Sunday, March 29, 2015

Santa Fe, NM

We headed to Santa Fe for two reasons: Anne because she was to meet up for a visit with her sister who was flying in from Texas and me for my annual physical and checkups. Every nomad needs to have a domicile for govt. purposes. It is a place you say you intend to return to when your travels are finished. Mine is New Mexico. I prove that by registering my vehicles, paying my taxes, and getting my doctoring done in Santa Fe, where I have a mail box service.

We had fun hanging around Santa Fe. I have lots of great memories associated with Santa Fe where Upaya Zen Center is located and where I was a resident for 15 mos. before I took to wandering. I took Scruffy to meet some folks at the Zen Center and we walked one of the trails along the river.

He was especially fond of living in my friend Jane’s house for 4 days and playing with her cats and their toys. Apparently batting little balls and crinkly things around appeals to him. I’ll have to add that to Santa’s list.

I also enjoyed hiking with Anne and her sister Sue on one of the Dale Ball trails. After Sue left, Anne and I camped at Cochiti Lake for a few nights and hiked Tent Rocks.

On our final day we went to town for groceries and a green chili cheeseburger. If you ever get to Santa Fe do yourself a favor and get a burger at “Santa Fe Bite”.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tonto National Forest

We stopped to explore Tonto National Forest on our trek toward Santa Fe New Mexico. It has a number of campgrounds located on bluffs overlooking Lake Theodore Roosevelt.

Scruffy and I enjoyed walking the trails around the points and along the lakes although I am sure he doesn’t get the draw of scenic viewpoints. And I have to admit a lack of interest in sniffing the local flora. But together we manage to find joy for both of us.

One day we visited Tonto National Monument. One can visit the lower ruins on their own by following a paved, switched back trail up the hillside. It was a hot walk and scruffy eagerly ran up but since it was sunny and he was hot (black dogs suffer in the sun) I carried him down. We got a little teasing but I told folks that since he had towed me up, it seemed only fair that I carry him down.

This was also the site of our first Rattlesnake meet-up. We were at our campsite, me dozing in the lounger and scruffy on a 10 ft lead attached to the chair. For some reason, the snake’s rattle woke me up and I saw Scruffy and the snake eyeing each other. I quickly reeled Scruffy in and picked him up, which seemed to calm things but when I stood up the snake rattled again and began to move towards me. I moved behind the chair, and carried the dog in a wide arc away from the snake and back to the trailer. Standing on the steps I thought he was now coming toward the trailer. I was inside and safe and quite fascinated and frightened. Later it slithered off into the brush between my campsite and Anne’s. I took the road over to her and told her what we had seen. She came for a peek and we both agreed it was a very “pretty” snake. It was a light sand tone that blended into the landscape with black stripes on the tail near the rattle.  Very beautiful and if I never meet another rattlesnake I will be very content.

(Sorry no picture)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lost Dutchman State Park

We stopped here for an overnight but liked it so much we stayed a second night. As you can see the view from my sight was terrific.

Lost Dutchman is located quite near Apache Junction, AZ in the Superstition Mountains. It is a quiet, nicely laid out and well maintained state park. 

One day walking the nature trail we had a Cholla adventure. Scruffy had apparently gotten to close to a jumping Cholla and ended up with a “pod” attached to his nose and another on his back. He began to scream; which got my attention. As I attempted to restrain and quiet him, the pod on his face transferred to the back of my hand. Anne was wise enough to use his leash to wrap around the cactus on his back and pull it off and then also to remove the one on my hand. We used tweezers to remove the needles from both Scruffy and me and later, Anne.  I have included a picture that I took at a later date so you can see what a jumping cholla looks like.