Tuesday, January 16, 2018


First, some photos that got missed on the last post.

  The radio towers up at Telegraph Pass, just east of Yuma.

Hiked up there twice.  Very steep.


The two tow trucks needed to get the pickup off the trail. (Read the last blog post)


After spending some time west of Yuma at Ogilby Rd, and east of Yuma out at Foothills, we wanted to try somewhere new.

Well, new for this season anyway, but Ajo and Why came up next on the location lottery.  It was an uneventful trip down, with a stop mid way in Gila Bend for the monthly dump and fill.  The border patrol check station at MP 18 was checking northbound traffic, and many cameras were keeping an eye on southbound.


We did a short drive up Darby Well road, but found the dust and washboard not much to our liking, so pulled a quick u-turn and headed further south to Gunsight wash, just south of Why and just north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Our favourite spot from last year was occupied, so we picked a nice flat spot further out in the desert, with plenty of distance to the next rig.  Of course, after parking, all the nails and screws from past pallet burning became evident!  Out came the secret nail weapon, and the campsite was soon a safer place for tires.


Hailey headed out right away to acquaint herself with the local fauna.


As usual, much of the fauna only comes out under the cover of darkness.


I finally got around to freeing the bike from it’s spot in the back seat of the truck.  There is some good biking around there on the mostly flat trails.  There are some hazards though, as a few years ago I was riding the bike there and got a flat tire from the cactus.  Turns out, you cannot push a bike with a flat tire!  I had to carry my not so featherweight bike back for 7km (4.5 miles)!  Since then, I have upgraded to puncture resistant tubes and have not had a flat since.  Keeping my fingers crossed.


On a Sunday when the air force was not flying, I got the helicopter up for some quick photos.


There wasn’t much low level air traffic in the area, but an A-10 did take an interest in us one day.  I found out that photos taken before the camera is turned on do not turn out that well, nor do photos of fast moving craft taken in macro mode!



Went for a short hike up Alamo Canyon in the north end of the National Monument.  Much more lush and green vegetation there when compared to Gunsight Wash camping area.



On the way back from the hike, a detour was made a short distance east to fill up with cheaper fuel at the Desert Diamond casino.  Winds started to howl and visibility was very reduced in blowing dust.  On returning to camp, I hooked up the trailer just to anchor it against the wind.  Then the rain came!  The first rain in months!  And it was downright heavy at times, but didn’t last too long.

Although we had a nice, scenic, private spot out on the flats, there was very little wildlife there.  From past experience, and when I biked over for a look, there was always lots of birds and constant bird calls along the main wash.  So, the morning after the rain we made the short quick move over to the wash.





On a trip into Ajo, I took the scenic loop down Darby Well road, and came across this family of wild burros.

They were browsing on the leaves of this bush.


They were stripping the thorns and bark off the Ocotillos!


And they were eating this cactus!


They must have pretty tough mouths and stomachs to make a living on that fare!

Went for a fairly long hike down Gunsight wash one day to where it intersects with another wash further down.


No fresh evidence of undocumented individuals passing this way, but black painted jugs are a sure sign of such activity in the past.


Turns out that Doug and Yuma had just left Darby Well road the day I did the loop drive, and then the Bayfield Bunch arrived in Why later on the same day I headed north Sad smile.  Rumour has it that John & Brenda are hanging their hats in the Bouse back country, and Wandering Willy might just be found among the building crowds along Plomosa road!




Looks like we are off to Quartzsite, with a pit stop at Buckeye Hills Regional Park.  It’s my first visit, and no doubt it will be my last.  Unfortunately, the last day of free camping at Buckeye is the 21st of January, 2018.  After that it will be closed indefinitely while it is re-developed or possibly converted to some sort of ‘pay’ camping?

See you down the road.



  1. Yes that first half mile off the highway on Darby Road was very washboard alright but we were able to power on up to the north end Okay. For the second year in the row I am very surprised by the lack of RV'ers here compared to years ago. I like that last photo of Hailey. Good stuff. No idea how long we'll be here at Darby. Maybe a couple days, maybe a couple weeks. Our next stop might be Borrego.

  2. I was surprised at the lack of campers as well. Lost a few sites when they frnced the mine area, but there are still lots of good ones available. I just get tired of the dust and washboard. And the rattle of the BP quad trailers bouncing down Bates Well road!

  3. Great post! Spectacular Sunsets!

  4. Why not? enjoy that wonderful area and great weather. Quartzite is ramping up now but as you know always lots of spots to enjoy here. Travel safe.