Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

Percha Dam and Fort Selden

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Nice trees

After a nice stay at Pancho Villa State Park I moved 100 miles north to Percha Dam State Park. I still had a few days left on my 14 day limit but I wanted to move before the Easter weekend crowds hit the parks. It turned out to be a good idea because Percha Dam filled up with many campers and day use weekenders.

Percha Dam State Park is quite pretty. The camping area is filled with trees and there are some grassy spots. The grass is mostly starved for water so brown and thin and filled with little weeds. The place I chose to park has many goat heads around my rig that constantly end up in my rugs even though I always take my shoes off when I come in.

Donna parked under the trees

This is one of the New Mexico parks located on the Rio Grande. Two lakes north of here hold back most of the water this time of year so only a trickle is coming down here. They say that on May 2nd they open the dams and let the river fill up. It would be nice to see that but we will be moving to higher and cooler ground long before then.

My friend John has been camping in the area and it was nice to see him again. We take a walk each morning along the river to exercise and look for birds. John is pretty involved with birding and takes some great pictures which he posts to his blog. Google RVJohn to see his photographs and find out what he’s up to.

Two days after I arrived at Percha Dam, Donna joined me for a caravan around the state to find and enjoy some of the New Mexico State Parks and attractions. Yesterday we journeyed south to checkout Leasburg Dam State Park and a historic site called Fort Selden. Because Leasburg is so close to Las Cruces, the camping sites are always full. The ranger told us that every site has been occupied since last October. The campground had nice private sites but the terrain was just rolling hills of desert brush.

Donna at Fort Selden


We drove another mile and paid $5 to walk through the visitors center and crumbling remains of old Fort Selden. Fort Selden only existed for a few years, mainly to protect the settlers and travelers from Apache raids. The soldiers saw little action from encounters with Apache, and in fact, more men died from fights among themselves, illness, and suicide than Indian fighting. It was interesting to learn about the desolation living conditions for the soldiers and their way of life. One interesting fact was that General Douglas MacArthur lived there with his military family when he was a very young toddler.

We will probably move up to Bluewater State Park in a few days. It may be a little chilly there in the mornings but probably better than the 90’s predicted here next week. On our way we may go through Datil Wells, Pie Town, and the VLA. Lots of things to see.

South to Yuma

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
An Arizona sunrise.

An Arizona sunrise.

I moved down to Imperial Dam LTVA, twenty miles north of Yuma. This has always been one of my favorites places to stay during the winter months. I can usually depend on good weather through February, it’s close to the city and Mexico for anything I need, and this LTVA has enough resources to keep me comfortable. I’ll probably be here until after the New Year.

When I first arrived at the LTVA, I found out that Barbara Dewell was camped nearby, so we met up with for a visit. We hadn’t seen each other for several months and it was nice to catch up on our travels over the summer. Barb needed to visit her dentist in Los Algodones and I needed to pick up some meds there, so we decided to go together to save on parking fees. We were done with our chores before noon and left Mexico before the long lines formed at the border. After our visit to Algodones, Barb headed back to Quartzsite and I drove west into California to see what the boondocking on Ogilby Rd looked like.

I heard different stories about the BLM area near the Algodones Sand Dunes now designated off-limits because of the desert tortoise. One person told me the only place legal to camp was near signed roads, and the rangers had removed all the road signs. Some others said that no one had said anything to them. The fact that there were only about four rigs camped in the area where there used to be hundreds, leads me to believe that they are enforcing the no camping rule. There are no signs saying no camping and the 14-day limit signs have been replaced by limited-use signs.

I drove over to the area along the Sidewinder Road to discover many rigs parked in that boondocking area. I have talked with some that say places along the Sidewinder Road belong to the American Girl Mine and are not enforced by the BLM. Some full-time RVers stay out there all winter.

I drove back through Yuma the next day, picked up more supplies, and laundered some clothes. I’m now back at the Imperial Dam LTVA, enjoying the weather and holding down the fort until Richard and Dianna make their way to Arizona after the holidays.

Freedom!

Friday, November 17th, 2017
Back to nature!

Back to nature!

I went for a hike on The Bare Trail today. It goes for 3 miles through the “Clothing Optional” area here in Quartzsite. I’m wearing my backpack to get in shape for hiking more of the Arizona Trail.

Hiking the River

Monday, May 8th, 2017
Don't forget me!

Don’t forget me!

Yesterday I took a walk along the Blacksmith Fork River. There is a nice trail that follows the river for two miles, beginning a little north of my location and ending in a meadow that once was the location of a CCC camp. The trail is open to hiking and biking, and I met several people on mountain bikes but not a one that was walking.

Slide area

Slide area

There were several places along the trail where rock-slides occur. The people that maintain the trail must have to clear these areas often.

CCC camp

CCC camp

At the site of the old CCC camp all that remains are several concrete foundations. There were no signs that told any history of the camp, only a board by the road that announced that it was a CCC camp location. One peculiar piece of cement had a knife imbedded in it. Maybe it was the step for the mess hall.

Knife in cement

Knife in cement

Looks like it will be rainy for the next few days. I still have another week of time that I’m legal to stay here so I will call this home sweet home for now.

Tucson

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
Arch

Arch

I have been in Tucson at Snyder Hill BLM campground for two days. I had a good time in Why and Ajo last week getting in the loop ride through Organ Pipe NM and hiking the short trail in the mountains. I found a place to get free water in Why, and groceries were plentiful at the market. The biggest drawback to my stay there was high prices for gas and groceries. In a town that is so remote I can understand the prices but it is nice to pay $1.30 / gallon here in Tucson when I paid $2.30 in Why(I would not have thought $2.30 was high a few years ago). One thing you want to remember when drivng into Ajo is the speed limit. The limit goes from 65 mph to 25 mph in the span of a couple miles while coming into town, and the sheriffs were busy working that area every time I went to town.

Ajo also has a museum with a few displays. One of the displays held brochures for attractions in the area and I picked up one that described a walking tour of the town. As you walk around town the pamphlet describes some history and architecture that went on there. It was an ok way to spend a little time in town.

Telescope for looking at the sun.

Telescope for looking at the sun.

The temperature in Tucson today hit 90. That’s not an unusual temperature for Tucson but it is unusual for it to happen in the middle of February. I figured it would be a good time for a ride up to Kitt Peak observatory. The observatory is only 40 miles from my camp, it would be much cooler at the top of the mountain, and best of all, there is a fun, winding road for Honda all the way to the top.

Kitt Peak has more telescopes scattered around its summit than you can shake a stick at. I think I counted 26. There are many universities all over the country that have there own telescope up there, and each time they would build one bigger than the one before. It was all quite interesting to walk around to the different structures and read about all the things they have discovered.

I will stay here for a couple weeks and do some more exploring. There are places I remember from 50 years ago, though some are gone and some have changed.