Headed Home

We hung out for Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge staying at the Hollywood Casino. Had several good days to ride bikes around and found a lot to see around down town. Went to the Spanish Town Parade and had great time dodging around all the streets on our bikes.

Moved onto Ponchatoula, LA by way of the “Trails & Byways Southern Swamps” other wise know as LA 22, AKA 40 miles of bayou roads. Tried to ride around the old town but the weather had turned cold again so we are trying to hang out before we move much farther north.

Lois’s had to leave for St Louis to help her Mom again. So I have been stalling around waiting for the weather to get warmer in Missouri. I have found the MS Hwy 51 to be a nice change from the main routes. Road is a little rough south of Grenada. But its a really good feel for Mississippi. Canton has a great square and looks like a great riding area, several of the towns from Canton to Grenada have bars on most all there windows but none the less interesting. North of Grenada to Memphis the road is considerable better condition, more hilly and more like farm land.

Spent the night at the Bass Pro in Memphis and road the bike over to Mud Island. The water park there has a great graphic of river water ways layered out topographically on the concrete. Its large and very cool. The whole island is very nice for bike riding.

I need to apologize for not spending more time with my post. Our plans where changed this year with Our Mom becoming sick. It has required a lot of changes in our plains and I find my self not so interested in site seeing with out Lois with me. Her enthusiasm usually inspires me. But with out her I have become a Potato. We are on our way for a stay again at Swan Lake NWR. Hoping to get my batteries charged and heading north again this summer.

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Mississippi WMA

Mississippi does seem to have WMA camping but it is few and far between. Most areas I have tried are small or hard to get a rig into. Casinos seem to be the best bet for multiple days stays. The Natchez Trace has two fourteen day sites that I find the best deal, other than Rocky Springs Campground has no cell services, the Jeff Busby Camp ground does have good cell.

We stayed at the Jeff Busby site for a week of rain and decided to head south and check out a few other sites on our way to the coast and better weather. Ran MS 15 and MS 11 to Hattiesburg, both HI ways offer Mississippi back country scenery and good roads. After Hattiesburg we got on Old Hwy 49 to Big Creek Landing Recreation Area. Don’t let the word “Big” or the phrase in the reviews “Huge” parking area fool you. Was tight, muddy and very woodsy when we where there, but it did have good cell service. Next we tried Airy Lake Recreation Area also very small loop by a lake with no cell service.

After two days of traveling we decided to head to more familiar area, The Coast!Landed at Biloxi, there is a city park next to the Gold Nugget Casino. Great location to do a lot of bike riding.

Next went west on Hwy 90, creeping along the beaches, always a great ride. Lunch at 90 and 190, White Kitchen WMA. Didn’t stay but looks like a good place to at least overnight. Moved onto Pearl River WMA Camp Grounds in Louisiana. Great cell, small area but large open enough for several large rigs on grass lot.

As I stated I didn’t find much in the way of WMA’s in Mississippi. We had bad weather most of the time we where there. Would like to hear some imput if you have any sites you  have found interesting.

Louisiana, WMA

We have spent a lot of time in Louisiana the first and second year we started traveling. But this year we are into dry camping so here we go.

Anahuac, TX “Alligator Capital of Texas” 29°50’15.01″N 94°39’17.43″W Three days free with a permit. It seems to be the only spot in the park where you can park. But the permit will allows you to camp in several other parks in the area. This spot is nice other than the Hi Way noise. Noise is so high I cant tell if my generator is running.

 

Wolf Bay Campground, LA 30°50’5.71″N 92°51’16.84″W WMA campground. Got here to find no campers on a Saturday! So we are finding it great. Nothing here but us.

 

Archie Recreational Area, LA 31°34’43.43″N 91°58’42.26″W Next to the Little River. Little more than a parking lot but was very quiet.

 

Forest Hill, LA Auhtus Melder Camp 31° 5’4.34″N 92°34’44.13″W Small loop in the forest just off paved road. Be careful there is a very deep chuck hole in the middle of the road. But other than that the loop has some gravel but parking on the pavement is an option. On the weekend there is lots of activity.

 

Spikes Campground WMA, LA 30°44’45.06″N 92°44’24.23″W If your coming in from the south the Reeds Bridge road has several light brides. From ten Ton to 3 Ton wood bridge. The river road is gravel but the camp ground and gravel road are all pretty low elevation.

 

Interstate I-10!!!

Benson, AZ Exit 302 31°57’52.96″N 110°20’34.81″W Up against the HI way but I think you will find it much better than the hub parking lot on the south east side of the truck stop.

Las Cruces, NM32°17’19.91″N 106°47’1.48″W Walmart lot we like it on the south west corner of the lot next to the fence and the wash.

Van Horn, TX 31° 2’0.23″N 104°51’20.03″W Another Truck parking favorite, if you come in early go to the south most part of the lot next to the desert. By morning you may wonder how you will be able to leave.

Sonora Cavern Road, TX 30°37’18.94″N 100°46’22.90″W Great place to rest up for the Cavern Tour.

Kerrville, TX 30° 3’41.41″N 99°10’6.91″W Off the interstate and very quiet. If you get in early you can walk down to the Ponding Lake, AKA Guadalupe River.

Sealy, TX 29°45’26.47″N 96° 9’2.65″W Got trains and Truck parking but quiet after dark and we didn’t want to go though Houston so late in the day.

Anahuac, TX 29°50’15.16″N 94°39’17.43″W Great little county park with three days free dry camping with a permit 409 267 2409. There are more than one park in this county we chose this spot because it was close to the Hi Way.

Now we are within a days car ride from St Louis, in case we have any more issues at home. Planning on spending the next month and a half between here and Hattiesburg with-in a hundred miles of the I-55 corridor.

I must tell you it took us a record seven days and 1171 Miles, high speed for us. I have never liked traveling on the Interstate. If traveling was only on the Interstate I personally would just as soon be setting in front of a TV watching National Geographic.

Never the less with any luck there will be no issues back home and we can spend the rest of our winter scouting out WMA Camping in Louisiana and Mississippi.

East Bound!

Sorry for the ducking out on everyone, but we got a call on the 14th of January that the Momma had fallen on bad times and we had to put the rig in storage and sail back to St. Louis to make sure she was ok. We got back to the rig on the 24th and are going to have to cut our Arizona winter off and head east to get ourselves closer to the Momma, but still in warm weather. We got Houston in our sites. Sorry for the missed connections we had in mind but life goes on.

Agua Caliente Road, Arizona BLM

S Vulture Mine Rd, Vulture Mine Gold Mine, Old US 80, Hassayampa River, Gillespie Dam Bridge, Gila River, Buckeye Hills, Gila Bend Mountains, Sonoran Desert, Palo Verde Tree, The Crucifixion Thorn,

Agua Caliente Road ” 33°15’24.60″N 112°48’48.67″W ” as the reviews say “In the Middle of No Where”. Rain the first night we got here and wonderful sunrise on the first morning. We went up the road about two miles to a high point near the power wires and decided on an area just off the pavement. No one here but it looks used by small rigs. Area is gravel and creosote bushes.

First two days we are here has brought rain, and not just the drizzle we have been seeing here in Arizona but hard enough where the phone was issuing flood warnings. Second day woke up to dense fog warning and we could not see the mountains.

Wickenburg Arizona

AZ 60, Hwy71, Congress, Ghost Town RD, Yarnell, Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial, Hwy 89, Hwy93, Joshua Trees, Wickenburg, Pouquette Tank, Vulture Peak Trail, Vulture Gold Mine, Belmont Mountains,

AZ Land Trust 33.911974,-112.812331 This seems to be our coolest find so far, at 2660 feet, it has the look and feel of being in the mountains. Its not on my research maps but it does have a Trust sign at the entrance, it’s very rough going in, but only a couple hundred yards. Two Coyotes came through our camp early on the first morning, first real wild life we have seen in over a month in Arizona, other than the Christmas morning “Three Wise Burros”.

There is a Tank here, AKA watering hole for cattle, and there are cattle here. There is also a lot of “Teddy Bear” cactus, they look soft but are so painful. So beware if you go out for a hike. Being less than 5 miles from town it still feels like you are out on your own in the middle of the desert.

This morning we woke up to 5 hot air balloons flying overhead. Of course we got about a hundred pictures, don’t know why but just kept clicking. They were awesome just riding the breeze. Yesterday we went walking in a dry creek bed and found an awesome canyon area. Think the walking in the creek bed is easier than walking in the midst of the “teddy bears”. So, between the canyon and the balloons, we give this place a “GREAT” rating.

Quartzite Arizona

Tyson Well “stage stop”,  La Posa Plain, Dome Rock Mountains, Plomosa Mountains, Hi Jolly “Camel Driver”, Fort Tyson Ruins, Quartzsite Yacht Club “Long Time No Sea”, Quartz Fest, Joseph Freemont Cone Cabin,

Well after spending the month of December looking for those warm BLM spots in Arizona, we have decided there are none to be had. We have decided to land in Quartzite for as long as we can stand for January. We find night time temps at freezing, with daytime temps around 50 degrees and winds out of the north at 20 mph. Locals tell us its just a winter storm that will last a week. But here we are after two weeks considering Texas.

Quartzsite has a lot of history but you have to look deep for it. The town is full of venders hawking their wares to unsuspecting and bored as as hell RV’ers. You have to consider that over half the wares they are offering are rocks in one shape or another selling by the pound!! We are so bored we went into town and bought a Membership to a Yacht Club, and we don’t have a boat of any kind anymore. The motto of the Club is “So Long No Sea”.

For folks who have lived in Missouri all there lives, the Desert and the Mountains are pretty amazing. But the biggest attraction, by far, is the people. If you are a “people watcher” this is the place to be! There are as many types of people here as there are rocks, and man are there some rocks around here. So for people and rocks, this is definitely the place to be.   

Fort Mohave, AZ

The Three Wise Burros, Toprock 66, Oatman Hwy AZ, Oatman, Sitgreaves Pass – Rte 66, National Old Trails Monument, Fort Mohave, Laughlin NV, Bullhead City AZ, Dead Mountains Wilderness Area, Mohave Crossing, Davis Dam, Colorado River,

Woke up Christmas morning to three Burros complaining to each other out side our bed room window. We figure we had their spot or they where having a domestic dispute.

Avi Resort & Casino 35° 1’3.31″N 114°38’29.83″W Not too formiular with Casino’s but it seems like the standard fare. Used the Casino as a base camp as we explored the area in the car.

First day we went up Oatman Hwy AKA Old Route 66 through the town of Oatman and over Sitgreaves Pass to a little Route 66 gas station called “Cool Springs Station”. While it was a cool place the road has great views. On the west side of the pass is the ” Gold Road Mines” Lots of razer wire but some neat old mine shafts if you look close. On the way back we stopped off at Oatman and spend an hour walking the shop’s with the Burros. Don’t take your rig to town as it is too small and there is no place to park. But just a mile west of the town at the intersection of Oatman road and Mesquite road there is a huge area that can accommodate several rigs. You can go over the pass if your under forty foot. But I would not recommend it.

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Parker AZ, Parker Strip, Parker Dam, Crossman Peak, Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, Burros, Site Six, The Island, London Bridge, Colorado River, Lighthouses on the Colorado River, Merry Christmas

The Steps State Land Trust 34°20’4.56″N 114° 8’9.93″W Simply a gravel parking lot next to Hwy 95 under power lines and appears to be a quarry. Looks like you could hike or ride up the canyon farther but we didn’t take the time. Just spent one night.

We went out on Pittsburgh Point for the day with the rig and the bikes and had a great ride around the island and over and under the London Bridge area.

Desert Hills State Trust Land 34°34’5.39″N 114°22’49.84″W A maze of washes and lava rock lanes. Rough area with sand in the washes and very rocky surface to park on. There is a man who rides around in a ATV and tries to get you to leave the area, apparently he lives near by and doesn’t like Snow Birds dotting his back yard. I would guess this is Lois’ favorite desert BLM spot, as its just a mile from a large mall with all the stores a girl could ask for. INCLUDING WALMART!!!! (note from Lois)