Da Boys at Da Beach

That’s us, “da boys”, or so we’re called by some very dear friends. And we’re here at “da beach”, that’s the beach at Lake Havasu. We moved Sunday from our boondocking spot in Craggy Wash just north of Lake Havasu City and came here to the state park, which is pretty much right in town and on the lake.

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Our camp at water’s edge.

We were here last year at this same time for Bluegrass on the Beach. This year, Teresa and Nollind are volunteers, so we were able to set up camp on Sunday, and got a spot right here on the water. It’s a nice change from the desert, water life instead of desert life. Boats instead of ATVs. Kayakers as opposed to cyclists.

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Even the dogs get out on the water.

It’s also a very different kind of camping from what we’re used to. Craggy Wash was already closer quarters than Quartzsite or Wickenburg, but now that things have filled in here at the state park, we are shoulder to shoulder. Sunday we almost had the place to ourselves, Monday the ticket holders started rolling in and today, it is getting very cozy.

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Sunday

But I don’t mind. It gives me plenty to watch when I’m lying outside … or not. Something about the sound of the water keeps lulling me to sleep, that gentle lap of waves on the shore, the put-put of a boat going by in the no-wake zone of the canal, the faint sound of someone playing a banjo in a campsite somewhere. Well, faint until about half an hour ago when the main stage started up.

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Imagine the sound of waves lapping at the shore.

It’s okay though, I like music, and even though I’m more of a classical kind of guy, this old-timey, acoustic, foot-stompin’ stuff is alright … for a few days once or twice a year. Teresa and Nollind play too, but not all day, and without the barrage of instrumentation. Just guitar and bass. But, even when they play, I tend to go up in the bedroom. They try not to take it personally but I have been accused of being a critic.

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Maybe a good spot for some quiet?

 

What’s really great about being here at the beach is the beach. There’s a bunch of it that’s off limits to dogs and other pets, but Teresa has scoped out all of the dog-friendly spots and we visit one of them at least once/day. We can get in the water right from camp but it drops off quite steeply and I’m not the swimmer or bank climber I used to be. The flat of the beach suits me just fine. And there’s just something about getting my feet wet and drinking from a fresh body of water that is soothing to my old canine soul.

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The beach near the boat launch.

Chico’s been out and about quite a lot more than I have, exploring some of the beaches that are too far for me. And yesterday he got a walk into town and some time on a patio that he wouldn’t shut up about the rest of the day. I know he doesn’t do it to gloat, he was just excited. There was food involved after all. Anyway, I won’t steal his thunder. I’ll leave him to tell you his fish and chips story.

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The beach along the canal.

Teresa and Nollind have headed off to the music area for the start of the festival … oh, and there it is, that distinctive sound of bluegrass. I don’t expect to see a lot of them these next few days but, as long as they leave the back windows open so I can hear the water on the shore, I’m a happy napper … or, I mean, camper.

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On the Road Again

Since Logan was more focused on how he handled the trip south (he knocked it out of the park!) than the actual journey, I thought I’d share a little from my point of view.

He mentioned it was good weather on the way down but, oh my, was it ever. We left home on Saturday around noon and it was probably at least 13 degrees Celsius. Now, you might think that would make us more inclined to stay home but, on the contrary, it is the perfect weather for loading up and heading out. Warm, dry, non-snowy weather makes things so much easier. And, even though I’m not really a big part of the packing up process, happy people means a happier me.

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Heading out at the crack of noon!

We got to Great Falls the first day and the good weather continued. It was warm all evening and through the night, meaning we could push out the big slide in the trailer, and Logan could have his couch. Even though having the couch doesn’t affect me directly, since he doesn’t usually share, a happier Logan means, well … you know the rest.

The good roads continued, but things got colder after Great Falls and T and Nollind just weren’t prepared to travel as far as was needed to get to somewhere warm. We drove to a little place just south of Salt Lake City, American Fork, on day two, and although the temperature wasn’t the -13 we’d driven through in central Montana, it did drop to -8 overnight and we had a very frosty walk on Sunday morning. It also meant that the big slide stayed in and my bed had to be moved to a new location. I was tired and, as you can see in the photo, climbed in before they had things arranged for the night.

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I consider myself a master at making do.

Las Vegas, as always, felt like we’d driven into another season. When you drop down out of the high country of Utah, the temperature increases as the elevation decreases, and by Vegas, it’s t-shirt weather (although I don’t wear t-shirts). We stayed at the Las Vegas RV Resort for five nights and spent a bunch of time in their little dog park. It’s pretty small for mid-sized dogs like us, but probably four times the size it was the last time we stayed there, and a great place for sniffing around and meeting the other RV dogs.

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Dog area at the Las Vegas RV Park.

When we left Las Vegas, I knew where we were headed. I could feel it. T and Nollind get a certain excited energy to them when we’re headed for … the desert. They love nothing more when we’re down here than parking out in what many people would consider “the middle of nowhere”. They filled the water tanks in Las Vegas, emptied the waste tanks, cleaned off the solar panels, and we were all set for a couple of weeks of boondocking.

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More desert prep. Long toenails are vulnerable on rock and hard ground.

It was late when we reached Quartzsite so there wasn’t time to find a proper campsite. Unlike an RV park, the BLM camping areas don’t have lights, individual campsites, or even proper roads, so it’s pretty hard to find a spot after dark.

Last year when we first arrived, we stayed at an area called Dome Rock and loved it, so Nollind rolled right through Quartzsite when we got there and continued west. After some discussion as to which “road” was best to leave the pavement via, we rolled into an open area and parked for the night, leaving everything hitched up so that we could move to a more permanent camp spot the next day.

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Heading out to move camp after our scouting walk.

There are three different parts to the Dome Rock BLM area and, in the morning, we walked the southernmost area, scouting for a good spot. In December, things aren’t very busy at Quartzsite so there were plenty to choose from.

We’ve been here since Monday morning in a camp spot near the end of the road and are settling into life in the desert. In case you’re wondering what that looks like, desert life is generally a happy mix of this …12-chico-memories-running

And this …12-chico-memories-chair

Until next time, Merry Christmas from the desert!

 

 

I Crushed It!

I crushed it! At least that’s the expression Nollind used for how I managed the trip south this year. A combination of old age weariness, loss of hearing, and the right drugs seem to be my travelling trifecta. As Chico would say, “Best trip ever!”

I slept! I actually slept! And not just a nap, but real, deep, tongue-sticking-out sleep for most of the twenty-some hours we spent on the road between the farm and Las Vegas. I now understand why Chico sleeps when we travel. The miles just fly by.

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On the road.

 

I’d try to sit up for a while to keep an eye on things, but my eyes would get heavy, I’d feel a little wobbly, and I was down … again … and again. Fortunately, it was also the best trip ever in terms of road conditions so my supervision was not as needed as in previous years.

I know the drugs helped, something called Alprazolam, which is apparently like Xanax, but I was on the same thing last year and it didn’t knock me out. And this year Teresa only fed me half the dose as per the vet’s instructions, because of my tired kidneys not being able to process things as quickly.

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Pitstop somewhere in Idaho. The last of the snow.

 

Despite sleeping most of the way here, I was still tired when we got to Las Vegas on Monday, and spent most of Tuesday sleeping on my couch. We’re at the Las Vegas RV Resort, a place we’ve been a number of times, and it felt good to come somewhere familiar, somewhere that doesn’t require much effort on my part. The little dog run area is just a short walk from the site they gave us so it’s easy for my old bladder to manage the trip in the morning.

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The drugs gave me a bit of cottonmouth.

 

The past couple of days we’ve been getting out for walks away from the RV park, on Wednesday at a place in Henderson called Heritage Park and yesterday at the Clark County Wetlands Park. By the end of yesterday’s excursion, I was beat. Teresa took me over to the RV park dog area when we got home and I lay down in the gravel, couldn’t even stay on my feet.

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Walking at the Clark County Wetlands Park.

 

But my appetite’s back (it tends to leave me when we’re on the road). I ate a good dinner last night and breakfast again this morning, so I think that will help with my energy. And I’m hoping today will be another truck-free day like Tuesday. I hear we’re moving on tomorrow and I need time to prepare for the trip. Here’s hoping I can “crush it” again!

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Building up my strength. (Like my new bowl stand? Another perk of old age.)