This morning I have a nine o’clock appointment to have the PTV’s oil changed.
On the way out of the Coconino National Forest dispersed camping area northeast of Flagstaff, I stop at Beck and Diane’s campsite. They invited me to visit them for a brief hello before they hit the road again with their two cats, Ricochet Rocket and Feathers.
I met Beck and Diane a month or so ago at Burro Creek Recreation Area. We knew we’d be friends right away when we noticed we have a solar panel on our vehicles, rather than on our homes.
A few minutes after arriving, a lady on a bicycle pedals up to their campsite.
She has a Pomeranian on a leash running alongside her. “Where am I?” she asks, looking befuddled. We soon learn she arrived here last night and went up the campground road looking for a site. When she tried to turn her Born Free (Class C) motorhome around in the road, one of its wheels went into a ditch.
This morning she dug and moved rocks around the wheel in an effort to drive her rig out of the ditch, but to no avail. Beck lends her a cellphone so she can call AAA road service, and then gives her info about her location to relay to the AAA dispatcher. I hook up my GPS in the PTV and write down the coordinates for her also.
I have to make a quick exit to get to the auto shop on time.
Although I feel bad for the lady in distress, I drive away happy for me. Beck and Diane decided to stay another day and they invited me for drinks and dinner tonight!
The auto shop, which has been doing business in Flagstaff for about 35 years, is extremely busy. I expect a long wait, but a young man sets to work right away changing the oil and filter. Spike, Bridget and I sit in the tiny waiting area. The charge is $45.31 for labor and five quarts of oil. Pulling away from the shop, I do believe I detect a happier PTV!
Next stop is the Safeway store on the same highway.
This is an important shopping trip. Tomorrow I am beginning the Dukan diet. This is a diet developed in France about ten years ago. The first week of the diet is high protein, designed to rev up your metabolism and break the addiction to sweets and carbs. (You can read about it at www.dukandiet.com.) My shopping list is oat bran, Greek non-fat plain yogurt (23 grams of protein – the good, expensive stuff), sliced turkey, skinless chicken breasts, tuna fish, Stevia sweetener for my coffee, non-fat milk . . . You get the idea.
Bridget will be dieting with me.
I’ll be on the Dukan diet while Bridget will be on the Green Bean and Kibble diet. We girls have to watch our waistlines!
I fill up the PTV with gas at $3.69 a gallon.
I notice a thrift store and run in for a fly-by shopping trip. I find a lightweight, summer blouse for $5.99, pay for it, and hurry back to the PTV.
I get there too late.
“Oh, no!” Spike is chewing a big chunk out of a fresh, skinless chicken breast he’s torn out of the styrofoam and cellophane package. He drops it on the floor of the PTV when I enter, and guiltily climbs back up on the bench seat. “Oh Spike. I should have known you’d do that.”
On the way back to our campsite I meet the lady in the Born Free.
She’s coming the opposite way. “The forest guys helped me get going. I’m looking for a campsite.” I give her a suggestion and off she goes. I’m surprised that the forest workers helped her, as they aren’t allowed to do so. Later I learn they didn’t pull her out, just helped her position the rocks so she could drive out of the ditch.
Gail comes over in the afternoon.
We sit in camp chairs on my blue patio mat and talk about our travels, our way of life, and my impending diet. Gail is trying to figure out how to make yogurt using powdered milk. I’m no help, although I have made yogurt with regular milk. All of a sudden I remember I’m supposed to be at Beck and Diane’s at 4:30. I explain this to Gail and she goes back to her campsite.
I tidy myself up, put the crew in their suits, grab the bottle of wine, unplug the BLT power plug from the PTV, and away we go!
Beck and Diane are used to Bridget and Spike. The crew attended the last dinner they prepared for me. We sit outside their fifth wheel for drinks and conversation. Beck, who was once a veterinary technician, looks at Spike’s wound. She feels it is healing too quickly and a small lump may be a sign of infection. She applies hydrogen peroxide and clears the wound of the scab, so the healing will be from the inside out. Spike is a good patient and lets her tend to him.
It’s getting cool and dinner’s ready, so we go inside.
Two dogs, two cats, and three adults eating dinner inside together is a bit tricky, but it all works out somehow. I thoroughly enjoy their company and the meal is excellent.
“You know, this is my last supper,” I announce dramatically before revealing the diet regimen that starts tomorrow.
After dinner we all walk around their campsite.
I’ve got Bridget and Spike on-leash, and Beck has Ricochet on a leash also.
Feathers the cat stays inside because she doesn’t like dogs. Imagine that!
I hug these two good people goodbye and wish them safe travel. Tomorrow morning they head toward Mesa Verde and will drive through Monument Valley.
I drive away through the Ponderosa pines with the crew in the back of the PTV.
It’s almost dark as I find our way home. I think about Beck and Diane and their warm hospitality. How fortunate our paths crossed again. I love the serendipity of this way of life!