The Polar Vortex and a Super Snow Moon

February 19, 2019 I just happen step outside MissAdventure in the early morning hours before dawn and see the Super Snow Moon falling slowly behind the mountains to the west. I am thrilled to have awoken to this as my shots of the super moon rising did not turn out well.


The temps have been dropping as the weather people around the nation herald the coming of a Polar Vortex. Little did any of us realize just how bad it was going to get. By February 22 Flagstaff was reporting 40” of snow; a one day record since records have been kept. Kingman had 18”, the road into Payson was closed due to the snow. Snowflake AZ saw snowflakes, Benson saw snowflakes as did Nogales on the US-Mexican border.
Mammoth Lakes on 395 in California received over 22 feet. Going to have to take that camp off our list for summer! They may never get anything but the roads cleared there this year!

Oregon had record snowfalls as did Washington. The places in the nation that always get snow, got more than they bargained for. It’s a crazy winter for sure! Bet YOUR area saw some interesting weather, too!

The Chiweenie Brothers and I spend most of our days inside. It’s too cold and/or windy to be comfortable outside for very long so only the necessary walks are taken. Poor guys are a bit bored.


DSC_0156Fries with His duck Head
On one walk I gaze off into the distance and the Kofa Mountains look a little strange. What the heck? Oh I see what it is. The Kofas are wearing white!! It stays for a few days, too. Seems like Q, Yuma, and perhaps Ajo are the only places that didn’t get snow. I tell ya, Quartzsite is the best place to be in the winter, even though locals say this winter has been the coldest they’ve seen. So much for global WARMING …
DSC_0011Snow on Kofa Mountains
Storms, whether rolling in or on the wane usually leave some beauty behind.

DSC_0008MissAdventure with Pink CloudsThanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna and The Boys.

CURRENT READ:  Still working on Mary, Queen of Scots 

The Desert Turns Green

Quartzsite, Arizona, our winter refuge, is cool with lots of moisture; it is turning green.  Lush, spring grasses and plants put on a show that is beautiful in its simplicity.  One would not even notice if you hadn’t spent several winters here, or at least experienced a few of the winter months at some point.  Usually the greening of the desert is so brief it’s hard to imagine it even happens.  This year it happens.

DSC_0132Green Desert Clouds, and Buttermilk Clouds
A Buttermilk Sky

DSC_0139The Desert is Turning Green, Plant with Rock

The spring flowers put on a colorful show and all of it with the “purple mountain majesty and the brilliant blue sky depending on the hour, is breathtaking.

The middle of February brings unusual cold, even frosty temps, lots of cold wind and some rain.  Many hours spent inside reading, planning, writing.

The boys need a little walk a couple of times a day and I bundle up and take them out.  It’s cold enough that my little Fries doesn’t mind at all when we head back to the van.

DSC_0005torms a Brewing

They play, nap in the sun if it has made an appearance, and just generally go with flow.  On Occasion there’s a row, but for the most part they get along splendidly.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Mary, Queen of Scots

 

January 2019, Round Two

In mid-January we head to Bouse where I attend another Bouse Genies’ class, this one on using the Legacy program. Interesting and informative. The boys get their time in the dog park before and after class.
The third week in January we head toward Yuma. This adorable church nestled in an agricultural area caught my eye.

DSC_0081Pause Rest Worship sign
DSC_0078Little Church

On to Fortuna Pond we find “our” spot unoccupied and we settle in. On day three I pull a filling and part of a front bottom tooth out while flossing and make an appointment with my dentist in Los Algadones. We spend the night at Walmart, and the boys get to visit the Bark Park just up the street the next morning. Another night at Wally and we head back to Fortuna Pond, this gem of an oasis nestled near Yuma’s luscious fields of crops, where we spend about a week.

DSC_0115Blue Heron with In Focus Eye
DSC_0117Heron Taking Off of Fortuna PondDSC_0103Coot on Fortuna Pond DSC_0099Coot Taking Off

 

 

Star gazing is wonderful out here where no city lights can obscure the night sky’s brilliant display, and if it’s a moonless night and the crop dusters aren’t flying the sky is even more captivating, diamond strewn and sparkling against the inky blackness.
One night I see three orange globes—or perhaps one winking on and off as it fell—bigger than an exercise ball fall from a low altitude out of the sky. Two nights later a white basketball-sized meteor fell from east to west lighting up the area for about five seconds before disappearing, its long tail fading behind it. Oh for shots of those two displays!
And the coyotes put on an unbelievable concert. I’ve never heard what sounded like an army of them, and the vocalizations were fierce, perhaps taking down an animal. A few nights later they could be heard again, not so many, and one howling away. Fries answered him with a howl or two of his own. Next day I research coyote “talk” and my heart skipped a beat when I read that the howl is given when the coyote wants others to know his location. Cute as it was, Fries will not be answering anymore howls!
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna
CURRENT READ: Halsey Street by Naima Coster

January Doings

January 2019 became a mish-mash of camping sites, moving back and forth between Ehrenberg and Quartzsite, Quartzsite and Yuma. The nights have been cold—relatively speaking for those of you experiencing real winter weather—and a bitter wind rocks MissAdventure on the morning of New Year’s Day. After the morning “To-Do” list the boys and I cuddle up back in our snug bed and while away the rest of the morning. They are content to nap. I play a few games on my phone, read, write, call family. We’ve been coming to winter in “Q” for four years now, and this has been, by far, the coldest, wettest, windiest, and most prolonged.

DSC_0048

DSC_0049Flooding at Hi Jolly
Torrential Rain at Hi Jolly

In the middle of the first week in January I decide to leave our exposed camp on the desert plain near Tom Wells Road and go back to Hi Jolly in Q. I need gas. While fueling I notice a pool of gasoline coming from under the van. Panicked, I quit fueling, fumble with the hose to get it back in place on the pump, and take a deep breath after jumping in the driver’s seat and turn the key in the ignition.

I stop at Everett’s Auto Repair in Quartzsite and talk with the secretary. She can’t get me in today and suggests putting a piece of cardboard under the fuel port and tank to see if anything shows up, see if the van is using more fuel than usual, and come back in a day or two.

Off to Hi Jolly to make camp. It is packed with people, and after two nights I need solitude. We head out to Dome Rock Road and stay there for a few quiet nights before heading back into Q and checking in with the mechanic at Everett’s.

I report to him that there were no wet spots on the cardboard and gas consumption seems to be normal. He says there is no smell of gasoline on the outside or inside and that’s a good sign. “Be back at 2:00,” he says, and I’ll put it on the lift just to be on the safe side.

He thoroughly checks things out and finds no sign of anything leaking. He assures me it looks perfectly fine and suggests that maybe I was using a high velocity pump? Or didn’t have the nozzle pushed all the way into the port? I don’t know, but there hasn’t been a problem since.

Sunrise and Sunsets Remain Stunning

DSC_0042DSC_0056

DSC_0051
Interesting Rock Openings on the Bouse Cutoff Road

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs.

 

Madd Jax. And Charlie Does the Unthinkable

Dec 30th. It has been getting into the 30s.at night and a strong north wind has been blowing. I decide a day in town is in order to get out of the dust, cold, and wind so the boys and I leave the cleanup camp and head to Blythe, just across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg. I get the oil changed in MissAdventure and do laundry at Madd Jax’s place. Madd Jax has a mean streak in him; his establishment is equipped with a pay toilet. Drumming up extra business that guy is.
At Smart and Final I score one of the two last grocery carts to be had. As the power doors swing open to allow me and another gal into the store I casually mention , mostly under my breath, to get ready, this is going to be hell. She hears me and agrees as someone behind us sniggers and says, “Yep”.
The Chiweenie Brothers, of course, are left in the van, and they have their paws full keeping everyone away from their home with fierce, loud, vicious barking. They are sleeping by the time I get back to the van. Poor tired little guys. Being guard dogs is hard work!
To top off a busy week Charlie B did the unthinkable. New Year’s Eve morning while making coffee and still half in a coma, I hear a whirring sound and can’t place it. I keep hearing it off and on, then nothing. Charlie is doing something in the front of the van, and I feel I need to see what it is. I pull back the curtain that separates the cab area from the back of the van. Charlie is worrying something, and immediately picks it up when I pull back the curtains. When he drops it I notice a long, slim, tiny bill. It’s a hummingbird. Oh no, Charlie!! Oh nooooo. I am devastated, but I can’t be angry with him; he’s just being a dog and doing what dogs do. All I can do is silently encourage him to HURRY UP and get it over with.
The cleanup crew plans a big party for tonight. I decide I want sleep and to get away from the dust instead and we move a few miles down the highway to Tom Wells Road. Goodnight.

Photos from our stay near Bouse.  Gosh, I forgot to put these in the Christmas post.

dsc_0090sunet bouse blm camp

dsc_0088luscious sunset cloud color from the east as the sun sets
Happy New Year! Hugs, Shawna

Christmas, BLM Land Cleanup Gathering

Dec 25th. Today I stayed in my jammies all day. The boys and I are in a nice boondocking area near Bouse. No cell service here, so I called family before Christmas. Plan on spendng Christmas with the ancestors organizing the family files I brought along and making a list of what I will work on this coming Friday when the Bouse Genies meet.

On Saturday The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for Ehrenberg where we meet up with the group from freecamping.net who have organized a trash clean up event on BLM land nearby. One large dumpster container (the biggest they make) was filled the first day and another one has been brought in. There are piles of stuff to burn as well. How sad that people can’t be responsible and remove their trash. It’s even sadder that they are so lazy they can’t be bothered to take their garbage to any transfer station in La Paz County which are FREE. Rumor has it that the couple of old motor homes that had been left behind were meth labs, so that explains a piece of it, but not all of it.

dsc_0101trashdsc_0106trash heap at ehrenberg az cleanup event

 

 

 

 

 

 

dsc_0098rigs at the cleanup in ehrenberg

Just a few workers remained when this shot was taken.  Many left when inconsiderate ATVers refused to slow down passing the encampment and not once but many times left the area shrouded in a blanket of choking dust.

During a walkabout after several hours of picking up trash I find some rock art

dsc_0097rock art, panda

dsc_0095rock art, heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

dsc_0100quartz art, ehrenberg az blm land

And beauty amongst the trash, this bird enjoying the bounty of the desert

dsc_0102bird enjoying some winter berries

Thanks to freecampsites.net for organizing this cleanup.  It was an honor to be a part of this event.

Thanks for stopping by 2 Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna,

CURRENT READ:  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman