It’s Good Fur-iday!

Some holidays land on a different day of the week each year, like Christmas or Canada Day, and every seven-ish years (depends on that funny human thing called a leap year) on Fur-iday. A bunch of others are specific to a day of the week, like Thanksgiving (in Canada) on a Monday or Labour Day, also on a Monday. There’s no chance any of these will ever fall on Fur-iday. Only one lands reliably on a Fur-iday every single year and that is today, Good Fur-iday!

Since Good Fur-iday is part of the Easter holiday, we at the Fur-iday Files thought we’d send out a greeting and good wishes to all of you celebrating. This year, like last, it won’t be a time of big gatherings and community Easter egg hunts due to the pandemic, but I hope you’ll find a way to connect with those near and dear. And, if you can’t do that, eat chocolate, plenty of chocolate. I hear it helps. We dogs, cats, and horses aren’t supposed to eat chocolate but will put in a request for some species-appropriate snacks.

We’ll be spending part of the Easter holiday with friends G, S & R, a little home-on-the-farm day camping. I’ll tell you all about it next week and fill you in on what else has been happening in my world.

Until then, from me and Storm and Hank, and the rest of the four-leggeds here at Almosta Ranch…

Happy Easter!

Christmas Past, Present and Future

This year will be my tenth Christmas as part of the van Bryce clan so I decided to take a little trip down Christmas Memory Lane. Come on along!

It’s possible that my first Christmas as a van Bryce in 2011 set up some fairly hefty expectations. It looked like this…

How you do Christmas in California — breakfast on the “patio”.
Chasing rabbits in the desert.
Happy campers.

Christmas numbers two and three, in 2012 and ’13, looked more like this…

Poor little cactus regretted hitching a ride with us!
How far do you think it is to California?

Even the gift was a bit of a let down…

Looks like fish but doesn’t taste like fish.

It seemed a Christmas of eating breakfast outdoors and chasing rabbits through a warm desert was not going to be the norm, but I’m nothing if not adaptable. Instead of being outdoor warm, Christmas at home in 2014 was indoor cozy…

…and filled with cheer.

Christmas 2015 was a winter wonderland here on the farm. It was pretty hard to feel anything but happy to be spending it at home in Alberta.

Home sweet farm.
And there was skiing!

In 2016, just when we thought Christmas at home was a given, there we were on the road to Arizona in December, and we spent Christmas near Quartzsite.

Dressed for the holidays.
Lounging in camp at Hi Jolly dispersed camping area.

Christmas in the desert was so great we just had to do it again in 2017.

Christmas Eve by the fire at Dome Rock dispersed camping area.
Logie’s squeaky candy cane. He loved squeaky toys.
Christmas Day cocktail hour and Little Red Campfire time.

I was a bit disappointed when the decision was made to stay home in 2018 but the fish gift was better.

Smelly and delicious!

And it’s always good times with these two, no matter where we are or what the weather.

I think I need a hat!

Last year, we were home again in the wintry north.

Christmas Eve walk.

But it was an extra-special year because we spent it with extra-special friends.

Waiting for Christmas brunch.
A long walk on a big hill in Calgary.

We’re home again this year. It wasn’t the plan, but the Canada-US border is closed due to the pandemic so here we are. And after Monday night’s snowstorm, it’s definitely a white one. No dreaming required.

As great as memories are, Christmas present (or I should say Christmas presents), is the best kind. Here are a few puparazzi photos from this morning’s gift opening. I got all edible gifts this year. Thanks to my friends and family who know me so well.

As for Christmas future, I’d rather be surprised than to speculate, but, if Nollind has his way, it will look something like this…

Merry Christmas to all of you who read our blog, and may 2021 bring a time we can get together again in person … and in dog.

Virtual Boondocking

As you probably know, the Canada-US border has been closed to nonessential traffic since March, but until recently, it didn’t have much of an impact on my life or the lives of my humans. We don’t typically travel down that way until late fall or early winter.

But now, as the weather gets colder and snow covers the ground and T walks by the sad, parked trailer on her way to feed horses every day, I know she feels it. It’s not just for the avoidance of winter my peeps travel south, although that’s a huge benefit, but for the trailer time, the boondocking in the desert, the days being distilled down to the very basics of life.

This will be the third winter in a row we’ve not travelled south, for various reasons, and I know that T and Nollind miss the desert and all the many cool places we camp. So, I’ve put together a little virtual boondocking tour of some of the favourite places we’ve parked over the years.

Our first-ever boondocking spot at the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve, CA.

For those not familiar with the term boondocking, according to Campendium (a terrific website to search for campsites of all kinds) it’s this: “Boondocking is the opportunity to camp off-the-grid, far from the services and amenities that can be found at RV parks or developed campgrounds. It’s a quieter way of camping, one that often lands us in beautiful destinations for days or weeks at a time.”

We do a lot of boondocking when we’re south because there are just so many scenic, lots-of-elbow-room places to set up camp. So, sit back, put your feet up, grab a cup of tea or a foursies cocktail (depending on when you’re reading this), and enjoy the tour!

Fortuna Pond near Yuma, AZ. The people in the rigs beside us became good friends.
We camped with them at Ogilby Road in SE California a few years later.
Near Bouse, AZ.
Clark Dry Lake near Borrego Springs, CA.
Craggy Wash near Lake Havasu, AZ.
Saddle Mountain west of Phoenix. It was a km to our nearest neighbour.
Telephone Cove on Lake Mohave near Laughlin, NV. That’s our white box in the middle of the lakefront row.
Vulture Peak near Wickenburg, AZ. It was green that year!
Snowbird Mesa near Overton, NV.
Stewart’s Point on Lake Mead, not far from Las Vegas, NV.
Cibola National Wildlife Refuge near Blythe, CA.
Whitney Pocket, near Mesquite, NV.

We’ve travelled to the southwest deserts five winters now, and only one place has been on the list of stops for all five trips — Quartzsite, Arizona.

In any direction, there are plenty of places to camp around Quartzsite, and plenty of elbow room.
Plomosa Road north of Quartzsite.
Scadden Wash east of Quartzsite.
Dome Rock west of Quartzsite.
Another Dome Rock stay.
And yet another. Yes, we like Dome Rock.
And, no matter where we camp, always the desert’s evening show.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual boondocking tour of the southwest deserts. If it doesn’t make T dissolve into a puddle of tears, I might take all y’all wandering again!