Arizona Hwy 95 BLM

AZ 95, Butterfield Stage Trail, Yuma Proving Grounds, Castle Dome Mountains, King Road,

Having spent several days at the BLM at the VFW Post north of Yuma, who ever coined the phrase ” Trains, Planes and Automobiles ” was right on about the place. In ten days of being there we watch the Marine Air Station lunching C130 type airplanes and fighter jets every morning. Trains all day long, no horns but the rig shakes! Motorized parachutes fly over every afternoon. And almost every night the local Crop Duster does low passes over the fields just West of our location some times up until midnight!

We started moving north. Crossed the Gila River and the Butterfield Stage Trail, and out into the Yuma Proving Grounds. Following the Castle Dome Mountains north on Hwy 95. Found the King Road BLM.  33°15’4.28″N 114°13’17.84″ For sure much different than VFW we just left. Got here on a Wednesday and just a few other campers. Road is fine until you get past our location, the washes get deeper and sharper. The Kofa National Forest entrance is just another mile up the road from us. The Teddy Bear Cholla are abundant here and I don’t know if there is a season for dropping their little balls of joy! But here we see each plant has dozens of little balls laying around their bases. I’m guessing that is how they spread new off-spring. 

Took a hike up to a pass just north of us and found a very neat environment of deep washes and deep cuts in the land scape. Mountains are awesome when you’re up close to them.  After four miles we just about did ourselves in. 

Advertisements

Yuma, AZ

Mohawk Pass, Telegraph Pass, Fortuna Foothills, Butterfield Stage Line, 

33°11’2.09″N 111°20’10.30″W
Stopped at Cottonwood Canyon Rd north of Florence, AZ. The road and the land is dusty and very lifeless. Lots of traffic on the road and four wheelers abound.

We had some trouble with the Generator and wound up at a Cumming Service Center in Phoenix for three days. Finding night time temps getting colder this week so we are going to go to Yuma and then start our way up AZ 95.

32°43’44.89″N 114°25’23.48″W

Found the BLM property next to the VFW Post 8242 north of Yuma. Similar to Snyder Hill in Tucson. Just five miles to what ever you need.  Just east of the campground is a gravel road that you can hike or ride bike up to the Fortuna Foothills, where we found a wonderful canyon back into the hills. Very rough but amazing for Midwesterners to see. There is also a Salt cedar woods just west of the campground that is also very interesting to wander through. Would also recommend the Arizona Market, they’re open Thursday through Sunday and they have lots of touchy feely RV items.

Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area

32°59’16.76″N 110°46’54.13″W
After a couple weeks in the desert we decided to find full hook ups and charge our batteries up. Back tracked to AZ 77 and headed out toward the Galiuro Mountains through Mammonth and onto Winkelman, AZ. About half way form Oro Valley to Winkelman the road has a 7% down grade that eventually takes you down to the Gila River and Winkelman. Off to the right you can get a glimps of the Galiuro Mountain Range and the Aravaipa Canyon area. This road is also known as the Copper Corridor Scenic Byway.

Winkelman is a Copper Prossing town. Lots of closed down and abandoned shops. Has a very interesting Grave Yard, very colorful and interesting, seems most of the residence are Spanish.

We took a day trip north on Hwy 77 up into the mountains toward Globe. Found a little road side rest area just north of Winkelman. There is a road down to the river, steep and rutty, we choose to walk down to the river camping area. We found a really neat and secluded area along the river to camp. Its no place for a big rig but if you’re in a car or truck camper it would be ideal. The woods along the river is so thick you cant hear the noise from the road just yards above the river.

Lois drove us on a day trip up into the Aravaipa Canyon and it was an amazing 8 mile dirt road adventure that takes you to the West entrance to the Wilderness Trail Head. We plan to come back with permits next time to walk into the Canyon itself.

E 96 Ranch Road, AZ BLM

32°51’25.87″N 111°11’38.64″W

We set up about halfway down E 96 Ranch RD. There seems to be lots of Trust Land here but you can also find plain BLM property as well. ATT cell service is spotty down the length of the road. If the wind is not blowing the fly’s are an issue. I see packrat mounds around but not seen any in person while we where here.

We have decided that bike riding here is not so good as we find thorny things everywhere. We are still new to the desert so we are easily entertained just walking around the area. I can add to my “Live List” the Phainopepla. At least a pair in a wash behind out camp site. Wash has small trees and more under brush and even grass and Game trails.

Thanksgiving this year in the desert with the full Beaver Moon feeling like we are the only people on earth. Until an ATV comes by in a cloud of dust.

Snyder Hill BLM

GPS 32.156941, -111.116493
Snyder Hill is a great place to stay to check out the Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park [West]. We took a day and went over Gates Pass and did some mountain climbing. Great views and several CCC Project cabins on the mountain. Back to Tucson we tried out the International Wildlife Museum. Was a great display of animals from around the world.

We visited the Mission San Xavier del Bac “White Dove of the Desert” and the Cemetery near by. Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona , on the Tohono O’odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation.

As for Snyder Hill, I think it is a great place to get your feet wet boondocking. Seems safe to leave your rig and everything you might want is with in ten miles. If we had not met up with Dennis and Betty in Muleshoe, Tx we might have passed on this place as the reviews are not good. There is a lot of trash around and on the north side of the hill there is tons of broken glass. But as I see it, there is no more trash around here than any other places we have been. If you have not been in the desert before this is good place to start. We even found a cliff shelter and two grinding holes on the east side of the hill. Back in a pocket there is signs of a smoky ceiling and some sand bags where a modern day Hobo must be sleeping.

Texas Plains Trail to Tucson, AZ

NM Hwy 70, Clovis, Portales, Roswell, The Permian Basin, Hondo, Ruidoso, Lincoln National Forest, Sierra Blanca Mountain Range, Billy the Kid Scenic Byway, Mescalero Apache, Tularosa Valley, Alamogordo, Las Cruces, I 10, Deming, Hwy 180, City of Rocks SP, Silver City, Hwy 90, Lordsburg, Willcox AZ, Tucson

We found it to be too cold in Texas to take advantage of the free City Parks. So we hightailed it into New Mexico. Looks like Hwy 70 is four lane clear across New Mexico. I had hoped for the weather to be better in New Mexico during November but it has been uncomfortable at night. So we are moving right alone.

After Las Cruces we got on I 10 and headed to Deming then turned off to check out the City of Rock SP. Very interesting and inexpensive. We moved up to Silver City and then back to I 10 and made it to Tucson.

We need to apologize to all the Snow Birds in Arizona! Seems this winter might be like last for us. We have brought the cold weather with us.

Texas Plains Trail

TX Hwy 70, Plainview, Earth, Muleshoe,

Lots of flat lands in west Texas, this year its Cotton last year it was Wheat, and its Cotton Packing Time. There is Cotton all up and down the road. We got to Muleshoe to find one very nice sunny day with 70 degrees. Got our bikes out and did the town. Met a couple here in the park that are headed for Arizona also. Betty and Dennis live in Arizona so we are kind of hanging out with them picking their brains as to where to go and what to see.

After three days here the weather is not looking much better for the next week so we are planning to stay on point and stay on Hwy 70 west. We are all up for boondocking this year but with night time temps in the 30s Hwy 60 is less desirable so we are planning to be in Las Cruces in a couple days looking for warmer weather.

Red River Valley!

Afton OK, Vinita, Chouteau, Muskogee, Checotah, Eufaula, McAlester, OK 270, Arpelar, Calvin, OK 1, Ada, Sulphur, OK 77, Turner Falls Park, Springer, Ardmore City Park, Ok 70, Lone Grove, Zaneis, Ringling, Waurika, Wichita Mountains, Randlett, Davidson, Red River, TX Hwy 70, Vernon TX, Crowell, Paducah, Matador, Floydada TX

We have chucked our plans to run OK Hwy 60 across northern Oklahoma and started south. Family meeting in McAlester, OK pulled us far enough south we are now heading for OK Hwy 70 and going to run the Red River Valley across Oklahoma and Texas. Spotted a Camal on the side of Hwy 69!

You have to try OK Hwy 77 South of Sulphur! Great old road and a beautiful road side stop with what is said to be the largest water fall in Oklahoma.

Once on OK 70 it turns out to be a good route west. With the Wichita Mountains on the right and the Red River Valley on the left it was a great ride. Once into Texas we pulled off at the first road side rest and spent the night.

We stayed on TX 70 to Floydada TX. where we stayed at the City Park for free. Details are on our “Find Us in Real Time” link. Hwy 70 in Texas has a lot of over night rest areas.

Miami!

Mo Hwy 54, Weaubleau MO,  El Dorado Springs MO, Freedom Frontier, Nevada MO,  KS Hwy 69, FT Scott KS, Pittsburgh KS, OK Hwy 69, Route 66? Quapaw OK, Miami OK,

Miami Oklahoma that is!! This year we got to see the fall colors as we left out of Missouri.  Retraced our “First Year Out” back to Fort Scott, KS. Back then our first couple days on the road we stayed at a church parking lot on the south side of town. But this year it’s not Sunday and we got tired by Nevada Mo, so we stayed at the City Park. Had a big day, saw a field full of Lamas, a Clydesdale Farm with several Clydesdales, an Eagle on Road Kill, and almost took out a Deer as it crossed in front of us, a flock of Sheared Sheep. And made it to the Freedom Frontier! Yes we have had a very long two months at Lake of the Ozarks and now we have hyper vision. While we enjoyed our stay at LO park, having lived there for 30 years we know every nook and cranny of the place which leaves out the “excitement” factor. So, we are excited to be on the road again.
Hooked up with Lois’ brother and his lady friend in Miami. Good to see they are doing good. They were at Mark Twain State Park for two months, said they really enjoyed it.
Guess that is about all we know for right now…will write more later. Enjoy life, it’s the only one you got!

Out of Missouri!

Well we got stuck in Missouri again! But weather is starting to bite us in the butt and has woke us up. We are getting together and moving out the end of the month. Plan to spend the winter roaming Arizona. Baring any weather issues planning to wander west on US Hwy 60.

We have had a great time Hosting at the Lake Ozark State Park. This year a flock of American White Pelicans have chosen the parks cove to hang out in for the last week or so. And of course the Deer population that roams the camp ground has increased this year over last. Bill Shannon “Host Coordinator” and his band of park workers has been wonderful to work with. The fall colors are popping and that is telling us its time to move on again.