Monday, January 8, 2018

California in our Rear View Mirror

Sunrise at Ogilby Road

Sunday morning we packed out stuff and headed west, well a little north and then west across the Imperial Dunes. We were heading to Borrego Springs a place we have never been. We pulled into the Arco station on Highway 78 just as we turned west to Borrego and dumped our tanks and filled with fresh water. They have four dump lanes here but only one was working properly so things were a little hectic on a Sunday afternoon. Folks were filling their tanks with the water at the dumpsite but I am always a little leery about those taps and went looking for some marked "potable". They were well away from the dump lanes. Our rig has a big tank so it takes a while to fill it and it is always nice not to have to entertain all the folks behind you in the line so out of the way is good.

After dumping and filling we headed west for Rockhouse Road. We have heard about this spot from other RV'ers and figured it was a good place to spend some time. Once we got there we found that a lot of other folks who had heard about Borrego Springs had also heard about Rockhouse Road, We rolled up the rolled three or four miles until we were long gone from phone coverage and deep in the valley before we found a spot almost big enough to turn our rig around. After tearing up the road surface and then having to fill the ruts we had made in the sand we trooped our way back to the area where everyone else was parked. Another look confirmed what we had figured on our first cruise through, there were way more rigs and way less space than we are used to. A command decision was called for and a conference called, it was decided that America's most populous state was way to crowded for Dogpound Anywhere so we headed into town spun around Christmas Circle and then waved adios to Borrego Springs. We found a spot on a cliff just above Ocotillo Wells to spend the night.

The view from our doorstep last night

This morning we loaded up and headed for Indio this morning, where we met up with my Uncle Brent and Aunt Helen and enjoyed a great breakfast and then headed back to their place for a visit. It was good to catch up and Brenda had a jar of Buffalo Creek Ranch Saskatoon jam that was made from berries on Uncle Brents place, but we forgot to leave it, so I guess he will just have to believe me when I say it was great.

Aunt Helen and Uncle Brent taken by Brenda

After our visit we headed back east and climbed out of the Coachella Valley and headed for an old favourite spot. Nice to be here the nearest rig is pretty near a half mile away and the view is great. Good to be back in the land of Arizona sunsets and sunrises.

Not another rig in sight

Ogilby Road Sunset

Monday, January 1, 2018

Desert Days

Lewis's left yesterday so we have just chilled for two days. The two days we spent wandering around Los Algodones took a toll on Brenda and her muscles are revolting so for the next few days we are just going to take it easy here. I have taken a spin around the neighbourhood on Blue II and the dogs have been snooping in the washes near camp, but with their new collars they seem to have recalled that when they are to far from home they get in trouble. Nice to be able to stop them from dashing off to get into mischief or run out in front of a vehicle although out here most vehicles are moving pretty slow, so as not to raise a cloud of dust near each others camps.

Skip and Jean and their Boston Bulls, Louis and Sophie, I think stopped by for a visit this morning and then the rest of the day I spent reading. Late in the afternoon a fellow, Bill Cash, stopped by to ask about our lifestyle and I told him it was a pretty free and stress free existence, probably only available for the most part in the Western parts of Canada and the USA.

Here are a few more pics of Los Algodones that we took while we were down there.

You can get your drugs and your vanilla all in the same store.

Not sure what kind of electrical system is down here but it seems kind of freestyle.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

California Dreaming

We headed out of Gila Bend a few days back and made for the California line. After getting through the traffic congestion at the Fruit Police stop on the border we made our way out to Grays Well Road and exited the freeway for a moment then headed back east to Ogilby Road. The overpass at Ogilby Road is having some work done so it is closed so there is no exit from the westbound lanes. We found us a quiet little spot north up that road about 4 odd miles and got set up for a stay here.

Blue and I took a spin looking for some folks that Ivan had told us were in the neighbourhood and met Skip and Jean and then Wandering Willy and had a visit with those good folks.

The next day our friends Mike and Shaunna Lewis and their horses/mule and well-trained mutts joined us here.

We headed south of the border to Los Algodones to order some glasses for Brenda and I and a new sign for Mike and Shaunna. Along the way, we managed to find a lunch and a Margarita and a Cerveso or two. Our glasses wouldn't be ready till the next day so we decided to pop back down the next day to have lunch and a few more Margarita's as well as make another run into Walmart for some necessary supplies.

Camp dogs

Back Yard

Lewis's sign

Algodones is always a great place to visit, the people are friendly, and so accommodating and very enterprising, it is nice to see, although the culture is a little different than north of the border. Good food, good music, and apparently good Margaritas.

Back in camp we enjoyed chewing the fat around the campfire both morning and night and were sad to see Lewis's pull out to start their journey north to the northern ranges this morning. Happy Anniversary you two.

Beginning the long journey home

Sunrises and sunsets in Arizona are spectacular and change so quickly, these two were taken with moments of each other this morning.

They are both panorama's made up of 3-5 separate shots but the colours are pretty much straight out of the camera. And this last one was taken just a short while later. Later in the afternoon Ivan himself came by for a little chin wag.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Outpost at the South Pohl

We spent a couple of nights at the Clarks near Sunsite and then it was time to move on to the South Pohl. Ken and Verna have a nice spot in the shadow of Cochise's Stronghold and we moved into a little piece of heaven they have just down the road. Our friends Mike and Shaunna Lewis have a place right next door so we took advantage of having access to two great dog trainers to work on a few things with Max and Maya. I don't think they are going to head over to the police dog academy anytime soon but a few of their more annoying behaviours are less noticeable now anyway.

The view from the Outpost at the South Pohl
The weather here is a little different than down around Why, not long underwear cool but close, and if you were hanging around outside once the sun went down at 4:22PM, here in the shade of the Stronghold, you would probably rethink that statement pretty quickly.

One day we took a run down to Bisbee for a look around and stopped in at the Bisbee Breakfast Club in old Bisbee for a late breakfast. It is an interesting place with a lot of character. Pete Hanson suggested I read a series of books about a fictional sheriff in Cochise County by J.A. Jance and I took his advice so as we drove around Bisbee and the rest of the County it almost seemed familiar. Brenda was thinking I was going to drive into say hello to some of my fictional folks.

Another day I took a drive up to the actual Stronghold for visit. Interesting rock formations and easy to see how a whole band of Apache's could make themselves hard to find in there.

If those walls could talk I am sure they would have some tales to tell.

Cochise Stronghold
Another day Blue II and I took a run through the Dragoons and over Middlemarch Pass. We got far enough over that we could see Tombstone and the west side of the range. Lots of old mining trails and diggings in there and a pile of trails still to be explored.

A look back from the Pass across the valley towards the Chiricahua's

A big Century Plant 

I wasn't the only one out for a look around.
I made a trip into Wilcox to pick up a few baking supplies for Brenda and she whipped up two kinds of tarts and a couple batches of shortbread cookies so we enjoyed Christmas baking. Christmas Eve we gathered at the Big House and shared a plethora of appetizers including Natcho's, Chili Dip, ribs, sauteed shrimp, jalapeno poppers, and some of that baking then Verna treated us to a movie night.

Christmas Day we chilled around the campfire, and then it was back to the feed trough at the South Pohl for a Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings with Verna, Shaunna, Mike and new friends Micki, and Zach.

This morning we loaded Blue II after our morning fire and headed west. We had a supply stop at Costco in Tucson and then moved on to Gila Bend for the night. We are spending the night at the KOA here and I have to say, over the years we have stayed in a bunch of KOA's and this is far and away to nicest of the lot. Great Wifi, landscaping, dog parks, laundry, pool, showers and clubhouse, all top shelf facilities. We will flush our tanks, empty those that are full, fill those that are empty and then head further west into California tomorrow.

Sunrise from the Outpost of the South Pohl this morning.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Moving On!

We had a great time hanging out at Gunsight Wash, just chilling and watching the world go on by. The weather was great and we had a couple of good meals, one at Estrella's in Ajo, a great burger, and then down to Why to Granny's Kitchen where I had some pretty good chicken enchilda's and Brenda had another great burger. They are only open Sunday to Friday 6AM to 2PM though.

We are still getting used to being back on the road, and all that comes with it like laundromats and somewhat limited internet. Amazing when we were last footloose and fancy free, 5GB was doable, but now it seems like that is not enough to get us through the week let alone the month. Feeling our way around the rig and figuring out our water usage, those skills never go away it seems though, we had things pretty well timed our black tank was just about full and our water tank was empty about the same time. Coincidentally we were moving on today so we stopped in the Coyote Howls park in Why and dumped the tanks and then headed East.

We have friends here in Pearce, Mike and Janna, and we are living it up here tonight, full hook-ups, even mooching their wifi connection, after a great dinner, and visit. It has been a couple of years since we got together with them but what with Janna's great blogging and Facebook we never missed a beat, felt like we could pick up our conversations just where we dropped them way back when.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Why Not

This morning we thought we should wander around the neighbourhood a little. We loaded the muttski’s in the truck and headed south for the Organ Pipe National Monument.

Ajo Mountains

Thought we better give it a look see before Donald Trump turned it into Walmart distribution centre or something. It bumps up against the Mexican border and just across the border the Mexican government has a couple more of these protected areas creating a pretty good sized biosphere. We poked around in the Visitor Centre but passed up on the 21 miles drive through the heart of the monument, we did that back in 2008 and I am sure not much has changed since then. We had to cross through a Border Patrol checkpoint but it was pretty relaxed, just a couple of young fellows wishing us a good day and waving us on through. In the past here at Gunsight Wash we were struck by the frequency of the Border Patrol vehicles roaming around but today was the first time we have seen any in the area. Not sure what that means either folks are not coming this way or maybe they are just not coming anymore.

We stopped in at the Why Not Travel Store to see if they had any potatoes but just chips, not much else there when it came to groceries. But they do have some beautiful murals there. And then it was back to Dogpound Anywhere to while away the afternoon.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


It was a windy, but sunny day down here at Gunsight Wash today.  Temps in the mid teens Celsius I guess around 50F, but the wind made it seem much cooler. We just hung out in camp for the most part although I did run into Ajo to mail some Christmas cards and pick up a little BBQ sauce for our country style ribs. Not sure why they call them that, though they were good, there were no ribs to be found anywhere in them.

I had took a couple of shots of two of the murals that are around Ajo, there are many more.

 And then stopped for a visit at the mine pit museum. The fellow/historian who was there reminded me of my Dad, he had a story for every picture in the place and was one of those fellows who probably was pretty good at filling in the blanks when the record was a little short on details. He made it almost sound exciting to work at the bottom of that big hole in the dead of summer when it was about 160F down in the pit. Not sure at those temps if you need to smelt the ore to get the copper out, or if it just runs out and you ladle it into buckets.

A couple of visits today from our friends from the Air Force, but nobody right down on the deck pretending to shoot us up. Got a couple of responses from Al and Ivan about boondocking near Bisbee and it seems that is not as easy as it sounds. We might just have to stay a little farther afield and just make day trips down into that country. The Queen Mine RV Park in Bisbee apparently has a low bridge to go under to get into and Dogpound Anywhere is not exactly a low bridge kind of rig, but we will figure out something.