Friday, December 15, 2017

RV Trip: Quartzsite, AZ Day 3: Kofa Wildlife Refuge & Palm Canyon

While working the late morning, a fellow rider who'd "been there, done that" after he retired from farming, Rex, came by to show me his ADV style '81 R80 GS Motorcycle:

Here's Rex, astride "Fat Dog", his '81 G/S Beemer
with the 11.4 gallon tank.

I'd met Rex yesterday when he walked into my campsite, having spotted Scarlett and wanting to talk motorcycles.  UDF at work.

He's a real rider, having ridden from the US to the tip of South America and back up the Brazil side.  Didn't get too many details as there was work to do and he had tasks to accomplish as well.

After work today, I rode south on State Road 95 about 18 miles to the turnoff for Palm Canyon Road and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.

Nice two lane dirt road, still have to go slow on it with an RV but Scarlett made short work of it, maintaining the posted speed limit of 25 mph.  I saw less than 5 RVs boondocking in the refuge.  Though with good 4G cell coverage for Verizon and wide open spaces, I think I could pick this spot for future boondocking.

 The mountains/hills of Kofa Wildlife Refuge

In the afternoons, the distant haze creates some really nice shadings in the distant mountain peaks and hills, something which I could not get enough of since I've been in the Quartzsite area.

I shot the next three from the parking lot at the end of the road leading into Palm Canyon.




From the parking lot its a rough and steep half mile hike to the site within the canyon where one finds a small sign pointing to the namesake of the canyon. 

I'd planned for this and removed my riding jacket and pants, clad in a t-shirt and shorts with sandals, the hike was much more enjoyable!

A grove of palm trees growing in a crevice; dependent on the canyon's micro climate for survival in the harsh desert conditions of the Sonoran Desert.


 I lucked out, the light was just right to illuminate the grove
of palm trees in the crevice

 This was the view outward from the furthest point inward
that I made it on foot.  There was a bit more to go but
I didn't have the will or interest.

 Cool rock formation on the north wall of the canyon

Once I geared up and started heading away from Palm Canyon, I stopped for more "shades" shots:



Scarlett with Palm Canyon behind here.

Rode back towards the Hi Jolly BLM spot where Umarang and I have been boondocking the last two days.  One more night stay and then I think we'll head on over to the Sedona area for some more boondocking.

It's a great site for a day ride if you're close enough, and definitely a future boondocking candidate for me!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

RV Trip: Quartzsite, AZ - Days 1 & 2

Laura, my sister-in-law, had flown into town this past Saturday and after a few days, relieved me of caregiver duties for my FIL.  After 12 days, I was able to get into the RV and tow Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol out of the Phoenix Metro area and head west on I-10.

Destination was Quartzsite, AZ to see what this "mecca for RVs" was like in person.  It must be early in the season as I would say that perhaps only 1/3 to 1/2 of the visible RV campsites in town, and the sites visible from the road that are on BLM land were full.

I drove to the Hi Jolly 14 Day BLM campsite (There's LTVA: Long Term Visitor Areas) managed by the BLM as well, you can stay for several months for only $180 I think.

Found a spot and headed out to catch the sunset, it wasn't much of one as the skies were clear with no clouds to provide a paint surface for the setting sun.

Just west of the town of Quartzsite

The sunrise for day 2 was equally cloudless:

The view from Uma's campsite in Hi Jolly BLM Site

Took a long lunch hour unintentionally, the route I had picked to explore the nearby hills proved quite tough in spots, slowing me down to avoid crashing Scarlett.  Many dry washes or riverbeds to be traversed over very rocky terrain with steep climbs and drops.  Woof.

 I believe this is the summit area of Boyer Gap
There was a faded sign identifying the fenced off area as Sunset
Marble Co.  I think the peak to the right is the Dome Basin Mine.

 Leaving Boyer Gap behind and hunting for the trail that
leads to the south, southeast.  



 Getting closer to civilization
 I believe this was Marquita Pass, there was no sign, just
a metal cross at a memorial for a Jimmy Simpson who
died in 2015 at the ripe old age of 76.

Another mile or two of gnarly trail riding finally brought Scarlett and I onto road 0123 which was a two lane dirt road.  Although it was still a dirt road, it felt glass smooth after the bouncing Scarlett and I had taken on the rest of the goat trail we'd just come out of!

Got into Quartzsite and headed into town to check out the Hi Jolly Monument.  Interesting bit of history, he was one of the packers/driver for the short-lived experiment that was the US Army's Camel Corps back in the late 1800s.

His name was Hadji Ali but upon emigrating to the US, his name was so mangled by others that he would become known as Hi Jolly.



More info here on Hi Jolly: LINK

Bone tired and thirsty (had water, kept forgetting to drink it), I headed on back to the campsite.  A bit over two hours for what had started as a one hour ride!

Some of the rockiest and toughest riding I've done in a very long time, some parts of Moab, UT compare well but I don't think I'd want to do this route again, not alone anyways!

To finish off the day, another cloudless sunset, not bad but cloudless....



 There's perhaps 30+ other RVs in the
Hi Jolly BLM area with me

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Brigitta is Miss January 2018

Brigitta, my '87 BMW R80 Airhead Beemer was selected by the folks at airheads.org to be the picture for January 2018 in their annual calendar.

You have to be a member of airheads.org to buy it, so if you're already a member...



Here's the picture that was submitted for the contest to be on the 2018 calendar:

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

RV Trip: Arizona - Recap of last few days: Sunsets, a Museum, a Memorial and more Sunsets

I am currently in Sun City, Arizona.  Drove UMA the URRV with Scarlett, the 2014 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig on a trailer last week, took me two days to cover the 900+ miles to my FIL (Father in Law)'s condo in Sun City.

Richard G., Martha's Dad, is having some medical issues and as I can work from anywhere where there's Internet access, I was the logical choice to come down and help out where I could.

First couple of days here, not much riding, as I was helping Richard get settled at the nearby hospital.  The weekend came and went but all I got in terms of pictures was some rather nice sunrises in the parking lot of Richard's condo.

 Friday Sunset

Saturday Sunset

Monday Sunset

Monday was also supposed to be the day for the required surgery but it had to be postponed as some numbers related to Richard weren't quite right.  Adjustments would have to be made to the delicate balance.

Tuesday was a day of more waiting as the medical staff worked to get the numbers just right so that Richard's surgery could be scheduled.  He's doing OK, just tired and ready for the surgery in order to get it over with and go home.

Around Noon on Tuesday, Richard said that I should go riding, no sense just hanging about with him.  So off I went, he recommended I head northwest out of Sun City along US60 to Wickenburg to check out the western museum there.

The Desert Caballeros Western Museum proved quite interesting, with lot of art, sculpture and setups depicting life in old Wickenburg.  Very nice.

 Neat sculptures

 yours truly, at Wickenburg's bar, of course

The museum had this cool hologram-like clerk who 
appears from behind the counter as you walk into his store....neat.

After the museum it was a 25 mile ride to the town of Yarnell by way of State Road 89, a lovely mountain ride popular with local motorcycle riders I was told by the museum staff.

The view from near the top of the road to Yarnell

Nearby, is the state park dedicated to the memory of 19 Hot Shot firefighters who died in the Yarnell Fire.


Lacking the time and hiking gear, I didn't walk the almost 3 mile trail dedicated to their memories, another time perhaps.

Retracing my steps I made it back to Sun City and spent some time trying to find a good spot to pose Scarlett with the oncoming sunset.

Failed at finding anything between Wickenburg and Surprise, another small city near Sun City.  Finally I made my way towards the hospital to deliver the day's mail to Richard and lo and behold I found a spot!  Right next to the hospital too!