End of Cooler

I couldn’t stand the cooler. I did love the food, but hated everything else about owning the cooler. It took too much money, too much time, took up way too much room and way too many worries (where to get block ice, are the chicken breasts still edible, how to buy 1 piece of broccoli in Walmart, the water invaded all containers and butter swimming was not healthy). Hated worrying about it every day.

So … I gave it away to a very nice woman who offered a copy of her just published book, autographed. It seemed like a great trade.

I bought a piece of jewelry on the way to buy groceries one day. Below is a pic of Israel and his dog, Ajax. They were sitting on the ground with a piece of cardboard, selling the jewelry that Israel was making. I will be sending this to a steel working friend. I think.

Tomorrow I am off to the WRTR (Women’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) and camping in the desert with 1,000 women who love to camp out in vans, trucks and cars.

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Heat in the Desert

I never imagined being hot in November. It was 87 yesterday. Thank goodness I am in a bit of shade.IMG_5116 I am finding mice, flies, tiny ants and lizards. Spent an hour trying to locate the library in town.
The LTVA is a great place for long term hanging out. They have bathrooms, water across the street, and it is affordable. Walking in the early mornings or early afternoon is ideal. The scenery is very desert, with washes every where. I am parked on the edge of a wash and am a tad nervous. I have arranged everything so that I can move in a few minutes. I am hoping that the flood washes away the cooler.

Quartzsite has a population of 3,694. Except in the winter. 

Quartzsite is a popular recreational vehicle camping area for winter visitors with tourism being the major contributor to Quartzsite’s economy. Nine major gem and mineral shows, and 15 general swap meet shows are very popular tourist attractions, attracting about 1.5 million people annually,[16] mostly during January and February.

Quartzsite is the burial place of Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), an Ottoman citizen of GreekSyrian parentage, who took part in the experimental US Camel Corps as a camel driver.[17]


 Not being crazy about crowds I wonder why I am doing this. I do have a desire to learn more about Hadji Ali and the camels. I do want to investigate the desert. I do want to hunt for gems and gold.
Going to get my long term camping permit today. Want to stay and learn.

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Free Camp Spots

I love the free spots I have found from Cortez, CO to Deming, NM on 2 lane roads, in lodge pole pines, with birds and deer and elk and no other campers.Apache CreekI stayed here 3 weeks, experimenting with the cooler and food supplies. Ne cell service. No radio reception. No news.
I do not like the cooler. I dislike almost everything about it. It takes up too much room. Most of the food would be fine without ice. The meats, no, but veggies are fine. And for meat I can do without, or use spam or tuna. I liked it fine when I was camp hosting, but on the road it is not as useful as I had hoped. I think I may give it up. I might love it in the desert. We will see how it turns out.

I am on my way to a meeting in Bouse, AZ, on January 4. The WRTR. This is a gathering of women who travel in vans or trucks. I am a bit hesitant to go (many people), but since I have lived for the last three years in the truck I have experience that other women might find useful. Since this is only October 29th I get to travel slowly!

The 2 month trek across Arizona will be fun.  Its always a treat to find new secret camping spots. Thanks to freecampsites there are many to choose from. Another help are the MVU maps for all of the National Forests. MVU are the Motor Vehicle use maps, which show the roads where free dispersed camping is allowed. And camping is allowed on almost all BLM land.

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Camp Host Love

Living in the truck and being a camp host is an ideal combo for me. I am in the San Juan National Forest, there are birds and bears and marmots and interesting campers.

Because there is no electricity or cell service Burro Bridge gets fly anglers, bird watchers, artists and hikers. Very few generators (only 1 this season). No raucous parties, just a deep appreciation of nature and peace. Among the visitors there have been musicians, micro biologists, pediatricians, environmental activists, teachers, ecologists and wandering souls. There was a group of college age mycologists from Denver who shared puffballs for my lunch. Tasty treat!puffballs


In the camp host life there is cleaning of toilets, firepits and sites. Here are the tools


Then sometimes you have to call in the professionals.


Calling in the pros is very expensive. They have to drive about 90 miles round trip. Ah, but what a relief.

Right now the hunting season has started. With bows and arrows first. Then muzzle loading rifles. The archery hunters are good campers. The sites are clean and neat, they call me “ma’am”, and have invited me for an elk dinner. If they get one. So far no slaughtered wildlife. Phew.

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Help for Truck Camping

I bought Lilith’s  tires from Big O in Basalt, Colorado three years ago.

I was having trouble with the tires losing pressure when we drove up to Burro Bridge campground …. going from 7,000′ to 9,000′. So when I wondered what I could do about it the folks at the Cortez Big O (thanks, Nathan) decided that putting nitrogen in the tires instead of air might do the trick. (“thats what airplanes use, it wont hurt to mix with oxygen if you can’t find nitrogen….”) The following week I had the same problem … the light indicating low tire pressure came on. The folks at Big O took all of the tires off  the rims and cleaned them. Aha! Gravel in the rims. All of this care at no charge since I bought the tires from Big O.

They will also work on the brakes, have changed the oil and all of the filters and got the packrat nest out of the air filter. That stuff costs. Only the tire care is free.

They do it with a smile, and there are many Big Os out here in the west. They are a truck’s best friend.

Another thing to tell you. I caved in and bought a cooler. Reason? John and Bonnie Cunningham cooked dinner from their cooler over a fire and invited me. Oh. It tasted so good. I have been eating Spam and crackers for too long. Time to upgrade the diet. I splurged and bought a Yeti. Then filled it up with dry ice, eggs, bok choi, brussel sprouts, peppers, onions and 3 bratworsts.  I’ll let you know if this works out. (*didn’t. The dry ice froze the bok choi, the cauliflower and brussel spouts stunk up the cooler, and everything turned liquid only after 4 days. Hated the brats. Gonna try again.)

Not Truck Camping in Winter

I have volunteered with the Forest Service to take care of the Burro Bridge campground after my job ends (9/23) until the hunters leave. Am hoping there will not be this much snow. I spent a whole week this spring cleaning what the hunters did to the campground and the trees and the bathrooms and the scattered trash. Don’t want to do that next spring. Maybe I can keep them in line. They have guns. I have a cleaning bucket. Hmmm.




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