Iridescent Clouds and Campground Research

5/2/15 Saturday in Cottonwood, AZ (Verde Valley-TT)

This morning I washed/dried sheets and posted our blog, managing to leave Miss Journey by 10:30 am with all chores done. Happy to leave her at 71 degrees too! We took a short trip to Cottonwood’s Post Office (Christmas!), then the nearby Tourist Information Center and Home Depot (for plumber’s silicone grease for our toilet seal). On our way home we saw iridescent clouds (rainbow colored clouds) They happen when especially tiny water droplets or small ice crystals individually scatter light. Several months ago another camper showed us one. He called it a sun dog cloud. Wikipidia: “Sun dogs are red-colored at the side nearest the Sun; farther out the colors grade through oranges to blue. However, the colors overlap considerably and so are muted, never pure or saturated.” They are kind of rare. Based on what I read in Wikipedia, what I saw were probably not sun dog clouds, which form on two sides of the sun.


We then spent our entire afternoon researching campground options. First we wanted to move faster getting home (Spokane), so had to finagle current reservation situations according to various restrictions (only 2 nights allowed here, a free second night there, cancellation fees). We’ll make our reservation changes on Monday when those agencies are open. Then we tackled where we wanted to go, trying to keep to the cheapest places (yes, our priority is more there than lovely surroundings) within less than 200 miles, as close to major road (freeways best). NOT an easy task. We finagle several books and Internet sites to find good places, always checking each place out at before a final okay. (Examples of memberships we use: TT, ROD, RPI, Enjoy America, Passport America, Good Sam, State Parks, Corps of Engineers-the last 2 require cancellation fees). Independent and county/city parks seem too small for our rig or expensive for our wallet. For example: Wine Country had been RPI ($13/night), but we found it was no longer and costs $54/night. Later when we do call to reserve sometimes we’ve found the campground didn’t exist anymore. We got things figured out until Thanksgiving when we’ll be in Southern California.

Our treat for all that hard work: dinner out at the “Homestyle Grill”. Prime rib night. We each ordered the dish, not realizing that we could easily have split that meal. Amazingly we were so hungry (all that thinking and planning) that we both finished our meals!

We stayed, visiting with our friends Sandy/John and enjoying the band “Hired Hands”. Off to home after 8 pm. The sky was beautiful, a full moon shining on the nearby clouds.

Naturally all we had energy for was TV for the rest of the evening. We’d turned off the A/C when we left (5 pm) around the hottest time of the day), then opened up and turned on the fans when we got back. Nice and cool. Yay for the desert nights.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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