Tuesday, December 27
Reggie and I head into Blythe. I have books to return to the library.
At the cotton field along Midland Road, I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle, bring down the passenger window, and take a photo. Reggie holds his classic pose.
This time I have a list!
The last trip to the library I forgot to bring my list of author and book recommendations from readers (in comments under a recent post). Subsequently every book I chose was a dud. One was too pretentious, another too predictable, and the other too juvenile.
We approach the field of sheep.
I only give it a brief glance as we go by because I know what I’ll see. The vultures give warning. One sheep didn’t make it through the night.
I wonder if the sheepherder was given time off from his night patrol for the holiday . . . .
At the library I find four of the books on my list!
Remember the Canine Rule of Repeats or something like that? The rule where anything you do twice at the same time and place must be repeated forever whenever you’re there again?
I come out of the library and Reggie is hopping at the PTV’s window.
“Okay, little guy. I know. This is when you get out.”
I put him on his tether and walk along with him as he scurries and sniffs, marks and back-kicks, all around the grassy lawn under the cottonwoods.
A pack of four, blond, long-haired chihuahuas trot past.
That’s the same group I saw at Smart & Final the other day.
They’re on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Every one of them is wearing a collar.
It’s not unusual to see chihuahuas running loose in some of the dusty towns of the Southwest. Blythe has its share.
From what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure these aren’t strays. I think it’s part of the culture of their owners to let their dogs roam. Anyone who’s traveled into Mexico can verify this.
Anyway . . . . The dogs look well-fed and happy. They’re street smart, too, keeping to the sidewalk and out of traffic.
“C’mon, Reg. Time to go.”
While returning to the PTV, Reggie tugs on his tether. I turn to find him on his back legs, straining to meet two more chihuahuas!
I speak softly to the dogs and they immediately take off down the street and disappear.
Wednesday, December 28
The sky is overcast. Now and then the curtain of clouds is parted momentarily and the sun peeks through. Reggie and I walk the desert, following the washes that are carpeted with soft sand from the recent rains. The tracks of a coyote pack are distinct.
We keep moving in order to keep warm.
Other than the visit from Rusty and Piper, no one has camped in the large, remote section of Midland Long Term Visitor Center that we are calling our home. No one drives by. Days are quiet except for the occasional rumbling of a quarry truck on Midland Road and the fly-overs of a pair of cawing blackbirds.
At night, when the sounds of trucks and blackbirds cease, the silence is as comforting as a thick, woolen blanket tucked in tightly. Last night, before the clouds took over, the stars were many and bright.
I’m reading “Circling the Sun” by Paula McLain — a novel about “record-setting aviator Beryl Markham.” When I sit up in bed with a book and a cup of hot tea, Reggie knows to crawl under the comforter for a nap.
These are lazy, desert days.
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“Hiking a ridge above Flaming Gorge Reservoir” — September 2014