Thursday, December 16, 2010

Desert Bighorns

Still BLM camped near Bouse, easing into this lifestyle.

The weather has been very nice, and not that cool at night.

We took a drive to Quartzsite as I had not been on this end of the Plomosa road before.  I have camped on the far end of it quite a few times, but after about 3 miles on that end, there is a sign saying ‘no camping beyond this point’.  As a result, most of the campers are somewhat concentrated in the first few miles.  It is not exactly crowded till after Christmas, but you cannot get far from the road and the noise can be a bit of a pain.  There is no sign at the Bouse end saying when camping is no longer permitted, but it seems to be as you are passing through the Plomosa mountain range.  We also checked out a gravel shortcut leading into Quartzsite on the Sunkist road, but it was nothing special, and a bit rough in spots and dusty.  When we arrived in Quartzsite though, we ran right into a very fancy R/C (radio controlled) airport, courtesy of a local club.  While I can fly my r/c helicopter almost anywhere, this is a very busy club and a good place to learn to fly the fixed wings.CIMG2864

They even have a long paved runway, and a carpet covered landing zone for the gliders without wheels.CIMG2865CIMG2868CIMG2869CIMG2870

The big shows are not yet going in Quartzsite, but lots of businesses are already starting to gear up for the big events.  I picked up another LED replacement bulb for the interior lights as they use just a fraction of the power of the standard bulbs.  I didn’t like the idea of paying $20 to order a remote on/off switch for my new power inverter, so I found some parts to make my own.  There is all kinds of ‘junk’ for sale here.  Sure enough, I found a remote control for an ancient VCR. (remember what a vcr was?)  It was so old that it had wires leading from the controller!  I invested a dollar for it(Can $1.02, though I hear we are doing away with pennies in Canada soon!).  Sure enough, when I spliced it into the system, the vcr on/off button also works for my inverter.  I wonder if the FF or REW buttons would get me more power, or negative power?

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I currently have the inverter sitting on it’s side in a small cupboard under the bathroom sink, but now I have the option of moving it to the basement, or an otherwise inaccessible location.  So now I am able to fire up my satellite internet, or perhaps a coffee maker before I even get out of bed on one of those cold mornings! 

You can’t see the mouse trap in that cupboard, but you will be glad to know that none of my traps or the furry mouse getter have detected any more trespassers since that one incident in Havasu.

A ‘real’ jet aircraft on display in Quartzsite.

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I was getting pretty warm walking around Quartzsite, and I thought it was just me, not yet acclimatized, but even some of the locals characterized it as ‘hot’!

The next day, I explored some of the valleys on the eastern side of the Plomosa mountains, looking for old mines or other points of interest.  There were a lot of quads out exploring the area, too, but all of them I saw were staying on trails and driving decently.  Once they had all cleared the area though, I was pleased to see a Desert Bighorn sheep emerge, and I spent a half hour watching him browse the scattered trees.  Eventually, he disappeared beyond the next ridge, and he never did spot me.  He was much too far away for my camera to record the sighting.

We did spot a couple of mine shafts to check out on another day.  On the way back we stopped so Hailey could get out for a stretch.

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It was a perfect evening for a campfire.CIMG2887CIMG2890

There were no coyotes around at the time, but I did have another unknown wildlife visitor walk by the edge of the firelight.  It was about the size of a large house cat, with a tail about 3/4 the length of the body.  When I moved it did not bolt like I think a coyote may have done, but it still moved away before I could scramble the camera.  Checking the internet, I think it might have been either a ring-tailed cat, or a coatimundi, neither of which I have seen before in the wild.  Ideas?

It had been overcast all day, and some time during the night it started to rain rather continuously, which was a nice change, and I’m sure much appreciated by the local wildlife and vegetation.  I captured three pails of water from my rain gutters before it abated.  I think my little ‘weather cat’ may have reacted to the weather change as she was literally bouncing off the walls and ceiling well before I got up this morning.  Either that of she found my stash of PCP. (just kidding, eh!) 

Here she is about to conduct yet another ambush – from an open cupboard, directly above my pillow!

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3 comments:

  1. I remember seeing that model plane airfield last year when we were at Celia's Rainbow Garden next door. Those 2 big planes are F4 Phantoms. Odel from http://laurieandodel.blogspot.com/ flew them in Vietman. Could have been a desert fox you saw. I caught a glimpse of one in Borrego Springs one night. There are some nice boondocking sites south of Quartzsite in the Kofa Mountains too. Just type Kofa Mts in our site's search bar. Nice pics of Hailey.

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  2. One of the things on my to do list is to learn RC flying. Sounds like you are having a good time in the desert.

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