Friday, December 22, 2023

Quartzsite to Yuma - and beyond. Hunkering down for the holidays - with a new side-kick!

It's been a while since I found the time to get another blog post together!  There are just too many distractions, excuses, and lots of procrastination thrown into the mix!

Who wants to be inside on a computer when there are miles and miles of desert to explore, sunshine to soak up, even people to visit on occasion.  And, you can't blog on a moving day, or the day before a moving day!  And you certainly can't blog on the first day in a new spot - when there is so much to check out.  Can't blog on a sunny day, a shopping day, a dumping day, or on most days ending in 'Y'.  Yesterday and Today are disqualified for that reason, but Tomorrow doesn't end in a Y! Maybe I'll blog tomorrow?

It must have been almost two weeks spent in the Quartzsite area, and it was time to move on.  Heading south towards Yuma, the northbound border patrol check point was not in operation, but it seemed like there had been a bit of overnight rain in the Stone Cabin area?

Sidewinder road has been our choice spot for the last few years - since they closed off the State Trust land out in the Fortuna area, and the Ogilby road has deteriorated even more.

The same spot as last year was available, so we set up there right away.

But wait!  What stops were made even before then?

Well, it seems like after the loss of Ms Hailey last spring, I have been watching a WAY too many cat videos online. 😺 And every spot I camp reminds me of where she used to climb, hide, and chase lizards.  It's been sad.

 SO (large drum roll), here's the big news I've been sitting on ... My first stop in Yuma was at the Humane Society!  Likely the same place that Doug met his dog Yuma a few years ago!  I was looking for a kitten that would easily adapt to the mobile lifestyle, and not an older cat who may not enjoy the moves.

There was plenty to choose from, and it was difficult.  But eventually it was narrowed down to one cute little guy who was ready to purr at a moments notice.

His age and past seemed to be a bit murky, and he was missing the tip of his left ear - a sign that he may have been trapped as part of a feral cat program?  And his age was also a guess.  But the purring was real, and after volumes of paperwork and signatures, and photographs, I headed out to camp with my new little side-kick!
Right away, I wanted to blog about it, but I couldn't, because 'Bailey' was sitting on the keyboard!

He was on some medication for an apparent respiratory infection, and some eye drops for his eyes, but that didn't seem to slow him down at all, and I was surprised how quickly he figured out his new home, and where it was parked!

I managed to get away a couple times when he was sleeping, and did the  hike up onto Pilot Knob for a look around.

That's our camp in the center of the photo, right on the edge of that old field.
Looking down into Los Algodones, Mexico. And the border wall :-(
Even had some off-air television from here, now that my usual Shaw Tv is no longer available down here.

Come here, Bailey!

Time to head for home!
He's 'tired' (ha ha), and wants some water in his sink!

Living room has become a jumble of cardboard boxes, hanging things, rolling things, scratching things ...   Your feet could be ambushed at any second!

John & Brenda stopped by for a chat one day, and I joined them over at their American Girl camp spot a few days later, for happy hour and a great steak supper!  Even managed to pull off a few card tricks on them!  I still don't know how that card found it's way into my hat?  ;-)

With fuel and water tanks full, and groceries stocked up, we hit the road again a few days later, headed west.

Very handy rest areas on the I-8, about 8 miles west of El Centro, both directions have dump stations with water, so we dumped and flushed there even though it wasn't really needed.  Boondocking rule # 17: never pass up on a free dump along the way!

North of Ocotillo, past another closed BP checkpoint, you get into the south end of California's largest State Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  There are some primitive campgrounds, but lots of free boondocking spots all around.  You can guess which option we chose!

We even got our favourite spot, waiting till an Oregon couple vacated it after a few days.


And, it has been incredibly calm for days on end here, something that is quite unusual, but very welcome.
Enjoyed some of the usual hikes in the area, 
then checked out Mountain Palm Springs, and the palm grove.  Last year, there were hundreds of (drunk ?) robins here, feeding on the dates that had likely fermented!  But all was quiet this year.

Indian Gorge canyon trail was a first for me, and it did not disappoint.  Of course, everything is sharp here, but with the sun shining - no complaints!

This bush looks soft and friendly, but it is armed with hook-like thorns that snag your clothing with the lightest touch, or rip your skin in an instant.

View from back in camp.
Large bell, and often an Airtag keeps close tabs on the little hunter.  But he is good, and knows not to stray too far from home.  He'll pass up 10,000 acres of sandy desert to go back indoors to use the litter box!  Hopefully he'll catch on eventually ;-)

Camp is at the base of the rainbow!

As usual the apparently empty desert comes alive at night!

Presently, under a Flash Flood watch in this part of California, but we've only had some welcome rain, and the forecast is for a return to sunshine for the weekend and Christmas.  Can't think of a better place to hole up for the holidays!

Monday, December 04, 2023

Lake Mohave to Quartzsite

 Some parting shots from Six Mile Cove on Lake Mohave ...


That glow in the sky could be the distant lights of Laughlin.

The racoons that thought that the back of my truck would be a good spot to take a dump, wanted to leave their tracks all over, after the light rain!

After a drive down to Cottonwood Cove on the way out of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, there was the long climb up to Searchlight, Nevada.  The route was then down to Laughlin, and Bullhead City.  In Ft Mohave, cheaper fuel was taken advantage of, as well as a visit to a familiar laundromat.
By then, it was later in the day, so I headed up towards Oatman, and found a previous camp spot vacant for the night.  It was very familiar, unfortunately, as Hailey and I camped here over Christmas, and close by to Ft Mohave back in 2018/2019.  This is when everything went wrong for Hailey and we spent weeks at the vet trying to figure things out.  This included all kinds of meds and procedures, including two months where she didn't eat or drink.  Everything she got, I had to supply through a feeding tube they implanted in her neck.  Before the nightmare ended she had to have her front leg amputated in Las Vegas.  A tough little girl, she took it all in stride, and carried on till April of this year :-(

Here's the spot, at sunset, then a few hours later in the moonlight.

From there, only one night this time, we carried on down through Parker, and eventually to our isolated spot south of Quartzsite, near the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

More night photos - somehow the night shots make the rig look newer, and cleaner!

I think this was the Beaver moon, but at full zoom it was more contrast than the iPhone could handle.

Spent over a week in the Quartzsite area, but didn't do much - other than quite a bit of random desert hiking, and a couple trips into town to check out the vendors and get fuel.  For some reason diesel and propane are cheaper here than down in Yuma.

Speaking of Yuma - that's the next place on the itinerary, and some big news coming up ...