Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving - 2012

The journey to Quartzsite AZ

Forgive the delay in getting this posted, but I’m just having too much fun (yes there is such a thing).

I had a lovely time at Steve Ballee’s property in AZ before heading on to Quartzsite for the rest of the winter.  We met up again in an area south of Rye, AZ and spent a couple more day doing what I like the most… collecting rocks.  The below is pretty much what it looks like all around the area.  Turns out… it is the past home site of prehistoric Indians.  It’s flat and the rocks had been cleared away.




Found some nice flakes of jasper, agate, flint, etc., which I think could be used to make jewelry.  Also found some Indian artifacts.


Left: painted rim piece of pottery.  Right: Flake from arrowhead production, and a poorly made point (arrowhead), and a 2006 Penny.IMGA0748IMGA0741

I enjoyed seeing cactus again.  Steve says these red fruit are edible.

I walked the area extensively studying for signs of past human habitation and was wondering to myself… why some of the places of barren of rocks and others have rocks all about.  I concluded that they must have picked up all the rocks to make for a more livable house environment… but wondered where they put them all.  Then Steve caught up with me and when I turned to talk to him, I saw the rock pile.


I thought/said… “Well, there they are!”  I wondered where they put them.  Then studying the pile and wondering at the fact that an Indian had touched each of those rocks… I realized the pile might have had a secondary function in that society… perhaps some religious significance. 


The pile, had a serpentine shape to it… here you can see it curves off to the right.  It curved back and forth like that with about four curves.  And, by the way, those open flat areas of dirt were littered with hundreds of small broken bits of pottery.  Most did not have painted designs on them.

Leaving Steve, I head on toward Quartzsite with the goal of stopped at a couple of the rock collecting sites listed in the Arizona Gem Trails book.  The first was n.e. of Wickenburg and I was looking for Wickenburg Nodules/Geodes.  Well, this was kind of a bust in a couple ways 1) none of it can be used for jewelry, 2) I could not find a way to pull off the road where I was suppose to and 3) I got stuck in the sand when I did pull off.  It was almost sunset, so I just went to bed right there.


This is where I was suppose to pull off.  Right!!!!


They have plowed up big berms so people can’t drive in there, without 4x4 drive.  So, don’t go there.  The peak is where the nodules were suppose to be.  I walked almost to the top the next morning, found nothing to brag about.


After my hike up that mountain/hill? I return to tackle this problem… can I get myself out of this or do I have to call Emergency Road service again (just called them two days ago for a lock-out)?


Three attempts at digging the sand away from the wheels and ol’ SwankieWheels pulled itself and my overloaded (with rocks) trailer out and back on the pavement.  Hooray!!!  (i.e. thankful again)


I drove on thru the desert, enjoying seeing the giant cacti again… it was almost as if there were waving at me, or dancing with each other.  I love these things.  Onward in search of Apache Tears.


Got a very good night’s sleep and awoke to this fantastic sunrise.  Had collected some the night before, but spent more time find more tears… and checking other locations along the Aquila Road s.w. of Wickenburg (thankful).  Now, if only I had a tumbler (not thankful)!


This is what they can look like polished… http://skywalker.cochise.edu/wellerr/rocks/igrx/obsidian8.htm .


Also, when I stepped out of the van, I found this… someone’s tail… they is actually a bone in it and it was still bloody???  Someone said it was probably a desert pack rat????  (not thankful)

Finally, I arrived in Quartzsite, after stopping to resupply, have tires and torque pressure checked on all lug nuts, etc.  Found Bob Wells and a motely assortment of other vandwellers… and enjoyed a nice evening of sitting around getting acquainted.  Dinner is planned for the next day.


Steve was our host/cook and prepared most of the meal while others provided veggies, fruits, nuts and deserts.


Who could imagine such a spread in the middle of the desert totally off grid???


It was a complete traditional Thanksgiving feast, complete with hot apple pie (heated in my solar oven) alamode. (thankful)  Oh it was so so good, that is until I overdid it and went back for seconds.  (not thankful)   Read more about it at http://cheaprvlivingblog.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-flames/.


Thanksgiving day ended with the traditional vandwellers evening stroll… and a good time was had by all.


Since then, I have been working on installing shelves in my cargo trailer (after photos to follow), I MUST get rid of the rocks and genealogy, I MUST, I MUST!  On a more pleasant note, I had a chance to go kayak the Bill Williams Wildlife Area north of Parker with friend Gary from the Rock and Mineral Club.

It’s a great life.

See Charlene’s Kayaking Index of States.

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.