Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kofa magic...

Boondocking at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was a first for us.  Amazing how much time we've spent in Quartzsite over the years, with drives to and from Yuma, and never landed in this magical place before.  So now, following those popular Bayfield folks, and intrigued with beautiful photos and Jeep drives, we finally got there!

Closest neighbor w/red trailer

Our site of choice (red arrow) was about a mile off Highway 95, on King Valley Rd, the turn off at the Stone Cabin.  It was a bumpy, dusty drive in but had all the amenities I envisioned:  our own Saguaro, a beautiful view of the Kofa mountains, a large graveled yard trimmed in greening desert, with Palo Verde tree and budding Ocotillos.  Add in a couple of good hikes, lazy afternoons of reading, and watching the shadows and light show play into the most brilliant sunsets imaginable, and you have the recipe for a magical few days.  4 bars of 4G was a pleasant surprise.

Now about those Jeep drives!...Sadly the old gal is suffering from terminal old age.  Our '99 Wrangler has taken us on backroads through the US, Canada, and Mexico since first purchased in '04 for our trip down the Baja. The mechanical issues are beyond what we're prepared to pay considering her tender age. seems a car purchase looms in our future, and the monumental decision as to what it shall be.

We did not make it to the mines and petroglyphs we had so been looking forward to and are grateful to Al and Kelly for their photos and commentary.  By our calculations the King of Arizona mine would have been approx. 25 miles or so, and we just didn't feel comfortable (arrow/red circle points to the mine).

On a grey, non-photogenic day we did make it to the horse tanks (red circle near our site), just a couple of miles away.  These are a series of natural water collection ponds that have been improved and enhanced by refuge managers.  Many species benefit from these water developments, particularly the desert Bighorn sheep, which sadly, we did not see on our drive, though did in Anza Borrego a couple of weeks ago. 

Not a great day for photographs

On our way to the horse tanks

The ranger told us there are cameras mounted to view animal activity

And we did make it up Palm Canyon (red circle north of us) on a gloriously lit late afternoon, then hiked the short but steep trail to the palm groves perched high on the mountainside, only to just barely catch the tail end as the palms faded into dark shadows!

Stately Saguaro along the trail

Love the contrast of colors here!

Palm grove soon faded into the shadows

Time to start back...

Modeling my new Tilly's hat
I've survived the new computer learning process so far with no major damage to it or myself.  I actually feel I've rather tamed the beast that is Windows 8.1.  The Start screen is more customized to our needs and I finally overcame the major hurdle of being able to turn the damn thing on and off without having to logon every time.  Many of you are laughing at what seems such an easy function...not!

We are now off to Ajo in hopes of finding the perfect site somewhere along Darby Well Rd.  We heard about the mine incident a while back and that many former sites where RVers parked are now fenced off, thus narrowing down the choices considerably.  

(Well, I'm now here to tell you that we scored!) 

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