Blog Archives

Moved! Steep Grades and a Special Neighbor.

Well, it’s been a week since I’ve moved into my new home!

Yes, I had that exhale moment.

Still have a lot to do – but for all intents and purposes, we’re moved!!!

I’ve been adjusting to the longer commute, that just happens to be on a road they literally test vehicles on.  No kidding – Ford brings their trucks covered in sensors and hauling tons of weight and drive up and down the grade.  (Here’s an old article about this HERE.)

On the side of the road there are jugs of water that good Samaritans have left for struggling vehicles of the non-test type.

Regular commuters know that the air conditioning needs to be off for the majority of the trip, which, in triple digits can be quite taxing.  And when I say taxing, I mean, sheets of sweat, wet undergarments and complete loss of electrolytes.

Once that hill has been taken though, it’s worth the while.

Let’s get onto introducing you to one of my neighbors.

I say neighbor, but, it’s more like … um … a land mate?  Pet?

I’ll begin with our introduction.

I was sitting on the porch, enjoying a light breeze in the early evening.  Rose bushes were rustling, pine trees pining.  I had a hose running to water the length of the thirsty trees and looked over to check on the progress.

To my surprise, atop the picnic table was  – well … take a look yourself.

I slowly got up and put my dog inside the house.  I then calmly stated, “Um, honey?  There’s a snake on the table.”

Now, I have been aware in my 15 years in the desert that the territory comes with desert creatures.  I’ve had my run ins with an assortment of them.  But, not a snake.

I’m actually quite fond of them.  Had wanted one years ago.

But, considering our location, not all snakes want to be your friend.

My honey came out and we watched from a distance to make sure there was no rattle.  Then, got a little closer to assess the head shape.

He went in as my fascination grew.

Snake (I’ve since named Yogi – because, c’mon, pic-i-nic table!) came closer.  I grew braver.

And, closer still, into the rose bushes.

I followed Yogi around for a while, until it moved off into another lot.

 

I reached out and posted photos to a snake site.  I was informed it is a non-venomous gopher snake, good to have around!  I was also taught that if I needed it to scoot, I could spray it lightly with a hose.

I fretted a little about it interacting with my pup.  I certainly don’t want to have my time outside or hers dictated by our new friend.   Still haven’t quite worked that out yet.  (Any advice is welcome!)

Following night, we were outside when my guy announced, “Your friend is back.”  Sure enough.

 

 

This is such a low-key snake.  I mean, you can literally walk next to it.

But, the issue of the dog.  So, with Butters inside, I decided to try the spritz method.  It worked.  Yogi went back under the fence and curled up and cut its eyes at me.  Had a look of complete inconvenience and indignation.  To add insult to moisture, two sparrows alighted upon the fence and looked down upon Yogi.  I entrusted them to keep watch.

 

SO!  What to do, what to do?!  I’m an animal lover so definitely harming one is out.  Relocating it would be useless as it’s bound to be replaced by another – I mean, we have nothing but desert next to us and own 2.15 acres of it ourselves.

Must find a way to cohabitate.

I guess I’ll have plenty of time to consider just how to do that during my commute.

 

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Mother /Daughter Hike (without my better half *AKA Compass*

My love is currently hiking the Warner section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Me?  I had plans with my mum to hike a route previously done with him to show her a mine hole.  Yeah, okay, probably a better word for it, but that’s what I’m calling it.

I woke up to his photo of where they slept last night.

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Yeah, OK hearty hiker and Naked and Afraid contender.  I do NOT want to dig a hole to um, ‘do my business’ and what the heck would be crawling off that rock in the night?   I’m just jealous lol.  But, also kinda serious.  Would love to camp anywhere if there was at least the amenities of a toilet and running water.  Whimp right?  I don’t need much. But, splashing water on my face, brushing my teeth and hair with a mirror is the last of the vanity things I care about.

ANYWAY!

SO!  Mum and I were going hiking.   I wanted to show her an easy hike that culminated in a mine shaft.  (AKA: Mine hole. lol)

I forgot that my tiny car was a tiny car and once we got to the turn off I was a little worried about making it to the spot to park. Guess how I knew we were there?

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The C+A I left behind when I went last.  Can’t believe it was still there!  Had to park carefully, a lot of soft sand.  (Whole other story, but first time I came out to my guys house, had to have them tow me due to THEIR soft sand.)

Parked and ready to go!  I totally knew where to start.

What I didn’t factor in was that when hiking with my gold mining guy, a hike takes 10 times longer due to “See that?”  “Do you see this vein?”  And constant and adorable samples taken.

As for my mum and I?  We just hiked.  So … got thrown a little off course.

Began normally.

Oh! And I now have a new rule!  If you aren’t seeing Burro shit on your hike, you have no business going that route!  (IE:  the fucking mountain we went up last hike.)

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So, clearly on the right path here.  LOL.

We got to a point when we could circle back, but, didn’t seem right.  I mean, when my honey and I went, it was hours … so we kept going. (I was not factoring in the geological stops and lessons and samples.)

We kept going to the point we found ourselves in what we labeled a ‘residential area’.  Very over grown, and lots of nooks and crannies, we went back.

My mum has now multiple times asked me, “Do you know where you’re going?”  Yes, I knew.  But, wasn’t entirely sure how lol.  I was looking for that ‘mine hole’.  We tracked back – we took other routes – because, I was CERTAIN the first time my guy and I went out, we walked FOREVER.  We had not.

We eventually found a place I thought was my original grotto, and was certain we were on the right path.

Um, Was NOT original grotto. Spoiler alert – we found that later.

We were having too much fun to care.  Just being out there – together.

We tracked back a bit and decided that we should mount a mountain to get to the trail we were looking for.

Found it.  BUT!  unfortunately, passed the mine hole in doing so.

This happened instead.

First time my guy and I did this route, there was ONLY the boat.  My mum said, “There’s a car?”

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Sure was – and apparently an old police car.

The closer we got, I dug into my backpack for my knife and pepper spray.  The car was tagged with graffiti on the hood and I have NO clue how it got there in such a short time since my last hike there.  This became more of a concern when we passed it and it had clothes inside.  (My mums words, “Hope there isn’t a body in there” didn’t go unnoticed.  I was more concerned with a walking talking one.)

Wanted to take a pic of the inside of the car, but honestly had that ‘gut feeling’ we needed to keep moving on.  Someone was obviously living in that car.  We had my mum’s steel toed hiking boots and my knife and pepper spray.

Wind was blowing so I would have been like, “Keep kicking mum!  Keep kicking!  I’ll slice him and when the wind dies down spray him.”   Dramarama imagination.

We pass the car and keep going … all the way home.

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And, for a joke, here is me finding THE golden nugget!

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Sent that to my guy lol!  The golden nugget of today was actually getting to spend one on one time with my mum and that exceeded the hike.  So great to go out.  So great to be with her.  So great, ANY day to wake up and get to do anything.

 

 

An awful haboob thrust itself through our town this evening – luckily (insert sarcasm here) it happened as I was driving home.  I could see clear skies to the left and the right of me, but the bulk of the onslaught was ahead of me.

A ‘haboob’ by the way, is a WALL of a dust storm.  Insane.  And it comes here in monsoon season.  Here’s a picture of it from someone elses point of view.

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The devastation around it?  I’ll finally give my location up and say, it was from the Willow fire. (google it)

Someone I care for has a brother who lost his home and all its contents to this fire.

We watched it for two days – it was dangerously close.

I digress.

I’m driving home – in a new-to-me car (Yes, I finally decided I was hemorrhaging money and if it totally gave out I would have NO bargaining power. )

Here’s the new car.

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I didn’t pick it.  I don’t care about cars. I DID research it’s reliability which is ALL I cared about.  The dealer decided for me.  Based on my budget.  Beggars cannot be choosers.  It’s a 5 speed, which is fun, considering I mentioned in a previous post how I missed a stick shift.

All I know, is when I wake up and have to go anywhere, I can get there – and get back.

Someone asked me today “Are you excited about your new car?????”  And yeah, I kinda am.  But, not in the way that we used to wash our first car within an inch of its life and bought extras for it.  I’m just SO grateful to have a RELIABLE vehicle.

Does that mean I’m a ‘grown up’ now?  Or, a non-materialistic chick?  I don’t know.  All I know is I’m happy to know there are only 33,000 miles on it and I can get where I need to be.

ANYWAY! I’m driving home, and the plan was, go grocery shopping.  Heck no, not in those conditions.  It passed quickly.   Sprinkles happened.  We’ve decided to go early in the a.m.

I could NOT see 10 feet in front of me.  Crazy.  Someone flashed their lights at me, and it could very well be because I still don’t know how to handle the ‘automatic lights’ and maybe I was on high beams.  I’m learning.

Back to the haboob.

I arrived home – and things just don’t feel right.  I feel awful for my honey.  Stuck at home.  Probably (hopefully) excited that I AM home – and I have nothing to give for at least an hour. I have to decompress.

He’s working so hard on his art – and the current competition he’s in.

But who doesn’t want to leave when they want to leave??

No one.

That’s who.

Nic asked me “WHY did you get a 5 speed??? What if I have to drive you somewhere in an emergency??”

Me: Learn stick.

But the thing is – my honey needs to escape.

As trapped and blinded as I was by the desert, I’m sure he feels that everyday.

We’ll fix this. Somehow.

 

New Years Eve Desert Snow

Not in the 12 years I’ve been in the desert has it snowed – this morning a New Years Eve miracle.  2014 decided to leave a lasting impression on we desert dwellers.

I was so filled with joy I literally laughed in the car on the way to work. I was there long enough to get some great photos and a video – before being sent home due to inclement weather.

 

I give to you … desert snow.

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and … here’s the video I shot before getting into my car to go home.

 

Desert Dandelions and random shots

Once over the river – at my destination, my camera still wanted to play.

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