Catching Up

Hello Friends! With the COVID-19 lurking around and people being asked to self isolate I thought this would be a good time to get  caught up on 2DogsTravel.
Since finding this bugger Snake in my little home this past fall and having it removed by a couple of our wonderful fire department personnel (THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!) things pretty much went down hill.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were uneventfull except for the morning lows in the mid-20s for a week between Christmas and New Years. Another reason to be thankful that I have a warm(er) place to hunker down in the Arizona Winter.
Welcoming in 2020 we were delighted with this fabulous sunset

                                                       Gotta love Arizona sunsets.
Late January brought news that my SIL, Karen, had been hospitalized diagnosed with myeloma. That on top of diabetes and Parkinson’s. To her credit she had agreed to the bone marrow testing; she is not one who can handle much pain so this really surprised me. She had lived with her sister in Oregon for the past two years since my brother passed, and Sharon was her primary care giver. I  will be eternally grateful for this.

To make a long agonizing story shorter, she was finally sent home. Weak, discouraged, and with the knowledge that she would be taking chemo for the rest of whatever her life span would be, Karen decided that the treatments, constant doctor’s appointments, and continual tests were too much. She decided to let nature take its course and requested that all her meds to be withheld including her diabetes medications.  That, of course, put her into a diabetic coma and in less than two days she was released from her torment and went home to be with her Lord.
Ten days later I got a call from my niece that it was time to come say goodbye to my sister. Edie had been in rehab, again, to try and get her up and walking after yet another hospitalization in December. She came down with pneumonia on top of her CHF, years with COPD, and several bouts with sepsis. She continued to decline in hospital and come to the point of not being able to swallow amongst other various ailments. The doctors said she would never make it out of hospital and she didn’t.
I made the fastest trip ever to California (Hey, I could still be a truck driver if I wanted to . . . at least for a couple of days!).

One of us was with her 24/7 until she took her last breath at 9:30 a.m. February 27th. I stayed for a couple more days to help as I could and to visit with my sons before making a mad dash for Arizona before an incoming storm arrived.

The Chiweenie Brothers and I didn’t quite make it ahead of the storm and it was a snowy drive higher up on Hwy 44 near Lassen Park, but we came out the other side just fine and didn’t hit snow again until near Mammoth Lakes on Hwy 395 where the worst of this section of the highway was starting, but it wasn’t too bad.

Some shots taken with my phone on the trip back.
Mono Lake March 2020     MONO LAKE
The halfway point in our trip is right about Lone Pine, CA Where we spent a very brutal, cold night in the Alabama Hills. The wind coming off Mt. Whitney and surrounding Sierra Nevada made it feel like my hands were going to fall off and permanent grimace left on my face when we got parked for the night and The Boys needed their evening potty walk. I was so glad to have dug through a couple of my storage bins while in Redding and had brought my sleeping bag back with me.

A cold-but-windless morning presented a beautiful dawn creeping over the horizon.

Alabama Hills March 2020 Dawn is Breaking

Sunrise Alabama Hills March 2020
And this interesting little dinosaur, eh?
Alabama Hills Dinosaur Graffiti
A stop at McD’s for coffee and The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for the barn. I was  feeling a bit off, but was determined to get back to our little desert hideaway.

Back in Arizona The Boys relax after racing around their tiny back yard trying to get some of that pent up energy burned off. DSC_0024

I am totally exhausted and don’t even bother with unpacking the car.

Thank you for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

Balancing Rocks and a Big Bird

Once past the Navajo Bridge and the official part of the Vermillion Cliffs, we find the Balancing Rocks.

The one on the far left looks like a hippopotamus to me.  🙂

This was a fun and interesting little break in our day’s drive, but there’s more to come and we head onward.

We drive on with the intention of making it to Stateline Campground for a couple night’s stay, but it’s been a very long day. About 150 miles, but lots of in and out of the van grabbing photos and fighting the wind to get back into the van. I need to stop and The Chiweenie Brothers need another walk.
Up ahead I see what looks like a promising stopping point only to find out it is House Rock Wilderness Area and it’s 25 miles of rough dirt road to get back to this remote area where buffalo roam and CONDORS were introduced in 1998. Tempting, but 25 miles of rough dirt road is just not appealing this late in the day. I just don’t have it in me. Wait …

I look at the photo of a condor on the wall of the information kiosk. It can’t be. I pull out my bird identification book. White stripe on the wings. Bald yellowish head with a sturdy beak. Oh my gosh! I think it was a condor I saw gliding above the Colorado River back at Navajo Bridge!!!! This is beyond exciting and wish I had gotten a photo of that bird dang it! I am so tempted to take this 25 mile drive, but with high winds and possible rain I don’t feel that my chances of spotting a condor are very good, and 25 miles of dirt road … I pull back out onto Highway 89A.

And where do we end up? A gravel area alongside Highway 89A. We are the only ones here, and we park for the night. It ends up being really nice and quiet as once night settled in traffic became nil.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs.

 

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.