Monday, May 25, 2009

The next installment........

Since it was terribly windy at Parker and it was coming from the south, we decided to stay an extra day instead of heading into the wind. Good decision! From Parker, we headed down to Quartzite. Since we had been dry camping for several days, we stopped at a nice little RV park for the usual, then the next morning headed to the desert. In January and February, there are gem shows in and around Quartzite and the population swells to almost 1 million, but at this time of the year, the snowbirds are winging their way north, so we were able to find a pretty nice spot to park for about 5 days. The guys went out every day with their detectors - no luck, but they had a good time and got some exercise. Janet and I went for walks and read. The weather was pretty decent.
This was our camp site at sunset one night.
Before heading into civilization, we drove up to Mitry Lake - kind of backwater from the Colorado River which then is sent to canals for irrigation. I had no idea how many crops are grown in the Yuma area! The lake is a haven for wildlife - birds of all kinds - so we enjoyed our days there. Kayaked several times. The lake has about 10 of these constructed fishing piers out in the water - complete with palm trees. During the day, people were using them pretty heavily, but we read somewhere that the fish from the lake are heavily contaminated with fertilizer, pesticides, etc. I don't think I would want to eat them! I took this photo from my kayak - Abbey is wondering what the heck I'm doing!Janet didn't want to get out! Now that we got her in a kayak, we can't get her out of it. There were lots of these reeds and grasses around the lake - very few places to get from land to water - or water to land!All those days in the dusty desert made us long for a nice warm shower, of course, so we found a VERY nice RV park in Yuma where we hung out by the pool (after showering.....) for 2 days. Nicest park I've ever stayed in, for sure!
While at the RV park, we met Ron in the pool - remember Ron Michaels from 910 KISN days? Well, one and the same!! When we went to Los Algodones. who did we run into at the dentist office, but RON! While his wife (whose name I can't for the life of me think of) and Jim were having dental work done, Ron, Dean, Janet and I went to lunch. As luck would have it - there was a resturant that was having their annual birthday celebration - free food and FREE MARGARITAS!!!!!!!!!!!! We started out on the patio - very HOT!Ron took our photo.
We were able to move inside where is was much nicer. There was music, various kinds of entertainment, and excellent people watching. Ron called his daughter and we all talked to her. The ceiling of the resturant/bar was plastered with paper money - from where, I don't know - couldn't get close enough.
Time to head back over the border. This day, we were a bit late, as you can tell from the lines - of cars and of people. We parked on the US side and walked over. Our wait was a couple of hours, but someone in a car said theirs was even longer. The next time we went over, we went early and came back earlier. Very little wait.(I don't know how to move these photos - I wanted them all in a row......)
This little cutie was one of many little kids who were either entertaining the tourists or selling some sort of trinket. They were EVERYWHERE! Walking around Los Algodones is a real experience. Every vendor wants you to buy something from them. I got pretty good at saying no. But this little guy was soooo cute. Blowing bubbles with his gum and playing the little accordian. And looking at all the tourista.

Time to get back on the water. As many of you know, there is not much left of the Colorado River around Yuma. It has been piped all over the place for irrigation and drinking water. More about this in another post........
So, we headed up to Squaw Lake (they evidently haven't got the politically correct message around there yet......) There was a dump nearby at the Long Term snowbird area, so we took advantage of it before heading to the "campground" - which ended up being basically a parking lot. With lines - 1 RV to a spot, just like in a mall parking lot. But, they did have nice, hot showers, so that was a plus. And a lake - again, just kind of backwater from the Colorado River. We kayaked to our heart's content - hours every day we were there. We found a nice channel that ran somewhat parallel to the river and it was a pleasant paddle - until someone on a jet ski came blasting around a corner. Now, I'm sure that they are a ton of fun, but a 10' wide, very windy channel might not be the best place. Just sayin'.

Someone forgot their hat on this paddle!
From Squaw Lake, Jim and Janet went back into Yuma to the fancy RV park, and Dean and I went exploring. First destination - Palm Canyon. "Perhaps the only native palm trees in Arizona are tucked away in narrow, rugged canyons on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The Palm Canyon Trail is a rugged hike and takes you near a stand of these unique plants, called California fan palms, Washingtonia filifera."
We're headed up this canyon
From the top of the trail looking back down to the parking lot.
A VERY pooped puppy! But she is clean - got a nice bath in Yuma and a cute little scarf which stayed on for almost the rest of the trip!
So, we get to the end of the trail and here is the sign..............
And here are the palms - as indicated by the arrow. You can see them, but it would have been a steeper and ruggeder hike to see them up close and personal - so we didn't!The trail - up to the sign - was, indeed, pretty rugged. This is the trail - all the way like this.
Next bit of exploring was Crystal Mountain - where you're supposed to be able to pick up real crystals. Not! We scoured that place - found a lot of quartz, but no crystals. Oh, well, good exercise, huh!
We spent the night at one of the many areas around Quartzite and went out exploring the next morning. Only interesting thing we came across was this "golf course" Had to put these photos in for all you golfers! I guess when there is no course around, you go out and make your own!
To be continued.................

No comments: