Thursday, January 21, 2016

1/21/16-A Death March to the Petroglyphs

There are ancient petroglyphs and Indian grinding holes SW of Quartzsite. Several of us went to see them this past Saturday before going to the RTR Soup Dinner. It took us awhile to narrow in on them, but we eventually found them.

A huge thanks to Bryce, our trusted friend, driver, and tour guide for the day. We all joked around about it being a 2 hour, 5-6 mile death march, but it was worth every step.

Dave and Heather were there too. What a cute couple!

And Terry was our photographer for the day which means, unfortunately, I don’t have any pics of her during our outing so I am borrowing one from a previous post and blowing it up. That will teach her for trying to be sneaky. Ha!

The pics of us pointing are hilarious to me. See Dave hanging his head in this next one? That’s because we originally went the wrong way. It’s okay Brycee – there’s nothing wrong with that! (an inside joke)

A guy in an ATV came by on our original route and when Dave asked him if he knew where the petroglyphs were, his response was, “Nowhere near here.” We all cracked up, and the ATV headed off on his way to wherever he was going.

By then Bryce had us turned in the right direction, and all was well. We just kept walking. Soon, the ATV guy came back to tell us we only had another mile or so to go. It really was worth it. Just look at these drawings!

On the next rock over there are amazing Indian grinding holes.

It saddened me a great deal to see the damage being done to this prehistoric site. It is hard for me to fathom that the State of Arizona, and/or the BLM, are not doing anything to protect this treasure. There is graffiti on the petroglyphs rocks (what is wrong with people?!?), and trash filling some of the Indian grinding holes.

Here we are making our way back down to the trail.

And along the way back to the truck, we even found a cave. Don’t worry. I didn’t go in. I really wanted to, but didn’t.

We walked for another mile or so and as we came up from a wash, I looked to the left and immediately yelled, “BRYCE!”

I pointed again. Look for the truck in the following pic. Can you see it? It’s the small dot WAY off in the distance. We were going the wrong way .... again!

We all laughed. We actually did pretty good since the site is out in the middle of nowhere with no markings or defined trail. Thanks again Bryce - none of us would have ever found it on our own. And, it really didn't matter. It was a beautiful day for a walk and it was a great outing. A great day spent with wonderful new friends – laughing, in nature, and seeing the sites. Awesomeness!
NOTE: Click (here) for a list of sites to see while in Quartzsite. It includes our jaunt, but be warned - it is not as easy to get to as they make it sound. ;))

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

1/19/16-My First RTR

This pic is of my friend Suanne, Terry and me at the RTR Soup Dinner on Saturday. I did not get to attend as much of the RTR as I would have liked to, but what I did get to attend was very informative and tons of fun.

The RTR is the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous coordinated and created by the uber vandweller, Bob Wells. This year it was held from 1/5-1/19. Here are some links that showcase the RTR.

          Bob’s website, CheapRVLiving
          Enigmatic Nomadics, YouTube Channel
          Facebook, Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

The following pic is of Bob and Randy, THE Mobile Codger, sitting down to enjoy their soup. I have followed Randy’s blog since 2011, and it was a great pleasure to meet him.

I only got a pic of the last half of the soup line (was too busy eating). It started off as a very long line; on both sides of the tables. I would say we are a hungry bunch, but we actually eat very well and in reality are rarely hungry.

When I first got to the RTR I had a wonderful campsite. In fact, here is a pic through my back door from my bed. I was looking forward to several nights of good slumber here.

And a pic that shows my actual spot.

It was in Scaddan Wash, a couple of lanes over from the main RTR alley. Sometimes, the quiet I need to prevent cognitive maladies gets in the way of the social life I’d like to have. This was a case in point, but my location was actually working out quite well. I was even able to attend a couple of classes. (The RTR is well scheduled with many classes and opportunities for learning the nomadic lifestyle.)

Here is a pic of my friend Suanne describing for a class how she camps long-term in her Prius. The class was an open demonstration by the owners of 4 Prius cars and a Highlander Hybrid (owned by Terry in the 1st pic above).

I also was able to attend a wonderful class on safety. It was a great class that began with BLM Rangers speaking. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures, or write down names, or take notes. And I checked out. I don’t remember much. It was a LOT of information, and I was surrounded by a LOT of people. I must have looked cold because my wonderful friend, Suanne, brought me a blanket. That’s about all I remember. Did I mention my brain doesn’t function well in crowds?

By the weekend, the spot where I was camped became very popular with big rigs and I found myself surrounded by mega Class A Rigs. All part of a group known as "Boomers."

Bob had just sent me an email telling me I was probably going to want to move. Sure enough, here they came – at least a dozen a day. The pic below shows a rig that parked right next to me. He and his wife were friendly enough. They even asked if it was okay to park in my area. Of course my answer was yes – it’s public land plus Bob had already warned me. But they parked less than 30 feet from me and their barking dog plus their loud outdoor TV, and their generator, and their ATV was all just a little too much and too close for comfort.... especially when 3 of his buddies with even bigger rigs joined him on the other side of me. Oy vey.

Not to despair, I turned the key the next morning and decided to run some errands before it got too crowded in town. I actually drove to Ehrenberg 15 miles away so I could do a load of laundry and shower in familiar surroundings. I also went to Blythe and got some groceries and washed my van. Feeling quite proud of myself, I headed back to Quartzsite for the 2P women’s meeting. Suanne and I had previously scouted out a new campsite for me on the far side of the RTR alley, and I was looking forward to setting up my new camp.

I was also really looking forward to meeting and connecting with some of the women vandwellers at the RTR. What a wonderful opportunity! But it was not to be. I couldn’t make it through the traffic in Quartzsite. The 33rd annual “Sports, Vacation & RV Show” is also going on right now. Reportedly 750,000 to 1,000,000 people show up for this event (see link and pics here), and there I was trying to drive through it all. Nope. Not I.

It took me almost an hour and a half, but I managed to wind my way back through town and get on the highway where I headed for Ehrenberg and high country as far away from traffic and people as I could get. There were a couple of turns I took that made the ordeal even worse, but I was grateful to have kept my head and make it out of that situation. I am learning.

And it felt good to be back on the quiet hill with my friends, and relax. I was a mess. My friend Suanne was leading the women’s meeting that I missed. Thank you for understanding Suanne!

On Saturday, I rode with Bryce, Terry, Dave and Heather to the Soup Dinner at the RTR (pics above). Thanks for driving Bryce! We also had a nice outing before that and went to see some local petroglyphs and grinding stones (blog post to follow).

I had a great time – trekking to see the prehistoric site, and at the Soup Dinner. I am so blessed to be out here doing what I’m doing, and I have yet to find my balance, even while living a simple life in a van. I ended up having an episode and lost time as well as cognitive ability. My body and my brain weren’t communicating so I ended up also losing physical mobility and was bedridden Sunday.

I don’t remember much about Sunday, but I do remember that my friend Bryce hosted a Sunday dinner and brought me a plate of food. Sweet! Thank you Bryce, and to all who helped cook: Yum! Like I said, we eat well. I was supposed to be in charge of the gravy. I didn’t remember that until today. My brain injury sure is a pest sometimes! And, even in that I am reminded – all is well, always, and all my needs are met.

On Monday, I stayed home and mostly piddled. I am feeling better. Later today, I will meet up with Colvin who has been away for awhile, and I will continue self care until fully recovered.

I have enjoyed recuperating in a beautiful, peaceful and quiet environment – surrounded by wonderful friends here as well as people from afar that stay in touch with me. Life is good, always.

It is probably no coincidence that this was the posting by Daily Fillmore FB on Saturday:
“Think of that which you want to demonstrate, not that from which you seek freedom.”

I’m working on it.

I close with the beautiful sunset from last night. Simply awe-mazing! It reminds me of the old saying, “Look what happens when God paints.”

Until next time wonderful readers! Ciao!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


A lot has happened since my last post. Mainly, Colvin and I are now a couple. It took us both by surprise, but what a wonderful surprise and ride it has been.

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope for you that 2016 is your best year yet.

Dream big. Play hard. Life is so short. The song, “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack comes to mind.

I didn’t make a resolution this year, but my fervent hope is that I will get better at living life large and out loud, authentically and courageously - connected to Oneness through it all. I wish the same for you.

We were there from 12/12-12/19. In addition to the pics in my last post, here is a collage from that magical week (which included Colvin’s birthday!).

I had thought I would stay in the Quartzsite/Ehrenberg area for the entire winter. Hooking up and traveling with Colvin changed that and I have already seen some amazing places. Here is a snippet of those experiences. (Blog posts for each to follow.)

What a trip this place was! I loved the hot springs and the uniqueness of it all. I felt perfectly safe with Colvin.

Calipatria, CA
After Slab City, Colvin treated us to a nice stay at a hotel. It had the feel of a villa and he got us a room with a private patio poolside. Sweet!

Next we went back to Ehrenberg to spend the Holidays with our friends.


New Year's Eve
Colvin took the following  pic on New Year’s Eve and said, “Give me attitude girls.”

This was a very special New Year's Eve for me. At the beginning of the year I had more than one doctor that thought I wouldn't be cognizant by 2016. I spent the latter part of 2014, and most of 2015, "getting my affairs in order" as instructed. None of us know what tomorrow may bring, but I knew when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2016! I am eternally grateful and am bringing in the New Year feeling very blessed ... and happy.

Van Remodel
Before we left on our next adventure, Colvin completely remodeled the interior of my van. With that, I have been able to get rid of a large plastic storage tub and 2 whole drawers of “stuff”. He also simplified many of the logistics for me, and now, instead of spending 2-4 hours getting the van ready to roll I can turn the key in about 30 minutes. Awesomeness!!

Holtville, CA
We chilled out and enjoyed the hot springs for a week. And met LOTS of Canadians.

Quartzsite, AZ
We are now in Quartzsite for the remainder of the RTR, Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. It is an annual “free gathering for learning, networking and having fun with others living the vandwelling/traveling lifestyle” (RTR FB Event verbiage). The campsite Colvin picked out is close enough that I can walk over for any classes I want to attend, and yet still have downtime for peace and quiet as needed.

I can hardly wait to write the blog posts about each of our jaunts, and I have more pics to share with you. For those of you who know my situation, you know that I would not have the means nor the ability to do all of this on my own. In addition to that, it has been wonderful having someone to watch over me – someone that gets me and doesn’t miss a beat with the adjustments that have to be made for my brain injury.

"assess, adapt, adjust, modify"
So, from base camp to flyer: Thank you, Colvin. From skippy to zippy: Te’ amo. From me to Sasquatch: Don’t be a dumb ass.

As always, life is good - no matter what. KOKO!