It was just warm enough in Buenos Aires to hang up my hammock from a tree and watch the Border Patrol go back and forth in their trucks, quads, and horses. And often, their ‘eye in the sky’ was somewhere overhead, leading them to their next targets. In case you have just joined the blog, this is not the BA in Argentina, it is the national wildlife refuge in southern Arizona between Sasabe and Arivaca.
This close to the Mexican border, I had expected more warmth, but it was not to be. Now there was even a winter storm warning on the horizon! While I have put up with a lot worse living up north for decades, it is not something you expect or look forward to when your main goal is to seek sunshine and warmth. I guess I will have to give Baja some more consideration for next year unless they get the weather better organized here. Bring on the global warming. At least in the winter.
So, after a few days of ‘Border Wars’, Hailey and I packed our stuff and headed out to explore some new territory.
Warning sign posted at the Arivaca dump.
Neither of us had been to Nogales or Patagonia before, so after navigating through ‘rush hour’ traffic in Arivaca (!) we hit I-19 and headed on south. I-19 is different than most US interstates, as you can see in the photo.
It made me, and presumably any Mexicans, feel right at home. After feed and water in Nogales, and narrowly avoiding the border, we turned back north again on the very scenic drive up through Patagonia. I hadn’t checked out the available boondocking in that area, and didn’t see any perfect spots from the highway, so kept on rolling up through to Sonoita, where I knew there were some great looking spots. Turns out, there are likely good spots SE of Patagonia among some ghost towns, and also at Patagonia Lake state park. Next time we’ll stop closer to Patagonia.
Two years ago when in the area, I had noted some good looking camp spots in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area managed by the BLM, as I traveled past. It can be accessed from either highway 82 or 83, though I chose the south access. The road is good, but very rough with rocks imbedded in the road surface. Camping is permitted in designated locations only, so I chose the first one I came to, which was at the Road Canyon junction.
Once there, we settled in to wait out the storm. It was ugly – for a day in southern Arizona; and a nice day for a picnic in Alberta!
Not wanting to show off too much, we stayed mostly indoors till the sun returned and quickly melted all the white stuff.