Gettin’ er Done!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This morning, when I awoke I was determined to get things done today.  Fed and walked Yuma around the area.  I was afraid Yuma was going to jump right in the canal after the ducks, but he thought better of it.

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As I sat reading my blogs and drinking coffee I decided to call an RV repair shop and see if I could get my furnace looked at.  This was about 9 o’clock and I hadn’t had my breakfast yet. 

Ever since I have owned this rig, the furnace has not been dependable.  It will work one day and then not work the next.  Lately, it has been mostly the latter.

I looked up RV furnace repair on Google and found Al’s RV Service and Supply.  I figured anyone named Al should be an honest man.  Luckily, they were located on Fortuna Road near the I-8 exit, the same one I came in on last night, so I knew where it was.

When I called Al, he told me he didn’t do repairs anymore; just parts, but he knew the man I should call that used to work for him.  He gave me the phone number for Vic’s Mobile RV Repair and I gave him a call.

I never expected to get such fast service, but he said he could meet me at Al’s shop in 45 minutes and I said I would be there.  No breakfast; just closed up the MH and high-tailed it down to Al’s place.

Vic was already there and waiting when I arrived. 

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Introduced himself and got right to work.  In no time at all he diagnosed my problem and made an adjustment on the propane igniter and the furnace was working. 

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However, he said the igniter was weak and should be replaced,  The part is $15 and he would put it in for the $80 diagnostic and labor price he had had already quoted, so I said, “Let’s do it.”  He checked at Al’s Parts but he would have to order and should be in tomorrow. 

Asked him where the nearest Walmart was and then headed down there to order some medication I need.  The lady at the pharmacy counter said they would be ready around noon tomorrow.  That was just fine.  I need to wait for my part anyway.

So, both of the objectives I wanted to accomplish today are done and it wasn’t even noon.  Now I can eat my breakfast and then Yuma and I have the rest of the day to lazy around the Walmart parking lot and get some needed rest.  Later tonight I will do my shopping and we should be ready for weeks of boondocking once more.

Just east of us is a large sandy lot just perfect for Yuma and me to walk around in and not get in the way of any vehicles.

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Tomorrow they are calling for somewhat cooler temps and possibly rain showers.  Glad I got things done today while the weather is just beautiful.  I can try out my furnace in the morning to get the chill out.

Late in the day while walking Yuma in the desert lot to the east, these two propelled gliders flew overhead.  Certainly a beautiful day for it.

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My home at the Walmart parking lot.

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See you later.

Moving on West

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Didn’t sleep well last night.  I was so tired after finishing my blog, I went straight to bed without eating anything.  All I had was two bowls of cereal all day and I had lots of exercise.  My stomach kept growling but I ignored it.

Got out of bed this morning at 7 a.m. and made two scrambled eggs and two pieces of bacon and milk.  After finishing that, I had OJ, half a grapefruit and a nutrition bar.

Took Yuma for a last walk and I could tell it was going to be a sunny and warm day.  Just beautiful for my last day here.

Then I felt better and started cleaning and packing in hopes that my medication was sitting at the post office waiting for me to pick it up, so I could be on my way.  I’ve stayed 14 days at one camp.  That’s the limit and it is also, the longest I have ever stayed at one camp.

Still had packing to go, but at 9:30, it was time to check the mail.  Yuma and I jumped in the Jeep and sped into town. 

Running down Darby Well Road with the pit pile running along side us.

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When I stop at the stop sign for hwy 85, I see the Ajo Mountain Range straight east.

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This is the view as I head the three miles on hwy 85 north into Ajo.

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Ajo is an artsy town, in case you didn’t know.

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No one was at the counter, so I rang the little bell

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and a lady came to the counter.  Told her I was looking for a General Delivery.  She told me they were still sorting the mail from the long weekend and to come back in an hour.

Sooo, we headed back to camp and finished more packing.  At around 11 o’clock, we jumped back in the Jeep and sped off to town again.  This time there was a different lady at the counter, and I told her I was expecting a General Delivery package and gave her my name.  She went in the back room and rummaged through a stack of mail and came back with my package.

The deed is done and I am now ready to split Ajo for bigger places. 

As I was leaving the Ajo Plaza area, I saw this alley with a bunch of murals, so I had to stop and grab some photos.  Here are murals in the Artists Alley.

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Enough murals already!

Oh, no!  Not one more!

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Yuma and I went back to camp and finished packing and hooked up the Jeep and we were off around 12:30 p.m. back into Ajo to dump tanks and take on fresh water. 

Last look at Black Mountain as we leave.  I’m going to miss this place.

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The propane tank was still 3/4 full.  Still had plenty of water and the tanks were still in the green zone, but the job needed to be done.  Took us one hour to get the job done and put 20 pounds of air in the one tire that seems to have a problem.  May have to look into it if I lose another 20 pounds in the next two weeks.

So, at 1:30, we were heading north on hwy 85 out of Ajo and into the Barry M Goldwater Air Force Range.  It is a large bombing range between here and Yuma.

One last Border Patrol check point to make sure I don’t have any drugs or aliens on board.  The young man at the check point kept me there for about five minutes gabbing about his dogs and cats and was just being so friendly. 

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Then I happened to look in my rear view mirror and I saw why.  There were border patrol men with dogs walking all around the back of the MH sniffing for contraband. 

Luckily, they didn’t find anything suspicious and soon the nice young gabby guy asked if Yuma and I were American citizens.  I said “yes” and he said we could go.  I guess I shouldn’t have been wearing my cowboy hat with the grubby beard.  I knew I looked like the suspicious type.

I have been looking at the weather forecast for the next week and debating whether to go north to Quartzsite or west to Yuma.  It is going to be on average 5 degrees warmer in Yuma, so Yuma it is. 

My tentative plan is to stay on the northeast side of Yuma near Mittry Lake and just drive the 60 miles up to Quartzsite for the Bloggerfest and any other activities I’m interested in.  Haven’t put that in concrete yet.

When we arrived in Gila Bend, forty miles up hwy 85, we turned West on I-8 with a destination of the Mittry Lake on the Northeast side of Yuma.

I-8 is  wonderful highway and we made good time.  Saw lots of trains.

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Arrived in Yuma right at the 5 o’clock rush hour.  Stopped at the Fortuna Road exit and filled the MH.  Glad to see gas at $2.20 a gallon, because  I put in $77 worth.  Had about an eighth of a tank left.

Arrived at our camp at 5:30 just as the sun was setting. 

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I didn’t drive into  Mittry Lake road, because from past experience, I know it is very wash-board and I’m not up for it.  Plus, there may be no camps along the lake and there aren’t many places to turn around towing a Jeep.

So, I am staying just west of the Senator Wash road just across the road from the Water Works headquarters.  There is a big lot alongside the water canal that they allow RVs to stay free.  Tomorrow morning, I will evaluate things and make a final decision as to where I will camp for the next several weeks.

See you later.

Charlie Bell Pass Trail

Monday, January 16, 2017

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Woke up this morning to a beautiful sunshiny day and warm temperatures.  It felt great after the blah day we had yesterday.

After our walk this morning, I sat at the table drinking coffee and reading blogs till Yuma couldn’t stand it anymore.  He kept looking around and wanting to go someplace outside.

So, I ate some cereal real quick and we jumped in the Jeep and headed for the Charlie Bell Pass Trail.  It is one of the trails advertised in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge brochures.  What a beautiful morning for a drive.

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Reading the brochure, the trail left Ajo and quickly turned into a Jeep road. 

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This horrible road went on for over 17 miles.  It was the absolute worst road I have driven in my four years of traveling the Southwest.  The last two miles was like driving in a creek bed full of stones.  I could go no more than three miles an hour.

We left at 11:30 this morning and didn’t get back to camp till 6:00, just in time to take a shot of the setting sun.  I was afraid I was going to get caught driving this horrible road after dark.

At five miles, I reached the entrance to the Refuge and signed in at the kiosk.

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Another warning sign to be aware of our surroundings.

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In all fairness, the scenery was just gorgeous and it was a great day for a drive.

This looking back toward Ajo and the Ajo Mountains.

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At eight miles in, I came upon the windmill at the Little Tule Well.

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There were thousands of Saguaro Cactus as we dropped to the desert floor.

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The pass through the Growler Mountains is over to the left.  That is where we are headed.

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Looked for pronghorn sheep, but never saw any.  Like to see someone drive faster than 15.   Tear your vehicle apart.

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The Growler Mountains.  You’ll notice there are fewer Saguaro Cactus on the desert floor.  They only grow at certain altitudes.

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Some tight spots.

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Going into the pass now.

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We have reached the end of the line.  It’s walking from here.  Beautiful pass through the Growler Mountains.

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Looking back on the 17.3 miles of desert floor and the Ajo Mountains that we just drove.  On the left is Tillotson Peak where we drove up in a caravan and took pictures Saturday evening.

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They are kind enough to place a tower here with a phone to call for help.  Also, there are about six gallon jugs of water at the base if needed.

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I thought there was going to be an old abandoned homestead at the end, but I found nothing.  When the road ended at a parking area, there was nothing to tell me where to go, so Yuma and I continued to walk the pass trail for about two miles.  Only Administrative vehicles are allowed.

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After two miles of walking on an even worse road, Yuma and I came onto a pump with a water trough. Yuma wouldn’t drink from it. 

That was it.  No homestead!  No nothing! 

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I am one tired puppy traipsing back up the mountain pass trying not break an ankle and die right here.  I never thought I would make it back up the mountain side to the Jeep.

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Yuma, says “Hurry up Daddy!  We’re almost to the top.”

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The worst thing is, after getting back to the Jeep, dead tired, I knew I had to drive that 17.3 miles of horrible road again, starting with this two miles of river rock road.

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I guess I either missed the exciting stuff of there was no exciting stuff.  Before anyone takes this trail, be sure to learn more about what is out here and where it is, because I sure never found it.

Back at camp just in time for the sunset.  What a day! 

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Hope you enjoyed reading of my adventure.  I know it is a little long with lots of photos, but I wanted you to feel my agony too.

See you later.