Showing posts with label Castle Dome Mountains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Castle Dome Mountains. Show all posts

Thursday, February 11, 2010



Tonight I am typing this in Live Writer instead of in Outlook Express  as an email before copying & pasting it here.  And why have I decided to change??  Because I just lost my whole !!%**(#!^%** Thursday night's post when the computer seized up & I had forgotten to save the email into draft as I was going along.  Ok, lesson learned & I don't want to talk about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DSC_6101-1DSC_6104-1  DSC_6102-1DSC_6106-1  


Our only neighbors about a quarter mile east of us packed up & moved on this morning leaving us alone here in the desert.  Of course as soon as we saw them loading up we immediately felt guilty in that we may have intruded on their purpose for being here.  Kelly & I are always extremely sensitive about bothering other people & especially fellow boondockers.   When you see a lone rig in the desert or quiet forest setting you know those people or person is there for the express purpose of being at one with nature.  If they wanted to do the people socializing thing they would be in an RV Park with other like minded people.  We always give folks a lot of space & never bother them.  It's just the way it is when your priorities have to do with respect, not bothering people,  peace of mind, & a oneness with the earth & it's animal cracker critters.

 IMG_2146 DSC_0001-1 DSC_0002


The map showed us the road we are boondocked near runs about 20 miles back in behind the Kofa mountains.  We have always seen the Kofa's from the Western side so figured we'd head out & have a look at them from the eastern side.  Set off about 10:20 heading northeast across the valley floor between the Castle Dome & Kofa mountains.

  DSC_6109 DSC_0003-1DSC_6110


Despite yesterday's rain the road was in really good shape & looked recently graded.  There were still large puddles so we had to keep an eye out especially in the hidden gulley's or coming around dipping curves.  We had also seen on the map there was a place called King of Arizona Mines near the end of the road so figured we'd head up that way for a look see.  The road twisted & turned leading us ever closer in behind the Kofas.

DSC_0041-1 DSC_0011-1 DSC_0040

If you are an Interstate RV'er & only see the mountains out your window on distant horizons while motoring from point A to point B you probably only give them a few glancing thoughts & look sees.  Mountains from a distance look big, barren, & nothing much more than a big pile of solid rock.  Couldn't be further from the truth!!  It's the Interstate that is the boring part.  Mountains are home to unending green forests, streams, waterfalls, abundant wildlife, meadows of flowers, valleys, & canyons.  The closer you come to a mountain the closer you come to a whole different world than you are probably driving through on your journey from.......point A to point B!!!!

 IMG_2167IMG_2163  DSC_0008

As we closed in on the eastern side of the Kofa's this morning there were noticeably more Saguaro cactus, Ocotillo, Mesquite & Palo Verde trees, plus countless other shrubs & trees we couldn't identify.  It only takes a slight rise in elevation to start the cooler growing temperatures in the mountains.  The Kofa's began to shed their long distance blue haze for personal colors of greens, oranges, black & grays,  plus yellows & whites as the mineral compounds in the ancient rock stepped forth putting on their best show.  You don't see that from the big highways.  Gonna have to get some dust on your tires if you want to get up close & personal with the great outdoors.



What a treat it always is for me as my eyes dart about from mountain top to mountain top trying to figure out exact locations, geographical features as well as the names of the peaks.  Geography & History were always two of my favorite subjects in school & out here in the southwest I am surrounded by those two interests at all times.  Even out on the Interstates the geography computer in my head is always running.  I probably see more of the landscape in one day than I do of the highway ahead of me.  I'm one of those guys who always has a compass near by & understands the meaning of 'keeping the sun on your shoulder.'DSC_0033

I thought it was a ranch house ahead to the right on a hillside at first as we came up out of a wash & around a puddled curve.  Another mile or so & I saw some other buildings scattered about.  Looked like a few old RV's & trailers of sorts.  Road signs said, 'Stay on Designated Road!!'  Other signs hung from fences saying, 'Private Property,'  This then was, King of Arizona Mine.  It is one of many other mines in the area such as Copper Cup, North Star,  & Big Eye Mine.  It was the mining towns back in the 1800's that gave the American southwest it's wild west reputation.  It was the miners who first trekked into the hills in search of gold & silver that led to legendary towns like Tombstone.   It was the mines that brought in the gunfighters, the city slickers, the gamblers, and the  saloon girls!! 


But, this was no legendary town we drove to this morning.  Just kind of ramshackle collection of things that people generally ramshackley collect.  Didn't see any electricity lines, there was no cell phone signal on our phone, one of two old windmills might have worked, & we did see some piping along the ground that might have had something to do with water.  Didn't see any people except 2 gals in a shiny red pickup truck bumping along a dusty road that wasn't much more than a rocky cow path.  Maybe they were the Saloon Girls:))  It was about at this point we figured we couldn't go any further unless we switched over to a couple of mules.  After a brief consultation on the hood of the car with our road map it was determined the road ahead was an eventual dead end.

DSC_0025DSC_6114-1 DSC_0021 DSC_0024-1  DSC_6111 DSC_6112 DSC_6113-1 DSC_0013-1


It had taken us an hour & half to come the 21 miles to King of Arizona Mines & as I wiggled the car around on the rocky narrow rocky road I thought to myself, 'it sure isn't going to take that long to get back to the rig.  So, with that thought in mind, off we went back down the dusty winding dirt road like a herd of turtles in a big cloud of heifer dust heading southwest.  Kelly spent a big part of her time reading the Delorme GPS book on the way back & I spent a big part of my time gleefully racing into & plowing through the big mud puddles on the road like a kid heading home from school on a rainy Friday afternoon with his bicycle. 

DSC_0027  IMG_2155-1IMG_2159-1  DSC_0015


Made it back to the rig in 40 minutes with a big satisfied smile on my face.  Kelly made it to the back of the second chapter in the Delorme PN-40 manual with a big frustrated look in her eye.

Spent the rest of the day doing relaxing stuff like soaking up some sun in the lawn chairs.  Checkers & I went for a big photo hike into the nearby hils & Kelly worked on her increasing Deerpark Lodge workload.

DSC_0043 DSC_0036-1  DSC_0044

No idea what we are up to tomorrow but that's what is so great about this lifestyle.  No rules, no regulations, no schedules, no agendas, no people stress, & no going where ya don't want to go.   Ya just gotta love it:)))))

There, I have now written to full blogs tonight & before I forget we would like to welcome new blog followers, Palms RV & Freely Living Life.  Thanks for the nice compliment Freely Living.......muchly appreciated:))


GROANER'S CORNER:((  Sign at a tire shop....."We skid you not!"



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.



It was the sound on the roof this morning at 5 a.m. that told me something had snuck up on us in the night that we had been completely unaware of before going to bed last night.

IMG_2143 IMG_2145 DSC_0001


Rain is not a good thing on RV moving days but luckily we had packed everything away the night before so no soggy lawn chairs to stuff into dry motorhome bins.  But, the rain can still have a negative physical effect with muddy paws & shoes.  It can also be a mental downer on a supposedly exciting & anticipated sunny moving day. 



Had the big wheels rolling at 9:20 as Max, Checkers, Motormouse, & I bumped along the rocky desert surface heading for the exit spot to the highway.  Kelly had gone on ahead into Quartzsite to fill up the car with gas. (and probably hit a few last minute vendors)



Quartzsite wasn't too busy but I missed the RV Pit Stop 'entrance only' driveway anyhow & had to slip around the block for another attempted touchdown.  Got it right the second time & rolled up to the dumping station.  All went smooth with no nastiness getting loose.  Had to swing back out onto the street for another go around because I had forgot to fill the fresh water tank.  Angled in again & began the fill as Kelly met me after the gas fill up.  Next came a propane fill up & of course I was faced the wrong way for that, so away I went out on the street for my third entrance into the same place.  I should also mention that at the same time I'm doing this merry-go-round thing, so are about a half dozen other rigs jockeying for position in there as well.  Kind of like bumper car RV's!!  And this wasn't even a busy day for them.  With the propane tank topped up I headed back out on the street & headed south of Quartzsite to a predestinated spot to meet Kelly who had slipped over to McDonald's for coffee & egg McMuffins.  Say what you will about works for me:))


With Kelly following in the car it took us about half an hour to reach the turn off for the Castle Dome mountains & by then it was raining pretty hard.  The clouds were sitting right on the mountain tops all around us.  I was worried about the dirt road because I knew it was going to be muddy.....and it was.  Turned off the highway through a splash of water & mud pulling off the road onto a hard packed stone surface.  Now what are we gonna do!!  I knew we had about a mile to go before we came to the spot we had seen yesterday.  The dirt road looked like a quagmire with pools of water & little streams flowing here & there.  To get the motorhome stuck down this road was going to be a ka-zillion million dollar towing bill for sure.  Kelly scouted ahead with the car aways to see how it was & came back saying it wasn't too bad.  I then took the car (both of us couldn't go because the passenger seat was loaded with firewood!!) & headed through the mud to have a look at our perceived campsite.  One spot had water right across the road & another section was pretty squishy with mud which made the car swaddle a bit.  But, as I was about to find out.......that wasn't the worst part!!  When I got to the spot we had picked out yesterday.........there was a !!#%&**!!((@^ travel trailer parked in it.  Couldn't believe it!!  Of all the acres of room out here what would be the chances someone would have showed since we were there & parked in that very spot.  I pulled off the muddy road onto the hard packed stone surface, buzzed the trailer, (nobody home) & quickly reconnoitered a new spot about a quarter mile away.  No use in crying over spilt milk I figured:((


Slipped & slid my way back to the highway where the gang was waiting, & broke the news.  Oh well, not much we can do about it.  After all, we aren't the only people in the world.  Made the decision to go for it & head the motorhome down the mud infested road.  Figured if I got up a good head of steam it would lessen my chances of bogging down in the mud somewhere along the way.  Threw a few extra logs on the fire, put the dogs crash helmets on & away we went just a smokin it.  The motorhome handled the muddy spots with ease as we rolled on right through the slop.  Pulled in off the road to the hard stone surface & drove easily to the secondary spot I had picked out.  No problem as we positioned the rig beside the already built fire pit.  We're not exactly level but who cares, we're here.  Mud all over the place & everything.  Ya just gotta love it:))


As we looked around it was immediately apparent that by a pleasant fluke we were in a spot that was better than the original one we chose.  We had a dry wash with some water flowing through it beside us & on the other side of that we had a really nice walkable up hill with lots of desert greenery growing on it.  Despite the heavy overcast & rain we were happy campers.


And, once again, we were in a photographer's paradise with many Saguaro's spreading out across the desert floor & climbing the hillsides.  There were shrubs & trees of all kinds here & I could see the greening effect stretching up the nearby mountain sides.  We had first noticed this greening effect at Hickiwan Trails 3 years ago.  The further off the desert floor & closer one is to the mountains, hills, or rocky ridges, the greener & more lush it becomes.  It is caused by the effect of water running down the mountain sides & streams making the ground wetter close to the base of the mountains.


The last time we set our Star Choice dish up it took an aggravating 2 hours because of some kind of glitch somewhere.  Today when I set the satellite dish up I used our Quartzsite co-ordinates & hit the bird right on the nose first try.  TV was up & running within minutes.  I like when that happens:))


The rains would stop, then start, then stop.  In between all that we got ourselves set up & the first order of business for me was to get my buns up the side of that big hill beside us to see what was on the other side.  The lighting was good for some photos so I spent time on the hill marveling at the absolute beautiful vista all the way around me.  I could see for miles & miles with mountains everywhere.  Because of the rain everything was looking very wet, very fresh, & very photographable despite the overcast sky.  Came down off the hill & headed along the creek bed basking in the towering greenery on both sides.  Just love those big Saguaros & Barrel head cactus.  And to see actual water running in the creek bed was an added bonus.  Felt like a little kid in a candy store snapping a photo here, two over there, & maybe three back over somewhere else.


Rain or no rain we are just so happy to be here even if there is another rig a quarter mile away.  The skies cleared for about an hour with warming sunshine drying out the land, but it didn't last.  A distant booming sound caught my attention & I swung my camera lens northwards.  A looming thunderstorm was rolling in north of us after supper & I watched the sky in total amazement because I had never seen such beautiful lighting on the desert landscape before.  Lightning flashed on the distant horizon against darkened skies as a rainbow struggled to become airborne but faded into the far mountains.  The colors on the desert floor were ethereal as the tall green Saguaros competed for attention appearing almost emerald like in their stateliness.

 DSC_6089DSC_6094  DSC_6098

And then........... the sun dropped out of the cloud cover lowdown in the west flashing an arc of yellow gold onto the mountain sides before it disappeared behind the Trigo Mountain range.  The beautiful day was over.....but the rain wasn't.  As I'm writing this at 8 p.m. it is still raining.  But, that's OK, this is the American Southwest &  whatever the weather does, it just doesn't matter because it is too beautiful to complain about...............even for me, the cranky old Cursmudgeon:))


I think I am simply going to drop all of TODAY'S PHOTOS into an uncaptioned web album.  You will see that the pictures are self explanatory.  I suggest the 'slideshow' option if you decide to have yourself a look at the fine works of Mother Nature......even on cloudy & rainy day.  Album starts with a passenger seat loaded with fire wood & ends with a very rainy photo out the motorhome door.  LIVE WRITER WOULD NOT LET ME PUT THE ALBUM LINK IN  TONIGHT BUT MAYBE THIS WILL WORK....................Click below.


GROANER'S CORNER:))  And how about this sign outside a local butcher shop window:  "Never a bum steer."



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.