Beatty and Bullets AZ…

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“After a thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat, we didn’t wake up until the next morning ”  to head west.  Well north and then west.   We are in Beatty Az now, and we pulled up to our usual place off in the desert.  There was another rig there, so we gave them LOTs of space and parked a few hundred yards away.  We were just getting out and looking around when there was a series of gun shots.

Well we are kind of used to this having lived for 13 years in Rural Oregon, but not in this situation.  Our dog is petrified of the sound, and I think we are a bit uneasy…. SO we packed up and moved to the location, in these pictures. In retrospect, I was thinking…… what a great way to keep an area to yourself 🙂  Just fire off several rounds of bullets whenever someone else shows up.

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Tucker took all of his toys OUT Of the motorhome, and left them all around, he clearly liked the new “digs” better…..

We actually went to Wickenburg, on Black Friday, shopping for GEODES  🙂 (then we came to Beatty.

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Geodes are…. “a rock containing a cavity lined with crystals or other mineral matter.” this is a wonderful article with great pictures to show how they form    GEODES

What we are finding each year we rock hound is that each year we get better at spotting certain characteristics: You can see in this lower left one a bubbly sort of outside… “Botryoidal”, is the geology term for bubbly. img_3921

Sometimes only a few bubbles…

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SOME BIG bubbles…

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Then PRESTO…..beautiful crystals inside.  Some you crack open and nothing inside. For the most part, we are trying to leave them all intact, so we can cut them properly with a saw when we get to Quartzite… or when we get home.

We are getting back in to Cactus territory, so once again looking for booties for Tucker….. turns out what we are going to need to do is to order them and have them delivered to a USP in a town we are planning on getting to. They are a very specialty item and though stores SAY that they carry them, what they mean is that they can GET THEM IN…. which is not much use to travellers.

Although I failed to get a decent picture, we were recently at a gas station and while wandering around I found a series of bird nests in very prickly cacti… … Could not help but wonder how the little ones learning to fly must be VERY accurate taking off.

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Well expect to get some DAZZLING Pictures this year from Brenda. In previous years we could only get SO far out to find rocks, as the motorhome is NOT a 4×4, and we could only go SO far in the bikes, because Tucker would get TUCKERED OUT.

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Now we just leave the motorhome on one place and go to all the other places with the Jeep.img_3812

Still enjoying garden, 5 weeks out….

Five weeks on the road, and we are still eating food from our garden. In the fall we harvested, canned, dried and froze a lot of food to take along on this trip.  We had over a hundred heirloom tomato plants so after the farmers market ended, we started drying and canning the tomatoes.

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We made roasted heirloom tomato sauce which we have brought about 30 pints.

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Also apple, green tomato chutney x 12 jars (great on rice, easy dinner).  We dried tomatoes as well and put them in oil in a jar for putting on pizzas and stir fries.

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We put the dried tomatoes into olive oil to reconstitute them and keep them in the fridge then.

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We also brought several winter squash, spaghetti and delicata.

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Ken was adamant this year that we were not going to waste any fruit, so took on the huge task of peeling, coring and slicing (we have a gadget that does this), and drying all of the apples, pears, peaches and we even dried raspberries.(and some grapes)

We also have dried beans that we have grown called calypso beans.

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I also made 2 types of pesto and froze it, Basil, parsley (italian and curly)

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I did a lot of research last year about crossing borders and food and found that essentially preserved food is allowed. (not meat). Of course there are always border crossing workers who opt to write their own laws, as many of the Canadian citizens  with coloured skin were not allowed into the US with the recent border changes.

But last year we brought canned tomatoes etc   and were searched (as we often are being a motorhome) and all he was looking for was sheep or goat meat.

Why do this?  Well one this is cost, organic food is expensive especially produce, and having all of it at home for free. At home we also work hard at achieving the 100 mile diet. Eating foods that were grown within 100 miles is an environment choice. They say that the food in the grocery store has travelled further than the average person travels on vacation.  We also do this for political reasons, why buy food that is from half way around the world, when you can support local growers?

We also buy our own locally grown grains, such as rye and fife, and  grind them with a stone grinder.  Have ground a few large bins of flour for the trip, for the pizzas and breads along the way.

Then for fresh produce we have a map of all of the trader joe stores along the way and stop there once a week.

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We have a great system for composting, an IKEA rack attached to the wall, and we fill up biodegradable bags with compost and then bury them out in the desert. I am sure that some poor tomato plants will start growing in spring only to look around and say, WHAT AM I DOING HERE?… and then quickly die in the heat.

OH and we are growing mung beans to have for dinner once a week.

We are pretty conservative with our water, so head to a sani dump every 5 days to fill up and dump the tank, but usually we have 3/4 of a tank of water left, so we could likely last for a few weeks without more water etc..  The solar panels in the day are enough to run the LED lights and the furnace and other devices for the evening.

So we are pretty self sufficient.

And while we are traipsing around the desert we have our 3600 garlic planted and protected (back home) , hopefully our biggest garlic ever. (perhaps enough to fund next years trip)

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and DID I mention we are finding rocks, perhaps I need to write a blog one of these days to show all the rocks we have found once I figure out for sure what they all are.

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And them great sunsets just keep coming

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Much love to all and merry christmas.

 

Living off the land….on the road.

Living off the land…. on the road.

I am going to write this year about our upcoming adventure to points south of here in our motorhome. In  particular I am hoping to write about how we are taking our garden with us, in many delicious ways.

As we are coming to terms with the first snowfall, and the first plunge into freezing temperatures, we are wishing we might have been somewhere very far south by this time…… but we are not.  We will be soon though.

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DREARY isn’t it?

We arrived home from last  years adventures (that I wrote about here) on January 4th 2017. It was an abrupt transition from 3 wonderful months of exploring, and rock hounding, that ended with a letter from CRA, Canada Revenue Agency. They were auditing us for our 2014 year which was the last one we actually had an office practice, so it was a big deal. After years of running  our doctors office, we had gotten a bit slack on record keeping and downright lazy on keeping receipts.

So we opted to take on this audit with the same energy that we put into everything, and sat here for an entire month, reconstructing 2014 and tracking down receipts. Did you know that there are a lot of things that they do NOT give you receipts for?  Well by the time May came, it appeared that the CRA actually would be owing us money, so they quietly said that they would not change our tax return…… and we just left it at that….no point in pushing our luck.  One thing about the CRA (and I am sure the IRS) …. when they say they do not accept credit card bills or check stubs….. THEY MEAN IT!

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WE ALSO TOOK THIS TIME TO START 800 Heirloom tomato plants……

Not sure when exactly it happened, but somewhere along the way, last winter, I decided that I had worked TOO DAMMED hard to become a doctor to let it gojust yet. So I DID go back to work this past year.  I was not totally sure what I wanted to do to begin with, but after being audited it was clear I did not want to have my own clinic.  Primary care is going through major changes now based on the shortage of primary care doctors, and so I have found my self with several options that do not involve clinic.  After some trials, I am now working at a very new concept rapid access breast health clinic.  We get referrals from the screening mammogram program.  It is a very cool program in that a person who has a concerning mammogram in the screening program,  gets seen, reviewed, breast exam done and biopsy done all in the same day.  As a cancer surviver myself, I have often credited the doctor whom offered me a biopsy the first day I saw her. …….. with my timely diagnosis. (mine was not breast cancer)

I am also doing work in Long Term Care facilities, as a director and I cover for other doctors when they are away. MUST protect my winter  time off.

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OH and we also bought an electric car, because where I work is 90 Km away from where we live and could not come to terms with all of the fuel I would burn through driving all this way to work  2-3 times a week.

 

SOOOO Back to the living off the land part.

We have a (sort of) Market garden. We grow vegetables and sell them at the market, and some day we hope to make money at this. We totally benefit from this in that it feeds us. We EAT VERY WELL.

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So we have squirrelled away our harvest, and this year are hoping to live off the land, on the road.

My last day of work at the breast clinic is November 22nd, and we plan to leave after I get off work.  Currently we are studying 14 day weather forecasts hoping for a no snow no ice day for November 22nd.

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So I am hoping to talk about our adventures as well as how we grew, harvested and preserved the fruit and vegetables that we are bring along with us for the winter, as well as how I cooked them perhaps.  Right now we are excited to get away, but still have lots to do before we leave.

So follow along our trip if you find it interesting, but do not feel obliged…. I just like to write.  MUCH LOVE Janet