Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Adventure

New adventure #08
I have decided that it was to much trouble sending these updates out via email so I am trying it in blog form. I hope it works out better.

Friday, Feb. 20.
Another fine morning.
Today we plan to try and complete the trip we started Tuesday. I hope we don’t break down again.

We left "Plan B" around 10:00am. and stopped at the gas station to top off Clifford's tank and fill the extra gas can's. Then we headed south on US 95 to mile post 55, where we turned east into the Kofa Refuge on Castle Dome Rd. We continued east past intersection 75 (The Big Eye Mine road) and stopped at the Castle Rock Mining Museum and Ghost Town. It is an excellent museum and worth every penny of the $5.00 entrance fee. We spent at least two hrs there and took a lot of pictures.

We left the museum and continued north, went over McPherson pass to intersection 53 where we turned N.E. and drove 2 miles to intersection 56 turned south and drove to the end of the trail and stopped for lunch.

After lunch we backtracked to 53 and headed north to the intersection with King Valley Rd. We turned east and went for about 4 miles to intersection 79 where we continued straight ahead on the trail that ends near Chain tank and Red tank. The first couple of miles of road was pretty flat and I thought it would be a pretty fast trip.
Then we came to "the dips" As it turns out we were crossing a large alluvial plane and about every 50 to 100 yards we came to a wash that we had to cross.
Some of the washes were just dips in the road others were very steep gullies. One was so steep and narrow we actually drug our gas tank skid plate. It is the first time of all the trails we have been on that we have actually drug anything on the jeep.
One nice thing about this road was the wild flowers. In some spots there would be a carpet of yellow, orange and purple flowers. The desert is just beginning to bloom and it should be glorious later on.

We got to the end of the road about 5:00 pm. and decided to camp for the night.
This is the first time we have had a chance to use out new tent.

It worked out just fine, although the tent fly made a lot of noise when the wind blew and we didn't sleep all that well.

Saturday, Feb. 21

The weather is overcast but warm.
This morning while we were sitting around I happened to notice a rock formation that from our point of view looked like a sculpture of a mountain lion getting ready to pounce as viewed from the rear.

Our camp spot was very nice and the surroundings looked like a giant landscaped rock garden.
We were a little disappointed that we didn't hear any Coyote's singing during the night.
We left camp around 11:45 and headed back through the dips to intersection 79 where we turned south on the trail to Castle Rock Dam.
This road also crossed several dips and through some really steep, rough and rutted gullies. The flora along this trail was quite different than along the last road. There were very few wild flowers, mostly there were Cholla of several varieties, Hedghog, Prickly Pare/Beaver tail, Saguaro cactus and Ocotillo (which are not a cactus but a relative of the Bujum tree).
We didn't see any cactus in bloom on this trip.

We had lunch in the wash where this trail ends.

After lunch we headed for home. We retraced our drive back to intersection 79 where we got on King Valley Rd. and followed it to US 95 at mile post 76 where we turned north and headed back to Quartzsite.

Now we have driven on almost every road/trail in the Kofa Refuge, there is only one that we haven't been on and that is the one that goes between intersection 62 and 8. We may try to get to that one from the east side so we can make it a loop but that means going through the Yuma prooving grounds again.

We got back to "Plan B" at 4:30. We were very tired and decided to go out for dinner. We had been told about a place called the "Mountain Quail Cafe" so we went there.

We had the Special (Prime Rib) it was excellent and very reasonable. You got a very thick slice of meat with potato, vegetable and salad for 15 bucks. It was all we could do to finish it.