to an impassable point somewhere beyond.  Then you become trapped liked a rat.  This was mulled over a couple of times.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Day 31

It was one of those days.  The wind was really whippin'.  
But you know, it is good to get out there and experience Nature when she's throwing a fit.

I was able to locate a small set of dunes where the wind can be creative in patterns on the sand.

Oh but after a while the wind beats you down and it's time to head back home.

On the way back I came across this bush that for some reason reminded me of our President Elect.

Ah, here's a place to rest from the blowing wind.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Day 30

I missed a couple days of posting on the blog.  Internet connection issues.

Now here is a job I would have liked, traipsing about in the desert surveying it.  
Only I couldn't do the math that is involved with surveying.  

Here is part of an illegal immigrant camp.  I have come across these before and always they have abandoned clothing along with all the trash they leave behind.  Oh I'll not get started on this subject.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Day 27

After the first couple of days in the desert I realized my mistake in leaving my tire covers at home.  The desert sun was cooking the tires on the one side.  Oh if I just had something to cover them with.  Even some cardboard would do.  Then one day a week or so later I spotted what looked to be some canvas in a dry wash.  I pulled it out from under the bushes, flattened it out and realized that it was a windshield cover people put on the car they are towing behind their RV.  "This might do."  Back at camp I cleaned off the caked mud and dirt, duct taped some tears, cut it in half and clamped them in place.  They aren't the prettiest tire covers but they are doing the job.  

Then there was the spare tire that was getting baked but only for half a day.  Well, when I was working on that solar panel modification the next day I thought I'd hike along the highway and maybe find some better metal for the solar panel supports.  I found only a license plate.  On my way back there stuffed under a creosote bush from the flood waters was something black.  I pulled it out and couldn't believe my good fortune - a tire cover specifically for a spare tire!  After cleaning it up I found it fit perfectly.  Not only that, but its nicer than the one left at home sitting in the garage!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day 26

In today's walkabout in the desert I stumbled upon someone's abandoned retreat hidden in a gully.

What was once a shade structure I figured were the sleeping quarters 
as there was the green metal hammock sling inside.  
That little flashlight hanging right in the center of the photo still worked, just barely.

A wood hammock sling outside.

Safe to assume this is the dining area.

Next to it the den or general living area?  
Notice the wind generator and the wood box on the post was wrapped shut with wire 
and all I could see inside was a curly telephone wire.

This must be the office.

If you need to make a telephone call hopefully you brought some change with you.
Why would anyone haul these things all the way out here?

This was dated August 2013.

Maybe the old desert hermit who lived here looked something like this guy.

You never know when you might need a boat in the desert.

Up on the nearby slope were these three solar panels.  The wire had long ago been cut in several places.  Under the covered box were two batteries.  No way for me to tell if the panels still worked or not.  And they were heavy too so they must be of early technology was my guess.

I know you are wondering but no, I never did locate the bathroom.  
On my way back to camp I came across this.  
It is obviously marking something important but I have no idea what.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Day 25

Well, Happy Birthday to me!  
Look at the gift I received this morning!

Then it grew,

and grew so large I could not get it all in on one picture.

But there it was, a full rainbow.
What a lucky boy am I!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Day 24

Today's episode is brought to you by Rinky Dink Engineering Inc.
In the past Sinbad and I were always on the move and in doing so this kept the batteries charged up.  This time out is the most I've have stayed in one spot so the engine hasn't been running and I rarely use the generator in the coach part of the RV.  So my wimpy 45 watt solar panel seems to be not up to the task of charging my batteries each day.  I thought perhaps if I tilted the panel directing it right at the sun for full effect, this may help.  What should have been a less than an hour job took me over 6 hours to accomplish.  My wimpy drill had to be recharged numerous times just to drill four new holes in aluminum brackets.  

While waiting for the drill to recharge each time I went scrounging the desert for materials needed for the project.  This is my workbench, a stump of firewood that was at this camp when I moved in.  My lucky find of a piece of twisted aluminum I straightened out, cut and drilled holes to make a support.  There wasn't enough workable material to make two supports like I wanted.

The wire handle to a bucket which will hold the panel up at an angle.  The panel needed to be secured somehow as the wind could catch it, away falls the wire bucket handle and SLAM! the panel crashes down onto the deck.  Not good.

This is why the aluminum strip.  Once I leave here and get into a town I will go to a hardware store and get some proper aluminum angle and make a support for each side and get rid of the bucket handle.  But this will do while here.  You can see the rusty hole and the other hole in the panel frame.  It was set too far back to allow the panel to tilt so the new holes on each side were needed.  
Wimpy drill would get the hole part way through then peter out repeatedly.  

I really wish I had kept count how many times I climbed up and down the ladder in back to get onto the roof.  Had I any idea, I certainly would have kept a tally.  
Anyway, in the end it was all fun...kind of.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Day 23

I was involved in an all day project and didn't go exploring anywhere so
here is the new camp where all that land behind me is off limits, so I should be okay.

See the sign right behind me.
(I almost typed in "us" both times.  I sure do miss my travelling partner.)

 Nearby is another child's creation.  Not sure what it was, a fort, a castle, a citadel?

I'll show the project tomorrow if nothing more exciting happens before then.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 22

Two huge RVs moved in nearby.  That's two too many.  So it was time to move from "Indian Village" camp.  That's what I called it as long ago probably some little only child kid such as myself, built this cute little Indian Village within the Creosote Bushes close by.  The ruins still stand.

With next week being Thanksgiving week I could see the area becoming more lets say "used" so I packed up and move a quarter mile away where I think I'll be safe from all the hoopla.
I like my quiet.  Here is a neat cloud formation the other evening.

After moving not once, but twice, I went for a little ride and took a picture of the sign for you.

Okay, so why twice?  I moved over to the boundary line of the park knowing no one will be moving in all along the east side as it is off limits to vehicles being State Park land.  After setting up camp I walked back to camp #1 to get my motorized bicycle I left there and ride it on over to the new spot.  When I returned on my bike I saw that the huge RV south of my new spot pulled out while I was away.  His vacated spot was less rocky and offered more of a buffer to the guy north of me, so I moved again 50 yards south.  
Yeah, I used to always drive the family nuts in my searching for the perfect campsite.