Wednesday, September 7
Campsite at Sims Mesa Campground, Navajo Lake State Park, New Mexico
When in our campsite, it doesn’t seem like we are in a campground at all.
No campers in sight and no people sounds. Everyone has left this loop except for one couple on the far side.
The crew and I meet them on our walk this morning. The man has his head under the hood of his truck and the woman is puttering under the patio awning.
Reggie stands on his back legs, straining against his tether.
I stop Bridget’s car in order to rein him in. As I’m doing that, the couple come out to chat. I notice they have New Mexico license plates.
Hmm . . . Maybe they know the roads around here.
“Is there a shorter way to go to west to Arizona, other than the 17 miles back to Route 64?” I ask.
The man replies without hesitation.
“You thinking about the road that goes to the dam? Don’t take that damn road,” he smiles at his play on words. “It’s in awful shape. Rocks this high,” he says, holding his hand near his hip. “Yes, you have to go the 17 miles to 64.”
We talk dogs, of course.
Just last week they had to “put down” their 16-year-old schnauzer.
“He had a good life,” the woman remarks. That leaves them with one dog, a deaf Australian cattle dog that they adopted out of a rescue organization.
Of course, they fuss over Bridget and Reggie who do their best to show off how cute they are.
Our campsite is a “reservation” site.
This means we can keep it, only if no one reserves it. In other words, pay day-by-day. Noon comes and there’s no sign of the ranger with a “reserved” ticket for the post, so the three of us go down to the pay station again. I drop another check for $14 into the iron ranger.
Today is the kind of day that beckons one outside.
I set up a kitchen work station at the picnic table under the shelter.
While Bridget and Reggie loll at my feet, I chop up a big mess of celery. I turn six hard-boiled eggs into egg salad, and two cans of chicken into chicken salad.
Having only one storage bowl with lid available, I put the egg salad in the bottom and cover it with a piece of “tin foil” (leftover from making myself a hat).
On top of the tin foil I spread the chicken salad, put the lid on, and pop both salads in the fridge.
Gosh, am I clever or what!
I also peel and cut up potatoes, put them in a pot with a cut-up head of broccoli, and boil. Sometimes I like a plate of taters for supper. I spread some pesto on them.
Bridget’s car receives routine maintenance.
Reggie watches as I put air in all three tires. He’s such a boy. Bridget couldn’t care less about tire inflation.
The little, hand pump that came with the stroller works very efficiently. I store it in the basket under her seat.
“There! Now this thing ought to be easier to push uphill.”
If you’re interested in a stroller for your cat or dog and you read my blog on a device that doesn’t show the link in the sidebar, here’s another link to Bridget’s car at Amazon: Pet Gear No-Zip Jogger Pet Stroller.
There are several, less expensive strollers on the market.
This one is worth the extra bucks because it’s an All Terrain Vehicle. You’d laugh to see the rough places I push Bridget in this thing!
Speaking of Bridget, here she is with her lovey-dovey face on . . . .
Let me tell you about The Rabbit Hour.
At dusk Sims Mesa turns into a rabbit playground! I kid you not. An arroyo below our campsite is the place to be, if you’re a rabbit, that is. Black-tailed jackrabbits and what I call “cottontails” emerge from their afternoon naps and par-tee!
They hop so much it’s tough to get a decent photo, plus the light is almost gone at this hour. This next photo is the best one I could get, using my camera’s zoom.
On the other side of the arroyo or wash (or whatever you call it) is the paved road #527, otherwise known at “The 17-Mile Road Outta Here.”
I have to laugh at the sight of three jack-rabbits loping up the road in a line, one behind the other, equally spaced like impatient tailgaters on a Friday afternoon.
Must be on their way to Pagosa Springs . . . .
The Rabbit Hour coincides with The Golden Hour.
That’s when the setting sun puts a glow on the hills and cliffs to the east.
Not actually an hour, more like ten minutes, and then it fades. I didn’t “doctor” the color in these photos. You can see the shadows creeping up the hill that is gilded with light.
What a lot of folks don’t realize about the desert — you know, those people who think it’s boring and drab — is how much the light features in desert beauty. Almost every night one is treated to a stunning sunset, and sometimes an extra treat is given when the hills to the east are transformed into hills of gold.
Pretty neat, eh?
The aftermath of The Golden Ten Minutes is a softly fading landscape under painted clouds.
My plan is to leave Sims Mesa Campground, Navajo Lake State Park, in the morning. We’re still hitched up and almost ready to go!
Thursday, September 8
What a crappy night last night! I wake up feeling like a week-old muffin stuck to the floor because somebody stepped on it and it’s all squished and . . . . Well, you get the idea.
Usually I sleep easily. I can sleep anywhere, any time, any place. Give me a few minutes of quiet and I’m gone. Off to the land of dreams.
Not last night!
A critter of some kind or other shuffles around the Best Little Trailer. I can barely hear it. Reggie, on the other hand, is super alert. He charges out from under the covers, yelling his head off. This goes on every few minutes.
These interruptions throw off our schedule for the middle-of-the-night potty break. Long story short, Bridget has an accident on the comforter. This means I have to rearrange things so the pee portion is at the bottom of the bed, as we have to use it, our spare comforter having been peed on and awaiting the next trip to the laundromat. Fortunately this “leak” is a light one and only a corner of the comforter is wet and it didn’t soak all the way through, thank God in heaven.
Then, as if to acknowledge that things ain’t going right tonight, my leg starts to ache.
Every mumble out of Bridget has me alert, wondering if I should take her outside. The scent of urine in the air doesn’t help. And here’s that critter again and here’s Reggie having a conniption fit over it again. I toss and turn, trying to get comfortable.
And so it goes . . . .
No way we’re moving camp today!
Instead we take it easy. I wash half of the comforter in a basin with Tide and drape it over the back fence to dry in the sun.
Later, after a snooze in the lounger with Bridget asleep in the doggie bed nearby and Reggie conked out on my lap, I think things over.
We have it pretty good here. Every day is sunny and bright. Cool breezes come up from the lake. Birds singing. No one around to bother us. Plenty of food . . . . Got three more tomatoes for sandwiches, plus the salads I made yesterday, boiled veggies, all kinds of good stuff. We have conveniences like trash pick-up and water-on-demand. The next few days are supposed to be hot and we have air conditioning. Our next camp probably won’t.
Oh, and, not to be forgotten, the shower house I love!
Here it is in the early evening, aglow, a lovely shrine to cleanliness and comfort where I reverently perform my ablutions . . . .
The crew wakes. . . . I hop to my feet, go inside the BLT, and open up the laptop.
A search of the ReserveAmerica website reveals that no one has reserved our site #28 until next Sunday.
Great! This is great! We can stay through Saturday!
I stand in the open doorway smiling while I survey our home.
Hey, rabbits! I hope you like our company!
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