Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Scratch Hazel behind her
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
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.
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
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
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
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
/The Geography of Bliss/
Pie Making at Pie Town 180824
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.
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
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
October 18th, Five Days Late & Getting
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
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 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.
Just 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.
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.
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.