Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Real life intervenes

Even in this lifestyle the real world intervenes every once in a while. The challenge is so make it happen on our schedule and not interfere with our plans. We needed to run into Parker today and catch up on our laundry, the laundry fairy has apparently not keep up with our travel schedule so the basket was overflowing. And along with that we needed to re-stock the larder with groceries and other necessities of life. We were up early and on the road before 6AM so we beat the rush in the laundromat and were back with our feet up, groceries stowed, here at our site near Bouse by a few minutes after 10AM. The rest of the day was spent loafing and reading and maybe even checking out the inside of our eye lids a time or two. I am not going to regale you with a blow by blow description of how our day went, and I didn't really get any great new pictures so this will be a short epistle with one sunset shot for colour.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Closer to the Sun

We pulled up stakes this morning from the Lazy D Ranch. Our visit with Dave and Linda was great, but I didn't want to dig out the Long John's just yet, so we thought we should use the wheels under this outfit and move it somewhere down the road where we could spend a little more on sunscreen and a little less on propane. It takes us a while to get everything all packed up and the truck hooked up. A little longer now that we have switched to a Goosebox Hitch from the old 5th Wheel. Doesn't make a lot of difference from a towing aspect but that old Reese 5th Wheel was a heavy beast and it took up nearly the entire truck box. This one just has a little gooseneck ball left in the truck and that only takes a second to remove and the box is free.
Dave came out while we were hooking up so we got to say adios, and thank him for his hospitality, but Linda must have still been burrowed under the covers so we waved as we went past the house. They have a beautiful spot, pretty remote, and totally off the grid so I told them if/when the apocalypse happens we are heading back, cold be damned.
We stopped in Kingman, Arizona to run our truck and RV through the Blue Beacon Truck Wash and get some road grime off of it, the truckers call this one the "Streakin' Beacon" as it doesn't have any hand driers available so we soaked her down with Rain X and are hoping for the best. But it did get the dirt and grime off of it. Then it was off for Lake Havasu and Parker on our way to our final destination near Bouse. We pulled into La Mesa Verde camground in Bouse to dump our tanks and fill our fresh water and propane before wandering off into the desert. We have been here before and it just seemed a lot like coming home.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Pizza and more Carrot Cake

We spent another day chilling at the Lazy D, and along about 1:00PM headed into Seligman to grab lunch. We had a huge pizza and left with about half of it in a box, then decided to stop in at Lilo's for another chunk of that Carrot Cake they dish out. A couple of day ago we split a piece between the four of us but today we decided we each needed our own dessert. Brenda and Linda had some kind of cream Pie while Dave and I each a huge chunk of Carrot Cake. I think we both brought half of our cake home afterwards. The rest of the day was just spent hanging out. Today was a little chilly so that was done inside, so none of the mythical locusts were spotted on this day.
Our plan is to hook up and roll a little further south tomorrow, always searching for the perfect temperature. We wandered over to the barn to say goodbye to the critters but they were all inside eating their evening repast, and only Annie came out, maybe to say, what, are you guys still here I thought you were leaving today? All in good time Annie, all in good time.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Hanging at the Ranch

We are still hanging out here at the Lazy D enjoying Dave and Linda's hospitality. They have a beautiful spot here, off grid, and running on primarily solar power. It is kind of high desert Arizona with lots of Juniper type trees spaced out well like a park. I was over supervising Dave working in his barn and then we came back to where the girls were visiting. Apparently a locust had visited them while we were gone, other than the Hidalgo movie I had never seen one but to hear their description this fellow nearly as big as a small coyote with big eyes staring them down.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Lazy D Ranch Visit

Yesterday we pulled into our friends Dave and Linda's Lazy D Ranch west of Seligman, Arizona and set up our rig DPA (Dogpound Anywhere) for a few days here to give us time to tell some tall tales and catch up on all the goings on with our Arizona friends. We spent the afternoon jawing away in the sunshine and then settled into a wonderful dinner that Linda had concocted for us. Today was a lazy day, I spent the morning wandering around the place seeing what had changed since our last visit here back in 2016? Later in the day we ran into Seligman for Ice Cream but enroute that changed to Hamburgers and fries with white gravey, followed by the biggest chunk of carrot cake you ever saw. It fed the four of us just fine, but remember we came to town for Ice Cream and as a firm believer in the value of Ice Cream Therapy I wasn't going to let that get overlooked so we headed down Route 66 a little farther and found the local Ice Cream Parlour for a little after dessert, dessert. All that good food meant we were going to delay the dinner Brenda had been working on this morning till tomorrow as I think I am not out of line saying that we all had eaten enough to last until tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was again spent chillin' and visiting, while Dave worked and I did what I have always done best, watched him work, welding, feeding the mules and the mini's and soon enough it was full dark and time to slip off to DPA to put something together for my journal. Now this looks like one big run on sentence but I have yet to discover how to actually make paragraphs in Blogger without inserting pictures into the mix, so I guess I will have to get busy and take some images.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Time to take a break folks

Well today I never even took the lens cover off of my camera. We pulled up stakes at the Grandview Tower and rocked and rolled our way out to the Parks Highway and then headed south to Williams. Along the way we stopped at the Raptor Ranch near the Valle Airport to fill up a couple of propane bottles. Nice place, friendly people. Then it was off to the Williams, Arizona, Maverik station to feed the 450 and dump our tanks. After which we ventured downtown trailer in tow, to find a dispensary for some stuff Brenda needed to deal with her CRPS which has been in a flare since she took a tumble the day before we left Dogpound North. We couldn't find any potable water around town and convenient so we headed west on I-40 towards our friends place at Seligman. Enroute we stopped and filled up at the KOA in Seligman and then headed west to Anchor Rock Road and the trail to Markham Pass. It was great to get into Dave and Linda's place and get set up, then spend the rest of the day trading stories, mostly all true of course. Linda whipped up a great dinner for us with some frozen Key Lime Pie that was to die for. We are going to spend a couple of days here before venturing south into the Sonoran Desert for some more boondocking time. Last night our furnace quit on us, and everything indicates it is the sail switch that was on the fritz, but it appears that the rough road out of the park has knocked the lint or whatever was on it, off, as it seems to be working again. Time will tell I guess, but I will take the warning seriously and order a new sail switch for it somewhere along our travels.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Last full day at the Big Ditch

We came, we saw, now we are wentin', well, tomorrow we will be moving on anyway. I have taken a bunch of pictures and hit most of the spots on my list that I wanted to here on the South Rim. There are a couple that only have access by Shuttle Bus and I never got near them, to many people I expect. It is probably a lot like Lake Louise or Moraine Lake back home, shoulder to shoulder folks all looking for a unique picture, and I don't deal well with crowds anymore. This morning I just ran up to a roadside pullout that has an iconic rock formation, they call "Duck on a Rock" for obvious reasons, it does kind of have a rubber ducky type of vibe to it.
Although I could see the rubber ducky in my minds eye the pic above, Ducks on a Rock, is for those of my readers who don't have as good an imagination or maybe a need to try out this new AI in the photo world. Here is the real shot.
This afternoon I ran back over to the Grandview Point, just to see what the Canyon looked like from that vantage point in the late afternoon before sunset. I have found sunrise to be a lot more calm and almost zen like, the crowds are not up and at it that early in the morning except for those most popular and accessible sites like Mather Point and Yavapai. In fact some mornings there have been only one or two others out there before the sunrise. There were a couple of nice vista's one straight across the valley and the second back to the eastern end of the Grand Canyon, capturing the meanderings of the Colorado River and for the eagle eyes a shot of the Desert View Watchtower in the far off distance.
One thing I have noticed is that most of the folks out picturin' these views are using their iPhones and a few years back I would have wondered why bother, but the newest models do a great job of capturing images and are even pretty easy to post-process and send back to those not so lucky as to be there with you. The shot below was back at the camp via my phone and Starlink well before I even packed up my real camera's and headed home.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Another Grand Day at the Canyon

They are never just another day at the Grand Canyon, the scenery is spectacular and the weather is cooling off a little here. We are thinking about pulling up stakes in a day or two and heading down the road again. Our welcome and our permit run out here on Thursday at Sunset so we are thinking we will find a spot over on the Markham Pass road to hang out for a few days then.
This morning I ran over to the Grandview Point to see what I could stir up for a sunrise shot. There haven't been a lot of clouds in the sky here the last few days so the Canyon and the colours down in there have been taking the big part of the picturin' load. There are only a couple of viewpoints that I haven't haunted over the last 4 or 5 days either for sunrise or sunset, or maybe just a mid-day visit.
This evening I went back to the East to Moran Point and got a little more cloud action there. Other than the usual picturin' I spent an hour or so overhauling my Braid Nailer so that I can refasten some trim pieces that have decided they needed to come loose on the rough road into our present location. I have ony drive about 50 nails with it but it seems to need a good lubricating and all I had was a little WD40 silicone spray and some engine oil so that is what she got. It is working better, not perfect, but at least it is driving the odd nail now.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Desert View Watchtower

This morning I headed east to the far end of the Grand Canyon National Park. The focal point down here is the Desert View Watchtower built in 1932. It is a pretty cool building in a way cool location. Surprisingly I was the only person down there for most of my time on that site. I hung around while the sun came up and took some pictures of the light playing on the tower and of course a couple of shots of the canyon as well.
It is worth checking out the link above as the lady who designed this tower made it fit the site and most every rock in it was hand selected to fit her design, and 91 years later, it shows. I also jumped down to the Navajo Point canyon overlook but didn't find a shot there that made the cut today. It is hard to choose which photos from this place as I could make an whole book of shots that should be here and aren't.
The shot above is of the canyon as it cuts down into bedrock, the spot where you can see the Colorado River is called Hance Rapids and they are apparently the wildest rapids in the canyon, and can be challenging for rafters. One would think that the Colorado would be running quite clearly here below the Glen Canyon Dam at Page but apparently the Paria River which comes in from the north side carries a pretty big silt load and keeps it kind of muddy looking for most of the year. Someday I will manage to stop at Horseshoe Bend just out of Page and take a photo or two of the river while it is still running clear, but that will have to wait for another trip.
Now there I go, make a liar out of myself. The shot above is looking back up the Canyon wall from Navajo Point towards the Desert View Watchtower. I didn't head out this evening so no shots of what looked like a decent sunset. The road in here is pretty bad, rocking and rollin' for the first mile or so south of the Park highway, but I did talk to a group of Park's folks this morning on my way back in and apparently over the next few weeks they are going to be doing some work on it. Mostly to stop traffic from straying off the beaten track looking for a less rough ride. There was apparently 4 1/2 feet of snow on this trail last winter and the 4X4 folks tore it up pretty bad, and budgets being what they are it is low on the priority list, or so the story goes.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Sunday at the Grand Canyon

Weekends at the Grand Canyon are busy times, especially when you have almost perfect weather to boot. Everywhere we went today there was an over abundance of people. Over at Mather Point this morning it was standing room only for the sunrise. Interestingly enough the folks with real type cameras were almost to a person facing away from the actual sunrise trying I guess to catch the morning light on the canyon, while the iphonographers were all facing towards the sun, holding their phones over their heads, almost as if they were beseeching RA, the sun god, to bestow his blessings on them. Hope it worked.
I took the shot above as I was leaving the point and I would say at least half if not more of the folks had already left.
Mather Point Canyon views
Brenda and I went over to the Yavapai viewpoint at midday and once again there were a bunch of folks wandering along the Rim trail there, but gladly none of them were hanging over the edge getting in the way.
Tonight I went back to Moran Point, where I was yesterday morning for the sunrise to see what happens there at Sunset. The crowd followed me, or I followed them, not sure, and here there were a couple of guys desperately trying to become Instagram famous by scaling the rocks and leaning over the edge. I try to avoid having those folks in my shots, my own dislike of heights keeps my heart in my throat watching them so I soon go somewhere else to try to get something decent without their participation.
And that is all there was for today in the Canyon report.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Chillin' at the Big Ditch

Well we got settled in here at our new location just down the road from the Grandview Tower. The road in the park down to the Forestry boundary was a challenge, full of holes, rough, and lots of overhanging branches that necessitate a kind of bobbing and weaving to get this old Solitude in here that we didn't have to do with the much lower Living Quarters horse trailer that we were traveling in the last time we came in here. But if we had of had horses I would have been real tempted to unload them it was that rough. As it was I could see Brenda wincing everytime we rolled one way or the other, just thinking about what was happening to her cupboards back in the trailer. The weather is about perfect though, warm enough in the daytime that we could wear shorts and cools off quickly as the sun goes down, so we are not needing the AC, which when we are off grid is a good thing. Apparently our Starlink is working fine or maybe I am just sending these epistles off into the vast unknown to never be seen again. I was doing a little focus stacking around camp today and once I processed the shot below I was able to see something that I didn't actually see when I took the shots that comprised it. Sometimes the camera sees things the eye doesn't and this is probably where the rumours about Bigfoot started, although I didn't know he roamed this far south.
Today I got going early enough to wander about and watch the daylight come over the Canyon. Not a great sunrise, but the canyon itself is a epic place and watching the light play across the nooks and crannies of that was amazing. The spot I went to was not to crowded, one photographer there, a fellow, Les Wentworth, from Washington state. I am sure he got some nice shots and I know he shared some tips with me, as he took them. Other than that excursion, that I was back from before 9AM, I never left camp and Brenda spent the entire day chillin' around camp.
I am going to have to take more pictures as it appears the only way to have more than one paragraph in this old Blogger program anymore is to insert an image in between each blurb. Oh, and by the way Willie, I ran into Doug and Sue from Tunkwa along the road on the way into our camp this morning.

Grand Canyon Bound

Yesterday we headed out for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. All reports had it being in the mid 20's down there and that meant it was a great spot for boondocking. The drive from this spot at Kanab, through Page, to the Grandview Tower road where we had camped before is pretty cool. Lots of red mountains, interspersed by some desert for variety. We didn't linger along the way though as we were destined for a spot where we could just sit and chill for a few days. For all of you Albertans back home you can rest assured that with the Conservatives in power there, you are enjoying the lowest diesel prices we have seen, barring a 1 cent difference, for our entire journey. That is of course with all the conversions from Metric to Imperial, well actually the US gallon, which is a little gallon, and the difference in currencies taken into account.
We pulled into the Grand Canyon National Park, paid our $35 and headed for the Grandview Tower road where we lurched and bumped our way south a couple of miles till we crossed into the Kaibab Forest, where camping is allowed, in this spot anyhow. That couple of miles was bad, really bad though so I took a spin south on the Forest Road and came out 16 miles later at Tusayan, a long drive on a marginally better road though. Not sure exactly how we will get out of here, but that is a worry for another time. For the next few days I am hoping to be able to do a little picturin' along the South Rim here, so we will see what we get.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Jello was Shaken Today......again!

We were heading towards Poverty Flats down Overton, Nevada way to chill for a few days, but chilling wasn’t on the menu down in that neck of the woods, it was going to be in the mid 90’s over there so we made a change in plans and detoured down to Kanab, Utah and the Grand Plateau RV Park for tonight. It is only in the 80’s here and with full hookups we can run the air so these Northerners will survive. Tomorrow we are planning on heading around to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, to a little spot we took our horses to about 8 or so years ago. The weather is supposed to be in the mid to high 70’s, high 20’s for you Canadians, so that will be great weather for a little boondocking and chillin’.
The place we are at tonight is a nice spot under some pretty nice red rocks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Salt Lake City is an INTERESTING Drive

Today we wandered on out of Shoshone-Bannock territory and headed southwards on I-15. The plan was to hit Salt Lake City sometime in the late morning and see how the traffic treated us. Our strategy is to find a transport truck and tuck in behind him in a centre lane and just meander our way along. Most folks don’t like following those big trucks, probably because they block the visibility, but my opinion is that they make great road clearers, and you can actually keep a safe distance back from them without the other folks forever cutting in front of you and occupying the space you need to stop if anything untoward should happen. That said I have always said SLC is about a ¼ mile wide and a hundred miles long, so it is a little stressful. As it happens we set the cruise for about 8-10 MPH slower than the traffic around us and they just flew by giving us all the space we needed. Never had to touch the cruise the entire trip through. We slipped into the Wally World in Orem, Utah to do our re-provisioning, it was a big parking lot with lots of room for our big outfit. With that done we got back out on the road. As we had been coming south we had been discussing our planned visit to the Moab area. It seems that every RV’er on the planet is over there and sites are hard to come by, even if you are inclined to pay someone $150/night to park your own home. We couldn’t come up with a landing spot over there so called an audible and decided we would keep heading southward into Nevada. Brenda’s CRPS is flaring up and sometimes a little CBD cream can help with that, and with Utah not being a weed friendly state we decided Nevada was our next stop tomorrow. Today we are holed up in Fillmore, at the KOA here. Pretty nice spot, far enough off the highway to be quiet and a good spot to fill what needs to be filled and empty what needs to be emptied before we slip out into a desert somewhere tomorrow. Stay tuned and hopefully you will know where that is just a little bit after we figure it out.
Just an interesting side note, as we have been coming south the price of Diesel Fuel here in the USA is higher than in Fort McLeod, Alberta. The first time we paid less than we did in Fort McLeod was here in Utah, and from all reports it is climbing back up once we leave and head into Nevada and Arizona. Now on the surface our prices look higher but with the exchange figured in, it is Alberta and their UCP government that are giving their citizens a break on the cost of getting to and from work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Hanging with the Shoshone Bannock folks

Today is a sitting still day. We over did the traveling yesterday and decided that we would just hang here with the Shoshone Bannock folks for another day before re-starting our journey southward. As usual there are things to do around the RV, those who RV know that is a constant struggle to keep things working well and do the occasional upgrade as well. That will keep me out of trouble while my travel partner recuperates from our long drive yesterday. Well, as the day went on I didn’t get everything done that I had planned on, but I did lighten our load a little by sorting through some baskets that have just been collecting stuff for the last few years and disposing of it all in the bin here at the campground. That and sorting out some storage areas that needed a little organizing. Other than that I wandered about the campground and visited with some of the other folks coming and going here, so just basically made a nuisance of myself. I did see a few interesting plants and played with my camera there.
The plan is to get back on the road tomorrow and get a little further south and maybe even venture into a grocery store for a little reprovisioning trip.

Monday, October 16, 2023

A Little Further Down the Road from Dogpound

Early to bed last night so early to rise this morning. We wanted to stop at Duty Free to pick up some smokes for Brenda so we arrived at the crack of 7AM there. They were better than 50% off from the normal price at home, so she was a happy camper. Then it was off to see the Customs fellow at Sweetgrass to see if there were going to let us in this time. No problem he said, just make sure you take your wife home with you when you go next spring. Didn’t ask about food, or much of anything, except for weapons, but being lawful citizens all ours are locked up in the gun safes for the winter. We will have to depend on an overdose of pepper spray for our personal safety should that become an issue. We had a beautiful sunrise over the Sweetgrass Hills to welcome us to Montana,
and then it was off down I-15 for a long day of driving. What with the weather being good we were able to stay right on the Interstate and not take the Whitehall cut-off that avoids the high country north of Butte when there is inclement weather. We fueled up in Great Falls, Dillon and here at Fort Hall, Idaho where we are enjoying the hospitality of the Shoshone-Bannock people in their RV Park for the night. They have a nice facility here and although we usually find a spot to boondock somewhere enroute it was a long day on the road and probably not worth wandering around to save a few bucks.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Well That's a Wrap

and we are off on another adventure. We came scampering home from the American SW about 43 months ago, we were running from a virus and here we are almost four years later and it still hasn’t caught either of us. We crossed the border after a run north that was almost surreal, the only vehicles on the road from Salt Lake City north were packing Canadian license plates and I hope all those folks fared as well over the intervening years as we did. Life brought us some ups and downs but all in all it was OK. We had a pretty good summer at Dogpound North this year and concluded that we should do what we could to extend it. After scrambling around the past week or two getting ourselves and the rig ready we were packed and ready to roll late this morning. We wandered down to Milk River and are holed up in the local campground here for the night and will cross the Medicine Line first thing tomorrow morning. It seems that we are not the only folks running for a land south of Winter as this spot is chuck full of RV's. The weather is great today and predicted to be good for the next few days so that should give us the option of meandering southward in a more relaxed fashion than our usually pell mell race for someplace below the Frost Line. We left home today with water onboard not antifreeze so that is a good sign. It is just a 4 or 5 hour leisurely drive from DPN to here, so we are breaking in Brenda slowly. Tomorrow I expect we will cross early, and then make tracks across Montana, looking for a nice spot to pull over for the night. Not exactly sure where we will be tomorrow, and the day after that is a long, long, long way in the future for an RV adventure so time will tell where we end up and if I get my fingers in gear maybe I will share it with you folks.
Since this blog was really active the whole world has migrated from these written epistles to video logs and I can’t convince Brenda that she should be packing a camera and narrating every part of our adventure so you folks will just have to settle for this old fashioned form of journaling.