Tuesday we had an uneventful 110 mile pull from Wickenburg to Cottonwood, AZ. There were many miles of 5 to 6% grade, but even pulling 8,000 pounds of AirStream El Trucko simply dominates a 6% grade, up or downhill. I didn’t even have to use the brakes much: that exhaust brake is a wonder! Cottonwood’s a clean little town of about 15,000 featuring a new Safeway with a Laundromat next door, a new Wal*Mart, and another free boondocking site. This one’s off US 260 and Thousand Trails Road and is run by the US Forest Service. It is not far from town, about a ten mile round trip to Safeway. We got all set up Tuesday, put out the nylon outdoor carpet to ward off the desert sands, and enjoyed Chardonnay in the shade of Kat’s Cradle. 88 degrees is quite comfortable when it’s shady with a breeze, and the humidity is under 20%. Here’s the view out of our door.
Wednesday we went into town to stock up on provisions and do laundry. Jerome, AZ was on the list, but by the time the chores were done it was afternoon. We’ll see old Jerome another day.
Years ago, shortly after Hurricane Katrina, we took in a 9th grade storm victim so she could pursue her education on schedule in a good school. This was Kat’s dentist brother’s second wife’s daughter. She proved to be no student, but way more than a handful. Carmen was on occasion delightful, as in one of those rare times when she volunteered to help me cook. C had never seen chili made except from a can, and she seemed fascinated. We made scratch chili to serve with Fritos, cheese, and beans. We were ready to serve it, the places were set, when I asked her to look in that drawer for a ladle. “What’s a ladle?”
Today was my day at the laundromat, and unlike most, this one was actively managed. A young woman who looked like she should be in 10th grade was working the office and intently watched me load my washer. I usually overload them and feared she would insist that I pay for a second washer for half my clothes. Instead she corrected my order of process, so that money went in first, soap second, clothes third, and wash cycle last. The instructions on the machine totally disagreed but I did it her way. Later she watched me load the dryer the same rapt way that Pink watches me eat. I selected the next to highest temperature, but she objected “Everybody uses hot. It’s faster.” “But I’ve found elastic lasts longer on a lower heat setting.” “May-be.” The dryer offered 7 minutes for a quarter. I put in a couple of quarters, and eased over to her office window and said with a smile “You are the most diligent laundry manager I’ve ever seen.” Her expression was somewhere between puzzled and bewildered. “Um, what’s diligent?” Stunned, I hemmed and hawed “…um, conscientious …” (that didn’t ring any bells!) … “a hard worker!” At last came her smile of recognition, “Thank you. Are you The Undercover Boss?”