Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flowers











(Jan) After spending months in the lower deserts of Arizona, it was quite a change seeing all of the spring flowers here in the Roosevelt area. We are told that they are especially abundant this year and we are sure enjoying them.





Roosevelt Lake





(Jan) Life has been good here in Arizona. The days were getting up into the lower 90's so last week end we moved farther north to the Roosevelt Lake area. It is just a beautiful site with a sparkling lake, very interesting bridge, awesome dam and the Tonto Cliff dwellings. Add to that a wonderful show of spring flowers blooming and we're in seventh heaven. We joined good friends Dean and Judy Sheeley here and the pictures above show us on the trail up to the dwellings. You can see the dwellings in the background. One of the things we did Monday was drive 60 miles north to see their cabin. It is near Forest Lakes and on the Mogollon Plateau so it was in the 40’s and there was big snow drifts blocking their front door. What a beautiful place and what a difference elevation can make!
Yesterday we moved further north near Rye. We are up on a hill surronded by mountains dusted on the tops with snow. It is breezy today and in the 70's. Chuck and Dean are out in an area near here prospecting. Dean belongs to a group who has rights to this claim. Judy and I have been catching up on our computers plus cooking for those hard working men. Last night we had chicken enchiladas, rice and marinated bean salad; tonight it will be grilled shrimp, grilled vegetables and crepes. Yum!

Yuma again

(Jan) Northeast of Yuma/Foothills, overlooking the city there are microwave and radio towers on top of the mountains with a service road going up. This is the view overlooking the city. To get to the service road you hike about 1 1/2 miles and then start the 1/2 mile trek up the steep hill that must be a 15-30 grade. Unfortunately, I got overheated and lightheaded near the top so we called it a day and headed back down. It was over 4 miles, a good hike for the day, and we'll look forward to tackling it another time.
We were back living on 53rd Street. The lot is rented on a daily basis and we also stayed there in January. It's not too far from Gale and Joanne's so we spent part of each day with them. We enjoyed sharing their laundry and fresh grapefruit, also cooking together plus having Blizzards at the local Dairy Queen.

Blythe

(Jan) We joined Jerry and Nancy Hurley north of Blythe, CA for several days of exploring and geocaching. One of the fun places we went to was the abandoned town of Midland. A former resident has places a metal container there on Main Steet with photo albums, newspaper clippings and notebooks for other townfolk who lived their or travelers to leave memories or messages. Back at the rigs, Nancy
also shared some tips on blogging and picture placement with us. Thanks, Nancy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bluegrass and Solar



(Chuck) There is a bluegrass music circuit in this area and for some time we have wanted to find time to enjoy the music. Blythe, Quartzsite, and Parker each have a Bluegrass festival and we have missed all of them. The last one is Parker and the week after it many of the musicians gather at Plomosa Road north of Q and seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves gathering in informal jam sessions. It is a special treat to be able to wander through the gatherings and listen to the music. We stayed three nights and it was a good time. I am sure that we will find time next year to spend a few days at one of the main festivals.

Six months ago we were preparing for this adventure and one of the things that I wanted to experience was to “ go to Quartzsite” I didn’t know for sure what that meant, however I knew that it was a chance to be out in the desert and that you lived out there without campground hookups. That did not bother me a lot, because I knew that we could manage the fresh water and the waste water. I bought a small quiet Honda generator and installed an extra battery in the rig. We did very well at Q, although it was necessary to run the generator and even then you never fully charge the batteries unless you are willing to run it for hours at a time. The solution is to follow the lead of the seasoned veterans who proudly say “I live off the grid.” By conserving the water use your holding tanks will last you several weeks between dumps. Fresh water can be hauled in with portable tanks or jugs. The electricity is the big deal. We made the big leap and my buddy Jerry Hurley is proud of me. Jerry and Nancy have been doing this for many years and he seemed pretty happy when I announced that we had an appointment to install solar panels on our rig. We chose a modest approach and installed two Kyocera 130 Watt panels. We have room for one more when it is necessary. A 1000 watt inverter is installed to power the entertainment system and the office area. This will give us more opportunity to enjoy those out of the way areas.

One thing that we have learned in the last three months is that there is great opportunity to live out on the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and other public lands. It is quiet and peaceful. You will find the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There are almost unlimited areas to hike and enjoy. The sacrifices are few and the rewards are many.

With the instillation of the solar complete we called our newest best buds “the Hurleys” and met them by Blythe and spent the next three days at their favorite spot in the desert trying out the new solar system. We had another great time laughing and enjoying ourselves.

We have now moved back to Yuma for a few days. We will spend time here with my parents and then move on slowly to the East.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Notes from Sidewinder Road

(Jan) Our stay at Sidewinder near Ogilby Hills was another of life’s pleasant surprises. Jerry and Nancy Hurley joined us on Monday afternoon and we had a great time catching up on news and travels since Boomerville. The following day we went down to Los Algodones. We enjoyed the trip together, the shopping and the shrimp tacos!

Every afternoon @ 4:00, in true Boomer tradition, Donna and Ron Monroe, the Hurleys and the Moores had Happy Hour; lots of fun visiting, sharing snacks and beautiful sunsets. Last Sunday morning we all attended Mass together at St. Thomas Indian Mission followed by lunch together. We had a wind storm that day. The air looked like we were having a blizzard, only it was sand blowing instead of snow. The rest of the day was spent indoors! We said goodbye to the Monroes the following morning as they pulled out to head north.

Genealogy is an interest of both the Hurleys and ours so we had some great discussions about resources, methods and computer programs. We discovered that we share German and Irish heritage and just may prove that we're distance cousins somehow.

Geocaching was the pursuit one afternoon as we packed up our GPS units and headed out. We had a lot of fun finding all 3 sights but only found 2 of the caches. ‘Sticks and Stones’ eluded us. Anyone have a clue to share at that sight? We’ll have to go back and search another time.

We traveled to Yuma several times to visit with Gale and Joanne. They are both doing great. We shared some laughter and lunches and visiting on the veranda. The last day we were there, Joanne and I discovered a hummingbird nest in their tangelo tree. A tiny little thing the size of a golf ball absolutely filled with 2 tiny little birds. Amazing!

Chuck and I spent lots of mornings hiking and climbing through the Ogilby hills. It’s a really interesting place. Part of the range is covered with large dark brown boulders which from a distance looks like chocolate chips! Our favorite climb was up a dry stream bed or wash on the western face. From there we chose a different path each day to get back down and around the range. We’re looking forward to visiting there again someday.

Friday morning we packed up, said good bye to the Hurleys and headed to Plomosa Road north of Quartzsite to listen to some Blue Grass music.

Sidewinder Road






The top picture was taken of us on top of one of the hills by friends, the Monroes.
Middle is our rig with one of the gorgeous sunsets we were treated to each night.
Bottom is Chuck on one of our numerous hikes.




































Craggy Wash







Craggy Wash north of Lake Havasu City. We enjoyed hiking up into the hills; our rig is in the right fore ground.



Cache GCE8E1 - 3/8/08

(Jan) Sat afternoon Chuck and I went out in search of the Long Tube Cache. Our co-ordinates, N33 47.389 W114 05.805, took us about 8 miles east on Plomosa Road where we parked and then walked about a quarter mile north off into the desert. We soon found ourselves up on a ridge of broken rock and found the cache, a long green military type tube buried under stones on the ridge. We signed the notebook and looked at the ‘treasures’ but didn’t exchange anything. Fun search!

On our way back to the road, we visited the Bouse Fisherman Intaglio. It is a geoglyph created by a previous culture many years ago. Essentially it is a drawing scraped out of the desert rocks and surface.

We also drove further up the road and stopped at the Quinn Pass. We decided to get out and hike up into the hills and found 2 small hard rock mines. One of them was dug into the hillside about 8 feet and was 5-6 feet high. The scenery in the area was gorgeous and we sure enjoyed the afternoon.
 
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