Monday, April 11
“We can’t go today. It’s too nice to leave.”
I scrap the plan to break camp.
We can stay another day. We don’t reach the 14-day limit until tomorrow. If it rains like the forecasters say, well, that’s okay.
“Whoa! Whatcha’ see up there, Reg?”
~ ~ ~
I could write several more posts about this camp.
I have loads of photos and things to write about . . . .
One day a rancher stops by our camp and introduces himself. We stand at the edge of the bluff looking down at his cattle while we talk.
He runs 450 cattle here.
“I’ve got cows up in the mountains. These yearlings you see around here . . . I wean them off their mommas and then about 150 of them make their way up into the mountains and find their mommas again.” He shakes his head.
“That’s my house up there,” he says, pointing. “My wife and I have five kids, a girl and four boys. My twin boys are 16 now. Ya’ know? They don’t care about getting their driver’s licenses. They’d rather come home and ride horses. They’re always doing something with horses, breaking colts and so forth.”
After a pause he adds, “My kids have never had a neighbor.”
“Yes, it is strong,” he replies proudly.
~ ~ ~
Another day the crew and I ride in the Perfect Tow Vehicle down a spur road.
We turn to the right and discover a campsite that is occupied by a man with a van.
He’s sitting outside and sees us approaching.
“Hello!” I call out with a wave.
When he responds in kind I ask, “May we come over?”
“Sure!” he says.
While we chat Bridget and Reggie wander around close by.
Suddenly Reggie yips.
“Oh, no!” I pick him up and hold him, belly up. He has cholla stuck on his back legs!
Bob pulls out the cholla spines. Reggie is a brave boy.
He doesn’t move or make a sound.
“Congratulations, Reggie Man. It’s official. You are now a full-fledged desert boondocker!”
The crew and I enjoy our last full day at our boondock among the cacti in bloom.
I think we are leaving right before the peak. Even so, I’ve been blessed with more beauty than I ever imagined we’d find on our return to Roosevelt Lake.
I recall the times I heard a covey of gambrel quail, the road runner who kept himself hidden in the brush, and the “wow birds” who always made me smile.
Also the morning I open the door and startle five deer from the edge of our camp. The sounds of coyotes during the night, of course. The bees working on the creosote blooms each afternoon.
Oh yeah, and the turkey vultures . . . .
“C’mon, you two. Let’s take a ride.”
I’ve already folded up Bridget’s new car and placed it behind the driver’s seat in the PTV. I toss in my camp chair, the doggie beds, and Reggie’s armadillo toy. I pull up the stakes. Lastly I bungee the two patio mats and toss them into the back of the PTV.
There. In the morning I’ll secure the inside and hitch up. The coffee is made and the crew’s chicken is ready for their breakfast. We’ll make an early start.
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