Archive for February, 2014

Feb. 24 – Rockhouse Canyon Road

Friday, February 28th, 2014

We took the Jeepster out for a short ride up the road we are camped by. The road became very sandy once we passed the dry lake bed and the gravel quarry.

Despite the loose sand and rough ride, lots of 4 wheel drive vehicles explore out here!

Despite the loose sand and rough ride, lots of 4 wheel drive vehicles explore out here!

Feb. 23 – Rock Snake Redeux

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Last year we found the Rock Snake. This year we went looking for it and found it easily, with some additions!

The little rock mouse might take awhile to digest, maybe that's why the snake has not struck yet!

The little rock mouse might take awhile to digest, maybe that’s why the snake has not struck yet!

The nearby scorpion is waiting for a snack to be built for it.

The nearby scorpion is waiting for a snack to be built for it.

 

 

Feb. 20 – Fonts Point

Monday, February 24th, 2014

We continued our travels to the west side of the Salton Sea. We will spend a few days enjoying the views around Borrego Springs, the little town in the doughnut hole in the center of Anza Borrego State Park. After setting up our campsite we took the Jeepster for a ride to Fonts Point to see the sunset. The sandy tracks heading up the hill had been graded since last year, and there were several vehicles headed our direction. When we arrived at the scenic point there was a hubub of activity.

Sunset from Fonts Point, looking east towards the Salton Sea.

Sunset from Fonts Point, looking east towards the Salton Sea.

Unidentified couples enjoying the sunset view.

Unidentified couples enjoying the sunset view.

We eventually figured out that a movie was being filmed, but we were able to carry on with our tourist activities of picture taking and plaque reading.

Filming at the edge of the cliff.

Filming at the edge of the cliff.

A quick internet search back at camp informed us that the movie will be titled “Last Days in the Desert”.

Various props for the film.

Various props for the film.

A dummy ready to be thrown off the cliff?

A dummy ready to be thrown off the cliff?

Feb. 19 – A Short Respite

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

It’s been HOT! It isn’t even cooling much at night and the refrigerator can’t keep up so we have to find a new campsite! We headed away from the Tumco area of the Cargo Muchacho mountains and turned the camper towards the palm oasis near the Salton Sea. We’ve visited Dos Palmas Oasis many times over the years and it is always a welcoming, cool rest stop.

The palm groves appear to be an impenetrable forest!

The palm groves appear to be an impenetrable forest!

Occasionally an opening has been made, allowing us a glimpse of the idyllic scenes under the palm fronds.

Occasionally an opening has been made, allowing us a glimpse of the idyllic scenes under the palm fronds.

Streams meander through the groves and tender grass covers the shaded ground.

Streams meander through the groves and tender grass covers the shaded ground.

Mavrik couldn't resist romping through the little meadows and splashing in the clear water!

Mavrik couldn’t resist romping through the little meadows and splashing in the clear water!

A look back at the palm oasis as we hiked into the heat of the desert gave us a view of this lone palm with it's 'grass hula skirt' waving goodbye to us.

A look back at the palm oasis as we hiked into the heat of the desert gave us a view of this lone palm with it’s ‘grass hula skirt’ waving goodbye to us.

For a great history of Dos Palmas Oasis click HERE.

Feb. 15 – There’s Supposed to be a Road Here!

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

We braved the threat of 90+ degrees today and took a ride in the Jeepster. We paired up with some friends and drove around one end of the Cargo Muchacho mountains and into a valley on the back side of the range. I had been looking on the internet for routes that pass through the mountains and found only one map that showed BLM route 715 traversed the mountains on the south end of the range. We ended up on that route as we penetrated deeper into the valley. We came to an area where we had found pools of water several years ago, they were bone dry today!

The road sign indicated that route 715 continued over the hill and down this canyon. No it DIDN'T!

The road sign indicated that route 715 continued over the hill and down this canyon. No it DIDN’T!

Feb. 14 – Happy Valentines Day !

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
Brittlebush blooms!

Brittlebush blooms!

A gorgeous cactus bloom!

A gorgeous cactus bloom!

I guess we are in the fire now! Notice the high today was 98 degrees!

I guess we are in the fire now! Notice the high today was 98 degrees!

Feb. 13 – Blooms

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
The ocotillo foliage appears to be in autumn mode while the flowers are about to bloom for an early spring!

The ocotillo foliage appears to be in autumn mode while the flowers are about to bloom for an early spring!

The prickly pear cactus is about to bloom too!

The prickly pear cactus is about to bloom too!

Feb. 12 – Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire!

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

The difference in environment from the desert on the east side of the Colorado River to the desert on the west side of the river is comparable to the Frying Pan to the Fire effect! The Sonoran desert looked veritably lush to us in hindsight! The different colors of green awed us, from the huge saguaro and the variety of cholla cacti, palo verde and mesquite trees, to the light fuzz of the sprouts of forbs and grasses that carpeted the sandy, pebbly desert surface. Fall rains must have been adequate this year! The Colorado desert by comparison looks parched! The ocotillo bushes east of the river were covered with tiny emerald leaves on their spiny branches. Here on the west side of the river the ocotillo are blooming already, with the crimson flowers perched on the tips of tan, dead looking sticks.

We've seen only 2 fully leafed out ocotillo around here!

We’ve seen only 2 fully leafed out ocotillo around here!

A more typical ocotillo, bright red blooms on dead sticks!

A more typical ocotillo, bright red blooms on dead sticks!

 

Feb. 11- Deeper into the Desert

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

We moved from the classic Sonoran desert to a particular sub-part of that desert, the Colorado desert. Basically we have just crossed the Colorado River from Arizona to California, then went south about 70 miles. We found our old spot we call “Tortoise Hill” and set up our campsite.

A beautiful sunset illuminated the mountains behind us.

A beautiful sunset illuminated the mountains behind us.

Feb. 8 – A Walk to the NE Corner

Monday, February 10th, 2014

We took a walk today to the NE corner of the Kofa Wildlife Refuge, literally!

Literally, the NE barbed-wire corner! Mavrik kept making unauthorized entry into the refuge by going under the fence!

Literally, the NE barbed-wire corner! Mavrik kept making unauthorized entry into the refuge by going under the fence!

A lonely stand of saguaros seen on our walk. Look closely, you can see Mavrik catching a little shade!

A lonely stand of saguaros seen on our walk. Look closely, you can see Mavrik catching a little shade!