A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Beep Beep


Why, Arizona

This is our closest neighbor about a quarter mile up the wash from us.

I took a couple pictures, continued on my walk, then on the way back on another dirt road I met Evelyn.  
I discovered the bus was her and her husband Don.  Evelyn is responsible for the artwork.
I complimented her on how great it looked.

They are from Wyoming.  Don did most of the build inside and when done, they lived in the bus on their property for a year to work out any issues they might come across.  After the year, they sold their home and everything int it.  They have been on the road for two years now.

We visited for awhile standing there in the dirt.  Nice lady and I enjoyed chatting with her.
She said they had been here in Gunsight Wash for six weeks.  It is a two-week limit stay here.  But the BLM ranger doesn’t seem to care.  It isn’t like their bus doesn’t stand out either.  He must know they have been here beyond the 14-day limit.  They did move once, but within the area.  Evelyn is who planted the seed in my mind about staying and not going on to Quartzsite.

I really like the Bugs Bunny image.  She said she was towing a small trailer in the Wyoming winter and it got out of control dinging the corner of the van.  That’s why the bandaid she painted.

- comment replies -

Thank you Karen and Vicki for informing me of the current state of blogland these days.  Sometimes I have to go back on my blog years to find a photo.  Then I get to looking at the comments and see Oh, I remember her or him.  I wonder what they are doing now?  I click on their image to go to their blog only to discover it is stagnant, having sat there for years with no input, or completely gone altogether.  So what you two mentioned seems to be the way of things. Guess facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. has taken over blogging.

Yes, I could find small things to blog about if we stayed in one place for a long time but I fear that would be insignificant and boring.  I try to make it interesting and different.

“I read your adventures everyday but rarely comment.”  I know many of you do just that.  That is fine.  I can see the number of views and they are fairly constant.  That is good enough for me.  Don’t be concerned by not commenting.  I’d be like that myself most likely.

and finally...

“If you stayed in one place longer you might find other things to blog about, childhood memories, funny life stories to share, family events or work experiences.”  
Oh my!!  I don’t want to get started down those roads.  I want the blog to be uplifting, positive and fun.  
In fact, I was just thinking that very thing last night while cooking dinner before even seeing your comment Ellen.  “Should I or shouldn’t I mention my dinner?” I thought while standing there at the stove.  Okay, you asked for it.

The last twelve years living at home I had a step-father.  He was a asshole.  What my mother ever saw in him I will never know.  I got only two things out of living with that man.  1. I learned how not to be when I someday would have family of my own.  2.  I learned about liver and onions from him.  That is what I was cooking last night.  I love liver and onions.  Conversely I never cared for green beans.  I’d gag on them.  Maybe because my mother served canned green beans.  He forced me to eat them or I’d get slapped upside the head.  To this day I despise green beans prepared in any fashion.  They only thing I despised more as a child was him.

Those were bad times.  I try to forget.  I live now in good times.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

My Dilemma

 Why, Arizona

On the previous post I wrote “I am seriously considering staying here for the entire winter.”

That brought on the comment: “What about all those characters at Quartzsite that will miss you.  
And we will miss hearing about.”

Yes, I thought of that.

Okay, no one will miss me.  I’ll settle that right now.
But, that was my first consideration; by staying here without wackos and misfits about 
I will have nothing to blog about. 

Staying here wouldn’t affect the eBook that will develop from 2023 any.  
The eBooks are about the journey.  The blog though is day to day events.  
“If you stay in one area, does it become harder to post daily?”
Yes, that would suffer.  So really, we need to move on eventually.

If I were to be honest with myself, I doubt I would last the entire winter here.
Zugunruhe will set in with me and I’ll be wanting to be on the move again.
Probably before the year’s end.

“Maybe you could go back and forth.”
It is 186 miles to Quartzsite from Why.  
Also, Why is way south from what my route would be starting on next year’s journey 
so coming back here isn’t all that feasible.

In the end, we’ll probably continue on to Quartzsite.
I’ll just have to try harder to find a peaceful and quiet place 
as we have now, here at Gunsight Wash, outside of Why.

- comment reply -

“I am one of those bloggers who like to read other blogger’s postings.”  

Yes, I was very active in following other bloggers before I went on the road full time.  I even took part in some weekly themed photography postings from which most all the followers I have came from.  Then I found while traveling sometimes daily I just didn’t have the time to continue following blogs plus much of the time my wifi access was limited or nonexistent.  The end result was I lost a lot of those who followed my blog daily.  

Friday, November 25, 2022

Wrascally Wrat!


Why, Arizona

I went for a short walk back out to the entrance to get a photo of this sign.  As you can see it is in bad shape, totally bleached out by the sun.  I knew I had a photo of it from four or five years ago when here last.  I looked back on the blog to find that photo.

Well the photo I found was from Darby Wells, ten miles up the road from here towards Ajo, taken four years ago.  I was kind of disappointed as I wanted to see if the sign above at Gunsight Wash, where we are outside of Why,  was this nice back in 2018 or 2017, the first time we were here.

Interesting side bit was in looking at those posts way back then, they had three times as many views as the posts in present day get.  Where did all those people go?  Guess people lost interest.

At the opposite end of this BLM Camp area I came upon this sign.  These signs are not unusual.  What is unusual that it dawned on me standing there looking at this sign is that I have not heard or seen a single ATV (annoying terrestrial vehicle) since we have been here.  I haven’t heard a single generator either.  Both of those would be a constant annoyance in Quartzsite.
I am seriously considering staying here for the entire winter.  
We don’t need all the hub-bub of Quartzsite.
More on those thoughts later.

I dug out Beans’ long lead attached to a five-pound weight so she can wander around farther.
The first night some local resident chewed the cord in two!
This has happened before.  What is the attraction?   Pure mischief. 
I’ll have to put it up on the table each night I guess.

I think the culprit lives under this bush.  There is a hole there.
It keeps Beans entertained.

- comment reply -

“Does the lizard grow a new tail?”

Lizards the size Beans catches can grow their tails back in around 90 days although they will be a bit shorter and not as pretty as the original.  What I didn’t know until looking this up is they can only do this about three times.  Any loss after they they remain tail-less.  In that case they lose their attraction to a potential mate.  Well that’s a bummer.  What I always wondered if losing a tail was painful.  
I read that it is a subtle pain, whatever that may be.  
Made me think of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie...ah, its just a flesh wound.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Bright Friday


Why, Arizona

I hadn’t realized that yesterday’s post was coming out on Thanksgiving Day.  It snuck up on me.  Oh, I knew the day was coming but as I don’t follow the news, watch TV or even listen to the radio, I pretty much don’t know what is going on.  It’s kind of nice too.

Beans caught herself her first lizard for Thanksgiving but ended up with only the tail.  She carried it halfway home then spit it out.  I picked it up to add to her collection.

We spent most of the day inside yesterday as the wind was blowing out of the north and was a bit chilly.
I don’t care for turkey so thanks for remembering that Dad.

- comment replies -

Billy asked how Why was named so.  
The two State Highways, 85 and 86, once intersected at a Y junction in town.  The town’s founders wanted to name the town “Y” but state law required a town’s name to have at least three letters.  So they went with “Why”.  Later the Arizona Dept. of Transportation eliminated the intersection to create a proper, less hazardous, intersection.
No I have not read any Tony Hillerman although I am familiar with his books.  “You are traveling through America, that is something to be thankful for.”  Yes, I am grateful to be able to do what we do and thankful to have this great country to do so in.

Ellen, you are too kind.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Just How in Why?


Why, Arizona (pop. 148)

It was a 120 mile drive to Why from outside of Tucson.

We have been here twice before.  There are not as many people here as there was outside of Tucson.  Much quieter, no traffic noise and NO trash.  There were a lot of places to choose from to park.  I wandered around a bit then pulled over into this spot.  I sat there with the motor running thinking I’ll bring up the Google satellite image and see where we were camped before.

I was stunned to see I had pulled over into the very exact same spot we were camped at on March 5, 2018!
Look at that spider web of dirt roads and I had picked the same place out from all those other possibles to pull over and check the satellite image.

That night was perfect darkness.  No light pollution anywhere.  
I cannot recall when I last was able to see so many stars.
This is a photo off the internet for my phone cannot capture the night sky as I see it here.
Trust me, it looks like this.

But I did capture the first sunset here.

- comment replies -

Sparklingmerlot, Cape York snow.  I might use that ‘snow’ term someday.  Since you are reading the pandemic year book, when we reached the area just north of Las Vegas, I think that was the worst for ‘snow’ I had ever witnessed.  Years ago in Anza Borrego State Park (California) some doofus tried to burn his TP after making a deposit.  The wind took it and created a wildfire, burning many acres of desert.  We arrived soon after.  Yes, the desert can burn.

Kathe, I was thinking our stay at the Walmart in Albuquerque was our worst ever in regards to the down and out broken souls lingering around the parking lot where I thought we would have to leave, then I checked on that.  Nope, it was Gallup.  So Albuquerque gets no award. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Leaving the Town Dump


Outside of Tucson, Arizona

We have been at this spot ten days now.  I hadn’t planned on us staying that long here but its been nice and so why leave when we don’t have anyplace we need to be at anytime soon.

This collection was right across from us.  When we arrived I thought maybe the people went into town and were coming back since it almost looked like a camp.

A week later, no one ever returned and the local critters have started foraging for themselves.

Elsewhere, it always amazes me the shoes and clothing left behind.

What is wrong with these shoes?

This assortment I saw when we arrived on the 12th.  
A wrapper for some meat was dated ‘packed on Nov. 4’.
So these idiots had just recently left it here.

Here’s another.  Just look at all those cigarette butts!

Our neighbor with the little brown school bus told me that it is worse across the road, which is a smaller parcel of land.  Furniture, mattresses and appliances have been dumped there by the locals of Tucson.
One of the women up near the quarry told me she heard the BLM is thinking of selling the land as the city is tired of the trash left behind.  And so goes another camping opportunity.
The odd thing though for me personally, I was more upset with seeing the trash at the Victorio Mine than here.  This sort of thing here is expected when so close to a major city.  The mine site was pristine.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Big Shopping Day


Outside of Tucson, Arizona

Monday we went into town to do a major resupply, an attempt to stock up on items we cannot get while over there near Quartzsite, AZ. for the winter.  I spent an hour and forty-five minutes in Walmart!  $145 for John food, $95 more for Beans food.

Afterwards just across the boulevard was a Tractor Supply where we could get propane.  The kid came out.  “This will be the first RV I do.  We just got the propane system installed.  Don’t know if the hose will reach.”  Its always something it seems.  This explains why I had to back in.  All other TS stores you pull straight into the yard.  Good thing I am a pro at backing our home into tight places.

The hose did just reach.

Nice kid.  His name was John.  That’s why.

Saw this set-up in my failed attempt to get my tea at a Safeway store.
The back wheel of the motorcycle rolls along on the highway.

When we returned our Canadian neighbor had taken over our site.
Those Canadians!
It’s okay.  We are leaving for good the next day.

We took the spot he was in.
Now, Beans could not see it from there but she still knew where her hunting ground was.
We had to go over to it.  I am standing in it for the photo, waiting, while she is stalking something.
The big fat rat most likely.  For those wondering, I think it was a Kangaroo rat.

When done she walked to the guy’s RV and just stood there staring at it.
I’m sure she knew it wasn’t her home.

Nevertheless, she climbed the steps investigating as to just what the sam-hill was going on here.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Hunting We Will Go


I am back in the desert, whoopee!  That means lizards!  It has been a long time since I’ve seen a lizard.

This is my hunting ground, right outside the door.

I hear something moving around in the bushes every time I go out.  

Well one day I got him.  I had him before he ever knew what hit him.  A big old rat.

I turned and immeadiatly headed back home with this big rat in my mouth.  He was squealing all the time. I got half way home then thought to myself now that I got this thing, what am I going to do with it?  
So I dropped him on the ground.

Well he just sat there all scrunched up in a ball.  Dad moved in to take a photo which scared him and he ran down into a hole.  Nice going Dad.  He moved some brush out of the way so I could look into the hole while he says to me “Get the rat!  Get him Beans!”  Yeah, like that’s gonna happen after you scared him.

Anyway, that was fun.  I still got it in me.  
Nothing is safe with Beans the mighty huntress around.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Rolling Wreck


Outside of Tucson, Arizona

This poor guy deserved a post all to his own.

As I was walking around one day over near where the cave and mortar holes are this old motorhome had moved in.  As I neared it I could see the owner was cutting something on the driver’s side using a hacksaw.  The dirt road looped close to him.  It was only when I got around the side I could see what was going on.  It was all I could do to remain appearing not astonished.  He noticed me coming and waved so I stepped up closer.  

Before I go on, these photos were taken later after I walked away a hundred yards and could covertly take them without doing so right there next to him.  Its just amazing what these phone cameras can do and this is with me having zoomed in all the way then later cropping the photo making the image larger.

As you can see, the overhead of the camper above the truck cab has given way.  It has collasped so much that it is now resting on the cab roof.  There should be a few inch gap between the cab roof and the underside of the overhang.  It is so bad that he was no longer able to open the driver’s side door.
He was cutting that metal trim piece with the hacksaw hoping for what, I don’t know.

Here you can see the sag in the overhang.  That should be straight across.

There obviously is a water leak from the roof that has gotten down in there and softened up the insulation and wood framework supporting materials.  I am pretty sure this guy is a hoarder and the inside must be stuffed full of crap.  Just look in the window.  The side windows looked similar.  The overhead must be crammed full and the weight of all the junk up there has accelerated the damage.  
Final assessment: this is unrepairable.  The RV is junkyard worthy.

The guy was from Kansas.  He was a nice fellow seemingly unperturbed to his predicament.
Two days later I saw he had the driver’s side door open, so he solved that part of the problem.  Two days after I thought I should get a full view photo of the RV for you.  I went by again but he was gone.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Our Neighbor’s Homes


Outside of Tucson, Arizona

Let’s take a walk around the neighborhood.

There are a couple few little dome tents.
They are not here just for the night.

These two have been here as long as we have, a week now.
Let me tell you, the mornings are cold!

There are a couple full-size tents too.

This guy was over there by the mine shaft.
That is a Toyota Prius with a specially designed tent or “habitent” on back

I don’t have any words.

(Photo from online)

This guy was here for only a couple of days.
A do-it-yourself home project.
I just see something very heavy here, not to mention having all the aerodynamic features of a brick.

This guy arrived mid-week.  I eventually talked with him.
Steve is from upstate New York and lives on the road for six months each year,
escaping the brutal winter back home.  He said it took him about six months to build out the little school bus, where he has everything he needs inside including a shower.

I asked him if he saw the ambulances.  He said he had.  “If I had to do it all over again I would have went with an ambulance.”  I asked why for each is built with the same heavy-duty ruggedness.  
He said because all the wiring and cabinet cubby-hole storage is already in place. 
Personally, I would go with his little school bus.  Why?  
When I went back by the ambulance girls one day it set in with me, something I had overlooked.  There are no windows except for three small windows: two on the back doors and one on this side door.
I want to see outside and enjoy the view.
Incidentally, the Texas ambulance woman left after only a couple of days.
Miss Colorado is still here.

- comment reply -

“I have lived in California my entire life.  I can think of no state more beautiful.  What mismanagement are you talking about?  Restore what?  I live in Boulder Creek.  I would never call your state a tradegy.”

As I said about what I mention to people I meet, “The only thing California has going for it is the weather and the scenery.”  It is beautiful.  Darn near the entire Pacific coastline is outstanding.  I lived near the rugged Sonoma coast half of my life.  Grew up near the southern California beaches.  Take the High Sierra mountain range and all land east of there and it is as if you are in another state not California.  Add the upper portion of northern California to that.  Beauty and un-California like living abounds.
Highway 395 on the eastern Sierra is one of my favorite drives in the entire country.
I respect your love for California, Jeff.