Sunday, November 22, 2015

Escape Into The Wild

No fitness plan summary, no weekly blog update, no goals… just nothing.

Something is wrong.  Something is off.  I have lost my mo-jo.  Woke up a few days ago and realized this… and decided it needed to be fixed.  ... I didn't know how depressed I was until I got home... in the WILD.  Most of this year I have felt like my cup was empty, but the past couple of days, I have begun to find my mo-jo to put back into it. Stay true to your heart and soul.


It was the first time in a very long time where I had my trailer (and all my worldly possessions) in travel mode… and my feet got very itchy.  All the goals I had lined up for this season, seems to be vanishing before my eyes. The values I had, seemed not to exist anymore.  OK, this can not be.  Time to get lost (or is it found?).


With no pre-determined idea of where I was going, I just headed out away from Quartzsite and what had been my dream/plans for this winter season.  It is amazing how your frame of mind changes, once you have all your possessions in tow and no reason to "go back" anyplace. I just can't sit still in a camp any longer. I need to be on the go. Spend way too much time in Quartzsite, just sitting around waiting for others, waiting for classes, waiting for payday, and eating, and sitting and eating. While I was traveling and kayaking all the time... I looked and felt much better. So, I'm off in search of my mojo again. Thinking most likely I will postpone my AZ Trail hike one more year as I need to replace my house batteries (about $600 expense). I could be in areas without signals... so don't expect as much activity here or on Facebook.


I need to get out and just enjoy nature again.  People so confuse me.  The downside of living in the desert is going to bed when it gets dark, and getting all the rest you need by 1am or so. Then not being able to go back to sleep. Sure beats the depression I was feeling in urban camping though... where I just wanted to sleep all the time.  Here, I can’t wait to get up, get out, look at stuff, see wildlife, take photos, think, breath clean air (Quartzsite air is amazingly polluted especially in Jan.).


I’m not a thrill seeker.  I don’t look for “danger” for fun, but somehow this sign make me feel good.  The environment was no longer bland like Quartzsite.  I love the desert but Quartzsite has been so depleted of anything geologically interesting, and there are so many politics when you are in civilization, whether it is politicians or just citizens… someone is always being greedy or trying to get the best of someone else.


After spending the day exploring, hiking, driving, I got off into the wilderness, maybe a little too far, as I am not sure I can get back out again without help. (Help is on the way!)


But, in the meantime, I introduced myself to me.  Where have you been, I asked?  I don’t know!!! was my reply.  Guess I am loosing my mind.  I’m talking to myself, but we are very good company for each other, me, myself and I.


So, I took another hike and talked to the Joshua Tree instead.


Another hike and another tree conversation with the Palo Verde.

Took another two hour hike in the desert looking for petrified palm wood... and all I found was lots and lots of chalcedony. Suppose to be jasper and agates around here too but I think I am 12 miles off where I should be. Not going to try to make it the rest of the way in 2 wheel drive. I went until the wash dropped off 20ft vertically. What a sight.


Oh, look, there is Swankie, all the way down the 20’ drop off in the wash.  I climbed down to have a chat with her.  Went a little farther and another bigger drop off… no burro tracks to follow, so I turned back.

A couple nights in this wonderful place, and I don’t want to leave.  However, I must leave while I have some help getting out.  There was a pretty fast drop in elevation on a very sandy road.  My trailer is way to heavy for me to pull it back up that elevation with a 2 wheel drive van.  I guess I may have to settle for life on the edge of the wilderness… I’ll have to stick to harder surfaces so long as I am pulling a trailer full of rocks and genealogy.  (in my  next life, I’ll have a 4-wheel drive vehicle and will travel without a ton of genealogy in tow)

So some serious soul searching is going on.  I still want to hike the AZ trail, even more so after a couple days of wandering aimlessly in the desert. So much to see out here.  But what happened to my goals?  What happened to the Rock Club time I planned on this winter???  One: My house batteries are six years old and on their last legs.  Cost of replacing them conflicts with funds needed for the Arizona Trail Hike.  I can’t do both.  It was depressing me.  Two:  People were depressing me.  I never have mal-contempt toward others, yet people are reacting to things I say and do as if I do.  I guess they don’t get that such things can be very hurtful…. to a person with a good heart.  It’s happened too many times in the last couple of years…. and so I need to escape, re-access, etc. and so forth.


Here are my new neighbors. Free, free at last, back into the wild.

All is well. I have officially escaped into the wild. I have reactivated my SPOT device... so I can find myself. I know the way out again, but don't want to go. All I can hear at night is a couple crickets and a few high airplanes, and there are burro hoof prints on the ground outside. I didn't know how "un-free" I was feeling until I got back in the wild.  All night long, I heard burros braying and nothing else.

I saw this on Facebook this morning and think I need to play with it a bit and tweak it to fit my lifestyle:

Why did you dance today? · Denpasar, Indonesia ·

Today I celebrate 500 days of dancing everyday...

Am on the 500th day of my running, dancing, yoga, meditation, singing, drawing, drumming, and writing streak.

Today I ran wild and free for an hour in the rice fields and mountains of Bali to enjoy the feeling of aliveness I get when I run, and danced to get inspiration and ideas for choreographing the musicals I am directing in Bali.

I have found it very inspirational to keep track of the days. The longer I keep the streak going the more I benefit and more passionately I want to make sure to write, dance, run, meditate, draw, sing, drum, and practice yoga today.

I write, dance, run, meditate, draw, sing, drum, and practice yoga everyday, and I try to complete this in the morning, before I allow myself to check email or Facebook, but if I cannot complete everything I explore what I need to complete before I go to sleep.

I love to run for an hour, but if I do not have time, or my body says I should take it easy I always run at least a mile, and write, dance, meditate, draw, sing, drum, and practice yoga at least 2-10 minutes each.

Why did you dance today, and what did you do that was good for your body, mind, and spirit today?


I have to adopt/adapt this philosophy/lifestyle to my own. I think living in the wild has to be one of my daily things. Out of the next 365 days, see how many of them I can spend with no other humans in view.  Should begin on Nov. 20... the day I escaped back into the Wild and began finding my mojo again. Two nights now. 363 to go.


Sometimes you just have to say, Whoa Back!  This was a surprise to me.  I thought I had a plan, but then once the trailer was hooked up… and I realized I did NOT have to go back if I didn’t want to… it all kind of fell apart, or fell together, or something.  I don’t know, but I can take all the time I want to sort it all out to decide what I need to do daily for the good of my body, mind and spirit.  I believe both Quartzsite and the Arizona Trail will still there when I am ready.  Today, I am smiling.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quartzsite, AZ 2015

I approached Quartzsite, AZ from the East this time, on Interstate 10.
There are two exits only, Exit 19 on East side of town, and Exit 17 on west side of town.  There are about 2 miles apart.
You come off I-10 onto Riggles Rd, turning right, then get in left lane to turn left onto Main Street.
Last year the Beall's store closed and remains empty.  If you turn right there, you will be on Plymouth St. which goes to the Police Station, Library and P.O. Annex.
The General Store is still open.
The Roadrunner Market just opened up again.
Main intersection of town, Main Street and Highway 95 (goes south to Yuma or north to Parker).
On the west end of town is where many of the little stores are, and the new Chamber of Commerce will also be located there.
Pulled into the Main Event place to see if Beth was around but didn’t see her car so I left.  She was there, darn it.
Coming out of the Main Event you can see the other fast food place, and I’m having a senior moment and can’t think of the name.
Heading back East again you can see McDonalds, and the Flying J and some other business all clustered in there.
Directly across the street from McDonalds and Flying J is Hardies Beads and Jewelry store and the brown/tan store front will be the new Chamber of Commerce location (parking in the back of Hardies).
Near them on the north side of street is this store.
Coming back to the main intersection and turning south the first street past the stop light you go back behind the LA Mesa RV lot to find the large QIA building, where the Pow Wow is held as well as exercise classes and dances and all kinds of other events.  It’s really the “community center” of the town, in season.
Block west of QIA is the Gem and Mineral Club where I usually LIVE during the winter, but I feel my life going in a different direction.
Back out on Main Street and turning East/right again, is the Main Street Eatery and Laundromat and showers.  Another community center of sorts.  Also have free wifi.

Posted in Facebook Quartzsite Chatter this morning (11/3/15): 
The bakery has new owners.
The Eatery got a facelift, still great place to eat.
The Cruise In held 2nd and 4th Saturdays has relocated to the VFW. Which they moved in to this spring. Formerly Palo Verde Cafe.
The LaCasa Restaurant purchased, new rock shop.
The Yacht Club Restaurant purchased, new rock shop.
New vendors, Asian menus, seafood menus
Main Event is rising out of the ashes to resume activity that has been absent from their location far too long.
And Great news, Quartzsite Chamber and Tourism office just opened located across from McDonalds. All levels of membership, everyone needs to visit and support this endeavor to keep Quartzsite Rocking!!!

There is a lot more to the town, but this is my quick 5Cent tour, having just arrived back here after being gone six months.
Oh the Yacht Club is closed.  Has been sold and will become another rock shop.  Like Q needed another rock dealer.  This will be interesting to watch.
Other links:
Quartzsite, AZ
Rock and Gem Show Events

WEEKS 15 and 16–Back Home Again in Quartzsite, AZ (Oct. 18-30, 2015)

Somehow, Quartzsite, AZ just doesn’t feel like home to me this year, but I am settling in.  I may be looking for new adventures after this winter.  Dealing will dusty old rocks may not be in my best interest health-wise. Time will tell.


Pulled into a free two-week camping area and got a permit.  Most of my time this winter, and it will be a short season for me, will be spent on private lands.  I will have no pubic camp this year and will have to visit with people in their camps or meet them in town.


But for right now, I found a tree to call home…


… and went walking in just my flip-flops and shower wrap-a-round, cause there ain’t nobody out here.


Just wide open spaces and the ol’ SwankieWheels rig.


Just got busy enjoying the sunsets, sunrises, the ol’ tree and desert plants.


Off-loaded the kayak and got it covered up with a tarp.  Set up a place for water jugs, and that’s about it for me.  Not setting up my canopy or tents this year.


OK, back to the sunrises and sunsets.  Busy busy person.


Learned Freedom America (Amanda) was at the library so went by to welcome her.


How will I loose any weight… dug out the solar oven to make sure it still works.


Set about trying to learn how to replace a headlamp in the van… Chevy in Payson, AZ wanted to charge me $75.  I’m sorry, but I actually laughed in the man’s face.  Drove across the road, bought a $10 bulb and it took me about 15 minutes to put it in… and I had never done that before on a Chevy van.  Had to reward myself for saving $65.  Ha ha.


Like I said, keeping it simple this winter… my shower, out the rear door of van.


Friends are beginning to arrive, Lou Brochetti arrived with his expanded Vardo… had to add on to the back, back 1/3 is all new, so he had room for his new freezer, and the rest of the room back there is for his musical instruments and equipment.  Had to put a whole new frame under the vardo to support the additional weight and more solar on top to support the big freezer.  (Oh I wasn’t suppose to tell about the freezer, as too many people might want to put Ice Cream in it.)


And more sunsets, here with some rain falling through.


I finally got some of my notecard sets put together to ship out and they look fine.

Quartzsite hasn’t changed… for more click here.

Next week exercise classes, dances, and other activities start up.  I plan to exercise daily and go climb Q-Mountain.  After a week or so acclimating, I will add my backpack to the climb up and down Q-Mountain.  I will resume giving fitness reports then.

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.