Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm a HOG!

At least... I guess... according to Verizon! ... and I thought I rode a Yamaha. ;)

When Mark voiced his feelings about the air card Thing to me, when we crossed trails in Catalina, Arizona several weeks ago... it was like an echo of thoughts I'd been having...

... but since then my own internet slow down has only gotten worse... and I really started paying attention.

Last night... I had a flash for about 60 seconds of 2885 kbps... only to have it fall to ZERO, 10, 235... 45kbps... arrrrrggggghhhhh! This morning 1856 for a few seconds... and then 0, 1.24, 22.58,  Lovely... and all... with Five bars of signal.

So... I started digging a little bit and found, going back a year and more, that what's goin' on ain't a surprise to anybody but us! :) I found this article and linked to it... this one...

Bottom line I was right... I'm so proud! ;) ... the solution is gonna be High Dollar and it's gonna take a while.

You and me are the problem, NOT, AT&T or Verizon. We're buying data munching gizmos faster than the Providers can build the systems to feed 'em. We're getting frustrated and they're losing ground.

It's gonna get worse, before it gets better... Now... for most folks it's only an inconvenience... but me? I've kinda painted myself into a box... again! :) Wow! Has THAT put a look of surprise on this Ol' Busters face! :-o

My Precious Mobile Internet has allowed, to my great Joy, a heavy part of my income to be made while I live The Gypsy life I have hungered for and chased my entire life. Dealing with the frustrations of finding access... so I can do my "Work"... isn't just something I can take or leave... if I leave it... I don't eat... and the dream goes - KERSPLATT!

I have no option but to hunt up, work out, build up, a solution... or a balance... that doesn't leave me kicking pigs.... and spewing blue smoke!

Right at this moment, I've no idea really which way to go. I know there's an answer... There's a trail to follow... I just have to find it.

Different Day... New Potholes ;)

Shining Up My Shovel to do Road Repairs

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Agitating Over Solutions To Deal With the Long Term Decline in Internet Access for Yonderers...

Yup... That's what I said! :)

For several years I saw a steady improvement in cell service. It's the reason I chose to not go satellite. 
Everywhere we went we'd see more signal. We still do... Only... Now-a-days you can't do much with the signal!

The past several months... From Colorado, to Montana, to Washington, to Arizona, I've seen a steady and fairly steep decline in the function of my  Verizon "Air Card".

From conversations with other people, the issue isn't Verizon...

THE big ugly monster in the corner, to my thinking is three fold. 1. Smart Phones 2. Tablets and 3. E-readers.

Think about it. How has the Smart phone market exploded in the last year or so?... Pile on that the millions of 3G tablets sold in the last year combined with The Boss only knows how many million 3G e-reader devices in the last quarter alone.

All those millions of devices all competing for bandwidth on a suddenly overrun cellular system.
I'm pretty sure that's why I commonly have 4 or 5 bars of 3G signal... And can't do - anything. No bandwidth available on a corked up system.

Our "devices" are their own worst enemy.

So... Not expecting any quick... Like in the next year quick... Solution... I'm thinking I may have to start, frequently falling back to good Ol' WiFi somewhere... 'Cause I'm tellin' you, the Status Quo is like pushing a rope uphill on rocky ground.

Hunting the Elusive Internet

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Racing Motorcycles, Rumbling Hot Rods, Graffiti and Spam

Town is interesting... for about six minutes... and then it starts wearing thin. The noise never quits. Sorry Tempe... but you ain't my cup of Joe.

The crotch rockets were screaming past through the middle of the night... it seems to be a spot right in front of us that is the traditional U-turn spot for the area... so plenty of squealing tires through the day... and then the rumbling thumping banging of the bozos with speakers as big as their cars... pounding out crap that sounds more like a train wreck than music... They really need it that loud?... so loud I can hear it, I can Feel it six minutes before they drive past?... and they can't hear it?... Sitting on the speakers?

I know I may be in a minority, and everyone perceives the world round about in different ways and rightfully so... but I can't conceive how anybody thinks this noise, litter, the disgrace of graffiti and the pushing-and-shoving that is city living... is Living.

They are welcome to my share!

When you have to ask for permission to use the dang bathroom in a laundromat, because they have to keep the door locked... That tells this Ol' Buster to;  "Keep on rollin' Cowboy... this ain't the place for you to park YOUR bike!"

We're sitting in the parking lot of a high school in Tempe. They're running the Agility trial on one of the soccer fields that sit beside the school. I don't know how many people there are in this town any more, but I imagine it's like living in an Ant hill. Every which way you step... more people and a constant hum of noise.

I get that folks feel the need to stay in such places for the Jobs. That's a sad thing to me. There has to be a better way for folks to live... than packed together like chickens in an egg factory.

What it says to me is they are either lacking in the imagination, the discipline and the cajones to change things for themselves... or... more likely, they've been beaten down by the tender touches of a merciful society and simply lack the energy to fight it any more.

There's one I know who has little problem with a good scrap ;)  and I can tell you he won't be squatting in this rattle can of a place for too awful much longer...

... 'cause this afternoon, I'm hauling our rig over to the nice, peace and quiet of NASCAR! ;)

now... about word verification... what a PITA! going both ways. I took it off as some requested... and I guess it's a flattery... of sorts... I guess I get enough "Volume" to make me a target. Spam found me within minutes. The "spam filter" Blogger has works pretty good and so far has caught all the viagra and hot date Ads and something in Russian I have no idea what it was...

I was going to put it back on because of that... but then read that a lot of folks won't comment because the damn thing is such a difficulty to read, if they can read it at all... so... I guess I'll just add the job of sifting through the spam file trying to find the legit comments that sometimes get snagged in the filter to my list of chores... ah... the life of a Free Living Cowboy Biker Webmaster! :)

Ready Already to Run for The Hills

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making a Circle Around Roosevelt Lake.

If you ford Tonto Creek across either A+ road or Bar X you can hit the road that runs on over across the North side of the lake to catch Arizona 288. That runs from the SE end of Roosevelt lake on up to Young and beyond, hard under the Mogollon Rim.

It's not a bad road. By Imogene pass standards, up in Colorado, it's a freakin' interstate! ;) If you take your time you could make the drive in just about any decent car... but it is genuine Arizona back roading, so you'd be happier with something with a little clearance for the occasional rocks and such...

... and if it's been raining? That gumball mud up there can get nasty. I'd wait a day or so for it to dry up.

*Poppies on the Tonto*
If your timing is right it can get a lil' colorful... ain't that a purty Dodge? ;) Yup, purty... If you're talkin' purty worn out! :) and the flowers are kinda nice if you timed your trip right.

These back roads of what I still consider my Home State are a fine place to be, any time. Some times, they're better than fine. Spring in Arizona is generally earlier than other places... it's a lil' earlier this year.

*Wild Flowers along Arizona Backroads*

Zane Grey wrote 'bout this land. The Apache fought for it. Cowboys and Sheep men fought over it... and it's a shining place to wait out a part of the winter.

The camps there at Cholla and Windy hill, from some time in October to April are long term areas. Meaning, you can stay for 180 days without moving. Not bad for somebody like me at $3 bucks a night. They've even got showers that are supposed to be solar heated... I'd like to have a conversation with the guy that built 'em... to see what his definition of Heated is.

Took a shower there yesterday... to stretch our gray tank... whooooooeeee! Uh... the bozo that designed the system and his boss... didn't see a need for a storage tank... so the only hot water is what's running through the panels.

Once you get four or five folks taking showers at the same time and you guessed it, that hot water that might be there... goes away quick! ;) Opens your eyes up right quick too. I think I bruised my eye lids! ... and I'd not suggest it if you've got a hot date comin' up! Unless you need help being a good boy. ;)

But... I wandered off my trail here... That never happens 'round here does it! :)

Along the way, we spotted several places that'd make good camps for boondockers who don't have the psychotic need for internet access of Some drifters I know. What can I say. Maybe I'll start takin' a vacation every once in a while and see if my world caves in 'cause I was off the air for a week or so! ;)

This road across the top of the lake runs something over 25 miles. You'll roll right past this sweet little setup... nice, green, irrigated pastures. Quiet and space you can Feel. What I'd give for a nice shiny little layout like this one! ... If I had it to give...

*Arizona Desert Ranch*

 Where you tie into 288 you can turn left and run up to Young, which is a pretty drive itself, or, cut right and run on back to 188 where you'll go right again to get home to Cholla campground.

*Looking back at Roosevelt Lake*

 If you should take off on backroad runs like this one... make sure you got your jack with you. Make sure you have fuel, Really! :) and... make sure you've got some water and groceries. It's not a heavy traveled road. At least today it wasn't. We saw maybe three other vehicles on it the whole run.

There's not cell service most of the ride so if you did bust something you can't fix yourself pretty quickly you're in for a long walk or maybe a long wait. Not a big deal if you're prepared... and if you take a pen and paper to make notes, you can knit up some decent stories. :)

Everywhere we've gone, if you don't feel like, or aren't able to walk through it, there's been no shortage of roads and trails to idle along and still see what a lot of folks never take the time for, and more than you'll ever see in just one trip.

Heading down out of the Tonto in the Morning

Bushwacking around in the Tonto in Search of Ruins...

Bushwhacking in the Arizona Desert... is like... A pretty girl waitressing in a greasy spoon truck stop. Ya gotta stay on your toes and watch out for all the things that reach out and grab ya! ;)

But... that's the only way you can get where we planned to go. They ain't carved out any trails.

You can see it from camp... It's the knob just above the end of the ramada and below the snowy peak on the right...

Lazy like I am we drove the truck about a mile up the road to a pull out spot along the pavement... rather than walk that mile to where we could start up into the hills...  :)

But... at some point, you have to put your boots on the ground and start hoofin' it.

Now... I was thinkin' we should climb the southern ridge... the guy who told us 'bout where we were headed said he climbed the northern approach...

... Heidi thought; "Let's go up the center ridge, it's steeper, but shorter..."

Well kids let me, let you in on a lil' secret. Sometimes the shortest way... is not the shortest way!

Steeper can make up for any amount of shorter! :)

Leaving the truck at the pavement the first lil' bit was up a track the fish and game had worn in when they installed a "guzzler" for game...

It's a water collection system with a trough setup... to make sure the game don't run out of water in this dry desert...

Only this one does make a guy like me wonder... just a lil bit...

*water collection of guzzler*
I mean... standing here looking at this system... and thinking it might not have cost a million bucks... but it cost something...

*The guzzlers trough*

Now... standing here... looking at the work they did to put this thing in... so the game wouldn't run out of water... the thought hit me... There is a lake, with about 7 jillion gallons of water in it, right behind me...

...and they put the thing, HERE? When there's all sorts of places in Arizona that have lil' or no water where the thing would make water available where there was none... and they put it here... a short walk from a huge lake... curious.

I'll bet they'll think putting camels out on this desert is the next great  "natural" thing to do... I know, I know... just bein' grumpy in my old age :)

Well we started climbing that ridge you see just above that cholla in the pic above... right up the center... weaving through the cactus and bushes. Everything in Arizona does one of three things. If it don't bite you or sting you... it Sticks you!

It was a nice mid winter day though. A chilly seventy degrees or so. :) ha ha... got informed by a friend up in Colorado... she spent the night alone.... her guy was stuck in town. The drifts wouldn't let him get home, and they'd plowed the road three times in the day. It blew shut again as soon as the snow plow went through.

Oh what fun... I miss chasin' cows at 10 below so, so much! .... uh .... NOT!

*Remains of walls stacked up on top of the Knob*

We took our time and climbed up on top where the ruins are supposed to be... and found the whole top is circled by a perimeter wall and the rocks show that several rooms had been built inside the wall.

*It's a good walk back to camp on the point sticking out into the lake*

A pretty defensible spot, with a nice view. Of course, they didn't have the lake to look at! and I wouldn't want to be the poor bugger assigned the job of keeping the water pots full! Whooooo E! THAT would be a job. Was enough work haulin' my butt up there. How'd you like to spend three four hours a day, haulin' jugs of water up that mountain? ... On your Head! ;)

*Pottery Shards*

*Ancient Pottery Shards on the Tonto*

At first look the piled rocks didn't seem right. I think a lot of "Visitors" over the years have piled up a few of 'em trying to keep the thing around...

A lot of 'em just aren't stacked "right" for someone building their "Home". So you start wondering if the thing is even real...

Then, we found a big boulder in the middle of the place with a few chunks of "Something" layin' on it...

Cool... Ancient Pottery Shards... and other folks had left 'em... THAT is unusual. I'd expect 'em to have been swiped long ago.

By the time we made it back to camp we had most of the cactus thorns pulled out... and the bleeding stopped... made me glad I wasn't a half naked Solado Indian... humpin' up and down THAT hill every day... with some dang Navajo or Apache flingin' arrows at my cute behind!

Yep... I'll keep my world of pretty pictures and shiny motorcycles. Suits me just fine!

We're gonna make a circle of the whole dang lake today... 'cause tomorrow we hitch up and roll back into Tempe for a Dog Agility trial, and then on to PIR for some NASCAR racing and another lil' pay day to help keep this show on the road.

Winter on the Tonto... fits me better than Winter in the Rockies!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Lil Housekeeping and Town Crier Stuff...

This hyar is mostly an informational post! Kind of a Campfire Telegram.

First off... motivated by the request of Janna and a couple others... I finally figured out (with a lil' help from my friends) how to hobble the Word Verification gizmo in the comments area... So, if that inhibited ya'll from speakin' your mind... it's gone, at least for now.

Here's hopin' it won't get loaded up with so much spam it becomes an issue again... and if spam or nasty stuff does get in there for a bit... grrrrrr.... I can't clean it out 'till I get back to the rig... so have some patience. I'm keepin' my fingers crossed.

Second... if you look over there in the upper left corner of this blog... you'll see that I announced in my BK Gore blog that I'm droppin' the price on most of my books... You might look at that if you're interested in such savings. ;) Just trying to cut folks a bit of a break... and keep the pantry stocked at the same time.

If you know anyone who likes westerns... owns a Kindle, a Nook, any of the other readers, a smart phone or simply a computer... send 'em my way. I will be eternally grateful! :)

So... back to life as we know it... or... the continuing saga of a guy who's one of those fellers who seems determined to prove that you can indeed dig yourself out of a hole! ... if you only dig fast enough! :)

We fired up the scooter and rode on up to Payson and on over to Kohls Ranch to use up today.

When we climbed off the bike and walked into the lobby of the "Resort/Restaurant" there at Kohls Ranch, we were looking forward to a bowl of the chili we remembered they used to serve years ago. Though the sun was shining and the temps were nice... it's still a mite cool at sixtyfive miles an hour... there's such a thing as wind chill! :)

So... we walked in looking forward to that Hot Chili... only to find that during the winter... the restaurant is only open for supper a few days during the week, and of course, Today... weren't one of those days.

Weak as I was from malnutrition, we still climbed back on the Raider. I used the last of my strength to twist the throttle and spun the tires back to Payson and the Knotty Pine cafe for Patty melts and Rhubarb pie!

Then with full bellies and a slowly emptying fuel tank... we passed several of those Harley boys :) rolling back to our camp here on the Tonto. Aw come on... they can take a lil' tickle once in a while can't they? :)

Not a day I'd call spectacular... but let's face it... Putting a fine Motorcycle in the wind... under the Mogollon Rim... on a Sunny Arizona February Day (knowing what riding back yonder in Colorado was like in February)... makes for the sort of day that keeps a guy coming back for more...

Keeping it Together... One Day at a Time

Burning High Dollar Diesel on the Tonto...

... Prowling around the back roads.

*Long View across the Tonto from an Arizona Back Road*

The Arizona desert is laced with dirt roads and two tracks that lead to... ??? No signs, no idea, other than maybe a Forest service road number where it leaves the pavement, or splits off from the track you've been following.

We ran out into the desert climbing away from the basin floor yesterday and the day before. When we're taking advantage of $3 NF camps in an area we like, we'll do that a lot. Prowling up narrow and inviting trails... that might offer a nice long full boondock camp.

I still consider the camp we've got now to be boondocking... no hookups, we're living on the systems of our rig... but with the luxuries of water available in camp, as well as outhouses to stretch our tanks. Luxury Boondocking!

This Cholla Camp even has Solar Heated Showers... Well, IF ... you beat the others to the hot water it does! ;)

Anyway, we spend time hunting the back roads and trails for likely places to set a camp if we wanted. That's how we found great camps, up a one lane logging trail near Sula,  and most all of the others.

So... we'd found a spot that might work for some time in the future and had stopped to let the dogs run while we poked around checking it out...

*Possible Boondocking Camp on the Tonto?*

We walked up the track not expecting to find...

*Just Ordinary Rocks? in Arizona?*

Huh? Ok I know what you're thinkin'. "You didn't expect to find... ROCKS? ... in Arizona?" :)

Well, if you're not paying attention, you tend to miss things... if all you see is rocks. But, if you stand back and notice "things" 'bout those stones, a whole new panorama opens up.

These stones aren't just scattered randomly 'cross the ridge... You might could say they were organized.

When you stand back and looked, they're laying in nice lines with right angles...

We looked around and suddenly something like a dozen or more rooms appeared in the brush and grass...

You could see where sections of wall had fell over, where walls had been piled up at the edge of the drop off and the floors leveled...

It was kinda cool to feel like the first ones to have found this spot... of course, the turn around tracks of a few hundred jeeps and such gave the lie to that idea... but it was fun for a minute!

*Ruins of Ancient walls*

We poked around for quite a while. There was quite a lil' apartment house built on this ridge high above the Tonto. This country is littered with ruins. They're not all in the Monument.

One thing that bothered me though was finding a few stones that had been moved/upturned in the very recent past. I wonder why folks can't just leave things as they find 'em? If just ten % of the people finding this site do that... It will soon vanish... Vagabonds wandering around and exploring need to learn to do what you Teach your kids in the store... "Hands Off!"

The first one we found was off by itself a little ways. I first thought it might be the old remains of a cowboy line camp or something from the days this was a heavy used cattle range... but a few more steps and we were into the main site and it became obvious that it was quite a bit more than just the remains of some cow camp.

There's another bigger ruin up on a high knob, a bit south of this site we'd found. Once we'd been told about it I looked and you can actually see part of it, while standing in the Cholla Camp, with binoculars... the last remnants of a protective wall... We may climb up there tomorrow or the next day... Have to see how my ambition holds up.

... There's lil' bits of history and living to find unexpectedly, almost everywhere, if you take the time, and keep your mind open to see 'em.

One thing 'bout backroading in Arizona... The bridges aren't much to speak of...

You might want to reconsider using a Prius as your back roader. I'm pretty sure you'll not find me fording creeks on the Raider neither... and stay light on the throttle... diggin' in those back tires... in the middle of Tonto Creek, is not gonna shine up your day any!

Rattling Around the Desert on High Dollar Diesel

p.s. I know, because it irritates me too! The Word Verification gizmo to leave comments is a genuine, unadulterated PITA! I was going to, at the urging of a couple of people, try removing it for a bit... and see how bad the spam got... well... either that isn't possible or I'm a fumble fingered, word whittler... 'cause I can't find anywhere in my controls... that I can eliminate that lil' agitating gadget :( so... I guess we're stuck with it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Views Along Our Tonto Trail...

My head is all swelled up. Not sure it's deserved, but I'll take the compliment! :) That being Gumo putting my efforts at recording and sharing our wanderings photographically, and Arizona Highways Magazine (especially the OLD ones) in the same sentence, let alone comparing the two! :)

So... back to the Tonto. If you leave out of Cholla Campground and roll south a few miles (well... sort of south, SE?), over the bridge and past the damn you'll find the Tonto National Monument... and ruins of the Salado People who wandered this high desert a long time before cowboys swapped 4 hooves for two wheels and Coors for Landshark!

The first part is the usual visitor center with a small museum setup and a video... but the best part is the Arizona desert itself. Behind the Visitor center is a steep but short (with plenty of benches for those needful of 'em to catch their breath) paved trail that rises to the "lower" ruins...

*Climbing high in the Tonto to the lower Ruins*

There is another trail you follow to the ruins farther in and higher up, but you have to be escorted or guided to that site... they go a couple of times a week... we may tag along... but I already offended one of the Volunteers, so, Heidi may have to take that one herself while I remain here and work! ;) (what can I say... he made a comment that the wolves in Yellowstone were whacking the coyotes... you could almost hear Heidi's eyes roll back in her head ;) THAT punched my buttons! ... "That's not the ONLY thing they're decimating" I started in ... uh... he wasn't pleased!)

ahhhh... back to the Tonto...

*Ancient Ruins in Tonto Basin*

It always surprises me for some reason, whenever we get back to Arizona... Not in town anywhere, but out here... where the sky and the mountains are wide open and Free... that I look around and recognize that easy feeling of Being Home...

It's a nice lil' stroll, steep as it is... so take your time... there's no hurry, none at all. Fact is... don't concentrate on the ruins... look around you... look back... there's gorgeous views of Arizona many never bother to see (from the number of people I saw drive into the lot and then pull out without climbing up the trail) and there's views you may never see again...

Stop... turn around and look the way you came... Just... Look. Breathe... Print those views on your soul... I wish I'd done more of that when I was younger. There's a whole lot of Arizona that's been lost under a sea of asphalt and concrete... gone forever.

It remains only in photographs and memories...

I remember a man telling me, before I left for Alaska; "I hope you like trees." 

"Why's that?" I asked.

"Because that's all you're gonna see. Miles and miles of nothing but trees!"

THAT left me astounded. Talk about Not being able to see the forest for the trees...

I see a similar thing down on this desert. So many people describe Arizona as a bleak and desolate place. I wonder; "What Arizona were they talking about?" The one I grew up in, the one I wander through now, is full of rivers and lakes, birds, snakes, Mule deer and Javalina, glorious mountains and soul searing vistas.

Bleak, barren, desolate wasteland? Sorry. No. The desolation, sadly, is behind the eyes of the beholder, NOT in the land that shines in front of them.

I love this land in a way that's hard to describe. Not in the giddy, excited way of a couple of teenagers stealing the forbidden fruit in the back seat of a chevy...

... but... in the easy breathing, content feeling of knowing, when you sit on a rock... looking out over the Tonto Basin... This is my Home.

*Home of the Salado People*

The Archeologists have wondered for a long time, why these people left... why all the cliff dwellers seemed to suddenly just pick up and leave.

I often wonder the same thing about myself... Why do I suddenly pick up and leave? I'm in a place where I am happy and content... and suddenly I'm not... Suddenly I have an urge to roam, so strong nothing can resist it...

I wonder if maybe that's all it was with these folks? Was it that all they wanted was to see what was over that far off ridge they'd never crossed? So the went to see and simply never made it back?

But now... a lil' off the wall cowboy tangent, for all you dyed in the wool minimalists out there...

*Aboriginal Cuisinart*

If you're reallllly hung up on simplifying... get to it! Toss that fancy food processor and go natural! Yes Sir! A sand stone Food Processor with replaceable  Granite blades! ;) That's what you need!

So... the gimpy cowboy biker is strolling around these old digs... offending federal volunteers and polishing up his soul with the Wonder of Arizona... and he hears a distant rumble...

... and then spots, coming over the ridge and banking out in front of these old ruins... something you don't really expect to see in Arizona...

A float Plane! ??? I thought for a second I'd made a wrong turn at the Tonto National Monument sign and landed in Anchorage! :)

But all you gotta do is turn your eyes a small lil' bit... and you regain where you're at...

I watched the people, going up and coming down... Folks in our world are too focused on where they're going... and not enough on where they are. You see it everywhere.

You stop to soak up what is right in front of you... They stop as they pass. Their eyes lift and they ask; "Is it much farther?" You reply; "Nah, just a lil' bit." They say Thanks. Their eyes return to the ground at their feet and they continue trudging up the trail... Blind to all that lays around them.

I heard one old woman yesterday; "Too bad... there just isn't time."

Really? Where are you going in such a hurry that it won't still be there when you arrive? Life is too fleeting to spend it rushing on past... because there Just isn't time!

Too bad... They miss a lot...

*Those who rush from place to place miss the special bits... in between*

It takes a conscious effort to break out of that. To Stop and Smell the Roses. It takes deliberate effort to form new habits... but I Vow... It's worth the effort.

Sticking my Nose into Arizona... and Smelling the... Tonto!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wide Open Spaces, Boat Floaters, Fine Feathered Friends and People Wierdnesses on the Tonto

Started thinking maybe our curse of last year was cranking up again. Where ever we went along came the snow and rain of winter...

We pulled into the Tonto and the clouds followed along... and a good strong rain in the night. But then... a desert kid don't much mind rain like that, and at night, when you're layin' in bed warm and dry is the perfect time for it. Especially if the sun is shining come the dawn.

It leaves the day for Doin'! :) and a lot of nice country to be Doin' in!

*Across Lake Roosevelt*

It's a lot cooler up here than down on the low desert near Bouse... and a hell of a lot quieter than trappin' yourself in Phoenix or whatever other big town you've made the mistake of gettin' caught in.

Some might call our Cholla Camp, Luxury Boondockin'! :)

*Luxury Boondocking in Cholla Camp on Lake Roosevelt*

 What can I say... I'm still livin' on the systems of the rig with no hookups and Maybe I'm gettin' lazy in my old age :) but for $3 bucks I've got water across the road, there's a dump station close by and one of those Personal Dump Stations just a short walk so I can stretch the black tank a ways ;)

... and plenty of space... not like in a belly to butt Commercial park...

I like the Tonto. Both ends of the seasons are softened. It don't get as brutal in the summers... and the winters, though you still get four clear seasons, the winter is pretty soft by Colorado Standards.

I'll bet there's no a whole lot of pleasure boating goin' on in Montana or Wisconsin 'bout now! :) There's everything from performance bass boats to party boats and Kayaks floatin' around on Roosevelt Lake in February with several places to slide 'em off the trailer into the lake and get 'em wet.

It's not near as busy as it will be when Phoenix is dingin' 120... so it's pleasant.

There's even plenty for the Feather Hunters...

*Tonto Basin Cardinal*
This guy was zippin' around in the vicinity of a local Avian Condo project.

Some folks call 'em Saguaro cactus, but this one has been modified so much...

 I think it's more of a 'fly in' housing development.

*Saguaro Cactus Bird House*

Heidi spotted it when she was out for a walk. A couple of Ravens are doing some remodeling of their old digs for a coming brood.

When you look at all those other holes? There must be a half dozen other Occupied Avian Apartments in the thing. I kinda thought they must think it makes the neighborhood a lil' safer havin' those two Tough Guys living upstairs. :)

... until you consider that those two Tough Guys are likely to eat your kids themselves!

... and then, after you miss the picture of the mule deer you spooked out of the Palo Verde thicket behind you when you turn away from bird town...

... you walk up the trail along the hills above the lake and you spot something that makes you... one more time... say... HUH?

To quote lil' miss Doctor Gray... "Seriously?!!!"

What's the big deal here you ask?

Well... look a lil' closer... I'll wait...

Still can't see what I'm talkin' 'bout?

Ahhhhh.... ok... let's sneak in a bit... they ain't watchin'...

So... uh... yep... that's what it are! HUH?

It's generally less than 60 degrees... and if you're out of the sun you pretty much put a jacket on...

... and these folks are powerin' up a FAN?!!! :)

uh... I tried to get a good look at 'em... but they sure don't LOOK like Eskimos!

And I thought I was an odd sort... I don't scratch the surface of some of what I see. ;)

At least I have things to watch that are more entertaining than the manure salesmen on the boob tube... and much more educational too!

Well, it's back to book whittling and Video carving for me!

Till the Next Time