Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DONE GALLIVANTING - BACK TO FLORENCE, AZ

We enjoyed our time in Quartzsite.  It seemed busier in both Hi Jolly and Plomosa Road two week free camping areas so we spent all our time parked on State Trust land close in to Quartzsite.  We enjoyed mostly quiet times there with only a few others who parked near short term.  Friends Jerry and Donna and Jim and Judy brought their RVs over and spent six nights with us.  Dave and Denny came for two nights but stayed in Blythe, CA and commuted in the mornings to ride.  They rode two days while the others rode three.
We moved over to the little community of Brenda, AZ Sunday morning and parked along the Ramsey Mine Road not far from the pavement.  We had a nice quiet spot.  I did quite a bit of geocaching in both Quartzsite and Brenda areas.
Of course while we were gone life kept on doing its thing.  One of our former neighbours passed, my 87 year old ATV friend Blue is in the hospital and another set of Colorado friends arrived in the park.
When we checked the weather forecast, Tuesday had the least wind noted so we came home yesterday.  As the forecast warned, today has been very windy so it would have been a terrible day to be on the road.  We are getting down to just over a month before we leave the park for the season.


Standing beside a geocache I found up on top of a hill near Brenda, AZ.  My RZR is out of site behind that hill at the lowest elevation you can see.  It was a nice walk up.  I scared up three deer on my way down on the left side.  I came up through the pink rock on the right.

Brenda, AZ consists mostly of about seven or eight trailer parks with virtually no retail other than a general store 

It is amazing what grows in this broken lava rock.  The round green bushes are Brittle Bush and soon they will be a blaze of yellow bloom.

Near Brenda, AZ

With the recent rains, the Ocotillo are really leafing out.  Perhaps they will bloom as well.  As soon as the weather turns dry, Ocotillo drop their leaves and go dormant until the next wet spell.   This can happen several times over the course of the year.  

South of both Brenda and I-10, looking across to Gunsight Notch and Twin Peaks

At the Ramsey Mine, I think this was where they stored the blasting powder. The room behind the door was only about four feet square.

Also at the Ramsey Mine,  this shallow excavation had all this weird looking formation.  It looked like dried mud but it was more the consistency of marshmallow.

Mitzy on our morning walk, she says "come on Dad"

Saguaros and mountains near Brenda, AZ

Gunsight Notch from a different viewpoint

For those with old backhoes, you could be worse off!  This is an International Harvester Model M waiting for some love near Brenda, AZ



Saturday, February 11, 2017

THREE SCENIC RIDES NEAR QUARTZSITE, AZ

We had a few friends bring their ATVs over to visit us in Quartzsite this week.  Two of the couples are still camped with us.  The other two guys stayed in a motel for two nights then went home.   We had three nice rides with nice weather all through.  Today we have had a few light showers but the forecast says sunshine will be back in another day or two.


Looking north over I-10 from Guadalupe Mtn

Looking east from Guadalupe Mtn with I -10 reaching for the horizon

Looking west to Quartzsite from Guadalupe Mtn

Me, Jerry, Judy, Denny and Judy in the Dripping Springs cave

Denny dropping off the ledge

Looking north from Preacher's Pass


On our way up to Preacher's Pass

Near Preacher's Pass the desert is greening from the rains

Preacher's Pass trail

Preacher's Pass trail

East of Preacher's Pass heading for the old stage coach road


East of Preacher's Pass heading for the old stage coach road


East of Preacher's Pass heading for the old stage coach road


On a side trail east of Preacher's Pass

On a side trail east of Preacher's Pass

A dead end trail into the mountains near the old stage coach trail

A pass at the end of the dead end trail.  I walked up there to see what was on the other side

The view NW from the pass was exactly what I expected

From the pass looking back down to the ATVs where I walked from 

Moonrise

Looking toward the Gnarly trail

On the way to the Gnarly trail

On the Gnarly trail

Sunset reflected in a pond in the wash

Salt cedars in bloom

Friday, February 3, 2017

YUMA TO QUARTZSITE BLOGGERFEST

We stayed three nights in Yuma. Thursday night we went to the clubhouse and played bingo.  We met Clarence and Jan from Washington who were at our June rally in Chemainus.  There were ten games with the first nine paying $4 and the blackout tenth was $17.   We spent $4 buying two cards each and when I won the first game, we broke even.  We went to the hot tub after that and met a guy from Kerr Rd in Coombs.  That’s just three or four miles from Charlie and Sheila’s! 
It was windy overnight and it kept it up all day Friday.  Keith and Sue picked us up shortly after 9 and gave us a bit of a tour of old town Yuma.  In the afternoon Aileen and Sue went to a tea and fashion show in the clubhouse and enjoyed themselves.
On Saturday morning we had the expected windy drive up to Quartzsite arriving a little before noon at the bloggerfest site in LaPosa South.  After lunch, Aileen had a good nap while I read outside.  There were thirty some attendees, mostly bloggers and spouses, and we had a visiting good time.  I took a group shot but some people had already snuck away.  I think at least a third of the attendees were Canadian.
After leaving bloggerfest, we moved up to the State Trust land on the outskirts of town in the same area we were in last year.  We are a little further from the road though.  I had thought we would move to Hi Jolly or Plomosa Rd free sites but they are much busier still this year than usual so we will hope to stay here for the duration as it is very handy to town and my riding areas.
I went caching Tuesday and today out in the Gold Nugget Rd area.  I had a long day Tuesday and a short one today finishing the area.  Tuesday got quite thrilling when a desert bighorn sheep bolted across in front of me then ran up the trail in front before stopping.  He and two other rams paraded around for me before heading off up the hill.  When I spotted two more off to the side sneaking around a small knob, I got out and snuck up on my side expecting to see them on the next hill.  It was quite a surprise to look up from watching where I was walking to see one young ram staring at me from about thirty feet away.  He had a Cholla spine on his chin.  Not far behind him was a more mature ram who also posed for me. On today’s ride I saw several lizards and a young mule deer doe but she was too shy for photos preferring to peek through the branches at me.

Not sure at this point how many riders will be joining us next week for rides in this area.  We expect to be here at least until next Friday or Saturday at which point we will head back to Florence. 


Bloggerfest gathering

I think this is a Broad-tailed Hummingbird


Male House Finch

Above and below are a couple of views from Guadalupe Mtn 


Western Coral Bean

There are just scattered flowers on the Coral Bean, the leaves come later.


Notice how large his feet are

This was taken from just thirty feet away

 A fine pose

Majestic


Spanish Wall Cabin

I believe all three of these are Side-blotched Lizards

This was taken from the driver's seat in the RZR

My camera is only about one foot from this guy

Looking down to Quartzsite from the Spanish Wall Cabin