Saturday, March 23
After a week of hardly anyone around our campsite on BLM land located northwest of Phoenix, the weekend does bring out some ATVers, as well as people walking the trail from the Escapees’ North Ranch. Even so, this is an exceptionally peaceful camp. I wile away the morning reading my kindle, perusing my atlases, and soaking up some sun.
I expect a visitor this afternoon.
Bob Wells of cheaprvlivingblog.com, a neighboring camper at our recent Saddle Mountain camp, comes by with his dog Homer. Bob is camped not far from here on Ricon Road, Wickenburg. Of course, Bridget and Spike are happy to see Homer again, and Bob is always good company.
I invite Bob and Homer to take a walk with me and the crew.
We walk the lane that will take us to an overlook. On the way I point out a former campsite of mine that is the next best thing to where I’m presently camped. I invite Bob to move to this place. I do believe Bob loves the desert as much as I do!
We enjoy relaxed conversation on the walk and later at my campsite.
Sunday, March 24
I’m busy at my laptop, and Bridget and Spike sleep next to me on our bed, deep into a morning nap. Bridget wakes up with a start, letting rip with her signature scream-bark which drills into the deaf ears of Spike and involuntarily lifts me off the bed. In a flash Bridget and Spike spring to the floor and bolt out the door, barking frantically as they go.
I chase after them.
Spike darts between the PTV and BLT, jumping over the solar connection cable. Bridget hops over, too, close behind. Spike is hot on the tails of a herd of heifers, chasing them down our driveway into the scrub brush, barking with terrier intensity and not the least bit intimidated by the thundering hooves.
Bridget stops midway as if to say to herself, “What am I running for? Spike can handle this.” She walks back to the driveway and sits down.
“Good job, Spikey! You ran them off good!” He stops to let me award him a congratulatory pat on the back. “We don’t want those bad cows bothering us any more, do we.”
Spike and I walk over to Bridget.
Bridget looks up at me.
“You did a good job, too, Bridget. You sounded the alarm. No telling what they would’ve gotten away with if it weren’t for you.” She lifts her butt out of the sand and wiggles it proudly.
Soon we’re back as before.
The crew rests quietly and my face is in the laptop. You can guess what happens next. Scream-bark. Bolt out the door. Frantic barking. Thundering hooves. Spike chases until he determines the heifers are a safe distance away, and then trots back to the dirt lane. I catch up with Spike, take out my camera, and photograph the marauders. Here’s two of them.
“What a sneaky bunch, huh, Spike? This time they came around the other side thinking they’d flank us. Well, you sure did let them know you don’t sleep on the job. Well, you do, but they can’t pull anything over on you. You’re a fine heifer-chaser, Spike.”
Spike, Bridget and I stare at the heifers.
The heifers stare back. “Wait a minute! I KNOW THOSE TWO! It’s the notorious Blondie and her accomplice, Whiteface!”
Throughout the rest of the day, Spike is on alert.
He lies in the doorway of the BLT, on the outdoor rug, or in the sandy driveway, constantly surveying the landscape. Periodically he gets up and patrols the perimeter. He takes his work seriously.