Pancho Villa State Park

While I patiently (cough, cough) wait for news that the new generator has arrived, the Chiweenie Brothers and I are up early each morning for a walkabout. Just before the sun peaks over the horizon is just about right. The park is just three miles from the Mexico/US border and being farther south is a wee bit warmer.  UGH!

DSC_007White Winged Dove
White Winged Dove

Pancho Villa isn’t just a pretty park, it’s a historical site with an interesting story and you’ll see more photos than I can put in this post.  Learn more about it HERE.

DSC_0077View of Park from Cootes HillDSC_0079Pancho Villa State Park II

We are rousted by the park ranger from our second spot in the park (I had moved the van hoping to utilize a more east-to-west orientation to minimize the amount of sun hitting MissAdventure). He won’t allow us to be at an electrical site even though we are not using any electricity. We move to the perimeter, but it leaves a lot to be desired, although we do have a water spigot at our spot. The way the primitive sites are arranged there is no way to have the van oriented with the sun, east to west, and it’s getting even hotter. Two nights of this and I decide to head back to Deming, check on that stinking generator, then head back to City of Rocks. From here in Columbus that’s about 60 miles so maybe we can have a few degrees shaved off the daily highs of 98+.

DSC_0074Site of the last hostile action sign

DSC_0088the first grease rack

As I am breaking camp I glance over to the site across the road and can’t believe my eyes. There are two owls seeking shade under the canopy covering the picnic table. I inch back around the van and grab my camera. They are still there, and I grab a few shots.

DSC_0095Pair of Great Horned Owls Staying out of the Heat
I think they are young owls trying to get out of the heat of the sun

Out of nowhere the wind does its thing and a sudden grab-your-hat gust of wind blows through and the owls disappear. I continue breaking camp, but I sure don’t remember those owls flying off very far, but they are gone. I wonder if they are in the tree next to the shade cover. I slowly and cautiously meander over toward the tree and discover that yes, they are in the tree. I get two shots, one of each owl, before they are spooked and fly off. Only one shot comes out. DSC_0096 Great Horned Owl
I finish loading up and we head back north to Deming where we will do the weekly thing: Supplies, ice, dog park, gas. I call MotoTech and speak with James. Cassie isn’t in yet, but he will have her call me. I try to call Westinghouse only to get a recording that “I have used up my allotted calls for the month.” WHAT THE HELL??? Excuse my French, but is this for real???
I am so angry at this point I . . . need to calm down. Evidently they have other customers who aren’t too happy with them as I am sure they didn’t install this little feature just for me. And if calling once a week to check on progress is too much, wellll, let me just say that I won’t be buying any more Westinghouse products. Ever. This is just the last straw. I fuss and fume my way through the weekly errands.
Just as we are ready to head north back to City of Rocks, I call Cassie who is the one who tells me that Westinghouse did not get the new generator shipped out last week as planned, that it will be going out today. A few hours later I receive a tracking number from the company. The generator is supposed to arrive this Friday, June 28th. Do I dare hold my breath?

Thanks for coming along on what has been a crazy six weeks. Not exactly what I thought our tour of New Mexico State Parks would be like, but it’s bound to get better. We have seen three very different, very pretty state parks. More than once it turns out, but it is what it is.  See you at City of Rocks AGAIN! Hugs, Shawna

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

Ch, ch, ch, chhick …

At least that’s how I think one would spell the sound of the tiny ratchet wrench the implant doctor uses to set the molly screw-like pins into my lower jaw after drilling two tiny holes.  Once that’s completed Dr. Cochran sets my crowns.  It’s interesting that the zirconium, unlike porcelain crowns, are adjusted by grinding off the top rather than removing the crown and taking off product from the bottom, putting the crown back on and removing again if it isn’t right. This process goes so much faster.  And, according to Dennis (the dentist) I can now chew nails!  ;-).

Richy takes me over to the pharmacy and I get antibiotics, pain killers, some ibuprofen, and a bacteria killing mouth rinse.  All that is left is to return next fall to have the crowns put on the then healed bone. If it weren’t so dang hot here in June they could do it then as the bone will have filled in and anchored the screw within six months, but it is too hot and The Chiweenie Brothers can’t be left in MisAdventure  in June!

Leaving Los Algodones, the boys and I head back north with a friend we met in Q and ran into at the dog park in Yuma.  Ann has two pups and is living in her Rialto.  She’s from Nebraska (and a very interesting person if I can get her to let me post about it!) and never wants to go back.  She wanted to cross the border with us, so now we are headed to Fortuna Pond where she will catch up with us there after she resupplies.

DSC_0039Sunrise Over Fortuna Pond
Sunrise over the pond

Fortuna Pond is on BLM land and is a small fishing pond for locals.  It’s a bit tropical looking with sunny spots on the north side and shady spots on the south side, a few palm trees, and lots of green reeds. Guess which side we choose?  *smile*

As we are walking around the pond and pass a passenger van I hear, “Shawna, is that you?”  What the heck?  A small woman with short black hair and a wiry little tan colored dog  walks around the front of her van, extends her hand, and introduces herself as Sherry.

“Sherry!  I know you! Through the blog!  How nice to meet you in person!” I tell her.  It always astounds me to cross paths with a reader.  It will be fun to get to know her.

DSC_0054Blue Heron at Fortuna Pond
Heron with sun gilding the tops of the reeds. Love this shot, but wish the blue heron had been clearer
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Osprey searching for a meal

Love this camping spot!  I will be back before this winter is over.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna

 

Boiler Bay. Depoe Bay. Rocky Creek Viewpoint

August 4, 2018 . We leave Lincoln City behind and continue south. Destination: Boiler Bay.  It’s a beautiful day with a bit of a breeze and the sun playing hide and seek. I thoroughly enjoy the ride even though traffic is heavy; It’s summer and this is Highway 101 …

We pull into the wayside at Boiler Bay and Sandy is right behind us.  I snap the leashes onto the boys’ harnesses and saunter over to the fence at the edge of the parking lot gazing out over the bay, eyes casting about for whales. Nothing.

Sandy shows me the inside of her new Mercedes cargo van. She shares that she came over from an appointment in Portland where she had the inside outfitted to truly make it a home on wheels.  It’s beautiful!!!

We go back to the overlook and chat as we keep an eye on the water so we don’t miss a whale sighting.  Sandy got her master’s degree in age and aging at the age of 60! She is retired now, but likes to keep busy volunteering to help in disaster type situations around the country.  She’s originally from  the east coast, but currently from Austin, Texas where she took care of her mother until her passing.

Someone shouts that they  have spotted a whale, and sure enough a young gray is seen in the water.

After seeing this young whale surface again and again over the course of about a half hour, Sandy leaves for her camp at KOA in preparation for her trip to Lake Tahoe in the morning. I drive back north to Lincoln City for another night at the Chinook Winds Casino.

The next morning the boys and I take in Depoe Bay on our way to Newport.

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This young lady is tracking radio-tagged marbled murrelets for the University of Oregon.

DSC_0047Young Lady working for University of Oregon Tracking Marbled Murrlets  A plaque here on the rock wall honors two men who lost their lives trying to save others.

As our coastal meander continues we take a side road to Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint.  I love this rock house perched on the cliff overlooking the ocean,  and the old bridge over the Creek.

Our day continues . . .

 

Indian Bread Rocks

October 27th, 2017. Deciding to move on we leave Lordsburg, NM and cross into Arizona.  A search on freecampsites.net showed a BLM  recreation site near Bowie and that’s where I point Freedom’s nose; westward on I-10.  

Exiting the freeway  at Bowie we pass through the north side of town and travel through pistachio orchards heading toward the Ft. Bowie Historical Site.

Following the directions given on Freecampsites.net we take a right onto Happy Camp Road.  It’s dirt and a bit rough, washboard style. I drive slow. A small motor home passes us heading in the opposite direction and they wave and smile so I know if they can make it so can we, and we travel on. Seems like a long ways out but in reality it’s only a couple of miles.

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There is no one at the picnic area and no signs saying no camping so, liking the idea of a table and shade (only shade around!!) I set up camp: Swing away hitch tray moved to the side, solar panel taken out of the back of the van and plugged in, reflectix window covers set up as it looks like the afternoon sun will shine directly onto us despite the large shade tree.

No sooner am I set up and ready to do a walkabout with the boys than a couple from North Carolina pulling a small camp trailer come up asking if we are staying for the day or …. They want my campsite! When I tell them we are staying the man looks a teeny bit put out, but the woman is chatty and we introduce ourselves, discovering they, like me and the boys, are full-timing.  Full-timing meaning we live and travel full-time.

We chat a bit more, learning they are heading to Q for the winter also. They decide to set up camp a little farther north.

                                             The area has some terrific topography.

As interesting as the area is, being hot and tired and sick of stewing in my own sweat for days on end I consider moving on tomorrow, but the night cools down into the 40s and I sleep like a log. I can deal with the day’s heat if it cools down at night, so we will stay until we are forced to leave when our water runs out. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017. The morning is crisp and cool and after the boys are fed and do their potty thing, they want back inside to snuggle under the covers.  Too cold for The Chiweenie Brothers! These boys like heat! Charlie sticks his head out every once in a while to check the temperature,DSC_0053   but Fries is just a lump under the covers. He DOES NOT like to be cold–ever!  When I pull back the covers this is the look I get! DSC_0056

Today I will research where to go next,. I am thinking north instead of west since higher altitude sounds better than still-hot summer on the route I originally planned. I don’t want to arrive in Quartzsite (Q for short) before the lovely winter temps settle in.

I am having a hard time adjusting to the “I-don’t-have-to-be-anywhere-at-a-certain-time” routine now that I am officially retired, but I’ll get there!  Learning to slow down has been hard.

The soft light of early morning gives a warm glow to the rocks surrounding the area.

As I sit writing this, Burger, sleeping in the front and The Chiweenie Brothers snug under the covers, these little guys visit camp.

October 30, 2017. A planned hike into the Ft Bowie Historical Site is nixed as it’s farther than I thought and I don’t think Burger could make the three mile round trip. Off we go to the next camp, and on the way out the boys spy these guys along the road.  Biggest dogs they’ve ever seen!  LOL!

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES
Water: No                                      Garbage: Yes, there’s a can in the picnic area
Bathrooms: Yes,  vault toilet      Electricity: No
Tables: In picnic area only         Shower:  No
Fire Pit:  Rock rings                     BBQ: In picnic area
# of Sites:  At least 6 close to picnic area, others farther away       Fee:  None
Other:  Small trailers easily fit, larger ones may be hard to turn around. Watch for big holes and dips in some of the camping spots. The road in is very dusty.