Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mittry Lake, Yuma, AZ



Late Tuesday afternoon we arrived at Mittry Lake, about 15 miles north of Yuma, and an easy 80 mile drive from Quartzsite. This is a BLM Wildlife Area, where our friends John and Susan have been for the past week. They recommended a quiet area up a hill well off the main road, so that’s where we are. There was only one other RV when we got here. Nice views and we’ve seen lots of birds and ducks.



Yesterday we went to Algodones along with John and Susan, and Debbie, who all got their teeth cleaned at Dr. Eva Urena’s office. Jim got his new crown and is quite pleased with it. I don’t have another appointment until next week, but went along for the ride. Algodones is a colorful and vibrant border town, and we don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable going there.

Yuma, AZ Mittry Lake

When we returned, our nice quiet area had been turned into a music jam. Debbie’s Lazy Daze was surrounded by at least 50 parked cars, so she decided to move up closer to us. I went over to get a look and take a few pictures. Quite a surprise to come back to this in our backyard.


Luckily it was only a one day event, and the music stopped by 4:30. Not sure what they would have done if there had been RVs where they held it, since there were no signs up the previous day.


John and Susan are about a mile and a half farther down the main road. Here are some scenes from our walk over to their place yesterday afternoon for happy hour. There are trash dumpsters near the boat launch. That’s always a plus when boondocking.





It was surprising to see this great egret (I think) walking up the hill away from the water.



Unfortunately being so close to water we had some mosquitos at dusk, but our Thermacell seemed to take care of them.

Today we went on a hike in the nearby hills. There are lots of dirt roads for hiking and mountain biking. That means off road vehicles tend to frequent the trails, too. We saw about a half dozen of them. How is it we were on the same roads at the same time?


We followed the trails upward trying to get the best views.

Susan and John.


Gayle and John.


Susan, Debbie, John, and Jim.





Rupert, always sticking his nose in somewhere.


When we got back, we were surprised to see our Lazy Daze friends Jimbo and John outside of our house. They are now at Imperial Dam, about 5 rough dirt miles up the road from us. Tomorrow we have another hike planned with some famous bloggers, then we hope to have some down time this weekend.

An early bloomer along the trail. I think we’re beginning to like the Yuma area.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Crystal Hill, Kofa NWR



Went on another group hike to Crystal Hill in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. This is the northernmost entrance to the refuge, about 8 miles south of Quartzsite, then another 6 miles west on a dirt road. This road is much rougher than the one to Palm Canyon, but wasn’t bad at all in the Subaru. We sure do like that vehicle.

There isn’t an official trail to the top of Crystal Hill, but we found a path and headed up. Most people come here looking for crystals, since this is the only area on the refuge where you can legally take rocks and minerals, and only without tools or metal detectors. And you are limited to ten rocks or ten pounds per person per year. I found a couple small pieces of quartz but didn’t take them.


It was a steep half mile climb to the top of the hill, and a little tricky walking on all the loose rocks. Everyone made it safely up and back down. It would have been easy to slip and fall, and with no cell signal we were glad no one had to be carried out! We were joined by pups Libby and Junah, who with four legs had no trouble at all.

Ginny, Charlie, Marti, Debbie, Jimbo, Chris, Josh, Kathy, Laurelee, Sara, Gayle.




Not much of a trail, so everyone just picked their way up across the rocks.



The seating wasn’t very comfortable, but we hung around for a snack and to take in the views.



Charlie, Marti, Jimbo and Sara at the top.


We could barely make out all the RVs parked in Quartzsite.


It’s always harder going back down.


Must be an old mine shaft.



It was laundry time again, and on the way home Debbie and I stopped to visit with Barbara (Me and My Dog) in her new site. She wasn’t parked far from the Lazy Daze group, but we kept missing each other. Debbie had a small piece of antler to give to Katie, and she really seemed to like it. We’ve run into Barbara and Katie several times now in our travels and I’m sure we will again. We had fun discussing our shopping experiences in Quartzite. We all helped out the local economy this year!

Forgot the camera again, and my phone doesn’t take the best photos. Barbara’s new hair style looks great, and Katie is as cute as ever.


We’re finally leaving Quartzsite tomorrow, heading towards Yuma, where we’ll most likely stay for at least a few weeks. Have dental work to finish up, and we’d like to get our chairs reupholstered if we can line something up. John and Susan are already there and plan to join us in Algodones on Wednesday, and we hope to meet up with Boonie and Coffee Girl for a hike or a bike ride. Maybe we’ll find some interesting things to do in the area this time. We weren’t too crazy about Yuma the couple times we’ve been before, but we want to like it since it’s about the warmest place to spend the winter in the southwest.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Algodones, Mexico: Another Dental Experience


We forgot our camera, so no Mexico photos. Thought I’d throw in some pics of a few interesting RVs we’ve seen in Quartzsite. This one is a 1950’s Flxible Bus. The low slung models further down are Vixens.


Our trip to Algodones was uneventful, and only had to wait a few minutes in Dr. Eva Urena’s office before Jim was called back. He got his teeth cleaned and she prepped his tooth for a new crown. All went well. She has a very nice, modern office.

I was called in while Jim was still in the other chair. I had initially planned to just get my teeth cleaned, but when Dr. Eva asked me if I was having any problems, I mentioned an intermittent toothache. She said I had some gum recession around an old crown, which could be the cause, but it was also possible there was decay under the crown. She said she could remove the crown and see how it looked, and prep the tooth for a new crown that day. I decided to go ahead and get it done, or I figured we would be a thousand miles from Mexico this summer and would have an expensive dental emergency. She did say it may be necessary to have a root canal if there was decay, but I sort of ignored that part.


Well, wouldn’t you know, when she got the crown off, I had an old amalgam filling over most of what was left of the tooth (not much), and she said it would require a root canal, since there was a crack and decay. Would I like to go next door to the endodontist to get it done right then? What?? I wasn’t prepared for that, but figured, in for a penny, in for a pound, so what the heck.

Dr. Hernandez was excellent, he showed me the xray and explained that the crack had allowed decay into the tooth and a root canal with a post for the new crown would be the best solution. The office had state of the art equipment and everyone was very professional. I had no discomfort, and was out of there in no time. Now I have to return in two weeks for the post and for Dr. Eva to fit me for the crown. $390 for the root canal, quite a bargain compared to having it done by an endodontist in the U.S.


Jim will go back next week for his permanent crown, as we continue to help the Mexican economy. That is, us, and hundreds of other North Americans who were there getting dental work, eyeglasses, and medications. We stood in line for almost an hour to get back through customs.


The next day we did some more shopping at Tyson Wells, the huge flea market across from the big tent in Quartzsite, and wanted to stop by and see Nina and Paul, from Wheeling It, who were having a meet and greet at Beer Belly’s outdoor bar. Am I famous now, too, since I got my picture taken with Nina?


We must have just missed the folks from Watson’s Wander blog, as I see they were there, too. They were behind us this fall coming down 395 in CA, and left the day before we got to Lake Mead in December, so we still haven’t met them. Anyway, they have a great post about their first time in Quartzsite, and have captured the spirit of the place with excellent photos. Check it out. You never know what you may see in Quartzsite. Just looked out and saw this hot air balloon landing behind the Lazy Daze group.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Palm Canyon, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, and a Chance Meet-Up



Our friends John and Susan came by early to hike up Q mountain before we went on our group hike to Kofa, so I decided to join them. Wouldn’t you know as we were making our way back a woman with a dog was coming towards us on the trail. I thought the hat and the dog looked familiar, and as she approached I said “Nina?” Sure enough, it was Nina with dog Polly from Wheeling It. We had never met before, and had she not been wearing that cowboy hat I doubt I would have known who she was. We didn’t have much time but had a nice chat and even shared some boondocking information and thanked her for the Algodones dentist recommendation. Hope our paths cross again one day so we can spend more time talking.

From our campsite in La Posa West, it’s about 18 miles south on 95, then 7 miles east on a good dirt road into the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to the Palm Canyon trailhead. It was a beautiful drive as we got closer to the Kofa Mountains, and we spotted lots of nice, level boondocking spots along the way.


The trail to the palms is about a half mile uphill, which  takes you to a viewpoint only.




We could have missed seeing them tucked away in the rock if not for the sign. These are the only native fan palms in the state of Arizona.



Since it didn’t look like there was an easy way to get over to the grove, some of us decided to follow the faint trails combined with lots of rock scrambling, and continue on into the canyon. This is desert bighorn sheep territory, but I’m sure if there were any out there they heard our voices echo through the canyon and got far, far out of our way. After about another half mile or so we spotted a smaller grove of palms.


Intrepid Rod had to go see if he could get up there, and he did. Jim continued on into the canyon to see how far he could go, but I made him come back since he was carrying our lunch in his pack.

Can you spot Jim’s hat? This was not an easy place to hike.


But we loved the Kofa Mountains and will definitely go back again to do some other exploring in the area.








John, Susan, Laurelee, Ginny, Debbie, Gayle, with dogs Juna and Libby. Always feels good to finish a nice hike. David and Mary, along with Rod, were lagging behind taking lots more photos. Look forward to seeing them on David and Mary’s and Rod’s blogs, whenever they get around to posting them!