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 

On the Road Again

With a hitch in my heart The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for AZ. It’s been wonderful seeing family and friends. Hard to leave even though in reality I’ve seen more of them this past month than I ever did during any given year living in Burney.

Susanville offered some challenges, and for a brief moment I regretted changing the van’s name from Freedom to MisAdventure. That dang Murphy!! Fries needed to see a vet for an allergic reaction and I locked the keys in the van which cost $100 to get retrieved. Ice is $3.79.  That being said, I have to say Susanville has some of the nicest most concerned and helpful people I have ever run into.

Topaz Lake on Hwy 395 gave us some nice fall color.

DSC_0111Topaz Lake Hwy 395DSC_0110Topaz Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love the old court house in Bridgeport.

DSC_0113Court House in Bridgeport CA

Here’s our view from Lone Pine Campground, the Alabama Hills , west of Lone Pine on Hwy 395   DSC_0146Lone Pine Campground at Whitney Portal Rd
We take our time, enjoying the lovely weather and the sights going over Hwy 395 that are very different than the last time we drove this highway in spring of 2016. Then there was still snow on the ground. What IS the same, though, it’s cold up on top at 8000 feet!

If you plan on heading over 395 gas up anywhere but Lee Vining ….

Lee Vining CA fuel prices

Thanks for stopping by!  We are going to do more traveling per day than normal and get to AZ quicker.  There’s only one planned stop and that’s for us to see the old ghost town of Bodie.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna

 

 

 

Waldport, Gov. Patterson State Park and Cooks Chasm

Waldport, Oregon—about the halfway point along Hwy 101 in Oregon. The intention for a couple day’s stay turns into almost two weeks.  The boys and I get in a lot of beach time.  We find one beach, Neptune, that if we go early enough we are the only ones there and the rocky cliffs on both sides are steep enough and reach out toward the sea far enough to keep two wild wiener dogs contained.  I let them off leash to run their little hearts out.

DSC_0043 (1)Fries, Bridge, Beach

August 11th. The sky lowers and a light but steady rain falls.  The boys, ever adaptable to what is placed before us, are content to curl up and nap.  I read and nap.

By early afternoon the sun makes an appearance and we have a glorious rest of the day in which to enjoy this beautiful area.  I find a patch of blackberries and pick a few for my breakfast cereal tomorrow morning.  Charlie picks salal berries, but none make it into the berry container!

DSC_0015 (2)Blackberries picked at Neptune

DSC_0010 (2)  DSC_0014 (1)Charlie Picking Berries

We spend our nights bouncing back and forth between Governor Patterson State Park near Yachats (pronounced yaw hots), Cooks Chasm, and a parking area beside Highway 34 in Waldport. Our days are spent on our favorite beach at Neptune State Park, and other beaches farther south.

DSC_0004 (1)Neptune Beach
The Left Side of Neptune Beach

Our nights at Cooks Chasm are a mix of soothing and intense sounds.  The surf pounds the lava rock and sounds like booming thunder as the sea works its way between narrow channels, lava rock overhangs, and shallow caves.  It pushes its way up into a hole in the rock to shoot spray up in the air as the force of the water pushes toward the rocky shore; The Spout. As the tide drags the sea back I am soothed and lulled into a sense of peace until the thundering crashes begin again.DSC_0053

COOKS CHASM BLOW HOLE

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Thors Well is a bit farther out at Cooks Chasm, and the sea boils into it from below— up, and over the rim of the large round hole in the lava then gets pulled back out as the tide makes its backward pull.  The well becomes devoid of water, and the fascinating scene repeats over and over in the ancient rhythm of the sea.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna and the Boys

CURRENT READ: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

 

 

Congress AZ, Post Three

Mid-week the weather turns a bit chilly; nights down into the 40s and the days barely entering the low 60s. Sixties aren’t bad, but the wind makes it feel much colder and after a decent walk the boys want back inside the van. Fries is still chilly so I close up Freedom  and let the sun warm her.
After a very brief nap The Chiweenie Brothers decide it’s time to fight. Not literally, just the play fighting the dogs like to participate in with each other…. but it sure looks and sounds fierce. They take over the platform area where the passenger seat was removed to install drawers and a nice plywood top for the boys to call their own space. Round one begins!

If you can’t get ’em down one way, concentrate on one area.  Fries goes for Charlie’s ear!


We’re coming to the end of our almost two weeks here. I peruse the map to plot our course to a higher elevation as it’s supposed to be in the 80s here soon. That temp deems it necessary for me to find cooler weather.
Our next camp tentatively decided on, we do a walkabout that takes us to the old pioneer cemetery (we’re camped at the newer cemetery) that is located here in the dispersed area of the old, long gone town of Congress. It’s the one spot we haven’t been to.


If you would like to know about this tiny town and the old mining town of Congress click HERE.

March’s Blue Moon rising above the Weaver Mountains and our camp.

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Goodbye Congress. We will be back if we pass this way again in the future.

Hugs, Shawna

This is a BOONDOCKING site. No ammenties

 

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.

 

White Sands, NM

October 22, 2017. We leave Roswell taking Hwy 70 south with the intention of making a stopover in Hondo. It didn’t happen as I couldn’t find the little park mentioned in freecamping.net. Being fresh from our three day stay in Roswell/Bottomless Lakes it’s no problem to keep heading west.

We begin to climb and drive through part of the Lincoln National Forest and the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation.  It’s a beautiful day and a beautiful drive.

Little do I know we will end up in Las Cruces, 150 miles from Roswell as we can’t find Lake Holloman either, the next camp I am looking.  When the clerk at Dollar General looked at me with that blank stare that signals, loud and clear, “I have no idea what you’re talking about lady,” we press on.

White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert is on our itinerary and it doesn’t disappoint. The dunes are made up of gypsum left when the ancient Permian Sea retreated. Mountains rose and carried the gypsum high, and later water from melting glaciers dissolved the mineral and returned it to the basin. Rain and snow continue this process.

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The wind and sun separate the water from the gypsum and form selenite crystals. Wind and water break down the crystals making them smaller and smaller until they become sand. The ever present strong southwest winds keep the gypsum sand moving, piling it up and pushing dunes into various sizes and shapes.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

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Fries gives the Chiweenie Stamp of Approval for this stop on the road to Q!

 

The Chiweenie Brothers and a Tip

Before I get into today’s quick tip, I simply must share these photos of The Chiweenie Brothers.  As we transition from summer into autumn the cooler mornings have my crew scrambling to find some warm sunshine.  As the sunny patch in the living room slowly disappeared, I let them out front and they quickly jumped into the wicker chair I have on the front stoop and cozied up for a sun bath.  Burger, ever faithful and wanting as much attention as possible, stayed inside with me.  Sweet Burger is beginning to slow down like all the rest of us seniors.  Hard to see this happening to him, but it’s the way with dogs.

I love my dogs, and I love this quote from Roger Carras — “Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole”.  Indeed they do.  Oh yes— indeed they do.

OK, better get to today’s frugal tip and leave all this cuteness.

Having dogs means loving them, feeding them, exercising them, and putting up with a few little unpleasantries.  One of these unpleasantries is the sometimes noticable “doggie smell” that can get into the carpets.   I refuse to shampoo my carpets every month– I do it about every quarter– and in between shampoos just a little something may be needed, and something a little more than just covering up the scent with room sprays.  A much-cheaper-than-store-bought carpet deodorizer to the rescue.  Sprinkle liberally, let it sit for an hour or so (I like to let it sit overnight.  Not that it works any better, it’s just that it makes me feel like it’s doing a better job), then vacuum it up.  Easy peasy,  Lemon squeezy.  🙂

CARPET DEODORIZER
Mix together:
1/2 Cup baking soda
1/2 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
20-25 drops of essential oil of your choice OR 1 teaspoon ground spices (clove or cinnamon is great)
If you have an old store bought carpet deodorizer box you can cut off the top of the box, dump in your measured ingredients, tape the top back onto the box with duct tape or similiar, shake well and use.  Or if you want to get all fancy-smancy you can purchase one of those glass shaker bottles from your grocery, Walmart, or such, and put your stuff in that.  Or you could use an old jar with a lid and poke holes in said lid for a nice cheap dispenser; being careful not to hurt yourself when getting those holes installed.  Lots of choices for dispensing — let me know if you decide to try this and what you use to dispense.
I am going to treat my carpets tonight with the last of my “summer blend” (lemon scented) and then make up a batch of cinnamon and be ready for fall.  It’s just around the corner.
Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs today!  Have a great week!  Hugs, Shawna