Thursday, February 21, 2019

A rainy day.....

Our Location: Near Tonopah, Arizona

I woke this morning to the sound of pitter patter on the roof. The forecasted rain arrived right on schedule and I could see that the brightness in the sky wasn’t blue or bright, more of a dull iron grey colour. A phone call from my Insurance Agent back home at 7:30 AM had me pushing  myself out of bed. No issues just a few questions. Those answered I started doing my morning routine. 

You can see the water laying on the ground.

A little bit more over here in this side of our yard.
I can tell you the rest of the day was spent lounging around looking out the windows as they steamed over and unsteamed only to steam over again. The quick change in outside temperatures was like a roller coaster all day. The rain came, it stopped, it came back and stopped again. You get the idea right? At one point there was water laying on the ground and before long it was gone only to reappear and disappear. You get the idea. I read a little while, annoyed Riley for a little while, read some more, had a nap, etc. You know how it goes. The clouds shifted and the sky brightened, lines of blue appeared here and there but soon the clouds covered the sky once again and the day once again loomed dark and ugly. Thunder could be heard off in the distance but no lightning was around, or at least we never witnessed any.
A small patch but it was gone within a couple of minutes.
The water is gone again.

A call to my sister, we chatted for about an hour and it was nice to catch up. They are both feeling better although Rick is still not feeling great. He is a diabetic and having a hard time with his sugar right now. It is a never ending struggle for some and not so hard for others.

Looks brighter over there.... maybe, kind of...perhaps. No, just wishful thinking.
With a long, dark dreary day behind us, we have another one to look forward to tomorrow but after that it appears to be heading in an upward direction. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had an enjoyable day where ever you and doing whatever you have been doing. A few photos taken from the door step today.

Dry again but no let up, this was as bright as it got for the rest of the day.
Until next time.. take care, be safe,
It's just dreary looking out  here. Cold, damp and miserable but warm inside and we're waiting for better things.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

We hiked together today....

Our Location: Near Tonopah, Arizona

Brrrrr is the best way to describe this morning and most of the day in fact. It did warm up of course but the wind wouldn’t ever allow the day to feel warm enough to enjoy shorts or short sleeves or even to be outside without a heavy sweater or a zipped up hoodie. However that is not a complaint, it is merely recording the facts. 

Magic is the white Arabian, and Ranger is the darker once wild Mustang.
A quick breakfast and hot drink, well actually not quick but you get the point, after which Riley and I were out the door heading for a hike together. Yes, I know quite a shocker but it’s true. We headed back to the wind worn rocky area behind the Igloo. I’ve been there before but Riley has merely gazed at it through the window, so today was the day for her to make a trek back there. She wasn’t comfortable going on her own and I wasn’t comfortable with her going solo anyway. 
We ended up on that ridge line you can barely make out.

You can see it much clearer now.

The day’s pictures may be a bit of a repeat but they are freshly taken today. Today the views were witnessed with a twinkle in a fresh pair of eyes. We took our time and headed off along the roadway but soon gave it up for the easier route cross country. A few humps, bumps and dips and pretty soon we were at the base of the smaller incline leading up to the flat top at the bottom of the wind worn area. I know, not a good description but it’s the best I can do.
That's us way off over there.

With Riley leading the way we were soon up on the small flat topped area that was the goal for today. We sat and rested, taking in the sights and enjoying the quiet all around us. If possible the area looks even more green than before. A deeper shade of green, one that comes with age. It is no longer the young fresh vibrant green of spring but the older more settled colour of summer green. It’s now a hardier hue, with rich deep tones that speak of aging, maturity and less youth. Not the tender shoots that look like fine hair but a coarser, thicker stock, less fragile and more rugged. Still inviting but in a different way. 
That's Miss Riley coming a bit farther up the hillside. I didn't leave her behind but went to check out the climb.

We hunted a way down on the west side of this very same hill and crossed over the small valley there, finding our way over the water courses that streak across in various places. Some were deeper than others, river stones, bigger stepping stones, bigger still were stones that weren’t meant for walking on, or over but only around. Snags of old branches, Ocotillo arms, Palo Verde limbs and just debris that has collected. The rocky bottom to the small valley like area made the going a bit more uncomfortable but very manageable. 

Those little white dots in the middle are other rigs in the more popular area of Saddle Mountain BLM.

Finally we started climbing again, toward a ridge that goes up the valley, the other side of the ridge has a road that I’ve walked before. I can’t remember if we can get down to the road or not but we keep moving around the outer edge of the ridge hoping. We skirt here and there huge piles of rocks that we think will not offer us any passage through them and before long we are looking down toward that very road I mentioned. Hmm… easy way down there and so we give up that idea and instead turn back toward home and a shorter path down the hillside. Easier going downhill in this area. The rocks aren’t as difficult to maneuver around on the downward slope. Have you ever noticed that before? 

Those paths or roads are much rougher than they look.
Our feet hit the bottom and we strike off on the road way that we find easily now. We are enjoying the quiet, the shortened views and the walking. Once again we are sent off the roadway by the woman with the ‘ oo big to handle' dog. She and her companion, a male that also has a dog, turn and go back the other way, the way they came as we know they are from the rig across the way that we can see with the flag flying. We find our way back to the road again after this detour and continue along. Soon we head off cross country and aim directly for the Igloo. The walking is easy and we make it pretty quickly. Happy to be home once more we find the time is already 12:30 pm. The day is half over.

The roadway goes along the bottom of the photo and it's a long way down to get to it.

We walked just a bit over 2.5 miles and were gone a bit over an hour. Not a bad way to spend a little time for us. We’re talking about a different hike in the next few days if it’s warm enough. Not different for me but new for Riley and I’m happy to tag along with her. 

We are on the upper side of the ridge here looking down.

Salisbury steak meatballs over rice was our lunch today and while I’m not a gravy person I truly enjoyed it today. We have enough meatballs and gravy left over for tomorrow on a nice piece of toast or perhaps we will make it into a pot pie and add some veggies to it. We also froze the extras meat balls we didn't cook up in bags of 6 for future use. I like having those things we can pull out and use.

Back once again on the valley floor. We are over toward those peaks you can see in the middle of the photo.

The rest of the day we spent reading, napping in our chairs and just enjoying the warmth of the Igloo. Not an exciting day but we enjoyed it and that’s what counts. With clouds starting to appear in the sky I think tomorrow may be a less than stellar day here in the Saddle Mountain area but we shall see what it is when we wake up.

Having a rest and a look at the view.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. I also hope that your day has been perfect in every way, just the way you wanted it to be.
Until next time… take care, be safe,


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A different kind of day...

Our Location: Near Tonopah, Arizona
A cold night, the freezing mark wasn't too far away but we managed to stay on the plus side, just barely. The wind once again made it's presence known this morning chilling one very quickly as it whistled through you. Even the sun couldn't warm things enough to be outside without some kind of warm sweater.
Lots of yellow on the desert floor.

You can see it every where.
After a quick few minutes of packing some things and piling some off to the side we hooked up the Dogsled with the Igloo and started out toward Courthouse Road on our way to dump our tanks. We stopped just down the way to tell the lady with the horses we'd be back but were going to dump. She was happy we stopped as she had been going to come and ask about where she might get some water for her horses. We chatted for about 10 minutes and I offered to ask the fella at Saddle Vista Ranch about the water. Off we went down the road to Saddle Vista Ranch (of course you knew that already) and squeezed our way past the gate and found the dump station just where the signs said it would be. I was impressed, the guy has a dump hose (very new looking) with clear ends and a hose holder to keep the angle proper for a downward flow when you're dumping. Free to use and it saves getting your own stuff out. 
Such a slope to the valley floor.
The fella came by and I forgot to get his name again today but he informed us it's $12.50 to dump without a fill up, $15 for a dump and water fill up. He takes garbage for about a buck a bag as well. We didn't want to fill the tanks but had some water jugs to fill and he charged us about $3 for 10 gallons. He mentioned once again about the milk, juice, eggs and soft drinks inside. He has a washer/dyer that is not coin operated but is $3.50 per load. He also is talking about getting propane for next year. We had a nice chat and I asked about gallon water price for our neighbour but he didn't have a price and so I left it alone. Our bill came to something like $17 ( dumped all the tanks, filled 10 gallons of water and dumped two bags of garbage) but I just handed him a twenty and was happy to have so much information. He promised to remember I've over paid and will give me a discount next time. I just smiled and told him to enjoy his day. Nice fella. 
This is where I shouldn't have been walking according to the sign I passed on the way out.
Back along the way to our campsite we stopped at the horse lady's trailer and filled her in on the news. Her name is Jeannie and she's a wonderful lady from Wisconsin that travels each winter alone with just her two horses, Magic, a 24 year old white Arabian, and Ranger, a 4 year old chestnut Mustang that was caught in the wild and needed a home. She was thinking she needed some hay and some water and thought about loading the horses and towing her trailer to do these things. I offered to horse sit with my book if she liked. She took me up on my offer and we agreed that once Riley and I had set up, and I had a coffee along with something to eat I'd come down and she could be off to do her errands. 
It's just so green.

 We set up in the same campsite but at a different angle this time. We found that with no sun at all on the door it was too cool to have the door open any time, and also without the morning sun on that side of the Igloo even for a while it took longer for the place to heat up and in this cool weather, heating up faster is better. So we weren't long in setting up and with coffee and a quick breakfast sandwich under my belt I headed off with my Kobo, camera, and a warm jacket over my hoodie to sit with the horses while Jeannie went off to do her things. Jeannie took the two dogs with her and I settled down in the sun and started to read. She has a small paddock with an electric fence but only one strand of 'electric' that wouldn't really be much of a deterrent as the current is very low. A dip of a head and they could be out from under there in a second. A couple of hours past before she arrived back home. She had secured some hay and water and had driven out to the Love's Service Station because a Ranger told her she could buy a BLM book there. Love's had no idea what she was talking about. Anyway, she snagged the hay and water at Saddle Vista Ranch, plus he had taken her bag of garbage all for about $55. Excellent considering the hay was $15 per bale. She got at least 130 gallons of water as well. She found out more information about the place with the horses in mind, so it was an excellent place to send her. 

I felt as if I was being watched.
Jeannie and I chatted inside her cute little living quarters for a bit and then she came with me to the Igloo to check out a few of our little comforts as well. By the time Jeannie left it was already past 3:30 pm and I had arrived at her place around 12:15 pm. So the day was finished for me in terms of walking or such. Instead we had a very late lunch, did some reading and then I chatted with Dad, and Courtney, but left a message on sister Jan's answering machine. Cold, snow, freezing rain, more snow, more cold, a warm up and then more snow. That seems to be the way it's going in pretty much the entire province of Ontario. According to Dad, this is the most snow fall in their neck of the woods since the early 1970's. The average depth of snow in the woods is 36 INCHES/ 39 CM. That's a lot of snow in the trees folks. 
This photo and next are of the same mountains.
So there you have it folks, another day here in the Saddle Mountain area, cooler by far than any we've had but still not snow and rain, so we're quite happy. We enjoyed the visit with Jeannie and we also enjoyed the new views out the window tonight. I'll share those with you another time as I will a photo of the horses. Today's pictures were taken on yesterday's hike. 
Shadow and light make such a difference
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a wonderful day where ever you might be and what ever you might have been doing. 
Pretty steep isn't it?
Until next time.... take care, be safe, 
This dead tree in the arroyo caught my eye.



Monday, February 18, 2019

A cool hike today.....

Our Location: Near Tonopah, Arizona
A cool evening proceeded a cool morning but it warmed up some until the wind once again began it's journey over, around and through the mountains near us. Rushing merrily through the shrubs, around the Palo Verde trees and whistling through the power lines beside us causing the temperatures to drop by at least 8 or 9 degrees. Not a vastly windy day but enough to keep things much cooler than we'd like.
Sun and shadow make a huge difference.
Such a pretty view.
We decided we'll wait until tomorrow to empty the tanks for a number of reasons and so we settled in to do other things today. We did a few house keeping chores and stayed inside until things warmed up around 11 AM. From there we both decided to do different things. 
The light makes such a difference. I'm sure you're getting tired of these views but I'm not.

I climbed around the bottom of that bare looking monster of a rock.
Riley opted to stay inside and do some tidying up in her room and I picked  my hiking boots. With a walking stick and camera in hand I headed off back behind us once again and enjoyed a nice leisurely walk. My goal was the hole in the rock. I found the location easily enough but not realizing there were two, I of course chose the wrong one. Long story short, I didn't reach the second one but I did get pictures of it. I also found a faded worn post barely legible on my way out that read 'Not a road or trail, trespass is punishable by law.' Hm, guess I better not go back there tomorrow to try again. 
Wrong one but still interesting.

Looking  south toward Mexico, many many miles away.

 The clouds and wind played a big part in the temperature today and we never did get warm enough to walk without my hoodie on. I was warm but the wind would cool me off quickly. Soon the clouds blotted out the sun and the temperature dropped even more. I was glad to get home as the hour was 2 PM. A very late hike for me. 

Looking off toward the east and a bit south.

We are over that direction to the left of the rocky outcropping on the right.
After lunch and a bit of chatting we decided due to the up coming cold temperatures in the Apache Junction area that we will remain here in the Saddle Mountain area for another week. Yes I know we're over our limit but no one comes around to check and some folks have been here since we arrived. They haven't moved locations at all. So I think we're going to stay put until things warm up. No one else seems to like the area in which we are camped so I don't believe we're causing any hardships.
Majestic looking is the words that come to mind.

You don't realize how many arroyos and miles you must cross to arrive at those far away mountains.

 The rest of the day has been spent reading and doing our own things. Always a good way to spend a few hours, relaxing with a good book.  I finished Patricia Cornwell's Port Mortuary (hard cover book in hand) and moved on to my Kobo and a Mark Twain penned story about The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin. 

This is the southward facing side, some what protected. Look at all the little Saguaros.

That's the one I was looking for but didn't reach.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. 
I climbed up out of that valley.
I climbed down this side and walked past that little blue car.
Until next time... take care, be safe, 

Now I have to walk off to the right of the picture and north for a total of about 3 miles to get back home.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Horses, guns and a short drive....

Our Location: Near Tonopah, Arizona

The morning started off a bit cooler than yesterday but still nice. Lots of sunshine and warmth as well. Upon opening the door I was surprised to see a white horse galloping past between us and the fence heading toward Courthouse Road. No rider, no saddle, only a halter. where did that come from. Stepping out I noticed a neighbour parked down the way with a horse trailer. I'm guessing he must have some how gotten loose. I came inside to put my shoes on but decided against it as I'm sure they would notice a missing horse and hear it coming anyway. Dogs started barking and when I looked out again it appeared he was tied up. Good, wouldn't want him running loose on the road. 

Looking out the window, love the shadows on the mountain.
A lazy start to the morning as Riley and I debate our doings today. As our debate was going on a small silver car stopped on the roadway beside us and a fella started heading in to chat. I met him outside and he informed me was going back behind to shoot. He wondered if anyone was back there. how would I know who might be there? I didn't say that but I thought it. I explained I didn't know but that I do know folks walk back in that area all the time and tried to send him down the power line road around the back side of the mountains as there were lots of washes he could use. He seemed determined to do his shooting back behind us and well,  I truly didn't care, it's only for a short while but I'm not leaving the Igloo until he's gone. I don't need any air conditioning on my person as it's not THAT hot out here. 

Looking a bit farther to the south out the same window.
The lighting makes a huge difference in what you see.

We hopped into the Dogsled for a bit of a drive and checked out our old location of a few weeks ago. Still lots of folks over there, some new, some not. We didn't see any spots we liked and so off we went in search of something else. Saddle Vista Ranch is just a while down the Salome Highway and that was our destination as they have a large sign reading RV DUMP STATION at the road. We headed off in there to check things out. Sure enough, they do indeed have a dump station. For $15 we can empty our tanks, fill with water and garbage disposal is a $1 a bag. Depending on how big the bag is. He even sells spindly branches of firewood, stocks milk, orange juice, eggs (duck and chicken) and I'm under the impression that if one uses the place regularly he'll probably discount the dump fee. A little skinny getting in I think but we'll see how that goes tomorrow or the next day. We are in need of a dump and since we aren't heading off to Superstition Mountain just yet we don't feel the need to drive the miles to Love's when this fella is less than a couple of miles away. 

There are three or four rigs over there at the base of the hill.

Back home we checked out a few more spots farther back behind us but I think we'll stay where we are as it's convenient and we like it. So after a short tour back behind us with the Dogsled instead of walking, we once more headed off to Igloo. We arrived to find the shooter gone and the lady with the horses finally set up. 

Even a van or something over there starting up the hillside.

As we enjoyed our readers I looked up to see the lady riding the white horse but leading the second chestnut horse, this horse had no saddle either just a halter and lead rope. I wonder if it too escaped and she had to go catch it. Two dogs with her inspected our location very thoroughly before being called off and heading home. 

Do you see the head of a person in this photo? I see him every time I look out the window. I call him Fred.

A phone call from my Dad's house had me chatting with niece Nicole for a few minutes as she was setting up his phone on the computer. Once it was set up they were happy and signed off. Suited me fine, I was having something to eat anyway and didn't want to talk with food in my mouth, but also didn't want my food to get cold. 

Another face, this one is laying flat, I can see eye lashes and a few whiskers as well. Almost no chin on this fella.

To cool to be outside as the wind continued to pick up as each hour passed. The sky became very dark and cloud covered but no rain fell, and soon the clouds blew away but the wind still blew. To cool to be outside and no where to get out of the wind except in the shade which was too cool. Inside looking out was the way we spent the rest of the day. 

Love the bare rock, looks almost like a saddle!

So a quiet Sunday but we learned something today and hopefully we'll be getting out tomorrow without the gun enthusiast in the back yard and I can once again take a walk. My energy level encourages me to walk in the mornings, the afternoon walks just don't seem to happen for me. 

Tonight's sunset.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a wonderful day. 

Very golden!!

Until next time... take care, be safe, 

Goodnight from Saddle Mountain BLM.