A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Saying Goodbye to Camp Quarantine

The next morning I made the decision - we have to go.
While I loaded up the Honda and put camp gear away Beans hung out by her tree.

I so hated to have to take her away from her tree when ready to go.
I'm sorry sweetie, but we have to go now.

I pulled on out, stopped and took one last photo of Camp Quarantine.
It was a nice spot.

- to be continued -

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

We Give Up

It got hot. Real hot. 
This is about all I could do during the day. 
Mini fan blowing, a cool beverage, snacks and a good book.  
Such is quarantine life in an oven.

Receiving this notice pretty much sealed our fate. 

I really didn't want to leave for I felt real safe here.
We were in La Paz County
I had no idea what it was like out there in the world having been here for six months.
Yes, I was a bit concerned as to what we would be getting ourselves into by leaving.

- to be continued -

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Strange Cactus

I have never seen anything like this before. 
It looks dead but maybe it just looks that way.

Looks like a sea urchin

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A New Well

The crew had been drilling and working on this for a few months now and finally finished.  Once they left I went to investigate.  Its just down the dirt road a half mile or so from Camp Quarantine.  

If this well is to supply water for the water fill station at the other camp ground, that is 2.2 miles away as the crow flies.  Maybe they plan to have a second water fill point on this side of the highway here at Tyson Wash camp.  When we return next year I might have an answer.

Tyson Wash is a major water course in the area although it is always dry.  But the water table must be shallow and therefore why they chose this spot to drill.  The photo isn't the wash; just where they let the water run off when they struck gold.

Friday, April 24, 2020

This Should be Interesting

It is supposed to cool back down after Wednesday.  You are probably wondering why we don't leave.  Well I know what we have here and we're safe.  I don't know what it is like out there in the world.  There are many more places (parks, campgrounds, etc.) closed than there are open.  We leave here and then find ourselves without a place to stay.  Then what?  I'm reading full time travelers such as we are are having a very difficult time all across the country.  I just don't know what to do.

I don't follow the news about the coronavirus.  Too much misinformation and scare news.  But I did see a headline yesterday saying they expect all of this to reoccur once again next winter!
Good grief!  Seriously?

One cool cat.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Big Fight

I was sitting inside working on the computer while Beans was outside under her tree.
I heard a ruckus and went out to see what was going on.

She was after something down in this hole at the base of a tree.
I figured a lizard.

Nope.  She pulls out this huge rat by her claws then stuffs it in her mouth. The rat was squealing and Beans had her mouth full.  She was making her own noises.  They went over into the grass and the wrestling match was full on rolling and tumbling in the stickers.  I unhooked her cord so she'd be free to give chase if need be.  After a minute of fighting she quit and the rat staggered off back into the hole.  Beans is a great hunter but she's evidently not a killer.  I kind of wanted her to kill the thing.  If it had a missing tail (thus being the one that gave me all that grief in the Ten Day War) then I would have killed it down in that hole.  She lost interest and with the show over I went back inside.  An hour later it dawned on me that I hadn't hooked her cord back onto her harness!  She was just sitting out there in the shade of her tree, free as can be.  I need to be supervised.

Battle weary.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Beans' Trees

There are two large mesquite trees at Camp Quarantine.  It is one of the reasons I wanted to stay here.  It gives Beans something to enjoy.  She likes sitting in the shade.

And there is climbing to do also.  

We've been here for a few weeks and only just the other day
 I spotted something odd at the base of the tree. 

Sea shells in the desert! 
 For as weird and topsy-turvey 2020 has been so far, I thought these would be appropriate for a little memento of Camp Quarantine.  The Little House on the Highway is like a rolling museum of interest probably only to me.  I don't save something from everywhere we stay.  Oh I have the occasional rock, bone or artifact from here and there most all of which I have since forgotten where it came from.  A very few rocks I write on to preserve the site for memory.  One is from where we camped in Wyoming to view the Great Solar Eclipse and it is glued to a shelf.  Three small stones from each of the Great Lakes we visited two years ago sit on the counter by the sink.
 I'll write on the long one-Camp Quarantine 2020-and glue it next to that small eclipse stone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Donnie and Patty Marshall

The couple that camps at this spot every year have an elaborate set-up.  I really thought I had a photo from years past but it seems not.  Sorry.  I went by a couple months ago and saw they were gone which answered a question I always had do they stay here the entire year?  In addition to their trailer and a few vehicles there would be a large tent set up, AstroTurf and carpets spread out, a huge array of chairs circling the set-up.  It was all for the potlucks, talent shows, karaoke, music jams and dances they held.  Being it was all gone I saw for the first time the rock art in back.

Then I saw this sign.  Apparently the old guy (two years younger than I) had passed away.
When, I don't know.  Was it during this past winter season while here?

By this you can see they had been carrying on with the programs for ten years.
Now will his wife Patty continue with the tradition?

The other day I was riding around to see what was left of the population here and was surprised to see this.  Every year this road into the main part of this long term stay area washes out where it passes through the wash.  After all these years the BLM is finally going to fix this problem for good with a culvert.  The Marshall's camp is always set up on the other side of those trees above my bike. 
 Poor Donnie, he'll never know about this much needed improvement near his camp.
The Donnie Marshall Memorial Bridge?

Happy cat.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Life at Camp Quarantine

Notice tangled cat.
Always keeps me busy.

I had to break camp and go into town for propane and good thing I didn't put it off any longer as it only had point two gallons left. Then across the street to Family Dollar. Only two cars in the lot, a good sign. I filled the four fresh water jugs at the water machine and then went inside. I only wore the bandanna due to the lack of people. I did good from my shopping list even though the shelves were most bare. Paper towels once again appeared so I grabbed a roll. Next stop Roadrunner grocery store, a small little shop. With rumors of an impending nationwide meat shortage the little store still had a good supply and I picked up a couple of items. Now to return to camp. Hmm..do I want to go to the other side of town and check out Dollar General?  Oh what else do I have to do?  So I did.  Again, only a couple of cars in the lot.  Nice. Again with only the bandanna I went in and walked over to the baby products aisle. And there it was, sitting all alone on the shelf, one last package of baby wipes.
It has been weeks, no make that months, since these were last seen in any store.around here.  I picked it up and read the package three times making sure I was holding what I thought I was instead a package of diapers.  I use these things to wipe down all over in place of a shower each evening.  

And so I drove back to Camp Quarantine unable to believe my good fortune.  I felt all is right in the world, or at least our world.  Our paid for time had run out on the fifteenth and it appears the BLM Rangers are not going to bother the several hundred or so campers self-isolating staying in place here.  I decided we'll stay at Camp Quarantine as long as possible until it gets too hot.  As the propane guy mentioned to me "This is about one of the safest places to be in the country right about now."
I couldn't argue that.

An eBook update: As of yesterday Sunday Sinbad and I on the Loose had registered 29 downloads. The Beans and I on the Loose series showed 18, 16 and 20.  I never ever imagined those kinds of numbers while I was putting them all together.  Nice timing for me to finish the books just when a global pandemic broke out.  I'm sure that is the reason behind the numbers :))


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Free eBooks - A Two Year Project

It was January of 2018 camping here in the desert that one day I walked over to visit my neighbor Tim.  He was sitting outside reading on a tablet.  I asked about it.  It was a Paperwhite Kindle.  Where this kindle differed from others was it was back-lit.  There was no glare and the pages looked very much like a normal paperback book page.  Now this I liked.  I went back to camp and ordered one from Amazon.  It arrived at the local post office in Ehrenburg in a couple of days.

One of the very first eBooks I downloaded to my new kindle device (for free of course) was Spirit of the Road by Rick Huffman.  The author told about his learning to drive a semi truck and trailer and taking his cat along with him for cross country hauls.  At the end of the book he told a little bit about himself saying that he had never written anything before let alone self-publishing an eBook.  I thought to myself if he can do it, why can't I?  And so this two-year long project was born.

I had the material in my journals.  It was just a matter of putting it all together, editing it (several times), proof-reading it (several times more), then learning how to format it for publishing.  I read all I could on how to self-publish an eBook.  I watched YouTube videos on the subject.  In the end I didn't feel I had the confidence in doing the formatting.  Last year I camped near a lady who had self-published several mystery eBooks.  This year I thought maybe I could find someone like her I could pay to do the formatting for me.  But how?  Finally one day last December I came across an online site who would format your manuscript for a reasonable price.  Not only that but creating a cover for your book was included.  All other sites were expensive geared to the professional writer.  I gave them a shot at it with the first of the Beans and I on the Loose book series.  I was greatly impressed with the finished product.  Mind you, this was not without a lot of frustration on my part being not very computer knowledgeable but the folks at Word-2-Kindle were very patient in working with me.  This part alone took several months for all four books but here we are done, completed and published.

The books appear to the right in the sidebar.  By clicking on the image this will initiate a download for the book...I think...I hope.  I tested it on a couple and it seemed to work.  They are free.  I put them on Amazon Kindle Books but Amazon will not allow them to be free.  I had to set a price at 99 cents.  Don't go there for my eBooks. There is a way around this by people reporting the book at a lower price elsewhere and Amazon will eventually match that.  But that's not important to me as already the books have been downloaded through the Smashword links in the sidebar.  Let me tell you I was extremely surprised to see after the one day on there the books had been downloaded 9, 4, 7 and 6 times respectively.  Wow!  Just goes to show the desperation in some people brought on by a self-isolation quarantine of a global pandemic.  Seeing this made all of the work and aggravation over the last two years worth it to me.

Sinbad and I on the Loose is made up of seventeen stories plus a bonus book over a twelve year period of travels with Sinbad.  It is the longest of the four books at around 232 pages.

The Beans and I on the Loose series of books are much shorter.  
Each book covers one year of travel and adventures for the two of us.
Getting to Know You (27 pages) is about our first year together on the road.

A Hot Mess (48 pages) tells of our journey north to the Great Lakes region looping south 
where we encounter horrible humid weather and our escape from that to the Rocky Mountains.

With a big lesson learned from the previous year in Seven Months of Summer (56 pages) we embark on a mission to drive much less and simply follow ideal temperatures north to Montana and then back south to our winter home in Arizona.

Right now we are living the next book to come out later this year, if we survive the pandemic.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Some Odds and Ends

The last time I was at Family Dollar I noticed this on the floor.
Coffee (last one), a loaf of bread (less than a half a dozen on the shelf) and a bottle of Gatorade was all I was able to get from my shopping list I had in my hand.

Everything is in short supply except soda pop it appears.

On the way to the store I saw this going on.  Someone's big motor coach broke down.
That has to be an expensive tow.  Heaven knows what the repair bill will be.

Nice lizard rock art.

Beans likes climbing this mesquite tree at Camp Quarantine.

Today is when our paid time runs out. 
 Now to see how long we can squat here before being run off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A Nice Find

Someone threw away into the dumpster their homemade solar cooking oven for whatever reason.  I don't have the room to haul an entire solar oven with me and probably his homemade one didn't work all that well.  But the reflector panels I could use as a wind break for my Dutch oven.  I'll see how it works in this configuration.  I can always undo the hinges at each corner and remount them on the straight edge of each side panel.

Folds up nicely also.

I'll keep the cookie sheets I bought for they will still work for my camp stove.

Nice Dad. Now can I go back to sleep?

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Minimalist and the Snowman

This guy is here every year I can recall.  He has no car.  Just this stretched out bicycle  Seems like he pedals on into town, about three to four miles distant, everyday for supplies.
I tried to strike up a conversation with him one time long ago.  He didn't want to talk.

This is his home.  I imagine it is so all year long.  
I'd think he must travel elsewhere for the summer but as I said, he wasn't very talkative.

I have a lot of questions.  Maybe he sensed that. 
A strange duck.

Here Beans is watching the strange duck coming up the road.  She had just come around on the right side of that bush and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the snowman sign.  It reads Let it snow.  My neighbor puts this out every year she is here.  She's from Minnesota.  Beans didn't know what to make of the snowman and stared at it for a long time.  I wish I had the phone out sooner to capture her intense look.  Finally she realized it wasn't alive and slowly came on around to check it out. So cute.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Stone Cabin Hike

Seen to and from:

A hedgehog cactus.  
Not that many around here.

A couple days late of seeing this blossom in its full glory.

A thriving ocotillo

The leaves only show after recent rains and don't last long.

Hummingbirds love the flower of the ocotillo.

Someone found a dead fox or was it a pet?

A few hours late on seeing this snake cross the path.

Beans, I'm back!
Oh I see you really missed me.