Wednesday, February 5
It’s the day after my visit to Los Algodones. I walk the crew, tidy up the Best Little Trailer, and relax with a book. I took two pain pills yesterday, slept well last night, and feel fine today. Bridget and Spike are happy to be home with everything returned to our version of normal.
Les left first thing this morning for a cowboy and western poetry meet over in Sierra Vista, Arizona, that will last through the weekend.
Thursday, February 6
Perfect as it is here in the Sidewinder-Ogliby Road area west of Yuma, I can’t resist the urge to move camp. Early this morning the crew and I drive down to the rest stop on I-8 to fill up water jugs and dump trash.
We return to camp and I pack up and hitch up.
It isn’t until I’m in the driver’s seat, all ready to hit the road, that I decide where our next camp is. Browsing my Arizona Benchmark atlas, I choose Coyote Wash in Wellton, only about 30 miles east of Yuma along Interstate 8. I don’t want to move out of this great weather.
We stop at Pilot Knob at the Sidewinder exit and dump tanks ($6).
I love driving through the Gila Mountains.
When you get to the highest point and begin the descent, Dome Valley lies below you like a green quilt. Jagged mountains frame the view. At Wellton, we pull off the interstate and stop at a small shopping center where I remember buying groceries one time when heading to Yuma from the east.
The grocery store and adjacent businesses are closed.
I let out the crew and we slowly wander around the perimeter of the parking lot. (I want Bridget and Spike calm when it’s time to choose our campsite.) I toss them into the PTV and walk over to the Jack in the Box nearby.
I order a chicken sandwich for me and a hamburger each for Bridget and Spike (hold the lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo!). I eat my lunch inside before returning to the crew. They are excited about the hamburger treats I feed them, bite by bite.
I’m curious to see the Coyote Wash dispersed camping area.
To get there, one takes the Wellton exit and drives south. Go past the shopping center, past the Baptist Church, and shortly before the canal, turn left. You’ll see a scene like the one below as you approach the turn.
Although the area shown in the photo above looks sparsely populated, one does not drive across the desert and park. It’s always better to camp where others have camped before.
Not wanting to camp within earshot of generators, radios or people, I continue further down the lane so the crew and I can camp by ourselves. I don’t like to concern myself with Bridget and Spike bothering anyone. When by ourselves they can explore freely.
It’s very pretty!
The palo verde and ironwood trees are lush by desert standards. The ground is covered with tiny green plants that give the impression of a freshly mowed lawn. A mixture of small bushes and plants add visual interest and softness to the landscape.
I see tracks off to the side of the lane.
Hmm . . . This is a lovely spot. I like this. I take a moment to consider how to angle the Best Little Trailer so the door is to the east. Then I slowly pull off the lane. A short distance and . . . uh-oh . . . the PTV loses traction.
Oh, no! We’re stuck!
I get out to take a look. Not good. Underneath those deceptive, little, green plants and a surface crust lies sand so soft it’s like driving on pudding. I get out my shovel and dig and dig and dig. I place boards in front of the tires.
I start up the PTV and try to ease her out. The tires spin, spitting sand. I immediately let up on the gas. I get out and see the tires are in even deeper.
Meanwhile Bridget and Spike are having conniption fits.
They want to see their new home! I open the side door and they catapult themselves out. I set a bowl of water on the ground. I stand back, looking at the PTV’s back end, contemplating the sorry situation. What to do . . . what to do . . . Oh, well, I’m thirsty.
I unlock the BLT and pull out a drink from the refrigerator.
I haul out a camp chair from the back of the PTV. Might as well take a little break and think things over. I sip my drink and watch the crew. They love this place! Gee, they must’ve grown tired of our last camp. Look at ’em running around . . . happy, happy, happy!
I dig some more behind the wheels, set the boards, and try backing up.
No good. The hitch extension is so low on the PTV that it jams into the dirt as we go backward. The BLT is now at a worse angle than when we pulled in. I unhitch the BLT (which I should’ve done to begin with), dig some more, and try going forward.
Still no progress.
Okay. It’s only going to sink deeper. By now the sun is dipping low in the sky. This is a problem for tomorrow morning!
I put Bridget and Spike back into their harnesses, click on the leashes, and we go for a very enjoyable walk. We return and I put the interior of the BLT in order. I fix us our supper, go online and answer some comments, and, at last, put the crew to bed and settle in for a nice long read to wrap up the day.
Snuggled in bed with Bridget, the sound of Spike’s gentle breathing and the soft hooting of owls lull me into a peaceful sleep.
Friday, February 7
Bridget and Spike are up and out the door for a quick potty run. They jump back into bed and I heat up yesterday’s left-over pot of coffee. I make two slices of toast. I’m checking the blog and the day’s report from Amazon when suddenly I’m startled by a knock at the door.
A booming man’s voice on the other side of the door . . .
I jump up and open the door. Before I can say anything, a burly man, looking to be in his sixties, looks up at me and bellows, “Do ya’ need a tow?”
To be continued . . .
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