"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

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Kayaking, Petroglyphs & Donkeys in the Desert - Yuma & Gila Bend, AZ

Yuma, AZ
Imperial Dam LTVA

After a week in Quartzsite we headed down I95 south to Yuma.  Since we still had a week left on our BLM pass we decided to stay a few days boondocking at Imperial Dam LTVA.  Finding a good spot with Verizon is hit and miss.  As we scoped out one spot we passed some donkeys lounging.
We were pretty surprised how busy it was down here.  Many more people than in Quartzsite.  After a bit of looking and checking Verizon speeds we found a spot that would hold both of us.
Along the way we passed out a burned out trailer.  Sad to see.  Not much left of it.
You see some interesting set-ups in the desert!
Our spot was at 32 53.59N  114 30.18W

Hurley loves getting snacks from Angie.
Our main reason to stop here was to do some kayaking on Standard Wash Reservoir right where we are camped.  Boy did we luck out with a gorgeous day!
The winds were non-existent and the water glassy.  We spent a lot of time just floating.
The clouds just floated by and made beautiful reflections on the water.

Colorful rock reflections too.

Rick and Angie on their new kayaks.

We paddled all around the lake until the sun started to set.  Always great to be on the water in the desert.

We always watch the weather closely as it can change so quickly in the desert this time of year.  We cut our trip short a couple days because a huge wind storm was moving in and we didn't want to be here for 60 mph winds.  We did that here before a few years ago.  So we headed over to Gila Bend early to visit the petroglyphs.
On the way out it looked like a helicopter display was landing up ahead of us.  Funny.
We stopped in Dateland to gas up and introduce Rick and Angie to the Date Shake.  They are tasty!

Gila Bend, AZ
Painted Rock Petroglyphs BLM Campground
We pulled in to Painted Rock Petroglyphs which is on a BLM campground.  Pretty big actually and nicely kept. 
$18, no utilities. #6.
They have one of the most concentrated amounts of petroglyphs in one small area that we've seen.  They keep the small hill fenced off to protect them.  There is a small path that leads around it with some info signs too.

The O'odham people have called this area home for thousands of years.  They believe they are descended from the Hohokam people.

Jean-Baptiste "Pomp" Charbonneau

We found this very interesting as we lived in Placerville just a few miles from Sutter's Mill.  We had not known he was in that area before.

Ah, a found a heart on one of the rocks!
And of course the wind storm made its way to us.  At least it wasn't very bad.  We had a quiet indoor day before we headed to Tucson for a special Friend Reunion!  One couple will come from Hawaii and another from California.  They'll be renting RVs and joining us for some fun!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Big Friend Reunions at Lake Havasu & Quartzsite - AZ

Lake Havasu City, AZ
Standard Wash BLM

We left California and headed to Lake Havasu City, AZ to join up with several friends to boondock in the desert at Standard Wash BLM area.
Tina had the difficult job of finding us a spot big enough for about 6 rigs.  Not an easy thing to do.  Since the balloon festival was happening the same weekend the area was pretty full.  I had heard good things about Standard Wash before, but it isn't the easiest to get back in to with larger rigs.  It's was very bumpy, crazy uneven and long.  It took a while to get us all in and even longer to get us all out!
Tina got some great shots of us pulling off the highway.  She had to lead us back or we'd have never found where they were at.
The weather was windy and the balloons only flew on one day.  We mostly kicked back and enjoyed some sunshine.  We took Rick and Angie to town to town and walked across the London Bridge.  Always cool to see it.  It was disassembled in London and brought here and reassembled.  Great history.

London Bridge.
We did some walking around and has some drinks.
Back at camp my brother took us all out shooting and 4 wheeling.  Angie and I rode up on the Safari Seat.  Pretty cool up here!

Lunch out with John and Tina one day.
John brought his tv outside and we watched the superbowl playoffs and had a potluck.

A few nice sunsets and then most of us were off to Quartzsite for a week before heading different directions after the big show.

Our caravan heading out of Standard Wash.
The lake was pretty full.

Quartzsite, Arizona
La Posa South LTVA
At Quartzsite we found a large area and circled the wagons.  I didn't get pics of everyone, but there was Rick & Angie, Steve & Diane, John & Tina, Tim & Leslie, Dale & Ann and us.  Ron and Rene would be joining us in a couple days. I also didn't get pics of Steve & Dianne from Canada that we see each year.  They are happy to be back though!  We also missed Harry & Vickey who arrived the day after we left.  It was great to see Sue's sister, Penny & Roger but I also didn't get a picture of them :-(
We didn't see many of our usual Class of 14, but we did have a dinner out with a few of them.  Above is Guy, my brother Steve, Red, Pam, Diane, Cindy, Me, Steve and James.  
Having some lunch at Beer Belly's with Ron and Rene, and Rick and Angie.  Our large group would mostly split up during the day either at the show, viewing the new RVs, exploring, etc.  At night we'd all meet up to share meals and a campfire.
We seem to see this guy flying around each year.
Last year the weather rained on us and we didn't get to take them hiking up the Q.  So here we are on our way up.
Up top there was a guy playing a Ukulele which we listened to while we enjoyed the view. 

Here we are on top!  Great 360 degree view up here.  And windy!
We also hiked over to one of the old mining ruins and found a geocache.

We took Rene, James & Cindy up to hike Palm Canyon the next day and stopped to show them the Circle of Life along the way.  It's a huge labyrinth that's been here for many years.  People leave tokens and memorials in the center.

We're driving back to those mountains for a little rock climbing!  I love this hike.
Heading up!  Me, Rene, James, Cindy and Steve.
It's a short hike to the end where the Palms can be viewed in the canyon in the distance.  At this point you bushwack to the slot.  It's important to go RIGHT at the large rock.  If you hike to the left you probably won't get too far.
There's a lot of loose rock so you need to watch for anything that may come falling down on you.
Rene working her way up the slot to the chute.
It's a really tight squeeze!
Next it's Cindy with James behind her.
A pretty little bloom along the way.
The final boulder to climb over then they've made it.
We all hug the palms, have a snack and take our group selfies!

And then it's back down.

The view from the bottom of the climb before dropping back to the trail.

It was strange that we only had a couple really nice colorful sunsets.  We didn't have any of the crazy, amazing ones at all this visit.  The weather has been nicer during the days, but really cold at night.  The winds were calm for the most part and luckily, they always died down for our campfires.

Our usual drive out to the Desert Bar for some yummy burgers and music.  We never tire of the crazy drive down the bumpy dirt road.  This place runs solely on solar. All food/drinks are trucked in over the same road to get here.  It started out as a shack with a few lights and coolers and it continues to grow with more recycled seating areas from the old mine and even more solar.

A pic of us from the top of one of the trails overlooking the bar.

It was a nice week with lots of friends.  All are heading different directions but we still have about 4 weeks of fun with Rick and Angie.