Monday, February 08, 2010

IN SEARCH OF CRYSTAL HILL…..AND WE FOUND IT:))

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SELF TIMER PICTURE OF US ON CRYSTAL HILL

I was kind of figuring we would have left Quartzsite by now on our way further west but with the discovery of the Kofa Wildlife Refuge we are still here.  Plus the fact we have lots of space all around us out here in the La Paz valley.  Weather has been good & temperatures great but, water's getting low & the black tank is filling up.  We will have to make a decision very shortly to either dump in Quartzsite & hang around or head for Brawley California where we know there is a free water & dump location.  After that, not sure where we'll go.  Maybe Borrego Springs or maybe over to the Blair Valley near Ghost Mountain. 

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LITTLE DID WE KNOW THAT 40 MINUTES LATER WE WOULD BE STANDING ATOP THAT TALLEST PEAK IN THE BACKGROUND

Three years ago while boondocking here with our truck & fifth wheel we headed down highway 95 a bit one day & wheeled off on Pipeline road heading east in search of Crystal Hill.  The gravel road was rough & very washboardy.  Our heavy duty GMC truck had a very tight suspension & it really scrambled our innards.  The hammering & banging the truck was taking was nothing short of criminal & after a couple of miles we turned around & jolted ourselves back to the highway.  That was another big check mark in the column for trading that truck/trailer combination in months later for a Motorhome.  Great decision & we've never looked back.  Today our little mountain goat Santa Fe handled that same road with ease & left our innards unscrambled.

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REST STOP ON THE CLIMB

We had heard about a hill back in the desert north of the Kofa mountains where crystals could still be found laying on the ground.  We arrived at the base of the hill & talked to a boondocking fellow there for a few minutes.  Jim gave us the lowdown on the hill, where the paths were, & about how big the area was for crystal finds.  The hill looked more like a small mountain than a hill & we weren't sure if we would try to head for the top or not.  Walked across a wide dry wash, found a steep rock strewn path angling up across the hill face & decided to head up & see where it took us.

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PROFESSOR ROCKHOUND

Wasn't long & we were huffing & puffing.  Had to make a few short stops along the way but we stuck to the faint path, picked our way over the rocks, & kept heading up & up.  Lots of photos, lots of puffing, & a few slips & slight slides on the slippery shale rock, but we finally crested the top after a fairly steady 25 minute climb.  Kelly checked the GPS & we had ascended 321 feet from the dry wash bed.  Superb view for miles & miles in all directions & the silence was deafening with the exceptions of some hawks in the vast desert below.  Could even see back to the La Paz valley where our rig was parked & I think if we would have had our 8x50 binoculars along I could have picked out our rig.  While I had my nose scanning the mountain top horizon Kelly had her nose to the ground searching for crystals.  Three years ago I named her Professor Rockhound because of her continuous quest for gems in the desert.  That girl always had her nose on the ground.

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MAKING OUR WAY ACROSS THE HILL

We stayed on the summit for nearly half an hour while Kelly scoured the ground & I scoured the surrounding landscape just for the great visual opportunity of scouring.  It's not everyday we get to places like this or see things like this so I always try to appreciate & take in where I am as much as I can.  We had to pay attention to our footing because the sheer drop-offs were close by & it was ruggedly rocky all the way to the bottom of the cliff face.  No time to be clumsy & I'm glad it wasn't windy. 

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OUR RIG IS OUT THERE SOMEWHERE ABOUT DEAD CENTER…..200mm

We were in no hurry so we began our descent slowly with Kelly making many stops for many mini digs in the rocks.  She was determined to find some crystals.  We decided to get off the path & pick our way through the rocks & saguaros across the hill where it wasn't likely most people may have walked.  I was ahead of Kelly when a sudden glint caught my eye about 6 feet ahead of me.  It was only a fraction of a second & it was gone.  I stopped, stepped back a few steps & then ahead again.  'Flash' there it was again and I locked my eyes on the spot.  Moved a couple small pebbles & there it was, a small crystal.  One of it's clear flat sides, acting like a mirror, had caught the sun just right & reflected in my eye.  I later found another smaller one the same way but it was just a sliver of a thing.

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FOUND A SMALL CRYSTAL

We slowly continued our way across the hill working our way ever lower until we finally reached the flat dry wash below.  Our time on the hill had lasted nearly two & a half hours.  We were glad to reach the car & flop ourselves into the soft car seats.  Had spotted a windmill out in the desert from the hill earlier so we drove off in the windmill's direction & soon came upon it.  Another blogger, Mike from MIKE & PAT’S TRAVELS collects windmill pictures & ever since he mentioned that in his blog awhile back I keep an eye out for windmill photos.  This looked like a good one so enjoyed taking a few pictures of it.   It's called, 'Twelve Mile Well' & there must have been cattle around there at one time by the looks of an old iron pipe corral.

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SPOTTED THIS WINDMILL AT LOWER LEFT FROM THE TOP OF THE HILL….200mm

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GOT ANOTHER ONE FOR YA MIKE:))

We softly bumped our way back out the gravel road to the highway, hung a right, & drove the short distance back to our rig.  My tired legs told me we had had ourselves another fine Arizona rock scramble.  Originally we had planned to head into Quartszite after Crystal Hill & see a place called Celia's 8 acre Memorial Garden & the Hi Jolly monument but we were tired & decided to relax at the rig for the rest of the day.  Sat in my lay back chair taking relaxing photos of animals in the passing cloud formations.

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UFO DISGUISED AS A CLOUD

Thanks to LakeConroePenny from Texas in getting me straightened out about the proper spelling of Quartzsite.  In Penny's words, " Quartzite is a rock. Quartzsite is the place.  Thanks Penny, much appreciated:))

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TOUCH MY TEDDY BEAR & I’LL RIP YA APART!!

I’ll put all of today’s Crystal Hill photos into a web album shortly.  Maybe we'll slip into Q in the morning, or maybe we'll pull up stakes & head for California.  Like I said before, we never know where or when we're going until after we have been to whenever & wherever we get somewhere........:))  I know, doesn't make much sense to me either!!

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KOFA MOUNTAIN RANGE

GROANER'S CORNER:((  And did you know that your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS  http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.

12 comments:

  1. I think those tanks are there for the desert Bighorns in the area? When I was there I think there was signs preventing camping within a certain distance to prevent scaring the animals!
    http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/bhsheep/water.shtml

    Good work finding a crystal! I didn't find any, but the I spent most time up there with my binoculars!
    Ivan

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  2. If I didn't know better, I might think that you are kind of enjoying Quartzsite. Well now that you know how to spell it and all, LOL.

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  3. Great photo of you two in the self timer shot...maybe a good replacement for your header "Pilot Knob" shot.What say you?

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  4. What a fun day! And how nice is it to be able to do what you want, when you want--either leave or stay!
    Thanks!
    donna

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  5. Interesting places today ... loved that Crystal Hill. Your motormouse pic is fantastic! I can just about hear the tiny growl.....

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

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  6. That was quite a monster hike up Crystal Hill - a lot more difficult than my mini-hikes around the trails here. Nice to see you found some crystal after all that. Great pics, as usual.

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  7. We second Wandring Willy's suggestion. But who am I to suggest changes to someone else's blog? I haven't changed ours in some time. What a fine time you have in the desert, going places, doing things, showing us all there is to see, or at least part of what there is to see, making us want to go and see the rest! Thank you!

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  8. Al, along with the crystal i like the photos of the blonde "gem" you found in the desert !

    the hermit

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  9. Great photos especially the one of you & Kelly... GREAT!!! That was a cute little gem you found... Looks like that was a great hike and what fun looking for the little treasures. Have fun and whatever you decide to do... travel safe!
    Donna

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  10. THANKS for the WINDMILL,,,,!!!

    I love 'em!!!

    If they could only talk!!

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  11. That sounds like a real fun day. The spark on the crystal photo looks cool too! Like always - love your photos!

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  12. Wow, you guys are fast! I am so glad that you found it. I hope you had as nice of a time there as we did.

    cheers!

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