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…..
As we near the end
of February, more and more blossoms appear in the desert here at
LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, where Clifford and I are
camped in this BLM long-term area. I find great pleasure in walking
in the desert in the morning, taking photos, just being present to
the ambiance of the area, the colors, the sounds, the feel of it. I
have found a few spots where I can sit on old dead and downed tree
trunks, soaking up the morning sun with my eyes closed. I have named
the desert Serenity, for that’s what she is to me.
Along with the
desert experience, life goes on with trips to Quartzsite for errands,
Clifford is recovering from a bout of bladder infection, blogs are
written, photos are edited, books are edited, music is played with my
brother Rollie who is camped next to us, meals are prepared and
eaten, domestic chores are taken care of. No two days are exactly
alike, depending on the weather and the needs of the day.
FB posts, Clifford’s
ham nets, and the Canadian Broadcast news that we listen to draw more
and more attention to the corona virus, some of it factual
information, but sensational alarmist headlines take center-stage.
Our life changes very little, but we have concern for those who will
be facing hardships.
February 16 to 19: Our life here in the desert camping at LaPosa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, is somewhat like it would be if we were at homebase in Utah in that we would still have errands, still need to do laundry, still buy groceries. We would still work on our projects: ham radio and dulcimer and CI for Clifford; taking photos, editing, blog writing, and playing viola for me.
What is different is that my brother Rollie is camped next to us, so we share meals, hike together, play music together, and Rollie and I play cribbage almost daily.
And the desert itself – that marvelous bit of land that stretches for miles is the greatest difference. I find peace and joy daily in meandering about, catching the rising of the sun as often as I can and finding the inspiration for my daily Higher Vibration Series. (Daily posts on FB and on my website.)
I have named the desert Serenity, for that is what she is to me.
February 11 to 15: My morning walks are like little retreats for me. A time just to be, not to think deep thoughts, not to work out problems, not to dwell on the meaning of life, just time to be aware of my surroundings: the light of sunrise, birds chirping, flowers becoming more abundant, the variety and texture of desert vegetation, the color and nature of rocks.
It is hard to not pick up pieces of quartz, some very white and often with crystals embedded, to take back to camp. More and more, I leave almost all of them in place, appreciating them, but not needed to keep them. I take lots of photos and a few of these will make it to posts and even fewer to my Higher Vibration Series.
Besides the morning saunter, my day is filled with meals (preparing, eating, cleaning up), blogs, editing for a couple of authors, sending texts with photos to family and friends, and playing bluegrass on viola with Clifford and my brother Rollie.
participates in ham nets daily, but also devotes hours to playing his
dulcimer, learning new songs and making accompaniments.
While much of the
world is in turmoil over political differences and the spreading
coronavirus, we are in a bit of a sanctuary of sorts, with the wind
being our most troublesome issue.
Monday February 10. LaPosa South, Quartzsite, Arizona. Today is my birthday and I am happy to be alive and well. It is cool and windy when I go out for my morning walk, but it feels good to be outside. I am thinking I should have planned a hike for my birthday activity rather than going to town for pizza.
When I get back from
my walk, I mention this to Clifford and within minutes, we have
decided to do both, starting with a hike to the mountain that is
about 2 ½ miles away. We invite my brother Rollie to join us. A
quick smoothie, hiking shoes, water, snacks, hat, hiking sticks, cell
phone and charger – and we are on our way.
It is a great day for a hike with clouds keeping it from being too hot. We stop for photos now and then. Since it is my birthday, I am allowed to stop as often as I want.
Once we arrive at Shale Mountain, my name for the mountain since up close it appears to be made of nothing but shale, we have our snacks and relax until we see rain in the distance and rain clouds building behind us.
We hustle on back, no stopping for photos, (well, not many), but the rain storm catches up to us and we are drenched by time we arrive back at camp.
After a change of
clothes, we all head into Quartzsite and finish off the afternoon
with the best pizza ever at Silly Al’s. As we leave, it is pouring
rain again, which to me is another gift, making an extra special
Saturday February 8, there is no morning walk in the desert, as Clifford and I are driving from our campsite at LaPosa South to Yuma, Arizona, which is new territory for us once we pass the Palm Canyon turnoff. The drive is scenic in a desert sort of way. In Yuma, we take care of our business, have lunch at Subway, and buy supplies for the upcoming weeks. Back at camp, I put together shelving, stackable bins, that will keep stuff on my side of the bed much more organized and tidy. This is important when living in a small space, and I’m pleased with the results.
On Sunday, I go for the morning desert walk, happy to see the desert marigold bushes beginning to bloom.
Back at camp, as I prepare a photo for my Higher Vibration Series, I experiment with double-exposure. It is fun to try something new and the results are interesting.
Today is a paperwork day, not a fun part of the day, but important. Clifford’s ear is bothering him and he naps a lot. In the evening, we are treated to a beautiful sunset.
My brother Rollie comes for dinner and afterwards, we play cribbage. With a 24-point hand, I win the game tonight. Win or lose, I am still the dish-washer.
We are hearing more and more news of the coronavirus, which doesn’t sound like a good thing going around. Being out here in the desert, mostly by ourselves, it is less of a personal concern than it is for many folks. However, it is does seem that this will have a world-wide effect for its economic impact.
Clifford and I are camped at LaPosa South, BLM land south of Quartzsite, Arizona, next to my brother Rollie.
Monday February 3 to Friday February 7:
Monday is very windy, all last night and into the day. Dust at sunrise gives an other-worldly look to the desert when I go out for a morning walk.
Wind continues the next couple of days, although not quite so fierce.
These are days when we mostly stay inside to work on projects, including music with Rollie in his motor home. I edit photos, write blogs, and edit for a couple of authors, including a submission for Ang’s children’s book, Permaculture for Kids, an excellent little book to introduce kids to permaculture.
Clifford is involved with his ham radio and dulcimer, writing his own accompaniments.
We make a couple of trips to Quartzsite, one day for mail and another day to pick up our Amazon order, supplements that we sent for, as there is no place to buy locally.
I walk in the desert in the mornings and sometimes near sunset, in spite of the wind.
Wednesday January 15: First thing this morning, I go out to take photos of the mountains and the cacti surrounding our campsite here at Cactus Forest, northwest of Tucson, Arizona. Clifford and I really like Cactus Forest, but we need to head on to Quartzsite, Arizona, for Quartzfest, the ham radio week-long gathering.
We travel northwest on I-10 to the junction with I-8, then west through the Sonoran Desert National Monument. We reminisce about our camping trip here four years ago, the first trip with our 30-year-old Terry travel trailer. That was an adventure, which I won’t go into here.
At Gila Bend we stop for gas, which is fun because of the pet dinosaurs and fun stuff to buy, and then continue north on highway 85 until we rejoin I-10 west of Phoenix. We had thought we might stop for the night at Buckeye Recreation Area along highway 85, but travel conditions have been favorable today and we are making good time, so travel all the way to Quartzsite.
At Quartzsite, we turn south on highway 95 and make our way to Roadrunner, the BLM camping area south of Quartzsite where Quartzfest is held. Driving into this dispersed desert camping area, we are pleased to find that the campsite we had at Christmas two years ago is available. We were here then with my cousin and his wife, and my brother Rollie. We are very happy to be here in this spot now as we set up and prepare for Quartzfest.
Sunday January 12: There is a little frost on the outdoor tables this morning at Cactus Forest BLM dispersed camping area where Clifford and I are camped, having arrived yesterday afternoon. This area is northwest of Tucson at the Red Rock exit and about 10 miles off I-10. It is a unique area due to the density and variety of cacti that grow here, truly a forest of cacti. Not the best place for little kids, dogs, or big rigs, but for us, one of our best finds.
I take photos at sunrise, but soon hustle back inside to warm up.
Later, when it warms up, I walk the road, surprised at the number of people camped here, as it is hard to see other campsites due to the dense growth.
We play our instruments outside, work on various other projects (ham radio for Clifford; editing and blog-writing for me), and I finish reading Old Lady on the Trail. This has been an interesting book to read, since Clifford and I did a fair amount of backpacking when I was in my 60’s, but not anything like Mary Davison.
evening sunset provides the opportunity for the classic
first days of January at La Posa South give Clifford and me a chance
to settle in, as we plan to be here awhile at this long-term camping
area south of Quartzsite, Arizona.
mornings I walk into the desert to take photos at sunrise,
appreciating the ambiance of the area. The vegetation is varied with
mesquite, palo verde, creosote, and other shrubs and trees along the
washes. Desert marigolds bloom freely. In the open spaces between
the washes one can find saguaros, frequently with their nursemaid
shrubs at their base.
I take a small thermos of coffee and my journal so I can sit in the
sunshine and write after sunrise. The deep stillness of the desert
invites one to sit quietly, not really contemplating life, but just
being present to the stillness.
the day, I send texts with photos to my family and friends, write
blogs, edit photos, and check CI email when the sun on the solar
panels allow for such. At one point, we try out our new generator for
the first time. It is a backup, but good to have for overcast days.
My brother Rollie and I play bluegrass music almost every day with Clifford being our appreciative audience, usually sitting inside Rollie’s motor home, as it has been too chilly and windy to sit out for music. Occasionally a campfire allows us to sit out. We are particularly enjoying viola and mandolin duets; it sure would be fun to have a guitar player join us.
has many projects on tap: CI research, ham radio communications,
music on the dulcimer, and learning to use his drone (which he bought
over a year ago and has never had the chance to try out). The drone
has been especially fun for him, with a good learning curve including
a few crashes and repairs.
days are full and we are enjoying being here. If I had a maid, I
would have him cook and do the dishes, and a good secretary could
take care of all the CI email! …. but for now I am the maid and
secretary, along with everything else that vies for my attention. But
it is all good!