Mon. Feb 5
After checking email at the library in Quartzsite and updating our Blog (could not upload pictures thou?), we packed up an headed south to the Imperial Dam BLM on the Colorado River about 1 and ½ hours. I- 95 is a dead straight road with a few dips thru the desert always viewing mountains in the distant horizon.
We arrived at the Yuma Proving Ground with Military Equipment displayed and turned right towards Imperial Dam.
Proving Ground Yuma
Is a 1,300 square mile test and evaluation range for military systems, including aircraft weapons, tanks, and artillery. Operated by the Army, with about 2,000 workers, the Proving Grounds have an average of 100 tests operating simultaneously within its complex of heavily instrumented and specialized test areas. The reservation is roughly L-shaped, with aircraft-related activities taking place on the north-south
Cibola Range, and artillery and tank activities on east-west . The " Kofa Range Cross-Country Course" is one of several ground courses for testing motive equipment for use in desert warfare environments. Middle East Desert
150 miles SW of
Phoenix, 18 miles E of Yuma
Again Thousands of Rv’s and camping areas, we did find the field office and acquired a map of the area. There is a free sewage dump station and water fill and 2 washroom buildings in this area close together with flush toilets and outside shower (cold water only). We drove about and found a nice piece of dirt in the Gravel Pit, sheltered from the wind and facing south. Awesome weather now 90 F (33 c) in the shade at 3:25 pm. Relaxing in the quiet and watching the Roadrunners just running about. A few hundred yards away on a lower level were many people in a pavilion Line dancing in the shade. The Bulletin Board showed many activities going on in different areas all of this organized and done by volunteers. This is a government Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area still on our permit from Quartzsite, ($30.00 for 2 weeks). What a deal, no reservations just come and go wherever and whenever you please. And no crowds.
Very mild overnight, finally a low of 50 f, we actually slept with the windows open all night and no furnace needed. Once again a beautiful sunrise over the mountains. In the morning we walked for quite a distance exploring different camping areas and sights. Some really awesome views too. We even found a primitive golf course along a ridge of dirt. There is one area of camping on a reservoir, down a hill and camping on the beach, a $5.00 per night fee, but a sign warning “if you hear the siren to evacuate immediately” as they are filling it with water. Think we will camp up top.
After lunch we got a table out a played a dice game (LRC) and dominoes with Ginnette and Charlie in the shade, (95f. awesome!) Enjoyed a nice BBQ outside and a campfire again about 7:00pm . The British couple from BC that we met in Quartzsite (John and Margaret) joined us again sharing some enjoyable stories.
Wed. Feb 7
We are heading to Pilot Knob BLM in
, to go into Yuma AZ. and purchase new batteries for Ginette & Charlie’s trailer and stock up on supplies. What a beautiful drive, nice 2 lane winding road beside the small California Colorado River past green fields and palm tree forests. Farmers irrigating fields and workers harvesting crops. We even saw a bus load of workers towing 2 porta potties with them.
Once we arrived at Pilot Knob California BLM we set up and went to
for supplies. Returning to “home dirt” at 1:00pm awesome sunshine and temp was 120f (50C) in the sun, opened awning real quick only 90F in shade. Yuma
A short while later we heard a Helicopter right next to us in the mountains. After observing for a while we noticed it hovering in 1 place. Two border patrol vehicles arrived and 6 soldiers climbed the mountain and a while later 9 people came down. A little excitement right in our back yard. Not sure what was going on whether a training exercise or real. But we are only a few miles from the Mexican border. Later on we enjoyed and awesome sunset and campfire.
Thurs. Feb. 8
Went to Algodones B.C. ( Baha
With so many people around we ran into the British couple we met in Quartzsite again 3 times, a man from
Coming back to the
Sat. Feb 10.
Today we go off to the Yuma Market Place and explore
a bit. The Market Place was huge, Rows of vendors all under shelter from the hot sun. We arrived early 9:00am and were able to explore for a few hours until it began getting busy around 1:00pm, Had a bite to eat and explored more of Yuma then returned to home dirt. Yuma
Sun. Feb 11,
Our friends from
Ontario departed to then north towards Vegas we were not ready to roll yet, they had some reservations to keep, we have none. We will travel when the spirit moves us. It was a relaxing day reading and carving in the sun. Also very windy, dust storms all over, we were able to find a spot out of the wind and chewed sand all day. Later we enjoyed a nice roast pork for supper. And a movie for desert. Hot Springs
Mon. Feb 12
Took another short drive to Algodones
again, Rv’s parked in areas just off the side of the road, free camping all over. We arrived at the parking lot and noticed 2 Border Patrol trucks on the hill overlooking parking lot and 1 on bicycle, tight security. We came across to have Suzie’s eyes tested for new glasses. Lots of Optometrists to choose from and all prices about the same (cheap). After her eye exam she did not need new prescription. Mexico
We wandered about enjoying the festive atmosphere and sights and smells.
We came across some vendors painting these lamps. Absolutley amazing to watch him work, spraybombs of paint and pieces of cardboard for a brush and real fast. I took 3 pictures from almost the beginning until the end 7 minutes and done and a real beautiful lamp.
Exploring a small laneway we came upon a large plaza filled with music, food vendors, stuff to buy. It was quite enjoyable so we decided to stop for lunch and shared a large platter of Nacos, cheese, meat, salsa yummy. Even saw a Nun in here to having lunch. Then we continued back to the border at 1:00 pm no line up!! Guess everybody still having lunch. Back to home dirt and enjoy the sun.
Tues. Feb 13.
The wind picked up and started blowing the dust around, we did manage to get a few things done and relax. There was some real amazing bursts of wind that really stirred up the dirt, causing blinding white outs? We kind of chewed sand for 2 days. There was a lot of rv’s coming and going and many towing an extra trailer with their dune buggies on, most rigged with paddle tires for the sand dunes. It is really a major business out here with all the custom brand new dune buggies, used ones and parts.
Valentines day, did a bit of shopping and purchased a repair part for our Generator (exhaust pipe). And some King Crab Legs for supper, yummy!!! Cooking at home is much nicer than an expensive restaurant.
Thurs. Feb 15.
Our BLM permit expired and we were able to get into Pilot Knob Resort for 2 nights (free) only ¼ mile away from our dry camping. This gave us a chance to dump sewers and fill with water, fully recharge batteries, repair generator, clean up, do laundry, have a good long shower and check out the pool and hot tub. Also cook a nice roast beef in our slow cooker.
And enjoy our cement patio and relax under a small shade tree. Very nice resort with some gardens, trees, like an Oasis in the desert. The temperature was 32 degrees c (90F) for 3 days and no wind. I was enjoying an august edition of Motorhome Magazine and reading the articles when the centre pages were devoted to the Rally at Daytona Speedway that we attended April 2006, and, there was OUR PICTURE! We remember when the photographer took it.Then on Saturday we will be heading west about 25 miles to Imperial Dunes to check out more BLM land and the Sand Dunes, then a bit further to Hot Springs BLM camping, with natural