Mid-April to Mid-May 2019

The middle of April arrives, warm-then-cool-then-warm-then-hot and the cacti, loving the heat, begin to bloom. While I don’t get to see the full-blown spectacle, I do get a wonderful glimpse of what will be. It is breathtaking, and the brittle bush is still showing off, too.

Wanting to stay for the flower show in all its glory but knowing I need to get to Cali to arrange to have my car transported and pick up as much of my stuff stored at my sister’s that will fit in the van the boys and I reluctantly head out. Well, I am reluctant. The boys are thrilled to be out on the road again. Little do they know it is going to be a rocket trip to Cali and back to Arizona in an attempt to get everything buttoned up before the triple digits hit and we need to head to higher ground.


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Once at my sister’s we wait in anticipation of the registration and plates for the Honda to arrive. Let’s just say ol’ Murphy shook me good this time around, but they do eventually arrive.
After leaving my sister’s we head to Red Bluff where I pick up my genealogy file cabinet, toss some Easter goodies to the grands who are home on Spring Break, then head up Hwy 36. Never having been to Greenville or Quincy I opt to follow the south side of Lake Almanor and seriously regret not bringing my camera, but the idea was to get as many stored belongings as possible into the van, so I brought not a single extra thing. I will do this route again someday because there are definitely some photo-worthy scenery along this route.

DSC_0004Dove on Her Nest in an Ironwood Tree
Momma dove sitting on her nest in an ironwood tree

Having gotten a later start in the day than normal on travel days we end up at Hallelujah Junction, a spot for trucks and other travelers to stop for the night, get gas or snacks at the little store, or park for a nap. It is about 20 miles or so west of Reno, NV.
Tired and hungry I grab a peanut butter sandwich, let the dogs do a hike (of their leg) and settle in for the night. I am awakened from a dead sleep by a noise I can’t place, but it is something moving, and it is very close by. Pulling an eye open I notice the whirling of red lights being reflected in the silver windshield cover. What the heck?
I reach above my head and pull the window covering aside to get a look at what is making the noise and my heart stops for a beat or two. My first sleep fogged thought is my God a spaceship is landing! Not 30 feet from MissAdventure something big is settling onto the tarmac. I can barely make out the craft on this moonless night, but a tornado cloud of dust they are creating is highlighted by some unseen source of light. Unnerved and still trying to pull out of the sleep coma, my brain registers that the front windows are open and the whirling dirt being generated by this craft is unbelievable.
The good news: It isn’t a space ship and more than our lives are saved this night. It is a medical helicopter that swooped in and loaded up some poor soul to whisk him off into the dark night. Other than that the trip back is uneventful. And I do not apologize for the mistaken identity of that bird. When I sleep, I sleep hard, it is my brain that doesn’t function well when awoken from that state. Ha!

The Palo Verde are in bloom when we return to Q!

Yes, the trip was fast, but Murphy kept us entertained in delays with the registration of my Honda, delays getting transport of the car secured, and once back in Arizona we hit 100 for a few days in row which necessitated getting the evaporative cooler going, which I discover has a broken pump.
All is on track once again and I am in the process of getting us ready to head out on our summer and fall adventure. Where do you think we are heading?

DSC_0006New Filed Guide to Flora and Fauna of the Southwest
Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to being back on the road and doing regular posts again. Hugs, Shawna

Our Desert Oasis and Zoo Nebraska

Wow, the weather is really warming up. It is time to button up our little oasis in the desert and head out to somewhere cooler. Little oasis in the desert? What’s this? Welllll. Let me explain.

This past winter was a bit of an eye-opener for me. The wet, the cold (comparatively speaking to the rest of the country), the wind. The boys and I spent a lot of time inside the van. I love to read, but there is only so much one can do before it becomes reading-by-rote and nothing sticks! When I started having to re-read the previous chapter to remember what went before I realized that another winter like this past one would not be good for my mental health, not to mention two rambunctious wild wiener dogs that were mad for exercise.
After much thought and knowing there weren’t too many places that would be warmer than right here in Q, I made the decision to buy a lot and have a permanent place to roost during the winter months.

DSC_0082Charlie.Fries.Listen Fries!

This little oasis in the middle of “civilization” will also allow me to have my crafting stuff and my genealogy paperwork at hand. Perfect time to work on the family history! I am healthier and happier with some kind of project in the works and having a permanent spot to light while waiting for winter to run its course is the answer to several concerns.

Next will be a trip back to Cali to haul my stuff out of storage and get it and my Honda back to AZ where it will all be stashed away until our return in late fall. We are NOT giving up our travels, just facing the reality that there is no place better than  in right here in Quartzsite to spend the winter months. This decision will, no doubt, insure that another winter like the last one is not going to happen. Ha!

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna and The Chiweenie Brothers

CURRENT READ: Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream by Carson Vaughn
Note: While on my way back south from South Dakota after establishing my residency almost two years ago I dropped down into the northeastern part of Nebraska and along the road was a hand painted wooden sign on which was written Zoo Nebraska. I thought it odd. There was no other signage to indicate there was an actual zoo nearby and we traveled on. That sign, as you’ve surely figured out, was for the zoo in the above mentioned book.

Charlie’s Fav is Out and About

It is early morning, and a gorgeous spring day in the Sonoran Desert. The weather is warming up, and the time is right for another trip out along the Bouse Cutoff road to hunt for blooming cacti. I repeat, surely they must be in bloom by now. Nope, the cholla show new growth, but no blooms. Hmmm. Going to have to read up on this prickly situation.
I walk around and enjoy the cool morning air keeping an out for snakes. The rattlers are out, and I certainly do not want to get bit nor do I want The Chiweenie Brothers to tangle with one of these venomous serpents.
The lizards are also out. Charlie is loving this!

DSC_0084Alligator Lizard 2

DSC_0085Alligator Lizard
As the morning grows warmer we head back to Q. It is time to begin thinking about where we will spend the hot summer months coming up.  I have a few destinations in mind, but haven’t decided which it will be.

Thanks for reading our blog!  Hugs, Shawna

 

Wildflowers Bloom and Cacti Prepare

Toward the end of the month I make a run to Bouse to pick up a package from the post office. It’s a one way trip of about 25 miles and it’s really a pretty drive. The boys get some dog park time in. I get internet at the library and get a few things accomplished.
On the way back I immortalize the continued greening of the desert and the beautiful displays of wildflowers along the highway, and the cholla cactus about ready to bloom.

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Cholla (choya) is about to bloom!

I am determined to stay around long enough to see the cacti bloom. It should be earlier this year with all the water we have gotten. Winter seems to have heaved one last sigh and summer, will probably jump right in, but who knows. We went from freezing our hineys to 80 degrees last Friday, March 1st. Then we went right back to rainy weather and cooler temps. And so it goes. At least the current, cooler conditions will make it easier to stick around waiting for those cacti start putting on a show. Unless of course it warms again.

 

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Ocotillo

DSC_0069ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna and The Chiweenie Brothers.

CURRENT READ:  Mary, Queen of Scots by John Guy.  An interesting book on Mary Stewart’s reign, but a long read.  Fortunately, 40% of it is footnotes and documentation of the facts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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