It is early morning, and a gorgeous spring day in the Sonoran Desert. The weather is warming up, and the time is right for another trip out along the Bouse Cutoff road to hunt for blooming cacti. I repeat, surely they must be in bloom by now. Nope, the cholla show new growth, but no blooms. Hmmm. Going to have to read up on this prickly situation.
I walk around and enjoy the cool morning air keeping an out for snakes. The rattlers are out, and I certainly do not want to get bit nor do I want The Chiweenie Brothers to tangle with one of these venomous serpents.
The lizards are also out. Charlie is loving this!
As the morning grows warmer we head back to Q. It is time to begin thinking about where we will spend the hot summer months coming up. I have a few destinations in mind, but haven’t decided which it will be.
Toward the end of the month I make a run to Bouse to pick up a package from the post office. It’s a one way trip of about 25 miles and it’s really a pretty drive. The boys get some dog park time in. I get internet at the library and get a few things accomplished.
On the way back I immortalize the continued greening of the desert and the beautiful displays of wildflowers along the highway, and the cholla cactus about ready to bloom.
I am determined to stay around long enough to see the cacti bloom. It should be earlier this year with all the water we have gotten. Winter seems to have heaved one last sigh and summer, will probably jump right in, but who knows. We went from freezing our hineys to 80 degrees last Friday, March 1st. Then we went right back to rainy weather and cooler temps. And so it goes. At least the current, cooler conditions will make it easier to stick around waiting for those cacti start putting on a show. Unless of course it warms again.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna and The Chiweenie Brothers.
CURRENT READ: Mary, Queen of Scots by John Guy. An interesting book on Mary Stewart’s reign, but a long read. Fortunately, 40% of it is footnotes and documentation of the facts.
In mid-January we head to Bouse where I attend another Bouse Genies’ class, this one on using the Legacy program. Interesting and informative. The boys get their time in the dog park before and after class.
The third week in January we head toward Yuma. This adorable church nestled in an agricultural area caught my eye.
On to Fortuna Pond we find “our” spot unoccupied and we settle in. On day three I pull a filling and part of a front bottom tooth out while flossing and make an appointment with my dentist in Los Algadones. We spend the night at Walmart, and the boys get to visit the Bark Park just up the street the next morning. Another night at Wally and we head back to Fortuna Pond, this gem of an oasis nestled near Yuma’s luscious fields of crops, where we spend about a week.
Star gazing is wonderful out here where no city lights can obscure the night sky’s brilliant display, and if it’s a moonless night and the crop dusters aren’t flying the sky is even more captivating, diamond strewn and sparkling against the inky blackness.
One night I see three orange globes—or perhaps one winking on and off as it fell—bigger than an exercise ball fall from a low altitude out of the sky. Two nights later a white basketball-sized meteor fell from east to west lighting up the area for about five seconds before disappearing, its long tail fading behind it. Oh for shots of those two displays!
And the coyotes put on an unbelievable concert. I’ve never heard what sounded like an army of them, and the vocalizations were fierce, perhaps taking down an animal. A few nights later they could be heard again, not so many, and one howling away. Fries answered him with a howl or two of his own. Next day I research coyote “talk” and my heart skipped a beat when I read that the howl is given when the coyote wants others to know his location. Cute as it was, Fries will not be answering anymore howls!
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna CURRENT READ: Halsey Street by Naima Coster
January 2019 became a mish-mash of camping sites, moving back and forth between Ehrenberg and Quartzsite, Quartzsite and Yuma. The nights have been cold—relatively speaking for those of you experiencing real winter weather—and a bitter wind rocks MissAdventure on the morning of New Year’s Day. After the morning “To-Do” list the boys and I cuddle up back in our snug bed and while away the rest of the morning. They are content to nap. I play a few games on my phone, read, write, call family. We’ve been coming to winter in “Q” for four years now, and this has been, by far, the coldest, wettest, windiest, and most prolonged.
In the middle of the first week in January I decide to leave our exposed camp on the desert plain near Tom Wells Road and go back to Hi Jolly in Q. I need gas. While fueling I notice a pool of gasoline coming from under the van. Panicked, I quit fueling, fumble with the hose to get it back in place on the pump, and take a deep breath after jumping in the driver’s seat and turn the key in the ignition.
I stop at Everett’s Auto Repair in Quartzsite and talk with the secretary. She can’t get me in today and suggests putting a piece of cardboard under the fuel port and tank to see if anything shows up, see if the van is using more fuel than usual, and come back in a day or two.
Off to Hi Jolly to make camp. It is packed with people, and after two nights I need solitude. We head out to Dome Rock Road and stay there for a few quiet nights before heading back into Q and checking in with the mechanic at Everett’s.
I report to him that there were no wet spots on the cardboard and gas consumption seems to be normal. He says there is no smell of gasoline on the outside or inside and that’s a good sign. “Be back at 2:00,” he says, and I’ll put it on the lift just to be on the safe side.
He thoroughly checks things out and finds no sign of anything leaking. He assures me it looks perfectly fine and suggests that maybe I was using a high velocity pump? Or didn’t have the nozzle pushed all the way into the port? I don’t know, but there hasn’t been a problem since.
Dec 30th. It has been getting into the 30s.at night and a strong north wind has been blowing. I decide a day in town is in order to get out of the dust, cold, and wind so the boys and I leave the cleanup camp and head to Blythe, just across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg. I get the oil changed in MissAdventure and do laundry at Madd Jax’s place. Madd Jax has a mean streak in him; his establishment is equipped with a pay toilet. Drumming up extra business that guy is.
At Smart and Final I score one of the two last grocery carts to be had. As the power doors swing open to allow me and another gal into the store I casually mention , mostly under my breath, to get ready, this is going to be hell. She hears me and agrees as someone behind us sniggers and says, “Yep”.
The Chiweenie Brothers, of course, are left in the van, and they have their paws full keeping everyone away from their home with fierce, loud, vicious barking. They are sleeping by the time I get back to the van. Poor tired little guys. Being guard dogs is hard work!
To top off a busy week Charlie B did the unthinkable. New Year’s Eve morning while making coffee and still half in a coma, I hear a whirring sound and can’t place it. I keep hearing it off and on, then nothing. Charlie is doing something in the front of the van, and I feel I need to see what it is. I pull back the curtain that separates the cab area from the back of the van. Charlie is worrying something, and immediately picks it up when I pull back the curtains. When he drops it I notice a long, slim, tiny bill. It’s a hummingbird. Oh no, Charlie!! Oh nooooo. I am devastated, but I can’t be angry with him; he’s just being a dog and doing what dogs do. All I can do is silently encourage him to HURRY UP and get it over with.
The cleanup crew plans a big party for tonight. I decide I want sleep and to get away from the dust instead and we move a few miles down the highway to Tom Wells Road. Goodnight.
Photos from our stay near Bouse. Gosh, I forgot to put these in the Christmas post.
Dec 25th. Today I stayed in my jammies all day. The boys and I are in a nice boondocking area near Bouse. No cell service here, so I called family before Christmas. Plan on spendng Christmas with the ancestors organizing the family files I brought along and making a list of what I will work on this coming Friday when the Bouse Genies meet.
On Saturday The Chiweenie Brothers and I head for Ehrenberg where we meet up with the group from freecamping.net who have organized a trash clean up event on BLM land nearby. One large dumpster container (the biggest they make) was filled the first day and another one has been brought in. There are piles of stuff to burn as well. How sad that people can’t be responsible and remove their trash. It’s even sadder that they are so lazy they can’t be bothered to take their garbage to any transfer station in La Paz County which are FREE. Rumor has it that the couple of old motor homes that had been left behind were meth labs, so that explains a piece of it, but not all of it.
Just a few workers remained when this shot was taken. Many left when inconsiderate ATVers refused to slow down passing the encampment and not once but many times left the area shrouded in a blanket of choking dust.
During a walkabout after several hours of picking up trash I find some rock art
And beauty amongst the trash, this bird enjoying the bounty of the desert
Thanks to freecampsites.net for organizing this cleanup. It was an honor to be a part of this event.
Thanks for stopping by 2 Dogs! Hugs, Shawna,
CURRENT READ: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
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.
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.
Love this camping spot! I will be back before this winter is over.