Saturday, February 17, 2018

Our Sonoran lady

February 14 (Wednesday)
Today was our last full day at LaPosa South. Our 14 day permit expires and we'll be leaving in the morning.

My Cedar Creek buddies across from me head out for  walk each morning. Most mornings I am either back from my walk already or I am heading out somewhere. Today though I caught them as they were heading out and asked if I could join them. Virgil (from Indiana) and George (from Georgia) both have Cedar Creek trailers and they were the first to greet us as we pulled in two weeks ago. Since then we have chatted a few times about our trailers. Today we went for our walk together. We chatted non-stop for an hour and put in 3.4 miles! These are great guys and I sure hope our paths will cross again so we can convene another meeting of the 'Creekers'!

My Cedar Creek buddies. Virgil and George.

We went into Quartzsite to run a few errands and stop at the Bookstore. Unfortunately it was closed for some unknown reason, but a couple of authors were outside manning booths and selling their books. Interesting guys and they talked us into buying one book from each of them. Both authors write historical fiction, which means the stories are not true but they are based on accurate historical events. Hope the books are as good as the sales pitch!

Back to the trailer and some lunch then over to Kathy and Rick's place ( Its About Time ) for a long overdue visit. Rick and Kathy willing share their experiences with fellow RV'ers to help make our lives easier. Rick has done countless improvements to his rigs over the years. Not all will work for everyone but the nice thing about sharing ideas is that you take bits of information from various sources and develop your own solutions to the issues you are having. We spent an enjoyable two hours with them and left with lots of ideas that we can implement. Thank guys! (No pics, sorry)

This was the last day I could dump our tanks under the terms of our permit. I got rid of a couple pails of grey water and picked up more fresh water. That should do us until we get full services on Friday in Mesa.

I use a pony pump and a couple of five gallon containers to add fresh water when needed.

I drain off two pails of grey water every couple of days. I took the pails to the dump station to empty them. I picked up fresh water on the same trip. (fresh water in the blue containers....obviously) We were able to go ten days on the black tank before we took the trailer to the dump station to empty it.

February 15 (Thursday)
Moving day, but not too far. We prepped the trailer and hooked up the truck. Even though the move isn't far in miles, it may as well be the other side of the world as the prep is the same. Everything stowed, slides retracted, jacks up, all safety items checked. We took our time and left LaPosa about noon and headed to Scadden Wash. Our 14 day permit expired but we can move to Scadden Wash, and a number of other camping areas around Quartzsite and start a 14 day permit in those areas. Once that 14 day expires you are supposed to move 25 miles away and then you can return for another 14 day stint. Anyway, we only need one night so the host didn't even bother to register us.

We found a nice spot near a wash several hundred feet from the road and then set up camp. The Interstate runs by here and certainly the traffic noise is noticeable but for one night we can live with it.

Scadden Wash

I was anxious to try out the new metal detector and this area was going to be a great spot to try it. It seems that over the years this are has been used by numerous folks and many of them had campfires using wood from pallets and other sources that were full of nails. It took only seconds for the detector to start screaming and a little digging found the first of a fistful of nails, screws, and other bits of metal and wire. I also started to find lead. Not bullets but lots of lead pieces that had been melted down. I suspect someone had built a fire and was trying to melt the lead to mold into bullets. I doubt they were successful. You really need a proper melting pot to control the temperature. There were gobs of lead all over the place and the detector easily found them.

A man outstanding, or is that out standing, in his field!
Tools of the trade.

My first find! Is it silver? Or gold? Nope. Lead. Worthless, but fun to find.

I did find an old dime! My first real 'treasure'! Woo Hoo! I don't expect to get rich from this thing but taking the unit with us is easy. It's light weight, easily taken apart, doesn't cost a lot to operate (one 9 volt battery) and will be fun to use at campgrounds, beaches, and other sites. Also a great way to kill a few hours.

I took a walk through the Scadden Wash area and found some very nice Ironwood trees. They have such intricate patterns in the bark and grain of the wood. There were some huge burls growing on the trees and created some very interesting designs.

Very large Ironwood tree.

I see a face in the burl. Maybe a gargoyle smoking a cigarette?

Ironwood is , well, like iron. Very hard. Someone cut this old branch with a chainsaw. You can see the burn marks from the chain.

So how was our first desert camping experience? Nothing short of amazing! When we checked in at the LaPosa South office on February 1 there was a guy sitting there chatting with the staff and he said to me "Be careful, this place is addicting." He was absolutely right! We can hardly wait to get back.

This Sonoran Desert is alive. She is full of wildlife and plants. Even the shifting sands that creep to and fro with the wind seem to have a life of their own. The desert has breath in the deliberate inhale and exhale of her winds. She inhales calmly from the south during the night and then exhales over the land from the north during the day, sometimes in short whispers and other times in aggressive, even angry gusts that help remind us who is in control of this land.

Her sights, her smells, her touch, her sounds. She is a banquet for the senses. Like a love affair, the Sonoran Desert tugs at our emotions. First is infatuation mixed with trepidation. We felt this sense at the beginning. Not really knowing what to expect and how would she treat us. What would our experience be like? Would we like her? We did. Then came the exploration stage. Trying to touch, feel, smell, listen, devouring every morsel she threw us. We couldn't get enough of exploring her every corner. Soon it will be longing and lasting devotion. We will care for her and hopefully she will tolerate us. I hope it's a long and lasting love, or perhaps an addiction. We miss her already.

....and that was Our View From Here!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A golden day

February 13 (Tuesday)
We had a couple more sights to see before we leave the Quartzite area. First though was a stop at the Quartzite Bakery.

We heard their ad on the local radio station and we just HAD to stop! All freshly baked on site and run by a lovely couple, this place is BUSY! You have to get there early to get the best selection. We did our duty buying a couple of cake donuts, a huge apple fritter, an equally large cinnamon bun and a delicious pineapple upside down muffin large enough for two. Oh, and a bag of coconut macaroons but we shared those with friends so those don't count. :-) Pure gold!

Pure gold in here!

With about a million calories packed in the truck we headed over to another 'gold' location. This was the Miner's Depot. They had a great display at the Gold Show and I wanted to talk to the owner, Blake. This is a very popular spot and I had a chance to talk to him just long enough to convince me to buy a Tessoro Vaquero metal detector.

Expensive toys in here!

I've already found a dime with it. 5000 more of those and it's paid for!
Cheryl was taking pictures outside the Miner's Depot and saw these two dogs. The owner says "You should see them with their hats on". So he proceeds to get them out of the truck and.......

......put on their hats!

They don't look too thrilled . I think it's because.......

......this monkey in the tree in the parking lot is laughing at them. Too funny!

Massive Chain Fruit Cactus in their parking lot.

Next stop was the Desert Gardens Gold and Gem show. Not much gold there but a goldmine of pretty and precious stones. Again, we added a few more pounds of cargo and left with some nice samples. There were many empty vendor locations and lots that were packing up, so next time we'll get there a few weeks earlier for a better selection. The good news was the remaining vendors were willing to discount a bit.

Lots of lapidary equipment. Saws, polishers, grinders.

Colorful vendors.

Want a bucket of rocks for $25?

Not a great picture with the cellphone. This is a huge geode. Must be 18 inches deep with a glass table top. It was $2500. Too bad it wouldn't fit in the fifth wheel.

The next trip took us west toward Dome Rock then south on Cholla Road. Past were the pavement ends on a good gravel road is the old Ehrdman mine, or Goldeye mine as it is also known. A very intersting spot, but you need to be mindful of crossing into areas that might get you shot! These folks take gold hunting seriously around these parts and trespassing is not a good end to your day.

Beautiful scenery from the road.

There are hundreds of RV's parked in the distance. We are one of them.

Which road would you choose? We turned right. What's the worst that could happen?

Lots of this land is posted and claimed.

Old headframe

Lots of diggings on this mountain.

Those cement pillars used 45 gallon drums as the forms.

Old mine shaft blocked off.

This fella mined here for 43 years.

No lack of signage.

Get caught, get shot......the sign says. I wasn't about to find out if they meant it!

All the comforts of home.

Beautiful Saguaro cactus fields.

We did a little offroading in our side by side four by four, otherwise known as our truck, until the roads got pretty rough and tight and we had added enough desert pinstriping for one day. We came across this very nice stone cabin. Notice the stone work. Definitely built with love and care. There are lots of these in the area and visited by many on their quads.

Walls are perfectly straight.

Beautiful stones used in the walls.

Smooth outside but rough finished inside. Strange.

What a view they inhabitants had.

Time to head home. Almost missed the sunset.........and that was Our View From Here!