Desert Splendor

My second week at Saddle Mountain BLM area near Tonopah, AZ passes all too quickly.

The days have developed a pattern. I get out of bed when the sun clears the mountain and lights up the Casita.

View from the rear window in the afternoon

View from the rear window in the afternoon

I write in the mornings, sometimes for the blog and sometimes for the book. If I start feeling distracted, I take a break outside and practice spinning poi. As new as I am to the hobby, I hit myself with the poi more often than not. After a while, the self-induced flogging is a good incentive to stop and get back to writing.

Lunch happens around noon, a light affair of cheese, meat, and crackers as it’s already getting warm by this point and cooking inside the Casita would make it intolerably hot. Now that I have a working refrigerator again, I have acquired the fixings for salads too.

desert-splendor-2

Click for larger view

I read during my lunch break, which might last an hour or so. Then it’s back to writing for another hour or two. Around 3 pm I get online and respond to comments and e-mails, check Facebook, and catch up on the world.

Later in the afternoon when the sun is going down and it starts to cool off, Cherie and Chris and I go on a hike. There is still plenty to see around Saddle Mountain.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Or we go hunting for geocaches, using a phone app to point the way.

This cache placed by a fellow called OzzOzz is a yellow bus. See it?

This cache placed by a fellow called OzzOzz is a yellow bus. See where it’s hiding?

This is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever camped. Everywhere I turn there’s another great vista.

desert-splendor-3

All within walking distance. We never see anyone else when out on these excursions.

In some places it’s hard to get a panorama shot, the view just isn’t good enough for a wide enough stretch. I don’t have that problem here.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

We usually get back after the sun has set, when it’s almost too dark to see.

For supper I heat something up on the stove. Nothing fancy, I don’t do fancy. Although Cherie does and twice I get invited over. The night I posted that whisking photo on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter it was preparing the batter for chili rellenos. Chili peppers stuffed with cheese and fried in a whipped egg batter, with black beans on the side. Delicious!

desert-splendor-5

Ocotillo in bloom, chili rellenos, and Cherie holding up our geocaching prize!

And thus the days pass. This is a good balance, we have enough time to work on what we need to do, with the hiking and geocaching as a good break to the day. Chris and Cherie are writing too, working on updating their Mobile Internet Handbook for 2016. I have an earlier edition of the book and it is an excellent resource for RVers.

On my last day, Tuesday the 9th, it’s too hot to hike even late in the afternoon with the sun going down. But as I’m sitting at my computer, a hot air balloon rises over Saddle Mountain out my rear window, wow! We watch it for a good half hour as the winds take the balloon along the range to the south. Better than a TV any day.

Wow!

Wow! Click for larger image

Saying goodbye to friends is always hard. Luckily, as an RVer it’s never permanent. On Wednesday I say my ‘until-next-times’ to Cherie and Chris. I’ll miss them, but our paths will cross again one day!

desert-splendor-9

Retracing my steps from two weeks ago, it takes about an hour and a half to get back to Quartzsite on Wednesday. It’s a good thing I got quite a bit of writing done these past two weeks because the next five days I think are going to be pretty busy. I’m trailer number 128 to check in at the 9th annual Fiberglass Rally, a joint effort put on by the heads of several molded fiberglass communities. The owners of the Casita forum and Casita Club are here, as is the lead of the Scamp forum, and the person who started the Fiberglass RV forum.

I think I'm in the right place...

I think I’m in the right place…

I’ve been lucky to have the morning to get this post written up, but this is the first time I’ve been able to attend any sort of gathering for Casita owners and after nearly four years of ownership I’m dieing to see what others have done with their “little houses”. People are up and canoodling, and it’s time to get out and join them.

One last pic of Saddle Mountain...

One last pic of Saddle Mountain…

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

35 Comments

  1. Jerryc on February 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Sorry that we didn’t meet again at Dome Rock during the gathering. Though I saw your rig, I never caught you outside. It was a great week of meeting new people and sharing ideas.



    • Becky on February 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Yeah Jerry, too much to do, so little time. Didn’t help that I had the hack scare on Thursday and had to spend that whole day working on the blog. Hopefully next time, take care!



  2. Kim on February 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Can’t beat hanging out in the desert with good friends!



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Yep Kim, what a great winter it’s turning out to be.

      Although it really doesn’t feel like winter with this heat. It never got this warm in Yellowstone last summer, even in the heart of July!



  3. Kylene on February 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Yea! Sounds and looks like awesome!

    BTW, I don’t think canoodling means what you think it means…

    Always glad to hear you’re doing well!



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      I’m rewriting the definition to be innocuous. 😉

      Good to hear from you too Kylene, take care!



  4. Shelly, Durham, NC on February 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Nice to finally meet you. Shelly (the whirly gigs down the road from you)



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Yes Shelly it was nice!



  5. Julie Robertson on February 14, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Hi Becky,

    I learned of you from Chris and Cherie.

    My husband and I will become full timers this summer and we are getting ready for the adventure by buying A LOT of stuff from Amazon.

    There are still some things we will be purchasing from Amazon and I am wondering bout your “affiliate link”. We would love for you to benefit in some way.

    If I just follow the link that you have provided, does that use your account? Or do we need to log in to your “account” so that you get the credit?



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Hello Julie,

      First of all, congrats on your impending full-time adventure! You must be very excited.

      Nope, you don’t need to log into anything special for me to get credit for the affiliate link. You just click that link and purchase within 24 hours and I’ll make a little bit of money and it doesn’t cost you anything more. Thank you for thinking of me!



  6. Jodee Gravel on February 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

    So fun to see you becoming a happy desert dweller! Your days sound like a perfect balance of work and play with amazing views for all of it. How exciting to be among Cas’ tribe – I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time and hope there’s lots of pics of all the set-ups folks have.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..We Land in Roswell, New MexicoMy Profile



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Hope you’re enjoying NM Jodee!



  7. Linda Sand on February 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    It’s my opinion that the two best boondocking teachers are Technomadia and WheelingIt. You are one lucky student.



    • Becky on February 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      I know Linda! I count myself very fortunate.



  8. Cherie @Technomadia on February 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Ahhhh… so many memories! Thank you for being such an awesome neighbor for a few weeks. Such a pleasure to get to know you better, and we look forward to many future rendezvouses. (Next time… poi!!)

    Miss you already!
    Cherie @Technomadia recently posted..Boondocking Nirvana at Saddle Mountain BLM – Tonopah, AZMy Profile



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Yes, next time poi Cherie! What a great couple weeks. Thank you and Chris for showing me what ‘real’ boondocking is like!



  9. Dawn in MI on February 13, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I have enjoyed your time at Saddle Mountain. I look forward to the next adventure!



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks for following along Dawn! Speaking of adventure, after responding to these comments I’ll be putting the 2016 map up on the “Adventure” tab, woohoo!



  10. […] guess she also enjoyed our company and Saddle Mountain, as she ended up rejoining us after her fridge replacement. It was a bittersweet ‘until next […]



  11. lea on February 13, 2016 at 10:00 am

    https://youtu.be/DQLUygS0IAQ

    Here’s some music for you to practise poi to. It was a big hit in NZ in the 80s, and was performed by a Maori kapahaka group in a small rural town just a few miles from where I grew up.



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Never heard of that song before Lea, thanks for sharing!



  12. Jim@HiTek on February 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Nice to see you’ve taken to my part of the country so well. The desert has a stark beauty that’s impossible to ignore. Enjoying your pictures. I’m over in Mesa (just bought a new to me RV with slides…doubled my living space!!) and know that area you boondocked well. I pass it every time I head up to Parker.

    Now, if it gets too warm for you, you might consider heading up to Flagstaff where you can cool off. It doesn’t have the summer heat up there in the mountains like it does here in the valley.

    BTW, there is a RV park in Flagstaff that has an on site restaurant that does a burlesque review, every night. Don’t know if you have wait staff experience but since you are always on the lookout for employment opportunities, and seemed to enjoy your stint at that Medieval Faire a few months back thought I’d mention Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon, and Musical Review in Flagstaff. It’s a big RV park so ample parking. Here’s their web site: http://www.blackbartssteakhouse.com/

    I have no idea if they’re hiring though I’d imagine they have a high turnover. College kids mostly. I’ve stayed there many times as I like the park. The WiFi isn’t very good, but everything else is OK in my book.

    Enjoyed the musical review and saloon the many times I went. Food wasn’t bad either…if a little spendy.
    Jim@HiTek recently posted..Let’s go boating…My Profile



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      I’ve heard Flagstaff is a neat place Jim and I do intend to get up that way as the weather warms. Afraid that if I go now it’ll get right cold again after this snap is over but who knows.

      Black Bart’s sounds like quite an experience. I’ll keep it in mind. 🙂



  13. Kevin on February 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Careful there girl, the desert will start calling. Will you have an answer? Check out the Quartzsite Improvement Association, lotsa good folks over there. They have a Gold Show there this weekend.

    Keep having fun, smile, sitback, and enjoy the ride.



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      The answer is just to Be, Kevin.

      Never heard of that association but if I can snag some time away from the rally I’ll go take a peek!



  14. Bill on February 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Awesome photos. Beautiful. Maybe more people need to go out to the middle of nowhere to be in awe of this beautiful earth.



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      To those people who say the desert is barren and lifeless – I can understand that position to an extent but to me it’s beautiful if harsh.



  15. Furry Gnome on February 13, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Been reallyenjoying your last few posts; glad you’re getting to take some time off after your Amazon stint. And that desert scenery is awesome. Geocaching is fun, done a fair bit of that around here too. When I travel I like the earthcaches. Hope you have a good time at the rally. It’s -29C here, and i need to go walk the dog.



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Yikes Gnome. It’s getting into the 80’s (F) here, warmer than my last summer at Yellowstone.



  16. Mary on February 13, 2016 at 6:46 am

    what app do you use for Geocaching? and what is this new hobby of yours? I’ve never heard of it. Thanks and post plenty of pictures from the rally!



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      Chris was the one who actually did the tracking Mary. I’m not sure what app he used, I don’t have an account of my own yet but I might. 🙂

      Poi is a sort of hard to explain. It’s a form of flow dancing done with balls on the end of strings. I’ve really enjoyed it. You can find out more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poi_(performance_art)



  17. Rhonda on February 13, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I enjoy your travelogue so much, Becky. I’ve been following you and others for a few years now and some day, one day, I hope to be away from my armchair travels to seek my own adventures…until then I so appreciate blogs such as yours. Thank you and have a wonderful time at the fiberglass rally…Rhonda



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you for reading Rhonda, although I also hope someday you’ll be able to come out here yourself and experience the adventure first hand too. There’s nothing else like it. 🙂

      You’re welcome and yes I’m enjoying the rally!



  18. Ron on February 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks again for the tour, great photos as always.



    • Becky on February 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      You’re welcome Ron, glad you enjoyed them!



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