A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Expiration Dates Are For the Weak

Quartzsite, Arizona

Along vendors row is this large tent.  They take in pallets of discarded food items from supermarkets like Safeway.  Many are past their 'Best by' date.  Others with still good dates like the cans may be dented.  Bottled items the label could be torn.  There are items of all nature that you'd find at your local grocer including, vitamins, over the counters medicines, pet items and more.  That pallet to the left stacked with 40 quart electric coolers are labeled $40 each.  I looked them up on Amazon. $140.
Even produce shows up at times, cheap and nothing wrong with it.

Stock is changed daily all depending on what they get it.  Most everything is marked fifty cents or a dollar.  Gourmet items a bit more.  I bought a jar of pimento stuffed olives for $2.00 from Safeway.  Date good to 9/12/22. Can't see a thing wrong with it.  A jar of Safeway dill pickles with a torn label 12/14/20 $1.50.  Annies organic protein bars box of five 10/7/19 $1.00.  They might be a bit chewy.
There are boxes of breakfast cereal one or two dollars less than half the store price.  Usually the box is crunched or torn. Ocean Spray and similar juices four dollar plus in the store, here half that.  Lots of coffee styles and brands and those prices are only slightly less than in store. Coffee holds it value.  

Relish!?  Gee, I had that on my list and overlooked it!  I'll have to go back.
Anything you want me to get for you?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Beans Leaves Her Mark

Quartzsite, Arizona

The people who ran us off from our previous camp where the Midnight Pooper lives left after only four days of being there.  Odd.  Seems hardly worth the effort coming in all this way on a dirt road. Whatever, fine with us.  I went back to look at our site, not difficult to find as you can see the drag marks from Beans' five pound lead weight.  

In between the two sites is this poor old abused saguaro, still alive though.

One day on a hike I discovered this hole in the ground, an abandoned mine.  I've lightened up the image so you can see what appears to be the bottom.  It may go off from there but I wasn't about to go down there and see if it did.  Maybe at one point in my life when I was young and foolish, but not now.  If I did I most likely...

...would end up here.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Midnight Pooper

Quartzsite, Arizona

At our previous camp site we would receive a gift like every other night.  
They would always leave their deposit on Bean's five pound weight.   

Then one morning I stepped outside to see this.  Her cord chewed in two.  
Someone really had some issues with Beans.

Maybe because one day she decided to pee on their turf.

Or perhaps it was because she accidentally killed one of their own.
I didn't mean for him to die.  I just wanted to play.

Now I pick up her weight and cord each evening hopefully putting a stop to the Midnight Pooper.
Whoever he is he is bigger than this little pack rat judging by the size of the "gift".  

Most cats like to lay on keyboards.  Beans is such a good girl.  
She's happy to be just near me curled up next to the laptop.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Time to Move?

Quartzsite, Arizona

After eleven days these people moved in too close.  If I can hear you talk, that's too close.  There's acres and acres of vacant desert here and why?  Why right here?  Oh well, what else do I have to do?

This isn't from around here but I thought it appropriate.
Its what I need to discourage people from moving in on us.

Well that didn't last long.  By the time I finished the post above and put the laptop away this guy joined them.  The first three were old folks (like me) and this guy was probably a son or daughter in a big trailer hauling an ATV.  I was going to give it until morning but I knew I would brood about it. I hopped on Gracie and scouted out a new spot no too far away.  I walked back to break camp.

Two more had moved in while I was on the scouting mission, one being another monster toy hauler.  Not a solar panel among them.  Generators will be in full harmony this evening.  I broke camp and pulled out to the sound of barking dogs.  Yep, glad I left now.
I'll sleep good tonight.

Forty minutes to break camp and reset camp.
Time well spent.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Unusual Cats

These cats were the most mellow and uninterested in having a visitor than any other cats I've been around.  There was a third one back in the screened area.  The lady told me what breed they were but I wasn't paying attention since I was fascinated with the cats.

Beans on the other hand would be running all around...A visitor!  Company!  We have company!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Just Little Old Me

Quartzsite, Arizona

I hardly ever have any pictures of myself on the blog.  
Poor Beans just can't hold the camera and push the button at the same time.  

I went to visit some friends who rolled through Quartzsite and got my picture taken during the visit.  

Thank you Bonnie for lunch and the photos.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

One of a Kind

Quartzsite, Arizona

Not really something to have if you wanted to keep a low profile and get lost in the crowd.

Got to hand it to the builder though as he had a vision and imagination.

As you can see by this photo he just barely pulled off the road.
Probably was coming into Quartzsite on a wing and and prayer and it died right there
five miles away from town.

A nice view of the stars at night while lying in bed.  
During the day the sun must really beat in there though.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Its Okay

Its okay that we got ran off from our old campsite.  I was going to have to take the Little House on the Highway into town for propane anyway.  I was trying to get it down close to "empty" just to see how many days it lasted since it was last filled up.  Well, it took 11.2 gallons and that is the capacity of the tank so it was a good thing I didn't try to press it an extra day or two.  "Thank you rude California camper."  Afterward I stopped at Family Dollar and the little in town grocery store Roadrunner to stock up on supplies.  I couldn't believe my good fortune as there were no lines at the check out for either.  Family Dollar always has a line.  So to celebrate my good fortune I treated myself to a fast food meal.  I go to Burger King most of the time.  You complete their customer survey and get rewarded a "Free" Whopper burger, only its not so "free".  You still have to buy the meal which includes a small drink and small fries.  So it costs $3.86 vs. the $6.39 regular price.  
Hey, its a $2.53 savings.  Oh and there I finally had to stand in a short line.

At our new camp spot I immediately found the crystal on the right.  It is about the size of a large table grape.  The next day Beans led me to the slender crystal,on the left just over an inch long. 
I'll be looking for more, you can count on that.  The best time is around three in the afternoon as the sun is low and the shine from the crystals stands out among all the small pebble rock.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

We Got Ran Off

Quartzsite, Arizona

Some people from California moved in somewhat near us late last week.  They had a generator.  It wasn't a loud obnoxious one but it was there and was annoying.  I'd wake up in the morning to this incessant humming noise.  Went to bed at night same way.  But when they drove off the second day and left the damn thing going, that was it.  Enough!  I packed up and this time moved over to Tyson Wash across the highway about three miles distant.  The funny thing was that for the four months at the original camp area I had grown accustom to the constant distant noise of camper traffic going back and forth on the gravel road for the water, trash and dump area.  Here at our new spot it is so quiet, I had forgotten how quiet it can and should be.  My only two visible neighbors have solar panels on their roofs.  Always a good sign. 

I liked where we were before and probably would stay there again next year.  Only now in January the Big Tent and RV show is going on in town and lots of people are rolling in.  Best to move out across the highway before Christmas in the future.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Someone's Trash is...

...not necessarily my treasure but I sure can put it to good use.

I can't believe someone through this short hose away.  
The only thing not right is the nozzle is a bit tweaked but is still round.  

As you can see this works great for filling water bottles without having to remove them from the bike, hold up to the faucet and having water spray out all over me when I'm not paying attention which happens a lot.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Not a Project - Carpet Squares

Quartzsite, Arizona

One of the vendors here...

...has these pallets stacked with carpet squares.

The ground at camp is nicely paved with small rock.  No dirt or stickers so I never rolled out my rug.  Yet early on when it was WARM I'd sit outside and would kick off my flip flops.  I thought back to those carpets squares.  One would be nice to set my feet on.  I went and bought one.  Then the weather turned cold and never really got to use it.  Oh, I will for sure later on this year.
Remember what the table looks like.

Then one day I was cleaning and organizing the side storage compartment.  Hmm...those carpet squares might work in here.  It proved to be a perfect fit.  I went back and bought four more.
I like this.

On another day it was supposed to have showers that evening and I put everything away.  The next morning as I was setting things back out I set the carpet square for in front of the chair on the table to wait for the ground to dry.  Well look at that.  The carpet square is the exact size of the table top.  One would be nice to have there all the time.  I went back and bought another square.  This will be a lot better to sit my cup of tea on, my book, work on a little project, whatever.  
Beans thinks it is for her to sit on.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Project Four

Quartzsite, Arizona

This is my little outdoor stove.  I would use it more often except the wind is bothersome with the heat.  Same too when I use the Dutch Oven.  I have a little windscreen for backpacking I use sometimes.  I was going to set it up for a photo but you think I could find it?  Grrr...  Anyway, I saw on a video a guy set up a large three panel wind shield for his stove and he got it right here in Quartzsite...somewhere, he didn't say where.  I searched the vendors here.  Nothing.  I got online and none could be had.  What to do?  Well, I'll just make my own!  I saw some online that were similar for around $30 but they were multi-fold up panels. I wanted a more ridged three panel arrangement.  I planned to go to the hardware store and see if they had some aluminum around 18x12 which would fit the table nicely.

One day I was walking through a vendor's tent that sells mostly kitchen and cooking items.  I saw this stack of cookie sheets.  Hmm...that just might work.  They were priced $4 each.  I asked the guy if he'd take $10 for three.  "Sure. I was watching you over there.  Figured you were coming up with some use for them besides cooking cookies."  I told him what my idea was.  Hey, its fun to haggle.  

Back at camp I learned why there was a stack of them and only $4 each.  You need a blow torch to remove those stickers.  Not kidding.  I soaked them in water, gasoline, carburetor cleaner, some cleaning stuff I have that will remove everything imaginable.  The stickers are still stuck on there.  And I thought cutting through that shackle on the lock was hard!
I may get some WD-40 or just maybe forget it.  They will still deflect wind with stickers left on.
I can just imagine all the pissed off housewives sending e-mails to the EKCO company.

Yes, this will work out nicely.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Project Three - Things People Throw Away

Quartzsite, Arizona

One day when I walked to the dumpsters to get rid of our trash I found this thrown in there.  I have two of those locks and thought if lucky one of the keys might open the lock.  No such luck.  I would really like to have the cable though.  How hard can it be to cut through that shackle?  
Well I was to learn VERY HARD!  

A hack saw didn't even make a mark.  I got out my saber saw fitted with a metal cutting blade.  Ha!  Barely a scratch.  I Googled it.  Cutting torch.  Nope, don't have that.  Angle grinder.  Nope, have one back at the house though.  Dremel Tool with cut-off disc.  Yeah!  That I have.  I wish I had looked to see how long I worked on this until I finally got frustrated and quit.  It was making headway but was agonizingly slow.  The next morning I went at it again.  You cannot imagine the pleasure I felt when the shackle feel apart.  Yet I couldn't twist it enough to slip the cable out.  
I'd have to finish the second cut.

Instead I tried gripping it with pliers and working it back and forth it finally snapped away. 
Was it worth it?  Yes as I can use that cable and besides, what else to do I have to do?

Would I do it again?
Not likely.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunset Sunday

Quartzsite, Arizona

I couldn't decide so just went ahead with all three images.


I wrenched my back late last week.  Don't know how, just a twist and 'OH!".  So I was pretty useless for the rest of the day.  The next day I was better but could tell it was still there if I made a wrong move.  Then Saturday arrived.  I beautiful warm day.  I could go without shoes and socks and shirt.  I sat outside for some solar therapy letting the sun heal my back.  Then I found a crystal right in front of the Little House on the Highway.  It was a very good day.

Sometimes its nice to just sit and do nothing for a couple of days.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Project Two

Quartzsite, Arizona

This project I had been thinking about for a long time.  I decided during my stay in Quartzsite this year I would do it.  This is a five gallon twenty pound propane tank like you have on your bar-b-que outside.  I lug it around all year long, taking up storage space, all for only one purpose...

...to run the heater inside the RV.

My plan was to do away with the tank and use the propane from the RV.  There is a connection that can be bought to hook up tanks to the main RV tank.  I thought it was something that screwed in to the filler port (on the left) but eventually learned that it was to be installed within the piping to the right. Well I didn't want to mess with all that (I don't like to do plumbing) and some reviews people said they encountered leaks which had to be corrected.  I don't need issues to deal with.

Later I got the bright idea to buy a valve, remove the burner for the hot water tank (I never used it but one time - a waste of fuel) and connect it all there running the hose inside along the hot water tank.  With that completed now all I wanted to do was run that five gallon tank empty, hook up to my new system and I was good to go.  Finally one morning the heater sputtered and the fire went off.  Good.  The tank is empty.  I hooked the heater to my new line, opened the valve and turned on the heater.  It lit and then soon sputtered out and died.  "What the heck?"  I tried again.  Same thing.  "Well horsefeathers! That's just great.  Something is wrong with the heater.  It probably didn't even run out of propane."  I started looking online at new heaters, maybe one of those fancy catalytic heaters.  Research showed they had to be really clean all the time or would not work.  Well being out in the dusty conditions as I am not to mention cat fur floating about, this would not do.  It was back to buying a new Mr. Heater.  Just before I was about to place my order I learned that the heaters run off high pressure propane.  They won't run on low pressure.  The RV lines have pressure regulators in them (the round thingy in the upper right corner).  Huh!  I screwed on one of my green Coleman propane canisters to the heater and it fired right up working like a champ.  Yippee!  
I didn't have to buy a new heater. 

I still wanted to get rid of that five gallon tank though.  What to do?  Get a smaller tank!  Back online I bought a one gallon five pound tank seen here on the right.  Isn't it cute?  How long will one gallon last you ask?  Well I'm finding out now.  I had them put one gallon into the big tank to hold me over until the little guy arrived.  So far it's been two and a half weeks running the heater in the mornings.  Another good thing about the little guy is that I can carry him on Gracie to get filled up.  I couldn't do that with big boy.  I'm giving the big tank to a lady down the road from us.