A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 65

What a great day it was for the last day of 2016!
If it weren't for the setting you'd think this was taken at a rest home.
Geeze Louise, I hope it never comes to that!

Standing on top of the world looking forward to 2017.  I hope it will be better than 2016 was.
May 2017 will be good for all of you.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Day 64

Looks like snow.  Well it did when I was standing there.  Unfortunately the sun was hidden by clouds so the brilliant white of the rock isn't as noticeable in the photo.  This is quartz rock and this area for hundreds of square miles is abundant with quartz.  So much so the nearby town is named Quartzite.  

The sun barely peeked through to show the color of these hills. 
 It reminded me on the Painted Desert.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Day 63

This might be one of those "tiny houses" that are the new thing these days.
I can't imagine pulling this down the road but it is indeed a trailer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day 61

This is my last day at this location.  My 14 days are up and I must move on to a new camp.  Rules.  I will take this opportunity to drive north 35 miles to Parker, Arizona and pick up some items.  I am not in desperate need of anything except probably just the need for the drive itself.  This staying in one spot for 2 weeks or longer is a real test of my patience.   I love driving and want to get out on the road.  I am a vagabond.

Its always a good practice to look up the definition of words that you take for granted you know.

vagabond (noun)  a person, usually without a permanent home, who wanders from place to place; nomad.  (yeah, okay) an idle wanderer without a permanent home or visible means of support; tramp; vagrant. (hey, hold on there)  a carefree, worthless, or irresponsible person; rogue (gee, maybe I better rethink what I call myself)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Day 60

I made a U-turn and got away from there.
Then again, the sun wasn't out so I may have been okay.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Day 57

Yesterday's late afternoon light display.

 On today's outing I spotted a nest high in a saguaro. 

Must be a large bird to be able haul those big sticks up there.

And then there was this.  Someone is confused with their holidays?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 56

It rained quite a bit during the night.  By morning it was done but the day is overcast.  I thought I would go into town and walk around the vendor's fair.  Most were closed up either due to the weather or just that things are real slow right now.  I was here in November of 2007 and the place was like the circus had come to town.  Not that way now.  In January it might pick up.

This tent had all the food items you can imagine at bargain prices, 
that's if you don't mind some items being past their "Sell by" date.  
Boxes of cereal for $2, three for $4.
Canned vegetables for 50 cents.
Packages of Starbucks coffee for $5.
Bread for $1.
I bought three lemon pies for a dollar.  There was no date on them.  Hmm... 

One vendor had a cat on a long leash walking around.  I bent down to pet her.  That was the first cat I have petted since Sinbad died.  The emotions kicked in and my eyes watered up.  I wasn't expecting that.  I had to walk away.  I miss having him with me so much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 55

It doesn't rain all that often in the desert but when it does, 
it gets with the program and then moves on.

After the rain was over I went outside and caught this cloud formation.

Then things took a turn for the dramatic.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day 54

Oh Happy Day!

I've been trying to find LED bulbs to replace the hot energy consuming halogen light bulbs in the lights I never use just because of those facts.  I found the bulbs today at a vendor here in Quartzite, Arizona.  After nine years I can now start using these lights. The quest is over. 

The new LED lights are to the right.  The top one I needed two for lights over the bed to read by.
The bottom I needed seven.  These were under the counter lights.

The old ones put out so much heat I think you could fry an egg on the shelf above them.
The over the bed light.

It was good I couldn't ride my bike into town yesterday to search for these as having the RV with me I could test them out to see if they were too bright.  Some LEDs can be really bright.  The bottom one here could be had in "bright" or "warm".  Warm proved to be what I was after.
The under counter accent light.

I am one happy camper!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Day 53

My plan for today was to ride my bike which normally I would do before lunch.  I thought I would wait until after lunch so it would be warmer.  Unfortunately the wind started up again by then but I'd give it a go anyway.  I bundled up the best I could, got on the bike and went about 100 yards.  "I'll never make it."  I wimped out and came back to camp.  I'm not complaining for if I were home it is colder there, the sun isn't shining and it's raining.  So no hike, no ride, no pictures today.  
I made a hot cup of chicken broth in my travel coffee cup.

There's a long tale regarding the sign on this cup going way back when I was 10 or so years old.  The short version is it was a souvenir trading post on old Route 66 then known as Jackrabbit, Arizona.  You would see these signs of the rabbit as far away as 100 miles, then 50, 40, 30 and then counting down the miles by each and every mile until you finally arrived - HERE IT IS on a huge billboard.

Three years ago on a trip back east I got off the Interstate to follow old Route 66 as much as you can today and to my surprise the old trading post is still there owned by the same family.  All those signs are gone now except for the BIG one at the store.  I bought this cup and a t-shirt.  While writing this I realized I am not that far away.  Maybe I'll go back and see if they have those travel mugs they were out of last time.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Day 52

Today's hike was short.  Although it is clear skies and the sun is shining bright the wind is cold.  It must be coming down from the arctic.  I didn't find anything out of the ordinary today - a golf ball, another one of those horrible Mylar birthday balloons and the usual beer cans.  Even the real old beer cans before pull tabs now no longer interest me.  I did find this canning jar and brought it back with me.  Why?  I don't know.  I'll look at it as cleaning up the desert if I find no other use for it.

I do always enjoy looking at the animal tracks and wonder what they were up to at the time.
Most likely looking for something to eat and a safe place to sleep.

A bird, probably a dove.

A coyote

and the rabbit the coyote is looking for.

Someone's home.  There are many burrows in the ground and most are old and long since abandoned.  To find one with tracks coming and going is not as easy as you may think.  
I wonder who lives here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Day 51

I am at a new area up the highway 30 miles further north from before.  Lots of new land to explore and I get to use my camera again as the connection is just that much better.

When I showed the Palo Verde tree I realized I didn't get that good of a photo to show the shade of green it is.  I think it is a pretty color and reminds me of split pea soup.  I like split pea soup.  I could go for a hot bowl of split pea soup right now.  The weather has taken a twenty degree drop in temperature in one day.  Overnight!  Yesterday the wind was blowing pretty good and everything inside has a fine coating of dust even though all the windows and the door was shut.  Today it is clear skies with 15 mph wind which creates a windchill factor.  I'd say what the temperature is but you would just laugh so I'll move on.

This saguaro looks like it has had a rough life.  I don't know what chews it up so.  There are birds that make holes for nests but this is not bird action.  Later I saw some young saguaro that were only 3 feet tall and they had the same destruction right at ground level.  This leads me to believe it is rabbits and ground critters doing this when the plant is young and tender.  As it grows taller the damage rises and the base becomes too tough and woody for chewing on.  That's my theory. 

Then I found this.  I have not much of an idea what it was for.  It looks like a boiler or the water tank of a hot water heater.  Maybe is distiller?  I don't know.

The underneath side.

That's all for now.  I have some dusting to do.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Day 50

On a little walkabout in the bush I saw a windmill off in the distance.  Once I reached it I saw that modern technology now is the means of getting water up from deep within the ground.  The wind has retired.  The sun has now assumed the duties

The purpose of the well is solely for the local residents, the wildlife of Kofa Wildlife Refuge.
Notice the little cement ramp in the upper corner so that the little critters including birds can get down to the water if the level is low or they can get out if they happen to fall in.

There were tracks of Desert Bighorn Sheep at the well.  I would like to see them at least once in my lifetime.

That evening I was surrounded by a herd of coyote with one right at the door.  It sounded as if there were at least 4 or 5 yippin and howling.  Of course as soon as I turned on the outside light and opened the door they took off. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 49

This is Red Velvet Ant, although it is really a flightless wasp.  It is slightly larger than your average bee.  With all my poking and prodding trying to get him to pose, all he was concerned about was seeking shelter from my harassment.

Another photo that better shows the deep rich red color of the hairs.

This is Palo Verde which is Spanish for "green tree".  As you can see the bark is smooth and green.
Well, maybe you could see it if I had taken a better photo.  Using this iPad camera is a challenge.

Now this was a first for me.  I didn't know what I was looking at except for what looked like a vine that had grown up into the Palo Verde and had three melons.  Each was about the size of a baseball.  From a distance I thought someone had hung Christmas ornaments.  Back at camp I looked it up in my desert guide book and learned this was Melon Loco.  Loco in Spanish means crazy.  The book stated "Plants with the name 'loco' are usually poisonous to some degree; several have toxins that produce madness".  And I was thinking about opening up one of the fruit too.  Fortunately my habit of always leaving things as I find them prevented me from becoming even more crazy than I already am.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 48

I am kind of surprised as to how easy it is to post on the blog through the iPad but it does have its limitations.  And there's the fact I have to lug around the iPad to get the photos for the posting.  I don't think the picture quality is as good either.  Maybe if I knew what I was doing...

Here is last night's sunset.

This morning's hike was in search of Quartz crystals as this is what the area is known for and called Crystal Hill.  While wandering around I came across this.  I doubt they hauled the body all the way in here to bury it.  Most likely the ashes are here.  The cross was made of metal.  Her age was close to mine, a year older.  Makes you think.  She probably liked this area and wanted to rest here for eternity.

These saguaros were growing out from almost solid rock.

Here is a little grove of cholla.  You don't want to get too close.

The object is to locate an outcropping of white Quartz then amongst it all try to find a rare clear crystal or at least a somewhat clear one.  The problem is the area has been picked cleaned over the years and no digging is allowed, so it's a challenge.  

After all my looking and walking I did find one that was a little bit translucent so I'll take that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 47

I am at the Kofa Wildlife refuge in Arizona.  Much nicer scenery.  Not so desolate looking.  This is Crystal Hill.  Supposedly you can find quartz crystals on the ground here.  Tomorrow I'll go search for some.  There are only two other campers here.  Maybe the six miles of rough gravel road had something to do with that.

The cell signal is very weak and I wasn't able to use my laptop for this post.  I am using my iPad for both the picture and posting.  I've never done it this way before so if you see this, then that's better than nothing.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Day 46

I left camp this morning before my crazy neighbor started in for the day.  Most likely things are continuing on as normal for him.  I crossed over into Arizona and picked up a few items (bread, milk, etc.) as I will be far away from towns and stores for the next few weeks. If I don't post any during that time it is because of poor or no cellphone service,  not because of crazy neighbors, although where I am at now is questionable.  Part of it looks like a homeless encampment.  It is a shame how people trash their public lands.  I walked around but was hesitant to pull out my camera to take pictures.  It's that sketchy and I don't want to attract attention.  Although I can stay here for 14 days, one night will be it for me.  So here's a couple interesting items for the lack of normal photos to display.

The battery died on my kitchen timer.  I went to several stores to buy a replacement and they were either sold out or didn't carry them.  I figured I may as well buy a new timer and so I did.  The new timer, same as the old one only black, cost $1.02 more than if I bought the replacement battery.  
I'll not try to make any sense out of that.

Then there was the hair brush.  I don't have much hair and the stiff nylon bristle brush I had was irritating on my scalp.  I wanted to get a soft brush.  You think they would make soft brushes but all I could find was those hard ones you could also use to scrape paint with.  Then I remembered Sinbad's brush was soft.  Go to a pet store.  I checked at a dollar store first and in the pet section was a soft bristle brush.  $1.08.  Deal of the day.  My head is happy.

Lastly I finished another drawing this time more representative of the area I am in than the last one.  I'll let you in on a secret here.  As I was doing the sign for the Sheriff's office I misspelled it leaving a letter out.  "Arrgh!"  The thing is that the writing goes so slow as you draw that your mind is way ahead of it.  Worse still is this is in ink.  Not like you can take an eraser to it.  But I saved it.