Journal – March b

March 10

The weather forecast for today was to be hotter than yesterday so I decided to do my shopping and move on down the road.  I drove about 165 miles to Lordsburg, New Mexico where the weather forecast is for it to be very nice with a high in the low to mid eighties.

I decided to spend the night at an interstate rest stop here in Lordsburg, very nice.  I was able to locate and obtained permission to spend time in a city park where I might spend four or five days.  I found the public library also, where I may spend some time and have Internet access for my computer and tablet.

March 11

I left the rest area at about 11:00 PM last night because of the horrendous road noise from traffic and trains.  I went to the city park and spent the night very peacefully.DSC04824

I cleaned up a little bit of trash around the place.  I checked the water level in my house batteries and checked the air pressure in my tires.  I went for a walk two different times today.

March 12

I added stops on my route going to Benton which will have me driving shorter distances per day and not having to spend so many days sitting in just one place.

I’m still keeping an eye on the weather forecast for Benton, trying to make sure I don’t get their while it is still cold during the night.

March 13

I am normally an early riser and generally just drink one cup of coffee of a morning.  This morning I was up earlier than normal and was finishing the last half of my second cup when the sun finally rose.

I wanted to go to the library to do some work using their wifi so as I headed out I decided to do a little investigation for other nearby camping spots.  I didn’t find anything very appealing.

As I was looking at other BLM Land I noticed a sign for Shakespeare Ghost Town.  I had to investigate so I followed the signs.  I ended up in a parking lot next to a group of buildings that were inside a fence.  A sign was posted with a phone number stating that tours were by appointment and if you didn’t have an appointment call and if they were not busy they might come out and give you a tour.  Needless to say I did not call.  There were only four or five buildings and they did not look to be abandoned.

I went to the Hidalgo Lordsburg public library to use their wifi.  While there are I met and spoke to the librarian about various things including interesting camping spots.  She recommended an area close to Portal, Arizona.  She said the area was unique in that it is a coming together and overlapping of two different mountain ranges and two different deserts that have a wide and sometimes different varieties of plants and animals yet offering some beautiful scenery.  She said that I needed to visit the Chiricahua National Monument and be on the lookout for a chupacabra.  I suggest that you google “chupacabra”.DSC04827

March 14

Well, I had to go back to speak to my librarian friend today.  Her name is Alice, and I’ll tell you more about her shortly.  I wanted to talk to her about the chupacabra because I finally remembered that it is a mythical beast and wondered why she had spoken of it.  I also knew that I wasn’t wearing my hearing aid and may have misheard her.  I had misheard her and she told me that she had been speaking of the Coatimundi.  I’m now the proud owner of a bumper sticker stating that We Brake for Coatimundis.

Now I want to tell you a little more about Alice the librarian.  Alice is very friendly and helpful in her role as a librarian.  She is also an artist and a fellow blogger.  She is a painter and offers original artwork for sale on etsy through her blog. Her blog address is: www.whatercolorit.blogspot.com   Pay her blog a visit and look around.  I think you’ll find some very beautiful things.

I moved about 45 miles further east and am going to spend the night at a rest stop on I-10. This will give me a little shorter drive tomorrow.

March 15

I made an early start this morning as I was already awake.  I got back on interstate 10 and continued east recrossing the continental divide and the Rio Grande river on my way to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  At Las cruces I picked up U.S. 70 to start north and east.

That particular route took me past the White Sands National Monument, so I made a stop and made about a 10 mile round trip driving tour through the dunes.DSC04828

Today I had a natural high. A lot of my driving today was at an elevation greater than 5000 feet which means that I was kind of “high” most of the day.  I even saw snow on the mountains today.

When I arrived at what I had picked for a camping spot I found that it had been through a fire in the last few years.  That did not make for a very good environment for camping so I moved on and found a different spot.  Thanks to the National Forest Service for posting signs along the highway identifying national forest roads.  I ended up still in the Lincoln National Forest but on National Forest road number 102 where I found a camping spot with what I considered good scenery and a much different landscape than what I had been camping in while in AZ.DSC04830

The sun went behind the hill at 6:20 PM which means that I lost my sunlight for solar power much earlier than what I have been used to.

March 16

When I got up this morning it was pretty cold, 38°.  I think that was due primarily to the higher elevation and the fact that the hills around the camp site give me more than an hour less of sunlight.

I decided to move as I am willing to trade for more comfortable at night over prettier scenery.  While on the move I saw a small memorial park for Billy the Kid so I had to stop. As I was reading the postings at the park I saw that Lincoln, NM, the area of the Lincoln County Wars and an area large in the life of Billy the Kid was just 10 Miles off my route and decided to visit.

Lincoln, NM turned out to be a state historic site visited by tourists but populated by normal people. Some of the old buildings have been restored and can be visited. There is a lot of “Old West” history in this small town. It will remain a town of infamy rather than a famous town.DSC04835

I traveled through Roswell, NM today but did not see a flying saucer nor, that I remember, was I abducted by aliens. I stopped at the Roswell Office of the BLM and purchased a map while gathering information about dispersed camping in the area. I got some good information that pointed me to what became my camping spot.

I ended the day on a dirt road about three quarters of a mile from the highway. To get there I turned off the highway ( no road sign), drove through an open gate, drove through a cattle pen area, and beyond to open prairie consisting of lightly vegetated sand dunes where I found a wide space next to the road where I could park without blocking the road.  I am more than 1500’ lower here so I expect warmer temperatures.

March 17

Well, so much for my plans for controlling things, I awoke this morning to 36 degrees. Brrr!  Haha, laughing at myself.

I didn’t do much today. I did take a nice walk, did some reading, and played some solitaire.

March 18

I moved about one and a half miles farther from the pavement into the dunes.  I found a spot close to the top of a ridge line of dunes and set up camp by leveling the van and putting out my awning for shade.DSC04839

I didn’t do much today. I did take a nice walk, did some reading, and played some solitaire.

March 19

Well, I got a haircut today. More to the point, I gave myself a haircut. I am not near as fast as a barber nor am I as good but I do feel better. My haircut might be compared to what you might expect from a blind barber who doesn’t know what he is doing. But, I feel better.  Then of course there was the necessity of a hair wash and shower following the haircut.  I cannot stand cut hair around my collar.

I enjoyed quite a bit of time sitting in the shade of the van with a nice breeze today.  I sat in my lawn chair quietly and was able to observe different insects and lizards going about their daily lives. I haven’t really observed animal and insect life in a long time and I found it interesting, enjoyable, and calming.

Journal – March a

I’m starting this journal on the third day of March.  I intend to try to write a line or so each day. I will try to update on at least a weekly basis.

March 1

I went for a long walk today.  I started uphill and walked the ridgeline as much as possible.  I intersected an old roadway that went to an abandoned mine and followed that roadway part way back to my camp.  As I was cutting across, away from the road, toward my camp I jumped a jackrabbit.  It startled me but that turned to surprise when I saw how large it was.  I think it compared in size to Nancy’s dogs.  It’s ears appeared to be almost as long as it legs were.  It’s certainly presented a larger picture of a jackrabbit then what I remember seeing in Wyoming.DSC04795

 

March 2

I didn’t do much today.  I decided to go to a meeting in Ajo, Arizona.  I found the necessary particulars of the meeting online.

March 3

We had a good meeting last night.  Only traveled 3 miles to make the meeting but it was over BLM roads that are graded yet rough, with twists and turns, up and down and a 15 mph speed limit.  It took about 15 minutes to travel that 3 miles.DSC04796

While I was in town I bought my tobacco that should last me a month.  I found it on sale and bought 10 rolls for $18.00.  That is quite a bit of a savings from my normal purchase price.

I moved camp a couple of miles today to a place a little farther off the road.  It is a much nicer campsite with more privacy but the cell service is very spotty.  My phone indicates that I am only getting 1X with one bar.  I am not able to download much and very slow on upload. I may decide to move.

March 4

I saw an astounding sight last night.  I woke up about midnight and looked out the window and saw that it was very bright outside.  I stepped outside to look at the Moon.  The Moon wasn’t there.  All I saw was stars.  It was quite a sight.  I don’t think I remember ever seeing such a number of bright stars.  I think I could’ve gone for a walk.

Decided not to move until about Tuesday when I will go to town, do my laundry, and go to the library, all in preparation for starting toward Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday.

Didn’t do much today.  Just took a walk, did some reading, and then did  some  personal care items.

March 5

I watched a beautiful sunrise this morning and meditated upon the relationship of man to God.  I would like to discuss that with someone.  I think it could be interesting and enlightening

I had a brown fox or small coyote come through camp this morning.  It made me realize that the size of animals quite often disagrees with my mental image.

I worked on my electric grid today.  I noticed one of my roof rack clamps was loose so I decided to redo the clamps on one side of my van.  I also cleaned the solar panels.  That’s a job that has to be done about every two weeks.

March 6

I didn’t do a whole lot today. I did some reading, some calisthenics and took a walk.

Saw my first hummingbird today.  The creosote bushes are in bloom and saw one hummingbird moving to feed on the blossoms.

March 7

I went to town today in preparation for leaving this area tomorrow.  I spent about 3 hours at the library this morning doing some general internet work such as updating and downloading books to my Kindle app on the computer and my tablet.  I also downloaded books to my Nook reader.  I then went to do my laundry and hit my solar panel on an overhanging awning.  Thank goodness there wasn’t any damage just a loose connection.

I had to redo one of my roof rack clamps.  I guess when I hit that awning it twisted enough to knock that clamp loose.  I hope!

I had to put another hole in my belt today.  That is the third one that I put in since I started losing weight.  I have a question.  What is the best way to gather clothes around your waist when they are too large for you?  I am finding it difficult to keep my pants from falling down around my knees.

March 8

I moved about 125 miles today.  Most of it was through Indian reservation.  I’m now on the east edge of Tucson Arizona on BLM land.  I had originally planned on spending about a week here but it is a very poor camping spot.  It certainly would do for an overnight stay but I wanted more.  I guess I’ll make my run to Wal-Mart, to buy my groceries in the next day or two and then go on down the road.  At least I have good cellular service.DSC04813

March 9

I decided to stay so I moved about 70 feet to a vacated spot next to a tree.  I put up my awning to provide shade for the side of the van.  The people who left the spot left a six gallon water jug, wild bird seed and firewood.  I cleaned and sanitized the water jug so that it looks brand new.  The van still got very hot but I did see a lot of different wild life.DSC04807