A-Frame Rally in Cottonwood, AZ

This past weekend was the A-Frame Campers rally at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. There were 24 camper units and 35 people present! Boy the organizers (Donna, Wanda and Kathy) really know how to put on a great rally! It was obvious they put a lot of work and thought into it, and it’s not easy planning out four days of fun and food.  Not just morning coffee and doughnuts, full breakfasts every morning! Pancakes, eggs, french toast….!  Every morning there was a demo or discussion topic (not that I made it over there much in the mornings; I’m SO not a morning person!) One morning I did have to get up early because the demo was happening to my camper; Tom Warfield installed new wheel bearings! Nevada Nick donated one set of bearings so I only had to purchase one set costing $24.  And Tom was also the reason I was camped at the state park; he reserved and paid for a site for me! Wow.  I must say it was a treat to have electricity for those 4 days. I dug out my toaster and even got a chance to roast some fresh coffee beans.

There were also mid-day activities like touring Montezuma’s Castle and Well, the copper museum, and Tuzigoot ruins. Evening campfires didn’t happen because it rained all weekend, but the area was a sea of canopies and screen tents so we were able to keep dry while scarfing down more food at the potluck dinners.

There was a Swap Meet where people brought unwanted goodies to sell, and I got a Wilson signal booster for my new wifi hotspot for only $50! All I need to buy is a long piece of galvanized  pipe to mount it on.

Today we moved to the “1000 Trails” boondocking site about 5 miles from Cottonwood, just off Hwy. 260.  It’s nice here with much much less traffic than my other site off FR525. But after all that rain, it sure was gooey. The car was slithering all over the place! And it’s the kind of mud that builds up on your shoes until you’re dragging around 5# of it per foot!  It dries out pretty fast here though. This is Open Range land and as soon as we got set up here, one of the neighbors came to call….Ms Moo!

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Our campsite off Thousand Trails Road between Cottonwood and Camp Verde

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See the mud??!!

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Red Rock Country

We’re back in Red Rock country, camped on BLM land between Sedona and Cottonwood. I really liked my site in Superior but the crazy old drunk guy (Jimmy the Desert Rat)  was driving me nuts, so I left early.  Pat kindly scrounged around in the wash and brought me some great Barnes Conglomerate rocks before I left…some of them pretty big!  They filled up the floor on the front passenger side of the car. Now if you open any door of the car, you see rocks. So glad I’ll be able to get them out of my poor car soon. But aren’t they great?! I get a little giddy just looking at them. Funny, I never was much interested in rocks until I started traveling around. Deb is going to be soooo jealous….maybe I’ll let her have one or two. One. A small one.  She’s headed this way and we are meeting at Petrified Forest at the end of the month, then we’ll head over to my property.

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I’ve got a nice small circular site just off the pavement here. I can hear the highway noise from 89-A but it dies down at night so I don’t care.

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I must say, people are strange here. Last night just as it was getting dark, a big yellow school bus covered with graffiti pulled in and parked less than 20′ from my camper, and didn’t leave until 11:00 this morning! The “sign” on the back door said something like “We need clean water too”. ??

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And now a young couple in a car just pulled up and set up a tiny tent about 6′ from the back of my camper. This kind of stuff makes me crazy!! Why would people think it’s OK to park and camp so close to someone, especially out here? That’s even closer than sites in a campground. I’ll bet they’ll learn their lesson though; I’m quite sure they are close enough to hear me snoring all night.  I didn’t realize what a popular spot this would be….I just want to be alone!

We got a big ol’ rainstorm yesterday afternoon right after I got here. Roxie was quaking down at the foot of my bed, covered with a fleece throw. She hates thunder. And even when she’s scared to death, she still doesn’t want to cuddle with me!  We had more rain today, and the forecast is for rain 3 of the days of the rally next weekend. Ugh.

I went to a couple thrift shops today, got propane and went to WalMart for a few groceries. I didn’t find anything good at the thrift shops; I was looking for tools like shovels, rakes, maybe a pickax or mattock. I guess people don’t give tools away.  At WalMart some Haagen Dazs chocolate peanut butter ice cream was calling to me, anxious to be my friend, but I resisted. $4.48 for a pint of ice cream that I HAVE to eat right away because I don’t have a freezer…..no.

Many thanks to everyone who’s using my Amazon Affiliate link! I can’t tell you how much it helps. Things are looking up; I am actually starting to climb out of my penurious state! Now if I can just keep out of trouble and not have too many unexpected expenses…..here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/?tag=litbitliv01-20

 

 

 

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The Natives Are Restless

I had an eventful day yesterday! The night before, the natives were restless…I had visits from some of the resident cows, and heard coyotes howling very close; it sounded like they were right outside my door! I was worried about them attacking the baby bovine but it was fine this morning. It’s either too big for coyotes to mess with, or else Mama protected it. I got up early and took this photo of mom & baby before it was really very light outside.

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Here’s a giant Barnes Conglomerate rock I found; it’s a beauty and I want it in the worst way. But it’s at least 2 1/2 ft. long and a foot wide. Pat (Mr. Ax Murderer, who’s really quite a nice guy) and I have been excavating around it to try and see how deep it goes into the ground.

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This afternoon Pat led me to the old Pinal City Cemetary near here. I never could have found it on my own.

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Its claim to fame is that Wyatt Earp’s ex-prostitute second wife  is buried here. (There is no record of an official marriage, however) She died of a laudanum/alcohol overdose at age 38.

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Most of the grave markers are gone but a few are still there.

 

There a lots of really nice cacti inside the cemetary….does anyone know what this one is? It reminds me of the “burro’s tail” cactus that’s often a house plant, but on steroids…it’s huge, and has really big thorns.

This was my favorite grave, if there is such a thing. I guess this family lost three children at the same time; Charlie, Nellie and Reuben. How heartbreaking that must have been! They ranged in age from less than a year to 14 years. The letters are punched with a nail into the tin.

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As you can see, people have dropped coins, little stones and toys in remembrance. I wished I had something to contribute besides a rock.

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On the way back home from the cemetery, I had a flat tire! Out there in the Middle of Nowhere! I haven’t changed a tire in at least 40 years, and I honestly don’t think I could even get the spare tire down from under the car. I didn’t have Pat’s phone number and I couldn’t get Facebook to come up on my phone, so I texted a friend (thanks Tam!) and asked her to find Pat on Facebook and send him a Private Message to come rescue me. And he did; it worked! About 5 minutes later he showed up, changed my tire and brought it back to camp for me, since there’s certainly no room for a tire inside my car right now.  Wow, I don’t know what I’d have done on my own. I hate being helpless, but I think that’s a one of the few perks of being an Old Lady…you’re allowed to admit you can’t do everything you used to do. Thank you Pat!!!!!

Shortly after I got back home, I got a visit from Jimmy the Desert Rat (as he calls himself). He’s a tiny little 74 year old man, brown as a berry and sprightly as all get-out,  who lives in his pickup truck and is camped right around here somewhere. He sleeps in the cab of the truck and has a lawn chair and ice chest and not much else, and doesn’t have heat or a way to cook. He lives on mostly beer and cigarettes, I think! He sure has plenty of stories to tell.

Had a really pretty sunset last night.

 

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Exciting News

I forgot to say that on the way in here initially, I kept hearing something that sounded like metal bouncing or scraping. So I stopped and yep, it was both! The wire holder on one of my propane tanks had lost it’s wingnut and the wire had fallen down and was dragging. I lost the whole wire holder off the other side last winter and it’s just held on with thick string, so that poor tank was bouncing all over the place, and had inched along until it was almost falling off! It’s the one that’s serving  the camper right now; that would have been a nice mess.

We went in to town yesterday morning and got ice, water and a few things at the grocery store (but not what I went in there for). The town of Superior looks a little unloved.

I took Roxie for a walk and saw the biggest cow-patty ever, right behind camp…it was more than a foot in diameter!  I guess this is open range country.  I don’t want to meet whatever made THAT mess! I think it’s a Wooly Mammoth.

I found a really cool rock! It’s a Barnes Conglomerate. Looks like a lot of little stones got caught up in some volcano lava.

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So the Exciting News is, I’m buying  a little over an acre of property  in Apache County, AZ and it has ELECTRICITY!!  (Thank goodness for the Zero Interest, EZ Time Payment Plan) Wow, can you imagine having electricity just any old time you want it?!  And it’s legal to live in a camper there too. The lady at the zoning dept. said I don’t even have to get a septic tank either, they just ask that you don’t dump your raw sewage out on the ground.  ???  Yuck! I’ll probably switch to a composting toilet.  It is 14 miles to a grocery store, but there are a few convenience stores nearby, a gas station, propane fill place and even a nice library!

The kinda bad part is, it’s pretty barren land; elevation around 6335′. It has a few small bushes, but no trees. It has real dirt though, not desert sand. But the big brown electric pole kinda makes up for the lack of greenery.

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Here’s the Very Best Thing

It’s quite rare to find cheap land around there that’s not completely off-grid. This is right off a county road, and not too far from a paved road. I’d love to have more acreage than that, but there aren’t any neighbors close by so it’s fine. The property taxes are less than $10 a year! It’s on a slight slope but has a level bench towards the back.

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I’m working on a plan for maybe building a carport or something but for right now I’ll probably buy one of those heavy duty 10×20 portable shelters and camp.. I’m pretty sure I can get the camper under the shelter; that’ll help as it gets warmer.  At that elevation, there’s definitely 4 seasons, and the summers are not as hot as most other places in AZ. They do get a bit of snow, but on average only 10″. I guess it snows a bit, then goes away a few days later. In fact, there’s a little patch of snow there right now. Not on MY property, but across the road. Pretty nice view, huh?

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This line of electric poles & easement runs along my property line on the east side, and there’s a sort of track all along it which I think I can use as a driveway!  Those piles of rocks are way towards the back & won’t be in my way. Might be nice to have free rocks! Though I guess I won’t be  messing around the rock pile when the snakes are active.

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The road and easement have a lot of these rocks….they look like cinders, what they used to use alongside the railroad tracks! It’s very light.

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I have to check this out…it runs along that easement, the whole length of the property. I wonder if I can get city water??? I need to call and find out. I knew it was nearby, but didn’t think it came out this far, so maybe it’s just running along and I can’t tap into it.

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It’s still a bit chilly at night there right now but I’ll probably be heading there towards the end of the month. I’m very excited about having my very own place to squat!

Here’s a view in another direction. More mountains, nut its’ hard to see them.

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Picketpost Mountain

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WOW, isn’t that impressive?!  That was the sunrise on my last day in Buckeye. Normally I don’t like being awake that early, but this was sure worth it.  Fire in the sky!

Yesterday we moved to Picketpost Mountain, near Superior. I had planned to go to Oak Flat Campground but heard it was closed, so the other alternative was a place called Picketpost, in the Tonto National Forest. Strangely enough, just the other day a guy on one of my Facebook groups posted that he was at Picketpost and told me where he was. Well Hwy. 60 is under construction and I couldn’t find the right road, so I continued on to town and PM’d him about it. He said he’d meet me at Circle K and lead me in. Great! Then after we’d gone a mile or so back up this tiny dirt road into Nowhere, I started thinking perhaps I’d done a bad thing….I’M FOLLOWING SOME GUY I MET ON THE INTERNET INTO THE WILDERNESS!!!  He could be an ax murderer!!  Not to worry, he’s perfectly nice. (Aren’t they all?)  It’s no different from some stranger walking by and coming up to the campsite to chat. I’m not camped anywhere near him; he way farther up the road. And I’ve sent his name, link to his Facebook page and my exact GPS position to my “watchdog” Patricia, LOL. Really, I’m not a bit worried. He’s got a black lab, and I don’t think ax murderers ever have dogs. Pretty sure.

It’s NICE here! Trees and bushes!! And a few cactus. This saquaro cactus looks like it’s a child hugging it’s mommy, doesn’t it?

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It’s only about 5 miles from Superior here, and I’m getting excellent Verizon and ATT signals. There definitely are coyotes around though; I’ve heard them singing a couple times already, and they didn’t sound that far away. I’ll have to keep a close eye on Princess Roxie.

So here’s my campsite. I even have a nice palo verde shade tree! I hope I’ve positioned the camper right, so I’ll get the shade when I need it.

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I wonder if that is Picketpost Mountain in the background?

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The other day I needed to get something from the food bin under my bed, and needed to move Roxie. So I tossed her up on the bed, and she immediately laid down and was perfectly comfortable. And I remembered that she always does that. So I can only conclude that she doesn’t like being on the bed with ME. Hmmmph.

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Sunny Days in Buckeye

We’ve been having amazing weather, and according to the forecast, it’ll be about the same for the next 10 days!  Mid-70’s during the day and cool nights. It’s been so warm, I’ve had to rig up my shade cloth over the big side window.

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It’s just clipped to the edges of the roof at the top, and then bungied in three places to an adjustable painter’s pole at the bottom. The pole is stuck through the legs of my stepstool and zip-tied in place. The stepstool keeps the cloth from laying right against the glass, and lets some breeze through. It also comes down far enough to shade the fridge vents, not that the fridge is working right now, but someday.

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Yesterday I finally did the laundry! I’ve been putting it off for a couple weeks! HATE doing laundry in a laundromat. The dryers there were awful; I kept putting more and more quarters in and they never really got very hot. I finally gave up and brought home my warm, wet clothes. I couldn’t find my little rope so I had to use an electrical extension cord. I zip-tied it to the supports for the picnic table shelters. (What would this world be like without zip-ties???)  Not all of it would fit so I also draped things over the sides of Roxie’s exercise pen, all over the inside of the car and all over the inside of the camper. Thank goodness for the Arizona-quick-dry sunshine!  I guess we looked like a yard sale was going on.

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As I was getting out of the car at the laundromat, a man in the truck next to me said “Do you have a dog?” I said yes, and he said he’d bought some rawhide treats that his dog didn’t like, and if mine didn’t like them either, to just throw them away. Well I took them just to be polite, but rawhide certainly doesn’t pass Princess Roxie’s lips!  I don’t know why; I asked him what kind of dog he had and he said “English Cocker”. What??!!  I said “I used to breed and show them!”  So he got her out; sweet little blue roan with an undocked tail wagging madly. She was a field-bred from breeders in Vancouver, BC.  How crazy is that; there are not that many English Cockers out there!  Behind me in the car, Roxie was barking like crazy and he asked me what kind I had. I said “Havanese” and he shook his head. “Little barky kind”, I said, and he nodded and smiled.

I made really good beef vegetable soup for dinner but now I’m worrying about finding something big enough to put the leftovers in, and then finding space in the fridge. It’s really hard to make a small batch of soup.

OH! I almost forgot….I’ve been WALKING!  Roxie and I go out 3 or 4 times a day and walk 1/8 mile up the road and back. So most of the time we do a mile a day! Wow, not so very long ago that would have been impossible. My knee doesn’t even hurt! Sometimes my hips complain about the time we get back to camp though. (It’s always something, right?!)

The sunsets haven’t been that great lately; I think because there are so few clouds in the cky, there’s nothing there to reflect the colors.  I was actually awake at sunrise this morning and was all set to take a photo but it wasn’t very colorful either. Here’s tonight’s sunset anyway. I’ve been enjoying the coyote concerts almost every night.

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Musings on a Sunny Day

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Buckeye, Arizona! And the weather forecast says there are 9 more sunny days to come!! That’s reason to celebrate right there….Life Is Good. It’s been a very different winter so far; much more rain and overcast skies than last year. When they say “rain” though, it usually means about 20 drops at a time but the other day it was a real gully-washer all day off and on, and the washes were running strong. Boy the desert plants are getting green quickly!

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I’ve still been getting plenty of light on the solar panel to serve my meager needs, in fact I’ve got it bungied to the spare tire on the back of the camper and I don’t move it, so it’s only getting sun about 4 hours a day. It’s still enough. It’s gotten a bit cold at night (33 degrees last night) but the Wave 3 heater has been doing a great job of keeping us warm and cozy.

Neighbors have been coming and going, most staying only a night or two. If you are old enough to remember the sitcom “Bewitched”, remember the cranky neighbor lady who was constantly spying through her curtains at Samantha?  That’s who I’ve become, to my shame. Yep, I’m a nosy old witch. I find myself watching everyone that goes by. I’ve resisted getting out the binoculars but…..I want to!  I really prefer being all by myself back here, and then I don’t have to worry about Roxie barking too much, or getting fully dressed to take her for a little walk.  On the other hand, if I happen to have a heart attack or something, it’d be nice to have a neighbor within screeching distance.

I love hearing the coyotes yipping and howling at night! And it reminds me to be vigilant with Roxie so she doesn’t end up being a coyote snack.  My little packrat that lives under the picnic slab has been feathering his/her nest with bits of a throw rug that blew into Roxie’s exercise pen. In hindsight, I should have picked it up right away and not left it there for 3 days. Oh and I don’t have any critters in the car; false alarm. I kept a mousetrap in the car for 3 nights and didn’t catch anything, and then when i cleaned off the floor with a whisk broom, I noticed that what I thought were critter poops were actually some kind of empty husk or hull. I have no idea how they got under the floor mat, but I’m glad! I’ve gotten out my solar string lights and put them on the ground under the car’s engine to discourage pack rats, which love to chew wiring. They don’t stay lit all night but I’m hoping the critters don’t “work” all night either.

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Buckeye Hills Regional Park

I got away from Ehrenberg with only one rock! OK two, but one is really small. I had collected five rocks, and at the last minute I narrowed it down to just the two. It wouldn’t be so bad except I have to carry all these rocks around with me everywhere I go! Sometimes I get them all out and see if there are any I can bear to get rid of, but it usually doesn’t work.

We’ve moved to Buckeye Hills Regional Park, about 35 miles west of Phoenix. This is the 3rd time we’ve been here, and we like it a lot. There are not very many campsites here and most of them are spread very far apart (like 1/2 mile!) Nearly all the sites were occupied but I got one at the dead end. Later I got a neighbor; a massive Class A whose occupants can’t live without their generator. It’s fairly quiet though, and they don’t run it late at night.

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I got a site with a covered picnic table, so I can use my bbq grill. I went out and bought some boneless pork ribs and a small steak to grill and was very excited about it. But first I had to put a new propane burner on the grill. All the info on the web said it was easy as pie.  Well….only if you can get the old one off! I struggled with the bolt for a long time and finally gave up.

Then yesterday I had a short visit from Donna Morey, who was en route back home from a Sisters on the Fly gathering at Quartzsite. She had a little socket set, yay! And then that ol’ bolt came right off, and so did the burner, and it WAS easy! It’s all a matter of having the right tools. I carry a small socket driver set but it wasn’t big enough for this particular bolt. I cooked those ribs, mmmmm they were good!

I think it’s funny that someone has made all kinds of paths (that go nowhere) with little rocks. But the fire ring has no rocks!

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We’ve been having very overcast weather; what happened to my nice bright Arizona sun?? This morning there was heavy fog! I didn’t know Arizona had enough moisture in the air to make fog.  The sun finally broke through around 11:00 and it’s beautiful now.

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The only bad thing about these sites are the trash barrels; they always seem to be overflowing! I think I remember that they come around every week and empty them, but they fill up quickly. I think people come and dump their household garbage.  It’s very nice to have any kind of garbage pickup though. There are a couple vault toilets here also and they are very very low…..maybe only a foot high?  It’d be good for little kids but really tough for us old folks with bad knees!

Buckeye seems to have everything anyone would need…Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Lowes, big grocery stores, and even a do-it-yourself dog wash that we’ll be visiting one day soon!  All that stuff is about 13 miles from here, but there’s a small IGA grocery store, Walgreens and a few smaller stores in Buckeye itself which is about 8 miles away.

There’s a little critter that has a hole right next to the concrete slab for the picnic table. I don’t know what it is, but he’s been working on his hole, as he’s thrown up some sand onto Roxie’s exercise pen mat! Maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of him soon.

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I also see evidence of some little critter in my car again…..something bigger than a mouse but smaller than a rat, judging by what he left behind. I set a trap last night but didn’t catch anything, nor was the bait (a pistachio!) disturbed so maybe whatever it is has already moved out. Or maybe it just doesn’t know what a pistachio is.  I wonder if it’s the same little guy who owns the hole? I’m going to look today for my solar string lights and put them on the ground under the engine; I’ve heard that’ll keep rodents away.

 

 

 

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ALiner Life

After seeing the photos I posted yesterday, a friend commented that she’d never seen the inside of my camper. So I decided to post a few more photos , with explanations.

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This is one from yesterday. In the corner of the camper is the sink, but it’s tucked right up where the roof is lowest, and it’s a real pain to use. So I made a little riser to go over the sink & faucet and I have 5 bins there. The white one holds cosmetics, hairbrush, comb, toothpaste, that sort of stuff. The big blue one behind it holds dog grooming & medical supplies, some paper products and the pans on top. Behind that is one that holds a big bag of essential oils (for making my own insect repellents), homeopathic medicines and oh, I just found some cookies that are probably a year old!  Another holds napkins, some paper plates & bowls and plastic cups. The 5th one holds bread products. Hey, this is a good exercise; I think I could consolidate some of this junk and get rid of one whole bin! (Later….I did! I got rid of the white one!!!)

The wire shelf overhead is resting on two adjustable painter’s poles, which are supported by pieces of wood along the eaves.

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Moving on. The Olympian Wave 3 heater hangs on a cupboard door and it’s removable. (The heater, not the door) Love this little heater! It has a quick-release propane connection. Behind that door is 3 shelves. One holds plastic wrap, alum. foil and baggies. One has a bin of spices, and one holds first aid supplies.

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Next to that is a drop-down door and two drawers. I can pull out the top drawer, get out the hot pads and put them on the corner, then the drop down door will sit level and can be used as a workspace.

I sit on the porta-potty to work there, and to cook. (with the lid down, of course) One of my good friends says when she thinks of me, I’m sitting on that potty, chopping vegetables and stirring stuff on the stove! Hmmm.  Inside the microwave are a bunch of nested bowls and a couple pans. In order to get to them I have to first remove all the jars of most-used spices from in front of the microwave door.

 

 

The most often used cutlery & utensils are kept in a mug on the countertop but the other kitchen gadget stype stuff is in one drawer, and the cleaning products in little bitty bottles plus some nested bowls are in the bottom drawer.

There’s a hidey-hole under the air conditioner just inside the door that’s supposed to be for a porta-potty but mine is too tall to fit in there, so there’s a bin of Justin Case stuff. You know, just-in-case I need it. It’s a bunch of stuff that I rarely use, but I never know when I might need it. Spare batteries, insect repellent gizmos, a fish skinner, well I don’t even know what all else is in there, but I’ve been through it recently and decided it all needed to stay. Between the door & window are my decorations. Three postcards and my little “JOY” Christmas decoration that I’ve decided should be permanent. Everyone needs a little Joy every day.  It’s crazy but just putting up these few cheapie decorations makes it feel like home.

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Next to the bed at each end are plastic bins.

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They help keep the mattress from sliding away from the wall. One holds socks & undies, prescription drugs and a couple books.I use the top of that that as my workstation/table. The other contains folded clothing. Under the bed are two more plastic bins; one for lesser-used and out of season clothes, and the other for food.  Roxie’s little bed sits on the floor next to my bed. She could sleep on my bed but she’s always been a “floor dog”. When I got her she was 5 years old and I was told that she was a “floor dog”. She’s very much NOT a lapdog!

The blue thing behind the bed is an ensolite backpacking pad, about $8 at Wal-Mart. In winter I slip it between the wall and mattress and it keeps the hinge on that side from collecting condensation in the night (outside cold meets inside warmth = condensation) and covers the bottom of the big curtain so cold air doesn’t fall on me; it goes behind the foam. Inside the curtain is a dollar store car windshield reflector; white side out (if foil side is out, the bubble window could get superheated and melt!) and also a big piece of folded fleece material for insulation. It works really well; I can put my hand right up to the curtain and don’t feel any cold (or heat). I also have a thinner piece of black ensolite against the head of the bed, to insulate against the outside wall.  It all seems to be working well, it’s very cozy in here except when it’s really windy, then there’s nothing that’ll keep that out, with all the seams in this type of camper. My Library (two atlas books and a spare Kindle)  is also here, between the ensolite and the mattress. I see a little bit of my red Arizona atlas sticking up. And of course my fire extinguisher on the floor in front of the bed so I could get to it quickly, if needed.

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There are two storage areas accessed from the outside that contain things like tools, leveling blocks, electric extension cords, tarps, my rubber boots & some spare shoes, and the off-season sheets.

I think that completes the tour! I know I could be a lot more organized if I wasn’t carrying everything I own. Most full-timers have at least a camper with a bathroom, so they have cabinetry and a medicine cabinet in there, and many more kitchen cabinets and overhead cabinets. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  This works for me, it just doesn’t look very good, LOL!

 

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Hanging Out in Ehrenberg

I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t been doing anything! And I love my lazy life. It’s been a little on the cool side here; high 50’s which I guess is actually pretty normal for this time of year. I’ve been trying to whine to my friends back east about it but it’s not very productive, since they are dealing with RealFeel temps in the single digits and teens!  It’s supposed to warm up to near 70 for the next week though; that’ll be perfect!

Pretty sunset tonight.

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I also was waiting to do a blog post so I could report on something. I’m camped near Bob Wells, who writes the CheapRVLiving.com blog and who hosts the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartsite. He wandered over a couple days ago for a chat, and he asked if he could video my camper for his YouTube channel. Of course I said yes! Then afterward I went to one of his YouTube videos and realized it’s not just him videoing people campers; it’s an interview on video! Yikes!!!  But I thought I’d go ahead with it anyway.  So I got the camper all cleaned up (and took some of the junk out to the car so it didn’t look quite so cluttered). We were supposed to do it yesterday afternoon but it was just too cold and very windy. Maybe today.  I guess he didn’t find time today, as it’s dark now.  But hey, I got my camper all cleaned, that was almost worth it!

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My “work station/dining table” next to the bed.

 

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I thought it looked so good! Until I looked at the photos. In spite of the stuff I hauled out to the car, it still looks cluttered! Well I guess it just can’t be helped; after all, I’m carrying nearly everything I own. (That’s a good excuse, right?) Sadly, the truth is, I’m a cluttery kind of person.

Hey have you tried this stuff?  Crio Bru Ghana Light Roast Brewed Gluten-Free Cocoa

It’s Crio Bru…..like coffee, but it’s roasted cocoa beans!  I know, right? Oh, the smell alone is worth the price! It’s nice that you don’t have to go through the bother and mess of heating milk to make real cocoa (though I suppose not many of you do that anyway) I first made it as directed on the package; using 2 tbsp.  You can’t use a paper coffee filter; it’ll clog it all up. So you use a permanent gold filter, or else a french press. That first cup was awful, like really weak chocolate-flavored water. Blechh!  I had my taste buds all set for a nice strong thin cocoa and that was NOT it! So now I make it using double (or maybe even a bit more) the ground beans, and it’s really good! Add a little sugar, a little half & half….ahhhhh.  Nice.  I splurged on this purchase (Christmas present to myself) and won’t be buying it very often because at the portions I’m using, it won’t last very long. Unless I win the lottery, of course; but I hear you have to actually buy a ticket for that to happen.   http://amzn.to/2iUU38V

I’m meeting my cousin Patty for lunch on Tuesday! She lives in Lake Elsinore, CA and we are meeting exactly half way, in Indio. I mean EXACTLY. It is 90.9 miles for each of us! I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

Thank you all for your Amazon purchases through my Amazon Associates link, and a special thank you to the folks who used my PayPalMe link!! ! I get a small percentage of each Amazon purchase, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/?tag=litbitliv01-20

 

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After Christmas

Now that Christmas is past, I’m back to regular chores. I mailed some solar gadgets to a friend who’s just setting up her new system and went over toBlythe, California to get some groceries. I didn’t know that in California you have to bring your own grocery bags or else pay for them! I’ll try to remember.

I finally got around to doing laundry today too….I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, washing out a few undies every few days. The laundromat in Ehrenberg is very cheap…it cost only $3.50 to wash & dry two loads of clothes! And I forgot (again) to put any fabric softener in the dryer. I don’t like to use dryer sheets; I don’t want whatever those chemical are, all over my clothes & touching my skin. But here in the desert you almost have to. And since I didn’t, I’ve got enough static electricity in just my clean underpants alone to power this camper for a full day, if only I could harness it! Hate when that happens, don’t you?

While I was out I called Wal-Mart Pharmacy. On the 23rd I called to have 3 prescriptions refilled and sent to me at the Enrenberg Post Office (General Delivery). On the phone we wet over each one and the strength, etc. I looked on line and it looked as though only one of them was ordered. Sure enough, not only was just the one ordered, but the woman said they were waiting for payment before they shipped it. (A whole $.83) I said “You have my credit card, right?” and she read off the last 4 numbers. So what’s the problem here??  She said she would TRY to get it sent out tomorrow.  I guess I’m going to have to get the others ordered for pickup at the nearest Wal-Mart, which is 40 miles away!!!  An 80 miles drive just because people are stupid.

Other than those exciting things, we are just hanging out here, enjoying the sunny weather and being lazy. One day soon we’re going to go to Cibola Wildlife Reserve which is on the California side of the Colorado River but not too far from here, and I have orders to check out a campground near Blythe that my friends are interested in for next winter. I have to find them the best site……oh dear, the pressure’s on!

There was a really cute sign in the laundromat that said “Free hair washing sink”! Wish I’d known that. Then there was another sign that said “Washing dogs and kids, special today $139.00”!!   I took a picture of it with my phone but it refused to email it to my laptop. It always does that.

Oh it looks like the computer is in a good mood today and is going to let me post a few photos!

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Not A Sunny Day….Again

Gee this is the 3rd overcast or rainy day in a row! What happened to my nice Arizona sunshine? Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain again too. I’m having to be very  careful of my battery usage. I got the DVD’s for Season 1 and 2 of Northern Exposure and I want to watch them but I need a pretty good battery charge to run the TV. It’s supposed to be sunny and nice on Christmas Day, maybe I’ll have a Northern Exposure marathon then.

I wanted to make some chili but could only find one small can of tomatoes, so I thought I’d go over to the big metropolis of Blythe, CA to the Albertsons store.  But when I got to the interstate I noticed it was all backed up and barely creeping along in that direction, so I just went to the little convenience store in Ehrenberg, where a 14 oz. can of tomatoes cost me $1.99! Yikes, more than double what I’d pay in a larger grocery store! Oh well, I probably would have spent that much on gas getting to Blythe & back, plus bought other stuff I really don’t need.  I did finally get through to Wal-Mart on the phone to order my prescription refills and have them sent via mail to the Ehrenberg post office.  Their on-line ordering for pickup and/or mail delivery never works! Then on the way back home, I remembered a hidey-hole where I may have put a big can of tomatoes. Sure enough! Oh well; Princess Roxie got a nice little car ride out of the deal.

Ehrenberg is a pretty depressed-looking place. Lots of junky mobile homes & shacks, and businesses-that-used-to-be. They do have a nice new fire station though!

Love the smell here after the rain, and in the early mornings….some kind of bush that puts out a nice herbal smell when wet; I can’t remember which one it is. Maybe mesquite?

Oh! I heard from a friend that she’s going to be camp hosting at the most beautiful campground ever….Sunny Flat, in Southeast AZ near Portal, for January and February! Oh now I’m going to have to go back there. I haven’t seen them since Linda spent a week or so with me at Yuma last winter. Unfortunately it’s about 400 miles from here, but maybe I can work my way back around there by February. I nearly cried when I went past the exit on the way to Whitewater Draw when I first got to AZ; it is such a gorgeous place but it’s way the heck out of the way….something like 45 miles from I-10, in the middle of nowhere. It’s on the “back side” of Chiricahua National Monument, and there’s a little tiny twisty dirt road that goes over the mountain between the two, but it’s impassable in winter, with snow and ice. I tried it last December and had to turn back after a couple slow, bumpy miles. Here’s a photo I got off the web of Sunny Flat. Is that not a magical place? The high cliffs rise all around the campground meadow. It’s a great for birding and there are some nice hiking trails around there. It costs $5 a night with the Geezer Pass. If you get there in January or February, tell Linda and Rodger I said hello!

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Ehrenberg Camp

I finally got camp pretty well set up. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was “I’m home!” and I was happy. I don’t have to do anything, don’t have to go anywhere. I guess I really needed to stop traveling! Not that I would want to live here, I just want to be able to stay in one place for awhile.

I made a mistake in packing up yesterday morning and had a little incident with some spilled instant mashed potato flakes on my bed.. This has happened before and wasn’t a problem but with the dry air here, those darn flakes are all charged up with static! They’re not going anywhere; they cling like crazy to my fleece sheets and even the quilt that has a smooth surface. I tried using the whisk broom to fling them on the floor but they are resisting. Maybe I can pretend it’s snow…….And if it ever rains, maybe the humidity in here will go up enough that I can sweep them up. .No Biggie.

I’ve been busy today though; I washed out a few Unders so I don’t have to go to the laundromat for a few more days; made vegetable soup and applesauce, charged up the Kindles, laptop and some batteries for my little flashlight and rearranged the back seat of the car a little. I get it all organized but then as soon as I take one thing out, it becomes one big jumble again.

Here’s the “road” in…..and the neighbors. Yes, that’s right, there aren’t any! They are all about 1/2 mile away or so. Sorry abhout that handprint in the upper corner; I was trying to shield the lens from the sun.

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And here’s our camp. Nice tree, huh?dscn6807

 

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Ehrenberg, AZ BLM Land

I am hoping this is my last move for a good while….I’d love to stay here for a month or so. I’m told the 14 day limit is not enforced here.  It seems like a great place, except it’s rather windy right now.  The ground is covered with coarse gravel which is a little hard to walk on but at least it’s keeping us from getting sandblasted. I even have a TREE which gives shade for a good part of the day!  It’s a Palo Verde tree so it doesn’t have any leaves, but it still does a pretty good job of casting shade.  The gravel around here is very interesting; lots of white quartz stones, some of them pretty big. Oh no, not more rocks!!  I will try not to look down.

I’m a mere 3 miles from Exit 1 on I-10, where there’s gas, propane, dump station and water, laundromat and a convenience store! And it’s only about 7 miles to Blythe, CA for bigger grocery stores, etc.  I am getting great wifi and cell signals too.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be settling into one place for a while. I even took the time to finally put up my little decorations….I hung a glass art piece of a happy little whale I got in Maine, and some postcards on the wall, and of course my tiny Christmas tree. I might even get out the solar string lights, if I can figure out what I’ve done with them.

I first went in the other direction and tried to find a nice campsite right on the Colorado River but didn’t see anything that I really liked. There are other campers around me here but not close. This is the kind of place where if I don’t feel like getting fully dressed in the morning, I don’t have to! But yet there are others “within shouting distance”. I think.

 

 

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Moving to Yuma

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Wow, pretty amazing sunrise this morning! Roxie again woke me at 6:45 to go out but once I got up I was kinda glad, as I got to see the magnificent dawn breaking. There was a group of coyotes howling about 1/4 mile away so I hustled Roxie back into the camper pretty quickly. I love to hear them though!

Even though it’s a Moving Day, it’s also going to be a Pancake Day. I got some huge blackberries at Safeway for only $.88 and I love blackberry pancakes. Boy that reminds me of living in Ecuador where blackberries are available year-round and are $1 a pound!! Yum.

Later…..I set my GPS with the coordinates for Cochise Stronghold West but when we got just past Tombstone, it wanted me to turn on a road that was gated and locked! I asked it to fine an alternate route and it said there wasn’t one. So…..I just decided to head for Yuma.

We got as far as Gila Bend and stopped at an area that is part of the AZ State Trust Land. It requires an annual $15 permit to camp there but I  got one & printed it out before I left NC. It was very convenient for a quick overnight stop; just off I-8. It was almost dark when I got there and I really couldn’t see where to camp, so I just pulled off the little dirt road onto the desert and went back about 150′. The road is only about 3/4 mile long and it was very worrisome that I saw this sign on the way in:

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Yikes. It was already too dark to find another spot, so we hunkered down and didn’t use much light; I read by the light of the Kindle. We survived! We were out of there by 8 a.m. and headed to Yuma.

Got to Fortuna Pond (outside of Fortuna Foothills) by 10:00! Wow, it was way more crowded than when I was here last winter. I thought if I got here before Christmas I’d have my choice of sites, but not so at all. I barely squeezed into a tiny lakefront site near the porta-potty and dumpster. (I hope they don’t smell!)  Many of the sites have nice trees for shade but not this one. Hopefully it won’t get too hot while we’re here.

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A Do-Nothing Day

It was so nice to Do Nothing all day yesterday! Oh, caught up on little chores like some housekeeping, cooking & stuff, (made some really great sloppy joes to have for lunches!) but I never left the campsite til late afternoon. I needed this! It was very warm today; high of 79. My little canopy does not provide any shade since the sun is so low in the sky right now, but Roxie has shade cloth over her exercise pen, both for shade and for protection from predators in the sky.  33 degrees this morning, 79 by afternoon!

I was so pleased the other day at Safeway when I had a short conversation in Spanish! I had been looking and not finding the little Halo tangerines, and when I went to the checkout line, there was a Mexican lady there who had some in her cart. I heard her speaking Spanish to her grandson, so I asked (IN SPANISH!) “Where are the little oranges?” And I actually understood the answer! OK, I didn’t understand most of the answer, but I caught the word “debajo” which means “under”, so I knew to look for them below the counter. Found them!  It was the most simple little conversation but it really made me happy that I could even remember that much of my Spanish. I wish I had occasion to use it more often, as I really worked hard at learning it at my age, and I’m forgetting more and more all the time.

I walked back to the viewing platform this evening. That makes a mile or more of walking just today, wow!  Here are some pics….most of them taken using the digital zoom on my camera, so they’re not super clear.

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