Worst Day and Best Day of my RVing Experience

Friday and Saturday, January 23 and 24, 2015

Yesterday, I did not write a blog about my trip to the Swansea ghost town 30 miles east of Bouse.  The reason was I spent last night sleeping in my jeep next to the miners’ cabins in the ghost town.

Al, from Travel with the Bayfield Bunch had sent me a comment about this ghost town, so Yuma and I got up early to head out there.  It’s about an hour and forty-five minute dirt road trip so wanted to have plenty of time to see the place.

The drive was beautiful.  The first portion was desert and the road wasn’t bad.image I even stopped to grab a photo of Yuma and me with the jeep in the background.image

After about an hour we got to the mountains and the road was a little rougher, but Yuma showed me the way.imageSoon we were heading down into the valley where Swansea is located.  imageimageHere is a closer view.  See the nice new roofs?imageWhen we got to the little building that had brochures and descriptions of what we would see, there were three other vehicles and and about eight people congregated there. 

I let Yuma out of the jeep without his leash and he was an instant hit with the group and he seemed to enjoy their attention.  In listening to them, I found that three of the men had worked at restoring the roofs of the miners’ cabins over the past 10 years.  They only worked on Fridays because they were doing it on their own time.  These men knew a lot about the history of Swansea.

We then all went down and stopped at the miners’ cabins to begin our individual tours of the area.  One of the men was Irish and he and I talked quite a bit about his travels here each Friday in the winter to work on the cabins.image

  Yuma seemed to be enjoying himself walking around the people and the cabins.  imageAfter about 15 minutes, I called Yuma to come so we could go look around.  Yuma gave me a look of pure fear, like he had no clue who I was.  He took off with his tail between his legs around the other side of the building and down a quarry embankment to the south and up the other side along a mountain ridge.  Over the ridge he went out of sight, all within about 45 seconds.   He ignored my pleas for him to stop.

I couldn’t go down the quarry embankment, because it was too steep.  I had to run around and by the time I got to the ridge, he was long gone and all I could see was mountains,  ridges and ravines as far as the eye could see.  imageimageimageimageimage
You can see my jeep down there behind that rusted brown mine hole cover if you enlarge.

This happened around noon.  I spent the rest of the day climbing to the tallest mountains within sight of the jeep, so I could make sure he didn’t go to the jeep to wait for me.  I called out till I was hoarse pleading for him to come back,  I climbed up and down everywhere I could, but no Yuma.  Finally, I just sat on a rock at the top calling out and crying for him to come back.  I was just too stunned and exhausted to do more.

Evening came and then the sun was gone.  imageIt was just me sitting in my jeep and Yuma out there with the coyotes and ravines.  All night, on the hour, I would start the jeep, turn on the heat and lights and go out and call for him.

At 7:30 the sun finally peaked over the mountains to the east.  I sat there quietly, looking all around hoping he would notice my single jeep, but no Yuma.  I made one more climb to the top of the nearest mountain and called out for him. Nothing but silence came back.image

It was now 9:00 am, and I decided he was no longer in the area, so I would drive back to Bouse praying I would find him running down the dirt road looking for home.  Although, I’m sure he didn’t know where that was because I had just arrived at the BLM camp late the day before.

I turned the jeep around and started down the long crying road.  I went no more than 50 yards when something caught my eye out my driver’s side window.  There was Yuma galloping along next to the jeep.  I could not believe my eyes.  I stopped the jeep and Yuma jumped on me like nothing ever happened.  I put a leash on him quicker than lightening and put him in the jeep.  My prayers had been answered.

He didn’t have a scratch on him thank goodness.  I cried on the way to Bouse, but they were tears of joy and not the tears of loss and sadness.

Earlier this morning, I had planned to put photos of Yuma and description on my blog and then go to the 2015 Blog-Fest and ask everyone to copy a photo and put it out on their blog asking for help in getting Yuma home safely. 

I am so glad I was able to attend as just another blogger wanting to meet other bloggers.   I was very surprised at the turnout.  There must have been at least 40 RV bloggers at this first ever event.  A good time was had by all.

I am going to do nothing but go to Parker, Arizona tomorrow for Walmart shopping, gas for the jeep and laundry, so I will post the photos of the Blog-Fest then.

Yes, these two days have been the best and worst of my RVing adventures.  I guess in the scheme of things you would just call it a wash and nothing more.

See you later.

 

 

32 comments:

  1. Go to the nearest vet & get that guy chipped. That was way too scary. So glad that Yuma found you & all is well now. I had read Bayfields post & knew that Yuma was there with you so that saved me from crying. Becki

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    1. Thank you Becky. Yes, we were at the Blog-Fest, thank goodness. Luckily, before the Yuma Humane Society released him to me, they neutered him, chipped him and gave him all his shots.

      I was just so worried about him encountering a group of coyotes or falling into a steep ravine in the dark and breaking a leg. So glad I have a second chance to be a better companion to the young guy.

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  2. Oh my gosh....thank goodness.....I can only imagine what you must have been feeling. What an awesome surprise to see Yuma running alongside and be able to reunite! So glad for you!

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    1. I was just shocked. I had spent so many hours calling for him, I was sure he had just run deep into the mountains to be lost forever. I have a second opportunity now and hopefully I will do better, but I will always worry a little.

      Thank you for your concern.

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  3. I would never let him off lease in unfamiliar surroundings again. This truly could have ended tragically but thank goodness it didn't.

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    1. Jan, exactly what my wife, Dolly said. I have always been a little too careless when it comes to being watchful. I hope I do better. I do know not to let him free in unfamiliar surroundings now. That means he will be on a leash for the rest of my trip in the southwest.

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  4. Something spooked Yuma like maybe a distant gunshot or something. I'm guessing he didn't go far & simply hunkered down in fear. The fact he came out of hiding when he saw the Jeep moving is most encouraging. He overcame his fear enough to run after the Jeep & that is a solid starting point for him. When you get over the trauma be sure to work with Yuma. Patience & trust is the key. Takes time but he will reach a point where you can trust him to walk off leash & he can trust you to be there for him when he is confused & needs you. Dogs are meant to be free of restraints & you can show Yuma a better way of life that way. Just keep building that warmth between you guys. You have a great dog there:))

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    1. You know, Al, I wonder if he thought I looked like a dog catcher to him. It was the first time I had worn my cowboy hat and with the new fatigue shirt, he may have gotten confused in the shadows of those cabins and got spooked.

      My wife also told me we need more time together to build complete trust. I forget that he is still just a pup and the world is a scary place. Sometimes I lack the patience to use common sense. I figure things just work right. I've learned an important lesson.

      Pheebs sure wanted to play with Yuma yesterday. Too bad Yuma had to stay on his leash.

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    2. Doug - I think your hat could have been a large part of the problem. Our Skitz wouldn't have anything to do with Jim when he wore a cowboy hat. The baseball caps were okay but the cowboy hat scared her. I am so glad she is safe and with you. She sure wasn't going to let you out of her sight at blogfest. Happy we got to meet you even if only for a couple of minutes.

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  5. OH MY!!! What a scary situation. Thank the Good Lord for a great ending!!!
    Don in Okla.

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    1. You are so right Don. I think I had help in getting Yuma to come back at just the right moment. So grateful for how it ended. I would have gone the remainder of my life feeling sorrow for letting my Yuma down when he needed me most.

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  6. I've read your posts about Yuma with great interest. When you were traveling to tend to your family obligations, I wondered if you had been able to make arrangements to adopt Yuma in spite of your travels. I was so glad to see it worked out then. What a horrible scare you had this week. One of my two dogs is a "runner". I camp on weekends and vacations in a Class B rig, and I have to be very careful that I have him leashed before I open the doors. He's gotten away a couple times, but since he's very friendly, he'll always run to other people.

    So glad this had a happy ending. You and Yuma are clearly meant to be together.
    Eileen in Phoenix

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    1. Thank you Eileen. I'm hoping this was a first and last run. Only time will tell. At least I know he doesn't go far. I had visions of him miles out in the mountains or desert with no water. It is a very horrible feeling for them to run off. Glad you got your chance to learn how your dog behaves when he runs off instead of him being gone forever.

      Thank you for following Yuma's adventures. He has already had his share.

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  7. I have had a number of rescue dogs, and it's been my experience that they really need a lot of time to bond with you because of their uncertain histories. I have also found that with time, you can eventually let them run and they will stay with you, unless theyre a hound dog or some breed that likes to run. I've done the exact same thing that you did with Yuma, and had pretty much the same results, although the dog came back by dark. I really do think it helps to have more than one dog because the others show them the ropes. But I find everything you did to be totally exemplary, and I don't think you should beat yourself up too badly. Yuma seems to have had a momentary lapse and gone into instinct survival mode, and the longer you have him, the better he will be at coming to you for comfort, rather then running away.

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight. I have never had a rescue dog before. I have always gotten my dogs as pups and they grew up with me.

      I am going to be doubly cautious with Yuma now. You are right. I should never have assumed that he would trust people so quickly. I think it was being with strangers for the first time that confused him.

      I hope to never write a blog like this one again.

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  8. Yuma just didn't know what a devoted owner he had!..so very glad he came back and your blog entry had a happy ending!

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    1. Thank you Sue. You and me both. I guess I ought to be glad it was only one night waiting for him to come back. Could have been worse. One night in a jeep seat was plenty for me. My bones are getting too old and stiff for that stuff.

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  9. It is a very rare occurrence that I let Emma off of her leash. She is a runner. She always returns in twenty minutes, but those are a worrisome twenty minutes for me. Of course, we spend most of the time on National Wildlife Refuges where dogs are always required to be on a leash.

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    1. I at least learned that when Yuma runs, she doesn't go far. Hopefully, with a little more time, he won't do that again. She will be on a leash for quite some time.

      Sorry, I didn't meet you at the blog-fest. I have followed your blog for over a year now.

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  10. We've had our most recent rescue Sheltie for almost 7 years. It took quite some time for me to be even semi-comfortable with him off-leash. He typically stays pretty close, but even this past fall he disappeared on me when we were on our 10 acres in NM. My heart about stopped; I was calling & calling & totally freaked out, although we had been at our property for 2 months by then. It was also a place we've been to at least 5 separate times for extended periods. He apparently got out of eyesight of me & headed back to the 5th wheel, where I spotted him as I was going back for help in finding him. Almost collapsed on the spot when I saw him. I'm sure you were absolutely distraught, but someone upstairs was watching out for both of you. I would definitely agree with those who suggest that maybe it's too soon to leave him off-leash, especially around strangers. Who knows what spooks these rescue babies...

    Renee

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  11. I am SO GLAD Yuma is back with you.

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  12. I had a rescue dog that I adopted as a puppy, and the only thing that really scared that sweet little pup was when she saw someone, even me, wearing a hat. I always suspected that someone who had worn a hat had been mean to her. When the hat was removed, she remained wary for a while, but no longer bristled and trembled with fear..

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    1. I wonder if the hat and the darkness between those buildings spooked him. Hope that was it. I will be more careful when wearing a large hat in the future. Thank you for reading my blog. I'm so fortunate to have this opportunity to follow my retirement dream.

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  13. So glad you guys got back together. You are a good dog parent to stay all night waiting for him to come back.

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    1. It was a long night. I'm just glad I'm not still out there waiting.

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  14. WOW what an ordeal. So glad it turned out the way it did and you got him back.
    WS

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    1. Thank you. It was a long couple of days, but it turned out okay, thank goodness.

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  15. What an ordeal! I'm so glad that he found you.

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    1. Thank you for your concern. I'm glad to be back to normal with Yuma.

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  16. Doug, I can only imagine the feelings you went through....and on your own as well.
    I hope you are feeling better . It sure would take me awhile to get over that stress.
    Yuma is a regal looking dog....very special.

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