Friday, February 16, 2018

Shrimp Tacos and Sunsets

Today was our day to do chores. I was up early, and after rolling Barb over a couple times, I had the sheets off the bed and she wrapped up in her comforter. I gathered the laundry and headed out to the Quartzsite laundromat allowing her to sleep in. At the laundry, once the washers were running, I slipped next door to the breakfast place and scooped up a quick biscuits and gravy snack. Yum!

Back on the job, I idled away the time reading my Kindle. Soon enough, the laundry chore was done and I was heading back to wake up my honey. By then, she was up and ready to help put away the clean clothes and make the bed.

Next we took advantage of remaining water and tank space to take showers. Then, we locked and loaded the camper and drove over to La Posa South to service the camper tanks. The wait was not too bad at the dump and fill, soon we were back to our campsite and set up for another stay.

With the chores done, we settled in and did some relaxed reading. I put our last bag of shrimp out to defrost, hoping for some shrimp tacos tonight....

Well, I figured today's post would be without photos.  Laundromats and rv dump stations are not particularly photogenic places. All day, the sky had a rather uninteresting high cloud layer and the weather was breezy. Not the best for photos, until evening. Ok, the clouds formed up and just maybe there will be a sunset shot. To get warmed up, I aimed at the bird feeders.

Then, I turned the camera east and was amazed by the view without any neighbors. The crowd here in Quartzsite has steadily been moving in and out, mostly out.

Turning back to the west, I took one test photo of what I hoped would be a colorful sunset.

Meanwhile, Barb was inside cooking up dinner. We had one more bag of shrimp left from our stay over near Ajo. When we camp over there, we usually have a fellow from Mexico come by selling fresh seafood from the nearby fishing fleet at Puerto Penasco. We like the shrimp. Ten dollars a pound for shrimp just off the boats is not bad. We bag it up in dinner servings and it keeps great. Dinner time!

After dinner, I started cleaning up while keeping an eye out the window to the west watching the sunset. I ran out for an early sunset photo, not bad.

Back inside, I continued cleaning up the dishes while watching the sunset. Time for the main event. A very nice sunset.

And a few minutes later....

Now that the chores are done, tomorrow we will be out exploring. Maybe the Hogback?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Palm Canyon Hike

After my morning walk, we loaded up and headed south. The Palm Canyon road takes us east from highway 95 toward the KOFA Wildlife Refuge and our destination, the Palm Canyon!

A few miles on washboard gravel, we cross into the KOFA. Last week, we turned off here and headed south to Skull Rock and Queens Canyon. Today, we continue east to Palm Canyon.

Looking up at the Kofa Mountains, the road to the trailhead can be seen below the dark shadows of Palm Canyon.

We arrived amidst a crowd of other hikers, all planning to reach the Palm Canyon view before noon. They were saying that the sun illuminates the palms for just a few minutes right near noon. The crowd of hikers headed up the trail in a hurry to see, but we hiked at our own pace and let them go.

Here is a view of Palm Canyon from the trailhead. The palms are not visible until we get up the trail about 1/2 mile.

Right away, the trail crosses the Palm Canyon wash. It's a pretty area, the flora here seems to get plenty of water and a lot less heat in the shade of Signal Peak.

Up high to the north is a huge rock that starts one side of the canyon. I have not seen a map that has a name on this big rock, so I call it the Palm Canyon Guard.

Looking back down the canyon, we look across the La Posa Plain over to the Dome Rock and Trigo Mountains. In the distance to the left in this photo are the Castle Dome Mountains.

The views today are as clear as we will see this week, since last night there were scattered showers which seemed to have cleared out a lot of the dust.

As we head up the trail, it gets narrow and rocky. It's a bit of a scrambly trail, so if you go, wear some good shoes.

The right side photo above is our first view of the palms.

Two more views of the palms, one zoom shot and one wider for perspective.

We stayed at the top of the trail, watching a few hikers willing to climb the rocks and get up to the palms. We are not crazy about rock climbing, nor do we have the gear, so we watched.

Heading back, we noticed there are palms in the next rock cleft down. I think I have hiked up here a few times, and this is the first time I have noticed these palms. There are 2 palms down low, and one up really high in the right hand photo.

Continuing back down, I had to take another photo of the trailhead area, La Posa Plain, and the mountains beyond. I love this view.

Back at the trailhead, I took a reference photo of the "view legend".

While I dally at the trailhead reading the plaques, Barb heads for a drink of water in the jeep.

After lunch, we headed back to camp to relax and enjoy the beautiful day and clean, clear air. The afternoon was capped off by another fine sunset.

Tomorrow, we have chores to get done. Laundry and servicing our camper tanks is the plan.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Scenic Route to Parker

After a long morning walk, we got organized and headed out to run errands. We needed to renew our camping permit at the BLM kiosk and then drive to Parker for groceries. Instead of taking the shortest route, Hwy 95, we decided to take the scenic route.

Just north of Quartzsite, we turned northeast on Plomosa Road. This was familiar, since we have been exploring off road in this area the past 2 days. In the 2nd photo, the Plomosa mountains as seen off to the southeast.

Our first stop along Plomosa road, between MM7 and MM8 is the trail to the Bouse Fisherman. We learned of this landmark yesterday, and decided to check it out today. The Bouse Fisherman is a native american "Geoglyph", an ancient sculpture in the surface rock. Looking back at the parking area as we head up the trail.

While walking to the geoglyph, I took a photo of the mountains where we were yesterday at the Southern Cross Mine. I posted a panoramic photo of these hills yesterday. From here, it is also a great view.

It's a short walk to the geoglyph, which is described on a plaque. The rock pattern has faded over time, but I could make out the fisherman, the point of the spear (light color), and the fish. Native americans lived in this area in a time when fishing along the Colorado River and the tributaries was important to their living.

Up on the top of this ridge, we could see northwest across the La Paz Plain all the way to Parker.

Back on the road, we head northeast over Quinn Pass. We have been over this spot the past couple days, and I stopped to check out the historical marker. Quinn was a prospector who made a living here.

As we descend down Quinn Pass, we get another view of the Plomosa mountains near the Southern Cross Mine.

At the bottom of the hill is the small town of Bouse. We stopped at the Booster Club to check out the happenings in town. The Ghost Riders 4WD club has rides scheduled every week, and there was a number of other community activities.

Across hwy 72, we found the Bouse Assay Office Museum. There were a number of interesting things to see, but the museum was closed today.

In front of the RV Park, was an old military truck. This looked to be a well kept and well attended RV Park.

We then headed to Parker on highway 72, our destination, Walmart for groceries.

Once we had the bags loaded, we headed south back toward Quartzsite. To see some new scenery, we took highway 1 from Parker to Ehrenberg. Highway 1 crosses the Colorado River Indian Reservation. We passed through a number of small communities and a lot of alfalfa fields, irrigated with water from the Colorado River.

One community along hwy 1 was Poston, the sign at the town limit seemed to be misspelled.

A monument caught our attention, just in time for a quick photo. We had no idea at the time what this was, so Barb looked it up when we got home. Wow, this monument recognized the location of a large WWII internment camp. We will definitely stop here next time and take a closer look.

Looking west from highway 1 across the Colorado River valley, we see the Rio Mario Mountains which are in California. The river is the state line in this area.

A large agricultural barn or storage building caught me eye (it was hard to miss this one!).

As we get to the end of highway 1, we enter the small town of Ehrenberg. What can I say, we did not have time today to find the highlights. The ice cream was melting and we had to keep rolling.

One parting view of Ehrenberg, an RV park located near I-10 and up against the Colorado River. We then merged on to I-10 and headed over the hill to Quartzsite.

Tomorrow, who knows. The weather today was overcast and cool, tonight it is windy with some sprinkling rain. The forecast is for the weather to clear, and if it does, we might just try a hike.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pattons Camps and Southern Cross Mine

I was rounding the corner on my walk this morning, when my retired BLM friend called to see if we were coming on the drive today. I was delighted he called, because we did not have plans. I hustled back to camp and we quickly got organized.

The drive destinations today include stops at Patton's training campsites, the Southern Cross Mine, and Patton's water dam. Should be interesting to see these bits of history.

The group assembled this morning on the northeast corner of Quartzsite at the Arco gas station. From there, we headed east along I-10 for a mile or so and through a gate onto to BLM land.

Soon we head north on BLM 077 (if I remember correctly). This road parallels the foothills of the Plomosa Mtns as it heads north away from I-10.

A view up into the foothills as we drive north.

Soon, we reach our first destination. This is the campsite of Patton's A Company. The company camped here while on maneuvers and training for war in desert conditions. The men of A company marked the site, and the A marking has persisted out here for 75+ years. Thankfully, it has not been vandalized.

You can see where they drove and parked the tanks in the campsite area. The desert surface does not seem change all that much over the lifetime of humanity. It's a good thing to keep in mind, that moving rocks, or driving across untracked desert, will leave tracks that will persist for a long time.

The group is careful to stay on existing roadways. We had a group of 7 vehicles today, 4 UTVs and 3 SUVs, led by retired BLM Ranger Jim T. While we were stopped, a couple of the guys did a little rock hounding.

After a break and some photos, we loaded up and headed north to the B Company campsite.

We again took a break at B Company. In addition to the B Company mark, there was an Arrow in the rock. Nobody knew for sure why, but there are arrows like this at other training campsites. Some say the arrows were there to direct airplanes to the airfield near Quartzsite.

Beyond the WWII campsites, we pass through a number of washes as we traverse along the Plomosa foothills.

The colors of the grasses in this spot caught my eye. So very different than most of the desert flora.

We turn east again, on road 076, driving up the valley toward our next destination.

This ruin is called "Indian Lookout". There is a pamphlet explaining some of the sites and mines in this area, and I need to stop at the BLM office to get one. I scanned over the booklet for a minute, and it seemed that the purpose of this ruin is somewhat a mystery.

Our next destination today was the Southern Cross Mine. The mine was further up the valley, and it was a gorgeous valley indeed. I put together a panorama of the valley standing in the ruin of one of the mine buildings.

The group stood for an informal portrait at the mine site and then we started back for town.

The road we took on the way back was a lot of fun. A challenging wash, and then we hopped up and over a number of dunes and washes with a substrate a distinctly different white color.

Our final destination today was at an earthen dam. This dam was built by Patton's army to capture and hold water for use during their stay. In the first photo, we see the level outline of the dam.

Here is a view of the dam from where we stopped up on top.

That wrapped up the drive today. We had a great group, and a lot of fun seeing the historic WWII training sites and old mines. To cap off the day, most of us met at Silly Al's for a pizza dinner. Yum.

Tomorrow, we need to head to the grocery store and the plan after is to relax and enjoy some downtime reading.