After a week of beautiful scenery and internet deprivation, I have a few updates and lots of photographs. This first set is of a man I met on the way to Carlsbad Caverns. On the drive between Pecos Texas and Carlsbad New Mexico, is a whole lot of beautiful desert, and not much else. The one exception is the place where you can meet my new friend, retired US Navy and pretty interesting guy. I don’t know that I can call his place a shop, although there were a few small items for sale. Not a rest stop, b/c it wasn’t filled with truckers, RVs and public restrooms. Nor was it a café, b/c although I accepted to cold drink he offered, it was for free. As I was boogying down the road, enjoying the desert nothing, I passed a little red white and blue building with a man sitting on the porch and an open sign hanging above the door. This kind of curious thing is why I love the US and why I am loving this road trip. So, I turned around (no easy feat pulling the Scotty and on a 2 lane road with truckers whizzing by) to go and check it out. He showed me his stack of photographs of all the visitors he has had, and where people from all over the world signed the railings in rainbow sharpees. To be polite I said I would take a water when the choice of water, sprite and coke were offered. As I pulled out my wallet to pay,
me –“no, you can’t do that! How much do I owe you?”
__”I don’t know why people always tell me I can’t do that! I can do whatever I want”
“ok, thanks”. So, I shut up about it and drank my water.
We chatted a bit and I loved on Mr Jibby, his loveable mongrel (Daisy and Max, waiting in the car, were not thrilled about this development and kept setting off the car alarm from the inside, oops).
After a chat and a few photographs, I headed on my way. Signed the wall Alecia, Daisy and Max with Aloha from Hawaii.
As for the next group of photographs, they are provided by popular request! I realize that I have only shown off photographs of the Scotty pre-makeover. So, here she is in all of her 1500 lb (that’s a guess), 12 foot (I think that is right) glory! Inside I have a bed, table and benches, icebox (take that literally, you put ice in it and it stays cold inside), 2 burner stove, sink (with 25 gallon fresh water tank), propane powered heater, and ‘fantastic’ vent to help regulate temp and circulate air. The water pump, lights and fan are powered by my solar panels on top, so I don’t need to plug in (although I can do that as well if the sun isn’t shining or if I want to use the power outlets). The heater and stove are fueled with propane. A pretty sweet set up all told, and the dogs and I have managed to stay pretty warm even during the multitude of 20degree snowing nights we have somehow found ourselves in.
In the back of the Element, I have removed the back seats, put my belongings in Tupperware bins, and placed a hinged plywood platform over the top so the dogs can move around and lay down. Of course they have a bed and fluffy blankets to stay comfortable : )
I met this gentleman and his dog while searching for firewood. I took the backroads from Carlsbad to Albequrque and stayed the night at the Valley of Fires campground. The name and whistling wind were enough to keep me a bit on edge that night. Thankfully I had my faithful companions and protectors, and although none of us got much sleep (the wind was literally rocking the trailer back and forth), we were safe together and made it through the night! The next morning brought a beautiful sunrise glow on the Element and Scotty.
On the way to Flagstaff, we were caught in a crazy windstorm with gusts up to 60mph. I drove for a little while until I found a rest stop to pull into. You can see the crazy dust on the road and the way the wind is blowing cars all over the place. The 18 wheelers were literally tilting in the wind, and cars were being blown onto the shoulder. We waited it out about 5 hours. Finally things got a bit better, and we got back on the road. After about 40 minutes, it started sleeting!!! We limped into Flagstaff, found a parking lot, and called it a night.
Finally a few photographs of me and the pups on the Canyon Rim Trail. They are not allowed down inside the canyon (something about scaring the mules ; p), but enjoyed the 8 mile hike on the rim, even if they had to be leashed. Daisy was crazy brave and really enjoyed jumping on the ledge and looking out over the canyon. Max was not so crazy about it and kept pretty far from the ledge.