Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hummingbirds in Camp

Quiet day around the camper. After reading some news, I got out for my morning walk. It was damn chilly this morning, a low of 39F and temps were up to 44 when I started my walk. As often the case, the temp was up to near 60 by the time I got back. Love the warmth.

Along the walk loop, I grabbed a couple photos of the BLM entrance stations. On the west side where we camp, Tyson Wash LTVA.

Across highway 95, the entrance of La Posa South LTVA.

Crossing a wash, I stopped to look at a weathered mesquite stump.

Up above, the commercial jets on the busy flight path going to and from LAX painted parallel contrails.

Walking west, back to our camp spot, I grabbed a morning view of our rig.

My first task today was to get a propane tank filled. I loaded up my 25lb tank in the passenger seat, buckled her in, and headed to the Pit Stop in Quartzsite for a fill up. While I was there, I filled up a couple gallon jugs with RO water for our drinking water supply. Back at the rig, Barb helped me get the tank back in the box.

We got organized and headed into Q to walk the flea markets for a little more exercise. The crowds in town are pretty much history. The big RV show tent is coming down, most of the big RV rigs have moved on, and more than half of the vendors have loaded up and headed to greener pastures.

The weather today is nice with temps in the sun being a bit too warm. We gave up early on walking the markets and headed back to the shade of our campsite.

I picked up where I left off on the Patterson, Alex Cross book I am reading while being entertained by hummingbirds coming in to our feeder. Best I could tell, looking at our bird books, these are Broad Tailed hummingbirds.

I had some fun with the telephoto on the tripod taking photos. We have a seed feeder out, but so far, no takers.

While the tele was on the camera, I captured a couple shots of the Plomosa Mountain range to the east.

And the Plomosa Mountains to the south. The jagged tops in the haze are near the King of AZ mine area.

Above the rig, the kite was flying this afternoon in the light breeze.

The day ended with a pretty nice sunset.

Tomorrow, we might take a ride on one of my favorite trails to Dripping Springs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

First Quartzsite 4 Wheeling Day

A glorious sunrise started off the morning. I was up before first light, with the tripod ready just in case. Yep, out in the chill to image the sunrise over the Plomosa Mountains (home of the KOFA wildlife refuge). First photo looking NE and the second looking SE.

After breakfast, I headed out for my morning walk. It was a chilly 44F at the start, but warmed up to near 70 before I finished my 4 mile loop. First stop was at the facilities to leave yesterdays refuse. In the background are the hills where we will be 4 wheeling later this morning.

My walking loop today returned following highway 95 and then west toward our camp (the small while camper in the middle).

We loaded up the jeep and headed over to Larry & Sandy's place to rendezvous with the group. There will be 3 UTVs and our jeep in the group today, heading west out of Tyson's Wash to the Deer Run Bed and Breakfast.

Larry was the trail leader and he showed us the way west through Tysons Wash. A few tight spots on this trail, which I was able to negotiate without adding any desert pinstripes to my paint.

The trail passes 2 stone cabins as we pass around the south side of Granite Mountain.

A view to the northwest from the Stone Cabin over the Dome Mountain Free Camping area. This is one of the very popular BLM camping areas, which is free, but limited to 14 days.

We then started up the rougher wash and hill climbs up to the Deer Run B&B. This is fun 4 wheeling for me. 90% of the traffic on these trails is UTVs. The trails are narrow, sized for the smaller rigs, which makes for fun driving a full size jeep TJ.

The drive up the wash was great fun and soon we arrived at the first destination, the Deer Run B&B. This fun stop is located where a cabin used to be. Patrons of the trail frequently leave a curio, coin, hat, wind sock, or what not as decor. A few chairs are scattered around as well.

Leaving the B&B, we climb up a pass along the side of La Cholla Mtn. An old truck frame adds interest.

Over the top of the divide, we view the Plomosa Mountains across the valley to the southwest. We will be heading over there maybe later this week.

Heading down, my co-pilot takes an unexpected selfie.

The last stop of the trip today is at the Yellow Dog Mine. Parts of this mining claim are still actively worked. The public is allowed to walk into the historic parts of the mining ruins. This mine was active as recently as 20 years ago.

More mining relics, a conveyor used to move, sort, and crush material.

The photo above is a close up of a machine that I think was used for crushing rock and sorting out the debris.

Inside the miner's cabin are the remains of the kitchen and other interesting relics.

The group shared a late lunch while stopped at Yellow Dog, and then headed back in the early afternoon. I had time to start a new book, and we enjoyed taking showers during the warm afternoon temps.

Tomorrow, might as well explore another direction. Plenty of places to go.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tysons Wash, Quartzsite

We wrapped up our stay at White Tank Regional Park today. After breakfast, I headed out to walk the same route we hiked yesterday while my dear wife slept late. The weather this morning was delightfully warm and sunny, perfect for a power walk around the Ironwood trail loop. It was also a workday for the US Air Force. Fast moving planes were taking off and landing all morning.

Back from the walk, it was time to make a quick trip to Walmart to stock the fridge. Then, we broke camp and headed out to Quartzsite.

Heading south on the 303 loop, our challenge was to navigate the complex intersection to I-10 west. Since we were turning from southbound to westbound, I was expecting to exit in a right lane. Nope, gotta pay attention here. Far left lane was reserved for traffic turning right? Our navigation computer in the truck was no help, because the 303 is new and our 2 year old maps had us driving in the desert. A very special thumbs DOWN to FORD, who feels they have to charge $$$ for map updates while the rest of all GPS devices update for free.

Fortunately, my copilot was on the ball. She steered me over to the left lane, then, we steered into the right lane as seen in the photo.

We did not take a lot of photos on this drive, since we posted most of the highlights in the blog a few days ago, "Heading East for the Weekend".

I-10 was really crowded for a few miles, until we were west of the Buckeye shopping district. Then, most of the traffic was the big trucks heading to and from California.

We enjoyed a nice tailwind all the way west, which helped I am sure with fuel mileage. As was the case last week, there was a long stretch of I-10 under construction. We again had to drive about 20 miles straddling the highway shoulder rumble strip. That would not be hard, if it were not for wind and big trucks. I had to be precise, which grew tiring pretty fast. The wind had knocked down and scattered the traffic cones, adding to the fun.

Ok, enough grumbling about the drive. Soon enough, we crossed over the divide in the Plomosa Mountain range and descended down to Quartzsite (Q).

Last week at Q, we spent most of our time poking around the flea markets, most of which are only in town for the RV show. Indeed, when we rolled into Q, it was obvious that most vendors had moved on, and many more were loading up. The congested camping areas of last week, were much less crowded today.

Since we are planning to stay a while, we purchased a pass for the BLM LTVA and headed to the south end of Tyson's Wash. We have had good luck with this area being quiet, and so far, our luck is holding.

Camping here is very dispersed. Here our neighbors to the West, North and East. Not bad, lots of room here.

And, to the south, no neighbors. We are very close to the south boundary of the Tysons Wash LTVA. The brushy area to the south is a wash that feeds into the namesake, Tyson's Wash to the west. This is perfect.

Once we had everything set up, we broke out a couple beverages and had our own happy hour. I tried to take a selfie, and as usual, I look as dorky as ever. Someday, I need to take lessons on shooting selfies.

Soon, the sun was going down and it was time for a few sunset photos. First a view of the Kofa mountain range to the east bathed in sunset colors.

Then, a couple views to the west as the sun set over the Dome Rock Mountains. Spectacular.

Tomorrow, some down time reading and relaxing.