Sunday, December 27, 2009

6 months goes by sooo quickly

Howdy folks :)  12/27 is my 6 month mark.. my how time flies sometimes :)

I’ve learned a bit about myself, both good and bad, I’ve learned that keeping myself amused is both easier and harder than I expected it to be.. I’ve learned that the little things matter to me more than suspected.. and that my habits can cause me alot of grief..

I’ve vacillated back and forth so many times when it comes to this lifestyle of us dwellers, do I continue, do I get a RV, do I abandon stealth.

I have discovered that all the things I thought would be there to entertain me and keep me busy, Aren't really of interest for the most part…  big surprise there –Grin-.. planned on learning to draw, maybe do some carving, work on primitive living skills.. all have fallen by the wayside pretty much.  I spend my days hiking/reading/on the computer, and mostly that's enough. 

Since I have the dog, I have yet to really be ON the water in any way.. I’ve waded quite a bit in Roosevelt Lake, spent alot of time wandering the ‘beach’ there, but haven't taken the Kayak out of the truck.  Just don't like the thought of tying Tori up and leaving her at the truck.  Though I have done it a few times when I have unloaded the Cycle and taken trips.  Keep thinking I need to exchange the yak for a canoe, but haven't been willing to spend the money yet, then deal with the bs of selling the yak..

and speaking of selling…  one of these days will let the Motorcycle go, but again, I consider it a pain to go through all the selling stuff to do so, so it still travels with me.  I can see it being useful later though, so its not a complete waste of space.

Overall, I’m reasonably content.. I dont know why I thought simply changing the location of my life would fix all my issues with myself –Grin-.. I’ve learned it doesnt fix much at all, but does remove alot of the complications that I felt were weighing me down.  Was it the right choice?  the jury is still out, but I cant imagine going back to a more conventional life at this point. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Frustration with the truck...

was having a good day today, doing laundry, took myself out to lunch, taking it easy in town... Then, on the way to find a parking spot for the night, truck stalled... restarted it.. ran fine.. going down the road at a light.. stalled... restarted.. Stalled.. restarted... got the heck off the road! if I kept a bit of pressure on the gas pedal, it would keep running.. but of course the service engine light came back on with the stalling.. so it will be going back to the shop for the next installment of "lets see if we can break the budget!"... I hope the damage isnt going to be too bad on the wallet.. feeling somewhat disheartened at the moment, really hate dealing with the downsides of life (dont we all though?)

so wish me luck folks

Added after... simple sensor fix on the truck, it's running great and with more power than it's had while I've owned it.. quite happy with the fix :)

folks there at "Arizona Mobile Auto Repair" treated me great, letting me stay on property after hours, ran me out power, showed me where the hose is to refill my water, even gave me the gate keys if I wanted to go somewhere during the night.. Highly recommend them. they are having a pot luck on friday for office staff, and they invited me to come hang with them as well.. might just do that :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The varied regions of Arizona

Evening folks, just a quick note and a couple pictures for you to enjoy.  I’ve been on the road almost 6 months now, and have seen many areas of the state that I didnt have active memories of from the past.. let me tell ya.. I love this state <grin>  in a way, it’s almost everything I could ask for in a place… now if only acreage was cheap enough for me to afford it!! <grin>

Tonight's pictures are of the Verde River, North of the town of Fountain Hills..  No signs up saying I cant camp here, no signs up saying there is a limit to the amount of time I can spend here, though it’s close to the Phx metro area.  Probably during the summer it is an issue, but I'm almost alone here, and no other campers in sight (only one here, a 5th wheel parked about a half mile away)

These are pics of my campsite, and of the Verde River which is 50 feet from the truck..  have a herd of wild horses that come to the river just downstream of me to water a couple times a day, can hear them when they are walking in the water.  it’s peaceful, and very beautiful!  is on my highly recommended list.

IMG_0824 IMG_0826

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ahhh.. to have Unlimited Power!! -Grin-

Here I sit.. in the parking lot of the garage that I took the truck into for it's checkup on the stalling issue.. been a long day here let me tell ya!!

When they hooked the truck up to the computer, they had 6 different red codes on the machine.. and that was only the beginning.. they had to troubleshoot all of them to see what actual issues were, or if it was simply a cascading failure from one item to the next.. 2 things became apparent, One, they found some frayed wires on the Cam Sensor, so they replaced those wires.. 2, there was an exhaust leak.. which affects the operating temp of the diesel engine, and would contribute to it stalling when the temps are colder.. took many hours to get things worked out, and the boss even stayed late after closing to finish buttoning up my truck. But, also because of the time involved, they said stay here in the locked lot, ran a power cord out to me, showed me where the water faucet is, and said sleep well :) so I cant complain to much.

will do a good run in the morning to make sure the trucks all set, but it sounds much better than it did when I brought it in.. but for tonight.. it's catch up on email time!! first time Ive had full power in a week. then probably a movie or two.. sleep?? I can sleep anytime! -Grin-

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Still out here :)

but not on much.. I'm playing "City Homeless person" this week... and let me tell ya, I much prefer being out in the boonies. But wanted to be in town for Turkey day with friends and family, and while I have been in town the truck has developed issues so waiting to get with a mechanic before I head back out. Seems like it's not getting fuel and has stalled a couple times on me, hopefully nothing more than a fuel filter or something similar.. but will find out. After I find out what that is gonna cost me, would like to replace 2 tires, so will check on that cost as well. then I should be good for another year! (or so I hope)

since I'm a townie.. cant very well pull into a park and set up camp, so computer time is limited. Today, broke out my kites for the first time in over a decade.. wasnt enough of a wind to keep them in sustained flight, but had fun with them for an hour or so :)

Hope everyone is smiling!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Learned more about me again :)

Not really a suprise though, but more of a confirmation..

Yesterday, I moved into the Town of Apache Junction…  did laundry, slept in a strip mall area that for the most part was empty shops..  and it was STILL to loud for me to get much sleep, and it was still warm enough at night that it was hot in the truck..  Today, Did some running around, got the truck through Emissions testing, got it registered for the next year, picked up an annual pass for NFS, BLM, USNP, and got a “Tonto Pass” for the tonto national forest areas that require special pass access.

After that running around, made it to the store for groceries.. by that time, I didnt care in the least about trying to find a place to camp for the night in amongst all those people!!  so I’m back out in the desert :)

so, things I learned?  1)  if I am going to stay in an area with people around, I MUST put in a sunroof/sliding windows/vent so that i can get the hot air out of the truck when I am unable to just leave the doors open, and 2)  I really really prefer the quiet and remoteness of the woods/desert than being even in a town.. sure it’s nice to have the water and shops/restaurants close, but I am so not used to dealing with traffic anymore.. my idea of a crowd is a large pack of coyote!! –Grin-

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Revisiting an old friend? –Grin-

Today, I finally broke down and went into “town”..  in the town of Apache Junction, where I had the honor of spending some of my childhood time..  We moved when I was about 8? (help mom!)  but my memories prior to that were of Apache Junction and our time in the mountains east of there.  The Mighty Supersition Mountains.

Anyway.. while growing up, I suffered exactly 1 broken bone.. it was a finger.. and yes, I broke it by sticking it where it didnt belong!!  

Today, I returned to the scene of the crime, the coin operated laundry in the AJ plaza..  I asked the woman working here and she confirmed that it’s been here for decades, so this is the place where I suffered my most sever medical issue!!

Amazing what memories come back :) 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The View from the Edge (Devils Canyon)

just thought I’d share a couple pics from the area around the Oak Flats Campground between Globe and Superior Az.  this is a canyon to the east of the campground called Devils Canyon, would be great to see after a heavy rainy season!


I really liked the area, if the temps hadnt dropped into the teens at night, would have stayed.. I’ll go back :)

Catching up with a past comment.

While ago, I mentioned that on one of my hikes I was snacking on cactus.. I went back through the same areas and since someone mentioned they didnt know that was possible, took a couple pictures of what I had found :)  so this is a catch up post on that comment, first pic is the cactus.. maybe 3” high, second is the fruit.. and it’s OOoo so good ;)

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Taking a moment to appreciate the beauty :)


sometimes, the view out my ‘window’ is awesome….

a beautiful ending to a good day :)

Breaking my routine..

Today, I went and did something that for years I have never really let myself do.. While running errands, I said screw it, and stopped at a sit down restaurant and got lunch!! a normal run of the mill occasion for some folks, but I would always do the fast food thing, even if I wanted something different.. a combination of hmmm.. ok, forget the combination thing.. it was all about my discomfort with dealing with people.. it was easier to just sit in my car and eat on the road, then to potentially have to talk to a stranger!! dang Agoraphobia!! but today, after running to the bank and a couple other stops on the bike, decided I needed to spoil myself.. the first dinner out (so to speak) since I hit the road in June.

went to a little local Chinese bistro, and I am so full, and content that just had to share it with ya! :) I think I'll let myself do that more often!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh Oh…. -Grin-

Just has a visit from the local Law enforcement professionals…  Seems like the area I’m parked has also been known for hiding Illegal Aliens now and then, so they were coming to check me out!!

He was quite pleasant, and professional, we talked for a few then he headed back out after letting me know what's happened out here in the past and to keep an eye out on things :)  Didn't even let me know I would have to move anytime soon.. Technically, after checking on the State website, I have to have a permit to be here, and limited to 14 days a YEAR with the permit.. luckily, he didn't ask :)

Will be unloading the bike today, have some errands to run in town and easier on the bike than taking the truck in.  Highs in the 90’s the next couple days, so will run in the morning so the animals have the truck open and cooler in the afternoons..  A Friend planning on visiting tomorrow, so will hang out for a few and have someone to BS with ;)

Keep smiling everyone!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fear, and the lessening thereof

Good morning my friends :)

got to thinking last night, sometimes about 2am, when I wasn't sleeping..  That alot of my journey here is about dealing with my fears.. instead of living comfortably and conforming, I have set myself up against those things in life that have kept me compliant and a good citizen..  3 stand out in my mind at the moment.

1) Fear of Humans..  in this context (vandwelling) my concern has been Illegal Immigrants. No, I’m not a racist, I have nothing whatsoever against latino/latina members of society. What I have is a history of living in Az, and local media that would constantly be talking about the Illegals coming over the border.  My mind goes to the next step.. they are coming over on foot.. I’m parked out in the middle of nowhere alone, so they take truck and leave me on foot, or beyond caring about the truck anymore..  Well, so far on my road I have not had the pleasure of running into anyone that has threatened me, nor made me feel at all uncomfortable.  Just folks going about thier own lives.. Now that the winter is here, and I’m moving south a bit, perhaps I will run into those that are coming here.. I hope they will treat me with the same consideration that I will treat them with.

2) Fear of Animals..  this one to me seems kinda strange, but it’s true nonetheless.  I have worried about the wild animals that we humans are pushing out of their own territory.. I had visions of sleeping somewhere and a bear showing up at the back door with vengeance in mind! –Grin-  Well, so far I’ve run across 2 Rattlesnakes, 1 Bear, 2 Skunks, 4 White Tailed Deer, 6 Mule Deer, 6 Elk, 7 Javalina, Various squirrels, birds, crawling creatures.. Oh.. and at least 2 mice :)    Of them all, Only the Mice seemed to want to make themselves at home in my space.. and the ONLY creatures that I’ve been threatened by are Ants!!  some of the little buggers bite before even getting to know you!  So that fear is going away.. still have a latent fear of running across a Mountain Lion one day, but will cross that when it happens.

3) Fear of Winter…  this has been a biggie.. as a desert rat for many years now, the cold weather just rocks my world!!  if it drops below 50 I start digging out my winter parkas!  so reading in the Vandweller group last winter about how everyone was surviving was something I avidly did.  I have been very worried that when the cold temps hit I would be absolutely miserable and unable to function!!  well, At this point I think I can put that one away too.. Temperature got down to 15 degrees outside last night, coldest night I’ve been in so far, and interior of the truck dropped to 35.  While it wasnt the most comfortable night, I think with planning and some additional clothing (I really have NO cold weather clothes) it will be doable.. it’s strange to see not only my breath but the breaths of both the cat and dog showing steam, but they seem fine as well :)  And I dont expect to regularly be in temps like this.  down in the Phx area it’s 30 degrees warmer, but at 4k feet, 60 miles out of town I get the more extreme.  Tonight it’s supposed to be warmer and things going back to normal, but glad I got the chance to experience it :)  Now it’s a fear that can be placed on the shelf for me!!

Hope everyone has a great day!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Road again...

Howdy folks :) Moved yesterday and today, now at the Oak Flat Campground between Superior and Globe, Az. stopped at a Casino yesterday outside of Globe to catch a shower.. but it was broken! so will be doing the heated water tonight! Winds are crankin through the place today, weather says an Alaskan front is moving in and temps are going to fall big time.. should be an interesting few days :)

still early afternoon, but the truck is already rockin in the wind, advisory is in effect until 9pm. Am glad to be here though, and looks to be some good walking for me in the next few days.

My next move will probably put me back into Superior, or perhaps the desert between Superior and Apache Junction. Looking to make myself somewhat available for turkey day for the family :) then will figure out where I'm goin next.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

hmm.. where to go next....

howdy folks ;) listening to the weather forcast tonight, gonna be getting cold this next week.. so the question is.. where next?? had been thinking about the area south of Safford called Hot Well Dunes, but some of the nights are forcast in the 30s for the upcoming week.. then mentioned in an Email being in the Superior area before too long... checked weather there, nights in the 50's.. with only 1 in the high 40s.. so might just head that way and be closer to civilization for a while.. wonder how long I could be in place before being asked to move

certainly is an area I wouldnt mind visiting for a spell.

will keep everyone posted! was mid 70's here today, sun is now down and starting to feel a bit chill, so will be shutting up the truck :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

A fine evening :)

Good evening my friends, just taking a moment to share a good vibe tonight!

Just got back from a run into Safford Az on the Motorcycle, the first time I’ve had it unloaded in 2 months..  left as the sun went down, and back about 2 hours later. 

I had forgotten just how wonderful an Arizona night can be.. especially out here in the boonies, no street lights for 20 miles in any direction, no nearby city to be polluting the sky (light pollution), I can see stars that the folks down in Phx couldnt imagine..  tis a beautiful night, still around 75 degrees outside.

times like this, I really like my life :)

On another note, a friend is coming to visit me at my camp this week.  A young lady who thinks she would like nothing better than to travel with me on my adventures.. Lets call her “Sprite”, she is uncomfortable with driving, so a friend is going to bring her up for a few hours to celebrate her Bday :)  I’m honored that her wish is to spend it with me. :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Night!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

High Winds and Little sleep..

Morning folks ;)

let me tell ya, my sleep tank is running on empty today! past couple nights have been really windy here and the truck spends all night rockin from side to side.. I can understand that infants like that at times, but it's doing nothing for me!!

last night the gusts in the area officially got to 32, but I'm thinking I had some bigger than that. my shade tarp on the back of the truck even ripped out a couple of grommets that hold it in place. Additionally, it was still 80 in the truck when I called it a night, so on the warm side for me.

Supposed to cool down during this coming week, will be glad of that. I miss sleep! -grin-

Hope that everyone is smiling today! getting ready to hit the trail, on my map it shows the (Site) designation of what I believe to be Camp Tollgate, an old Calvary camp nearby, so will put in a couple miles hiking there today to see if there are any kind of remnants to take pictures of :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a realization

-Grin- today, while up on top of one of the rock outcroppings in the area, it dawned on me that I really prefer the desert in alot of ways to the forest.. Love the trees and the green in the woods, love the different wildlife I'm used to seeing, but theres an openness to the desert that calls to me, From the top of the rock I was on, I could see the observatory on top of Mt Grahme, probably 70 miles from here.. I could see the town of Safford that I left yesterday, easily 20 miles away from where I am.. I guess I've just spent so much time being able to view the horizon that I feel confined when I cant anymore.. I'm sure I'll split my time between desert and woods, but there is something special in the desert for me :) Just sharing the thought.

Sunday Mornin :)

Howdy folks, just sharing good vibes with everyone today, got up nice and early (sunup) and took a good few mile walk.. at least that was the measured distance.. there was an awful lot of up and down going on as well!! went up the mountain that is in the pic in the preceding post, then went along the mountain face from the right side of the pic, to out of frame on the left. There is actually a ranch on the backside of that mountain!! Was a great walk, even found a few cactus that were fruiting and had a snack on the trail, good stuff! Hope everyone is happy today!

Had to come back and add this.. while up crawling among the rocks, Came across a 3.5 foot Black Tailed Rattlesnake :) Tori behaved well and came to me when called, and we let it go it's way unmolested.. Especially after having dealt with Rodents this summer, I appreciate snakes.. I've always kinda liked em, but now I consider them friends :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The quest for Rocks!

Evening folks ;)  moved again this week, now in the “Black Hills Rockhound Area”  following the desire I’ve had for years to find Fire Agates..  if you would like to see “Potential” finds, check out  so far (my first day) I’m finding browns/reds/oranges.. might have one that is a deep blue/black, havent done any washing yet of the stones.. 

Additionally, is a beautifull area of desert, and looking forward to hiking it a bit.  2 miles off the main highway and a much easier road in that my last stop at Roosevelt lake.  As I was sitting this afternoon, looking at the mountains in the front of the truck, here is what I got to see.  Tomorrow, I go up at least the middle one.. are some caves on the formation on the right side that I also would like to check out.. will have to see how energetic I get!!

Hope that everyone is smiling today!!!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tori's Learning to love water :)

Sunset over Roosevelt Lake

Tonight as planned, went down to the water to enjoy the end of the day, calm, no wind, and was in time to get the sunset near 4 peaks :)  great way to end the day.  Wasn't able to get any good shots of the moon and reflections, it’s already too high in the sky, but do have one I like :)IMG_0758 


Waiting impatiently for dusk

full sun today, very hot.. so hiding in the shade.. but I’m waiting for twilight.. the moon should be wonderful and bright tonight, thinking I’m going to be headed to the water as it gets here, maybe I’ll be able to get a good picture or two of the reflections :)   will be a break in routine for me, usually I head in the house as the sun goes down, for some reason today, I think I will be out later :)

Called in some smoke earlier out in the desert, an area is having a prescribed burn that I hadn't seen listed on the web site, better safe than sorry.  Got me thinking what I would do if a fire started on my access road to this place..  would simply drive down to the water here, no way I would try to drive out past it, and have food enough for weeks and weeks :)

so far, haven't felt the desire to break out the fishing gear, though have seen folks out in boats just off the coast where I am, I'm content for now simply to be here.

Note to Self, Check trails FIRST

Morning folks, not a cloud in the sky, only mid 70’s so far, but wont be surprised if I hit 90 again today.  Got up bright and early this morning, carried a couple 5 gallon pails down to the lake to carry back so I would have wash water for dishes, clothes if I get ambitious and water for the pets, let me tell ya.. carrying back a couple pails of water from 1.1 miles away is a definite workout!!  but got it done.. then later in the morning.. took the gps out and went down another track..  low and behold, Not only is the road in fairly descent condition.. possibly good enough to take the truck down, the water is only .6 miles away…  so got an extra workout this morning that I didn't know was optional!

Probably will stay here at the moment, since technically I cant be here more than 14 days, at the end of it will probably drive down closer to the lake for the remainder of my water supply.. though with supplementing from the lake I think I can go a long way.. it looks fresh and clean, and feels wonderful during the heat of the day!  I do have plenty of LP bottles if I decide I need to boil some, but i have a feeling it is fine.. will let ya know if I test that assumption!

Mornings walk found a 3 foot carp that something had caught and gutted, don't know if it was an eagle or some land based animal, but other than the innards and eyes it was pretty much intact.  Also saw a blue heron, once Tori saw it he decided to vacate our stretch of the beach for a time :)

Keep smiling today!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The silence of the desert

and no, thats not a take off on the silence of the lambs -Grin-

Just got back from a walk to the lake, wasnt sure how close my campsite was to the water, turns out if I follow the road I parked next to, it's 1.13 miles to my feet in the water! and I think I can live with that.. walk down every morning, maybe if I'm feeling energetic, carry some back, but mostly just try to relax and let my hair down.. so to speak -Grin-

this afternoon it has been really windy, the sun just sank behind 4 peaks(local mountain) and the wind seems to be fading as well. Nice 3/4 moon up in the sky and the only sound I hear is the lingering wind.. no motors, no boats on the lake, no aircraft flying overhead.. think it's gonna be a good night :)

Didnt take the camera down to the lake this time, but will fix that and try to get a couple photos that I like to share with ya :)

Be well my friends!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

What a view :)

IMG_0734 Stitch this is what I see when I climb the rock behind my camp.. went up today midday, probably mid 90’s in temp, but worth it.  I just love the openness of the desert, cant wait for it to drop another 20 degrees so I can head farther south!!

Is a panoramic shot looking to the east rotating northwest :) covering about 180 degrees.. might go to the top of the peak that is further to the left side of the pic tomorrow.  depends on my energy level!  running lower on water, so not exerting myself to much till I refill :)

A gentleman from a local ranch came by yesterday with a friend and gave me directions to his ranch, said to pull in anytime to refill my water.  Nice guy :)

currently 94 in the truck, the outside sensor is in the direct sun so I cant trust it, was reading 128 earlier, I’ve got it covered with a rag now and it’s down to 114, but thats still too high.  I’m guessin high 90’s today, bearable :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Meeting by Chance

Happy Friday folks :)

parked off of US 60, between Seneca And Globe Az, just thought I’d share a contact.  Was walking Tori in the morning, and while walking past an old Corral that wasn't being used I hear a voice.. turned around and see a dog headed my way, raise my eyes a bit and the owner was coming as well :) 

Turns out I was fortunate enough to meet a gentlemen that has been out living on wheels for many years in Arizona.  He and Amber (his furry companion) joined Tori and I on our morning walk, and we spent the next hour, hour and a half walking and talking about things in our lives.  He was kind enough to share a few areas he had wintered in within the state, ideas for foraging and bragged about his acorn flour that he uses for his pan bread –Grin-  Was a great morning.  showed each other our rigs, he’s got himself and old dodge pickup and camper shell that is laid out really well for he and his pup.  runs minimal solar and seems content overall, now and then will pick up work for a while, but lives and thrives out in the boonies.

Shared the information on the vandweller group on yahoo, and the info on Twodogs that has been vandwelling for 23 years near the Bradshaw mountains not too far from here.  we exchanged emails and though he doesnt check his often, I have a feeling we will keep in touch.

Later in the afternoon, he brought me up a CD of his music, now and then he has toured clubs to make some spending cash, haven't listened to it yet, but am honored that he would share it with me.

So, in case you check here, Hi Howard!!!  Hope you and Amber are doing well today!  will watch for you along the shores of Roosevelt this winter and in the future!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is it destiny?

last time I came up to this area, discovered I had picked up a rodent…  I thought it had got in at my last stopping location.. I have decided as of tonight that I was mistaken.. I’ve been here a total of 14 hours and I again have a mouse in the truck.. this one isnt as stealthy as the last, I was able to see him pretty quickly.  Live trap is down, will break out the kill traps in the morning if he doesnt go to the live one.. I really would rather not kill him, but cant have him eating up my supplies at random.

I’m telling ya, they wasted no time coming to dinner!! although hopefully the ‘they’ is an exageration.. have only heard 1 moving around and crossing my fingers that it’s only 1 that has moved in!! 

Weather update.. 330 in the am, 34 degrees out, probably will break the freezing point :)  53 in the truck when I decided it was time to get up since I wasnt sleeping anyway..

Hope your smiling today!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My first Freeze warning!!

and here I was worried about low temps –Grin-  yet today i find myself changing camp and going higher than I was..  wonder just how low it will get tonight…  but I’m no longer particularly concerned about it.  Have a few days up here, then to Fort Apache for the Trail event.  then I’m thinking about heading over to the Young to Globe highway, should be more moderate temperatures there and more pleasant nights..  will let ya know!!  I’m sure I wont freeze tonight but i’m looking forward to seeing how warm the truck stays.


flagstaff, AZ
10:26 am MST, Tue., Sep. 22, 2009







No Additional Weather Alerts for McNary, AZ

[State alerts for AZ]


Friday, September 18, 2009

pic of the day?? heck.. probably of the month

How'd ya like to meet this beauty in the woods at night??

found this on my walk yesterday, while in the past I have found skeletal remains of various animals, I have never found a skull in such good shape, and one that was so impressive!!

I "think' that it's from a Javelina, a desert variant of a wild boar :) Certainly makes me glad I carry a good blade when I hit the woods, not that it still wouldnt hurt me if it took it to mind, but at least I could fight back a bit if pressed.

Ok, ignore this for now, having issues uploading photos... but I'll get there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another fear proved groundless :)

Dropped into the mid 30's last night, truck stayed about 20 degrees warmer than it was outside.. so I'm thinking winter will not be a big deal at all. I had left the stove set up on the desk inside, just in case I needed to fire it up and take the edge off the cold, but it was no big deal at all :)

another concern laid to rest!!

What a difference a day makes -Grin-

moved today.. hit the 14 day limit and decided not to push it since I had both fire crews, and forest rangers stop by to talk while I was camped at the last place..  Both stopped by obstensibly to look at the truck.  I have had a few folks express interest in it and the conversion (though minor) that I've done so far.. I think it's that they never would have considered such a thing!!

but today moved back to the west a bit.  North of Heber Az, in an area of the forest I have never been in before.. it's totally different from the forest near Bear Canyon Lake where I was 2 months ago.  and I think I like it better.. Not as many pines, alot of Juniper trees and pinon pines.. totally different look and feel to the woods.  compared to the area I was just in which was all pines, you cant see as far here..  hmm.. just had a realization.. you cant see as far here along the ground, but you can see the sky much better.. and being from the desert, I am used to being able to see for miles... I wonder if thats what is making me prefer it... something to consider :)  was cloudy when I got here and set up, and got some rain shortly thereafter, will see if it's warmer tonight.  Truck is nice and toasty, made some soup and top ramen after I had closed up for the night so it's comfortable here :)

will check in again tomorrow!  Hope everyone is smiling today!!

Forest road 228 5 miles north of Heber Az

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thinking of the Future

and wondering how far in advance I need to start making contacts for hosting this summer.. I pretty much have decided that I'll stay free and easy through the winter (though still debating that in part) but I figure this summer I will want to be stationary. The gentlemen at Bear Canyon Lake informally offered me a position up there next summer, and that would be beautiful, but it's fully primitive. Which would mean once every 2 weeks would need to run the truck out to refill on water, empty trash and black water. that's not too bad, but I would prefer to be someplace that had water/sewer/power right there.. and as a bonus, perhaps small pay... so I'm unsure what I'm doing at this point.

I go back and forth on hosting this winter simply because a part of me feels I shouldn't tie myself to any location yet, but to have a spot with power for the winter, hence heating... that's very tempting for me. The 40 degree nights I'm already encountering up here in the high country are letting me know that warmth can be a nice thing, but no way my battery can handle powering a heater at the moment, I can barely keep up with my electrical demands as is.. so I keep mulling it over.

For next Summer, I have feelers out for some spots in Utah that have potential, and for the spring I'm hoping to get involved in the Bald Eagle nesting monitoring that occurs here in Az during the spring. would be able to be out in a remote location, contributing to the cause of preservation, and getting paid for it! -Grin-

We shall see :) just sharing thoughts!

Enjoying the sounds of life

this morning.. Dark.. before the sky started lightening for dawn, I heard an elk bugling :) in the depth of the night, the sudden change in sound was wonderful.. there were no other noises, no wind, no sound of distant traffic.. just the lilting sound of the elks cry rising and falling off.. was repeated a couple times then silence again. I am looking forward to hearing more of then, it suited the feel of the night so well.

todays windy so far, only 10am, but have a feeling it will stay this way. Past couple days there has been a high wind and the clouds have just be racing by overhead.. feels like it's coming to earth now. in a day or so I'll break camp here and move to the west a bit for a family gathering. After that will probably head into Payson to see if I can find a charge controller without going to Flagstaff, then back to this area for the Trail Maintenance event at Fort Apache at the end of the month.

it's a good day :)

By request :) my travelling companion

out on a walk today and started playing with the camera :) so actually managed to get a pic of Tori for those who have expressed curiosity :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Afternoon Storm :)

hadnt played with this before, but imbedding a video of todays hail :) have had a few hailstorms this week but never had the camera handy :) when the sound of hail grows quiet towards the end, it's because there was a massive boom of thunder, but the mike on the camera didnt do it justice at all!! I was so disappointed :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ok.. what are the odds...

walking through the woods today, minding my own business.... all at once.. right next to me I hear a CRACK!! dang tree fell over! not 5' from me.. wasn't a huge one, only about 30 ft in height or so.. talk about kicking your heart in gear -grin-

Monday, August 31, 2009

a song takes on new resonance today

For the first time since I hit the road, I broke out the soundtrack to "Into the Wild"  one of the songs by Eddie Vedder took on a whole new meaning today in light of my earlier posts about my old life..  to quote

"Have no fear for when I'm alone
I'll be better off  Than I was before
I've got this life, I'll be around to grow
Who I was before, I can not recall

Long nights allow me to feel I'm falling, I am falling
The Lights go out
Let me feel I'm falling, I am falling
Safely to the ground..

Ill take this soul that's inside me now
Like a brand new friend I'll forever know
I've got this life and the will to show
I will always be better than before

Long nights allow me to feel I'm falling, I am falling
The Lights go out
Let me feel I'm falling, I am falling
Safely to the ground..."

now it means something more to me in life.. and it fits my life :)

Forest road 117, Between Sunrise Lake, and Greer, Apache National Forest, Az

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm beginning to wonder

How on earth I told people in the past that i lived in Arizona... I didn't.. I have BEEN in Arizona.. but I haven't really lived in it.. I now know the difference.. NOW I live in Arizona.. and sleep in a truck -Grin- I have seen more of this state on a personal level in the past 10 weeks than in the decades preceding it, and part of me just doesn't understand how I could have done that. Granted, the life I lived was different then.. but now that I'm out here, now that I can see just how much the world has to offer.. how did I survive??

today took a few hours for a nice walk through the woods.. then through the field beyond them, then to a little spring fed creek so Tori could play in the water, then back.. probably 5 miles or so total, purely a walk with nature that was varied and beautiful every step of the way.. I cant imagine ever going back to my old life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New High, and a New low...

Morning world! first the Low.. it's on the mundane side -Grin- got down to 42 outside last night.. but since I had the doors closed, stayed about 60 inside the truck!! bodes well for the upcoming winter. Now, sitting outside and enjoying the day, still in a sweatshirt. Used my new percolating coffee pot for the first time, I didnt have enough water in it, so it didn't perk as much as I need it to for good strong coffee.. lesson learned :)

Now for the "High" last night, about 300am, could hear the sound of an Owl not far from the truck.. to the best of my recollection, that is the FIRST time I've heard one in the wild.. other than that its just been on tv shows, or perhaps radio programs.. he stayed in the area for about a half hour, and I couldn't help just listening and smiling.. it's a little thing for some folks, but it made my spirit smile. And this morning, I think I saw him fly through the trees near me before it got to bright out.. looked like an Owl anyway, so I'm stickin with that!

Getting used to how my camp is set up, where I get sun and where I dont for the Solar Panels. Got some clouds over me now, and hoping they drop a little water for me. When I moved camp I dumped all my surplus rainwater there, now I could use a restock!!

Hope everyone is smiling and happy today!

And Congrats Sheri!!! -Grin-

Friday, August 28, 2009

It just keeps getting better -Grin-

Today, had passed the 14 day limit in my spot in Show Low, and needed pet food anyway, so it was a shopping day.. Turned out to be expensive in the stores!! but thats a different story.. teach me to make a list and follow it.. Anyway.. I moved location..

I had been thinking about moving to an area with water, but I still haven't gotten around to that. I have moved into higher forest though than Show Low Az is. I'm currently on Forest road 117, just off of Highway 260, Between Sunrise Lake, and Greer Az. Pulled off the road on a whim, and started down the forest road just to see what the area was like.. Of course there are bear signs up, but this area is also signed as an active Wolf recovery area, so hopefully I will be able to see some creatures in my walks.. as to the area, I pulled off into one of the first drivable spots off the road to set up camp, and am falling in love with this place already.. compared to where I have been, this is far more wild in appearance, and the trees are huge.. Just a beautiful place :) guess I wont move again too soon. have 14 gallons of water left, gonna stretch it out as far as I can!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Could I have found the next step??

received an email update today from REI for their Events calendar. Listed on it was a Trail making event in Fort Apache, just a bit down the road from where I am now.. it's not till the end of September, but I plan on being in this general area for a bit now anyway.. so I pulled the trigger and volunteered to help for the weekend :)

that got me thinking and revisiting alot of old links I have had.. all oriented on Arizona outdoor activities and conservation... most of the events are in warmer parts of the state, but as I work down in the late fall/early winter, who knows.. I might find plenty to give me direction in life and find things that make my spirit soar again :) Wish me luck!

currently scheduled event

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Silence Lingers

Sorry I've been so quiet lately folks.. just feeling really mellow and introspective.

Been thinking of what comes next for me, where my road needs to lead in order for me to be content long term. so far, no real answers.. have considered applying for a park host position with the National Forest System, there are a few that look interesting to me, all volunteer. but a part of me thinks it's still to early..

Tentatively I'm looking at being at the Slabs in February, and Quartzite in January.. if I take a hosting position over the winter, that could conflict a bit and I don't want to get into that whole scheduling thing yet.. so I think I'll hold off till then.

Being tentatively offered a position hosting next summer at Bear Canyon lake, I think I will wait till then to commit myself to anything and just flow for now.

Been sitting in the same spot for a couple weeks now, feel no desire to move, but need to pick up Cat food tomorrow or the day after, so will probably move camp then, maybe not very far though, still deciding :) I like being close enough to town that i can walk in for a couple hours and pick something up if needed rather than move the truck. Though if I go where I'm considering, I probably will find a place to unload the bike and then I would be mobile :) I don't know, but will update when I have a plan!!

for now.. sun is going down, can hear the frogs and crickets starting their nightly chorus, and I feel at peace :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I found peace today :)

today was a rainy and grey day, about 2, I got in the mood for coffee and made a fire to put the pot on.. it started to lightly rain and a sense of contentment settled over me.

I recalled something that twokniveskate had said to me when I said I was being lazy, she said there is no lazy.. things happen as they need to, and if nothing is wrong with just being stopped for a time.

today, it clicked.. I was here in the world, there was no expectations, no demands on my time, no requirements to be productive.. just to be in the world and a part of the forest is all that I can ask... perhaps I'm getting this internally now and the few remaining worries I have will fade away as well.

Thanks Kate for propping me up back then, took me a bit, but now I understand exactly what you meant!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And the Bar is OPEN!!!

had conceived an idea to modify the layout of the truck, and incorporate a vent on the side of the truck in part of the interior layout... Well, on my Bday weekend, I went down to the folks cabin, and between Tony and I, we managed to turn a board into a table, and unorganized space into a kitchen area thats accessible from the outside of the truck :)

and of course we had to inaugurate it with happy hour!!

I'm very please with how it turned out, and it's going to be nothing but an assett as time goes on. going to make my camp life much easier!!

of course, after I left the cabin and found my next boondocking location (where I now sit) I'm backed into vegetation so tightly that that side of the truck isnt very workable :) but will still be easier to get to my cooking gear than climbing into the truck! Thanks Mom & Dad!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

OOo Nooo.. Mosquitoes!!!

for the first time since I've hit the road, I found the little buggers!!  so I'm in the truck, 8pm, citronella candle burning and all screens on the windows :) 

had to move today from Bear Canyon Lake, hit the 14 day limit.. didnt want to risk annoying the rangers so I moved out!!   now, just a little off Highway 260, on forest road 171.  nice and open campsite, about 10 miles from the cabin :)

when I got in place, called the folks, let them know where I was.. and behold!!  about 4?  I see a truck turning into my camp...  since I didnt make it down there today for happy hour, they brought it to me :)  sat and had wine and snacks with mom and dad, and enjoyed good conversation :)  was fun, and so glad they took the time to come up.  I might be able to get used to this family stuff!!

will head down to the cabin probably on friday for the weekend get together.

Forest road 171, Apache Sitgreaves National forest, E of Christopher Creek, Az

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cultural difference? or is it just me?

Long night.. did my usual, got to bed shortly after dark, spent a few minutes outside appreciating the moon and stars, then went in to read.. probably was sleeping about 10.. About midnight, I get woke up by what sounds to be a party in the nearby camping area.. I lay there and try to go back to sleep, but kids are running around screaming, folks talking at full volume, after about a half hour I give up and open the door of the truck to see what the heck is going on..

well.. the circus came to town!! and parked right next to me!! 4 trucks, 8 tents had been put up, and the closest truck to me was 3 feet from the "No Camping" sign...

Ok.. granted, the English language is hard to read if it's not your native tongue.. but you would think at at 1am, you would realize that there are folks trying to sleep and at least try to keep the noise level down?? thats where my question comes in.. I cant imagine being that inconsiderate of others, hell, if I take a walk with Tori at 6am, and have to walk by a campsite, I try to walk extra quiet! just because I'm up doesnt mean others have to be..

well, I was so irked that I walked over to a young lady at that nearest truck and said "Did you manage to not see this sign?" her mouth drops open and says Ohh.. no.. we didnt see it.. so she gets them all together, for all I know calling me various names for messing up the night, and I explain to yet another camper the policies of this place that are well posted on signs throughout the campground.. all sites are numbered, must be within 50 feet of a camp here sign, no more than 10 people per site, and that the rangers are writing tickets.. well, they are less than thrilled, but of course you cant tell that by the kids, who are still running around and screaming.. I can see that a couple other nearby sites still have folks up and keep looking over as well.. one truck takes off with highbeams on, and spotlights in the back, shining into every campsite as they look for alternatives.. they eventually find one somewhere and start to pack up.. it took to about 3am before there was actually quiet in my neck of the woods again, but by then I was so uptight that I probably laid there for an hour before I could sleep again.. I have a feeling on the weekends I am going to tend to boondock more in the future..

get up this morning, and of course they left the area they had put up the circus tents totally trashed.. so first job this morning is to clean up after folks that just have no consideration... I just dont get it

if this is classified as a rant, so be it.. but I'm still irked -grin-

Friday, July 31, 2009

A good Friday :)

JUumped on the Cycle this morning and went in to Woods Canyon Lake, my word, already at 10am that place was a madhouse.. no parking space for a normal vehicle, so just pulled the bike along a no parking painted zone.. it fit well. Got my Fishing license, John will be coming up with weekend and will see if we can manage to get dinner a time or two :)

Storm in the area now, and it's brought a nice breeze, hopefully it will rain and put some of the dust down, and give me a boost in my rainwater, I'm almost out (use it for washing of me, dishes, laundry, cooking, and fire dowsing) so need a recharge. so far this place isnt as bad as last weekend, can hear folks coming in, but my corner of the park is still empty :) need 2 vandwellers to show up quick and take the 2 nearest spots!!!

It's comfortable here, some of the peace from last nights post is still here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

a quiet and serene night in the woods

Feeling very peaceful today, the weekend crowd hasnt started to show up yet, and after todays 8 mile hike, I'm feeling tired and worn down, but in a good way :)

had some cold soup for dinner, didnt feel like making a fire, and now watching the sun set as I listen to soft music on the radio.. it's times like this that I am very glad to have chosen this path in life.

It's not all beer and skittles, as they say, I still have my moments of restlessness, or of missing my favorite addition Online Gaming, but this life and that just dont mesh.. and I think that this is the life that will prevail..

it used to be normal for my BP to be in the 150/98 range.. took it today and it's down to 130/74.. somehow, I think this is the healthier choice :)

todays thing that irritates me.. folks that leave the campsite and dont bother to put out thier fires!! so far this week I've put out 5 of them.. and have watched the rangers kill a couple others.. Folks just dont seem to get it.. they come here because they want to get away, and be somewhere beautiful, but their actions might just ruin it for others and themselves.. it's frustrating.

Todays picture :) though I dont know that I will do one daily. View of Bear canyon lake, from the west end, at the end of the trail from forest road 208.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

any fungus experts out there??

found a type I cant find in my book, nor have I seen it listed online.. so just in case :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

7/20/09 Bear Canyon Lake

Well, I can only say one word about this place.. Beautiful!!

came up today, had never been here, but it's deep woods.  12 miles of washboard road once you get off the pavement, and it is well worth the trip.  Before I selected a campsite, I drove down the access to the water and hiked the trail to it.. lovely lake, steep walled lined with mature pines..  have a few tracks I have to check tomorrow for possibly an easier way to the water than exists, otherwise I may never end up getting into it!  I'm camped quite a way from it and i'm definately not going to carry the Yak the whole way.. Folks are tentatively planning on coming up on Wednesday, maybe then, but unsure at this point.  Hike from the lake parking area to the water is down a switchback trail, lots of rocks and steps.  so not an easy trek by any means.  but I bet it would be beautiful on the water.  I might have found a trail that goes down to the dam end of the lake.  Not legally drivable, but might be a much easier hike, and could even be relatively shorter.. time will tell, will hike it in full tomorrow with my gps to make sure I know where I went when i consult the maps.

Been cold today and i'm actually wearing a jacket as I type.  last time I checked the temp was about 330, and it was 58..  Tonight will be a cool night and I'm looking forward to it.  Collected about 3 gallons of rainwater today, filtered out the debris from the trees through an old shirt and it's nice and clear, will use it tomorrow to do some laundry I'm thinking.  I dont like how crowded this place is for a Monday night, Not at all like my remote area in Strawberry, but I'll adjust :)  hitting 7pm now and soon will head in for the night, hopefully the 2 other campsites near me (but not right next to me) wont be partiers tonight.    Thinking if I had got the Verizon Aircard, I would have a signal tonight, the Verizon phone does allow me to call out from here, but not Tmobile.  lesson learned, will have to get that taken care of :)

Bear Canyon Lake, Forest Road 89, NE of Christopher Creek Az.

The Good and bad things in a day... (7/26/09)

Good morning from cloudy Arizona!! -Grin-

clouds rolled in a bit ago, hoping I get a good rainshower, running low on rainwater for washin.

Today goes into the books so far as a good day, for the first time since hitting the road, Unloaded the bike today.. Almost won the moron of the day award by coming close to dropping it coming down the ramp, but I got it down safely(though probably scared myself out of a year).

a few minutes ago, the forest rangers that I've been talking to came by, one of them gave me a name and number for a contact for hosting campgrounds up here, and took my name to give to his boss.  Said it would fit right in with what I'm doing in my life right now, and while they dont have paid positions, at least I wouldnt have to be moving every 14 days :)  I was quite pleased that they think it would be something I would do well at, and lord knows staying up here would be wonderful ;)  Sure would give me lots of time to hike and learn the area.. probably nothing will develope this summer, but I can keep it in mind for next if I'm still mobile with this life.   I have a feeling I will be.

been pondering a rearrangment in the truck.  As you might have noticed by the title picture of the site, I have a good sized truck.. that grill thats visible on the side actually opens up.. the brilliant idea occured to me last night as I was starting a fire and beginning food prep that I should move the food cabinet in the truck right in front of that.  so that all I had to do when outside is to open that grill, and make a drop down shelf.. then all my cooking gear would be handy.  could leave a space for the laptop too so that I could grab it as well instead of having to climb in and out the back all the time (about 3.5' in height)  sometimes after long walks, my legs dont enjoy that.

Probably will get a good picture of the truck and replace the title photo with it soon, why settle for a mockup when I can get a good shot of the real thing :)  I'll try to watch the picture size for those with smaller screen resolution than I use..

To those that have posted comments.. I swear! I am NOT ignoring you!!!  I just havent been in a spot where I have a real connection that I can work with.  i'm planning on going to Payson, Az tomorrow and getting an Aircard, so that shouldnt be an issue from here out.. Closing for now, clouds getting thicker and i might get rain.. Am hoping so I can wash the bike -grin- And me while I'm at it..  the campground is clearning out so I can probably get away with it without too much chance of embarassment!!  By for now!!

Bear Canyon Lake, NE of Christopher Creek, Az


well, 8am on Friday morning and for the past hour I've been treated to the sound of Chainsaws, and quads running up and down the roads.. and I am sure some of them have no type of muffler at all...  I think the forest service guys were right, it's going to be a looong day :)

could it be I've gotten spoiled by my solitude?   considering packing it in and moving to the backside of the lake, but since thats not even a camp ground, it might well be worse over there, when I was walking the road near the dam yesterday there were already tracks of ATV's and Dirt Bikes.. and with no campground to at least have some established rules, I can imagine what it could turn into..  Probably will stay here and just get cranky -grin-

Cloudy today so far, no power coming in to speak of, so may type more later.

Bear Canyon Lake, NE of Christopher Creek, Az

And todays test (7/23/09)

Is dealing with people...  today, I took a long long hike around the lake..  there isnt a trail around the lake.. but I did anyway <grin>  was only 4.5 miles or so in distance, but by the time I got back I was ready to collapse.. the only flat spot around the lake is the water itself!!  so I was beat!!

got back to the truck just in time to run across a couple National forest service guys putting up signs allowing camping only in designated locations, and actually putting up the signs to designate the sites.. luckily I didnt have to move <grin>

they informed me that I was in the cesspool of the forest here at the lake, and that starting tomorrow, this place was going to go sharply downhill.. they havent the budget to keep it picked up, the folks that have the contract to do so will show up tomorrow morning, and they said that by tomorrow night it will be trashed all over again.  really irks me..

well, folks didnt wait for tomorrow to start showing up.. I was feeling crowded as it is, and more folks came rolling in this afternoon.. instead of me being able to appreciate the quiet of the woods at night, and first thing in the morning.. all I can hear now at 7pm, is the sound of chainsaws, and quads running all over the place.. including down some roads I know quite well they arent supposed to be on.. and it's going to get worse???  I guess I'm definatly a boondocking kinda guy, even a remote campsite (in this case) has to much of the crap that man brings into the world.

but.. I did find it making me think of being a camp host for someplace like this..  I have the demeanor, I have the bearing.. and I certainly care enough about the preservation of the environment that I wouldnt hesitate to get on someones case about it if they were trashing the place.. Might have to talk to my forest service boys tomorrow and see if something could be worked out... OOo.. goody.. gunshots now.. even though it's posted all over that there is no shooting...  This could be a long weekend.

Bear Canyon Lake, NE of Christopher Creek, Az

TRAPPED!! dang rain :) (7/22/09)

raining good and hard this morning, got my morning walk in, only wildlife seen was an Owl, havent dug into the books yet to see if I can determine the species, but he was a lovely specimen!  really gave me a smile when he silently came swooping through the trees! 

Had visitors for a short time today, Mom and Dad came up from the cabin to see where I was and my level of comfort :)  We sat for a time, then decided to take a hike down to the lake from my camp.. we didnt get more than 100 yards from the truck before it started rainin..  we stood under the trees for a time, but eventually decided it was going to settle in for a while and ran back to the truck to get under the tarp.  Dad was preemptive, and went right back into his truck!!  smart man..   It didnt let up and after talking with mom for a bit longer, they called it quits for the day and headed back to the cabin :)

23 miles one way for em, said they will come back up another day since I'm going to be here for a bit yet.   

Now I'm sitting in the truck watching the rain, and hoping that somehow the newest folks that showed up will pack up and leave since they are getting rained on..  Guess I'm not cut out for popular campgrounds, I feel squeezed in here and hate that I cant even sit in peace and quiet..  Boondocking seems to suit me better overal :)

but I'll tough it out.  John is going to try to come up sometimes, probably before next weekend depending on work schedule.  I find myself going through phases where I'm missing folks, other times I'm quite content to be solo.. but I guess thats to be expected.. havent even hit a month out yet.. but it's getting here!!!

All for now :)

Bear Canyon Lake, NE of Christopher Creek, Az

oh My.. What a Bear of a Commute this morning! (7/21/09)

After a cold night (was down to 50 outside) in which I slept quite well, got up this morning to fulfill our civic duty, and Tori and i started out on the trail at 615..  Dodging the traffic and the sounds of squirrels, we headed down an old unused road..  well, I'm the sort that if the trip is being uneventful, it's time to turn off the road and go off trail for a bit.. so the first promising corner we came too...

cut down a ravine, gentle slope, not steep at all.  Dark forest closed in around us, it had rained a few hours yesterday when I first got here, so everything was damp and moist, much like a rainforest floor is where the sun doesnt get to it.  it was beautiful and quiet, but something was still missing.. Ahh.. there it was!  Fast food for breakfast!!  I had found myself a wonderful grove of Wild strawberries, and quite a few of the plants had fruit..  Now, I'm normally not much for fruit at any time of day, just somehow never got the taste for it, but this morning a few dozen wild berries did the trick!!  it was a great pick me up.

being the consumate navigator that I like to think I am, and having not brought my GPS or Compass along with me, I knew the lake was to my south, so I headed up the ridge to get to that area..  I eventually came to another abandoned and closed off road and I could tell the lake was down below me, but in hopes that the road I had found led to the dam at the base of the lake, I decided to follow that for a ways figuring one of two things would happen.. it would curve around to the dam, so I would possibly have an alternate route of getting my Kayak to water, or it would curve the other way and meet up with a closed off road that i had started on...  There was a third option that I hadnt really considered viable at the time.. that it would just continue to go it's own way!!  well...  it did.. I followed it for a few miles...  and at this point all I can do it repeat.. it was a bear of a commute.. No.. Really.. A Bear...  A Black Bear...  A Big Black Bear.....(grin, ok, literarry liscence there).

Tori And I were strolling happily along, she running ahead (for some reason this morning I was keeping her on lead) when suddenly she stopped stone still.. her nose quivering and looking into the trees to our left...  I stop and start to scan and what do I see.. a Bear slowly stepping away into the medow that is behind the trees...  I tell Tori she's a good girl, and start praising her as I watch the bear depart so I know we are not under threat, and it breaks into a trot to get out of site.. perhaps it was in the mood for some fast food as well <Grin> certainly makes me rethink going off trail here as casually.. but as long as I have Tori with me, I have a backup :)

Was a great mornings walk, and I look forward to being able to repeat the discoveries for many days to come, probably will be here a couple weeks, so dont know when this will hit the blog.. but hope you enjoy the story :)

Bear Canyon Lake, NE of Christopher Creek, Az

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Trying to play catchup with all my email is nuts!! <grin>  luckily, most of it isnt critical.. just could be missing some good info if I dont at least try!!  been sitting here for 1.5 hours now, and still havent managed!!

Spending this weekend at the Folks Cabin in Hunter Creek, Az.  little bit warmer than when I was up on the rim last week, but it's nice here, and got to spend some time with some wonderfull people that came up with my Sister Sheri :)   getting to meet and know them was well worth the extra heat!

Tomorrow, will probably head up to the Bear Canyon Lake on the rim and back to the cooler country.  Still havent spent the time in the truck putting away all the groceries I picked up on Saturday morning, so will have to do that once I get in place and 'camped' again.  the lake will be my first attempt at breaking out the Kayak and spending some downtime on the water.

Tori got her baptism today in Hunter Creek, the creek wasnt flowing, but there was enough standing pools of water, some of them a couple feet deep, and I decided to do some wading in the creek.. well, as usual, she followed me after a moments hesitation.. and I think she's decided that she loves water now :)  she was having a blast there and it was so nice and comfortable in a 90 degree day :)

Picked up the Verizon phone from my Sister this weekend, hopefully it will function better than the t-mobile has been for signal.  Still havent done the Aircard thing, so will be out of the loop again for a while.  just not ready to do that bill. 

Dont have signal here, or would be adding some pictures to the posts, bear with me.. one day I'll have the ability again, or find a good post writing software that will allow me to post them offline, then upload when it gets a firm connection.  I'll keep hoping ;)

nothing else of note at this time, will write more when I'm back in the woods ;)  Be well my friends!

Hunter Creek Az.  Near Christopher Creek Az.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I think I found lazy..

had plans to get up bright and early this morning, load everything up, and head into Payson, Az, for a resupply..  well.. didnt feel like it this morning, so decided that I'll wait till sundown or so to head down.  probably stay the night at the Casino Parking lot again and make use of thier WiFi and grill.  then head to the Folks tomorrow.

Not suprisingly.. as the afternoon drags on, I'm still lazy!!  figure about 4 will start loading up.. isnt really much to move into the truck, just the solar and the water jugs.. then will head down.  Hopefully it will be cloudy down there today so that the temperature isnt terrible (90+)  but if so, with it being late in the day will only have to tolerate it for a couple hours before the sun sets and that changes everything :)

By for now!!
Forest Road 609, Coconino National Forest, North of Strawberry, Az

and A Rainy night.. finally! (7-15-09)

730pm, 59 degrees outside.. 74 in the truck ;) doors shut, pets in and happy.. will be an early night tonight.  Love listening to the sound of the rain on the truck and the wind in the trees.  Was cloudly all day and I kept hoping that rain would come, when it finally did it settled in to stay for a while.  At the back doors of the truck I have a tarp up which provides me shade through the day, and of course protection from that mythical thing called rain!!  with an eye toward sustainability and being able to boondock for longer periods, I have it slanted to feed into a bucket to catch all the rain that I can.

When I retired to the truck, I had captured over 2 gallons so far and it's still coming down, so I'm quite content.  Will use that for tomorrows washing of both me and the dishes. 

Tomorrow, will pack the truck up and head into town for base level supplies, and I "May" get a Verizon Aircard.. alot of areas that i expect to be in probably still wont have signal, but it is alot more practical than a phone that doesnt get signal hardly anywhere..  At least I can keep in touch with folks through Email.  Know that wont please everyone, but I have to count the dollars at the moment, still havent won the lottery <grin>

This weekend, have a get together at the family cabin, should be fun.  They havent seen the truck yet, may even unload the bike and do some riding.

Forest Road 609, Coconino National Forest, North of Strawberry, Az

3 days seems to be a cutoff for me..

then I start getting restless <grin>  Hopefully in time that will pass, or am I going to be moving every few days??  kinda hope thats not the case, but time will tell.
Got in place here on Forest Road 609 on Friday, with record heat forcast for the Phx area, I had a feeling that alot of folks would make the trip up.. I did see a few vehicles over the weekend, but for the most part I've been alone with the sound of traffic in the distance.. and it's been nice :) 
My Day routine has been to get up about 6am, take Tori for a walk to let us both streatch our legs, practice Knife throwing for a bit (into a dead tree, never live), find something good on the Radio and spend my day in contemplation of my life and the potential futures available to me.  Occasionally taking additional walks with Tori untill it's dark like is coming on now.. soon we will retire to the truck and call it a night :)  Might watch a couple episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I know, I know.)

I think tomorrow I will pick up an Aircard for the laptop, just dont like being out of touch.  Will be at the folks cabin on Saturday, Sister is bringing up a new phone from Verizon, that should help as well with staying in touch.

Have been wondering lately if the Truck is going to cut it for me.. hate not having windows, and since so far I've shown no inclination for the "Stealth" aspect I might as well get something more comfortable for daily living..  of course, thwn will have the joy of trying to resell the truck if I do that.  Or.. could just install a skylight and vents in it for the hotter areas so at least I would have light inside.  Thats a down the road decision yet though :)

Closing for now, to look at the stars for a few!!  it's a hard life isnt it <grin>

Forest Road 609, Coconino National Forest, North of Strawberry, Az

What a difference 30 miles can make (7/10/09)

From a parking lot, to Pines and peace..

I really enjoyed being able to be plugged in again, so stayed in Payson longer than I had thought I would initially.  made it a whole 3 nights.. having WiFi avail, having  a C store i could wander over to for a Dr Pepper, it was nice.. but I sure didnt like living in a parking lot.. 

Got up this morning and knew it was time..  at night had been laying there sweating and uncomfortable even with the doors open, and I don't like doing that when there are humans around.. I trust animals far more than I do them!! though seeing the teeth marks of a skunk in one of my Canteens one morning made me glad Tori hadn't woken up! <grin> that could have been even more educational than her street encounter..  but I digress <grin>

I havent gone far, and I have a feeling that I'll move further today, question is, in what direction.. it's friday.. weekend folks will be coming up.. so guess I need to get in position somewhere.. probably should go where I have a Cell signal so that I can at least touch bases with folks now and then.  Dont feel like going down alot of rutted roads today, really hard on the load that way.

Current view out my living room window (will add when I make connection Gmail doesnt support adding files in offline mode)

On the Mogollon Rim, North of Strawberry, Az

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back in the woods :}

Howdy folks, just updating through an email, left Payson Az, and am back
in the woods just north of Strawberry Az.

Liked having internet, but being out away from the noise, and odors
associated with a city I won't miss..

Will update as I'm inclined :}

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Education of Tori

She made me proud yesterday morning.. and made my day sooo much better than the alternative would have been...

got up at 6am on the top of Pinal Mountain, we literally were in the clouds.. nothing but a thick fog in all directions, it was very wonderfull and rare for an Arizona morning. We start our usual morning walk, taking it easy, she's off leash as usual when no one is around.. next thing I know she alerts and goes tearing down the road..

I look ahead, and what do I see.. a Skunk!! Instant dread filled me.. What horrors would I be dealing with in just a matter of minutes!! Never before had I had to call tori back from the chase, until recently, she didnt even know what a chase was, being pretty much bound to the yard.. but there we were in the fog of morning, Tori Running, me looking on with horror, the skunk lifting his tail in display to say bring it on!!!

I called Once "TORI!".. no effect.. I called again! TORI!!" her step faltered slightly.. I called Once more in desperation as she was nearing her quarry "TORI!!!" and she turned and come to me :) Never had I been so pleased with her.. showered her with love and affection, and we watched the skunk relax and go it's own way :)

Crisis Averted!!

Currently in a park in Payson, Az leaching connection from the Payson Library :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sunday morning 6 am..

Ok, it's not really, I just really like that album <grin> Old Simon and Garfunkle fan here of course..

it IS sunday morning, the morning after the 4th of July.  didnt see a single firework this year, didnt try at all but on both friday and saturday nights I could hear them.. I'm assuming the town of Globe, which is downhill about 14 miles.  sounded like they had a fairly descent amount going off, but I was already in bed (tending to crash at dark) and didnt wanna try to hike the trail that would give me a view down into town in the dark after seeing a rattlesnake a few times.

So far, I'm doing ok, still adjusting to not having a world full of distractions to keep me entertained.  Mostly at this point I sit..  alot of thoughts percolating through my mind, alot of things I'm trying to resolve about my spirit and my motivation in life. I find myself thinking of how in the world I could reintegrate into the world again, I think thats mostly due to the lack of an internet connection at the moment, I used to spend alot of time online, even if not doing much I would be streaming music or checking various sites.. Or, of course reading messages with Vandwellers, or Boondocking groups.

it's hard not to have those now, or at least someone to talk to.  Being the solitary sort that I am, that part suprises me.  Have had a couple of the folks coming near come offer me coffee in the morning, or the other day offer to give me thier remaining food as a camper left.. I'm so not used to that side of people.  I responded courteously and declined in both instances, but in time I might have to be more accepting.

weather forcast for the desert down below for the next week calls for possibly record heat, Highs today in globe up to 108.. and here I sit in a sweatshirt happy as a clam (well, temperature wise).  I think I'll probably head down on tuesday to try to hit a wifi, and then head up along the mogollon rim, in the area near Young, Az.  Think it will be a bit warmer than here, which would be good, the nights are freezing me out.  One of the biggest concerns I've had about being a dweller is being cold.  The heat I've worked out in for years, 110 days are uncomfortable, sure, but they can be adjusted to for me and have been for a long time.. but the cold, and potential body aches that come with it make me worry.. I have so many blankets and comfortors in the truck that come winter I wont be able to turn over!!  all just for contingencies.  and I think thats silly.. but untill I lay that fear to rest I'll keep hauling them around taking up space.  Generally, with the doors of the truck pulled to (not latched), and the passenger window cracked a bit for air, the truck stays 10 degrees warmer than it is outside.  Thats with no heat, and no lights or appliances generating anything that might cause heat.  so even if I have to deal with freezing temps I should be able to survive  I hope <grin>  I do worry about the pets since they have a higher body temp than humans do, but will cross that bridge as needed.

Tori is in great shape now, no sign of a limp at all while we walk and she runs along in front.  When we are away from sites I let her run off leash.  Sometimes she gets so far ahead I cant see her anymore, then I'll round a corner and she's waiting to make sure I'm coming that way.  If I get concerned I can blow a whistle twice and she comes running (at least so far)  so I'm not too worried about her.  Found out she's smell oriented, doesnt spend alot of time looking around at all, and has missed both deer and rabbits that way :)  in time that may change, this is all new to her.

took her first walk out at 6am this morning, was on the cool side, but I had crashed at about 730 last night, was getting cool outside and retreated inside the truck where it was 70, so it was an early night.

Some hikers just came by, Said the fireworks are from the casino in town, not the city, I had wondered how they could have afforded them with the economy as it is.  They think there will be more tonight.  They are working on one of the cabins up here and took a break to walk a bit.

so not looking forward to going down to the heat in a few days, but we all do what we must!!
Untill next time!!
Upper Pinal Campground, Pinal Mountains, South of Globe, Az
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

First week boondocking in Az

And I'm cold!! <grin>  teach me to come up to 7800 feet!  most days the high is in the 70's, but the nights are dropping into low 50's.  for someone thats been used to 100+ days, and 70+ nights, this is quite a shift..  doing ok, using my quiet time when I'm not hiking to sort through more of the junk I'm still carrying and will be donating more to a good cause when I drop out of the mountains :)  report for the week, 3 deer, 1 rattlesnake, multiple squirrels and rabbits, and birds galore :) this isnt a place to come if you have a trailer or longer rig

Upper Pinal Campground, Pinal Mountains, South of Globe, Az
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

Question: Does coffee strongly effect Nemo? OOOoo Baby!!

Made coffee with dinner tonight, first time I've made it on a camp fire, didn't measure out the water, just guesstimated it..  of course, hadn't had caffeine for over a week.. can you say Wired!! <grin> still 1030, and i'm going strong.. just finished organizing all my online photos in Picasa, and deleted them from my Camera.  gonna try to get some rest tonight, Dogs looking at me like I'm nuts! <grin>  But it was really good Dark Roast coffee...

on the more serious side.. been hiking every day since I've came up the mountain.. this is the first time that before I started out, before my feet ever hit the first hill I could feel my heart beating away, and FAST!!..  so yes.. Coffee, that wonderful elixir, does effect me, and I'm not sure thats a good thing.. Didn't like the elevated heart rate at all after being calm and serene for a week..  will have to make it sparingly.

Night folks! :)


People Irk me!

Just taking a moment to express frustration with people in general.. did ya ever notice that some folks only want more??  no matter how much you do, how much you have gone out of your way, that it's just not enough?

Here I sit, on the top of a mountain, the only Phone signal I have is down a very steep trail, and then it's only iffy.. I've told people that, and I'm getting told "well, why didnt you call yesterday?" I tell ya.. and I think my next stop will be even more remote and I probably wont have phone at all.  bet thats gonna go over well...

Why cant people just accept others as they are instead of trying to change them to fit the mold in thier mind??

Ok, Rant off.. Sorry folks ;)

Upper Pinal Campground, Pinal Mountains, South of Globe, Az
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

3rd day unplugged! 6-30-09

Greetings from the Upper Pinal Campgrounds, in the Pinal mountains, south of Globe Az

3rd day out and settling in, so to speak :)

Set up the solar panels this morning, nice and early so that me and my sunburned self wouldnt have to be working in direct sun!!  They are working well, and laptop fully charged in the space of about 2 hours from a 1/3 charge, so I'm happy with that.

Tori and I are settling in fine, Goblin is still hiding in the truck for trhe most part but I see her now and then.. she is getting to her food and water so I know it's not critical for her to be out and about.  I hope she gets to a point where she feels she can be soon though, miss her face :)

Yesterday morning, got up early for a walk, and was fortunate enough to see a deer up the road a bit as We walked.  then Yesterday afternoon, had a thunderstorm system roll through, my first storm in the truck..  winds didnt get that high, but i'm in somewhat of a sheltered bowl, rained for only about 40 minutes and not heavily, but did keep me in the truck..

After the storm passed, Tori and i went for another walk, it was just beautifull out and so comfortable.  Found the turn off to the Lower Pinal campgrounds, walked part way and discovered there are actually a few cabins up here!  I had thought it was all park land.. they are small, but it sure would be nice :)  Didnt walk all the way yet because Tori isnt used to getting this much exsercise and starts limping after a while, so building her up slowly. 

Made my first fire of the trip last night after the rain as well and cooked dinner on a small blaze.  2 elderly gentlemen had come up during the day, and stopped to say they were up for a few days, they had a bonfire going!  just have to hope they take care of it.

Nothing on deck for today but rearranging some things in the truck, and another walk or two.   Of course, this Wont go out untill I hit wifi, but making updates as I go!

Upper Pinal Campground, Pinal Mountains, South of Globe, Az.
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

Thunderstorms on a Mountain top

I'm tellin ya folks,  ya just dont know what your missing till you are rocked out of bed by a thunderstorm directly above you when your at 7800 ft..  Add in the fact that there are quite a few areas up here that are burned, making me think of lightning strikes, and it makes for fun!!!

Was out Walking Tori at 230am, ,when suddenly there was a flash...  next thing I knew I was surrounded by a massive and lasting thunderstorm.. Must have rained good and hard for about an hour, very humid this morning, and I expect to get more this afternoon.  I'm doing well, though still fighting boredom a bit.  think I might be adjusting, but it sure would be better to have someone to share time with and talk to now and then.  I'm not very interesting company to myself so far. 

On the positive side, Truck came through the storm with no issues whatsoever, always the possibility of a leak I hadnt found since it hadnt rained since I got it

Upper Pinal Campground, Pinal Mountains, South of Globe Az
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

Email post 6 28 09

Greetings from the Pinal Mountains :)

First night in the field and I'm bored to tears!  <well, almost>

just getting to full dark now, got up here about 1200pm, and spent the afternoon enjoying the sound of the wind in the trees, and various birdcall that I am not familiar enough to know.  No rain tonight, I was hoping as many of us arizonans do, for a bit of a storm.  was 103 in Globe, highest my temp sensor got up here was 84, so quite a difference in 15 miles :)

I know it's going to take me a while to adjust, but I sure hope it doesnt take TOO long!  this wont post till I get a wifi signal, but at least there will be dated entries!

did take a few pictures,so far just of my view out the back of the truck, the campsite I'm at.. are some great vistas I saw coming up, but I wanted to get here so didnt take any at that time.. will fix that though :)   Dont know if I'll make it here a couple weeks though.. might decide to move on before that.

South of Globe, in the Pinal Mountains
"Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined."
Deepak Chopra

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And all things must have a beginning...

first email'd post to the blog.. Not gone yet, but will be in just a matter of hours.  i'm past ready and it's past due.

headed to the Pinal Mountains initially, should be nice up there, might even get some afternoon rain.. I can wish :)  Updates as I am inclined, and have signal!! 

South of Globe Az, Pinal Mountain
"Never make your home in a place.  Make a home for yourself inside your own head.  You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things.  That way it will go with you wherever you journey."  ~Tad Williams