Categories
Arizona Uncategorized

Wandering Around Eastern AZ

 I have been camping in way too much heat lately, and I’m very grumpy. I seem to choose the places that don’t have shade, and once the camper is set up on the inside, which takes about 20 min., I’m not about to move it! It’s hard to tell where the sun’s path will be when you arrive in the morning, or at noon. I’ve really been moving around a lot lately. I just came from 3 days at Concho where it was around 85 every day, then 2 days at Payson where it was in the low 80’s but one day I had a bunch of errands to run and when I got back, it was 101 degrees inside the camper! And me with no electricity so no real way to cool it down. UGH. I just don’t tolerate heat.

I moved to a little higher elevation in Pine, then a few days in Strawberry. MUCH nicer! 

Here’s the campfire ring at my Pine campsite. I thought it was very elaborate…much higher than the usual single ring of rocks.

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And here’s the view from my Pine campsite. It’s really just on the edge of a fairly ugly dirt clearing but there’s nice shade and a great wifi signal, and only a mile to town. (It is ½ mile S. of the Pine Trailhead, on the west side of Hwy. 260/87. GPS 34.36650 -1211.44060)  There are also a few small pullout sites and a vault toilet at the trailhead, and that’s probably where I would go next time.

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I am again on the hunt for a nice cheapie piece of property to call HOME. I’ve now been wandering for more than 2 ½ years. I looked at several places in eastern Apache County but nothing really appealed at all. So tomorrow I’m heading back to a different area to try again. I visited some lovely folks (Candace & Frank) who are friends of a friend of a friend (good ol’ Facebook)! And fell in love with their place and the general area. On my way back out from their house I saw a real estate sign on a parcel that’s heavily treed (pinon and cedar trees, only 20-25’ tall but nice and bushy).  That one is a little more than I am able to spend but I’m sure there are other parcels for sale around there. I am working with a realtor, Mike from Landmark Realty…he’s great! He has spent a good bit of time looking up the restrictive covenants for all the areas I’m interested in, to make sure RV’s are allowed!

The way Apache County works this is that you can’t really live full-time in an RV unless you are in an RV park or are holding a building permit for a home; then you can legally live in an RV on your property for up to a year, and you must have a septic system. But you can live in your RV for 6 months without a septic system, leave for two weeks and then come back for another 6 months, on and on ad infinitum. They consider that “camping”. You just have to go somewhere and dump your tanks. Since I don’t have any black or graywater tanks, for me it’s a matter of dumping my porta potty in a vault toilet somewhere. I probably will switch to a dry toilet/composting system. 

My friend Donna from Cottonwood came with her greyhound “Queenie” to camp for a few days., so I moved to a higher elevation campsite and one that’s more scenic. Queenie is the sweetest thing! (Well so is Donna) She’s a racetrack rescue who just recently had a front leg amputated due to cancer. She gets around pretty good! Donna has a Chalet model XL1930 A-frame camper that’s massive….it’s 6’ longer than mine, 6” wider and way taller, with a wet bath, double sinks, bigger fridge with freezer and high sidewalls so the kitchen counter height is really comfortable for cooking. And a queen-sized bed! Look at the difference between our two campers…we’re like Mutt and Jeff!

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We had a visitor yesterday morning…..a scruffy-looking young guy came to Donna’s camper and said he needed a jump-start for his car. She told him that her car was new and had a bunch of electronics that she didn’t want to chance messing up. (good answer, I thought!) She asked me if I’d do it and I said the same thing. We were both just leery of this guy, and for no good reason; he seemed like a perfectly nice guy. But….don’t they all?!  We both felt really bad about not being helpful but heck, we’re two unarmed old ladies!! When Donna went back to tell him I wouldn’t do it either, I put my shoes on, got out my trusty hatchet and had the phone on and dialed 9-1, all ready to punch in that last number and then run over and whack his head off. Or should I whack his head off first?? Of course he went away quietly and everything was fine, but you just can’t be too careful these days.  A little while later a car went by with a young couple in it and I stopped them and told them the situation and they said they’d help the guy. So now we don’t feel quite as guilty.

The ground here is very rocky!

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And here’s another pretty interesting fire ring, with wind deflectors.

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Wow! Maybe best pizza ever…we went to the Old County Inn in Pine yesterday for lunch. It was a long wait but their wood-fired pizza was amazing.

I am having a run of bad luck with hamburger. I buy grass-fed hamburger in a shrink-wrap package, costs between $6-7 a lb. but it keeps much better than the fresh-ground stuff in the grocery store, plus it doesn’t have that Pink Slime in it that most of the grocery stores add. I bought a package when I was in Flagstaff and a few days later I noticed the package was all blown up. Damn, rotten hamburger? It still had 6 days til the Sell By date!  I reluctantly threw it out, and a couple days later I mentioned it to Pat and he said it was probably perfectly good; sealed packages like that blow up like balloons from the elevation there!!   Well CRAP!  So I bought another pound, on sale for $5.99. I have no idea how this happened but several days later I found that package laying on the floor next to my bed!!  Obviously another throw-away. Sheesh!  Maybe it rolled out of the grocery bag? Roxie had not touched it. She rarely will pick up anything off the floor, no matter how yummy it might be. Princesses do not eat floor food!

Categories
Arizona Uncategorized

Flagstaff

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I spent a week near Flagstaff, on a free campsite in the Coconino National Forest off A-1 Mountain Road. It was great…only one mile from I-40 and about 5 miles to town. My site happened to have a lot of junk that had been jettisoned by some homeless guy.  If you remember my “ax-murderer” friend Pat from this spring? He was camped there and said that he could get the trash hauled away if I’d bag it up. It was pretty crazy; two bales of hay under a torn tent. There were all kinds of empty cans and bottles inside the tent, outside the tent, and seemingly “hidden caches” of them in the hay! And under the tent, also hidden in the hay, were three bulging pillowcases full of clothing.  So I spent part of a day getting that all cleaned up, and Pat’s rancher friend came and hauled it away. The hay was still there, but it looked so much better without the tent and all those cans & bottles. Oh, and about 100 cigarette butts and two whiskey bottles.  Here’s the pile after I finished:

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While I was there I had two really memorable meals with Pat….he cooked a delicious slab of pork ribs on his campfire, and a couple days later we had a turkey breast cooked over the fire that came out perfect…moist and juicy; oh so good! He’s a really good guy and not an ax-murderer type at all.  (I followed him way back into the woods to a campsite this spring when he was a total stranger, and thought to myself that for all I knew, I could be following an ax-murderer!! After all, I did meet him on a Facebook group!)

Pat told me about the Goodwill Outlet in town, so I stopped there this morning. Score! They bring all the stuff  that doesn’t sell from the regular Goodwill stores here. Everything is $1.29 a pound, and it’s all jumbled-up in huge bins. You have to paw throught it to see what’s there. I got 4 good rubber-backed bath rugs, a cushy fleece throw for Roxie, and a nice down-alterrnative pillow, all for $10.17! Those little rugs fit the space in front of my bed perfectly, and since I don’t want to spend money to wash a  $2 dirty rug in a separate washer, and I sure don’t want to wash dirty rugs with my clothes,I just toss them when they get really dirty.

I really loved the site but it was not good for Roxie. The ground was super-fine silt and all her white bits turned gray; plus there were little weeds and stickers that were gumming up her coat. So yesterday I took her to the self-serve dog wash in Flagstaff and bathed her for $15 (yikes!), and we left this morning for cleaner parts.

We only went a few miles; 9 miles down Lake Mary Road to the Marshall Lake road, then 1.2 miles back. (near the Lowell Observatory). We are in another part of the Coconino National Forest. Got a nice campsite (free, of course) well back from the road, with a few pine trees for shade. I looked out a little while ago and we were surrounded by cattle! Once it got dark they started making the most godawful noises…..I wondered if one was having a baby or was mad about something!  Once they quieted down, the coyotes started up!  And the next morning the camper started shaking violently!! I knew what it was…..I looked out and sure enough, a cow was scraching her butt on the corner of my camper! Go away, Cow!  When I opened the door and yelled at her, she hightailed it out of there. I guess that’s where the word “hightailed” came from, as it really was straight up in the air! Then I felt bad for scaring her so badly.

 

 

Categories
Arizona

Pine, AZ

Yesterday morning we had another hot air balloon landing nearby; I took this photo out the door of the camper. I’m going to miss seeing those balloons every morning.

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Yesterday afternoon I took the camper back to A-1 RV Service in Camp Verde because I didn’t think the brakes were working. They said they were operational, but they weren’t working very well. So Dan adjusted something underneath and didn’t charge me a thing! He said one brake drum was scored but didn’t have the correct parts to fix it right then. Now the brakes seem to work fine, so I’m not too worried about getting that drum replaced right now. I’ve already spent $700 on car and camper repairs this month and that’s more than enough!

It was time to leave Sedona/Cottonwood; we’d been there for 14 days already. Just in time too, as the weather was really heating up. It had been in the low 80’s for 3 days! I rigged up shade cloth but still could not keep the camper cool. So we drove up and over the mountains, through some pretty snowy areas, to Pine which is a tiny town about 15 miles from Payson, which has all the “big box” stores. Pine does have a small grocery store, laundromat, some gift shops and a few eateries. I was going to head to Clints Well, 23 miles farther north, but Pat (my boondocking friend from Superior; yes, the Ax Murderer) told me about a great camping place here. I’m so glad I took his advice!  I found a nice site at the edge of a big clearing that has plenty of shade from pine trees all around, and still has good sun for my solar panel. I’m only about 1/2 mile from town and just a few hundred feet off the main highway, so I’m getting great wifi and cell signals.   The elevation is about 5400′ here, compared to 7,000′ in Clints Well and even higher up in the Tonto National Forest where the really pretty campsites are. So it’s warmer here. Today’s forecast is for 73/47 here, and only 62/31 in Clints Well!  The forecast for here stays about the same for the next ten days…perfect!

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I think this is going to become one of my very favorite spots. Today was just perfect…73 outside, and with the nice dappled shade, the inside of the camper stayed at 75,  very comfortable.  Behind us is a whole forest of pines and it smells wonderfully fresh and piney! Roxie and I sat outside for a long time this afternoon.

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The forest behind us

It seems like an elk-y, deer-y, bear-y kind of place so we’ll be careful. For you Worriers, we do have a few neighbors; a truck camper back in the woods and a couple tent campers across the clearing, and there have been several ATV’s going past on the forest roads.  Here’s my view out the camper door. Just beyond that line of trees is the highway but I seldom hear any noise from it. The tent campers are just out of sight in this photo, on the left.

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Categories
Arizona Uncategorized

Goodbye Sedona; Hello Clints Well!

It’s getting hot here in Sedona/Cottonwood….81 today and tomorrow, ugh! Funny how it kind of skipped the 70’s and went directly from the high 60’s to low 80’s. Tomorrow I’m getting the camper brakes repaired (again?) and heading to Clints Well, which is just about 45 min. away but much higher elevation. There it’ll be back to the high 60’s. If i can, I might move around but stay in that general area for a while.

I got the new alternator yesterday at Phillips Auto Service in Cottonwood. Good guys. This one comes with a 36 month, 36000 mile nationwide warranty. If it fails, I can get a new one from any Napa Auto Parts. But of course my stuff never fails while under warranty, LOL.

We had a really pretty sunset last night. They’ve been not so good because the skies were cloudless.

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I had trouble getting to sleep last night; I was awake til around 2 a.m. Then at 6 a.m. Princess Roxie woke me and insisted I get up and take her out for Her Royal Pee. Then again at 7:15 for Her Royal Poop. Ugh!  Sometimes it’s tough being owned by a princess. I bet I’ll sleep tonight.

I was kind of glad I got up at 7:15 though, because I got to see a couple more hot air balloons pretty close. I got this great shot of one coming down behind the camper

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Here’s Roxie’s favorite spot, under the shady tree. Mine too! I got a nice new lawn chair that doesn’t require kung fu training to fold up.  My old Coleman chair is very comfy but very hard to fold…the best way is to throw it on it’s back to get it started! It’s starting to fall apart though, it’s about 5 years old and used a lot.

Categories
Arizona

Rain Rain Go Away!

On Friday we moved from Concho back to the national forest land between Cottonwood and Sedona. We got a GREAT site with a shade tree, and way far back from the dusty road with all it’s traffic.  Deb got a lot of things fixed on her camper (to the tune of nearly  $900) by A-1 RV Service in Camp Verde; really good guys who do great work. Those are the same guys who fixed my fridge and brakes. Now her old battery is working great, and she even has a new battery monitor inside the camper so she can easily see how it’s doing. It was a shorted-out awning motor that was causing her batteries to go dead all the time. (The new motor cost $300!)

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All was well….enjoying the campsite….then it started to rain. Uck! After an all-day rain yesterday, continuing on into today, our campsite is a muddy mess! And it’s the kind that builds up on your shoes until you’re lifting 10# of mud with each step. I’m so glad I have my imitation Crocs with me! Regular shoes would be ruined. Princess Roxie kept bugging me to take her out this morning but I didn’t want to get all muddy again so I put the leash on her and forced her out the door while I stood safely in the doorway. She landed in the mud and very gracefully somehow twisted around and leaped back into the camper without taking another step! Here’s her footprints…..the ONLY doggy footprints!  I don’t know how she managed that trick. Roxie HATES getting her feet wet!

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The next time she asked to go out I knew she REALLY must have to go, but I couldn’t even drag her out the door. It’s amazing how strong a 10# dog can be. So I put on my yucky shoes and carried  her over to a grassy area so she could do her business, then carried her back to the camper. I found a tent state and scraped 1/2″ of goo off my shoes before I went back inside. Here are my footprints:

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I think it’ll be a few days before either of us will be able to drive out of here! Now I’m not so glad we got this campsite wayyyy back from the road!  I have Things To Do, too…I’m selling my half of the 40 acres in Alaska back to the other co-owner and I needed to go print the Quitclaim Deed and get it notarized. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow?

 

I’ve been trying to make some summer plans. You know me; I love making plans, even if they don’t work out in the end. I’ve just about given up on finding cheap land in a place that’s cool in summer, where it’s also legal to live in a camper. All those places have terrible crime ratings! I guess cheap land attracts that sort of people?? Anyway, we were thinking of spending the summer around Flagstaff where it’s nice and cool, but they have that Southwest monsoon thing going on….heavy rains every afternoon all summer. And after this experience, I’m not interested in having rain every day. So now I’m thinking to maybe go on up to southeastern Wyoming; the Medicine Bow National Forest is one of my very favorite places and the mountains are beautiful and cool, plus it’s north of the monsoon territory.  Anyone have any other good suggestions of where to spend the summer where it’s cool and fairly dry? (with lots of free camping too, of course)

Categories
Arizona

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

 

 

 

Categories
Arizona

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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Uncategorized

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

 

Categories
Arizona

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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Categories
Arizona

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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Categories
Arizona

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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Gallup, NM

Where were we last? Oh, Moab I think. I’ve been without cell or wifi signal for several days. Well we drove a couple hours to Valley of the Gods between Mexican Hat and Bluff, UT. It’s about 15 miles of dirt road winding through a gorgeous valley……it’s called a miniature Monument Valley, and I think that’s true! We got a very nice campsite in view of some of the “monuments” and drove the long dirt road, which had some hills so steep, we couldn’t see the road over the car’s hood when we crested the top! We saw another pretty King snake on the road.

Then the next morning we got up early and hotfooted it to Chinle, AZ to Canyon de Chelly. We were worried about being able to get a shady campsite at Cottonwood Campground, as we were having to leave the dogs in the campers during our tour the next morning. And it was Saturday on Memorial Day Weekend! Camping there is $14 a night (no senior discount) and the middle part has huge cottonwood trees, very nice! But there are lots of “goatheads” which are very very nasty hard stickers. They actually stick into the bottoms of our shoes!!!  So you can imagine what it’s like for the dogs to walk on them, OWWW!   We stayed there 2 nights and the first evening we drove the roads to the north and south rims.  Yesterday morning early we took a private 4 hr. tour of the canyon, and if you haven’t done the tour, you haven’t seen Canyon de Chelly at all.  It was a GREAT tour in a big Suburban (or open Jeep) which drives right up the river at times,  crossing and re-crossing many times. From the canyon floor you can see all the ruins up close….some of the ruins are in people’s back yards!!  A lot of Navajo people live in the canyon in summer; most of them live outside the canyon in winter because it gets very cold. There’s no electricity or water in the canyon, so most of the people live very much the same way as they used to, though we did see some huge arrays of solar panels and a DirecTV dish  at our guide’s aunt’s house!    We also saw quite a few pictographs and petroglyphs on the canyon walls.

 

Our guide was  “Harris”, a cute Navaho guy in his late 30’s. He told us tons of information about the Navajo people and the canyon. We passed lots of residents along the way and it seemed like they were always some relative of Harris’s. He told us the Navajo are originally from Mongolia, and they came across the ice bridge to Alaska. Their language is almost identical to the Athabascan language of the Alaskan natives!  We were not allowed to take any photos of the residents or their homes or livestock, without permission.  The 4 hour tour included Antelope House which is one of the best ruins, and you don’t get to see that at all on the 3 hour tours. And the extra hour only cost $10 more!  ($210 for 3 people). It was well worth it….one of the highlights of my whole trip!  Both days I had stupid neighbors who ran their generators constantly. UGH!

This morning we headed out, it’s the end of our 5.5 week tour. Jeanne and Joanne are headed for relatives in Kansas and I’m headed back to NC to get my car tags renewed.  Deb stayed behind in Moab and is making her way up to Idaho!

A little red battery icon was lit on my dashboard the whole way and when I got to Gallup, NM and turned the car off, it refused to start again. So something in the charging system. I spent an hour on the phone with Good Sam Roadside Assistance trying to get a tow truck; turns out my plan had expired in March and they sent renewal notices in the mail, and I didn’t get any of them. They allowed me to renew the plan today and get wrecker service right away, after some begging and pleading. (I didn’t cry!) Then it took more than an hour for the wrecker to show up. They made me drop the camper in Wendy’s parking lot, and the car got towed to Pep Boys, the only repair place open today…..and it was across the road from Wendy’s and maybe 1/4 mile down! I could have pushed the car there faster myself!!!  I waited for 4 hours there and right before closing time they finally said I needed a new alternator and battery. $700.  Good thing I just got my Social Security check, but June is gonna be a real hard month!  They couldn’t get the work done today so one of their employees gave us a ride back to the camper and I am going to have to sleep here in Wendy’s parking lot. I hope it’s safe; I’ve already got out my shrieking boat horn and my trusty hatchet! I wonder if the police will come and boot me out too. Tomorrow morning we’ll have to walk back to Pep Boys and it’s a bit farther than I’ve been walking so I know my knee will not be happy.

I’m also having a lot of problems with my camper fridge. I can’t seem to get it to go much under 5o degrees. I guess I’m going to have to throw out all the meat but I hope the cheese, butter and eggs will be OK. I hate to waste all that money, especially now. When I get back to NC I’ll have to get that checked out, I’m hoping maybe it just wants a little shot of freon after 12 years. A new fridge, even a teeny 1.9 cu. ft. one like mine, costs around $700! Ahh, that seems to be the magic number lately.  😦

Thank you very much for your Amazon orders and PayPalMe!  May was a good month, a little over $170 in Amazon earnings!!  Too bad I don’t get it for another two months……

 

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Grand Canyon and Zion

Well I’ve been without wifi for several days so I missed blogging from the GRAND CANYON, whoo hoo and whip hop!  We found a gorgeous free campsite in the pines about 2 miles from the park entrance, with plenty of space for our 4 campers.   We were supposed to stay here just 2 nights and then move to Page & Lake Powell, but the temps in Page were very high so we stayed there for 3 nights, then one night at a pretty campsite in the pines near Jacob Lake, and today have arrived at Zion National Park! What a gorgeous drive we had these past two days, through the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and entering Zion from the east! Here’s the view from my campsite in the Watchman Campground inside Zion. We all agree that having electricity is really nice, but we don’t like the “subdivision” atmosphere of a campground anymore.  DSCN5638

Last night’s campsite just outside of Jacob Lake:    DSCN5634

We saw lots of elk and mule deer in the Grand Canyon, so many in fact, that they became almost a non-event. “Oh there are some more elk”, ho hum! I think the mule deer have beautiful faces.

DSCN5628And here are some elk parts (we think) that were scattered around our Grand Canyon campsite.

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Oh we also saw a very long snake I think is a Gopher Snake.  DSCN5624

Back in Sedona, Deb and Jeanne saw a big king snake. We could do without seeing any more snakes up close and personal.    KingSnake

We went to the Imax theater and really enjoyed the show, though I did have to close my eyes several times to keep from getting motion sickness!

One evening we went to watch the sunset over the canyon….nice!   DSCN5517

I have a new (to me) camera! Bless my generous friends! My friend Martha in CT sent me her Nikon 8800 camera!! And what good timing, since I broke my own little Nikon S8100. So sad, I loved that little camera. I had put it in the pocket of my sweatshirt and it hung down on that side, so when I sat down, I sat on the camera. It did not survive.  It looks fine but I guess the lens is jammed because it won’t retract or focus.  I’m hoping I can get it fixed fairly inexpensively some day. The new camera is not at all compact so it’s not in any danger of being stuck in a pocket and sat upon. Anyway I’m still learning the new camera so the photos may not be quite as good as usual, but I’m sure soon they’ll be even better!

One day I decided to leave Roxie in the camper while we went sightseeing and when I returned, I opened the door to look eye to eye with her….she was standing on the stove!!  She must have jumped on the bed and then climbed onto the kitchen counter & stove…..I didn’t know she COULD jump up on the bed!

Here are our three girls….Roxie, Annie (Toy Schnauzer) and Partly (Yorkie). Annie and Roxie regularly hang out in the exercise pen but not Partly; this was just for a minute to get a photo. Partly’s attitude is “We don’t need no stinkin’ ex-pens”!!  If Roxie is a princess, Partly is the QUEEN.   DSCN1943

Here are more photos from the Grand Canyon. It sure is a beautiful big hole in the ground! We ate lunch one day at El Tovar Lodge. Someone said (I won’t mention any names) there was a cafeteria in the hotel but there wasn’t. I nearly died when I saw the menu; I got the cheapest thing which was a little cup of soup for $9.50 including the tip!!  Even the desserts were $7.50 and up.

As always, thank you so much for using my Amazon Associates and/or PayPalMe links at top right!!

Directions to our campsite near the Grand Canyon:  As you are coming into Tusayan, you’ll go through a traffic circle. The moment you exit the circle onto Hwy. 64, turn right onto Forest Road 302. There are many sites along this road but try to go at least a mile back to escape the noise from flyovers! Our huge nice site was 1.6 miles back.

Directions to our campsite near Jacob Lake:  On Hwy. 89A about 3.2 mi. east of town, turn North on FR257 near MM 576. There’s no sign for FR257 but there is a sign for FR225 which is directly opposite. It is a trailhead for part of the Great Western Trail which runs from Mexico to Canada. Very large area right at the junction.

 

 

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Sedona & Montezuma Castle

Yesterday we went to Sedona…what a gorgeous place! A little pricey too. We went to the Tlaquepaque Plaza shopping center which is supposed to have the best arts & crafts. It’s beautiful, with statuaries, fountains and pretty flowers. Of course we couldn’t afford a THING, but it was fun to look.  Does anyone know what these flowers are? Maybe hollyhock???

Views of the red rocks….I couldn’t capture the true colors!  It was a rainy day and we even had some hail for awhile, when we were trying to go to the Holy Cross Church (church on a rock, it’s often called). It was designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the views from the tower are supposed to be really incredible. Well it was raining and hailing so hard, the little golf carts used for the handicapped people (3 of us!) were not available. So we crept up the hill to the church in a long line of cars, then crept back down.

We had a really good lunch in honor of Jeanne’s sister Joanne’s upcoming birthday at Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant, then came back home.

This morning three hot-air balloons landed in the field right next to us! I missed it, I slept through the whole thing and only saw them when they had the balloons all rolled up and ready to put into the chase vehicles.

Today we first went to the RV dealer to see if they could figure out why Jeanne and Deb are having so many battery problems, dropped the batteries off and went to Montezuma Castle, some really interesting ruins that go back to about the year 1125. And it was not a really long walk, so even *I* could go!  DSCN1915

On the way back we stopped at a little booth at the side of the road and had some Indian Fry Bread for $4.  OH MY!!!  I want more of that!!!   Jeanne and I split one and I wish I’d gotten one all my own. We got 1/2 cinnamon-sugar and 1/2 honey. Both were really REALLY good.DSCN1918

We stopped back at the RV place and they said both batteries were good; they felt maybe they were not getting fully recharged during the day, so they were not holding a charge all night. It’s still a mystery why those batteries won’t run their refrigerators all night (set on propane, so they should only draw 1/2 – 1 amp per hour fort the electronics & fan!)  I checked my battery and I see why I never have these problems; I have a Group 31 AGM battery with 105 amp-hours. Jeanne’s is only 56 amp-hours and Deb’s is a Group 27 @ 75 amp-hours. Plus my old fridge has no electronics, so it uses no electricity. They put a good full charge on both batteries so hopefully we can keep them charged up now.  I’ve been putting my 100 watt solar panel on Jeanne’s battery every day but perhaps not for long enough.

Last night’s pretty sunset……DSCN1904

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Still near Sedona

We’re still here, halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood. Now there are SIX of us! Jeanne’s sister Joanne has come up from Chandler (near Phoenix) for the weekend, and Bernii and Donnis have arrived in their brand new PleasureWay van camper.     DSCN1871

Jeanne, Joanne and I went rock-hunting above Cottonwood. We didn’t make it all the way back to where the “good” rocks were supposed to be; the road just kept getting rougher and rougher so we stopped almost 2 miles from the target area, but we still found some interesting rocks there.  We were way above the town!   DSCN1869

Yesterday we  went to Old Town Cottonwood which we enjoyed immensely…very cute town area just a few blocks long, with interesting shops. Of course we loved Jim & Ellen’s Rock Shop the best! They had lots and lots of pretty rocks from all over, and their prices seemed really good too. A lot of the AZ rocks were only $1 each.   DSCN1854We then went on to Jerome, a copper & gold-mining town perched way up on the side of the mountain above Cottonwood. The homes step right up the mountainside (and we wondered how often any of them slide down??) We had a very good lunch at the Haunted Hamburger.   DSCN1856We climbed a lot of steps to get to it., only to find we could have parked right in front and skipped all those stairs! I made them drive up to pick me up afterward. Here’s the view from our table out on the patio.   DSCN1858

Deb left her camper door open and our friendly Grackle hopped right up the steps and wandered in to check it out!  She distracted him with a Dorito so he came back out to get it.

The only bad thing about this great boondocking site is that there are lots of foxtails all around. They have barbed seed heads and can work their way into the skin of dogs anywhere on their body (most often between the toes or in the ears) and cause nasty infections and even can work their way from the nose into the dog’s brain or be inhaled into a lung and cause death! Yikes.

We went to Tuzigoot National Monument but I wasn’t able to climb up to the ruins. We’re hoping to get to Montezuma’s Castle and it may be the same story there….darn this knee!

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I’m making gingerbread sourdough pancakes for 6 this morning….that’ll be a first! I’ve never tried to make such a big batch before.

 

 

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Sedona Again

We’re back in Sedona! Well, we’re boondocking about halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood, again off Red Canyon Road (FR525) but we have a nicer spot than I had last time. We got here yesterday, a very hot day (89 degrees!) and found a nice camp off a little side road. We didn’t have shade for the campers but there were nice shady areas where we could sit.  Spent a restless night because it was TOO HOT! Wow, that’s unusual! The low was 56 and my camper stayed around 65. Normally that’d be fine but I guess I’ve gotten used to sleeping quite a bit colder than that.  As I drove up to that first site, a little herd of antelope was across the street! They have really good camouflage, don’t they!DSCN1840

This morning a man came up and said we couldn’t camp there; there was a teeny sign down near the road, in a driveway that was blocked off, that said No Camping more than 30′ from the road.  He said the BLM guys had been coming around every other day or so and the fines were $300! So we hustled out of there and Deb scouted out this new site. It’s even better….we have a nice big shade tree that shades two of the three campers. Deb is especially happy because she can get about 20 TV stations here, so she can watch her  special program, Scandal. It was very windy again today, 20-25 mph sustained winds. Every time we get up out of our lawn chair, it blows right over.  That gets old in a hurry, especially if you’ve forgotten and left a drink or camera in the chair pockets.  Here’s Deb pulling a tree branch back so Jeanne can get her slide out.DSCN1842

Little Veggie, what a good little car-rider she is! Never a peep out of her.   DSCN1843

I went to town and finally did my laundry, got rid of the garbage and bought some water in the dispenser machines. It’s $.30 a gallon here, Highway Robbery! (It’s usually $.25) I think tomorrow we’ll go see Old Town Cottonwood and Jerome.

We have a camp follower….this crow insists we feed him!  He yells at us if we don’t. So we’ve given him a little bread, and I gave him some nice healthy sweet corn and Deb threw him some popcorn. Just like a kid…he went for the popcorn instead of the healthy stuff!  On the other hand, she also gave Princess Roxie some of that popcorn (store-bought) and of course she didn’t eat it. She only likes home-made popcorn with lots of butter! If I offer her a piece that doesn’t have enough butter on it, she’ll turn her nose up and wait for a properly buttered piece.DSCN1850