First Week
Sunday, June 4 through Monday, June 12
Off to Benson to load up

This page includes maunderings on about the drive out to Benson and the time I spent there, before it finally begins to log the official travel part. Feel free to skip down to where I leave Benson on "the trip". Skip down to beginning of travelogue

I actually left home on Sunday afternoon the 4th, my house, sitting on its ridge because I had to stop first in Lancaster to get the backup camera on the motorhome fixed. I brought 2 dogs with me for company -- and in the case of Diva, to keep her from bullying the aged Bonnie at home. I drove straight through to Lancaster, arrived in front of Rexhall RV late at night, and just slept there at the curb. Got my fixes done in the morning, and went on to Quartzite AZ where I stopped for the night. Miserably hot in Quartzite; and I only had a 110 volt power connection so I couldn't run both airconditioners. Even with the one airconditioner going full blast I could only get the temp in the motorhome down to 80 degrees. I was saved by sitting in front of a fan -- actually felt quite comfortable, although the dogs were complaining in their heavy coats. I forgot, when I planned this trip for June and July, about the temperature factor. I do hope the rest of the trip is not so HOT. It was 105 degrees in Quartzite -- too hot for me.

I needed to stop in Benson to unload a bunch of stuff I brought from California, and pack up a bunch of stuff my father left to the Eastern relatives, to take back with me. I am currently in Benson (as of Thursday night) having unloaded the California stuff, and in the midst of carefully packing up the (of course breakable) objets d'art headed for New Jersey. Motorhome as moving van. Now, where the heck am I going to load the 4-foot-high bone pagoda??

I've been having a sporadic problem where the motorhome's door handle flops loosely and will not engage the latch. Always before, I could turn the latch with the key and thus get the door open. I've been very careful to always take the key with me when I leave the motorhome because of that. Well, in Eloy I stopped to get gas, and when I was done the door handle flopped loosely again. And this time, the key also flopped loosely. There is a driver's door, but it is so high I can't possibly crawl up in through it. I had to accost another (younger, more flexible) motorist and ask them to crawl in through the driver's door and open the other door from the inside. Man, I'm glad it didn't happen when I was stopped out in Nowhere to potty my dogs. The handle is working again, but I obviously can't trust it. I have placed a folding stepstool behind the driver's seat, where I can reach it from outside. Hopefully with the help of the stepstool I will be able to get in through the driver's door myself. I had the door latch adjusted when I stopped at Rexhall, but that seems not to have helped with the intermittent flopping problem. I will have to hope it flops consistently at a time when I can get a mechanic to look at it.

Evenings in Benson have been so pleasant. Mutters of thunder, and fantastic tongues of lighting lashing here and there across the skies, with only an occasional spatter of rain. Tonight I went to "Movie In The Park" -- a free movie, plus cokes and popcorn, in the town park, with everyone sitting on their folding chairs and the kids running across the lawn. Very smalltown, very charming, and made especially magical by a full moon throwing moonshadows of everyone, and the light catching on the wings of a zillion nightjars feasting on the flying insects drawn to the light.

I freshened the bird feeders, and the local wildlife descended en masse. The javelina sow Flickers, white wing doves, big flocks of house finches and white crowned sparrows, towhees, ground squirrels, rabbits chasing each other in circles on the lawn, and a scruffy-looking javelina sow standing bold as brass next to the chain link in broad daylight, scarfing up scattered seed and obviously trying to figure out how to get into the yard to get more. The javelina ---->

I left Benson on Monday June 12. I left my choice of route to the last minute -- either up into the White Mountains via Morenci, or to Las Cruces NM. Depended on how early I got gone, and how tired I was. southern New Mexico There was a lot of loading to be done that morning, and I hadn't had a ton of sleep the night before, and I didn't actually hit the road until after 1 PM, so I opted for Las Cruces. That's a rather uninspiring drive -- southern New Mexico is really bare land -- but the combination of sand and sparse tufts of grass, totally dry in this drought year, made a landscape of flat featureless plains of golden yellow backed by bluegray distant mountains -- minimal, but quite pretty.

Las Cruces sits generic Western mountain at the foot of a "real" mountain range, not the heaps of brown dirt I had been passing. Something about it reminds me of every cliche Western painting I have ever seen. I hope you can see the mountain properly in this pic....
The RV park view over Las Cruces where I am stopped has a nice view out over Las Cruces's valley. It has Wi-Fi, but the signal strength is so bad, it is too slow to be endured. My cellphone modem is faster... so I am using that, old fashioned style, Wi-Fi or no Wi-Fi.

The new motorhome is pretty roomy inside. Here you can see I have just leaped up from working on this travelogue to take a picture -- black blob on the table is my laptop, complete with dangling power cord. my travelling house other side of my travelling house Past the table you can see the dogs' travelling crates -- and lying about the floor, of course, the dogs themselves. The table is wonderfully adaptible. Evenings it sits here for dining or working -- or squooshes down to coffeetable size and rolls over in front of the couch. When travelling, the slide is in and the motorhome is narrower, so the table rides in its coffeetable configuration, leaving just enough room to walk between it and the dog crates. When travelling to dog shows, the entire livingroom is a kennel -- 4 crates stacked on one side, and 2 crates on top of the (covered) couch on the other side, chairs stacked one on the other in the kitchen ell -- leaving nowhere to sit except the driver's and passenger's seats. When we stop for lunch en route to a dogshow, the seats swivel and the table rolls forward between them and pops up to table height -- giving us a cramped but very comfortable dining area.

Windy was verrrry bad this evening. What with the intermittent problem with the door latch, when I took Diva out on leash I pushed the door shut but did not latch it. Windy promptly pushed it open and let herself out, and was NOT going to allow me to catch her. I chased her over half the RV park, and she seemed to regard it as a joint walk with her way out front; so I turned around and went back to the motorhome. She followed, in a roaming indirect way, but never did let me snag her collar. Eventually she hopped back into the motorhome, a minute or two ahead of Diva and I. I was hot, sweaty, and VERY irked. Well, at least both dogs got good long walks this evening. Grrr.

Oh yeah, the 4-foot bone pagoda? Well, since I am travelling solo except for the dogs, the bone pagoda is now my passenger. The bone pagoda, travelling East