"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Rainy Day!


IMG_3586 (Medium)

I thought the Arizona desert was a very dry environment with little, or no, rain.  Seems we brought some with us from the deep South.  We had rain most of Monday and it started again last night.  Puddles standing around the trailer this morning, and the forecast is for up to a half inch total before it’s done.

IMG_3587 (Medium)

While talking with the refuge volunteer we learned that there was a good possibility of seeing Desert Sheep back in a canyon near where we are camped.  A four wheel drive road accessed, and went up the canyon.  Though it was overcast yesterday, Jim and I decided to give it a shot.  We drove four miles back to the mouth of the canyon in my truck, but hiked the canyon, itself.

IMG_3559 (Medium)

Jim checking out a remote rain gauge.

IMG_3561 (Medium)

Lots of hidey holes.

IMG_3566 (Medium)

IMG_3569 (Medium)

We hiked a little over four miles up the canyon, but saw little wildlife except birds.  Found quite a cluster of these nests.  I’m sure Judy can identify the species.

IMG_3576 (Medium) IMG_3577 (Medium)

IMG_3578 (Medium)

Finally reached our turnaround point.  Actually thought we would break out the top of the canyon and catch a better view to the East.

IMG_3573 (Medium)

But the canyon just kept going onward and upward.

IMG_3572 (Medium)

On the way back toward the truck.

IMG_3583 (Medium)

Skull cave?

IMG_3579 (Medium)

A pleasant sight.

IMG_3585 (Medium)

An eight mile desert hike. Pretty good for two old guys…..jc

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What’s Happening!


The last two days have been kind of a blur.  Though we are still camped in the same place in the Kofa NWR, we’ve been busy.  Woke on Tuesday morning, following Monday’s rain, to fog.

IMG_6459 (Medium)

The sun was trying to make an appearance on the mountains to the West.

IMG_6478 (Medium)

Started the day with a hike to the top of a nearby hill, cinder cone, whatever.

IMG_3543 (Medium)

Looking down on the desert floor.  Those three white dots are Casitas at our campsite.

IMG_3533 (Medium)

The afternoon found us at Crystal Hill.

IMG_3556 (Medium)

I found a couple of pretty nice ones.  Pictures in another blog, maybe.  All that was followed by an awesome sunset on “our” mountain.

IMG_6513 (Medium)

Today found us in Yuma for a daytrip.  Visited the old territorial prison.

IMG_6525 (Medium)

IMG_6529 (Medium)

IMG_6530 (Medium)

Had a great lunch at a restaurant called “The Garden”.  From there it was to Walmart, and a local produce stand.

IMG_6562 (Medium)

Lots of good stuff.  Yuma calls itself the Winter vegetable capitol of the Country.  Growing three crops on the same piece of land each Winter.

IMG_6560 (Medium)

A stop at the Yuma Proving Grounds wrapped up the day.

IMG_6564 (Medium)

A very busy two days.  But of all the things we did, this is always my favorite.

IMG_6575 (Medium)


Monday, January 26, 2015

Rainy day in the desert.


Sally and I are sitting outside, listening to the patter of raindrops in the desert.  Raining enough to run off the awning.

IMG_3490 (Medium)

Everyone else has gone to town for laundry, and other things, but we decided to stay at camp.  Thunder or artillery, not sure which, sounds to the South.  The blue dog is nervous, especially with her momma gone.

IMG_3496 (Medium)

IMG_3497 (Medium)

I’ve read many posts about the sounds and smells of the desert after a rain. I can already smell an odor I remember from younger days.  The smell of a dusty field after a quick summertime shower.  There are other scents coming and going on the light breeze.  Those I don’t recognize, but all are pleasant.  

IMG_3495 (Medium)

IMG_3498 (Medium)

Now there are no sounds other than the rain.  It must have been thunder earlier that had Sally so nervous.  Her mom just called to let us know she was on her way from town.  Soon, everything be be right in her world again…..jc

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Palm Canyon Trail


About half a mile up a rugged trail in Kofa Wildlife Refuge is Palm Canyon.  Thought to be the only native Palm trees in Arizona, they grow in a narrow niche about halfway up a steep mountain face.

IMG_3410 (Medium)

IMG_3416 (Medium)

IMG_3423 (Medium)

Can you see them?

IMG_3430 (Medium)

Just about the center of the picture above.

IMG_3432 (Medium)

IMG_3438 (Medium)

Thought to be remnants of groves that lived during the last ice age.  It is amazing how they have managed to live, sheltered from the blistering desert sun by the tiny side canyon.  The sun only shines on them a short time each day, and they have created their own micro climate.

The view back out the canyon to the Sonoran Desert.

IMG_3443 (Medium)

IMG_3420 (Medium)

Back at camp.

IMG_3487 (Medium)

And of course, the sunset.

IMG_6415 (Medium)

IMG_6427 (Medium)

Another good day in the desert….jc

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.


We left the madness of Quartzite yesterday, heading for somewhere quiet and peaceful.  Found both in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge about twenty miles south, off Highway 95.  A beautiful spot for three Casitas, and friends.  Sally was SO happy.

IMG_6350 (Medium)

Very little traffic passing by. Only folks visiting Palm Canyon.  A wonderful hostess at the boundary made us feel more than welcome.

IMG_6356 (Medium)

IMG_6361 (Medium)

We did drive back into Quartzite today for the first annual Bloggerfest.  Was great to shake the hands of many we felt we knew, but had never met. 

IMG_6377 (Medium)

Also got to pet this famous dog.

IMG_6381 (Medium)

I’m sure there will be many blogs with lots of information on the event.  I’m going to leave it up to them for the fine details.  Headed outside to enjoy the evening sounds of the desert.  I’ll have more pictures of our awesome surroundings tomorrow.…jc

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More “Q”, but no shopping!


Took a drive around town today to see some of the sights.  First was Celia’s Garden.  The daughter of the Naked Bookseller,(yeah, look him up) Celia was the reason for the family to move from Boston to the desert.  She died at an early age and a memorial garden was created in her honor.  It now covers an acre or more with memorials to many different folks that have passed through the area.

IMG_6301 (Medium)

IMG_6303 (Medium)

IMG_6310 (Medium)

IMG_6314 (Medium)

There was a radio controlled aircraft runway nearby.

IMG_6309 (Medium)

Then to the Hi Jolly memorial.

IMG_6319 (Medium)

IMG_6317 (Medium) IMG_6320 (Medium)

Time capsule.

IMG_6321 (Medium)


IMG_6326 (Medium)

We returned to the camp, and I decided to try and hike to the top of Dome Rock.  That’s it way out there.

IMG_6349 (Medium)

There was a trail to begin with.

IMG_6330 (Medium)

But it only went up to an old mine.  From there it was rock scrambling around and upward.  I made it all the way to the mark on the photo, but could find no way to get the last hundred feet or so to the summit. Being by myself, common sense prevailed, and I slowly made my way back down to safer ground.

IMG_6347 (Medium)

A view from almost the top. The photo above was taken from the trail you can see in the bottom of the canyon.

IMG_6332 (Medium)

It’s now time for “happy hour” in the Casita Stronghold.  We’ll end with a little fire in the sky,

IMG_6300 (Medium)

and see what tomorrow brings..jc