Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Almost Mexico: CA to AZ including Painted Rock Petraglyph Site

Yesterday was a big day, so I slept it late this morning and still made it up and out of the room by check out time at 11am. I took River for one last walk around the very cool landscaping before we left the motel grounds.

I stopped at a nearby gas station to fill up a gallon of water at a filter/dispenser. There were some ducks hanging out in the parking lot.


Once filled up, we took off for the east.

I-5, I-805, CA-52, CA-67, I-8, I-10

As soon as we made it over the mountains, the temperature changed from mid-60's to mid-90's and summer officially kicked in for me. My penchant would be to roll down all the windows, but because River cools differently than I do, and because I'm keeping fermented vegetables alive in the car, I felt it was more responsible to use the air conditioner to keep the car temp in the low 70's.

We drove straight through most of the first part of the day. Stopping at occasional rest areas to stretch and pee. Just outside of Yuma, I stopped to get gas. I paid a whopping $3.99/ gallon because that's what the price was. I had seen prices steadily rising from a low of $2.69 up to a high of $3.59, and I just thought that the prices were continuing to climb. After topping off the tank, I was driving through Yuma at my next stop and noticed all of the gas stations there sold the exact same gas for the running price of $2.69.  I was miffed.  I need to start consulting my Gas Buddy app, which is a great resource for comparing the prices of all local gas stations.

When I got hungry I asked Siri for a recommendation and she led me to a great burger place in Yuma. I reviewed the burger on my burger blog, so I won't go into detail about that, but I took the burger to the park adjacent to the Yuma Public Library to eat it at one of the shady picnic tables. (Almost the only shade I saw in the whole town.)

River and I found a picnic table and he chilled at my feet while I ate. The least was strapped to my leg so I could restrain him, if need be, without my hands.  In the middle of my lunch, a guy walked by holding a small dog and flanked by two larger dogs. The two were not on leash, and when they spotted me eating, they started meandering over toward me. The puppy was in the lead and the older dog followed. I called out to the guy, "Can you please get your dogs away from mine? This is a dangerous situation." He looked at me, smiled and shrugged. He said something I couldn't hear, so I tried another tactic, "Peligro!" I said, indicating the dogs. But he kept walking and disappeared behind a tree. The dogs remained, and continued to approach.

Much to my surprise, all of the dogs got together and did normal dog things, like sniffing each other. River stood and let the puppy gnaw on his ear and neck, and stood around acting mature when the puppy gave him a push with his front paws and bowed down as if to challenge River to a wrestling match. River didn't take the bait, but continued to wag his tail and sniff. I was giving him encouragement to remain calm and praise when he did.

video

I let them play and continued to coach River in how to be a social dog, and he did remarkably well. In fact, when he was scolded by the older dog, which I think is the mother of the pup, for getting too friendly, he backed off. Her scold was a bark and some teeth, but he didn't respond in kind. He did, however, seem not to get the message she was relaying, so I helped him interpret the message that she wanted him to go away. We went back to the car and they stayed near the picnic table to sniff around for anything I may have dropped.

As River and I were taking a post-prandial relax in the grass, an animal control officer drove up and started to walk toward us. I stopped his approach by calling out, "Are you looking for those two dogs?" And indicating that they had run off in that direction, and after a brief search was able to point out exactly where they were. He took off after them.

Back on the highway, at some point we must've gotten so close to Mexico that AT&T detected we were there and send me a reminder text about the cost of roaming.

Our next stop was at a sacred place called Painted Rock Petroglyph Site.
 It was dusk, and dogs were not technically allowed on the site, but the whole place was deserted so I took River onto the trail and took a picture of him near a petroglyph.

This is the second time I was able to use my National Parks All Access Pass.  Parking at the Painted Rock was $2, but I just displayed my card.

At some point along the route today, Babe passed a milestone of sorts. The odometer turned over 30,000 miles. And so far, the mileage on this trip is about 2300. And according to the onboard computer, I'm getting 38.2 miles per gallon on average.

I got to the motel and it was my least favorite style. It was the most awkward experience imaginable getting inside the room. From the beginning, when the desk clerk gave me the wrong amount of change and I had to catch her faulty math, to the parking spot I found near a pole that wouldn't let me open my door fully. From the circuitous route needed to find the motel from the highway, to the unfortunate lack of parking near the door to my room. This location is going to get a thumbs down in my Motel 6 review blog.

But I got in, and got rested.

My biggest fear is happening today. Something that has not happened, yet, in all my years of taking these trips. My back hurts. It seems I may have pulled a tiny postural muscle in my lower back. It is exacerbated when I bend over to pull my shoes on, or if I'm sitting for a length of time. So, yeah.  My whole life these days is lots of sitting and then lots of carrying things, and then teaching Nia classes. So I aint got time for my back hurtin'. I'm hereby putting in a request for that to end now. Fortunately, I don't have a class to teach until the weekend, so have plenty of time to recover. Unfortunately, I have a lot of driving planned for those few days.






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