Sunday, December 31, 2017

A spectacular day, start to finish....



Our Location: Quartzsite, Arizona



From our Igloo to your homes, Happy New Year. Please be responsible, don't drink and drive. Have a safe and a Happy New Year!!


Awake off and on through the night I finally stayed awake from around 5 am. This morning I went back to doing what I do at our summer location. I usually am out of bed before 6 am, wash, brush my teeth, get dressed, you know the stuff. Next I grabbed the camera and headed outdoors. I only intended to do a short walk to catch the sunrise and to check out our intended new destination to ensure that no one had parked there over night. I ended up taking about a half hour walk and catching a glorious sunrise.
The beginnings of sunrise at our old spot....

You the readers of this blog are probably tired of seeing sunrise, sunset and mountain pictures but the truth is I love them. They are stunningly beautiful and often times the descriptive words used just do not even begin to weave the image of what one experiences seeing these things first hand. The Great Smokey Mountains are lush and green, with inviting spots nestled out of the way beneath a canopy of green, they seem mysterious while shrouded in their great smoke and hazes. They are truly majestic and no one can see them and not be amazed at their beauty. However here in the southwest the mountains are stark, barren looking, they offer no warmth or invitation of joy, but they do invite, they lure, they insist that you come closer to explore, to venture into their midst. They are harsh and cold in the grey light of dawn but the sun’s rays be it during sunrise or sunset transform them into a magical place with twisting bands of light and dark, then suddenly they are awash in light and look warm, majestic,and inviting. The sun’s rising and setting is also a time of great beauty with red’s and oranges turning to pinks and yellows or vise versa. The sky’s vastness is made smaller by the colour palette that is dancing across the sky with the sun’s blessings. So you see I’ll never tire of them and when I look back in years to come the pictures of these things will bring back wonderful memories for me and so I will continue post them, even if you tire of them.
I just love this pink sky in the morning.....

Riley made her appearance just before 8 am. She looks much better today with her hair not sticking out in every direction. The first thing she did was try her phone and it works just fine, so perhaps the rice helped or perhaps it wasn’t in the water long enough to do any damage. Which ever it is, I’m happy. 
The sunrise was painting the sky....

We’re moving today as I already mentioned and so after our morning drinks we’ll be tossing things into the Igloo and truck (not packing them all up properly) as we aren’t going very far but to a much better spot in our opinion.
It was truly amazing.....

We finished our hot drinks, I headed outside to tuck away the stuff so we could move the short distance without any issues. I had already packed my bedroom and bathroom for travel, Riley did the rest of the inside. We hooked up and headed out for the new spot around 9:30 am and were totally set up in the new spot with salads made, and lunch prepped by 10:45 am. It  took us a while to get level but once we had that issue solved it went quickly from there. It’s a much nicer spot, the views are better, the quiet is amazing, no trucks rumbling by, quads puttering along. They are now just a distant hum. Much better choice this spot. We’re liking it already. We have a few neighbours but far enough away to wave to but not chat with no matter how loudly we talk. 
Don't you just love this colour?

We grabbed our walking sticks and headed out for a walk checking out the rest of the area. We like this area and will return again next time we’re in this part of the BLM. It’s quiet, and away from the hustle and bustle of the main drag. Works for us. We were gone about 45 minutes before we got back to the Igloo and settled down to read some more. 
I'm heading back to the Igloo after my morning walk ....

Riley’s the chef today, she jazzed up jarred spaghetti sauce. So we shall be having our regular Sunday fare, salad, spaghetti with sauce and some cheesy garlic bread. I feel like a lazy bum sitting here typing while she worked away. Although when it’s reverse it doesn’t seem to bother her too much, in fact not at all. Hahaha. 
All set up in the new spot...

I was outside reading and enjoying my salad, just soaking up the rays. The quiet is amazing here, and we aren’t far from the other spot, not distance wise at least but it’s much quieter so far. By the time I finished my salad I was no longer hungry and debated if I wanted lunch. However I did have a few things to do and so decided to get them accomplished and perhaps work my way up to having lunch. 
See the pollution in the sky?

I emptied the left side cubbie, crawled into the cubbie to check out the water pump. It doesn’t seem to want to shut off for some reason but I can’t find any leaks at the pump and I haven’t seen any elsewhere either. So I’ll have to do some research on that I suppose. This process included removing panels from the cubbie and of course it took longer to get the panel on, and the cubbie swept out, along with things being put back than it did to check out the pump. However I feel better and that’s what counts.

I came inside to have a little bit of pasta and a small piece of cheesy garlic bread. It was very good but I didn’t have much, I wasn’t very hungry. I forgot to take a picture though. I’m getting bad at that remembering stuff. I think there’s a name for it but I can’t remember what it is.
I'm not sure it's a full moon just yet.....

Once I finished eating I was back outside to clean up the Dogsled a bit. I gave the floors a bit of a whisking with my little broom. Just to kind of get the bigger pieces out the door, if you know what I mean. Tomorrow I’ll do the dash, etc. Things sure get dusty down here in Arizona. 
Sunset washing the mountains with colour...

I called my sister Jan this afternoon and we chatted for about an hour. We had to catch up on a few things and so that took us a bit of time. Always fun to catch up with her, she has very unique outlook at life. We laughed and chatted and laughed some more, making us both feel better at being in touch. We’re in touch about 2 or 3 times a week in some way, and we do miss her. We visit back and forth a lot when we are at our summer location. 

Such a sweet colour over there...


After chatting with her for a bit I was outside reading and enjoying the sun when my dad called. He didn’t have a lot of news but wanted to wish us Happy New Year before we headed out to do our celebrating. I told him not to worry as our celebrating will be with the lights out and getting some sleep. We aren’t party people. We chatted for about 15 minutes before he said good bye. 
Again the mountains are bathed in sunset rays....

Tomorrow I’ll call my other two girls, my brother, and my best friend to offer wishes for a happy new year. It’s hard to believe this year is behind us already. The time kind of slipped by when I wasn’t looking.
It's starting to sink....

I grabbed the camera and headed outside to catch the sunset and boy what a sunset. It was spectacular to see. The bright colours in the sky slowly turned darker and darker and then the sun slipped away. There appears to be some form of pollution in the air and I am beginning to wonder if it’s smoke from the forest fires in California perhaps. It was consistent yesterday, last night, this morning and most of the day as well. 
Amazing colours....

As I was catching pics of the sunset I was also moving some of the bigger stones around our site. I’ll have to get a new rake and perhaps a small shovel in town to help clean up our site a bit, nothing drastic, just some of the bigger stuff we’re tripping over. Not going to do too much or someone else will be settled in next time we’re looking for a place to park.
I wonder if that is smoke from the forest fires in California?

So there you have it folks, our day. Nothing too exciting I’m certain but we enjoyed it a great deal. We are now truly enjoying this area and are looking forward to spending more time here over the next few months. We hope you’ve had a great day as well. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment. 
It's last gasp tonight...

Until next time…take care, be safe…
Good night from Quartzsite.


Deb





Saturday, December 30, 2017

A bit of touring today....



Our Location: Quartzsite, Arizona

When I woke up at 5 am the air was a bit nippy but not cold. Downstairs before 7 am the temp was reading 40F/4C so not a bad start to the day. The night temps seem to be getting a bit warmer every few days and hopefully the trend continues.


It started off like this early in the morning ....

The sunrise didn’t really have much colour this  morning, just a lightening from dark to light with no reds or oranges in the mix until the sun was about to peek it’s head over the edge of the mountain, and then some red/orange colours showed up in the sky. Very pretty.


Then went to this.....

Riley staggered out shortly after 7:30 am and looked as if she’d had a hard night. No not really but her hair was sticking out in every direction making it look as if she’d had a really bad scare. We discussed our plans for the day which weren’t many and decided on lunch, a small change from the previously written menu we follow but since we already had the meat thawed it seemed like a better choice.


My lunch salad....lots of things in there..

Since I had decided to prep lunch early I was pulling the stuff out of the fridge and determined that one of my chores for later today was to defrost the fridge and freezer, so I just kept pulling everything out and heated water to stick in there to help it thaw faster. While the water was working it’s magic I made our salads, readied the spaghetti squash, cleaned the door trays, and crispers. As I waited for the second pot of water to steam it’s magic into the last large pieces of ice on the fins of the fridge I managed to make our homemade turkey burgers and have them ready for lunch as well. 


Lunch on the Weber, Spaghetti squash in the foil...

                     I cleaned up both the fridge and freezer, wiping  everything clean and dry before putting every thing back and wouldn’t you know it, we had a great deal more room than we thought we had in the freezer and I figured out how to move the racks in the fridge as well to a better position. It was a learning experience with the racks but now I know how to do it. So we now have more space in the fridge in which to stand things up instead of having to lay them on their sides. Yeah me!!!!

My lunch, potato slice, squash, and a cheese turkey burger.....

Lunch prepared, fridge and freezer defrosted, cleaned, dried, restocked and it was only a little after 10 am. How good was that? I then proceeded to clean up and get ready for the day ahead. We headed out for a walk around 10:45 am, hoping to find a better location. We found one that we had checked out before but found it was already full with two units. There is one we like but it’s in a small wash type looking area  and I’m afraid to park there just in case, so we’ve been avoiding it. We didn’t find anything on our walk but we have noticed a few things  that I thought would not be permitted in the area. A number of people have parked their rigs crossways at the beginning of along stoney areas that would hold many more units but have effectively cut off anyone else from going in there unless they find another path or road. The other thing I’ve noticed is certain spots look like they’ve been lived in for a long time, not just a few months. Some of the junk and/or other trailers sometimes two or three cargo trailers piled up around these units were not just collected from October til now. Not many of course but enough for me to notice. These extra trailers are usually parked in such a way as to form almost like a small compound in their midst. Or again they block off the path to more campsites further down the way. I’m quite surprised at that.


That green thing turns different colours...(he's far, far away, sorry for the blurry pic)

Anyway, back home we climbed into the Dogsled and headed out for a look around Tyson Wash LTVA area. We seen a number of promising looking spots but Riley was worried because they didn’t have a fire ring, so we by passed them. We did however find one that was very appealing.

 
Tough looking cactus, wonder how it manages to survive....

We then headed into Quartzsite proper and tooled around a bit checking out the laundromat and finding Discount Solar to be closed up today. We didn’t find any where to wash the Dogsled and believe me the big fella is dirty with a all this fine dust. You can see our fingerprints where we’ve touched the door to push it shut. However I do have a possible solution for that in the near future as I’ll explain a bit later.


Love this grouping, note the bottoms all look pretty rugged, and one is a twin with one being shorter than the other....guess they aren't identical....


We checked out Hi Jolly BLM as well and decided it wasn’t for us, we didn’t find it appealing in the least. We didn’t check out Plomosa Road today but will at some point. We headed back to the Igloo and took a drive along another couple of roads to just check things out. Didn’t see anything that appealed to us there either. 

 
Yes, that is the moon you see there in among the cacti.


Back home it was 2 pm by the time we opened the door and stepped inside. I started up the Weber and let it heat up while I was inside doing a few little last minute things for lunch. Lunch today was of course started with a salad, then spaghetti squash with a bit of butter, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley and Parm Cheese,  a potato sliced and placed on the grill after brushing the slices with oil. Finally turkey burgers with toasted english muffins, mine was a cheese burger. Two for Riley, one for me. That was lunch. It was very good if I do say so. I’ve found the right spices for us and we enjoyed the turkey burgers more now. With beef I used dry onion soup mix to give it the right flavour but since we’re using turkey I used a few other things instead. Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, a hint of Italian, a wee bit of fresh garlic, crushed, one egg, and some bread crumbs. It has just the right flavour for us.


Notice the big split above those small arms....

After lunch, time to wash up all the dishes and tidy the place up. We grabbed our sticks and headed out for a short walk. We wandered around not far from our current location and found a spot we’ll enjoy much more and plan on moving there tomorrow morning.

 
The straightest line to the roadway for walking....can you tell?

On our way back home with the Dogsled I stopped at the office to ask if having a mobile wash company come into the park was allowed. The answer was yes but only two were on their approved list. I want to have the Igloo and the Dogsled washed and waxed, and the oxidization removed from the front of the Igloo. I would also like to have the carpets steam cleaned but I’m not sure it’s worth it with all this dust. So my question is has anyone reading my post used either of the two allowed here in the BLM. J & R’s Mobile Wash, and Mel’s Mobile Wash? This question just occurred to me, are these the ONLY mobile wash companies allowed  on ALL BLM land or just the pay ones? I never thought to ask that question.


The type of rock that litters the desert floor...

So if you have used them, or heard anything about either of them, I would appreciate hearing from you.


That big yellow ball is starting to slide down....

After our walk Riley decided to clean up and  somehow dropped her phone into a sink full of water. It’s sitting in a ziplock bag of rice right now, hopefully that does the trick. Life is always interesting in so many ways. Hahahaha


A bit further....

So there you have it, our day here in sunny warm Quartzsite, Arizona. Nothing too exciting but it works for us and we enjoyed it a great deal. I enjoyed pushing the Dogsled into 4 X 4   and having it work a bit getting up some of the steep spots in a few washes that we went through. I don’t think Riley enjoyed it but that’s okay, I enjoyed it enough for both of us. Hahaha.


That is some kind of pollution you can see there.....maybe dust..

We hope where ever you are that you’ve enjoyed your day as well. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment.

Love the pink over the mountains...
Until next time….take care, be safe,

Love the colours here in the desert....


Deb

Friday, December 29, 2017

Our first full day ......



Our Location: Quartzsite, Arizona

Morning came early or it seemed to anyway. Even though I was still tired I couldn’t seem to fall back asleep after 4:30 am. Finally I just sneaked downstairs, turned on the heater, heated some water and snuck a few shots of the sunrise before doing some blog reading until 7:30 am when Riley started making noises of being awake. 


Sunrise this morning...

It was decided that we’d stay home today and in keeping with that idea the only reason we left today was to take a walk this morning and kind of get our bearings. We walked around a bit, found a couple of sites that looked interesting and ended our walk about an hour after leaving home. I think we covered a couple of miles. 

Just before the sun peaked over the edge...

Back home we both sat outside to read for a while. The sun was warm before turning to being hot. The shade was cool though and I moved back and forth for a while. Riley finally just went inside. 

Tonight's sunsets showing up vividly on the mountains

We had prepped lunch before leaving for our walk and when the clock started pushing noon, we both sat down to eat our salads. It was about 1:30 pm when I started tossing stuff on the Weber. Didn’t take long to cook our small packet of fresh beans, mushrooms and asparagus with Italian Seasonings, along with a pork loin chop for Riley and a small chicken breast for me. By 2:30 pm we had eaten and cleaned up.


Just the last little bits of sun as it's sets tonight...

I had myself a bit of a nap shortly after 3 pm and woke up around 4. The sun did it’s work and just tuckered me right out. The out door receiver for the thermometer is in the shade and it’s still registering 69F/20C now at 4:30 pm. I didn’t look at this afternoon to see what the temp was reading. 


Actual sunset tonight...

The days are getting longer, it’s still day light outside and it’s just before 6 pm. A wonderful sunset tonight. The temps are falling now it’s 62F/16C and of course it’s cooling off quickly. A beautiful day for our first full day here in Quartzsite. We have enjoyed it a great deal. I think tomorrow we’ll venture out and about for a look see and maybe a stop or two. 


Sinking behind the mountains..

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. I hope that where ever you may be that your day was as fantastic as ours. Please feel free to drop a comment.



Until next time… take care, be safe,


Don't you just love the colours over there...


Deb

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Moving day.....



Our Location: Quartzsite, Arizona

(The first few pics were taken through a dirty windshield)
 
My morning started about 6 am but I didn’t get up until about 6:30 am. The temps were about the same as the few previous days, a degree or two warmer but nothing much. I packed up my bedroom and bathroom while waiting for the kettle to get hot and by the time I headed downstairs to make my hot chocolate, Mr Heater had the Igloo quite toasty. As I was just about to sit down Riley started making some grunting and groaning noises in her bedroom and so I knew she was awake. I made her hot chocolate while she was getting out of bed. 
 
Leaving Saddle Mountain ....
 
After enjoying our hot drinks we started packing up a bit more of the inside. Finally leaving Riley to finish the inside I headed out to do the few last minute things outside. As I was finishing and just starting to move the Dogsled into the harness our new friend Matt pulled up in the spot in front of us and proceeded to come up and chat. When we chatted yesterday I told Matt we had an excellent spot, (I had noticed he had moved numerous times in just a couple of days) and since we were leaving he was welcome to it. Thus the reason he showed up while we were still packing up. We chatted for a few minutes and by that time a new fella named Bob and his rescue dog (no name) stopped on his walk to chat with us too. After about 10 minutes I explained that we had to get busy and so both gents headed off in their own directions. As I was putting the hitch pin into the slot I noticed Matt lurking off to the side. Apparently he’d never seen anyone hook up a 5’er before. Within 10 minutes we had done our final checks, and we were heading out to Courthouse Road at 9:40am. Late for us but it’s a short day and so we weren’t too worried.
 
Those white squares are bales of cotton.

We rolled onto I-10 West, put on some tunes, and let the Big Dog run along at 55 mph/ 88 km until we pulled in at the Rest Area. We wanted to check on a dump station instead of worrying about one later down the road, but alas, no dump station. We once again pushed the Big Dog up to the same speed, click on cruise and enjoyed the ride. 
 
There are probably 100 or so bales out there...

We pulled into the BLM office, got our tags and proceeded to get our instructions. Moving forward we waited at the dump station for a while, and finally it was our turn. As we pulled out of the dump station the clock indicated we’d been an hour from the back of the line to pulling out of the dump site. We still needed water on board, Riley dumped the garbage while I was dumping the tanks. 
 
The go on and on and on....

After that we drove around for about 45 minutes checking out a number of places and finally picking one. Tomorrow we’ll have to figure out where we are located so we can find ourselves again. However for today, I’m happy to be parked, mostly set up and enjoying the sunshine and warmth. 
 
At the rest area, a U-Haul towing a tri -axle Airstream.

Lunch was a bit hurried today so it was a simple event. Riley had a couple of Sweet Italian Sausages, and I had a couple of turkey dogs. We don’t use regular bread buns, but wraps instead. Riley also added some pretzels and hummus to her lunch, while I was satisfied with just the dogs.
 
Love the crags and creases....

A call to my dad after we arrived to ease his mind about our travels. He said they were having a nice day there too but I’m sure his nice, and our nice aren’t quite the same thing.
 
Rest area about 10 miles east of Quartzsite.

I enjoyed my book for a while this afternoon before making a phone call to Verizon to change our data plan. We just don’t seem to be able to survive on a few gigs and have now switched to unlimited. We’ll see if it works better for us. The phone call took almost an hour as the wait time was long but I was certainly very happy with the end result.
 
The green is CASH price for diesel, add 5 cents for credit card use.

After that I headed outside to catch the sunset. It was nice, and the surrounding mountains were awash with the sun’s rays and the crags and crevices casting shadows and unique shades on those beautiful mountains.
 
Love the wavy outline....

Sunset is now over and I’m here editing pics and writing my post. Riley is doing whatever it is she does to amuse herself. HRH  is once again in her cat carrier. How funny is that? She doesn’t want to go in on moving day but afterwards she spends a lot of time inside it when we aren’t moving. She is a strange cat. 
 
Catching the dust in the rays...

So there you have it. We have left Saddle Mountain behind for now and are prepared to try a few days here in Quartzsite, and if it gets to be too stressful we’ll pull up stakes and head somewhere else. After all our home is on wheels and moving is pretty simple. We are fortunate indeed to have such a lifestyle available to us.
 
Nothing says desert sunset like a cactus in the picture...

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to drop a comment.
 
Fading behind the mountains....

Until next time…. take care, be safe,

 
 
Deb