A Photo Diary (of sorts) – Spring 2017

 A note about the photo above:  I usually take all the pictures with my phone but lately I’ve asked Jim to take a few with our digital camera as well. He caught this shot that I think is so beautiful it inspired me to write poetry. Not only is he a skilled writer, obviously he’s also a great photographer.

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March and April…and now even May(!) have whizzed by. We had lots of time for fun, but with minimal hot rod internet access blogging wasn’t much of an option. There are a couple of back-stories you may want to hear, but for now here is a somewhat compendious look at our early spring adventures. (We’ll save our May “tour” of the national parks for another post.)

MARCH

BOX CANYON ROAD: En route from Yuma, AZ to Chino, CA for a quick visit with my dad, we returned to Box Canyon Road near Mecca, CA. While we all (including the kitties) had a great time exploring, our stay here was tainted by a couple of misadventures–nearly stuck for an hour in the soft sand off-road and a severe leak in the BBT’s fuel line. All things considered, I am pleased to report everything turned out okay and we were on our way when it was time to move on.  

THE COLORADO RIVER: We spent the bulk of March camped at “our” very nice spot beside the canal fed by the Colorado River. We have now floated a total of about 16 miles of the Colorado (accessed near Ehrenberg, Arizona.)

APRIL

Making our way north so we could be back to Boise in time for our youngest granddaughter’s ballet recital in mid-May, our primary interim destination was Moab, UT. We had to take our time getting there because temps–still in the 20’s overnight (burrrrr)–were still way too cold for these sun-lovers.

LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ: Heading north on Hwy. 95 took us straight through one of last year’s favorite stops. This time we opted to try a BLM area north of town instead of south…closer to free WiFi at McDonald’s and groceries at Walmart. And even though we decided to drive further into town to get better bandwidth at Starbucks, we like this spot better. I have a feeling we may return every year. (BTW…the weather for our evening “cruise” on the ferry was *so* much nicer this year.) And as is to be expected, the sunsets did not disappoint.

MOJAVE LAKE, AZ: Our friends in Golden Valley, AZ invited us to spend a few days parked at their house. The view was very nice and their hospitality top shelf. They even treated us to an afternoon on the lake in their 23′ boat. It was during this tour of the lake they introduced us to what would be our next lovely free campsite, Telephone Cove. We stayed at the cove seven days and did some exploring up into the wash above and on the beautiful pristine waters of Mojave Lake.

NEW MEXICO: This was a state for me to add to my “been there” list and almost immediately I knew I was going to like the scenery in this place. And imagine my delight when our *free* BLM campsite was on the the rim of a canyon overlooking one of New Mexico’s badlands. Also astonishing was the SNOW that all but obscured the other-wordly landscape the morning after our arrival. But the stormed passed through by afternoon leaving behind just a hint of snow here and there under mostly blue skies. And as if in apology, mother nature provided a most spectacular light show the following evening at sunset as more storm clouds converged on the horizon. We didn’t get to do any hiking or other exploring here because of the storm activity but it was an amazing place to camp.

Angel Peak was our last stop before heading to the national parks further north. More on those adventures next time.

7 Responses to A Photo Diary (of sorts) – Spring 2017

  1. Leslie June 2, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    beautiful photos! I so enjoy your blog! Will soon be moving into and traveling cross country in our 5-wheel with two cats and two dogs. I am worrying about how the kitties will adjust, they have lived in one country home all their lives (both old ladies now) and one of them is an outdoor adventurer. I’m so scared she will get out and I’ll never find her again. I know my fears are not productive or helpful for this situation….maybe need to sedate myself and let things happen as they happen.

  2. sail4free June 2, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks Leslie for your comment. It will be an adjustment for your girls but pets are quick to adapt to new circumstances given half a chance. And, fortunately, they live so in the moment and rarely hold a grudge 🙂 I guess everyone works it out their own way but our boys live in a portion of the basement we call the kittie kondo. It runs the full width of our fifth wheel so I feed and water them on one side *but* I’ve trained them to never jump out from that side (which could be dangerous with traffic around). Their cat box is on the other side which restricts their movement somewhat and I let them jump down to the ground — one at a time — on that side. Unless we’re in the middle of nowhere, I put their collar and leash on immediately and secure first one and then the other.
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    I’m grateful that neither of our brothers have ever felt the need to bolt. I can just slowly follow them around for a bit and wait for my chance to put the collar and leash on if I need to. If we are remote, each of us will pair up with one of the cats — basically let them go wherever they want to go and only put the collar and leash on when it’s time to come home 🙂 I’m sure the moving down the road is not their favorite part but we can’t see or hear them so we just pretend they’re having a great time 🙂 We have learned to not open either of their doors when we first stop because they’re usually a little fired up from the road and less predictable for a while. I did add a vent through their panel on the driver’s side (away from the truck exhaust) so I can interact with them and make sure they’re okay without opening the door. Often they meow at me when I’m getting fuel 🙂
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    Because we go to so many new places and are never anywhere long enough for the boys to get too familiar with any one area, they have developed almost a pack mentality. We can walk away from them but once we get 30 to 50 feet away, they’ll usually scramble to catch up with us. If it’s a “mini-hike” — say 1/2 mile each way — they will often venture out and return with us without collars or leashes (though we keep those in our pockets just in case) — great fun to see them be FREE for a short while but we would never let either of them just do their own thing without close and constant supervision 🙂
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    More here about our boys and their catio:
    http://sailingondryland.com/its-all-about-the-kitties/

  3. Laurie June 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Those are some seriously awesome pics!! Whoa!!!! Telephone Cove looks like an amazing find. Was your entire rig caught in the sand or just BBT? How did you get out? What’s the story behind the BBT fuel line mishap? You two ought to write a book and put it on Amazon, I’d buy it.

    “Four more years wasn’t worth my freedom.” Those words play over and over in my mind whenever I watch your videos from Bob.

    How many gallons of water is your tank on the bed of BBT? Do you use your macerator a lot in the field with a portable tank or do you mainly pull you rig into a dump station. Just trying to weigh the pros and cons of putting two tanks on my bed versus no tanks and using dump stations and taking on water right before hitting the campsite.

    • Annie Peterson June 2, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

      Hi Laurie,

      Sorry if it seems like we’re tag teaming but I just wanted to say I’m glad you enjoy the pictures. There aren’t too many, I hope…I get a little carried away sometimes and have a hard time narrowing them down. 🙂

      Yes, Telephone Cove is a lovely spot! t is about 4 miles off the highway and the dirt road is a bit bumpy and hilly with a few tight curves (for two-way traffic) but there were rigs of all sizes there. It was crazy busy on the weekends but during the week it was delightful.

      Thanks for your interest.

  4. sail4free June 2, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    It was our entire rig = BBT *and* our 13,000 pound fifth wheel — scary stuff. I dug like a mad man (fortunately had a regular spade shovel with us) for an hour and sometimes we’d roll a foot or two — sometimes six inches. Seriously scary stuff and there’s no room in our shoestring budget for professional assistance. We finally were able to keep moving (barely) with BBT hopping up and down in 4WD low range like we were gonna’ tear something up any second but I didn’t *dare* let up on the throttle or we would have been crazy stuck for sure. Against all odds, we somehow managed to keep moving and break out onto the paved road again — such a profound relief — like being snatched from the jaws of certain death!
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    I’m quite certain these extreme antics were the straw which broke the camel’s back per the fuel line. These 7.3 diesel engines use engine oil at extremely high pressure to do many things — among them vaporize the fuel into the combustion chambers . . . and they have a crazy OEM clamp which chafes against the metal line and eventually wears a hole in it. Ours was leaking so bad it was truly embarrassing — we were leaking far more fuel than we were burning. We filled our tank at Mecca, CA and barely made it the 14 miles to the Ford dealership in Indio, CA — folks were waving their arms and flashing their lights — doing everything they could to get us to pull over — but we kept jamming on. There was some crazy stop and go road construction the last two miles and we lost half the fuel we started with in those last two miles. I didn’t think I dared shut the engine off — fearing it wouldn’t start back up again. For the most part, our life is nearly zero stress. This was NOT a typical kick-back day for us 🙂
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    Our house tank holds about 50 gallons of fresh water and the barrel in the truck is about the same. We’ve used our macerator pump a few times in a pinch — to run a hose down a gopher hole (hand dug or otherwise) but mostly we use the FREE dump stations (or don’t mind paying up to $5 to dump our tanks). Having the barrel in the truck for fresh water has been a major upgrade for us. It’s with us in the truck 24/7 so easy enough to top off whenever we go to town for any reason . . . and we schedule our showers around how easy it is to get water and fill the barrel. Many places we’re able to discharge our graywater into the nearby landscape with no complaints which *really* extends how long we can stay in one place. I go #1 outside as much as I can so the blackwater tank can take nearly a month for the two of us to fill up — especially if we both use the public toilets when we do go to town as much as possible 🙂 This lifestyle has its own unique set of challenges but it’s all so worth it IMHO. An ancient philosopher once said that life is a book and those who don’t travel never see more than one page. 🙂

  5. Kevin Fowler June 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

    Totally awesome… Photography, a viewpoint that takes your breath away and creates an emotion that just simply, Rocks your World!!!!!!

    You guys Rock. Keep making it Happen.

    Kevin

  6. Annie Peterson June 14, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    Thanks for your enthusiastic encouragement, Kevin!

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