Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things that Go Bump in the Night, and Creepie Crawlies

Actually, nothing in this post is about night time bumping, but there IS a creepy crawlie!

Tuesday got off to a slow start, and that's fine. We had to be in Tucson for medical appointments at 2:10 and 2:30 (both of us see the same doctor). We had some other things we wanted to do, so thought we'd get an early start.

Ooops! Car wouldn't start! Seems that when I went out earlier to crank down the windows so the seasonal heat would escape the confines of the car, I left the ignition turned on! Had to go roust our a neighbor for a jump start.

Neighbor Dale pulled his big pickup onto our lot, crunching over one of our solar yard lights but thankfully just missing one of our newer cacti.

We got the Suzuki started, but lost the advantage of the early start on our afternoon. And of course, Dr. Bluestein was running late as always, so we didn't see her until 2:45. Then she wanted us both to get blood work done -- the phlebotomist has a station right in the doctor's office -- and next an X-ray for Suzy - about two miles away.

We arrived at Radiology Ltd. just before 4:00, and were out of there by 4:30.

Because we are starting a car / motel road trip Friday, we stopped at the AAA office to get some maps of Arizona, Nevada and California.

Next stop was Lowe's to buy a two-wheel hand truck we'll need to move stuff around. We have so much stuff to move in and out of motel rooms, and I'm still not 100% after my knee surgery, so this hand truck will be a big help. One large thing we're going to move in and out is a Koolatron cooler, loaded with breakfast and lunch kind of foods. It operates on the car's 12V power or, alternatively, 120 DC house power, using a converter. We'll not be dealing with a lot of messy ice on this trip!

Our next stop in Tucson was a visit to "Trail Dust Town" to locate the Pinnacle Peak restaurant. That's the first stop on our month-long road trip. Friends Carol and Emerson have organized a dinner party there for guests coming to their 50th Anniversary celebration for the weekend. (Pictures of Trail Dust Town later)

Finally we made a gasoline stop and a snack / potty stop at Carl's Jr., and were headed home by about 5:30.

Back home at 6:30 we made for the casita to wind down and do some homework. That kept us going for a couple of hours. As we returned to our trailer for a late supper, I stopped at the car to unload some stuff -- books, camera, trash from our snack, etc. With arms full, I headed for the door. But what was that? I detected a movement very close to my feet. Once I located the source of that movement, illuminated by our porch light, I quickly shed the armload of stuff, turned on the camera and got three pictures of ....

a Desert Tarantula!

According to our Field Guide, the Desert Tarantula reaches 3 inches in diameter (with legs extended, or with them in crawly position I do not know), has a very hairy body and legs. It is nocturnal, hiding by day in a deep, silk-lined burrow. Yes it bites, and it sheds "irritating abdominal hairs if roughly handled." I was glad to get its picture, but had no intention of roughly handling the creature!

When I showed Suzy the pictures that had delayed my return to the trailer, she suddenly felt squeamish and declared she'd never again go outside at night without a good flashlight! Good thing the tarantula's "season" is only late August to October -- most of our neighbors are still on the road, and we're leaving Friday to continue ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. It looks like you have everything under control with that Koolatron cooler. That's a dandy and will sure do the job of keeping your items fresh and cold.

    I guess the giant tarantula was better than a rattlesnake.

  2. The hand truck is an excellent idea. I always had a terrible time getting the cooler in an out of a motel room - but it was filled with ice. Yours sounds really nice.

    As long as the tarantula isn't aggressive when you aren't bothering him, I would like to see one.

  3. Glad you did not find it with a bare foot! Those things are only a step or two better that a snake in my view.

    Of course motels are not high on my list either, so be careful :)

  4. A good friend of ours used to have a pet tarantula. I know--not my idea of a pet.

    I like that cooler you have. I think it will be very helpful to have the makings of some of your meals and snacks with you.

  5. That Tarantula is an ugly looking little critter for sure! Good idea with the hand truck - that'll save a few back muscles and pulls for sure. Great looking cooler too.

  6. What a nice cooler, and great not to have to deal with dripping, melting ice. As usual, you've planned well for your trip.

    I'm with Suzy - don't want any creepy, crawly surprises in the dark!

  7. Maye we should all read the children's book Charlotte's may help us see those creepy spiders a whole new way!! Yes, ice can be a pain, but we invested in a portable ice maker when we RV and it's the best $$ we ever spent!! Sometimes ya gotta drive 30 miles for ice and pay an arm and a leg...This one spits out enough to keep Den's cooler iced down and me in Rum and Cokes...

  8. Were you trying to give us nightmares with that creepy crawly? that I think of it, I'd take one of those over a mouse...then again, maybe not ;)

  9. I think those Tarantulas are neat. Have seen a couple of them & they both walked right through our site. One was at the ranch & one in Borrego Springs. I was lucky enough to get down beside him on the ground for some photos. I've never really understood why so many people are scared of things like that. It's the two legged critters that scare me!!!!


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