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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!

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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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Uncategorized

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.