Sunday, March 20
Usually the crew and I make an early start on a day we move camp.
Today I write a blog post first, respond to comments, then hitch up and move out. We motor through Arivaca again, and continue northeastward on the Arivaca Road. The road surface is in good condition and the weather is ideal for driving on this beautiful Palm Sunday.
We meet several bikers going the opposite way on the Arivaca Road.
I imagine it’s fun riding a bike up and down and winding to the left and to the right in a continuous ribbon of curves and rolling hills. The road from Arivaca to Arivaca Junction is too curvy for fast driving. We go around 45 mph.
Besides, I don’t want to miss the scenery.
Then we head due east. New-looking subdivisions of houses in Arizona-tan stucco cluster along the perfectly paved roadway.
At the junction with Route 83 we turn south.
I look for mile marker 40. Just past it I turn left onto Empire Ranch Road and we enter Cienegas National Conservation Area.
At a kiosk I study the map which indicates camping areas.
Driving in the opposite direction, I find to my liking the Cienequita Dispersed Camping Area. It has 6 sites, widely spaced, and only two of them are occupied. I choose a site out of hearing range of a rumbling generator and with no other campsite in our view.
It’s the hottest part of the afternoon so we postpone our long walk of the day until later, when it’s cooler. Bridget and Reggie trot along on the soft, sandy road.
Someone is engaged in target practice and the gunshots bother Reggie. We continue on our walk anyway. He’s very relieved, however, when we return to camp.
“Home sweet home, Reggie Man.”
As darkness falls the sounds of four-wheelers and guns fade away, leaving total silence at our camp under a full moon.
Monday, March 21
After breakfast I unhitch the Perfect Tow Vehicle and the crew and I go to Sonoita, only about 5 miles to the south on Route 83. I’m wanting some fresh groceries. Yesterday I had to pass a Wal-Mart and a Safeway without stopping because it was too hot to leave Bridget and Reggie in the PTV.
Sonoita is such a lovely name for a town.
I admit I’m a bit disappointed. The town doesn’t have a lot of character and charm (That’s my opinion. Don’t hate me if it’s your hometown and your favorite place on earth.). There is no grocery, just two convenience/tourist stores. Route 82 blasts through. A few restaurants look interesting.
A big feature at Sonoita is the the huge rodeo arena with its statue at the entrance.
On the return toward Las Cienegas, we make a left onto Coronado National Forest Road 92 which goes to Gardner Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains. Along this road are several really nice boondocks!
Bridget, Reggie, and I spend the rest of the morning wandering around under the huge oak trees at these campsites. Birds sing high above us.
We have a really nice morning together.
(More about Gardner Canyon boondocks and hiking trails in the next post.)
The rest of the day I read my Paperwhite, go online (good internet here!), and putter around camp with the crew.
Tuesday, March 22
Yeah, it’s cozy, all right. Pretty darn cozy with gale winds rocking our home and blowing sand, keeping us cooped up inside. That soft-on-paws sand is fine and the wind lifts it up easily. I close the ceiling vent and windows, leaving one open a few inches so we can breathe.
In comes the sand!
Under the door, through the window, I do believe it penetrates through the walls. I feel grit in my mouth. Sand is everywhere. . . . all over the top of the bureaus and the table and every little thing that isn’t stored away. I brush it out of the laptop’s keyboard. Sand settles to the bottom of the crew’s water bowl.
I can write my name in sand on the top of my new storage drawers!
Bridget sleeps most of the day, bless her heart. She’s smarter than Reg and me combined. Reggie sneezes, jumps around, and pesters me for entertainment. We play tug-of war with Sock Monkey until I can’t take it anymore.
Aha! A lull in the wind!
“C’mon, Reg! We’re gonna’ run off your energy!”
Together the two of us take off up the road like we’re being chased by Border Patrol. On the return we actually ARE being chased as the wind returns with a vengeance, like it’s making up for lost time and is really pissed that we’re outside.
Another lull and Bridget goes out for a quick potty run. The crew has supper and eventually both of them are asleep for the night.
That’s when the wind stops.
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!