Monday, January 30, 2012

Rolled East and South... and Landed North of Tucson

Did a bit more socializin' before we pulled out of the Plomosa Road camp. A long time reader, Bob Tucker, had been huntin' around for us a bit and happened to spot us sneakin' back to camp one afternoon... He's not the first to say my non-typical way of hauling a big motorcycle stands out a bit and gave me away... so he rolled in to say How Do!

Anyhoo... after our weeks in La Paz county, we pretty much wore out our welcome so we Hitched up and hauled out a couple of days early... Had to dump anyway! ;) Aw what can I say... the hitch was itchin' so we just rolled on down to Tucson two days early.

Heidi can do a lil' preppin' for her week of Bead Buying for the store... and I can get a jump on my Motorcycle Tire work.

We almost had to Wally Dock it though. We chose to make a reservation this year in Catalina State Park on the NW side of the Santa Catalina Mountains by Tucson, but that's not till the first.  Didn't expect a problem... But was a good thing I didn't dawdle more than usual comin' down here. We called yesterday to see if there'd be a problem comin' in a couple days early. They told us that they'd filled, but we shouldn't have any problem finding a spot in the Overflow parking... They hadn't been filling that...

Well... Uh... we grabbed one of the last three spots when we got here at two thirty! :) and the other Spot Fillers were bumpin' up behind us.

*West end of the Santa Catalina Mountains*

And guess who we found already parked here when we pulled in? The Artful Bloggers! ;) I thought they were trampin' around up in the Superstitions...

But nope... they snuck down here a day or two ago... Shared a camp with 'em in Anacortes... and cross tire tracks again in Arizona fifteen hundred or so miles and several months later...

I was filling the water tank from a hose bibb 'fore we pulled into place... so Heidi carried a cone to "Save" our spot from all them Others ;) When she came back she says; "I think Mark and Bobbie are here!"

"Why would you think that? They're north... in the Superstitions."

"There's a Chalet parked up there. There can't be too many of those around are there?"

I ask the Host if he has the name of the people draggin' the Chalet... since the truck wasn't around... He looks at his list and says; "Some folks out of Colorado... the Johnsons!"

Well I'll be Dinged! If we'd held off till our reservation... or who knows what else could have bumped things a lil' bit this way... or a lil' bit that... All these thousands of miles... and the trails intersect at just that right moment... :)

Along with all us Gypsies there's a bit of a Saguaro Forest around here... Now, considering that they say one of these buggers has to be a hundred years old to sprout its first arm... what'cha figger that makes these two old timers?

*Just 'bout the biggest Saguaros I've seen*
They darn sure ain't youngsters... and there's plenty more comin' along...

*Saguaro Forest at Catalina State Park near Oro Valley Arizona*

With a lil' bit of luck we'll find some time in amongst the Beads and Bikes for some decent hikes while we're here. This state park sits up against a Wilderness area, and they've been workin' for a long time to build up the Desert Bighorn population in these mountains. Would be nice to capture some pics of 'em here... since they eluded me this year out by Bouse.

But... at least a couple days are pretty much dedicated to taking care of the rubber on the Scooter!

... and keepin' up the pace of work on Book #3 :)

... Guess I'd better drag myself off to my bunk... ifn I expect to get all my chores down on the morrow!

Back in my Old stompin' grounds in the Old Pueblo

Friday, January 27, 2012

And Now... A Shamless Lil' Commercial! :)

When we were here last winter we were going to replace several of our incandescent bulbs with the new LED plug in replacements... buuuut they were sold out and were having some difficulty getting restocked. It is way out here in podunk Arizona you know... I guess the UPS driver kept getting lost and ending up in Hermosillo or some damn where.

Anyhoo... we limped along with those old fashioned light bulbs for another year... Well... this time 'round we done spent our RV Show nickle on a couple of gizmos... we bought six of those LED light upgrade/replacements from eez RV Products for one.

I picked up the EZ-30TCW-BA15s units...
They're 30 LED units rated at 3w that are supposed to be equivalent to 25w and they claim a light output of 280 lumens... if you're like me those numbers don't mean didly.

I need to see 'em to know whether they work for me or not. At the show they had a wired up display set up... that blinded me so bad I had a difficulty signing the receipt slip. :)

The real test was of course when we took 'em back to the rig and plugged 'em in.

WHoooooEEE! Do they work? uh... Yeah! :) Compared to the old incandescent bulbs that were sort of a yellow color, these suckers are bright and white!

You can see that a bit in the pic... Old on the left... new and white LED on the right.

The ones I put over the table where I sit and work these days changed it from not being able to see to read at night to Oh Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! :)

They cost us $15 bucks a pop... but warrantied for a year and rated to deliver 75,000 hours or so... I'm happy to be able to see at night! and every lil' bit helps in the reduction of electrical consumption when you live on batteries. So, they help there too!

The other thing we got was a pricey lil' bit of Al-YOU-Min-eeum  wind protection from Grill Guard. That was another thing we'd wanted to get ourselves last winter... and wimped out. We convinced ourselves it was too pricey and we could do without.

He'd done a demo with a laser thermometer when we were here before and showed me how much better the grill worked...

Well, we went without... Several times up in Montana and over on the coast this past summer season I wished I'd had the dang wind guard...

 So... this time 'round... I plopped the coin down and got me one! Now... I'm sure you could fashion a workable deal with some time and pieces of sheet aluminum for less than the retail price.

But... I doubt you'd save much. The Aluminum used is a stiffer higher quality and that stuff don't come cheap. Then add in the hinges to collapse the thing, the rivets, the trouble of cutting it clean... Aw hell, I just paid the man.

I've used it several times now... with and without the wind blowin'. I don't know why something this simple works like it does... but... I'm tellin' you, it makes that coleman grill burn hotter. Makes the damn thing that was kinda marginal... work like a champ... and when the wind is blowing... and the grill wouldn't burn your fingers... it makes it work just as well.

So... the Lil' Doo Dads I got at this years Quartzsite rendezvous weren't low priced trinkets... but they're working well for me!

*another tedious Arizona Winter Suset ;) *

... Now that I can see, after the sun sets... maybe I can get more work done at night... since I can now read my notes that aren't lit up on the laptop screen! :)

I now return you to your regular programming! :)

Workin' at Being Sociable in the Desert

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Disputation of a Commonly Held Misconception of Boondockers

I saw Boonie wrote a bit 'bout something I've had many conversations about... with other Wanderers and RV Boondockers.

Somewhere 'long the way, I think it's gotten to be some sort of a Generally Accepted Perception amongst a lot of folks that Boondockers are an unsociable lot that Hide out in the bush... 

How-some-ever... It's my thinking that those carrying that belief are saddled with a misconception of the motivation of a heavy number of the folks they are misconceiving their notions about!

Just because folks aren't running around knocking on doors trying to drum up a conversation, and put a high value on a place with a bit of solitude, don't make them unsociable. In a way, it's a form of chastity! ;)

It tells me they put a high value on Life itself.

The folks I'm speakin' of generally hold tight to friendship and family. And, tend to discount the real importance of worldly stuff and things.

So... Putting value on the things that count... they use their conversations sparingly, and make friendships carefully. They don't take things TOO lightly or TOO seriously. Like Lloyd, they seek a bit of proper balance.

Life is too short, to delicate and WAAAAAY to valuable, to be careless with it.

Fact is, in my wanderin' and driftin' I've seldom found an un-sociable Boondocker. On the contrary, they've mostly been more sociable than me! Sittin' here thinkin' bout it... I can't remember a truly unsociable cuss I've run across. I know he or she must be there... but they made so little impact, I can't bring 'em to mind!

Those folks parked out on the back side of beyond retreat there not from a shortage of sociableness... but to give the noise of this world a chance to fade away a bit... So they can once again hear the rustle of the wind in the grass... and the sounds of their own dreams in their souls.

They've found that out on the desert, or in the High up and Lonesome, the world of fakery, fraud, phony shmoozing and hollow promises is weakened...

They are blessed by the fact that the sea of humanity that surrounds them back in the settlements, where the pompous oratory of self-aggrandizing pea wits, adorned with the IQ's of dessicated road apples echoes off the walls... Loses a lot of its power... Out in Far Country.

... Those I speak of have learned to be a little more circumspect and reticent with their Socializin' Intercourse. They seek to avoid the inevitable injury and bruised intellect that rewards those who try to politely nod and not offend when exhorted to agree by those whose profound and loudly voiced opinions... not only defy credibility, but physics, mathematics, and common etiquette.

When their teeth begin to hurt from holding them tightly clamped to control their tongues, and their fingernails cut holes in their palms from being balled up at the ends of their rigid arms (to prevent throttling the offending orator!)... the event is tattooed on their memory... not soon to be repeated!

'course... there's those that would testify that you'll leave a conversation with me sore as well... The sore part bein', your ear drums! ;) ... or wind burn on your face, if you made the careless mistake of proddin' one of my several, major, HOT buttons! THAT is gar-an-TEED to stir up a good breeze!

*Even near Quartzsite... Some Solitude remains! :) *

Being a seeker of Solitude don't mean a body ain't sociable... just that maybe... they're more careful 'bout who they share the treasure of their life with.

If you want to be invited in to the fire... It might be useful to once in a while check out who you are! And make sure you're the sort folks want around.  :)

Uh Oh... I got some housekeeping to do! ;)

Raising Dust in the Desert!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Should I? Should I not? What Will People Think?

What will people think? What a waste of time. The proper question is; What do - I - think

If people think low of you, because you followed your heart and took a chance at life... They are the problem... NOT you. The opinions of such pea wits are without value.

Sometimes the trail gets lost. The skies darken, the wind howls, the path fades out, and you're lost, standing out there in the dark, in the mountains and all you have is you.

Which way to go? Upstream? Down? or... turn and push into the wind?

It can get confusing. Everyone is pointing, yelling directions and telling you what. Your own mind is bound up by the things you've said in the past, the positions you've taken... You can get to feeling locked in by ideas you've spoke. As if, because you said it... that's who and what you have to be...

*The Sun breaking through Storm clouds over the Desert at Sunset*

 That somehow, because you went one way in the past... You're not allowed to go another... Today. (that's just an un-educable ideologue)

A long time ago my daughter asked what she should do. My answer; "I haven't the slightest idea Darlin'."

"You're not helping Dad!" she told me. Well, I couldn't... No one can. It was her decision and her choice. Whatever I thought would pretty much only be what was good for me. What I did tell her was the only thing you can't do is - Nothing -

Do something even if it turns out to be wrong, even if in the end you don't like it. Just keep moving!

"But what if I don't like it? What if I spend all that time and effort chasing that?" ... Well, now you Know one thing that you don't want to do! You can check that off your list. :) You'll never know, and will always wonder unless you give it a try. And if you do decide in the end to go a different direction? so what? It's called exploration. It's called experience. It's called a Zest for Life. Suh-WHEET!

I'm not gonna tell you, running against the wind, or pushing your way - Up Stream - is gonna be an easy trip. And plenty of folks are gonna volunteer to make it as rough a trip for you as they can. (because their jealousy at your guts to take on the risks of the unknown jabs without letup at their failure to)

What I am gonna say is that you'll likely end up a lot happier, and a lot more content when you look back at your trail, many years from now... and see that you followed your own trail... and not someone else's.

Success or Failure in the worldly things of men really don't count for much. Exploring the frontier inside your own Heart is the thing that counts.

Living without risk, without the fear and effort of pushing into some sort of "Unknown" strikes me as simply waiting. Warehousing your life... until you're converted to Coyote feed. What a waste.

I'm gonna follow Cowboy Philosophy. Have you got a dollar bill? Spend it! Got a whiskey? Drink it! Got a shovel? Dig with it... see a trail? Follow it! Caught a Bronc? Ride him!

I may go bust... again... so freakin' what? I came in to this world without a nickle in my pocket... Hell, I didn't have a pocket! I've had my pockets filled and emptied... several times since then...

The best times of all... have Always been, those when I was, Out There... Standing with My Nose in the Wind.

Life is to be lived. You only find its true value by hangin' it out there in the breeze and watchin' things flap! :)

Time to Cowboy Up! Crack out! and Let 'er Buck!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Sun Always Rises...

... after the storm.

The wind finally let off, the dust settled and come the morning... I sat with my cup of coffee as the sun rise cracked over the mountains back to the east of our desert camp...

*Plomosa Road Sunrise*

Sometimes you have to know what time it is in the desert to know if it's a sunrise... or a sunset. Though, if you give it a lil' bit of time... she'll start to reveal the blue of the morning sky.

It's hard to know which moment is the most beautiful. As the minutes pass the light changes and opens up ever more vistas and colors...

Pictures don't do it justice. You have to just get up and watch 'em yourself. You have to start the day with the sunrise so it can properly color your own day.

*The sun just breaking over the mountains back to the east*

*And the new day is well started on Plomosa Road*

Yup... I think it's a lot better start to a day... to be there when it's born.

Then you're ready to shake rattle and roll on down 55 miles or so south of Quartzsite to the turn off that takes you back into the mining district that was Castle Dome City. and the little bit of History that some folks are working at preserving the memory of...

*Museum of Castle Dome City, Arizona*

A little bit of interesting thing on the way in... I'd spotted it several miles across the desert as we were rolling south... We passed a bit closer when we rolled off the pavement. Part of the Department of Homeland Security I guess...

... a Border Watching  Surveillance Balloon...

It went a few hundred feet up on its tether an hour or so later... The thing is supposed to be able to see three hundred miles out... Kinda sad really... to have to realize that there is a war going on, several times more deadly than the War in Afghanistan, just across the border, in view of this balloon... and those in control of our "News" want to pretend it's not...

Ah... it is more fun to look at the old history of this place... rather than that which is being made now!

*Even though some of it's history is pretty dark as well*

They've done some restoration and collection work here to give a person the "flavor" of what life was like. There's a blacksmith shop, church, a brothel or two... a couple bars, old mining ruins and equipment... lots of old artifacts that can stir your imagination if you let it...

* Castle Dome Bar room*

*Hotel and Sheriffs office*

They've got a few people there that tell a story or two of Events that took place in the area that adds to the place. If you really look, you can get a flavor of how tough the living was for these old miners... I... would NOT be rootin' around in the ground. They told of four lucky buggers... 450 feet down in a mine shaft... that got drowned, when a flash flood filled the hole... I'll keep to my story tellin'! :)

Lots of times I go into such places and make a quick walk through... Kinda like National Lampoon Vacation! :) You look, you nod and you leave... We actually took better than two hours of walking and looking and poking around. All in all, It was a pretty nice, interesting day.

On the way back we stopped at a roadside stand at a place called Stone Cabin... for some burgers and fries... Uh...  I thought they were very good...

How-some-ever... when the proprietor, set Heidi's Date Shake on the counter, stuck the spoon in handle first... says "oops", pulls it out, turns it around, pokes it back in... then wipes the spoons' handle off with a kitchen rag... that was ONCE white... but is a soft shade of gray now... I could see her eyes bulge even though I was standing behind her. I think I sprained something trying to not bust up laughing...

So... the burgers are pretty dang good... but if... uh... having your burgers sizzled in a state of the art kitchen is a need of yours? You juuuuuust might want to pass that one by! ;) But, you will be missing a good burger! :)

Anyway... Leaving you with one last view from  this mornings sunrise... I'm off to bed!

*The Mountains of the Kofa Wildlife Sanctuary at Sunrise*

Another Day

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Automotive Racism... Sunsets Over Pork Chops... and Dusty Laundry

Yeah... it's COUGH COUGH COUGH...good to be... COUGH COUGH COUGH on the nice warm Arizona des... COUGH COUGH COUGH...ert! :)

Yeah... yesterday evening, sippin' Land Shark and grilling up our pork chops for supper the desert looked like this...

Well, unless you turned 'bout 90 degrees a few minutes earlier and this is the view...

Tonight... besides sittin' in the fiver bein' more like a ride on a poorly maintained roller coaster, it's a lot like having your head inside a brown grocery bag... with a fist full of the dust out of your vacuum cleaner thrown in there. Wrap a bungee cord round your neck... Now... shake your head real hard... Uh huh, that's here... only not quite as bright! ;)

Drivin' back from laundry day in Parker, I was kinda wonderin' if my clothes would actually be cleaner when I got back to the rig, than they were when I headed in to wash 'em.

Ah... all in the desert is not always Fine and soft! ;) Sometimes... the desert likes to move around a bit... and when the wind gets to blowin' 30 miles an hour or so, like it was a bit earlier, the desert moves around a lot.

Had to laugh yesterday evening a short while 'fore the pork chops got sizzled. We were down by the Tyson Wells area, walkin' back to the truck after taking care of a lil' shopping therapy ;)

There was a guy... in a two wheel drive dually... poor boy just don't know how to handle desert sand. ;) Watching his back end bury itself in that flour was a sad thing... But... when he climbed out... saw his tires dug in half way to the axle, and then climbed back in to hit the throttle and finish the job... I couldn't help my self... I started snickerin'.

I know, I KNOW!... I say it a lot... BAD COWBOY! No BEER! :)

But really... am I the only one who Remembers that old saying? "If you find yourself in a hole... the first thing to do is STOP DIGGING! "

I hadn't a tow strap but offered to pull him out if he had something... His reply, which was expected since his truck was NOT the same brand as mine ;)  ... You can't be seen letting the "Other" make pull you out of trouble you know, It's Un-manly!

Testosterone driven stupidity is sometimes... Just freaking hilarious! :) ... anyway, his reply was, Of Course!; "No, I got a friend coming."

Yup... I knew it and you guessed it... the Friend had another Two Wheel drive dually of the Same Make! :) and apparently had attended the same driving school... ha ha ha ha ha!

Sorry... I know it's cruel... I guess I got a mean streak.

When dually #2 pulled off the hard pack into the soft sand to get lined up to pull him out... and started sinking his tires... as Dually driver #1 came walking up to him with a rope of a size I'd not have any real confidence would hold an anemic Dachshund... I just knew I had to put the ol' Dodge in gear and get out of there...before I choked.

Ah... that woulda been a picture for you though... two mired... uh ... Duallys... buried to the hubs... with this tiny lil' string busted between 'em, and them two Ol' Boys standin' there scratchin' their noggins; "Geeze, it shoulda worked don't you think? This is a Diesel! I gave it plenty of throttle and that's at least 300 lb test rope! and all terrain tires too!"

Oh yeah, and The salesman PROMISED that truck would pull ANYTHING!  Stop it, STOP IT you're killin' me! :)

Yep... "Give it hell Harry! The first 12 times I just wasn't holdin' my ears right... I got a good grip on 'em now! Give 'er hell! the 13th time is Gar-an-Teed!"

Oh lord... and then we all wonder why the politicians we put in office rip us just as bad as every one that's come before... Every time they yodel out the same tired lies... we eat it up like it's a fresh recipe... Obama, Gingrich, it's all the same brothel folks... just practice safe sex... 'cause whichever one you choose... ya'll is still gettin' screwed. 

Moral of both them lil' tales is; If it ain't workin' folks... stop doin' it! ;)  and try something else... while you still got something to try with?

So... tomorrow morning (Sun.) we're meetin' some family and friends of theirs, to go investigate a ghost town somewhere south of here... well... a ghost town that I'm told has been renovated a bit somehow for tourists... hmmmm... back east they call that Urban Renewal don't they? :)

If you see me stuck... ask... I don't care who built your dang truck... if it'll drag me out of a hole!

Chokin' on Dusty Laughter in the Desert

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Open the gates and let the RVers Zoo in the Desert Begin!

Back in December, before I made the run to Denver for Christmas, I broke a tooth. Never a good thing. But, I got told of a Dentistry school here in Phoenix that you can go to so I got in there pretty quick for the first visit. 'course, dentistry being what it is... they don't ever actually fix anything that first trip. :)

... generally it ain't till the second or third visit they actually start pourin' concrete! They'd told me that I had to get approved first. They needed to make sure there was some opportunity for the "Student Dentists" to learn something from working on me...

... uh... apparently, there's no shortage of educational opportunity, for a tooth carver, in my mouth :) I got approved! I swear I heard a cash register ringin' somewhere.

Well, today, the 19th of January, I had another visit on the schedule. I set the alarms... all three of 'em, to make dang sure at least one had enough battery to make it till morning. We rolled out of bed at "Oh Damn it's dark! and hit the road at 5:45 bound from Quartzsite to Glendale.

Woulda made it too... if I'd left maybe five minutes earlier.

Got 'bout half way, was 'bout 7 a.m. and the traffic on I-10 stopped. I mean not moving, goin' nowhere in the dark... Stopped cold.

Took us quite a while as we sat there watching the sunrise to find out that a Professional Driver? Had rolled his Double Bottom semi, hauling some variety of Hazardous Cargo and had it laying across both lanes of the interstate.

Not quite sure what a Pro has to do to roll a truck on an arrow straight road... but this bozo had the talent!

The truck having Hazardous placards... the highway patrol closed BOTH sides of the highway... right after I'd passed the last exit to make a detour on... grrrrrrrr.....

Yup... you guessed it. My appointment time came and went as we sat there, trapped on the pavement... enjoying the cup of coffee I'd gotten back in Q, begging for release... for THREE hours...

I was shimmyin' on the seat of that truck like a $3 dollar hooker.

Trapped that is, until my bad attitude got the better of me. As the Highway patrol stood watching I waved good bye, kicked that Raider Loaded Dodge in the tailpipe, spun a U through the median... and rolled back to Q... With my busted tooth... and Raider behind the cab with its' busted Motorcycle tire.

All told, by the time we got back... six hours of sweet desert morning serenity enjoyed... accomplishing absolutely not one brass plated thing... arrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh!

So now I wait... two more weeks... Don't ya love it when everything runs smooth?

Though I seem to be getting a lot of practice, I'm just not getting the hang of this sitting patiently on the interstate. Not when it's all 'cause of folks driving around on it that should be required to get a license just to be passengers! Waited up by Sante Fe poorly... and now, in the Arizona Desert, I'm not improving my Interstate Waiting abilities any ;)

The shows are getting cranked up in this RVers Zoo on the Desert with every sort and kind of rig you can imagine in attendance.

I've seen it all in the last couple of days. A unique, um.... vintage? Motorhome that I hope, I HOPE, I HOPE! is a stationary and permanent fixture in a local RV park!... I swear the only thing that's holding it together are the few strings of paint left on its aluminum siding... along with the multiple, unpainted plywood patches tucked under holes torn in its siding that look like they were cut with a spoon... Oh Yeah baby... Shiny! The thought of meeting up with that RV? on the road... or having it pull in next to you in a forest camp is a scary sort of an idea! :)

Imagine propane lines patched with tightly wrapped pantyhose, coming from gas bottles repaired with duct tape, and a steering wheel made of a pair of vise grips clamped to the steering column... and you get the picture. :)

... and then of course the $million$ dollar plus, Prevost, rubber tired mansion I saw yesterday.

Fifth wheel rigs, pulling cargo trailers tandem, tenters in pickups, tear drops, cabover campers, restored Avions, new Montanas, Pull and fifthwheel toy haulers, Old Winnebagos, C's, B's and Hybrid Semis... it's an interesting mix of rigs and ways of going.

It's a fun place for a couple of weeks...

Gawkin' at the RVers Winter Quartzsite Desert Rendevous

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out Amongst the Burros on the Arizona Desert.

With two wheels down... due to lack of rubber on one of 'em, we fired up the four wheeled rig that's been sittin' idle for a while, and took a run through the Desert out to the Swansea Townsite... Up around 30 miles out into the hunting grounds of the great grey Burro! :) Which... we didn't see any of.

Did get lucky enough to spot some Burro poop though. How exciting is that huh? Especially if you're from New York City?!!! or maybe New Jersey!

"We spent a whole month driving out to and around the wild West of Arizona and even got to see some genuine, antique, sun dried wild burro poop! HooYa!" ;)

The road going out runs along where the Parker off road races run for a bit. The track runs right along the road for several miles before it cuts back west to Parker.

The Parker 250 that ran a couple weeks ago, and the one coming up in a couple of weeks... Parker 400 I think it is... though it may be longer... Now THOSE are dusty suckers... looks like a dust storm coming, only the dust just hangs over the desert like a brown cloud... as long as there's no wind.  ;)

*The Road to Swansea, Arizona*

It's probably one of the youngest Ghost towns in Arizona. Built the first thing there in 1909 and folded up their tents in 1937. Rather than it being just a town that grew out of a collection of folks coming there... Swansea was built owned and run by a series of Mining operators...

... and from what I could see from the signs and literature, in all that time only one of the buggers ever turned a profit for the "Investors"... Judging by the holes in the ground and the waste piles of slag and such quite a few people tried real hard... but producing 15 cent copper that you can only sell for 12 cents... don't work out too well...

... Hmmm... That's how Heidi and I run our real estate deals! :)

*Rock Arch at Swansea*

There's an interesting arch near the bottom of the hill after you come over the mountain... almost looks like a man made theing... except there's no road to it... or after...

*Through the door of one of the Workers adobes*

*From the ruins of the mine office at Swansea*
They built quite a bit up there, though about all that's left is the foundations. They even had a hospital and dairy... but, sadly... not a single, solitary sign of a Motorcycle... No wonder the place failed! :)

*Mess hall and office ruins*
How'd you like to work in a hot, dusty, roaring, smelter... in the Arizona Desert... in the summer... at 120 degrees and the coolest thing around is the 110 degree shade? just to make copper you can only sell at a loss? Whooooowhee! Fun Baby!

Now that's something I never quite have understood. Having worked an open pit mine for a few years... how come Oil always sells at a profit... but copper most always sells at a loss? Seems like the guy producing it should set a price that pays his expenses... I mean... that's how we run our lil' store... and the oil barons run their show... What's the deal with copper? Maybe I'll just stick to horses and motorcycles... Those, I understand! ;)

The BLM has been trying I guess to do some conservation of the place, they rebuilt the roofs over the workers housing... but from what I can see from the graffiti broken fences, and bullet holes... the two legged vermin that frequent the place are winning that battle... and folks wonder why they get locked out of places and things get closed up...

Wish they'd just make an open season on the parasites... useless eaters as far as I'm concerned.

Well... we'd planned on sitting right here on through the Quartzsite RV show, and use the Raider to roll back and forth. But, now that it's laid up for a bit (till I can raid a bank and get the scooter to a tire shop) we're gonna move on back over to Plomosa Road today... so that the thirsty nature of the truck drains our fuel account a mite less...

That means... I better go get things ready to haul...

Ah... from the serenity of this spot... with maybe a half dozen rigs scattered around a section of ground... to the boom town personality of Q during the winter show...

On The Arizona Desert

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dodging Bullets on Hwy 60

We took off yesterday morning after a late start to make a ride on the Raider to Wickenburg.

*Wickenburg, Az.*
Passed a car along the way... thirty feet off the road and Sitting on a tree... interesting... plenty of folks standing around so I didn't pull up... straight for five miles 'fore you got there... and another couple after... I expect they were sleeping at the wheel... or playing with their cell phone :) ... OOPS... now... they're doing unexpected tree pruning...

We lived south of Wickenburg, down by Wittman, years and years ago... the first year we were married. Back then from Sun City to Wickenburg was open desert... now pretty much, the Open don't start till you're past Wittman. That's a whole lot of miles that have got filled in with people!

The road from Bouse up to Wickenburg is through a part of Arizona that can't be claimed to be among its' most prosperous areas ;) unless maybe you count the cotton farm through there... the couple hundred giant cotton "bales" standing in the fields is a whole lot of Dinero in a pile!

But... on an otherwise sunny day, in the warm... on two wheels in January... I'll take it.

Heidi managed to find a shirt and a fresh cap in a new lil' shop, Cowgirl Bling Bling, near the Desert Caballeros Museum...

*Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg*

When the sky started clouding up I thought maybe we should turn 'round and head for the barn so after grabbing a good, late lunch (Good Food and good price) at the Cowboy Cafe just up the street from the Museum, we climbed on the Bike and headed home...

Walking back to the bike we passed the Famed Jail Tree near the center of old Town Wickenburg...

*Wickenburg Arizona Jail Tree*
You never heard of the Wickenburg Jail Tree?

I guess those old time folks didn't want to spring for the expense of a jail...

... so they just bought some chain and locks...

If you misbehaved sufficient... you got locked to THIS tree! ;)

hmmmm.... and not a color television set to be seen!

Anyhoo... we hopped on the scooter and scooted for home, back through Wenden and Salome and Hope...

The joke there is.. just after you pass through Hope, Arizona, going either way... There's a small sign that let's you know; You are now Beyond Hope! :)

Got back to the rig just in time for our first By God Arizona Sunset of the season...

Good end of a nice day... almost...

While we stood outside the rig watching the Desert Light Show... I spotted something not near as pretty...

A $350 motorcycle tire... that WAS only about halfway through its' life...


NOT... a happy moment...

I thought I'd felt some odd vibration ;) Those white lines you see there? Those are the wires of the steel belt in the tire...

... kinda fun to know we were running two up at 75mph on that sucker for well over a hundred miles! :)

What'cha wanna bet she's gonna be looking at tires real close for a while 'fore she climbs on again?

Ah well... I suppose I coulda been a bus driver...

Life in the West

Friday, January 13, 2012

Houston... We Have a Problem...

You get up in the cold of the mornin' to make coffee and take care of a few "other" chores... you push the lil' red button in the littlest room in the rig, expecting the brrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzp! of the pump pressuring up...

... only all you get is......................

Uh Oh... Yep. I know most folks are gonna say; "We blew the water pump yesterday" or some such... but... can you really say that when all you got was.............. and maybe one lil' brrp! when you hit the pump switch ? :)

So rather than goin' an' doin' what we were gonna... we made a run into Q to find a fresh pump... and yesterday early evening was spent wrasslin' it into place through the tiny lil' hole the "Engineers" at Jayco left a guy to do such maintenance and repairs thru.

Nothing like trying to do a three handed job with but one arm stuck blind through a lil' hole in the wall while your body is wrapped around the toilet like a crippled octopus!

I swear, all engineers must have to pass a; How To Make RV and Automotive Repairs and Maintenance As Difficult As Possible 101 course before they can graduate.

Kind of like the attorneys that take their responsibility to ensure honor and fairness, promote integrity and argue the facts and twist them into warp any fact, tell any tale, fabricate any story, deny any truth and assassinate anyone's character, if it will free your client from responsibility.

Ahhhh... the old pussgut cowboy biker sounds kinda grumpy this morning dont' he? yeah... well I was Supposed to be writing this post last night... dang... missed it again! But I'm tellin' ya... after all the contortions a bent up and busted up worn out ol' spine had to make to get the RV Water Pump back in... I wasn't feelin' the love... Know What I mean? ;)

Never counted on that to slow down my mental ricocheting around here!

This continues to be a good camp. Some folks have come and gone from around us... the ground over on Plomosa Road is filling with rigs... here we're still in pretty nice solitude...

We keep trying to find our Desert Bighorns... striking out around the mountain at different times, trying to stumble onto their schedule... so far to nothing but views of the mountain at different times.

*Peak of the Plomosa Mountains*

This was where we found 'em skylined last spring... so far this year, No Joy. Other than fine time in the far out and open desert.

I try to zoom in and make sure I'm not missin' 'em layin' quiet out in the open... but I'm confident, they're either hidin' better, or, they aren't even on this mountain right now.

It's possible I expect that they migrate around quite a bit. Might have to wait for 'em to move in here sometime later.

It's nice though, walking in shirt sleeves... ok... Two shirt sleeves, in January. :) The sunsets haven't been what anyone could call spectacular, but pretty is still ok. Maybe, if I'm feeling a bit flighty, like a banjo string wrapped a turn too tight... soft and easy sunsets is a better thing. ;)

Then we turned around and started back down the trail to try and avoid walking the couple miles back to the rig in the dark... and you see another soft little view laid out in front of you...

We're walking along looking at the sunlit town of Bouse, miles away across the desert... and then it went out. It's like there's a lighting guy here in the desert. The sun sinks behind the ridges and the light turns off like he'd flipped a switch...

If you're not paying attention... you miss those few seconds of just simple purty.

That's the trick around here though... see the nice little pieces hidden in the Big Picture... which you have to slow your self down to spot... :) a lesson my split personalities have to relearn all the dang time.

Chores to get done today... The flea markets are filling up in Quartzsite and a supply run needs to be made today or tomorrow... so not rest for the wicked... which means I've got some overtime to attend to! ;)

Making Do  on the Desert

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rocky Trails... Desert Sheep and Montana Agates

Life in the desert... even with me snapping in two without warning and running off on some unexpected tangent every once in a while... is pretty slow and easy.

Lots of miles walking rocky desert trails searching for those elusive Desert Bighorns, who continue to elude us... Miles on the Raider, splittin' the wind...

... and lots of time for me sitting at my lil' machine here, stringin' words together.

The end result is that by the time spring comes 'round I'm rarin' and itchy to roll! ;)

While I string my words between "Episodes" of... uh ... Being me... Heidi's been spending her time with her Art... She takes pearls, glass beads, Swarovski Crystals, semi-precious cabochons and other precious bits and using what they call Bead Embroidery shapes all those pieces into Fine Art Jewelry for those a mite more fashionable than this Ol' Twister.

*Bead Embroidery Fine Art in the Making*

This is the latest piece coming along...

Her art fits into our rig and our ways pretty well... and you'll not see much better any where! ;)  She's created quite a few nice pieces in the past few months... and has been having discussions with a few stores 'round the west 'bout Teaching Bead Embroidery next summer... Ah the life of an Artist in Demand huh? :)

*Fine Art Beaded Jewelry by Heidi*

We call this black piece the "Harley Bracelet" ... :) Can you guess why?

*The One of a Kind Harley Bracelet*

This Copper one, she used a Montana Agate for the Centerpiece... It's a pretty thing ain't it?

*Montana Agate Bracelet*

I'm not one for wearin' much jewelry myself... uh ... I don't look real good in bracelets... and I get the WRONG response anyhoo... ;) but the Gals who wear such pieces look awful fine!

I really need to get that Gallery built for her Art Jewelry that I promised her... ah.... one more thing on my list of work to get done... and uh oh... another tangent! ;)

*Bead Embroidery Fine Art Pendants*

I'm trying to get caught up enough on My Word Art ;) to pull out my tools and shape myself a Tooled Leather Cover for my Kindle... something with a reading light, a pretzel bowl and a beer cooler sounds about right... don't it?

Have to hook up and drag over to the county park in Bouse today... the tanks are full and need some relief. So, if I'm to get those chores done... I best move along.

Keeping Things Moving in the Desert

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is it, The Life of a Cowboy Biker RV Boondocker?

or... The impact of an over active imagination controlled by multiple personalities masquerading as a functioning individual multi-tasking on enterprises of multiplying tangents with increasingly trivial pursuits?

You heard the song about the bad motorcycle with the Devil on the seat right? Well... this one has advanced A.D.D. ... on Speed! ;)

I can plan to be organized, focused and disciplined all I want... and it'll work out real good... right up to the point that it don't, and I split off on another hairbrained trail that popped up and caught my attention.

I telll ya... on a good day... I can get dizzy hookin' those U's! If I don't pass out from chokin' on the smoke first.

I'm a lot like one of the youngster monkeys you see at the Zoo... just about have their attention span too. I jump up from whatever I'm doin' to go racin' off after something, only to pull 6G's in a smokin' U-Turn as something new passin' the other way catches my attention.

*Long Views in Desert Far Country*

Peaceful views of a quiet desert should slow down such gyrations... wouldn't ya think?


Well... Not so much. Seems like they only serve to bless me with more energy to spin more U-Turns goin' in fortythree and a half different directions...

One nice thing is... I'll get payback on them physicians here in a few years.

Those buggers'll go hair pullin' crazy tryin' to diagnose what's wrong with the jabberin' idiot they got locked up in the crayon ward... until somebody drifting through recognizes me... "Oh! You were talkin' 'bout him? Hell, he ain't got no sort of dementia! That's Brian... He's just NUTS!" :)

*Easy maintenance desert landscaping*

So... stubborn as I am... I keep trying to hunt up Desert scenery to slow me down...

Then I get the bright Idea... I'll ride in to Q for fuel when I get back to the rig... uh... slow down? Me?... On a Raider?... on an empty road in the Desert... wrong again! ;)

I tired that yesterday... slowin' down clocked a velocity violation once or twice. :) Bad Cowboy!

Today we rode in Two up to scout RV's at a couple of the dealers set up for the coming Hordes during the big "RV Shows" in Quartzsite.

Just doin' our early scouting for whatever rig we arrange sometime in the future... like I said... from Desert, to Motorcycle to RV's... to The Grubstake Saloon for a late lunch of Scallops and Blue Moon Beer while the Broncos were keeping their playoff hopes alive... to get back and braid some more words together... so what's that... five tangents in one afternoon or six? ;)

But I was a good boy today... herself didn't beat on my back as we rolled along, not even one time for... umm ... Motorcycle indiscretions of the "OH MY GOD SLOW DOWN!" kind. :)

... and found a rig or two that's kind of interesting... lil' 30' class A winnebagos and Open Range pull rigs that lead a schemer to use up a lot of doodling paper...

... now all I gotta do is do a better job of hawkin' the ebooks I've already published while I get the next one finished!

oops... that's two more tangents ain't it?! aw hell... I'm goin' to bed and count sheep... uh oh...

Multiplying Tangents in the Desert