Boudoir for Faye Wray

I didn't like that the litter box was the first thing I saw walking into the trailer

Converting a cupboard to accomodate the litter box was practical - but right in front of the door.  So, I found some cute material and made some tiny curtains to cover it.  They even have tie-backs!

Cat themed material!

Tie-backs until she learns to go thru the curtains

The 12v vacuum works great!



Now, I need to get to work on the house! I can't believe the amount of cat hair a small 6# cat can shed!!

White hair shows up so much on oak floors!

Sunny and warm start to spring

Time to wash and wax the trailer.  It's filthy from the trip and I've been feeling guilty ever since I saw RVSue's shiny trailer (and she doesn't even have access to ladders, a driveway, and unlimited water!).

First Snowbird Trip - by the numbers

Ok, I'll admit I'm a little obsessive about numbers 

If I hadn't been traveling only with my tablet, I would probably have tracked all this in a spreadsheet.

Total nights: 52 nights;  just under 8 weeks
Avg. cost/night:  $4.88  (I included campground, dump, and water fees - might be a bit more if I include the propane).   All camping was dry camping, no hookups.  My solar set-up worked great!
Excluding the intense travel days to/from the Southwest, 50% of the nights were for stays of 6 days or more.
Total Miles:  3,908
Total Amt for Gas: $1,013
Avg mpg:  14.5 

This trip was the longest trip I've spent in the trailer

And only the third trip with Faye Wray, the incredible shedding cat.  
I learned a few new things on this trip that have initiated some purchases and a couple of changes in the trailer.

I used to say that traveling with two retired racing greyhounds was like sharing a dog crate; traveling with one tiny 6 pound cat was like sharing a litter box.  There was litter everywhere, on the counters, on the floor, in my bed.  This meant a LOT more cleaning.  There was also a lot of cat hair; drifting like snow into the cup holders in the car, covering the upholstery in the trailer, covering the carpets and my clothes.  I went through an entire lint roller and barely made a dent!

One result of the 'cat impact' is this purchase:  

12 v vacuum from
I think this will work well on the upholstery and trailer carpets.  And, it doesn't seem like it will be too big.

There is a cat-related project in the works; but details and pictures will have to wait for a future post!

Storing all 'outside' stuff in the back of the Honda worked well

I hate having to shift a bunch of gear at the end of the day just to be comfortable in the trailer.  Having all the outside stuff in the back of the car meant I could relax in the trailer immediately.  This was especially nice on travel days when I was over-nighting in a Walmart or other pseudo-campsite.

Although, the clutter did prompt Lance, who I met at the Quartzite Fiberglass Rally, to indulge in this prank.

Saw a break in the weather - time to make tracks!

Crossing the mountains towing (even in march) had me spooked!

I haven't towed the trailer in snow or ice, I don't have chains for the trailer - so I really, really didn't want to hit bad weather on my way home.  Watching the news, I saw there was going to be a couple days between systems hitting Oregon/Northern California - I checked the road cameras for my route - everything looked good - time to get moving!

3 days - 1100 miles.

No pictures - practically all I did was drive and sleep.  There was a lot to look at though.

Las Vegas - Despite the heavy traffic and dense layer of smog over the city, I really enjoyed driving through Vegas.  The highways are beautifully  landscaped with rock and gravel that mimic the colors of surrounding mountains.  There are sculptural elements (think metal and concrete sculptures).  The over-passes, sound barriers and other concrete structures are beautifully painted and decorated.  

And then there were the cell towers!  I saw a half dozen or so 'disguised' as palm trees or big fake fir trees - amusing!

Wildlife or Wild Life?
I saw my first (and only) coyote of the trip early in the morning in Nevada.  But, by far, the most prevalent sights in Nevada were casinos and brothels (really?, are they legal?).  But, the "Shady Lady Ranch" and "Wildcats Ranch"  advertising billboards were pretty explicit.  

After a couple of long, boring days of  driving through the Mojave desert, I was actually thrilled to start seeing trees!  And mountains with snow on them!  And bald eagles!

And then it started to rain . . . 

A couple hours after I crossed the state line into Oregon, the rain started.  It poured all the way home.  But, the cherry trees and dog wood are blooming; the daffodils are out; my hummingbirds are glad I'm back and filling the feeders again.  I get to see my friends and family!

Boulder City, Nev

I liked it so much, I had to come back

Well, I am heading home, but had to spend a day here at BLM's Boulder Beach campground.  I like the trees, the water, and the doves.

The rocks on the reservoir are full of color; there seem to be countless little islands and coves.  Next year perhaps I'll bring my kayak and spend some time paddling!
Next year I'll have the Parks senior pass so staying here will be half price ($5/night)!

Short on miles, long on chores

Taking care of the boondocking chores today

The first order of business after breaking camp is to find a place to dump; since I still have 2 days on an LTVA camping pass, I head north to La Posa LTVA, just south of Quartzite.  I dump, get rid of all my trash in the dumpsters, and fill my fresh water tank.  It always feels good to get those three chores done.  On my way through Q. I fill up my gas tank.  

I check in at the Hi Jolly dispersed camping area just north of town.

I want to be close to town since I still have some errands to run without the trailer.  
Hi Jolly is a free BLM 14 day dispersed camping area with no services and just 28 miles from my last camp.  It consists of one main gravel road that runs a mile or two east off of hwy 95.  There are a lot of trees and bushes which makes it pretty easy to find fairly nice camp sites for being so close to town.

Lots of rigs here; but pretty well spaced

Historical side note:  There are lots of things in Quartzite called "Hi Jolly".  In the mid 1800's, the military decided to bring a bunch of camels from the mid-east to use as pack animals in the desert.  Not knowing anything about camels, they also brought a half-dozen camel drivers (this is where Hi Jolly comes into the story).  At about this same time, there was a young Greek/Syrian man who converted to Islam, changed his name to "Hadji Ali", and became one of the camel drivers who was brought to Quartzite.

The venture failed as they discovered the rocky desert floor was too hard on the camels feet for them to stay sound.  Hadji Ali remained in the area trying various business ventures before dying in the early 1900's.  

His name was Americanized as Hi Jolly.

This also explains why the city of Quartzite signs have camels on them!

Kitty Corner

FW is getting used to new campsites.  She's spending less time exploring the car and trailer and more time exploring the surrounding area.  She's still very cautious and runs straight back to the trailer if she's startled (good kitty!).

Time to move on . . . just when spring is approaching!

The rain and approaching spring - the desert is going to get colorful

As I walked the desert this morning, I found signs that the desert is going to respond to the moisture with a lot of color.  The beavertail cactus is full of buds, the ocotillos are leafing out, and a bunch of other smaller plants are showing buds.

 Unfortunately, my trek back home starts tomorrow so I won't be here when they flower.

Excellent example of a nurse tree

Saguaros often start in the shadow of a bigger plant which protects it from the harsh sun in its early years.  But, as they grow, they soak up water and eventually kill the nurse plant.  Today, I saw a great example - 4 tall saguaros surrounding an obviously failing Palo Verde.

These particular saguaros held another surprise - a small memorial to a man and his dog.

This has been one of my favorite camp sites!

RvSue, Bill and Anne were very friendly - I hope to see them again

Bill and Anne stopped by daily as they passed on their way to do Refuge business - I think today was checking rain gauges.  They check water tanks within the refuge,  give tours, and provide information and assistance to visitors.  Their energy amazes me!  I'm so glad that Anne recognized me in that Yuma laundromat and talked to me!

Sue dropped by on her way out today - she had contact information for a friend who had a thundershirt for a cat that she thought FW might like.  For a loner, Sue is awfully thoughtful and considerate of others.  I enjoyed meeting her and the crew.

My last sunset at Kofa

I could almost believe I was back in Oregon

The thunder rolled - and I'm not just quoting Garth Brooks

Off and on last night and this afternoon, we've been experiencing real thunderstorms!  Not the continual soft rain of the Northwest, but sudden, drenching, booming gully-washers!  Interspersed with sun breaks and rainbows.

Enjoying the mid-morning sun
Then more clouds roll in.

The Kofa mountains that I had been sketching this morning are now partially obscured by clouds.

Remember, I said that the cloudbursts were gully washers - well here is a little wash maybe 30 yards from my trailer - dry until today!

And, just about 45 minutes later, the running water has passed and there are just a few puddles.

The ground around my campsite is a little mushy.  If the weather reports hold true, today should see the last of the rain.  If so, I'm expecting the ground to dry out and harden before I need to pull out in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, I'm warm and dry inside, enjoying a cup of tea and the amazing smell of the desert rain.