A Good Kind of Different

This winter makes five that we’ve loaded up truck and trailer and headed south to the desert. The first was supposed to be a one and only, but it was just so much fun that we did it another four times and there seems to be no plan to stop anytime soon.

Works for this dog. I love the sun, I get cold when the temperatures drop much below freezing, and I hate wearing coats and boots. Being a snowbird suits me like spots.01-chico-different-spots

Every year is quite similar. We spend a few days getting out of winter, hang out in Las Vegas for anywhere from four to fourteen days, and then head into the deserts of Arizona and California. The first year we moved every three to five days but, in the trips since, it’s more like ten to fourteen, with a few shorter stays in RV parks or places that T and Nollind don’t take a shine to (like last year’s noisy Ocotillo Wells visit).

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One of the stops T & Nollind like to make in Las Vegas.

 

Our longest stay before this year’s trip was sixteen days at a place called Saddle Mountain a few trips ago. Since then the long stays have been in places like Borrego Springs, Wickenburg, Quartzsite, and Tucson. These seem to be the perennial favourites.

Tomorrow will be three weeks here in Quartzsite, a new record. We had to up anchor and go into town to dump the holding tanks and get more fresh water a week ago, but otherwise, Sid has been parked here in the same place since we arrived on December 16.

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Home sweet home for the past three weeks.

 

It was part of the plan before we left home, to move less and make things easier for Logan. I’m pretty easy about new places but it’s hard for him, the travelling itself and the settling into a new spot. For example, he’s made himself a den under a shrub and he’d have to start all over again at a new location.

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Logan’s den in the current camp.

 

It also means he can go to the same vet every two weeks for his Legend injections. New vets aren’t necessarily bad, but he prefers familiar places and people. They give him a bit of comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

So T and Nollind looked at all of the places they like to go and chose Quartzsite as a good place to hang out a bunch of this winter.  Why?

  1. We can camp close to town. There are a lot of dispersed camping (boondocking) areas in these parts, but very few that are this close to a town.
  2. There’s a strong music community here and T & Nollind love live music and like to play music with other people.

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    Bluegrass jam at an RV park in Ehrenberg (another nearby community).

  3. Blythe, California is just twenty-five minutes away for the vet and for any shopping the stores of Quartzsite can’t accommodate. (Blythe also has a very good Mexican restaurant. At least it smelled good when they brought the go-box back to the truck.)
  4. There are tons of trails for walking and/or riding in Fang. (I’m still hanging out to get my turn. They’re worried I’ll be scared or uncomfortable but I’m pretty sure I won’t.) And the walking around our camp area is fairly old-dog friendly (although Logan would deny this being a required element).

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    Logan-friendly walk in the wash next to camp.

  5. Quartzsite has a place where T & Nollind can go dancing (the Quartzsite Yacht Club), a library with free wifi, more markets than you can shake a stick at, and an outdoor pub that YOU CAN TAKE A DOG TO. (I haven’t been there yet as you might have guessed.)

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    The outdoor pub I haven’t actually seen.

  6. And, last but not least, the camping is terrific. Quiet, privacy, starry nights, and off-leash time. It doesn’t get better than that.

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    Off-leash time!

So it will be a different kind of winter, spending most of our time in one area but, from this dog’s perspective, a good kind of different.

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Me, experiencing a good kind of different.

 

 

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Time to Go!

We dogs thought our departure for the south was scheduled for December 15 so I’ve been pretty relaxed about getting ready. Plenty of time. But the past couple of days there have been signs around the house and the farm that our departure is imminent. Horse sitters and house sitters coming by for their instructions, final visits with friends, boxes and bins appearing in every room.

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Farewell dinner with G and S.

With this terrific weather we’ve been having, the snow has all melted, we’ve been out walking in the fields to the west, and I thought the peeps might want to stick around for awhile.  But, not so much. I think they’re seeing it as a good weather window to get south, before the snow and cold returns. I heard T say that the roads are clear all the way to Arizona!

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Winter is taking a break.

Yesterday afternoon was the biggest sign yet, Sid got hitched to the truck and pulled closer to the house. Yikes!

So, last night, I quickly packed everything crucial.

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Priorities packed.

It’s Friday now and we don’t seem to be going anywhere just yet so I think there’s time to pull out my take-along list from last year. I was so much more organized. I guess that’s what happens when the date gets moved up by a week.

Anyway, best get to it. When T and Nollind are on a roll, things happen quickly, especially when the weather is cooperating. Talk to you from the road!

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Full moon on the prairie.

The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently, this time of year was referred to as the dog days of summer by the ancient Greeks because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius, or “Dog Star”, and its rise just before the sun. I can believe that. It most certainly wasn’t because creatures covered in fur who have just a few sweat glands on our paws and cool off via panting are at all comfortable at this time of year. You’ve seen it. Dog on a hot day with its tongue on the floor. It may look like a big smile but, believe me, I’m not smiling.

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Yes. I know. It’s long.

 

Holy hot, what is going on this summer? It’s been hot almost every day since the beginning of July with most days out here on the farm rising above the thirty degree mark (that’s 86 Fahrenheit). Now I know it’s not Arizona or Australia kind of hot, but for many of us northerners, especially those of dressed in fur year-round, it’s just too hot.

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Morning road walk. Anybody have a bowl of water?

 

Teresa tries to get us out early for our daily walks, but even in the morning that sun seems to blaze into my black coat. Since the start of the heat, we’ve been walking along the canal so that we can swim and drink as much as we want to. And then they sprayed weed killer. Teresa’s not a fan of chemicals and won’t walk us down there until there have been a couple of good rains. I appreciate the consideration but, man, I sure miss the water when we’re baking in the hay field or down the road. Come on, rain!

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Rain dance in the hay field.

 

I went out with Teresa late this morning on a horse manure pickup mission. Thankfully, the area the horses had dropped most of their piles was near a shady spot where I could lie and watch. I said I went out with her, I didn’t say I went along to help. Not much I can do anyway other than supervise and I think I handled it just fine from fifty feet away in the shade. But, even with the shady vantage point, by the time we came in I was panting like a locomotive and seeking a little cool from the hardwood floor. I used to spend a lot of time in the basement during hot weather but, now that I’m getting on in years, I try to limit my trips up and down the stairs. Preservation, you might say.

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Maybe next time I’ll stay inside for horse chores.

 

On a positive note, Dictionary.com says that the Dog Days of Summer is “a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.” Well, at least I’m doing it right.