A Sunday morning gray overcast sky saw the Bayfield Bunch creeping across the desert floor. Had to keep our eyes on the dark moody looking clouds. Didn’t want to get ourselves caught out there in a rain.
This mornings Jeep mission was to find a desert road leading through a canyon in the mountains west of our place. From experience, we knew there had to be a way through there because desert roads & trails lead everywhere. Our first attempt, through a gate off highway 71, led us on a willy nilly winding trail that finally dead ended us a few miles west at highway 93. Backtracked to 71 & headed in closer to Congress & slipped back out into the desert through another gate. This time with much better success.
KELLY CHECKS OUT A ROUGH SPOT AHEAD
THESE ‘DESERT BROOMS’ LEFT SOME NICE PIN STRIPING ON THE JEEP
Winding our way through the cactus we knew we had been on that particular trail before. We’re getting to be quite familiar with the terrain in that area. Easy to get lost because of all the roads & trails & yet it’s not easy to get lost as long as you pay attention to all the surrounding mountains. Mountains tops, all different, make excellent reference points no matter how turned around one gets. If someone went out there on a foggy day they would simply get lost forever.
WE CAME ACROSS ANOTHER DESERT BONE YARD
YEP, I THINK IT’S A TYRANNOSAURUS REX DINOSAUR SKULL ALRIGHT
Made our way northwest in the direction of ‘House Rock’ again, only this time we were looking for a rough looking sandy road just south of House Rock we had spotted last week. We knew the road headed in the direction of the canyon pass we were looking for & sure enough, we found the road.
SHADES OF LONE PINE CALIFORNIA’S ALABAMA HILLS HERE
STOPPED ALONG THE WAY FOR A LITTLE ROCK SCRAMBLE
And, here again is one of the main reasons we like the southwest so much. Soon as we clambered onto that canyon pass road we began gaining altitude & even a slight change in altitude here in the southwest means a change in landscape, flora & fauna. Within minutes we noticed the changes occurring around us as we drove into yet again a different world. Rock colors changed, Teddy Bear Chollas appeared & we were in the land of tall Saguaros again. The rough road bent & twisted it’s way through gulley's, rock cuts, & scenic rocky ridges. Not a land for two wheel drive low slung cars, but a land for little Jeep Wranglers for sure:))
TEDDY BEAR CHOLLAS ON THE RIGHT ARE ABOUT THE VERY MUCH MOST BADDEST CACTUS ONE CAN TANGLE WITH…VERY, VERY, PAINFUL BARBS & I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE
We both felt the excitement (Pheebs too) of seeing something totally new again as we made our way into a beautifully serene Sonoran valley with views stretching easily away for 30 miles or more. Distant mountains on distant horizons stirred the imagination. Our morning cloud cover had lifted & sunlight bathed the greening desert landscape in warm colors. And then Kelly spotted something man made.
SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO OPEN A FEW COWBOY GATES ALONG THE WAY
In the valley distance amidst a sea of desert greenery the sun glinted on something shiny. It was the small tell tale sign of a windmill & that windmill became our new destination. Soon, the road came to a fork where it branched left & right. Right would take us in the direction of the windmill so that was where we headed. Next time back in this valley we will take the fork to the left. Our neighbor Bud has told us of a lost town he once came upon out here. I don’t know if Bud was smoking something funny at the time but it’s hard to imagine an old town out in this valley anywhere. But then again, not too much surprises us anymore about what can be found out here in this still wild & almost untouched land. We will be back to look for that town for sure, whether it’s there or not. Bud even said it has streets. Shades of the Lost Dutchman Mine here methinks.
GOT ANOTHER ONE FOR YA MIKE:))
We could hear the working of the whirring windmill as soon as we stepped out of the Jeep. The canyon’s stiff breeze had us watching the blades whizzing around. With it’s tail guide it swung back & forth scooping every bit of air it could from the gusting winds. It’s fast paced whirring had a slightly ear catching metallic sound as the blades sliced through the crisp air. No cattle around & the water trough was filled with clear cold spring water. Careful where you step, the cows must have just left. Pheebe loves cows & ran around frantically trying to find where they had gone.
What a splendid day it had turned out to be & it was just the magic elixir I needed to pull me out of the doldrums these past few days. (one of the possible reasons for those doldrums is in my last paragraph)
NO PICTURES PLEASE
WELL OK, JUST ONE…………….
Walking, hiking, jeeping, bicycling, ATVing, horseback riding or whatever way one can get themselves into these kinds of places just has to be the best of ever for sure. The beauty one surrounds themselves with just never stops. With every turn of the steering wheel, with every hiking step or hoof beat, there is something new to see. Something new to feel, & something new to hear even if it is just the riveting silence of the canyon winds. Took 152 photos today….can you tell I’m feeling better about things:)) We were home around 1 o’clock & spent the afternoon doing laundry. Now, how’s that for an afternoon come down to a great morning eh. But it’s okay, I don’t mind doing laundry:))
HEADING HOME AFTER ANOTHER GREAT 5 HOUR JOSTLING JEEP RIDE
With so many miles traveled & so many of those miles traveled on high speed Interstates, tires are probably one of the biggest worries for RV’ers. Reading Ivan’s post this morning, GETTING 'TIRED' OF THIS I was reminded of that. Luckily, we’ve never had a flat on an RV but we’ve had two flats on our Jeep. Same tire twice, a year apart, but both within just a few miles of each other. FLAT TIRE 1 & FLAT TIRE 2.
WE ARE NEVER ALONE IN THE SONORAN DESERT
Brief update on my legs problem. First, thanks to readers thoughtfulness for offering to send me Tylenol. None of the pain meds I’ve tried have really helped, including 800mg Ibuprofen. If I don’t move my right leg I have no pain. The pain & stiffness is not constant nor is it always the same. Been sitting watching TV a fair bit the last few days & my legs are feeling a bit better & I am cautiously optimistic. Makes me once again suspect a torn ligament or muscle problem. I have not gone back on the Crestor Cholesterol drug & have no intentions of doing so. Also, after about 13 years, I finally dumped my ‘Arthrotec’ arthritis medication & will not be going back on that either. Also totally stopped another prescribed pill called Zopaclone which was an aid for sleeping. When I first started taking that last summer it was a big help to me but I reached a point where it wasn’t working anymore & I would have had to increase it to get the same affect. I have an addictive nature (alcohol & nicotine years ago) so no way was I going to get myself tangled up in that dependency route again. I just have to accept the fact a ‘good night’s sleep’ is a thing of the past & that’s the way it is. So, in a nutshell, I am totally free of any prescription drugs & feel much better about that. I will just deal with the leg & sleep problems day to day & that’s it. However, stopping meds cold turkey has it’s consequences such as bouts of depression being one of the temporary side effects. Been experiencing that since stopping those prescriptions last week & it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. However, I feel the ride leveling out & I’m hoping today was a turning point in getting myself back on track again……:))
I JUST NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS LANDSCAPE
GROANER’S CORNER:)) A young mother finds out she is pregnant again, and she tells the good news to anyone who will listen. One day when the woman and the boy are out shopping, a friend of the mother asks the little boy if he was excited about the new baby.
"Oh, yes!" the little tyke says. And having overheard some of his parents' private conversations, he adds, "And I know what we are going to name it, too. If it's a girl we're going to call it Mary, and if it's another boy we're going to call it Quits."
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
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- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.
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