After two rainy days and nights, this morning’s sun sure felt good.
I face my camp chair toward Black Mountain as the sun peers over its shoulder. Black Mountain isn’t really black. It’s mostly covered in green vegetation. Anyway. I have three eggs over-easy on my plate because I know Bridget and Spike are going to pester me for some and I want to make sure I get my two-egg share.. My percolator makes very hot coffee and this morning it tastes especially good.
I hear the whirr of a tiny motor.
A hummingbird is poking at the feeder I hung in the mesquite bush in front of the Casita. The sun lights up his head and neck an iridescent pink. Along comes a finch who is immediately disappointed there are no seeds. I’m surprised he bothers to look around here. Maybe he’s weary of the crowds up at Rick’s feeder. I’ll pick up some bird seed today when I go into town.
I put Bridget and Spike in their pen.
I have been letting them roam around our campsite. Rick told me the coyotes are far off, ever since he emptied a clip across the desert behind his camper. “I was establishing my territory,” he explains.
“Yeah, well . . . you don’t know what coyote magnets these two are,” I respond prophetically. I tell him about our recent experiences with New Mexican coyotes.
Sure enough. That night under a full moon a coyote lets out a scream that lifts me up off the bed about a foot. Darn, he sounds like he’s right under this window! So the crew is on lock-down or on-leash.
The break in the weather gives me a chance to air out the Casita.
Once housekeeping is done, I settle in my chair to read my kindle. I get the idea to wash my hair outside in the sun. I put a few inches of warm water in a dishpan, wet my hair, and soap it up. I dip a plastic cup and pour water over my head to rinse. After a towel-dry and a comb-out, I’m back to my kindle while my hair dries.
I get out my Petersen Field Guide to Rocky Mountain and Southwest Forests to identify some of the trees and plants around our campsite.
I already have been warned about the cholla and its terrible burrs. I’m glad there are none closeby.
Our campsite has a palo verde tree, a mesquite, a creosote bush, and a saguaro, the latter very likely fifty years old or more. I haven’t seen much wildlife around here, only one black-tailed jackrabbit, a covey of quail, and a few birds… hummingbirds, finches, and sparrows. A flicker likes to cling near the top of the saguaro.
This afternoon the Perfect Tow Vehicle takes us into town.
Ajo is only about six miles from here, an easy drive. I could go the shorter route of about four-and-a-half miles, but the road is winding and rough.
The people are mostly friendly, working-class, and, as you would expect, Native American, Mexican, or Anglo, or a mixture of these. I go into the IGA store for a few things. Man, somebody around here really loves meat! It’s not a big store yet the meat section makes Walmart’s seem puny. It looks like it even has a genuine, live butcher on duty. I see big chunks of cheese and some Mexican stuff I can’t identify. I buy a piece of very appealing, apple pie since it’s been years since I’ve had any. . . and I remember to get the birdseed.
I stop at the Family Dollar, for no apparent reason, and browse around. The Christmas trash is everywhere . .. wrapping paper, gift bags, cheap toys, perfume sets, the usual trappings, and the music, of course. It makes me claustrophobic, so I put down my roll of paper towels and leave. I find the less I do for Christmas, the better Christmas I have.
You can occasionally hear a bomb dropped over at the bombing range.
Military planes swoop down low sometimes and put on mini-airshows. Every day we hear a few sonic booms. Sunset seems to sneak up on me every day. I think it’s about three o’clock and zip!. .. there goes the sun behind the mountains.
The crew and I hurry to take another walk before dark.
There’s no noise at this time of day, only the crunch of my feet on the loose stones in the dirt road.
When our Casita comes into view on the way back, I always say, “We’re almost home.” Bridget knows the word “home” and quickens our pace.
I get a good feeling when I see our home nestled in the greenery of the desert. I don’t know how long we will stay here. I don’t feel like going anywhere else for now.