If you like, you can scroll down to part one to read that post first.
( Writing this from Ferguson Lake Road on January 31. We just moved yesterday and our new boon-docking site has a great signal. )
To finish up the time from January 22nd until the 30th, we had to divide the post into two parts because we have a lot of pictures to share.
If you like, you can scroll down to part one to read that post first.
( Writing this from the California side of the Colorado River on Ferguson Lake Road, on February 1. )
Friday, January 30, we moved to a wonderful hide-a-way site, one mile from Ferguson Lake. This is in the very southeast corner of California. The CA and AZ state line is the Colorado River and Ferguson Lake is on both side of the river. The closest city is Yuma, Arizona.
As you enter the Imperial Dam Recreation area, you take Senator Wash Road to Ferguson Lake Road and drive 9.5 miles to the lake. Our boon-docking site is one mile before the lake, tucked in a wash with hills all around us and Palo Verde and Mesquite trees to break the wind.
( Writing this from Indian Pass Road near Glamis, CA. on January 29. )
We have spent the last week here off Ogilby Road near Glamis, CA. We are only about twenty-five miles from Yuma, AZ, but we can add another state to our been-to-list.
When we first got here on Thursday the 22nd , the sites we liked the best from our scouting trip the week before, were all taken. We kept driving down Indian Pass until we found one we liked, which ended up being five miles in from Ogilby. It was a really nice site but it had no phone or internet service. We stayed there until Saturday and then moved back up to a vacated spot even nicer and only one mile off Ogilby and with a good wireless signal.
We will continue the rest of the week in the next post.
( Writing this from Mittry Lake, Yuma, AZ on January 20. )
When you are out here camping on the BLM lands, the rule is you can stay 14 consecutive days on one site and then you must move a distance of 25 miles away. Thursday will be the end of our stay at Mittry Lake. With us being new to all the southwest, we can look at our Benchmark maps for each state and get a good idea of where to go but we can't be sure if it will suit our camper. So we are using Mittry Lake as a base. We have taken drives in different directions looking at sites for the future.
On Saturday, we looked around Senator Wash and Ferguson Lake.
Sunday, we drove 25 miles into California to check out several roads off Ogilby Road with BLM camping.
Monday we did laundry, boring.
Today, Tuesday, we took AZ-95 from Yuma, north toward Quartzsite. There are several roads off of 95 that lead into KOFA Wildlife Refuge. This is managed by BLM and you can camp along these roads staying within 100 feet of the road.
We have these three directions we can choose from, the fourth being Mexico which is not an option for us. ( We are happy to park at the border and walk across to Mexico but do not want the hassle of inspections and paying for Mexico car insurance.)
We have some pictures of Indian Pass Road off Ogilby and Palm Canyon Road off AZ-95. It will be very hard to choose which to go to first, we loved them all.
Really stressful life we lead!!!
Indian Pass Road....
Palm Canyon Road....
( Writing this from Yuma, AZ on January 17, at Mittry Lake. )
Friday the 16th, we mostly stayed home and cooked, though we did run to the gas station and looked around the lake some.
Today, Saturday the 17th, we drove to some nearby BLM camping areas, looking for our next site. First stop was the areas on Senator Wash Road on the California side of Yuma. The areas that we liked were not suitable for our camper, either very unlevel or totally out in a wide open area with lots of big rigs.
With this lovely scene we will wish you goodnight. Miss you all!
( Writing this from Mittry Lake near Yuma, Arizona on January 15. )
Just a bunch of pictures of us exploring the hills around the canal.
Furby liked the rock climbing by the canal, also. Lots of toe holds for him.
One last look at the canal as the setting sun shines a little patch on our hill.
Good night to all, Love, Barb and Dave
Miss you mom, sleep tight! 😙
( Writing this from Yuma, AZ on January 14. )
Today is Wednesday the 14th, our third day at Mittry Lake. We left Darby Wells Road early Monday morning and traveled west about 200 miles to our new boon-docking site at
Mittry Lake just outside of Yuma in the very southwest corner of Arizona. We lost our beautiful sunsets and most of the cactus but we gained palm trees and warmer weather. Oh, did I forget to mention the lush farm fields? I can't stop taking pictures of the crops.
Someone must have known we would already be missing the Saguaro and planted this one for us.
In front of a gas station!
( Writing this from Darby Well Road on January 11. )
Yesterday, Saturday the 10th, was a beautiful sunny day and we explored severals sites in Ajo. Lucky for us since it rained all day today and this is are last day here. On to a new adventure on Monday.
We stopped at the Mine Museum and talked to a very nice couple from Ajo who volunteer their knowledge of the Cornilia Mine and the history of Ajo. He worked in the copper mine for 32 years and she knew the town history and the surrounding area. The museum is located in front of the mine pit and you can view the entire mine from the fence above.
By now it's time for lunch so we go back to camp, fix some sandwiches and stir the chicken stew in the Croc-Pot. We head back to town at 3:30 to meet in the parking lot of the visitor center at Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge on the northern outskirts of Ajo.
( Writing this on January 9 from Ajo, Arizona. )
On Thursday, Jan. 8, it was drizzly all day. We didn't feel like sitting in the camper so we drove south 35 miles to see Organ Pipe National Monument. We got lots of information about hiking trails and driving tours in the park boundaries, and checked out the campgrounds for when we come back through this way later in the month. Even through the drizzle I managed to get a few good pictures.
It was too rainy for sunset pictures on Thursday.
Today, Friday, we woke up to beautiful sunshine. We didn't do anything special but we still have some interesting pictures to share.
( Writing this on January 7, from Darby Well Road in Ajo, Arizona. )
In case you would like to know. Ajo is pronounced Ah Hoe .
Yesterday, on the 6th, we went into town to do laundry and then came home for lunch.
We then took off in the truck, went up Darby Scenic Loop Road and then turned south on
BLM-8113B Road, a one lane dirt track, winding through the mountains and the Saguaro Forest.
We drove 12 mile in before it became to rough. We came back the same way, which is great for me because I can get pictures on both sides of the road. We also stopped often for close up looks at interesting cactus along the way. We were gone for two hours and barely got back before dark. Thank goodness because the sunset was the best yet.
Different views of the Saguaro Forest within fifteen miles of the Darby Well site we are camped on....
It seems funny, coming from Michigan, to say a cactus forest but after you are here a couple days it feels so natural. You start to understand how amazing it is for them
to live for up to 150 years in this harsh environment and you can then see the forest.
Everywhere we are driving is Bureau of Land Management, BLM, property and there are many opportunities for dispersed camping all around here.
And of coarse there are the sunsets....
I know this is a long posting, but today was house-cleaning, cooking and showers day.
Believe me, when you are boon-docking ,these things take time, so no pictures today.
Tomorrow, they call for rain; so probably none tomorrow either.
Good night all, Love, Barb & Dave
( Writing this from Ajo, Arizona on January 6, 2015. )
The third day camped on Darby Well Road, the temperature got up to a glorious 70˚ .
After breakfast, we put together the fixings for chili into the slow cooker and took a walk near our site. We followed the road for awhile, explored some trails and then went toward camp by way of the wash that goes past the back of our site.
Checking our email after dinner
and waiting for the sunset.
( Writing this on January 5, from Darby Well Road in Ajo. Arizona. )
On January 4, before going on a walk at Darby Well Road, we drove the 10 miles into Ajo, to shop at the IGA and look around the town. Very impressive for such a small town. Have a look at some of the things we saw.
( Writing this from Darby Well Road in Ajo, AZ on January 5. )
On January 4, the day after setting up at our new campsite, we drove into Ajo for groceries and to see the town. The pictures of Ajo will be in a separate posting. Right now we would like to share the walk we took, about a mile from our camp on Darby Well Road.
How do you like our friend, the one-eyed Saguaro, about 100 yards to the east of our campsite. I didn't even realize he was in the photos until I downloaded, since I was so excited about the colors of the sky.
( Writing this from Ajo, AZ on January 4, 2015. )
Even though we are finally up to date with the journal of our travels, we will continue to start each post with the location from which we are writing, since we never know if we will have an internet signal at future campsites , we'd like to keep up this routine. Fortunately, here at Darby Well Road we have 4G service with our Verizon Hotspot.
Darby Well Road is off of AZ Hwy. 85 and basically runs north to south from I-10 in Phoenix to the Mexico border. This is a popular boon-docking area with lots of BLM land to camp on for free. You do have to observe the 14-day limit and move at least 28 miles to a new BLM location.
Here are some photos of our trip on January 2-3, as we move from Pancho Villa State Park in New Mexico to Arizona.
Tomorrow, more about our campsite on Darby.
Good night, all 😊
First a few pictures of today's travels on January 2, 2015.
( Writing this from Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Arizona. Arrived here on January 2, 2015 at 3:00 in the afternoon and had 35˚ weather and we had to drive through snow for 240 miles from Columbus, New Mexico to Benson. It was only a couple inches on the ground but it was very slippery. It might be warmer in Michigan!!
We are only staying for tonight and driving on to Ajo, Arizona to look for a dispersed campsite for a week. It's supposed to be Highs 70/Lows 45 . That's a lot better than 45/23
which is all they are predicting for this area for next week. There is no snow at this campgrounds but it's very cold, 10pm now and 24˚ )
December 2014 Photo Essay...
I described the highlights of the various parks we camped in for 2014 in the last post so I would like to share a few of our favorite pictures from December in New Mexico.
We thank everyone who follows our travels, for all the time you take to read this and we want you to know, it gives us more pleasure to write this journal knowing we are sharing it with our family and friends. As we journey on, we hope everyone has the opportunity to follow their dreams as we have.
Have a wonderful 2015 !
Our first year....
May 15, 2014 was the start of our adventures in retirement, traveling the
United States and Canada.
Onaway State Park near Roger City, MI...was our first stop and the first time we slept in
our Aliner camper. We crossed the Mackinac Bridge on May 19 and started across
Highway 2 on our way west to Montana, but we made the first of many plan changes.
The Porcupine Mountain State Recreation at Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula was
a couple day side trip and really worth it.
Wisconsin & Minnesota
Passed through Wisconsin on Highway 2 into Minnesota to camp near the headwaters
of the Mississippi River located at Lake Itasca Stae Park, our campground was
Hungry Man Lake National Forest Campground. Stayed for five nights.
Teddy Roosevelt National Park - North Entrance, Badlands of North Dakota. Watched
a herd of Bison cross the road in front of our truck. Explored the strange rocks.
Stayed for three nights.
Next camp, Flathead Lake State Park south of Kalispell and Glacier National Park.
June 6 is when we dropped the Aliner off in Kalispell for three months of storage
and started our summer of tent camping, with our first night at Glacier National Park.
Whitefish Lake State Park was next, taking us north along the west side of Glacier to
reach the Canadian border at Roosville on June 10.
British Columbia & Alberta, Canada
Passed east through BC and entered Alberta to head north toward Alaska.
Stayed at Moonshine Lake Provincial Park in Alberta on our way toward Banff.
Entered Banff National Park to cross the Icefields Parkway camping about
half-way through the Parkway at 6900 ft. elevation and then continuing through
Jasper National Park westward. We hiked the Bow Summit Trail in the snow and
visited Lake Louise and had lunch in the town of Jasper.
Yukon Territory, Canada
By June 19 we were at Whitehorse Hi Country RV Park on our way to Dawson City
in Yukon. In Dawson City we take a ferry across the Yukon River and take the Top Of
The World Highway which leads to one of the only two overland Can-AK crossings.
Eagle BLM Campground in Eagle, Alaska is our first campsite in our two month
travels in the frontier state of Alaska. To get there from the Top of the World Hwy.
you take the Taylor Hwy. to Eagle which still remains the #1 scenic drive so far.
June 21 the day of the summer solstice is the day we crossed the Can-AK border.
During the rest of June, tenting around Alaska our route after Eagle continues through
Chicken to Fairbanks and North Pole; up the Dalton Hwy. past the Arctic Circle
to Galbreth and three nights camping at Coldfoot Station 65 miles north of the Circle.
Alaska - continued
Back to Fairbanks, down the Richardson Hwy. to Paxton
Explore the Denali Hwy. Drive thru Wrangle-St.Ellis Mtn. to Kennecott Mine
down the Edgerton Hwy. Then back south on the Richardson to Valdez.
Now north on the Richardson taking us to the Glenn Hwy. to Palmer-Wasilla,
( 45 miles north of Anchorage). After five nights there we head north on the
Parks Hwy. through the Denali National Park area. Next Nenana RV Park. in Nenana
our #1 favorite park. This took us within fifty miles south of Fairbanks and we had
time to explore even more of the the many things to do there.
Now back down the Parks Hwy. to Talneekna for the Hurricane Turn train ride tour.
Continuing south on Parks Hwy. takes us back to Palmer and to the end of July.
Alaska - continued
Are you remembering that Alaska has only a few main roads that connect the towns.
Not counting the places that are fly-in only, we didn't get to see those; we hit all
the main roads, usually more than once.
From Anchorage we head down to the Kenai Peninsula. Family was coming into
Anchorage Airport on August 3 for a two week stay and we packed lots of sight-seeing
in. Alaska Canoe and Campground in Sterling was a great central location for the five
of us. We saw Turnagain Arm, Sea Life Rescue and Research in Seward, Homer Spit;
museums in Ninilchik, Hope, and Soldatna; hiked the Exit Glacier and Fuller Lakes
Trail; went rafting on the Kenai River; saw Prince William Sound; and on their
last day, toured the Alaskan Wildlife Rescue Center.
After they fly home, we head north and east to leave Alaska through Tok to the
Canadian border. We stay in Palmer again at the Matanuska River Campground,
take the Glenn Hwy. to Nebesna Road, the north entrance to Wrangle-St.Ellis
National Park stay one night and follow the Tok Cut-Off to the border.
August 21 is the day we crossed the Alaskan-Canadian border.
Canada, Washington, Idaho and Montana
We took a different route back to the states through Canada following the scenic
Cassair Highway and then the Yellowhead Highway, going through the Yukon
Territory, British Columbia and Alberta Providences staying at very nice Provincial
Campgrounds along the way and seeing lots of bears and wildlife.
August 27 we crossed from Canada into the state of Washington camping at
Darogo State Park. On the 29th we drove across Washington Idaho and into
Montana on Hwy. 2. We found a campsite at Swan Lake BLM Campground
south of Kalispell, Montana where our Aliner was in storage.
Two weeks at Swan Lake, MT organizing our camper and a super Hilacopter tour
of Glacier National Park. Then south to Idaho camping in the Bitterroot National
Forest at Lake Como NF Campground and had our first campfire since leaving home.
Traveling south on US93 next we camp at Joe T. Fellini BLM Campground in Mackay.
Fabulous back-counrty drives there. Next was Arco, Idaho where we stayed at
Craters of the Moon National Monument. Did great tours of the lava fields and caves.
Great Basin National Park in Baker, Nevada was our next two week stay. Leyman
Caves, Wheeler Peak, Bristlecone Pines, old mines and ancient ruins, and dark sky
programs: a really special park.
Almost a month in Utah in October, the golden leaves and the red rocks, beautiful.
Drove through Zion National Park ( camp was full ), camped and hiked five days
in Bryce National Park. Drove through Red Canyon National Monument and
Kodachrome Basin State Park, then camped near Capital Reef National Park,
at Sleepy Hollow RV Park in Caineville, exploring the area all around Reef.
On the 10th we move to South Cottonwood Rd, near Blanding, Utah
for our first real dispersed camping. Around Blanding there are many ancient ruins
to explore. We went to Mexican Hat, Bluff Fort, Natural Bridges and Hoovenweep
National Monuments and drove the Mogi Dugway. On 15th move to another dispersed
camp near Moab, Utah on Willow Creek Rd. Here we do Canyonland National Park.
October 20th we go to Farmington, NM to Mom&Pops RV Park for five days and visit
the Bolack Museum and the Aztec National Monument. 25th, we move southeast to
Cuba, NM and camp at Clear Creek NF Campground at 8200ft. elevation.
New Mexico - continued
Finding the high elevations to cold, we move down near the Jemez Pueblo at the
Vista Linda NF Campground on Scenic Highway 4, about 50 miles north of
Albuquerque. It was the perfect campsite and the people around this area are the best.
While there we saw Jemez Springs, Jemez Falls, Soda Dam, Battleship Rock, and the
Bandolier National Monument.
On Nov 11 we moved south to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park outside of Alamogordo,
New Mexico. Here we visited Sunspot Solar Observatory, White Sands National
Monument and hiked Dog Canyon.
This is also where we found out about the New Mexico Annual Campground Pass.
For a non-resident, it's $225.00 for 12 months and covers the $10.00 per day camping
fee for any of the 36 state parks. If you choose to use the electric sites, it's a $4.00 per
day additional fee. These are very nice parks with showers and flushing toilets and
they have very good ranger guided programs.
On the 25th we move to Rockhound State Park in Deming, at the foot of the Florida
Mountains. Very good hikes here at Rockhound and at Spring Canyon Recreation Area
a couple miles away. Deming has a 5-star Museum of History and a walking tour of
many original early 19th century buildings in town.
New Mexico - still continued
The next state park we moved to is west to Leasburg Dam in Radium Springs, NM on
Dec. 8. Here Ranger Alex leads a winter solstice program called Turning Back The Sun
with himself and guest speaker Bill, explaining the beliefs of their tribes in relation to
the sun and the stars. It was a very good day and we can't wait to come back next
year for more events at this park. A few other tours we did here was the Chili Pepper
Institute at NMSU and the NM Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.
And that brings us to our last campground in 2014, Pancho Villa State Park in
Columbus. This is 25 miles south of Deming and 3 miles north of Palermos, Mexico.
El Paso, Texas is only 60 miles to the east. We have visited all these towns while here
and also enjoyed the great food at Irma's Kitchen in Columbus. Pancho Villa visitor
center also houses a very good museum on the history of the attack on this town in
1916 and the park and the town have many remains of the army buildings and
equipment from that time. Our departure from Pancho Villa will be tomorrow
morning on January 2 , heading to Arizona.
We Wish You A Happy New Year in 2015 !!!