Archive for December, 2012

Dec. 29- Mystery………Solved

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Robert found a very interesting artifact one day several weeks ago. We contemplated what it could be, it fits in the palm of your hand.

Could the markings be a brand for a local ranch?

Several days later, he found a second, with a different marking.

Similar, but not exactly the same.

A day after that, I found 2, so they aren’t a rare commodity. We should have used archaeological methodology and marked the sites of discovery. They seemed to be fairly close to our campsite, all in the same general area. Then I found a very important clue! From the markings on it Robert could research on the internet.

A large bullet casing.

The bullet is a Remington .50 caliber manufactured in 1942! Then I found another, and another, eventually 7! More research indicated the 1st metal objects are the links holding the bullets together for an ammunition belt for a machine gun used in WWII.

The flared edge of the top link held the bullet snug.

TM 9-1305-201-20&P: M2, M9 links
Further research told us that this area was part of the training grounds for General Patton’s Army, preparing them for battle in North Africa. These artifacts have lain in the sand and gravel for 70 years! There may even be unexploded ordnance in the interior of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. You can see a map of the training area via wikipedia at


Dec. 28 – The Things We Find

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Who would think the desert could produce deer with such racks!

Dec. 24 – Down Below and Up Above

Monday, December 24th, 2012

We went exploring at Crystal Hill.

Mavrik explores the small cave, dug by past crystal hunters.

And relaxed while kite flying at the campsite.

We nicknamed the kite parachutist “Waldo”.

Dec. 22 – More Fire!

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Celebrate the season with light!

Mavrik loves the warmth and glow, as long as he’s in a comfortable chair!


Dec. 21- Winter Solstice

Friday, December 21st, 2012

We celebrated with warm firelight, twinkly electric lights and great friends!

Dec. 18 – Hi Jolly

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

One of the most interesting characters associated with Quartzsite, AZ is ‘Hi Jolly’, or Hadji Ali, who died here in 1902. He came to the U.S. from somewhere in the middle east in 1856 as a camel driver for the US Army’s experimental Camel Corps. When the experiment was abandoned during the Civil War, he stayed and eventually became a U.S. citizen, taking the name (or perhaps reclaiming his real name) Philip Tedrow. He is buried in the Quartzsite cemetery and is honored with a large pyramid shaped monument.

The monument is of native stone and dominates the small cemetery.

The plaque on the monument.

Dec. 17 – It’s Not ALL Cactus

Monday, December 17th, 2012

On our walks we frequently follow washes in order to get out of the wind and explore the fantastic wind and water shaped land contours and flora. The mesquites or ironwood trees are numerous around here and great for campfires, if you don’t have to saw it!

The mesquites must stand a long time after death and weather to rock hardness!

This burl is massive!


Dec. 16 -Bizarre Forms

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The little Mickey Mouse cactus looks at the alien tentacled cactus.

Dec. 15 – Rainbow

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Another rainy day, with a pot of gold sunshine at the end of the rainbow!

The rainbow was about 1/2 mile from the camper, but disappeared as we got closer!

Dec. 14 – It Was a Dark and Stormy Night….

Friday, December 14th, 2012

No, really, it was a dark and stormy night! Yesterday morning, luckily after our campfire had died down, the wind came up and the innocent looking gray fluffy clouds scudded across the sky and stacked up until they were dark and ominous. After a sunset hidden behind ragged, wind whipped clouds we heard the pitter patter of raindrops on the camper that were soon joined by many multitudes of drumming drops that lulled us into an uneasy sleep. We woke to a fresh washed, bright, fragrant morning and soon headed out to explore.

Ephemeral pools dotted depressions along the road and washes.


Like any 4 year old, Mavrik ran into every pool he encountered until the novelty wore off.