"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

Monday, January 27, 2020

Back in The Superstitions - A Hike & A Paddle

Apache Junction, Arizona
Lost Dutchman State Park

The last few days of our stay was filled with a new hike and some kayaking on the lake.  The campsites here are large, clean and have the best views of the Superstitions.
We can't get enough of this view.
Sunsets are plenty.

The sunrises are pretty spectacular too.

We were up early and met up with Jeff and Shelly to do one of the hikes off  First Water that we hadn't done yet.  Hackberry Springs is a moderate hike just over 8 miles.
Shelly, Me, Steve & Jeff.
We all used to live in Placerville and our kids went to school together.  They've lived in Gold Canyon for a few years and are now moving to Switzerland so we are happy to see them one last time.

There was plenty of water in the creek.  The horses were enjoying their hike too.
We all made it across without anyone slipping and getting wet.

Hackberry Spring

So many Sagruaros out here.

Weaver's Needle in the background.

After our hike we cleaned up back at camp and then headed out for some great Mexican food.  First we stopped by to see a friend of Shelly's kids, Courtni.  Also known as The Flipping Nomad.  I have heard and seen some of the RV renovations she has done in the past.  She currently had her rig at a nearby RV dealer for an Open House so we visited.
She was given the trailer by Montana and they let her go, designing it any way she wanted.  It was amazing to see what you can do.  She does live in this year round.
The elevated living room.
The kitchen as seen from the living room.

Missing a real bathtub in your rig?  Not here!
Bold wallpaper in the bedroom.
The outside has some pretty creative storage additions.  The slide out in the front had a huge Margarita Maker, beer on tap and outside TV.

The HUGE slide out in the rear basement had a Traeger Smoker, BBQ, outdoor kitchen and more!

She was also given the use of this new truck too.  Nice.

One last day of paddling on Canyon Lake.  John and Tina had never been so we took them.  We took them to where First Water Creek enters the lake.  It's short but the steep canyon walls are really pretty and its very peaceful back here.  Next time we will paddle the larger La Barge Creek Inlet.

After our paddle we drove to Tortilla Flats for a visit and to see if any of the road going past was open yet.  It wasn't and probably won't be for years.  Tortilla Flat is a cute little town and a great place to stop for a meal, drinks and entertainment.
Hey, we found Hangtown (Placerville) George's long lost twin!

So pretty!
Another couple of weeks fly by and next we head to Lake Pleasant which have not visited yet.  First we stop in the nearby Walmart for some items.  We come around the corner and WHOA.  What is it?  A price checker?  Floor Cleaner?  Never saw one of these before.
A Walmart Robot of some kind.

Monday, January 6, 2020

A Visit to The Center of the World, Friends & Hiking

Quartzsite, AZ
King Rd - Boondocking
LaPosa South LTVA

The Center of the World!
Who knew it was in Arizona? (more on this further in the post)

It was a nice drive through Mecca, CA onto Box Canyon Rd cutting over to Hwy 10.  The road was great and the views beautiful.  Three hours later we arrived at King Rd for some quiet boondocking before all the craziness of Quartzsite begins.  The Verizon signal here is fantastic.

My brother and I took his Ranger out to investigate some dirt roads back into the KoFa's.  We did some exploring around the Horse Tanks.  Some on trail, some bouldering.
There was a surprising amount of water.  You could scramble back here for hours.  The rocks are varied in color and there are unusual formations.

We drove over to visit friends who were already gathered at La Posa LTVA for a fire and get-together. We'll be moving over here at the end of the week.

Another day my brother and I drove some dirt roads on the west side of 95 until they disappeared.  We found some very old shot out trucks and interesting pieces of quartz.

The quartz.
Love getting back to the Arizona sunsets!
As we were moving up to Quartzsite later in the week we almost got beamed up by Scotty!

With tanks dumped and the fresh water filled, we settled into our spot at La Posa.   We took over Jim & Barb's spot and were next to Dino(!) and Lisa :-).
The next week was filled with ATV rides with friends and visiting the Big Tent.
One one ride we took a break heading up to an old mine and came across an interesting memorial.  These are not as uncommon around here as you'd think.
One of many old mines. Thanks to Steve Colibaba for organizing.

After our ride we had to stop in for refreshments at Beer Belly's of course and some entertainment.

When we got back Hurley was waiting for me and not too happy about being left behind.

Later in the day Guy and Sue generously sent us out in their Razor.  We went exploring the old crystal mountains looking for gems.  We only found a few small ones then headed back.

A day trip to Hope and Salome was planned to explore a part of 60 we hadn't been on before.
It started out "Hope"ful, but before you knew it...
we were out of luck! Ha Ha.

Just some little known history out in these dusty, almost forgotten about towns.

The drive and geocaching made us hungry so we stopped in for a little bite at Don's.

Some all day buggy riding with a big group of friends required us to really cover up from the dust.  This time Steve rode with Guy in their 2-seater and Sue and I rode with her sister and brother-in-law, Penny and Roger in their 4 seater.

Skull Rock was our destination.  Pretty cool.
We all parked, had lunch and hiked around the big rocks a bit.
Me, Steve, Dino, Steve, Lisa, Guy & Sue.
Just part of our Class of 14!  Sure love our RV friends!

That's a "tunnel" under that very massive rock. 

One more pic in front of the skull and we headed back after a long day.
On the way down we stopped at the Circle of Life.  Cool if you haven't seen it. It's just off  Palm Canyon Rd, but you'd probably drive right past it if you didn't know it was there.  It's a dirt road but you can get here without 4 wheel drive.
 The coordinates are: 33.373266  -114.173791.
Some of the trinkets others have left behind in the center.

Another place I read about and wanted to see was the Official Center of the World.  Not sure according to who, but the owner put an amazing amount of time and money here in what he calls the History in Granite.   From the website: The museum exhibits monuments made from Missouri Red Granite. Each is 100 feet (30 m) long. Conceived as an historic record of humanity designed to last for four millennia, the Museum of History in Granite is a collection of over 900 large granite outdoor panels. The museum was conceived and commissioned by Jacques-AndrĂ© Istel and its lead artist is Gene Britton.
It sits right along I-8 in the town of Felicity, population 2.  Almost no one has heard of this place and that is too bad as it is fascinating and you could easily spend hours here if you read all the granite panels which capture life on earth over many, many years.
 A sculpture of God's arm, from Michaelangelo's Dawn of Creation painting in the Sistine Chapel, acts as a sundial.

You can touch the Center of the World in the pyramid building.
These large granite panels are incredible with their content as well as their art.
The carvings are very detailed.
All the way at the opposite end of the pyramid and up on the hill sits the chapel.
Looking back towards the pyramid from the top of the steps in front of the chapel.
And, the final panel...
I just love this tree which is out front of the buildings.  I don't know what kind of tree it is (anyone know?), but with its white trunk and branches and the very green leaves, it really stands out in the desert!
Part of the staircase from a metal 25-ft. spiral salvaged from the Eiffel Tower stands out front too.  Again, a fascinating place to visit when you're in the Yuma area.

A bit NE of Quartzsite is old Camp Bouse established by Gen. George Patton.  Who knew?  Not much here but plenty of old machinery here to look at and a few old shops.

One last ride out with Guy & Sue and Roger & Penny brought us far out to some old mines and sand dunes.

There was plenty of map checking as we took many wrong turns.  Of course way out here that is 1/2 the fun!

The old mine was up at the top of one of these mountains.  I didn't manage to get any video of us getting airborne and all crazy in the sand dunes but we did and it was fun!

One last hike up to the "Q" with Pam.  This is always fun and some great exercise while enjoying the view.
Those tiny white dots are all RVs!

Our last evening and Sue had a little birthday party for Guy to celebrate his next decade.
Me and Sue.
After a couple of weeks and the big Tent Event at Q, we headed back down for a quiet week at King Rd.  The internet in Q simply is not useable as more people arrive.  Verizon is great down here.

We always look forward to our week and a half at Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction.  The Superstitions are just magical to us and we come back every year for the beauty and the hiking!
The Superstitions
Apache Juction, AZ - Lost Dutchman State Park #114, $20.
John & Tina decided to meet back up with us here and a couple of their friends joined along too.  What is funny is that Dan & Amy are from Rochester, NY and worked at Kodak when Steve worked there.  They never met back then but have friends and colleagues in common.
More beautiful night skies with the moon in view.
Amy, Dan, Me, Steve & John
Hiking the incredible Flatiron is a grueling challenge we look forward to each visit.  Tina couldn't join in as she had to fly out for a work conference.  I think she planned that on purpose!  Dan, Amy and John have never hiked it before but are avid hikers so I knew they'd be ok.  Besides, you can always head back down once you get to The Bowl if you don't feel comfortable with the rest of the hike. 

The Bowl looking up.  Everyone decides to continue to the top.  Flatiron is in the back with the white band running through it.  This is classified as a strenuous 6 mile hike with 3000 vertical feet straight up a draw with bouldering and rock climbing required.
Dan looking very Indiana Jones-y!
And the rock climbing begins.
The draw to the right is the one we climb to the top! Flatiron to the top right.
We all make it with smiles on!
We rest ourselves, have some lunch and take a few pictures.

On the way down I spot a heart rock.
Looking down The Bowl.  It looks smooth but it is made up of thousands of tiny steps.  Butt scooting works well in some parts of the bowl.  It is very steep too.  Going down in a zig-zag pattern is easier on the feet.  By this point in the ascent your muscles are screaming.
And once down we cleaned up and headed to town for a celebratory beverage.
My favorite thing to say afterwards :-)
Enjoying this time as tomorrow we won't be able to move!!

While we were here we squeezed in some Curt & Glenda time too.  A little hiking in the San Tan's were perfect after we gave our feet a couple days off.

The view of The Supes from our campsite.