Saturday, March 6, 2021

Move to the Grasslands

 During the night the wind started to pick up and by the time I got up at 8:45, it was blowing hard.  Checked the weather forecast and it was expected to die down around noon.  That's good.  I actually woke at 8 o'clock but laid in bed reading blogs, the news and texting Dolly.  A common occurrence most mornings before getting up.

We had our breakfast and chatted with our young neighbors a bit while the pups played and at 11:30 we were out of there.  It's only a two hour drive south to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

On I-19 merging onto I-10

Hwy 83 heading south

Highway 83 is very hilly with lots of curves as it goes through the Santa Rita Hills, so I had to drive carefully.  That is Mt. Wrightson with the snow still on top of it.  It is west of the grasslands.

Soon we were entering the massive conservation area known to me as the grasslands.


Yuma is getting used to lying on the dash as I drive along.  He's seeing the Whetstone Mountains east of the grasslands.  It wasn't long before we passed the entrance to the Empire Ranch and then crossed over the Empire creek which was completely dry and to our new home.
I quickly unpacked things and let out the slide to get comfortable.  I'm planning to stay here for at least two weeks if all goes well.  There is a lot of room in this area to boondock.  Being a ranch, it is basically a huge feeding ground for cattle.  Here are a few pictures of my surroundings.
Cottonwood Trees lining Empire Creek

The Mustang Mountains to the southeast

The Santa Rita Hills to the north and Mica Mountain behind them.

The Whetstone Mountains to the east

Even though we are in the middle of nowhere, the Verizon reception is 3 bars of 4G which is great.  I was shocked by the large numbers of 4 wheelers here this year.  There are two large groups of weekend warriors here with their toys and their kids having a grand ole time running up and down the dirt roads.  Lots of dust.  I think the Tucson crowd has discovered this place ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Also, it looks very dry here this year.  I noticed that when their was no water in the Empire Creek.  Normally, I run through over a foot of water crossing the road, but not this year.

I'm hoping to have a nice slow paced visit here and prepare for the long journey back home.  One of my regular commenters, Rawn Stone lives over in Green Valley not far from here is wanting to get together and I'm all up for that if we can make it work.  Hoping that Nancy can bring her new rig down to try out a little boondocking too.  So, hopefully I have a busy couple of weeks.

Time for me to rest now.  I've already finished dinner and I'm ready for some dessert and then bed.  Even short moves wear me out.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Leak fixing and Gold Rush

 Woke up at 7:30 this morning and got out of bed at 8 o'clock.  Walked around the roads seeing how to get out of this rough area I'm in.  The roads have large potholes that White Lion doesn't like.  Someone told me this area is known as Snyder Hill BLM Land.  

When we got back, I called lots of RV repair places in town hoping to find someone to fix my leak problem, but everyone is booked for weeks from now, so had to go with the do-it-yourself plan.

Finally fixed my coffee and crackers this morning.  As I was walking around I ran into Neal, owner of Yuma's friend.  He has the same solar set-up I have and he says he always uses his coffeemaker on solar power, so I tried it.  The battery strength remained 100% even with the draw, so guess I won't be using the generator any longer in the morning.

Neal and his wife Jen work on the road.  Their dog, Mattie I believe, is only a year old and is already bigger than Yuma.  They love playing and running around together.

After a shortened breakfast, Yuma and I made a run back into town to the Walmart.  I forgot whipping topping which is a must and I wanted to return the epoxy glue I bought yesterday.  Nancy, Kissack Adventures texted me to let me know they had Flex Seal at ACE Hardware, so I stopped by there and bought some.

Slapped that stuff on the black tank valve and let it set for the rest of the day.  Yuma is giving me moral support๐Ÿ˜Š 

I went over to Neal's place and he was busy at work on his computer and his wife of four months was on the roof of their MH putting on a coat of rubber while getting a tan.  It is in the 80s and quite warm up there.  They've completely redone their 1993 MH over the years.

I asked him if he would stop by and help me get the White Lion turned around to make it easier to get out of here in the morning.  These roads are in terrible condition so going back the way I came is my best option and it is full of potholes.

Put my Dish out a 5:15 and I could not believe it worked first time around๐Ÿ˜€  Will wonders never cease!  Watching Gold Rush as the sun is setting.

Snyder Hill

I said I would only be here one day, but I just didn't feel like rushing everything I had to do today.  Getting too old to rush around anymore.  I get flustered easily.

Tomorrow is another move day but not very far.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

BLM Land - Tucson, Arizona

 When I woke up at 7 o'clock this morning I knew it was going to be one busy day.  Today is move day.  Yesterday afternoon and most of the night was very windy.  20+ mph windy!๐Ÿ˜œ  Didn't get any packing done on the outside of the White Lion.

This morning I was up at 8 o'clock packing and getting everything ready to head out as soon as possible.  No coffee and no breakfast for either of us.๐Ÿ˜ข  It was slow going but by 9:45 we were heading into Belly Acres to dump and take on water.

I'm going to leave the tanks dry until I put some sealant on the cracked valve.  Sure hope it works.  We were on our way out of Ajo at 11 o'clock heading towards Tucson on hwy 86 through Tohono O'Odham Nation Reservation.

It's a long fairly straight highway that will take me to Tucson.  Could have taken the Interstate, but this road has much prettier views.
At noon, we stopped at a pull-off and relaxed and had lunch since we missed our leisurely breakfast.  We are behind schedule for making it to our final destination before nightfall, so I had a back-up plan just for that situation.  After lunch, Yuma and I took a little walk around the area.  Very similar to the Ajo area here.



At 1 o'clock we were back on the road.  Yuma is getting braver.  He will lie on the dash and help me navigate now.
You can see the Quinlan Mountains behind Yuma and that is where the Kitt Peak National Observatory is located.
It wasn't long after passing this mountain that we were starting to see the outskirts of Tucson.   I had researched and found there is BLM land on the western outskirts of Tucson and that's where we're headed.  It is located just off hwy 86 just to the left.

Pulled into the first empty site and quickly disconnected the Jeep so I could go to Walmart.  While I was doing that Yuma found a friend and was having a great time running around.  It's 2:30 now and I left Yuma in the White Lion and headed the 20 minutes to Walmart.  I was low on everything so I knew it was going to take awhile.  Took me 2 hours to do my shopping and fill the Jeep with gas.  

Took a few pictures of the White Lion and soon it will be dark and time to do my post and eat dinner.



As I was finishing my post, I saw red outside and grabbed my camera to take a look.   Very red sunset.
Time to post this thing and get Yuma and me some dinner.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Locomotive Rock

 Woke up early for some reason this morning.  Awake at 8 o'clock and out of bed by 8:30.  They're calling for wind later on, but now it is just another perfect day.  In fact, the breeze is keeping it cooler so I can lounge in the Sun๐Ÿ˜€

While drinking coffee and eating crackers, Yuma saw three Ravens lazily drifting low in the sky and off he went.  It was funny to watch because the Ravens toyed with him.  They would hover over him and then swoop down just to aggravate him.  Finally they got bored and drifted elsewhere.

Dolly texted and said they were having bacon and eggs at their place, so I decided that's what we would have.

Around noon, Yuma and I headed out looking for that elusive crested saguaro, but it remained hidden away.  This may be it..๐Ÿ˜

This was Larry's first trip to the southwest so maybe he thought this was one..
I could still feel the affects of yesterday's hike so didn't wander far from where he indicated it was.  This area is rugged.  Poor Yuma is pulling something from his paw.
Guess it will remain elusive.  We were back home by 1 o'clock and the wind was beginning to really blow.  So much so, we stayed inside and just rested for several hours.

At 4:30 Yuma wanted one more run in the Jeep so I decided we would head a few miles over to Locomotive Rock and climb around.  Unfortunately, it is late in the day and I was on the shady side of the rock which doesn't make for the best pictures.

Drove down a dirt road in hopes of getting close, but this road didn't do that, so went looking for another.  Finally found the right road that led much closer.

One last picture of Black Mountain, I promise.  Parked the Jeep and headed towards the base of the rocks.
Look closely in the lower center and you will see Yuma.  Gives you an idea of how large the rocks are.
Looking back to the East towards the entrance to Darby Well Road.  My Jeep is down there if you double click to enlarge the picture.
The wind is still blowing like crazy but the temperatures are comfortable.   Clouds are building up in the West and time for us to find our way out of here and back home for the night.
It was 5:30 when we made it home and time for a couple of hotdogs and chips for dinner with a Zero Coke to top it off.  Can't mess up hotdogs๐Ÿ˜„  The wind is still blowing hard outside tonight and it is cloudy but no rain is in the forecast.  Going to watch a little TV and call it a night.  Got lots to do tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Elusive Crested Saguaro

 Woke up at 8:30 and opened the door to another warm sunshiny morning.  Calling for a high of 75.  I sat outside in the shade of the awning happy that I had nothing planned for the day.  Just relaxing in the shade.  Temperature a perfect 61 degrees with just a slight breeze.  Still in my PJs.

Wonder what I'm looking at?
Black Mountain to the southeast.
Around 11:30 Yuma started barking as a man approached our site.  Didn't have glasses on so couldn't see him clearly, but he had a dark beard, shorts and a knapsack on his back.  He petted Yuma and then said that he had seen me and Yuma at the laundromat yesterday.  Then I remembered he was the one that owned the sock I found on the floor.

His name is Larry and he was staying on the slab down by the tower which was probably 3 miles from here.  Said he was just hiking for exercise.  He mentioned that about a mile back he came across a crested saguaro and showed me a picture of it and the approximate location.  Now I have somewhere to hike today.

Thinking it wasn't too far, I decided to walk from camp to the location.  After about a mile hiking down Darby Well Road I was becoming overheated by the noonday sun and decided to head back and take the Jeep.

It is hot and my feet are killing me!๐Ÿ˜ฉ

As I was resting after walking over 7500 steps, in the lounge chair drinking water and resting my weary feet, Larry came back heading for home.  So, I double checked with him of the location and felt confident I would find the prize and show it to you tonight.

Around 2 o'clock, Yuma and I Jeeped up the road to where Larry said to veer off to the north along the fence surrounding the Ajo Pit property.  The going was rugged.  Started out near an abandoned site with a firepit and headed along the fence towards the boulders.

Yuma says lets go up there and look around.

Nothing around here Dad!
It's after 3 o'clock and I'm beat.  My feet are killing me so we reluctantly retraced our steps looking carefully, but nada.  No crested saguaro anywhere.  Got back home and I immediately took two Tylenol and soaked my weary feet in cold water.  Over 12,500 steps for nothing and here I thought I was going to have a nice do nothing day.

Fixed a nice sirloin steak for dinner and then started with my post.  Dark now at a little after 7 o'clock but still have the windows open enjoying this nice 68 degree evening with not even a whisper of sound outside.

I'm going to rest tonight and then after breakfast tomorrow I will try one more time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Laundry Day

 Had the best sleep last night than I've had in awhile.  Had to get up at 5:30 to change the pan, but other than that I slept.  It was 37 degrees out but with no wind it wasn't bad.  It was after 9 o'clock when I finally got up and it was already 50 degrees out and just beautiful with hardly a breeze.

Yuma and I took our normal walk around the area.  He sure loves to run.

Looking south towards the mountains in Mexico off in the distance.
We then had our breakfast and laid outside for awhile in the beautiful morning sunshine.  I'm going to have skin cancer before I turn 50 if I keep doing this ๐Ÿ˜.  Still haven't decided where to go yet, so I'll just stay here for a little longer.

Dolly called just as I was finishing breakfast and we talked for a long time.  I felt so much better after her call knowing that she and Fergie was doing fine.   It was good to hear her voice.  I'm getting homesick but still not much Spring back home yet.

Today is laundry day.  My laundry bag is full and dirty clothes are laying on the bathroom floor.  Past time, but it isn't one of my favorite chores.

The good thing about Ajo is it has a beautiful and uncrowded laundromat.  Same as last time when I did laundry in Borrego Springs a couple months ago.  Yuma and I piled everything in the Jeep and headed into town around 3 o'clock.


Nice and clean.  I think I just saw Patsy leaving in Ptootie.  Lots of washers and dryers, but unfortunately they have a lot of broken ones.

Bet they are full of some good Mexican food.

It was after 4 o'clock when we were done and had all the laundry folded and in the bag.  As I was leaving town, I stopped to catch a few more beautiful wall murals.








Got home around 5 o'clock and time to make some dinner.  Had left over chicken nuggets and I must say they were a little dry the second time around.  Oh well, the beans and potatoes were good.  
Bright sunset without a cloud in the sky.
Got to get this post published so I can have dessert and go to bed.  It's already 8 o'clock.  Thanks for stopping by.