Arizona Desert Days – January 2018

Sunday January 28: We are still camped at Roadrunner, the BLM campground south of Quartzsite, Arizona.  It is calm this morning, so I make a campfire and Rollie comes over to join me. We chat as we drink our respective hot drinks.

Campfire and our respective hot drinks

I was going to sit out after the campfire to write in my journal, but the wind comes up and I head inside.

In the evening, Rollie and I do music at his place, as it is too windy outside.

Monday January 29: Today is an errand trip to Parker for the things that we can’t do in Quartzsite, which takes a good chunk of the day. When we get back to camp, Clifford and I have leftovers for dinner. Rollie has already eaten with Bill and Sally, but he comes over for tea. While we are sitting out, Clifford spots the exotic lights that we have seen before in the desert. They are still a mystery.

Tuesday January 30: I take photos of a colorful sunrise,

Colorful sunrise. Little dots at bottom are campers: Rollie& Ninja on the left, Carol & Clifford center, Bill & Sally to the right

 

Vivid color every direction

then join Rollie at a campfire and write in my journal while he plays mandolin.

Campfire and journal while Rollie plays mandolin

Later, I send another set of edits to Ang and re-send agent letters, as she has had some problem with opening them. Internet communication is sometimes very iffy, both on my side and hers.

Later we all have dinner at Bill’s; he enjoys barbecuing and I am happy to contribute something other than the meat. Another campfire and music outside this evening. Not bad for a January evening.

Send cell pics to my girls. Staying in touch with my kids is important to me and really appreciate calls and texts from them. The cell phone has been/is vital for communication with all these dear ones.

Wednesday January 31: I am up early enough to get a few photos of the Super Blue Blood Lunar Eclipse. It was neat to see it, but my photos are not terrific.

Super blue blood lunar eclipse

This morning we all head out to Crystal Hill in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge south of Roadrunner for some hiking and rock-hounding.

View as we drive to Crystal Hill

This time I head down the wash and start looking at the west end slope of the hill. It is not so picked over here and I find a nice crystal as well as many beautiful quartz stones.

Crystal Hill west slope
Crystal found at Crystal Hill

Bill decides to go back to camp as the big dogs are restless, making it hard to search for crystals. Sally wants to stay, so she joins me on the west slope. We have a good time chatting as we look for crystals until Clifford and Rollie are ready to go. Back at camp, we all contribute our picnic food to lunch at Bill and Sally’s.

Since my laptop has been charged and the hotspot is working, I take care of email, FB, and editing this afternoon. I finish out my day with writing in planner and journal before heading to bed. Clifford continues with his ham radio experiments late into the night… and thus we wrap up January 2018.

Solstice to Christmas at Roadrunner – December 2017

Thursday December 21 – Today’s temperature: 42/56, windy and chilly. Today is the Winter Solstice, which I celebrate by walking around collecting rocks, many beautiful white quartz streaked with colors. Some of these will be added to our campfire ring and a chosen few will go home with me.

Roadrunner at La Paz Valley: Carol and Clifford to the left, Bill and Sally in the middle, Rollie to the right

I do some editing today, clean out a storage space- simplifying and organizing being essential in tiny homes, and look into essential oils good for maintaining healthy skin. Later we all go to Bill and Sally’s 5th wheel for tasty burritos for dinner. Fun to share meals with family.

Friday December 22 – Today’s temperature: 28/58 and clear. Today we make a trip to Quartzsite for gas and propane, stopping at the market and Dollar General to get little gifts for everyone. Bill barbecues  great burgers at his place, then Rollie and I do music there, as the 5th wheel is considerably roomier than either Rollie’s camper or ours. My fingers are still sore, but the blister is going away, and I can play more bluegrass songs with Rollie on either mandolin or fiddle.

Bill has made a “Christmas tree” out of tire irons or something and a lighted rope, and I add a few inexpensive ornaments from Dollar General. It looks a bit odd in the daytime, but is beautiful at night!

The beautiful La Paz Christmas Tree made by Bill

Saturday December 23 – Today’s temperature: 30/61, pretty sunrise color, but overcast all day.

 

Colors at sunrise – La Paz Valley, Arizona

Today is our anniversary; too chilly for an outing, but it is good just to spend the day together.

Reorganize another storage area so as to find the ornaments and get them hung up along our back window. These are some of my old-time favorites; glad they are still with me. My daughter Merri calls and we have an interesting conversation about how the health of one generation can strengthen or weaken later generations, and not always in the way one might think. Then I go on a walkabout with Bill, Sally, and Rollie with the metal detector, finding a couple old coins, but mostly junk. After that, Rollie and I do music at our place, as it is too windy to play outside. Crowded, but better than not playing at all.

Day’s end at La Paz Valley

I begin reading “Eight Girls Taking Pictures,” staying up later than intended.

Sunday December 24Today’s temperature: 31/67 and mostly sunny. We knew it would be warmer today, so have planned an outing to Crystal Hill. The turnoff to Crystal Hill is just four or five miles south on 95, and the rather rough road crosses BLM land before entering the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. At the collection area, which is designated by a map at the Crystal Hill boundary, we discover a mostly vacant campground with some really nice sites along a wide wash at the base of Crystal Hill.

Clifford and Rollie cross the wash at Crystal Hill
Smoke trees grow in the wash at Crystal Hill

Clifford and I hike to the top of the hill – good to stretch our hiking muscles at bit.

King of the Mountain: Clifford on Crystal Hill
Surviving on Crystal Hill

Although crystals can be found here, it is beautiful quartz pieces that are found in abundance and we each keep a small collection, a limit of 10 per person, per the collection rules.

Back at camp, we have tasty egg and cheese sandwiches for lunch, sitting outside. Today, with good solar and a bit of luck with the hotspot, I am able to get on the internet and do some agent research for Ang for “By Wing, By, Wild, By Wisdom,” the first book of the Dragons of Va’ha’den series. Looking for agents is new to me and there is a lot to learn, but we hope to find an agent to pick up her series.

Later, we have a delicious chicken dinner, again thanks to Bill’s great cooking (and my contributions of quinoa and rice) around a campfire. Then we open the gifts placed around the little Christmas tree. Bill and Sally are very generous and our little gifts add to the enjoyment of all. As soon as it gets too chilly to sit outside, we all go to the 5th wheel where Rollie and I play music, a nice long session until my fingers get too sore.

I finish out the day with sending Christmas greetings to all of my kids, grateful for the cell phone which allows me to text or message all of them. What a great day!

Monday December 25: Today’s temperature: 36/64. Colorful sunrise this Christmas morning, but my cell died after one pic; luckily I got a few shots with the camera before the sunrise faded.

Christmas sunrise

Tea and journal while it is still quiet, meditating on the meaning of the Christmas celebration. Then the day proceeds with the usual activities, but somehow everything seems special.

Bill fixes a great ham dinner for all of us and we eat around the campfire. After dinner Rollie and I do music together until my fingers are too sore. Back at our place, I read “Eight Girls…” while Clifford works with his radios; he is getting back into Morse code and other modes of communication.

So happy to have spent these days with family, sharing meals, outings, and special celebrations. Times of sharing are never to be taken for granted!