Winter Journey – Belle to Suburban – February 2017

Friday February 24th – It is 27 degrees and a bitter cold wind – kind of limits outdoor photos, but we are leaving this morning, anyway.

Leaving our campsite at Belle Campground, Joshua Tree NP

We head on south through Joshua Tree NP, warm inside Blazer, noticing how green the desert is.

Once on I-10, I have cell service and catch up on texts, emails, and calls with my cell.

Rock formations along I-10 in Arizona

We take the Buckeye exit before Phoenix and drive on out to the Buckeye BLM Recreation Area. We find a nice spot not far from where we were last time we were here.

Overnight at Buckeye BLM Recreation Area
A walk in the desert before sunset

The temperature is mild enough that I play cello outside a bit, go for a walk at sunset, and then edit for my authors in the evening. Clifford does his usual evening stuff, but less with the radios than usual, since he is not taking time to set up antennas.

Saturday February 25th – We pack up and head out first thing this morning, stopping in Gila Bend for gas. On the outskirts of Tucson, we stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch – what a nice break from driving! West of Tucson, we travel to the Synder Hill BLM dispersed camping area. The spot where we parked in January is available, but there are several noisy generators nearby, so we go in search of a different spot and find one that is much better – level and a couple of mesquite trees beside a wash.

A couple of mesquite trees for shade

We have a little shade, a nice front yard, and a view of Synder Hill. Although Synder Hill is not my favorite camping area, our spot is a fine place for the time being. We get set up inside and out, including antennas, then sit out in our lawn chairs to enjoy the warmth of the late afternoon sunlight.

Sunday February 26th – I enjoy a campfire this morning as I sit outside and write in my journal.

Morning campfire at Synder Hill

Our friend Dan comes and we have lots of projects that he helps with, especially as he brings a ladder so we can get up and do some work on the roof. We go to the town of Three Point about 12 miles away for lunch at the Three Point Cafe. Tiny town, but it has an Ace Hardware, a gas station, and a small market where I buy local honey. Back at camp, it is too breezy to play cello outside and even though we thought we were charging batteries while we were gone, a fuse is blown, and nothing is charged. My laptop dies while I am editing photos. I am trying to “go with the flow,” but this lack of battery is frustrating. I am so far behind with posts, I wonder if I will ever get caught up. Arrangements are made to meet the Suburban and its owner, Marty, tomorrow.

Monday February 27th – Dan comes here and then we all go to meet Suburban and Marty. Clifford drives Suburban; Marty drives Blazer. Then the men share what is known about the vehicles. In the end, an agreement is reached with Blazer being part of a trade. Plans are made to meet at the DMV tomorrow to give us time to clean Blazer out and go to the bank.

I learn that my daughter Katie, who owns the house in Idaho where we live in the upstairs apartment when not traveling, has moved her family to the house, opting for a more simple lifestyle. It will be fun to have them as our downstairs neighbors when we get back to Idaho.

Tuesday February 28th – We get up early and clean out Blazer, which takes some work, as we carry much of our stuff in the back, not to mention ham radio gear, backup camera, and such stuff that has to be dismantled to be removed. A 12-volt vacuum cleaner and a good wipe-down makes Blazer look pretty good. We meet Marty at the DMV: all the formalities and exchange of money and titles takes place. The Suburban is ours!

Suburban and Clifford at Synder Hill

Back at camp, we load everything from Blazer back into Suburban and are pleased with how much room we have. A sprinkle of rain creates a rainbow – a good sign.

A rainbow – a good sign
I love seeing a rainbow

It is too windy for cello, but we go for a drive at sunset to try out the “new” vehicle, which will be so much safer for us and more comfortable, also.

Going for a drive in Suburban at sunset

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