Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rattlesnakes and Javelinas

I'm not accustomed to rattlesnakes, but I got up close and personal with one yesterday. I have been working in a rural area of Tucson, and I was climbing the stairs to go knock on someone's door, when I suddenly realized that I was a couple of feet away from a snake that was lining the stairway. My first instinct was to freeze, but then I saw and heard the rattle of the tail. You've never seen someone sprint up stairs as fast as I did. The only problem was, once I was at the top, there was no where to go, and the snake was blocking my escape. Of course, no one was home in the house, so I had the choice of trying to scramble over some large, loose rocks to make it to the driveway, or squeeze behind the stairway and low wall to scramble over a smaller section of loose rocks to make it to my car.

I first tried throwing some pebbles at the snake to get it to move off the stairs, but that only made it angry. It poised to strike and watched me. I was worried about more snakes hiding in the large, loose rocks and the possibility that I could lose my footing and fall not far from the snake, so I opted for the other route, hoping the snake would not come over the low wall between us. Someone told me that snakes can climb walls, and this one was not very tall. I managed to make it past the snake without further incident, but my legs were wobbly for a good couple of hours. I was much more aware of my surroundings after that. The funny thing is, I had talked to a guy at the house right before the one with the snake, and he had told me that he had a lot of rattlesnakes at his place. In fact, he came out with a snake stick, because he thought his dogs were barking at a snake. I should have been more aware after that, but I sure will be now.

At the next house I went to, I was treated to a sight I have been hoping for since I got to Arizona. I saw a javelina. I have never seen one of these wild, pig-like animals, and so it was a treat to finally find one. Unfortunately, it ran into the bushes too fast for me to get a photo. I also did not get a photo of the rattlesnake, because I was more interested in getting as far as possible from that slithering stair sentry.

Yesterday was an interesting day.

Rylie's Notes:

I don't think I want to see either one of those creatures. I have a feeling that neither one of them would be up for herding. In fact, they might want to herd me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Tucson suits me much better than Phoenix. Something about that place just didn't agree with me. Maybe it's just that the people I was meeting in Phoenix were not as nice and friendly as the ones I've been meeting in Tucson. There is also a lot to do in Tucson -- the kinds of things that I like to do. I've been doing a little salsa dancing, met up with some folks that are interested in the Law of Attraction, and I plan on doing some hikes and bike rides soon. I also plan to attend the Festival of Books that is going on this weekend at the University.

I haven't been able to do as much fun stuff as I would like to because I have been working every day. Sales are better here, but still not back to normal. As least I'm enjoying my work more because the people are so much nicer. I also like the scenery here. The mountains are rugged and beautiful, and the desert is much more green than I would imagine desert to be. I'm including some photos from the area where I've been working. I'll need to keep my eyes open for rattlesnakes, however, because my customers have told me of a dog and a cat that got bit by rattlers. Thankfully, they survived, but both were pretty sick and the cat has permanent nerve damage and walks with a limp. We haven't seen any snakes yet, but we have heard coyotes yipping and howling down in the dry riverbed that we walk along every morning.

The weather has been great, with temps mostly in the 70's and 80's, and only one night of sporadic rain. The folks in my RV park are very friendly too, although they do have a weird rule here about only walking your dog in a certain part of the park. The funny thing is, you're not supposed to walk your dog in the front part of the park, which is the only way to get outside of it! So we drive to the Rillito River Park and walk on the trails. That small dog area is just not enough exercise for us. Rylie likes walking along the trails. He starts whining as soon as we pull into the parking lot.

Rylie's Notes:

I'm not whining because I'm excited to walk. I'm telling The Staff where to park.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


While we were in Phoenix, Cammie wanted to go see the petroglyphs, so we packed up Brian and my parents in the car, and headed to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center. The position of the sun was not the best for photographing the petroglyphs, but I did my best. I think that the petroglyphs I saw on the big island of Hawaii were much better and easier to see, but they did have over 1,500 petroglyphs here.

Dad, Mom, Cammie and Me

I feel much happier being in Tucson. I had to move twice, since I didn't like the first RV park I was in, but I like where I am now. The people here are very nice and friendly, and Rylie and I found a nice trail to walk on in the morning. There also seems to be a lot of things to do here.

It turns out that Lee, the guy who replaced my bathroom faucet in Yuma, didn't do such a bang-up job after all. I have had a slow leak when I travel or use the water pump, ever since he replaced the faucet, and it has been getting steadily worse. I hired another RV repairman here in Tucson, and he had to completely re-do the plumbing connections. That was an expensive faucet.

We have had above normal temperatures here lately, but it is going to cool off over the weekend.
I have been able to sit outside and enjoy beautiful, summer-like evenings. The orange blossoms are starting to bloom, and the fragrance is heavenly. It makes me miss the orange tree I had in my yard.

Rylie's Notes:

As far as dogs are concerned, rocks are only good for one thing, like a fire hydrant. I don't care what's carved on them. If The Staff had asked me to replace the faucet, I could have done it right the first time. However, I can appreciate a good orange blossom. Especially since dogs have a far superior sense of smell and can get the full spectrum of scent.