City of Rocks II

Just on the other side of these rocks we discover not one, but two Arizona white oak trees that offer some wonderful shade. We do get late afternoon sun, but it is not nearly as bad as yesterday’s camp.

It’s several degrees cooler here at City of Rocks than it is at Rock Hound. Between the lower temps, some shade, keeping the windshield covered, and side and back doors open we get the benefit of every little breeze. If the breeze dies down—and that’s not often—there is more than enough sunshine to keep the solar panel working at storing energy in the house battery to keep electronics charged and our 12 volt fan running. It’s lovely!
The Chiweenie Brothers and I take a walk every morning before the sun comes up then it’s back to MissAdventure for breakfast and coffee taken in the open air of our beautiful camp.

We will be staying her for two weeks or until the generator is fixed, whichever comes first. In any case there’s a lot of exploring to do here.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

What’s in the night sky? June’s planets: JUPITER—at opposition—will be bright in the sky from dusk to dawn. SATURN can be seen from mid-evening until dawn, and VENUS appears for a bit in the dawn. Around mid-month MERCURY and MARS will give us the closest conjunction of two planets during the year.

 

City of Rocks State Park

Saturday, June 1, 2019 The Chiweenie Brothers and I leave Rock Hound State Park for City of Rocks State Park about 30 miles north near Faywood, New Mexico. It’s a strangely beautiful park sitting out in the middle of the desert, huge rocks two plus stories high looking like they were just deposited there by some giant playing some form of stack-the-rocks game. As the brochure says, it’s a geological wonder! And because it is far from any town or village, the night sky is spectacular.

DSC_0006 The view from the highway coming into the park.  It’s a b bit deceiving.
The visitor center offers this beautiful vista, beautiful cactus with a far-reaching vista behind. DSC_0008This geological wonder was born from a volcanic eruption that was 1000 times stronger than the eruption at Mt. St. Helens. Wind, rain, and probably dust storms has formed these rocks into the shapes we see today

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Our first night is spent in front of these monsters, and on more than one occasion my mind wanders to what if … what if there’s an earthquake? What if there’s a lightning strike? Does lightning strike rock? On and on.

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Come morning we were still around, but decided to search for shade. This is a beautiful spot until early afternoon, then the sun shines down unmercifully.

This nest is built in a bowl worn into the rock face. DSC_0009

Our view to the south of camp #1 DSC_0012

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs

Breaking Camp

On Monday, Memorial Day, May 27th, I secure camp chairs and remove the windshield cover that stayed on the windshield all night. That’s a win! I gather water jugs and shower items and we motor down to the center of the park where I fill our containers with potable water and then leave the boys in the van while I shower. The shower rooms are immaculate in this park. Immaculate.

We get in our walk and then back in camp I putter around, do some cleaning, and check maps for our next destination.

The sun begins her afternoon warmup, and The Chiweenie Brothers wait patiently

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as I begin breaking camp in anticipation of heading north tomorrow morning: Solar panel unplugged and put in its spot in the back between the bed and the back doors. Chairs stored in its spot between the boys’ front platform and the passenger door, table cloth (a twin fitted sheet) pulled off and put away, and lastly dog stakes and tie outs brought inside along with two little dogs getting excited. They know what this means; new places to explore!!

The windshield cover stays on until morning, but for all intents and purposes we will be ready to head into town at first light. Itinerary: Walmart, Dog Park, Library, then stop by and hopefully pick up a now-running generator, and then we’re off to our next park.

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs from the 2Dogs Crew and me.

CURRENT READ: True Places by Sonja Yoerg. The basis for this book, a girl who has been living in the woods alone is rescued by a woman from the city just seems pretty implausible, but this author is a good writer. It might surprise me as I get farther into it.

Dust Storm!

As ol’ Murphy can’t help himself and must pay a visit, I find my generator will not start after it runs out of gas while cooking my dinner on Thursday night. I filled it with fuel and pulled the cord to get it started, but it wouldn’t budge, not even a bit. Frustrated, I take the side cover off. Peering into the inside of the machine it is apparent this is something I won’t be able to handle.
Off we go early Friday to find a mechanic, and Deming being the friendly, helpful town that it is we are soon given the address of a local moto cross fella that works on small engines. He pokes around and satisfies himself that it isn’t the sparkplug or something else easily replaced and tells me he will give me a call Tuesday morning. Oh yeah, of course this is a holiday weekend, and I can see Murphy smirking.

The Chiweenie Brothers and I take lots of walks, Charlie looking for lizards, me looking for rattlers, Fries just happy to be out and about. We actually do find a rattlesnake crossing the road just past the visitor’s center on this morning’s walk after our trip to town, and we take a wide berth.
Once back at the van and settled in to do some reading to get out of the wind that is beginning to blow, Charlie spots this cute guy

DSC_0014 Desert Horned Lizard.

And later this fella capturing his evening meal.

Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail

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Sunday we just get our walk in and are back at the van when the wind kicks up as it seems to do every day about mid-morning. Really kicks up. It is soon blowing so hard the side doors will not stay open and the windshield cover keeps coming loose and flipping up over the roof. In the distance the dust is beginning to whirl and it isn’t long before the Little Florida Mountains are obscured by the swirling dirt.

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I scurry around closing windows, the back doors, and get the Chiweenie Brothers out for a quick potty break then it’s back inside and the side doors are closed. As morning fades and early afternoon shows up the temperature begins to rise. It gets to the upper 80s and it becomes very uncomfortable in the van with windows and doors closed. Totally tolerable when one can open the doors and windows; almost unbearable with it is closed up. The hours drag. Every half hour or so I crack open the side door for a bit to get a bit of fresh air inside. I can feel the grit in the air.
By early evening the dust settles and the winds quiet a bit, but still makes its presence known and probably will through the night. We can now leave windows and the side door open. The cooler evening air is heavenly.
Thanks for coming along! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This book sometimes reads like a teen’s novel, but it isn’t a bad book.

Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves. —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Highway 60 to Highway 70

Early morning, May 21st, we head east under partly cloudy skies. The clouds are breaking up after the light rain last night. It is cool and a glorious morning. We head toward Safford AZ, catching Hwy 70, dubbed “The Old West Highway”, toward Lordsburg NM. The drive is pretty and we pass through the Gila Valley, farming country with what must be cotton as I see a ginning plant near the newly planted fields

Some interesting mountains catch my eye

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Hooking up the iPod after a potty stop for the boys, oldies take me back to my younger days. A meme from Face Book comes to mind that features Forrest Gump saying “And just like that 1969 was fifty years ago.” Where did the time go? Memories, both good and not so good come flooding back and I catch myself getting a bit maudlin. Time to switch to some classical stuff.

We decide to stay in Lordsburg NM which ends up being a good choice as a ferocious wind arrives soon after we light in the Veteran’s Park, rocking the van and pummeling the trees. After sunset the wind suddenly disappears and we have a peaceful, quiet night; cool, perfect sleeping weather.

There isn’t another soul staying here, and it is a shame that it is so underused. It has covered picnic tables, BBQs, water spigots scattered here and there, and garbage bins. You must be self-contained as there are no toilets facilities, but there is no charge to stay here. The sites are a decent distance apart, and although close to a highway there is little traffic.

We stay two nights and then head east on I-10 toward the beginning of our summer adventure.  .Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

BOYCE THOMPSON STATE ARBOREUM

Sunday, May 19, 2001 we point MissAdventure’s nose north. At 3000 feet it is cool and overcast; a perfect morning to take in the Boyce Thompson State Arboretum off Hwy 60 in Superior AZ. The palo verde trees are at their peak of bloom here and it’s a gorgeous drive.

They allow dogs to go along on the walk, and the boys are beyond excited to tag along.  I attach their leads and Fries grabs the leash dashing ahead trying to pull me along.

I pay the $12.50 entrance fee and we begin the mile and half loop, with many side trails to explore, that meanders through the canyon showing off its collection of desert plants and trees. It is spectacular!

A nice surprise as we come down off the trail and back to the beginning, a docent suggests the demonstration garden near the parking lot and exit.  A rose garden!!Delightful!

Continuing on we stop at Oak Flat Camp Ground nestled off Hwy 60 in the Tonto National Forest to camp for a couple of days. It is cool here with shade. Not much has changed since we were here two years ago.

Monday is cool, but windy, and we get some rain during the night. Enough moisture to dampen the ground, but being parked under the trees MissAdventure comes out of it looking like a spotted green thing of unknown origin.

This is a free Forest Service campground with tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

FINALLY! We’re off!

FINALLY! We’re off!

It feels good to be back on the road. It was quite a feat to get to this point—delays in getting delivery on my car, delays getting a package I ordered—but finally we are on our way.
May 18, 2019 we are up at first light getting the final items on the To-Do List marked off, and we head east to Buckeye, AZ where The Chiweenie Brothers get in a couple of hours of dog park time.
It’s a lovely, well-kept park with shady sitting areas, a side for the big dogs, and a side for little whippersnappers like Charlie and Fries. They spend a couple of hours running, sniffing, and, of course, marking everything.

With the intention of staying around the area for the night I look at the time and Lordy, it is only 11:30! What say, Boys, shall we travel on? They agree, and are ready to roll.
From Buckeye we turn south and drop down to Gila Bend where we eat our lunch at the 9/11 Memorial Park, a tiny park with a couple of concrete picnic tables, lots of lush green grass, some shade to park in, and not a single soul here.
It’s heartbreaking to relive, in my mind, that horrible day in 2001 when the world as we knew it disappeared. I will never forget where I was that day. Had stopped in Merced, CA to fuel up the truck and walking into the TA Travel Center noticed everyone in the store huddled around the television area, not a sound coming from anyone. Images of the Twin Towers in New York City on fire kept everyone’s attention . . .
Years later, Gila Bend was one of the towns that applied for and received a piece of the demolished Twin Towers and a volunteer went to NYC to haul the piece back to this town in Arizona and this little park was built around it. Solemnly we I gaze upon this piece of our history.

DSC_0017Piece of Twin Towers and Van

I decide I want to drive some more, and we head east again, to Coolidge, AZ where I buy supplies and here is where we stay the night.
Thanks for coming along on this summer’s adventure. Nope, not telling where that will be yet, but soon!
Hugs, Shawna