We’re Back in Q

                                                                Life is short

November sure has whizzed by.  The Chiweenie Brothers and I made it to Arizona, spent a couple of nights at Craggy Wash in Lake Havasu where some guy tried to roust us from our spot beside a nice shade tree by whining about how this was the third time he’s lost out on this spot and HE needed shade­­­—like we didn’t!—and when I refused to give it up  he hopped in his rig and peeled out spraying us with small rocks and dirt!

When we left a couple of days later I got the tires rotated on MisAdventure, and then we spent some time at the SARA dog park. SARA Park has much to offer besides a wonderful dog park: Hiking and biking trails, an equestrian area, and more.

We move on to Parker where we spend one night off Hwy 62.  Last year’s camping area is inaccessible. Not sure if it was due to flash flooding or just the fact the road has been graded, but nothing looks familiar and I can’t find a spot with shade. One night here and we move on. Q (Quartzsite) here we come! 

I drive straight into town, get ice and fill up the generator (I love being able to use my Instant Pot!!) then head to the dog park.  Big surprise here.  The “Big Dog” side is closed for some unexplained reason and all are using the “Small Dog” side.  It isn’t working too well as the big dogs have pretty much taken over and there are plenty of little dogs that don’t like being in with them.  But, it is what it is. We will either spend more time in other areas of La Paz County or we can change our preferred time to be at this dog park to later in the afternoon. We’ll work it out!

Once the boys are ready to leave the dog park I drive to the library and try to get a blog post done.  I no longer have mobile internet as ATT said I used too many roaming hours and they cut me off everywhere there is no ATT cell tower.  Hmph!  This may be a long winter with fewer posts. Not surprisingly I still have to pay until my contract is up so I won’t be getting anything different at this time. Again … It is what it is.  I’ll work it out!

Meanwhile, out in the desert we settle onto BLM land with a sweet, shady spot at the Hi Jolly 14-day area.  Long walks with the boys in the chilly air of morning, some reading, checking email­­­—fortunately I can get my email and get onto the internet with my phone, but no way can I do a blog post from it— and I am able to make an appointment with my dentist in Los Algadones. But, before that happens we will head to Bouse and stay a night or two.  The boys will get to romp in the HUGE dog park there, I will get veggies from the truck that brings in produce fresh from the fields, and I will also attend a get-together with the Bouse Genies, the local genealogy group. 

This trip to our wintering grounds has brought some frustration, yes, but there has been blessings, too:  Lying in bed one night with the back doors open I watch the space station glide silently through the night sky.  Early mornings, before sunrise, I watch Venus hanging huge and glittering, low in the east as day tries to make her disappear for another 24 hours, Sun demanding her time in the sky. One morning Venus was next to the quarter moon; so beautiful!   

Some mornings Sun brushes past the distant mountains with a silent but huge burst of light, other mornings she makes a magnificent entry wearing a cloak of the softest pinks and lavenders or bright red and gold if she’s feeling brassy.

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Coyotes howl across the desert.  I do consider this a blessing, although it’s not much fun when they come in close trying to trick The Chiweenie Brothers into coming out to play which they did three nights running at one point.  Sends a chill up my spine.

Gorgeous sunsets and sunrises.  They make my heart sing in their beauty.

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel. We appreciate you coming along on our adventures, and appreciate your patience while we get through this little internet glitch. Hugs, Shawna

Hello Wickenburg

On Sunday, March 18th, the wind has blessedly died down. I am more than ready to travel on, and we leave Bouse heading out on Hwy 72, catching Hwy 60 east to Wickenburg. It’s about an 80 mile drive.

Arriving in Wickenburg around noon I am a bit surprised on how much this little town has grown since I was first here 20 years ago.  It has an “old west” historical section and the newer parts of town have a southwestern theme. It appears businesses are required by county council or whoever the powers-that-be are to build and keep this theme. 

I get the feeling they do not like visitors, however, as their parking lots are teeny tiny and there is no way you can get a big motorhome, or even a travel trailer in some of the lots. Traffic is horrendous,  and there was no way to park and take photos. The Chiweenie Brothers see their first mule, with rider on its back, and of course go nuts.  This sets the tone for the day. *Sigh*.  

Despite all that I have the nearby BLM boondocking area in my GPS and we follow it’s instructions to Blue Tank Road that leads to Sophie’s Flat.  

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We didn’t go all the way in to Sophie’s Flat as the road, while graded and wide enough for vehicles to pass each other, has some wicked steep down/up grades.  We find a spot alongside the road which in hindsight made me think perhaps I SHOULD have gone on, but we stayed two days and left.

The ATVs were numerous and not many would slow down going past people camped . It IS a pretty area though with a wide variety of cacti and other desert plants:  Ocotillo, barrel, cholla, paddle cactus (beaver tail), and the stately saguaro.  There were others, but I simply can’t think of them as I write this.

The boys enjoy the sunshine, and Charlie keeps an eye on the greasewood bushes lest one of those dang lizards tries to attack!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

EVERY SINGLE MOMENT YOU ARE WRITING THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE — Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

We Leave Q

The Quartzsite, AZ Post Office is famous. Famous for the worst customer service and loss of mail in the state. Heck, probably the entire United States.  No one ever seems to have a good experience there, not even the locals.

Why I am including this?  Because my forwarded mail took over TWO WEEKS to get to Quartzsite.  Stuck in Phoenix I am told.  Oh, they’re down a sorting machine someone else tells me.  What really happened is they SENT IT BACK TO SOUTH DAKOTA!!  I have tax documents in that envelope and am chomping at the bit. It is being sent to Q again.  The weather has turned hot (although it was brief, it was extremely uncomfortable), and I am ready to roll north, but we must wait.

On March 12th  I am prepared to say goodbye to Q.  The mail should only take two days as it was sent 2-day priority. It’s been three.  I have done all the mundane, weekly chores of emptying the porta potty, replenishing our ice, filling our water jugs, and buying a few days’ worth of groceries.  This round calls for checking tire pressure on Freedom and checking her oil.  We’re good to go, and I head to the P.O.  And no mail for me.  *SIGH*. 

We head back out to Hi Jolly, our boondocking camp just north of town.  I don’t set up any kind of camp, just park where, thankfully, no one  has snagged our shady spot, and debate getting into my witch costume and calling in the flying monkeys ….

Instead I connect to the internet and check the tracking of my mail. It shows  THE MAIL HAS ARRIVED!! — but it came in or wasn’t processed until AFTER the post office’s time slot, between noon and 1:00 p.m., for handing over the general delivery stuff. *SIGH*.  I’m practicing patience, I really am, because I reconsider the costume and calling in the  flying monkeys and I don’t make it happen. 

Tuesday the 13th I am up early wiping down the van trying to remove a bit of the dust, and am blessed with a gorgeous sunrise. It’s breathtaking. I never tire of them.

We head to the dog park and the boys get in an hour or so of off-leash fun. It was a nice opportunity to say another goodbye to friends here. Lo and behold the mail is actually at the post office, and we head east to Bouse. 

Intending to stay only a day or two, cooler weather drops in and the veggie truck will appear in town on Thursday.  I make the executive decision to stay until then.  The co-pilots agree as that means Bouse Dog Park time for them.  It’s one of their favorite parks because they usually have it all to themselves.  

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I find a wonderful spot a few miles out of town under a huge ironwood tree providing lots of shade. On Thursday we head to town for a visit to the truck that brings wonderful fresh vegetables to this little town every week on Thursday and Friday.  Prices are very reasonable. I purchase a huge bunch of tender first-crop asparagus, 2 pounds of organic strawberries, a pint of huge yummy looking blackberries, and two avocadoes for $6. Dang, I wish I had bought more.  Those berries were gone in a flash.

My intention was to leave after our fruit and vegetable purchase, but the night before the wind kicked up; strong, insistent wind. It  continues to blow for three days, and looks like it will blow for at least two, maybe three more days. I don’t like driving in the wind so we’re staying put through the weekend.

Thursday evening, the wind continuing to howl, I notice buzzards trying to find a port in the storm.  The best shots of them trying to land in the wind didn’t come out at all, and these aren’t much better, but ….

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At one point in our stay I am delighted with this lovely, soft sunset.  I never tire of the gorgeous morning and evening displays and will miss them as we travel north; or perhaps they will be just a beautiful!

Our hot spell broken with the arrival of the wind the boys try to stay warm.  Fries in his bed with his blanket and Charlie choosing the dashboard with the sunshine pouring through itDSC_0086

 

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ: The Practice House by Laura McNeal

“The life you’ve had doesn’t have to be the only life you have” — Anna Quindlen

 

 

 

Biding our Time In Q

We’ve had a cold spell in the desert. For about a week we have had some chilly weather with a cold wind reminding us that, after all, it IS winter. A couple of recent nights it’s been a teeth chattering 36-37 degrees inside the van when morning breaks.  I take the boys for their early a.m. potty break, heat some water for coffee, then jump back under the covers and wait for the sun to warm our vome through the windshield.

I have a heater, but have never used it. I tend to just ride it out rather than artificially heat up the inside of the van, because it’s too hard to cool it back down once the day wears on. That’s been my experience around Quartzsite anyway; it may change when we leave here and head north, but we’ll take it as it comes.

Last year, by mid-March, the temps were climbing into the 80’s. That is barely tolerable when you live in a tiny home made of metal.  When it hit 85 we left and headed north toward home in Cali. We no longer live in Cali, but we will be heading north seeking cooler weather once it turns too warm here in the southern Arizona desert. That may be sooner than we expect if the chatter at the dog park is correct.

With a general idea of what route we will travel, the goal is to end up in southern Utah for a meet-up with a couple of gals I met at the RTR.  The trick is going to be timing:  Staying out of the encroaching heat, but arriving in Utah early enough to still be able to take in Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon before they, too, become too hot.

While biding our time waiting on the weather to send us scampering to get away from the heat we spend time at the Quartzsite Dog Park, rock hound on our morning and evening walks, and I do a lot of reading. Oh, and gazing at the barren mountain ranges, in this case the Plamosa Mountains, picking out shapes.  Do you see the lioness’ head?

Big Cat in mountain

CURRENT READ:  Beneath a Scarlett Sky. This is a good read, but for some reason it is taking me much longer than normal to finish it.  Perhaps because it’s another WWII story, and you know how heart wrenching those can be.

I spent the other day going through things in the storage area behind the bed sorting, tossing, and getting together a box of stuff to take to the Salvation Army. It’s an on-going process this continuing effort to get the vome cleared out of all the extras I brought along when we started our new life’s adventure of full-time traveling.

Ever being one not to waste anything or have to replace things I had extras of and brought with us to use up,  we’ve lived kind of crowded. Regular sorting, tossing, donating is needed to keep things organized as we rid the vome of stuff.  This last batch of unneeded items that went to the Salvation Army has gotten us to a I-can-see-the-finish-line place and the quest for having just what we need and not much more than that.  The goal of eventually having a place for everything and everything in it’s place is closer! Yippee!!!

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Our spot in Scaddan Wash.

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The full moon on March 1, 2018

Until next time, Hugs Shawna

 

 

Palm Canyon

Approximately 20 miles south of Q on Hwy 95 in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge lies a canyon within the barren volcanic Kofa Mountain Range. Tucked away in this canyon are a grove of California fan palms the why and how of how they got there unknown, but speculation abounds and has over the years since they were discovered.

The boys and I head out in the late afternoon to drive to the refuge with the intent of staying the night and taking the short half-mile hike up to the palms the next day. The sun only shines in the canyon slot for a very brief time, and probably less this time of the year with the sun farther south. Photography requires light, so this is important.

It’s about 7 miles of pretty decent dirt road to reach the parking lot situated just below the trail head. The mountain looms upward dwarfing the lot and the vehicles parked there.  We are one of three who decide to go ahead a stay in the parking lot and wait for morning.

View from trail with van in prking lot ...

A bitter wind is whipping itself into a frenzy and it’s darn cold when the inevitable walk is needed for the boys to hike a leg. We don’t dilly dally around; it’s down to business and we scurry back inside.

The inside of the van is unheated, but comfy and warm enough as we snuggle under the covers listening to the wind poke and prod at the mountain and the van, sounding angry over something, voicing its mournful objections. It makes me sad, and my mind wanders to Burger. I miss my  Boo. I try to imagine him running in a field of green, happy and well … fortunately sleep comes fairly quickly.

Morning dawns bright and clear, and although still on the cold side, the wind has moved on. Coffee, another chapter in my book, a walk around the parking lot for the dogs, and  then a bit of breakfast while we await the sun to get a bit higher and the air a little warmer before we head out.  I check over my camera, make sure I have bags in my pocket for dog droppings, and we’re ready to go.

It’s a short hike, but it’s not a level hike. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult, but the trail does climb a bit, and there are a few places where it’s a bit tricky to navigate, especially with two dogs on leash who have their own idea of which way is the best way to go.

The palms are across a ravine from the trail, tucked away between the small canyon’s wall, protected from the elements.  The conditions surely must be perfectly right for them to continue to thrive and grow here.

You can read more about these palm trees HERE.

I decide to spend an additional night within the refuge enjoying the cholla (pronounced choy-ya) cactus, the saguaros and other desert plants that look fresh and clean without the coating of dust that covers most of the Sonoran Desert.  I spend the afternoon picking out things in the mountain range where the palm trees hide.  A mole, a seal, a monster, a snake’s head. Can you see them? Click the photo to enlarge.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs. Hugs, Shawna

CAMPING:  You can camp within the refuge, free, for up to 14 days.  This is a boondocking area and there are NO amenities whatsoever. Come prepared for that if you plan on staying more than a night or two. There is  a narrow strip along the main dirt road where you can pull off to park. with signs telling you where the boundaries are. 

 

Darby Well Road

November 7, 2017. The plan was to take in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, but it’s been a long day and we drive on to Darby Well Road where we know there is BLM boondocking.  We will take in the cactus park when we leave Darby Well.  

It’s not too far off Highway 86, before you get to Gila Bend, and it’s a good stop.  We take one of the side roads off the main dirt road and find a really good place to camp right by the well.  On a concrete pad no less! We will stay for as long as the ice holds out. 

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Are we home?

The Chiweenie Brothers know that home is where we park for the night, or a couple of days, or a week.

This web is found just behind the concrete pad at the back of the van.  EWWW! I thought about sacrificing a fly to see what comes out, but on second thought I really don’t want to know.

We stay two nights at Darby Wells and then backtrack to Organ Pipe Cactus N. M.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  We’re off again!  Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Still working through From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Set in Europe during WWII, a novel about a Jew, a priest, and their quest to save themselves from Hitler’s SS. Good, but heartbreaking, read. 

CAMP INFORMATION

Darby Well Road is a BOONDOCK site; no amenities of any kind. I would say the area will take any size rig, but it would be a good idea to walk the side roads before you drive down into them. Torrential rain storms can and do change the landscape from month to month, year to year and what may be a great site this time may not be next time. Also not every road is big enough to accommodate the larger motorhomes and trailers. Also be aware of sandy spots that may get you stuck.  Always walk the roads.  

Highway 86

There’s road construction as we head out of the Saguaro National  Park and head toward Hwy 86.  The scenery isn’t as I pictured it, bleak and a lot of nothing but greasewood bushes. It’s a beautiful drive, a beautiful day, and a beautiful life.

DSC_0058We pass the Kitt Peak Observatory.

Lots of saguaro cactus and interesting mountain peaks along the way. You can click on the photos if you want to enlarge them.

There are many pull outs and several places you could pull into for a one night stay, boondock style.

DSC_0061I thought this was so interesting, and I took a photo of the mountain behind the sign but it didn’t look anything like a basket. It’s the photo just above this one.

As always, thanks for stopping by 2Dogs, and we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. We will be posting three more times before the end of the month and then will be taking a break through December.