Sunday, February 5, 2012

(Strange creatures) Down the road beyond Hope!


After about two weeks spent enjoying the scenery around the Bouse area off Plomosa Road, it was time for a move.

Besides, my two week BLM limit was up – even if no one was checking!  I wanted to head over to Gila Bend and then down to Ajo, but did not fancy having to race along with the traffic on I-10, so I took the road less traveled past Vicksburg, and I was soon beyond Hope, Az!  I met this strange creature not too far out of Salome, on the road of the same name.


I crossed over the I-10, then went through Wintersburg, and took ‘Old US 80’ southward towards Gila Bend.  I wondered what the huge array of massive, shiny buildings were for.  But not for long.  I saw a sign saying ‘egg farm’, about the same time I realized that I was downwind of about a million chickens!  Whew Winking smile

There were no construction delays as advertised at the Gillespie Dam, which was built in 1921, and failed in 1993, according to Wikipedia.  Further down, I thought I was seeing things with the edges of the road white with what looked like snow.  Soon, I realized that I was driving through the cotton fields of (someone’s) home.


It seems that Gila Bend is turning itself into a center for solar farms. The Paloma and Cotton Center power plants are right along the roadside just north of town.


I had a bite to eat in Gila Bend, and was pleasantly surprised when the price of diesel on the sign at Love’s was 10 cents higher than at the pump.  And at the pump, instead of the dreaded zip code request (you’ll get this if you’re Canadian), the pump asked for the last 4 digits on my credit card!  I didn’t have to go inside and prepay!

South of GB, at the mile 18 Border Patrol check, I could see puffs of blue smoke dissipating off to the west, where I assume the bombing range was in operation.


It was dusk by the time we rolled into the suburbs of Ajo, and just south where we found all the requirements of a good boondocking site among the tall Saguaro and Organ Pipe cactus.


No sooner we were set up, when a flight of low-flying A-10’s came over on their way to strafe some imaginary enemies in the desert.


Later that night, the horizon was lit up by some bright flares used on the range.


Lots of bird life here, but the coyotes announced their presence with a chorus at night, so Hailey will have to stick close to home. P1301234


  1. zip code is asked for from even us Texans. it is not just a Canadian situation. I enjoy your style of writing and travel.

  2. The green Sonoran desert is a winner every time. Judging from the aerial shot & the one with the large rock formation in the background I think I know where you are. Am thinking the road you are beside leads to that rock. You probably passed a windmill & old stock pens on your left when you entered that area & then made a right hand turn up a road to your site......