November 24-25, 2021 . Summer has finally given way to our autumn even though autumn this year is 10+ degrees above normal. It would be nice to have a normal season, but we’ll take it over the hot humid summer. Sitting around and sweating for months on end was no fun. I swear this next summer WE ARE OUT OF HERE for a few months. I hope!! Nothing is a sure thing any more.
The Chiweenie Brothers, as is their normal behavior when sensing a change, are racing around chasing each other’s heels, barking in wild abandon because, by golly, WE’RE GOING SOMWHERE!!! With that doggie sense of detecting when something they love is about to happen I grab and hug each of them in turn. Yes, boys, we are going on an adventure. I am as excited as they are!
MissAdventure packed with last minute essentials, I dress the boys in their bright red harnesses and attach the leashes. Grabbing wallet, keys, sunglasses, and my ever-present desert fashion accessory, the essential SUN HAT, we load up.
We drive to Love’s Truck Stop to fuel up. I gulp at the price of gas and quickly determine the amount we’ll need to make it to our destination and back home. Okay, it’s a lot for such a short trip, but we need this. The boys need a change because, well, they’re dogs. They thrive on new places, new smells, new adventure. I need a change because I am sick of sitting for months as the only way to deal with Arizona’s much needed monsoon. Let me go on record saying I hate humidity. It’s draining and restricting and miserable. Too miserable to get even one thing checked off my project list, but I did get a lot of reading done, :). And now my mental state needs a change.
Fueled up we head west across the Colorado River into California stopping in Blythe for a few grocery items and ice. It takes a few minutes to get things arranged in the ice chest, but at last we are on the road again heading west. Just a few miles out of Blythe we exit the freeway and turn left at the top of the off ramp, heading south. We again cross the Colorado and are back in Arizona in and around the Cibola Wildlife Refuge. They grow a lot of cotton out here.
We can’t camp in the refuge, of course, but the drive in reveals a feast for desert eyes. This area is flooded each fall with water from the river and hundreds of ducks, coots, Canada and geese, and even some sandhill cranes on the opposite, dry side settle here to spend the winter feeding before moving on. The poplars and scrub are dressed in brilliant yellow. With the backdrop of a brilliant blue autumn sky it’s breathtaking.
Not sure how long I have been sitting here enjoying the view, but The Boys remind me they are waiting. Dogs are not allowed outside of the vehicle, and they are getting antsy. You guys have been so good. Let’s go find a camp and do some exploring. Camera put away; we head back out onto the main road.
The BLM camping area begins right across the highway from the refuge, but I turn right, and we do a bit of scouting. It appears the camping area goes on for at least several miles with some entrances named, by campers no doubt, who have put up little homemade signs naming the dirt roads. Wino Way catches my eye and I drive back in a ways only to drive back out. It wasn’t impressive and the winos can have it.
There are lots of possibilities, but I think across from the refuge will be our best bet. Making our way back north we turn right across from the refuge and follow the fairly decent dirt road up and around. There are only two other vehicles here, both vans. We settle on a knoll that has a nice, elevated view of the area, and at least a quarter mile away from the nearest vehicle. It’s rocky and a bit barren, but the view towards the refuge is lovely.
I get the van backed in, our windshield cover put on, the solar panel set up facing south, and then take The Chiweenie Brothers for a nice walk. Every few steps I see a pretty rock. My jean’s pockets get full rather quickly. Note to self: Bring a couple plastic bags next time.
Oh, look, donkey tracks!
A well-used, narrow trail going mostly north/south disappears into the distance. Oh look, a pretty pebble. And so it goes. By now my shirt bottom is a makeshift receptacle for rocks, and we make our way back to camp, me doing a drop, stop, and rearrange of my cargo every few yards. *sigh*. But these rocks! They’re so pretty!!
We repeat the above on Thanksgiving Day. Our much-needed respite eventually comes to an end. I break camp but take the time for a couple more shots of our view then I take the boys on a very short walk, put the camera away, and we are off.
Refreshed and ready to get on with the projects that were put off this past summer, they have now become autumn and winter projects i, and it’s time to get crackin’.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!
Summer and Current Reads:
Three Forensic Genealogy novels by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Hiding the Past, The Lost Ancestor, and American Ground. All are based in the UK and are not bad reads, but if you’re not into genealogy they may drag a bit for you. I believe there are several more of his books yet to be read.
I Thought You Said This Would Work, Ann Garvin. Cute, appealing story of three friends and the insights, trials, and tribulations they deal with when one of them is hospitalized. A road trip, a new friend added to the mix, romance, and animal rescue round it out. **** Four stars . Just because.
Flight Risk, Joy Castro. I started out loving this book. The Latina heroine from the hills of West Virginia married to a well-to-do man must make peace with her upbringing and come to terms with the fact that, yes, she does belong. But like so many new novels today there just had to be a LTBGQ appearance. It just didn’t seem to belong in this poor-girl-marries-well story. And then the author throws in a short, vicious, crying-her-eyes-out scene when our heroine is reminded of the 45th president and his “crimes against women” in a very transparent and ill-researched personal rant. I won’t be reading any more of Castro’s books. *** three stars for the first 2/3rds of the novel.
Two of Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas novels, Odd Interlude and Odd Apocalypse. How can you not love any of these books? Koontz’ sweet, unassuming, psychic fry cook hero, Odd, is so lovable, and Odd is the perfect vehicle for the Dean Koontz imagination.
These Toxic Things, Rachel Howzell Hall. Wow! I think I’ve just discovered a new favorite mystery writer; could not put this book down and the ending blew me away. My only disappointment is the title. It sounds too much like a tacky romance novel. Sorry Ms Hall, but that’s what it made me think of. Carry on with the stellar writing no matter what title you give your next book. *****
The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah. FIVE STARs *****. 1921, Depression Era America. Choices must be made, survival may depend on that choice: One woman’s struggle with abandonment, change, choices, hardship, and raising her two children during the Dust Bowl years. I finished this book in two sittings. It is beautifully written with believable characters and situations. A heart wrenching read, but good portrayal of the choices people had to make to survive this catastrophic, man-made disaster. A wonderful historical fiction novel.
Another good five star read, Beneath Devil’s Bridge, Loreth Anne White. Excellent who-done-it. Years after the unbelievably violent, rage filled murder of a 14-year-old girl, old wounds are opened and brings to light new questions and new revelations when the man who confessed to the 25-year-old crime now claims he is innocent. *****
And that was my summer and how I dealt with the heat and humidity. I’d like to encourage you to read more, and The Chiweenie Brothers would like to remind you to remember to take your favorite furry buddy for some nice longs walks. Preferably before AND after a reading session. Bark! Woof! Woof! Bark!!!