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Estrella Day Mostly 2: Salt River Canyon

A big ol canyon with steep sides & a river at the bottom. The sun is about to set. I don't make good decisions, y'all.

Near the end of the first day, having gotten a good feel for how Tyrava pulls, I decided that I would challenge myself & see how well I was REALLY doing with this towing-a-big-trailer thing. I decided to do this by taking AZ60 through Salt River Canyon. Down through Salt River Canyon. The one with all the switchbacks.

… I didn’t say it was a GOOD idea. Continue reading Estrella Day Mostly 2: Salt River Canyon

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Battlemoor — the way home — mostly cats edition

A round wicker footrest sittin on the passenger seat of the van. Hades is curled up in the cat bed on top of it, & Tom is likewise occupying the bed tucked into the base.

I love how they turned the cat-bed-on-the-seat into a doubledecker cat bed. They’re still doing it now that we’re home, too.

On the way to Battlemoor, I’d noticed, off to one side of Wolf Creek Pass, a bunch of RVs tucked into the woods along a creek. I made a note of it as a possible nice boondocking spot, & on the way home, I set out to find it again. Continue reading Battlemoor — the way home — mostly cats edition

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Battlemoor — Mostly Hades Edition

Hades is sitting under a folding camping chair, with his leash wrapped around the legs so he can't move much. He's giving the camera a piteous look.

My friend Ivar, who makes excellent pottery, took this picture of Hades, & I think it sums up both Hades’ natural magnificence, & also his truly spectacular talent at getting himself ENTIRELY TANGLED.

In any case, I usually don’t take a lot of Hades pictures because he’s a longhaired black cat & pretty often winds up being a fluffy blot, but I got a LOT of good Hades pictures this Battlemoor. Continue reading Battlemoor — Mostly Hades Edition

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I don’t think this was what he had in mind.


But when I called the boys back inside before heading to the post office, Tom decided he’d rather stay in the van. So I grabbed his leash & off we went.

I mean. I went over to see if that’s where he was — I’d left the van doors open while I was loading up, as I often do — & he was sitting on the passenger seat, looking expectant. & then he SQUEAKED at me. So off we went.

A large grey tabbycat, Major Tom. He's wearing a green harness & red leash, & he's standing up, looking off to the side of the photo & leaning firmly against the leg of a white person.

He was unimpressed by the gas station parking lot….


Major Tom, sitting next to a large vehicle tire & looking under the vehicle. His ears are forward but his head is down, showing that he's curious but wary.

MOM. Y u do this.

Major Tom is now giving the person holding the camera a look that is Very Fraught with Opinions.


Major Tom is sitting in the same spot, but is now looking over his shoulder, ears forward, looking VERY interested.

(I’m pretty sure it was a bird.)


Major Tom is standing on the ground next to the van, but he's got his paws up on the running board. His ears are out to the sides.

(This is what I’m talking about, though, when I say I want them to learn that the van is a safe place. When he was done, he didn’t try to find a place under a dumpster or something to hide in — he went back into the van. Because it’s safe.)

Major Tom is back in the van giving the camera another Look.

He had a MUCH better time at the post office. By which I mean there was dirt to roll in.

Major Tom, rolling in a patch of dirt and grass. He's a little blurry with the motion. There's a LOT of pale belly fur showing.
He's still rolling, but on the other side now, front paws sticking up in the air.
He's even more blurry in this picture, but he's starting to stand up now.

EVERYTHING is better when you’re covered in dirt & twigs.

Major Tom sits facing away from the camera. He's COATED in bits of plant & his fur is distinctly browner than usual.

He got plenty of chinpettings on the way home, so he was pretty cheerful about the trip overall. But he still dashed back into the house quick once we were home. Little steps — he’ll get there.

Major Tom, back in the van. The photo is framed by the bottom curve of the steering wheel. He's got his head resting firmly in the hand of a white person who is gently scratching under his chin.