Saddle Mountain–BLM

Monday, February 29, 2016 – Leap Day

Happy Leap Day everyone.  Several weeks ago, I was reading the Technomadia blog and Chris and Cherie had spent time at the Saddle Mountain BLM and really enjoyed the place.  They nicely provided the coordinates and we took them up on it.

We were looking for a place not more than about 3 hours east of Joshua Tree N.P. and this seems like a great place to check out.

Boy, are we impressed.  We are parked right next to the mountains and they are beautiful.

We started on the road at 9:15 A.M. and headed east on I-10 toward Quartzsite, Arizona, arriving there about 1:00 P.M. Mountain time.  

Crossing the Colorado River into Arizona.

Crossing the Colorado River  Arizona

We stopped for gas and filled both the jeep and the MH.  Next we ran down Main Steet to the Main Street Laundromat and Showers.  Dolly did laundry while I drove the RV up to the RV Pit Stop on Central and dumped tanks, filled the propane tank and took on drinking water.

We left Quartzsite at 3:00 P.M. with all systems go.  Crossing the foothills of the Plomosa Mountains east of Quartzsite.

Foothills of Plomosa Mountains

75 miles further east we turned off on exit 81 and followed the directions provided by Chris to our new home next to Saddle Mountain.  I can’t wait for me and Yuma to hike around this place.

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain

See you later.

Day of Rest

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Today, Dolly and I did nothing but hang around camp and rest.  It was a warm day. 

Yuma had a great time chasing lizards around camp.  He is always sure they are in the bush, but he rarely sees them run to another bush.  He crawls all around trying to find the lizard.


Toward the end of the day, Dolly and I gave Yuma a bath.  He was a good boy and I think he was glad to be clean.  Not so sure he liked the baby powder.

Tomorrow is move day.  Going to a place we have never been before, so stay tuned.

See you later.

Hike to the Cottonwood Mountains

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Last night, Dolly and I started a camp fire after dark to eat marshmellows and s’mores for Dolly.  It was a beautiful warm evening with little wind.

Camp fireThis morning after breakfast, Yuma and I decided to hike the two miles north of our camp to the foothills of the Cottonwood Mountains.


Yuma needed the exercise and I needed the torture. The morning was hot and there was little wind to help with the hike.

We walked over the berm north just across the road from where we are parked.  I believe the berm covers a pipe moving water to the populated areas west of here.  It is known as the Colorado River Aqueduct.  It originates at the Parker Dam, just north of Parker, Arizona along the Colorado River.

Beaver Tail cactus

The only photos are of the mountains and vegetation.  No animals except for lizards.  That poor Yuma is a sucker for lizards.  He chases them from mesquite bush to mesquite bush, but never catches them.

Barrel cactus and Beaver Tail cactus

Walked through a beautiful Ocotillo cactus patch.  One was blooming with red flowers.

Ocotillo cactus

Blooming Ocotillo cactus  Blooming Ocotillo cactus

  Ocotillo cactus

I kept calling for Yuma and couldn’t see him till I walked past the Octillo cactus above and guess what.

Yuma resting under Ocotillo cactus

When Yuma gets hot and tired he heads for the nearest shady spot and plops down waiting for me to give him some water.

Finally reached the base of the mountains.

Base of the mountains

Found a little garden of yellow flowers at the base of the mountains.

Yellow flowers

Later on in the afternoon, Dolly, me and the dogs all went out to find treasure with the metal detector.  Unfortunately, all we found were nails.  I forgot to get a photo of our adventure.  Maybe, next time.

See you later.

Joshua Tree N.P. - Day 2

Friday, February 26, 2016

Today, we drove to the northern part of the Joshua Tree N.P. to see the Joshua trees.

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree

The park is split into two deserts.  The southern half is the Colorado Desert and the northern half is the Mojave Desert.

The other beautiful feature of the northern part of the park is the large number of rock formations.  Large rock formations.

Rock formation

Rock formation


Rock formation

Skull Rock

Skull Rock 

Joshua Trees

Dolly is the little blue shirt at the bottom of the rock.

Rock formation

Joshua Trees with San Gorgonio Mountain in the background.  Height of 11,503 feet.

Joshua Trees with San Gorgonio Mountain

Joshua Trees

Rock formationRock formationsRock formationsJoshua Trees

The weather was just perfect today for a drive through the park.  Low 80’s with a slight breeze and plenty of blue skies.

See you later.

Hiking a Wash

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Yuma and I decided to take a walk into a canyon on the south side of the mountains just outside Joshua Tree N.P. 

Dogs are not allowed on trails in the park, so by taking this wash, we would not run into anyone.   I am sure it goes into the park, but it is not a designated park trail.

Hiking trail

I was hoping to see some old mines and some wildlife, but unfortunately the hike was a bust.  We walked for about 3 miles into the canyon on a very sandy surface with lots of Cholla cactus all about.

Cholla cactus

Yuma managed to step on a few cholla balls laying on the ground and I managed to get very tired feet from walking in the soft sand.

The water running trhough the wash left some interesting tree formations.

Tree formation in the wash

Tree in the wash

At the end of three miles, I knew I could go no further and the wash continued to wind through the mountains slowly heading for the Cottonwood Spring we visited yesterday. 

Yuma loves running in the sand of the canyon.  This is where I stopped.  As you can see the wash goes on and on from here, deeper into the mountains.

Yuma enjoying the wash

When Yuma and I got back to camp, I soaked my tired feet and Yuma slept on the couch.  He was tired.  I am sure he runs twice as far as I walk.

See you later.

Joshua Tree N.P.–Day 1

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Park entrance sign

Today, we took a drive through the southern end of the park.  It is 30 miles from the southern entrance to the northern entrance. 

All of the Joshua trees are in the northern part, so we did not see any today.  Our main goal was to visit Cottonwood Spring.  The spring is located just behind the southern welcome center.

Cottonwood Spring

We are parked just on the other side of the mountains behind this spring.  You would never know such a beaurtiful place existed in this dry and unforgiving desert.

There are beautiful bright green Cottonwood trees and dark Palm trees all along the sandy wash.  Just under the sand, there is an abundance of water to keep them green.

Cottonwood Spring

Cottonwood Spring

Cottonwood Spring

Cottonwood Spring  Cottonwood Spring

We then drove about 18 miles down over the mountains and into the Colorado Desert.

Colorado Desert

Off to the north across the desert, we could see Pinto Mountain coming closer as we drove north.


Our journey into the park today stopped at the Cholla Cactus Garden.  I have never seen so many Cholla in one place before.  They are beautiful.

Cholla Garden

Cholla Garden

Cholla Garden

Cholla Garden

That is enough for one day.  The next time, we will drive to the northern end of the park and see the Joshua Trees.

Beautiful full moon tonight.  Dolly took a beautiful photo with the 300 mm zoom lens.

Ful moon

See you later.