Dodging Peccarys and Watering Trees in No-Man’s Land

There’s a lot to be said for staying in one location, if only for a month or so.

After just a couple of weeks at our current gig, caretaking a vacant property in Southern Arizona, we’ve already settled in nicely and created daily routines that revolve around working, playing, eating and resting.

These routines are much like those of a stick-house dweller’s, except that we don’t see anyone else all week until we leave the property to go grocery shopping.

It’s just us and the wind most days. Oh, and the nasty javalenas.

Caretaking 101

The assignment is easy and our bosses are great people. They’re not asking much  from us, so we have plenty of time to catch up on our own work and bringing home the bacon. We love it.

We feel fortunate to have hooked up with a gig like this, thanks to fellow roadtrippers Kelly and Al of the Bayfield Bunch.

They’ve known the property owners here for a while and were caretaking a neighboring property, but just left.

The weather’s almost been nice enough to work and eat al fresco, but it just turned ugly and we hope this is only temporary.

Still, even during the brisk 50 degree evenings we’re seeing incredible sunsets, like this one. I’ve made a pledge to see every one while we’re here. Most of them look something like this (and no, I didn’t Photoshop this image).

Meanwhile, our Wyatt loves the freedom to roam the fenced property like a dirty ol’ ranch dawg. He’s made a  new friend too.

Gregory the Peccary.

That nasty javalena drives Wyatt insane (moreso than usual) whenever he makes an appearance at sunset. Gregory provides hours of entertainment for all of us.

Water, Water….everywhere?

I was surprised to see that even the smallest properties around here have irrigation running out to landscaping, chicken coops, you name it.

After all, we come from Colorado, where it’s illegal to wash our truck, or water our outdoor plants with our own well water. Water is so precious to Coloradoans, because no water comes into the state, but it all leaves and heads south . . . eventually ending up right here, in the big ol’ Rio Grande dustbowl along the border.

Once that precious resource gets here, people get to water their plants with the very same water that I’m not allowed to use in my backyard, where it originally comes from.

I have to buy water from our property association if I want to use it for outdoor purposes. But Arizonans don’t. Huh?

I like griping about it. Jim says I’m just mad because I can’t use water like this on our property without getting busted. You bet I would, if I could get away with it.

Off the Grid, Away from the Rules

But here in Southern Arizona, just shy of the border, it’s no-man’s land. People who live here are free to do what they want. From the funky handbuilt houses to the backyard shooting ranges, in a lot of ways the Wild West lives on.

And why not?

If you’re rugged enough to make a home for yourself here, I guess you deserve to make your own rules. It’s not exactly the most hospitable environment and most people aren’t cut out for it. I know I’m not.

Someone’s gotta do it though, right?

There are some great sights nearby, like the artsy old mining town of Bisbee, which we plan on exploring more during our stay.

Until then, we’re putting our noses to the grindstone, working away to make a buck on that great hamster wheel of life. We put in some long hours most days, but at least we’ve got a spectacular view out of our office window.

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11 Responses to “Dodging Peccarys and Watering Trees in No-Man’s Land”

  1. Muldoon (Jeff) March 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm Reply

    Just making the rounds checking on you folks. Counting the hours from work, waiting for IT to do the the Flash upgrade so YouTube works again 🙁

    I was reading David Suelo’s latest blog entries and he had gotten down to Arizona and Slab city. I think I probably found his Blog the same time I ran across yours when i was beginning to think of what i wanted to do when I grew up.

    Here’s a link to his blog http://www.zerocurrency.blogspot.com/

    Almost time to get out of here, but be safe.

    • Hey Jeff, great to hear from you. That’s really funny, I ran into that blog just recently. He’s adventurous, no doubt.

      Thanks so much for saying “hey!” Hope we get to meet you sometime on the road.

  2. Hey Neighbors! We will be here for a few days… stop on by and say HI?

  3. Love those SW sunsets….can’t wait to be out West again. Nina

    • We’re trying to catch every one but it’s been challenging because it’s been so cold over the last few nights. Hopefully I’ll be watching them with a beer in my hand soon!

  4. make sure to visit the Shady Dell in Bisbee!!!!!

  5. Sunsets in Key West as follows: Sitting in an outside chair, happy hour drink in hand, toasting the sunset, putting the drink down and applauding as the sun sets.

    The beautiful picture of the sunset you posted deserves the same!
    Beautiful sunset.

  6. Backyard shooting ranges! Reminds me of Nevada.

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