Tuesday, February 28, 2017

There and Back and Again

Since our last entry I have put some serious miles on and seen some country, some a repeat and some a little whiter than I like it this time of year. Our last trip out to Bouse was so much fun and seemed to reconnect us with the reason we started RV'ing in the first place. Our LQ was not as comfortable as we would like for a boondocking rig so that got us thinking about a change. Like usual, with me, change happens in a hurry. We found a rig we thought we would like and it just so happens that the dealer we bought the LQ from had one arriving in the next day or two. We made a deal and all that had to be done was the final walk throughs of both our trade and the new toy hauler. I figured we should fly up and have a look at it, but Brenda wasn't up for another flight at this point, so she put her faith in me. Not entirely wisely as it turns out.

Here she (DPA) is in her natural habitat outside Bouse, Arizona
 The new outfit is nice, but as always there are a lot of things that will need to be changed to make it perfect and acceptable as our new Dogpound Anywhere (DPA). From my point of view it needs more batteries, an inverter and some solar capabilities all things we knew going in, surprisingly there are no 12V power points at all, and the water pump sounds like it is being powered by a Harley Davidson engine, so those issues will have to be dealt with. As for things Brenda looks for, it has great storage for clothes, but not so great for dry goods. And not a towel rack or toilet paper hanger in sight so those will have to be added. The fridge seems adequate though. It has a fancy new Furrion Oven and it, at least on our trial run, had issues keeping a constant temperature and it has a fan that runs the whole time the oven is on, so that will take some getting used to.

There is a deck out back that makes getting outdoors pretty easy, but the garage floor, is well a garage floor and we will probably need to fit a carpet to that to make it more easily cleaned.

After a few days of commissioning at DPS we headed for our favourite spot out near Bouse for a shakedown cruise. As usual in the desert these little fellers were around looking to see if we had a handout for them. Sadly we didn't but that didn't seem to discourage them from hanging out with us.


In flight and hard to track

Sunrise over the desert
Unlike most times in the desert, this time we got company. Kim Johnson an old colleague from my working days and his wife Wendy were on a trial run with their motorhome, seeing what all this sunbelt stuff was about and we managed to convince them to stop overnight with us in the desert. Great folks and a lot of fun, so we are hopeful we will see them again before they head back into the Great White North.

Sometimes it the eastern skies that make the best display at Sunset
We are back at DPS now and working on killing weeds, washing the rigs and getting a few other things done here so that we are free to wander if the mood catches us. The last couple of days have been cool and windy so not much getting done on that front, but I have managed to get a couple of swims in anyway.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Boondocking

We headed out of Dogpound South last Wednesday towards a spot over near the La Paz Valley. We have been there before but it was a long while back, in fact almost 6 years ago was the last time we left there. It was great to get back to that wonderful spot. It is quiet and off the beaten track and although the madness that is Quartzite in January is only an hour away it doesn't spill over towards our spot. Although this a great spot for chillin' and riding the Can-Am it would not be so good for the ponies as it is pretty rocky. I spent some time riding some old trails that I had walked extensively 6 years ago, but although Blue II can cover a lot more ground in a lot less time than Shank's Pony he is restricted to existing trails where on foot you can roam wherever your mind tends to lead.

Some of this weeks trails


My riding partners changed on an almost daily basis, sometimes Brenda came along, but when she opted to enjoy the peace and quiet in camp Max was more than willing to climb aboard and see the country.

Max along for the ride
 He is probably wondering where to get some of those Doggles that Emmi from Montana has for riding the desert.

Our low profile toy hauler

Camp along the wash

Great for an ATV but not so great for horses

A Panorama from atop TV Hill
 Long time readers will recall some shots from atop this hill taken back in January 2011. I am here to tell you it was a lot quicker and certainly easier on the lungs getting back up here on Blue II rather than Shank's Mare. If you click on this shot and enlarge it the red arrow is pointing at our site this year.

 This quartz outcrop is just poking out of the desert.



Just a shot of a small hill along the trail

Sunset with what I call TV Hill in the centre.

Blue II waiting patiently for Brenda and I to investigate a mine flooded with water. 

Doing our part to repatriate some Carbon back into the atmosphere

Max and Maya chillin' in camp.

An old Mine Site

A beautiful vista




An interesting piece of wood, looks like a leg roast

 I stumbled on these store fronts along the trail, I have no idea how or why they came to be there. Out back are pens that look like stabling but not much sign of critters being held there.
Star Struck


An interesting piece of wood that I found along the wash.

We thoroughly enjoy our stay in the desert, I think between Brenda and I, we consumed about 7 or 8 books and still saw a lot of country. Although we didn't see to many other folks out there it is obvious that we are pretty pokey when it comes to ATV'ing, we rather enjoy moseying along at 6 or 8 miles an hours snooping in every nook and cranny and watching for the things that those hurtling along at breakneck speeds might miss.


Everybody is going somewhere. Those are all trails in the sky

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Companies Coming

January has been a pretty laid back month for me, but Brenda has been out and about. She made a trip back to Canada to see her dentist and doctor. She picked a week that the temps were down around -30C so she was glad to get back to DPS. And she brought her sister, sister-in-law, and best friend since she was 10 back with her. Cheryl has been a huge help to her when she has to make her periodic trips back to the North Country and we are glad she took the opportunity to come on down to DPS for a visit. The weather here has been typical for mid-January but a whole lot warmer than back on the Northern Ranges.

Enjoying a fire at DPS
Me, I've been doing a little swimming and some riding in the desert with Blue II and taking a few photos along the way.

Got lazy for this one, it is taken from the patio at DPS

Sunset at Lookout Point

Sunset Lookout Point

And yet again


And one final sunset from what I am calling Lookout Point

I found this Road Runner running in the Wash
It is a quick run from DPS to Lookout Point in Blue II, and running back after dark is pretty quick also. It wouldn't be near as fast on Ol' Blue himself. I did get out a day or two for a ride in the desert with Josie Staden, my friend Phil is laid up with a strained back, but is getting back in the saddle this weekend for a ride at Picket Post. A few team ropers here have asked me to lead them around the mountain, and Phil is letting me use one of his ponies for that gig.

Cheryl is heading back north on Monday so she and Brenda have a busy weekend of shopping, casino visits, etc. planned for the next few days.

Stay tuned for some upcoming travels, if the weather holds and Brenda is feeling up to it we are heading back into the past for a little boondocking at one of our favourite spots ever. Click on this link for a peek into the past. We might even catch up with few of the bloggers on our sidebar over at Bloggerfest.

Fireworks? Cacti?



Thursday, January 5, 2017

On the Trail

Brenda and I had a busy pre-Christmas time so the last little while we have been sticking pretty close to home. I have been making my almost daily pilgrimage to the pool to try and keep all the good eating around DPS at bay or at least so I don't have to buy new clothes.

Most days I have the pool to myself for almost the entire 2 hours that I swim but Brenda has joined me a couple of times, so that eight lanes is a little crowded with the 2 of us in there. I am sure the lifeguards are bored to death watching one guy plod back and forth, back and forth.

Yesterday we combined a Costco run with a trip over to Gold Canyon for a session for both of us with Dr. Cassie the Chiropractor lady. She had done such a good job with Brenda's adjustment that I thought I would let her take a whirl at my lower back and leg issue. She took a couple of X-rays and said yep I still had a backbone and it looked like it was 64 years old, so with a few crunches and a lot of cracking she finished up with me and sent me home. I am never sure whether this stuff works or not but this morning in the pool my lower back felt great so maybe there is something to it all.

Today after my swim I raced home to grab a sandwich and then threw my saddle in the truck and headed over to Phil Staden's place. Phil had brought down three horses and offered me an opportunity to take one of them out on a ride. Cash was a great little pony, well behaved and a pleasure to ride that was for sure. It has been months since I last rode and that time my leg was killing me so I was eager to see if that issue was still there. We took a trail we had scouted out a year or two ago west of us. It has some challenging spots and some just nice wash riding so it was a great place to test out my leg.




Phil and Don
 It was great to be back in the saddle, the leg stood up OK. Rene' the fellow at the back of that shot is the guy who bought your brothers place. Thanks Phil for the great horse.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Good Friend Gone

Today we received bad news. A long time friend of ours and a long time blogger in the RV World crossed the big ridge. Rod and his wife Loyce were friends we made when were wandering around the sunbelt back in 2009. We first ran into them in Kerrville, Texas when we headed over there for a gathering of RV folks. We again shared a campground with them in Rockport, Texas and cemented a friendship that has only gotten better over the years. Only other bloggers will know how much these folks who you might only see once or twice every year or two, but share your life with on a daily basis can become a big part of your life.

Rod was one of those larger than life folks who just burst into your life and held nothing back. He and I, both political junkies, spent a lot of online time debating the relative merits of both of our governments. Not surprising to anyone who knows me I have spent a lot of time trying to make sure I understood the American system of government, but Rod, much to my surprise spent an equal amount of time delving into our Canadian system, so we gave both nations the benefit of our combined wisdom, not sure they listened, but we did over the years solve most of the issues that arose.

Any tribute to Rod is not complete without some mention of Loyce. They were married for 45 years and when Loyce predeceased him back in 2013, Rod lost his touchstone. It was plain to us everytime we spoke with or visited with Rod and his companion Biscuit that never a day went by that he didn't miss his wife. He said on his blog that he was lost without her, and although he was out and about as she would have wanted, it was obvious that he missed her every step of the way. I'll include a link to my journal entry about Loyce and here's a few pictures that we collected over the years.

One of Rods visits out to Dogpound South here in Arizona

Rod and Loyce in Usery Mountain Park in 2011


Rod in Arizona again in 2011?

Put Rod in charge of picking the restaurant, odds on you were going to either Fuddruckers or Wendy's
Brenda and I have spent most of time since we heard the news from Rod's family alternating between grieving the loss of a friend and chuckling as we remembered times and stories we shared with Rod and Loyce. It probably seems a little irreverent but we both figured about 8 AM yesterday morning when that boisterous good man left this world and stepped into the next, there was a pretty excited girl there to meet him who was thinking "well there goes the peace and quiet, things are about to get a little livelier around this place now."

We shared this campfire with Laurie, Odel, Rod and Loyce and we will share more when we get to the other side, "but till our time comes we'll depend on you to keep the fire going Rod."


Yep we miss him to Biscuit!



Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Feast

Brenda misses her turkey and all the trimmings, or maybe she just misses cooking for hours and hours. So this year she decided that she was doing it all. We got a fresh turkey, bread crumbs and all the rest and she spent a glorious Christmas Day making all her favourite side dishes. We had a roast turkey that was about 5 times bigger than we could eat, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and turnips, homemade cranberries, and of course real stuffing right from the bird, all dressed up with her great homemade gravy. And to finish it off we had shortbread cookies, both Pecan and Butter tarts, along with chocolate mints, homemade turtles, and peanut butter balls. And to top it all off we managed to coax Ivan and Hailey in from their usual desert haunts to help us with the feast.

Ivan slipped in on Christmas Eve and we had a great session catching up on all the details of his travels this winter and his firefighting endeavours last summer. Although we both winter in the south and only live a few miles apart on the Northern Ranges we don't actually bump into each other all that frequently. Ivan's blog keeps us reasonably up to date on his activities but with my somewhat infrequent blogging we had lots to share.

While Brenda was working her magic in the kitchen Christmas Day Ivan and I took a whirl in the side by side out to the Petroglyphs along Vekol Wash.




It was a nice day for a ATV ride, not to hot and not to cold, and we wandered up through the Petroglyphs contemplating who and when they were put there. It turned into a sunny warm day and we sat on the side of the hill enjoying the sunshine and having a good chin wag. If anyone has any questions about the state of affairs in the world today or concerns about how they are turning out, you can let your minds rest at ease, I hazard a guess Ivan and I solved most of those issues over the past couple of days. Now if someone only comes to find out the answers.

We did have a couple of locals wandering about while we were there also.



All in all a pleasant day, topped off by a wonderful meal.