Thursday, February 25, 2010

out and about south of silver city

Back to a spot we like. There’s plenty for me to do here and Meadow and Onyx seem to enjoy the rocks and long grass—and probably the kangaroo rats. The jackrabbits we come across on our dusk walks kind of always startle these two fierce hunters, though.

I met a guy in his 70’s who had his RV in the park for a few days. John was out walking the trails with a CANE! I was impressed. He was walking about two miles a day, not on the road, but on the trails. Way to go.

This is the third scratching post I had to make for these two since we moved into the casita. Couple of little shredders. Three 100’ spools of rope!

Came back to the camper after a ride one day and found a note on my door. Dennis (remember the ‘LET’ERRUST’ entry from last winter?) came into the park, was walking around, and saw my rig. He left the bus up in Oregon and turned his Chevy van into a camper and is cruising around down here for the winter before heading back up to Bend. Biked over to his site and spent the afternoon talking about what we’ve been doing over the months. Good time. Visited a few more times and he lent me a few of DVDs. Movies are always a treat for me. He sure did a nice job painting the inside of the van. I showed him how to use a sling and gave him one of mine to mess with. One has to keep coming up with new things to do with this lifestyle. Those who sit around and veg don’t seem to last at it, or at least, don’t seem to overly enjoy it.
Dennis had never tried geocaching so I printed out some local caches and took him out to look for them. After a review of degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude, Dennis took care of the GPS and by the time we found the second cache, he had it nailed. Wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with a GPS.

I hike up Table Mountain and loop the top about once a week just for a change. These are two shots of a fire-pit on the top of a boulder. There’s kind of an unnatural deep hole in the top. I wonder if it was ever used for a signal fire.

I’ll be placing a geocache in the area after I get back. It will be called‘Ranch View’. I wonder who will get ‘first find’? It will be a bit of a challenge (not one of your drive-by-and-snag ones, Lynn). Three of the caches here are easy family-oriented ones and three take a bit of effort. I like effort. You can probably guess mine will not be down on the flats.

One day I went over to the Big Burro mountains with Tim, a host here, and we rode along the Continental Divide Trail for a few miles. Nice trail. We got on the trail where it crosses Gold Gulch Rd off rt90. Tim can ride circles around me but I did okay for the first half of the ride—then I ran out of juice, big time. First off, I should have been eating along the way. I not only get real tired but also downright testy when my blood sugar gets low. When I crashed in a stretch of snow on the way back and was getting up, I had a strong urge to pick up the bike and throw it down the hill. That kind of tuned me into realizing I needed some food. An apple helped. After the ride we took the pickup on some other roads to look for places to dry camp.
Had the bike tuned up at Gila Hike and Bike where I got it last year. Great shop with good, helpful people. The bike sure shifts and brakes WAY better than I could get it. It’s almost like a new bike.

I know, probably too many cat pictures for some of you. Oh well. From time to time I might possibly spend too much time just watching these two while they are out and about. Pretty enjoyable.
We’ve been having some cold, rainy days and there’s no way that Meadow and Onyx will go out for a dusk walk. As sure as the starship Enterprise is powered by dilithium crystals, those evenings will not be very relaxing. At some point, Onyx will get the look—eyes open wide, ears up, body tense—then he goes into hyper-drive—running over the tables, cushions, counters, and knocking over things. At some point he’ll pounce on Meadow and then they both are going at it, chasing each other, wrestling, tumbling off the seat cushions and dropping onto the floor. I just pick my feet up and tuck into a corner. You can probably imagine what it’s like if I had been sitting at the bench working with silver. I’ve learned to quickly throw a small fleece blanket over all the tools and materials. Occasionally I’ll use a laser pointer to tire them out or a rag on the end of a cord (basic survival tools for living in a small space with two felines). It’s a given that Onyx will go into hyper-drive again, a couple hours later just after I get into the sleeping bag. That really pisses off Meadow since at that point, she is sleeping. Then, with all the hissing, it’s more like a fight. It’s all SO predictable.

One of the best ways to make yourself happy
is to make other people happy. Gretchen Rubin

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

Thursday, February 18, 2010

granite gap

I turned off rt80 onto a sand road in the Peloncillo Mtns. for some disperse camping. There were some spectacular granite and limestone formations. Found a nice spot up against some rocks and stayed for a few days. Saw a couple filling the back of their pickup with sticks one day, another day a couple just cruised through, and a couple javelina shooters came in later for awhile. Other than that, no one. On one of our dusk walks, I came across a couple of blankets and a day pack. The thing I do not enjoy about disperse camping down here is how often I come across sign of UDAs. It’s not an area where I sit around a fire at night and relax. I’ve never had a run-in with any but it’s hard for me to feel safe.
Meadow and Onyx loved being allowed back outside. I don’t let them out when in Bisbee.
The photos are of the road going in, some clouds on a morning run, the UDA rock, a working windmill with pump that I came across while out mountain biking, and my camping spot. There is not much in the way of trees in the desert for Meadow so she has to make do.

I also went back and shortened ‘the lifestyle’ entry to actually focus just on the lifestyle itself and added the ‘odds and ends—useful items to have along for full-timing in a small trailer’ to cover that part of the lifestyle.

I will be spending the last two weeks of February in City of Rocks, then over to the Big Burro Mountains for a week, and back to City of Rocks for three last weeks. By then enough snow should be gone from the lower trails north of Silver City. I want to explore them during April and May if I can find enough places to disperse camp. Then maybe up to the mountains north of Taos for a month or so to exploring those trails.
Have another entry to post the end of next week.

Ah—a life with little clutter, plenty of time, and pleasant settings.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

back to bisbee II

I REALLY did not want to drive the interstate from Deming to Lordsburg so after pulling out of City of Rocks, I headed north on rt180, turned west onto Airport Road, and took Whitewater Road over to rt90. There were some washboard sections initially that shook things up, but once past Whitewater, the road was pretty well graded. One photo is looking back towards City of Rocks and Table Mountain. The other is looking west towards the Big Burro Mtns. Once on rt90 and into the Big Burro Mtns., I made note of where the forest roads branched off since I’ll be back to camp in this area next month.

It sure felt good being back in Bisbee. I stayed at Lynn’s again and this time she even provided wi-fi access (we never could find out where it was coming from). I spent hours catching up on web work. What a treat. Lynn took this shot of the casita at dusk. And, of course, we hit some favorite restaurants—Roka CafĂ©, Bisbee Breakfast Club, and Turquoise Valley Golf Course Cafe. Life is tough.
I went in Lynn’s house one day while she was at work, to take a shower. I stepped into the tub—and there was no button on the wall—just some knobs coming out of the tiles. What is this?! I messed around with them a bit, water came out, and I could actually adjust the temperature of the water! I’m used to stepping into a shower, pressing a button, and living with whatever temperature water comes out for 10 seconds. This adjusting-water-temperature thing is SO cool. It’s like from a Sci-fi novel. Don’t know if it is just a local thing or not but I can sure see it catching on. Maybe not in New Mexico state parks, however, but one never knows.

Another given when back in Bisbee was nailing some geocaches. We went after 3 just north of Tombstone. In the background of the first photo, you can see a border patrol checkpoint (it’s a different world down here). The second photo shows how the next cache was hidden. I missed it the first time even though I actually was holding the stick in my hand! Lynn sure got a laugh out of that one. The cachers had cut a stick in half, drilled 2 holes, and inserted a copper tube in one of the holes to hold it all together. Way cool. We then stopped at the Crystal Palace Saloon for a drink (only as historical research) and walked around Tombstone for a bit.

Bisbee is a great place for getting in shape. There are over 3,000 stairs in the historic district. Most mornings I drove over and walked up 1,200 of them. I generally started a little after 6:00 while it was still dark, very few people up and around, and way quiet. Absolutely beautiful.

A couple mornings I just did a few hundred stairs and climbed up B hill. You can see the bottom of the trail as it angles up under the B (the stairs are easier). The photos are of another typical Bisbee gate and retaining wall (more on the April 2009 posting), B hill, a close-up of the B, and a view looking down from the top of the B taken on a drizzly day that I just HAD to get out of the casita.

Hiked over to the Buddha shrine from the B one day to see how it was looking. When I first moved to Bisbee, a large, colorful ceramic Hotei (the laughing Buddha) was placed there. One November it disappeared. In the spring I went and purchased a Buddha statue and grouted it in place. The next winter it disappeared.

“Wow, nice Buddha. Where did you get it?”
“I ripped it off the shrine on the hill.”

Ever hear of Karma?!
I was glad to see a new statue had been put there and noticed they used epoxy to fasten it down. It sure seems that some people here are missing the point.

Well, I went mountain biking with David one day. Never have been so out of control on a ride. There is quite an extensive network of dirt roads off Gold Gulch Road, south of Warren (branches off S Arizona St. [Airport Road]). You can park on the south side of Vista Park and bike along a frontage road for most of the way south to Gold Gulch Road. The hills aren’t bad but they are covered with loose rocks. David bikes them all the time and has no problem with them. I, however, always seemed on the verge of crashing—hence the stairs. After riding with Tim and David, I’m thinking about getting a tricycle or a Spooky Tooth bicycle and sticking to paved bike paths.

David did a stellar job with his new gallery—good displays, lighting, and fabulous jewelry and other art. If in town, be sure to check out Jewelry Designs by Owen on Main St.—two blocks up on the left.

I saw this Carousel trailer parked up Tombstone Canyon Rd in Bisbee. It was made in Tacoma, WA but I could not find any info on the web about it. The maroon and white trailer was over in the Shady Dell vintage RV park. It reminds me of a horse trailer but I really like the lines. There was no tag riveted on the body so I have no idea what it is.

Had two days of feeling real strange—headaches, tired, waking up during the nights with either body sweats or shivering with cold. Lived on aspirin. Thought I was getting the flu but there was never any sinus or throat problem. Strange. On the third morning I went out and did some stairs, weaker and slower but not too bad. Maybe I was just pushing too hard with the mountain biking at City of Rocks and the Bisbee stairs. Sure glad it was not the flu. Turned 60 while here. Doesn’t mean I have to slow down, does it?

A friend I worked with in Kanab, UT 3 summers ago at a workamping job was wintering in St. David, just up the road. Donna came down to Bisbee for a day and we had a good visit. She had a hip replacement and has worked up to doing hours of line dancing each week! Now THAT’S impressive. She full times in a Class A motorhome with 3 felines.

Plan to stop for a couple days of disperse camping in the Peloncillo Mtns, a few miles north of Rodeo, NM before heading back to one of City of Rocks primitive sites.
Back to web access only once every week or two. Guano.

February Night Sky—The zodiac is a long, thin band of sky—a ring of special constellations. It stretches around in a full 360 degree circle, but is only about 17 degrees wide. Zodiac is an old Greek word meaning‘wheel of life’. Each of the 12 constellations covers 30 degrees of the full circle and has a sign in the zodiac. Around the middle of the zodiac runs a line called the ecliptic. It’s the path that the sun seems to take through the sky during the year. The ecliptic changes every day. It marks the seasons. It’s also the only place where eclipses happen—hence the name, the ecliptic. The zodiac is like a great clock in the sky. The sun always rises in one of the 12 zodiac constellations. So do the moon and the other planets. Throughout the history of many lands, the zodiac has been the main way that many folks tell time.

It’s almost as if—on a warm, sunny day
we carry the day in our spirit.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’