The WORST Day in a Long Time

She tries to keep the blog on a positive note but life happens and it isn’t always pleasant. This day will balance out all those gorgeous sunsets/sunrises, fun times at the dog parks, meeting interesting people and just enjoying the heck out of traveling.

The day started out early, 4:00 a.m., with the wire hair waking her up.  She’s always got one ear listening just like when her children were little, but this time it’s not babies needing something it’s the wire hair fox terrier that wakes her up whenever he jumps off his bed. She doesn’t neglect to crack an eye open and watch him for a bit. Does he really need to go out or is this a ruse in order to get outside and into mischief? With her coaxing he goes back to bed so it is definitely a doggie game, but the sleep is broken and she reads her devotional and then gets up to make coffee, do a few camp chores, then feed the crew. It promises to be a beautiful day.

THE PLAN:  Head to Parker for breakfast and Wi-Fi at McD’s, then find the dog park and let the boys get some really good exercise. A trip to Wally World for supplies then back to camp for a relaxing afternoon.


Camp chores, coffee, and dog feeding done she begins gathering up her list, the dogs’ leashes, her glasses and purse.  That’s when it hit the fan. Where IS that damn purse? Many things run through her mind; where was I when I last had it with me? Did it fall out of the van when I stopped at the little park in town to give the boys a rest before we looked for a campsite? Was it left somewhere?  The last time she remembers having it was at the library in Bouse when she bought three movies at their fundraiser.   

With sudden clarity she is urged to look under the doggie beds in the passenger seat. Yep, You’re right, there it is. She now remembers putting it under there when she got out on some stop along the way to Parker to keep it out of sight.  The purse hunt took a good 30 minutes out of the morning, but hey, better that than a lost purse (or stolen!) and out-of-state with no driver’s license, no credit card, no money.

All aboard, she heads into town. Several inquiries regarding a dog park are met with: I have no idea.  Um, there is, but I couldn’t tell you where it’s at. Third time being the charm, a “oh yes, it’s up river about six miles.”  Well, that ain’t going to happen so she does the run to McDs where the Wi-Fi isn’t nearly as good as it was the other day, but it’s enough to check email and a couple other things while she eats her breakfast with three pairs of eyes staring at every bite of biscuit she takes.

Next is Walmart. She finds a really nice spot in the shade of a large palo verde tree to park Freedom, takes the dogs for a potty break–even though they just did that back at camp–and will rest assured the dogs will be just fine while she is running through that grocery list and looking for some sun screen.  These winter days in the desert are brutal on the skin and being the pale face that she is, sunscreen is a must. The shopping chore taken care of she heads back to the three happy hounds sitting in front where they were left.

Shea Road, where one of several BLM boondocking areas are located, is just outside of town but far enough away that there is no town or highway noise.  She has her mind on the photos she wants to take of the horrendous potholes that are in the road BEFORE it becomes “unmaintained” and laughs to herself thinking when the Arizona Department of Transportation means no county maintenance they MEAN IT!  See?


Hindsight is 20/20 and she should have listened to that small still voice when she pulled off the “paved” road and onto the sandy path that masquerades as a road onto what she thought was her path leading to “home”.  It doesn’t look quite right, but she knows it wasn’t far from the radio tower so she dives off onto the road and about 150 yards in she realizes that no, this isn’t right. She tries to back up. The van is sluggish and won’t move. A little gas makes the back wheels spin. Putting it in drive doesn’t get them going either.  Reverse again. Big mistake. She is stuck!

Earnest prayer begins and all sorts of things run through her mind. Please God, please. Figure this out. There is road assistance coverage, but damn if she’ll use that until she is absolutely certain she can’t get out of this.  She’s read something about this. What was it? What would her brothers do?  Growing up with two brothers—who are gone now and can’t be called for advice—she knows this situation has come up. Whether from them, or having read it somewhere she remembers that boards or something need to be put behind the back tires. No boards at hand, but there’s plenty of dried greasewood sticks and she sets to work. It doesn’t help and the wheels actually dig in a little deeper.  Damn it.

More sticks, bigger ones, are added along with a dog blanket behind each back tire. It does help a little but the van is still stuck in the sand. She remembers that rocking back and dsc_0009-1dsc_0010-1forth by putting the vehicle in drive, then in reverse and so on sometimes help.  She tries this and gets a bit of momentum but not enough.

She gets out of the van, finds more sticks and continues praying to her God to make this work! Some sand is scraped away from behind each tire. The blankets—now beneath the sand—are removed and sturdier sticks added, then the blanket, then more small limbs.  Hopping back inside she repeats the forward/reverse maneuver and senses that this will work and it does.  OH PTL!!!

She dares not try to turn around so she carefully backs the van toward the main road and discovers the only place that appears to be hard packed enough to turn around is right where someone dumped a load of yard waste. The edge between the main road and this offshoot road is steep with a very sharp edge and backing up and then over that sharp edge isn’t something she wants to do so this mess will have to be moved. The load of branches are removed and piled out of the way.  She is able to turn the van around and get back on the main road and drives farther up the road to the correct dirt path that takes her to their camp. Oh my God. She is so happy to be home!

Once back at camp she discovers the wire hair fox terror has, yet again, peed on the bed. That deceitful little bastard was only pretending to have been sitting in the front while I was in Walmart! This time he aimed for the head of the bed soaking the sleeping bag near her pillow.  Not this again!!  It’s too much and she begins to cry. This old dog with his jealousy and separation anxiety is becoming too much yet she knows nothing will be done. This can’t go on, she can’t take any more of this, but the thought of having him put down and hauled off to an incinerator with other unfortunates … The very thought makes her sick to her stomach.  The guilt would follow her all of her days. She knows this. And she knows it will have to be a specific health reason, not a convenience, that will make the choice inevitable. Make the choice the right thing to do. Now is not that time.

The bed is stripped, fresh linen and a cute quilt complete the job. The van needs a good gone-thru and she decides to tackle the desk area.  She has the idea of using the ledge along the window that is behind the desk as a pantry area. It’s sized just big enough to handle boxes of cereal, oats, etc., and as she pulls stuff away to clean and organize discovers a small battalion of piss ants are trying to make a nest under the shelf liner used to keep things from sliding off the desk.  She noticed a few when she brought the water jug in the other day, but brushed them off and didn’t think of it again. She should have thought of it again.  Everything is wiped down and since she doesn’t have any diatomaceous earth she uses baking soda and sprinkles it liberally along the ledge and into the cracks where ledge meets wall. She can tell it will work as there are a couple off small things struggling to move. Take that ants!  Don’t you dare think you’re going to live here! Don’t mess with her today, she’s in no mood.

Two good things; The new pantry is going to work out great, and tomorrow is another day!

And then she tidies up the dogs’ playpen and finds THIS inside. If this isn’t Giganticus Stink Bug-ius she doesn’t know what is; that body is easily two inches long. Biggest stink bug she’s ever seen! dsc_0012-1She needs this day to be OVER. Over and done with. HISTORY! And—finally!–it is.  Tomorrow IS another day, Sunshine, and Charlie can catch up on his rest. Days like these tire everybody out!

dsc_0019Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs.  Hugs, Shawna

WHAT’S IN THE NIGHT SKY: This month, 4 of the 5 bright planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Mercury – are in the evening sky. Saturn is still a morning planet.

Author: 2DogsTravel

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I am a full-time traveler, retired from a lifetime of different occupations, traveling the country with my two little dogs, Fries and Charlie B; The Chiweenie Brothers. You never know where you might find us, but if you do stop by and say hi . . . If you can get past the two best watch dogs in the universe! Happy Trails!

One thought on “The WORST Day in a Long Time”

  1. Good job, Shawna; Your brothers would be proud. Praying this is the last adventure like this you have during this jaunt. But what a story to tell the grands. We had a a few great sunny days, now it is cloudy and cooler..but should be able to do some outside work. Have a great day.


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