Covid-19 and Home Sweet Home

May 2020 for the months of February to May. I am pretty sure somewhere along the line during the trip from AZ to CA and back to say goodbye to my sister I contracted Covid-19. I gassed up 10 different times and there were a lot of people, mostly from out-of-state by the amount of traffic heading south at the end of the day, in the Mammoth Lakes area for the skiing and getting fuel for the return trip.  Or …

Perhaps my sister had it. When I received a copy of her death certificate she had listed what was not a surprise, COPD for “years”. The other three: Acute chronic respiratory failure, bilateral pulmonary emboli (blood clots in her lungs), and unspecified pneumonia, all listed as “days”.  Hmmm.  Just a thought that crossed my mind.  I was at her side holding her hand, stroking her cheek or forehead, leaning over to talk to her for the majority of the ten days I was there.   Anyway, I was sick for three weeks and it seemed like a hybrid of a cold and the flu. Grateful I had gotten back home before it really hit me.

Plans to use up the last months of my New Mexico State Parks pass didn’t come to fruition because of Covid-19 and The Chiweenie Brothers and I settled in on our little piece of Arizona. Once feeling better I got busy with installing snake fencing along the chain link fence on the north side.  Shade cloth was put up along the east side of our cool cover, a cement block wall was put up between the casita and the laundry shed. It works as a chiweenie barrier to keep them in the back and unable to see anyone who happens to pass by, AND it’s snake proof. I planted some rescued cacti out in the front, and  I also had to dig up most of the succulents I planted in the back last fall as the 112 degree heat (triple digits for two weeks beginning in late APRIL!!) was frying them.  Thankfully the evaporative cooler works really well; as long as it’s below about 105 degrees.  Then it is just okay, but certainly better than not having one!

Being an introvert and a homebody the stay-at-home order from Governor Ducey didn’t bother me a bit until I couldn’t get outside. Then I did get a little stir crazy.   For a while it was even too hot/windy in the early mornings to even enjoy my coffee under the patio umbrella. Like the crazy weather a lot of you are having, it has been bouncing back and forth.  Last week we got back down into the 90s, then two days of 80s, and now the temps will begin marching toward triple digits again.

Nothing prettier than cactus flowers

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel.  We’re mostly staying put for the summer so I can keep the new transplants watered, but hopefully we can take a couple of short trips. I will definitely be researching places to go for next year, and I may publish a few destinations we are thinking about. Next month I  have an interesting person post to share. Hugs, Shawna

Lots of books were read over the months of winter and during the stay-at-home order.

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey. Fictional novel inspired by a true event. ****

In an Instatnt by Suzanne Redfearn. ***** five stars.  Written from an interesting perspective, this book tells the story of a horrific accident and its aftermath; how each person’s character is revealed as they make life altering decisions during their struggle for survival.

Thief River Falls by Brian Freeman.  I thought this book was just okay (THIS wouldn’t happen! I kept saying to myself.  How stupid) because of an implausible story line until there very end when the story line is explained.  *****

The Other Wife. Another ***** five star read. Well written with lots of surprises.

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards. **** Well written thriller that bounces back and forth between 1999 and 2015 with, of course, a surprise ending.  Only four star simply because, I think, it wasn’t quite as good as the others I have read so far this year.

The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent, ****. Full of surprises and a happy ending.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, A MUST READ!). A who-done-it murder mystery about a dysfunctional family with a surprise ending.  Four stars.

Rain Will Come by Thomas Holgate, ****.  Fast-paced thriller abiut a serial killer, but with a twist. Not for the squeamish although it isn’t TOO bad.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rowls.  Re-read this classic which I both love and hate.

Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich.  Another light-hearted Stephanie Plum read.  Grandma Mazur marries into the mob!

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal, ****. Nice coming-of-age story. A nice, but hard to believe, love story. A nice read about forgiveness.

And last-but-not-least Girl Next Door by Willow Rose.  *** three stars.  I found this one just okay.  When the author named a male cat Misty I was instantly put off. The story line about a serial killer and woman who leaves an abusive relationship ending up in the same town with her high school sweetheart who is a detective that speaks like a woman would speak put me off.  Then the cat is miraculously described as a female cat toward the end.  Who edited this???

It’s Coming to an End

September 5, 2019
Leaving Winslow after our short visit to Standing on the Corner Park, we make a dash for Flagstaff, the air becoming noticeably cooler the closer we get. Taking the exit for Walnut Canyon I look for the same camp we stayed in year before last. There is no one parked there! Yeah! Shade, privacy, and memories—the little juniper tree I backed into then, tearing out the van’s right tail light, is still there, limb hanging down. Dead but still attached to the little tree.
I make camp, feed The Boys, fix dinner, then lie down to read for a little while. I had intended on staying a couple of days, but I am restless. After reading a chapter in my book I get up. I take down the tarp and put away the camp chair. The need, for some reason, to get “home” is pulling at me, so with nothing but a quick morning walk for The Chiweenie Brothers we will be ready to pull out first thing in the morning.
A thunder storm rolls through—nothing like Coyote Creek State Park in NM!!—and we get a bit of rain. It’s much cooler up here at the higher elevation and sleep will be good.
Upon awakening in the morning I haven’t changed my mind, and we drive into Flagstaff where I get supplies at Wally. One more stop, at the Cricket phone store, and we are soon on our way to Williams where we head south, ending up in Prescott.
I drive through town and on the way out locate the White Spar Campground where we spend the night. We were here, too, year before last. I got lost hiking. Haven’t told that story yet. Perhaps before winter is over.
On the morning of the 7th we head out at the crack of dawn. It’s only 120 miles to Quartzsite (Q Town). We wind our way, slowly, down the 15 mile long grade that twists and turns down the narrow mountain road, finally arriving at Yarnell, then on to Congress. Once out onto Hwy 60 we turn right and drive the last leg of our journey. Our adventure is over for this year.
We are back in Q by noon, and the first thing is to get the cooler going. It’s still triple digits here, and our little place is HOT. The floor is hot. The walls are hot. It’s stifling and the sweat runs in rivulets off my brow.

It takes two days, the swamp cooler running around the clock, to get our tiny one room/one bathroom casita cooled off, but we’re “home”. I begin making a list of the many things that I intend to get done this fall and winter. Lots of things to do to make our winter retreat the haven I want it to be.
Here is where I will take my annual hiatus for the holidays. Not sure exactly when in January I will be writing again. It may be February. It may be spring. We may or may not take off in January for a getaway trip while our little town of 3000 is overrun by snowbirds to the tune of 90,000 plus. Or we may stay put and hunker down until the New Year is a little older. Playing it by ear.
Thank you for riding along with us on our New Mexico adventure. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Voyager (3rd book in the Outlander series) by Diane Galbadon. Checked out from the library for the third time — too much to do for reading!!
The desert tells a different story every time one ventures into it — Robert Edison Fulton
PS Any suggestions for where to go next summer? Someplace you’ve been that’s awesome? Some place you’ve always wanted to see? Would love your suggestions.

Roseburg, Oregon Continued. . .

Sunday was a rainy day and the boys and I stayed snuggled in the van for a good portion of the morning. Coffee, snuggly pups, and a good book!  After a leisurely breakfast,  Frannie and I spent most of the rest of that lazy Sunday chatting the day away, taking the restless dogs for many, many walks, and watching a movie.  It’s a good friend who will take one of your dogs on so many walks and subject herself to all his idiosyncrasies and penchant for pulling like he thinks you could never possibly walk fast enough.  Thanks Frannie!  Burger loves you and I am endlessly grateful.

Monday was fairly nice and we drove up the Umpqua River, again on Hwy 138 (Diamond Lake Hwy), but heading east this time.  We stopped at one section where Francesca has done some SCUBA diving and found this memorial.  Something terrible happened here.  It was obvious this man was well-loved and will be missed.

                                          The river is so low!

We motored on and took a hike up to Fall Creek Falls.  Oh. My. Gosh.  GORGEOUS hike on an easy trail (except for the dogs pulling like sled dogs 🙂 .  It was cool, damp, and everything was green. I could just picture the wood fairies scampering among the ferns.  The falls was beautiful too, but with much less water than normal, so it’s potential for spectacular will increase with an end to the drought.  A lot of the boulder strewn creek bed (BIG BOULDERS) was dry in places, but it was obvious that in a normal year there is a lot of water fighting for space there.

This photo below had us thinking about the Cascadian Fault (read about it HERE) and the fact it’s 50 years past it’s “due date” for a major earthquake.  If you read up on that, the potential for a catastrophic event that would devastate everything west of I-5 along Washington, Oregon, and part of California could happen at any time. 

Yes, the trail goes through these rocks.
 
 

Imagine the falls with maximum water plunging over the edge. 
 

On the ride back toward Roseburg, we made a quick stop at Colliding Rivers, where a river on the left, Little River, “collides” with the River on the right, the North Umpqua.  These photos do not do this place justice.   In the flood of 1964 the water here was FIVE FEET ABOVE the railing from which I took these photos.  It’s quite a ways down to the water…….. mind blowing.

 

It was a wonderful visit with a wonderful friend–and long overdue–and I truly hated to face having to come home.  I keep chanting to myself ‘one more year, one more year’ until the day the boys and I can take off on our traveling adventure full time.  I don’t like to wish the time away but………..

I mentioned at the beginning of this post about kicking back and doing some reading on Sunday morning.  Finishing the last book in Jane Kirkpatrick’s Kinship and Courage series leaves me with the question of what to do with these three books.  Yes, I could give them to the local library as I have done with many of my books, but I thought it might be nice to give them to one of you.  If you want these books please comment that you would like them and the first one to respond will get them.  We’ll work out the details of getting them to you later and keep your information private.  Here’s a synopsis of the books:

Published in early 2000, these books are historical fiction based on the true story of 12 pioneer women who lost their husbands to cholera and faced the 1800’s frontier on their own.  Their journey takes them from a wagon train heading west to California where some settle and some move on.  I particularly loved these books as the second and third in the series takes place in my own county, Shasta, and gives a good portrait of life in the mid 1850s town of what is now Old Shasta.  The third book takes place in both Old Shasta, south to Sacramento, and north to Jacksonville, Oregon.  Jane Kirkpatrick is an extremely talented writer. 

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.  Until next time, Shawna