After hanging out on the Bates Well road south of Ajo, Az for a while, I was starting to get bored and running out of new places to explore. I thought perhaps we were headed direct for Tucson, but the little furry navigator had other ideas.
We re-traced our steps (tire tracks?) to Gila Bend, where we supported the McDonald’s corporation and an oil company or two. Then we took the 238 in an easterly direction through the Sonoran Desert National Monument. Maps and Google Earth showed some likely camp spots out there, but closer inspection showed all the roads now closed to motor vehicles – to help protect the rare Pronghorn. Continuing on, and looking for some BLM land that is also out here, we took a road past the dump! Now this is no ordinary dump! It appears to be a massive landfill that must gobble up much or all of the garbage produced by Phoenix and area? Out in the quiet desert past that we came across what appeared to be a deserted airstrip – at least the road access to it and buildings appeared to be deserted. After parking out in the flats beyond it, it became apparent that it was still in use – by aircraft at least, which is appropriate. Later, a closer examination by Google Earth showed that it was a ‘private’ strip operated by Lufthansa – presumably for training their pilots?
Next morning it became evident that some other well known Canadian bloggers had a winter hide-away somewhere in the area. We decided to search them out.
After getting close, the surveillance drone was sent up to reconnoiter the area. A likely location was spotted, or perhaps it was just the smell of some good cooking, but soon we came in for a landing at the winter home of John & Brenda – Dogpound South!
Right away, the welcoming committee surrounded us; Meg, the border collie wanting me to throw her stick, and big Mack, who looks intimidating, but is actually very friendly!
J&B are practically my neighbours back home in Alberta, but until now we had not actually met in person.
It was hard finding a place to park on their tiny(!) lot, but we eventually selected a couple acres to ourselves out in the back forty. Some hook-ups are available, but with the sun shining and full tanks, we didn’t require anything.
A word of caution is in order. If you plan to visit Dogpound South (or likely Dogpound North for that matter), I recommend arriving hungry – because you will certainly not leave that way! Brenda is a great cook, and food is not in short supply. Hailey wanted to meet big Mack, so we arranged a meeting. To protect Mack from a cat attack, we put him safely behind a sturdy fence. I think he felt safe there, but he still quivered a bit when she got close.
I dragged John along on a run into the Fry’s Electronics in nearby Tempe one day, and I think we both enjoyed looking at all the gizmos and gadgets. I found what I needed, and was glad to escape with less than $30. of loot. We also frequented a local watering hole one evening, and met some of my neighbours from the James River back home for the very first time. I drive by their place all the time, but we had never met – till here in Arizona. Outside the Raceway Bar & Grill, I noted a lot of Alberta and BC pickup trucks parked outside, as well as lots of similarly plated horse trailers on the area roads.
After a few days of thoroughly enjoying the company, hospitality, conversation and food with John & Brenda, it was time to move along – before I needed a longer belt!
Where did Hailey and I end up this time? You’ll just have to read the next post to find out.
PS: Thanks to the anonymous commenter who provided the link to the new US FAA rules on drones, etc.