Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge - Caught by refuge volunteers! Boosted in Tucson!

 Why night visitors, Gunsight wash.

Lots of Why coyotes down here, many of them quite vocal at night, and they often come into camp at night to see what they can find.


The next stop on our rather loosely planned agenda was in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, between Sasabe and Arivaca.  We pulled out of Why and headed east through the Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation.  Traffic was light, and the road mostly in good condition. Border Patrol had their check-point just west of Three Points, where we turned south on 286, after some fuel and propane replenishment. 

There must be a few houses around here somewhere!


Check out my mail box video!

About 12 miles north of the Mexican border we turned east again on the Sasabe-Arivaca road.  

When we were last down here a few years ago, this section of road was a mine-field of potholes, loose gravel doing it's best to shake your truck and rig apart, despite going very slow. What a pleasure this time to find brand new, perfect pavement; so new in fact that they were still paving some sections ahead.  The Wildlife Refuge only allows camping in designated camp sites, and it has well over 60 sites.  But unlike most such areas, there is no one campground. The sites are widely scattered across miles of different dirt roads all over the refuge!  The closest ones might be 100 yards or 2 miles apart!  Camping is free, with a limit of 14 days.  Check out all the camp sites on the refuge map above.

My preferred spot was vacant, and there was only one other unit in the area. The views are great, and there's enough trees around to hang up the hammock too!


 I soon had the bike out, in preparation for exploring the abundant trails in the area.

Hailey was soon out too, checking to see which trees she could climb.


And soon I was out with my trash picker collecting what little garbage was around - mostly just bottle caps and scraps of various material.  The site was really quite clean, but my intent was to make it even cleaner!
And then, with no warning, the official US Fish &Wildlife Service truck came quietly driving in; and caught me.  Picking trash!  I guess that was their job - as refuge volunteers.  We joked about it a bit, and I swapped my bag of goodies for an empty bag from them.
I visited the refuge headquarters a couple of times, and though the visitor center was officially closed due to covid, the volunteer there was glad to come outside and answer all my questions.

Apparently, the Fish & Wildlife Service purchased the huge ranch in 1985 to establish the reserve.


Located in southern Arizona, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge was established for the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and to restore the natural landscapes and native wildlife that depend upon it. 

There are some very old and very cool corrals around the headquarters facilities.

I toured around some the surrounding area and towns of Sasabe and Arivaca with a friend from back home.  And, when the weather was cooperative, it was nice to sit around a fire outside and enjoy the stars.

I took advantage and got my booster shot one day in Tucson.

On the way home, there was a large meeting of enforcement and rescue vehicles, around a vehicle that had apparently exited the road at high speed and rolled several times by the look of it.

As usual, the Border Patrol is active in the area, both on the ground and in the air.

I suspect we'll be here; till we decide to leave :-)

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. So glad to see you are boosted. Beautiful area. It is very very very very cold at home here. I bet you are missing

    1. Not too long ago "boosted" meant that your elderly parent remembered to drink their Boost High Energy Protein drink. lol

    2. Really missing my home-built outdoor rink from last winter - not! There are weather hazards here, too. Weather apps warn about - Wet pavement. Dang it, I don't have my wet tires on, only my dry tires! Had to put extra Baileys in the morning coffee!

  2. I thought the big GMC had a battery issue and needed a boost. Love the sky photos, I do miss seeing that sky. Happy New Year.

  3. Thanks for posting Ivan. Makes us envious and inspired to return. I recognize those white and green trucks from 2 years ago. Was over in the chiricahuas.

  4. Looking good! Beautiful area with lots of interesting stuff and things going on. Glad you could get your booster too! Your stories are keeping us warm in Saskatoon 😂!

  5. We never did get around to checking out that area you are in but maybe next time. In that one photo with the rolled over car I was wondering if that was Kitt Peak in the background. I always like those good photos you take of Hailey and of course I always enjoy those desert shots you take as well. Oh how I would love to just walk up to a big old stately Saguaro and give it a great big prickly hug:))

    1. Good eye Al! That is Kitt peak. Photo was taken westbound, just east of Robles jct. Tried to take a friend on the drive to the observatory, but even the road was closed, because of COVID. So we drove up Mt Lemmon instead.

  6. I enjoyed this trip through your post. Lovely area I wouldn't mind visiting. Aren't you afraid that Hailey might get in trouble being loose in the trees? Those rows of mailboxes are too funny ;-)

  7. Hailey is really good about not going too far, and I watch her like a hawk when she's out, because she doesn't know about traffic, coyotes, or cholla cactus. If she is out in the dark (rarely), I put a flashing light on her collar. But that doesn't stop me from frequent panics, when I can't see her for a couple minutes ;-)