Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again --  To Estivate or Vagabate; That is The Question

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:

To Estivate or Vagabate; That is The Question

Beaver Tail Cactus in the back yard.Always it is time to daydream about being somewhen else, or someone else, or somewhere other than the middle of an AridZona desert in the heat of Summer.  Spring here now. The desert poppies are blooming yellow and orange. The beaver tail and hedgehog cacti are blooming red and scarlet. The days are longer and just right warm enough for all the outside projects.

My friend Betty has taken a job asjitney driver in Glacier National Park. It is always fun to drive when someone else is filling the fuel tank.

News from Palmer StationOld Man of Litchfield Island

One of the Fraser-Patterson field team members, a fellow New Englander, was transiting across from Palmer to Litchfield Island one day and looked up at the front hill - she is convinced that the Old Man was reincarnated [perhaps as a devil?] on Litchfield! 

"Every year, without fail, we outlaw more things, catch more people doing them, and put more of them in jail. The outlawed behaviour never goes away, because, directly or indirectly, it's supported by the strong, invisible, unrelenting force called vision. This explains why police officers are more likely to take up crime than criminals are to take up law enforcement. It's called 'going with the flow.'"  --Daniel Quinn in Beyond Civilization

No expense will be spared protecting our children from themselves, at least until they are old enough to go off to war with one another.    --ajo

Present me with a book: My WishList is at Amazon dot Com

Spring Equinox

The Shadow Nose...A few days ago I received a letter from my venerable grandmother. The news that I have more or less emigrated to AridZona has finally percolated up to her and she wants a letter and photo of me at my new location. The last picture I sent showed me dressed in ECW gear face to face with a penguin. The one before that was from Mount Washington with ice covered beard.

Its not that I'm at all embare-assed to show her how I'm dressing these days--actually, she is rather fond of red hats, has several herself--but I am concerned that the shock to her sensibilities of seeing so much of me all at once might upset one of her "care-givers". So I took one of my recent photos--me face to face with a cactus--and cut it in half to send her. The next day I discovered I'd accidentally sent her the bottom half. Was that a Freudian Slip or what? Then I remembered her eyesight is not all that good.

Today I received another letter from her:  "Thank you for the picture", she writes. "Change your hairstyle. . . . it makes your nose look too long."

SkinWalker At the North
        End CacheSaddle Mountain Reprise

Finally made it to the summit of Saddle Mountain again. This time by way of the new path being constructed by "Ted The Trail Maker" as he seems to be known hereabouts. The approach is from the east, the same as the way I went up the first time  however it is very different. At the same time easier and more difficult. Whereas my old route went up and in, as it were, this new path goes in and up. That is rather a simplistic description I know. The upper reaches of this trail are a scramble, hand over hand, through terrain that even with a lot of trail building will be scary to say the least. I like my old route better and may have to provide Ted with a bit of competition.

Also got two caches along the way. See GCDF0B and GC101CK for those notes and more pictures.

With regard to the trail description at my Saddle Mountain Hike page, here are two WayPoints on the new trail:
T4: N33 26.393, W113 02.115; T5: N33 26.275, W113 02.281

Henrietta Hummingbird

Henrietta Hummingbird"Come quick! You have to see this what I just found!" Thus commenced the Saga of the Homeless Hummingbird. Probly fell out of a nest way high in Old Man Pine. Certainly not old enough to fly and not much of a hummer either. More like afrog from the croaking sound. Betty put it up on a fence post "...where the cat won't get it..." and we all went off in search of hummingbird rescue supplies. The bird bonded to Betty so she took it home and fed it sugar-water from an eye dropper.

What do hummers eat? They must eat something, they don't get any protein from nectar. Baby hummers don't like Spam, nor cheese. They expect masticated gnats regurgitated by the mother. Ahhh... Betty? Eventually she concocted a broth of gnats and flies skimmed from the hot tub and fed the bird--now named Henrietta--a drop at a time from the end of a toothpick. Henrietta survived her first night in Betty's house. The next day she flew from the nest box up into a tree nearby. On more than one occassion we observed other female hummers feeding her and the day after that she flew away with them. Yeaa Betty Nightingale!

All Fools' DayNotebooks of
        Lazarus Long

So far at least it seems to have slipped past un-noticed. The last few days of March I went off to Pinal County Park for a bit of a retreat and some uninterrupted letter-writing. Some radio playing and mechanical fixes, and a lot of time picking up trash, thinking about what to do next. Robert Heinlein wrote, in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long: "When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere." Today, space travel is not an option; for that matter, Earth travel is just about out of the question. "Stop the World, I want to get off" comes to mind but where would one get off to.

Another Mile Stoned Along The Way

I woke up to Joni Mitchell singing about Looking at Clouds from Both Sides. After twenty-four hours of fasting and then three ounces of a cocktail of mono- and di-basic phosphate I was ready to wake up for lunch, and then some. The worst part of the ordeal was irritation and tenderness caused by... Naah... You don't want to read about that part. Perhaps the best I can say is to recommend that when it is your turn plan to hang out in a nice warm and comfy shower for the two-three hours after you drink the cocktail. Thanks to Betty for the Taxi Service to and from and for watching out for me and thanks to Medicare for picking up the tab. A Colonoscopy is not something you would want to spend your holiday money on.

It is interesting that the fasting part the day before the procedure did not bother me at all. I never was actually hungry; however the not-eating disrupted my routine more that I might care to admit. Several times during the day I just didn't know what to do next. And the experience of not remembering, after waking... I don't remember waking, don't remember getting dressed, and you'd think with that being such an unusual and special occasion that it would really stand out.

Betty says we went to lunch on the way home and I paid. I don't remember that either.

Another Special Day of Remembering

Troop 50 - 20 Mile Hike.I've been sorting and copying old 35mm slides lately. Remember those? From the old days, when cameras used film? Archiving the good ones, trying to identify the faces and venues and dates. Once in a while sending a copy to someone still in touch with me. Jim wrote back about one such picture. Eight boys from June of 1969 on a Scout hike in the mountains of NH. What are their names. Where are they now. Jim, in the middle, between Tony and Bobby, writes that he is busy these days with his church and the Little League.

I feel so wasted and useless when it comes to that sort of activity. 4H, Scouts, likewise. I guess I'm living too far out in the sticks. I would like to have some of my time taken up by a few kids. Instead I walk around out back alone and pick up the trash left by men who obviously did not benefit from relationships with a mentor. Last week, along with the usual assortment of beer cans and water bottles, I brought in a bowling ball that had been shot up by large caliber guns.

National Mental Health DayBowling Ball at Indian Eye.

Here is something to get your brain working this morning!!!

These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers. If you don't get the right answers then change the questions. Failure is not an option.

1. Name one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. Can you think of a second one?

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables? 

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. There are four root words in standard English--in my dictionary at least--which begin with the letters "dw" and they are all common words. Name two of them.  And the other two?

7. There are more than 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Name at least half of them. 

8. Name two vegetables or fruits that are never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter "S."

Petroglyphs behind the Eagle's TailEagle Tail Petroglyphs

From the trailhead at the Eagle Tail Wilderness Area the petroglyph site is 3.5 miles of mostly flat trail and wash walking. Nearby a pair of matate are found to the southeast on the edge of the wash. The petroglyphs wrap around the point formed by the confluence of two washes. Once upon a time there must have been water in these washes to support a community living here. Since there is no water in the washes now you have to carry your own. Bring lots, especially in the Summer. If you want a guided hike to this site let me know. Wherever you find petroglyphs, please don't touch them. The oil in your skin, sun screen and the like, will damage the glyphs.

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

Love, ajo

front page trailerI do not know what I may appear to the world; but to 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 prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. --Sir Isaac Newton

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Copyright 2007, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.