Hiking to Palm Canyons

Palm Canyon Hike

The other day a bunch of us drove the 23 miles down to the Palm Canyon turnoff and the 7 miles on a washboard gravel road to the Palm Canyons trailhead. It was only a 1/2 mile hike up the canyon to the spot where you can see the palms growing on the walls of the canyon.

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This is looking in the opposite direction out to the Chocolate Mountains.

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A bunch of us gathered at the trailhead.

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You can see the palms growing out of the rock.

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A couple more pics of the canyon.

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Sara checking out the canyon.

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We met this couple coming down the trail.  I knew them from Amazon.  Funny how you always manage to find friends in the most out of the way places.

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Some of the group decided to hike further up the canyon.

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A better shot of the palms.  It is amazing how they grow up there among all the rocks.

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We are planning another hike to a trail we passed before the Palm Canyons trail so stay tuned.

Arrived in Quartzsite

Wonderful time with family and friends

I was really glad to see my family and so many friends for the holidays.  Bev and Bob were great hosts and showed me a wonderful time.  On the 3rd I left their house to return to my rig to get it ready for the trip to Quartzsite.  B & B had gone out to Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and picked up some chili and deviled eggs for me and dropped them off at the rig.  This is a pic of Bev with Chica.

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I usually only see my family once a year at Christmas and it is always a great time.

Back on the road

I left So CAL on the 4th and landed in Quartzsite that afternoon.  I immediately drove to the RV Pit Stop and filled up with propane then headed to the La Posa West LTVA where I paid my $40 for my first two weeks here.  Then it was off to the dump station where I dumped my tanks and filled up with fresh water.  Now I am ready to go.  I found many friends who had just arrived that day and John led me to a great spot.  It sure feels good to be out in the desert again.  We have a great spot with lots and lots of room for anyone who would like to join us.

A bit chilly

The days have been nice with clear blue skies.  Yesterday the wind blew from the north.  Everyone was saying that it was blowing the cold air in from Fernley, NV where I worked at Amazon.  Last night the temperature got down to 31.  I didn’t run the furnace but had the catalytic heater running all night.  Here are a couple of pics showing how Chica stays warm.

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Her favorite spot is right in front of the Wave 3 catalytic heater.

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All of us are quite comfortable out here in the desert as you can see from the next pic.  Working on a rig you always need a box of wine handy.  HA!

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Come out and join us

If you are anywhere near this area (within 1,000 miles – HA!) stop in and join us.  Roger and John went into town and picked up a lot of firewood and we have fires every night under the stars.  During the day it warms up nicely and we always have a Happy Hour to BS about just about any subject anyone can think of.

A visit from my son

My son stops in for a couple of days…

My son Curt is traveling from California to Texas and stopped in to see me for a couple of days.  We went out to dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery in downtown Tempe.  It is a great restaurant overlooking Mill Street.

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We also walked around the Mill Street?University Drive area.  It was a great place and lots of people out.

Off to see the MIM again…

He hadn’t seen The MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) so I suggested we go there on Tuesday.  We spent most of the day walking around this fabulous museum.  They have an “Experience Gallery” where you can experience playing the many instruments they have on display.  Or should I say trying to play them.  HA!!  It was a lot of fun.  Here are several pics from the Experience Gallery.

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While there I found several things that I had not noticed in my prior visit.The first was instruments made out of cans.

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Bamboo

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and even a brake cylinder.  It is amazing the different instruments that people use to make music.

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I can’t imagine paying $27.45 for this organ, but back in 1902 that was probably a fortune.

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Gourmet meals in the MIM cafeteria…

After touring the museum we were hungry so stopped in their cafeteria for lunch.  What a pleasant surprise.  The lunch was all gourmet meals.  I couldn’t believe it.  Someone had commented on my previous post about the delicious meals so I just had to see for myself.  What a pleasant surprise.  Of course I had to have a Monkey Shine ale to wash it down!

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Here is a pic taken in the courtyard of The MIM.  This statue moved ever so slightly that you could not even tell if you were looking at it.

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Chica pic

Curt also had a good time with Chica and she enjoyed his company.

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Rangers game and then off to Texas

Curt is a Texas Ranger fan and went to the game on Wednesday.  Then it was off to Texas.  It was fun getting together and I really enjoyed seeing him.

Great Breakfast!

On the way to the Super Bowl!

Yesterday for the second year in a row we saw the Metlife Blimp on it’s way to the Super Bowl.  It is headed to New Orleans, LA and it was moving fairly fast.  I just had time to run inside and grab my camera and snap this pic before it disappeared out of site.

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Another super campfire and sunset.

We also had a fun “Happy Hour” as usual and a chatted around the campfire.

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Plus we were treated to another magnificent sunset.  What more could you ask for.

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Arose early for a breakfast get-together.

Linda suggested that we all get together for a 9:00am breakfast get-together.  Everyone brought a dish and we all were treated to a very filling and very good breakfast to start off the morning.

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Up early to catch the sunrise.

I am not one to get out of bed early in the morning, but since I volunteered to furnish the potatoes for the breakfast, I set my alarm to make sure I didn’t sleep in.  It was nice to awaken to a beautiful sunrise.

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The big tent is nearly empty…

After breakfast we walked down to the big tent which was nearly empty.  There were still a few vendors in the center of the tent, but they were getting the rest of the tent ready for the car show.  We strolled through it and then walked across the street, but many of the vendors there were either gone or were starting to pack up.

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Some of the tool vendors were there and probably will be here for some time.  I liked this sign at KB Tools.

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A lot of the campers have also gone.  We still have 10 rigs here in our group but most of us will be gone by Sunday.  I will probably leave Sunday as well and head to my next destination in Mesa about 135 miles from here east of Phoenix.

Here is a view down “Old Yuma Road” on our way back from the tent.

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Rain and more rain

Lots of clouds

The rain clouds have moved in and we had 50% prediction that it would rain.  Here are a few pics before the rain started on Friday.

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The rain started on Friday night right after our “Happy Hour”.  Everyone was driven inside for the night.  It rained all Friday night and even into Saturday.  We were going to have a Hot Dog dinner but that was put off until Sunday.

Cleaning the desert…

The rain is Nature’s way of cleaning the desert.  The air is really fresh and it really keeps the dust down.  This is how it looked out the window of my rig most of the day.

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Then the rain stopped and although the clouds were still there everyone slowly migrated towards the campfire Mike had started.

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Mountains covered in clouds…

Then we were all treated to a beautiful sunset.  There were still lots of clouds, but the rain was moving east.  The clouds left us with a beautiful sunset.  We didn’t have “Happy Hour” and postponed the hot dogs until Sunday, but everyone hung out by the fire swapping stories.

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I got out my telephoto lens for this shot of the clouds over the mountains.

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A beautiful sunset…

Then we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

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RV Show ends tomorrow…

The RV Show ends tomorrow.  I am sure there may be some great bargains but I have bought everything I need at this point.  The sun is out and it is a beautiful day in the desert.

Thar’s gold in them thar hills!!

Hiking in the desert…

Jeanne of On the Road with Riley fame, Chris and I planned last night to go on a hike in the morning.  I mentioned there was a old gold mine close by so that was our destination.  It was a nice hike thru some washs and Riley was able to go off leash and wander among all the great scents.

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When we got to the top of the hill we were met by a couple who had driven up in their 4X4 truck.  It was a great view of the entire valley.  Here are a couple of pics of our encampment at Roger’s 1/2 Acre.

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Here is a shot of the valley floor with all the white RV’s everywhere.

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An old gold mine…

The gold mine was in very poor shape and rotting away.  I am sure it was some time ago when it was last used.  It would have been exciting to see in it’s better days when miners where using it to extract gold.

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Here is a pic of Jeanne, Chris and Riley at the top of the mine.

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More views of the mine.

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It was a great hike and good for the old legs.

Drove to the Walmart at Parker…

I needed to pick up a trailer hitch and some groceries at Walmart.  Jeanne went along to pick up some groceries as well.  It was the first time I had the Suzuki on the open road for any length of time and it drove quite well.

Rain clouds moving in all day…

We had lots of clouds all day long and it was raining further west.  We all got together for “Happy Hour” and soon after the rain started to come down.  We all headed into our rigs and then it started to rain a lot.  It was rather soothing listening to the raindrops on the roof of my rig.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow again, so probably not too much outdoor activity will be going on.  It will be a good day to just stay inside and read or catch up on the Internet.

Spinning yarn and meeting good friends!

Learning how to spin yarn..not tales

I spotted Melinda spinning yarn on her spinning wheel.  Melinda is from Alaska and spins her own yarn and weaving is her passion.  You can read more about her at her blog Woven Journey

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Before long I was sitting at the wheel learning to spin yarn.  It is not easy.  She taught me how to work the foot pedals first.  You have a tendency to move the wheel back and forth which is not what you want to do.  You must have it going in the same direction all the time.  Not easy to do, but with a lot of Melinda’s patience the wheel was going in the correct direction which is clockwise.  I still had difficulty feeding the material.
I can really appreciate how difficult it can be.

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It just comes second nature to Melinda and is very relaxing to her.

Meeting up with my wonderful Canadian friends…

Yesterday I saw a large van pull into our camping area with a big sign on the side that read “Island Tours”.  I don’t know of any islands in the Quartzsite area and the closest body of water is probably the Colorado River.  But out pops my good friends Peter and Bea.  I first met them back in 2011 at Belle Starr’s Ranch in Douglas, AZ.  We worked on a shed of Belle’s and Peter was the driving force behind the work as he is an experienced carpenter.  You can see the blog here.

They had dropped in to see me.  We chatted a bit and told me where they were camped so I drove to their campsite in the afternoon.

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Peter and Bea are from Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada.  By the way if you ever travel to Campobello Island give them a call and they will give you a great tour.

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They both love the southwest and drive down here every winter to get out of the cold weather back home.  Bea is a great cook and also has a great cooking blog Dinner For Two  She made chocolate chip cookies and brownies and had coffee and we tried to catch up on all our travels both past and future.  You can read their blog at American Traveler

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This is a pic of Mollie who loves to travel with them.

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It is always fun meeting up with Peter and Bea.  We have run into each other at many places and without even planning it.  It is amazing how there are so many people at Quartzsite, but you still manage to find those people who are friends and not even be trying.

While having coffee and cookies with Peter and Bea a friend (Sandie) stopped who happens to be a regular commenter on my blog.  They stopped to ask Peter and Bea if they needed anything at the store.  I re-introduced myself to them.  Sandie writes about their travels at  Where Are The Dixons Today?  

A beautiful end to a wonderful day…

There are a lot of clouds in the sky and I managed to get this pic.  It came out better then I thought it would.

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Dinner at the Main Street Eatery

A bunch of us decided to have someone cook our dinner for a change.  Ten of us went to the Main Street Eatery which is located in the front of the laundromat.  It doesn’t sound too glamorous but the food is excellent.  I had chicken friend steak with garlic mashed potatoes.  YUM YUM!!!!