Click the pics quietly, you don't want to disturb the peace and serenity of those there in.
The Arctic Fox in the sunset. It seems a little odd that I would park my truck on the side of the Arctic Fox away from the trailer door, but it's actually another sign of my laziness. If the truck were parked like this on the door side of the Arctic Fox it would block my view when I stick my camera out the door to take a picture of a sunrise, Heaven forbid I should actually have to step outside that early in the morning.
While I was in town yesterday, I filled up one of my propane tanks at $2.30 a gallon. It looks like the days of sub-two dollar propane are gone forever. I also visited the Quartzsite cemetery to take a few pictures and pay my respects to a few of the Quartzsite pioneers. I also took the opportunity to stop at the Quartzsite trash transfer station, since it's on my way into town, and dropped off a couple of trash bags, which is free at that location.
I also filled up my 5-gallon plastic water container at the RV Pit Stop on Highway 95 for a dollar. I haven't talked about water for a while, but since I haven't done anything even remotely interesting today, I'll take this opportunity.
Needless to say, if your a long-term boondocker, finding and getting water in the desert is not as straightforward or cheap as replenishing your water supply anyplace else. The available water in the desert is usually not all that great taste wise. It contains a residual amount of salt, so It's not recommended for people with heart problems, and it's kind of expensive to get your hands on. All of that in a desert where water is more critical than most anyplace else.
Old Desert Rats like myself have developed various ways to keep ourselves supplied with water, but I'll just talk about how I manage it. The simplest way would be to check into an RV park every once in a while, hook up to the faucet at your campsite and fill up your RV water tank. But when you've got a bazillion acres of free, prime boondocking desert to play on, the thought of checking into a crowded RV Park and having a dozen RVs block your view of the sunset is not something you want to deal with just to get some water.
So there are two basic ways that I get water. Since I travel fairly often, that means I can fill up the Arctic Fox's 76-gallon water tank at some gas stations or truck stops. There are also city parks where I can stop and fill up. Some rest stops have water hookups, and some towns that get a lot of RV traffic, such as Wickenburg and Quartzsite, have dedicated businesses where for a reasonable fee, you can dump your holding tanks and fill up your water tank.
And of course, if you're in Quartzsite, you can stay at a Long-Term Visitor Area, "LTVA," where for $40, you can boondock in the desert for two weeks and have access to fresh water, dump station, dumpsters for your trash, and the feeling of safety you get from being around other boondocker's, but without the crowds and awning to awning situations you're subjected to in a lot of RV Parks.
The other way I replenish my water supply is when I'm stationary for a while, I have my 5-gallon plastic "Jerry Can" that I keep in the back of the truck and fill it up at any opportune place that I find, including those $0.25 a gallon kiosks you see in front of some grocery stores. Then I will dump the 5-gallon container into my freshwater tank. I will also buy the gallon jugs of water at Walmart and do what a lot of other desert dwellers do, which is save the empty gallon jugs and fill them up anyplace that has a faucet.
I know for those of you that need hookups, all of that sounds like a lot of trouble, but when you truly enjoy long-term boondocking as I do, you get used to taking care of yourself, overcoming small challenges, and living by your wits, which gives me a feeling of self-reliance and freedom that I've never felt living any other way.
Part of the Quartzsite cemetery that I visited yesterday. This is what I call the new side of the cemetery since most of these folks were born in the 1900s.
This is the old part of the cemetery, I think almost all of these folks were born in the 1800s. In the background you can see the stone pyramid that marks the grave of Hi Jolly, the Camel driver that helped the US Calvary learn how to use Camels in the American desert.
There's an RV Park right next to the cemetery that appears to be the kind of RV Park that houses a lot of permanent residence, and when you consider the age of the average person in Quartzsite I'm quite sure there are jokes that could be made about the permanent residence at both of these facilities.
This gravesite is very unique with a tremendous amount of weird details that can be seen, but not understood, at least by me. I've noticed that benches are kind of popular at gravesites now days, which is a good idea, since it beckons you to stay and visit a while with the dearly departed, and this bench has a small pig residing under it.
The actual headstone is that small crooked white marble block sticking out of the dirt on the left side of the bench, and it looks like it was placed that way on purpose. Like I said there's a lot of odd details in this grave.
This grave marker takes the bench concept to its final conclusion since it's the only thing on the grave, making the bench the actual headstone.
I found this headstone a little disturbing. This young man was born the same year as me. So while I was a sophomore trying to survive my first year of high school, this 15 year-old boy was dying.
My first thought was "there but for the grace of God go I."
The second thing I thought about was how small and insignificant my problems were at that age compared to his.
The next thing that crossed my mind was all he had missed. The good and bad, the ups and downs, the joy and the tears of everyday life that we all take for granted, he never got to experience.
But there's a mystery in this headstone, can you see it? It's the line "beloved of Judy." That's an odd epitaph for a 15 or 16-year-old boy. Who is Judy, a girlfriend? He's to young to be married. Wasn't he also beloved by his parents? Why is she the only one that gets recognition, I found that rather odd.
But it did reinforce my feelings of trying to enjoy every day, and be thankful for every one I'm given.