A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Valley of Fire is Getting Hot

The view from our front yard.  
The foreground is the edge of a cliff pretty much straight down.
Of course Beans is interested in the edge.

The red rock in the distance is Valley of Fire State Park.

More scenes from the Valley of Fire 

The rest of these pictures were taken while moving as there are few places to stop off the road.

Fortunately there weren't any cars pressing me from behind.

It is supposed to be in the 90's tomorrow and then 100 degrees by Wednesday so we are moving on to higher cooler elevation somewhere, not sure where just yet.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Beans Report

 We've been together for 3 weeks now, and on the road for one. Beans continues to impress me as a very intelligent fast learner. She knows what "no" means and immediately stops whatever she is doing or even thinking of doing. When out for a walk she is grasping what "come on" means and figuring out back-tracking to avoid getting the rope hung up. Sinbad was good about that. The harness and leash has been accepted as a necessary evil of getting to go outside. She doesn't mind putting it on anymore. Yesterday she chased her first lizard but unfortunately I had the short leash on. Now we always use the long retractable one. And she is teaching me things too. She tells me she is hungry by looking at her dish and meowing. Once I pick it up and start preparing her food she is quiet. Any other cat I have had carries on with even more intensity. She trusts me to step over her knowing I will not step on her. Nothing seems to bother her once she understands what it is, like the slide-out in the RV. If she is on it when I move it in or out she stays put for the ride. I notice it seems the sun affects her more than it did Sinbad, most likely due to her dark coat. After a bit she has had enough and starts back for the RV and the shade at a pretty fast pace. One time she slipped loose of the harness but didn't take off running. She allowed me come get her and pick her up. Whew! Beans is proving to be everything I had hoped for and then some. I have just forgotten what it is to have a young cat around and am learning we need to burn off some evening energy which is a challenge in a small RV.  I don't feel as bad for ripping her away from her new house as she seems to enjoy this life.

She's very content to just sit outside and look around.

More scenes from the Valley of Fire.

I thought this one feature was so neat looking,

like that ice cream that is chocolate and vanilla.

Some of these photos I wondered why I took the picture but I recall the detail in the rock which just didn't come out given the setting I had used.  Lesson learned.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park

This is Nevada's first state park established in 1935.  I've known about it and seen pictures but this was my first visit.  It was well worth the admission price of $10.  If you like geology, or just plain old pretty rocks this is a must see park north of Las Vegas.

Like people always say, the pictures aren't as good as seeing it in person.

I have my camera set for a small format so the photos will upload easier but I don't like the end result.
I think I will reset my camera settings and be more patient with the uploads.

These were called the Bee Hives

A fun fact.  How do they figure these things out anyway?

- more to come -

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We Have Arrived

This is last night's stop, a rest area in Amargosa Valley, Nevada just east of Death Valley, California.  I cannot remember a rest area as nice as this one was.  Very little traffic travels Hwy 95 so it was quite peaceful, that is until Beans let it be known she wanted to go outside at night.

This is home for a few days, near Overton, Nevada (close to the Utah border) on Free Camping Land called Poverty Flats.  This will do for a few days while I/we rest some and the temperatures remain mild.  There are other campers here; we're not alone.

 Beans continues to adjust doing quite well and is content to sit or lie on the steps looking around.  
I think this will be a good partnership for years to come.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This is Nevada

Pretty much anywhere in the state of Nevada, on any given road or highway, this is all you will see.

A long day of driving and I am still not at my destination.

I am afraid you will be subjected to quite a few sign photos like this in the future.

Here is your Beans Bulletin: We had no complaining during today's drive.  A major breakthrough!

This is Clean Beans enjoying the view at the end of the day's drive at our camp for the night.

This is Dirty Beans.  Like Sinbad she immediately wallows in the dirt given the first opportunity.

She seems purrfectly content to sit in the doorway and look out.   
She is adjusting to the harness and leash and is associating it with going outside.  Progress.  
Another traveler came over to ask what I knew about the place we are staying at (a rest area) and Beans just sat there.  Sinbad would have skedaddled deep into the RV.  I guess that is good.  I am still learning things about her as she learns things about me and RV life.

Monday, April 24, 2017

No, This is Not Us.

I didn't see this happen.  These photos were sent to me.
This why I don't have a huge RV. 

Cutting a sharp turn on a mountain dirt road the rear end didn't track where the front wheels did.

He said he was following his GPS.

Today's driving was all about getting over the Sierras before the snow started.  Once down into Nevada I fought high winds all day.  I wish I could say Beans is doing better but she continues to voice her displeasure about moving on to a new location.  We are in Nevada working our way south to a location where I can stay put for a few days and relax enjoying the scenery. 

Friday, April 21, 2017


The day on the road started out with an extremely unhappy cat.  Beans cried and carried on so much I had to stop three times in the first several miles to console her.  I had not expected this at all for she rode very nicely the day I brought her home. She outdid anything Sinbad had ever done.

After about 45 minutes of trauma she finally settled down enough to take in the view.  To her credit this is something Sinbad wasn't really all that interested in doing and would get down and hide if a big truck rolled by.  Traffic didn't faze her one bit.  Good Beans.
Into the second hour she must have worn herself out as she quietly rode in my lap.

We are eager to project human feelings onto what our pets do and I am no different.  I figured 1. she really loved the run of her new home and didn't want to be taken away from that or 2. she felt she was being taken to a new adoption and a new home.  I doubt they can reason that, but who knows.

Tonight will be her first night in the RV.  Tomorrow morning will be interesting to say the least. 

The Long Journey

Somewhere in Tennessee

This morning Beans and I are leaving for a road trip, to where, we don't know.  
That is the beauty in traveling when time is of no consideration.
I can say we will follow the road less traveled to places yet to be discovered...by us at least.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In Training

We've been working on using the harness and leash.
The first day was the alligator death roll.

This is the third day and we've moved on to the army sniper crawl.

Then stop.

Then more sniper crawling.


Yes!  We can walk.
I don't recall how Sinbad was with the harness and leash early on as it was so long ago.
Probably the same as with Beans.  She's doing good though.

Enough for today.  Time for rest.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Beans and I wish everyone a very nice Easter Sunday.
It has been one week today and
she has far exceeded all I had hoped for in adopting a new cat.
We both are very happy to have each other.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why Beans?

Beans the Cat was the third cartoon character introduced in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes series in 1935.  Unfortunately for Beans he was created at the same time as was Porky the Pig.  Theater goers were more taken by the stuttering porker and in 1936 poor Beans was eventually dropped.

More recently in 2011 Paramount pictures released a film called Rango which won an Oscar as the best animated feature film of the year.  One of the main characters was Beans "La Vaca" Sanchez an intelligent, tough, and quick-witted female desert iguana.  She was just Beans in the movie. 

That name stuck with me but I never thought of using it for any reason as Sinbad was still with me. Jump ahead a few years and I found myself adopting new cat.  Her name was Rainbow Dash. That had to go! The memory of Beans from the movie came up from nowhere in my mind and that's the story as how my Beans got her name.  Rainbow Dash?  Good grief!!!

Sleeping update:  Beans sleeps in bed with me now, right smack dab in the middle!  
"I'll take this spot.  You can have the all the rest of the bed.  I don't see a problem with that, do you?"


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The King has a New Throne

Today I finished the last of the big jobs on the RV upgrades, installing a composting toilet.
No more dumping the black water (sewage) ever again.  Yes!
What a unpleasant task I will never have to do again.  

This is made primarily for boats and can be used in RVs and off grid cabins and the like where no plumbing and septic tank is available.  That center piece with the knob lifts out before you sit.

Inside is a diverter than funnels urine to the front and poo in the back.  
Guys need to sit to use it effectively when peeing.  I've been sitting for years anyway, but I suppose you really didn't want to know that.

Here you can see the one gallon milk jug for #1 and a five gallon bucket for #2 which holds the composting material and the agitation device.  Peat moss, coconut fiber or wood mulch like used for hamster cages is the composting medium.

You turn the handle a bunch of times to fully "churn" the composting material and your deposit.

The composting materials removes all moisture and then simply after a week or so when it gets hard to turn you empty the bucket into a plastic bag and dispose in a trash can.  Now yes, I too thought that not a good thing but diapers and colostomy bags are disposed of in the same manner.  The composting makes the undesirable element much much less offensive as those other two comparisons since it is dried up.  In the first photo you can see a sight window in the front so you can monitor the one gallon bucket.  When getting full just lift out and dump most anywhere.

As for smell, they say it is the combing of #1 and #2 is what makes sewage so awful smelling.  Keeping the two separate eliminates that, or so they say.  I didn't know this.  Occasionally misting a mixture of vinegar and water keeps things nice.  I might add a drop or two of Pinesol into the milk jug every once in awhile.  But they say that that center piece with the knob seals it all off.  Some people attach a house freshener strip on the inside.  Good idea.