A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

End of the Year Statistics


In 2022 we visited ten different states.
We traveled 7,122 miles, just thirty one miles more than in 2021.  Had we not gone into town last week it might have been exactly the same.
We stayed overnight for free 354 times, paying for eleven nights for a total of $146.17 and donated eight times for a total of $50.
Money for fuel totaled to be $1937.11.  That is $641.02 more than the previous year with the same miles traveled.  (No comment)
I have kept a running average of monthly expenses since going full time living on the road back in the fall of 2016.  That figure now stands at $778 a month, everything included.  That is a decrease of $14 from December of last year which is odd considering the increase of fuel prices.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

How You Eat?

 That was the question.

Nothing special.  I am no cook worth of mention.  As long as it fills the void, that pretty much does it.
There are sometimes experiments of odd combinations.  Mostly though it is Mexican food.  Tacos, burritos, tamales, etc.  Sandwiches for lunch, typical breakfast fare.  I’ll eat anything.
I’m not even particular about my coffee.  Folgers.

Even with it, I only have one cup.  No more.  I’m boring.
Beans eats better than I do.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Having Little to Nothing

 Why, Arizona

It was Christmas Eve when I saw this man walking by camp about a 100 yards away.

He had a little dog with him and all he owned was in the push cart.

I came across a man in Oregon and all of his worldly possessions were in a blue recycle wheely bin he pushed around from there to wherever.

The best though was a guy in a laundromat somewhere.  He’d been walking the country for fourteen years if I remember correctly.  No cart.  I didn’t see a backpack either.  Sort of like Jack Reacher.

We were holed up inside for most of the day yesterday due to rain.  I thought of the old guy above.  I have no idea where he went.  At any rate I have no new material so if a day passes with no blog post, we are okay.  I just have nothing to post.  We have no plan to get back on the road any time soon until weather improves.  Gee, I almost made it to the end of the year before I ran dry.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

I Got In Trouble


When we got back from that shopping trip last week Dad went outside to straighten up the table and chair he ran into.  Well he left the slide on the screen door open, so guess what I did?  Yep. I jumped up and out. Boy, was he ever upset with me.  He was saying may name in his loud voice telling me NO!  Beans NO!  I thought I better stop right where I was. Then I ran under our home.  Well that didn’t please him much.  The screen door was shut. Where else could I go? Gee, at least I didn’t go down into the creek bed like I was going to do.  Finally he got smart and left the screen door open and I darted back inside.

I was very scared now
Once inside Dad calmed down and talked to me in his quiet voice.  
He put my harness on then let me out.  I laid under me bush for awhile to rest my nerves.

Then we walked the creek, I rolled in the dirt, and all was well.

She’s jumped up through that hole before.  I just forgot to slide it shut like I usually do.  I’m glad she’ll stop when I tell her to, but the sad part is when she was inside she’s all cowed down with her ears laid back.  I have never hit her but I suspect the people who had her before did and so that is why she cowers when she knows I am upset with her.  Makes me feel real bad so I then talk softly and pet her. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

A First

Ajo, Arizona

We had to make the trip into town last Friday to pick up our Christmas packages.

First stop the Post Office.


Good, no one here.

Except this lady.  I don’t know what she was doing but it was complicated.
It took awhile.
Notice the carts they set up to make people stand back from the counter.

I dropped off a book at the Little Free Library.  The Tony Hillerman book was gone.
The thrift store was closed.  We moved on.
Next to the two dollar stores to view empty shelving.

Then to the so-so grocery store.
No spaghetti.  Can you believe a grocery store has no spaghetti?
So I bought linguini.  Never bought linguine before.
Looks like flat spaghetti.  Guess it’ll do.  

The last piece of meat I bought there was so tough that what I couldn’t chew I fed to the resident coyote.
Having not learned a lesson, I picked up this. 
Now this was tender and tasty.

I used their water machine in the parking lot this time.
Water tasted okay but I think I will stick to the Shell station from now on.

But the highlight of the day was going to RadioShack to pick up that delayed package.
I saw one of these guys, javelina, crossing the street and going down the alleyway behind the shops.
For all the time and miles I have been in the deserts over the years I have never seen a javelina.
Then here, now, in a town, like a feral dog running loose, I see one.
I mentioned my sighting to Tony when picking up the package.
“Yeah, they pass through here all the time.  I think there are twenty-three of them that live here.”
Huh, no big deal I guess.
Ugly brutes they are.

(Not my picture)

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas in the Desert


Santa Claus delivered us some Christmas gifts.
Lets see what we got.

An extension cord!!  
You may remember my seeing Extension Cord Woman while in Texas awhile back.
Hers was just like this but much longer.  This will be nice as I won’t have to pull out that heavy awkward big black electrical cord anymore, except maybe if the plug-in is far away.
This will be nice.  Maybe we will use electricity more this upcoming year.

Oh goody, a surge protector!
At the same time as Extension Cord Woman there was the Yakker, the guy who wandered around looking for someone to talk to.  I avoided him as much as I could until that day he knocked on the door and gave us the kitty litter.  Well he wasn’t so bad.  He told me I should have one of these for plug-ins at parks can be iffy at times.  One time he had a surge and it fried a bunch of circuitry in his RV.  Cost a thousand dollars in repairs.  Yikes!  That sold me on asking Santa for one.

Oh yeah!  Awesome.  
This little gadget you screw onto your propane tank then you can refill the little green propane canisters. 

This is how it looks set up.
Those Coleman canisters cost over five dollars nowadays.
Three fills and that gadget will have paid for itself.
Sometimes we may just stay a night at a place and its a bother to hook up the large propane tank to run our little heater.  The canister I can keep inside then screw right onto the heater.
Cool beans...or rather it will be warm beans.

Oh I really needed this.
I’ve been using these calendars for a few years now.  I like the format.  
I can keep track of where we have been 
and off to the side list when certain maintenance items were last done.  

Beans isn’t much for toys.  Food, yes.
I always buy her grain-free kibble.  When in Tucson the place I went to was sold out and I wasn’t about to drive all over that city searching.  I found this here in Ajo.  About the best I could do.  She was all over it when I set it on the table.  She’s already sunk her teeth into the packaging.
Beans, you gotta finish up the other kibble first.

Lastly, Santa brought us blessed 70 plus degrees (21C) weather for the Christmas weekend.

Update:  I opened the feed bag for Beans on Christmas day.  She chowed down on this new kibble.
This could be a problem.  Well, the wet food will last longer so maybe not a problem.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas


Beans and I hope all of you have a very nice Christmas weekend.

We’ll be back Monday.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Why a Nomad?


I received the question “What inspires some to be nomads?”

Well these are just my thoughts.  

I imagine it is safe to say that all nomads love to travel and explore new and different places.
If you can do that all year long, why not?

Most all have a love of nature and desire to be in it as much as possible.

They want to escape from what their life used to be like.

Some only make it as far as hopping from one RV resort to another sampling their swimming pools, spas and golf courses.  But hey, if they’re happy with that so be it.  They still can be a nomad doing that.

Another big factor for being a nomad is the weather.
They’ve had it with brutal winters 

and sweltering humid summers.
Nomads chase seventy degree weather.

Let’s ignore these nomads.

Living the life of a nomad is cheap living.  You can live on half of what you were paying for rent or making a house payment.  Even less if frugal.  I’ll have a year end report on us for you a week from now.
For many their nomad life was a choice and for others a necessity.

For those the life of a nomad may have come about in their lives due to personal reasons: loss of home, loss of a job, death of a spouse,  a divorce, and in the case of some solo female nomads, escaping an abusive relationship.  I have met some and let me tell you those women are so happy in their new found life living on the road as a nomad.

- comment reply -
Oh Debby, I hope to hear more about your invisable pet.  So nice you took him in.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Oh That Beans!

Gunsight Wash, Why, Arizona 

This is the little sandy creek bed by our camp.  We have to patrol it two or three times a day.  Beans loves it.  I tag along keeping her in sight.  After a while I can finally convince her to “go home”.

You can’t imagine the joy I get to watch her haul off down the wash at full bore, free as can be.

Here she is tail high in the air making the turn up the bank to home.
By the time I get back she’ll be sitting there on the step, wheezing, having stirred up her asthma.

One day she finally found and caught a lizard.  This poor guy took a beating what with the constant pouncing on him he got from Beans, being carried around in her mouth, let go and pounced on again.
Back home I thought he was a goner by the time I took him away from her once she grew bored.

I placed him on a rock in the sun.  Before long, he was gone, hiding in the nearby bush.
What a tough little lizard.

On another day she spotted this crawling across the sand and started to go for it.
“No!  No!”  She backed off.
It is a tarantula hawk wasp.  Definitely not something you want to sting you.

On day I was sitting outside supervising her.  She wandered off towards her creek bed going through the brush this time.  I got up.  Where did she go?  I looked all over.  No Beans or her cord was to be seen.  Of course I am stressed.  The good thing about where we are staying is that it is hard packed sandy dirt.  Very nice.  Not rocky like at Quartzsite.  But the bad side of that is being as there are very few rocks, the tiny bell she drags along doesn’t tinkle very much.  I couldn’t find her anywhere and of course she totally ignores me calling her thinking it is a game of hide and seek.  My only recourse was her jar of treats.

I went back to the RV, got the jar, stood on the steps and rattled it calling her name
The little turd came hauling butt from somewhere out in front of me.  I had probably walked by her several times searching while she was hunkered down in the bush I last saw her at, snickering at me.

On stakeout.
When this happens I just have to stand there, waiting, reading emails or whatever.
I think this is where she went when I lost track of her.  
It is on the other side of the wash and I didn’t look over there.

I love my Beans.

- comment reply -

Sandi asked “What inspires some to be nomads?”  
That is a very good question which deserves a post all of its own.   Look for it soon.   
Jackie M. found a Winnebago View for sale, a 2007, a year newer than mine.  It is a different floor plan where one has to pull out the bench seat sofa for the bed to sleep on, or climb up into the overhead bunk.  That is why I have what I have.  It has the real good inline 5 cylinder engine.  V-6 aluminum block came out the next year.  But it is suspect as to why the owner had a new engine installed.  These are cast iron block engines that should last longer than I will.  Makes me think he didn’t take care of his equipment. 
She provided a link to the RV.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Tiny Camper


Gunsight Wash, Why, Arizona

This was our nearest neighbor for a few days.  I had never seen one of these before.  Naturally I was curious, mainly about where do you sleep?  One day I caught the owner sitting outside on the tailgate.

I met Emily.  I’d say she was in her sixties.  She was from Wisconsin and had been nomading for eight years, all out of this little camper.  She told me the company that built these went under during the COVID times as did so many small business owners did.  By this point I had already looked them up online and saw some for sale around $5000.  I shared that with her.  She was surprised.  She said she paid a thousand less when she bought hers new.  So they have increased in value?  She said she never get’s “cabin fever” being cooped up inside during bad weather.  I do sometimes.  She also shared that she doesn’t drive it in high winds.  Yep, I can see the reasoning there.  She stays a lot of the time at friends and family around the country, moochdocking.  That’s what it is called when parking at friend’s homes.
She opened the door for me to see, and now I had an answer to my question.

The lighting was bad so here are pictures of the two models that were made.

Could you live in this for eight years?

- comment reply -
I share your concerns Kathe, feeling the same way about her safety.  Same as with that woman from Colorado back at Waylon Jennings Campground in Texas.  She was heading for Panama, alone, except for her two dogs!  These are different times we live in now.  Some may think I am adventurous.  I am not.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Baja Memories


After composing yesterdays blog post a couple days later another of Eva’s video’s showed up.  YouTube keeps taunting me.  It was titled “It all went wrong...roll over?”  Okay, I thought I would be brave and try to watch that.  What I didn’t know was it takes place in Baja California just recently.  She organizes a trip down Baja with two other vehicles.  I throughly enjoyed watching the video, doing so with the biggest smile on my face, totally opposite from before.  Why?  See, I had done the exact same thing myself.

I organized a expedition down the Baja Peninsula with five other Land Rover owners.  Her group travels the same route we did.  They encounter the same “adventures” as we did.  She almost puts her Rover on its side.  Well I actually did it.  There was a lot of getting stuck and a lot of winching involved. I broke an axel shaft, another had her differential go out.  There were leaking radiators, fuel pumps and other mechanical issues, all of which we were able to repair and continue on.  When you own a Series Land Rover, you carry lots of spare parts.

Two guys went out one night to eat lobster and shrimp.  They got sick and had the scoots the following day.  We made a lot of stops that day so they could run off into the desert to take care of business.  One guy was so fearful of the food all he ever ate once crossing the border were MREs (meals ready to eat -military meal packets) that he had brought with him.  

That stop in the video she makes waiting for her friends looked like the same place we stopped to get fuel.  Went to use the restrooms.  The commodes were plugged up, piled high above the rim with poop.  What to do?  We walked around behind a low cement fence surrounding the area.  Looked like hundreds of others had done the same.  Toilet paper and piles lined the fence line. 

She pulls up to a military checkpoint.  I remembered doing the same.  The guy sees my banana.  “No fruitas!”  He wanted me to hand it over.  “I’m not giving you my banana.  I’ll just eat it.” and I sat there peeling my banana and ate it in front of him.  He gave up and waved me on through.

Seeing the dog I remembered picking up a dog out in the middle of the desert and taking him along with us to the nearest village about ten or so miles distant.  Seemed he lived there, and had wandered off.  The owner couldn’t have cared any less I brought his dog home.

We all had great fun and it proved to be the most memorable trip ever for all involved. 

I have no photos.  I didn’t have a digital camera then, just a film camera.  I didn’t keep a journal.  I had no blog, no computer, no cellphone.  I remember typing up the proposal for this trip on a word processor and mailing it out to Land Rover friends.  No Email.  Five accepted the challenge.  

Forty-eight hours after watching the previous video of Eva’s that got me all melancholy I realized that even if I was given the opportunity to travel as I did back then, I’m not so sure I’d want it.  I am happy traveling like I currently am doing. I’m perfectly fine with that and that is all that matters, happiness.

If you want to see what I/we experienced on that trip down Baja, watch Eva’s video.  Link below.  It differs so very little from our adventure back in the early 1990’s.  And you can see where the seed of what I do today was planted, back when I bought that first old Land Rover in 1983.


- comment replies -

John, below is a link to Sarah’s channel.  I put in the video where where she tells of her horrible childhood, generally overall shitty life which is why she is on this journey of healing as a nomad at the age of 41.  That part of her channel begins at two months ago with We are off.  I haven’t watched any of her earlier videos.


Sunday, December 18, 2022

On Being Thankful and Grateful

 You can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes
you will find
you get what you need. 
                  Rolling Stones 1969

There is a YouTuber, Eva zu Beck who travels all around in her Land Rover Defender, a modern day version of what I used to have.  I cannot watch her videos.  Oh, they are well made, high quality, like professional grade docementary.  It is seeing her Land Rover that bothers me.  I miss that life terribly.  

My first Land Rover the short wheelbase model.  A 1971 vehicle

One day last week one of her videos showed up on the YouTube home page of ‘videos you might like’.  It was three weeks old and it was about her driving the Loneliest Highway in America Highway 50 across Nevada.  I have driven Hwy 50 several times.  It is one of my favorite drives.  So I thought I would watch it.  Well, it got to me.  It made me sad.  I got emotional.  I was in a funk for the rest of the day.  
Those days are gone.  Oh poor me.

Later that afternoon while I was trying to read, trying to clear those thoughts from my mind, a comment came in on a recent blogpost, from a follower I had never heard from before.  She wrote:

Hello John, I have been reading your blog for about six months now and want to thank you for the pleasure I get from your daily posts about your RV life. I wouldn't want your life...Okay, stop right there.  I smiled at that.  Then I laughed.  I wasn’t laughing at her not wanting my life, I was laughing at myself for thinking how I had been acting all day long after watching Eva’s video. 
To finish her sentence...but very much relate to your desire for peaceful sites away from noise and people.
I am thankful for those twenty-one years of adventuring in my Land Rover.  I am grateful for still being able to live that lifestyle today, albeit to a lesser degree.  It is difficult now to find that solitude that I was able to do so easily in the Land Rover.  What Eva is doing is difficult, sometimes hard.  
It simply isn’t a life for an old man.  

My old Land Rover had no power steering, no power brakes, no air conditioning, very poor heating and was a beast to wrestle about.  I was shifting constantly, depressing a stiff clutch assembly.  And I loved every bit of it.  Towards the end of those twenty-one years of ownership I was beginning to feel the exhaustion after a day of driving.  It was time for a change.  By the way, Eva’s Defender has power assist everything along with A/C but that wouldn’t change anything to the good for me now.

My second Land Rover the long wheelbase model.  A 1967 vehicle.

The commenter went on to say where she lived and her appreciation for the natural setting and wildlife around her.  Sounds like she lives I an ideal location.  

There is another YouTuber I follow who lives that adventurous life out of her Jeep Wrangler.  I follow her channel.  I can watch her videos.  She is in a Jeep.  Not a Land Rover.  On a recent video she laments about leaving her tent behind.  Why?  “Because it is so difficult to change clothes in the Jeep. I wish I had my tent for that reason only.” I thought about it.  Yep, she’s right.  I remembered how difficult it was to change clothes in the Rovers.   Everything was difficult in the Land Rover compared to what I have now.

So it is the visual of seeing the Land Rover in Eva’s videos that prevents me from subscribing to her channel.  Maybe someday.

If interested, here is a link to Eva’s video on the Loneliest Highway in America, the video that put me into a funk.  Thank you Becky for setting my head straight with your comment.