Both Wandering Willy and I had been finding strange droppings on our outdoor mats in the morning. He of course, blamed my cat, but my camera finally caught the real perpetrator!
The huge pile of poles growing near the road finally stopped growing, presumably for the Christmas break. I assume the wire wrapped around the bases of the poles has something to do with grounding them – or for lightning protection?
It was decided to change time zones for Christmas and New Years. Last year we spent this time camped at Mittry Lake so we could spend time hanging out with relatives in Yuma for the winter. I also checked out spots at Redondo Lake and Fortuna Lake, but found one unappealing, the other crowded. So we ended up in the desert out west of Foothills which worked out well. Far enough out to be quiet, but near enough to all the amenities to be quite convenient. The spot provides a good view of all the communications towers up on Telegraph pass, and an interesting but steep access route.
Next day, it was discovered that the entire trail up there is actually a very narrow road, all concrete. This made for good footing, but very steep in places. Unfortunately, the best parking spots just off the interstate are well marked with no parking signs, so it is a rough up and down hike of over a half hour just to get to the actual trailhead – which has porta potties and a garbage dumpster.
I thought I had my good camera in my pack, but when I got up there I realized that all I had was my iphone .
But still, I did a 360 degree photosphere from the top (Google now just calls them Streetview?)
Check it out HERE : <------
We did the social circle in Yuma with lots of relatives from all across Canada and the Caribbean. Some of the younger crowd managed to get a rented car stuck in the sand out in the desert, which necessitated a rescue pull from the big GM!
Friends and new full-timers (and soon to be bloggers?) Ernie & Deb pulled into town. They spent a few nights in a park to facilitate cooking of a large bird for celebratory purposes, then joined me out in the desert.
Next thing you know, we were all hiking up the Telegraph Pass trail again. This time I had my camera!
Looking first east, out towards Wellton, and west down I-8 and 32 Ave in Yuma.
At the last minute, I decided to continue my annual tradition of attending the Leafs/Coyotes game in Phoenix, which always seems to fall near the same time of year. I headed in to Phoenix early to I could stop in at Fry’s Electronics to pick up a joystick! Google Earth has a built-in flight simulator feature, but I have never had a fast enough connection nor enough data to make this worthwhile previously. Now I have both! You can fly using a mouse and/or keyboard, but I find that counter intuitive and prefer a joystick. Though I have several at home, I wanted to get a cheap one for this purpose while down south. Well, things have changed. I thought I could grab one at any Walmart or Radio Shack, but no one uses them any more apparently – each modern gaming device having it’s own special controller. I checked Walmart, Best Buy, Target, GameStop, Az Market, and a few Dollar stores in Yuma without success. I found one at Fry’s in Tempe, then headed for the game. I got there early to find a good parking spot, then spent an hour at nearby Cabelas, looking at the latest gear.
It was a good game, especially for the thousands of Leaf fans in attendance, with a final score of 7-4. They had a moment of silence for the passing of legendary Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower. And local boy Austin Mathews scored on his home town Coyotes as well.
One day, we took Ernie & Deb’s jeep and headed for the hills back of us to hike the Jester’s trail. Part way up on a particularly steep and narrow ridge, there was a stuck pickup truck stuck partially blocking the route. While attempting to go around it, we partly slid off the other side!
The banks are much steeper than they appear in the photo and video – courtesy of Ernie & Deb!
With a locked universal and a winch tug from a side by side from Red Deer, and me pushing from the downhill side, we were soon back on the road and past the blockage. But the epic was not over! We watched the rest of the action from various spots on Jester’s trail, high above. Apparently, the original driver had called a tow truck, which eventually arrived on scene. But it was soon stuck in the very same spot we had been with the jeep. Not daring to move for fear of tumbling down a very long ways, they called for a second tow truck. It was able to approach from the other side, but that required about 1/4 mile of backing up, both up and down some very steep and rough terrain to finally remove both stuck vehicles.
Top of Jester’s trail.
ATV traffic had increased somewhat where we were camped during the holidays, but not as much as at Ocotillo Wells, where the constant dust eventually chased John & Nicole out of the Borrego area to wait things out in Indio. There was also a lot of ATV and off-road travel out in the Ogilby Road area when I went out there later to check on Wandering Willy and John & Brenda.
With all the holiday festivities behind us, Hailey and I decided to pull up stakes and head out! Why! Why, Az of course.