This is Thursday February 5ths post………. 2015
Desert night’s are cold but we are toasty in our rig. With curtains pulled back we watch through our big windshield for morning’s early sunrise. With what seems a steadily worsening internet connection & time not spend on our laptops we are out for our walks earlier. Of course earlier does mean colder.
KNOWN AS ‘SPANISH SABERS’ THESE MOJAVE YUCCA SPIKES ARE HARD, NEEDLE POINTED, & DEADLY.;;THEY COULD BE EFFECTIVELY USED AS EITHER AN OFFENCE OR DEFENSE WEAPON
It was 7:45 when we piled into the Jeep & headed north on Black Canyon Road with our eventual destination being Rock Springs just beyond a stone cabin built back in the late 1920’s by a returning World War 1 veteran.
Paved road from I-40 to ‘Hole In The Wall’ campground is paved but north from there it’s sand & gravel. Road was good for about 5 miles until it narrowed at a couple large water tanks & became very washboardy in spots all the way to a turn off to ‘Mid Campground.’ Road is doable with an RV but it will probably scramble your fine China.
EVIDENCE OF HUGE FIRE HAVING SWEPT THROUGH THIS AREA WAS EVERYWHERE
Wanted to have us a look at Mid Campground so turned left & drove 2 miles in. This whole area has had a massive fire go through here awhile back & hillsides are covered in burnt Pinyon Juniper trees for miles & miles. The fire swept through Mid Campground but not all of it. There are still some nice spots left in what was once a beautiful heavily forested place. I would say maybe a third of the camp is still picturesque. I took a liking to Mid Campground & for anyone wanting a remote location get away this is a nice place. We checked for an internet connection but couldn’t find one. I wouldn’t recommend this campground for large rigs over 25’ though. Sites vary in size & I’d say small Class C’s & truck campers would be Okay. I’m sure this is a haven for many tenters. Road leading into Mid Campground from Rock Canyon road is reasonably good if you take your time.
THIS IS A DOUBLE SITE AT MID CAMPGROUND
NOTE BURNT TREES BEHIND WASHROOM
HARD PACKED CRUSHED STONE ROAD THROUGH CAMPGROUND
FIRE DAMAGE IN MID CAMPGROUND
Heading back we stopped at a large outcropping of rocks where Mid Campground road meets Black Canyon Road. Great place to stop & do some rock scrambling. There was actually a fellow camping in a tent here. This single big outcropping of boulders reminded me of ‘City Of Rocks State Park’ near Silver City New Mexico.
HEADING FOR THAT SMALLER JUMBLE OF ROCKS ON THE LEFT
THERE’S THE TENTER BESIDE HIS TENT EATING A SANDWICH & KELLY CHECKS THE LOCATION FOR AN INTERNET SIGNAL
PHEEBS IS QUICKLY OFF TO DO SOME EXPLORING
KELLY GRABS A FEW PHOTOS WITH HER BLACKBERRY AS WE CRUISE AROUND THE ROCKS
TWO WINDMILLS VISIBLE IN THIS PHOTO PLUS SOMEONE HAS DONE SOME NICE ARTWORK ON THIS OLD RUSTED WATER TANK
From the large boulder pile it was only 3 miles further north to Cedar Canyon Road. Made a right hand turn onto a well graded hard packed sand & gravel surface & traveled maybe 5 miles to our destination just off the right hand side of the road. Small roadside sign is easy to miss. A short sandy lane led into parking lot trail head with a washroom & garbage disposal bin. Rock Cabin was a short walk from there. It was obvious right away this stone built cabin was in good shape due to probably being built right in the first place back in the late 20’s. Stone walls are thick. History of this cabin & 2 owners can be seen in photos below.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE
A FEW INTERIOR PHOTOS THROUGH CLOSED WINDOWS
<<< CATCHING A SELFIE AT THE CABIN
There is a loop trail beginning on the west side of the cabin which leads back around to where an old ore crushing copper mill was located. A concrete foundation, half a dozen burnt timbers & a pile of odd colored stones is about all that’s left. Trail from there leads down through some rocks to a sandy wash. From here it was a short walk following many animal foot prints in soft sand to the water source known as Rock Springs. Not a lot of water but there was a spring running & Pheebs was able to get herself a drink.
REMAINS OF THE OLD COPPER MILL AS WE FOLLOW THIS TRAIL DOWN TO ROCK SPRINGS
One can only imagine the history that took place at this location. Tribes of Indians camped hear near the water source. In later years settlers traveling the Mojave trail stopped here. It was a source of water for miners & ranchers in the area as well.
PHOTO ABOVE WAS TAKEN IN THIS WASH BELOW WHERE WE FOLLOWED NUMEROUS ANIMAL TRACKS INTO THOSE ROCKS AHEAD
PHEEBS FINDS HERSELF A FRESH SPRING WATER DRINK
IF ONLY THESE ROCKS COULD TELL THEIR MANY TALES
Around 1860 the U.S. Government built a Cavalry outpost in a flat area beside what is known as Watsons Wash. This army post was known as Camp Rock Spring & was set up in conjunction with a string of other posts to protect the mail & supply route along the Mojave road running from California to Prescott Arizona. Nothing left of the outpost anymore except a small flat piece of ground. The outpost was only a few hundred yards from the water source just up the wash. If only these rocks & boulders could talk & tell us tales of all the activity that once went on in this now nearly forgotten little place so crucial to so many back in the 1800’s. I’m sure with the ghosts of Mojave Indians, old 49’er Miners, tired wagon train settlers, dusty cow punching cowboys, & Government Cavalry troops, our way back along the winding trail to Rock House Cabin was well watched over.
ON THIS FLAT GROUND BEHIND READER BOARD STOOD ARMY CAMP ‘ROCK SPRING’
ON THIS READER BOARD IT SAYS, ‘OF 73 MEN STATIONED HERE FOR VARIOUS PERIODS, 23 DESERTED’
CAMP ROCK SPRING WAS LOCATED HERE ON THIS FLAT PIECE OF GROUND
We left Rock House Cabin & headed our way back in the direction from whence we had come but decided to turn off on the Mid Campground road again & take a 10 mile Jeep road back to our rig just south of ‘Hole In The Wall Campground’'. Found this road very scenic & in better shape than the washboardy Black Canyon Road we had originally headed north on earlier in the morning. It’s 2 miles longer going this way.
INTERESTING MARKINGS ON THIS ROCK…DID INDIANS DO THIS OR WAS IT SOLDIERS FROM CAMP ROCK SPRING…ROCK WAS AT THE OUTPOST SITE
KELLY DOES A LITTLE FANCY FOOTIN THROUGH A GULLEY
ALMOST BACK TO THE TRAILHEAD
Think it was around 2 when we made arrived back at the rig which made for a 6 hour day trip & that is just about right for us. It is these kinds of days when we set out in the Jeep in search of things that are my favorite kinds of days. Seeing new scenery & tracking down locations of old west history works for me every time & we’ve done a fair bit of that since we started RVing back in 06. Ghost Towns in Cochise County just to mention a few.
THESE WERE THE GOAT PENS AT ROCK HOUSE CABIN
All & all we had ourselves a good day & in the morning will probably head for the world’s largest concentration of Joshua Trees. No not Joshua Tree National Park. The largest collection of Joshua Trees are right here in California’s Mojave National Preserve. Plans right now are to Jeep there Friday morning but there may be another plan in the works. We are frustrated here with the spotty internet & are toying with the idea of re-locating over to the west side of the Preserve on the other side of the towering Providence Mountain range. Logic dictates reception may be better there with major population centers further west.
ON THE JEEP ROAD BETWEEN MID CAMP & HOLE IN THE WALL CAMP
CLARK MOUNTAIN IN THE PROVIDENCE MOUNTAIN RANGE REACHES 7,929 FEET
Once the domain of older retired folks RVing is quickly evolving as technologies keep improving. More & more younger full time working people are joining the older full time RV’ers on the road. The folks latest post over at Techmomadia addresses the issue of, Tips For Balancing Work And A RV Traveling Lifestyle. Practical renovations may be needed to make your RV work friendly.
STOPPING TO CHECK AN INTERNET CONNECTION AT ANOTHER POTENTIAL BOONDOCKING SITE & I THINK WE HAVE A TIRED POOCHY TODAY
And a correction to Wednesday’s post about the ‘Hole In The Wall’ campground information center near by…..it is open for the season & not closed like I said. Also here’s something the Park Ranger told us. Even if we are boondocking in the area we are allowed to use the campground facilities such as free water & dump plus use their dumpster for garbage. What a great place this is & who knew. Thanks Sue:))
What a great feeling to wake up each morning, look out our windows & see nothing but nature’s handiwork all round. How nice to hear nothing. Maybe a few distant Coyotes. Nothing between us & each day’s sunrises & sunsets other than wind, mountains, & desert. It is this exact boondocking lifestyle which first attracted us to the southwest way back as far back 2005 when we made a quick trip to Big Bend in Texas. For me the southwest had been an irresistible draw since first experiencing it way back as far as 1992. These days here in the Mojave take me back over these past 9 years to our favorite times on the road & memorable places we have camped. Our home base in Congress Arizona is great but as with anything there are some drawbacks. Being out here in the quiet desert with no neighbors, no people pressure, & no noise sure is a nice way to spend these fine days docked in this magnificent splendor which surrounds us from horizon to horizon. We definitely need to get ourselves back to quieter times the way we used to be. And some day when all things are said & done it will be day’s like today I will longingly return to in search of my favorite memories.
OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE GREAT KELSO SAND DUNES WE HOPE TO SEE IN A FEW DAYS
GROANER’S CORNER:(( The counselor was giving advice: To gain self-confidence, you must avoid using negative words, such as "can't" and "not." Do you think you can do that? The young man responded: Well, I can't see why not.
One day in school..... How do you spell elephant?
E-l-l-e-e-f-a-n-t That's not how the dictionary spells it.
You didn't ask me how the dictionary spells it!
- 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.