Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE Off The Road Again -- Three Digit Temps Forecast
Three Digit Temps Forecast
I'm not ready for hot yet. Still have some heavy outside projects to do.
I have the DitchWitch all apart in the yard;
gears and bearings lined
up on towels waiting on a pair of keys to fix one drive gear to its
tranny shaft. The longer it waits then the dirtier the parts get and
the more likely I will loose something or forget the order of
Then I have a new electric service. Big ditch, conduit, meter pedestal,
distribution box. All of that is in place and the ditch filled. Now the
inspector is not happy with one little part and so I must reopen six
feet of the ditch and relocate the conduit. That is going to be an
undertaking for a hot day. To say the least. How are you with a shovel?
And I have a new battery watering system to install on my house batts.
A fancy gadget that is supposed to make watering the batts as easy as
watering my spider plant. Expensive experiment in any case.
And a furnace to fix.
And a roof vent to install. Two of them for that matter.
Sometimes my biggest chore is to not bog down trying to figure out what
to do first. I think I'll go for a walkaboutback instead. Makes a lot
more sense and it may be the last time for a while.
May 19th is Not a Holiday in Any of my
The DitchWitch is back together and the furnace works and the roof
vents are in and venting. I don't suppose the frustrations are worth
recording. An hundred years from now, if there is anyone left who
cares, a reader is going to ask: Did this writer do anything but
complain? Still and all, there is no reason other than greed that these
things need be so difficult. If only Quality were the goal, rather than
2005may23, Record Breaking Heat Begets
Becord Breaking Kilowatts
Temperature at Tonopah 109f two days in a row. Too hot too early and
two A/C's operating just short of full time to keep The Cat Drag'd Inn
at a sweaty 90f.
Robin writes: "Eudora has red-flagged 'nude' as thought it were
offensive! Two red chili peppers."
I'd replace that Big Brother programme right away quick! Pretty soon it
will be reporting your use of foul language to a higher authority. If
you write something that gets you three red chili peppers it will
report your every bad word to the thought police.
2005may28, Memorial Day Weekend
Finished another stained glass window. "Mushroom & Tree" is an
original work comprised of glass, polished agate slices, and a round of
Desert Rose (chalcedony). The window depicts a mushroom, perhaps an
Amanita muscaria, growing on
the shore of a small pond in the shade of
a yellow birch tree. The sun is in eclipse and small clouds dot the sky.
In the current SUN magazine
there is an interview
with Jaron Lanier "On The Danger Of Letting Computers Do Our
Thinking For Us" that discusses just such Artificial Intellegence and
the diminishment of humanity when we turn control of our thoughts over
to machines. Granted some human (but that one's humanity is
questionable) put that word "nude" in the database of Ronin's Eudora
however that fact is soon lost sight of as the machines replicate and
pass on their "knowledge" to subsequent generations.
2005june8, Dos Osos Negro
Finally away for a little holiday. I've done all I can to organise the
North Conway section of the World
Naked Bike Ride, Dave has taken over the on-the-ground-leadership,
and this is my last chance for a getaway before the Summer Management
period at El Dorado Hot Springs
At first it looked like it would have to be a good trip. The main
awning rolled up right the first try. Stowed and locked. My main
concern is that the blackwater holding tank might fall out but what the
hell, all what's in it won't be the worst thing to hit the pavement.
The tank is showing signs of severe deterioration and when I return
from this little adventure it will have to be replaced at no
inconsiderable expense. But that will be another storey for later.
The Cat Drag'd Out monday afternoon. Packing done, tanks dumped and
filled as necessary, all last minute tasks either complete or properly
set aside, or forgotton about. The DitchWitch for instance: What's
wrong with it this time is not a safety issue and not operationally
significant, so that can wait.
Firstly, after shopping for groceries and returning rented videos, I
visited with Ian and his mum. He's managed to get through his Freshman
year with passing grades. But now their house is being sold out from
under them and so they have to move again. The kid has to be four
inches taller them me now. But he's probly not yet smarter.
By dark I was somewhere north of the Sunset Point Rest Area on i17
before I was too tired to continue. Along the way the fan on the roof
radiator fell off. Not sure if the tyraps that held it on broke leaving
the fan hanging by its wires and beating its blades against the rear
window or if the missing blade broke first and the resulting imbalance
tore away the tyraps. So the engine ran a little hot up the hill, from
2000 to 7000 feet MSL and I don't know how many miles. But the saving
grace was that as much as the road went up the ambient temperature went
down. By the time I stopped for the night it had dropped from 95f to
The rest area was full, no room for The
Cat [to be] Drag'd Inn. Finally, over the next hill and around
the bend I found space enough in a brake check safety zone for the rest
of the night and then discovered no tail lights on the bus. The lights
on the little truck were on ok so it wasn't completely dark back there.
I poked around with them in the morning and suddenly they were on
again. Still don't know what was wrong there. All that new wiring and
there must be a loose connexion already.
On to Flagstaff. Ham Radio came to the rescue to help me find a salvage
yard where I might shop for fans. Way out on Leupp Road: Vintage Salvage. I parked out on
the shoulder of the road, outside their gate. The yard contained lots
of old stuff. Rick Sams was interested, interesting, and very helpful.
After sustaining two skinned knuckles, three walks back to the bus for
didn't anticipate, and a small contribution to Global Warming when a
freon line came apart, I'd
retreived a dual fan set from a Honda that fits nicely on my Jeep roof
radiator and also found a set of blades for the old Toyota fan just to
Rick Sams said I could have driven the bus through the gate and
inside. No thanks, I said, someone might come in and start buying parts
off her. Just kidding, I said, the real reason is that when she gets
into places like this then she just feels so much at home its hard to
get her out again.
By then it was half past lunch so after a short nap it was off to meet
with Laura for dinner and movie. We went to an India-Indian restaurant
in downtown Flagstaff and I enjoyed retelling tales of my trip to
Madras, Erode and Maduri. For dinner I had Chicken Madras. YUM! The
movie was "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". I recommend it to you
all; two thumbs up! Stayed in
the theater lot that night nose to nose with a wide load
tractor-trailer and at first light headed north to find the first of
Now I am parked in the woods near the Lava
Cave. Two caches--"Bump on a Log" & "Lava
Tube" and a walk in the cave this morning. The cave was wicked
cool. Too much so for a nude hike. Too crowded with Muggles as well. No
red hat either. Hard Hat Area instead. But I did manage an appropriate
session between other groups at the end of the cave.
Just down inside the entry, the coldest area and roughest part of the
trail, there was a tall column of ice, as if a frozen waterfall from
the ceiling to the floor. The temperature here was 35f. Further along
the floor becomes flatter and smoother and the cross-section varies
from high and wide to hardly crawlable. Way at the end, in a
space that goes beyond the end of the end, my light went out. I swore
at it and threatened to leave it there in the dark and it came right
back on again.
One thing not mentioned in the linked article
about the inhabitants of
the cave: I found there to be not a few barking cave frogs in there.
Mostly in the low spots where one was quite glad to be wearing a hard
hat and had to walk all crunched down. Ribit-ribit... On my way out I
met a party of young Muggles accompanied by a rather large grownup. We
were just out of torch beam distance from where the cave divides around
a massive division in the way. To the left is high and wide, to the
right is just right for Hobbits and Dwarves. Which way should we go,
the little one asked? To the right, I said, it is a much better
And speaking of critters: During the return leg of my walk to "Bump
on a Log" cache I flushed out two black bears, Ursus americanus.
They took one look at me and said Oh no! Another bare invading our
territory. But me being the alpha male they split the scene in great
2005jun9thursday, Overcast Day To Sit
By The Fire...
Thirty-seven degrees here this morning at dawn. Now it is mid-morning
tea and the temperature is up to 56f. But the sky is overcast, not
getting much insolation; I may have to cut back on power consumption in
order to break even today. Maybe run the genset just to see if it still
Made a nice banana bread this morning so the furnace would not have to
work quite so hard. Now I have some letters to write. I want to sit
here for at least one full day. Maybe go for a little walk. The woods
are clear of underbrush and fairly well bounded by roads so I shouldn't
get lost too easily but the trees are so thick that one could pass
within a few hundred feet of The Cat
Drag'd Inn and not see her.
2005june10 Still In The Woods
Seecond morning in the woods northwest of Flagstaff, on a bit of a
retreaat in the cool tall trees before the heat of Summer sets in at
the hot springs. Temperature at dawn now is 35f. That must be about 3c.
And not a whole lot warmer inside The
Cat Drag'd Inn. Using lots of propane and amperes to make
driving here worth more than a tent.
Amazing what a few feet of elevation and a few miles of latitude can do
for the weather. At 8,000' MSL in the mountains north of Tonopah rain
is much more common. The forrest heere is used forr grazing cattle;
beetween them and the occasionaal fires the undeerstorey is opeen so
walking through the trees is an easy delight.
Also having a prroblem with some of my keeys doublee striking and I
haave pretty much given up going back to fix everry occurrrancee.
Composing is taking twice as long. And I just replaced this keyboard
Yesterday had a couple of little walkabouts, once with a traashbag in
hand, once without even that. Saww a cowboy running a small calf back
to the herd but they didn't see me. Some rain and thunderr last night
but not enough to puddle anywhere close by.
I will get undeerway later today. Peerhaps afterr another walk and some
Today, friday, I went back again to the cave by walking straightaway
from my camp to the cave, two miles cross country. Saw all sorts of
neat things one misses when driving including a deer, a coyote, two
squirrels, and two robins.
After that nice walk I changed the air filter on the main engine before
heading back through Flagstaff and then west on i-40. Did two geocaches
west of Flag--State
Trivia and Wooo
Wooo--along the highway and now I am having a G&T at Camp Two
Flats. I'll stay here for the night.
Headed out for a little walk. Got as far as the tow bar and found the
right hinge pin missing and that side of the bar pulling the truck by
the safety chain. Got to remember to check that point more often. So my
little walk turned into a fixit session of rummaging through the
hellbox for nuts and bolts that might suffice to make up for the
missing pin. At least for long enough to get me out of this Camp Two
Flat and back to the truck stop.
Saturday, 2005june10, Lake Watson State
On the corner of South Airport and Rodeo, Williams AridZona has a great
hardware store where I found enough parts to replace the missing pin.
All downhill from there, from 7500 feet to 5500 here. And of course the
temperature went up. The bus likes going down hill. Last time I parked
at Watson Lake it was all lumpy gravel. Now the roads are paved and the
lumps graded smooth.
Went for a little paddle with the kayak I've been hauling around since
the last trip to the Pacific Northwest. It was pretty windy on the lake
so I stayed close in. Enough to know the boat remembers how to float,
and I remember how to paddle.
Back to The Cat Drag'd Inn and supper and take apart this computer's
keyboard. Lots of floobydust, cat hairs, and other organic matter.
Seems better now. 1qaz2wsx3edc4rfv5tgb6yhn7ujm8ik,9ol.0p;/-['=]\... I
think that's all of them. Now the question is: Should I go back and fix
all the typos in the previous paragraphs? I think I'll do the dishes
2005 June 13 Monday, Trash Picking
Caches at Vulture Peak
This is the last day of my little holiday. Sorry
none of you were with
me but then again thanks for being there when I visited. I suppose it
was just as well I did this alone, there was only room for one in the
At Watson Lake yesterday I went on three little paddles and one walk in
the rocks. The kayak behaves better now that it has a keel but it still
needs something. It really prefers to go round in circles and it
lot of work to move it along a straight course. Maybe I just need to
give it away and get a proper one for what I want to do. Watson Lake is
another got to go back to place.
Gerry invited me for lunch, and came to get me. I never would have been
able to get the bus up to his house. Probly could have taken the truck
but by the time I arrived at that conclusion lunch was a fait accompli.
The road to Vulture Peak is curvy and hilly but at least mostly
down grade from Prescott.
One particular hill drops 1,500 feet in a distance of only a few miles!
Vulture Peak Park is the starting point for four nearby geocaches. I
went after one right after arrival. Nice short walk. Two more caches
right after dawn today while it was still cool. The fourth is near the
summit of Vulture Peak and will have to wait for a cooler day and a
companion to help carry me out.
So. Now it is a short downhill drive back to the
El Dorado hot water and a couple
of months of sitting still. The Cat
Drag'd Inn is in need of an oil change; I am in need of a
Tuesday, WNBR: Two Arrested at North
"The North Conway World Naked Bike Ride
was a disaster. Four guys showed up. Shortly after 8:30 we decided to
start the ride. A mile-and-a-half into the ride, two Conway police
cruisers showed up, from opposite directions. One of the officers
later told me a passing motorist had called the police on their cell
"Two of the riders, Richard and Robert, were arrested for indecent
exposure. They were handcuffed and taken away in the police cars. The
other two riders, Ed and Jim, were allowed to go free, but not until
the police asked for their driver licenses and radioed the information
back to headquarters. No one brought a camera, so there are no photos.
"A couple of passing motorists honked and waved at us, but that and the
police action were the only responses to the ride.
"And to think, the New Hampshire state motto on their license plates
LIVE FREE or DIE. Yeah, right."
There will be more press on this item when we return. Stay tuned for
details at eleven.
Summer Solstice T-1
Today is the first day of my new-used-refurbished keyboard. So far the
letters "a" and "e" work Ok.
CyB left yesterday in a great flurry of hugs and honks. Bill's air horn
didn't work tho and that was one of the last things he "fixed". They
called from only a few miles east and said their generator was
overheating. It worked ok all last year and was ok the few times it was
tested prior to this tour but on the road it was overheating and
shutting down every few minutes. So they turned around...
I had the operating table prep'd by the time they returned and we got
right to it. Nuts and bolts were flying every which way. Bill had no
intention of staying, even for a second last soak. He had two hundred
miles to drive before bedtime. We went in without even waiting for the
unit to cool. Had to wear gloves.
Found a packrat nest in front of the radiator that I would like to say
was all the cause of the problem but I didn't really think so. We
a few other parts and rearranged some wires and baffles and discussed
other options not least of which was to run with the bay door open.
Soon enough they left again and called that it was still overheating so
they strapped the door open and continued. So now I am the manager for
a few weeks and we are headed quickly to a combination Summer Solstice
Full Moon and Gone Away Party this evening.
Summer Solstice and First Week
Lynn writes that Rufus brings in his catch by the dozen. The picture of
him with his most recent collection of trophies has been censored due
to the extreme and bloody nature of the violence depicted. All these
mangled bodies of little critters laying about as if in a war zone have
no place in a family publication such as this.
Sara(h) is not nearly so prolific, besides, she is practicing catch and
release. She catches and I release. At least so far as what she brings
home. She's been instrumental in directing the evolution of a new
specie of lizard hereabouts. The short-tail lizard runs about twice as
fast as its longer tailed predeceaser.
Busy coping with Summer. One breakdown after another. Not too many
guests so there is plenty of time to fix things.
End of June--First Response Fire Plan
The fire danger is extreme hereabouts; there have been several
wildfires around us this week so I've been stretching hose and wiring
an auxiliary source of power for the booster pump. Last week two close
fires went the other way. Yesterday afternoon a fire broke out in
Buckeye along the Gila River south of town.
The view of the towering column of smoke from lunch with Dee in
Goodyear was appalling so to speak. People hereabouts are used to this
spectacle and there was nothing immediate on the radio; BBC News on NPR
is busy with affairs of more worldly note. I found my Self overly
concerned whilst shopping and rushed about my tasks. Even as it became
more and more apparent the fire was not in the direction of Tonopah I
was incessantly urged onward. I guess my interest shifted from one of
concern about El Dorado Hot Springs and The Cat Drag'd Inn--not to mention
Sara(h) La Gata--to a morbid interest in what was burning. I've never
seen such a monsterous fire. I've never seen such smoke roiling and
writhing as if it were something alive, eating its way along the ground.
Main street downtown Buckeye looked like business as usual even tho the
fire was only a few blocks away. Perhaps the people were more used to
such spectacle. And of course my camera was at Eldo. This morning there
is no smoke. Home is still here.
Going 4th in 2005
The recent decision of the Supreme Court of these dis-United States
makes living on the road in an old bus all the more attractive. I
wonder how long it will be before someone approaches the Mayor of D.C.
with a proposal to replace the White House with a Wal-Mart.
Speaking of Wal-Mart... The nearby town of Buckeye told
Wal-Mart to take a hike. Sorry I forgot to put a tracking number on the
package of male banana bread. Sorry the "postal" clerk did not remind
me. They are usually
quick to seek extra sales but of late have been preoccupied with
locking the lobby. The Tonopah Post Office was vandalised and the
postage machine in the lobby was broken a fortnight ago. Now there is
10,000$ reward--federal offense--and the lobby is locked during off
business hours. Just another small step in the "development" of Tonopah.
Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but
myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and
diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
Back to Oso
Back to ajo
Copyright © 2005, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.