Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Spring Ahead - Spring Again

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:
My routine consists of waking, toilet, coffee, (sometimes those last two in reverse order) write a few letters, watch the sun rise over the bamboo wall, and then spend the rest of the day wondering what to do next. That's not to say I'm not very busy. Two days ago I spent ten hours removing a hundred pounds of obsolete telly from Betty's coach and then installing a new smaller-lighter-DTV. The process involved rewiring other components, rebuilding the cupboard-cabinet-shelve, and first aid to my knee and foot. Not to mention the cleaning up after.


Pie Day was fun tho a bit wanting for celebrants. National Public Radio had a 20 minute Pie Day spot during Science Friday. Mike did a peach/apple/raisin PI (soup); pretty ok but rather sweet (a cup and a half of sugar). Mine was my usual World Famous, Award (almost) Winning, Male Apple PI (only a half cup of sugar). The PI Song for your listening enjoyment: (Thanks Mike!)

Fast of Esther & Spring Equinox

This week's big job is to clean all the accumulation of dirt and grease from the tractor so we can find a leak in the hydraulics. In the process I found three new leaks plus the one we already knew of. Now the question is one of repair or not. Just as with my little truck where there is a motor oil leak somewhere around the front of the engine, one can spend a lot of money on oil (still, despite the outrageous cost thereof) before meeting the outrageous cost of fixing the leak.

I had a weird dream a few nights ago that involved some sort of a car race or chase but it was unresolved, unfinished. Given the present state of affairs and the scary storeys in the news I wonder if it has anything to do with someone being hot on my trail...

The Cat Drag'd Inn web site has been moved to a new host . The old URL of should forward to the new. And in other slightly related news: The Geocache site has censored me. Most of my pictures have been removed by some prude-watchdog claiming to have been offended.

This month marks a year since the last time I changed the oil and filters in the tractor and ditch witch; I've done the lube for this go-round, it is not decided if they are going to get oiled and all this time.

Probly I need to think about oil for the bus as well. Last one was this month last year also but I have done so little driving in the past year that there still remains 3000 miles on the present oil. For now I've only done a lube and checked everything else. Ready for the road.

But first a Walkabout the Outback

Sunday is not often a good day for skinnyhiking out by Saddle Mountain; too often the area is crowded with gun-toting banditos raking the hillsides with their heavy artillery. But this day was just right for weather and timing so Tom and I were off to an early start and that always helps. Starting from the Northside Carpark we headed off south along the east side on the trail that circles the base of the north peak. The beginning part of this trail has been well defined by Ted The Trail Maker as part of his effort to build a trail to the summit; Tom and I were up there a few weeks ago. Later the trail along the base joins a jeep road and climbs a minor saddle to a pass connecting the northeast spur. There are a couple of small Tom Framed in Natural Archmonuments and a few old mining claims there where the road ends and we continued on a trail described by some locals as dating from Pre-Columbian times. The footpath continues, high on the slope, southward to the next col, connecting the east spur. From time to time along here one discerns among the litter—beer cans, broken bottles, plastic shopping bags from Wal-Mart, big cups from Big-Gulp—evidence of modern equestrian travellers among the scat of relocated bighorn sheep. Beyond the second col the trail gradually descends, over several minor gullies and washes and around a shorter spur, to the base of the main saddle from which the mountain takes its name. From there we turned west to climb this saddle through the middle wash. Much of the stone is sculpted into pot holes beneath short water falls, all dry at this time but you can just imagine the rush of water through this wash when there is enough of a rain on the slope above.

Eventually we gain the height of land at the top of the saddle and enjoy the view and light breeze with lunch. Down the west side the way is steeper and more dense with scrubby, thorny bushes. Quickly we come out to a wash, wide and flat between tables enclosed by the arms of grand spurs extending west from the north and south peaks. Tom and I trade off, alternating the high and low ground, looking for the best path to find our way across the spur to the north. At the top of a notch in this spur there is a large sort of cave, a crack in the layers of rock eroded wider by erosion, by earlier humans seeking shelter, by later people looking for gold, now mostly occupied by animals and the occasional hiker. Down the north side of this spur we turn more or less east and head for the carpark still a mile away. Now on final approach to the truck we begin to pick up the trash we have so far been observing but leaving behind. Four miles, three bags of bottles and cans, two lunches later, we're back at The Cat Drag'd Inn for a soak in the hot water and a nice Gin&Tonic. What a day!

April Fools Day

Exhausting day of battling stupidities. The phone company came a few weeks ago to map the location of one of their direct burial cables running just below the surface between a utility pole and La Casa Blanca a couple hundred feet due south. But they neglected to paint a line on the ground and the guy they were talking to was not paying all that much attention. This past week it comes to be my task to set a few fence sections in an east-west line just south of that pole. Need I say more?

I spent a few hours carefully uncovering the power conduit and phone line where they both exited the pole and headed south. Great!, says I to my Self as I see that they start the run together; if I set my first fence post a foot and a half to the southeast I'll be just fine. However Mr.Murphy and Ms.April had other plans. Unbeknownst to me, a foot and a half south of the utility pole the phone cable angled away from the power conduit, off towards a house to the east. Between Bill's arm waving explanation of what the phone guy described and my misinterpretation of his misunderstanding I managed to sever the six-pair phone cable before all the teeth of the Ditch Witch had dirt on them. Took me most of the rest of the day to recover from that.

Happy Big Wind Day: Thursday, April 12, 1934

"There was no doubt this morning that a super-hurricane... was in
full development." — Log Book entry, Sal Pagliuca, 1934

"As the day wore on, winds grew stronger and stronger. Frequent
values of 220 mph were recorded between Noon and 1:00 pm...

"'Will they believe it?' was our first thought."

Tax Day—April Fool Reprise

In the meantime hidden expenses keep outing their selves. Tyres for the little lifeboatbackyardgardenshedboattrailer truck, fancy new voicemail digital cellphone, truck insurance went up 7% because my age is now over 67—yet another penalty for surviving the rat race. And diesel fuel is now up to 4$03 to 4$17 in various places in the neighborhood. We're looking at just under a dollar a mile to make this Summer's trip not including food and the occasional campground.

Three thousand miles from here to Yellowstone—to take Denali for a Summer Camp on the Road and visit Betty—and return to be here for next Winter. Or... Three thousand miles from here to NH to visit Ann-Marie and my trunks of old junk, and the garage in Conway and the river. But then what about next Winter? Either way 3,000 miles will take me five months to do within the limits of my pittance if there is no input from outside sources. I'm still waiting on the several deep pockets who have indicated a willingness to help. By my Self, financially I would be better off staying here and putting my money into electric for the a/c. But mentally I'd be fuming-angry-crazy before Summer's end.

Despite the fuel costs I am still of a mind to travel this Summer but am feeling the pull towards NH more. I don't know. Where would I rather be when the shit hits the fan and there is no more money to afford fuel—no more fuel to be afforded. I cannot see my Way to a choice. I don't suppose it matters.


Gateway to The Tails of TonopahToday Bill and I are off to build a gateway of old utility poles for Tonopah Tails. Seven miles beyond the end of the pavement, the armpit of the universe, the tail end corner of Tonopah to be sure. The last quarter mile of road is carved out of the verge of a dry wash, barely wide enough for a jeep; the outboard duals of truck and trailer were crumbling the edge. Perhaps fifty dogs in a kennel, at least five horses in a corral, and, the owner said, 400 hundred cattle roaming everywhere. A large well-hung bull with tool at the ready stood around eyeing Bill and me whilst we sat in the shadow of the dumptruck for lunch. Not the sort of animal one would turn one's back to.

Already this week I have more laundry, accumulating from these textiled jobs, than I've had all Winter! The cost of laundry soap is eating up all my earnings; the time devoted to cleaning up after, equipment repair, and sleeping it off is keeping me from more important things such as writing much detail about all these adventures.

Internet connectivity is at an all time low. Mike is working on the problem from the hardware end; the service provider is slow to useless; I am trimming new vegatation on a daily basis. Seems to be a loosing battle.

Spring Cleaning and Saint George's Day

I've been working at that project here, Spring Cleaning that is. Now that it is a news item I notice I've been hoarding food just as all the others are who don't know where their next meal is. So part of my Spring Cleaning is to move aside old books and worn clothes to make room for more rice and beans and tinned peaches. I've been crawling about under The Cat Drag'd Inn to dust the wheels and brush away the cobwebs. Enough silk under there to weave a kimono!

                 |  @___oo
       /\  /\   / (__,,,,|   * * * *  Gardyloo  
  /\  ) /^\) ^\/ _)
 <  > )   /^\/   _)                     23rd April:
  ||  )   _ /  / _)  The Feast Day of Saint George;
  | \ )/\/ ||  | )_)        Take a dragon to lunch.
   \_____  |(,,) )__)
          /    \)___)\
      ___(      )___) )___
         _(_______;;; __;;;

Big wind just went through here. My gust-o-meter under the tree registered 28mph in the shade but I /know/ it was at least Force 6. Quite a dust devil. Paper and plastic festoon the big eucalyptus to the east, lawn chairs in the soaking patio upended, wind chimes clamoring.

Goat Cheese

Some guy from near Pie Town NM—I guess that is how he got connected with Bill—and his lady friend who I think is from near here—which perhaps explains what he was doing here in the first place. He runs organic goats on several thousand acres north of Pie Town and makes very high end organic hand crafted goat cheese. Travels around in a beat up old school bus. The major unique feature is how he has his shower in the entryway. Shower curtain rod extends in a U-shaped hoop from above the door to enclose the area above the uncarpeted stairwell. He has a small instant hot water shower head. Parks by the roadside, closes the curtain, takes a shower. Water drains out under the door into the gutter. Cool idea!


Thank you for your recent submission to our online dictionary, Our editors have added your definition for NIMITZ to the site, and users can now view and rate your entry.

May Day MayDay

Desert Flower at La Casa BlancaI hope you have survived taxing tribulations. I had not filed since 1997 but did this year for the 300$ "stimulous" distribution. It is going to have to be quite a stimulation in order to ameliorate the debilitations of wading through this year's 1040. What I won't do for a little money to fill my fuel tank. Once maybe. Probly do better to put new sneakers on the little truck.

Sara(h) La Gata brought in a rabbit on sunday. Always something. This time I was busy in the middle of some critical operation and didn't notice right off, until she was bouncing off the walls, jumping and chasing. Too late by then. She'd let it go and it hid under my bed. That ended up being a major deconstruction recovering the rabbit. Managed to get some neglected Spring cleaning done along the way.

Tilting at windmills from one day to the next. New phone arrived yesterday as I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the era of the digital cellphone. My old analog Motorola Bag Phone, installed in the bus since 1997, connected to the world with two wires: aerial and power, and two screws for the hangup box. This new one has ten wires plus a 14 pin plug for a GPS and a USB port for computer connexion. There's a whole bag of screws. At least the phone is all phone; there is no camera or games  or jukebox.
Gopher Snake
My high school class is planning a 50th reunion for november 2009; I really want to go, I really should go, but then again everybody there is going to be so old and I am not sure I want to deal with that.  On a more short term there is all the plans to get there and what next. One idea would be to just fly in for the party and come right back a day later but that is just as stupid as driving the bus to and fro over the period of a few months. Maybe I should move back there for a year so as to spread the expense far enough to stay within my means. 


Did you know May is National Masturbation Month?  Let's Party!

I've just finished reading The Book of General Ignorance. Interesting; most everything I thought I knew is wrong. Did you know that the average pencil can be sharpened 17 times and write a line 35 miles long?
King Snake
A four foot long gopher snake crossed the foot bridge in the back yard a couple of days ago. The snake paused for a drink and posed for Wild Kingdom pictures before disappearing under the mesquite tree where the rabbits nest. Then yesterday a smaller common king snake was observed slithering across the yard with Ms.La Gata in hot pursuit. This snake took refuge between the dualies under The...Inn until Sara(h) eventually gave up and took a nap.

It is amazing how fast some of this high tech stuff grows on one. My new digitall phone understands spoken commands. The speech engine quickly allows me to place calls by speaking the number to be dialed and quickly learns to associate numbers with names so I have only to speak someone's name and it dials their number. ( to remember to mute the radio first or who knows where I'll end up.) It will be interesting to see if it can understand when someone else asks it to call a number I have trained it to dial.

The main issue so far is that the Motorola support lags way behind the release of this phone in the U.S. market. The Motorola M930, has been available in Oztrailia and EU for most of a year already, has only this May been released here and Motorola Support seems not yet aware that Motorola Marketing has one up on them.

First Rattlesnake in the Woodpile

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.