Pie Town to Faywood Hot Spring

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Pie Town to Faywood Hot Spring

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2018, October— Greetings Virtual Travellers, Captive Audience, & Gentle Readers:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Scratch Hazel behind her ears.

First Sunday of August—I Canna Believe I'm Still Here

Two nights back there was a great clatter and screeching. I'm not sure of the exact sequence of events. My best reconstruction was that we were sleeping at some point after midnight when some other critter gained entry to The Cat Drag'd Inn. I had been leaving the cat door open for a while now. Hazel bolted off the bed spitting and snarling and out the door. By the time I found a light and followed she was just returning, looking back and snarling again as she came in through her door. There was nothing outside that I could see so I secured her door and returned to bed. Some undefined time later there was more cat snarling outside, under the rear of the bus. Hazel was inside, watching intently through a window. I turned on all the yard lights—my night vision is nowhere as good as hers—and went outside to look around and under but could see nothing. The rest of the night was uneventful.

Next morning Hazel was limping, favouring her left fore-paw, but showing no other signs of distress, no blood or disfigurement. She seems better today.

Friday, 10 August, TTT-Tucson!

Hazel seems better enough to claw at the door but no kitty-outs here. Too many big cats running about to have a little cat beneath the wheel.

After much deliberation and pushing and shoving I finally got The Cat Drag'd Out of Tonopah. Last night camped in Gila Bend. Ran about 3 gallons of propane through the APU to keep the a/c running for the entire drive then spent the night in a campground for access to shore power.  Had a great chat with Ward, a good sleep, and an early start from Gila Bend bound for TTT-Tucson.

First stop along the way was Train Spotter Hill for a bit of a walkabout and to see what the access road looks like after all the rain in that neighourhood. Gullies and washouts enough to get lost in. I spotted two trains and picked up my USDA-MDR of aluminium cans. Judicious application of Arlo Guthrie's Law was necessary for some things too big to carry.

Second stop, at about 0830, was Basha's in Maricopa. Sign on the door says Open at 5 a.m. but the automagic doors did not respond to my incantation of Open Sesame. Another sign says “In An Emergency Slide Doors Open”. In my judgment withdrawal symptoms engendered by a lack of B&J's Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch more than constitute an Emergency so I applied a bit of manual persuasion. Immediately two trolls jumped from behind potted plants and mop buckets and exclaimed “We're Not Open Yet!” But the sign here says you open at 5 a.m. Are you in a different Time Zone? “ We had a power failure and the electric is not on yet.”  (Ah-Ha. That would explain the automagic door's lack of response. “Come back in fifteen minutes.” Well that stretched on to most of an hour so I had ample time to pick up another handfull of trash and watch an awning company install sun shades in the car park. Finally the doors opened. B&J's is worth the wait.Capt Hook

Visiting Capt Hook in Deming

With three pints of B&J's in the freezer The … Inn felt fit to travel. i10 goes on down on the map but climbs up on the ground. Three GPS units telling me where to go and how to get there kept my mind occupied better than why we put adjectives in a certain order.

Dr Delorme is my old reliable nagrivator and while his database is out of date the logger keeps a record of date, time, direction, and speed. Even when The Cat Drag'd Inn is dragging across the vast uncharted space of  roads under construction Dr Delorme manages to have the most accurate prediction of ETA. Mr Magellan is newer—his map data is only two years out of date—and does not require to be online, however he cries a lot when I get off course: “When possible make a legal U-turn...”. Then there is the newest member of this panoply of Gods Predicting Steering, Ms Android. She does require to be online and offers alternate routes and on the fly rerouting if I decide to go it my way. But her ETA predictions are based on posted speed limits rather than the actual road speed of The Cat Drag'd Inn so she is always telling me I'm late-I'm late for a very important date. In this instance supper with Virginia and Cliff at TTT-Tucson,  the best restaurant at i10x268.
CDT Bicyclist at Toaster House
Rarely do I drive at night. Rarely do I drive in the rain. On this friday night the rain did all the driving and Ms Android did all the steering. Made the trek to the Benson SKP camp there and found a welcome slip in the boondocking park. Thank you for being there, Benson! Next day continued east up and over Texas Canyon and on to Deming. The Cat is Drag'd Inn to El Rancho Lobo where I played Camp Host a few years ago. JB, Capt Hook lives there along with Mr & Ms Owl and their owlets [1808122020-6163_ERL Owl Male Adult.jpg]

Minor repairs, laundry, pizza, exchanging Show&Tell, all keeping me out of mischief. JB Capt Hook took me to Luna Rosa Winery and Pizzeria in Las Cruces. Fabulous pizza! Baked in a traditional brick oven. Then they have gelato for dessert. Made on the premises.

Out of the frying pan and into the freezer.

43f for a low here this morning. In Pie Town now. Seems as tho a fortnight has passed without my notice. And so that explains why this file size is still so small.

After hanging around with Capt Hook for a few days I moved on to Faywood Hot Spring for another few days of fixing things and soaking my head.  Then on up the road—and I do mean up: from 4,000'MSL up to 6,000' back down to 5,000, up to 8,000, down again and finally 7,500'MSL at Pie Town.  The bus ran hot and cold as the hills took turns.

Copies of Correspondence

89f for a High, 43f for a Low—That was yesterday and then the heater fan motor failed.
Today: On 08/21/2018 01:20 PM, Michael wrote:
> Oh, good! Hopefully you can get at least one more season out of it.

Looks rather clean inside.

> While you had the shroud off, did you note the part number of the motor?

Of course not. Not until I had the last screw in the shroud did I think of that. In fact my thought went along the lines of oh darn too bad I don't have a paper and pencil here I could take all these screws out again...

Just as well. If I had the paper and pencil I'd have to remove all those screws again just to get that number. And besides, then I'd have to buy a spare motor to carry around along with the spare alternator and the two spare domestic water pumps. On top of that the rain was already only inches above my head. The wind was increasing. Drifting and blowing screwdrivers in the forecast. Any second now the ladder was going to blow away and then where would I be? Talk about Up Shit Creek Without A Paddle; I'd'a been Up The Bus Roof Without A Ladder!
> Else did you notice the mounting style and or relative difference in shaft
> lengths (nearly equal, or one much longer than the other)?

See above. Actually I did notice that the squirrel cage fan rotors could use a good cleaning and I did look carefully at their housings to see what would be involved to get them apart but never went so far as the motor.

Too bad I canna use all that drivel as is, without a preamble, in one of my letters. All that trivia will be wasted on anyone who has not, like yourself, been up that creek. And what about the Random TagLine Picker's so called random tagline choice for this letter. If I were going to use the text above then I would have to include the aphorism below and the significance of the irony will be lost on all but the most astute.

-- The word "travel" stems from the same root as "travail" does. There's a reason for this. For centuries, travelling was equated with suffering. Only pilgrims, nomads, soldiers, and fools travelled.
       --Eric Weiner, /The Geography of Bliss/


Pie Making at Pie Town 180824ajo mixing
                  dough. Photo by Ruel.

Usually we start out with making the dough and freezing pie balls. This year a different idea. Krusteaz donated a few cases of pie crust mix so we skipped the pie dough step, mixed up the Krusteaz, and froze the pies for later baking. My task this time was mixing the dough. Young Master Ruel, not yet a Master Baker but a very good Amateur Photog, was one of the pie rollers and took some of these pictures.
Rolling Dough
Estivation is the word for animal dormancy and inactivity in the Summer. Except not here in Pie Town. Two days ago my electric furnace cum A/C blower fan-motor failed and I have been anything but estivating to remove the motor and clean out the debris of twenty years. New motor arrives next week. That'll give me time to clean the blades of the squirrel cages and forget the reinstall order of parts and lose a loose screw or two.

Next week is also the Pie Town Pie Fest here in Pie Town Nude Mexico, at the junction of u.s.60 and the Continental Divide Trail. Some dry camping is available in the town park and adjacent BLM land. After that we have the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and after that I'll head for Faywood Hot Spring on my way downhill to Tonopah AridZona for Thanksgiving.

Having Second Thoughts

Rereading one of my letters from 2003 I found this:
“Graffitti found in Toketee hot spring shelter: These words for all to ponder: What makes the hunter honourable, and the farmer beastly?
“Well... says who? I can see the hunter being romantic and the farmer pastoral, but not beastly. Hunting takes life and produces immediate results, farming takes land and patience and much more labour. Perhaps it is the land that is really at issue. The farmer clears the land and is at odds with the hunter. They are worlds apart. It is really like comparing apples and oranges... With apples one can make pie. With oranges one can make odouriferous decorations.” Not to mention Orange Juice to mix with vodka made from the farmer's potatoes. But now I am having a second thought. Ah-Ha? The issue is not the farmer posting the land—at least not entirely—but the farmer slaughtering livestock. Wait just a minute... Firstly, farmers, in and of themselves, don't slaughter any more than the hunter. A farmer might take one cow for their own larder just as a hunter might take one deer. The rest of us, including the farmer and the hunter, are responsible for the slaughter.

Finally got the roof A/C new motor installed, the fans all clean, shrouds in place, outer cover on, and one screw left over.

Mixing Dough. Photo by RuelOctober 18th, Five Days Late & Getting Shorter

Pie Fest came and went. Autumnal Equinox happened right on time. Mad Hatter's Tea came and went. I'll have to make up storeys enough to have room for the pictures. Or include the images elsewhere and you can guess where they belong.

I'd helped make pies as usual, that part is still fun, but the “Fest” part is getting old. The Fest has become too much like a Carnival: music blaring from loud speakers, side shows and rides, more people, more vendors, more rules, more trash. I unpacked my strings and bubble machine and stood around for a while tolerating the blather of loud “music” interrupted by louder announcements until the Parking Nazi came over to tell me I had to move my truck from the No Parking Zone that was not posted as such. That was rather crusty of them I thought; just as well, I have better things to do.

Equinox Sunrise was spectacular as usual. As the sun makes first contact behind The Teeth bits of blue and green flash through the cavities. Four green flashes this time! See the entries from previous years for pictures.Mad Hatter's Tea

Mad Hatter's Tea Party was the next occasion of note. Plenty of tea and crumpets but a paucity of hatters. At least four prospective participants were busy with hanging a road-kill elk, another was busy becoming a grandmother. Several through-hikers on the Continental Divide Trail who'd been overnighting at the Toaster House took advantage of the good weather to depart early. The three of us who did sit down to tea, me, James, and River, had a lot of leftovers.

With the Tea Party out of the way, next came Columbus Day and a couple of trips to The Dump followed by a long list of last minute can't wait til next year projects and tasks and preparations for departure. Not least was to make haste before the snow flew.

Pie Town, mostly at an elevation of 7-8,000'MSL, sets at the junction of The Continental Divide Trail and Coast to Coast Highway U.S.60.  In keeping with the trend of Westward Expansion, from Virginia Beach to Santa Monica.

Footprints in The FrostJust given the adiabatic lapse rate the temperature at The Pie Town Café is typically 30F degrees below that of Oscar's Place in Tonopah AridZona. Summering in Pie Town is simmering in Tonopah; however, at Autumnal Equinox, when Sol slips past the equator on his way south, the tide turns. Rain becomes snow, dew becomes frost, keeping one's shirt on becomes critical. The Cat Drag'd Inn is a fair weather bus. With the second snow of the season in the air I finally escaped Pie Town, five days late and about fifty dollars short. Forgetting my sun chimes and wind chimes and to restock ice cubes, running ahead of Winter, to the relative warmth of the Socorro Wally World Caravansary.
Snow on the ground

Hurricane Hazel Snores (rrrrrrr—rrrrrrr—rrrrrrr)

I tried to make a video but she snores in the dark. Good thing the road was all down hill and the air was mostly cold. Somewhere along U.S.60, in the vicinity of Davenport Canyon, I realised the primary cooling fans on the 3208 were not working. The status feedback from them is sort of tenuous. A light tells me their thermostat is on, the main alternator amp meter tells me they are likely running, the glycol temperature also tells me they are likely running. This time the light was on but the amp meter suggested the fans were not working. The glycol temp was of no help really cos the ambient air was so cold to begin with. I don't often drive in conditions like this.
Cat Drag'd Inn Departing Pie Town
There were a few times that the secondary fans came on and all indications were that they worked Ok. So I went on to Socorro and made several stops before finally roosting at the WallyWorld Caravansary. There a final test indicated the primary fans were not spinning despite the light indicating power on. Eventually I found a melted corroded connexion at the primary fan fuse. Fixed that with spares stock and went on to shopping and supper.

Wenzday morning, more shopping: parts to replace those used from spares, last minute groceries, propane to keep me warm, and on down the road to Faywood Hot Spring for a relaxing holiday of picking up the trash, writing in this journal, and other tasks to prep for another long hot Winter hiking and playing radio in the southwest deserts.

Thanks to Tony and Ruel for the use of their photos.

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.child pointing

Love, ajo

I 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 © 2018, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.