Hippy Hole

New Years 2022 It’s back to the Cibola NWR area and a couple days with a friend, Jayne, and her giant sweet black dog, Rio, down from Canada for the winter.

Jayne has been to Hippy Hole before, but it’s new to me and The Chiweenie Brothers. Located a bit north of the refuge, Hippy Hole is a small BLM camping area with a few covered tables, a fire ring, and vault toilets. It sits on a small lagoon alongside the Colorado River and is so peaceful. An occasional vehicle rumbles by, but it’s not constant and not a bother.

We spend our days walking the dogs, playing card games, relearning how to play Mexican Train … and eating. Jayne fixed a scrumptious dish called Mission Shrimpossible, starring jumbo shrimp in a tomato sauce with zucchini and feta cheese served over rice. I made a salad and brought snacks and fixings for hot toddies when night descends and the wind blows. Yeah, it was pretty cold on New Year’s Eve. Just another reason to have another toddy! Cheers!

Birds are plentiful and a joy to watch from our respective vehicles in the cold mornings. Egrets, a great blue heron, many coots, a pair of grebes that were too quick to photograph, and two pair of American white pelicans. The pelicans flew off at one point, but one pair came back soaring low, extending their ‘landing gear’ and gliding silently onto the water. Of course, I didn’t have my camera ready. A Flock of sandhill cranes flew over in the early morning on New Year’s Day.

The wind blew all night beginning New Year’s Eve and by noon on January 1, 2022 it hadn’t let up. We decided to call it a wrap. Fun while it lasted!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Stay safe, be happy, and make 2022 one to remember.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

Current Read: Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll. Having trouble getting through this book. It’s a good read, just a lot to do around the ol’ homestead.

Our Autumn Get Away

November 24-25, 2021 . Summer has finally given way to our autumn even though autumn this year is 10+ degrees above normal. It would be nice to have a normal season, but we’ll take it over the hot humid summer. Sitting around and sweating for months on end was no fun. I swear this next summer WE ARE OUT OF HERE for a few months. I hope!! Nothing is a sure thing any more.

The Chiweenie Brothers, as is their normal behavior when sensing a change, are racing around chasing each other’s heels, barking in wild abandon because, by golly, WE’RE GOING SOMWHERE!!! With that doggie sense of detecting when something they love is about to happen I grab and hug each of them in turn. Yes, boys, we are going on an adventure. I am as excited as they are!

MissAdventure packed with last minute essentials, I dress the boys in their bright red harnesses and attach the leashes. Grabbing wallet, keys, sunglasses, and my ever-present desert fashion accessory, the essential SUN HAT, we load up.

We drive to Love’s Truck Stop to fuel up. I gulp at the price of gas and quickly determine the amount we’ll need to make it to our destination and back home. Okay, it’s a lot for such a short trip, but we need this. The boys need a change because, well, they’re dogs. They thrive on new places, new smells, new adventure. I need a change because I am sick of sitting for months as the only way to deal with Arizona’s much needed monsoon. Let me go on record saying I hate humidity. It’s draining and restricting and miserable. Too miserable to get even one thing checked off my project list, but I did get a lot of reading done, :). And now my mental state needs a change.

Fueled up we head west across the Colorado River into California stopping in Blythe for a few grocery items and ice. It takes a few minutes to get things arranged in the ice chest, but at last we are on the road again heading west. Just a few miles out of Blythe we exit the freeway and turn left at the top of the off ramp, heading south. We again cross the Colorado and are back in Arizona in and around the Cibola Wildlife Refuge. They grow a lot of cotton out here.

We can’t camp in the refuge, of course, but the drive in reveals a feast for desert eyes. This area is flooded each fall with water from the river and hundreds of ducks, coots, Canada and geese, and even some sandhill cranes on the opposite, dry side settle here to spend the winter feeding before moving on. The poplars and scrub are dressed in brilliant yellow. With the backdrop of a brilliant blue autumn sky it’s breathtaking.

Not sure how long I have been sitting here enjoying the view, but The Boys remind me they are waiting. Dogs are not allowed outside of the vehicle, and they are getting antsy. You guys have been so good. Let’s go find a camp and do some exploring. Camera put away; we head back out onto the main road.

The BLM camping area begins right across the highway from the refuge, but I turn right, and we do a bit of scouting. It appears the camping area goes on for at least several miles with some entrances named, by campers no doubt, who have put up little homemade signs naming the dirt roads. Wino Way catches my eye and I drive back in a ways only to drive back out. It wasn’t impressive and the winos can have it.

There are lots of possibilities, but I think across from the refuge will be our best bet. Making our way back north we turn right across from the refuge and follow the fairly decent dirt road up and around. There are only two other vehicles here, both vans. We settle on a knoll that has a nice, elevated view of the area, and at least a quarter mile away from the nearest vehicle. It’s rocky and a bit barren, but the view towards the refuge is lovely.

I get the van backed in, our windshield cover put on, the solar panel set up facing south, and then take The Chiweenie Brothers for a nice walk. Every few steps I see a pretty rock. My jean’s pockets get full rather quickly. Note to self: Bring a couple plastic bags next time.

Oh, look, donkey tracks!

A well-used, narrow trail going mostly north/south disappears into the distance. Oh look, a pretty pebble. And so it goes. By now my shirt bottom is a makeshift receptacle for rocks, and we make our way back to camp, me doing a drop, stop, and rearrange of my cargo every few yards. *sigh*. But these rocks! They’re so pretty!!

We repeat the above on Thanksgiving Day. Our much-needed respite eventually comes to an end. I break camp but take the time for a couple more shots of our view then I take the boys on a very short walk, put the camera away, and we are off.

View of the Wildlife Refuge from our camp

Refreshed and ready to get on with the projects that were put off this past summer, they have now become autumn and winter projects i, and it’s time to get crackin’.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

Summer and Current Reads:

Three Forensic Genealogy novels by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Hiding the Past, The Lost Ancestor, and American Ground. All are based in the UK and are not bad reads, but if you’re not into genealogy they may drag a bit for you. I believe there are several more of his books yet to be read.

I Thought You Said This Would Work, Ann Garvin. Cute, appealing story of three friends and the insights, trials, and tribulations they deal with when one of them is hospitalized. A road trip, a new friend added to the mix, romance, and animal rescue round it out. **** Four stars . Just because.

Flight Risk, Joy Castro. I started out loving this book. The Latina heroine from the hills of West Virginia married to a well-to-do man must make peace with her upbringing and come to terms with the fact that, yes, she does belong. But like so many new novels today there just had to be a LTBGQ appearance. It just didn’t seem to belong in this poor-girl-marries-well story. And then the author throws in a short, vicious, crying-her-eyes-out scene when our heroine is reminded of the 45th president and his “crimes against women” in a very transparent and ill-researched personal rant. I won’t be reading any more of Castro’s books. *** three stars for the first 2/3rds of the novel.

Two of Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas novels, Odd Interlude and Odd Apocalypse. How can you not love any of these books? Koontz’ sweet, unassuming, psychic fry cook hero, Odd, is so lovable, and Odd is the perfect vehicle for the Dean Koontz imagination.

These Toxic Things, Rachel Howzell Hall. Wow! I think I’ve just discovered a new favorite mystery writer; could not put this book down and the ending blew me away. My only disappointment is the title. It sounds too much like a tacky romance novel. Sorry Ms Hall, but that’s what it made me think of. Carry on with the stellar writing no matter what title you give your next book. *****

The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah. FIVE STARs *****. 1921, Depression Era America. Choices must be made, survival may depend on that choice: One woman’s struggle with abandonment, change, choices, hardship, and raising her two children during the Dust Bowl years. I finished this book in two sittings. It is beautifully written with believable characters and situations. A heart wrenching read, but good portrayal of the choices people had to make to survive this catastrophic, man-made disaster. A wonderful historical fiction novel.

Another good five star read, Beneath Devil’s Bridge, Loreth Anne White. Excellent who-done-it. Years after the unbelievably violent, rage filled murder of a 14-year-old girl, old wounds are opened and brings to light new questions and new revelations when the man who confessed to the 25-year-old crime now claims he is innocent. *****

And that was my summer and how I dealt with the heat and humidity. I’d like to encourage you to read more, and The Chiweenie Brothers would like to remind you to remember to take your favorite furry buddy for some nice longs walks. Preferably before AND after a reading session. Bark! Woof! Woof! Bark!!!

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PSA – Public Service Announcement

The Chiweenie Brothers and I would like any of our readers who may be coming to Arizona during monsoon season to be aware that flash flooding is common during our fast and furious rain storms. Practically all of Arizona has been under flood watch the past several days, except US! Be aware that as little as six inches of fast flowing water can sweep a person off their feet, and 12 inches can sweep a vehicle away. DO NOT CROSS FLOODED STREETS and most definitely STAY OUT OF THE WASHES.

Turn Around! Don’t Drown!

A four year old girl was swept off the top of the family car last week, and I don’t believe as of this writing her body has been found. Now this:

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

Yesterday at 9:43 AM  · YCSO ASSISTING IN SEARCH FOR 16 YEAR OLD GIRL SWEPT OUT OF HER VEHICLE IN RUSHING WATERS. YCSO in coordination with Verde Valley Fire, Cottonwood Fire and Police and other agencies are searching for a 16 year old girl that was swept down stream in her car after she drove through a low water crossing on Camino Real around 9:30 pm last evening. Verde Valley Fire was dispatched after the 16 year called 911 saying she was stranded and the water was up to her knees, however during rescue efforts she was swept out of the vehicle and downstream. Swiftly rising waters and active storms made air support impossible last evening, however search efforts are continuing at the moment. YCSO, Verde Valley Fire and Sedona Fire all have drones in the air now searching the Verde River and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is sending an airboat to assist. YCSO wants to thank all the volunteers that have contributed to the search efforts and for the public’s outpouring of offers of help. Currently the professional search teams have all the volunteers they are able to manage so they ask that any others wishing to help to stand by until more resources are needed. YCSO also wants the public to know that the wash has been thoroughly searched and asks anyone still in the wash to be aware of the weather because rains will cause dangerous conditions.

Stay safe! Hugs, Shawna and those rascally Chiweenie Brothers

The Colorado Looks Inviting

July 10, 2021 We need to get away for a bit, but summer is in full swing and lordy me it is HOT. We could do a night somewhere, but there has to be shade. And water would be nice. We live close to the Colorado River, so that’s where the search begins.

An internet search of nearby places comes up with Crossroads BLM Campground along the Colorado River just a few miles from Parker. This will be a scouting run. When the boys see me loading up the car with the ice cooler they start tussling and the ‘excitement’ fight is on. When I grab their harnesses they explode with bouts of play biting, running back and forth from one end of the Arizona room to the other, and barking. Lots of happy barking. Come on guys I say, wrestling them into their harnesses and snapping on their leashes. Let’s go for a ride.

Trotting along talking to each other with something like this that I imagine they are saying … ‘we’re going OUT! Maybe to the dog park! Mom’s taking the cooler so it must be dog park then groceries. Yeah!!! Dog Park!!’ Not the dog park, Boys, but something ALMOST as fun. And we head out into the already intense sunlight.

Traffic is light this time of year. No miles and miles of trailers, motor homes, and everything in between so we make it to Parker in about 35 minutes. Crossing the river we take a right putting us on the north side of the Colorado River which is the state line between Arizona and California.

We are in Earp, California. A mural painted on the side of this building says Earp, but how far Earp extends east and west is unknown since there really isn’t anything but mobile parks from point A, the turnoff, to point B our destination. For the sake of simplicity let’s say it’s all Earp.

Once we got home my curiosity got the best of me and this is what I found out about Earp:

Earp, California is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County in the Sonoran Desert close to the California/Arizona state line at the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The town, originally named Drennan in 1910, was renamed Earp in 1929. It was named for famed Old West lawman Wyatt Earp who with his common-law wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus, lived part-time in the area beginning in 1906. Earp staked more than 100 copper and gold mining claims near the base of the Whipple Mountains. They bought a small cottage in nearby Vidal and lived there during the fall, winter and spring months of 1925 – 1928, while he worked his “Happy Days” mines in the Whipple Mountains a few miles north. It was the only permanent residence they owned the entire time they were married. They spent the winters of his last years working the claims but lived in Los Angeles during the summers, where Wyatt died on January 13, 1929. Though the town was never incorporated, the post office near Earp’s mining claims at the eastern terminus of Highway 62 near Parker, AZ was renamed “Wyatt Earp, California” after Earp’s death in 1930 with a ZIP code of 92242. For amusement only there is a tiny cemetery showing the fake grave of Wyatt Earp (his actual grave is in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, just south of San Francisco). The post office is more than 220 miles (350 km) from the county seat in San Bernardino, California; further than any other in the county. The entire region on the California side falls under area code 760. Unofficial alternate names of the area are listed as Big River, Drenna and Drennan. Since Earp is an unincorporated community of San Bernardino County, County CEO Leonard X. Hernandez would be considered the Chief Administrator of Earp.

But back to present. After a pleasant, meandering drive on the two-lane road we arrive at the campground. This little section of land along the Colorado (which means colored red in Spanish), Crossroads Campground, is BLM. It appears there is a camp host here during the usual camping season of mid-September to Mid-April, but wisely they are long gone. Even along the river, although a bit cooler, this is desert and if you are in the sun you fry. You still have to pay the fee to camp — this is a government agency after all — but the fee is minimal. $5.

At the very end of the campground is a fully shaded spot, occupied by several people who do not look like they would take kindly to being photographed. We turn around.

Other Campsites:

Several Sites Not on the River

Beautiful View of the Colorado
No drinking water, but there are vault toilets, garbage, BBQ grills, and tables. Dogs must be kept on leash and picked up after. Watch out for rattlesnakes. $5

I think the next time we need to stock up at Walmart we will make it a two day run and spend the night here. Close to home, shade, and a cell signal. This place ticks all the boxes of what we require in a spot to camp this summer.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

Why Aren’t We Traveling?

Covid lockdown is past us. We are a travel blog so why are we at home?

Couple reasons. I don’t like to share my private life on the blog, but I do feel an explanation is necessary so you understand why we aren’t back out there. My HOA claims it is illegal for me to live in the casita and required me to bring in a travel trailer. So I purchased an older “vintage” 17 footer and it now occupies the space under the kool cover, east side, in front of the casita. The numerous windows in the trailer give me a beautiful view of the mountains and I can enjoy our glorious sunsets without even going outside if I don’t want to. I now also have a nice large covered area to enjoy when it isn’t too hot; the kool cover provides shade but it also tends to hold in the heat. I still have room to park the vehicles in the shade, and The Chiweenie Brothers have shade to lounge around in, too. The downside is the casita is now storage and the lovely patio I built out the back sits unused.

As some of you know, my youngest son has been having some major health problems that have been going on for a few years, but now his gastroentologist thinks he may have had a heart attack. We are waiting for him to be able to see a cardiologist, and I don’t want to be any farther away than we are now. By being home I at least know how long it takes me to get back to him, where all the fuel stops are, and where we can stop for the night along the way if need be.

I have two or three closer to home mini trips in mind, but a phone signal and monsoon or lack thereof dictate whether we will take those or not. One is already off the table due to wildfires burning. UPDATE … Since beginning to write the draft of this post we had, at one point, 23 wildfires burning. I believe at this writing it is down to 20, but things change fast and just this morning State Trust Land in Arizona, along with five of our six National Forests have been closed to camping. The fire danger is just too bad to take the risk. I applaud our state for doing this. Five national forests closed due to wildfires across Arizona | 12news.com PLEASE DO NOT COME TO ARIZONA TO CAMP THIS SUMMER. THE CHOICE, COOLER, HIGHER ELEVATION AREAS ARE CLOSED. OTHERS THAT ARE NOT UP IN THE HIGHER AREAS ARE DESERT … no one in their right mind camps on the desert floor this time of year.

We will stay close to home, and in the meantime I continue to work on our new outdoor living space, known as an Arizona Room, underneath the Kool Cover alongside my permanently parked travel trailer. I have moved outdoor furniture here and set up an outdoor kitchen. This change has not been all that bad for the most part.

I do love this new space but mourn the loss of my time intensive and fairly expensive patio behind the casita. I also cannot see the White River of quartz hauled boxful by boxful from an old dump of mining quartz about five miles away that was put in along the fence line and the red yucca, Texas sage, and cacti I planted in that backyard space. I do get to see it when I head to the laundry shed—oh goody. I may move the patio pavers at some point, but that’s a LOT of work and energy is low to repeat that job, but it’s a thought. No hurry with any of that.

Prayers and good thoughts for my son would be greatly appreciated and some good thoughts that we may get away for a few short trips this summer would be nice, but if that doesn’t happen, there’s plenty to keep me busy around here. It is what it is, and will be what it will be; We will adjust our course as needed. The main thing is that my son get healthy and he doesn’t end up with even more health issues to deal with. This good man deserves a break!!

The Chiweenie Brothers relax under the cooler during our most recent excessive heat warning, anything above 110. I know they would enjoy some time away from home, too.

And Spring Says Goodbye

The desert completes her show as our short spring gives way to our first summer. First summer . . . We have five seasons here. The usual spring, fall, and winter seasons and the fore summer, our driest months of May and June and Monsoon Summer when the prevailing winds change direction and storms boil up from the gulf of Mexico and give us much needed moisture. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that we get these much needed storms to give us a break from the severe drought most of the west is experiencing.

The Yellow Bell in my yard. Beautiful plant and will actually bloom most of the summer.
Part of the Plomosa Mountains in the morning light

Our beautiful and protected ironwood trees are the next to show off. Full bloom and closeups

Saguaro Blooms. In response to the extended drought they are blooming extra heavy this year.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna and those two crazy Chiweenie Brothers

The Desert Shows Off

Hello Friends! Spring is pretty much over here in the low desert southwest; we got our first triple digit day last week, but I want to share with you what the area around our little piece of the desert looks like when it is in full show-off mode. I hope you enjoy the photos.

ocotillo in the west front cactus bed

Opuntia ‘fiesta’ prickly pear ‘chenille’

creosote bush –smells heavenly after a rain

bougainvillea

Texas Sage

Dang, can’t find my clear photo of this beautiful bee attractor,

so this one with the wind blowing it around will have to do

Arizona never lacks for beautiful sunsets

Peanut Cactus in full bloom

Notocactus’ exquisite bloom

Cottontail and quail

This guy comes in every day for water

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs Travel.

Oatman, Arizona and Wild Donkeys!

I am finally getting to see the old mining town of Oatman, AZ and the famous wild herd of tame donkeys. That’s an oxymoron, but the donks are technically wild, but have declared Oatman part of their territory and wander freely around town taking hay cubes from enthralled visitors, crowding around cars, some are even bold enough to enter a business or two.

I have followed the Oatman Burros FaceBook page for quite a while and it’s a great way to follow what these adorable animals are up to. Or what sneaky, evil persons do.

The young donkey abandoned by his mother last year was adopted and cared for by a young couple who live in Oatman. Walter has since become the Mayor of the town, has his own book and occasionally comes to town for book signings.

On the other side of the coin, a couple of gals came in one night and donkey-napped the young and adored Tinkerbell—Read the last two sentences on the above sign. Those two are facing federal charges. Thankfully Tink was found, unharmed, and brought back to Oatman. She had some tough times from the herd (burros are territorial), but eventually became part of the group that Bureau of Land Management auctioned off to vetted homes. Happily, she ended up back in Oatman with her adoptive family.

My trip to Oatman will always be a highlight for me. This little old mining town is authentic and charming and the donkeys that freely roam the streets capturing hearts are the icing on the cake. They are actually the biggest draw I think, but don’t let that sway you from coming to town. Even without the burros this town is a place to see. And their souvenirs weren’t priced outrageously either.

Write title? I have no idea how to get rid of this, but it is a view from last night’s campsite. The new WordPress editor is hateful.

Baby Hank is the current draw in the Oatman donkey herd. His mom, Annabelle, wanted to make sure I meant no harm when I wanted to cuddle him and she nipped me on the arm. Not hard, but I think she wanted to make sure I wasn’t one of those donkeynappers who took her Tinkerbell last year.

When the day was over I wanted to say goodbye to this cutie and make friends with Annabelle. She pulled the bag I was carrying my new Oatman hoodie in out of my hand and started chewing on it. I got it back from her with a bit of tug-o-war. I think she was smiling when I prevailed.

Wondering what is on Baby Hank’s forehead? It is a sticker that says STOP, do not feed the babies anything. They don’t want any of the donkeys to be fed carrots, apples, any human food actually. The sugar in apples, carrots, ect., can cause health issues for these guys. Even hay cubes are forbidden for the young Hank as I found out the hard way. Got a good scolding from the fans of the Oatman Burros’ FB page. He was eating them in front of a store, so I thought …

At noon they have a “gunfight” in the middle of the street
Had coffee at the cafe where patrons can sign a dollar bill and have it stapled to the wall or wherever they want, just not on the signs or the antiques.
If you don’t behave yourself you can be thrown into jail. Can you imagine being locked in this little box?

Oatman is still on my Bucket List. I didn’t mark it off because I will be going back! Thanks for coming along. Hugs, Shawna.

P.S. The Chiweenie Brothers were sad they didn’t get to see the donkeys, but the donkeys don’t like dogs and the town asks that you leave them in your vehicle. There have been a few stompings and it can get ugly.

Current Read: The Willows in Winter by William Horwood. Excellent sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows.

Yuma and Mexico Dental Work

December 17, 2020. I spent a couple of days reorganizing and re-doing the inside of MissAdventure. The bed platform needed a bit of tweeking, and I had bought a couple of cabinets from a lady down the street from me and needed to install them. Now that we are not living full time in the van I am going for a more cute and stylish look rather than stuffing everything I own into every nook and cranny I could find. It will be nice to have items with a permanent place and out of sight!

My first dental appointment is Friday, but we leave in the early afternoon Thursday because no trip to Yuma is complete without time spent at the Bark Park and I want to make sure The Chiweenie Brothers have a great time. I get in a lot of walking, and an afternoon’s worth of running, hiking (in every sense of the doggie version of ‘hiking’) and sniffing for the boys leave all three of us worn completely out.

We spend the night in Wally’s parking lot only to wake up and find a flyer on the windshield stating they no longer allow overnights in their lot. Alrighty then. We head out onto I-8 West toward San Diego, and in just 8 short miles we take exit 166 and head south to the border and my dental appointment with Dr. Dennis Cochran, DDS, whose goal is the become the best dentist in Mexico. She’s on her way to being that in my opinion.

She preps my mouth for the ‘installation’ of two zirconia crowns on the implants I had put in a couple of years ago, takes impressions and I’m set free until tomorrow. Our adventure part of the trip begins.

I looked up a couple of places I wanted to see this trip and first up and just a few exits from the one I take to get to Los Algadones is Old Plank Road off Gray’s Well. This is a small preserved section of the wooden plank road built to connect the lower section of Southern California to Arizona. Built in 1915 the east-west route over the Algodones Dunes provided the last link of the commercial route between San Diego and Yuma.

Constructed of huge, thick, wooden planks linked together with metal strips and big bolts, it is a testament to man’s ingenuity of doing what needs to be done to go where he needs to go. I cannot even fathom the work that went into this endeavor nor the muscle used to keep the planks free of blowing sand.

Not wanting to press my luck with trying another night at Wally, the boys and I locate a LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) off Sidewinder Road and ask the host if there is a section where one could park just for the night. He says no, not in this one, but if I go back to the Chevron Station just this side of the freeway and take the service road for 3 miles there is a 14 day stay free area right after the pavement ends.

This service road may be paved but it’s the roughest damn thing ever. Slowly we drive, slowly we get there rolling forward a few feet, BUMP, and then another few feet and the back wheels BUMP, and so it goes for three long miles, but we finally arrive and shockingly nothing inside MissAdventure has been jarred out of place or fallen over. We are rewarded with a nice spot to park for the night with no neighbors within 1/4 mile.

After a good night’s sleep we are up early and head back to Yuma on the 8 and I head into Walmart to purchase a new battery for my solar setup in the van and get a few groceries. A quick stop at the ATM to pull funds for my crowns and we head back to Mexico for my 10:00 a.m. appointment.

The second half of the crowning appointment didn’t go quite as planned. Due to a power outage my zirconia crowns are not ready and I sit in the reception area for four hours. They must have noticed me getting a bit worried when it got to be 1:00 p.m. and I kept looking at my watch wondering if I would get back into the US before they closed the border at 3:00. Poor doggies still in the van all this time.

The receptionist, Margot, a VERY young lady, asks if I want to go see the new office they are moving into next year. I jump at the chance to get my mind off the border crossing and my boys being stuck in the van all this time. We walk out to the sidewalk between two vendors where her scooter is parked and she tells me to wait, she will go get the car.

Margot makes it back in jig time in a beautiful what-looks-like- brand-new white four door Chevy. Is this Dr. Dennis’ car? Yes, she says. I hop in and we buzz along back toward the crossing and she makes a right turn and up the hill we go getting a few looks from some pedestrians as she whizzes by leaving a hair’s breadth of space between them and the side of the vehicle. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding when she pulls in and parks in front of Dr. Dennis’ new place.

It’s big. It’s beautiful. The interior has some Spanish style roundtop windowless cutouts in walls between some of the rooms, and there is room left for her to expand her business. In my opinion no one deserves it more than this young hard working dentist that wants to become the best dentist in Mexico. From one chair to two, and with this move two chairs and a dental surgeon she will rent to. She’s smart as well as deserving.

Part of the interior walls are painted this gorgeous shade of green, one of my favorite colors. The perfect shade. That, of course, has no bearing on my love of her new building. 🙂 We wave goodbye to the young man swiping what looks like spackle onto a section of the entry and get into the car.

Young Margot starts the car and begins to back up. I glance behind us just as a woman begins to step behind the car. I yell stop and Margot slams on the brake. The pedestrian glares and Margot laughs and says she glad she didn’t hit her. Oh yeah, me too!! I’m grateful she didn’t hit any cars either, I think to myself.

Margot says when she was hired Dr. Dennis (and this is pronounced like our female Denise) asked her if she could drive. Margot told her yes, and that she had a license. Welllll. Margot confides in me that she just said that so she would get hired, that she doesn’t have a license. You told her the truth, though, right Margot? She laughs and says yes, after she was hired. Oh dear Lord. 🙂

When we get back to the office I am whisked into a chair and the crowns are screwed onto the posts and cemented around the bottom or whatever it is they do. I won’t be able to eat for an hour. Lordy, it’s been a good eight hours since I have eaten, but I still have enough padding to get me by I am sure despite what my stomach is telling me.

There is a line today to get back across the border, as there always is when you stay in Mexico past noon, and that gobbles up a good half hour. People are desperate in this Covid pandemic and the usual vendors who ply the line headed back across to the USA seem especially desperate. Selling everything from masks to yard ornaments to ironwood statues these merchants have a different look in their eyes this year.

One young woman with two little girls sits on the low rock wall playing an accordion. She looks tired and sad. As I get closer I see a quiet desperation in her lovely eyes and I give her a dollar. The look she gives me and the quiet ‘gracias’ in thanks breaks my heart. It’s a dollar; her gratitude and her eyes tell me it might as well have been a hundred as far as she was concerned.

Spending more time waiting for my dental work to be finished than I planned on, I forego the other places I wanted to explore and will save them for next time, but I do stop to get these photos of the All American Canal.

The All-American Canal is an 80-mile long aqueduct, located in southeastern California. It conveys water from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley and to nine cities. It is the Imperial Valley’s only water source, and replaced the Alamo Canal, which was located mostly in Mexico. The Imperial Dam, about 30 miles northeast of Yuma, Arizona on the Colorado River, diverts water into the All-American Canal, which runs to just west of Calexico, California before its last branch heads mostly north into the Imperial Valley. Five smaller canals branching off the All American Canal move water into the Imperial Valley. These canal systems irrigate up to 630,000 acres of crop land and have made possible a greatly increased crop yield in this area, originally one of the driest on earth. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world, carrying a maximum of 26,155 cubic feet per second. Agricultural runoff from the All American Canal drains into the Salton Sea.

The wait in line to cross the border, stopping for the photos of the canal and the short trip back to Yuma with some traffic eats up most of the Do-Not-Eat-For-An-Hour order I decide to stop at In and Out for a burger. The line is long and it takes about 40 minutes so I am good to go… I mean eat. A burger never tasted so good!! The Chiweenie Brothers enjoy an unsalted hamburger patty and we are on our way home.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. We are hoping for more travel in the coming year. Praying all your hopes come to pass also. Hugs, Shawna

Books read since last post: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. Very good read about a rape and the effects on the victim, the town and its citizens. *****

This Magnificent Dappled Sea by David Biro. The Holocaust, an Italian family, a Jewish family, a baby, a disease. Another good read. ****

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide by Christina Bogantz and Melissa Rios. Their trip to visit 47 state parks in two months. Some good info here. ****