Archive for January, 2013

January 29, 2013

The morning had a good head start on us before we got anything more done than housekeeping chores. Fortunately the nice young man from the BLM was doing his and stopped to empty the trash can nearest us. Ten minutes later I had a new map and the latest word on which passes we could navigate with our long truck.

The little road marked “Charcoal Kiln Road” isn’t very far down the Bradshaw Trail and it was calling to us so we packed a lunch and headed down there, (more…)

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January 28, 2013

Monday turned into one of those Important-Stuff-Ya-Gotta-Do days, if we intend to stay here much longer without commercial power.  The first few days, the solar panels were able to keep our trailer batteries topped off, but then several cloudy days took their toll. Larry found a way to take one battery at a time, tie it down in the bed of the truck, and charge it as we went to town. Problem is, if one battery is well charged and the other not, the greedy one sucks power from the fully charged one. That is generally known as a Bad Thing. (more…)

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January 27, 2013

There was just enough rain Friday night to settle the dust and soften the washboards but not enough to pose any threats. Sunday was beautiful so we packed a lunch and headed west on the Bradshaw Trail. The trail was first established in 1862 and was for decades the only route across the low desert. It may have been a stage route; it was definitely a wagon route. Its age is obvious as in places it is several feet below the level of the desert on either side. (more…)

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January 25 & 26

As wonderful as Thursday was, wandering around doing whatever we felt like, not many days are like that. Retired or not, there is still plenty on the Dumb Stuff Ya Gotta Do list.

We started Friday with one of Larry’s bucket list items. We’ve heard about Quartzsite, AZ for as long as we’ve been interested in the RV lifestyle. We’ve heard how every winter hundreds if not thousands of RVing snowbirds descend on the desert a few miles east of the Colorado River along I-10 in Arizona and we had to see for ourselves what it was all about. Whatever we thought it was, it wasn’t. At least it definitely isn’t our style of RVing. (more…)

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January 24, 2013

One of the nice things about having put in the years of getting up at a certain (often obscenely early) time and spending your day doing what somebody says ya gotta do, is being able to do what you want when you feel like it.

The morning was a tad bit chilly…low 60s for temperature, mostly cloudy sky, not too threatening yet for rain. Al and Linda started a fire and we wandered over with cups of hot drinks and joined them. Keeping the fire going probably warmed us more than the fire itself did, but nobody cared. We talked and (more…)

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January 23, 2013

Today it was time to tick off another item on the Desert Bucket List. Since our early days of desert exploration we have read about the intaglios, giant figures depicted in the desert north of Blythe. Now, finally, we were going to see them.

Linda and Al had shopping and laundry to do and the threatening sky put off-roading up desert washes on the not-too-wise list of activities, so we headed to Blythe in separate cars on separate agendas. The weather radio said chances of measurable rain were slim for at least another day or two, despite the clouds, so we enjoyed the patterns of shadow and sun on the desert floor and marveled (more…)

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Early in the 90s a friend showed me a new road atlas he had found and I had to have one. The DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer had just published detailed topo-and-road maps of many of the states and I bought the one for Southern California. It has now been taped together so many times in so many places that nothing sticks to anything anymore. Some routes are highlighted in hot pink, others in ballpoint ink, still others in badly faded yellow. There are comments about vistas seen on what dates and several places in the low desert that were circled during a long conversation in the mid 90s with a park ranger who had just been transferred from Joshua Tree to Mojave. His copy of the same atlas wound up with a similar number of annotations after we exchanged favorite places to explore. (more…)

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Our neighbors Al and Linda got home from Quartzsite while we were setting up yesterday. Quartzsite, Arizona is the mecca of RVers for the winter and their many shows offer everything one could want for their RV’ing lifestyle. Al and Linda had gone over to see what’s up but decided there wasn’t much they were interested in and there were far too many people. After living here in their motorhome for the past six weeks, they are loathe to join the milling throngs and eagerly escaped back to the wide open quietude of Wiley’s Well. It was good to catch up with them since visiting in cold and rainy Washington nearly two months ago. (more…)

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We thanked our hosts one more time for letting us “camp” on their driveway for a week and made our way down the back road to I-10. Even though Larry had worked in Calimesa for several years and repaired phones in all the mountain and pass communities, we were hard-pressed to find any familiar landmarks besides the mountains themselves. It did appear that with the advent of Indian casinos, the Morongo Reservation is not quite as miserable a place to live as we remember it. (more…)

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January 18 and 19

We left Southern California more than 30 years ago because it was so crowded and smoggy and so “Southern California”. We have never been sorry we left. We’ve visited a few times, briefly. Usually our trips have just reinforced our very good decision to leave.

But now we find ourselves with very mixed emotions. Our week here has been wonderful. We have reconnected with several old friends and have connected the area we knew then with the area that’s here now. Our hosts have been more than gracious…their hospitality has been an unexpected gift. The clear skies have shown us the true natural beauty of the area and we have enjoyed finding the unchanging mountains just as we remember them. (more…)

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