Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

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 There are no signs saying no camping and the 14-day limit signs have been replaced by limited-use signs.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.

Shorts

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
An old Minnie trailer.

An old Minnie trailer.

On Thursday I left the California coast and drove Rt. 299 from Eureka to Redding. In the small town of Big Bar there were dozens of PCT backpackers lining the streets all looking for a ride north. The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has been ravaged by fire causing officials to close the trail and reroute hikers around the burned out area. I’m not sure where they had to detour to but it probably involved a lot of road walking. It seemed odd to me that the hikers are still this far south. They still have to finish California and go through Oregon and Washington before winter sets in.

I remembered a boondocking spot near the ghost town of Helena and pulled in to stay the weekend. While I was there I did a little gold panning and rode some of the back roads on Honda. All the streams in the area have claim notices but it looked like no one had been there in the last three years to even tack back up the tattered paper. I guess you could call me a claim jumper.

Rt 299 from Weaverville east is under major construction. The road down from the pass is the kind of road you love to ride on a motorcycle. It snakes down the mountain in hairpin turns and curves that make you lean out to see around the corner. But now they are spending millions of dollars to straighten it out. For several miles they are cutting deep into the mountain and filling huge ravines with dirt to widen and straighten the road. All this means that I had to wait 45 minutes before they let our line of cars through. I even struck up a conversation with a lady walking along the road of cars to see around the bend. She told me she lives in Weaverville and when she has to go to Redding she allows two extra hours drive time.

From Redding I took Interstate 5 south until I got tired of driving and stopped at a Walmart for the night. I thought once of making a detour to Lassen Volcanic National Park but remembered being evicted by the government shutdown last time I was there and stuck my nose up at the thought of going back.

I’m getting far enough south that the shorts and t-shirts are being pulled out of the drawer. It is almost time to return to the southwest for the winter and see the family.