Monday, February 10, 2020

Birds and the Bees

While camped near Quartzsite, there seemed to be quite a bit of competition around the hummingbird feeder.  Both the birds and the bees seemed intent on getting their fill.  See the video below.
But then I realized that the bees were mostly just thirsty, so a small dish of water on the ground attracted them all away from the feeder - much to the relief of the hummers!

We stayed a bit longer in the Quartzsite area than planned - waiting for some orders to arrive from Amazon and Ebay.  Once they were in hand, it was time to move on.
 So we loaded up and moved on down to the Yuma area.  Apparently the State Trust land area east of Foothills is no longer allowing camping, so it was back to the old regular of Ogilby Road.
We tracked down the elusive and nefarious Wandering Willy of previous blog fame, and after a few days, Ernie and Deb followed us down from Quartzsite to provide a wind break with their rig!

A view of our camp spot near Ogilby Road.

There is lots of historic, and modern mining in this whole area, and claim stakes are everywhere.  Some have basic information etched into the metal plates, other more modern ones have written information in a little container attached to the post.

On a tour out on the Indian Pass road further north up Ogilby road, I discovered some sort of a trap or corral.  It appeared to have been constructed completely from natural wood and branches from the area, but chicken wire had been attached to it, making the 'fence' around 6' tall before it all collapsed.  It enclosed an area about 20 yards across, and had openings where gates may have been?

There was a pile of branches that may have been used to strengthen the fence?  Off to the side was this weird semi-circle berm with a hollow in the center, with rocks all around the outer edge.  The berm was 2-3' high and would have taken a lot of work to build.  Something had been burned in the middle, but not sure if that was the intended purpose?  I don't think the berm was intended to collect runoff, but perhaps?  Any ideas of what the corral/trap or berm would have been used for?

 The remains of the historic Tumco townsite and mine were nearby, so a bit of exploration and a few photos were in order, including some very recent mining activity in the area.

 On another day, Ernie and Deb took me over to the mine sites at the end of American Girl Mine road.  There are some weird designs on the tailings piles, presumably to reduce erosion(?).
 We found a trail leading right down to the bottom of one of the open pits, but resisted the urge to swim in the water there!

 As usual, happy hours were held around the fire.  Sometimes it was necessary to watch a hockey game on my laptop at the same time!

As usual, there was a variety of military and border patrol helicopters, a few jets and Osprey flying over, sometimes very low and in the dark.  We also watched the International Space Station fly over using the ISS app, and kept track of the usual commercial air traffic with the FlightRadar24 app.

Next, off to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ...


  1. Great pictures Ivan. We had a blast exploring the desert and mines with you and the general hospitality, not to mention the Mobley internet you gave is access too. Hopefully our paths will cross again before or during our trip back North!

  2. I too put out a feeder for the hummers, they're fun to watch and it can be a hard life in the desert. Great pictures, thanks for the tour of mine.
    Boondocking at Clark Lake is no longer permitted, I'll be curious where you camp. We'll be out Friday for a couple days, before moving down to Blair Valley Sunday.

  3. As you well know there are strange things to be found in the deserts of the southwest. We came across a strange site on Indian Pass Road as well years ago. We could tell it was an actively strange site and I took photos and wrote a post about it. We felt uncomfortable there like maybe we were being watched. What we saw was a large covered 'sweat lodge' and I think that photo you have may be the remains of that sweat lodge. The whole site was very hippyish. I remember a number of years ago a person or people died in one of those sweat lodges near Sedona. We drove down to the end of the road where that happened when we were in Sedona at the time. 'OKAY' I just found my post for that day on Indian Pass Road and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts it's the same thing you found. I only have a few photos in the post but I'll gather up the rest of my photos at that site, pop them into a photo album, and send you the album link. Yep, it was a strange thing alright and only one of a number of odd things we have come across in the southwest.

    If that link doesn't work just go to our Archives and look for December 21rst 2008.

    1. Hi Al, Yes it looks like the very same spot alright. This time there was no sign of tents, tools, or any recent activities at all. Someone had gone to a lot of effort with all the building, etc, but certainly nothing there from Home Depot - except perhaps the chicken wire. Your photos and description add to the mystery!

    2. 'Aha' I found my photos from that day and you can see them here at.....

      If that doesn't work I will probably do a post shortly linking both our photos. By the way there was a sign at that place calling it...'Sundance'.

    3. We might be back in that area in a few days. With your photos, we might be able to identify a few more aspects of the site!

  4. Funny I am on Indian Pass Road now. The area is probably the same area that Al discovered in 2008 where the people had the Sundance gathering. My take on the area, it was set up for the capture/control of wild burros, which the BLM are responsible for. The berm originally build to hold water on runoff or trucked in . In the meantime people have turned it into a giant fire pit. The coral could have been set up for the burros. I remember about 7 years ago in the Parker area, where the BLM were capturing the burros in a coral for herd management. They were being lured in with water and feed. They were then trucked away for adoption. There was a very lengthy write-up about the operation at the BLM site at the time. There is a permanent animal watering site west of this location. It is between the Hyduke Mine Road and Indian Pass Road closer to Ogilby road. The area is fenced though so the burros can not enter.

    1. Yes, that's a possibility as well. I know they capture Burros up around Oatman too.