Rick helps me find a campsite.
We walk together up the lane to the next site. It’s a pull-through on a knoll, and it’s surrounded by palo verde, ocotillo, saguaro, and brittlebush. In a word — lovely. I have my air card with me, and no matter where I walk on the campsite, no signal at all! This is very disappointing. I like it here!
“You know, Rick. I’m going to camp here anyway. If I can’t get signal after 24 hours, I’ll move. Right now I feel like stopping for the night.”
The crew and I walk down the hill and board the PTV.
I park the BLT where I want it and go about setting up camp. I put the antenna pole in the bumper mount and attach the wire to my air card. Bingo! Three bars! How can that be? Well, I’m not going to argue with three, steady bars! We can stay here!
Neighbor Judy stops by to say hello.
She’s camped with her canine buddy, Cisco, in a travel trailer. Bridget and Spike are thrilled to make another canine friend. Judy is from Colorado Springs and has been a reader of this blog from its early days, before she went full-time last June.
Judy says, “I used to get annoyed when you didn’t post. I’d think ‘Here I am stuck in this house and she’s out there doing what I want to do. She could at least post!'” We both laugh. Judy continues, “Now that I’m out here myself, I don’t know how you do it. It’s such a commitment.”
Thursday, January 17
I wake before the crew and watch the sunrise through our big back window. The saguaro make dramatic silhouettes. Shortly Bridget and Spike wake up. Due to the close presence of coyotes in the area, I suit up the crew for a short walk on-leash. I open the door and there’s Lady!
“Look who’s here! Good morning, Lady!”
This starts our day on a happy note.
One of my favorite things about full-time vagabonding is making a new camp into home. Our site is covered with small, jagged rocks. I get out my rake and clear the area on the door side of the BLT. I plan on us staying here for an extended period and I don’t want those rocks poking holes in the blue mat.
Once the mat is down and the camp chairs and table set up, I set to work on the bird feeders. I construct a stand-by-itself seed feeder, set it up by the palo verde, and rake a winding path to it.
I pour seed into the feed tray and sprinkle more on the path. The apple-shaped (or maybe strawberry-shaped?) hummingbird feeder goes up.
Later the urge to cook strikes me.
There are days when only a hearty meal will do. This would be delicious filling for a tortilla wrap.
At sunset I make a fire in the fire ring.
I bring out a cup of hot tea, sit before the fire, and pull the throw around my shoulders. I reflect upon our day. Rick said the BLM rangers don’t bother keeping track how long people camp here. That’s good because I don’t want to leave here any time soon.