Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

Seems like I remember that phrase from my youth…a song?  A Cartoon?

Anyway, it’s been awhile, but that is because I have such limited internet and cellular.  All my internet and phone activities have been drastically reduced, and it looks like it will be that way for awhile yet.

We return from Q and make our way down the 7.7 mile dusty road back to CLR.  Up the hill we go and with no observers I back into my spot within inches of where I was last time.

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We pick up a new blue mat while in Q.  My patio has been inlarged!

In the middle of the night I wake to howling winds and WS rocks like never before.  In fact it has been VERY windy, with rain and cold most days since I returned, until yesterday who the weather returned to beautiful.  The old timers here say it’s the worst wind they remember.  I don’t know what the gusts were but I’d guess 40-50 mph on and off for days and nights.  We rocked but we didn’t roll!

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Scary Sky

Seeds just blow out of the bird feeders and the feeders just blow to the ground, so I don’t use the feeders but just sprinkle bird seed on the ground.  The little birds remain plentiful except during the very worst of the winds.  (Where do they go, anyway?). I don’t see how they manage to fly.  Those little bundles of feathers are more hardy than I imagine.

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Bird feeders at a calmer time.

During a lull in the wind we walk to Colleen and Fred’s house, and I thank Colleen for watering my plants while I was gone.  I haven’t told you about my cactus garden yet.  Maybe next post.  I also planted a few herbs in pots and those babies really did need watering.

Joy and Shiloh usually love the wind and enjoy staying outside sniffing it, but even they had enough after awhile and preferred being inside, plus with those big gusts often they had to be inside anyway.  I did a lot of reading.  I’ve been reading Patricia Cornwells “Scarpetta” series on and off for many months now.  I finally finished the….I think it’s 24 book series.  The main character, Kay Scarpetta, is a Forensic Pathologist, and through many of the books she is the chief medical examiner of the state of Virginia.  Very interesting…if gory…stuff, because the author has a background in the same field.

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These re are the last three of the Scarpetta series that I read.  I would have loved to read them in order the way they were written, but that didn’t happen.

It was a good time for soup.

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Veggie soup with dumplings on top.

As of yesterday the windy weather broke and it’s calm and beautiful again.  Last night I had a campfire and watched the sun set behind Wandering Spirit.

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Notice the star near the top of the picture?

And of course it’s not complete here without another amazing sunset.

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The Fiberglass Rally

(And A Recipe)

That would be ‘Fiberglass Rally’ as in molded fiberglass travel trailers and fifth wheels, such as Casita, Bigfoot, Scamp, Escape and Oliver.  They tend to be on the smaller side, rounded, and made of two molded pieces of fiberglass, a top and a bottom, held together with a belly band.

This is the 10th annual rally here in Quartzsite.  Since it’s a wide open area with lots of space here on BLM land, and it’s free, no reservations are necessary.  There have been about 150 trailers here this year.  The Q rally tends to be informal, with not too many scheduled activities, which I like.

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Some of us!

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Some more of us!

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And more. Hey, WS is in this one, right of center, with the awning out, with a bushy thing in front of us, blue car to our left.

Lots of furry friends are here!

Here are are a few….Merlin, the excellent Schnoodle on the left.  Upper right…oh dear I can’t remember the name!  I’m sorry!  And lower right is Jessie.

There are various little dogs, medium dogs, and even a Great Dane, traveling in a Casita!

You know these two!

 

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Yesterday’s sunrise.

In the last post I mentioned a Margarita recipe, and a number of people have asked me to share it.  So here it is.

One 12 oz can of limeade concentrate. ( Minute Maid is better than the others)

Empty that into a blender and refill the can with your favorite tequila.  (I like El Jimador, gold). Empty that into the blender and refill the can half way with triple sec. Add a couple scoops of ice and blend like crazy. The  blender I have chops the ice up fine.

Taste it.  You might want to add more ice or some water…depends on how you like ’em.

Rub a lime quarter around the rim of a glass then dip the top of the glass in salt.  Add a little ice into the glass and pour in the margarita.  Hang a slice of lime from the side of the glass, and there you have It!

Yum.  🍹

 

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Party Time!

Gosh, who knew I was a party animal?  Well…not quite, but I really enjoyed my ‘Thank you and come say hello’ party last night!

In the morning I start the chili in my cast iron Dutch oven and that pot is filled to the brim.  I make a good sized bowl of guacamole, there were chips, dips, etc, and last but certainly not least there were margaritas.  The recipe for those came to me many years ago from friends Laura and Joel.  There was enough for everyone and lots of seconds, and I have to say, I didn’t skimp on the Tequila.

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We were a happy group!  😁

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This morning the chili is gone, but the fire pit still radiates some heat….and if I listen I can still hear the laughter in the pre-dawn silence.

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Life is interesting.  Ten years ago I would have cringed at the thought of 20 people attending a party I gave.  Last night it was something that I throughly enjoyed.  I’m happy to say life for me is a work in progress…I’m still changing, growing, and learning.  This lifestyle is helping that happen.  img_2682

I MUST give special thanks to Colleen and Fred who have helped me in so many ways since I arrived here at CLR even through last night.  I couldn’t have pulled the party off without them!

Next….off to the big Q for a few days for the Fiberglass Rally!  Then back to home on the hill!

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Sunset while we partied.

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Home On The Hill

I choose Tuesday, January 31 for my moving day.  The cold snap has ended and spring is in the air.  Since the shed is already in place, it’s a routine move that I’m used to.

I’ve spent a LOT of time thinking about how I want to position WS up there, and I’ve even laid out a row of stones that I’d like the drivers side to line up with.  I’ve done dry runs with JR because some backing up will be involved and since I’m missing that precious ‘back up gene’ I need to compensate with much planning and figuring.

Others would do it for me, or spot me, but as the day draws close I decide I want to do it all by myself.  Alone.  No one watching.  I have plenty of room and plenty of time.

After our morning walk I empty tanks, clean tanks, pack up and hitch up.  I breath deeply, and off we go.  Up the hill in 2nd gear, JR has no problem at all.

I drive into the site as preplanned and then pull forward as much as possible.  Ten minutes later I’m exactly where I want to be, as neat as a pin.  That must be some kind of record for me!  AND as a bonus, I had no panicky moments.  All the previous working it out in my head must have paid off!

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Before I moved up I put bird feeders out in hopes the birds would get used to them.  It worked!  They are empty and a good number of birds are watching me expectantly.  After I set up camp my first duty is to refill the feeders!

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See the bird feeder stand?  See info below.☺️

People stop by during the afternoon to see if I got situated ok.

Later I get cleaned up and prepare a pan of baked beans ( minus the baking since I don’t have an oven) for the pot luck.  When I return to my new digs the sun is setting.

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My first sunset from the hill.

img_2621And my first sunrise. ‘Morning has broken, like the first morning…’

Other the Desert Tour and the move, you may think that all I’m doing is sitting around eating bon-bons. (What ARE bon-bons anyway?). But no.  I’ve been going to pot lucks, happy hours, movie night, Taco Tuesday at the ‘local’ VFW (about 18 miles), walking the dogs, doing laundry, and get this….I even go to a welding lesson with Vivian, Ruth and Joyce, given by Paul.  They all made turtles out of horse shoes, but since I already purchased one of those from Paul, I made a bird feeder holder from two pieces of old rebar.  It has that rustic look but it works and I like it.

(I’m sorry, don’t have a picture of the turtle yet!)

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This nice little table was in the shed so I got to keep it.  Had to put it together first, the legs were removed.

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Joy and Shiloh seem to like the new location.  They are often off leash up here!

Now I’ll have lots to do at my site, rearranging rocks, and important things like that.  And we’ll have a little party up here on Monday, complete with Margaritas on the house!  Whoo-hoo!  🌵🌞🍹

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Desert Tour!

There are so many things I want to tell you about, but some are being preempted because first I want to tell you about our Desert Tour!

The most excellent way to explore the desert is in an ATV/ORV/ 4 wheeler/quad….all pretty much the same thing….I think.  Most people at the ranch here have one or more.  Fred and Colleen have one called a Honda Pioneer.

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Colleen and Fred, and if you look closely, you will see Daisy in the middle.

This ATV can hold 4 people, and they invited Ruth ( my neighbor with the horse, Major), her sister Joyce who is visiting, and me to a day of desert exploring.  Ok, that’s 5 people but the plan they offered was that Colleen would stay home and watch Joy and Shiloh, along with Daisy!  What a deal!  Thank you Fred and Colleen!

At 9am on Monday we hit the road…well….the trail…and what an amazing day it is! The weather is perfect topping out at about 70 degrees with blue sky’s.  We pack lunches and off we go.  I’ve never been 4 wheeling out on the trails and I am surprised at the poor condition of some of them, and at the ease that Fred and his  Pioneer handle them.

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An example of the trail, and it got worse than this.

Even  the winter desert is green here, and will be greener when the trees and some bushes get their spring leaves.

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Cactus in bloom.

This area is all hills and mountains and washes….sometimes dipping deeply and other times rolling softly.

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The area is peppered with abandoned mines, evidence of many hopefuls, searching for gold, silver and precious stones in years past.  Some found what they were looking for.

The above hole in the side of the mountain is called Sunshine Mine, and was apparently somewhat successful, yielding more silver than gold.  It’s bigger than the other mines we saw.

After more sightseeing and lots of stories from Fred, we come to the marble mine, with hunks and chunks of beautiful white marble scattered about.

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Joyce, Ruth and Fred in front of the mountain of marble.

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A closer view of the marble.

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Yours truely, sitting on a chunk of marble.

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We stop at what used to be the old Ryan Ranch house to eat the lunches we packed.

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There is a well there.

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And a corral made of Mesquite, with the old water tower above.

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I’d hate to meet up with this guy!

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This is the biggest Saguaro that Fred knows of in these parts.

We head back to the ranch where Ruth needs to tend to her horse.  Joyce and I vote to continue the tour, as Fred has offered to show us Chrystal Mountain, a few miles north of CLR.  We take ‘C’ road, the roughest one yet, and bounce a few miles farther on, while Fred points out some of the small mines that dot the mountains here.

At Chrystal Mountain we get out and Fred shows us the crystals in the rocks and boulders lying all over.  

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They remind me of the inside of a geode when you crack it open, except these are just lying everywhere.

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Climbing Crystal Mountain.

We  take what we can carry in our hands.  Some of them will become part of my new RV site on the hill.

Maybe it was all the fresh air and sunshine but I am worn out when we get back, and as happy to see Joy and Shiloh as they are to see me.

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Shiloh, Colleen, and Joy.

I was also happy to have my head hit the pillow at 7pm!

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OUCH!  Not a pillow.

 

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Tires…And Whatnot

Yes,

TIRES…you read that right!

My tires and I have a history, if you’ve read the blog for awhile, you know.  Short story here is that Saturday late my tire pressure alert went off only a block from home.  It was dark out so when I got home I checked it and sure enough, 21 pounds of pressure when there is supposed to be 35.  I pulled out my trusty air pump ( it’s Slime brand) and filled it up.  I couldn’t do much else at that point.

Upon examination of the tire in the morning ( after pumping it from 29 to 35 pounds), I found a bright shiny horse shoe nail deeply imbedded.  My neighbor Fred looked at it and felt it shouldn’t be a problem driving on it, since it was a slow leak, and because of the location, which was neatly lying between the tread.  I should be able to make it the 45 MILES to Discount Tire to have it repaired.  That was Sunday and they are closed, so Monday after the shed moving I crept down the bumpy dirt road….all 7.7 miles of it, cringing with each bumpity-bump.  But I made it to the tire store and they repaired it, no charge!

After that, feeling SO relieved I stopped at Petsmart for dog food and then went to Walmart, where I made a bee-line for the cell phone department and asked about a cheap pay-as-you-go phone that uses Verizon, and that is exactly what they sold me.  It’s a flip phone that cost $12.88 and the phone card is $15.  When I activate it I’ll have a Verizon line for emergencies when there is no AT&T, like there never is where I’m staying.

In the Walmart parking lot I send out the previous blog, “Pioneer Spirit”, and by the time we get back home it’s almost 6pm.  The wind is rip-roaring around and it’s cold, so we get inside our cozy home ASAP.

I think some hot chocolate would be Divine.

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It was cold enough to have snow on the mountains!

Below, the shed all set up!

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Pioneer Spirit

it’s here, alive and well, and I’m experiencing it first hand.

I’ve chosen my site here at Cababbl Loco Ranch.  It’s the larger of two sites up on a hill and neither site has received much use any time recently, so it needs some work.  No problem.  That’s ok, I have nothing but time .

Because it’s on a hill it will have a tendency to be windy at times, also there is the distant hum of the main generator, which I find that I forget I’m hearing after a few minutes.  So it’s not perfect, but ‘near perfect’.

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This is how it looked ‘before’.

Wednesday morning our walk takes us there and I begin to pull some weeds.  It rained recently and there is still some moisture in the rocky soil, so weeds come up fairly easily right now.

Before long I hear the sound of an ATV coming up the hill.  It’s Fred and Colleen stopping by to say hello.  Wait…no.  They listen to my plan and then Colleen gets out, dons gloves, and starts helping me pull weeds.  Fred goes back for the Weed Wacker and when he comes back goes to town chopping more dead weeds. Soon we have a huge pile of weeds.  Next Paul comes up with his ATV (this is the first time I’ve met him) and begins hauling away our huge pile of weeds!

A few minutes later Jim( the owner) comes up with the back hoe.

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Fred moving rocks.    Jim on the machine. He begins leveling the site.

Now there are rocks to move and Fred begins that task.  Later after we have all left, Paul comes back with this big huge rake thing attached to a tractor, and rakes it all down, and also smooths the road up the hill a bit.

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Wow, we are ready to roll.

Previously Fred and Colleen have taken me shed hunting in their ATV.  The deal is, if I find a shed that I like that is not in use, I can use it on my site!  We find a really nice shed that is available, it has a floor and a bench and shelves and is even insulated.  But oh my gosh, how will I ever get it up that hill? Fred says ‘no problem’, and we ride over to see the ‘shed mover’.  Dick, another resident here, built this quite awhile back, and the guys have moved many a shed with it!

Today was the big shed moving day!

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They jack it up in front, tilt the rollers down and then roll the shed in place, and tie it down.

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Phew.  Did it!

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Here it goes up the hill.  Fred is behind it with his ATV.

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Dick backs it into the spot I’ve chosen for it.

 

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Fred, Colleen, Bill and Dick working to get it level.

So this is what I’m taking about….Pioneer Spirit….everyone working together to help me get situated on the hill…people who don’t even know me, or hardly know me.  All volunteer.

I’m blown away.  Thank you to everyone who has been helping me.  When I settle in up there we’ll have a big party!

 

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