Friday, January 14, 2011


Yesterday Patti and I went to check out Martinez Lake.

We left home around noon. To get Martinez Lake, we drove south on AZ 95 for 55miles and then headed west on a paved road for 16 miles, through the Yuma Proving grounds.

We were surprised to find a fairly large Village on the south end of the lake.


In the town are many RV lots among the houses, a few of them are for sale.

There is a slightly shabby public marina,



a large Restaurant/Cantina,


a store and a motel.

The lake is in the Imperial Wildlife Refuge, and appears to be mostly composed of sloughs off the Colorado River with lots of cat tails and vegetation along the edges.


It looks like a good place for Kayaking and birding.


We drove north of town to the refuge visitor center and noticed a road going north called “The Red Cloud Mine road”. We followed that road for about 16 miles into some very interesting desert.



There are several roads off the main one that go to scenic views of the lake.



Here is a good put in spot for a kayak.



Eventually the road leaves the refuge and goes through the Proving grounds for a few miles then into open desert.

Along the way we found a couple of interesting mine tunnels and of course I had to investigate them.





We talked to a guy and a lady who were rock hunting. He told us that he was looking for “Wulfenite”. I had never heard of it but he told us that it was an orange or yellow crystalline structure. Here is a web sight that shows specimens and descriptions.


and came to an intersection where several roads come together. There was an interesting sign post giving mileages


and information on the trails that cross there.


The sign below says “Not” recommended for 4wd'.


One sign showed that there was a trail through a wash that would eventually go to Blythe and Quartzsite but they were 6o+ miles away.


We had already driven 90 miles at that point and it was about 3:00 when we got there so we decided to head back the way had  come. Maybe we will check out that road some other time but I will take our sleeping bags and extra fuel with us because it could take a couple days to make the trip. As it is we didn’t get home until 6:00.

It was a lot more interesting ride than I had expected.   

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