Around 3 a.m. I wake up feeling cold.
Bridget is sleeping next to me, and Spike is curled up on the cushion I placed on the floor last night. Flicking on the light, I make sure Spike’s still under the blanket. I open the Fantastic Fan in the ceiling and the window in the bathroom, leaving the door propped open. The catalytic heater starts easily and in a few minutes it’s comfortably warm.
Whenever the heater is on in the morning, the crew sleeps late.
In fact, Spike won’t get out of bed until nature calls, no, insists! This morning I make myself some coffee and watch a jackrabbit out the window. I finish my cup of coffee and answer an email before Spike raises his head. The plan for today is to drive south to Wickenburg so I can go to my bank and also do some serious shopping. One thing I want to find is a dog bed.
Spike sleeps on the floor now and seems happy there.
I’m confident he’ll sleep in a dog bed on the floor if I get him one of quality. I don’t like putting the seat cushion on the floor every night. A dog bed will go nicely under the dinette table at the rear of the BLT. I’ll keep it there all the time. Often Spike falls asleep on my bed and then I lift him down to the cushion when I want to turn in.
The desert around our camp is becoming familiar.
We keep our walks on the two-track, wide lanes that meander in all directions.
One reason we stay on the lane is to avoid the crew picking up thorns in their paws. Also, of course, staying on the roads and the lanes gives us a wide berth from any possibility of approaching a snake.
As the land features change or have a specific characteristic, I find myself attaching a name.
This morning we walk past “the bird garden,” alongside “the canyon” (which is probably more aptly a large arroyo), and over to “quartzsite” where large chunks of quartz, some pure white and some veined with rose-amber, lie all about.
The lane is sandy and shows tracks well. Most of the tracks are our own.
I see the hoof marks of the horse that was ridden through here yesterday. Far from our camp I come across some cloven-hoof tracks . . . javelina? goat? antelope?
One thing I don’t see is . . . snakes.
Yesterday a pick-up truck was parked near the huge boulders at the base of the mountain. I could hear repeated gunshots . . . someone shooting rattlesnakes in the rocks?
It must be like shooting fish in a barrel as the snakes are probably still groggy in their dens.
The crew and I walked the road that doesn’t go near that area!
We visited the old cemetery and the former gold mine. If you’re into history, do a search for Congress, and read about its mining and railroad heydays.
Our walk this morning is peaceful and long.
Spike, as usual, doesn’t want to turn around to go home. He plants his paws in the sand, leg joints locked. After much pulling and cajoling, he gives in. Funny thing is, by the time we get home, he’s exhausted! I’m feeling so mellow I’ve lost all ambition to drive off to Wickenburg. Oh well, that can wait until tomorrow. I feed the crew and fix myself a bowl of cereal. I’m so glad the wind is gone for now.
Most likely a large number of my readers also read The Bayfield Bunch.
So you already know Al, Kelly, and Pheebs were over here for a visit, along with Gaelyn, a commenter on my blog whom I met for the first time.
Gaelyn had invited me to visit her, but being lazy I invited her here instead!
Gaelyn is a long-time boondocker and http://www.geogypsy.blogspot.com is her blog.
She shared important information about how to avoid Highway 89 with its steep grade and hairpin turns, going to Yarnell from Congress.
The wind kept all of us, including canines, inside until it was time to say goodbye. I was pleased to see we were able to visit comfortably inside my tiny home.
I was also pleased to see Bridget and Spike being amicable hosts! No snarling at all!
Spike and Pheebs played in our front yard and Spike brushed up against the prickly pear cactus. Kelly told me I’d better check him carefully.
Sure enough. As my guests were leaving, I noticed several hair-like thorns in Spike’s leg.
I put him on the bed and extracted them with the needle-nose pliers I bought recently at Quartzsite. I could tell Spike felt some pain with each pull of the pliers, but he’s a good boy and knew enough to let me fix him up.
The crew and I did a little exploring in and around Congress.
The grocery store, if you could call it that, is in the Family Dollar. A few aisles and a cooler provide some groceries, saving people a trip up the mountain to Yarnell or down Highway 89 to Wickenburg. I found a big, steel pot I can use to make batches of soup for the freezer.
I’m enjoying my television and the solar power that makes it possible.
I watched the Oscars and then last night, American Idol. I have enough power to run the TV all afternoon and into the evening hours, if I want. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful that a person can live like I do and still watch hours of television with no electric hook-up and no electric bill? And stay up late with lights on? It remains a marvel to me.
Someone commented about my campsite, referring to all I have here to enjoy, that it’s like the Hilton. You know, I wouldn’t be happier — in fact I wouldn’t be happy at all — if I actually were living at the Hilton!