Monday, January 19, 2015

879 Feet Above Sea Level

And where is this?   It is at Quartzsite, Arizona – also known as the “Q”.    The story behind the camels is quite interesting; click here for the story - U.S. Camel Corp .  I guess this is the Old West. . .at its best?  You decide!


After leaving the Wickenburg area after helping our friend Rebecca mark off items from her “to do” list for us, we were on the move once again.    You know us, we thrive on camping off the grid and with the holidays coming up we wanted to get settled into an area where we could relax and enjoy this time.  Quartzsite is quite a unique area and there are many boondocking areas that you can choose from.  We picked the area known as Road Runner which is about 6 miles south of town.  We stayed 11 of the 14-days that are allowed when you park on the public lands of the BLM.    No big name stores in Quartzsite so you make the best of it.   So you can image when I choose to forgo purchasing a head of lettuce for $1.79 this time!   What is fun though is that they do have some interesting places to  investigate - open markets of all sorts for RV items, gem/rock stores and many areas set up as huge garage sales.  Jeff managed to find himself fly fish waders by Filsom that were in really good shape and Kay found a baby pan for cooking on the stove for only $3.  It was a good day all around!


Time to make some fresh squeezed juice!  Kay put Jeff to work on a small batch of fruit that we picked from a friend’s house when we were in Wickenburg.   Delicious!!!


The magnificent sunsets keep following us in our travels.  We are glad and appreciate their beauty.


Chef Jeff making his “to die for” Cherry Blintzes for Christmas Day breakfast.  We topped the day off with a good hike and made our calls home to family and friends.


Our traveling Christmas tree that we store in the basement was put up for the holidays to enjoy, even though we could only light it when the inverter was on.  No lights. . .no problem. . .we still were able to enjoy our little tree.


When we were in Wickenburg we stopped into a very unusual store call “The Refried Bean”.  This store had an assortment of very unique pottery, metal pieces, jewelry and clothing that it really drew you into the store to browse.  And we did.  The purchase that we selected was a small Nativity set -  our Christmas gift to each other.  Its uniqueness is that it came from Mexico, it is made of pressed tin – each piece is very colorful – and all of the pieces nest into a small box for storage.  Just perfect for us as we travel these months.





Chuck and Abby are pretty happy when at least one of them can sit in the “penthouse suite”.  Just another day getting ready to sleep most of their day while sunning.  How tough can life be?



Here we have Jeff toasting in the New Year with his home-made Marguerita as we sit down to some of Kay’s favorite Mexican delicacies – complete with salsa and chips – simple and delicious!

Alas, we finally had a pretty nice day so we took a Jeep trip to Palm Canyon Trail – about 14 miles from our camp site – located in the Kofa (King of Arizona) National Wildlife Refuge.   Once we pulled into the entrance we had another 7 miles of pretty rough road before we reached the parking area.  A half mile foot trail brought us to a small sign on a slightly elevated area near the middle of the canyon.  By looking upward you then see the palms clearly – California Fan Palms.  They are the only native palm in Arizona known to survive in the narrow side canyons where direct sunshine is limited but some moisture is available.

Total count is known to be 42 trees in the canyon.  They say that for a short time at mid-day, the trees are well-lit for pictures.  The rest of the time the trees are shaded.  We timed it just right.


As the fronds (large leaves) on the California Fan Palm die, they fold downward around the trunk of the tree forming a petticoat.  The fronds self-prune; that is, fall to the ground beneath the tree where they decompose.  The decaying fronds form the growing bed for new trees.  Pretty amazing!

The view walking down from the canyon was pretty amazing too.  You seem pretty small in the scheme of things at this height.  And, yes, the road in the background that you see is the road we drove in on.


Kay snapped some pictures of a side trip off the main canyon road.  Jeff was interested in what the Wash might have for magnetite particles (gold would be close then),  and Kay was more interested in the flowering cacti – just to see some color other than brown!


With a cold snap coming in from California, we needed to hunker down and stay warm for a couple of nights which brought temperatures to our area in the mid-twenties.  Kay got out the window covers for inside the RV and we were able to curtail quite a bit of the cooler weather that we experienced.   The next morning we were able to see snow on the mountains and discovered that some water Jeff had in a bucket outside had a think covering of ice.  Take a look at what our RV windows looked like the next morning when we took down one of the coverings.  We’re sure glad that we have them  ( the window coverings)  with us on nights like this to supplement the furnace and the propane that keeps us warm.  We continue to hunker down under the warm flannel sheets at night too.  The cats love it because they can smuggle between us for warmth too!




Ironically, the cylinder of sugar water for the hummingbirds didn’t freeze, only the small round mesh piece that they actually get the food from did.


It’s time to be “Down the Open Road” again.  Looking for the warmth we’re on the move again heading to Ogilby, California where at 364 feet above sea level, the weather will definitely be warmer.  Amen to that!!!



Kay & Jeff

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
       - St. Augustine (lived from 354 to 430 AD)