"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lots of Hiking in Apache Junction

Apache Junction, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park

Ahhh...  a nice week to unwind after all the fun at Quartzsite.  You really can't beat this campground.  A gorgeous site right at the base of the Superstition Mountains. One of our all-time favorites.

The weather was just perfect too.  Well the first day was crazy windy, but the temperature was in the mid 70's all week.  The campsites here are $30 for W/E or $20 for no hookups.  Unfortunately we wouldn't be able to hike Flat Iron, but we did a couple hikes up around the base.
 Campsite #106.
No sooner had we set up we were off for a quick hello to Curt and Glenda who stay in Canyon Vista at Gold Canyon.  Very nice, newer park with lots of amenities.  We had a short visit then we were off for dinner at Jeff and Shelly's who live about 10 minutes away. Jeff is quite the chef! They used to live near us in Placerville but now live in Gold Canyon.
We had a wonderful sliced steak coated with Blue Cheese, Planked Steelhead Salmon with an Orange Ginger (correct me if I'm wrong Shelly), root vegetables, potatoes and some nice wine to go with it.
Jeff & Shelly
After a wonderful meal we finished our wine in the hot tub.  A great relaxing evening!  Thank you once again for such a great time! 
The next night we had more time to spend with Curt and Glenda.  Four Peaks Brewery had some great beer, according to Steve and Curt.  We had a nice early dinner.

 Loved the full moon rising up over the mountains behind us.
I did get a hike in with Shelly at the Peralta Trailhead.  We chose to hike #235 Bluff Springs Trail.
Right off the bat you end up hiking up a section called "Cardiac Hill".  Pretty steep.  You have to be careful when you get to the intersecting Bark's Canyon as some people get lost at the part.
Shelly and Jesse.  Jesse had a blast hiking with us.

Looking back toward the trailhead parking.

I just love all the stacked rocks and views of the valleys below.

"Snail Rock"

 Weaver's Needle can be seen peeking over.
A close up of Weaver's Needle.

It was a great day hike. Thanks for the fun Shelly!

On the last day here we had some more Curt and Glenda time and they took us to do the Massacre Grounds hike off First Water.  It's a 5.3 mile hike.  Their is a waterfall at the end.
In 1848 Mexican miners of the Peralta family were taking gold from the area when Apaches pinned them down against a black rock wall and the miners died there.  The  place came to be known as Massacre Grounds. The Dutchman Jacob Waltz allegedly came upon their goldmine but took its location to his grave. 
 Curt and Steve showing off their compass tattoos.
It was another nice day.  Here we go.
A headless saguaro.  We were going to hide a geocache out here but it's in wilderness area and not allowed.
The guys exploring one of several caves/mines in the area.
I don't know what the name of this formation is but it made a beautiful backdrop for the hike.  It was a fairly easy hike with some steeper parts.  You also had to be careful for the slick spots.  I think all of us slid a few times but luckily no falls.
 We didn't quite make it to the end as the sun was starting to go down, so we headed back. This is 4 hikes in a row for me and it felt great to get in so many nice hikes.  We'll be lucky if we get one or two in once we get to Surprise as we'll be busy with family arrangements.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Quartzsite in January

Quartzsite, Arizona
La Posa South

From the quiet and seclusion of King Rd we drove up to Quartzsite.  We look forward to this time each year as many of us will pass through here at some point January through March. Some come in October and stay for months and others just a week.  We're bound to end up criss-crossing friends that we haven't seen for some time.
Steve, escorting us to our site.
If you haven't been here it's a crazy park-where-you-want kind of place.  There are some "roads" but if you had to give someone directions to where you are parked, they'd probably never find you!  When we arrived we called Steve and Dianne.  They graciously stuck around to be our Welcoming Committee.
We all park in the same area, but spread out.  Our rig on the left, Steve & Dianne on the right.
Home at La Posa South LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) for the rest of January. We pay $40 for 2 weeks.  But you can also pay $180 and stay for 6 months. There are fresh and black water fill and dump stations and garbage bins in a central area. We did get affected a bit with the government shutdown as it meant that there would be no water, dump or garbage service.  We topped off our water so it wasn't a problem for us.  Thankfully it didn't last long.
Thanks to Jim for his drone shot of our group.
After we got set up there was a Happy Hour waiting for us.  Steve & Dianne and some of their Canadian friends were here.  Vicki and Harry, Jim & Barb and Red & Pam would be joining us over the next several days.
Our Walmart shopping is done in nearby Parker.  It seems that there is a very large Volkswagen event that goes on nearby as Parker is overrun by them.  Old, new, vintage and some very strange ones like the combo van/car above.
We geocached and hiked between Blythe and Parker and had a great time on a nice sunny day.
One hike took us up to some towers on a set of hills.  It was hot and steep but we found the cache and enjoyed the views of the Colorado below.

And here is the marker at the top.
When we were in this area a couple of years ago we came upon this tree (below) and thought it would be a great place to hide a geocache.  So if you cache, look for GC7H7G6 called Tit for Tat. Look at the tree below and you may get it. The tree was full of certain clothing undergarments.  This tree is just out in the desert with no rhyme or reason for the decorations. 

Along this stretch of 95N (of I-10) are many side roads that lead to the Colorado River.  There are homes and private clubs here with interesting road names and decorations to go with it. 

This is an "alien" that we were looking for that had a cache hidden nearby.
A short hike through the desert brought us to a very old moving truck that had crashed for whatever reason and you can still see broken dishware, bedframes and other items that were just left there in the wreckage.

Vicki and Harry and Jim and Barb have now joined us so we have another get together around the campfire.
Another beautiful Arizona sunset!
Pam and Red have come up with a tasty little drink that they call Little Beers.  It's  made with "43" which is a Spanish liqueur made from citrus, fruit juices, vanilla and other aromatic herbs and spices, for a total 43 different ingredients.  It is poured in a shot glass and topped off with heavy whipping cream, making it look like a beer.
One for everyone.  They are yummy. These are shot sized red cups not the large ones!
Me, Dianne, Steve, Steve, Harry & Vickie.
Of course one day we had to drive to the Desert Bar!  It's a annual thing. It's a rough dirt road in that takes around a 1/2 hour or maybe 10 minutes if you have a quad.  It's a pretty drive through some rugged country.
They've added another patio tier which is where we end up sitting.  They have great burgers here.  It is an amazing place that is open October through April and is made from all the old materials from the mine that used to be here. AND, it's run completely on solar!  Very impressive given the size. If you zoom in you can see that the guy in the white shirt in the middle has 3 legs!  Ha ha, it's an effect of the panoramic shot!

Looks like they're planning on yet more expansion. 

Live music on the stage with folks dancing in front.
I don't normally take pictures in bathrooms, but the women's bathroom here is quite unique.  Again all the doors and walls are made out of old steel (?) from the mine and are very heavy.
It's also an open air bathroom.  The toilets back up against the rock wall, but the sinks are open around the other 3 sides.  It's built on a hillside so you cannot see into it, just out from the sinks.
What a view for a bathroom, right?  That little shed to the left (upper photo) is the original bar.

This is an old structure south of Quartzite that we came across while geocaching.  Don't know what it was, but we really like the colorful rocks that were used to build it.

See the pretty green rock and the pink heart shaped rock?
All those white specks are RV's parked in a small part of the desert.
Cute little rock art out in the desert.  This little fellow had a tin can tail. 
When Pam and Red arrived she had wanted to make what she called a Hobo Soup.  We all brought a canned or fresh item/veggie and it was added to a huge pot.  It also had venison too. It turned out great!

Some of the old dogs (above) and some more (ha ha) below.
Red, Jim and Steve.

Pam, the Soup Master.
Donna and Allen.

That's for sure!
Faye and Dave also showed up for a few days so Faye, Pam and I hiked up to the top of the Q mountain and looked all over for the geocache that was supposed to be at the top.  We looked all over but couldn't find it.  Below is the marker though, quite worn.

Faye and Pam
If you can zoom in you can see that all those white things are RVs.
Windy at the top!
It was a great time in Quartzsite as usual.  We really enjoy seeing our RV friends and having some great times around the fire and visiting.  On our final night Steve and Dianne hosted a little get together.  It started out innocently enough.

Barb and Jim.
The group dwindled down to just a few of us and then it happened... someone brought out a favorite liqueur, then someone else brought out something to try, then before you know it, it was a smorgasbord of booze.  And then the shenanigans started.  Most of us just had a sip or two.  Well, as they say, what happens in Q, stays in Q.  Or you could jump over to Jim's blog for a funny story about the Barb Incident. (sorry Barb!)
 Here, try this!
Daisy snuggling with Jim.
 All's well that ends well!  Looking forward to recovery time in Apache Junction next!