Wednesday, January 20
The Perfect Tow Vehicle is due for an oil change!
I call up Kord’s Auto in Ajo to make an appointment. Several tries and each time the connection breaks before I can get a word out.
“You know?” I say to the crew. “We ought to drive into town anyway. We could pick up fresh vegetables while we’re there.”
Bridget, Reggie, and I board the PTV.
I’ve unhooked the power cord from the bumper. We leave our peaceful camp behind.
The days and nights are quiet. One night a jet roared over, probably from the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range northwest of us. Occasionally, as in every other day or so, a helicopter flies over, low to the ground. Border Patrol works this area.
As we approach Ajo from the south, we pass the different colors of mine tailings.
I ask for an appointment and the man behind the counter looks at the computer screen.
“How about now?” he asks.
Of course I agree to that! I’m also asked whether I want regular or synthetic oil.
“What’s the difference?” I ask.
“Well, regular is good for 3,000 miles and synthetic is 5,000 miles.”
I choose regular, I guess because that’s what I’m used to putting into the PTV. (The PTV is ten years old; the odometer reads 158,110.)
I walk the crew outside while we wait.
About twenty minutes later the job is done!
Oil change bill: $37.95 plus $2.31 tax = $40.26.
From Kord’s we stop at True Value Hardware, Family Dollar, and Olsen’s IGA grocery. I remember to buy garlic cloves this time!
In other news . . .
I promised you I’d take a good photo of the friendly hummingbird that visits our feeder several times each day. Well, I never got around to doing that, so here’s one that I have on file.
No wildlife sightings . . . yet!
I keep the curtains pulled back in hopes of spotting a deer or javelina or coyote or whatever. Animals cross our lane at night. More tracks give evidence of that.
Which leads me to discuss something I find interesting about the Reggie Man.
His tail sends messages! Really! I’ll show you what I mean.
See his tail in the next photo? That’s the everything-is-copescetic position.
As we walk the lane, Reggie stops suddenly!
He stands very still with his nose pointed toward a scent. Only his nose moves, constantly twitching. This is when I perceive another message from his tail. I let him walk off the trail in the direction of the scent that intrigues him.
A tail bent to the left means “Warning: Something strange is over there!”
Cholla inhibits any further investigation.
We stand motionless for a few minutes, Reggie sniffing the air and me scanning the creosote, brittlebush, cholla, and saguaro for any movement.
A few minutes later we’re in a wash when Reggie gives the same tail message.
Bridget doesn’t come with us on this walk.
She walks with us at least once every day, sometimes twice. She lets me know when she doesn’t want to go by making her body “dead weight” when I attempt to move her off the bed. As I’ve explained before, I don’t force her to come with us.
How ’bout some sunset photos!
I step back for a wider shot.
This sunset strikes me as unusual due to the color blue being prominent. Who ever heard of a blue sunset!
I trot away from our campsite to find a foreground that isn’t too cluttered. It’s becoming dark, of course. A ball of cholla spines clings to my sock. Fortunately the spines don’t penetrate to my skin.
I pick up a small stick and flick them off my sock. Good riddance!
Bridget and Reggie are asleep inside the BLT as I take these photos. At least I think they are. If I’m gone too long, they’re sure to wake up.
The sunset passes through several stages.
Thinking the show is about over, I sneak into the BLT.
Two sleepy heads lift up momentarily. I push the camera’s memory card into my laptop to see the photos. While looking them over, I pull back the window curtain for one last look.
The sunset is even more intense!
Rather than further disturb Bridget and Reggie, I quietly look out the window from my seat between them. I’m transfixed until the magnificence fades.
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