A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Economics of Fast Food

 They need help.

After doing a few errands in town Amanda suggested we get something to eat before starting our long day’s drive across Arizona.  Being as we couldn’t decide what to eat we ended up at Burger King.  Knowing that I had my heart set on a vanilla shake to get me through Phoenix.  Evidently I was the first shake order of the day for the lady discovered their machine had froze up.  She apologized and said she’d refund my money.  The thing was she refunded me the cost of the entire meal, $5.18, that is with the old person discount.  She handed me my bag with a Whopper and fries plus gave me a large cup to get any drink I wanted.  Free meal!  I gave the cup to Amanda and told her to get herself another drink.  Amanda went back to my RV to eat her burger while I went across the road to Carl’s to get my much desired vanilla shake.  At Carl’s they had one more employee than did Burger King - a total of three.  The kid at the counter would have to run out the front door and deliver each drive-up window order to the customer waiting in the driveway past the drive-up window.  There was something definitely wrong going on.  With way too much more to detail in this post I finally I got my shake at the cost of $4.41, seventy-seven cents less than my entire meal with fries and shake at Burger King.  I made it back across the road dodging semi-trucks and inattentive tourists to the RV where Amanda had just finished her meal.  She left to go wash the windows of her van and check tire pressures then came back.  I was done eating my free meal and we finally set off on a long weary day of driving. The shake didn’t make it to Phoenix.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Goodbye Quartzsite

photo courtesy of Amanda

It is warming up and about time we moved on eastward.
  Today we are pulling out with somewhat of a idea for a route but no real destination in mind. 

Beans and I will probably end up back in Quartzsite this winter; there isn’t really any better option.  The weather is reasonably fine for winter months and I have easy access to town for supplies using the motor bike.  All other long term stay areas in Arizona require driving the RV a long distance for goods.

But who knows lies in store for any of us six months or more from now?  The important part is to live each day and enjoy it as much as you can.  I was reading an article where the guy was saying how he was in the hospital for a couple of months.  He would lie there in bed and look out the window at the rain hitting the glass, the snow falling or the fierce roaring wind at times.  He’d think to himself how he wished he was out in that wonderful weather.  Then friends and family would come to visit and tell him “Oh it is miserable out there today”.  He would just nod his head and smile.  That was all he could do.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

What Are These?

 I discovered these markers down here by Roadrunner long ago.  I just assumed they were left overs from some military training camp back during the days of WW2.  Each has EPNG and ROW on them and there are dozens laid out in a grid fashion.  I tried looking it up but all I came up with for EPNG was El Paso Natural Gas.  I was hoping for something more interesting than that.  Maybe some of you are better Internet sleuths than I.  Ignore the pipe near the post as this post just happened to have a geographical survey marker next to it.


Next up, this beautiful beetle crawled up on my flip-flop as I was sitting outside enjoying the day.

He hung around for a long time after I set my shoe up on the table.  Eventually he just sat there on the edge for over fifteen minutes not moving an antenna nor feeler.
I guess he was taking a nap.
I used to know my bugs pretty well a long time ago but sort of lost it since then.
Know what it is?


Friday, March 26, 2021

At Roadrunner

When we pulled in to Roadrunner I had acres of desert land to choose from for camp.
“Where to go?”  Well we ended up here with the closest neighbors way over there on the other side.

Everywhere we camp or even to stay a night say at a Walmart parking lot, I will drop a pin on Google Maps marking our location.  So you can imagine my surprise when I went to drop a pin on this spot and discovered we had camped on just the other side of those saguaros back in February of 2018 and it just so happened that Amanda and Dresy were with us at that time, only now it is her and Louie.
That’s kind of weird.  Am I that predictable? 

Once we settled in we had to endure a couple days seeking shelter inside due to high winds.  The good thing here though is the fact it isn’t dusty, nor vehicles stirring up dust with these winds and it is really so very quiet compared to Beans’ Tree Camp up that dirt road on the left.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Moving Day

We moved on down the road a few miles to a 14-day stay area called Roadrunner.  After three months at Beans’ Tree Camp a change of scenery was needed.  Plus the cats were bored sniffing the same bushes each day. At Roadrunner there are less people, no ATV’s buzzing back and forth and no barking dogs. 

 After grocery shopping, getting water and a fruitless search for some paperback books at two thrift stores we met up at the pizza place in town.  It was nice to eat out in a restaurant, a first for me in over a year since all this COVID business began.

For those of you who have been with us for a few years you may remember Amanda and her black cat Dresy.  We traveled together for a few months back in 2017 up until the Great Solar Eclipse on August 21 of that year.  All of that adventure is in the Getting to Know You eBook to the right.  Amanda is now Louie’s mom and we will travel together on through to Texas after we leave Quartzsite.  Once in Texas she has a summer pet set to do and we will part ways.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Finding Luci on My Morning Walk

There are not that many people left around here so the road out front of camp is pretty quiet and makes for a good route to take my morning walks.  I don’t have to contend with annoying ATVs stirring up a bunch of dust all the time.

On one such morning walk I found a Luci Light.  It was dirty and flat  I figured it had been run over.  Back at camp I cleaned it up, pushed a button and it lit up!  I got on the site to learn more about it.  I was already aware of Luci Lights for they are very popular with car and tent campers and nomads traveling in vans.

It is made of a soft vinyl plastic and collapses down and that is how I found it.  You blow it up as you see here.  The light has a low, bright and flashing mode, the latter I don’t know why you would want unless you plan to have a dance party at camp.  Set it in the sun to charge up and it will stay lit for twenty-four hours.  A charge will last for three years when stored away if you can believe that.

That evening I set it up inside and was very impressed with the light it gave off.  I can see why people really like Luci Lights.  You can get them from Amazon for $20.  I think they would be nice for the home owner to have in case of power outages. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Bird Watching

This is Louie and Beans watching a bird.  Beans had been in that ditch for about ten minutes or more all crouched down, still as can be, watching.  Then Louie came out and saw what Beans was up to.  It was amazing to watch Louie stalk up close in stop-motion low to the ground.  You could tell he was a pro at it having lived who-knows-how-long on his own in the wild before being rescued.  Beans moved in behind Louie once he reached this point and then the bird left, never knowing it’s life was in mortal danger.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Had No Idea

I received this in my eMail one day.  
Hard to tell what you are looking at isn’t it?  Notice the bulldozer in the upper right.
These are the blades from wind turbines being buried near Casper, Wyoming.
There are wind turbine graveyards in California, Colorado and Kansas also.
The blades are made of fiberglass (non-biodegradable) and have a working life of twenty-five years.
So all of those wind turbines during the great wave of the 1990’s wind power are coming to their end. 

 It costs taxpayers $200,000 or more per unit or 200 million total for one thousand blades to be removed, transported and buried.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Joe’s Used Trailers Closed

Well it appears that Joe (not his real name for I have yet to talk with him - I’m still holding out) is done for the season.  The last of his inventory sold this week.  Here is the happy new owner of a cute little trailer pulling out from Joe’s Used Car and Trailer Sales lot.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Animal Refuge Thrift Shop

After I finished my breakfast and my laundry was done and dry, I went into the thrift store that too is attached to the same building.  I like to donate things to this store for the proceeds go to the animal services in town.  This place is packed.  It didn’t used to be this way years back.  It is all too much and overwhelming for me so I just concentrated on the books and picked up two paperback books.  

I plan to go back and look at the books more in depth.  
My mocha was getting cold sitting back in the RV.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Coffee and Smoothie Shop

Attached to the laundry room is this nice little coffee and smoothie shop.  I was having the second part of my breakfast while waiting on the clothes and went in for a coffee drink.
Gee, I didn’t notice the parking meter when I was there.  Funny.  I’m sure it is just for looks.

I had been in here a few years back and it seemed the same but the owner was telling me how she had changed things over the years.  I just really couldn’t remember.

She said she first had antiques in there for sale but has since switched them out for what you see here.  She does make good drinks and whereas a couple other coffee shops in town have since closed down she is still doing well with her shop.  

Later I remembered how I bought a mocha at one of those since closed down shops and it was sort of weak.  Not here.  Lisa (I believe that is her name) makes a good mocha.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Laundry Day

Every time I have to do laundry I agonize over it for days.  And every time after I do laundry I come away thinking Well that wasn’t so bad.  The secret is finding a small laundry place and this one here is just that.
It is inside the door near the propane tanks and not that many here know of it.
Good price too at $1.50 a load and fifty cents to dry for fifteen minutes where most I have been at are for only eight minutes.

 Four machines each.  While the laundry was churning I drove into the lot behind and filled the propane tank in The Little House on the Highway.  I parked back in front of the laundromat.  The wash was still chugging.  I walked across the street to Family Dollar (see through the window) and bought some milk and cat food for my friend/neighbor’s cat.  I still had time to go back across the street and fill three one gallon jugs full of fresh filtered water.  Yep, still no one else in the laundry room. Things were going well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Joe’s Used Cars and Trucks

This post was created a couple weeks ago and had to be updated several times

I came back from my morning walk one day and saw this parked out by the road that separates us from our neighbor across the way.  This is his main truck that he used to get here in when he arrived late last year.  Look in the background and you can see a van with windows.  That showed up a few days earlier.  That is the second van he has had, having sold the other in a previous post.  Well I guess he plans to tow his main trailer with the new van now. 

Well, this all lasted one day. 
 He must have changed his mind as he started using his truck again. 
Nope.  Still not asking.  I’m staying clear of him.

Update - a few days later.   The van gone.

Update - a couple more days has passed.  The van is back.

Update - a few more have days passed.  I see him pull out in the van.  I look beyond to his camp.  The truck is now gone and so is his main trailer he was living in!  When did that happen?

Update - after a few more days I am certain he has moved into trailer number two.  The smaller trailer number three is still there.  The truck and his original trailer he arrived in are history.

I still refuse to go over there.  
My friend who is camped with me said maybe one day she’ll get drunk, go over there 
and chat him up and see what he is doing just for me.  Now that is a sign of a true friend.  

As the saying goes “A friend will help you move, but a really great friend will help you move a body.”

Monday, March 15, 2021

Getting Water - Yap! Yap! Yap!

The last thing I had to do on errand day was fill up the water tank on the way back to camp at the only water source which is at the camp area across the highway from our camp area.  There are four stations and each has two spigots of free water, one of the perks of paying the seasonal fee for staying at any of the four long term areas.  I pulled up to one station where the lady in front of me was finishing up filling her six five-gallon water jugs and hefting them into the back of her small SUV.  I wished I had taken a photo of her but had no idea at the time that this simple act of getting water would evolve into a blog post.  Next to her where that black SUV is was a guy in a jeep with two little dogs yapping away constantly at the woman.  Now I have tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and the high pitched sound of small yapping dogs is not just annoying but outright painful to me.  The guy made no effort to shut his dogs up.  The woman couldn’t load up her water fast enough.  I thought I can’t deal with that barking and was considering moving then noticed the guy coiling up his hose.  Good, he’s going too.  Both left and I pulled forward when the guy in that black car pulled next to me.  He too had an ankle biter that was all hair, teeth and eyeballs going berserko yapping at me from the open driver’s window.  The owner was completely oblivious to it.  I looked across the way and saw the other faucets were clear and moved over there, my ears ringing painfully.


 I had just got my hose inserted and turned on the water when this guy pulled in.  I am not exaggerating one bit, I could smell him before I saw him.  That motorhome reeked of cigarette smoke.  It was as if it were a rolling ashtray.  I couldn’t believe the stench I was capable of smelling standing outside as the breeze was blowing it in the direction this photo.  I stood back here for the fresh air until the water tank was full.  The guy walked out and came around behind his rig to hook up his hose and he looked every bit the hardcore smoker - a small skinny guy with shriveled up leathery yellowed skin and rheumy looking eyes.  Neither of us greeted each other.  At least he didn’t have a yapping dog.

That sign should have a picture of a dog with a muzzle on.  

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Ambulance Camper

I messed up on yesterday’s post on the Box Truck Van as my write-up didn’t show.  So if you viewed a single small photo of the box truck then revisit the post for an additional photo and some words of explanation.  

There was a very nicely done ambulance camper in the parking lot of the grocery store.  Unfortunately he was just leaving and my arms were loaded down with plastic bags full of grocery items and I couldn’t get a photo.  So these pictures I pulled off the internet to give you an idea.

Retired ambulances are much less to be had out there than U-Haul trucks and the like.  Ambulances are built to much higher standards and have extra heavy duty construction so they are a prized unit for the do it yourself camper builder.

They come already equipped with lots of cabinets, storage compartments and cubby holes.  Just look at how nice the inside of this one was fitted out.

Some people might be freaked out with living in something that once witnessed so much blood, tragedy and death.  Would it bother you?


Friday, March 12, 2021

A Box Truck Camper - Repost

  Well I see what I wrote for this post didn’t show up.  I am very sorry about that.
Here is a repost.

This was parked outside of the grocery store when I came out.  These box trucks are popular to build into a camper van for they have straight sides and ninety degree corners.  Much easier to insulate and cover walls, install cabinets and counters plus you can stand up in them.  People will remove the roll-up door in back and build a wall for a standard swing out door.  And too people cut a walkway in the cab between the seats to enter the living area without having to do so from outside. This guy had these HUGE solar panels installed on the side.  Why?  Maybe the roof had a skylight roof like UPS trucks have.  The panels were securely attached so it would be difficult to remove.

 Most of these trucks are retired U-Haul trucks with the lettering removed before sale.  This as you can see was not.  He may have wanted to leave the lettering in place so he could “stealth camp” on city streets.  Or maybe he just got the truck and took off leaving the cold of Montana and will fix it all up when he returns home.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Gracie’s Younger Sister


I went into town one day having to take The Little House on the Highway as I was going to pick up two large packages of cat food I had ordered.  $210 worth.  Beans eats better than I.  So having our house with me I did some “major” grocery shopping while at it.  I came out of one small grocery store and this was parked outside.  I had to stop and visit. 

This is a 1978 Honda Trail 90.  Mine is a 1972.  This poor bike was so beat up I thought it was older than my bike.  One factor should have tipped me off was that it has turn signals while mine does not.  In ‘73 they added turn indicators.  He was a nice old guy to talk with, unfortunately we didn’t exchange names.  He was 84 years old and still riding his scooter around doing errands on it just like I do.  I told him how much I enjoyed meeting people like him who inspires me.  He was leaving the next day to return home in Nevada.  He said he thought he would get the vaccine when he returned.  Said his son had caught COVID and had a rough go of it.  His son is nineteen years younger - 65.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Beans’ Tree

We were at this spot last October then had to leave for two months to deal with my “problem”.
When we returned in December it was still there, empty, waiting for us.
Beans got real excited when she saw her tree.  But for me the place stirred up bad memories of that awful day and I wanted to start fresh elsewhere.  Elsewhere was not to be found so I returned vowing to not allow bad memories rule my life.

 Beans likes this tree and the shade it provides.  
She’ll sit there for a long time just looking around.
There were lizards in the tree but when we returned no so much.

That is okay as she is content to just lie there and enjoy her tree.

A couple times she has climbed up it and then I have to help her down.
If I see her looking up into it, thinking, all I have to say is “No” and she’ll turn away from her thoughts.
She’s a really good cat.

In the late afternoon the tree provides welcome shade on The Little House on the Highway.
It is a mesquite tree which has small sharp thorns on the slender branches.  The root system goes very deep in search of water and the native Americans would harvest the small seed pods.

When we return to Quartzsite next fall I am inclined to return to Beans’ Tree Camp again.  It is a good spot in the sense there is no space where one can camp close to us yet is is close to the dirt road which is the main thoroughfare and the ATV’s buzzing by are annoying.  We shall see when we return. 


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I Miss Smiling Faces


Or even frowny ones.

   I am not opposed to talking with perfect strangers most of whom I come across while shopping for groceries and standing in check-out lines.  It is pretty much the extent of my social interactions these days.  If the person is wearing a mask though I rarely start up a conversation.  In talking with someone wearing a mask I may as well be talking with a mannequin.  So much is lost when half of the person’s face is concealed behind a thin piece of “virus proof” material

   I also miss handshakes.  I never thought I would find myself writing that.  Before the Wuhan virus I was always aware of a handshake being mindful to keep that contaminated hand in check until I could sanitize it.  This stems from my pneumonia episode twelve years ago which turned me into a somewhat mild-mannered germaphobe.  But now I miss a handshake although my mind would still be reeling with be aware afterwards.  That pneumonia thing instilled a life-long change in habits with me.   

   Hugging too is sorely missed.  I never initiate a hug.  I am well aware of the “creep factor”.  I allow the woman to make the move which I then will welcome their hug with open arms.  And guys, please don’t unless one saved the life of the other then a hug would be understandable.  

   All of this lost casual physical contact has been replaced with the stupid fist-bump or elbow tap. Puhleese!  Don’t bother.  That’s just weird.

   My two recent visits with Michelle and Joy were great.  I enjoyed seeing their smiles.  It was so nice to talk with someone who wasn’t scared to death to stand there with a naked face and converse like we always did in days gone by.

Monday, March 8, 2021



A woman I met last winter near where we were camped came by to see us one day.  I’d guess her to be in her fifties and not much over five feet tall.  She has health issues and it showed when I first met her last winter.  Her aliments are of long words I cannot pronounce let alone spell out here.  She is well into her second year now of being a full time nomad.  I noticed a big change in her as she stepped out from her truck.  She had lost weight, looked healthier and was full of life.  I commented on it.  She said she feels so much better now. “It is this lifestyle.  Living in this tranquil stress-free dry desert environment for half of the year has worked wonders.”  She still has her health problems but she is able to manage and cope with them much better here.  She is from Ohio and has since changed her residency to Arizona.  She has now established Quartzsite as her home base since she spends most of the year here, then travels elsewhere in the southwest when it becomes too hot to stay here any longer.  “My Arizona driver’s license shows ‘La Posa South LTVA’ as my address.”  I laughed.  However she pulled that off I don’t know as it is just barren desert but I thought it great.  That is like having my driver’s license showing ‘Tyson Wells LTVA’ where Beans and I are now camped as my address.  

I put the above caption in as I felt it pretty much exemplified Michelle.  I don’t like to put photos of people I meet on the blog especially single women living the solo nomad lifestyle.  The internet is weird.


Sunday, March 7, 2021



You may recall this time last year I had that dizzy nauseated problem at times and thought I was having a sugar issue so I cleaned out all my crap food giving it away.  I later learned that I was suffering from the blue light syndrome of being in front of my laptop too much as that was the only time I got dizzy and nauseated.  But hey, I improved my eating habits so that was a win.  Anyway, I tried to pawn off my applesauce onto a woman living out of her beat up little blue car.  She declined the applesauce stating that she too had to be careful about sugars and sent me on my way with a “don’t worry, you’ll be fine” comment.  She is here again this year and has added a small little shower tent to her kit.  Catching her outside one day during my walk I stopped by to say hello.  She remembered me and we had a nice time visiting more in length this time.  She said she purchased the shower tent to keep some things in and give her a place to be in other than sitting inside her car all the time  “I can sit and stand up in the little tent.”  She added that she is thinking of buying a canvas clam shell style tent and to look for it next year.

You may also recall how with this new Wuhan virus thing coming on last year and everyone being told to stay in place, self-quarantine and remain in lock down we here at Quartzite didn’t know if we would be booted out after the April 15 deadline of our paid for stay period.  Well that became not a problem and Beans and I stayed a couple more weeks beyond that date and then finally it just got too hot so we left.  Joy told me she made it well into June! And that is with no shade of any kind.  Wow!  She then left for the New York area where one of her daughters lives, she herself being from Ohio.  Along the way she contracted COVID.  Although her daughter wanted her to go to the hospital she refused, thinking that would be a death warrant in itself.  I couldn’t agree more.  Joy got through the virus just fine but still gets wheezy at times she said.  “No big deal if you are healthy and eat right.”  She then drove cross country to her other daughter’s place in Los Angeles which is on record as her place of residency, where her mail is delivered and her car registered.  She stayed there until it was time to return to Quartzsite this past October. 

Besides the car being worn looking, filthy dirty from being in the desert (much like Beans) when she drives by I can hear all sorts of rattling, clanging and banging.  What an adventurous little woman (she’s barely five feet tall) driving that rattletrap little blue Chevy back and forth across the country. 

Joy is 74.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make a New One

I have seen this truck several times over the years.  What I learned just recently is this is the third incarnation of his home made camper.  When they wear out (falls apart?) he just builds a new one with maybe a few slight modifications but basically they have all looked the same.  Nothing is built up inside.  It is just a bare bones truck bed with his bed, cook stove and gear.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Joe’s Used Trailer Sales


My neighbor across the road now has another trailer at his site.

The one to the far right is a new addition.

That is him on the left bringing the trailer he lives in back from a run to go dump the tanks.

Nope, I’m still not going over there to ask.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Hood Ornament


One of these would look good mounted on the front of the Little House on the Highway.

Darn!  I left my checkbook back in camp.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Flipping RVs


This is my neighbor across the road. The truck and the trailer to the right is his.  He has been here as long as we have.  I cannot remember if he was there when we were here earlier and I had to leave for that medical issue.  Probably so.  Anyway for a few weeks from January through February there was a second van there.  I could see him puttering around with it.  Then one day this couple came by in their van, and things had the appearances that he was selling it.  Sure enough, they went for a test drive, the deal was made and they drove off in both vans.  A couple weeks went by and now there is this second trailer there.  This guy must be picking up these units around here, fixing them up a bit and then turning around selling them for a profit.  Not a bad idea.  You’re here for six months and it gives you something to do, a project to keep from going nutso and you make a few bucks along the way.

Now you are probably wondering why I haven’t gone over there and visited with him getting the scoop on what he is up to.  I just have this feeling that in the first thirty seconds I would realize well this was a mistake.  How do I get away from this guy?  It’s happened to me before.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Situation Here is Desperate

Beans finally got a lizard.  She pulled it out from a bush.

 I was happy for her but she was disappointed.  Why?  Upon closer inspection the thing had been dead for some time already.  The eyes were gone and the body mummified.  Already dead lizards!
Can it be anymore uneventful around this place?

Louie watching Beans hunting.

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Camper is Gone

I don’t know if the RV folks came and picked it up, found a buyer who loaded it up on his truck or someone stole it in the dead of night.

It is kind of sad that is all I have to blog about.  This place has become a ghost town compared to how it usually is at this time of the year.  And it has been that way for the last month on.   Actually, for the entire winter season the population of snowbirds was nothing as it normally is.  I think we all know the reason why.  We have nothing to do except to enjoy the good weather which is the sole reason for being here.  

Well, that and lizard hunting.