Saturday, January 28, 2012

This is only a blog for testing things. Nothing to see here!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flying, walking, and Jeeping in the desert!

One day just seems to follow right after another here in the desert!  After a while they all start to blend together.  Managed to secure a first class seat in the Bayfield Bunch jeep for a tour around the desert and some of the old mine shafts out back of our camp site here near Bouse.

Al and I reconnoitered some old trails and some new ones while exploring canyons, caves, washes and old mine shafts.


Eventually we returned on a trail leading down to camp from above.


Helicopter’s view while awaiting the launch command.


And, a little higher up …P1261105P1261103P1261111

Far below, a suspicious campsite was observed.P1261101

Swooping in for a closer look revealed these two suspicious characters,with obviously nefarious intentions.  Either that, or it was Al and Wandering Willy working on the satellite dish repair. No missile launches were ordered.P1261118

Next day, it was somewhat overcast and cool, so it was a perfect day to go sheep hunting.  No sheep were found, but a few old sheep beds were discovered among the canyons, caves, and cactus.


A resourceful desert rat has barricaded his burrow with hundreds of sharp cactus thorns.  It looks like he must hop from rock to rock to gain entrance without being impaled on his own handiwork!P1271152P1271153P1271154P1271158

Hailey, ever vigilant for birds, butterflies, and coyotes.  Or, maybe just waiting to see if Pheebs and little Cora are going to come over to play again!


Doing our best to tough it out in the wilderness …

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Arizona bound. (And famous neighbours!)

It was a really enjoyable stay near Borrego Springs.  The weather was superb, no wind, lots of places to hike and explore, and lots of like-minded company out in the desert.

But is was time to move on, so we reluctantly did a tour of the area, bidding farewell to the mostly BC folks we had been sharing campfires and tales with for the past three weeks.  We saddled up and rode down the trail to the ‘water and dump and fuel’ store in Salton City, and then skirted the Mexican border on our way into Yuma.  It was a bit of culture shock, going from nearly deserted desert to a busy RV park just east of Yuma.  But it is an annual visit not to be missed with my cousins who were due to head north shortly.  We made the best of the ‘free’ electricity and ran the vacuum around the rig, and pondered the use of the microwave.  The weather was nice there, so did a couple of flights on the edge of town.


My flights attracted a curious crowd, who wanted to know how that thing worked!


Before you knew it, I had been talked into a few photos of a golfing party at the resort.


While in Yuma, the truck announced that it was time for an oil change, so that was taken care of, as well as some pricing out of windshields and tires for future reference.

After a few days of the ‘RV park life’, it was time to get back out into the desert again.  I had heard rumours of a Wandering Willy guy who might be hiding out near Bouse somewhere, so we approached cautiously, then sent up the craft for some aerial reccon.P1221085

Sure enough, he was spotted trying to hide between a saguaro and a palo verde tree.  So we moved into the neighbourhood and then spent a day or so checking out the deals at the nearby RV show in Quartzsite.  Traffic was a bit of a zoo, but it was sure a lot nicer to be able to camp away from all that where it was quiet.  Bought me a little ‘sticky pad’, used to hold a phone or glasses on the dash of a vehicle.  But it had a foreign origin, where translation services must be a bit lacking!!  Check this out.  Read the whole thing!  Must be an unemployed  English-speaking 5 year old somewhere that they could contract for their translation services?


A couple days of nice weather provided the opportunity to check out the area around camp without leaving home.  Hailey wanted to know if there were any coyotes in the area, and I wanted to check out the hiking/scrambling possibilities close by.


Being security conscious, a regular watch was kept for any visitors that might attempt to penetrate the perimeter of the camp.


Sure enough, the efforts were rewarded when who do we spot approaching, but the (drum roll) world famous – Al & Kelly, and Cora a Pheebs, of the Bayfield Bunch!


Since my ‘readers’ were telling me that they could find out more about my activities by reading other blogs, this has finally forced me to provide an update.  It was great to see them all again, and to meet Pheebs for the first time.  She is every bit as friendly and nice as I had anticipated.  During the introduction process with Hailey, I put her on top of my truck where she could see and be seen without suffering the indignity of any doggy licks, and reduce the chance of any dogs losing a nose to a nasty claw swipe.  All was going well, till little Cora saw the open door of my camper and decided to check for any stray dog treats inside.  In a flash Hailey was off the truck and charged inside to defend her home against the invasion!  I followed and intervened before any fur flew or blood was shed.


So now here I am, camped between the ultimate blogger, the Bayfield Bunch, and the reluctant blogger Wandering Willy, who we are trying to convince to update his blog at least every few months.  He has not updated for 10 months, but who is counting …

Looked out the window this morning, and thought I was still blogging, as there was Al and Pheebs out for a morning stroll.  Kind of like living next to movie stars!  For ‘good’ photos of the area, check out their blog.  We hope they are planning to stay around for a few days or longer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gettin’ Off Road in Borrego

But first, it was time to check out the newest sculptures in the area and ones that I had not previously discovered.  There must be several hundred different sculptures scattered in all directions from the town of Borrego Springs.

Collectively, they are called Galleta Meadow Estates.  It is private land, but you are allowed to camp, hike, and explore the area to your heart’s content.P1120858P1120851P1120848P1120850P1120853P1120854

One of the newest is this 350’ long serpent, that appears to cross under the road you are driving along!  There are a total of five segments making up this massive structure.P1120857P1120855P1120856P1120878

After a good day of hiking and scrambling in the rough off-trail areas, the feet needed a day off, so it was time to go for a cruise and see what else we could find within a few miles of camp.  I started off checking out the Arroyo Salado campsite, just off highway S22.  But the road down the wash kept on going, and going ….


So we did too.  Hailey was likely glad she was not along, as it got a bit rough at times.  There are some incredible formations in this wash.


Eventually this route joins up with the Truckhaven Trail, and the going gets considerably rougher.  There were a few spots where you definitely would not want to meet another vehicle!

Driving the wash