Wednesday, April 9
The crew and I enjoy our driveway camp at Rusty’s and Timber’s house in Chino Valley, Arizona.
Timber keeps watch on our doings. I step out of the Best Little Trailer in the morning and there’s Timber, eyes already trained on the door.
Later I put the crew in Timber’s yard for a social hour.
Timber is very excited to have visitors. Spike isn’t as territorial as our first day here and Bridget has lost her snippy attitude.
Rusty uses his weed-eater.
Watching someone else work is always a good time.
The FedEx truck arrives with a package from another reader of this blog!
I open up the box and lift out two big cans of peanuts, one for Rusty and one for me.
The crew and I go for a drive around the town of Chino Valley.
I want to acquaint myself with what’s available. This is a place to which I hope to return. I see a few possible photos for this blog, but it’s mid-afternoon and the light is very bright, so I don’t take any.
Thursday, April 10
Another advantage to driveway camping, in addition to fresh water, is trash pick-up. I get rid of two big bags, stuffing them into Rusty’s wheeled bin.
The railroad scene continues to evolve.
“These things are expensive,” he remarks. “I bought this one and I’m going to use it for the height of buildings, and for the dimensions for doors and windows. I’ll make templates and build my own houses, a railroad station . . . . ”
Here is a coffee pot that Rusty created. It sits on top of the woodstove inside one of the train cars. Imagine how small it is!
Later in the day, Rusty takes apart a small solar light to extract the little panel that makes the light. He drills a hole in the roof of the white house he constructed and affixes the solar panel to it. (It’s black so it isn’t noticeable — Solar panels don’t fit the turn-of-the-century setting.)
The next morning Rusty laughs and tells me the inside of the house was lit up like people were inside it. He plans to have all the structures and the trains lit inside by tiny solar panels. You’ll be able to see the people inside after dark. Clever!
Tomorrow the crew and I say our goodbyes and move to a new camp.
Friday, April 11
Rusty comes out of his house and stops to give Spike a pat and a few words.
“Spike likes that. He doesn’t get much male attention,” I call from the door of the BLT.
Rusty comes over and gives Bridget some scratches on her behind. She looks up at me as if to say, “Ooh, look what he’s doing to me!”
Rusty offers more fresh water, and takes three empty jugs into his house and fills them for me. We talk while I put things in their places.
Then the time comes to hitch up.
I shoo Rusty away.
“Sorry, Rusty. You have to go away. Don’t even watch me. I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing if someone is around.”
He understands and walks away. “Just don’t leave without giving me a hug,” he says over his shoulder.
“Okay, I won’t.”
Once hitched I move the BLT around the driveway circle and open up the fresh water tank. Rusty fills it up, using his garden hose. (Tank water is for flushing and minor washing tasks.)
I thank Rusty for a great camp and for all his help.
We hug and say goodbye.
“Let me get a last photo of you waving goodbye.”
Rusty immediately trots over to the fence so Timber can say goodbye, too.
“Goodbye! See ya’ again next year!”
NOTE: The crew and I arrive safely at our new camp. That’s the subject of my next post!
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