Monday, March 16, 2015

Desert Tortoise encounter

The furthest south and east we made it this winter seems to have been the Bowie, Az area on I-10.  I had planned to go further south and visit the Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw refuge, and friends in the Sierra Vista area, but my sister and her husband had just arrived in Phoenix, so we turned back to the north.


I didn’t want to go through Tucson or be on the Interstate, so we retraced our route back up through Safford, Globe, Miami, and Superior.  After a few days camped out near the Goldfields ghost town, with a great view of Superstition mountain we blasted through Phoenix and did an overnight stop out in the BLM area near Buckeye and Tonopah where Christmas and NY’s had been spent. Then it was back to Quartzsite where I picked up a thermocouple for the oven because the pilot has started to become temperamental.  Of course, with the part in hand, it is working flawlessly!

Camp in the Quartzsite area was actually nearer to Bouse, in a nice quiet spot back of the mountains that is pretty much devoid of other boondockers because of a lack of cell service. Winking smile I went for a cruise on the back trails one day and spotted a strange looking rock almost in the wheel tracks.  When I stopped and got out, I realized it was actually a desert tortoise!  It wasn’t moving and I was worried that it might be injured.  But actually, it was just ‘hiding’, and when I moved back with the big lens he/she showed that was more than capable of putting on a mile!  It might have taken a week, but it was very mobile.

In case the above tortoise video does not work, check out the online Youtube version here.


The ‘hectic’ schedule called for a meeting with Driving Miss Donna up on Lake Mead the next week, so that called on us to mosey on up to Lake Havasu for a few days.  I was looking forward to visiting the aquatic center there and enjoying both the hot tub and a long shower because it had been closed for maintenance when we passed through in December.  I showed up on what I hoped was a quiet Monday, only to find the pool full of kids, with a line-up still trying to get in!  Cancelled that plan in a hurry, and headed down to the beach (channel) instead.  Spring break was just out of the gates, so it was way quieter than I have seen in the past.  But there was a variety of water craft to observe, and a few bikinis were starting to blossom.

‘Boats’ ranged from the usual stand-up paddle boards – one at least complete with a lawn chair, which I guess would make it a sit down paddle board.  It might look like a lot of boats in the water, but it was rather deserted when compared to the scene when spring break gets into full swing.


There was quite an assortment of watercraft on display.

Fast boats,


Slow boats,


Flying boats,


Canadian sail boats,


Pedal boats (movie production?),


Stand-up boards


Sit down stand-up paddle boards


Girl boards,




Jet skis,


Police boats and ATVs


Even an Alberta boat!



By now, spring break will be in full swing, and there will be wall to wall boats along the channel, boat stereos and party boats trying to drown each other out and hardly room to walk along the sidewalk.  Glad I’m out in the desert again where it is quiet and peaceful.  More on that in the next post.

Glad to see that the Bayfield Bunch are back on the road.  Like many of us, they are starting to inch their way back towards home, trying not to get there till most of the snow has melted!  The paws and claws of Wheeling It are temporarily city slickers in California, but writing about the trials and tribulations of life on the road. Check their latest here.

RV dinner anyone?

Next installment will feature a close-up airshow put on for us by the USAF, right in front of our waterfront campsite.  I’ll try to get in online before another couple weeks has gone by.  Finding it hard to get enthused about blogging these days though …



  1. Spring break is a good time to hide in the desert. But at least you got to see a lot of water sport activity and fashion.

  2. Im glad you noticed Howard the tortoise before he got squished. A new traveling pal for Hailey? Nice scenery at the lake, but Id be heading for the quiet hills, once the noise level started going up too.
    We finally found a motorhome. Im flying to Kelowna on Thursday to get it. I doubt we will make down to Arizona before you start heading home. We may just visit you on your ranch later on. Take care my friend!

  3. Great encounter with the tortoise, Martin will be so jealous. Safe travels home ! We've been home about a week.

  4. That is awesome that you saw the tortoise! We have been wanting to see one up they certainly are elusive! Looks like things are really busy in Lake Havasu, it was really quiet when we were there in late December.

  5. Kinda like those new state of the art 'Girl Boards.' Have never seen a Desert Tortoise or if we have we may have just thought it was a slow moving rock. Safe travels making your way north.