short-but-strenuous hike

It’s gorgeous outside, 70deg F with a slight breeze.    Skies are mostly clear with some high, wispy cover at times.  After several days of medium overcast the lead batteries are soaking up sun like cold lizards on a rock. 

Muffin and I took off for an overland hike.  I didn’t know how far we’d get because there are small thorny plants the size of golf balls that are hard for her to avoid if they get thick.   They are more like tiny shrubs than succulents (stemmy).  Anybody know what they are?  

retractable leash

I was at a Grocery Outlet, and they had a retractable leash (spool type) for a few bucks. I have been annoyed with them in the past, mainly because dog owners allow their dogs to run them out in public, becoming a nuisance.

But I’ve been testing it out on Muffin out here in the boonies and like some things about it:

  • the dog can stop behind or move ahead without affecting my pace
  • they figured out the tension really welll; just enough to retract without pulling on the dog. It never drags on the ground.
  • not dragging on the ground means it’s not a tripping hazard in challenging terrain

Today I D-ringed it to my daypack strap for the walk. This allowed me to use trekking poles without getting tangled. That’s good, because the walk was more treacherous than I expected. There were places that would have been dangerous-to-impassable without the poles. Even so it was slow going and I fatigued faster than expected.

We topped a series of low hills and could see Lake Havasu (the body of water) through the pass:

Looking back toward camp:

the van is centered white spec about 2/3rds the way up the pic

bonus: datestamp trick

For various reasons I have calculated the number of days fulltiming in the van, and the number of days on this set of golf cart batts. It was a PITA to do it on a website so I wrote a little shell script to calculate and dump the info. Since it’s at hand I might include it from time to time here. Looks like this:

851 days boondocking<br>813 days on 6v GC2 bank