Saturday, April 13
The last few days at Juniper Hill Camp, east of Prescott, our water supply dwindles, both the drinking water I store in one-gallon jugs and the fresh water in the tank. Given a choice of cleaning me or the dishes, I choose ME!
Our first full day at Camp Drake, north of Prescott, is for housekeeping.
If the crew and I were living in a regular house, a day of housekeeping would be, well, drudgery. Now that we live in a travel trailer — the beloved Best Little Trailer — housekeeping is a delight.
I set up my camp chair and folding table for a washing station outside.
The day is sunny and bright. The breeze makes a soft brushing sound as it blows through the branches of the juniper trees around our campsite. Bridget and Spike doze, alternating between the warmth on the outdoor rug, the coziness of the canine condo, and the cool earth under the BLT.
The housekeeping chores done, we venture down one of the dirt roads leading from our camp.
Drake was once called Cedar Glade. Hmm . . . Why wasn’t it called Juniper Glade? A little online research and I find the answer. About six junipers have the word cedar in their common names. Okay, moving on . . .
The name Drake comes from the engineer of that name who constructed (I’m sure he had help!) the railroad shipping point. Flagstone is quarried in Drake, and cement is produced by the, what else, Drake Cement Company.
The trains rumble past our camp and follow the graceful curve of the tracks until disappearing over a small hill.
Drake is one of a pair of ghost towns. The other is Puntenney. George Puntenney came to Arizona from Colorado in 1879 and built a lime kiln here. The crew and I come across the small Puntenney Cemetery as we walk the dirt road meandering along a ridge.
It’s a sad place with only a few rocks and markers indicating the location of graves. Another, much larger pioneer cemetery is located in Drake, which, by the way, is not much more than the cement plant these days.
Our campsite is closer to Puntenney than Drake.
I like the sound of Camp Drake better. The two ghost towns are close together, separated by Hell’s Canyon. There isn’t much left of either community.
I read that schoolchildren walked across the trestle going to and from school, being careful not to be caught by a train while in the middle. Quite unlike today, when schoolchildren are walked across a street by a crossing guard holding a sign and a whistle.
Sunday, April 14
It’s one of those glorious days that puts people in the mood to polish their vehicle. I lounge around sloth-like until that mood strikes me. I set up the stepladder and wash off the dust and grime from the upper part of the BLT, the side that faces the harsh afternoon sun. I dry the surface and apply polish.
This is the second coat, which the NuPolish people recommend be applied within thirty days of the first coat. Typically, I missed that deadline. Oh well, a second coat at any time is better than no second coat at all. It’s rewarding to wipe off the dry polish to reveal the shine.
How about the last post!
Quite an outpouring of love and support for our friends, Rusty and Timber! Throughout the day I jump online to respond to messages promising house-warming gifts.
Monday, April 15
This morning Rusty and Timber visit the lady at the VA who coordinates housing for vets. After the visit and a few errands, Rusty and Timber will camp near us at Camp Drake. I’m anxious for Rusty to tell me about the visit. And I’ll be sure to share any news with you!
Note: I apologize for the delay in posting. I wrote and rewrote this post twice before posting it publicly. WordPress has slowed to a crawl, loading photos is hellish, and the connection drops frequently, including the save function. It is not poor signal. The Wilson antenna has us at five steady bars.
You can read about the situation by doing a search for “attack on WordPress.” (I cannot make a link at this time — just one of the problems!)
Please, if I do not post soon or if I do not keep up with replies to comments, do not worry about us.