Las Cienegas National Conservation Area

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My location:  Las Cienegas National Conservation Area near Sonoita, Arizona

When I went to bed last night around 9 p.m., I thought it was going to be a noisy night.  Generators were buzzing everywhere in the parking lot.  But, around 10 o’clock, everyone shut down and it was very peaceful.  Had a good night’s sleep after all.

Woke up at 7 o’clock anxious to get on to my new destination.  Only had one coffee and not sure I got all my blogs read.  Had cereal instead of bacon and eggs.  By 9 o’clock I was moving. 

Had things to do before leaving for my boondocking home.  Only have 50 miles to drive today.  Stopped by Fry’s Grocery store and got the few things I needed.  Very nice store.  Like it much better than Walmart.  Got Fry’s gas at $2.20 per gallon.  Good deal!  Filled both the MH and Jeep.

We were on the road by 11 o’clock.  Drove straight East on Valencia Road all the way to I-10.  Jumped on I-10 for 16 miles and took the exit for the scenic Sonoita/Patagonia hwy 83. 

Wasn’t long before I was driving higher into the foothills into the plains.  Called for a high of 87 in Tucson and 77 in Sonoita.  Much better.

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Lost all the desert green and now I’m back to brown.  Oh well!  About 16 miles down hwy 83, I turned left at Empire Ranch Road.  I’ll be visiting that ranch soon.  Now Yuma and I are in grassland country.

This is the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

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Yuma and I jumped out and read the sign and maps to find where we wanted to camp.  Yuma didn’t know what to make of all this high grass.

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With the directions Al gave me in yesterday’s comments, I was able to find a camp very quickly.   Didn’t take long before we had camp set up and taking photos.

Those are the Whetstone Mountains directly to our East.

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The Mustang Mountains lie Southeast of here.  Looks like a little smoke on the southern end.

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The snow-capped Santa Rita Mountains to our West.

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I’ll be darned.  Turned back around and the Mustang Mountains are on fire.  It is a long way off, so should not be a problem for Yuma and me.

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There’s where we are camped with the Whetstone Mountains in the background.  Going to be a full Moon coming over those mountains some time this evening, and I mean to catch it.

Looking at Al’s photos of Travel With the Bayfield Bunch back in late February, Yuma and I are in the exact same site they were in. 

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Hey Dad, are these prairie dog holes or gopher holes?  I sure don’t know, Yuma.  Doesn’t look anyone’s home.  Maybe we will meet someone later.

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Yuma wouldn’t go too far ahead before turning around to make sure I was still there.

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Yuma is getting used to the tall grass.   High-stepping right through it now.

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With his coloring, I could hardly see him in the grass.

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Late this afternoon, the Mustang Mountains were clear of smoke, so guess there is no problem.

Getting late back home, so better not wait any longer for the moon.  If I get a good shot, I will put it in tomorrow’s post.

See you later.

17 comments:

  1. Looks like you're between quite a few mountain ranges. Peaceful looking area! Hope you get a beautiful full moon tonight:)

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    1. Thanks Steve. Lots of mountain ranges. Beautiful area.

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  2. What a difference these mountains are from the Saddle Mountains! It's like Prairie land. Do you know what caused the Mustang Mountain fired? Hope it was contained quickly. It's really beautiful there. That Yuma really loves the tall grass. Say hello to the prairie dogs!

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    1. The weather is nicer here. Much different looking than the desert, but still beautiful. It must have been a controlled fire. It was gone pretty fast. Hope to find out what lives in those mounds. Will have to look it up on the Internet.

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  3. I just pulled into Lake Havasu, and spotted a rig and jeep like yours on the hilltop with lake view - but it wasn't you! But now I see you are down in Las Cienegas - where I was about a week ago!

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    1. Hi, Ivan. Thanks for posting a comment. Saw where Al and the Bunch made a safari over to your place last month. This area is beautiful. I think I've hit the right time for some beautiful weather on a remote prairie. I'm going to love it here. So quiet and peaceful.

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  4. With AZ not going to daylight saving time - we are now 3 hours ahead of you. I googled moonrise for your area and it was 6:50 pm your time. Moonset will be 6:45 am - so yes, you may get some great photos. Monday nice moonrise will be about 7:50. You're in a great campsite. Yuma and even your RV are color coordinated with the tall grasses. You look like you are on safari in Africa - watch out for lions. You already saw an elephant and a hippo on your way there. This will be great Fun.

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    1. Yuma is in his element here. Blends right in. You're right about the time change. I'm going to have to get on my posts a little earlier if I want to get them out in a reasonable time in the evening. It is so quiet here. Not a sound except the wind and the birds. Does look like the Serengeti in Africa. I keep expecting to see a pride of lions in the grass.

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  5. PS - especially love the pic of Yuma in the tall grass looking back over his shoulder ! πŸ•πŸŒ΅πŸŒΎπŸŒ

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  6. Glad you were able to find that spot with the panoramic views and cooler temperatures. Nice area with a variety of things to see and do. Watch for Pronghorn Antelope near your campsite.

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    1. Thanks, Al. It is very nice and quiet here. You were right about seclusion. I'm going to like it here. I have seen a few deer or antelope flitting through the trees, but haven't been able to photo one. They are skittish.

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  7. That is a wonderful area I think you will enjoy it there, we saw that smoke from here as well apparently it was a controlled burn.

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    1. It was a little startling to take one picture and then a few minutes turn around and see black smoke billowing from the side of the mountain. Glad it wasn't a wild fire.

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  8. Beautiful area! it was 95 here yesterday and all this next week will be in the 90's. We are trying to ignore turning on the air conditioner! Too expensive this time of year!

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    1. That is hot Cheryl Ann. Hopefully, this heat spell won't last too long. Just got a note from Dolly. They had five inches of snow at home. Can't go home yet.

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  9. I thought that grassy area looked familiar! Looks like a nice spot. I'm looking forward to your pictures of the full moon, my moon shots do not turn out so I didn't catch it last night. I liked the Saturday night pre-full moon better. :)

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    1. Yep. Right on the spot Al, Kelly and Pheebs were on. Think I'll just steal there photos and call it a day! The moon didn't come out till way after dark, so no pretty over the mountain shot last night. That's too bad.

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