in a van down by the river

okay it was more of a pond i GUESS

ANYWAY what with getting the van’s transmission replaced & also the part where we were watching friends’ dogs until like three minutes before we had to leave, we didn’t get to stop anywhere cool on the way to Estrella this year. So I decided we’d at least take our time coming home.

After leaving site we stopped in some Phoenix suburb or another to have breakfast at the Waffle House & make plans. Turns out we still had plenty of food for a day or two so all we had to do was figure out what we were doing — my suggestion, which Dharma liked, was ‘find somewhere quiet in the woods & do Squat All for a day or two’.

So we picked a side road, wandered down it (with EXTREME CAUTION, since turning around with the trailer is SLIGHTLY HARDER than without), & found a lovely place in a clearing for the day.

Of course we built a fire.

Yep, that's campfire. It's got pretty good rocks around it, so it looks like it's staying there, too.

I took this picture of Dharma cos I knew it would cheese her RIGHT off.

Yep, that's Dharma bending over at the waist to tend the fire. Yep, that's Dharma's butt, right in the middle of the shot.

Since there was a fire, & we had hot dogs, we did what one would expect.

A hot dog, slightly scorched.

The pond was in a pretty big clearing, which was nice; it gave us room to turn the van & trailer around with NO troubles, & also left a lot of open space for hunting treasures. I found some cracked glass pieces that hadn’t been worn down in a creek, but they were VERY thick & not at all sharp & I’d totally use em for wall pieces. They look like gemstones!

Also a bone or two, a couple pieces of a bowling ball that someone had apparently blown up?? & a bunch of copper bullet casings. Yeah, this is a spot where people go to target-shoot & drink beer. Enh; quiet enough midweek.

So we farted around, explored, burned & ate hot dogs, & generally did a whole lot of not much for the rest of the day. The stars were SPECTACULAR that night & we all slept very well. It was VERY nice.

The next day found us driving through some of the higher parts of Arizona, & eventually we hit snow. Not falling from the sky, but there was a fair amount on the ground. Since we’d only acquired Hades last summer, we had no idea if he’d ever gotten to play in snow, so when we came to a good spot to pull over, that’s what we did.

The campground was closed for the season, but there was plenty of room to pull over & it was easy enough to duck tunder the gate.

A brown & yellow sign reading 'Canyon Point Campground'; the ground around it is covered in snow.

Hades was … pretty unimpressed with the whole ‘snow’ thing.

Hades, a longhaired black cat, walks towards the camera; he's on dry pavement but next to him is a small patch of snow. His ears are stuck out sideways.

So chances are pretty good he’s experienced it before. But the boys ran around for a while, & the sun kept us warm through the high-altitude chill.

Loiosh, a shorthaired orange tabby, sniffs at the ground; he's standing in dry grass but behind him is snowy ground.

Both boys on the pavement; Loiosh is striding along, tail up, while Hades stands nearby.

Both boys, walking together, to the right of the shot.

I love how the boys walk together. I think Hades just feels more comfortable when Loiosh is close by.

ANYWAY after that we drove a lot & stopped for the BEST HAMBURGERS & then drove a lot more & then got home, the end.

Me, with a hamburger in my face. It was a really good hamburger.

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