After the hearing aid incident I loved listening to Dale tell our Hearing Aid lady, Heather, just why he needed a new aid. She did laugh but told us that she had heard it before, in fact, quite a few times. So it is on it’s way to Costco and we are on the move.
We heard about a geode and crystal collection place outside of Payson. We headed up there and found a campsite on some BLM land about 25 miles from the site. As we went up higher, the desert gradually turned to a forest of pine and cedar. It became a lot like home.
We did find the site and talked to several people who had been digging there for a while with pretty good results. We went up for two days and Dale found quite a few geodes and a nice little bag of crystals. When I couldn’t walk any more I sat down near a dry bed and did some drawing of the rocks and an old tree. We had enough rock hounding, or I had enough, so we returned to our campsite. There was a casino in Payson so we spent an evening gambling and I walked away a little richer. The next day we headed over to Safford where Dale gets all his fire agate. I like it there because it is usually deserted except for day diggers. Of course Dale found one fellow who dug with him for a number of days.
My left foot had started to bother me but I kept thinking it was just an over-compensation because of my other knee. It was the top of my foot and the pain would come and go. But it got a lot worse so I figured I’d better have it checked out. Well, it appeared that there was no walk in clinics in Safford so I had to go to the hospital. Fortunately they were not busy so I got right in. Well anyone who had been to an ER knows it’s all about hurry up and wait. So I did just that for several hours. But the service was very good and the staff was friendly and helpful. I had an Xray and it was determined that the pain was from osteoarthritis and I was given a shot of IB Profin and sent home a little poorer. But the pain did lessen and That’s all I can hope for at this stage.
During our stay here Dale has managed to recruit several workers to help him move rocks on his digging site. Our neighbor Bob has been a willing victim and was now joined by a lovely couple from Colorado. They are younger than us and Dale is capitalizing on that. But they all share the spoils of their work. We have had them all over for Happy Hour and our evening fires. So much for isolation!!
The next day Dale was busy as usual requiting slaves at his dig site. He did relinquish a lot of good agate to pay off is underlings. Everyone was having fun. A young couple arrived from Chicago in a rented jeep that had a fold out tent that sat on the roof. It came with a ladder to provide entrance. I had never seen such a thing but it seemed to work very well. There names were Kara and Craig. They had journeyed here to give Kara her first rockhounding experience. Although she was young, her long term goal was to be a rock-hounder when they retired. Craig was supporting her by doing all the cooking and taking care of the camp (ah young love !!!) Dale invited them to come to the site and he’d show where and how to dig. I wasn’t present but when they left they put a lovely thank you note on the table. I sometimes think Dale gets a bigger kick helping out someone than he enjoys his own digging. And he gives away half of his stuff anyways.
By late Sunday most of the people had left but another couple came in and camped up the hill from us. They were from Florence, Oregon but did a great deal of boon-docking like us. They were about our age but in precarious health. In spite of that they were out there collecting rocks. We found that we had lots in common and spent many hours telling lies and visiting.
The desert is starting to bloom and I spend lots of time gathering flowers. I can get around in our UTV to see what’s new. I have some beautiful bouquets on my table.
Well it looks as if we might be leaving by the end of the week to go to Portal. I am sure glad I had this time to enjoy camping all by ourselves before we have to meet a whole bunch friends. Ha Ha Ha!!!! Isn’t rockhounding fun!
more to come..