The Colorado Looks Inviting

July 10, 2021 We need to get away for a bit, but summer is in full swing and lordy me it is HOT. We could do a night somewhere, but there has to be shade. And water would be nice. We live close to the Colorado River, so that’s where the search begins.

An internet search of nearby places comes up with Crossroads BLM Campground along the Colorado River just a few miles from Parker. This will be a scouting run. When the boys see me loading up the car with the ice cooler they start tussling and the ‘excitement’ fight is on. When I grab their harnesses they explode with bouts of play biting, running back and forth from one end of the Arizona room to the other, and barking. Lots of happy barking. Come on guys I say, wrestling them into their harnesses and snapping on their leashes. Let’s go for a ride.

Trotting along talking to each other with something like this that I imagine they are saying … ‘we’re going OUT! Maybe to the dog park! Mom’s taking the cooler so it must be dog park then groceries. Yeah!!! Dog Park!!’ Not the dog park, Boys, but something ALMOST as fun. And we head out into the already intense sunlight.

Traffic is light this time of year. No miles and miles of trailers, motor homes, and everything in between so we make it to Parker in about 35 minutes. Crossing the river we take a right putting us on the north side of the Colorado River which is the state line between Arizona and California.

We are in Earp, California. A mural painted on the side of this building says Earp, but how far Earp extends east and west is unknown since there really isn’t anything but mobile parks from point A, the turnoff, to point B our destination. For the sake of simplicity let’s say it’s all Earp.

Once we got home my curiosity got the best of me and this is what I found out about Earp:

Earp, California is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County in the Sonoran Desert close to the California/Arizona state line at the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The town, originally named Drennan in 1910, was renamed Earp in 1929. It was named for famed Old West lawman Wyatt Earp who with his common-law wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus, lived part-time in the area beginning in 1906. Earp staked more than 100 copper and gold mining claims near the base of the Whipple Mountains. They bought a small cottage in nearby Vidal and lived there during the fall, winter and spring months of 1925 – 1928, while he worked his “Happy Days” mines in the Whipple Mountains a few miles north. It was the only permanent residence they owned the entire time they were married. They spent the winters of his last years working the claims but lived in Los Angeles during the summers, where Wyatt died on January 13, 1929. Though the town was never incorporated, the post office near Earp’s mining claims at the eastern terminus of Highway 62 near Parker, AZ was renamed “Wyatt Earp, California” after Earp’s death in 1930 with a ZIP code of 92242. For amusement only there is a tiny cemetery showing the fake grave of Wyatt Earp (his actual grave is in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, just south of San Francisco). The post office is more than 220 miles (350 km) from the county seat in San Bernardino, California; further than any other in the county. The entire region on the California side falls under area code 760. Unofficial alternate names of the area are listed as Big River, Drenna and Drennan. Since Earp is an unincorporated community of San Bernardino County, County CEO Leonard X. Hernandez would be considered the Chief Administrator of Earp.

But back to present. After a pleasant, meandering drive on the two-lane road we arrive at the campground. This little section of land along the Colorado (which means colored red in Spanish), Crossroads Campground, is BLM. It appears there is a camp host here during the usual camping season of mid-September to Mid-April, but wisely they are long gone. Even along the river, although a bit cooler, this is desert and if you are in the sun you fry. You still have to pay the fee to camp — this is a government agency after all — but the fee is minimal. $5.

At the very end of the campground is a fully shaded spot, occupied by several people who do not look like they would take kindly to being photographed. We turn around.

Other Campsites:

Several Sites Not on the River

Beautiful View of the Colorado
No drinking water, but there are vault toilets, garbage, BBQ grills, and tables. Dogs must be kept on leash and picked up after. Watch out for rattlesnakes. $5

I think the next time we need to stock up at Walmart we will make it a two day run and spend the night here. Close to home, shade, and a cell signal. This place ticks all the boxes of what we require in a spot to camp this summer.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

The Desert Shows Off

Hello Friends! Spring is pretty much over here in the low desert southwest; we got our first triple digit day last week, but I want to share with you what the area around our little piece of the desert looks like when it is in full show-off mode. I hope you enjoy the photos.

ocotillo in the west front cactus bed

Opuntia ‘fiesta’ prickly pear ‘chenille’

creosote bush –smells heavenly after a rain

bougainvillea

Texas Sage

Dang, can’t find my clear photo of this beautiful bee attractor,

so this one with the wind blowing it around will have to do

Arizona never lacks for beautiful sunsets

Peanut Cactus in full bloom

Notocactus’ exquisite bloom

Cottontail and quail

This guy comes in every day for water

Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs Travel.

It’s Coming to an End

September 5, 2019
Leaving Winslow after our short visit to Standing on the Corner Park, we make a dash for Flagstaff, the air becoming noticeably cooler the closer we get. Taking the exit for Walnut Canyon I look for the same camp we stayed in year before last. There is no one parked there! Yeah! Shade, privacy, and memories—the little juniper tree I backed into then, tearing out the van’s right tail light, is still there, limb hanging down. Dead but still attached to the little tree.
I make camp, feed The Boys, fix dinner, then lie down to read for a little while. I had intended on staying a couple of days, but I am restless. After reading a chapter in my book I get up. I take down the tarp and put away the camp chair. The need, for some reason, to get “home” is pulling at me, so with nothing but a quick morning walk for The Chiweenie Brothers we will be ready to pull out first thing in the morning.
A thunder storm rolls through—nothing like Coyote Creek State Park in NM!!—and we get a bit of rain. It’s much cooler up here at the higher elevation and sleep will be good.
Upon awakening in the morning I haven’t changed my mind, and we drive into Flagstaff where I get supplies at Wally. One more stop, at the Cricket phone store, and we are soon on our way to Williams where we head south, ending up in Prescott.
I drive through town and on the way out locate the White Spar Campground where we spend the night. We were here, too, year before last. I got lost hiking. Haven’t told that story yet. Perhaps before winter is over.
On the morning of the 7th we head out at the crack of dawn. It’s only 120 miles to Quartzsite (Q Town). We wind our way, slowly, down the 15 mile long grade that twists and turns down the narrow mountain road, finally arriving at Yarnell, then on to Congress. Once out onto Hwy 60 we turn right and drive the last leg of our journey. Our adventure is over for this year.
We are back in Q by noon, and the first thing is to get the cooler going. It’s still triple digits here, and our little place is HOT. The floor is hot. The walls are hot. It’s stifling and the sweat runs in rivulets off my brow.

It takes two days, the swamp cooler running around the clock, to get our tiny one room/one bathroom casita cooled off, but we’re “home”. I begin making a list of the many things that I intend to get done this fall and winter. Lots of things to do to make our winter retreat the haven I want it to be.
Here is where I will take my annual hiatus for the holidays. Not sure exactly when in January I will be writing again. It may be February. It may be spring. We may or may not take off in January for a getaway trip while our little town of 3000 is overrun by snowbirds to the tune of 90,000 plus. Or we may stay put and hunker down until the New Year is a little older. Playing it by ear.
Thank you for riding along with us on our New Mexico adventure. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Voyager (3rd book in the Outlander series) by Diane Galbadon. Checked out from the library for the third time — too much to do for reading!!
The desert tells a different story every time one ventures into it — Robert Edison Fulton
PS Any suggestions for where to go next summer? Someplace you’ve been that’s awesome? Some place you’ve always wanted to see? Would love your suggestions.

BOYCE THOMPSON STATE ARBOREUM

Sunday, May 19, 2001 we point MissAdventure’s nose north. At 3000 feet it is cool and overcast; a perfect morning to take in the Boyce Thompson State Arboretum off Hwy 60 in Superior AZ. The palo verde trees are at their peak of bloom here and it’s a gorgeous drive.

They allow dogs to go along on the walk, and the boys are beyond excited to tag along.  I attach their leads and Fries grabs the leash dashing ahead trying to pull me along.

I pay the $12.50 entrance fee and we begin the mile and half loop, with many side trails to explore, that meanders through the canyon showing off its collection of desert plants and trees. It is spectacular!

A nice surprise as we come down off the trail and back to the beginning, a docent suggests the demonstration garden near the parking lot and exit.  A rose garden!!Delightful!

Continuing on we stop at Oak Flat Camp Ground nestled off Hwy 60 in the Tonto National Forest to camp for a couple of days. It is cool here with shade. Not much has changed since we were here two years ago.

Monday is cool, but windy, and we get some rain during the night. Enough moisture to dampen the ground, but being parked under the trees MissAdventure comes out of it looking like a spotted green thing of unknown origin.

This is a free Forest Service campground with tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

The Polar Vortex and a Super Snow Moon

February 19, 2019 I just happen step outside MissAdventure in the early morning hours before dawn and see the Super Snow Moon falling slowly behind the mountains to the west. I am thrilled to have awoken to this as my shots of the super moon rising did not turn out well.


The temps have been dropping as the weather people around the nation herald the coming of a Polar Vortex. Little did any of us realize just how bad it was going to get. By February 22 Flagstaff was reporting 40” of snow; a one day record since records have been kept. Kingman had 18”, the road into Payson was closed due to the snow. Snowflake AZ saw snowflakes, Benson saw snowflakes as did Nogales on the US-Mexican border.
Mammoth Lakes on 395 in California received over 22 feet. Going to have to take that camp off our list for summer! They may never get anything but the roads cleared there this year!

Oregon had record snowfalls as did Washington. The places in the nation that always get snow, got more than they bargained for. It’s a crazy winter for sure! Bet YOUR area saw some interesting weather, too!

The Chiweenie Brothers and I spend most of our days inside. It’s too cold and/or windy to be comfortable outside for very long so only the necessary walks are taken. Poor guys are a bit bored.


DSC_0156Fries with His duck Head
On one walk I gaze off into the distance and the Kofa Mountains look a little strange. What the heck? Oh I see what it is. The Kofas are wearing white!! It stays for a few days, too. Seems like Q, Yuma, and perhaps Ajo are the only places that didn’t get snow. I tell ya, Quartzsite is the best place to be in the winter, even though locals say this winter has been the coldest they’ve seen. So much for global WARMING …
DSC_0011Snow on Kofa Mountains
Storms, whether rolling in or on the wane usually leave some beauty behind.

DSC_0008MissAdventure with Pink CloudsThanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna and The Boys.

CURRENT READ:  Still working on Mary, Queen of Scots 

The Desert Turns Green

Quartzsite, Arizona, our winter refuge, is cool with lots of moisture; it is turning green.  Lush, spring grasses and plants put on a show that is beautiful in its simplicity.  One would not even notice if you hadn’t spent several winters here, or at least experienced a few of the winter months at some point.  Usually the greening of the desert is so brief it’s hard to imagine it even happens.  This year it happens.

DSC_0132Green Desert Clouds, and Buttermilk Clouds
A Buttermilk Sky

DSC_0139The Desert is Turning Green, Plant with Rock

The spring flowers put on a colorful show and all of it with the “purple mountain majesty and the brilliant blue sky depending on the hour, is breathtaking.

The middle of February brings unusual cold, even frosty temps, lots of cold wind and some rain.  Many hours spent inside reading, planning, writing.

The boys need a little walk a couple of times a day and I bundle up and take them out.  It’s cold enough that my little Fries doesn’t mind at all when we head back to the van.

DSC_0005torms a Brewing

They play, nap in the sun if it has made an appearance, and just generally go with flow.  On Occasion there’s a row, but for the most part they get along splendidly.

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel! Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Mary, Queen of Scots

 

Niland Boat Ramp

Our next stop, January 28, 2018 after leaving Slab City is the Salton Sea.  I head north again on Hwy 111 and intend on a night’s stay at the Imperial Wildlife Refuge to do some bird watching.  Murphy’s Law on “plans” kicks in and wouldn’t you know it, this is the LAST day of duck hunting in the refuge.  The only place to stay is the parking lot divided into parking spaces by old fire hose nailed into the ground and I say to heck with it and we move on.

Not too far down the road and just past the border patrol check station we come to the dirt road leading to the old Niland Boat Ramp.  Abandoned and no actual boat ramp visible any longer I grab a bite to eat and then walk the boys over to a quaint abandoned building on the shore and grab a couple of photos.

Not wanting to stay the night in this particular spot I head back out the dirt road to a side road I noticed when driving in.  The road looks solid and we take it coming to a nice level area and I park Freedom and put the window panels up to help keep the heat at bay.  We take a walk then have our dinner.

Charlie's got Bitty on lizard patrol  Charlie showing Bitty how to hunt the elusive lizard.

Bitty.JPG

Just before dark I hear a diesel truck. It sounds like it is coming up “our” road.  And closer. Closer still and I can now see the nose of a dark blue truck coming to a halt at right angle to my van.  I stick my head out and it’s a guy telling me he hoped I wasn’t offended earlier.  I look at him blankly and tell him no, I am not offended. Long story short, when we were at the end of the road down by the abandoned buildings he was parked next to a larger building “getting some sun”. He was sitting in a chair and had no shirt on, but that’s not unusual. Certainly didn’t offend me.

Have I met the preacher he asks and I tell him no, I have not. “Good,” he says. “He was offended that I didn’t have my shirt on. Guess he’d be pretty upset finding me without my pants, too.”  On my goodness. Another nudist (remember Bookstore Paul?).  What is it with these guys?

He tells me I can have his parking spot by the water as he is going to be gone for a couple of days. I thank him for the offer, but tell him we will be leaving in the morning.  He dithers on about how where I am is his usual spot, and that there are coyotes, but I should be safe. He assures me he is not “hitting on me” and his name is Bill.

Not missing a beat he says, “Well I guess I better put my pants on before I go into town,” and proceeds to open the truck door.  I pull my head back in the van and scramble as far back as I can and wait for him to leave.  I finally hear him drive away with  another assurance that he is not hitting on me and means no harm.  Bye Bill.  I had thought of staying another night, but this clinches it.  We are gone in the morning!

Chiweenie on Lookout Duty  Even the Chiweenie Brothers can’t wait to get out of here!  Hurry up, mom!!

WHAT IS IT WITH THIS DESERT ENVIRONMENT?? Aren’t they afraid things will get sunburned?  Can they do this kind of thing just anywhere out here?

Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel!  Hugs, Shawna

Free camping. Nothing posted regarding length of stay allowed. NO AMENITIES.  Not sure about very large motor homes, but there were several medium sized travel trailers here.  AND CLOTHING IS OPTIONAL!

 

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