Cool, Cloudy and Windy

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
New Year’s Eve

Today is as the title says, a day to stay inside.  This is the first day I have been forced to stay inside due to cold weather.  The sun tried to peek from the clouds late in the day, but was overpowered until too late to draw from its warmth.image

Looks like the only warm place is southern Florida and that is just too far to travel to get away from a couple of days of low 50s weather.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve!

Some Bad News and……

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

imageGot up early this morning and only had cereal for breakfast.  Not my normal two eggs and bacon with milk, orange juice and half a grapefruit.  I’m in a hurry today.  Got things to do.  You see, Dolly texted me and said that Fergie would love to have a younger brother.  That meant she is okay with adding Yuma to our family.

 

Didn’t want to just call the humane society, I wanted to make sure Yuma was there.  And the young lady, Josie told me I would have to be there personally to do the paperwork to adopt him.  She said to be sure to ask for her.  I was there right at 10 am – first one in line.

I knew things weren’t going to go right as soon as the receptionist told me that Josie was sick today.  I asked about the dog they called “Cheerful” and no one seemed to know where he was.  I asked to go through the kennels and show them the one I wanted.  The young lady that was designated to do the adoption paperwork walked with me through both kennels and no Yuma.

She said he must have been adopted, but I told her he couldn’t have been because he had not been neutered yet.  We went back in the office and she asked a few employees for information.  Finally the truth came out.  “Cheerful” had developed a respiratory problem from a dog in a cage next to him and he was removed to isolation and is being given anti-biotic.

I asked to see him, but they said he is quarantined and only employees can go into that area.  I then asked if I could go ahead and complete the adoption paperwork and “no” again.  Must wait till he is well before I can do that.  That is the rule and they are sticking to it.

What a bummer!  I drove 45 minutes to get there and accomplished nothing.  I gave her my name and number and she said that she would update his file with this information and call me when he was available once more for adoption. 

Now I don’t know what to do.  I had two plans in mind; not three.  If he was still available I was going to wait till Friday and pick him up and head north to King Road in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge or if someone had already placed a hold on him, I was going to leave tomorrow.

Now I have to come up with plan three, but not today.  I’ll mull it over today.

Since I was already in town, I stopped by Walmart, got groceries and 12 canisters of propane for Mr. Buddy.  Supposed to get cold in the coming days, and I wanted to be ready.  I hate being cold.  I could have stayed in Bloomington, Illinois if I wanted to be cold.

As I headed out of town on Imperial Road, I first stopped at the Bard, California Post Office and mailed Dolly another pendant I bought at the Castle Rock City Museum the other day.image

My second stop was at the Imperial Date Gardens a mile or so down the road.image

 They have groves and groves of Date Palm trees.

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I am not a big date lover, so only looked around the store and did not buy anything.

Drove the remaining five miles to Arizona and back to my camp.  I decided immediately I would move further back into the area I am staying for more privacy.  When I first arrived I just pulled over near the entrance and parked.  There were other RVers who had been evacuated from Lake Mittry already in the good spots toward the back of the parking area.  They left yesterday and I wanted their spot.

So, I moved all of 200 feet today.  Just threw everything in the hallway, pulled in the slide (I never opened the living room slide for fear of sticking in the roadway area) and drove the rig down there and walked back and got the jeep.  I have great privacy now and both slides open.image

Not a good day according to what I had planned for the day, but I am sure it will work out for the best….I hope!

See you later.

Wandering Around in the Desert

Monday, December 29, 2014

I was going to just lounge around the camp today, but the weather got so nice, I decided to head back toward Picacho S.P. again.  This time I did make a right turn off Imperial Road onto Picacho Road and headed north on the dusty wash board road heading the 18 miles to the park.  I don’t know how people in their trailers and motorhomes ever make such a slow grind, but they do.

About four miles up the road I got distracted by a side road heading off in the desert and decided to check it out.imageDidn’t realize this road hooked onto other roads and many were smaller ATV roads.  I always think these roads lead somewhere, but usually they don’t.  They just go forever till you turn around and try to find your way back out.

imageI could always see Picacho Peak to the north, so I knew I could always turn around and head south and sooner or  later I would find the road back to Yuma.

As I went up and down through the sand washes and along dirt ridges I started seeing rock writings everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.imageimageimageimageimage

Some of the writings were simple and some were quite complex.  These writings went on for miles up and down gullies.

Guess what I did in the heat of the desert.  Got out of the jeep at a place that had an opening and rocks close at hand and I put Dolly and me in rocks in the desert forever.  Not the best rock writing, but it is the thought that counts.imageimage

I will never be able to find this place again.  All the hills and gullies look the same and when I drove back past this area again trying to find my way out before dark, I never saw where I had written our names.

Here’s one of the jeep roads that petered out into an ATV path.  Turned around at this point and just followed the bigger roads that went south.  I am hesitant to follow the ATV paths, because they can get pretty rough and small.  Being alone, I do not want to get stuck in sand way out here.  The tow imagecompany could retire on the money I would have to pay.  Never been stuck,  Don’t have vast experience in sand, but I do have some common sense.

Not all beauty out here in the desert.  This area is a dumping ground.image

On the way back to camp, stopped to take a photo of the Laguna Dam close to my camp.  With the setting sunlight hitting it, I thought it looked beautiful.image

In for the night next to the canal berm and the water works department across Imperial Road from me.image

See you later.

Sunday at the Yuma Swap Meet

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This morning I intended to drive to Picacho State Park to do a little hiking, but when I got to the T on Imperial Road that either went south to Yuma or north to the park, I decided to Google Yuma Swap Meets and I found one.

Turned south to Yuma and went to the swap meet instead.image As I soon discovered, most of the vendors and patrons were Mexican.  Mexican music, vendors calling out in Mexican and even the dogs barked in Mexican.  There was quite a crowd there.image It was a very pleasant experience.  Here are some photos of their colorful displays:

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There was a Mexican band playing giving the whole swap meet a real Mexican flavor.image

I especially enjoyed the accordion player.  He sounded like he was playing a horn.imageThese two were listening to the music and engaged in conversation.

I came away with another Desert Storm khaki pants, some green t-shirts and a dark orange pullover shirt.  I like the army look while in Tucson.  I look a little like Castro in his older years, of course.image

See you later.

Went to the Pound

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I just stuck around the camp yesterday and most of today.  I did do a of couple  things yesterday.  I remembered to go to the dry cleaners and pick up my western coat that was promised for today.  Sure enough it was ready when I got there at 3pm.  The coat is beautiful, too bad the guy wearing it messes up the flavor.  Cost me almost as much to have it dry cleaned as it was to buy it at the flea market.

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I also stopped the lake to get some after the fire photos.  Didn’t look too bad.  I am sure that lake brush will grow back rather quickly.imageimage

Today, I am now feeling like my old self and not hobbling around like I was yesterday.  I decided to go into town, get gas and food, so I will be ready to leave when the urge strikes.

As I was driving toward Yuma on Imperial Road, I saw a sign indicating that Picacho State Park was 15 miles to the north.  I went for about 4 miles on a very dusty and wash board road and took a photo of Picacho Peak and turned back around.imageimage

But before I did my errands I ran by the Humane Society of Yuma to look at the dogs they had for adoption. image

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There was this one young 10 month to a year old male dog I really liked.  He didn’t have a name, so I named him Yuma.  Real original, heh?  Yuma was a stray picked up on the streets of Yuma just last week.  He seems to be very smart and curious. He is also a jumper.  Jumped out of the five foot cage he was in and into a cage with another dog to play, they told me. 

He is a little younger than what I was looking for.  I wanted one that I could be sure is potty trained and I don’t know about Yuma.

There are a couple of hitches to buying Yuma.  First, my wife doesn’t know about this long term plan and neither does Fergie.  Secondly, he has not been neutered yet and that will not happen till next Friday.  That means sticking around for another week.  Cannot adopt him till he is fixed.  That’s the rules and they’re sticking to them.

I left with no hold or guarantee that he would still be available if I decide to buy him.  I will wait till Dolly has seen my blog and get her reaction to those beautiful photos of that lovable pet.  I am in no hurry to get to Quartzsite, so I could stick around here if need be.

We will see what happens.  See you later.

 

Castle Dome Rock Climb

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy day for me, starting with being booted out of my camp at Mittry Lake because of the fire and then my long day’s hike up Castle Dome Rock.

About 7am I was ready to leave for my hike. I was supposed to meet Stu at 8am.  Looking south at sunrise I could see the smoke from the fire.  Not sure I will be able to return to my campsite today.image

I knocked on the door of the camp host and explained why I was there and he told me I was in a long term RV park and could not stay unless I paid $40.  I asked him where I could stay for the day, because I had an important meeting at 8am.   He told me that I could park the RV just outside the park in the day fee area of Senator Wash for $10.  Because, I didn’t have time to quibble, I parked on the lake, put $10 in an envelope and put it in the box and left it there for the day.

As I passed the burn area, I grabbed a photo of the burn. image

I got to the meeting place at about 8:30 so wasn’t too late.  I had met Stu Clow on Tuesday when I was going up to check out Castle Dome close-up.  Stu is from British Columbia, Canada and is a retired Canadian Park Ranger.  He has spent his whole life hiking through mountains all over the world.  This is his third year coming to Yuma in his travel trailer.

Once we passed the museum, the road starts to get a little dicey but not bad.  imageimage

There was one place I had to put it into 4 wheel drive.  We finally arrived at the stopping point to begin our hike at about 9:30.

The first hour was through a wash that had plenty of soft sand and rocks.imageimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the important arrow pointing the way to start up the mountainside.  Stu had missed this arrow on a previous attempt and followed the wash instead.  By the time he had figured it out it was too late to go further.imageimage

The day was gorgeous.  Slight wind, high around 70 and not a cloud in the sky.   This is a view looking back as we made our climb.

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The entire climb was nothing but up with loose rocks.  It was slip slide the entire way.  I have never been so tired and sore.  Stu, of course was used to this and patiently waited for me to catch up as we went along.  This looking up into the morning sun at the Rock.imageimage

After about 2 hours of climbing and looking around, we were as high as all the mountains across from us.  You can see the wash where we started way down below.

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This photo gives you an idea of the loose rock we were faced with all the way up and all the way down.imageThe trail is no more than a slight indention in the ground and is easily lost.  This is not a hike with nice markings to guide the way.  Luckily, there are cairns along the trail to keep us straight.  Cairns are rocks stacked up by someone to keep others on the correct path.

Unfortunately we had to stop short of our destination.  We made it to the base of the Rock itself and we were both tired (me especially) and it was getting close to 2pm.  We figured if all went well, we would be back to the bottom an hour before dark.  But if they didn’t go right we would be sleeping on the trail.  It is way too dangerous to walk in the dark.  Here is my dejected pose as we started down.image

We knew that it would be another hour to walk around the Rock and climb the big slabs that would take us the remainder of the way to the top.  We came up a three or four hundred feet short.  Unfortunately, that’s 400 feet straight up.  Here is where we ended up and I think the way to the top is to follow the trail around the Rock to the right and then climb up.  However, we were guessing this to be correct, because there are no roadmaps to the top and the trail is vague.image

As I sat at the spot above, I took one last photo to the west and it wasn’t till I got home and looked at the photos that I saw a cairn over to the right leading around the right side of the Rock.image

So, it was with sinking hearts we made our way back to the bottom and we were back to the vehicles by 4pm, an hour before dark.  I was very tired and my legs were getting quite rubbery, so needless to say, I slipped a lot on the way down, but my backpack gave me a nice cushion to land on.  No harm was done.image

I still had to move my motorhome from the day fee area and find myself a new home before it got too dark, or I would be in the same predicament I was in last night.  So, I rushed back to Mittry Lake, and asked the fireman at the turnoff road if I could return to my camp, and he said they needed one more day to cleanup and get all the fires out before it was safe to return.

As I was heading up Senator Wash Road, I stopped at the first small long-term area  I came too and asked a gentleman if there were any free areas close by.  He told me that I could park across from the water works about a mile west on highway 24 also known as Imperial Road as I found out. 

As darkness fell I pulled into an area just off the road next to the berm of the canal that goes along the highway.  There are three others here that were evacuated from Mittry Lake also.  Not pretty but it is quiet and free.image

I have many photos of our hike, but must quit somewhere.  I was so tired after the fire and hike, I will be staying close to home for a few days, so may throw a few more photos of the hike in the days to come.

See you later.