Desert surprises

I’m writing an entry to this blog, trying to concentrate.

Spike is outside barking his fool head off.  I ignore him until I can’t any longer.  The sun has set and it’s almost dark.  What in the world is bothering him?  It can’t be the cattle.  They went through here two hours ago.

I go out to see what’s the matter.

"Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark!"

Spike is still barking furiously at the field of grassy bushes next to our camp.  I strain my eyes to see.  I see nothing out of the ordinary, no movement near or far.  

I start yelling at Spike to be quiet and then laugh at myself. 

What difference does it make if he barks? 

It’s not like anybody’s going to hear him but me.  No one’s within barking distance of us!

Nevertheless, it’s annoying when you’re trying to write.

I pick Spike up and bring him back inside, closing the door behind us.  He’s not happy.  He jumps up on the bed and picks up where he left off, barking at the walls.  “Shut up, Spike!  Lie down and be quiet!”  Bridget looks at me.  Oh great, now Bridget is worried I’m mad at Spike.

I go back to my blog writing.

Spike picks up a cadence of quiet, one-two-three, “Bark!”  Quiet, one-two-three, “Bark!”  This is worse than constant barking.  By now it’s dark outside, except for the soft light of the moon and stars.  I try to upload photos.  Spike the Metronome keeps on and on and on.  Finally I’ve had enough.

I open the door and throw Spike out.

He races forward, belting out furious barks.  I stand in the doorway and strain my eyes to see in the dark.  There they are!  I see the white behinds of pronghorn bounding across the desert.  Oh my gosh, there they go!  Three of them! 

Next morning the crew and I wake early to greet the day. 

Let’s see . . . what portion of the gazillion unpopulated acres that comprise our front yard shall we explore?  

I look for the pronghorn with no luck.  We discover a canyon we’ve never seen before.

On the roundabout walk back home I notice a cloud of dust rising from a canyon in the distance. 

Gee, the ATVers are out early this morning.  Wait a minute.  That can’t be ATVs.  There’s no noise.  Hmmm . . .

We come to a place of colored stones.

Some are a peculiar green, like avocado, and others are pure white with black bands, perfectly parallel, about a sixteenth of an inch apart.  Speckled rocks, shiny rocks, dull, black rocks.  It’d be nice to find some gold rocks!

A strange sound startles me to attention.

“HOO-ah!  HOO-ah!”  It’s a man’s deep voice.  I whirl around in the direction of the sound just in time to see a cowboy herding some cattle over the rise.  I lift my camera and catch a glimpse as they disappear.  That’s what the cloud of dust was!  The cowboy was rounding up the cattle in the canyon.

See the cowboy?

Around noontime I light the briquettes in the grill.

Bridget, Spike and I gather round and enjoy a chicken feast together.  I look across the peaceful desert and notice a white dot ascending one of the mountains.  Probably a motorhome.  Cars at that distance are too tiny for me to see.

 I make sure each piece of chicken I give to the crew is cooled enough to eat. 

Another peaceful day in the Arizona desert

Their happy eyes are bright and alert.  I bask in the thought that the rest of the day stretches out before us with no plans, no places we have to be.  I dip a piece of charred chicken in a dollop of barbeque sauce.  I’d rather be here eating this chicken with my crew than dining in the finest restaurant in the world.

rvsue 

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49 Responses to Desert surprises

  1. Chuck says:

    Yep, you’re REALLY gettin’ into Sue ! There are still a few real cowboys left and the pronghorns,m wow! Do you have binoculars ‘ cause sounds like Spike is a great watch dog and iffen he be barkin’, you shud be ascannin’ !!!!!! As always, great blog!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, I don’t have binoculars! Darn! That’s on my list of Things I Want To Buy With My Amazon Points.

      It’s dusk and Spike’s outside looking for more pronghorns. . . and doing the metronome bark.

      • hobopals says:

        I am NEVER without my binoculars. I have my camera with me all the time, but if I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose the binoculars. It’s worth buying a really good pair, Sue.
        I was fascinated by the cowboys I happened upon on my trip. It’s just such a different way of life–found it so interesting and could spend hours just sitting and watching.

        I enjoy your blog, as always.

  2. Elizabeth in NC says:

    Yea, I would think binoculars a wise investment! For lots of reasons!!

    Your lunch sounded so yummy…anything cooked outdoors seems somehow better!! And I am sure the doggies agree too!! We always gave tidbits to ours too…rather spoiled but why not?

    Is it still cool enough to stick around those parts awhile longer?? It was 82 here today!!! But then that is how it is here…from heat to AC within a couple days….most every year we have lived here!! I miss the change of 4 seasons!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure what to expect. It’ll be in the 80s again tomorrow and then possible wind and rain this weekend, which is rare! I live day-by-day anyway.

      • Joan Latrell Roberts says:

        It is supposed to really get cold again also. Be sure you are on hight ground and away from washes. Even if it isn’t raining where you are, it will be raining in the desert surrounding you and flash floods are no fun and downright dangerous.

  3. Ed says:

    “There they are! I see the white behinds of pronghorn bounding across the desert. Oh my gosh, there they go! Three of them! ”

    I guess anything is possible but if there were antelope in your area they were NOT in their usual habitat. The Arizona Game and Fish also do not issue hunting permits for antelope in the area around you but that also does not preclude them being there.
    When you see your ‘Ranger Buddies’ again ask them what were the chances that you saw antelope.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What else could they possible be? Deer?

      • Ed says:

        That would be my guess. Mule deer have a white rump also and under the moonlight conditions that you saw the animals it would show up and the body of the deer would blend in with the darker background. Mule deer are also abundant in that habitat, I’m surprised that you have not seen any before now.
        As for Sonoran pronhorn, Google says. “Only two groups of Sonoran pronghorn species remain: one in Sonora, Mexico, and one in Arizona. The current distribution of pronghorn in Arizona lies predominately in Pima County. The antelope’s present range lies in the Barry M. Goldwater Range, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, with occasional sightings in Bureau of Land Management lands.” You would have had a better chance of seeing one of them when you at Darby Well Rd.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Maybe they were mule deer. They were standing close together with their rumps toward us. The white on their rear ends was obvious (circular patches). Their heads were turned, looking toward us for a brief moment before they took off. It was too dark to see horns or any body markings.

          I remember last fall when I was driving south from Cimmaron Canyon to Las Vegas, NM, I saw a herd in the vast grasslands . . . They had the black and white chest markings and white rumps and horns/antlers. I thought they were pronghorns. I need to get an education! Thanks, Ed, for explaining a lot of this. Never did see anything like a pronghorn at Darby. One jackrabbit, that was it.

        • carol says:

          when we boon docked on an oil lease in New castle WY, we saw pronghorns often.They are very curious animals

          they used to race the truck, it was a game for them,after they won, they Jumped the fence separating them from the road.beautiful creatures.

          hunters could attract them by waving a rag on a stick.The antelope,foolishly, out ofcuriousity, would approach.

  4. Geri says:

    Great surprises for youand the crew …. cowboys AND antelope in the same day… !!! Good Move Sue! Looks like you have a great spot! I love the tree in the last photo… good frame for the BLT!

  5. Emily says:

    I got tired of carrying heavy binoculars around with me/around my neck; so, my son bought me a monocular – lightweight and just as good as a binocular. Can keep in your pocket, hang on a lanyard, loop around your wrist . . .

  6. Hi Sue, I had to look up pronghorn to see what it was. lol. They are beautiful!! I posted you a couple of time but I do not think it took. I must have done something wrong so I hope you get this one. I look for your blogs daily. I am so excited to read them. I live through your pictures and adventures. I can’t wait to start my own. I am posting my car for sale next week. I have a 2008 Chrysler silver convertible. I love my car but I will sell it to help buy my rv. I found 5 class c in Fort Myers, Fl, (about a hr. south of me) that is affordable. So there out there. I can’t wait to get started.Do you get nervous when the dogs bark loud and your out there all by yourself? I won’t have a dog, just me…. but I will have a gun believe me! What about snakes. Any problems with them? I am planning on getting the Escapee club. My first trip will be from Florida to Virginia where I can stay at a friends home (he has lots of land) and then on to Massachusetts for my grand daughters graduation June 4th. So I better get going,,, its right around the corner. Keep the blogs coming. I enjoy from the time you perk your coffee until you and the “kids” go to bed.
    Take care, Sharon from Florida.
    p.s. love the horses.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I read about pronghorns, too. I was surprised to learn that they aren’t really antelope.

      No, I don’t get nervous when the dogs bark. I’ve learned over time not to worry about the unseen . . . dangers I see, yes. Plus Spike goes crazy over a lot of things, like a plastic bag blowin’ in the wind. I’m sort of numb to his antics!

      No snakes yet.

      Your excitement about getting started jumps off my screen! You bring back memories … I know that excitement. God bless you and good luck. You’ll have the time of your life!

      I’m so glad my blog gives you enjoyment . . .

    • Geri says:

      Sharon, I would never travel alone without a dog! I have spent alot of time travelling solo and camping out in woods alone. I cannot tell you how many times my dog saved me from what could have become a bad situation. He also alerted me to a lot of things I would have missed…. elk, deer, pronghorn, coyotes, mountain lions and rattlesnakes! I would go to the nearest shelter and find an alert 2-3 year old friend and adopt them, because ultimately, heshe will be your only friend and company for days on end! IF you boondock that is.You will NEVER be sorry!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I agree with Geri. Get a dog, unless, of course, you have a phobia. Then the cure is worse than the disease. Dogs add so much to this way of life.

        • thanks for your advise. I will have to think about a dog. It cost to feed, take care of a dogs medical needs, etc. Plus you have to go out at night for bathroom runs,,, which could be scary at night. lol

  7. Sherry says:

    I love the idea that they were pronghorn whether they really were or not. Get one of those red flashlights so you can see them in the dark and they can’t see you. Fun fun out there in the desert!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m confused. Why couldn’t they be pronghorns? If they weren’t pronghorns, what could they be? You’re sweet . . . you’ll believe their pronghorns no matter what!

  8. Grace says:

    Sounds heavenly!

  9. Joy A. says:

    I’d just like to caution you about letting Spike out on his own when he continues his barking as he did. Because there is something out there he doesn’t like.

    While you haven’t heard coyotes where you are, I can guarantee there are some around. It’s likely you’ll never see them or even hear them.

    I have never heard them at my house but have twice seen them in my yard. The first time one was within 12 feet of my little dog before we saw each other and he ran away. A year ago, in a neighbors yard there were two small ones playing. Again I’ve been in my home for 20 years and never heard a coyote howl or bark. But they are around.

    It worries me when I see your dogs loose. Big dogs it wouldn’t bother me. Just be careful with those poochies loose.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Joy, for sharing your concern for Spike and Bridget. I’ll be more careful. It’s difficult to restrict them to leashes all the time, when they are in and out of this tiny house of ours, all day. It’s good that you reminded me of the danger.

    • When I lived full time at a campground called Normandy Farms in Foxboro, Mass, we heard Coyotes howl all through the night. It was bone chilling. There were time I came home late at night and ran for my rv. lol. We had alot of sightings around the lake also and it was put in the newspapers. They ran in packs and we were always careful.
      I was walking my girlfriends dog one day down near the lake and he stoped, growled, showed his teeth. He never did that before. I knew he was warning me about the coyotes so we got the heck out of there. The next day it was in the paper. Loved the horses. Thanks for sharing. you did a great job doing it. they were beautiful!!!!!
      take care with the winds and rain. Do you have to tie your trailer down when it gets that bad? Let us know how you do Sunday. We will be thinking of you.

  10. Debbie Hearne says:

    Sue, thanks so much for the time you take to write your blog and the great pictures you take.
    Y ou make us feel like we’re traveling too. We can’t fulltime but this year we are taking two
    six week trips with our trailer. I love the horses that you have been seeing, they are
    beautiful. God bless from southern California.

    Debbie

  11. A good lesson on, always believe the dog.

    No restaurant could offer your far seeing view.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I should know by now to drop everything and find out what Spikey’s barking about. I wish I had. Maybe I would have seen the pronghorns while there was more light. My focus gets on the writing and I don’t want to stop. (Sorry, Spike)

      In all my dreams I never thought I’d have a view like this and be in a place of peace and quiet at the same time.

  12. Pam Perry says:

    Oh how Spike’s stance speaks for his attitude! I had a terrier and that’s what his butt looked like when he was making his stand! So funny and so cute. Keep having fun for me to experience from the comfort of my sofa.

  13. Emily says:

    Perhaps you encountered a few of the Sonoran pronghorns that live in that area. There are efforts to increase their numbers. Check the reading out on them.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s the plan for this morning. I started researching them last night after Ed told us this is not their usual habitat. But then “American Idol” came on and, well . . .

  14. Tammy says:

    My Tuff does the same thing – Rat’s are definitely determined little monsters. Once they start there is just no stopping until they get what they want.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      “Tuff” — The name says it all! Ha!

      • Vic & Tammy says:

        What can I say he has a “tuff” life… he’s my boy…The barking does drive me nuts some days – and while I agree you have to be careful I can understand the opening the door and letting them out – mine can push me to the limit… if he wasn’t so adorable…

  15. rvsueandcrew says:

    Now that I think about it, I AM dining in one of the finest restaurants in the world!

  16. davedoc says:

    Since Spike is insistent with his barking, and you have daily cows, I thought of this video http://www.dogwork.com/codaf9/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a funny video! I laughed out loud. Thanks for sending it. Spike enjoyed listening to the barking dog. That lady has a great laugh!

      I’m sorry I didn’t find your comment until today, the 18th.

  17. Bob says:

    Hey, Sue and crew!

    Maybe what you saw were Jackalopes that migrated from Texas. I hear they get pretty darn big down there.

    I’m strill trailing along with you, just don’t chime in all the time. Thanks for the pics, the smiles, and the laughs.

    Bob.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Bob!

      Good to know you’re still with us. Also good to know you appreciate “the pics, the smiles, and the laughs.”

      Jackalopes from Texas? Now you’ve given me something to research on this cold, windy day . . .

  18. Swankie says:

    Sue, methinks you are having more fun than I am. I’m waiting for a paycheck Weds and then plan to leave Quartzsite. My feet are itching. I plan to mosey north toward my summer job in CO, but not to fast… don’t like that white stuff getting too close. Your mountain photos of the snow are great. Would be fun to have cattle and horses walk into my camp. I’d love your spot. Maybe one day, our paths will cross again. SwankieWheels

  19. carol says:

    thanks fort all your lb
    Og,I’m afraid I’ve become a lurker,sorry, I’m addicted!Laughed so at the video,it made my “Skeeks”bark.

    The cows looked like our Angus,not quite bright

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