BOUSE!

The decision is made to head to Bouse, the shabby little town with some history. We take the scenic cut-off that shaves a good ten miles or more off the trip.  It was a little late in the day when we drove over Quinn Pass so we didn’t stop to see the cistern.

 Bouse has everything a Snow Bird or boondocker could want and is worth a visit if you like military history. There are plenty of places to boondock without a neighbor sitting right at your doorstep, a HUGE dog park, and a produce truck that delivers two days every week and has fabulous prices on the best looking produce I have ever seen.  There are several trailer parks if you don’t like roughing it.  The water is cheap, there’s a tiny laundromat, and a propane yard that fills all size tanks.  There’s a library and did I mention a HUGE dog park? 😉

As a side note, there’s something fishy with the powers that be in Bouse. A conversation with a man and his wife who are here to look after his mother during an illness revealed the reason the dog park, which is part of the old school and the former ball field, was obtained because those in the capacity to do so put the field and old school in the flood plain and a new school had to be built. The funny part is they changed it back into non-flood plain after they got the new school built.  Hmmmmm … There was something else that rang a sour note, but it escapes me at the moment. In any case, the boys aren’t complaining about their new hang out that’s for sure.

The Boys Recover After a Romp in the Park

The flip side of all that is available to the winter people: TERRIBLE internet reception, not a huge selection in groceries or dry goods, and to get anything even slightly out of the ordinary you must drive back to Quartzsite or into Parker.  If one lived here planned trips to the bigger towns wouldn’t be a problem, but being a guest and roughing it in the desert means I wouldn’t do it. But that could just be me.

dsc_0153Our view from Freedom

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 The Plomosa Mountains

Thanks for visiting. Hugs, Shawna

 CURRENT READ: The Last Englishman: A 2640 Mile Hiking Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by       Keith Foskett

WHAT’S IN THE NIGHT SKY:  Venus is still beautiful and beautifully visible, but her position has and is changing.  You can’t miss her, however, she’s the largest object in the night sky with the exception of the moon, and it will soon be in its dark phase.  Mercury is still visible in the pre-dawn hours. The other billion or so stars aren’t too shabby either.  😉

Ehrenberg,AZ

Greetings from Ehrenberg, Arizona!  The RTR was fun, but so crowded; I had to pack up and leave before the event was over. Never mind that my LTVA permit expired after the first week, but I needed some peace and quiet so I packed up and we headed out. 

I ran a bunch of errands before leaving Q: Groceries, laundry, buying propane and ice, stocking up on water (25 cents a gallon, 5 gallons for a buck!!! —- I know. It just excites the hell outta me.:) then an hour at the dog park before we said goodbye to Q. Ehrenberg isn’t far from Q, less than 20 miles, but after breaking camp and spending a few hours running errands I am pooped.

We arrived with about an hour of daylight to spare so I made a quick camp, fed the pups, made myself a quick sandwich and had time to settle in to watch the sun set.  And another beautiful Arizona sunset it was. No photo as the camera was buried. I did get a shot of our view the following morning.

The view out our window to the north.  You cannot see it in the photo, but the Colorado River is flowing long and lazy down there in the valley.   dsc_0121

We will leave here as soon as I get word that my Amazon order of the boys’ dog chow has arrived in Q and then it’s off to …

Thanks for taking the time to read 2Dogs.  We appreciate you taking the time to follow us on our adventures! Hugs, Shawna

That’s a Lot

Last count, according to the host who issues the LTVA permits, there are 440 vehicles here at the RTR. Vehicles of every type Imaginable:  Vans, mostly white–We’re having a get-together for_____ at 5:00 PM.  We’re in the white van.  WHITE VAN? Could you be a little more specific, please!—cars, pickups and camper shells, vehicles pulling converted cargo vans, travel trailers, homemade campers, fifth wheels, hundred thousand dollar diesel pushers, cars pulling tiny trailers. Pickups with those tents that latch on to the back and make a sort of hybrid tent truck. Even converted school buses, and a semi with a custom sleeper.  

Along with the varied vehicles there are people here from all over the country and all walks of life. Kelly and her husband from North Carolina. Larry from North Dakota who has been coming to Arizona since 2009 to get out of the cold. He left home in a blizzard. Kristi from Colorado who sold her small home and is living in her travel trailer full time.  A mom and her son from Connecticut. Young Josh from Florida who is “vanning” all over the country. Charles from Phoenix (the only one from Arizona that attended as far as I know) who is an impressionist artist who sells his paintings out of the car that is his second home.  Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Idaho, were all represented. A math professor from Massachusetts living as sparsely as possible lives out of his Prius. Michael, the former National Geographic underwater photographer on his way to Baja,  living out of a nondescript van traveling up and down the California coast and into Baja photographing surfers.  Jo, who’s been full-timing in her pickup and camper for two and half years. Then there’s the “locals” — those of us from California, Oregon, and Nevada.

The boys and I will be leaving the RTR and heading to Ehrenberg—Our time here is up because the permit issued to us says so; not only that — frankly, there’s just too many people!!!

 Enjoy the photos. We’ll be back soon to share more of our adventure with you.

As always, thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel!  Hugs, Shawna

Dog Park Q Style

I ran out of ice and had to make a run to town.  The ice lasted in my cube cooler for 7 days after lining it inside and out with Reflectix  so I can’t complain about the need to go get more.  The only problem is I think I lollygagged around a bit too long this morning (oh how nice to not have an agenda) and am getting a late start and will have to prioritize my stops. 

Top of the list is a trip to the nice dog park that Quartzsite has for the fur children.  Two large fenced off areas, one for big dogs and one for small dogs. The boys have been learning social skills the past ten days or so of being constantly around people and many dogs and they do great at the park!  They will sleep well this night!!

The meet and greet!  The little guy on the left is not Fries.

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Two pups having a tussle, Burger meets a new friend, and Charlie spies the dainty Missy.

No time to stop at the library, we head back to the main section of Q and I grab a bean burrito at Taco Mia. After wolfing down the best dang thing I ever ate I walk next door to Quiet Times to inquire as to the procedure for receiving packages via UPS. The boys will soon be out of dog food and I need to get that ordered before our time here is up. 

Although UPS used to deliver to the desert rats camped out in the LTVA areas, the company put a stop to it is what I am told. That, or the one driver who braved the wilds of cactus land retired.  Who knows? LOL.  In any case, the boys’ food should show up just about the same time we are due to leave Scandan LTVA so it will work out well.  I’ll pick up their food, get supplies, do laundry and take the boys to the dog park again. It will be a full day in town and then we will be on our way to …

We make stops at Family Dollar and Roadrunner Market for food and  a few sundry items and ask about a hardware store. I am told Herb’s Hardware is the place to go and I am flabbergasted at the price of PVC and fittings. They are half the price of what I would have paid had I bought them at home.  I have an idea for a solar shower stand …

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna

 

 

Settling In

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We’ve been in Quartzsite (Or “Q” as most call it) since New Year’s Eve and there were just a few rigs in the LTVA area (long term vehicle area—Long term being 2 weeks). The RTR doesn’t start until the 10th and those that are here said it will begin to fill up around the 8th. Boy, were they spot on.  Yesterday it was practically nonstop with vehicles coming in and trying to find a parking spot.  

The peace and quiet have been heavenly, but that has ended. Not that anyone has been too loud or too obnoxious, there’s just a lot of people, a lot of dogs, and someone is always going by on foot, bicycle, a slow-moving ATV, car, huge diesel pusher or—believe it or not–A Segway!  I kid you not. A couple were patrolling the area via Segway yesterday.

We went to town late last week to get a few chores accomplished and discovered the water kiosks where you can buy water–Bring-your-own-container style–for 25 cents a gallon, 5 gallons for $1.00.

The local post office is like no other small post office I have ever seen.  Swollen with the “Snow Bird” crowd, the tiny office was a sardine can. The lucky person at the counter when I walked in was followed by a line that snaked out behind her and continued out the office door, went to the back of the corridor lined with locals’ mail boxes, and doubled back. As the line progressed the person who ended up by the door going into the tiny reception area was the designated “doorman”. Not opening the door for anyone, but holding it open period.  The single clerk manning the counter was friendly and efficient and it really didn’t take that long to become the one being waited on thank goodness.

dsc_0054The little grocery store I went to was jam packed, too.  The prices were high, as expected, but they weren’t outrageously so. That being said, I discovered the Dollar General and found many of the things I had already purchased at a much lower price.  Mental note taken.

I leave you with more Arizona eye candy. Arizona, without a doubt, has the prettiest sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen.

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Thanks for stopping by 2 Dogs! Hugs, Shawna 

CURRENT READ: The Atlantis Gene by A. G. Riddle

WHAT’S IN THE SKY:  Venus is still the queen of the night sky. Mercury makes an appearance in the morning sky before sunrise and you can still view this planet for a bit after sunrise.

Q!

I am up at 6:00, hurriedly dress, and dash into the gas station mini mart and grab a cup of coffee and ask about traffic. The sweet clerk answers my query about the best time to go through and she says not to wait, this is a pretty good time, but there’s already been a couple of accidents. 

I won’t say much about the traffic except OMG!  Crazy fast drivers!! I stayed at the speed limit and still they flew past. The dogs, who are not used to vehicles whizzing by on both sides of the van are a bit freaked out, but were darn good considering.  Once out of Vegas we were mostly on two-lane, two-way traffic for the rest of the trip; rolling tarmac that made the stomach lurch and the head a bit dizzy.

Fueling up in Parker and letting the dogs out to potty we then took the hop, skip, and jump into Quartzsite. And the directions I had were coming in from I-10. We came in on 95. Not wanting to drive all over a strange town (even though it’s small) trying to find the turnoff that isn’t named I stopped at a laundromat to see if anyone was headed to the RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous). No luck with the first lady I approached.

The gentleman I approached who was outside his tiny RV didn’t know either, but he looked at the map I had and gave me directions from “the bridge” (overpass) all the while peppering his directions with, “It’s out in the middle of the desert. There’s nothing to do,” and trying to convince me I should stay in town. “There’s nothing there, sweetheart” he says, yet again, and slyly tells me he’s staying in the Desert Rose Park. All righty then, I think I will move along now. Thanks for the directions, I do appreciate it, but I’ll just head on out to the desert.

Indian Springs

 

At Walker Lake the boys and I stay snuggled in our beds until the sun comes up and warms the van a little. The night was as cold as it was in Burney when we left, but we stayed nice and warm. It ‘s just crawling out of a warm bed that isn’t so pleasant. Once the sun is up I feed and walk the boys and then drive into Hawthorne for coffee. Travel days are easy days in the food and drink department. J

Nevada isn’t a spectacular state in the way of scenery, but this part of it is especially bleak. The desert scenery is all the same, the little towns the worse for wear after years of neglect and hard times.  Early morning and in the evening when the sun is beginning to set offer lovely vistas though. The mountains turn a pretty purple shade at times, and if the light is just right the bleak, barren mountains look like crushed velvet.  

From Hawthorne we drive east and then drop south and head toward Tonopah where I will fuel up, passing through Luning and Mina both nothing more than a spot in the road, and both having seen better times; better times many, many years ago. Bleak looking and sad, there’s an air of desperation to things.

We continue south to Coaldale where there is NOTHING, and then turn east again toward Tonopah which is around 6000 feet. There is snow on the ground. It’s been 20 years since I travelled this way, and I am surprised to see The Clown Motel, unbelievably, is still open. Other businesses haven’t been so blessed and have closed their doors. A billboard advertises a Subway but it is nowhere to be found, so I fuel up and we drive on, dropping to lower elevations.

Down around 5000 feet stunted Joshua trees begin to appear and as we get lower and further south they become a bit bigger and more numerous. The boys see something that catches their eye. A small herd of wild burros! I slow down and see another herd and begin to look for a place to pull over. I am soon rewarded with what looks like a safe spot to stop. I sneak around the back of the van and grab a couple photos. The burros are pretty far away, so I enlarge the photo a bit.dsc_0029

Goldfield is the next town, a bit bigger and historic for the gold mining that used to take place nearby, but still rundown and has definitely seen better days. I don’t see much left of the house built out of mud (?) and beer bottles. Twenty years ago it was photo worthy, but now there are just a couple of walls left. Someone has them propped up with two by fours.  We once again drop southward.

In Beatty I walk the dogs and grab a sandwich at Subway. It’s doing a brisk business. This was to be our second night’s stay, but it’s still pretty early so we push on to Indian Springs, about 40 miles out of Vegas. We find a parking spot behind a 24-hour Chevron station and settle in for the night.

I am anxious to be on our way early, get through Las Vegas, do the last leg of this part of the trip, get to our destination and settle in.  I know the dogs would love to be out doing doggie things rather than riding most of the day.  Pee mail awaits!

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!!

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