Saturday, February 20, 2016

Three Days at Alamo Lake.


Alamo Lake; Tuesday.


There is no cell reception or internet at Alamo Lake so that is why you haven't gotten a new post for several days.

Around noon on Tuesday we took off for a trip to Alamo Lake for three days. From there we will be going to Coolidge, AZ where we will stay for about three weeks.

Pump Rage at the Truck Stop.

 
We stopped at The ZIP truck stop on Vicksburg Road to top off the gas tank on the RV. It was an absolute zoo at the gas pumps since the other truck stop at Vicksburg Rd is closed.

This brings me to one of my major pet peeves.

I absolutely hate it when people are so inconsiderate and leave their car at the pump while they go into the store to shop. We were waiting patiently for the two cars in front of us to finish fueling so we could pull up to get gas. Our gas tank is at the back of the of the RV so unfortunately we take up the whole pump isle to get fuel. The first guy filled up and left so we were waiting for the second guy to pull out so we could pull up to the pump.
Before he could finish (he was taking his sweet time polishing his windows and mirrors and lights) another A-hole pulled in front of him and both occupants of that car got out and went into the store.

The polisher finally pulled out and I drove forward as far as I could but still couldn't get to the pump to get gas because of the people that left their car and went into the store.
Eventually one of them (the guy) came out and started cleaning the windshield on his car. When he was done he went back into the store. Eventually both occupants of the car came out. They got into their care and fooled around for about five minutes and eventually backed out of the pump island.

THEY DIDN'T EVEN GET GAS!!!!.

By this time I was livid. Why are people so inconsiderate?

Eventually I was able to fill the tank on the RV.
I was also going to get some propane so I pulled out of the pump island and pulled over to the propane tanks. I had to go inside the store to tell someone that I wanted propane. The girl at the counter said that it would be about ten minutes because the guy that does the propane was busy cleaning the showers.

WHAT???

That is a hell of a way to run a business. Whatever happened to customer service?

By this time I was so pissed off that I just said forget it, I don't really need to get propane that bad.

It took us about 45 minutes just to get gas.
 

Back on the Road.


We got back on Vicksburg Road and drove to Highway 60. Here we turned east and drove to Wenden where we turned north on Alamo Road and drove the 38 miles to Alamo Lake.
 

We were in our spot and setup by about 3:00.

I took a short nap to cool down.
 

The Mud Cliffs.


Around 4:30 we decided to take a short jeep ride. I wanted to go check out the “Mud Cliffs”.
We left the campground and drove south to Park Road where we turned east and drove on the dirt road to the intersection with Wickenburg Road where there is a RV community called The Wayside Oasis. Here we turned south for a short distance to Palmerita Road and turned east. We drove for about 5 miles to the mud cliffs.
 

The mud cliffs are pretty interesting. There is  notch canyon near one side that is really cool. 


We drove the jeep as far as we could into a notch canyon.


From here we walked further into the canyon taking pictures.




Wild Life.
After walking through the canyon for a while we left the mud cliffs.


As we were driving across the flats toward the main dirt road we saw a jack rabbit. It ran off a short distance and stopped. It sat there for quite a while as Patti took several pictures of it.


I guess the rabbit thought it was hidden.

After taking the rabbit pictures we continued toward the Palmerita Road. When we got to the road we turned east and followed it for a mile or so. We came to a road on the right with a road sign that read “Date Creek Road”. We decided to follow that road to see where it went. It turned out to be a narrow dirt track that wound through the scrub flats for about a mile and just vanished in the brush. Another col-d-sac.

We turned around and headed back to the main road.

We turned west and headed back toward camp. On the way we took another narrow dirt track off to the right. This trail took us past an old homestead.

 
We drove back to Alamo Road where we turned north and drove past the campground to the end of the road at the dam overlook. The sun had set but you can see that the water level in the lake is very low.



Back at camp we tried to get the TV satellite receiver to work without success.

That was our Tuesday.

Alamo Lake, Wednesday.

 
The plan for today was to go check out the Date Creek Waterfall.
We had been there in 2009. The waterfall then was just a trickle falling into a large pool.
This year there isn't as much water generally so I don't think there will be any in the falls.

We headed out the road from the camp ground and turned east toward the Wayside on Park Road. We turned south at the Wayside to Palmerita Road where we turned east again.
 

Side Tracked.

 
We drove a short distance and came to Three Rivers Road which goes north toward the where the Sandy and the Santa Maria River's go into Alamo Lake

We decided to take Three Rivers Road to see if there was any water in the rivers or if we could actually get to any of the rivers.

The road started off as a wide graded road
 
 
After about a mile the road became a narrow trail. From the trail we could see a large valley that was choked with trees. Some of the trees were in their winter black and others were green. From a distance they looked like Cotton Woods.
 
 

We came to a split in the trail and turned west, driving through many tree tunnels on a very skinny trail with trees and brush pressing in on both sides .
 

 
We went up and down several hills and at one point came to some cement slabs. There were several of these slabs scattered around the area. We didn't find any evidence of mining in the area so we figured that it might have been a ranch at one time.


After we got home I looked on the map and noticed a mine symbol where I think we were.

The trail that we were on kind of petered out so we turned around and retraced our track, when we got to the split in the trail we continued east. The trail got so narrow that we thought about turning around but there wasn't any room to do so.
We pushed on through the brush hoping that we could get through to somewhere were we would eventually get to a river or at least where we could turn around.. We came to a place where it looked like someone had dug a large hole down to water to make a tank for animal's.


At first it looked like we would have to turn around here but there was a very narrow track going around the tank.


We decided to push on and follow the trail.

A little further along we broke out of the brush onto a wide wash going east/west. Here we stopped to talk to a couple of people on Quads. We asked them if they had found the rivers but they said that they were also looking for them but had found no water so far. They mentioned that back the way they had come they had found an old ranch.

We decided to follow the wash east and see what we could find.

 
The wash turned out to be the bed of the Santa Maria River. We drove on the river bed for a couple miles occasionally taking some side washes to see if they went anywhere. Most ended in steep canyons with no exits.

 

So we returned the the river bed and pushed on.

Eventually we came to a wilderness boundary. There was a trail crossing the river bed here and we turned north. We didn't get far until we came to a No Trespassing sign. Here we turned around and followed the trail to the south. Once we left the river bed we were driving through more tree tunnels.


The area began to look familiar and we realized that we were entering the Palmarita Ranch.
I had planned to come here on Thursday. The last time we were here was 2009.

We pulled into the ranch and noticed that someone had been improving the old buildings.

We walked around and took several pictures.

Here you can see the original adobe walls of the main house.


This is the fireplace in the main house.


One of the smaller houses had been totally rebuilt. You can see it on the right side of this picture.


I went inside the small house and found some photo albums among other stuff. As it turned out the BLM had done all the rehab on the ranch. Apparently they ran out of money for the project so there is still a lot left undone.

 
Here are a couple pictures of the old photos in the albums.



There was another album showing pictures of the BLM guys working on the buildings.


It is refreshing to see the BLM actually doing something useful. They worked on the project from the fall of  2010 to the spring of 2012 but ran out of money. One of the books said that this was phase one. I sure hope there is a phase two soon as some of the roofs that they replaced have been blown off already.

After spending time at the ranch we headed up the hill to Palmerita Road.
Here we turned east to see if the road went any further. We came to a locked gate to the Grapevine Springs Ranch. We turned around and headed toward home.



A Visit to the Wayside.

We stopped to see if the Wayside was open.
It was so we went inside and had a drink and BS'ed with a few of the patrons in the bar and found out that the Date Creek Falls was dry this year.
My plan was to check the falls out today but as it turned out we ended up at the ranch instead. I had planned to got to the ranch on Thursday but now we will go to the falls on Thursday.

The TV Receiver.


We got back to the RV around 3:30. I took a short nap. After my nap I tried again to get the satellite receiver to work. I realized that I needed to push the “reset” button on the receiver to get the system to boot up. I pushed the button and lo and behold we have TV reception.

It was a very fun ride and we saw a lot of country we hadn't seen before. We are very happy that the BLM has taken an interest in the Palmerita Ranch and hope they will continue the repairs.

Alamo Lake, Thursday.

Moving camp.

When we got here on Tuesday we couldn't get a spot for three consecutive days so today we had to move to another spot. This was the first thing on our agenda this morning.
The move gave us a nice view of the lake from our back bedroom  window.


After we moved and got reconnected to power and water we left for today's ride.
During the night it rained a little and the sky was cloudy all day . It was kind of nice having some cool weather after several days with temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's.
 
 
 

Date Creek Falls.

 
We got started around 11:30 and drove from the campground, past the Wayside and out Palmerita Road.
We passed the Mud Cliffs and continued on Palmerita Road to High Road where we turned south.
High Road is a nicely graded road until it crosses the La Paz County line into Havapai County then it becomes a narrow trail.


Of course the whole way the desert scenery is spectacular.


We drove past a no trespassing sign which we ignored as we knew that it didn't pertain to the road as it is a county road. We passed by a place on the left that has a bunch of old derelict mobile homes and junk cars and trucks.
 About half a mile past the junky place we took a left turn up Date Creek Wash. We drove along the wash for about a mile before it enters a really cool canyon with steep colorful cliffs on each side.


We zigzagged through the canyon until we came to a set of tracks that went to the left.


We turned onto this track and went about a hundred yards and stopped at the first pool.


From here it is a short walk to where the falls are. You have to go through an arch just to the left of the first pool.


You follow a small creek


that comes out of a pool in a large semi circular grotto with high cliffs where the falls usually are.


This is a dry year so there is no water falling from the notch at the top of the cliff above the pool.

The pool is spring fed so there is still enough water in it to keep the creek flowing a little bit but it doesn't flow enough to keep a thick layer of algae from covering the creek.

 
We left the falls and drove to the end of the canyon.


It isn't really the end of the canyon but there is a fence that crosses the wash there. We turned around there and headed back down the wash to High Road.
When we reached High Road, we turned south and drove past the Pipeline Ranch. Just past the ranch compound the road climbs a hill. We stopped at the top of the hill to take a picture of the ranch.


We continued along the road and found a trail that went off to the right and followed the trail past a water trough. It ended at a corral where there were a couple of cows lounging near a feeder. When we pulled up the cows left.


Joshua Trees.

There are a lot of Saguaro Cactus in the area but it is a transition zone from Saguaros to Joshua Trees

On the way back we stopped to take some pictures of Joshua Trees in bloom.

 
Here is a bloom that hasn't opened yet.


Here is another bloom opened up.
 
 
 

Lunch at the Wayside.


After a couple of pictures of the trees and the blooms, we headed back to High Road and started our return trip. On the way back to our camp spot we stopped at the Wayside and had lunch.



I had a Green Chili Burger and Patti had a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. We shot the breeze with some of the patrons and the owners.

The Wayside is a pretty neat place with friendly people and good food. They also have an RV park and an air strip.
We got home around 3:45 and I took a nap. After my nap I pumped up the tires on the jeep and installed the tow bar.

It was a good day.

We will be leaving tomorrow for the Coolidge/Florence area.

Friday.

 
We left the camp ground around 10:30 and drove back to Wenden where we turned right on Hwy.60 and drove to Salome. Here we turned south on Salome Road and followed it to I-10. Here we headed east to Hwy. 85 where we turned south to Gila Bend. Highway 85 is the Phoenix Bypass and is a good four lane highway until about 3/4 of a mile from Gila Bend where it becomes really rough. Fortunately they are working on that stretch of road. Of course that means stop and go traffic for a short distance.
At Gila Bend we stopped for lunch at the Space Age Café. The food is not bad but the service has been slow everytime we have eaten here. We are thinking we will try and find another place to eat in Gila Bend. The good thing about the Space Age Café is that there is a parking area behind the restaurant that is large enough to accommodate the RV with a towed vehicle behind it.
 
After lunch we got on I-8 and headed east to the turn off to Coolidge. We turned north here and arrived in Coolidge around 4:00. We pulled into the Walmart parking lot and disconnected the Jeep.
We wanted to check out an RV park near Florence but didn't want to drive the motor home there until we found out if we wanted to stay there.
As it turned out the RV park (Rancho Sonora) was pretty full and we couldn't get a full hook up spot for the three weeks we were going to be here. We could get an over flow spot for 2 weeks and a full hookup spot for another week. That would be a pain since every week we would have to move to the dump station to dump the sewer tanks. They wanted $400 per week so we decided to check with the HO-HO-Kam RV Park where we stayed last year. They had one spot available and only wanted $190 so we took it. We ended up in the same spot we had last year.  
When we pulled in we were greeted like long lost relatives; it was so nice to be back here. 
We are taking today to get settled. Maybe tomorrow we will take a ride.
 
Okay that brings us up to Saturday.
Stay tuned.    

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