Category: simple living (Page 1 of 2)

Two Popular Ways to Hit the Trail

Wren has a site at Cactus Country RV Park just outside the city limits of Tucson close to the entrance to Saguaro National Park. My husband, a young friend, and I have hiked the trails there many times over our three-week stay. The senior pass we have includes anyone in the car, so we all get in free. The visitor center has good exhibits, books, video screenings, and rangers to answer questions. We’ve had no trouble “getting our Fitbit steps.” We hit the trails on foot, unlike many who choose to bring a horse and get much further than we can into the interior of the park.

One Useful Item

Two months in the desert this winter led to many fillings and emptying of our water bottles. A thin green scum eventually grows on bottom and lip at the top, but the bottle brush my husband thought to pack in our Wren camper works quickly and thoroughly.

Word from a Surfer Bumper Sticker

What appear to be seals off Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, are surfers waiting for the right wave. The wave of mountains behind them is the rest of Monterey Bay looking west (or south if you’re not from the area.) What a beautiful place.

I’ve been visiting desert landscapes since we left the Bay in early January, but I miss the surfers and the sea. When hiking, a slogan I saw or heard while on the coast comes back to me. I think it’s catchy and helpful.

Use Your God-given Gluts

 

Better than a Mother’s Scolding

Part of living in Wren has been learning to close each cabinet drawer, no matter how small, immediately. Because quarters are so tight, one is sure to bang forehead, elbow, or temple on the corner of the heavy-duty cabinet door.  Those hinges do not give when struck by part of the human body. Although I still catch myself occasionally, the pain of impact has improved my ratio of closed to left-open dramatically. Did mom ever succeed in getting the kids to shut the drawers and doors after they found what was wanted?

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The Road is Life

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There’s a tiny farmer’s market on the east side of Tucson on Saturday that includes a food truck worth standing in line to be served from. And I did for at least half an hour. No idea really it was so pleasant with children, grandparents, vendors, gem cutters and locals to eavesdrop on.

Time enough to read the menu and the specials and make a perfect choice, the southwestern grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and peppers. Gooey delicious and mildly spicy, generous and inexpensive. As Kerouac says we are all on the road. Let’s make it worth how hard farmers, merchants, musicians, writers and the rest work to support us, including a long wait for slow food.

Getting into Wren

It took me a few thousand miles perhaps to figure out how to remember which foot to step up first when entering from driver’s side or from navigator’s side of the van. Great relief to discover that all it takes is putting the foot closer to the van up first, then the other foot naturally goes on second step and one’s feet do not wind up entangled and the rest of me unbalanced when I try to sit down. Who knew?

Elk, Elk, where are you?

Glenwood Hot Springs, CO

Glenwood Hot Springs, CO

Overheard in the pool

“The elk are out there. Saw a bull elk today grazing by the fence along the highway. On private property though. It’s said that the elk are staying at higher elevations this fall. They think it’s September.”

While this may not be literally true, it says something about the change in the way things used to be climate-wise.

Notes on the Midwest

From the pov of an easterner visiting the Midwest, a few things stood out. Drivers seem content to travel at the speed limit and will stay behind our big van from Vermont, with a driver clearly unfamiliar with the territory, for miles and miles even though the van is going the speed limit or less. My experience traveling up and down the east coast in a Prius with VT plates was that every car and truck was eager to pass me with or without the broken center line. Nice change.

To my surprise, the yards, porches and doors of houses and apartments along our way were not overloaded with Halloween decorations. I would see just an occasional gesture, one much more like decades ago, before the blow-up ghouls and witches were available. A pumpkin or two and bunches of Indian corn could be seen occasionally. A friend in CO confirmed that the craze has not reached her yet. I don’t

Earlier travelers in the Midwest mostly passed through this land.

Earlier travelers in the Midwest mostly passed through this land.

miss the shrubbery strewn with fake cobwebs or the lawn that includes a rep from every conceivable Halloween theme.

I’m Back

So busy being a tourist, no time to write about what we are doing.

We had a great time with Kate and David Johnson in Blaine, MN.  They treated us very well, but Lady Bess even better.  They were constantly giving her a snack or a select piece of steak or fish.  We had some good meals with them, with the local fish, one of Dave’s walleye as the standout, and they shared some of the cooking duties.

We watched the second debate together, men in one room and women in the other.  We will keep our opinions to ourselves. David was very helpful in getting me to a tire store for a tire rotation and to check out one slow leak. No solution- more about that later. We also tried to top off the propane tank. I’m still learning how all this works.

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It’s All About the Sky

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota

The day we arrived, the sky was blue with puffy Georgia-O’keeffe clouds floating about. This photo is from the next morning from Wren. Is that rain? Skies cleared on our way from there west 40 miles to The Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. The day delivered sunshine, snow, rain, cloud cover and finally a red sunset as we headed back to Cedar Pass Campground where 4 sites remained open after official closing. It had poured there and was pitch dark when we arrived. First thing we did was step out and into sloppy, sticky mud. The sandstone Badlands are eroding rapidly due to rain, wind, snow, and visitors’ footsteps. No one had to convince us after we could see the sediment in every puddle under clear skies.

It was a beautiful place to stay. While I was told camping would be dry this late in the year, the restrooms were open, and heated, as were the showers.  Dogs are not allowed on any of the trails or boardwalks.

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