We arrive at La Posa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, in time to celebrate a late Thanksgiving dinner with my brother Rollie and his fiance, Tata. A few days later they park their Class A next to us, which allows for daily morning coffee together and the sharing of news and activities.
The first days here are centered around reorganizing cupboards and drawers, as being here for the winter means we have a lot of stuff to keep tidy and organized, and Clifford is focused on getting antennas up for his ham radio. Other than that, I go for daily walks, exploring the desert around us, especially enjoying taking photos at sunrise and sunset.
The wind is an issue, but we spend as much time outside as possible and set up a nice space by the largest of the mesquite trees at our camping spot, planning for sun, shade, privacy, and protection from the wind. One must be flexible!
Even though I had been posting a daily “Higher Vibration” photo every single day for well over a year, the last month has caused too much disruption in my life, so I’m not keeping track of the days any longer, but I do post a photo on social media almost every day. There is almost always something on the daily meanderings that is worthy of being considered a “Higher Vibration.”
The awareness of my surroundings gives me more appreciation for the desert, as well as appreciation for life itself. I can only hope that I am drawing good vibes, not only to myself, but to the whole world.
By mid-November, my daughter Katie, who has been here for the past week, returns to her family and business in Idaho. I have so enjoyed and appreciated having her company and all that she has done to support me in recovery from a stroke earlier this month.
My life feels different, even though in most ways it is not obvious, even to people who see me often. I can walk, talk, write, use my cell phone, cook meals, do laundry, and so on. Playing the viola, a newer skill in my life, has suffered. Fortunately, cello (over 50 years of synapses in place) is still fine. The new hiking sticks I ordered arrive and I can go for longer walks by myself with greater assurance. Town is not an interesting place to walk and the wind is annoying, but walking is an essential part of recovery, so I do it. It should be more interesting to walk when we are camped in the Arizona desert.
Our route has been modified from southeast Arizona being the destination to Quartzsite in southwest Arizona, the reason being that I have to wear a heart monitor that sends signals via cell service. Across the Navajo Reservation and in the regions of southeast Arizona where we had planned to go, there is no cell service. Better to be where we know our way around. Maybe southeast Arizona in the spring.
There is a dusting of snow the day before our planned departure shortly before Thanksgiving, but by the following morning, the weather looks favorable for travel. We finish packing and are on our way by late morning. Abajo Mountain looks pretty with its dusting of snow.
Due to Covid, travelers are not welcome to stop on the reservation, so our first day is a long haul from Monticello to a forest road just north of Flagstaff, Arizona.
It is a relief to arrive at the forest road and get set up for the night.
It is 21 degrees the next morning, Thanksgiving morning.
Clifford makes us breakfast and then we head for tonight’s destination, Badger Springs parking area just off I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix, trashy, but convenient. Shortly after we arrive, several emergency vehicles, including three fire engines, come in and head on up the road to the springs. And then a helicopter flies in. Something happened up there in the canyon, but we never did learn what. Thanksgiving dinner is about as simple as can be, but we appreciate it none-the-less.
The following day, we make it to our winter destination, La Posa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona. As we are driving in toward the camping area, my brother Rollie and his fiance Tata just happen to see us go by, so we have a rendezvous while we look for a campsite. The site we had the last years has been claimed by someone else, so we find another one further along the wash with a tree (a very important consideration in picking a site) and even though it is a bit close to the road, we are grateful for the tree, actually a couple of them, and get set up – home for the winter.
March 25-27: It is usually calm in the morning when I go on my desert walk, as is my custom here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I have been camped since January.
One of these mornings I go further out into the desert than usual and am rewarded with sightings of Apache plume, little pink puffs on a small shrub.
The globe mallow and desert marigold are still in full bloom, while tiny ground-hugging blossoms begin to make their appearance. I must walk carefully not to step on flowers.
Ocotillo buds begin to open, revealing blossoms that wave gently, like tiny red flags.
It is windy by afternoon and most activities are inside the RV – editing, writing, playing music, and so on. One day we go to my brother Rollie’s place to have dinner with him and his lady friend, Tata. Another day we go to town for errands, and when we return, it is apparent than a twister twisted through our campsite, creating a little disarray, but no damage. We are fortunate that the awning was not out.
Living as we do, camped by ourselves several miles from the highway and at least a couple city blocks from the nearest RV, being isolated is not a “thing” for us, it is just a way of life. I walk freely in the desert every day and never see anyone. However, going to Quartzsite for errands is weird, as social distancing is obviously in place at some establishments, but not others. However, everywhere we go, there is a sense of distrust, which feels odd and very uncomfortable.
We had planned to head north at the end of March and camp in northern Arizona for a month before returning to Utah, but with the current state of affairs, as well as the still mild temperatures here in the desert, we will stay as long as we can.
March 22-24: I can’t say how it is for other folks camped here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite , Arizona), but for Clifford and me, we are really enjoying our winter desert home.
I love spending time walking in the desert soaking up the stillness and beauty. The desert here is anything but barren. It is lush and rich with color.
I spend a lot of time taking photos, culling photos, editing photos, and writing blogs of our travels using photos. Of special enjoyment is using the Snapseed app on my cell phone to bring out the best of certain photos, which I then use for the Higher Vibration Series that I post on FB. I am on day 161-163 of this series. The purpose of this editing is to have a greater sense of the feeling of what has been photographed, not just a record of what I’ve seen. I’ve started doing composites using Snapseed, which is a creative use of photography that I’ve not utilized before.
Besides photography and the domestic chores, I edit books and play viola or cello. Clifford works with his ham radio and plays the dulcimer much of the day. We get together with my brother Rollie for music as often as we can. An occasional trip to Quartzsite for errands rounds out our week.
While editing and culling I ran across an image from five years ago: Deschutes River looking toward the Newberry Monument in Central Oregon. That was a great trip!
March 19 & 20, 2020 – While it snows in Montana where family and friends live, it is a season of blossoms and more blossoms here in the desert at LaPosa South where Clifford and I are camped, south of Quartzsite, Arizona.
Walking in the desert at sunrise is such a delight and later I get Clifford to walk with me to the largest of the ocotillo, which is beginning to bloom. I also show him my the red bush that the hummers love, but it has mostly finished its job. However, more little flowers hugging the ground join the parade of flowers in the desert.
Our usual activities continue: ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford; editing, blog writing, journaling for me. Since my brother Rollie has moved down the road, the viola is getting neglected somewhat, as playing tunes by myself is not as much fun as playing with him.
One of my daughters has closed her business and taken her kids out of school, even though school is technically still open. One of my sisters is now working from home. And so it goes…..
March 13-17: Desert walks in the morning at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona, where Clifford and I are camped) are such a great way to start the day. Flowers and flowering shrubs blossom more abundantly. The bush with the red trumpet-shaped blossoms is especially striking, as are the huge clusters of desert marigold (which are probably not marigolds at all). A mockingbird chirps, tweets, trills, and calls over a dozen bird songs, sounding like a whole chorus all by himself.
One day we go to Albertson’s in Blythe, California, for groceries, about 20 miles to the west, the nearest grocery store of a decent size. There is plenty of food except for rice, but no toilet paper or paper towels, which fortunately we don’t need anyway. We find out from the cashier that people are coming all the way from Los Angeles, 200 miles away, to buy stuff as shelves in all the cities between here and there are empty.
Clifford is quite sick for a couple of days – an infection that he has been dealing with for some time. Because of his being sick, as well as the increasing issues with the spread of the virus, some of our plans are changed. Calls are made to friends and family to see how everyone is doing. Once Clifford is feeling better, we get together with my brother Rollie and his lady friend Tata for music, but other friends we will not be seeing.
For a couple of days, March 11 and 12, there is rain in the desert here in LaPosa South (South of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped. It is off ‘n on, sometimes heavy, but sometimes with enough of a break that Clifford is able to go outside to play his dulcimer.
My morning walks, rain or no rain, are special times of quiet for me. So many flowers and shrubs are blooming, it is a delight to wander about from one bright spot to another. By afternoon, the wind picks up considerably, causing damage to some folks, and there are flash flood warnings, but we have no problems.
Our activities continue as usual with Clifford on the ham radio or playing dulcimer much of the day, while I edit books and write blogs.
My brother Rollie has decided to move down the road a couple of miles to be nearer to his lady friend. They come to pick up the last of his stuff and we all go for a walk in the desert between rain showers. We will miss having him as a camping buddy, but he has a good reason for making the move.
Covid 19, the coronavirus, is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Italy is shut down and schools in the larger US cities are shut down. What next?
March 8-10, 2020: Clifford and I continue to enjoy our camping spot here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) and our days are full with our projects and activities.
One day I don’t go for my morning walk because jet trails mar the sky and the wind is a bit much, neither of which work for me as photographer. I spend extra time editing photos instead, sending greetings to family and friends as well as posting on Facebook. Other mornings, the desert walks are especially rewarding as I find more and more flowers blooming.
A rainy morning adds a special ambiance to the walk.
One day my brother Rollie, who has been at a bluegrass festival north of Quartzsite, comes back to camp but only to pick up his stuff, as he is moving down the road a couple miles. It has been great having him as a camping buddy here, but he is forming important friendships with others.
Another day we make
a trip to town to the laundromat and run a few errands. We hear of
more and more businesses, parks, and schools closing around the
country, and that has even begun to affect Quartzsite, but the
essential errands are still able to be taken care of.
There is growing awareness and concern due to the virus Covid19, and talk runs the gamut of lethal bio-weapon to mere inconvenience that kids can’t go to school…. and everything in between. For Clifford and me, our natural state here in the desert is one of self-isolation, so we are not impacted as far as our day-to-day activities are concerned. However, there is no doubt that what is going on will have a lasting global ramifications, at least some of which will affect us. In the meantime, we continue doing what we feel called to do, whether that be playing music or walking in the desert, working to improve ham radio contacts, editing books or sending photos to friends & family.
March comes marching in with high winds, but in spite of that, I go for morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South (south of Quartzsite, Arizona) where Clifford and I are camped.
In the washes protected from the wind, I take photos of the wonderfully blooming vegetation – desert marigold, globe mallow, and the red flowering bush that the hummingbirds like. As I’m out walking, I feel like the flowers and trees are inviting me to sit a spell and just be with them, so that is what I do.
continue with our projects – ham radio and dulcimer for Clifford,
while I edit books, write blogs, play viola with my brother Rollie
and Clifford, edit photos for my Higher Vibration Series (learning
new editing techniques along the way), and the usual domestic chores.
of these first days of March, we run errands in Quartzsite and invite
Rollie and his friend Tata to join us for pizza after the errands are
done. What fun it is to play pool and share a big pizza with family
More and more news is coming out about the coronavirus. Fear and hoarding of supplies is on the rise, while in China, my son takes his 2-year-old daughter out to play at the beach, having fun and letting her experience that life is good.
February 27 to 29:
Morning walks in the desert here at LaPosa South, south of
Quartzsite, Arizona, are a wonderful way to start the mornings for
me. The desert marigold bushes are blooming like crazy and a little
sunflower type flower is starting to bloom. Another shrub is loaded
with red trumpet-shaped blossoms, and the hummingbirds love it. Tiny
tiny flowers in pink, purple, and white hug the ground.
One day I stay at
camp and have a campfire instead of walking. Since the campfire ring
is on a sandbar in the wash, it still feels like I have left
civilization. It is a good place to sit and write in the journal.
Along with our usual
projects, we make a trip to Quartzsite one day and have a big
overhaul of my laptop another day after it froze up while working on
a blog. Sure is a good thing that Clifford was a computer consultant
and gets along well with these devices.
It is a time of peace and relative ease for us, in spite of the increasing bad news about the virus, which is now being called Covid-19. I am happy to hear from my son Fin, who lives China with his wife and daughter, that he and his family are well and making the effort to have the greatest sense of normalcy that is possible under the circumstances.