Thursday, October 31, 2013


Judy and Julie said good bye with hugs and safe travel wishes, and pats on the head for Kona and Rocky, while I watched from the dashboard, impatient to get on the road. I kept my “secret sadness” hidden behind my regal, unconcerned attitude.

 I would miss Rocky and Kona, especially Kona, she was such entertainment. But they had to go home, head west, while we turned our wheels east. I don’t know why Judy seemed so sad, she still had me.

We headed for the SKP Saguaro RV Park in Benson, Arizona. I kicked back for a few days exploring our clean, peaceful campsite. 
I smell s rabbit!!

Where is that rabbit?

 Judy waited for the government to settle the budget issues. 
 Judy got caught up on her writing, laundry, and quality time with me.
After four days we headed out for Deming, New Mexico, ready to continue our adventures in New Mexico.
When we arrived at The Dream Catcher RV Park I knew something was wrong. Judy rushed to park, plug in and went to bed. She never takes naps so I cuddled with her knowing she did not feel good. Saturday and Sunday passed with no improvement. We slept a lot, not unusual for me, but I wasn’t accustomed to Judy’s new behavior.
The sun had not come up when Judy rousted me from the warm blankets and I watched her stow away everything for travel. She only drove across town and parked in a near empty parking lot in front of a sign, “Emergency Entrance.”?? What was going on?
The hospital was small, one story and Judy parked the motor home close to the emergency entrance. 

She locked up the motor home and went inside. I perched on the dash and looked out into the dark.
Trucks pulled up with flashing lights and people scurried around. I studied the movement for a long time as I waited for Judy’s return. What if she was so sick, she wasn’t coming back? What would become of me? I could wait a long time, Judy had filled up my dish to overflowing.
An hour and a half later Judy  came through the doors and approached the motor home. My heart skipped a beat. Everything was going to be okay! She gave me a huge hug and I felt her relief as I hid mine and squirmed out of her grasp.
I listened as Judy explained to her sister on the phone that after tests and a super duper shot of antibiotics, she would soon be on the mend from a bladder infection. 
“I can’t say enough for  The Mimbres Memorial Hospital,  my nurse, Mena, and the doctors.” Judy’s voice was high with excitement as she talked to her sister. “They kept me updated on the process, explaining it took thirty minutes for tests to process. They just didn’t stick me in a room and leave me wondering if I’d been forgotten. Mena was the best. If you want a good nurse she’ll be traveling to the Los Angles Children’s Hospital to work there for  for thirteen weeks and is  considering the new Loma Linda Hospital in Murrieta, California next.”

Judy drove back to the campground and we spent the rest of the day resting and napping. Being sick on the road was scary. I’m glad that’s over.

We had arrived in Deming on a Saturday and on Tuesday morning we were back in the saddle again, headed for the biggest litter box I have ever seen in my entire life!!

The White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The motor home looks so tiny in this gigantic litter box. It's too much to comprehend. 

We moved on down the road.

And the next stop, the biggest Pistachio I have ever seen at McGinns Pistachioland in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Stay tuned for more adventures as we make our way to the Alien Capital, Roswell, New Mexico.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Smokey the Bear and Black Jack

We were headed to Roswell, New Mexico   but made some stops along the way to visit  some of my famous animal friends who have made the history books. First stop, the Smokey The Bear Historical Park. It is here that Smokey the Bear was born and rescued after being orphaned during a forest fire. And it is here, after his death November 9, 1976, he is buried after twenty-six years of service to our country. 

My name is mentioned in books too, but I will never have the impact on this country like Smokey The Bear. It was an honor to visit his grave site.

This is Fort Stanton. Judy has become fascinated with the many forts situated throughout the west pointing out that the hardships these soldiers encountered are  similar  to what our warriors of today must endure. A soldier's life is never easy.

General Pershing's name comes up many times in the history books of this era. His horse, Black Jack is  icon  that you may not be aware.  After General Pershing's death his horse Black Jack made a name for himself as The
Riderless Horse in many stat funerals.. He participated in Hoover's, Johnson's, McArthur's, and most remembered, Kennedy's funeral.  Black Jack is one of only two horses to be buried with full military honors ( the other horse, Comanche) . Click on the link below to learn more about this magnificent animal.


And our final stop before reaching Roswell was Lincoln  County, the stomping grounds of Billy the Kid.  Below is the only one of the  many historical buildings in this area where the Lincoln County Wars took place. It is one of the two competing mercantile stores that competed for the the economic and political control of this area in 1878. Billy the kid escaped from this building where he was held to be hung for his crimes.  The gunshot holes in the walls are from his guns when he escaped. If I weren't a cat I'd want to be Billy The Kid.

Below is an article about Billy's origins in Silver City. Another stop on our itinerary.

Old Town Silver City, New Mexico

By Mary Alice Murphy,
Silver City Daily Press

The controversy over Billy the Kid’s life and death started when he was shot and killed by Pat Garrett in July 1888. But did Billy die, did Garrett really kill him or was somebody else the victim of Garrett’s bullets? The legend holds that Billy, also known as William Bonney Henry McCarty and Henry Antrim, was born in New York, or was it Texas? His mother was Catherine Antrim, or was he born to her sister and raised by Antrim?

The controversy of his life stems far beyond what documented history can tell us. However, a few things about Billy’s life are not controversial. He was raised in Silver City, New Mexico, by Antrim and known then as Henry McCarty. After her death, he had no role models, got involved with shady characters and began his brief life of crime. Also not disputed is that Billy the Kid attended Sixth Street Elementary School in Silver City.

A cabin, from the movie set of “The Missing” was donated by the movie’s director Ron Howard and sits at the Murray Ryan Visitor Center near the site where Billy (a.k.a. Henry) and his mother lived. So, while the stories of Billy change as quickly as time passes, one fact that will always remain is “the Kid” will always be known as one of the West’s most rumored and remembered outlaws.

Just to remind you, I am mentioned in books as well as Smokey and Black Jack.
Check them out on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wasting Away In Wickenburg, Arizona

Wickenburg, Arizona was the perfect place to me to  recuperate from my worries, 

 "Would Judy ever return from the deep canyon walls of the Grand Canyon? Would she be swept away forever, leaving me the task of training someone new to all my needs and desires? I would be meticulous in my interviews. The new position would have many more duties. regular walks, no dogs in the house even to visit. And there would be a no tolerance policy for lack of response to repeated meows."
I digressed. Sorry.

Judy had time to do laundry and she  and Julie ate out a lot. We slept in every day  and Judy met up with Julie when she took Rocky and Kona for their walks. I relaxed while they toured  The Desert Caballeros Western Museum

They ate at the Hog Tough Barbecue  and met up with fellow Escapee members  David and Nancy Barnhart who were wintering  at the North Ranch SKP  Park in Congress, Arizona where we were staying. David and Nancy had raised many dogs for The Canine for Companions For Independence. Where are the cat lovers in this world?
Judy scolded me for being  narrow minded. She enjoyed hearing about their training adventures.  Well, that is what you have to do when you own a dog.

The Horseshoe  Cafe   was another great restaurant in Wickenburg. 

In the evenings we watched the sunsets.

After a great few days we headed for Kingman, Arizona to get more kicks on Route 66.
See you there.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Boats and Bridges

I’m not much of a reader. I’m more into catnaps, although lately I've been listening to our audio books. Judy told me Lake Havasu City made its mark on the map when it purchased every granite brick from the London Bridge that spanned the Thames in London, including the ones chipped and pocked by shrapnel from World War I. Every piece was numbered and hauled through the Panama Canal to be rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. That’s an enormous feat for my feline brain to conceive, since I have people to do my bidding, I rarely strain a paw.  
We arrived in Lake Havasu City in time for Judy and Julie to embark on a sunset cruise that took them under the London Bridge, around the lake, and into the Topock Gorge.
 Julie’s two dogs Kona, a standard poodle, and Rocky, a Pomeranian, went on the boat ride, too. Really? Dogs are not cool.

 Judy was so excited when she told me about meeting a group of eight journalists visiting from various countries - London, Paris, China and Brazil – As you can see, Kona and Rocky made their contribution to international relations. 


Sophie, a journalist for the Daily News, a National publication out of London, hit it off with Kona while the gal from China cradled little Rocky throughout the entire cruise.

Our tour ended at sunset. Enjoy the scenery.
Lake Havasu.

And the highlight of the tour - The London Bridge.

The following morning I did my yoga stretch, rested and refreshed after a silent night with no wild burros. Judy pulled out of Campbell Cove Campground. We were off to get our kicks on Route 66.
Our destination, the capital of the Hualapai Nation, Peach Springs, Arizona.  Again Judy, always the great tour guide told me that located in this small town on historic Route 66 is the only road that traverses sixteen hundred feet down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is there that her rafting adventure will begin the next day. 

Don't forget to check out our books, COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST  and GOING HOME WITH A CAT AND A GHOST. They are avaiable as print, e-book, and audio. 
Click on the link below.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Good, The Bad Roads, and The Right and The Wrong Turns

I watched Judy for the past weeks, carrying clothes and stuff to the motorhome. When I spotted my bag of food in her arms, I knew the trip was on. I purred contented we were finally on the road. When we rendezvoused at Home Depot right on time, Judy said. I panicked when I saw mom’s friend Julie pull up in her fifth wheel and her two dogs, Kona and Rocky. I've done trips with mom’s friends before and they all have  dogs who want to be my best friend. Really? Dogs are not cool.

I heard Judy tell her friend she needed a walkie talkie because her cheap, less than a year old, twenty dollar set wasn’t walking or talking. “No problem,” Julie said.  Brand new at RVing, Julie pulled out her brand new eighty dollar set with whistles and bells and we set out on the road, headed out for adventures and good times.

Judy led the way to Buckskin State Park on the outskirts of Parker and located on Arizona side of the river. A few years back she and I enjoyed a Thanksgiving weekend there, watched a boat parade on Thanksgiving Day and I rock climbed at the campsite. A gracious family invited Judy for enchiladas on night. I declined the invitation. Pleasant memories.

Half way to Lake Havasu Judy realized she made a wrong turn that led us on the California side of the river. She and Julie settled for a nice campground with wild burros grazing throughout the campground. Climbing back into the cab Judy said, “The office help seemed nice.”  She said she explained her intention to drive the Arizona side and they reassured her. “Don’t Worry. You are only thirty miles from Havasu.” 

Everything was so nice Judy booked two nights and selected the reasonable priced spaces, away from the water. She marveled at the picturesque red rocks of Copper Canyon that formed a postcard backdrop as we watched the wild burros graze peacefully. Now I wasn’t keen on the huge creatures but they seemed docile enough. I guess I was as thrilled as Judy and Julie with the campground choice.

Judy and Julie didn’t expect it to be as hot this late in the year, me I was fine stretched out on the kitchen counter. I could see the river from my vantage. It supported a variety of bugs. Numerous bugs swarmed in the air. I looked forward to catching a few when the sun set and it became cooler. Judy claimed the “burro pies” left by these constantly eating creatures were a delicacy for the insects, which constantly competed with the flies for the space in front of her face. She pawed at her face at the same pace the burros' tails switched back and forth.
When the burros belted out their screeching, grating hee haws to one another, my heart flip flopped and my hair stood on end. I listened to Kona’s deep, excited barks. What did she think she was doing? At that moment I decided curiosity was not killing this cat. I was exploring no farther than the scents that drifted through the screen door.
No bars. Judy gets agitated with the condition. No cell or Internet service toned down the two friends’ happy, joyous mood like a flat tire alongside the road. The final fly in the burro pie - no cable - forced us all to retire early into our air conditioned rigs with a good book Nap time is always a good thing.

Morning coolness tried to cheer Judy’s red-eyed spirits as she prepared to pull out of the River Lodge Resort on Parker Dam Road. A brief stop at the office confirmed what she expected - the request for a refund of second night would be denied. She shrugged it off and headed north to Havasu, Arizona.
No traffic led Judy to assume no one traveled the California side. The rough and twisted road left no shoulder or pull outs for photos of the red rock canyon scenery. She slowed to five miles of pot-holed-road per hour. I tried to sleep but the rig rattled and rumbled as it stumbled down the poorly maintained asphalt. Civilization disappeared. Five vultures perched on a rocky crag ten feet above our heads. Are there no small animals in this place? We crept by. The big birds seemed to wait for us to run out of gas.
Around the bend emerging out of a dust cloud a man appeared in a golf cart. Like an alien in this forsaken country he bounced past me and Julie flagged him down. Not an alien, the man confirmed Judy’s fears, we were on a road that went nowhere, but he assured her that around the curve was room to turn around. “The only way to Lake Havasu is head back to Parker,” he said. “You can’t image how many people make this mistake.” And off he buzzed vanishing down  a dusty canyon road..
Forty-five minutes later we pulled into the Parker Elks Lodge - the majestic red rock canyon and family of vultures - the good side of a bad, ugly road.

Judy left me to write my blog while she and Julie had hamburgers and chips inside the lodge. Tomorrow we would continue on, leaving the good, the bad routes, the right and wrong turns behind us.

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