Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to see the backside of 2016.  Goodbye and good riddance.

The boys and I have started the road to the New Year out in a perfect way. I packed up and we headed for Arizona to spend the winter in a more moderate clime.  Despite the gully washer on New Year’s Eve and a very wet camp New Year’s Day I am so glad to be here near Quartzsite and the laundry being done by nature was just a plus. 

Let me tell you about the beginning of our adventure…

After spending weeks getting prepared and waiting on a particular outcome that would allow us this adventure our trip was a go.  As things usually go, it was two days later than planned, but we were finally ready to roll and I pointed Freedom’s nose to the east and we were off.

The plan: Stay at Walker Lake just north of Hawthorne, NV for the first night. Long gone are the days of driving straight through! It’s a good thing we didn’t head out two days earlier because Hawthorne is where an earthquake occurred, and I’m not really a fan of that particular kind of rock and roll.  To be on the safe side we didn’t park anywhere near precariously situated boulders. 

Dispersed camping is what is offered at 20 Mile Beach­–Meaning nothing is offered in the way of camping amenities. No water, no fire rings, no tables, and usually, no toilets–although they do have one vault toilet.  The lake is beautiful, but the surroundings are bleak; tumbleweeds, coarse sand, rocks and boulders. That’s it.

 At nightfall the real beauty went on display. Venus, glowing big and bright in the clear cold night, was the jewel of the sky, and in the distance the skyline twinkled with the lights of Hawthorne in the distance.  It was such a treat to lie in bed warm and snug enjoying it all. 

Oh, and in case you are wondering what’s up with THREE dogs …  My Burger, the wire hair fox terrier, is still with us. I never expected that old dog to be around when we took off on any of our extended adventures and the name of the blog was chosen accordingly. His longevity amazes me.  Older, blind in one eye, getting harder to see out of the other, deafer, slower, but still around, and until the time he becomes seriously ill or passes from old age, he is and will continue to be part of the gang. Not only is he one of my best friends, but also family.

I made a small  modification to accommodate the Burger Meister by adding a square of thin plywood that pulls out from under the bed and rests on my step stool, and he has a nice bed made on that each night.  There’s just no room for all three dogs and me on my cot-sized bed.  Dealing with three dogs in the van isn’t ideal, but it is what it is and that won’t change. Burger will continue to be one of the gang. He is, after all, not only one of my best friends, but also family. Dogs are family, right?  Right!

The second leg of our trip coming up soon. Happy tails and happy trails. Hugs, Shawna

Current Read:  The Journey in Between: Hiking the Camino De Santiago

The Night Sky: Venus!  You can’t miss her; easily spotted